What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 8 – Aug 12th – 19th 2018

prep week 8

This has been an exciting week on our survival homesteading retreat. At first, it looked like Murphy’s Law was going to stick around, but thankfully it did not.

At the beginning of the week, Harley suddenly began suffering from the same right leg – shoulder trouble as Ruby. It is just so strange. I doctored Harley, also a high-strung mare, the same way that I did with Ruby. It is taking Harley longer to heal than Ruby. He refused to even leave the barn for days, but is finally on the mend.



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Neither is lame, sick, or have a food consumption related issue. Either it was complete coincidence (and I rarely believe in those) or they both found a rut or hole in the herd’s typical roaming paths around our survival homestead. I have searched and found nothing but the out of the usual, but we have 56 acres, so I will likely never find the hole or rut that gave them trouble unless I trip over it myself.

Harley is the white horse in the photo. We are in the process of teaching all of our horses, ponies, and miniature donkeys to cart. During (and after) a long-term disaster I fully believe horses will once again emerge as a primary mode of transportation.

We had planned to do a girls only trail ride this weekend while the men tended to the smoker after a work detail, but with Ruby and Harley not being ready to ride, I doubt that will happen. Maybe we will do a girls only hike or ATV ride instead. Bonding time is very important for tribes. I am just really looking forward to a ladies only multi-generational outing of some sort.

Something really great happened this week. I finally got Buckeye chickens! I have been looking for some for two years. I could have ordered some from California, Texas, and a few other states, but I wanted Buckeye chickens that were actually from Ohio.

They are the only breed of chickens in the entire history of America that were created by a woman. Nettie Metcalf developed them in1896 less than 50 miles from where I live. She wanted birds that were dual purpose (both meat and eggs) and hardy enough to easily withstand an Ohio winter.

buckeye chickens

Buckeye chickens area heritage breed. It makes me proud to play a small part in bringing them back. In 2003, there were only 27 known breeding birds in the United States, now there are 2,700.

This breed was once an extremely popular backyard chicken, but as small farms began to disappear and small town folks nearly stopped keeping chickens in their backyards, the populations dwindled to near extinction levels. Buckeye chickens are not suited at all for factory farm environments. They are country chickens and are both astute and active free range birds. Living an indoor life at commercial farms is largely blamed for their near demise.

Buckeye roosters weigh about nine pounds when mature and developed hens can weigh nearly seven pounds. They lay about 150 to 200 medium brown eggs annually. The birds have a very small pea comb, which may very well be why they are so winter hardy.

This chicken breed is so great at killing mice, it has often been compared to cats in that regard. Roosters are decidedly docile. Neither hens nor roosters seem to possess the tendency to pick each-other’s feathers. Roosters make their own unique brand of sounds, far more so than males of other poultry breeds, Their most dominant noise mimics a dinosaur roar. Our younger grandson is going to love that, he has been enamored with dinosaurs since he was about four months old.

Chefs are one of the biggest fans of Buckeye chickens. Their meat is supposed to be incredibly tender an is best cooked low and slow in a smoker or crock pot.

The chicks came from Meyer Hatchery and all arrived healthy and alive. I was very nervous about their arrival because the renowned hatchery ships via the United States Post Office and not FedEx or UPS. The Post Office tracking was way off. They arrived a day before predicted only a few minutes before the office closed, so they had to spend an extra night in the box without food or water.

Being a small town post office, they brought the chicks to the address marked on the label only a few blocks away, but that is Bobby’s office and he was already home. I knew Meyer would replace and chicks that died within 48 hours of arrival, but I still did not want to see any of these rare chicks die.

Two of our grandchildren ran over to our house in their pajamas to see what surprise I had just carried inside in a box. Before they can walk we teach all of the children in our tribe about animal care and safe handling. Colt and Auddie are now pros at egg collection, turning on the barn spigot to fill waters, and packing the scoop from the feed tubs to the feeders.

I also discovered an incredible herbalist while researching the Buckeye chicken breed before their arrival. I am still astonished I knew nothing about her until now. She is to natural medicine what Bill Forstchen is to prepping. Some of you (most likely Livin’ The Dream, since she is our online community resident herbalist, if I am recalling the name on so many wonderful posts correctly) may already be well-acquainted with Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the “gypsy herbalist’s” work.

After reading a natural chicken remedy in one of my research articles I learned about the “grandmother of herbs.” She was born into a wealthy family in England in 1912, growing up with maids and a governess. She loved nature and especially dogs, as a little girl. When her grandfather would visit from Turkey every year, he would bring her sisters gold bangle bracelets but brought her a puppy (that never seemed to live very long).

Juliette became determined to become a veterinarian – not an easy task for a woman of that era. Modern medicine, vaccines in particular, began replacing traditional natural treatments during the 1930s when she was in vet school. After two years of classes, she abruptly left the university to not just learn, but preserve the natural old-fashioned herbal remedies still used successfully by gypsies, peasants, and farmers around the world.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy learned about the benefits of herbs, roots, fasting, and a natural diet during her journeys around the globe – and far more about the human condition, in the process. She is credited with saving hundreds of dogs during a distemper outbreak in London ,as well as saving hundreds of thousands of sheep stricken with deadly black scour several years later.

She bucked not only gender stereotypes of the era, but conventional medicine in an inspiring way. I couldn’t wait to see the search results when looking for her books online. I ordered both The Complete Herbal Book for Farm and Stable and Common Herbs for Natural Health (Herbals of Our Foremothers) and fought the urge to pay for overnight shipping instead of using the 2-day prime option. Once that package arrives I will be digging into the books and the our soil to cultivate any herbs, flowers, etc. that Juliette of the herbs, recommends.

Our other preps for the week included ordering another dehydrator, some 3-tiered multiple pot growing containers so I could grow more herbs inside during the fall (I am so glad I made that purchase in triplicate now that my new books are on the way) sorting through Bobby’s metal, PVC pipe, sheet metal, and scrap wood piles to organize and inventory them, and yet more putting up of logs for the winter.

Oh, I did take three of our grandchildren on a bear hunt. Ok, not a real bear hunt, but a self-reliance skill activity anyway. We rode the Polaris Ranger out the back end of Mad Dog drop and then I announced we were going on a bear hunt. I wanted to teach them the importance of staying quiet in the woods when tracking (or being tracked) and watching not only where you are walking but the sides of the trail where evidence of what you are tracking, could exist.

Thanks to a recent rain, the ground was soft enough to see deer and dog prints, so we worked together to determine what made the prints, noting it was not a bear. The children were in charge of leading the way to the rock formation and back to the Ranger on our bear hunt to help them learn the trails and to pay attention to their surroundings. It was both a memory making and learning experience that went very well.

children on a tree stump

Crosley, Auddie, and Colt relaxing on “the stump” at the end of our bear hunt. Please, no one tell my mother I let Colt and Auddie hike barefoot in the wood… again!

On a non-prepping note, a really cool article I wrote for publication on the New Life on the Homestead blog should be published soon. The focus was on using the entire corn plant. It details how to make cornsilk tea and why you should and shows how to make not just corn husk dolls, but a whole rustic scene out of them and other natural materials I found around our survival homesteading retreat. I made the scene for my mother-in-law’s 86th birthday celebration this week, along with a grapevine, wild flower, and corn husk wreath which also makes an appearance in the same article.

Lots of time goes into making homemade gifts and I enjoy using the homemade gifts to push frugality, natural living, and prepping concepts onto my loved ones. I never want to let a possible teachable moment to pass by without taking advantage of it!

Aright Pack, this week’s questions:

1. What breed of chickens are you raising (would like to raise) and why?
2. Do you stockpile and inventory raw materials or “junk” for SHTF use and how do you plant to use it?
3. Have a natural remedy that has worked well for your animals or the humans you love? Please share it so we all can add it to our medical preps.



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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 →

99 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 8 – Aug 12th – 19th 2018

  1. Puppy is a real runner, he likes going outside and doing laps in the backyard at breakneck speeds…..LOL But hey exercise is good for him.
    He got up on the counter and stole a whole pan of fresh made sweet cornbread minus what had with a meal. The wife was so mad at puppy. Son didn’t get any cornbread. Maybe that’s where he got all the energy to run…..LOL

    Bought new tires for the BOV.

    Bought water.
    Bought 10 lbs of rice X 2
    Bought 10 lbs of sugar X 2

    Picked peppers
    Picked tomatoes

    Canned home made salsa X 7 pints
    Canned 6 1/2 pints of sliced jalapeño peppers

    I keep hearing about false flag attacks coming. With what is going on in the banking industry/ economic war with China & Russia,, everyone needs to be prepared.

    1. 1. What breed of chickens are you raising (would like to raise) and why?
      2. Do you stockpile and inventory raw materials or “junk” for SHTF use and how do you plan to use it?
      3. Have a natural remedy that has worked well for your animals or the humans you love? Please share it so we all can add it to our medical preps.

      1 No chickens as of now but the best answer is Quite chickens…..in SHTF situation noise could be lethal. It would be like ringing the dinner bell for the hungry. While during the depression, my Grandmother told me of her feeding the homeless/ bums that would ride a train in area. A sandwich, apple,glass of milk and even give them a nickel. They never stole from her and left after eating.à

      2 Chicken wire fence material, screws and nails, tarps, duct tape, metal wood, ect…
      Dog food bags…..these are for makeshift sandbags. Fill with sand or dirt and seal the end with duct tape.

      3 Apple cider vinegar, for ear problems or coconut oil.
      Cayenne pepper to stop bleeding or lower b/p.

      1. Thor1,]

        Dog food bags…..these are for makeshift sandbags. Fill with sand or dirt and seal the end with duct tape.

        These make for some heavy sandbags. I have collected a pile of old shot bags from back when I reloaded shotgun shells and from those who still do. You stuff an old bread bag into one of these and fill with sand and you have something that can be easily carried to the range, or stacked as a barrier to water or other incoming hazards.

        1. These bags Make a good container for insulation… filled with fluffed insulation… the kind that is normally blown in. work well to insulate between studs on most houses…put it in close bag around arm, and fluff with bag closed… wihdraw arm, secure the top( i used stapler.). and place and shape as needed to fill any gaps. or places around water lines to give extra protection. By placing in bags keeps it in position..

      2. Thor1,

        Quiet chickens would definitely be of a huge benefit. Anyone who is interested in learning about the best quiet breeds, check out the report I wrote on the subject for Dan’s New Life On A Homestead blog – https://www.newlifeonahomestead.com/top-10-quiet-chicken-breeds-raise/

        We save all of our livestock feed bags for the same reason, the stockpile of them are going to need their own wing on the barn soon, lol.

        Those three natural medicine supplies are three of my go-to first aid items as well. They are all great for so many things.

  2. i purchased a trangia alcohol burner a few weeks ago, upon messing with it. i realized i neeeded a better stand. but at the same time i see the potential for it. so i ordered astand for the irginal and found the best deal for a knock off and ordered a second burner. i figure this would be nice for my deer blind or for canoe trips. this stove is a brutal little water boiler,on minimal fuel.

    i farmfor a so called living. we recwived in the mail a letter from our Porducers Livestock Association. where we sell our cattle, a notification of a new requirement. that 1 of their buyers is demanding, that every farmer, go through a quality assurance program , every few years or face not being able to sell through the stock yards. we suspect it is walmart. just something to be aware of for the small producer of a steer or 3 every year or 2. i’m planning on attending one this coming monday, the quality assurance, for the 4H programs don’t meet the new standards. [just a heads up]

    1. Black,

      Sounds like Walmart or factory farm honchos pushing this through their lobbyists to me too. Thanks for the heads up.

      1. Tara,

        Sounds like Walmart or factory farm honchos pushing this through their lobbyists to me too. Thanks for the heads up.

        It could of course just be our government benefactors protecting us from ourselves, once again. Those people who have only seen livestock in photos, telling us rubes how to live and raise our crops & critters.

  3. Tara,
    It’s so cool that your youngest Grandson is into dinosaurs. I was too as a little boy. I was also into bugs, rocks, and coins. Little did I know I was studying Paleontology, Entomology, Geology, and by being a Numismatist, I was learning the history of the United States and other countries through their currency. All those things I learned before I was 6 years old, I saw again in one form or another in every science class I took all the way through college.

    It’s interesting you have a relative named Crosley. By any chance was he named after the founder of the Crosley automobile? My Step-father used to collect and restore those and also collected a lot of Crosley memorabilia. The Crosley motor company played an important role in our nation’s history during WWII.

    Now for your questions:

    1. What breed of chickens are you raising (would like to raise) and why?
    2. Do you stockpile and inventory raw materials or “junk” for SHTF use and how do you plant to use it?
    3. Have a natural remedy that has worked well for your animals or the humans you love? Please share it so we all can add it to our medical preps.

    1. I’m not raising chickens. City ordinances prohibit me from doing that. So, I’ve put a little effort into studying the subject, but not far enough to determine which breed I’d like to use.
    2. Yes. And the honest answer is I have no idea how I’ll use it. When Saint McGuyver, the Patron Saint of Improvise, Adapt and Overcome, strikes me with an inspiration, I’ll be able to let you know.
    3. I do. For dysentery (diarrhea) in humans, cats, and dogs… white, plain rice, seasoned with table salt (NaCl), “No salt” (KCl) and made with chicken stock for a bit of flavor puts a gentle plug in the problem. The salt and “No salt” are to replace the electrolytes your (or your animals) are loosing. For constipation in humans or dogs and cats, pumpkin puree will fix that. Your dogs will slurp it up like candy, you’ll probably have to do an oral injection on the cat, and if you want to go, you’re just gonna have to choke it down.

    I haven’t tried those two things on any other animals but for humans, dogs, and cats, it works like a charm.

    I really haven’t done much this week. I did get to the doctor and spent about an hour with him getting paperwork together to once again fight with Social Security. The heat and air quality here have been so bad this summer, it actually hurts me to breathe when I go outside and that’s even with the portable O2.

    I’ll be checking in later. Have a good day everybody.

    1. Sirius,

      It’s so cool that your youngest Grandson is into dinosaurs. I was too as a little boy. I was also into bugs, rocks, and coins. Little did I know I was studying Paleontology, Entomology, Geology, and by being a Numismatist, I was learning the history of the United States and other countries through their currency.

      From the perspective of an older guy with 15 years on you and about 20 on Tara, I had to laugh at this, since it seems to be a common theme among many kids going back perhaps a century. I had all of the little plastic dinosaur figures, penny, nickel, and dime collections that were nearly complete along with a stamp collection that really was international in scope, and rocks of all sorts. I made contact with a guy out west who shipped me a box of rocks that were mostly geodes once cleaned up and I shipped him a box of sedimentary local rocks containing fossils. To each of us they were common local rocks; but, to the other, they were treasures.

    2. Sirius,

      It sounds like you started and enjoyed your learning adventure early! I use pumpkin puree also, it works great. I used to have big stockpiles of the stuff when we somehow ended up rescuing three Sulcata tortoises about five years ago. Big Duke was about 40 pounds when we got him after he was founded wandering the streets of Columbus and was going to be put down by ODNR since he was not a native animal in distress. He was nearly 80 pounds when we found him a forever home, a gentle giant that loved to eat dandelions out of my hands on our daily walks.

  4. We raised 3 Golden Comets and 3 White Leghorns this year. All six are now laying, as of this week. We chose these breeds for their prolific egg production and hardiness in Mn winters.(Besides, that was all they had at Tractor Supply this past spring).
    We keep a stack of “junk” put off in an area by the barn . Mostly sheet metal and roofing. Scrap lumber pieces from projects are kept topside in the barn. I’ve been eyeballing all this treasure this week in order to make a new spiffy doghouse for our young lab.

  5. My wife and I made the big move. We sold our house in south TX on the Mexican border, paid off all our debt, and bought a 10 acre ranch in the TX hill country. We have 5 raised gardens, and a 2500 sq foot field to grow corn. All have drip irrigation. The place came with a chicken coop, cow shed both with water, bunkhouse that sleeps six, shop, locking storage room outside, 4 car shed, pump house, greenhouse, and 2000 sq foot main house. We have a dozen deer that live on the upper 5 acres (undeveloped), foxes, coons, squirrels, a wide variety of birds, ringtail coons, jack rabbits, and scorpions.
    We have no plans for chickens, although I am convinced it would be a good idea to make that happen. No more big city; lights, noise, annoying neighbors…we’re lovin’ it.

    1. Not sure how they might do in Texas but you might consider getting some quail. They are great pest control animals and good guards also.

      1. Livinthedream & extexanwannabe,

        Congrats on ALL that you have accomplished! Been there. Done that. Feel the freedom!

        We’ve also been there for 20+ years; but, you forgot the seemingly endless work part, LOL. That work does however have an upside, in that you quite often get a really good night’s sleep.

    2. ExTexanWannabe,

      Congratulations on your big move!!! I can’t even imagine what it was like to live on the border – but thanks to liberals and career politicians without balls, we all basically live in a border state now. I so LOVE not having any neighbors. I bet your first night in your awesome sounding new place was culture shock after bedding down with all that noise for so long.

    3. Congratulations! I love that hill country. The deer in that area are the best table fare to be had. Small, but delicious. Some of those old German farmers around Fredricksburg had top soil developed to 7 feet deep! Lots of feral hogs around there. No hurricanes, tornados or earth quakes! Best of all, it’s in Texas,
      one of the places I would choose to live. Roads as straight as a string and high speed limits.

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

    Went to the VA as planned. In and out in 1.5 hours. Not bad at all for a walk-in appointment. My hearing is a little bit worse than it was in 2012 at my last test, but about as expected. I’m getting ReSound LiNX3D hearing aids which will link with my iPhone through Bluetooth. I can also control the aids through an app on the phone. Pretty cool. They come in all sorts of colors now. I picked the desert camo. No one is going to really see them anyway hidden behind my ears. I pick them up on the 28th. After I’ve used the new aids for a while with success, the VA will provide a connector that will allow my TV or stereo to stream sound into the aids as well. They won’t spend the money until they are sure the aids work and that I like them. Makes sense, especially for a government agency.

    This week I plan to go to the range and clean the guns I used at the range and check the others I have and clean/lube as necessary. I also need to rearrange my ammo supply. #1 daughter and family are on vacation at Disney World for the week, so I have to entertain myself since granddaughter won’t be here to do that.

    Speaking of, poor granddaughter tripped on the driveway and skinned both of her knees pretty badly. First time she did it. The surprising thing was she hasn’t skinned them sooner as active as she is. Anyway, her mom, dad, and grandma (my Ex) had their hands full trying to get her to settle down and cooperate with first aid efforts. It’s amazing how strong a 24lb baby can be. They finally got some Dermoplast and band aids on her, she nursed, and went to sleep. She woke up in the middle of the night and ripped the band aids off and never made a sound (or one that woke her parents up). She settled for a new coat of Dermoplast in the morning, but refused band aids. Whereupon she went with her dad to the Orlando Science Center (her favorite place except for a playground with swings) and managed to skin her knees twice more. Some chicken nuggets and a chocolate chip cookie worked well to calm her down this time.

    Questions:
    1. No chickens allowed at my apartment complex, and no clue of what kind I would have if I could and did. #2 daughter suggested, “Get the kind with feathers.” Big help.

    2. I don’t stockpile “junk.” No room to do so.

    3. No spectacular natural remedies. I do use some essential oils and elderberry tincture/syrup.

  7. Still smoky here. Yesterday was really bad. We had good weather at the wedding we attended, but after coming out of the reception (several hours later) it was extremely smoky. Heavy rain and lightning about 1/3 of the way home (needed the rain). Power outage Sunday AM, but back on by the time church was over. We were supposed to met up with a fellow Pack member who is on vacation “near” here, but things didn’t work out.

    Gun stuff: My round-butt grips came in from S&W for the Model 69 and 686. Got in 2 inside the waistband magazine holders, medium speed loader pouch, and some practice fodder.

    Food: My order of Grits came in. (Interesting that to get grits up here in anything other than a small quantity, I have to order them.) Bushel of free apples.

    Comms: increasing out communications equipment. Final parts needed to put the scanner and CB in the truck. Got in 2 Baofeng BF-F8HP (8 watt) handheld radios to go with the 5-watt ones. Packed all radio parts in bubble rap and new ammo cans.

    Checked out the range in a neighboring town. Now I have a place to shoot again, as they closed off the place just outside of town (again).

    Short Costco run yesterday, just some replacement items since we were close. I actually got out of there for about $50! (I did have a $20 rebate check though.)

    DW is starting the work on the free bushel of apples we got given. Apple butter 1st!

    Questions:

    1. No chickens. I will consult our friends locally when we are able to start them.

    2. Stockpiling “stuff” for SHTF is relative. No building material as there is no room. Mostly it’s stuff to keep things going when I can’t get to the store.

    3. I need to get the “recipe” for a essential oil rub that we used on the dogs camping. They got a lot of red bites on them on day one, and within 24 hours they showed no signs.

    1. hi jp, glad to see you still kicking along okay. dw and I have just been trying to stay cool and hydrated this hot summer and fill in a few holes in preps like bandages n such, with the occasional ammo order. always more ammo…need to get back to stacking but motivation and money both short, mostly motivation. hoping that returns when it cools down. well yawl take care. sic semper tyrannis.

      1. riverrider:

        Glad to hear things are still working for you. I understand the motivation factor. I have no place to put anything else, so we are moving stuff around to get more storage built. I found that I am also making better use of the space we have. I should be done moving stuff around this week, then all I need is the funds to make the “upgrades” possible. I want to have it done by mid-November so I can bring the stuff home and close out the storage shed rental by EOM-December.

        Monday, the weather is just bad. Thumderstorms and heavy smoke! The rain will help along with the lower temps, but I’m glad that today is an inside day!

  8. Tara,
    Sorry to hear about your additional horse issue; but, as you know, these big critters can be extremely fragile creatures. Our miniature horse Liberty (AKA Libby or Fat Pony) is / was fully cart trained; but, when the DD went off to college in 2009 she pretty much became the DW’s pet and hasn’t had to do real work since. We still have the cart and harness; but, selling it at this point may be the better option. I agree that having a working horse and cart would be a good thing and perhaps the local Amish can provide the future “Uber” service with old time transport.
    We may be looking into some additional chickens as I list in my accomplishments below.
    When you mention indoor factory chicken farms, we unfortunately have one of those only 5 miles west of our place, and for years there were problems with their waste disposal methods, where they spread un composted chicken manure on local fields and were nearly zoned out of existence. They now compost the manure and litter prior to spreading it and the odor and fly problems are finally gone. These eggs end up as far away as NYC, and I am so very grateful that we produce our own organic and tasty eggs on the property. While we have not yet raise meat birds, we are thinking about it and still considering breeds.
    Being in a small town post office here also, we have the advantage that often packages are brought to the house, since the carriers know everyone. Back in 1984 I cofounded a business and initially had a P.O. Box for the business. We closed that P.O. box after two years; but, mail to the box years later would be dropped off here at the house. Small town rural Podunk can have its advantages, LOL.
    Your Bear Hunt sounds like something I did with my DD when she was a child. I also recall a friend with property in your area who showed me some interesting things that can be gleaned from scat when you know the area. We picked through some deer scat with a stick and saw some evidence of pine (needles and cone remnants) and since he knew where the pine groves were in reference to the stream, it showed us where they were bedding down and their likely path to water in the morning. Understanding and paying attention to your environment can be a great thing and is well worth teaching and learning.

    For your questions:
    1. We currently have a mix of white and barred rocks, for eggs only at this time. We are thinking about raising some meat birds; but, not really considering a rooster and hatchlings at our age.
    2. We stockpile and have an entire hardware store in one of the barns. There are no current plans on use, other than barter or having something available when you need it. BTW, we toss out “Junk” ; but, do keep the potentially useful Junque and there is a very big difference, LOL.
    3. We have no real natural remedies other than proper nutrition for both the humans and critters. We live in a world of great modern medical devices and medications, some of which I owe my very life to the use of, so while we’re not against herbal medications, once again, age and health considerations prohibit all but study and an attempt at understanding. Some more natural things we’ve used in the food area would be with rice, dry toast and saltines for illness, once feeding only a mix of white rice and cottage cheese to a dog with GI issues. I also love cranberry juice (cocktail) and V8, both of which contain medicinal properties and are enjoyable drinks.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received a Parrot Mambo Fly Drone from woot.com, that I am now learning to fly.
    2. Dentist appointment. Had a new crown fabricated and installed. Scheduled a root canal for next month.
    3. For the summer kitchen: the 8 Gauge Economy 24″ x 48″ 430 Stainless Steel Work Table with Under shelf and 2″ Rear Upturn arrived from Webstaurantstore.com. This will make another great place to easily process meat and other messy items, with easy cleanup.
    4. Watched the PBS Nova series: Treasures of the Earth
    • With my favorite so far: “Treasures of the Earth: Metals”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/treasures-earth.html#treasures-earth-metal
    5. Saturday morning the DW went out to do chores and found 4 of our remaining 11 hens dead. Some kind of critter managed to get into the coop, so it’s time to batten down the coop some more and wage war on whatever did the deed.
    6. We decided to leave the coop door open Saturday night to allow the hens to have more room to escape, and found another dead bird this morning, with the bottom roost board knocked off. And feathers all over the paddock area. We’re still not sure what kind of critter is doing the damage.
    7. Continued working / experimenting with new antennas, trying to get the “perfect: setup for my radio shack.

    1. TOP,
      Time to get a game camera or two. Get a handle on the critter. Find out if you need a bigger cat or a big dog.

      Were there any tracks of any kind? Any visible digging that might give you an idea of the type of claws. Any scat left around?

      1. Sirius,

        Were there any tracks of any kind? Any visible digging that might give you an idea of the type of claws. Any scat left around?

        We’ve pretty much figured out that it’s those blankity blank raccoons again. We’ve made repairs and set out the raccoon traps once more. As for scat, we clean up raccoon scat by the shovels full everywhere, all of the time.

    2. Ohio Prepper,

      I love your term, “junque” I am so going to make a sign with an arrows pointing to Bobby’s various piles with phrase on it once it is all placed in categories! So sorry to hear about your hens. Were you able to see any signs or prints around the coop to figure out what it was? If you can describe the carnage I might be able to help you figure out what you are dealing with. Bobby and Matty built me the Fort Knox of chicken coops, using a lot of junque, and nothing is getting in there or the run now. I scoffed at the idea of using chicken wire, it is almost useless at keeping predators out, only chickens in.

      1. Tara,

        I love your term, “junque” I am so going to make a sign with an arrows pointing to Bobby’s various piles with phrase on it once it is all placed in categories!

        I coined that term about 50 years ago when my mom got upset about all of the “Junk”, mostly old vacuum tube equipment that I had collected. I still have a mostly working 1941 RCA Victor Model 29K Super heterodyne Floor Console Tube Radio with Magic Loop antenna that mostly works. I listened to it as a kid before we had TV and it’s a project to get working again. Some might think this old tube radio as junk; but, to me it’s Junque

        So sorry to hear about your hens. Were you able to see any signs or prints around the coop to figure out what it was?

        Yep!!!! It was the same predator that had killed a few before. The raccoons. We battened down any and all small holes and set the raccoon trap, catching and dispatching one this morning.

        I scoffed at the idea of using chicken wire, it is almost useless at keeping predators out, only chickens in.

        Same here. We use only welded wire fence that also works well for the goat and horse.

        1. I cut my eyeteeth on vacuum tube stuff back in the 50s. I didn’t really care too much about being on line, being more interested in building/repairing and experimenting . I still have an old Hallicrafters model S-38C in working order. I had to re-cap it two or three years ago. It isn’t really a very good radio, but to me, there is something majestic in that old stuff. Perhaps because I am so old!

          In the way of preps, got a very good double bit axe. Added 300 rounds of Winchester .45 practice ammo to the stash. I really prefer to practice with what I rely for defensive purposes, but am working on longer range practice with my 1911 and that can burn up a lot of ammo, so I compromise. Also got 60 more rounds of 30-06 SP.

          Harvesting food from the gardens. Tomatoes, beans, squash, salad.

  9. Haven’t been able to keep up with everyone for a while. Went to my dad’s memorial service at Arlington, and it was nothing but indescribable. My dad’s niece, by marriage, (our cousin) from MA came with her 2 sons and 3 grands. My cousin from my mom’s side came with her husband and 2 grands, my nephew with his wife and son came, my sister and her 2 grandkids and her step-daughter and her son, and then an old family friend came. Our crazy sister showed up and didn’t speak to any of us, or even her own son. It was still a great time. My mom is buried there with my dad, and unbeknownst to us, we didn’t know my mom was buried there with no service whatsoever because my dad didn’t tell us what was going on… This was back in 2008. So she got her memorial service too.

    I’ve been working with blueberries and canning blueberry lemonade concentrate, and boy it is good. I hand squeezed 90 lemons for the 11 lb of blueberries…. Took me a week to make since I had to do a little at a time after work. I still have 1 bushel of peaches to process and am going to make sugared citrus lemon peel from those lemons using Townsend’s recipe.

    I worked OT overnite last weekend, and when I do, I am messed up for the week.

    I did buy 2 antenna’s and 2 microphone’s for my HAM radio’s on the recommendation of TOP, who sent me the ordering link. Those finally came in and look to be perfect.

    I wanted to share a link my brother sent me for water filters that are cleanable instead of disposable. The fit the Berkey’s and other type set up’s, even the 5 gallon buckets.

    http://www.jmccanneyscience.com/SecWebOrderPg.htm

    To answer Tara’s questions:
    1. No chickens… Could have them, but have too much on my plate at the moment to start something else.
    2. Some stockpile, not on fixing things though as I am by myself and don’t know what I would need to stockpile for fixing things. I do have some wire and posts and tools.
    3. Have elderberry syrup in the freezer, along with elderberry lozenges for if I need it. I’ve been doing exercises for ringing ears and it has helped. It has gotten really worse lately. I bought a couple of herbal books last week – Herbs for Common Ailments: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Home Health Care. A Storey BASICS® Title and Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family.

    Prayers for everyone, America and our President.

      1. Thank You Thor1. I am so glad he wanted to be buried there. I would have never had the experience of it all. He would be proud at how well it went. My older sister kept the shell casings and is going to give them to us for Christmas in a holder of some sort. We also had professional pics done, and we will be able to get some of those if we want to.

    1. Almost There,

      I am so sorry for your loss and am glad you and your family (looney sister aside) got to gather and honor your lost. Thanks for sharing the book titles, I am going to definitely check into at least the first one!

  10. WOW, just me posting is work in it’s self. We finished with the fair, got 6 blue and 4 red ribbons, the red ribbons we’re because I did not fill up the jars far enough picky but hey I will fill my jar’s up fuller. I’ve been keeping all my plants alive watering the smoke, is still real bad in Washington state too. I need to pick up corn, to make Chowder soup, I like to freeze it for winter. Not to sure if I’m going to do pickles, need to call the farm and see if they have any cukes left. I did dehydrate onion’s, filled my big jar, did one bag of celery need to do at least 3 more. Filled up a quart jar with sliced mushrooms, it took four 16 ounces to fill my jar up. Just on the lookout for vegetables, to dehydrate, on the cheap. Going to get started on eBay, again trying to get rid of small toys, and vintage Barbie parts, time to let loose and make a few dollars too. But first I need to do inventory so I figured a month before I really get going. No chickens, no more room for junk, and love my Elderberries tincures and Hop tinctures.

    1. Mom of Three,

      You definitely sound like you have been busy- as if a mom of three ever has any spare time, right! Nothing quite like the smell of dehydrating onions! I would love to know your hop tincture recipe.

      1. Okay for the Hop tincture I take a quart jar and stuff it with fresh hops and pour Vodka, we buy the Costco Kirkland brand, I keep it in a dark spot in my closet and shake it up each day for about a month to six weeks, strain the hops out and you have whats left behind the tincture, my husband uses a dropper and puts three drops under his tongue, before he goes to bed. It’s for sleep, anxiety, and other sleep depriviation issues, You can use a pint jar if you want to try it in a smaller amount I did that last year this year, I will do a full quart.

  11. Hu, Tara! I always feel a bit “lazy” after reading your weekly posts!

    I can’t wait for the new post in corn @ New Life on the Homestead!

    As much as I would like to take credit, I am nowhere near the herbalist that Anonamo Also is; now there’s a plethora of useful herbal care!

    I am an herbalist, but there is so much yet I must learn.

    1. LTD and Tara,
      I had an infection in my gum tht would not heal. When someone showed me and gave me enough peppermint essential oil to treat that infection, told me how they used it, and made it permanently go away in 5 days,I was hooked! I began searching out the plants around ourhouse that I recognized.
      The next major thing was Sweet Everlasting aka Rabbit Tobacco.. I have chronic intestinal issues , allergic asthma, and DH has allergic asthma.. We found how well it worked…and removed 40$ inhailers from our needs every month.
      I began researching what I needed for sinus infections and the pneumonia and bronchitis…that followed.
      DM had UTI unresponsive /resistant to antibiotics. I had to search a while, but finally found herbal/naturals that worked.
      … Corn silk makes kidney stones break up and pass , takes one bottle /21 days. per treatment.expect to pee white…and frothy…
      i Found healers for wound infections, deep wounds, in easily contaminaed locations.
      I found what worked to restore Memory of personal realtions, in stage 3 alzheimers. Every healing compound I know that works is because I searched out possibilities and used the best choices to help someone I love.
      That is how each of you will learn. One herb, one remedy, one problem at a time.!
      Do NOT stop with one antviral{ ( elderberry) get the oregano and know how to prepare garlic for allisin effect}. or one microbial get a series of them so you can rotate thru them with each illness ..if not responsive to one add a second one on alternating schedule…Monitor effects.. when monitoring know how to check blood pressure, listen to normal sounds of the heart, listen for crackles/wheezes/rubs in lungs and how to check temperature…( with a standard mercury theremometer) temp drop into normal for first time in 4 days..(. i’d say effective.)
      Consider these questions and begin researching what interests you…I have found some of these answers- each person must do their own research. If you wait til in pain you are LATE.
      Do you have a gall bladder? Do you know how to maintain it? Do you know how to maintain good liver function and keep he bile ducts open? Do you know what kitchen spices to use to stop a Gall bladder attack? Do you know how to take care of early indications of pancreas disfunction? ie what boosts and stabilizes blood sugars? (Most people who get pancreatic cancer have had irritation for years before they seek help and then it is too late. By treating pancreatic dysfunction early we should be able to prevent cancers caused by those irritation and inflammations.

      1. AA, I SO agree with your attitude that everyone must do their own research and see what works best for them as far as herbals go. Everyone reacts to things differently. There will also be regional differences as far as what is available locally. I know you did some posting on the former website, I hope that when you have the time, you will continue to share your knowledge here!

        1. Grammy,
          I have posted very litle last 10 days, because of time constraints and exhaustion from responsibilities, pressure should lessen in time frame- end of month. I have not abandoned any site I have been utilizing regularly..including this one.
          . I will continue to post and read here. I try to read saturdays prep posts on 3 sites,sometime is as late as sunday night before my reading is started… and if something can add to conversation, try to.
          .There are many weeks I make no actual purchases, but do other things toward our goals.Some of these I wish to post and some of them, just “keeping on”….It is a rare day when I do not work toward our goal, of becoming more secure in some manner.
          If you have a specific question.. I will try to answer w/ what I have found that works for us. I am currently watching the research on minerals and their role and transportation in the body, and modifying our intake of necessary things., not common in foods of commercially purchased vegetables.Think iodine, K2, magnesium, selenium., chromium..and there are others.
          Also, Certain enzymes and chemicals are utilized for various processes of nerve protection and re growth. Diabetics and those with toxin damage to nerve tissue could benefit by utilizing certain things and avoiding other things.
          Generally, get on line now and research the things you have on hand and possible ways to utilize those better for health needs. A good starting place would be… Garlic, plaintain herb,(plant-not fruit) onions, potato, tobacco(organicly grown-if possible- ie.. used for stings-topically and to deworm large animals like mules and horses) common herbs mint family…oregano, sage, rosemary, clove, sweet everlasting.
          EVery Body is different. Generally if you smell an essential oil, and it smells good to you, would be beneficial in some way… if it is a smell you detest, do NOT buy. This is one reason i buy essential oils in very small quanities to start. some of the “most encouraged ” deeply discounted ones….ie are ones I least tolerate.
          I Know of a child , mother trying to use EO’s, needed benefits of peppermint oil for sinus /allergy issue.He hated the scent of eppermint, said it smelled “nasty” to him….. found a replacement in Ravensara and Red Thyme… these are inhailation only but work well… just pass under nose a couple of times and reseal.. makes them especially economical.

  12. My wife and I have Barred Rock Lehghorn, Brahama mix 11 hens and 3 rooster
    Use them for eggs only and entertainment.

    We have many scrapes of wood and fencing in our barn it’s all ways used some way or another

    Best thing we use is the silver have not been sick in 10 years feel something coming on take a table spoon works wonders.

    Love the web site and the group here.

    1. Tony,

      Glad you are enjoying being a part of our online community and the revamped website. I swear by the silver also, it really has worked wonders for Bobby and I.

  13. 1. What breed of chickens are you raising (would like to raise) and why?

    I raise Ameracauna for blue eggs, Isbars for green eggs, Welsummer for dark brown, and Australorp for beige eggs. I am content with these breeds.

    2. Do you stockpile and inventory raw materials or “junk” for SHTF use and how do you plant to use it?

    Absolutely! Don’t have a plan for everything, but, waste not, want not! I know Grandma is listening!

    3. Have a natural remedy that has worked well for your animals or the humans you love?

    Several. What condition are we addressing?

    If I had to pick only ONE, I’d say LOCAL RAW HONEY. It can do so much!

    1. Love the raw honey harvested 22 quarts and 11 pints this spring.
      The winter was rough on my bees though
      Use it in my coffee everyday

    2. Livinthedream,

      If I had to pick only ONE, I’d say LOCAL RAW HONEY. It can do so much!

      I can’t believe I forgot that one. We have gallons of it on hand and it’s useful for many things as well as cooking. We passed on a pint to our primary care doc a year or so ago to treat a cut on her sons cheek, and it healed without any scarring, so even conventional medicine can be convinced that old remedies are useful in some cases.

  14. What did I accomplish this week? Not much. This high heat & humidity keeps an old asthmatic indoors a lot.

    Did what I do every week:

    . took care of chickens. They are doing fine.

    . took care of bees. Thought I might harvest honey for first time, but I changed my mind after reading one should wait a year with new hives. I did open my hives & work them a bit.

    . harvested corn. Will have some for grinding into maize and some for seed. Grew red & blue corn. Drying it in my solar dryer.

    . Picked elderberry. Made syrup. Shared it with elderly friend who let me pick his elderberry.

    . Made another batch of organic concord grape jelam. Shared that with same elderly friend.

    . Ordered a long-term storage bucket of organic oat groats from pleasanthillgrain.com

    . placed order with vitacost.com to replace used supplements & natural toiletries

    . made a stuff mart run to replenish consumed items

    . stayed on top of mewe sites. Prepared Seniors & Friends is growing very well. I added a daily feature that allows members to post items for sale, barter, trade, or looking to buy. My hope is to connect people in their areas, while there is yet time. The other two sites (on bee keeping & chicken keeping) continue to grow, but not as quickly. And they don’t have the activity level.

    Tara, I share a number of posts from this site, Sullivan’s original site, and New Life on PS&F. I want people to find these sites!

      1. Hey, JP! Hopefully, this will get you to Prepared Seniors & Friends on mewe. You will need a mewe account, of course. Nothing to it. They don’t ask for much. I say “hopefully” because I use my Android to manage the site. This is the first time I’ve looked at it from laptop, and it’s very different. I can’t get the address easily from Android, thus:

        https://mewe.com/group/5b5f2c72538aa611b40590b7

        I hope this is correct. If not, just go to mewe and search for us. You’ll find us there! Looking forward to greeting you. Really good crew coming together.

    1. LTD,

      Thank you for all the sharing. Can you share with me your MeWe groups/username again, I thought I saved it so I could check that platform out but apparently did not.

      1. See post above for link ti : Prepared Seniors & Friends

        Just started a daily event that lets members post items for buy, sale, trade & barter.

        I also have:

        Bee Keeping 101
        Chicken Keeping

  15. Tara, I do have the book, “The Complete Herbal Handbook For Farm and Stable” by Juliette de Baïracli Levy. I was not, however, aware of her history. Fascinating!

    1. I thought it was fascinating too. Such accomplishments for a woman of her time. If you have Prime Instant video you can watch Juliette the Herbalist, I think the documentary is called. I found it by searching her name. I had to subscribe to a free trial of the Gaia channel to watch it, and I just cancelled it after finishing the documentary.

  16. Tara, how exciting that you got Buckeye chickens! I learned about them when I was researching raising chickens, and I would definitely like for them to be a part of my future flock! I can’t wait to hear how they work out for you!

    We ‘stockpile’ a lot of stuff, as DH works commercial construction. He also dabbles in small engine repair, so always has a few items he is ‘working on’, as well as parts and pieces for such dabbling. For my part, as chief cook and bottle washer, my focus is more on the food and home side of things. Everything is looked at whether it could potentially be useful, preferably multipurpose. We often joke that we are ‘borderline’ hoarders…BUT our home is not overwhelmed, you don’t have to walk thru a maze to get around and we live in under 1000 square feet, so I don’t think we quite fit hoarder status yet, LOL!

    My go-to herbal remedy is my all purpose home made cough/allergy syrup. Local honey lemon, ginger, a little ACV and a hint of garlic. My duaghter uses it to treat allergies year round, and we all use it for when the ‘crud’ crops up. I also swear by a more natural version of ‘vicks’ with eo’s and herbs in it that I purchase, for easing colds and other crud. I want to make my own elderberry syrup eventually.

    Not much in way of preps this week (feels like that is a recurring theme here), money a little tight after our weekend away. But I have been getting a bunch of overtime at work, as we have a ‘major’ event happening at our little podunk store this Tuesday. The CEO of the parent company (of Kroger and all the other brand stores) chose our store for a visit and will be doing a podcast to the entire company. From my deli! It’s exciting, but we will all be glad when it’s over; we’ve had division management all over the place, making changes (that will be changed again the following day, of course) and helping us get ready for ‘the event’. The overtime pay will be nice, but I want my life back, LOL!

    Maters coming in on a regular basis, I have made several friends into fans of the Atomic Grape tomatoes, will be sharing seed with them. Kind of disappointed with the Rutgers that came highly recommended, just not a high yield from the two plants compared to the other breeds I planted (2 of each). Will look at another red tomato next year and probably include either Amish paste or San Marzano. Got a fall crop of snap peas in, still getting some from my spring planting. Watched a video from one of my fave bloggers (Jill Winger) and learned that we were probably harvesting the snap peas a little too late, but we still enjoy them. Live and learn…

    LTD, I am FINALLY going to join the mewe group, but I won’t be getting on regularly until things settle down here…but I WILL check it out!

    Hugs and prayers to all! Have a great week!

    1. Grammy Prepper,

      My Bobby might not be a hoarder since his piles contain a lot of “junque” but he is definitely close to being borderline adjacent, lol. I am not sure how far apart we are in Ohio, but come spring when I am hopefully hatching Buckeye chicks, you are more than welcome to some. Would love to know the full recipe to your herbal remedy, the ingredients are some that I use often.

      1. Tara & Grammyprepper,

        I am not sure how far apart we are in Ohio, but come spring when I am hopefully hatching Buckeye chicks, you are more than welcome to some.

        Since I have both addresses, Google says from Grammyprepper to Tara is 1 hour 51 minutes (87.4 mi) via US-33 E

    2. GrammyPrepper,

      Elderberry tincture is so easy to make. I now make it by the half gallon. I”ll give you a recipe for one quart. Order organic dried elderberries from Amazon.

      https://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Elder-Berries-Whole-Organic/dp/B000UVUHXY/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1534984985&sr=8-1&keywords=organic%2Belderberries%2Bdried&dpID=412igeJ1cAL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&th=1

      Put a cup of dried elderberries into a quart jar and then cover with 100 proof vodka (the cheapest stuff you can find). Let that sit for two weeks. Shake every day. After 2-3 weeks strain out the spent elderberries and what’s left is your tincture.

      I put this in my tea every morning. I forgot to bring it with my up to my Mom’s when I went for Christmas. I got the flu and then pneumonia. Now I make sure I take my tincture.

      1. Bam Bam,

        Order organic dried elderberries from Amazon. Put a cup of dried elderberries into a quart jar and then cover with 100 proof vodka (the cheapest stuff you can find). Let that sit for two weeks. Shake every day. After 2-3 weeks strain out the spent elderberries and what’s left is your tincture.
        I put this in my tea every morning.

        I already had the recipe, from you I think, from last year; but, couldn’t find anyone with elderberries. Thanks for the link. It’s a bit pricy, so I’ll have to fit it in the budget. I already have several liters of 151 & 190 proof PGA, so I was just waiting for the hard to find ingredient.

  17. Grammyprepper,

    our home is not overwhelmed, you don’t have to walk thru a maze to get around and we live in under 1000 square feet, so I don’t think we quite fit hoarder status yet, LOL!

    That must be the trick, since we have several unused (old bedrooms) that are near that status. The other trick I think is to move every few years and not stay in one place for decades, forcing that extra stuff to be discarded.

    My go-to herbal remedy is my all purpose home made cough/allergy syrup. Local honey lemon, ginger, a little ACV and a hint of garlic.

    This sounds pretty good and we’ll have to discuss it when we meet up, hopefully in the next month or so.

    I also swear by a more natural version of ‘vicks’ with eo’s and herbs in it that I purchase, for easing colds and other crud.

    I’d like to see what’s in this, since Vicks VapoRub is already pretty natural and I’ve been using it for 60+ years.
    It contains camphor), eucalyptus oil and the inactive ingredients cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, Thymol and turpentine oil.
    Thymol BTW is found in oil of thyme, and extracted from Thymus vulgaris (common thyme) and various other kinds of plants. turpentine oil is of course, also natural and is a volatile pungent oil distilled from gum turpentine or pine wood, used in mixing paints and varnishes and in liniment.

    I want to make my own elderberry syrup eventually.

    I would like to do the same and either syrup or tincture would be fine. Years ago I knew where elderberries grew wild; but, most of those trees (bushes) are now gone, as urbanization takes over more and more rural property. It’s on my list to get some when they are available once again.

    Maters coming in on a regular basis, I have made several friends into fans of the Atomic Grape tomatoes

    Yep we need to talk about various vegetable plants and their characteristics.
    I hope your Kroger event goes well, and you finally get some time off to spend some of that OT, LOL.

    1. O.P.,

      The problem with Vicks is the petrolatum. To make the natural stuff, fill up a half pint jar with oils (olive oil, coconut oil and vitamin E oil to act as preservative). Add one heaping Tbs of beeswax pellets. Put in microwave until pellets are fully melted (about 90 seconds). Take out and let cool for about 20 minutes. Then add camphor and eucalyptus. It will harden up.

      1. Bam Bam,

        The problem with Vicks is the petrolatum. To make the natural stuff, fill up a half pint jar with oils (olive oil, coconut oil and vitamin E oil to act as preservative). Add one heaping Tbs of beeswax pellets. Put in microwave until pellets are fully melted (about 90 seconds). Take out and let cool for about 20 minutes. Then add camphor and eucalyptus. It will harden up.

        I personally don’t have any issues with the petrolatum and since I’ve been using Vicks VapoRub on occasion for more than 60 years with no ill effects, I see no good reason to change. I will however look into having some of the ingredients on hand, just in case; however, unless you are growing your own eucalyptus down in FL and I know it is grown there, post SHTF it may be hard to come by, since I always think of it as being sourced from down under, and from my location FL is as good as down under, LOL.

        1. I just use Peppermint and oregano diluted in olive oil or cocnut oil… about 2 oz of oils and 6-8 drops of each. I am allegric to eucalyptus and don’t keep camphor.. and this works as well. on chest , back and feet..Used same way as Vicks or Menthalutum chest rub.

          1. Anonamo Also,

            I just use Peppermint and oregano diluted in olive oil or cocnut oil… about 2 oz of oils and 6-8 drops of each. I am allegric to eucalyptus and don’t keep camphor.. and this works as well. on chest , back and feet..Used same way as Vicks or Menthalutum chest rub.

            This recipe is more to my liking. Simple ingredients and easy to fix. Thanks.

  18. Stocked up on a few groceries. Bought 5 lb of flour to put into the freezer – I was reading on one of the cooking/recipe sites that the wheat crop in Europe and Russia have gotten hammered by the weather this summer. There’s enough of a worldwide surplus to get us through this year, but if weather is bad again next year, there could be shortages. I don’t do that much baking but, grid down, I’d at least like to be able to make some pan bread.

    Received the hand air pump I had ordered to pump up the air mattresses if shtf and family arrives. Put a few more things on the wish list. Lined up the plumber and electrician to install our on-demand electric water heater this week. Also got a quote on replacing the front walkways and porch with stamped concrete. Right now they’re a 60-year-old messy mix of brick and flagstone with weeds growing up through the cracks. Looks like the work will be done in early September. Should greatly improve the curb appeal.

    1. No chickens. My sister had a flock in southern Maine a few years back and made a tidy little sum selling the surplus at a stand by the roadside.

    2. No stockpile. We’re trying to pare down the stuff ahead of putting the house on the market next spring.

    3. I plan to make some elderberry tincture this fall. Escaped with only one minor cold last winter but it seems like good insurance. I started taking ACV with honey and some water but quit after a few days because I really didn’t like the taste.

    Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    1. MaineBrain,

      I was reading on one of the cooking/recipe sites that the wheat crop in Europe and Russia have gotten hammered by the weather this summer. There’s enough of a worldwide surplus to get us through this year, but if weather is bad again next year, there could be shortages. I don’t do that much baking but, grid down, I’d at least like to be able to make some pan bread.

      What we do & I recommend is to keep wheat berries on hand. Between #10 cans and bulk we have at least 100 pounds of hard red & white wheat stored, plus two hand mills and an electric mill to grind the wheat into flour. In a pinch I’m pretty sure we could purchase or barter for more from one of the local farming neighbors.
      As a point o reference, according to the LDS information the #10 cans of wheat contain 5.5 pounds and have a storage life of 30 years, while the #10 cans of flour contain 4.8 pounds with a 10 year shelf life. so whole wheat and a grain mill are best for long term bulk storage.
      Grinding a pound of wheat yields about a pound (16 oz) of whole wheat flour, while a pound of wheat yields about 11 oz of white flour; but, making white flour on your own is pretty much impossible.

    2. For ling,-term grain storage, I buy organic red & white wheat grain from pleasanthillgraindotcom. It will store 25 years, unopened & away from heat & light. Upon opening, use within one year.

      I have a Country Living grain mill for non-electric and a vintage 1970’s 1/2 hp electric stone mill. Motor went out, but amazing DH performed magic & repaired it. I strongly recommend the handle for the flywheel – much easier.

      Honeyville sells organic grains but I’m not sure they are as well packaged for long-term storage.

      Folks, don’t waste your money on cheap hand-crank mills. You’ll work yourself to death & give up.

      1. Livinthedream ,

        For ling,-term grain storage, I buy organic red & white wheat grain from pleasanthillgraindotcom. It will store 25 years, unopened & away from heat & light. Upon opening, use within one year.

        We purchased ours from the local LDS Bishops Storehouse that allows non-church members to participate. I purchase 25 lb bags of both hard red and white wheat and ticked it away in 5-gallon packed with Mylar and O2 absorbers. A local LDS friend convinced me that the #10 cans are in the long run, a better deal, so we also have several cases of those.

        I have a Country Living grain mill for non-electric and a vintage 1970’s 1/2 hp electric stone mill. Motor went out, but amazing DH performed magic & repaired it. I strongly recommend the handle for the flywheel – much easier.

        I had a “Back to Basics” hand mill I donated to a friend; but, still have a Cast IronVictoria Commercial Grade Manual Grain Grinder with High Hopper & Table Clamp that can grind wheat (flour) & corn (corn meal) I also have a hand crank Wonder Mill Junior that has accessories available for both a motor or a bicycle.
        On the electric side we have a grain mill attachment for our Kitchenaid stand mixer that works OK; but, our best mill is a The Kitchen Mill™ made by Blendtec.

        Honeyville sells organic grains but I’m not sure they are as well packaged for long-term storage.

        From my perspective, long term storage means either Mylar bags or #10 cans with O2 Absorbers.

        Folks, don’t waste your money on cheap hand-crank mills. You’ll work yourself to death & give up.

        True; but, be prepared for a lot of work with even the better hand mills.

    3. I once figured out the amount of FLOUR we would need to make 4 large biscuits and a pan of gravy daily for ONE year. ,I figured 7 cups a day, 2 normal portions and one half portion. amount was 240 lbs. was over 6 – 35 lb buckets. – + 1/2… or 15- 16# buckets… Our assessment… Too much to rotate effectively if using only flour. Wheat in some manner stores well after freezing without oxygen absorber and it can be sprouted for high vitamin content and used as a vegetable or be sprouted dried and ground into flour for a more nutritious and bio availible product… It makes a delicious creamy wheat cereal that is easier on my fragile blood sugars than any kind of oats.

      1. AA, I didn’t think you could sprout wheat that has been sealed without oxygen. I always thought seeds need oxygen to survive. I imagine now that I am mistaken–that seeds need oxygen to germinate, not to survive. I will research this. I store 600 lbs. of white and red wheat.

        1. Bam Bam,… depends on what the berries are flushed with, some places use nitrogen.. the companies like Thrive that have wheat in cans, give sprouting instructions for bread.
          I freeze mine pack in good bags in bucket and seal with bay leaves in top. wheat stored properly will be viable thousands of years… has been taken from underground vaults in Egypt and sprouted/grown.

      2. Anonamo Also,

        Wheat in some manner stores well after freezing without oxygen absorber and it can be sprouted for high vitamin content and used as a vegetable or be sprouted dried and ground into flour for a more nutritious and bio availible product.

        This past spring we were sorting through some stored goods and found two 25 lb bags of hard wheat, one red and one white that had not had anything done to them except sit on a shelf for a few years. These bags were just the standard 2-layered heavy paper bags with no plastic or other moisture barrier liner. I grabbed bucket sand Mylar bags and the DW & I opened the bags, fully expecting moths or some other critters to fly out, or to have infested the bag; but, there were none. We poured each bag into a Mylar bag lined 5-gallon bucket and still have that wheat available for use.
        Also, if you can sprout the wheat there is a good chance that you could sow the wheat and raise more if needed. It would take some work in a SHTF situation; but, that kind of work has been done by humans with far less technology more than 11,000 years ago, and would beat starving.

        It makes a delicious creamy wheat cereal that is easier on my fragile blood sugars than any kind of oats.

        I love Cream of Wheat. It is smoother than oatmeal and delicious when sweetened with brown sugar or maple syrup and mixed with a little milk. As a kid I remember Coco Wheat’s, which was Cream of Wheat with chocolate flavor and something I didn’t like. I prefer maple to chocolate.
        I’ve never made it from wheat berries; but, that might be worth learning.
        Making Cream of Wheat
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5JGen753WU
        This one is interesting since the guy says he hasn’t had much success making bread; but, then uses a blender since he doesn’t have a mill. It’s no wonder he can’t make bread.

        1. Guys:

          If you love Cream of Wheat, try adding bacon crumbles to it! With brown sugar and Hormel bacon crumbs (the large bag not the shaker can in the dressing isle) this is our standard Sunday morning breakfast!

          I also found that I prefer the taste and texture of Augson Farms Creamy Wheat to the boxes Cream of Wheat in the stores. It also is usually cheaper, comes in #10 cans for easy storage, and the open can keeps for quite a while. Western Family has a sealed bag that is half the size (and price) of the cans that we are going to try next. We now have to order the AF cans, our stores don’t carry them anymore.

  19. Helped teach a pickle workshop this weekend and then picked up some produce to work on.
    My next project is something I haven’t tried which is getting a group of friends together to make dehydrated dishes. I am looking for ideas that will make it successful but not overly.expensive. the plan is everyone brings ingredients to make one or two dishes times the number of people so everyone goes home with different things.

  20. Bed Bath & Beyond is having a 20% off sale on FoodSaver bags and rolls through 9/16. I have no connection to them, just got a flyer in the mail today.

  21. Hey Pack,
    I have been trying to get all the reading done with the things I have been doing and continue to work on. We are ok. health challenges continue for both of us. I am having vascular issues that limit my lifting to no more than 25 lbs. I accidently got over that this week. It has set me on my heels for 4 days. DH still has a year of recovery until his heart function is to it’s optimal, but recovery mode is on going.
    I have rotated out and back in 26 galons of water this week.
    I re canned the jars that did not seal this past week,, and added a few more jars of broth to the larder in addition. I had 100% seal rate on these… what a diffeernce boiling those lids for about 3-4 min makes!…
    I have packed some grains for long term and have more spending freezer time.
    No real purchases.
    We have a lot of things that have had to be moved from a storage location to our home and am going thru those things and cleaning/sorting everything. I have moved 3 truckloads of things that will have to be gone thru.. there are still 200 jars to be moved/emptied and cleaned. My DB and family now has a place to rest and we have gotten a lot completed on the list of ” nice to have done” There is still brush to be piled, privet to be cut, grape vines to be uncovered, and ditches to be re-cleaned./re-opened.I am more able to do these things consistently than any of the ones coming in behind me. so am trying to do what i can to give them a place to begin with things they ARE able to do.
    Did get our next long term investment dog. He is a border collie and Blue healer mix.. Younger than is advised to get but mother had weaned( insufficient milk) and family was having difficulty providing needed care for the unplanned liter. I presently have 2 of the pups when they are old enough and house broken one will go to DD for comfort pet for her sick hubby and for stressed one who helps look after 3 others with emotional/physical issues.
    I am a new chicken owner, we have had some since the spring. I like the RIR’s and I have bought 2 more pullets to go with the two hens and rooser in those we have. I have some Polish, and they will be going away. They have learned behaviors from almost starving to death /other chickens were eating all the food put out daily..affects the flavor of their eggs They lay a sm- medium egg that is white.. In a couple of months -most will be going to freezer camp. may save 2 or three most consistent hens..until new ones are laying. I just got 12 Americana’s and 6 Columbian wyandots .. These will be my “best girls” When they are laying ret will be phased out. and not replaced. ..I have 4 sex links- 3 are mix of RIR w/ something.. and one is Golden wyandot mix. they lay huge eggs…in creme to light brown . colors mostly. The RIRs from spring have just begun to lay consistently and their eggs are nice sized , brown egg. first eggs were purplish-brown…
    We do not have a “junk pile,scrap pile” presently, but do have a”future project” or” in waiting” pile. for building needs of all kinds. I have several pallets we have to use for building projects. I have vent pipe we will need to install water heater, treated lumber, fiberglass for roofing and underpinning needs.
    It would be stupid to take perfectly good materials and trash it and need to go buy that stuff again for continuing a project already planned.
    herbals and naturals….best hands down is: oil of oregano.intermal and external applications for MRSA..and other resistant infections…..colloidal silver and food grade peroxide follow closely….MUST know how to use to get best benefit. with raw garlic( prepared for allicin benefit,) …peppermint essential oil, tea tree oil and natural honey, cayenne…organic lemon( can use essential oils)
    Pain willow bark ( if not allergic to asprin) am doing research on more legal options .
    IMP to know… When using naturals, for antibiotic effect…after have completed course…. you MUST replace the normal flora and pro and pre-biotics in the gut.. butermilk, yugurt, cotage cheese, or capsules.
    also Kidney issues, infection..Usnea,VFT,dandilion , Kidney stones corn silk( organic-non GMO) or acv w/honey
    For allergies, and sudden allergy symptoms plaintain tincture for stings, and to use on wheals/blisters. Asthma =Rabbit tobacco sudden attack breathe several good breaths of the smoke, for prevention, and expectorant use as a tea. Rabbit tobacco ea…ie Sweet everlasting… is also highly effective for IBS symptoms…. also know… citrate forms of minerals absorb better, than carbonae and other forms of minerals. and K2 balances the minerals/plaque in the body and returns it to place it should be.

  22. I must have forgotten to post this week. I started back to work at two jobs and started work at a new place this week. On Monday I start two new jobs. I am so grateful for the extra income. I have a cousin in Montana who is just getting by. She and her husband are raising four grandchildren, a niece and a nephew. Her husband is a roofer. He broke his foot two days ago and now cannot work for the next six weeks. I was able to send them some cash.

    1. It’s good of you to help family, Bam Bam (I’ve done that myself on occasion with nieces and nephews who were on the ropes), and congrats on all the jobs! IIRC, you teach online?

  23. Haven’t seen or heard from Penrod for a while. I hope he and Mrs. Penrod are weathering the storm in good shape. It’s a puzzle to me that this is the first hurricane/typhoon to hit the Hawaiian islands in almost 20 years. I’d have thought they’d be Ground Zero for all the storms that spawn off the coast of Mexico. Typhoon Haiyan (spelling may be wrong) hammered my stepdaughter’s home village in the Philippines a few years back. Extended family members died, and her aunt and uncle’s US-style-built home became the refuge for the village because it has a second floor. Meanwhile, it was overcast in Maine all day today, weather folks said it was because of the smoke from the western fires. Just read an article about the Maersk shipping line testing a northern route from China to Europe through the Arctic Circle because the ice has opened so much. (Also read an article – in The Atlantic, IIRC – about how Maersk got shut down for a week because of a Russian cyberattack that spread like wildfire and ended up costing billions worldwide. It’s been widely reported that the Russians have probed the US electric grid. Bad actors.)

    1. MaineBrain:

      I was on Oahu for the last big one. There was some pretty significant damage on base (old trees with shallow roots, wooden buildings, etc.) But where we were in the middle of the island in a slight bowl, we just had some light debris like you might get from a heavy rain.

      We did buy some stuff we really had no long term use for (like a chain saw) but taped the windows and went to bed. No big deal. Looks like Lane is going to be the same type of thing. Which is really good for them with the way a lot of houses are built.

      1. Almost There,

        I was wondering the same thing about Penrod. Praying he and his wife are okay.
        Here is the reason why Hawaii doesn’t get many hurricanes

        That was an informative article, thanks.
        My only problem was the site runs a ton of videos and other things that eat up CPU time on the computer and slows things down. I hate sites like that.
        BTW. I just heard on the news that Hawaii EMA has asked people to have a 14 day supply of food & water on hand; ; however, that may no longer be necessary since hurricane Lane has now just been downgraded to a tropical storm.

        1. TOP,

          Tropical storms can still be a problem. While the wind velocities aren’t as high, they can bring a ton of rain and resulting floods. In fact, most of my experience with TS here in Florida has been exactly that, lots and lots of rain, with enough wind to knock down trees with weakened root systems due to the water.

          1. Zulu 3-6,
            I understand that and in fact some of the largest problems in Hawaii right now are the flooding of low lying areas and areas along streams, that the news now show as torrents. In any case, the lessening of the winds does make the overall event somewhat less dangerous, and in some cases you take any help you can get.

  24. I have been doing allot of praying lately.
    Asking for saftey for my spiritual brothers and sisters in these wild fires. Plus the storms and volcanos and earthquakes. The bible says something about all that stuff. I have 2 new tents now I got a good deal on them. They were both free. One of them may have been used the box was opend and the other one was new in the box. I washed the one that may have been used just in case. I also got 2 cases of peanut butter. I also got 50 rounds of cci standard velocity. I bought a new pocket knife from the new big 5 that oppend a couple of weeks ago. I hope everyone at the hiawan chain is doing good.

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