Survival, What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week: Mar 8th – 14th 2020

duck in pond

Hello Pack. We have had quite a productive week here on our survival homestead. The only downsides to this week have been the chilly weather, unwanted precipitation, and a predator looming about. I lost one of my beloved Pekin ducks and a guinea to a fox.

In the photo above (that I included simply because it was an awesome shot) my flocks were out for an armed and supervised walk about being kept in their coop and run for days.

In the picture it looks like my duck is walking on water, but there is actually an incredibly thin layer of ice that you can see our pond water running under.

The ice did not support the weight of my big ducks for long, and they would get quite perturbed when it would crack beneath their feet, and startle them.

My ducks are far better egg layers than the heritage breed of Buckeye chickens that took me so long to find. They do not possess good “barnyard smarts” when free ranging either.

I am down to just a single chicken hen now. She is a nice hen, don’t get me wrong, but I will not be buying anymore of them.

I actually broke my own rule that I had fun writing about in a chicken math / chick days survival tips article.

I walked into Tractor Supply yesterday just to grab an extra bag of horse feed, I did not hug the outer aisle walls of the store, and walked right past the only recently set up chick day area.

I would have been able to resist the urge to buy more chicks until the weather warmed enough that they could go directly into the outdoor brooder, but they had Bantam chicks.

I have really been missing my banty hens and planned on getting more – and right there they were just a few feet away chirping their little hearts out at me.

Tractor Supply in our area does not often stock banty hens, so I bought six… I was over the chick days guilt as soon as I brought them in the house.

All three of our blue heelers were a little too eager to meet the new additions, but after threatening to shoot them in the head if they used one as a snack, they have not ventured even remotely near the chick tub since.

The chicks are now settled in the brooder with ample bedding instead of a dish towel that my beloved was not happy about me wasting as I gathered up all of the brooder necessities:

baby chicks in brooder

They do not post what type of banties the little chicks are, the sign just said a mixture. Since they have feathering on their feet they have to be Brahman, Cochin, or Silkie breed.

In other preps this week, we co-hosted a self-reliance training for kids at a local gun range a tribe member owns.

The children learned firearms safety, what to do if they come across a gun, and the older ones had one-on-one instruction by certified trainers who were all former military.

We are also getting way ahead on firewood already this year. Each day we have cut up at least one pickup truck load. Some of it has been split and stacked but the rest is in a pile waiting to be processed.

A tribe member who is also an accomplished home butcher has a big bucket of beef fat for me to use for rendering tallow.

I will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend processing the tallow and using it to make healing herbal salves, lip balms, soap, shampoo bars, and then putting quite a bit up to store to use as gun grease, machinery lube, and for cooking and baking.

Our indoor seed garden is coming along nicely. I may need to invest in a few more grow lights if I want to achieve my goals of raising all of the plants for our garden myself.

Our newest batch of lettuce just came up. The five and under grandkids planted it themselves, and are responsible for tending to it.

I am a firm believer in giving responsibility at an early age – as well as ingraining the “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” life skills mantra.

This Week’s Questions

  1. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving?
  2. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe?
  3. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes?
  4. Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource?
  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 →

93 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: Mar 8th – 14th 2020

  1. The gun show last weekend was good to us. We moved some high (for us) dollar items, so we have money to replace what we spent ramping up our preps in Jan and Feb. We’re happy.

    Our area is shutting down 3G in June. I had to get a new controller board (4G) for my security system because the new systems are not backward compatible (there went $100).

    DW was scheduled to travel around the state doing training next week. The company has cancelled the training through April. Yea!

    Since my best savings is at $1.6%, and silver is at the lowest point (for me) in 5 years, I made an order for some. If it drops more, I’ll do it again, assuming we are still working.

    The Friday standard shopping/top-off run went well. French Toast makings (eggs on sale), some other sale items, and a 12-pack if TP for $3.50! (Since our standard usage is a roll a week, we are good for quite a while.) Traffic (for 11:30) was up, parking lot was full. Friday night at Wal-Mart was interesting. They have been stocking all day and it looked like no one had brought out anything. The canned goods looked like they had been looted. Paper products isle looked like a ghost town. We went for items to start our “porch garden” or we would have been home.

    Major national and state shutdowns have us “circling the wagons”. Getting close to shutting things down and staying home. Lord know the house could use some attention!

    Update: 9 PM Friday night, it is reported that 4 of the 7 major municipal counties have confirmed cases of C-19. We are not going to a “Freedom Weekend” seminar on Saturday (I’ll just eat the $50 tickets). I did ask the DW to bring home her work computer, on Friday, in case something went down this weekend. Sometimes I hate being right.

    DW and I have talked more about our isolation. Out of an abundance of caution we are looking at what we are going to do and with whom. This week being Spring Break has given us time to look closely at our schedule. Our after-work classes are mostly cancelled due to it. DW was supposed to be on the road, so she is not expected at any of hers. Church’s Sunday services are still scheduled as of Friday PM, but we already have a Facebook-Live setup for the second service. My meeting commitments are with 2 groups, one of 15 and one of 6, and are easily cancelled.

    Looking up adding Thieves Oil to our hand sanitizer, when I realized that a couple of years ago, I bought some soap and hand sanitizer that already had it in it! Prepped for this virus before I knew what was coming!

    Supply Run: TP; paper towels; facial tissue; canned chicken; yeast; chili; canned beans, turkey SPAM; 39-gal trash bags; GI cleaning kit; DVD’s (military history); peanut butter; ammo; coconut oil; olive oil; canned soups;

    Received: Pet supplies; lock & hasp; AR parts (resupply); AR mags;

  2. This Week’s Questions:

    1. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving? Just getting our stuff started, 17 and snow today, so…
    2. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe? Nothing out of the normal.
    3. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes? Not sure as we are yet to get there.
    4. Do you render or use tallow? Nope.

  3. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving?
    Havent yet, been too wet, and my garden is still wet. I did get the asparagus and thornless blackberries weeded though, and the orchard started pruning.
    What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe?Nothing. No children, just hubby and I.we did stock a few extra items.
    What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes? Welike Red Sexlink for laying. I want toget meat birds but DH doesnt want more than 12 chickens at any time. Its just what i have to deal with.
    Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource?
    What did you do to prep this week?
    No beef, no tallow. Just stocking up on new frozenthings, using up the old. Gathering more wine bottles, as this year. Lord willing, should be a good one for the grapes.

  4. Hi,

    No seeds yet. It’s too early in New England even though it’s been warm. Besides, we only grow ornamentals. That may change this year, given recent events.

    I taught my oldest more about guns since a friend brought over some for me to inspect. An AK, a vintage Springfield Armory marked 1911 from WWI, and a Bersa .22. The owner wanted $1700 for all three so I field stripped each and function tested them. Good stuff so I approved the purchase.

    Ducks, I learned here are easier to keep and some are good layers but I have no livestock.

    No tallow.

    Prepped a little. Bought more canned soup and boil in a bag rice. I need TP but I don’t hoard it like these Johnny come lately types. I’ll get it Monday. Supermarkets looked like the evacuation of Saigon. Dopes. It’s a flu not Montezuma’s Revenge, sheeple!

    Hitting LGS with aforementioned friend Tuesday to buy ammunition and see what’s available.

    1. Overwatch,

      I have a story to tell you about Springfield Armory. My family farm was on the edge of Springfield, MA and Conn. state line. My grandfather as a young man after Pearl Harbor joined the Navy, like so may of his pals. It took an act of Congress to get my grandfather out of the Navy–he was a machinist, and only one of two men in the country who could fix machines at the Springfield Armory–Springfield Ma and Somers Ct. were just one line on the farm.

      1. It’s amazing when you think of the sacrifices of that generation. Those people were unbelievably strong and resilient. Fixing that machine probably did more for the war effort than we could ever quantity.

        The area you describe has changed demographically in a significant way. The urban area near the Armory, a tourist attraction now, is home to check cashing joints, pawn shops, and second hand stores. Somers, Longmeadow, and Enfield have retained much of their former character however.

        1. Overwatch,

          My grandmother sold the farm in the 1980s. I was not yet a teen. The farm had a three story barn. There was farm equipment from the horse and buggie days. The farm was in Sommers and the property line hugged the MA state line. I wish I had been older and had enough money to purchase the farm. But I was only a kid.

  5. No seeds and no garden planned.

    Been shouting the message of prepping quite loudly for the last 5 or 6 weeks and yesterday got a thank you note from one of the folks I telework with (we all work from home but have a discussion board on the business site). She let me know that he listened to what I said, realized how underprepared she was and she started double and triple can shopping and put up water and TP and even got a bug out bag for 4 people and 2 dogs. I was very thankful that she listened and her husband was thankful when he figured out what she had put up. He even stopped for wine on his way home on Thursday night. Score!

    I went to PUblix yesterday to top off a few things and picked up some prescription meds. Picked up a few things but they had no bleach or clorox wipes or TP (I have more than enough TP on hand, remember when the stock gets below 92 rolls it is a TP emergency time to restock).

    Wife got home from work and announced they had sent 2 people at her work home since they had been exposed to people who might have been around people who were exposed. At that point we decided to stop going around people we know and can avoid endangering them. She did want to see what Walmart looked like. We picked up some frozen stuff but for the most part there were empty shelves. I saw more than a few people with mask and gloves and they were having a grand old time shopping and playing Halloween.

    This morning I went to Ingles and picked up some Afrin and some saline nose spray. I checked my big first aid box and found nettie pot and purell hand wipes and a gallon jug of hand sanitizer. We got an emergency message from the church that with the schools all out for 2 to 4 weeks that the children we routinely feed in our backpack program were possibly going to be without food. I went to Sam’s and stocked up on individual mac and cheese and ravioli and beanie weenies and all kinds of crackers and snacks plus poptarts and oatmeal. it won’t feed a lot but if other members do the same we should be on our way to providing food for the kids.

    On Thursday our pastor sent out a message that we were still having church but we had cancelled a going away dinner for one of our youth pastors. He sent a text and email a few hours ago saying that the service was cancelled but it will be live streamed at the usual time on the computer. I contacted him and arranged to go by the church and drop off the food.

    For now we are in and hoping for the best. My friends on another board are telling me that shops are running low on guns and ammo. Not sure what that is about. On one board I said I had TP on hand and someone else posted that he had a lot of ammo and would come take my TP. I told him I was hoarding ammo long before I was hoarding TP and he was welcome to come and try. That’s the last I heard from him

    Be safe, take care and pray.

    73

    1. Cliff:

      I have run into the same sort of people. Before Y2K, my UPS driver was talking to a guy who was talking about picking up another box of ammo each payday. That way if things went bad, he could got take it from people who stocked up. The driver asked him if he thought that maybe the people who were stocking up had thought about people like him? The guy didn’t give him an answer, but the driver said from the look on his face the answer would be no.

      Starvation and people acting badly are the things we have to worry about. I’m good for both.

      1. JP,

        I’m good either way too. I’d rather not bust a cap into someone, but if it is between him and me, it ain’t going to be me.

        1. Parasites (and snowflakes) are already our biggest problem. Somehow I find it hard to believe that 21M out of 32M students rely on free or reduced-price school breakfasts & lunches to survive. What in the world ever happened to personal responsibility of parents. Free stuff for all, no incentive to work. Guess we’d better hope the EBT cards are loaded before the grocery stores get wiped out.

  6. I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added more to my stash than usual. Did some weekly cooking.

    Poor Granddaughter has bi-lateral ear infections. She is taking it very well, although her appetite is lower than normal, and she isn’t quite as playfully active as normal. She still has fun and watches a lot of DVDs and cartoons.

    #1 daughter’s uterus surgery seems to have gone OK. Her trip to Langley AFB went very well and she managed some touristy trips to Jamestown Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, plus the walkabout in Washington DC I mentioned last week. She also noted that tourist numbers were a little lower than she expected.

    My local Publix is out of stock of rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer (as of Monday). The manager says they do not know when they will be re-stocked and if they are, it will probably only be in small amounts. They are not reserving stock if they get more. First come-first served. All other stuff seems to be fine.

    I did check my prep inventories and while I would have purchased another bottle or two of sanitizer, if available, my personal stock of TP and hand sanitizer is good. Same with liquid and bar soap.

    I’ve been researching recipes for use with TP I can send to people more concerned about TP than food.

    I also went to my local Walgreens. They are likewise at zero on hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol. Most other stuff on the shelves were ok, so I stocked up on lipstick and eye shadow (just kidding – they didn’t have my shade). I don’t know what the prescription drug stock is like. While there I bought some Vit D3. I get D3 from the VA; however, I decided some extra couldn’t go wrong.

    My local VA hospital and clinics emailed out the new procedures for getting into their facilities. You have to come in via only certain doors, complete a short form, then get your temp taken. This is a daily procedure for patients and staff.

    Just to complicate my life a little bit more, grass pollen is sky high in Orlando. As I am allergic to grass pollen, my sinuses are acting up big time, my snot locker is runny, and my throat is sore thanks to post-nasal drip. At least I don’t have to cut grass otherwise I’d have hives on my hands too.

    Went to Publix again on Friday. This trip they had some rubbing alcohol in stock, but were out of TP, almost out of snot rags (I got two boxes, the limit, just in case as I’m wasn’t very well stocked on that stuff), and low on paper towels and bottled water. They’ve been keeping a good food stock and other than Publix brand canned chicken, they seemed OK.

    I talked with my three kids and Ex about getting their food stocks up to snuff. The girls have been ok for a while, My son says he’s OK for food, plus he has his chickens to eat if necessary, meanwhile the girls are popping out eggs regularly so they’re safe.

    Watched Trump’s declaration of National Emergency. He didn’t sound or look very well at first. Towards the end, he seemed a little better. Nothing terribly earthshattering in his announcement. He isn’t playing games with outdated rules and regs, either cancelling them himself, or giving the discretion to appropriate government officials and doctors. The doctor in charge of something official said that they had been using old regs developed for an earlier emergency. While they worked OK back then, the current event just overloads the system under those older regs. Trump had the FDA cut the red tape on a new test developed by Roche and they’re working overtime to get their new test out for use. They think there should be 500,000 available by Sunday, and another 1.5 million in a further week or so. Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, and CVS (so far) are going to open drive-through testing locations in the parking lots of designated stores. We shall see how things go. They hope to start drive-through testing at some places starting Sunday. I’m certain they will have to coordinate with local police agencies so as not to create traffic jams on roadways. I think my local Walgreens is not a suitable location based on that factor.

    Downloaded a bunch of books onto my Kindle. The actual number was 10, but with the speed that I read things, that may not even be a two-weeks supply. I’ll deal with it.

    This Week’s Questions

    1. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving?

    No seeds, nothing planted.

    2. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe?

    I talked with all of my kids and the Ex about what they are doing to prep, particularly with the Kung flu in mind. The Ex is canning a bunch of stuff today (and sent photographic proof). #1 daughter is making family cloths. #2 daughter hit the grocery store last night and her boyfriend is loading up today at work (he’s a manager at a grocery store). My son is taking care of his chickens and collecting eggs.

    3. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes?

    I have no clue. My son has four laying hens, three Brahmas and one yellow one he doesn’t know the breed of, plus a Brahma rooster. He’s happy with his hens as the are all very productive.

    4. Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource?

    No, I don’t render or use tallow.

    5. What did you do to prep this week?

    See above.

    1. Zulu 3-6, et.al.:

      I was at ACE hardware this morning. They has small bottles of hand sanitizer at the register ($2.69 if I recall) and refills for wall mounted machines. Just another possible source.

      1. JP,

        Thanks. I’m really all set in that department, I was just going to snag a bottle or two if they happened to be there. I will keep it in mind.

      2. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has hand sanitizer (scented of course) for men and women. A source in case you can’t find it anywhere else.

  7. Holy Mother of Pearl! Things have finally gotten crazy at the stores here. I don’t think people realize that toilet paper won’t do them any good if they starve. TP is gone, and food is fully stocked. The current situation in our country will be a test of everyone’s preps. I think I’m okay. Time will tell.
    The governor of Illinois has closed all public and private schools from March 17-29.
    1. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving?
    Things are going pretty well. See below.
    2. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe?
    Nothing this week.
    3. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes?
    I like Rhode Island Reds.
    4. Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource?
    No
    5. What did you do to prep this week?

    This week:

    *Animals:
    -I have given fertilized chicken eggs to the high school teacher in the small, rural district where I worked. They have an incubator set up and will be selling the chicks.
    -I’m getting the incubator ready for chicken eggs.
    -DS and DIL have been at a convention this week. Their bloodhound had a litter of puppies. It’s not going well. We’re now bottle feeding the puppies who are still alive. Mama dog isn’t caring for them.

    *Garden:
    -Cabbage still hasn’t germinated.

    *Prepping purchases/added a little to the stockpile: received elderberries that I ordered (I will be making syrup next week.), ink cartridges for the printer, was given paper food baskets (Like burgers and fries used to be served in at diners.), canned vegetables, kitchen wipes, granola bars, canned stew, noodles, dry soup, popcorn, canned fruit, jello, snack foods, water BOB,

    *Miscellaneous:
    – 😊Received my Royal Berkey water filter system and four filters. I have been wanting one for quite some time. I finally bit the bullet and got one.

    *Skills:
    -I will be making my first batch of elderberry syrup next week. Any advice is appreciated.

    Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

    1. PG:

      I have a Royal in my “reserve stash”. I got one a couple of years ago and my timing was great. I ordered a Big Berkey and they were out and asked if I’d we willing to take the Royal at the Big’s price. We have been buying more filters periodically to go with it.

      My filter in my camper is no longer made, so I can’t get anymore replacement filters for it. We are looking at a Travel Berkey to replace it.

      1. JP,
        I ordered a blemished Royal. I called to ask why it hadn’t shipped as soon as I thought it would. They immediately sent out an unblemished Royal. I have it stored and will use it when water safety is more of a concern.

    2. Update: DD went to Walmart today for treats to send home in the instructional materials packs for her students. She said the shelves were empty of essentials, including food and water, and the store was a ghost town. She ran into a friend who was crying because she couldn’t get diapers and formula for her baby. She was out and blamed people hoarding for her current situation.

  8. Good to hear from everyone this week. I have been quite busy since the rain has allowed me to do some much needed work outside. I had to drag out the lawn mower and cut grass for the first time this year! I have been as they say, ‘Making hay while the sun shines.’ I noticed some pollen on my car this morning, as all the trees are budding out, soon top of this virus, allergy season is beginning! Guess I will have to wear my goggles to keep from rubbing my eyes.
    Very thankful that I have been prepped (food wise and to wise) for this virus. It has really helped with stress levels in that I didn’t have to go to the stores for necessities. When Idid go, I picked up extras of course, but good to know the cupboard is full.
    I live very close to one of the air reserve bases that is housing some of those on the cruise ship that was exposed to the virus. My neighbor has been doing some contract work on the base, and he told me not to let my guard down, as this has not yet peaked, keep that in mind. A friend lives about 1 mile from an elementary school that shut down after one of its students tested positive for the virus, and we had one death at the hospital (within 5 miles from my homestead).
    Our church has cancelled all weekday activities and life groups on Sunday.
    Just heard that Israel is shutting down all restaurants and fast food places beginning tomorrow. Are we close to this as well.
    Hope everyone is prepped, avoiding large crowds, and generally being safe. Prayers to each of you, and your loved ones!

  9. (1) I marked my calendar for March 24 – 29 to direct seed my green beans, per the 2020 Farmer’s Almanac.
    (2) Spent time with my 13-year old grandson this week. Spoke to him about observing other people, looking for clues of what they are about to do….I used driving as an example, but wanted to get him thinking about being ready to respond to quick changes around him.
    (3) I love all breeds of chickens I’ve ever raised from Rhode Island Reds to Barred Rocks to Buffs. Guess my favorite is the Barred Rock…calmer than a RIR for sure.
    (4) Preparing this week has really taken on new meaning with the Corona Virus Panic going on around us. I did top off feed and hay for my goats and chickens to last at least a month, longer if I stretch it with other locally growing plants and such. People food around here is actually in very good shape…..hundreds of jars of home canned stuff and tons of long-term food storage items…..Kind of sad to see how crazy people have reacted, but it IS an eye-opener to see just how quickly food and supplies can be wiped out by the masses. I did manage to dehydrate a few dozen sliced bananas, harvested lots of mulberries, and I have yet another stalk of bananas ripening on my table. Keep Prepping!

    1. I talked to a couple of people I know who work for a major grocery chain. They said they don’t know if they’re going to get any more deliveries.

          1. I have no “special” insider information, but I’d watch for distribution to “rural” locations curtailed in favor of urban locations.

          2. Been telling you all about that since January ,,,,,Safeway too ,,funny thing ? Word was out in January,,word of shortages started last fall ,the current rush is depleating stock for later in the year ,caused by short fall in last year’s crops ,,some things are ordered only once a year and not available out of cycle ,, I could write a number of pages about the how’s and whys

          3. Oldhomesteader,
            I remember you saying that, and I prepared accordingly. I thank you for the information. 🙂 I tried to tell a few others, but sadly few listened.

          4. Same here.

            Have a friend that works at a distribution center for Walmart where all the trucks come. I asked her if she had heard anything about WM changing their hours or dwindling supply. She said it’s been on the “news, and all over” then proceeded to send me a link about the closures. So, I then asked her if she’s heard anything from the truckers… She said no. That she works again on Tuesday. Head in the sand… Truckers know everything. I’m done. Gonna sit back and watch.

  10. Made a couple of trips down to the storage unit and brought back another set of shelves, several cases of food and some more tp. Many of the local stores are out of toilet paper and baby wipes.
    Food supplies are looking better than I thought but I’ll probably pick up some more flour tonight after that for the most part I should be done stocking up at least til I think of something else I might want to get.
    I finally heard someone say on national TV what I knew right along. Even if you test negative for corvid 19 today it only means you are clear today not that you can’t catch it tomorrow.
    Did place a big order with Amazon that should start arriving Monday. Got the thyme and rosemary planted. Making arrangements to pick up my rhubarb plant and get a mint plant for one of my new pots coming from Amazon. The second pot I think will go for carrots, onions or garlic.
    Hopefully tomorrow the dryer will be fixed and the new led lights installed both of which should lower the light bill.

  11. Hi Gang,

    Another rainy day here as like many days this week. More to come too. kinda nippy on top of that.

    Received my Q sign… waiting for the other one to arrive.

    Been drinking my CS and taking Airborne, Vit D3 and using my Thieves EO. Will start nebulizing CS this weekend, and do that regularly going forward. Trying to stay away from people as much as I can.

    Bought the last of the Gossner whole milk today at DT. Went to Kroger on Tuesday, and the frozen meats section was pretty bare as was alot of the meat section. Bought some Simply lemonade products cream cheese, and 2 packs of ground chuck that were on sale. Haven’t been to anymore stores since I am really good for everything. I was looking at my ground beef stock and do think I need some more. I’m still working on what I had bought from Zaycon a couple of years ago. Making Brunswick stew for supper tonight. It’s really tasty. My BIL’s recipe.

    We were told we could work 100% from home if we wanted to. I will be evaluating my work calendar to see what needs to be done in person. This past week, I had to go in every day. They’ve told us to cancel or set up tele-conference for all meetings that had more than 6 people that attended. Personally, I hate doing meetings over the phone, but the current times calls for it. The entrances have been secured or totally closed to make people go thru one check point. Employees can use the badge as long as it’s an entrance that has that capability.

    We must look at all these people doing their hoarding now in a positive light. They are less likely to be coming to our house for things when things are totally shut down. For that I am grateful.

    Tara’s questions:

    How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving? Haven’t stated yet… I know…I know.
    What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe? Nothing
    What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes? Not sure, don’t have any
    Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource? Don’t have it, but wish I did. Isn’t that what they make pemmican with?

  12. This Week’s Questions

    1. How are your seed starting activities going or survival gardening plan evolving?
    Getting going great. 40+ tomatoes joined the other bits of green in front of every window in my home.
    2. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe? I invited a friend to move to my sons home here on my property. Their well had gone dry. Son is stuck in the Philappines for perhaps another year. He was worried about the home sitting empty and out of sight. Friends drive 100 miles each way every week to help me since injuries and surgery have created a hindrance. Another hardworking, like minded familie, here would be good.
    3. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes? I’m sure everyone has a preference. I love what I have. They are a well mixed bunch with late winter to early spring broody hens, protective roosters, and great forragers when free ranging. Tender and tasty from about 8 weeks on.
    4. Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource? Yes. Dipped candles. Some in cooking. And some to seal fried meat patties in sealed canning jars.
    5. What did you do to prep this week? Bought 33 heavy duty storage containers. Set up a portable garage frame. One of those things with a silver tarp material cover. Torn cover so it was given to me. Will get it anchored then covered in heavy plastic sheet. Will use as a greenhouse until I can get the Walapini dug and covered. Have added to the needed list of things to set up a solar hydroponic garden in the temp greenhouse. May have it up and working within a couple of weeks. That will make the Living room and kitchen more comfortable. Every window is full of plants starting to the garden.

  13. 1. What did you do this week to enhance the survival skills of the children or adults in your tribe? Nothing

    2. What chicken breed do you think is the best for laying and meat purposes? No chickens.

    3. Do you render or use tallow? How do you use this nutrient rich resource? No

    4. What did you do to prep this week? Watered and did some weeding in my garden. I spent several days running water lines and installing a sub panel in my extra room so I could power the hybrid water heater I am installing in it. The heater is for my home but it is too big to fit into the space the old one is in. It involved crawling under the room to pull the cable. I have my water lines and pump shed there and a pile of old 4×8 Styrofoam insulation under the room so space is tight. Wriggling in and out of there tires me out so a few trips a day is all I can manage. Got the lines ran today and now all I have to do is hook up the heater and put a breaker in the outside breaker panel. That will mean a trip to Lowe’s. I took a breaker that fit (Square D) but it was a single. The Square D 40 amp double pole wouldn’t fit. Must be a Siemens or GE box. All three look virtually identical but are not interchangeable.

  14. Try number 3…..INTERNET…. I must be on the naughty list….😎

    I took puppy for a walk in a new area that he wanted to go for a while. Got to checkout the neighborhood more, it used to be woods now new houses.

    Pandemic
    Made a pandemic kit.
    Bought airborne gummies

    Medical
    Bought a pulse oximeter.
    Bought a temporal thermometer.

    Security
    Installed new battery in driveway motion detector.
    Loaded all magazines……Defcon 2

    Gym
    Heavy workouts and fun on the heavy bag and speed bag with elbows and feet.

    Garden
    Tilled 2 more raised beds
    Picked all carrots and remainder of potatoes…. Garden beef stew…..
    Planting more seeds in small greenhouse.
    Emptying old dirt from container gardens and adding new.

    Gardening equipment
    Fixed gas tiller tire with new valve stem. (If you can’t get the tire to seat, hit it with a hammer) learned that from 18 wheelers tires.

    Funny video

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

    Good video

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X9ZbBpiC9MA

    Thor’s questions
    1. Have you made a pandemic kit?
    2. What’s in it?
    3.Do you have any food shortage stories?
    4. Are you ready for lockdown?

    I went to public on Friday the 13th…TP, bread, milk,meat,canned goods, produce and frozen veggies were gone. LOL
    Dooms day preppers……..

    1. Oops forgot, bought a 25 lb bag of sugar. They were out of 10 lb bags and the doomsday preppers overlooked all of the 25 lb bags…..LOL

    2. Thor’s questions

      1. Have you made a pandemic kit?

      Not a kit specific to pandemics. I have a very extensive medical kit that has the components, but they may not all be in the same box. However, I maintain an inventory list (computer and paper) so I can find anything I need quickly.

      2. What’s in it?

      Nitrile gloves, surgical masks, N-95 masks, two Tyvek suits, full face shield, goggles, various cleaning supplies. Also, though not part of the pandemic gear, I have a military CBRN respirator and CBRN filters that can filter viruses.

      3.Do you have any food shortage stories?

      None that I’m aware of personally. My local Publix has been very good keeping food on the shelves. My last visit was Friday 3/13/20 and they were good for almost all foods except a few (Publix brand canned chicken breasts being one). TP was gone for the first time, and other paper products suitable for butt wiping were very low. I wanted some snot rags, but the stock was low and limited to two boxes per customer. I got two boxes. I’ve been going through them because of grass allergies and wanted to bring the stock back up to snuff,

      4. Are you ready for lockdown?

      I guess I am. Of course, I would miss Granddaughter a great deal. if the grid stays up, I guess I’ll just have to Face Time with her. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I downloaded a bunch of Kindle books, and I plan to download some more. This is just in case power goes out. I can keep my Kindles running on solar. If I stay alive, the books certainly won’t go to waste..My repel boarders equipment is all lubed up and ready to go if necessary.

    3. Thor1:

      Let me answer in reverse order:

      Lockdown? We are in “soft lockdown”. We have cut all outside the home trips to absolute minimum, the same with visitations.

      Food shortage stories: As late as Thursday night, scoffers still felt the need to display attitude, so I let them. I gave them the current situations facts as I knew them. Then I told them to make their own decisions for what is best for their families. Those that could look forward to our help already have been notified.

      Pandemic Supplies: We have a goodly variety of “stuff” for such an event. Purchased at various times over the years. I try not to go with whatever the current worry is. I try to look long-term, see what might be coming, and try to not be in a vulnerable position when it gets here. I have plenty of powdered (for long-term storage) disinfectants. Plastic sheeting and duct tape. Masks and filters. OTC meds and electrolyte replacement additives. In short, we don’t believe we are wanting for anything, equipment wise. Now a new location would be nice – coming, but not here.

  15. New to this blog – very interesting. Live in SW FL in a typical 3br2bath 1400sq ft single story HOA house. FL’s sand with nematodes doesn’t really support much food gardening, plus it’s getting into hot weather -high80s low90s this week. We do have some containers growing Everglades tomatoes, swiss chard, carrots, sage and basil, mint for tea and lots of self sown purslane. In the yard as landscape plants we have moringa, cranberry hibiscus, katuk, loquats and cocoplums. I grow about 6 types of sprouts for fresh greens.

    Schools are closed state wide till March 30th. Really tough on kids who rely on free meals and weekend snacks. Was time to buy my 45 roll of TP from Sam’s, lucky to get it. Because we live in FL with its 6 month hurricane season, and having gone thru Charley, a tornado, etc. we always keep about a 3 month store of food, personal care and household care including Clorox wipes, bleach and gallons of white vinegar – besides for cleaning it’s great for killing dollar weed, as just stocked up on oatmeal, tea, liquid hand soap, and pasta sauce as we have about 15lbs of pasta to use. We also have 2 45# cans of wheat berries that we grind for flour and use as sprouts too. Going to try an overnight bread that bakes in a dutch oven. Also have another ‘decorative’ pumpkin my neighbor gave me, it’s the last of 4, that will yield about 20 cups of cooked flesh – I use it in everything from my morning oatmeal to mixing with my salad dressing and as a side veggie.

    We have been shopping at WM using the Pick-up option and never have waited more than 5 min – Friday it was almost 20 min, all 10 slots were full. And, they are out of dry beans!! We’re in our 70s and for both health and financial reasons follow about a 75% vegan diet. Of course I know what to do with beans but I wonder if many of those buying them really do. We use water from the tap, it is filtered as it is hard water, and in case of storm warnings we have 5 gal bladders that go in a box with the spigot sticking out and we set them on the counter – bought them on line several years ago and have used them, they’re great!

    Sorry if I seem to be rambling but I just don’t understand how so many can be panicking over TP and water.

    We’ve gone thru many ‘hard times’ over our 50+ years of marriage – unemployment, serious health issues, almost bankruptcy, hurricanes, tornadoes, gas shortages, electric being out for a couple of weeks, – we always come out okay because we’ve always planned ahead, We will do okay with this too. That is as long as we have TV, internet and some word and jigsaw puzzles.

    1. Bellen,

      Welcome to the Pack. It sounds like you have a goodly amount of prepping experience to offer.

      I’m in the Orlando area, so whatever affects you will likely have some effect on me, and vice versa.

      We have some folks here who are big into gardening and might have tips to pass on. I am not one of them, sadly.

      Good luck with the Kung flu (I know it’s not a flu, but we’ve using the tag for a couple of months now).

    2. Bellen, welcome to the site.

      Yes, people are going crazy over TP. My Mrs ran out of TP before we met. She had a tornado near her house and she used a phone book for TP. I guess it was the yellow and brown pages…LOL

    3. Bellen:

      Welcome! I think you find a lot of positive experience(s) here along with quality advise. People here tend to be very civil and try to be helpful.

    4. Thank you all for your kind welcomes. Since first posting, our county, like all others has instituted some major restrictions – the only one that really affects me is the libraries being closed from today until at least April 12, I just have a hard time reading in bed using my Kindle – I’ll adapt.
      And some other changes – we have placed an order with Sam’s to be delivered, another with WM to pick-up, enlarged our Subscribe and Save order with Amazon and placed a seed order. Yes, going back to using the Earthboxes that were in storage and will harvest and replant the above mentioned pots.
      While this too will pass it will forever, at least for a number of years, change the way we live, work and shop. Please take all measures possible to maintain your health.

  16. This week I cleaned out the freezer in the garage. I am so glad I did. I didn’t have nearly as much meat as I thought I did. I got the freezer cleaned up and then we went shopping. We hit Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Walmart. Now my freezers are filled to the brim and I know exactly what I have.

    We stopped by Publix on Friday to pick up a few odds and ends. The store looked like a tornado hit a trailer park. I have been prepping for a while now. I have quite of food and other essentials stored away. I knew that one day I would walk into a grocery store and find empty shelves. This is one reason we prep. I knew this intellectually. But seeing it first-hand really took my breath away. I walked up and down each isle just to take it all in. Fruits and vegetables were sold out. There wasn’t even any cilantro. There were no eggs, no milk, no bread, no rice, not beans. The paper products isle was picked clean. The soups and canned foods had been picked through. The cashier said it had been like this for two days. I am so glad we did out extra stock up early in the week.

    We are in for the duration now. My dh has a doctor’s appointment in two weeks. We will be wearing N-95 masks and gloves. While we are out, we will probably hit some stores just to see what they have. But we’ve got everything we need.

    1. My never prepared for anything sister just called me wanting eggs because she can’t find any at the stores. Three weeks ago I told her that this was going to happen.

    2. It’s my understanding from a nurse friend of mine that the N95 mask will protect others if you have a cold and you wear it, but it doesn’t protect you from others sneezing their germs all over your airspace. What say you on this.?

      1. ShirlGirl,

        This would not be 100% correct. Actually, the N95 will protect others from the wearer’s cough/sneeze just because of the barrier, but the main reason for the N95 is to protect the wearer FROM breathing in other people’s cough and sneeze particles.

        The regular surgical type mask is worn to keep the wearer from spreading their germs to others.

  17. RED ALERT

    I just had a freaky experience. I was watching a video on Lisa Haven channel about the possible shutdown of the USA for 2 months. My tablet screen looked like an old black and white TV with no channel, you know lines in it and then my device shutdown. I rebooted tried channel again and the same thing happened again. Rebooted and checked other YouTube channels, all others OK….hmmm

    The Governor of California just gave himself the power to commandeer hotels and restaurants.

    1. I love how these Stalinists are giving themselves the power to do this or that using the crisis of the Pandemic as a casus belli. We swore an oath decades ago that has no expiration date.

      1. I won’t be shocked if Murphy (oh yeah, he is that) of NJ does something. He learned his socialist lessons well as Ambassador to Austria.

  18. Was a busy week, hope all of us are well and praising GOD!
    Tara’s questions:
    1. Plants are doing good. First tomatoes planted about 5″ tall, other open pollinated at various stages, depending on when they were planted. Four varieties of peppers coming up, 24 potatoes in big pots ( for early potatoes are about 6″ tall) , 2 varieties of squash up 2″, two new rhubarb are above ground, chard and beets up 2″, cabbages 3″ high, lettuce up indoors, herbs up, horseradish about 12″ in big pots. So garden is growing indoors, at the moment.
    2. Offered Bibles to Church to give away, all instructions available within the pages for story after story about how to prepare for what is coming.
    3. My favorite chickens, after 50 years of different varieties, are Black Australorps, they are a heavy hen, more meat, they lay big brown eggs, some this year are goose egg size- double yolkers, they get broody easily and are fierce protectors of peeps, have bled many times. Have had hens that laid 5 years or more.
    4. Have not rendered lard in years, due to I no longer raise hogs. Love baking with lard and dipping candles. No time for that now. Still bake pies with lard, best pies ever!
    5. This week I spaded a long row in the garden, between rains. I own a big, rear tine tiller, but we will stay stronger if we force our bodies to work. So dug long row. Planted 3 pkts. Of lettuces and 8″ over, in the same row, I dropped in a pound of onion sets. Drug out white 1/2 barrels split lengthwise and covered entire row of lettuce/onions. The sun passes thru white barrels and acts as a greenhouse or high tunnel. I get my barrels for free, so there is no expense to this. That took 8 half barrels. I have 8 more whole barrels that I need to split lengthwise with reciprocating saw, cut them dead center thru the holes where barrel caps are ( remove caps first) and the half circles serve as ventilation. Then I will have 16 more half barrels to cover early plantings.
    I pondered run on items at grocery and wondered how long till it hits feed mills for animal feed. This would be a problem for folks with critters. So I called feed mill on Friday and ordered extra feed since steel barrels with lock down lids were delivered to me, for feed storage. Went on Saturday morning to pick up feed ( truck load), the parking lot was maxed out with pickup trucks. When I went in to pay, they told me that they had to limit the 50# bags that I had ordered the day before. So it begins, now feed will be limited as with grocery store rationing.
    Everybody get busy and store a few months of critter feed, even if you only have a dog or cat. Rabbit feed was limited to 300# also.
    On Thursday, last nanny gave birth, it was her first birthing and the kid was huge, 3 hours later, she pushed and i pulled till i was dragging the nanny, laying on the ground backwards about 6 feet, finally got head out, next contraction, i drug her again and shoulders were free, then one last tug and he slid out. She has a beautiful buckling. Both are fine. One item you may be sure to have, when it is dark and both of your hands are busy, it sure is handy to have a head lamp and extra batteries. Made all of the nanny experience much better, so as to see what i was doing.
    Also got extra 50# bag of seed potatoes to plant when soil warms and pounds of onion sets too.
    Chicks hatched and I had saved more eggs and set them in incubator, 3 weeks till more hatching.
    All in a weeks work, Tribe, stay safe, stock up and pray for our world and their leaders.
    God is good.

    1. I put eggs in the incubator today. I have been offered the chicks that the high school class is incubating. I gave them the eggs. I plan on culling some of my older hens, so I may take them up on their offer in case I don’t get a good hatch rate.

  19. We have two advantages – long time preppers, so no problem regarding TP, food and water. Due to my double lung transplant, we have ample supplies of sanitizer, Clorox wipes and surgical masks. In addition, I was shopping at thrift store last week, they had boxes of good quality masks – $2.00 per box of 50, so I bought two boxes so we would have enough for kids, grandkids and compromised friends. Praying for the nation and especially President Trump. Anyway, all is good here in Arizona

  20. Dental appointment on Thursday to take care of a project that was put off because of dh’s health issues. After this is done, go back in 3 weeks to finish up this replacement of two teeth. Have been taking herbal each day, but will need to up the different antivirals before this is done and keep afterwards. Then dh has a doctors appointment he can not miss, as to the other one that office may cancel. Only time will tell as it is for his eyes, requires laser treatment to remove scare tissue from the lens replacements. This appears to be a normal after this type of lens replacement.

    Friday went into town as dh required medical equipment replaced. Stopped at the bank, picked up a few things in the store where the bank is located. Not bad but it is a higher end grocery store, so less shoppers usually. That is until I left then the herd showed up, good for me. Other blue collar grocery store was a GOOD but I found a parking space so ventured into this store. Found a couple of items not in the other high end store. The pasta rice isle looked like a tornado when through there, forgot to check the tp area but I am sure it was down. Although notice only one person had in their cart was tp. What they planned on eating is a good question.

  21. Tara’s questions
    1)Garden seeds: Not inside, had planned on starting them in boxes outside when a change in the weather took a major turn from warm to hail and cold. Trees planted, raspberry’s in buckets, and onion sets in the boxes of dirt. Potatoes were to be planted when this weather front came in from the coast. Maybe tomorrow when the weather is more stable.
    2) No tribe just the us
    3)No chickens, but remember dad liked Road Island Reds for egg production.
    4) Have pig fat to render into lard, now that we are going to be home bound will get that project off the need to do books.
    5) Prepping already listed

  22. Gov. P. just closed dining in at all bars and restaurants in Illinois as of tomorrow (Monday) night. Drive through and delivery only.

  23. Thor1,

    It appears to me that your friend’s predication you posted last week seems to be coming true. Not all at once, but there is definitely a trend in progress.

    My Ex wants to buy my HK-91 rifle from me. I told her she was nuts. She hates shooting a 12GA, so she isn;t going to enjoy, or be more competent, with a 7.62mm battle rifle. I have a Colt 9mm carbine (looks like an M-4 or AR-15). She can handle an M-16, so this 9mm version should be even easier for her. I don’t expect she would be blasting zombies from much further than 50m or less. The Colt is like my lowest priority long gun, so I might sell it to her. Luckily I have a mag loader for it as those 30-rounders are about impossible to fully load without one.

    The Ex isn’t so frightened about the Kung flu as she is scared about the government turning socialist or communist. She’s been there, done that, and not interested in doing it again.

    1. Zulu 3-6:

      The 9mm sounds like the best bet for an urban novice shooter. Over penetration should not be an issue, and 9mm is still cost effective. I need to get my Ruger up to speed and ready. I think it will sit next to me at the computer.

        1. JP,

          I will keep you in mind. I have 5-30 rounders and a 20-rounder. now. Plus a loader. Thanks

          If the Ex is at her house, she isn’t living in a cramped urban area. I would call it semi-rural. Her condo, on the other hand is much more urban.

          Kind of funny story, #1 daughter’s nephew went turkey shooting with his father for the first time in his life this weekend (he’s 12). He took out two good sized birds with one shot from a .410. I haven’t been able to verify if it was with a shot shell, or a slug. Either way, not a bad first time.

  24. Monday AM:

    Our church just posted that they are going to on-line only sessions. We already put the 2nd service on Facebook Live, so that is covered. We may have tomorrows Men’s Breakfast group, as there is already food in the refrigerator that will go bad, TBD.

    1. JP,

      #1 daughter’s church live-streamed Sunday service from the pastor’s back yard yesterday. She said it went just fine.

  25. Monday PM: Our country closed casino’s, restaurants, gyms, and bars as of 4 PM today (the day before St. Pat’s – big day here – I’m sure you can hear the bar owner’s crying from there).

    DW just called, she will be working from home starting tonight(?).

    1. JP,

      They closed down the casinos in Detroit. An old friend of mine (retired Detroit cop and my old assistant flight sergeant in the Air Guard), he was joking around that he was laid off from his part time job as a casino customer. He does like to kill some time playing slots.

  26. Prepper fail: Ugg. I opened a case of pancake mix in #10 cans from 2012. The cans were bulging out bad. I learned that pancake mix was only good for eight years. Potato pearls from LDS are only good for eight years. I have two cases of pancake mix and four case of potato pearls to dispose of. My dh wants to dispose of it a bit at a time so as not to attract attention. Ugg. This is a reminder of a prepping fail for me.

    Check your long term food supplies!

    (Thankfully I have all the ingredients on hand to make pancake mix. But . . . )

    1. Bam Bam:

      To date the only thing I have had fail like that is Corn Bread Mix, and I lost 3 cans over 2 years. Might be the weather difference.

  27. Publix, our area grocery store, is now delivering. I was able to buy 8 boxes of pancake mix, among other items. I am looking forward to eating a salad.

  28. We are friends with a couple who have children from their previous marriage (shared) and one baby together. The ex-wife and her new husband (and that is a real Payton Place story) to her kids (maybe his too) to Florida, against the advise of everyone. Now they are stuck there, with no extra money to cover their new expenses.

    To top it off, they were advised, since they went to Miami Beach, that they and the children will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, before the children will be allowed around the others. And, of course, the ex-wife is whining about has she needs to go back to work as soon as they get back and can’t if she has to stay home with the kids, who’s school is also now closed.

    The problems some people create for themselves.

  29. Hi pack it has been a long time! Much has happened in my absence but that is for another day. I am glad to see some familiar names on the role JP, Baby catcher. This week has been a lot of catch up. Honestly my preps have been lagging as my career and school has eaten up far too much time. I am far from being caught flat footed but it just is really never enough right. It is time I come back to the fold much to tell and so much to still learn. Hope to be a staple here again.

    1. Good to hear from you M4S! We are hunkering down, staying busy prepping for our spring garden.will wait with bated breath foryou to tell of your adventures. Hugs to you and keep stacking! BC

    2. M4S
      Hello and welcome back!! You will recall the sign Pacrat but I changed it to Antique Collector. It is nice to see you
      posting again.

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