What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week: May 3rd – 9th 2020

woman riding a horse among other livestock

Hello Pack, hope you all have had a productive week of prepping and stayed healthy and safe. The weather in my part of Ohio was three seasons rolled into one.

Ohio weather is always crazy but this is getting ridiculous. We had one day of summer, a few of spring, and then witner reappeared. I am beyond tired of covering our fruit trees at this point.

We spent a lot of time on annual livestock health checks and worming this week. I mix diatomaceous earth in with the feed of all of our livestock on a regular basis and worm just twice a year with conventinal wormer.

Our 20 year old mini donkey, Sadie, is not doing so hot at the moment. I am going to start giving her coconut oil with her grain to help her keep weight on.

She and the other two mini donkeys have been earning their keep preventing coyotes from venturing close to the barnyard – which makes the two new goat kids quite happy.

The six little chicks that I introduced into the coop and run have adjusted quite well, and will start free ranging on Sunday.

Our ducks always seem a bit smarter than the chickens when it comes to free range training. I may be chasing chicks and cursing at dusk on Sunday evening, but maybe these little cuties will surprise me.

Egg laying has been on the upswing still. I am going to dehydrate six dozen eggs this weekend and put them up with our shelf stable home canned and dehydrated goods in a pantry.

If you have never dehydrated and eaten eggs yourself, you might be surprised with how amazing they taste.

You truly cannot tell the difference. Dehydrating your own eggs is far cheaper than buying commercially manufactured freeze dried eggs, that’s for sure.

I have a flat of tomato plants under the grow lights in the house right now trying to save them. It was not supposed to get down to freezing Thursday night so I left them sitting comfortable in the bed of my pickup truck. I should have gone with my instincts and not what the weather man said.

Tomorrow (which will be today when you are reading this) I am heading out to our county’s farmers market to pick up my herb order.

I was thrilled that I could not only get 98 percent of the herb plants I wanted locally, but also pay only $2 and $3 a plant for them instead of the sky high prices right now on Burpee, Gurney’s, and a few other places I checked online.

I am nearing the end of my annual soap making project. I have made 20 different types of healing herb soap – including some citronella soap to help keep those pesky mosquitoes away this summer.

handmade soap

Because I use melt and pour base most of the time now instead of messing with lye, the grandkids get to help. We made little letter and number soaps as part of their homeschooling lessons to help teach them spelling and math.

I scored the molds for less than $1 each on that BidFTA.com auction place I have mentioned to y’all before.

soap bars in shape of letters and numbers

I did not win any preps this week, but I did win 9 Christmas and birthday presents to put back – each for 50 to 75 percent off the retail price. In my mind, that is still prepping because the money I saved can be spent for more self-reliance stockpiling.

My one pound block of raw shea butter and more beeswax arrived on the doorstep this week. So I am now stocked with the extra supplies I need to make more all natural healing salves once I can forage or grow the rest of the natural ingredients I need to make them.

raw shea butter

Jewelwed and plaintain salve is my go to all natural neosporin alternative. The jewelweed bushes are not quite ready, but this year I am getting smart and picking all the plantain I need and dryng it before my horses beat me to it.

This Weeks’ Questions

  1. How are your gardens growing?
  2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make?
  3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week?
  4. What did you do to prep this week?
Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

108 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week: May 3rd – 9th 2020

    1. #2DS had four bales of straw left after he seeded and strawed his yard. Since he didn’t need them, he gave them to me. Score!

    2. I was able to get 2 bales of wheatstraw for my garden from our local feed store. What I need is someone to unload them from the truck since DH is currently on crutches after falling off an 8 ft roof. I think that’s what neighbors are for, yes? I noticed the price per bale dropped from $15 to $10. Grateful for that.

      1. I’m trying pine straw this year as the wheat straw we have bought in the past has only made the weeds worse.

        1. 5$ a bale is what I think it should be. Arizona seems to have much higher prices than the eastern US on many things.

    3. This week’s questions:
      1. How are your gardens growing? Half the garden plot is planted, but still need to plant the corn in the other half and mulch what’s already planted. Green beans are sprouting nicely – they were planted about two weeks ago. No sign yet of what was planted last weekend, but not unexpected considering our unusual cold snap. Last fall, I planted persimmon seeds from some organic fruit I ate and have signs that two of them have sprouted. I have 3-4 seeds in pots that haven’t sprouted but am happy with what I have. My lemon tree is covered in baby lemons and is beginning to bloom again. I now have 3 avocado trees in pots – I think my cats tried to kill one by using the pot as a litter box. It is putting on new growth even though the top half seems to have died back. I’m going to need a greenhouse for them soon. Herbs (from seeds) on the patio are growing slowly. I bought another sage plant and a second type of oregano. One echinacea plant out of three has come back nicely and looks like it will bloom soon. The peach trees I grew from seed are doing well, but we need to figure out where to put them in the yard. Getting straw for mulch has been interesting. After being unable to find any locally, we drove an hour outside of town for the most recent load. We bought some a week ago (yesterday) about 2 hours north of town.

      2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? I make hard lotion bars and elderberry tincture. I haven’t delved into anything else yet, but have supplies and recipes on hand for several items.

      3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? The DH has been on furlough two weeks of the last 5 weeks. Between unemployment and the stimulus check, we are breaking even. It has actually been helpful because he spent the first week insulating and sheet-rocking the garage. During the second week, he did a lot of organizing and making the workshop area much nicer. The air compressor and generator are “installed” in a way that makes them much easier to use. There’s one more thing to do with the generator to make it easier to use but need an electrician. For both of us, working from home has been awesome. We aren’t wasting an hour (or more) a day on the road and we are eating at home a lot more. In the past, we had discussed getting a second freezer to add more meats to our stores. The shutdown convinced us to do that sooner rather than later – fortunately, our tax refund combined with some savings made it possible. Most grocery items we purchase now are just replacing what we are using. I have realized that I didn’t have as many boxes of tea bags as I thought, so will add more to our storage.

      4. What did you do to prep this week? Ordered chicken for the freezer that we will pick up next Saturday. While we were north of town to get pine straw, we took advantage of the Kroger in Gainesville for grocery shopping. The store was well stocked on most items. Pork was being rationed to two packages per purchase and they didn’t seem to have much beyond LOTS of ribs. I did get some boneless pork chops but would have liked to have found a Boston Butt for the freezer. We have been researching places to purchase meat at a good price and have located a north Georgia farm where we can purchase meat by the half or whole cow. Once we get the chicken home and in the freezer, we will make the decision on the beef. I will need to reorganize the freezers again.

      Thor’s questions:
      1) Do you think WW3 is far off? I hope not, but there is no real way of knowing since (historically) those in power are notorious for doing stupid stuff.
      2) Do you think a Civil war may happen soon? A lot depends on how many citizens get fed up with government overreach.
      3) Do you think food riots will happen soon after the money runs out? Hard to know and may solely depend on where you live. Georgia raises a lot of crops, cattle and chickens with local ability to process the poultry and meat.
      4) What are your 5 favorite ammunition for prepping? Federal XM193 55gr FMJ (556×45 – 223), Federal XM80CL 149gr FMJ(308), Blazer Brass 115 grain 9mm model 5200, CCI .22 mini mags, and Blazer brass 230 gr FMJ .45 (I did get the DH to help with the technicalities of the list, but these are what came to mind when I read the question)
      5) Do you think the alphabet soup organizations will have members face treason charges? Not likely.

      Have a wonderful Sunday/Mother’s Day!

  1. Good Afternoon,

    It was chilly this morning when I went out and about. DW went to get her hair cut and colored (I tell her that gray is a color then she hits me on the shoulder). Anyway, I got out and went to the cemetery to visit with Mom a little bit and wish her a Happy Mother”s Day. I also went to measure the date plaque on her headstone. When she died we couldn’t find the paperwork where Dad had bought the marker to be able to order a death date thing. She died in 2018. My sister, that she lived with and who had all the paperwork got terminally ill and died in 2019 and as soon as her will was probated they sold her house, split the money and got the heck out of Dodge. The left me holding the bills for her funeral and the other money I had fronted them during her illness. I consider it their portion of my estate they aren’t going to get any more of when I shuffle on off this mortal coil.

    So, all that to say I took paper and an ink pen and got to the cemetery and didn’t bring a tape measure or anything to measure with. Crap. Anyway, I traced the existing piece and will get out a tape and figure out the dimensions shortly and then start shopping online to see what I can find. I think it is 3″ x 2″ or maybe 4″ x 2″ and they are probably going to want $150 for one. Want to be a good son and get a date on there so people will know she is dead.

    As I was leaving the cemetery parking lot a gentleman in a suit approached the truck. I opened the window and he let me know they were giving out free roses to drop on graves if I wanted on. I told him no thanks and went on about my business.

    Went to Lowe’s and the parking lot was pretty crowded but there was no line. I wore mask and gloves as did probably 50% of the other people. I got cypress mulch and top soil and some potting soil. Got home, did some yard word and now I’m done. Sucks being old.

    It’s cold here. I talked to some co-workers who are in Rochester New York yesterday and it was snowing there. They expect 3 inches or so. No snow for Georgia as far as I know.

    For prepping I got in 20 more N95 mask and 3 more boxes of nitrle gloves. Have given away about half to friends that don’t have any. I got in a food order from Amazon and I got quite a bit of canned meat at good prices with free delivery and cans of beef stew and canned spaghetti and meatballs.

    Worked on my radios a bit, Cleaned connections on the antennas and practiced a bit on my straight key. I am having some issues with my hear aids and Morse Code. The aids work great at increasing volume but there are tones that just don’t come through like they should. Probably the reason some voices are not totally intelligible to me right now. I don’t know where to go from here.

    Yall have a good week. We had technical difficulty on Wednesday night when we were going to do our online Bible Study and the last word was “we’ll let you know when it’s online” so that was a big loss for us.

    Keep praying, keep prepping and keep smiling, even if it is under a mask.


  2. 1.How are your gardens growing? Herbs have come back on their own. I’d left a foot of garden debree over the garden for the winter. Nothing else yes. All plans were put on hold when I got sick.
    2.What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? I make herbal tinctures and soak the early buds, taken from a young cottonwood tree, in olive oil. Its quite healing in this desert country. I also dry narrow to use. Some as a tea and some to slow or stop bleeding. Husband is on blood thinners.
    3.How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? Did Not touch us except for wearing masks if off the property. Had husband at clinic for tests for possible UTI then emergency room. For several hours. Glad I don’t have to wear one very often.
    4.What did you do to prep this week? Friends came to cover the new temporary greenhouse. Too late for spring plant starting but it’s ready for fall. I’ll plant tomatoes in bug buckets so they can sit out in the sunshine and move in for fall so we can actually ripen a crop on the vines.
    I’ll also get the hydroponics put together and grow green crops summer and well into fall. I have a small solar set up to run the water pump on a time. Good time to experiment with it all and work out the bugs.

  3. (1) How’s my garden growing? Quite well! The green beans are now forming, so I should be canning green beans in a couple of weeks. I have 4 pineapples close to ripe, at least 1,000 bananas on my plants (not exaggerating), my grape vines are hanging heavy with fruit, and my avocado tree has dozens of fruit growing on it. The tomato plants are blooming, and my Seminole pumpkin vines are just starting to run. Sweet potato slips are adjusting to being transplanted and should wake up and start vining in the next couple of weeks.
    (2) Homemade healing products I make: elderberry syrup and tincture. I’ve been hiking and picking the berries which are ripening at the moment. I also make a hydrating body butter using shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and various essential oils.
    (3) This virus situation has helped me to refocus my prepping efforts! I’m in discussions with someone on how to calculate and set up solar power here to at least run a small window unit A/C and small refrigerator in case of a long term power outage. We have propane-powered generator for most of the house and 500 gallons of propane stored, but what if that runs out and you can’t get any fuel? I would miss sleeping cool and having ice cubes!
    (4) Prepping this week included canning homemade bone broth, more bananas, and lemons (found an interesting way to preserve them!) I also bought 12 new chicks for future egg layers since my flock is dwindling from age. Planted the dragon fruit plant given to me by my good friend. Dehydrated LOTS of elderberries and just picked another pound of them this morning that will be put in the dehydrator this afternoon. Picked up 4 more cases of canning jars, along with several more boxes of the wide mouth lids. Made 2 more batches of soap, as orders keep coming in. Good week for me!

      1. I quarter them, coat in a mixture of 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part sugar, cover them in a large bowl in the trig over night, then press them and their accumulated liquid into canning jars, makings sure they are submerged in the liquid….haven’t used them yet, but they sure look cool in the jars!

        1. Goatlover,

          I did the same thing but my lemons molded. I don’t know what I did wrong. Please keep me updated.

  4. This Weeks’ Questions

    1. How are your gardens growing? The “porch project” is going and growing. DW is moving her “starts” from the upstairs bedroom w/growing light, to the porch; replanting as she goes. We have our first flower (a bean plant).

    2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? None.

    3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? For my local family, it has been a inconvenience at worst. The youngest to be on their own (19) is worried that they might be a little over stretched (as they were warned they might be) but we are all working, earning money, and moving forward.

    4. What did you do to prep this week? Well…

    More businesses opened up here on Monday, with limitations. Masks almost universally required and ignored.

    Supply run on Wednesday. I found 50# bags of rice for $15 (usually 25# for $10). Got some meat (beef) for the freezer, ground for $2.49/lb. Boxed instant potatoes, powdered milk, and some canned meat.

    Replaced the failing thermocoupler in the main house heater. Bolted down a small fireproof safe.

    Gave 2 motorcycle helmets, a box of paint ball gear, and some fencing away to good homes.

    Supply Run: Music: Jimmy Buffett (“Beaches”); Kenny Chesney (“the road and the radio”); small fireproof safe (dial); rice; Himalayan Pink Salt; canned turkey; canned roast beef; powdered milk; instant potatoes;

    Received: Plate carrier hangers, Keymod & M-Loc picatinney rail sets; Shop Vac (2.5-gal) accessories; potato grow bags (5); new battery for laptop;

  5. The weather, this is why so many people, are moving to the PNW, from all over the country, this is why prices out West, are over the moon, we have nice springs, we can have hot summers, and nice falls days, hardly any snow , we are having a beautiful weekend, we are at our other place, doing more clean up. Our neighbor, put their house up for $529,000 the house next to them is $569,000, for homes that still need to be worked on, but because we are near three school’s, library, old downtown, and of course breweries, our area is very hot right now bringing in the 30 something crowd, that we were 25 years ago and its almost time for us to leave too.

    All of my plants are doing very well, all my starts are waking up from their slumber. I did buy a bunch of vegetables for Salsa, everything was very reasonable, tho the onion’s were starting to dry out I had to peel several layers to get to the fresher parts.

    I’m not really doing alot of shopping, just maintaining stuff for the refrigerator, if I see a deal for can food’s, I’ll buy them but they must be 21, 22, I’m done buying 2020 can food.

    Our neighbor, who’s selling, gave me a beautiful teak coffee table, and two wooden beach chair’s, for helping the the last 4 month’s watching their place, so I’m using them at our second place, they fit in very nicely.

    Question 1 The gardening is going great.
    Question 2 I do make homemade salves, and potions, as my daughter calls them.
    Question 3 The government shutdown hasn’t changed us because my husband is an essential worker, so he always has work, and we have lived a modest lifestyle, so it hasn’t hurt us in the least, but things do change and we are not spending any extra.

    I hope everyone, is doing well and staying upbeat, because it’s hard.

  6. 1- Perennials are looking good. No garden otherwise but I’ve been advising a friend who’s going all in. He sprayed nematodes and neem oil. Got rid of a few squirrels. He also scored a free chicken coop.
    2- Got tons of plantain growing wild on the front lawn. That’s about it.
    3- This Chinese virus has slowed our work but there’s enough coming in that my team and I can make a decent living.
    4- Got the usual extra groceries. Heard that our RINO Governor was ordered by a federal court to open the gun stores today. Heading out soon. He also mandated that everyone wear masks but because it’s an illegal mandate… NO. I’ll wear one in a store if there’s a REQUEST sign but I’m generally alone when I’m out now anyway.
    I have an estimate on some home improvements that should make my house more attractive to buyers. We can’t wait to move to Tennessee. Civil tensions are truly simmering now.

      1. Hugs back future neighbor! If I’ve been pondering anything these last couple of months, it’s that we’d be better off down there. I look at the listings on Redfin every day and I’m feeling a greater sense of urgency than ever before. There’s a gorgeous house with over 20 acres in Tellico Plains that I keep looking at. A bit off the beaten path but imagine morning coffee while enjoying the view of the Unicoi Mountains.

  7. Hi Everyone,

    Got the garden planted last Sunday. Last night, I had to cover up the plants because it was going to be frost by morning. It rained yesterday too, so the mud almost sucked off my boots while putting on the covers. I used some older plant cups and some plastic boxes that come in a toy rack. Ran out of rocks, so put some dirt (mud) and a couple of racks on top so they wouldn’t blow away. It’s supposed to frost again tonight, so not uncovering until tomorrow. Will finish planting more seeds tomorrow, hoping it drys out a little.

    Not happy about the Governor signing a secret MOU back in early April to allow the names of people that have tested positive, being handed over to the police…. He also is mandatory testing all nursing home patients AND employees without their consent. That is also wrong. I hope my work doesn’t think they are going to make me be tested. I will quit before I allow that. That’s how adamant I a on these Governor’s and mayors, and even employers mandating testing. I am not sure those people that went through those voluntary drive thru testing stations had no clue that their positive results would be sent to the police… We’ve all wondered if the Gov was a true Conservative, and we have decided that he is not. Too many actions that do not align with our civil liberties freedoms.

    Not much other prepping than the garden planting. Will cut up some potatoes for planting tomorrow in the new raise bed area. Some things are just too late to plant, but got most of it done.

    Prayers for the pack, for unspoken requests, the President and America. Let’s get back to work. Those that want to continue to isolate, by all means, but not make it mandatory for all businesses to close. Open back up 100%, not just 50%. People can’t survive on just 50% business.

    1. AT

      Reading your post reminds me of how much I think this virus thing is so much like the early days of the AIDS epidemic, where people who tested positive were considered for time anyway, as needed to be quarantined on a desert island, and their names were being passed around in secret. Everyone was afraid to be around them and even mothers made their HIV positive children eat off their own plates and they had their own silverware that no one else used as well as their cups and glasses. People who test positive are being treated the same way as lepers in the Bible and people with AIDS in our time. Why is there such a social stigma to testing positive? These folks are not involved in drug use or unsafe sex. What the heck is wrong with people and their attitudes?

  8. Good afternoon Pack! Hope everyone had a great week . Ours was a little busy as Texas has started to open up, our little town is busy again and so are all the many interruptions to my daily life. I have a home office and we are home during the day so all of our extended family and friends feel free to drop in during the week and hang out. For some reason it is always 3 or 4 of them on the same day. I love our family and friends and that they love being in our company but sometimes I wish they all had 9-5 day jobs so I could do mine. And there was a little part of me that LOVED the peace and quiet of the lockdown. I could definitely become a homesteader in a very rural place only seeing other visitors occasionally. BUT there are definitely bigger problems in this world than mine.
    Our garden is doing great so far and I have tomato blooms, cucumber blooms and squash blooms and two tiny squash. But this morning I walked out to have my coffee there and an armadillo had gotten in and turned every bit of mulch in the entire garden! My heart stopped and I almost screamed when I saw what looked like land mine damage to my entire garden. The deal is my plants are all in raised beds and the mulch covers all the ground in between . Not one raised bed or plant had been touched. He did get in the squash bed that is on the ground and turned it up good but didn’t get one single squash. I can’t believe how blessed we were , but tonight we hunt armadillo.
    Have started to clean straighten and organize in my food supply room. I want to do an inventory list that is on my computer and I can add and subtract from more easily. What a chore I may be another three days just doing a little as time allows here and there,
    I mentioned wanting a second freezer and not being able to order one to a friend and he said last year his freezer wasn’t working so they bought a new one and then it didn’t work because it turned out to be the plug. So he had this older freezer he still hadn’t gotten rid of that he was pretty sure there wasn’t anything actually wrong with it. We were welcome to it if we would get it out of his way. He said it was ugly and it is but we hauled it home and plugged it in and it works perfect! A new coat of white paint and a good scrubbing today and it will be ready to go in the food room and I am going to order a quarter or half a beef from a local ranch to put in it. Meat prices here have began to climb and I will feel better with a years worth of meat put up.
    Still spending several hours a day in “virtual school” as a teacher to DGD. And praying her mother, my YDD, would get a big dose of Jesus and get her self together and become a decent parent. I will leave the prayers for DGD’s sorry daddy to his mother, I have my hands full.
    Different world we live in today and getting more “different” everyday.
    Prayers for the pack , wishing all you guys with bad weather safety to you and your gardens. Texas was 95 for a couple weeks now its low 80s and very windy . No cold for us though, other than a little north wind every day or so as small fronts move through.
    Have a good week

  9. Not a lot in the last few weeks but continuing to replace what has been used and stocking up on paper products. Things are beginning to open up around here to very mixed reviews. For weeks we had no cases and then the minimum security prison started to have cases. So far only one or two cases do not involve them.
    Toilet paper and paper towels are back in stock at most stores but things like Lysol spray, antiseptic sprays and alcohol are hit or miss. Hand sanitizer became available in the half gallon size for $20 – cheaper than the $35 bottle of ever clear I have.
    The pea plants are about 3 inches high, a blueberry plant was added to the potted garden.
    Hoping the dental and doctor offices start up soon as well as the barbers and beauticians.

  10. I did my grocery shopping this week. Publix was 100% stocked with water, about 70% stocked with paper towels, 0% on TP, low on meat products and some of the kinds they had in stock were being rationed (such as hot dogs).

    Didn’t do a lot of prepping activities other than adding to my grocery stash. I did order some new 5.11 brand trousers. I went over to #1 daughter’s house today and she hemmed the new trousers and gave me a haircut (my usual Marine recruit special). I will be back to babysitting granddaughter starting Monday and Wednesday. She was thrilled to see me today and is excited about coming back over to my place, as am I.

    My Ex wants me back on the deed to her house. I’m still on the mortgage. I’ll have to think about that. I suppose it doesn’t really matter much since I’m still financially responsible (even though the Ex has been faithfully paying the mortgage since I quit claimed the deed to her after our son finished high school five years ago, per the divorce decree). She also wants to put our son on the deed to her condo. The condo is fully paid off, but he doesn’t have the income to cover the HOA fees and ad valorem taxes if something should happen to his mom, so I don’t think that is a good idea.

    This Weeks’ Questions

    1. How are your gardens growing?

    No gardens.

    2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make?

    I make elderberry syrup and tincture.

    3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week?

    No real effect on my life for now,

    4. What did you do to prep this week?

    See above.

        1. Don’t let Thor’s and Zulu’s comments detract from your prepping. They were distracted by the innie-weenie-weenies!

  11. Tara’s questions
    1) Basic vegetables: Tomatoes, onions(from sets), strawberries, rhubarb. Still working on the garden as it has to be in barrels to protect it from the deer.
    2) The niece is the manufacture of healing, bath products, so I just tell what we need and she creates it for us. Am always finding great material sources to purchase for her knowledge.
    3) We are both retired. Dh has health issues so for our household it did not make a difference. The family were the one’s I was concerned about both medically and financially. All them kept on working, their jobs were necessary. BIL kept his boat repair shop open for his clientele and for the state & federal which required those boats be ready in case of an emergency. They were careful about customers in the shop and cleaning after each person. Niece made sure, she was the person who saw to it that the place was disinfected.

  12. We finally had enough! We’re on our way to Louisiana to camp for a week. 🙂🙂🙂 I will post when we get stopped for the night.

    1. ENJOY!!!!
      We are missing our RV life as well and really thinking it may be time to head out for a few days

    2. 1. How are your gardens growing?
      My garden has been planted and is doing well. It’s too early to harvest anything other than the early crops.
      2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make?
      I have made plantain salve. I want to make elderberry syrup.
      3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week?
      I can’t take JBP’s “orders” any more. We’ve left the state and are camping and fishing.
      4. What did you do to prep this week?

      This week:
      -Bought 6 chicks to add to what we have. Two died.

      -Bought and planted many more herbs.
      -Set up hydroponics in the greenhouse. Planted tomatoes and peppers.

      *Prepping purchases/added a little to the stockpile: kitchen wipes, household cleaner, crackers, jars with lids, bar soap, TP, canned sodas (comfort for DH, DS, and DIL), hydrated lime, a gallon of isopropyl alcohol,

      -We’re at the campground. I needed a break.

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

  13. NIL has been doing weed removal at the property. This year is hard, as the late spring rains the weeds popped up and wow what a mess. NIL helped me take the new weed removal system off the back of the truck. It is a walk behind system, like our original but this one is lighter weight. If push came to shove I could use it for a fill in as the older unit needs to be serviced. It has set for many years, as the livestock were the weeding system around here. Since we no longer have the cattle, it is time for it to come back on line.

    Moved items to the store room yesterday and purchased a nice size Satsuma plum tree on my way home. Replacing the scrawny thing I purchased which did not make it. This tree along with my others are housed in side the dog’s kennel until the fall, when they can be planted with deer fencing to protect them.

    Discovered that the nephew’s son & step sons can not write in cursive. I ordered books for young teens to learn this skill which is no longer being taught in school. They lack also the ability to read this style of language. Which means that they would lack the ability to read the founding fathers documents as they were originally written. Not what someone would or could pass off as the original form(type written).

    IF you are a parent/grd parent/aunt or uncle, stop this dumbing down of the next generations. I was totally appalled that so many are not aware of this happening. Be aware they have changed children’s books from a teaching(self sufficient)to progressive teachings. If you give a book that you read as a child, be sure to read the version you will be sharing with the younger generation. Chances are they are not the same, fyi.

    1. AC,

      I never connected the dots about not teaching cursive to not being able to read the Constitution as originally written. You make a forceful point. People who are ignorant of their rights are easily manipulated.

      1. Bam Bam and AC,

        Personally I think the real reason cursive is not taught anymore is it is too hard for many teachers to teach to the snotty brats they have to deal with. Kids in inner city schools can’t even learn to print worth a damn. I’m very familiar with Detroit Public Schools as I went there and observed the rapid deterioration in the late 60s. My high school had a large number of black kids transfer there from other schools because they could still get an education there. Until my senior year when bussing came in (1970-71). One of the black kids I’d gone all through high school with commented, “There goes the neighborhood,” and was he right.

        The teacher’s unions complain and the politicians obey their financial masters. Same reason so many kids are called ADHD and medicated. Easier on the teachers to work with medicated kids (especially boys).

        Even Cuban schools teach cursive still and kids are expected to learn it, or else. My Ex failed second grade because she failed cursive writing. The whole grade for one course failure. Her cursive right now is very elegant in both English and Spanish.

        1. Yep, Zulu, I lived about 35 miles south of Detroit in the same time period. Things started going to manure in ’69.

          1. Mari,

            My mom worked for Wayne County Social Services in Detroit about then too. When the Civil Rights Act came in, things started to go down hill fast. It wasn’t a civil rights act, it was a massive welfare giveaway that hasn’t ended.

            Before the CRA, welfare was available to those that NEEDED it. After the CRA, welfare was available to those that simply WANTED it.It also affected schools, hence the bussing court decisions that came about after the CRA.

            Prior to the CRA, part of my mom’s job was to investigate welfare claims for need. Afterward, claims were essentially automatically granted. One claim my mom had to check shortly after the CRA was for additional money to buy a crib for a new baby. Mom asked what the baby was sleeping in then, and the mother said “Oh, the box the new color TV came in.” (You know how expensive color TVs were back then). My mom denied the claim and told them to sell the TV and use that money for a new crib. Of course, they appealed and my mom’s supervisor was going to approve it. My mom complained to the office director and he upheld my mom’s decision. Soon after, mom decided it was time to get out of the social service business as a case worker.

          2. Zulu, yeah, and it’s certainly stripped the dignity away from generation after generation. Some of the things I’ve seen and heard are quite sick. And then we have the dangling of the carrot in front of people for votes. “Admin” $ goes into some pockets. Not much changes. Kudos to those who do bust their butts and escape.

  14. Hello Everyone,
    It has been a very wild weather related month so far. Last week the weather was nice and warm, and last night I had to cut the heat on again as temps dripped to the low 40’s and frost warming. Brought all the plants inside for the night as well. Made me kinda glad I had not transplanted anything in the garden yet. I know I’m running behind, but I think everything will be ok by waiting another week.
    During the few warm days we’ve had earlier, I’ve been busy cleaning and sorting out things, and hauling off junk and such. It feels so much better to get things cleaned out and sorted.
    Restrictions are being lifted finely, and I was able to go eat in a restaurant for a change. It actually felt kinda weird as I hadn’t done this in so long, but was happy to be served.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all whom are out there. Enjoy your special Day tomorrow. God bless those (like myself), who’s mom has passed on glory. Keep on prepping! We are not out of the woods yet!

  15. Puppy has really been a little edgy this week with the last super moon coming in. I had a dream of an asteroid between the moon and earth 05/04/2020 and at midnight while I was sleeping an undetected asteroid came within 8,000 miles of earth. It was the size of a van.

    Ordered a new tablet….. Should arrive Monday YAY..

    Shot the Saiga 12 at the range. Completely obliterated the paper bad guy’s face. LOL Everyone was laughing at what remained of the target.
    Tried the new spartan low brass 00 buck 12ga shells to see if I had to change the setting on the gas fitting from 1 to 2 for a weaker round then the law enforcement high brass 00 buck 12ga rounds but didn’t have to. Shot really nice with the muzzle brake. Almost no kick at all with the low brass.
    Shot the Bersa 22LR pistol at the range. Had some problems with stove piping. It seemed to like hotter rounds of ammo.
    Ordered 3 more 10 round and 1 20 round mags for the Saiga
    Ordered 300 rounds of 00 buck and 250 rounds of 1oz slugs.

    Everything is growing. Luckily the cold spell didn’t hit here below 40 F
    Got tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas, squash, cucumbers and more coming in. Just not zucchini yet.

    charged battery in 4X4 truck.
    Filled all gas tanks up

    Freeze dried (Protein only for awhile)
    4 LBS of ground chuck
    2 LBS of steak
    2 LBS of salmon
    36 eggs. ( The freeze dryer his paying for itself now)

    Made 2 LBS of jerky (more for Puppy this time without the crushed red pepper)

    Bought lots of meat.
    Saw SPAM back on the shelf. WOW

    Scored 2 9 roll packs.

    Thor’s questions:
    1) Do you think WW3 is far off?
    2) Do you think a Civil war may happen soon?
    3) Do you think food riots will happen soon after the money runs out?
    4) What are your 5 favorite ammunition for prepping?
    5) Do you think the alphabet soup organizations will have members face treason charges?

    1. Tara’s questions:

      1) How are your gardens growing? Awesome, had one tomato plant get trashed a little during a bad storm but it has made a recovery.
      2) What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? Cayenne pepper, garlic, oregano.
      3) How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? Not so much the government, but meat prices are going up.


    2. Thor’s questions:

      1) Do you think WW3 is far off?

      As of right now, I don’t foresee a full-fledged WW3 happening soon.

      2) Do you think a Civil war may happen soon?

      I think a Civil War is more likely than a WW3. However, a civil war could precipitate a world war.

      3) Do you think food riots will happen soon after the money runs out?

      Food riots are inevitable when the FOOD runs out, not necessarily the money.

      4) What are your 5 favorite ammunition for prepping?

      5.56mm, 9mm, 7.62mm, 12-Ga, 155mm

      5) Do you think the alphabet soup organizations will have members face treason charges?

      Treason charges for alphabet organization members, no. Treason is hard to prove in federal law. However, other federal charges are very possible. I think there are a couple of people deserving of treason charges: Hillary Clinton, Joe and Hunter Biden, possibly Obama.

    3. Thor’s questions:

      1) Do you think WW3 is far off? If by a shooting war, yes it’s off in the future. Economic issues may end up being the root cause.

      2) Do you think a Civil war may happen soon? I think more along the lines of Balkanization. If the shooting starts it will be because the people are too divided and the POLS won’t allow a split.

      3) Do you think food riots will happen soon after the money runs out? Food availability is more of a problem that money, although one follows the other. We are destroying a lot of our commercial food production and the regulators are stepping in to keep people from getting food locally (it’s not working well out here – FYI). When food to the inner cities becomes a serious issue, the money supply won’t matter.

      4) What are your 5 favorite ammunition for prepping? 5.56mm, 9mm, 7.62x51mm, 12-Ga, 40mm

      5) Do you think the alphabet soup organizations will have members face treason charges? It would be nice but there is so much dirt out there, I think they are afraid of what the trials will expose on “their” side.

    4. friggin cold out using internet outside in 35 degree cold, in shade with light snow, was here yesterday morning but this widtptw wasn’t up yet, tollerating the cold to see whats going on here today

      Thor’s questions:
      1) yes, at most there will be a cold was with china but thats about it. hey i hear canada is pissed with china because all the masks they bought were shody made

      2) doubt it, most peope too lazy

      3) doubt it, most people too lazy to bother with it

      4) no preference, all i bought this year so far was shotgun shells, 30-30s and some 22 rimfire

      5) doubt it

    5. This is amazing. I agree with absolutely EVERYTHING in Zulu 3-6’s response! Only my caliber list is different. It goes: .22lr, .38/.357, 9mm, 5.56, 12 ga.

  16. The state of Florida is slowly opening back up. DS1 got us a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse so we went out to eat for the first time in two months. I ordered prime rib; dh ordered a 16 oz. steak. As per local ordinance, tables were six feet apart with a maximum of 25 percent capacity. Our meal was delicious. We kept staring at people like we were weirdos. It was great just to be out in public. (We had hand sanitizer and were wearing masks until we got to our table. Our server was wearing a mask and gloves.)

    DD2 and son-to-be son-in-law came over for supper tonight. I made ribeye steaks, cajun potatoes and broccoli–homemade peach cobbler for dessert. We couldn’t all sit at the same table (social distancing). But at least we could all be in the same room together. SIL took a look at the truck. it needs a new starter. We will get that done next week.

    My adopted sons were out again this week to do odd jobs. Both lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. Both dh and I received the stimulus checks, which we really didn’t need. So we have been sharing the love. The kids detailed the car and did some home repairs–installed a new light fixture in the master bath, replaced some dry-rotted trim on the outside of the house and cleaned the windows. They are coming out next week to clean and paint the patios. We could have done all this work ourselves but they needed rent money and they are willing to work. Last week they went out to my adopted mom’s place and weed-wacked and trimmed a 1/2 acre pond.

    This outbreak has made me see a few things. I now think there are two kinds of people: those who face adversity and those who collapse in the face of adversity. My adopted sons have definitely faced adversity. They are picking up odd jobs and have opened a little “stop by and pick up your food order” service on Friday nights. They are both wonderful cooks. They live 35 miles east of me, almost on the coast. So seafood is cheap for them. They sold shrimp and blue crab dinners with corn and potatoes for $12 a plate. They sold out in less than an hour. (I am hoping my Mother’s Day gift from them will be a coupon for two shrimp/crab plates!)

    We drove out to the county this week and dropped off my adopted mom her Mother’s Day gift–flowers, chocolate, lunch and a card. I have been blessed to have so much love in my life.

    I cannot think of anything else to write. May God bless all the mom’s out there! Happy Mother’s Day.

  17. Hi Ya’ all. I have been visiting this site for several years now and I so enjoy it.
    I don’t usually have time to report in, but my Saturday morning treat to myself is to read Tara’s accomplishments and everyone else’s comments. It would be so helpful if each person had their state after their name. I do get jealous when someone else is already canning pickles and my cukes are just an inch high… it helps to know they are from Florida! We live in a very rural part of Arizona near a river which is very fortunate. I garden, start veggies in my greenhouse, do a lot of canning, sew, barter with one of my neighbors already, host and assist with shooting classes for women, play keyboard for our small group each week, manage a small business from our home and am very happily married to a retired contractor.
    I’ve learned a lot from this site and love the links to other sites where I can buy stuff other than on Amazon. Hope to have more time to participate on this site. I get so inspired by Tara and her endless energy… it’s obvious you are 20-30 years younger than me!

    1. Welcome Desertdove!

      It does take a little getting used to everybody’s location. Not too many preparedness sites for us up in the northern climates. But it is nice to hear about what they can grow and are doing with it. It’s still too early for us to put anything outside, we had snow on Thursday. But we’ll get there too.

      Welcomes, again. Share what you can, when you can.

    2. Welcome DesertDove. We are also in Arizona. One residence in Sun City, another in the mountains south of Prescot. Out BOL is the mountain place. We are long time preppers. We try to follow the: one is none, two is one, etc. Both my wife and I are older : 77 and 79. Our group is principally a family group. After SHTF, I am a lung transplant patient and therefore will be an early casualty post SHTF. If nothing else, my supply of anti-rejection medication will be exhausted and my body will reject the lungs.

      Anyway, welcome to the website. Lots of wisdom on here.

  18. How are your gardens growing? My greens are about done so I will be mowing them off. The sweet potatoes have taken off. I got some different varieties from George’s Plant Farm but they ship on cycle so I just got them. I wanted to try Beauregards because they are high yielding. Time will tell. My first sweet corn is mature, all the ears are small. Could have been the weather or timing. I planted in early February and the weather was hot for that time of year. My last planting is a foot high and the plants look strong. Only a few of my tomato seedling made it. I got some small patio tomatoes, they are a foot high and covered with cherry sized fruit. My eggplant are doing good, I hope it is something I can eat. My melons are doing good and bad. Very good vine growth but little fruit. I thing lack of bees. I may get some help with that. My neighbor planted an acre of hot pepper on plastic mulched rows. Many of the plants died and the market has crashed because of the lockdowns. She then planted melons and other produce in the empty spaces to trey and recoup some of the money invested in mulch and fertilizer. Today her husband was watching his harvest crew dig and load potatoes from the field in front of my home so I went down to get some. That is when he told my about his wife plant melons so I told him about the lack of fruit on mine and about the bees so he might get a hive brought out.

    My purple hulled peas are ready to pick and my okra is doing great, knee high and leaves like church fans. My strawberries, not so much. I need to research what kind of fertilizer they need, they are not putting on flowers. I planted a pack of sunflower seeds, those things grow fast. Looks like something I can grow, I need to research how much nutrition they provide.

    What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? None.

    How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? Not at all.

    What did you do to prep this week? Trying to finish up my wiring project. I am putting a sub panel in my garage so I can feed current from my 9500 watt generator back to my power pole and into my home and water pumps if a hurricane knocks out the power. The garage is a detached building so no danger of carbon monoxide getting into my home. This will also enable me to run 220 tools like my planer.
    for the last month my youngest DD has been home because the salon she works at was closed. That meant we did not need to keep our grand daughter because her mother was home. The last three weeks my wife has been letting her sleep over on Tuesday nights. The change is remarkable, while her mother says she just runs wild at home she has been a sweetheart for us.

    I had to make a trip to Lowe’s. I misplaced my can of conduit glue. I observed that Lowe’s is a popular destination these days. Tuesday morning looked like Saturday used to, the parking lot was crowded. Most people were like me, just picking up one or two things. People are not going to work so they are working around the house and eating. After I used my new can of glue to finish running the wire to the sub panel I dug into my electrical bag for a screwdriver and the first thing I pulled out was my other can of glue. When I picked up things after working around the power pole I had tossed it into the bag instead of into the conduit parts tote. Sigh.

    I noticed while at Lowe’s that the seed display was well stocked. I keep hearing predictions of even worse Covid infections later in the year. I think I will stock up on more vegetable and herb seeds.

  19. HI ALL ,,,,family member tells me there is a problem with suppliers of propane and anhydrous ammonia,stock up NOW.
    Still weak and tired from what looks like the virus ,eight weeks now ,
    Received shipment of 10L of Ivermectin pour on cattle wormer ,that’s about 500 doses for human use ,oh ya we use it on cattle too,
    Loaded 3 barrels of #2 diesel 1 barrel of car gasoline,load up NOW folks ,things I’m told by friends in the business are not good

    300 rail tank cars are sitting in storage near me that I can see ,am told over 1,000 are parked , there is going to be a fuel shortage.

    Kill plant for chicken near me has reduced opparations was like a 1/2 million birds a day max down by half ,

    Still holding cattle ,won’t give them away , have a little time to decide what to do ,
    Virus has taken something out of me ,hard to get ones head around some things
    Taking time to catch up on reading,am truly concerned about August/September and into fall ,
    Was reading Alas Babylon ,looks to me there lessons to be learned from it , some has changed with time but the base of the story is the same ,good people coming together solving problems in hard times

    1 ml per 40#body wt 28 days works on colds too. Don’t even think about the horse paste ,will Kill cats and some dogs


    1. Hi, Oldhomesteader!
      Is good to see your name, once again.
      I hope you fully pull through this sickness.
      Thanks for the heads up on fuel.

        1. OH
          Sadie is doing great!
          I’ve been letting her out in the pasture with the horses.
          With the youngster horse at the trainer, things are going well, between the all.
          A couple days ago, she wouldn’t let me leave the pasture. I was her best bud.
          Head butting me and rearing up. I finally made it back to the safety of the barn.
          The snout slaps didn’t seem to phase her, she just came back for more.

          I need to contact you on her needed shots and other preventative treatments as she is now getting older and out and about.

    2. 0ldhomesteader:

      Alas Babylon was the first “doomer/prepper” book I read. It was one of the reading assignments in High School, imagine that today! It really got me thinking, then and off and on until I retired from the Army and could actually do something about it. 25 year journey since then with a lot of stops and direction changes. But that book addressed lot of the problems we are/could face with 1950’s solutions.

      1. We read Alas Babylon in my 9th grade English class. I loved it and read the whole book the first night I had it. The discussions were more pertinent because it took place in our area and our town was mentioned.

        1. Daddio,,,,,,,,there was a certain magic to rural Florida 50 -60 years ago ,part of my family had groves at labell , but I hate snakes,,,

          1. Daddio and OH:
            My grandparents had groves in Maitland. My younger brother and I would race through the groves to wave at the trains going by. The tracks cut right through the grove. Had to watch for snakes and gators in the lake to the front side of the house. Now the groves are all gone thanks to Mickey and the drive from Gainesville takes twice as long. Traffic.

          2. Moe,

            I probably live where orange groves were in Maitland. The railroad tracks are only three blocks west of my apartment complex on the other side of US-17-92.

            I remember when I first started coming down to Orlando in 1979. The Ex’s family lived in Pine Hills. For those not familiar, Pine Hills is on the far west side of Orlando, actually an unincorporated part of Orange County (still is). Immediately west of Pine Hills were miles and miles of orange groves. Now, it’s all subdivisions, office complexes, and shopping malls. Pine Hills is now essentially a ghetto.

          3. Moe, Mickey didn’t destroy the groves, the freezes of 83 and 86 did. A farmer near me has decided that the cold weather is gone. He planted 80 acres of citrus on land 15 miles west of Marineland.

          4. Daddio7 – I remember those freezes. It was in the single digits in GA and my mom had two very large gardenia bushes in her back yard. One came back from the roots, but the other never recovered.


    3. Hey 0ldhomesteader!

      Wish you a quick recovery and good health.

      Alas Babylon is one of my favorite prepper books of all time. I still bust it out now and then.

  20. taras questions

    1 only just planted this past week, yesterday and this morning we had snow falling, only planted cold weather tollerant stuff like beets and lettuce and turnips and cabbage, still not germinated

    2 i have made salves and dried herbs but thats about it

    3 not at all

    not much this week other than same kind of stuff any other week, oh the one notable thing was the huge brush fire at my place thursday, 8 acres burned. went out on a grocery run with my neighbors wife (that surplus bacon was not in stock, the supplier ran out so the store couldn’t get any more, i did pick up about 12lbs of sausage through for $5 and 10lbs ground beef, plus other stuff) upon returning to my place my pasture was in flames, all the dry grass and old slash and stuff was burned black, got back just in time to bucket out the flames from reaching a firewood rack (punky stump next to it caught an ember otherwise the flames did not endanger anything). neighbors wife calledfiremen and they put it out, i lost some piles of bolts and poles maybe 8 full cords worth of wood that i had not finished cutting up but mostly low grade, it also cleared all the slash piles at once and the slash left on the ground and all the small stuff i was planning to use brush saw on so i actually gained more through the fire thn i lost. 35 degrees right now and sitting outside neighbors using internet, 30mph wind and light snow. was sawing more wood this morning 5am to 945.

    also restored that assbook account for now, was goingback and forth over it

      1. most likely it was caused by a branch pile i burned days before, while i burned that pile and 2 days of calm weather after. some embers must have been lingering in a stump and when thursdays 40mph wind gusts kicked up around noon (heavy rain around 5pm following it) it must have made the embers flare up and spread out catching something else, dry grasses and punky pine stumps all over. despite several days between burning slash and the fire and i thougt it was totally out its most likely te cause of the fire, small possibility of arson too as this time of year firebugs go around lighting up dead grasses anywhere they see it.

          1. to tell the truth i was toying with the idea of lighting up a fire like that as a controlled burn, burning out small sections each time or asking the fire department to do it as a perscribed burn just to get rid of all the slash. i didn’t actually loose anything i considered valuable, or not valuable enough to think about, i wanted that slash gone to prevent this kind of fire and was burning it slowly, i had already cleaned out the fire hazards elsewhere so nothing important was at risk. this fire was unexpected and unintentional, but that doesn’t mean i am not happy about it.

            its my odd luck, like how in college my ranger school dorm was too small to put a book shelf in, and i was bummed cause i brought a lot of books from home and just had them piled all over and lamented not having a shelf that would fit in the one spot i had available, then on one of the earliest labs we went to the benson mine tailings and i found a book shelf sitting in the woods, perfect fit for that spot and looked like it was only tossed out there a few months ago, i picked it up and made use of it. some would say the supernatural was the cause that the shelf was put there for me to find, but more likely it was used in the dorms by a student the previous year who then tossed it out after graduation and i was just the only one in my class scavanger/opportunist enough to spot it and use it. was not expected but its what i wanted.

            i look at the fire the same way, there was far more good from it than loss.

  21. Tara’s questions:
    The garden hasn’t been planted yet. Too darn cold and snow/below freezing temps are forecasted for night time lows.
    Comfrey and purslane salve.
    I’ve used it a couple times on broken ribs.
    And a broken toe….. Sadie….a one time application and the swelling and black and blueness was gone the next morning.
    Still unemployed, luckily with benefits.
    Received a letter from my employer yesterday. No mention of a foreseen start up. It’s not looking good for automotive. We have no future orders and have plenty of finished product on the floor waiting to be shipped.
    I’ve been switching gears this past week. Made a run to the cabin and cut the grass with a sicklebar. More fallen trees to cut. And a big time interior cleanup. The other half wants me to spend a couple nights back there. She said it would be good for me…..I think she wants me outta the house…
    I’m going to try the potato barrel planting this year, so I had bought several bags of garden soil/topsoil/manure.
    Our peach tree had beautiful buds on it this year. More than ever for a young tree. I tried to tarp it Friday, but it was snowing and blowing so hard, I wasn’t able to.
    We are one state above Tara and like her, we want spring time temps.
    The pear and apple haven’t budded yet.
    Six new red ranger chicks in the house. We have the broody silkie hen as their mother. It’s comical how she took them in as her own.
    And the newly born bunnies are coming in at night, as the temps are too cold and have had a few nest box escapees.

    Thor’s questions:
    ( I don’t remember them all and it is a pain to go back and forth)
    Not before a CW2 starts here.
    But there will definitely be social unrest globally and desperate global leaders, that will make idiotic decisions.

    There will definitely be chaos when the shortages are more realized and reality hits.

    When I had g u ns,
    the best am mo I had was what was in stock and what I could use.

    ….enuff ramblings
    I’m typed out

      1. Moe
        To tell ya the truth, I think I just winged it.
        But I believe I found it on the net. Look up comfrey salve.
        We had alot of dried comfrey and frozen purslane.
        I took about a handful of purslane and crushed four to six large comfrey leaves in a pot. Covered with just enough water to simmer for about an hour. Strained out the leaves in a pint jar. Let it cool and added coconut oil until it was solid. Shea butter would have been just as good if not better. In fact I didn’t find the Shea butter until after I used the coconut oil.
        Then added a couple drops of eucalyptus oil.
        Hope this helps.

  22. We finished building the fencing around one of our gardens yesterday that will keep the deer from eating up our plants like last year. it’s been cold her lately, we had frost warnings Friday night and we’re several weeks past the latest recorded frost in our area! Radishes look great, beans have started to pop up but not much else it’s been cold and rainy.
    We lost a lot of cucumbers last year to pickle worms but I have a plan this year to deal with moths that produce them. We have Amish that come into town every Saturday to sell produce, flowers, baked goods etc. I may just buy cucumbers from them for pickling this year and be done with it.

  23. Hello Tribe and welcome Desertdove, glad you are with us. Happy Morhers Day too.
    Oldhomesteader, I agree with your advice on propane shortages. Plus everything else. to the extent that I ordered a Lodge hibachi this passed week. I have 100# of charcoal now, will start adding to that. Easy to store, no shelf life and will work during warm months when it is to hot for wood cookstove in house. Not that I do not have multi fuel stove, but fuel shortages are
    coming, as are food shortages too. Perhaps our question should be can we survive being self sustained?
    Already picked first lettuce and chard plus onions planted last fall are 18″ tall. March planted are 8″, the onions planted two weeks ago, just up. Keep enough sets to run you planting every month, that way you have plenty for bread and butter pickles and canned pickled beets too.
    Joe2C, hate your fruit tree took a cold blast, my first 24 tomatoes, took a slight hit, even though they were under cones and a few potatoes had a few black leaves too. Hoed beets and mustard already.
    Isaiah 24:10 says they stayed in houses, not allowing others in. Sound familiar, we will become virus hermits.
    Somehow history repeats its self, man defies God and gets burned. No learning curve.
    For remedies, I have comfrey, and make tinctures from elderberry and star anise. Also, yarrow and purple coneflowers for healing.
    Just pulled an armload of rhubarb for crisp, hot out of the oven tonite and fresh picked mint for tea, how I am spending the evening, with chicks peeping and woodburner keeping us warm. Life does not get better than this.

  24. Hello everyone-
    Late again but weekends are swamped with chores DH can help with on his off days. Battling the wind and had to make a repair where a deer tried unsuccessfully to get into the backyard. Hope the wind blows up some rain. Temperatures dipped into the upper 30s so transplanted seedlings are not going like gangbusters. Still no sweet potato slips in the mail.
    Very, very dry here and windy. Worried about the wheat crop in the area. The outbreak at the packing plants continues. We added one positive to the county-a healthcare worker so I am sure we will reach double digits soon.

    On the positive side, no social unrest like what I am reading about elsewhere. We are an ag based community and people keep working. Most of the retail is open at least by appointment. The county isn’t wealthy to begin with so we will see how things turn out.

    Stay safe everyone.

    1. Moe:

      I am not seeing physically or reading about any social unrest here. Now Sunday, being warm and sunny, had scores of people out. Most were rude, in a hurry, and not wearing masks. It was like someone sounded the “all clear”, which they didn’t. We are supposed to get the last of the businesses open, with guidelines, on the 15th.

  25. Hello DesertDove! Good to “see” a new “face”!! Welcome!! Hope all the mom’s here had a wonderful Mother’s day!! I did!
    Daddio7: Where do you live where you can plant in February?!?! We just had several days late last week where it was down to 40 degrees!!! So glad I hadn’t planted my garden yet!! I can’t imagine planting in February!!
    Sorry this is so late!!
    Tara’s questions:
    1. How are your gardens growing? I have only planted onions, garlic and potatoes, but all are doing very well. Was hoping to get the garden finished preparing today, as the rest of the week we are expecting heavy rains, but my tiller guy (DH) had to leave, so it will probably end up being sometime next week, after the ground dries out.
    2. What homemade healing “products” do you make or would like to make? I have made the Balm of Gilead (which works pretty good on my arthritic upper back!), have made hawthorne tincture, and several others for various things. Have not yet had occasion to try them.
    3. How has the government shutdown affected your life and future prepping plans this week? Well, I have to say it hasn’t much had any effect on us. We are retired and pretty much stay on our farm. Have gone grocery shopping, mostly just once a month. In fact, we went to Wal-Mart Saturday, and was SHOCKED at how full the toilet paper and paper towel aisles were!! And not just small 4 or 6 packs! BIG packages!! So, bought one of each and a package of 6 boxes Puffs Plus. There WAS, however a limit on beef and chicken. 1 package of each. So, I bought one of each and DH bought one of each. If it has taught me anything, it’s to never let my stocks get that low again! We never ran out of anything, but sometimes, it was close!! What has really surprised me is how fearful folks are and how easily we have accepted this quarantine and the trampling of our rights. Fear is a powerful motivator. Scare them to death and governments can do anything. People are even ASKING them to!!! I applaud those kids and teens in California and Pittsburgh who have removed the sand from their skate parks and dumped it back at city hall. That is the kind of defiance of “authority” that built this country. More and more, this has become a country of whiners and people asking, no, DEMANDING handouts.. Also, a bit surprised, but not terribly, at how nasty people can be towards their neighbors, turning them in for not obeying social distancing. Petty wannabe dictators. I read of how neighbors left a nasty note for a woman on her car, shaming her as a mother, because she left every morning to take her small child to daycare after her husband left for work and then she returned home. Then he brought the baby home with him after he got off work. Turns out, the woman was a 9-1-1 operator, (essential worker, don’t ya think?) working the night shift, so she slept during the day. But she didn’t get upset, she said her mother taught her to “kill them with kindness.” What a classy lady. THAT is one example of why we left the city!!! Nosy neighbors.
    4. What did you do to prep this week? We didn’t do much this week. DH did do more tilling and is close to being finished, but as I said, we are expecting heavy rains, so it will probably be next week before we finish, if the weather is good. Fingers crossed!!

    OldHomesteader: Hope you get back to normal soon! Prayers for you! Would love to know more about this propane shortage. Our house uses propane for heat. We also have a wood stove, but the propane is so much more efficient at heating the whole house.
    Stay well everyone!! Prayers for all!!

    1. Farm Girl
      I live in north Florida 30 miles east of Gainesville at the edge of a potato field I used to own.

      1. Cool! Well, I guess its not that cool there, huh? LOL!! Does it ever get too cool to have veggies growing? We visited Gainesville several years back, went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was a pretty place!! I enjoyed the city. Hated the cruise. Sea sick the whole time.

        1. Farm Girl

          Yes, July and August are too hot and humid, specially the night time temperatures. Tomatoes and sweet corn mostly just quit growing. Sweet potatoes and Okra love it. Farmers plant tropical field corn as a double crop that grows all summer for late summer harvest. This is after the potatoes have been harvested. Potatoes in Florida? They are grown for the fresh table market and for potato chips. Harvest is in full swing and will wrap up in early June. My neighbor is digging the field in front of my home at this very moment. The barn lot is full of semis and bulk trucks piled high with spuds.

          I went down there yesterday and he loaded me up with two five gal buckets full. I made my own chips last night, yum.

          1. Ohhh, that does sound good!! Wish we could join you!! But, maybe I’ll get my chance when I harvest my potatoes! Enjoy some for me!!!

  26. Forgot Thor’s questions:

    1) Do you think WW3 is far off? Would not be surprised.
    2) Do you think a Civil war may happen soon? Think this is actually more likely than WW3.
    3) Do you think food riots will happen soon after the money runs out? What money? Think the “stimulus” is pretty much gone before folks get it. Many people are behind in rent / mortgage payments because they are out of work. Yes, I think folks are going to get desperate and go in search of food, wherever they can find it, and woe unto those who come to try to take it! Yes, I think times are going to get tough for all of us.
    4) What are your 5 favorite ammunition for prepping? We have a 9mm, several .22’s, a 12 gauge shotgun, a 20 gauge shotgun, and a 5.56, so that’s all the ammo we need or can use. We have stocked up on all the ammo’s.
    5) Do you think the alphabet soup organizations will have members face treason charges? What?!?! If they try one on treason, they have to try them all!! Can’t think of anyone who could escape it, if they do it. But chances are, they won’t try anybody, cause they would have to try them all. Starting with Hillary Ridiculous Freaking Clinton. Biggest criminal on the whole planet.

    1. Thor1:

      I’m getting my new hard drive and battery installed in my laptop Wednesday. Looking forward to a $140 upgrade vs. a $600+ replacement.

      1. JP, that’s why I have a tablet, $120……But my desk top is a bit more expensive but works like a top. I do no business on the tablet therefore I can’t lose anything if it’s hacked.

      2. JP
        Is your new hard drive an old spinning disk or a newer solid state device? The SSD drives are many times faster. You will still have your old processor and memory. A newer model will have a faster processor and memory modules. A new computer will have a fresh Windows install. Windows slows and needs to be reinstalled periodically.

        I just got a new $600 laptop for my wife. Her old six year old laptop had gotten painfully slow, to the point that many things just would not run. I used Laplink software to transfer everything from her old one to the new one. Well worth $30, a few clicks and after an hour all the apps, programs, and files had wirelessly transferred. The home screen looked the same, all the icons were there. One program did not run but I was able to reinstall it from the download folder.

        The new computer came with a beautiful, clear, full HD screen but no CD drive or Ethernet card. The wireless works great so unless you have a need to play discs or plug into a LAN that is not a problem. We can afford the extra cost and she has a low tolerance for delays so this new laptop is what she needs.

        1. Daddio: Your wife sounds like me: “Low tolerance for delays”. Yep!!! I think sometimes I am the most impatient person in the world!! At least, thats what my DH says. That is why I am not a very good cook. It needs more heat so it will get done!!! I am hungry NOW!! LOL!

        2. Daddo7:

          The new drive is solid state. Same size as the old one, 1T. My computer is 4 years old, i7-6500U, 2.5 gHz with boost to 3.1 GHz, 12 GB Ram. I’m looking forward to the new one. I will post all the details (where to buy, how to set up, etc.) once everything is done.

        3. When you get tired of freaking with windows go to LINUX, DH has run only a Linux for 3 years… it does updates behind what you are doing and loads in a flash. is free and so is support. have one of the newer ones, and they are still working bugs out of it.. …has a program n it called “wine” allows to use windows programs. I had one the older linux would not load.. now Mama is happy for the most part.

          1. I just web surf and read emails so Windows mostly works for me. I use Linux to extend the use of my old computers. Even then after a few years the processing demands of modern web sites requires a newer computer with more horsepower.

            My wife wants zero problems and instant response on her computer. Her new one was only half of her stimulus check so getting a good one was a no brainer.

  27. Hi All, I wanted to call your attention to a story out of Washington State where a Special Forces Veteran turned Law Enforcement Officer made a video asking other LEO’s to “Do the right thing” and to “Follow the constitution”. He has been fired for refusing to take it down. He is a true American Hero, fought for our country and is now standing up for his rights, my rights and all of our rights under the Law of the Land, the Constitution. No Mayor, no Judge, no Governor, NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT can countermand the constitution. There are links to the Police Chief’s contact info in the very first comment after the article’, and to the Go-Fund-Me page in the article so they can appeal his firing in court. The two video’s he made are also in the article. The Powers-That-Be will not let him win a court case like this.


    1. OFG:

      I saw the video earlier, then the report that he was suspended pending termination. Brave man, sucks what happened to him. It needed to be said.

  28. As Promised:

    New HD install in a 4-year-old laptop

    Go to Crucial.com and run their Crucial Systems Scanner program. I looks at the system and tells me if they have what I need. They did. Ordered a new solid-state hard drive for $114 (model: MX500). My buddy will come over when it comes in and install it for me (along with a new battery).

    Use “Acronis True Image software for Crucial”. This software is free. This is the cloning software.

    Unplug all USB devices, except a mouse.

    Plug in a “Cable Matters 2.5”/3.5” HHD docking station, Model 202019”. It uses a USB 3.0 port. (https://www.cablematters.com/search.aspx?PageSize=20&PageNum=1&SearchTerm=202019) cost, $25+$16 shipping.
    (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0759567JT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), on Amazon, $35 on prime.

    Plug in the new hard drive.

    Start running the software. You may (we did) run into some issues getting things running right (conflicts with security software mostly). Once is starts it will take a while. It started by saying it would take all day, then 5 hours. It actually finished in about an hour.

    After a couple of user-caused installation issues we got it done in under an hour. At first it did appear to be faster. Then next morning’s boot up was significantly faster.

  29. Q..1 much of my garden it’s planted. Had a tough time with seedling starts. Anaheim peppers refused to get bigger than 1 inch after 2 months. So I stuck them in the ground between the hay flakes. If the hoppers don’t eat them, they might grow. I cannot find that chili pepper in any nursery around here just like last year. Maybe New Mexico is hoarding them….
    Q.2 I would like to makes salves from the plants growing around our property, s/a plantain, dandelion, clover. I make a tincture from black walnuts here in the green hull, apple schnapps from the spiced crabapples I make in the fall, concentrate from the juice of our many mulberry trees. I wish I could bottle the smell of the Russian Olive trees here. Its lovely just for 2 weeks of the year in May.
    Q.3 The quarantine did not affect my prepping as much as DH fall from a roof. He crawled through the house the first 10 days, graduated to a wheelchair, crutches last week and is taking a few step now for just 15 minutes at a time. My chores were doubled because he could not do his and because he usually does so much. I did get a taste of what retirement might feel like with our business shut down … I rather like it.
    Q.4 Most of my quarantine preps were reorganizing, recording and making more room for the things I’m lacking. I have a cold storage room set up here for our pod members, so I keep adding to my shelves.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s blog. Thanks for the warm welcome.

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