Forum Replies Created
May 20, 2021 at 2:30 pm #37422
I am still around. The new computer does not have good word processing so I forget to type out a reply and letter to you all. Of course, it is my fault. I keep putting it off and that is NOT a good Prepper habit.
We are all well and happy. I can see signs of Sundowner Syndrome in my Hubby as he gets more confused in the evening. There are occasions of confusion and his brain is not as agile as it used to be. At 82, he is allowed to sputter a bit, but I need to be more patient with it.
Every year we expand and improve the vegetable garden. We do need a mechanical rototiller, though, because these old muscles get tired quickly. I pulled an arm muscle that kept me from working it for a while. I bought two grow lamps and had success with starting our tomatoes! Finally! They are into larger pots and doing well; they will be in the ground soon. The pepper seeds did not sprout well, though. Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, and Broccoli did well. I am trying some new companion planting this year. I put broccoli in-between two rows of potatoes. Plus, leeks between two rows of broccoli. I like companion planting because it gives me more produce for the same space. I have not grown leeks before so this will be interesting. Will try three sisters with the squash bed, too.
This is No Meat May. This is a British organization and FB group I think. I keep trying to find Vegan/Vegetarian meals for us. I am looking for a sustainable meal plan that does not include a lot of meat in case we cannot obtain it. Plus, I just cannot handle dairy. I am learning to just make more interesting dishes, from the Middle East area especially, with beans and lentils. They are easy to store along with a variety of spices. Where people have problems is trying to make their “meat” recipes into vegan instead of just accepting completely new meals. Fortunately, Hubby will eat anything I put in front of him.
We have one grandchild graduating from high school this year. He did all of his coursework online and the graduation will be virtual. Our granddaughter’s ballet class did manage a recital. They split their school into multiple age and ability levels and had multiple performances with spacing in the theater. That was nice.
We do live in interesting times. I am grateful for the internet for it’s memory cache for all of the things I need to learn. With a bit of research I can get gardening and cooking help plus stay in touch with family and friends.
The last year was not really much different from the year before for us since we are retired and live in the country. I hope you all have had a good year.
March 5, 2021 at 5:04 pm #34161
Don’t rush. Your routine for the past year has been broken and you need a rest. Move when you have the energy and sit when you don’t. Your brain/body has lost its partner and you need to recalibrate. It takes time. So, take the time. Hugs to you.
February 20, 2021 at 7:49 pm #33865
Little Sister, Hugs to you.
February 20, 2021 at 7:35 pm #33864
February 20, 2021
Not much going on here. Staying home. Don’t go out to meet anyone. A trip to the store is well planned and a big event and we don’t go again for another month.
Working on little things and little projects. Cooking from the freezer for dinner and canning whenever possible. Still a lot in the freezer, but some is being uncovered and used, finally. I don’t know what I will do with all of the greens that I froze. They are still not a big part of our diet.
Working on clothes that need mending and getting rid of ones we do not wear. I could sit and sew for two months straight and not be finished with my projects. My great niece is seven months old now and I still have not finished her blanket. Not a “baby” blanket, but a big one for the whole family to cuddle under.
Hubby has had both COVID-19 vaccinations, but mine is not scheduled yet. Should be soon because the state guidelines, and clinic have reached my age bracket. Family is still planning on a trip in one month so I hope I get my shots soon.
Weather: I grew up in, and live in Minnesota. I listened with a grin when I read about freezing weather hitting the South. I remember, when my family lived in the South, Tx and GA. There were a couple days with heavy snow and/or cold and it was amusing to watch and hear what the locals were doing and saying. Good experiences for them, I thought. When the reports came in that it was not just one snowstorm, or one day below freezing, then my grin left. Hearing about how bad things are in Texas, pipes bursting, no gas or heat, makes me realize how lucky we are to live in a place where below zero temperatures, like -20, are expected and planned for. We’ve been without a furnace for over a week, in December. We’ve been without power for several days, and several times. Our well pump was faulty – but for just a few days. We’ve had our basement flood several times due to poor drainage. We’ve been camping without all of the above, but not for more than one day below freezing or zero, or without the ability to get warm. To have that all happen at one time, with the pandemic on top of it, is just sad. Houses lost. People dying. To all of you who are living that life, I am not grinning any longer and you have my prayers.
Thinking about all of that still gives me ideas to make our 45 degree latitude house safer and warmer.
To those of you in the South, dealing with those hardships, Best Wishes and a Speedy Recovery.
January 27, 2021 at 12:58 pm #32194
I trust that your holidays were good. You were able to contact loved ones and still maintain a healthy environment.
I have had computer problems and finally purchased a “new” one. My older Mac was from 2009, refurbished in 2015, and the Operating System was no longer compatible with what the internet needs. I did get a new cord for the old one and it now operates fine. There were days when, in order to use it, I had to hold the cord in place. Now I need to transfer everything to the “new” one, built in 2016 but operating on the newest OS, and get started with that. I could not even log into the Forum.
Little Sister, hang in there but get some help. You have mental support from us.
Cutting hair!? We have been cutting each other’s hair for over 15 years. He did it routinely for himself before (and it looked like it). Since I ‘lost’ several stylists in a matter of a year, I decided to let Hubby cut mine, and I do his. Have not paid anyone else since. I even did a couple family members while visiting over Christmas. Still I have to chuckle about the need to trim eyebrows. Now add to that hair in the ears! Oh what I did not know when I was young. Chuckle.
We did as I said we would, spent nearly two weeks with my daughter’s family. We had all quarantined ahead of time so our time together was comfortable. My Ex has a 5+ bedroom home on a lake. My second husband and I have been able to visit on holiday weekends, and over Christmas for the last nearly 20 years. We all get along well. The guys are pretty good friends as long as a couple subjects are avoided.
I was able to spend most days cooking with my grandsons. Hopefully, they will not be afraid to make some family favorite meals now. That 1:1 time was wonderful. Lots of pictures. Daughter convinced us to stay one more day and we were able to see the musical Hamilton through their premium channel. The only things that sticks with me is the lyrics to “dah dah dah, dah dah dah, dah dah dah dai dah dah dah dah.” Not many sing-able songs in the style of the old musicals.
I packed carefully before we went so I could make anything that came up. I had a mini-pantry in my car. Sure enough, we ran out of sugar and flour, and I needed some of my spices and a few other things. Of course, getting home deliveries from the stores was really nice, but the convenience only works if you have a good list and have scheduled your meals ahead of time. There were very few presents this year. The grandsons are not greedy people. They were each given one, rather large, gift and were happy about that.
It is always nice to get home, though. Peace and quiet. But, I miss my regular hugs.
We really stocked up on food last year so we did not need to go to the store. I have been cooking from my upright freezer and it is empty enough to defrost. The other freezer in the basement is still so full I must be careful how I place things so the lid closes. Time to work on that one now, too. Ham will be used this week then soup from the bone. I need to inventory my LTS shelves. No buckets of purchased “LTS”, just my many cans from the store and jars that I canned. This is a continual process, of course.
Now, it is time to start in seriously on what gets put off over the summer. I am practicing my Morse Code. There is a Ham Radio “party” in three weeks and I hope to try making some contacts using CW, or constant wave, as in Morse Code. Practicing however, is causing pains in my hand, arm, shoulders, and neck. I’ll have to rethink posture. I am starting to remember the code and that is good. We’ll see how well I can hear what comes in.
Hubby was talked into purchasing a DMR radio. Digital Mobile Radio. Like a walkie-talkie but it uses the internet somehow. Now we must learn how to use that. I don’t like the idea of DMR because if the internet goes down for whatever reason then this particular radio cannot be used. I think. While Ham radio is not difficult to learn, or become licensed in, there is a lot to learn if you want to do it well. For that, we are grateful to our local club.
I have had computer problems and finally purchased a “new” one. My older Mac was from 2009, refurbished in 2015, and the Operating System was no longer compatible with what the internet needs. I did get a new cord for the old one and it now operates fine. There were days when, in order to use it, I had to hold the cord in place. Now I need to transfer everything to the “new” one and get started with that. I could not even log into the Forum.
The COVID-19 vaccines are starting to trickle down to us. Our family and friends that work in the medical industry have gotten theirs, and the doses are now becoming available to us.
Family wants to take a trip in March to Arizona. We had tickets and rooms for New York City last May, but obviously that did not happen. Those credits need to be used and the family decided to go to the Grand Canyon over Spring Break. Hubby says he and I will not go unless we are vaccinated. His is scheduled. Since we will rent a house and a Van for eight people, we should be able to handle most things privately. Still, a package of Clorox wipes is coming with me on the plane and I will also wipe down the surfaces of the rental van. A friend just told us that his daughter, who lives in Phoenix, says the people near her are not isolating or following procedures very well. Rates are high. Hmmm. Not good. May need to double mask.
Meanwhile, while we need to do some shopping, we do preliminary work from home and are cautious in the actual stores. In person shopping is pretty rare. Hubby has a couple of medical appointments in the next week and I am leery about being out in public at that time.
Well, one day at a time. I am loving Zoom and Jitsi meetings for contact with people so Hubby does not drive me crazy.
I hope you are all doing well, are happy and healthy and safe.
December 28, 2020 at 5:11 pm #31789
All of us are enjoying being able to cook together this year. I am very pleasantly surprised at how helpful the grandsons have been. I told each of them that when they were younger, they were helping me; but now, they are cooking and I am just guiding them. We have had some great 1:1 time. The middle one seems to be the most curious and wanted to learn how to make turkey soup, and ham/split pea soup, from the carcasses. Another wants to learn French Onion Soup this week. This is also letting dear daughter and her husband have a break from cooking at home with everyone working and schooling from home.
What I find interesting is that I taught my daughter all of these things, but she just does not like to cook.
December 28, 2020 at 5:05 pm #31788
Greetings, All. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I see some of you have had some good and safe encounters at Christmas time.
My brother-in-law, at 70, has Parkinson’s and is fragile. His family has been taking severe cautions to keep him safe. Considering my niece is an MD, they are all following precautions. Sad for my S-i-Law, though. There is a new baby in the family and Grandma cannot spend time because Daughter-in-Law works in a day care center and sees many people, as does their Daughter working in the hospital. They exchanged presents and dinner components from outside.
We all isolated for two weeks and are now happily ensconced with my daughter and family at her father’s house. My grandsons are assigned to help me cook and they are learning their favorite dishes. They are all good about washing up in the kitchen too. Even five years ago it was like pulling teeth to get them to help, but the youngest, at 15 is cooking on his own; it may be boxed Mac & cheese or ramen with scrambled eggs, but it is on his own. It is amazing the difference just a couple of years make.
Daughter has been ordering groceries online through InstaCart. It is amazing to not have to leave the house and get the groceries delivered to the door. I am tempted to place an order before we go home, just for us.
Meanwhile, after a brown Thanksgiving and earl December, we had nine inches of blizzard snow fell at home while we are not there, with more expected this week. Neighbor who does our plowing is also on vacation. Still, the ½ mile of private drive should be cleared by the time we get back. If not, we are walking uphill in knee-deep snow.
We bought cheap hearing aids for ourselves for Christmas. It is making a big difference here with family. They do not need to turn up the tv too high for us, but closed captions still help. I can hear more of the conversations. However, the clanking of dishes or rattling of paper is still too sharp. We’ll find a happy medium, soon, when we are in our controlled space.
Our Christmas present was the microwave that was installed a month ago. So, no real gifts for us this year. Daughter always buys a Swarovsky star. So she, her father, and me, all have a set that her three boys will inherit. I did get one present that elicited cheers from us – a five-pack of Clorox wipes! There have been no Clorox products available near our hometown for months. Yes, now that “They” are saying that we don’t need to sanitize the surfaces nearly as much as “they” thought we should initially, we finally have prepared wipes.
I am off to teach the middle grandson how to make a ham dinner with hot German Potato Salad. Pretty soon I’ll be letting them do all of the cooking. Well, maybe a few more years of Grandmother/Grandson bonding time first. It is cool to be able to pass on these traditions. Daughter was on a Zoom call and told her husband’s ½ siblings that I was “required” to learn to make some specialty dishes from her father’s mother. True. Now I get to pass them on and traditions still live.
I hope your next week is uneventful and pray that the new year brings what we each need. Sanity, and calm, and a fresh breeze to blow away the virus for just a few.
December 11, 2020 at 12:56 pm #31505
Our family is into the two-week isolation/quarantine so we can be together at Christmas. Hubby did his last grocery run yesterday. I tried to calculate how much of what I needed to make our Christmas breads and cookies. I forgot to have him purchase more butter, but I have a dozen pounds in the freezer.
We have two freezers. The chest freezer in the basement has pizzas, nuts, and Cole crops from our garden, extra milk and other dairy. It is full! I must be careful when I rummage for something and make sure the top is closed. I froze the greens from the broccoli, now I must find a dish in which to use them. It really needs some baskets for organization.
The upright freezer that is in my kitchen definitely needs to be defrosted. There is little empty space, and things are falling out. This is where I store my sautéed mushrooms, second and third servings of a dish I have made, Along with little bits and dabs of things that I can put into an evening meal, I have been good lately about using the bits from the freezer to reduce the volume
I used an autumn ’20 canned jar of potatoes, in beef broth, yesterday. I read that people Can potatoes; and while I have not cared for the flavor I felt I should try it. I drained the potatoes, then fried in bacon grease, and they were great. I will still want fresh potatoes for mashing or baking, but the canned potatoes will still be valuable in getting us through the winter. I must remember to plant more next year.
I am not British, but I am going to use the terms “tin” for what I purchase at the store and “Can” for what I do at home.
My movements are becoming more efficient as I have Canned many dinners and other items this autumn. I remember the first times I Canned. I was always checking the guidebooks and the canner. Lately I have written the recipes and they are now kept in a specific 3-ring binder. Each page has what the recipe is supposed to be. Then I added notes and corrections, such as, how much of what I put in to either the jar or the stew pot. I am trying to be more accurate and consistent. When the jars are washed and dried, I have labeled them much as you would see on a tin from the store. I use a large piece of masking tape with the name of the item and date in large print followed by an ingredient list. I am especially writing the seasonings down so I know what to add at serving time. This is important because if I don’t eat it for a few years I need a reminder of what seasonings to use. Plus, if I under-spice, or give away the jar, I/others need to know what to add including a roux for thickener.
I am surprised by the cost of our weekly trips to the grocery. Of course, we have the ability to pay for it at the moment, but it seems the bills are well over $100. It took years to get here, at a little bit per week, but our pantry is very deep. I am looking forward to seeing how well I did as we head into the deep winter; the financial return will be realized since we will stop spending on food. We will run out of eggs since I have not learned to water-glass, or otherwise keep them. We’ll see.
I am have been mending clothes. A very serviceable heavy sweatshirt has the wrists fraying and some holes there. I mended that and other items that still had a lot of life in them. We have spent money on food, but not clothes. Since we stay home 99% of the time and don’t see anyone, I don’t mind mended t-shirts, or jeans with patched knees and flowered fabric backing peeking through other frayed parts. Actually, they are fun and colorful. The fabric and supplies will be what I am short of as I work through the items to be mended and the pile of fabric that I purchased for new items. I am happy that JoAnn Fabric “delivers.”
Hubby’s son brought his family out to cut down a Christmas tree. I gave everyone hugs. That is te closest I have been to anyone in weeks. Granddaughter was diagnosed with Covid but only had a couple days of illness. We all wore masks, and sat on our porch with hot cider and sugar cookies.
We are well for our age. There are a few chronic conditions appropriate for senior citizens, but otherwise, we are healthy and sassy. Our mindset is good and we enjoy staying home on our 19 acres.
I hope this finds you all well, and safe doing what you need to do and avoiding negative people and situations. I am wishing you a happy and content holiday season in this time of creativity and isolation. Best wishes to you all.
December 11, 2020 at 12:53 pm #31503
Crow Bar, I took your advice about checking cookbooks. I have too many, and forget to use them. So I picked a few items from one to make for dinner this week. If I have them, I should use them.
I can think of many items to make/teach in the kitchen with my grandsons. I wish we could spend more time with them.
December 11, 2020 at 12:47 pm #31502
Little Sister, I agree with you about those ‘smart items’. I do not want one pf any kind.
A ham radio friend suggested a different internet provider. I am both happy that he is taking an interest and helping us with new and updated information. And a bit peeved, because he felt the need to tell us, and thought we needed to change, what we had was perhaps not as good as newer stuff. But, that is why we rely on friends and family.
Now that my Canning is done, I will follow your example and start going through our boxes and drawers. It is time to simplify. We really don’t need man of the souvenirs that we have on display, and our children can probably use much of the other items that we don’t. I have a room set aside in which to put the items that are going to a garage sale, or Goodwill. A few things a week of stuff and soon I will feel better. Now, on the other hand, the boxes of papers are a more challenging task. Good luck to you.
December 11, 2020 at 11:51 am #31500
This is the first I have heard of it.
I agree the media is definitely biased. Media needs to change.
However, do you report something because it is new and without a solid background of research? Do you mention things because “others” are? Or do you do the investigation and get back-up sources before you post.
December 4, 2020 at 8:17 pm #31358
Good for you, Matt in Oklahoma. “Play” has a lot of skills to offer in the real world. Not that chain sawing is playing. I won’t touch it.
I remember teaching both of my children how to cook and clean, and even use the sewing machine a bit. Did it stick? Nope. You can only offer. I am glad the grandsons at least like spending time to help me. Good memories.
Crow Bar, I like the idea of picking new things from the cookbook to try. I think that must be my #1 hobby – looking for and trying new dishes. I like and need variety. I look first to how to make things long before I consider buying.
Plus, working with your children is wonderful. They trust us more than others because they know our quirks and how we steer them. lol
December 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm #31357
I hope this finds you all well and content.
Our new microwave has a lot of gizmos – as in computer programs built in, but very little in the way of directions. To use it fully will take some deeper research. Oh, many times I wish for the days of a simple “on” and “off” switch.
We talked to my daughter today about getting together over Christmas break. She went to her dad’s on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week and is still there 10 days later. It was agreed that we would all isolate for two weeks before Christmas – no outings at all. Not even to the grocery. That way we can all be in the same house together and enjoy the holidays. They are using InstaCart and are getting food deliveries to their door. Since everyone is working and schooling from home we will be safe.
They still have an international student, who is now in college but is distance learning and spending most of his time at their house. He will be told that he either isolates with them, so he can come with us to the other Grandpa’s house, or he goes, soon, to his friend’s house and spends the next month there.
It is not like in the “old days” of last year. “Do you want to go along?” “Yeah,” “Get packed we are leaving in an hour.”
I have been making and canning soups this past week. First a “Thanksgiving Turkey Soup” with leftovers – sweet and white potatoes, green beans, onion, celery, turkey, poultry seasoning, and of course, cranberries. It is a savory sweet dish; then, potato soup, to be served with bacon and cheese; and today, roasted root vegetable soup. Tomorrow will be French Onion. We loaded up with the holiday sales and now the veggies are ending up in jars. I Can quite a bit, mostly soups and stews, and our fresh vegetables from the garden. So, when I say I made soup, each batch has seven jars in the canner, and enough left for dinner the same day. Hubby makes our bread.
I spent the summer stocking up the freezer and shelves. The next shopping day will be the last one for a month, or so. Now I am trying to use what is in the freezer so it can be defrosted. I made lists of what I want to make, both here and with family, to ensure that I will have all of the holes filled.
Stepson and family are coming down tomorrow to cut a Christmas Tree from the part of the property that was a tree farm before we bought it. They do not intend to stay long, or even enter the house. They were exposed to COVID, Again.
The banker we see in our small town, told Hubby that she and five members of her family all had COVID in one form or another. She thinks from her brother who kept going to a pool hall. Duh.
So, COVID that was far distant in the big city is now in our small town of 3,000. I am very glad we do not have near neighbors who “accidentally” drop by to chat.
The people in our state have been good about wearing masks over the summer, and while the chart shows a steady increase, it has been slow. The line went to 45 degrees around Halloween, and still climbing. Most of the deaths have been in “congregant care” – 65%. So, I suppose that is good for us normal citizens. Our state had 61 deaths yesterday and the state total is 3,784. There have been 327 positive cases for our zip code alone. We have been very lucky.
I am very grateful for Zoom and Jitsi meetings to see our family and friends. We do not feel as isolated because of them.
Keeping in touch is important, especially from a distance. I wish you all a way to connect with your loved ones this holiday season. Thank you for being on the Forum.
November 20, 2020 at 6:15 pm #30908
I hope you all find a way to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. This has been a challenging year, more for some than others. I am thankful that my family is healthy and able to work and school from home. And especially for Zoom and Jitsi meetings to see them.
Today, we got our new microwave installed, again. This time it works. The template is very different from what was up there before and I am very glad I am not paying my family members by the hour as they figure it out. While two of them worked on getting all of the new parts to work what the old had, I cut my son-in-law’s hair. Trusting of him? Naw, he just doesn’t care what it looks like since he is working from home. Why not have me cut it and save the $20? It is too short in the back, but it will grow. (Hubby and I have been cutting each other’s hair for about 15 years.)
Daughter’s family decided NOT to visit his parents for Thanksgiving. It was his mother’s decision. Good for her. The family is still going to my Ex’s for a week over Thanksgiving, though. It will give everyone a break from being confined to their house, which they have been. So, just being in a different house, with a lake frontage, even though they are still the same people, plus one grandpa who is working from home, too, will be a good change. We are not going until Christmas, hopefully, but time will tell. Our governor initiated a curtailment of activities, and strongly suggest no one travel for holidays. I know we mostly isolate so we would be fine. We’ll see.
I need to get some meds this week, and a fill a couple holes at a department store. I hope my list is accurate so we don’t need to shop again until next year. Hubby still goes to the grocery once a week, but his shopping list is very short, now. I have stocked up to the point that I am filling in holes for holiday baking. I keep canning the meats from my freezer, but it is still bulging because of the other items I have him get. I think, after getting the specials this next week at the grocery, cheap turkey, etc., I am ready to stay home for a while. Any Christmas shopping must be through the internet. I may just make some meals for my daughter’s family for Christmas Gifts. She doesn’t really like to cook. With everyone working and schooling from home, they are bored with what they usually have.
We started seriously storing food items when we moved to the country ten years ago. I figured that I now have 90 days worth of meals of home canned stews/soups/chili/ dinners, etc. on the shelves. Plenty of vegetables, and I recently canned potatoes for the first time. Lots of condiments, spices, extra flour and sugar, and several dozen eggs. Milk in the freezer along with plenty of cheese, butter, nuts, frozen pizzas, etc. Since my Hubby was a college biology professor, we both knew and anticipated that this pandemic would get worse and we would be stuck at home for a while. We are prepared. It may have taken nearly ten years to feel that we could survive nearly anything, but stocking up this past 10 ten months has been easy.
There are some things we don’t have, such as much extra gasoline for the car, but we have five propane tanks ready for a grill or a generator. I am very pleased with where we are. Slow and steady, a little here, and a bit more there and soon you can lock down without worries. As long as I have internet I am happy.
Take care everyone. Please stay safe.
November 7, 2020 at 7:31 pm #30277