Dec. 31-Jan. 6 Check-In

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This topic contains 144 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  Scratch 2 months ago.

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    OldMt Woman

    AmyD, Namelus, and LittleSister…..glad for the good reviews on Goal Zero.  I’ve been watching that product for years but since it is so expensive, I only wondered.  I’d like to have even just a small system for a few things…in case of…

    Olivia Green….our Safeways just began that sale.  I looked at the paper this evening.  Might be trying to kick-start sales after all the holidays?  Good prices on canned goods.

    Flamingo Lady….oye, your dh has some health problems going on.  🙁  Hard to keep up when such things are always taking precedence.

    MollyM…..I can certainly relate to those feelings!!!  I struggled to get ANYthing accomplished today.  But then there are days when things roll smoothly and I get all excited about the [even minuscule] progress.  That’s why the Nov/Dec challenges were helpful to me.  I’d pretty much stalled out….discouraged at the magnitude.  But you’re right…..the magnitude isn’t always real.  You’ll make it!!!

    Other than making oatmeal early this morning …when I wish I’d been sleeping…  And I’m making some good Asian rice tonite…cuz I’m still not feeling quite settled.  Did read some things on Internet.  No OJ in this house….blech!  I feel for the growers in FL but the solutions are always more and more chemicals.  🙁

    I’ve been doing research for data storage….laptop…Ereaders…tablets…  I’ve only had laptops.

    OldMtWoman ….gonna have some rice ..milk/sugar/cinnamon?  Prolly  just a bit of butter.


    Amy Dixon

    Yesterday (Jan. 9th), I spent almost all day resolving a problem I had with my computer.  Then I spent several hours making back-up copies of the articles, etc., I had downloaded since September.  Many of them were preparedness-related, so at least it wasn’t a total waste of time, lol.



    OldMtWoman- there is a video on English muffins on youtube by katzcradul.  I like her videos.

    Muffy, if you have a food saver and an attachment so you can take the air out of jars, I would think that the cigs would keep pretty well.  I haven’t tried that but when I sealed jars with mine I found it hard to get the lids off later they sealed so well.

    Gotta get what I want out of the computer and make hard copies.

    good night all



    Can’t remember if I checked in yesterday, so thought I’d do a quick report this morning….family are safely in Paris, France and are sending pictures back…7 hour time difference meant a 2 a.m. notice on my phone, but as I can’t turn my phone off at night I’ll just be grateful we have these technical things available to keep up with those we love…#3 son just sent pic of climbing to the top of Notre Dame bell tower….two sons and 5 grandchildren traveling in France for 10 days…making great memories

    I’ve ordered a dehydrator which should be here tomorrow…trying to figure out where to put it as my kitchen has limited counter space but I do have several other possible options…young guest who is staying with me temporarily is from a “homesteading” type family and she is experienced in using dehydrators, so that’s a good thing for me. We’re going to do some Kale chips this weekend and that should be fun.

    After 4-5 days of spring like weather, winter has arrived this morning….24 degrees outside but sun is shining so makes it more tolerable for me than the cold, dark, dreary days….

    My decluttering/organizing effort continues on and I’m beginning to see the end of it!!! Now, just to discipline myself to not bring anymore stuff into the house.

    FlamingoLady, my thoughts are with you and your hubby…

    Prepperfan, thanks for the info re: cigarettes….I think maybe putting them in the freezer might help preserve freshness, plus for the serious addicts I suspect if things were really awful they would smoke whatever they could find. 🙂 Maybe, my idea of stock piling black peppercorns as potential bartering items might make more sense. On the other hand, I don’t want to get too obsessed with the SHTF possibilities. At my age, I think just being prepared for the more likely power outages related to weather conditions we experience in my neck of the woods, makes most sense for me. Then if deeper trouble comes I’ve got enough to share. Just thinking out loud….

    Hope all are having good days!!! Happiness is a choice…and my pillow cover says “Make everyday an Adventure” so I best be getting to my adventure for this day….shopping for a new stove…:)


    Molly Malone

    The Portal to Hell hall closet: OMG the clutter pile on the living room floor is gone! I did it!  I threw out a lot and gave a lot away to the building’s super. All that remains of it is one box of tools and supplies for painting and repairing the plaster walls. I feel so much better. Tomorrow’s task is to vacuum out and clean the inside of the closet as best as I can. I was looking at the scrapwood shelf supports built into the closet by the former (deranged) owner, and I can’t see nails… I sincerely hope that nut didn’t superglue the shelf supports to the walls… tomorrow I am also going to try to crowbar the shelf supports off the walls.

    @daisy: Could you change the name of this thread to January Check-In?


    Amy Dixon

    Yesterday (January 10th), I went to a local pharmacy (CVS) to pick up some medications and saw that they had DAK 16 ounce-sized canned hams on sale at $3 US if you bought two cans.  I bought several for my long-term food storage pantry because that price beats what I can get them for online.  The store also had some condensed cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups on sale for $0.88 US per can – so I picked up a few of those also for making casseroles.

    While I was at the store I happened to meet another shopper who has lived in this area for many years.  She told me about a nice discount/outlet grocery store in a nearby town, which has great prices on pantry staples suitable to be “dry-pack canned” for long-term storage.  I’m definitely going to check it out later this month!  Since stores like that don’t usually advertise, sometimes the only way you can find out about them is word-of-mouth” – so I’m really glad I stopped to chat with that lady, lol.

    When I got back home, I listened to Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s latest podcast and downloaded a few more preparedness-related articles.  All-in-all, it was a fun day 🙂


    OldMt Woman

    Muffy….good to hear from your family….even at 2am.  Have fun with new dehydrator!!!  Watch fingers when thin slicing….  {ask me how I know…I’ve been having a strange day since I’m usually good with knives!  No blood but a near thing tonite!}

    MollyM….Hoooray!  Clearing the clutter from living room is GREAT!  I burst out laughing at your comment about the former owner’s potential for disastrous choices…like glue.  Oye.  Hoping for the best…

    AmyD…sometimes the odd, quirky places can have the best prices or they stock things you can’t get elsewhere.  OR they have things you’ve never heard of …but are great.  I love to go thru Asian stores.  I have a favorite garden weeding tool from there.  And a big rice washer…[get the talc off]…..useful for washing many things from garden.  Got the stretch-over netting material useful for covering the bowl I was then milking my goats into.  {awkward sentence but too tired to repair it}  One goat hair drops into the milk and it tastes ‘goat-y’.  Blech.  These nifty elastic netting things are actually for covering the batches of fermenting kim chee but worked excellent for my purpose too.  I miss milking goats….I really miss their milk and by-products!!!  Someday I hope to do that again…..when our physical layout is not so labor-intensive.

    I was so glad to wake up and feel normal today!!!  Did a lot of catch-up {again} and later rode into town with DH.  He had to deal with an issue which required using cell phone AND computer at same time.  No cell out here.  Used library’s Internet.  But he dropped me off to visit our elderlies.  It’s been a while and they need regular visits.  I put the lens back into a pair of glasses.  I located the missing grocery sack – and the receipt he was looking ALL over for….  We finished that last bit of the current puzzle…but I forgot to bring the new one from my house.  These little things help them a great deal.

    OldMtWoman  …now if I could only get a full night’s sleep, I could get my brain to work!



    Going through 2 bedroom closets and pulling out all the food to redo the shelving in them. Then I am going to rearrange the smaller bedroom so I can caddy corner the 2 book cases I also use for what I have canned. Then I am going to pull the buckets of food storage out of a third closet to put behind the 2 book cases to give me more room in that 3ed closet. Have been checking the dates on a 4th closet and moved the oldest dates to the kitchen to be used first. Kitchen cabinets  are depleted from Christmas cooking. Then going through our bedroom closet to remove any clothing we have not worn in over a year to pack up and send to salvation army.



    It’s my birthday! Yay!! Plans to go to lunch with my mom, and dinner with my In-Laws. Sometime soon, I get to order a Dehydrator and new Cast Iron Skillet as my present. Now to find a good dehydrator. (I haven’t been able to get one yet so I haven’t done a ton of research.)

    Went through some of my husband’s old work t-shirts to rip into cleaning rags. Went through the socks without matches, sewed them together, and turned them into breeze blockers. I like to cover them with cute fabric and give them as Christmas gifts for friends and family, so I work on them all through the year. Worked on meal planning for the rest of January. Mapped out some shelves to the side of my wood burning stove to hold wood, kindling, and fire starter rolls. We get leftover grocery store ads every week so I’m thinking about turning them into logs (per a tutorial on Pinterest.)

    When I was cleaning the guest bedroom, I ran into a box of leftover denim bits (back pockets, zippers, gems and seams) from when I made our denim quilt a few years ago. I still have no idea what to do with all of this stuff. Any ideas from here? Or is there a forum on here for ideas? TIA

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Prepperfan305.


    Happy Birthday, PrepperFan!!! Hope it’s been a good one. I just got my new dehydrator in mail today…I did a lot of research and asked others on this forum for their thoughts. I ended up buy an mid-priced Excalibur through Amazon…it arrived today so I’m going to play around with it a bit tomorrow….it has nine trays and the fan is in the back which everyone says is most important feature.

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better OldMtWoman…and excited for progress Molly Malone is making with her closet….where’s OldMansd…has he been on today or yesterday? Wondering how his indoor gardening efforts are getting on…I think I can harvest a bit more spinach this weekend for a nice salad maybe….loving the way my onions have performed….

    We’re getting a bit of winter weather today and tonight…a bit of sleet means the highways might be slick in the morning but I don’t think they are calling for heavy ice which is the thing that causes our electrical outages around here….I’m okay as long a gas stays on….nite all


    Amy Dixon

    Prepperfan305 – Happy Birthday 🙂

    OldMt Woman – Did you put the netting over the bowl before you milked the goat or after the milk was already in the bowl?

    Didn’t do much prepping today, however I did order a couple of fermentation airlocks  with universal-sized carboy bungs for when I later try to make mead.  I also ordered some of the Rico’s canned cheese sauce, which was recommended by another member of this forum awhile back, to see if I want to get more of it later to add to my storage pantry.  Then I read Daisy’s article about coping with the government shutdown.





    OldMt Woman

    Happy Bday, Prepperfan

    Muffy…congrats on your Excalibur!!!  Our box style has had so much use for all sorts of things.  It was from the 1980’s and still basically works.  Sits on our coffee table…for lack of any where better.  but I put plants on top of it.  Aloe, for one.  Stay safe if the lights go out with the weather.  Got your flashlights handy?  Worse come to worse: leave a small flashlite on all nite for a nite light.  Safety well worth the batteries.

    AmyD…yes, I put the mesh across the bowl and the elastic edges kept it tight. Like long ago plastic to put over bowls for picnics, etc.   Then I milked thru.  I have the dwarf Nigerians so I can’t use something taller than a SS bowl.  Tho I always wash the udder/teats, hair can still drop.  This way it never dropped into the milk.  I’d aim the squirted milk to a different area of the netting to avoid splashing thru the hair.  Goat milking has to be super clean.  I always used a pie plate for the first few squirts.  1) to check for mastitis [never had any lumps and had the test papers to check further if I’d spotted any] … 2)  to clear the ‘tubes’ of any bacteria up there as they lay in …whatever.  I’d dump the pie plate and begin milking into the bowl.  Get immediately into qt canning jars stored in fridge.  It goes thru a funnel that has a disposable milking filter.  Then it’s clean in the fridge and never had ‘goat-y’ tasting milk.

    Should I mention how long it took me to finally just tie that dratted [and beloved — they’re ALL hooligans!]  goat’s left foot to the milking stand?  A goat foot into the bowl means the whole thing is wasted…unless you have pigs/chickens.  She and I learned how to milk together and we had many a rodeo while we both learned.  Took me a full two months …due to the miscoordination of my disability.  And developing the strength.  I don’t think I ever labored so hard to learn a new skill.  But ….my mom read me the Heidi story too many times when I was a kid.  I WANTED very badly to learn to milk.  Did that!!!  So IF you resort to tying a foot during milking, DO NOT FORGET TO UNTIE…BEFORE you let her head out of the stanchion.  Alllllllll kinds of drama for a few seconds when that happens.  I rigged a quick release…JIC!!!   Still… fond memories!  Someday I hope to do that again!

    Today, did research on growing food if we would have a solar minimum.  The affects on large agriculture.  History of what folks did during those time periods.  It was pretty ugly.  Modern times there are some adaptions but…..population density might cancel out any advantage.

    Had weather-related chores today.  Not too bad.

    OldMtWoman  …G’nite all


    Loving Life

    I haven’t checked in for a few days as I had guests.

    The temperature has been wicked cold here with lows -10 and with wind chill over 25 below. I continue to heat the house via my wood stove. My guests were quite interested in my self sufficiency in heat. My property provides all the wood I need. In cut and stacked seasoned wood, I am about 3-4 years supplied with another 1-2 years of felled wood that needs to be cut. I even make my own fire starters. I never thought about how much this saves, but after my guests inquiry, we figured it saves me over $1800 each calendar year in heating bills. This amount may be higher as I live in frigid Up-State NY. We just did some quick figures.

    In addition to medical supplies, one of my guests spent a few hours giving me a medical refresher, including on suturing and wound care. We also had some interesting conversations about epidemics. All my medical profession friends are in agreement that a flu epidemic or other widescale infectious disease is overdue per the normal historical cycles. After my friends’ visit with medical gifts, I am making lots of progress in the medical area.

    It’s amazing how just doing a few things every day can make progress toward self sufficiency.

    Even though I didn’t post, I continued to enjoy reading everyones posts, especially about goats! Lol. I really enjoyed reading the posts about overcoming clutter and organizing that closet. We all have one of those closets. Mine may be a portal to another dimension.



    Slow, slow day…well, new kitchen range delivered so that was good…tried reading the user manual but type is so small and pale had some trouble…bottom line, I’ve got to take more care with the ceramic glass top than I had anticipated….haven’t felt like working with the dehydrator yet….just been one of those gray, dreary, rainy days that doesnt do much for my energy level…I did however get in a short walk today so that’s a positive thing….


    Molly Malone

    @oldmtwoman It’s really interesting (and entertaining) reading about your experience with goats. I hope you will post what you find out about growing food during a solar minimum and what people did to survive during solar minimums. I would like to read that and I think many other people would too.

    @lovinglife it is very educational (and inspiring) to me to read about you how you are staying warm at very low temps by heating with wood.

    The Portal to Hell hall closet: @oldmtwoman @muffy @lovinglife thank you for the encouragement! Well, today I spent nearly an hour trying to crowbar the shelf-supports out of the closet walls, and I have given up!! I have hope, though, that the former (deranged) owner did not actually use superglue or cement, because I can get the shelf-supports to wiggle when I attack them. But I can’t pull them out of the walls. I am going to have to break down and hire a handyman to do it. Maybe a chisel and hammer are needed. Here’s hoping the handyman doesn’t take out huge chunks of wall in the struggle.

    So I turned my attention to filling in the cracks and crevices in the closet door frame with wood filler. This is a real door frame, on both the outside and inside of the closet, and there are working doorknobs on both sides of the closet door. It must have been a real door to somewhere at some time… hmm… cue the Twilight Zone music… My guess is, if I broke the wall at the back of the closet, I’d find myself in my neighbor’s apartment, not Narnia. In old buildings like this one, big apartments would get chopped up into smaller apartments. Anyway, the closet door frame is badly cracked in many places, and I got a lot done today filling up the cracks with wood filler. I’ll need to buy more wood filler tomorrow. I can fix, sand and paint the frame and the door by myself. Oh, and it looks like at one time, the former (deranged) owner painted over the closed door, then wrenched it open after the paint dried, so there is definitely sanding to be done. I tried to take out the doorknob and failed. Nevertheless, I feel very good about all the repairing to the cracks. Wood filler is easy to use.

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