February Chat and Check In Thread

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This topic contains 65 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  OldMt Woman 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #8683

    Daisy
    Keymaster

    Since this month we’re doing a prep everyday challenge again this month, I didn’t want to leave us without a February thread.

    Here’s your February thread! 🙂

  • #8687

    Anonymous

    Here! I just went through a BOB course that was free from The Survival Mom. It was a lot of fun! It is on Facebook, but it was very informative.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/survivalmombootcamp/

  • #8698

    corsaire
    Participant

    I have been going through that through her blog, as I dont have facebook. Yes its very informative and makes you think carefully about your unique needs and situation

  • #8713

    Littlesister
    Participant

    I should get into some of those blogs as I am sure I would learn a lot as well. I have a hard time just getting into these challenges though I do enjoy reading how others are prepping as I do learn things from them. I think it is just me though as I get so tired these days and can’t concentrate like I used to.

    But on another note. I have been going through all my canning supplies. Working on taxes which is becoming a bummer. And now just trying to get the 2 bedrooms cleaned up so I can get to the books. I really need to get rid of so many of them. Bookcase is overflowing.  I will need to buy more canning jars for this summer but no one has been putting them on sell. Hopefully before spring they will. I now have all my food back in order and rotated like it needs to be. Feels good to have all that food back in order again. Making a bet with myself that I will have all the books and clothes gone through before the end of Feb. I am slow these days, so don’t work as fast as I used to. So I usually just keep chugging along till it gets done. But I need to speed things up.

  • #8726

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Our household was nearly immobilized today.  I always have a fatigue reaction to a “big” day of activity [due to disease].  Oddly, it’s worse on the second day after a Big Day.  That was today…yuk.  Not sick but zero stamina.  Do things only in spurts.  Not unusual…expected.  Plan for it.  So we had leftover pancakes, rewarmed.  Usual eggs for protein.  The 2nd batch of my homemade stew last nite and again tonite.  This time with rice. That set real well with DH tonite.  🙂

    DH rested a lot today cuz the past 2 days have worn him out.  I think he made progress on feeling better.  He was left to do AM and PM chores by himself tho….I was not able to even walk dog.  But he got by….and had nothing else but some business/bills to do today.  We both took restorative naps.  ‘Nuff of this ‘microbe-sick’ stuff.  We’re not used to it!  Only accustomed to my usual stuff.

    OldMtWoman  ….’nother couple rest days and I think we’ll be back to “our” normal.  😉  If the weather holds…..

  • #8751

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    @littlesister – I know what you mean about getting things done, but hopefully you can allow yourself to pace your days. Just keep chipping away at it….

    @oldmtwoman – a really busy day will set all of us back a bit….and I’m amazed at how you and DH are able to do all that you do.

    I’m pleased with the effort i expended today to meet a goal. I have taken six #10 cans of dried soup mixes and put them into individual bags containing 12 servings total with the six varieties….and I’ve cleaned up the mess. It took me about 5 hours total as I had to sit down and rest every 15 minutes or so, but the job got done and I’m pleased.

    I’m not sure how I feel about my Food Saver….most of the time I’m in love with it and wondering how on earth I didn’t know about such an amazing machine before….but it can refuse on occasion to seal a bag….still working on my technique I guess.

    Today has been like Spring in the low 60s…I’ve decided I’m going to try to grow garlic in my front yard….someone said the flowers are lovely so I’m trying to research a bit about how to grow them…hope it’s not too late for somewhere I read they should be planted in the fall to harvest in the summer….seems strange but I’ll keep researching….

    Sure hope others from the previous months will keep us informed of their doings….nite all…

  • #8764

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    We have a birth and a ‘passing’ happening in our extended family…   Some of our folks are really straining with all this happening tho..and we try to support them from afar.

    DH is still sick but not terribly.  Upper respiratory and TIRED!  Coughing.  There has been so many chores to catch up.  I’m ok but still keeping a wary eye on those microbes ….they double back on you sometimes.  🙁  I was extremely pleased at the doctor visit last week.  I like the new plan….less drastic than what we thot.  Then we’ll see definitive answers and go from there.  No wonder DH is still sick…..and we have to get all that hay into the barn tomorrow.  He has to stack it cuz I can sled it over the snow but can’t really lift a bale anymore.

    I have to figure out what we have to eat tomorrow.  Soup and grilled cheese?  Not much bread left but enough for that.  Soup with cheese on tortillas?  Dunno.  I’ll figure out something.  This hay day will wear us both out.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

  • #8768

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    After midnight here, so I guess I’m 2 days late in posting, not just 1, lol.  On February 1st, I watched more good videos on the Modern Refugee and Alaska Prepper YouTube channels, then continued working on my food storage inventory list (I write it out on a lined pad first, then key the data into my computer).

    Yesterday, February 2nd, I watched that movie “Bird Box” on Netflix – not many preparedness tips in it, except it did show folks scavenging for supplies in grocery stores and abandoned houses (with one character admonishing the others to take canned goods and nutritious foods that would last well without power). It was unbelievable to me that the electricity would have stayed on given the crashes, fires, accidents, etc., being caused by the mass suicides – but that’s artistic license I guess.  I did like the way the group of wanna-be survivors managed to navigate to the grocery store with all the car windows blacked out.

    Later in the day, I read articles on how to adjust your baking recipes when you bake with home-ground flour from ancient grains such as Spelt and Einkorn.  Now that my Mockmill has arrived, I need to order wheat and spelt berries so I can get started with some baking projects.  However, I first want to order some gamma seal lids (color-coded yellow for grains of course, lol) and buy some food-grade buckets and large Mylar bags to line those buckets so I’ll have a good place to store the grains when I get them.  Have to figure out how to fit that extra expense into my budget over the next couple of months.

  • #8799

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Anyone know of good place to get ancient grains…quality plus good price?  I’ve seen this place and I can say their nutritional products are good quality.  Haven’t had a chance to compare their prices tho.   https://www.organicsbylee.com/

    Their recipe for Einkorn Pudding..1 c. cooked Einkorn, 1 1/2 c milk, 2 eggs, 3 TBS butter, 1/4 c honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla, cinnamon.

    Combine Einkorn, milk, butter…bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low heat.

    Separate bowl..beat eggs and add honey and vanilla.  Temper the egg mixture by adding a little bit of hot milk.  Pour egg mixture into the pot with milk, etc…..stirring slowly until it thickens, about 20 min.   Add cinnamon to taste and enjoy hot or cold.

    OldMtWoman …. G’nite all

  • #8825

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMtWoman – I haven’t compared prices from these vendors yet but I’m including in this post the names of the online grain suppliers listed in the materials I received from Mockmill this past week when I purchased one of their grain mills.  I’m assuming the quality of the grains these vendors sell must be pretty good or Mockmill probably wouldn’t list them.  One supplier, einkorn.com (which also carries other types of grains besides einkorn) was also recommended by Melissa K. Norris of “Pioneering Today Academy” as being a vendor she personally recommends.  Here’s the list from Mockmill (In alphabetical order):

    ancientagro.com – Durum, Sonora, Lentils

    azurestandard.com – amaranth, buckwheat, durum, einkorn, emmer, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, teff, triticale, etc.

    bartonspringsmill.com – corns: bloody butcher red, hopi blue, oaxacan green, white, yellow; ryes: danko and wrens abruzzi, wheats: einkorn, marquis, red fife, rouge de bourdeaux, sonora, TAM 105, turkey red.

    bluebirdgrainfarms.com – emmer, einkorn, etc.

    breadtopia.com – einkorn, spelt, rye, kamut, durum, etc.

    einkorn.com – einkorn, emmer, spelt, black barley, millet, amaranth, black chia, quinoa, hemp hearts, etc.

    lentzspelt.com – einkorn, emmer, spelt, grunkern, camelina.

    pleasanthillgrain.com – amaranth, durum, einkorn, flax, kamut, millet, spelt, triticale, etc.

    healthyflour.com – Organic sprouted grains: amaranth, einkorn, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, etc.

    rainydayfoods.com – durum, ezekiel grain, flax, golden flax, millet, triticale, etc.

  • #8826

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Helllloooo?  Anyone home?  Are we all chatting in the Prep Every Day challenge thread this month?  Well, as long as we chat somewhere.  LOL

    OldMtWoman…yeah, I said it all over there too…

    PS….LOL AmyD posted 3 minutes before I posted this.  THANKS for that list!  I’ll check some out!

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  OldMt Woman.
    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8840

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Hey, I’m posting in two places I think…the daily Feb Prep everyday and this one just to chat and include things I forget to mention in the other one. I was getting a bit bogged down trying to figure out how best to record pantry storage items, but think I’ve got it pretty much figured out. Well, at least I can see where some big holes exists, primarily in canned fruits and veggies. Overall, though, it looks like I could survive quite nicely for most grocery and non-grocery items in a long term situation. There’s good variety. And, I’d have some to share as well. So that makes me feel nice. I’ve done something meaningful with my days and that’s important to me.

    Still harvesting small amounts of fresh spinach from my little indoor garden. A real gardener would laugh at my haul, but I’m thrilled and am eagerly looking forward to expanding my little garden. Purchased some seed trays and potting soil so I can start some of my heirloom seeds indoors. Just have to do a bit more research about when to start them and when I’ll need my outdoor space prepared for transplanting. Going to get my handyman to build me some beds high enough that I don’t have to bend over or stoop down too much. This will be a small effort. I definitely see myself buying most things from our local farmers, a number of whom are doing more organic gardening now. And, I see dehydrating probably becoming my go-to preserving method. Some canning if I can get my granddaughters to help, but that’s a bit iffy. They are teens and soon getting their driver’s license. Not much time for grandma I think.

    So good to see for others joining in the conversation. OldMansd shares that he is continuing making his leather items. I figure that is what will keep him off the streets and out of trouble. 🙂

    Everybody stay safe if you’re in bitterly cold areas.

     

  • #8846

    James Mitchner
    Participant

    Over 70 degrees here today.  Spent half the morning at Lowe’s and Home Depot picking up supplies to build two more raised beds.  Dropped off a non-working Honda tiller to the local repair facility.  Refreshed my gasoline supply.  Built one raised bed this afternoon.  Working outside with no shirt and no hat on the fifth of Feb.  Who’ed have thought it!

  • #8851

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    I don’t have much to report — been concentrating on grad school work. My laptop is still in the shop. It is so difficult to live without it. I have been spending time using the computers at school and the public library. I hope to continue work on the closet this weekend. Since sanding was such a failure I am just going to  revert to my original plan — paint the lumpy bumpy walls with primer and then wallpaper it. I’ll be using wallpaper adhesive and I’ll just find out how well the paper sticks. Hey, it’s only a closet. I like the wallpaper I picked out. It is a design of whitewashed bricks. I also picked up some wallpaper that has a silver ceiling tile pattern, for the ceiling of the closet. If I like it I might use it elsewhere in the apartment. So that’s all for now. My ultimate goal is to give up my storage locker, either throw stuff out or fit it into my closets.

  • #8856

    Josefina Arenas
    Participant

    Bought the kindle version of “Cold Times–How to Prepare for the Mini Ice Age” and am reading ~10 pages/day before work.  Also, hat tip to another participant here for this recommendation– I ordered Practical Skills, but haven’t cracked that open yet.  It is a veritable compendium of DIY!

  • #8857

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Got the office almost done and just going through old recipes and sorting them so I can get them into binders. I have so many I copied from internet, pinterest, etc. And some from my grandfather’s cousin. She is still alive and going strong. Last of my grandfather’s side of family. I have dehydrating stuff, just general recipes, and a lot of canning recipes. Then I have a lot of craft type things such as making my own soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softner, etc. Lots to go through.

    Glad to see OldmtWoman and DH is doing much better.

    Amy Dixon: Thank you for the post on where to buy grains. I do need to get some. Going to check out some of those sites as soon as I have a bit more time.

  • #8881

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – You’re welcome 🙂  I plan to check them out too.  I’m probably going to order some Spelt berries as well as some hard white wheat berries, and possibly some soft white wheat berries too.  I might order Palouse hard white wheat berries since I’ve read some good reviews about that brand.  I’d prefer to buy the grains locally but there aren’t many suppliers in my area of the country.

    The last few days I haven’t done much prepping as such, and have mostly just done my normal household chores.  However, I have had fun binge-watching the older (2000-2001) Canadian television series “Pioneer Quest: A Year in the Real West”.  It was pretty good but I have to admit I really cringed when I saw the two ladies home-canning green beans and venison in a boiling water bath canner!  I realize the show was striving to use only tools available in the 1870’s but I really hope that, for safety’s sake, the producers of the show didn’t let them actually eat that non-acidic food canned in that way.

     

  • #8882

    Whirlibird
    Participant

    Lousy at checking in. And the snow has been keeping me busy for a week and a half.

    Honestly nothing special since the last time I posted an update in January.

    Did some research and I am seriously considering the upside down tomatoes this summer if I can find a short season variety that works here.

    The worm tower is actually doing better than I thought it would, need to add some cellulose to the mix this weekend. But the greenhouse soil should be magic this year.

  • #8884

    RufusJ
    Participant

    I’m still trying to find a good glaucoma med that I can tolerate. I’ve gone through about 8 of them now with my reactions being good (meaning no reaction from my body but no impact on the glaucoma itself) to disastrous (horrible body reaction so I can’t stay on the med long enough to find out if it works on the eye itself). Phooey. But my elderberry plants came today! Of course they did since it’s already freezing outside now. Did I mention it was 80 degrees here yesterday?  Haha. Gotta love Texas weather. No worries; it’ll warm up from here on out. This may be our last freeze until next fall.
    Prepping has slowed down considerably between trying to find a workable eye med and my daughter’s due date approaching. This is her second, and we will be on call to help with our 2 yr old grandson when she goes in. If she can just hold on until next Wednesday…
    I’m enjoying reading everyone’s adventures in Prepperland. I hope all is going well with everyone.

  • #8889

    74
    Participant

    After a few months away I’m checking in.

    “How to Prepare for the Mini Ice Age”  LOL did they say move south?  So now I have to look this book up.

  • #8892

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Hi Whilibird and Rufusj…..good to hear from you.

    I’m tired tonight. Rainy day but supposed to drop below freezing tonight. I have my pantry now well organized and on my way to having a very adequate supply of most basic things. Now it’s just a matter of continuing to add to supplies as items are rotated out. I definitely have more than enough to get by until the next growing season in my area if things got really, really bad. And, a year’s supply of Toilet Paper. 🙂

    My next project to finish is organizing my favorite recipes I’ve collected from so many different sources into a binder. I think that’s what I’ll focus on this weekend with a goal of having it finished by Monday.

    Nite all

     

     

     

  • #8893

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Muffy:  I have been trying to get my recipes organized and in binders as well. I have printed out so many different ones for all sorts of places.. Not as easy as I hoped it would be but will get there.

    Haven’t done a whole lot today as one of my grandson’s is on leave for 21 days and was here to spend time with us today. He is in Army. Just got back from an 8 month deployment.

    Weather here for past couple of days has been almost 70 degrees. Was hoping to get car washed but didn’t make it. So tomorrow is last warm day before another freeze. So hoping tomorrow I can get it done. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for getting things that I have started finished so I can move on to another project.

  • #8901

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    We’ve had some really nice days.  In this area, if the sun shines, it’s warm.  Course that’s relative…winter/summer.  Well we were subzero last nite.  Climbed up to a sunny 20* but a stiff wind coming across the snow fields made it feel like the deep freeze if you stood still.  Which I didn’t.  Then the clouds came over and all hope of ‘warm’ was gone.  Got inside….put towel as a breeze stopper on front [windy side] door.  Folded newspapers too.  This old house shifts and there’s quite a gap in the door-to-frame right now.  Enjoyed pellet stove and my warm rice bag.  DH warmed his thumbs with it tonite after PM chores.  Has chem heaters in the hand part of his mitts, but thumbs still freeze if he’s too busy to tuck them with the fingers.  We’ll be just fine if the electric stays on.  Be a 3 dog night if it doesn’t….and we only have one dog.  {roll eyes}  I hate subzero temps!  So very unforgiving….so quickly.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

     

  • #8927

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Feb Chat….hi, Molly Malone! I’ve enjoyed your closet saga and say hurrah for you! Grad school can be a challenging time, and losing your computer has got to put extra stress on you. Can you share what you are studying with us or would that break the rules? Anyhow, I love the sound of your wall paper choices and I say anything you can do to rid yourself of “stuff” will be a positive move.

    Josefina, the cold has really been a major factor it looks like for many areas so the book you mention reading might be a good one for many of us to take a look at. It’s been slightly crazy in my neck of the woods – several Spring like days and then a 50 degree drop overnight. But so far we’ve not had the serious ice storms that sometimes hit us really hard with long days of power outages.

    Hope all are well….g’nite OldMountainWoman….stay safe out where you are….

     

  • #8929

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    @Muffy1938, thanks for the good wishes re school. I am studying Emergency Management. It is a relatively recent field of study, sprung up after 9/11. We have quite a few foreign students enrolled. I still don’t have my laptop back and have to travel back and forth to school and public library to use their computers and am falling behinder…. Not working on the closet this weekend after all.

    @oldmtwoman you might want to consider hanging heavyweight thermal curtains over your front door to block cold air. You could get a curved double-rod to hang 2 layers of thermal curtains over the door. I see restaurants do that. I have a double layer of thermal curtains over one large leaky window and it works great. I live in a 100 yr old apartment building and doors and windows are cockeyed due to settling. So i feel your pain re leaky doors and windows.

  • #8934

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    MollyM….I know, right?  I love older buildings with such character…..but that character can be such a BOTHER too.  {roll eyes}  That’s exactly the ‘dancing’ this old house does and changes with the winter/summer switch.  Front/back doors.  Interior doors too.  And windows.  We’ve been here decades and I do believe it’s getting worse.

    Once I had a window open about an inch during warm months.  The season shifted and so did the house.  When I tried to close it….IT WOULD NOT BUDGE!  I would have broken the glass!  Had to stuff insulation and a board over it for the whole winter.  Come spring, it slid right shut or open just fine.  Dancing house….hmph.  Never made that mistake again!

    I wonder about trying to get in and out of the door if there is layers of blanket in the way.  It would have to drag on the floor to block that draft.  Wearing heavy clothes/boots, my EDC stuff for being away from house in winter, and XL dog coming in and out.  Not sure I have room to slide the blanket material open/closed – cuz that would help.  Usually we only stuff the newspapers in at night.  But past couple WINDY days I’ve done it more often.  It’s not convenient, that’s for sure.  Thinking on this….  thanks.

    Got out of subzero today….and nearly to a sunny 40*  ….until the sun set.  Brrrrr!  No melting to create more ice problems today.  Did carry a big shovelful of dirt/grit down to cover where DH gets in/out of car.  Don’t need him landing hard and having yet another issue to deal with.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

  • #8938

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    HELP please…..my powdered egg jars will not stay sealed….someone mentioned using coffee filters but I don’t have a clue how to do that and can’t find anything on youtube to show me how…..and I can’t find the post where coffee filters were mentioned….Help please….I want to get these jars off my limited counter space today if possible…:)

    In the meantime, I’m baking bread today…a simple Amish recipe I’ve not tried before so will be interesting to see how it turns out….

    Big project today is finishing my special cookbook project which is taking my favorite recipes and getting them into one binder….if they are in another cookbook, I plan to scan them and put them in my binder….

    I’ll be checking in later to see if someone knows the coffee filter trick….thanks so very much!!!

  • #8940

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Muffy, I  believe this is how my SIL did it. Once you seat the lid on the jar, put the coffee filter over it and screw the ring on loosely. Then put the jar lid sealer over that and run the sealer with the jar attachment. I have not tried it so far. She is out of town (business) won’t be able to confirm with her until we get back from our trip. Hope this will help.

  • #8945

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Muffy1938 – This is what I do when vacuum-sealing powdery foods in glass canning jars.  First, I fill the jar with the powdered food to about a half-inch to one inch lower than I would normally fill it if I were vacuum-sealing something non-powdery (such as beans for example).  Then I take a new paper coffee filter, (which I have cut into a bit smaller circle to fit inside the jar and cover as much of the top of the powdered food as I can), and place it right on top of the powered food inside the jar (That piece of coffee filter will stay in the jar and not be,removed until I later open the jar to eat the food).  If I want to use one, I then add a new Oxygen absorber gently on top of the coffee filter piece.  Next, I carefully wipe the rim of the jar and the glass near the rim (inside and out) with a slightly damp cloth.  This is to remove any tiny particles of the powdered food that would otherwise prevent the seal.  Then I place a clean, dry, powder residue-free, jar lid/flat on the jar’s rim, place the FoodSaver jar sealer attachment over it, and turn on the FoodSaver machine to pull a vacuum in the jar.  That usually works.  If not, I take the lid/flat off and re-wipe the jar rim and surrounding glass and the lid/flat to remove any visible tiny powdered food particles and try again.  If the second try doesn’t work, I try again with a different new lid/flat.  Sometimes it takes 3-4 tries before I can get all the tiny powdered food particles off the jar rim and lid/flat so the jar will seal.  Occasionally, despite many attempts, a jar just plain won’t seal and, when I examine the rim closely, I usually see that there is some slight imperfection in the glass that’s preventing the seal from forming.  When that happens, I put the powdered food in a different jar, and try again.  I use the non-sealing jar for some other purpose (such as holding craft supplies, or extra screws and nails).  After the jar of powdered food seems to have sealed, I keep it out in my kitchen for a couple of days and check it periodically to make sure it hasn’t come unsealed.  Once I feel sure the seal will hold, I put it on my long-term pantry storage shelf.  Another method you can try with powdered foods is to put them in a new, small ziploc bag that you seal almost all the way closed but not completely closed, then place that bag in the clean, dry glass canning jar, add an Oxygen absorber (if desired), wipe the jar rim and surrounding glass with a slightly damp cloth, place the lid/flat on the jar rim, attach the jar sealer device, and vacuum-seal the jar.  I do that sometimes with very finely powdered foods.  I have also heard of people taking powdered food that came in a small plastic bag, puncturing a few small holes in the top of the bag, placing the bagged food in the canning jar, and proceeding to seal the jar as I have described above – but without using coffee filter piece.  Hope these ideas help!  Oh, I forgot to mention that, in general, I have found that wide-mouth canning jars vacuum-seal more easily than do the regular-mouth jars.  To get regular-mouth jars to seal, I usually have to place an extra lid/flat (turned upside down) inside the jar sealer attachment before I place that attachment over the jar and lid/flat that I’m actually trying to vacuum-seal.  The little bit of extra pressure that extra lid/flat provides usually helps a lot.

  • #8946

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Muffy1938 – Another thing I do before vacuum-sealing any type of dried food in glass canning jars is, a few days before I plan to do the vacuum-sealing, I take any new lids/flats I plan to use and place them in simmering (but not boiling) water for an hour or so.  I then remove them from the water and let them air dry very, very well before I use them to vacuum-seal the jars.  This may not be a necessary step but I think it may help soften the gasket material on the lids/flats a little bit, making it slightly more flexible and, hopefully, thus better able to conform to the rim of the jar I’m trying to seal.  Again, this might not be necessary, especially with the new lids/flats being manufactured these days, but I still do it just in case.  If I’m re-using an old canning lid/flat for the vacuum-sealing, I don’t bother with this step.  (Note:  I do not re-use canning lids/flats for water bath or pressure canning though).

  • #8949

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Molly, you will catch up in school. Hang in there. All will go well as soon as you get your computer back. My daughter went back to college and I have a grandchild in her 5th year of college. She’s going for CSI. Will be heading to medical school in fall.

    Still working on papers to get into binders. Got half way on them. had to clean house this morning and got the car washed yesterday. It was nasty.

    Checking out seed catalogs. Not sure what we will plant this spring yet.

    Hand has been very sore today.  Rain is coming.

  • #8955

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    You have a “barometer” hand, LilSister?  ….painful but can be useful, at least.

    AmyDixon….that’s a great description for sealing those jars.  I don’t have one but I copied the directions and filed it under ‘food’.  Thanks!  And good luck, Muffy.  You’ll get this!

    Half sunny and the rest of the day was clouded.  No snow….good.  Don’t need anymore until we see a lot more driveway again!  But then, not my job to give out weather so we’ll deal with what we get.  Even with sun, it’s COLD with strong, refrigerated wind coming across all that snow in our pastures.  Brrrr.  DH and I did chores together tonite so it went fast and we got back in.  His Raynauds hands love the thin gloves within mittens and a pouch for the chem hand warmers.  Tonite my hands were freezing in my Thinsulate leather work gloves.  That rarely happens and temp was in the 20’s.  Must have been the wind chill.  Hmph.  Pellet stove blazing was nice when we came in.  Coyotes howling close by this evening…has doggie dear barking back.  {roll eyes}

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all.

  • #8971

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor – Sending prayers for your daughter. I have had electrolyte problems myself. I know how that can make a person feel extremely weak and can cause their muscles to not work properly or to spasm. Fortunately, it is usually corrected once the electrolytes are back in balance.

    OldMtWoman – You’re welcome 🙂 I know that all the details I posted can make the process seem complicated but usually vacuum-sealing dried foods in canning jars goes quickly and smoothly. It’s just that once in a while certain finely powdered foods, or imperfect jar rims or lids/flats, won’t cooperate, lol. (Powdered milk is my personal bane!). Keep in mind that it is also possible to simply place the powdered food in the jar, add an Oxygen absorber (I just use a 300cc size Oxygen absorber for each jar, regardless of whether it’s a quart, pint, or half-pint jar since that size Oxygen absorber is available for such a good price from the LDS church’s online store), carefully wipe off the jar rim, place a lid/flat on the jar, and tightly screw on a jar ring/band. Within 1-2 hours the Oxygen absorber has usually “bound up” all the Oxygen molecules in the jar and caused the lid/flat to “suck down” and become concave. At that point, you can remove the ring/band if you want, or you can leave it on if you prefer. It is not necessary to also vacuum-seal the jar to get out the other gasses that are still inside it since it is the Oxygen that would have caused the food to eventually degrade, and the Oxygen molecules are now chemically bound to the iron filings in the Oxygen absorber packet. With dried foods that are not powdered, I generally vacuum-seal the jar with an Oxygen absorber inside also just to be extra-cautious but it is not absolutely necessary to do so. You can also put powdered dry foods in Mylar bags with an Oxygen absorber or two, gently press out most of the air with your hands, and heat-seal the Mylar bag closed, if you’d rather do that instead of fussing with a cantankerous jar. After an hour or so, the Mylar bag will start to look “sucked in” as the Oxygen absorber(s) chemically bind up the Oxygen molecules.

    Yesterday I watched some of the older YouTube videos on the Honeyville channel that showed “Chef Tess” demonstrating how to prepare meals in a jar (Ziti Casserole, Minestrone, and Personal-sized Meals with Freeze-dried Sausage or Ground Beef and either Classic Italian Sauce or Cheeseburger Sauce, are the ones I’ve watched so far). I wrote down the instructions so I can try to do some myself once I’ve accumulated all the ingredients. If anyone else wants to try those, I suggest you get the recipes from the text typed below the video screen because the ingredients as stated in the videos are not quite the same as the typed recipes.

    Today, I watched some more preparedness-related videos on the Modern Refugee, Uncle Bumble, and Obsessive Chicks YouTube channels, and have started reading Tammy Gangloff’s book “Quick and Easy Dehydrated Meals in a Bag” that was mentioned earlier by another member of this forum.  I was interested to learn that Ms. Gangloff feels stainless steel dehydrator trays can burn the food you’re dehydrating. So, if I ever get a stainless steel dehydrator I guess I’ll have to make sure its trays are plastic, not metal.

  • #9002

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Thanks, AmyD.  I haven’t worked with the o2 absorbers….have a few the size for a bucket.

    My biggest project today was to get water to travel down our very long route of hoses to fill the livestock water tank…again.  Was gorgeous day [except the chill wind] for it.  DH is back at work so I was solo.  It all went smoothly…I’d laid the hoses on top of snow yesterday and they baked in sun till 2pm.  That’s the magic hour of maximum sun before it begins to fade in winter.  Tank was nearly empty so success today was a very gooood thing.  Sat at top of hill in sun-warmed cab of truck…reading book.  Take a look thru binoculars to see if I saw water near the top yet.  Then I go shut off the faucet.  Drain hoses.  Place them back where they stay till the next time.  Hose has to cross driveway to get to the tank…then back to stay on the other side.  Can’t drive across old hoses.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite

  • #9022

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMtWoman – You’re welcome 😉

  • #9023

    Josefina Arenas
    Participant

    Amy @12:16…funny you should mention Honeyville and meals in a jar.  I just received some bulk hard red wheat berries from them and got a Meals in a Jar book by Stephanie Petersen.  Thought I’d start exploring how to put up meals in a jar!

  • #9025

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Josefina Arenas – I’m just starting to learn about making meals in a jar also 🙂  I have Stephanie Petersen’s book too but haven’t read it yet.  I’m planning to get the little 6-recipe Meals in a Jar cookbook from FoodStorageMadeEasy.net soon.  If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the “Food Storage Made Easy” recipe for Beef Stroganoff in a Jar:  In a 1 Quart jar, ‘pack 1/2 cup Thrive Bechamel Sauce powder, 2 Tablespoons Thrive Espagnole Gravy powder, 1/2 Cup Thrive Sour Cream powder, 2 Tablespoons Thrive Beef Bouillon powder, 2 teaspoons Dill Weed, 1 Cup Thrive Freeze Dried Beef Slices, 2+1/2 Cups Thrive Egg Noodle Pasta, and 1/3 Cup Thrive Freeze Dried Mushcooms (Optional).  To cook the dish, in a large saucepan bring 5 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add contents of jar and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.’  I assume you could use a different brand for most of these ingredients if you wanted to but it is based on Thrive brand products.  I haven’t tried it yet but thought it sounded interesting.

  • #9031

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    We’re finally getting back to normal around here…post-DH-being-gone and then the illness.  We’re both ok now.  Still pretty tired.  We’ll go see our elderlies this week…it’s been too long.  But then there is weather.  It’s being a “real winter” in our neck of the woods this season.  Tho not with as much snow/ice as the Midwest.  Hope we can get my medical stuff handled pretty soon…on waiting list for a time slot.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #9033

    Josefina Arenas
    Participant

    Amy Dixon, thanks for sharing that recipe and the book title it came from.

  • #9059

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    The computer repair shop has finally admitted (after ~3 weeks) that they can’t save my laptop. They did copy off the data, though. (I would have been fine if they couldn’t copy off the data.)

    So I was forced to dig into the emergency fund for another laptop. I found an Asus for ~$400 at Best Buy. I know there are bargain-basement laptops selling for as little as $150 but I didn’t want to go any lower in price as I want this thing to serve me well for 6 to 8 years. Ugh and I have to wait 2 weeks for delivery. So I am still trudging back and forth through the snow uphill both ways to the school library to use their computers. Oh the humanity!

    This episode has made me appreciate the difficulty people face when they have no choice but to rely on computers in public libraries. Not only do they risk identity theft, but the decrease in productivity is immense.

  • #9061

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Josefina – You’re welcome.  I think that Beef Stroganoff in a Jar recipe is actually from the blog at that website.  I think there are 6 different recipes in the little book from what I can tell from the description of the book on the website.

    Late last night (a couple of hours ago) I found out that some unknown crook managed to get hold of my Visa account number and used it online yesterday to buy airplane tickets to Canada (on two different airlines no less) and then tried to use the number again to order food delivered to some address in California.  Fortunately, my Visa card issuer (realizing I live on the opposite side of the country) spotted the suspicious charges and notified me quickly.  So, eventually the fraudulent charges will be removed from my account.  Of course, in the meantime I had to cancel that card and get a new one issued, which will take 10-14 days to arrive <sigh>  I know what I’ll be doing for the next couple of days – calling the vendors I usually pay through Visa to make alternate arrangements to pay them in the meantime so I don’t fall behind on any bills.  What a pain in the patootie!  Still, it could have been worse.  At least my Visa issuer realizes I wasn’t the person using the card number for those big airline ticket purchases!

  • #9065

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    MollyM……Yeah, I know about those routes in life that have you going up hill BOTH WAYS.  In winter!  Been on that route recently.  So….they can’t fix your laptop 🙁   Did save your data.  🙂  But now you’re waiting 2 wks LONGER for new one?  That’s got to be rough while taking classes!  Glad you pop in here for an update tho!

    I didn’t feel as wiped out today.  Physically going up and down.  Still awaiting a medical appt…and then fairly minor surgery.  The results of that surgery will tell me if 2019 is going to be a reallllllly nasty year….or not.  But I have chosen NOT to worry about the results until we know.  Meanwhile, decluttering would be proactive….when I can.  This active winter weather hasn’t been helping my energy levels tho the past week has been quite fine.  Keep up the sunshine, melting ice/snow and I’ll have more energy for other things!

    OldMtWoman  ….is winter done yet?  {roll eyes}

  • #9099

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Yesterday, Valentine’s Day, I did online research about the Inergy Kodiak2 solar “generator”.  It sounds as though it has a lot of good features and a pretty good price point.  I also read a description of the Point Zero Titan, which I understand will be on the market soon.  That one sounds very nice also.  They’re both too pricey for my budget right now though, so I’d have to save a long time to be able to afford one.  Still, a girl can dream … <sigh>.

  • #9107

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Just checking in….Amy Dixon so sorry to hear about your Visa card problem…I absolutely hate a thief and I know I’m not supposed to hate anyone….maybe a better way to say it is I hate the activity of the one who is so messed up they think it’s okay to take someone else’s stuff with no thought to the trouble it causes that person….let’s see, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger….is that how it goes….but, phooey, sometimes I jest gets tired, Lord…:)

    My new buckets arrived today…son came by to put gamma seals on for me…the ring is just so tight I couldn’t get them on….one of the gamma seals is red so I’m going to put all the emergency health things in that bucket as someone had suggested…red lid on white bucket…:) I’m also thinking to figure out a way to put labels on each bucket identifying what’s inside, in BIG letters….and I think I should be able to stack all of these within my laundry room so I can more easily use the contents…for example, flour….My pantry supplies are not for saving for years out into the future; but rather to provide a way so that I’m not required to go to the grocery store for basic supplies as I get older….I can draw on these supplies and replenish them using Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon free shipping…I’m aiming initially for a six months supply and I’m just about there….being part of this forum has definitely been the impetus to get it in gear and do what I knew needed to be done….:)

    Decluttering: boo….still stuck getting rid of the last bit of “stuff” that’s so hard to let go….too many things still “spark joy” ….who needs as many shoes and purses as I have stuffed in my closet? but each pair, each purse still spark joy…seriously….:) I love my red leather loafers!!!

    We’re getting some icy conditions tonight they’re warning us…praying for everyone’s safety…all ya’ll north of the Mason-Dixon line know how to drive on snow and ice….where I live they just go crazy, so I stay home…

    Nite all…

  • #9108

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Muffy, If you run those gamma lids through hot water it will soften the gasket and make it easier to put on the bucket. That is what I learned to do the hard way.

    I have had a bad head cold. Suppose to go to church tomorrow night for a dinner but don’t think I will make it. Don’t want to give this to anyone as our church members are about 1/3 out with flu as it is. And then there is church Sunday. Not sure about that either. Depends on this cold. Haven’t had one in over 8 years and don’t know where this one came from. I forgot how bad it can make you feel.

    Amy hope you got your visa card squared away. I to have been down that road.

    I do have a question. I have seen on here and other places where people are putting their food buckets in garages which is also my laundry room. No heat nor air condition. Would the heat in garage in summer effect the food even though they are packed in mylar with 02 absorbers?  I am filling up about 4 more buckets of flour, rice and such but was wondering if I could store them in garage on shelf. Winter would not be a problem as it is usually cold in garage but summer it gets really hot. My 3 closets are overflowing now and I have no more areas behind furniture to put a bucket. I would think heat would shorten how long I could keep the food.

    Those of you getting snow and ice, please be careful. No one needs to be injured from a fall.

    OldmtWoman: I hope all goes well for you and will keep you in prayer. I had that colonoscopy this past tuesday and all went well. We have a friend that had one a few days before and found out he has colon cancer. But on the good side they caught it early. He’s having surg. on March 8th. I am sure you will do just fine and will be feeling better and getting stronger before you know it.

    We have our new air conditioner put in next week so that is one project out of my way. Now back to the decluttering. It is not as easy as I had hoped.

  • #9133

    RufusJ
    Participant

    The latest glaucoma meds are being tolerated by my cranky body. On Tuesday I find out if they’re also helping with the intra-ocular pressure. If so, then I think we’re good to go on these.
    And on Valentine’s Day we woke up to a new grand baby! As a result things have been a little hectic around here. DD lives about an hour away so we’d go stay with her at the hospital for the afternoon while her hubby took care of some things, such as taking their toddler to the park. Praise God that everyone is doing great!

  • #9135

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    RufusJ…congrats on new Grbaby.  And praying THIS med for your eyes will work!

    LilSister….thanks for words of encouragement.  Hope your head cold clears up.  Question(s) on bucket storage.  Oxygen, Heat, Moisture, Bugs/Rodents are all enemies of our hard-won food storage.  You are correct that heat will degrade the nutrient value of your bucket food.  Especially things like flour.  Whole wheat berries have far less surface to interact with the O2.  Finely ground flour has lot of exposed surface and O2 will degrade that more easily….except O2 absorbers in a very sealed container will stop that.

    But I believe the heat factor with flour, etc. might be the same…due to more of the food surface being exposed.  Anyway, I just try to store things that WILL degrade with heat, in areas that are the coolest I can manage.  [which out here in cold mountains is easy….but would not be for you folks who don’t FREEZE in terrible winters…lol ]  Powdered milk products and fats/oils are seriously affected by heat and can go bad/rancid.  I store my paper products, salt, sugar, etc in the attic loft.  Not affected by hot summer conditions at peak of the roof.

    It means I have things stashed allll over the place tho.  Don’t know how to get around that.

    Oh…one more thing, in case someone doesn’t know this:  Cannot store buckets or other things directly on cement floors...or flat up against cement basement walls.  The changes of temperature particularly in cement, will cause moisture to form in a sealed bucket.  Look that one up for more details.  But in general, it’s good to have anything up at least on a board.  Pallets are better if you have the space.  My basement space keeps getting flooded…often enough that I have most everything that can’t be sanitized up on pallets.

    AmyD….awwww!  SO infuriating to have someone STEAL from you!  Hmph!  Glad your loss was covered.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #9138

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Muffy1938, Littlesister, OldMtWoman – Thank you!  Hopefully the replacement Visa card will arrive soon.  In the meantime, I’ve arranged to pay some of the bills I usually have automatically charged on that card (which I then pay off each month) the old fashioned way – by a check in the mail.  Some, such as my Amazon Prime subscription, won’t accept payment by check so I’ll just have to wait until my new Visa card arrives to pay that one.  Oh well, it could have been a lot worse.  As of now, it doesn’t seem as though the crook got my Visa card number through my computer – at least the security scans I’ve run on it with Malwarebytes and Bitdefender say there’s no malware in my computer.  Still, I’m going to change all my passwords again just in case.  I don’t know for certain but I think that the crook may work for PayPal or may have somehow hacked the webpage PayPal uses for customers to update their credit card info.  The reason I think that is that the card number was fraudulently used within 24 hours after I went to that PayPal webpage to update the old Visa card info. they had on file.  The update was necessary because my card issuer had just sent me a new card to replace my old one that was due to expire at the end of February.  I noticed at the time that the PayPal webpage for credit card updates seemed glitchy, and I had to re-enter the numbers several times before the update “went through”.  I’m going to let PayPal know that so they can check and see if someone was hacking that webpage.  When my new Visa card arrives in a week or two, I’m going to phone in the new information to PayPal instead of using their update webpage – just in case!

    RufusJ – Glad to hear about the new glaucoma medicine.  Hope you get good results on Tuesday!  Congratulations on your new grandchild 🙂

    I haven’t gotten much prepping done the last couple of days but did have a nice chat with an old friend about prepping this past Saturday.  He has known for about 20 years that I’m a “prepper”.  He wasn’t one, and he used to tease me a lot about the supplies and food I stockpile.  He was also a die-hard pacifist who hated firearms.  Well, I was floored when out of the blue at our lunch on Saturday, he started asking me serious, non-teasing questions about prepping, and told me he’s decided he wants to get trained to use firearms for self-defense!  It’s taken a very long time but it looks like what I’ve been telling him for the past 20 years finally “sunk in”, LOL.

    Yesterday I started my monthly round of grocery shopping.  I got my usual groceries but also found a good buy on some Campbell’s  condensed “cream of” soups (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and cheddar cheese soup) that are great for recipes if you don’t have the time to make your own creamy sauces.  So, I bought several of each kind to add to my food storage pantry.  Is it just my imagination or have those cans gotten a lot smaller in the past few years?

  • #9140

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – Unfortunately, packing your food storage items in Mylar or buckets with an Oxygen absorber does not protect them from the degradation (and resulting severely reduced shelf life) that happens when the food is stored in an area that gets very hot in Summer, or that has temperature swings between hot and cold.  So, you should not keep your food storage in your garage (or in a hot attic or outbuilding) unless you have absolutely no other place to put it.  I would suggest that you see if you can store other items, such as extra blankets, tools, water filters, bandages, etc., in the garage, and store the food in a temperature-controlled area inside your home if at all possible.  Here’s what the Utah State University Extension service says about the effect of high temperatures on food storage shelf life in its excellent article “7 Factors that Prolong Your Food Storage Supply”:  “The temperature at which food is stored is very critical to shelf life. United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, states that for every 10.8 degrees in temperature rise you decrease the shelf life of stored food by half. The best range for food storage is a constant temperature between 40-60 degrees. Avoid freezing temperatures.”  Here’s a link to that excellent article:  https://extension.usu.edu/news_sections/home_family_and_food/foodstorage  So, for example, if your food item would normally have a 20 year shef-life if stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, that would drop to a 10 year shelf-life if stored at about 80 degrees, and to a 5 year shelf-life if stored at about 90 degrees, etc.  I found out, to my dismay, that this article is absolutely correct.  I had some pricey freeze-dried food stored in a building on my late parent’s farm for about three years that was usually kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.  Then, for one year, the electricity to that building was turned off, and the summer temperatures inside rose to 90+ degrees.  When I was able to access the building the following year, I re-hydrated and tasted the food to see how it had fared.  Sadly, it all tasted like cardboard!  I had to toss the whole lot of it.  Big waste of money 🙁  I’d hate for you to go through the same thing!

  • #9201

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy Dixon- why can’t you pay your amazon prime by check? That is the only way I pay mine. They send me a bill and I send a check for the amount by check in mail. You might want to check into that a bit further.

    OldMtWoman- Glad you and DH are doing much better. It has been a damp, dreary few days here, but at least no snow. I am getting over my cold though. So energy is starting to come back a bit.

    Rufus- Congratulations on new grandbaby. My youngest grandchild is now 17 years old. will be a while for the great grandchildren to start up.

    Decided not to store food buckets in garage. They will be better off in house. I will figure out a way to get them stored. I am how ever fixing up my emergency toilet buckets with everything I will need for them stored inside each of 2 buckets. These will be for a quick emergency till we get things figured out for a better solution. I have a plastic tub full of washclothes for when and if the toilet paper runs out and using a med. trash can for a diaper pail for them. We have an attic full of paper products now. Lots of baby wipes and other toiletries that I know we will need in a SHTF situation. Need to get some kitty litter for the toilet buckets and small trash bags for them as well. Don’t have enough of trash bags so looking for the sales.

    Also trying to get my first aid stuff more organized. Got some of it in a fishing box that worked out really well for the different size bandaids and such. But still got a lot of stuff to go through. Then need to finish going through all the meds. And get rid of anything that is to far out of date. Some things will go beyond the dates but not far past.

    For anyone that does not know this. Asprin will go past the exp. date but if it smells like vinegar then you want to throw it out.

    Amy Dixon- right now I am keeping my food storage in the house and where it is kept stays about 60 to 65 degrees. But if I put in garage it would be good for winter but summer would be a problem unless I air condition the garage. I have been playing around with the idea of putting a window air conditioner in shed and storing buckets in there. That is where I keep all my canning supplies and has worked out well so far. If I do that though, I want to set it up for solar as there is no electric running to the shed.

  • #9211

    RufusJ
    Participant

    LIttlesister, thank you. He is just the sweetest thing, and his big brother (28months old) acts very proud of him. All in all it’s been a great experience for the family with everyone adjusting well to the new little one.

    Tomorrow I see my eye doctor about the meds I’m currently on. I hope and pray they are having the right effect on my eye because I’m tolerating them well. It’s not perfect but it is doable. The joke is that I have old genes because older meds seem to work better on me, and pilocarpine is old as the hills.

    I’m slowly adding to my medical preps. Just got a box of N95 masks yesterday. I like them for allergy situations like tossing alfalfa flakes to the cows. No matter where I stand, the wind always blows the chaff into my face. Ugh. Next up is a medical reference book– The Survival Medicine Handbook.

    Hope all are doing well. Spring is almost here!

  • #9215

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – If my new Visa card doesn’t arrive next week, I’ll contact Amazon again to see if the customer service rep I spoke with last week was correct that I can’t pay my Amazon Prime bill by check.  (I did notice at the time, however, that payment by check was not one of the options listed on the “update payment method” webpage at the Amazon website, so maybe they used to allow it but now only let people who already pay by check continue to do so but don’t allow anyone else to switch over to that method now?).  It sounds as though you’re definitely on the right track as far as storing your food preps.  An air-conditioned shed should work well as long as the temperature can be kept fairly constant.  I’ll be interested in hearing what type of solar power setup you install that has sufficient power to run a window air-conditioner (with battery storage to run it on cloudy summer days also I would guess) if you decide to go that route.  I’m trying to learn as much as I can about DIY solar power installations 🙂

    Today I didn’t do much prepping but I did help a friend figure out how to get her 30+ year old sewing machine threaded and tension-adjusted so it will be ready to use.  Doing so reminded me that I need to dig my own sewing machine “out of mothballs” and make sure I still have all the necessary bobbins and the zipper foot.  If not, I’ll have to try to track down replacement parts online – which could be a major challenge since my old Singer is, literally, 45+ years old. I think it was their very first model that had an automatic thread tension adjustment feature. Whew!  I may need to get the cord replaced.  After that many years, it could have become brittle.  Have to check . . ..

  • #9222

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy, speaking of sewing machines. My daughter has a singer peddle machine that her husband found and bought home. He is looking for a new gasket for it. Hope he found one as that was all that was wrong with it. I will have to tell him to get a couple of them. That machine will be great in a SHTF situation if they can get it working.

    Rufus, I have about 100 or more of those N95 mask. They work great. Hubby has asthma and used a couple of them. Some of them I bought home from Doctor’s office I used to work at. He retired and gave me a bunch of things. I even have one of the lamps from one of the exam rooms. That thing is bright. Good for working on car and different projects.  Also enjoy those grandchildren while they are young. They grow up fast, go into college, work field and military. So don’t see them as much but we do keep in touch a lot. The youngest one being 17 comes over for fish dinner every chance he gets. So he will call me on the days he can come and I will cook fish.  That boy can’t get enough of it. Glad he likes to go fishing.

  • #9225

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    I’ve spent quality time trying to find dirt/grit to spread on our ever-expanding ICE patches these past weeks.  And then we get melted and refrozen…..and/or ……it snows another half-inch.  “Sanding” the ice is a really good method of preventing falls.  But I have to find an endlessly available supply of dirt that isn’t frozen solid.  Found a good patch today and covered it so the snow wouldn’t get it wet.  🙂

    I looked outside the back door this morning and wailed: ” It snowed AGAIN?”  So before the dog tramps her footprints all over, I went out with the broom and swept it AGAIN….path all the way to gate of the goat yard….to the goat house to open that door….down steepness over what used to be stairs….to the other gate….  Our STEEP hills and ice or packed snow do NOT mix well.

    Now tonite, it’s snowing….AGAIN.  Using a LOT of energy just sweeping the same feet of frozen dirt over and over this winter.  Probably use less energy if I just had to shovel a foot of snow ONCE.  Like being pecked to death by ducks….as they say.  One fall on ice could change the equation of our lives….and DH and I have both fallen a couple times already, despite all our efforts to avoid it.

    OldMtWoman  …..however, in the SW we always say:  “But we need the moisture“…

  • #9247

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – It’s great that your son-in-law was able to find an old Singer sewing machine.  I bought a partially working vintage/antique Singer treadle sewing machine many years ago when I was handling props for a local production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. At that time, I hadn’t gotten interested in prepping so, when the play finished its run, I sold that sewing machine.  Now, of course, I’m mad at myself for parting with it, lol.  Maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to find another affordable one that can be repaired and made operable.

    Didn’t get any prepping done yesterday as I was laid up with a tummy issue.  However, the day before I went to my favorite Bent n’ Dent store to do my monthly grocery shopping and found some nice dry beans (Cannellini, small white beans, and small red beans) for 60 cents US per pound.  I got several pounds of each type of bean to vacuum-seal in glass jars (with an Oxygen absorber inside also) and add to my long-term storage pantry.  I also saw some Bragg’s organic Apple Cider Vinegar at a great price, so I picked up a few bottles for my pantry.  It’s still too cold in my kitchen for me to successfully ferment my own apple scrap vinegar – but I plan to do that once the weather warms up a bit more.

  • #9254

    namelus
    Participant

    if you belong to a church  that does missionary work in Africa,  the international branches have supplier of machines they send over.

  • #9262

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Ahem….that statement I made a couple days ago about less work to just shovel a foot of snow all at once…..  FORGET I said that.  I was crazy.  It was proved just 24 hrs later.  {roll eyes}

    OldMtWoman …. Hmph

  • #9294

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMtWoman – Hope you and your DH are doing O.K. despite the recent snow!

    The last few days I was laid up with a stomach virus – not flu though, fortunately!  Didn’t get any major prepping done but did get the chance to watch some interesting preparedness-related videos on YouTube.  I also checked out one of the Morse Code practice websites (the one where you can select how fast or slow the code is transmitted and can enter the words or sentences you want to hear in Morse Code) mentioned by another member of this Forum, and hope to start learning Morse Code soon.  I can tell that I’ll have to start with a v-e-r-y slow words per minute speed though, lol!

  • #9296

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Glad you’re feeling better, AmyD.  What a winter this has been for folks getting all sorts of illnesses.  And for our people, surgeries.  Well, better now than in a Post Stuff Hits Fan world.  Get stuff taken care of while its still up and running.  Tho I’m beginning to wonder about the clinic I’m WAITING on ….IS it still up and running as effeciently as maybe a few years ago?  Cutbacks in staffing?  Dunno.  Kinda scary to think of our medical system [never perfect anyway] degrading ….  😮

    OldMtWoman

  • #9333

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMt Woman – Thank you 🙂  I finally felt well enough to get out of the house yesterday for the first time in several days.  The weather was bright and sunny – but now they’re predicting 2-4 inches of snow for my area tonight – geesh!  Guess Winter’s not finished with us yet  🙁

  • #9340

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    We’re still sunny to partly cloudy.  I was trenching the driveway today, encouraging water/slush to make it’s way downhill quicker.  Shoveled a lot of deep slush out of driveway at top…..still part of the winter ‘glacier’.  That driveway glacier has receded in the past few days.  🙂   Is now only covering half of our parking area.  And the steep part is seeping water downhill.  Kind of a race to get rid of it before more snow and COLD will come in a few days.  Cuz…it always come back til June.  Well, some years we get lucky and have Spring in late April or May.  But we’ve had major blizzards in those months too.  Mebbe the groundhog will be right this year???

    OldMtWoman

  • #9374

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Drizzling and damp cold out. So can’t get anything outdoor things done for next few days. Now that we have a new thermostat the heat is holding at a steady temp. The old one was shot. Won’t know about air conditioner till needed but sure it will work out fine. Next big project will be having the fireplace redone. It is in need of some work but don’t know how bad condition it is in yet. We had a flood a few months ago from some very hard rain that flooded the fireplace and down to the floor. So thinking we have a crack somewhere. New roof so it’s not from that area, but rain coming down from inside the chimney.

    Need to figure out our cooking arrangement for cooking without gas or electric in rainy and snowy conditions. Want to get the fireplace right so I can use that for cooking as well as heat. Need to be careful of carbon monoxide so limited for indoor things to use.  Looking at maybe a lean to added to one of the sheds that would work for a cover for outdoor cooking on grill or open fire pit during rain. could have it closed in on 3 sides. Not sure how I will work that out yet but thinking about it.

  • #9451

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – You have probably already considered this option but if not, I would suggest that for your indoor emergency cooking needs you get a small portable stove that uses butane canisters.  Butane stores well and is, with proper ventilation, safe to use indoors (or in your lean-to) for cooking.  I believe one standard butane canister will last for about 1+1/2 hours of cooking time.  If you make something like soup or stew that has a high liquid content, you can bring it to a rolling boil, then put the hot covered pot directly into a thermal cooker (such as a Wonderbag, or similar item) to finish cooking by retained heat.  That would stretch your butane fuel a good deal farther.  Another option for indoor cooking, with proper ventilation, is a HERC-type oven that is fueled by candles.

    OldMtWoman – We’ve got slush outside now also – and 3-6 more inches of snow predicted for tomorrow – Arggggh!

  • #9455

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy Dixon, thank you for the info on the butane stove. Never thought about that. It would be easy to ventilate so I could use it inside. Also I have a wonder bag and love it. I have been playing around with the idea of seeing how easy it would be to make one. They are a bit pricey but not to bad. I have never heard of an HERC-type oven fueled by candles. Sounds interesting so will check into it.

    OldmtWoman you and Amy both please be careful in that snow. As it melts and then freezes it can become ice. Don’t need anyone slipping and falling. Stay safe.

  • #9613

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    Hi everyone! I know I dropped off for nearly the whole month of February. But I have been reading your comments all along to keep up with your lives. So many of you have been dealing with ice and snow as well as winter colds, flu and other illnesses, and I am glad you seem to be recovering.

    So I survived my first-world tragedy of not having a personal computer in my home. This episode has made me appreciate how much I depend on a home computer and home internet access to run my life. Seems like whenever I’m on a frugality website, someone will chirp up, “Cancel your internet and use the computers at the public library!” OK that is a horrible frugality tip. If you only use public computers to surf the net, fine, but using a public computer to take care of your personal business will most likely lead to your getting robbed and getting your identity stolen. I realize many people run their lives from a smart phone or iPad, but I’m not dexterous enough to do serious work on a small screen. I am thankful to have a laptop again with a nice-sized screen, keyboard and mouse.

    I finally got my budget laptop and it works fine. It was horribly packaged for shipment and I thought it might not even start. Some dope put the small laptop box inside a huge cardboard shipping box, tossed in a strip of bubble wrap, and that was that. So the laptop box was thrown around and around inside the shipment box like clothes in a dryer. Plus there was a fist-sized hole punched through the shipment box. Oh, and it sat at my local post office for six days. It is amazing this laptop actually works. It does have a 1 year warranty in case it dies. If I buy a laptop again, I will buy it in person at a store, not order it online!

    I am caught up on grad school homework and striving now to keep up. My classes are so boring this semester I can hardly stand them. I am churning out one boring paper after another, about 2 papers a week. I am having a hard time focusing and have to stop myself from procrastinating. Oh well, the semester ends April 15. One class is so boring the professor himself doesn’t seem to want to teach it; he has failed to show up for half the classes.

    Haven’t done any more work on the Portal to Hell hall closet. All the tools and supplies are just lying on the floor of my living room in an unattractive pile. I will re-attack the closet after the semester ends. I want to get my 3 closets sorted out in order to really make progress on the decluttering. I have a storage locker that I ardently want to give up, but that means throwing stuff out and fitting what’s necessary into my apartment closets. The bulkier items include storm windows and a window air conditioner. I believe with careful pruning and arrangement I can fit the necessary stuff into my closets and give up the storage locker (and stop paying the storage fee!). I love it when people tell me I have clutter. There’s nuthin’ like being lectured about clutter by someone who lives in a 2,500 sq ft house with an attic, basement, 2 car garage and shed in the backyard.

    Winter weather here in NYC has not been bad, in my opinion. I think it’s been an ok winter. It snowed a couple inches last night and will snow this week, but it is absolutely nothing compared to what some of you are going through. I am in awe of those of you surviving and thriving in such snowy climates.

    In recent excitement: Last nite around 3am, as it was snowing, there was an electrical fire erupting like a geyser from a manhole on the street behind my building. It sounded like explosion after explosion. A house on that street has gaslight lamps lining the sidewalk and driveway, and they were flaring wildly. The electric lights inside that house, plus the lights inside the house next to it, were flaring on and off wildly. It looked like a horror movie. Finally the electricity went completely out in both houses with an explosion of noise. I imagine it might have wrecked their house electrical wiring and they might have to rewire their houses. Fire dept and electric company people were everywhere and stopped the manhole fire. So no parked cars blew up, and the fire did not spread, in fact, neither house went on fire. I and most of the people in my building were awake and dressed and milling around in case we had to flee. I didn’t get to sleep till 6am. So that was my almost-bug-out experience.

    So that’s my update. I hope to post more frequently in March.

  • #9624

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Good heavens, MollyM…..did they figure out what caused your ‘almost BugOut’???  Sounds as bad as our western wildfires…watching it approach and having one foot out the door with bag and baggage close to hand.

    Glad to hear you’re still surviving your classes with all the challenge of not having a computer at home.  And the arrival of a bounced around package….yike.  That’s ridiculous!

    As for ‘helpful’ folks who feel the need to point out our ‘clutter’  …or our propensity to keep everything….or some such, all from the vantage point of their MUCH larger homes  — I get that!!!  I have a dear friend…and she is a kind lady, but at times cannot find her way out of a box with any sensibility and 2-step logic.  She’s teasing me but somehow canNOT compute that she owns likely 4X what I do.  Cuz it disappears in an orderly manner into her house that is 6-8X the size of our very small house.  Add to that our rodent factor – the need to contain things within rodent-proof buckets, metal boxes, etc.  Until my cat died and we began to use poison…. being rural, we were overrun by mice [and one rat each fall in the garage area].  Ahem…… I’m not holding my breath but since laying poison in November….no rodents seen / no ‘evidence’ of their foul ways seen…..(giving a quiet, cautious YAAAAAHOOOOOO! )   😉

    Anyway….more of that snow challenge is falling.  🙁    ….still, it’s better than wildfire or rodents!!!  \0/

    OldMtWoman

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