March Prep Every Day Check-In Thread

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    Slow and lazy start to the week. Aldi had small sewing kits so I picked one up. There were a few varieties of them; eg travel, haberdashery ect.

    Weather wise we have had rain for the past 3 days. Cant complain because we need it. Rainy season begins in May and thats when the storms pick up. Though you really never know, as things have been kinda crazy

    Shout out to Hieronyma textor and Xant dewit. Havent seen you in a bit and I hope that all is well



    Haven’t been able to get things I need to do done as grandchildren have been in and out all week. Youngest grandson was here for most of the day and just left about a half hour ago. Oldest grandson was here for his real grandmother’s funeral. He flew in from Texas and will be here till Friday. My granddaughter from CA will be here another week. So with kids in and out at all different times I have had to put everything on hold. But I have enjoyed their company. Though for the two step grandchildren I wish it was under better conditions. The funeral was this morning so that is now behind them and they can go through the healing process and move on. Though I am really tired now. Haven’t had so many grandchildren coming and going since they were little.  So this has been my whole past couple of weeks. Nothing done that needed to be done.

    My youngest grandson will be coming over when the weather warms up and if it ever stops raining to help me wash windows. He is going to wash and clean out car for me as well. Then he is going to be helping with the garden and getting it ready for planting. He is the one that is always wanting to help me and his granddad with stuff around here. I guess because he is the youngest of the five and the rest have either moved away or really busy with work and school.

    So I have giving up on getting the things I need to do for now till things calm down a bit. Grandchildren are fun but now they just want to sit around and talk so it is hard to do things and just sit and talk. But it has been fun hearing all the things they have been upto. Granddaughter and her new husband that’s from CA have been talking about buying or building a house. They are having trouble deciding where they want to move as their jobs won’t be a problem for them as she works from home mostly and he goes to work but can also work from home. My grandson from Texas is in military and is stationed there. We just don’t know for how much longer yet. My granddaughter that lives in Maryland has been in Missouri, on a dog training class. She trains dogs and teaches how to train police dogs and service dogs. I am thinking that is why my youngest grandson sticks so close to us. One sister is out of state and the one that is still here works 3 jobs and college as well. So he feels a bit left out of things. But that will change for him after he graduates high school next June. Though he is working now. So that helps.

    So that is the story of my life right now. Just need some much needed energy right now.


    Amy Dixon

    Mama cando – If you have any trouble using your new pressure canned on the propane campstove, or if you just decide you want to be able to do pressure canning indoors, you could do what I did and get a Broil King Hi-Power Professional single burner electric Hot Plate (the model I got several years ago was # CSR-3TB).  The bottom of my All American Model 921 pressure canner overlaps the burner a little bit but it still works well on it.  That particular burner is very sturdily built and supports the weight of the loaded canner.  Also, it will maintain a steady temperature, which is very important for pressure canning. I believe it is still available on Amazon but you can sometimes find it for a lower price from online restaurant supply companies.



    I’ve made maple syrup but not to any great extent.  If you do it in your house you can get the walls etc. pretty sticky if you do a lot.  You need a sugar shack so you can do it there.

    about the skunks- it would be good to have some hydrogen peroxide and baking soda on hand in case of spraying.  If you mix it with a little dish soap it really makes an antidote for the smell but don’t try to bottle it for later because it can blow up.

    I love black walnuts and have picked to nutmeat out of the HARD shells.  The walnuts are also good for boiling traps in.  I shared some of mine with a trapper.  We don’t have the trees here.   Its probably too cold but someone gave me some.

    Ham radio is excellent for communication and can be used with solar panels.  The trick is to use the right antenna setup.  People from your club would surely be willing to help you with that.

    Cinn Grammy- how are you coming along with your Morse code?  I’ve been doing word training.  I’m told that you will start getting syllables, then words instead of just letters and it can happen suddenly.   I’m just starting to get the syllables.  I was just too tired to do it for a while when I had to remove a LOT of snow, but finally its melting.  Yesterday I went out and broke some ice up with a spud on the driveway.  It was about four inches thick.  Still can’t see out the front windows but banks are going down.



    Cinnamon granny, sat phone has another draw back any solar activity xnd the low orbit sat network gets glitch.  If you both set time aside a ham radio is way cheaper to use, and will work when nothing else does.



    OldMt Woman

    Yeah, Corsaire…where are Hieronyma, Loving Life, Xant, and a lot more?  🙁

    As is usual in high mountains, we’re losing snow quickly.  Powerful sunshine up here.  Then powerfully COLD when the sun sets.  Still snow in half of the parking/turn around area.

    Whew…I canNOT get my energy back up.  Still waiting.  Glad for DH to keep things going.  Frantic activity necessary during/post MEGA storm is calming down.  Usual things like laundry are getting done again.  We’re eating soup/sandwich/pasta a lot tho.  Still keeping that simple.

    Remember the idea for stacking cans in pantry so they rotate oldest forward?  Take a box and lay it down.  Make a hole in top – back of box to ‘load’ the cans…..the newest can is in the back of the box and rolls forward as cans are used from the hole in the front of the box.  Since I’m terribly space-deprived in this little house, I tried the idea of using Kleenex boxes for regular small soup cans.  CONCLUSIONS:  They are NOT sturdy enough.  Plus the box I had underneath for Progresso type soup cans….came apart and suddenly I had cans rolling all over and down over the edge of free-standing shelving units and ……  20 minutes later, with flashlite and odd body contortions in that tight corner, I was able to retrieve them all.  Some had fallen to the lower shelf where I keep vinegars, and other bottled liquid condiments.  As soup cans crashed, I would cringe but no glass shattered.  Tossed out the Kleenex box but will duct tape to reinforce the other box.  Still a good idea but….needs some work.

    OldMtWoman  …G’nite all



    We use something simular to this, double stack makes it store more in less space. We made big enough so #10 cans havery a rack, self fifo


    Mama cando

    Amy Dixon, Thanks again for the info, will have to check that hot plate out. It may not be an issue(but good for future) because DH is a bit upset at the stove/oven right now.  We’re ‘limping’ along with it because we also have to replace the hot water heater. We’ve been maintaining it AND, mark your calendars, DH said I (me) was right, LOL, Heater IS the original in the house,  it’s 30+ years old and not heating so well. Even though the plumber (neighbor) we had in said we do a great job of maintaining things, it’s just wearing out. SO I’m taking bets on which one goes out first LOL.We’ve got the first of the appts with some of the people we saw at the home show Friday. Since the heater is at one end of the house (42 and 46 ft ft from kitchen/laundry room respectively), we are also looking at adding either a re-circulating pump to it or installing a small (20-25 gal) tank at the kitchen end of the house to boost the hot water to that end of the house. In the 18 years we’ve been here we haven’t run out of hot water till this Christmas. We actually ran out of hot water Christmas morning,  Son1 had to take cold shower in the morning, woke him up pretty good though, LOL. It took quite awhile to heat the water too Neighbor (we trust him) also told us they don’t make the parts anymore so we just can’t “fix” it. Wish manufacturers would go back to making good products not the “throw away” junk they make now.


    Amy Dixon

    Mama cando – You’re welcome!

    Today I watched a couple more of the free videos in the online 2019 Home Grown Food Summit.  I saw the ones about cooking in a Rocket Oven, and making 1-Hour Mozzarella.  I hadn’t seen a rocket oven in action before.  Maybe I’ll try to make one of those too – someday, lol.  Also, the Mozzarella-making video was interesting because the presenter started by adding Mesophilic culture to 1 quart of warmed, fresh whole milk and letting it culture first for 30 minutes in a jar on the countertop and then overnight in a refrigerator.  The following day, she added that 1 quart of cultured milk to 3 quarts of non-cultured, fresh whole milk, and then carried on with the rest of the Mozzarella-making process.  She explained that starting with “pre-acidified” milk (which is how she referred to the quart of cultured milk) helped the resulting curds stretch more easily.  She certainly seemed to get a great stretch from her curds – far better than I’ve been able to achieve using other methods!  She also explained how to gently form the heated, stretched curds into balls that retain enough moisture to stay “tender”.   It’s always fun to learn a new, better way of doing something 🙂



    Namelus, that can holder looks great.  If I could get hubby to help me build one. it could solve some of my issues with can goods.

    Amy Dixon I too like the idea of that hot plate. I want to get another pressure cooker so I can keep 2 at a time going but I have to measure from top to bottom to make sure it fits under the hood of stove. Not a lot of clearance there. The hop plate would solve that problem and I could get a bigger pressure cooker.

    Well no grandchildren today as they are off visiting and granddaughter is showing her husband around VA. He has never been to VA before. So she has taken him on a tour today.  Though my youngest grandson came in for a couple hours after work as he just works at the corner from us.

    So I was able to get a few things done today. Started off at Church this morning for the food ministry. We give out food to the needy every third thursday.   After we got home, I fixed hubby something to eat and then I got busy with oven canning the flour I had been trying to get done the past 2 weeks. So now that is out of way.

    It has been so rainy and today the wind blowing like crazy. So still can’t get to the windows to wash them yet. Planning the garden and trying to figure out where to put the green house. It is just a small one to start seeds in till time to transfer them to the garden. Was thinking about my clothes line. I know the lines do wear out and have had to replace them a couple of times. So I am putting clothes line on my list of things I need so I will have the extra line if I need to replace what is there now.

    Made pepper steak for dinner tonight as hubby loves it. Had everything I needed already, so that was good. But when I went in freezer this morning to pull out round steak for it. I did notice it was the last one. So have to wait for it to go on sale again.

    Mama Cando. Hope all goes well with getting your new hot water tank. Seems when you own your home it is always something that needs fixing. We just replaced air conditioner almost a month ago.


    Columbia River

    Bought a case of organic cauliflower on sale – 1/2 price. Will make a bunch of my cauliflower queso this weekend and freeze it in ice cube trays. It does well in the freezer. Will need to pick up more carrots tomorrow and I think I have enough of everything else.

    Found a 1992 Mother Earth News with several harvest articles and a great article on huckleberries. They grow in the mountains around here and are quite popular.I learned a few tricks.

    I’ve also been reading Living Terrors. Kind of makes me want to grab all my family and hide, but life doesn’t work that way.

    The snow is rapidly disappearing so we’re dealing with “mud season” up here. Glad for the end of snow and cold weather- it was like someone threw a switch.

    Doing my exercises in hopes of having good arm mobility again some day.

    Little Sister- all those “things” you’re not getting done are only things – enjoy whatever family you can get. Very rarely do families all stay in the same place. So it’s really nice when you can be together. I’m not getting things done like I want either. Tiny cabin, two good sized dogs for a year (the “small horse” and her parent have left on another journey) and a shattered shoulder have certainly cramped my energy, but I feel a burst of wanting to do things. Not enough energy yet for everything but I’m getting there. My shoulder is healing and the sun is shining.  There is hope!

    The calendar says it is day two of spring. Enjoy whatever version of spring you have. And enjoy the birds.


    Mama cando

    Ain’t that the truth little sister!! If it isn’t one thing ,it’s another. AH the joys of home ownership LOL. On a happier note, my niece posted an update on my grand nephew. He was born with a genetic disease Osteoporosis. He had to have a bone marrow transplant at 7 months and is coming along as well as can be. He is sitting up on his own and scooting around on his butt and talking. She is in Boston with him for his transplant check up and will be seeing an ophthalmologist tomorrow. It seems the transplant maybe helping him see more than shadows.  Bright light really bothers him now and niece is getting something to help him learn to put weight on his feet and legs.He spent almost a year flat on his back so he’s a bit behind physically with walking etc but his doctors are pleased that he is progressing a little faster than they thought he would.


    OldMt Woman

    Like you Columbia River, I’m WANTING to go and do…..but still not producing any sustainable energy.  Tonite tho….felt just a little bit like ….normal?  Hope so cuz have family visiting this weekend that I haven’t seen in decades.  If they can get thru the Midwest flooding.  That. Is. SOOOO bad!  Buy your grain/flour/legumes now.  Too much of our nation’s bread basket is under water BEFORE the snowmelt season begins.  They’re losing a lot of grain as the round bins are shoved with the floodwaters.  I re-tarred the bottom edge [where the metal meets the cement platform] of those bins on our farm every spring.  Cuz they’ll leak and cause rot if you don’t.  High winds or flood waters can case same motion to crack the seal….

    I did an experiment with re-using my N95 masks.  UNDERSTAND….you’d NEVER do this if you used masks to keep out bacteria/virus from disease.  But for me, I’m too sensitive to particulate matter in bronchial tubes.  So I’ve used these for our area’s persistent DUST.  [sometimes wildfire smoke]   Well these N95’s have the exhalation valves…..or I nearly black out trying to get enough air while I’m working and moving.  Means they cost more $$… if I can wash them clean of dust …enough to use again I save!  Well, it worked really well.  They’re cup shaped and dried just fine.  I’ll do same with at least two others and save $$.  Right now….nary a dust mote floating out there with all this melting snow and soggy ground.  😀  Suits me fine.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all



    Mama Cando you might want to look at a instant hotater heater they are way more efficient than a tank.  We use a brand called takagi they are expensive but over time they save on fuel just make sure water to not hard as it messes with heating elements.


    If you do have hard water getting a filter helps but ask as there is a cheap version and a more expensive the more expensive uses way less salt and pays for itself.


    Also before the water intake to heater make a van der waal feild with magnets it increases the absorbtion of water and keeps any particulate suspended. You make them by buying 4 neomolydium magnets about half the size of a pencil a ranging the so all the poles align so all north on way all south another it means they all push apart. Then at the 4 compass points touching the inlet pipe tape them on using duct tape. These magnets will not last forever as condensation will erode them but will last for a decade.





    Mama cando

    namelus, thank you for the information. Will have to check that out. We fortunately do not have hard water but that could change in the future. The filter is that what they euphemistically call a water softener?. The Van Der Waal field sounds interesting.I’ll have to do some reading up on it. Thanks again.

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