March Prep Every Day Check-In Thread

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This topic contains 260 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    Columbia River

    Now it’s there twice ?? Sorry

    old type phones only work as long as phone company battery. We can’t talk very long anymore . Phone company probably needs to replace the battery in their switch box down the road.



    Spent the morning in attic going through things and sweeping floor from where they were working on air condition. Wood chips everywhere. Was looking at rafters up there to see what I could do for a shelving system there. It would not be easy as the roof slants. The attic is only over the garage. After that it is a crawl space over the rest of house. The attic floor is raised up like at each of the 3 windows in garage so it is like 3 big wooden boxes. I have never done it yet, but I think it might be hollow with ceiling for a floor in bottom of each of these boxes over windows. From the garage the ceiling is up high for the windows and that is why the boxes structures in attic with the rest of garage ceiling being lowered. I am going to remove the top of one of those boxes to see what it is like inside. My guess is a huge empty space. If so I just may find myself some great hiding places. Not sure I explained the attic and garage ceiling well but best that I could describe it. Worked on garage a bit cleaning things up and getting stuff into place.

    OldMtWoman. You guys stay safe out there. Hurricane season for us starts June 1st. But we have never had a hurricane hit around here till about Sept. But you never know. I never thought where you live that hurricanes even happened. Sounds like you have everything under control though. The barometric here must be doing something because my hand has hurt for past 2 days. Arthur has come to stay awhile. So got Bengay to take care of it along with my arthritis glove.

    We should be having our tax free hurricane season buys within the next month or so. Want to get more tarps, batteries, duck tape and whatever we need tax free.

    I looked up the Sheila maid airer clothes line. Like the idea of it. It is on Amazon for $160.  I am wondering how I could make something like that cheaper. Though the ends of that is cast iron. So it would be good and strong. I have my outdoor clothes line that I had to stop using because my nextdoor neighbor decided to hang bird feeders right there on his side of the property line where my clothes line is. So got tired of rewashing clothes. He is no longer doing that now so I am going to clean up the lines to start using them again. I also have 2 retractable lines in garage as well as 2 free standing ones to hang clothes. So I think I am good for drying clothes. I need to get 2 galvanized tubs and a wringer. So I have been going through things to see what I need that would help us in an SHTF situation. I have been reading about things that happened in the great depression as I have heard we could be heading that way again and that it will be worse as people depend more on grocery stores instead of homesteading now. One of the things I did not know was that they had bank closures. So no one could get their money out. I am covered for that, wondering how we would pay utilities bills and such. I guess would have that to figure out if it even happens.

    I did not know there was a baking rack for the sun oven. I have one and love it. Have a few pans for it. But no baking rack. Will need to check into that soon.

    Well back to work now. Breaktime is over.


    Cinnamon Grammy

    Greetings, All.

    Old Mt. Woman:  I hope the storm misses you.

    Clothes lines.  A ceiling line such as we see in the BBC programs of country homes?  Above the stove where it is warm.  Nice. There was a clothes line in our basement – a retractable one.  We had to take down one end in order to fit all of the pantry shelving on one wall.  We have the part still.  If I ever get the basement empty of “boxes and stuff” it could be used.  We do have a large clothes horse we could use inside near the main floor wood stove, and clothes lines outside.

    We have a unique furnace installation.  The chimney will also take a wood stove, plus, the furnace will distribute that heat.  Cool idea.  That would be a good future goal.  We could run out of propane for the furnace, and as long as we have a generator, we could have heat on the coldest days.

    It rained here in MN yesterday, and with the low temperatures our driveway is sheer ice. So, no going out for us for a few days.  Wed. is discount day at the local grocer and we are not taking advantage of that this week.

    Yesterday I baked the 13-lb turkey that was purchased last Nov., and used the last of the sprouting potatoes.  Carcass is in the crock pot.  Now to can up the meat in broth for future use.  I really enjoy being able to pressure can my dinners. I will make a freezer exception and make up a large and several small (loaf pan size) pans of Turkey Tetrazzini.

    I found a framed sign many years ago, and I hang it proudly on my wall.

    “An immaculate home is the sign of a misspent life.”

    My family would rather get out and experience the world than worry about dirt in the corner. My daughter and her three sons had an opportunity to visit International Families one summer; her husband managed to get a long vacation and join them for part.  They spent ALL summer visiting:  South Korea, Thailand, North and South Vietnam, and China. A once in a lifetime chance to be the guests of the families of the students that had just graduated after spending years with them here.  What a wonderful life. Whenever the youngest complains that he cannot do something, or is afraid to do something, we say,”You rode on the head of an elephant and traveled on a raft down a rain forest river.  What could you possible be concerned about.”

    Stay safe everyone.





    grannyj smith

    March 13

    Rainy and cold today and I hate getting out in it, but have to go to town for buttermilk, dh complaining he has not had blueberry buttermilk pancakes or banana bread in over a week.  I keep trying to stock up for a month, but it seems it just didn’t work this month.



    Amy Dixon the book by Jill Winger “The prairie homestead looks wonderful. I’ll be keeping an eye on it for possible price drops.

    Went back to the homedepot to pick up more drill bits. I am thinking presents and bartering materials. Also flashlights with batteries were 1/2 price. Hopefully these will last ( unlike the other which fell apart after 3 months )

    I should check on my elderlies prep supplies. Perhaps make a hurricane box with more supplies. They wont do it on their own.



    Interesting times. LifeLock, the identity protection service I’ve subscribed to for years, has alerted me that they have found my e-mail info in the “Dark Web.” If you start really researching how modern technology has so invaded our privacy with or without our knowledge and the probable things that can and will be done in the future, it makes me so sad for my grandchildren and for you younger ones on this forum. This particular breach came from the hacking of a company data base that no longer is of relevance to me but years ago I was a subscriber to that particular service. I wore a FitBit bracelet to monitor my walking, etc. and that app kept up with my progress. Unfortunately for folks in their system, the breach was discovered a year ago but is only now being revealed to the public. Whatever. I’m now in the Dark Web somewhere. 🙂

    On a happier note, progress continues on my raised beds. Son #3 has encouraged me to go all out and buy the readymade raised bed soil by Miracle Grow. My seeds are bursting out all over and handyman Tim thinks it’s close to time to repot them in larger containers so I’ve ordered those peat moss pots. I may end up having way more plants than I have space for but figure these will make great give-away plants for others in community. It might help some other older folks out in our rural area to try to grow a few things just to keep them up and moving about.

    Windy weather today and tomorrow. Tired tonight…warmest regards to all of you!!! I read all your post eagerly each day…thanks so much for sharing.



    Muffy, I to have lifelock. I also have a fitbit but stopped using it after I found out our info was being stolen from them. I haven’t gotten an alert yet for it but did get one about a year ago that the one I was on for coupons got hacked and a year later was found on black web. I deleted that company from my computer it has been a good 2 years and nothing ever happened. Guess if black web can’t get what they are looking for you are tossed to the curb. I sometimes think they are looking for credit cards and bank accounts. Anything they can hack into from that.

    The pancakes sound good. But hubby’s A1C was up so watching the diabetic diets. He was eating to much bread and other carbs. So he is off most carbs for a while till we get him back to normal again.

    Granddaughter will be leaving for CA on Sat. and on Monday I have to take car in for oil change and recall. Then I am going to start the canning. I got my half gal. canning jars washed today so I can get the oven canning out of the way. Then the meat balls and the dehydrating is going to be starting as well. I have a lot of frozen veggies in freezer I am going to dehydrate. Never done it from frozen foods before but the you tube makes it very easy. Working on the garden plans. Trying to decide what we want to plant this year. Going to try some new things as well. I have never planted celery but am going to give it a try this year. Still to early for planting yet as we are having warmer weather but still a couple of just below freezing at night. So maybe another week or two and we can start moving plants to garden.


    Daughter Caroline

    Oh these check-ins are just great!

    Thank you OldMtWoman for sharing your weather knowledge! What a bizarre storm!

    We’ve had rain, some snow, and soon those high winds. I worry about a power outage with the ice and winds. I got some more supplies today and have been thinking about things I may need to do and look out for.

    Wishing you all well!


    Molly Malone

    Hi everyone! I am just checking in. I am still alive, just buried under homework. I am churning out paper after paper after paper that I wonder if the professors even read. Just finished a take-home midterm. Next up is a paper on GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping technology. (The is a program in emergency and disaster management.) So all that’s happening here is that I keep the clothes washed, the dishes done, and that’s about it. My closet project is abandoned until the end of the semester. All the tools and supplies are in a heap on the living room room, and I just walk around it. I am trying not to make exhaustive lists in my head of everything that needs to be done to called this apartment finally renovated. If I do that, I get discouraged. So right now I am not looking past the closet project.

    I did abandon the schoolwork last Saturday to attend Das Rheingold, the first opera in Wagner’s Ring, because I bought the tickets 15 months ago. Wagner’s Ring is so popular there was a lottery for tickets. AN OPERA LOTTERY, GUYS, AN OPERA LOTTERY. Holy cr@p, the Metropolitan Opera production was the no-expense-spared Star Wars version of Das Rheingold with stunning special effects, lighting, and staging. Especially the water effects for the nymphs swimming in the Rhine River, and for the clouds surrounding the gods in the mountaintops, and for Thor dispersing the clouds, and this staircase that looked like a rolling wave for the scene where Odin and Loki travel from the mountains to the underworld. Next week I have a ticket to attend the second opera, the Valkyrie. I read somewhere that when Valkyrie premiered back in the 1800s, a contemporary reviewer complained that “The Ride of the Valkyries” was a tasteless piece of music, and Wagner replied, “Of what use would be a tasteful Ride of the Valkyries?” That line has always stuck with me.

    OldMtWoman, I hope you will be safe during this “bombogenesis” that is supposed to be the equivalent to a Cat 2 hurricane. All your preparations sound exhausting. I can’t imagine how you homestead in such a remote place under such tough conditions. When I read about how you and others on this forum homestead, it is a window into a way of life that seems so demanding and challenging and I am filled with admiration. About our manhole fire: Turns out 61 houses lost electricity for a while. The fire was caused by corrosive snowmelt/icemelt product put down on the roads. It mixes with water, drips down into manholes, corrodes electrical conduits until a fire starts. The electric company PR person acted very blasé about it, like it’s perfectly normal to have a GEYSER OF FIRE erupting on one’s street.

    Muffy1938, your raised garden beds sound wonderful! What a lot of work, but it sounds like they will be glorious. There are several tragic-looking planters around my building, with dead plants in them, and this year I am planning to plant some seeds in them. No one living in this building will object! I’d like to plant morning glories, and maybe cosmos. Spring is on its way here in NYC. The temp is staying above 32 at night. The daytime temps are usually in the 40s occasionally hitting 50s. I am so looking forward to the better weather. Pretty soon I will take down the thermal curtains and put up the summer curtains and take down the storm windows. Looking forward to the Macy’s Flower Show in Herald Square. And, sorry about your email being posted on the dark web. I guess that must have happened to me as well. Today I got notified that I had successfully opened a free wifi account at a shopping mall in Australia. I contacted them and they closed the account.

    grannyj smith, I cracked up when you said you had to go to town for buttermilk because your husband was complaining he has not had blueberry buttermilk pancakes or banana bread in over a week. That sounds like one pampered husband. I hope he appreciates you.


    Amy Dixon

    OldMtWoman – Praying you and your DH stay safe and warm despite the nasty weather!

    Corsaire – Yes, I think Jill Winger’s new book sounds good too! From what she said in an email I received recently, Amazon has lowered the price to pre-order a hardcopy of that book from $35 down to $22.48 (and I think there’s a $1.38 off coupon also available). Jill said she wasn’t sure how long that lower price will be in effect though.

    Cinnamon Grammy and Columbia River – The type of clothes drying rack I mentioned, (which is sometimes called an “airing rack” or a “clothes airer” in the U.K.) can be seen in Episode 2 of the older BBC television series “Wartime Kitchen and Garden” (at about minute 6:34) being used by the young actress who’s portraying an evacuee from London billeted with an older lady in the country. (Most of the episodes of that series, including Episode 2, are now available to watch for free on YouTube). The rack in the show, which is seen in its lowered position, looks very similar to the “clothes airer”sold these days at SheilaMaid dot com and in other online stores. It has two cast iron end pieces that are suspended from pulleys fastened into a ceiling beam. You insert long wooden slats through openings in the end pieces, and then hang your damp clothes over those slats. The end pieces/slats apparatus can then be lowered down from the ceiling or raised back up out of the way by means of sturdy cords that run through the pulleys. I believe that once you get the rack into its desired position, you wrap the end(s) of the cord(s) around a cleat that is screwed into a nearby wall. From what I have read, that sort of rack was often used in the kitchen where, presumably, the air was warmer and dryer due to the heat from cooking. I’m wondering if perhaps the hanging rack might have also been used to hang herbs to dry???

    Littlesister – I agree, the SheilaMaid clothes airer is pricey. I did a quick check online this evening and saw some other, similar, hanging clothes drying racks and rack kits for sale for prices ranging from $89 to $120 though. I wish some company would make a version from thick aluminum or some other strong metal that wouldn’t be as costly. I suppose it might be possible to make something like it from wood but I’d worry that it might not be able to support the weight as well as those cast iron end pieces can. I also noticed some used cast iron end pieces for sale for about $55 U.S. (including shipping) but they didn’t include the pulleys and cleat 🙁   . . . I received the drying/baking rack for my Sun Oven today. It came amazingly quickly since I just ordered it about 2 days ago! Great service!

    Today I watched more of the free preview Heritage Cooking and Kitchen Skills Course videos from Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead. I really enjoyed the videos on how to cure a picnic ham roast, how to make an improvised smoker to impart a nice smokey flavor to the ham while it roasts in your oven, and how to easily make beef Summer Sausage.


    Amy Dixon

    Littlesister – I did a bit more checking and found a website for a competitor of Sheila Maid, called Pulley Maid.  Their website is www dot pulleymaid dot com and, assuming I did the math correctly, their price for a classic cast iron hanging four-slat clothes airer kit (where you supply your own wood slats) including shipping from Great Britain is about $90 U.S.  So, it seems to be a better price, assuming you can later get the wood slats in your own area for a decent price and get them cut to the size you want.  Pulley Maid also has the hanging clothes airer in a wider, 6-slat model, and has models with Scots and Welsh designs as well.  Another website that sells very similar “Victorian Kitchen Maid” hanging clothes airers is www dot castinstyle dot co dot uk   It has a very helpful video on how to install one in your ceiling.  The “Victorian Kitchen Maid” clothes airers sold at that website are available in different colored finishes as well such as: black, white, anthracite pewter, smoke blue, french grey, stone grey, and ruby.  Oh my!  So many choices, lol!


    Columbia River

    Buttermilk — I used to “make” it by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk.  Wouldn’t want to drink it but it worked fine for cooking/baking.  I don’t remember the proportions but I’m sure it’s online somewhere

    Found the book FROZEN ASSETS at the thrift store and was reading it and longing for the day when I can do some serious cooking again.  I used to cook a lot of big batches of food and freeze main dishes.  Soon, soon we will be out of the cabin and I will again have tools to do that.  (Hard to cook much when a – as in only one –  3 quart pot is the biggest thing I have.)

    But I looked up the author Deborah Taylor-Hough and found the following from her – something to think on, for me at least: “One of my daughters said several years ago that our house was the Great Salt Lake of books–books flowed into the house but never back out.”  At the time she wrote that she had 2,000 book, down from her all time high of 3,500.

    Not saying how many I have, but perhaps in preparation for the end of the world I can be the library (the real library keeps getting rid of books and doing more digital stuff).  But, perhaps in preparation for the rest of my life without the end of the world I should consider being more judicious in my selections – and MAYBE I’ll consider taking back my joking comment about getting rid of cookbooks.  😉  Well, I’ll be thinking about all of it at least.



    grannyj smith

    March 14

    The weather turned bad around three am this morning, trees down, some roofs torn off, we were blessed the wind didn’t damage our home.

    Molly, my dh tells me I make the best banana bread and blueberry pancakes, what’s a woman to do with a compliment like that, make him blueberry pancakes and banana bread.

    Columbia River, I have tried the lemon juice in milk, but the bread and pancakes don’t taste the same, but you have made me remember a recipe for making buttermilk, so I will post that recipe in the morning if I do it correctly.




    Columbia River

    I haven’t used dairy in a long time but it seems like regular buttermilk had a sweetness to it so maybe add some sweetener if making the substitute


    Cinnamon Grammy

    I hope everyone is safe during the extreme Colorado weather.

    I am going to can my turkey in broth today.

    My big news…My grandson received a National Merit Scholarship.  Not the  $2,500 one, which would have been nice.  It was for $70,000!  This is the grandson who CHOSE not to finish his eagle requirements.  Now I see why he has been so busy.  Well done young man.  (He is still trying to decide between St. Olaf that gave him the scholarship but does not have a really strong engineering program, and North Dakota St. U. which does.  Seems like a no brainer to me.  Follow the money!)


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