The August 2020 Check-In Thread

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Josefina Arenas 14 hours, 9 minutes ago.

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  • #29631

    Crow Bar

    Welcome to August everyone!

  • #29632

    gregory C

    checking in from Memphis,would be interested to hear from like mined prep folks on various topics

  • #29633

    OldMt Woman

    Hi Everyone.  OldMtWoman checking in……a bit LATE.   Haven’t forgotten y’all at all.  Can’t figure where my time goes each day….seriously!  I certainly am not out-and-about these days.  I will have to read the July Check-in and catch up.

    Briefly, DH and I are doing fine…basically.  Age has not been kind in the past months.  Seems like we’re collecting a few pains that are having more long-lasting effects on general functioning.  Still doing BATTLE with those….and that steals time/energy!  Grrrr!  Not happy about that….but still hopeful that we can gain back those losses.  KWIM?

    Heading over to read July posts…  Watch out for that hurricane, coastal folks [Corsaire, and all].

    OldMtWoman …still topping off ALL preps….it’s WILD out there, folks!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #29636


    Oh Hi

    All is well, Thanks OldMtWoman. Some rain, some wind but thats about it.

    Didnt do much as far as a staging area, cause it wasnt and didnt turn out to be a huge storm. My old system wasnt ideal, so I need to rework things.

  • #29637

    Crow Bar

    After nearly a week with no rain, hot, a small but powerful microburst popped up yesterday afternoon.
    The weather station says we got almost a quarter of an inch of rain in less than 5 minutes!
    Last night it has been raining off and on.
    Tomorrow and tomorrow night the remnants of Isaias will be coming through.

  • #29638

    Mama cando

    Hey all, Doing ok. Garden is a fail this year. Not sure what we did wrong. Although the peppers are doing good, they are a bit on the small side but still good. Acorn squash has 3 little “nuts” on them with several blossoms still growing, cantaloupe has gone south, not sure why, still lots and lots of flowers but no melons yet. Little onions look like they are pearls. Still crossing fingers on the tomatoes got a few little greenies and they seem to be growing. As for the first planting of peas we have a total of 12 peas from 6 pods(darn doe got most of the plants). DH replanted in a box on the deck and they are starting to sprout(yeah) so we may yet get peas. I’m afraid we REALLY are going to have a very hard winter, got a couple of squirrels and chipmunks raiding the feeder now.They have not done so in the past unless we got a nasty winter.  The doe keeps “sampling” the feeder too.

    Son1 called the other day seems the psycho ex let Grandson 1 go back to visit his friends in AZ and Grand daughter 1 attended a volleyball camp at her (now old) school and one of her team mates tested positive before they were coming back to Dads. So son sent DIL1 and baby(both high risk) up here to visit with her family until the kids (and Son) are tested and negative.We’re doing okay on that aspect so she’s coming here for lunch this week. She texted all are negative down home so she’ll be heading back probably Friday or Saturday . GRSon1 is back with his mom and as far as we all know started back to school today, I pray he wears his mask as he is high risk as well. The psycho says virus is a hoax so no precautions are taken. Praying hard that he will be safe. On the other hand, Grdaughter 1 is now living with dad and will start on line school the 17th as they are going slow on getting the kids back in school.Two kids camps down there have shut down as 85% of the kids and staff are positive and some are now in hospital. I pray for all of us and hope you are all staying as safe as you can.

  • #29639


    Can’t believe it’s August already. This year is flying by.

    I have had a very busy few months. DH has been very sick and weak.  He is in congestive heart failure since October or Nov. of last year.  It has gotten worse. Of all the times for him to end up in ER was near end of April. 4 times to ER and 3 was admitted to hospital. Those were scary times to say the least. He is still having to have another surgery. The first was that they had to clip his mitral valve to stop it from leaking. Things were really bad before that was done. Now he is going in for a procedure called the watchman.  It is a device for people with Afib. that cannot take blood thinners as that was part of his issues. This device will stop any blood clots from entering the heart and going through his body. This will stop them and they will dissolve on their own with no issues of having a stroke.  So I have been a full time caregiver for my husband. It has been touch and go but he is starting to get a bit stronger and will be starting heart rehab to build the heart muscle back up. This will also give him back some much needed energy.

    Otherwise I have been busy canning everything from freezer.  We were unable to do a garden this summer with everything going on. But I was already well stocked.  Canned chicken, beef, turkey, made barbeque and canned it. In process of canning several types of soups and beans with ham as well. Since the Corona virus is keeping us home as DH is high risk. I am trying to get my huge freezer emptied and then going to restock it.

    Hope everyone is doing good with all this mess going on.  Glad to see everyone here still. Stay safe and I will try to get on here more often.


  • #29650


    Hi Antigone69 here. Hello August! checking in here and not sure where to even begin. Just got back from up north,near Chicago and have never in my life been so glad to get home. My garden was attended to while I was gone and so I was happy about that. Was going to can some tomatoes but we ended up eating them and making salsa. Hope all’s well with you all.

  • #29651

    Josefina Arenas

    Hi and welcome Antigone69.  I don’t visit this thread often, but should.  My garden is yielding tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers.  I’m seeding the tomatoes, cutting them in half and roasting them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then using my new vacuum seal preserver to preserve in the freezer.  With the other tomatoes, I’m making spaghetti sauce and salsa (that’s where the jalapeños come in).  We’ve prepared a larger area for a fall garden and will plant a much larger spring/summer garden next year and are hoping to grow potatoes and onions, as well as greens.  Earlier in the year, I froze white peaches and some strawberries to can when I fire up the water bath canner in a few weeks.  I tried my hand at sourdough starter earlier this summer, but failed miserably.  Now, with some dark rye flour, which the internet has assured me is easier to make starter from, I seem to be making headway and hope to make a couple of loaves this weekend.  We’ve also topped off our wood pile with some downed and split trees.

    Mama Cando…I’ve had gardens like that in years past.  It’s hard to know why they go that way.  Hang in there!  Praying the grandkids weather the psycho with no ill effects.

    Littlesister…you’ve got your hands full with caregiving and canning.  You are a strong woman!

  • #29652


    Hello Antigo69 and welcome.

    Josefina.  I am to a point I am mentally tired. Picked up car today as they have had it since Sunday night when I dropped it off for warrenty work.  I am so tired of the lies from these people. I called them this morning to find out when car would be ready. They said they texted me. Lie number one.  Then said because of hurricane they couldn’t get the parts delivered but when I went in to pick car up they said they haven’t been able to get parts for 2 weeks. Well since the hurricane was on Monday They told lie number 2.  And I got a letter that I am now involved in a class action suit against Hydundai as they are not doing the warrenty work or anything. I am going to make some phone calls. tomorrow.  No idea when I can get car fixed now and DH is going to have more surgery and heart rehab. So I told them when I bring it back I want a loaner car or rental and I am not paying for either since this is warrenty work.

    Also the post office delivered 2 packages to a wrong house. I have been back and forth about it and nothing. I have a code and the tracking numbers and they are not doing anything. I don’t know what packages these are at this point. So I am going to file a high price claim for the inconvence. I am so over people at this point.

  • #29664

    Cinnamon Grammy

    Happy August, Everyone.

    Life is interesting. Trying to stay informed has us watching multiple TV channels to try to be balanced in our perspective. Most of the people we know agree with our point of view so we are lucky.

    I have been concentrating on the vegetable gardens. The broccoli did not take with the first set of seeds, so I reseeded and we now have some tiny plants. We really like broccoli so I have three 17×3-foot beds, two rows of broccoli in each with something else in the middle so I don’t waste space. The cabbage is being eaten. This morning I sat and picked over each leaf and pulled off the cabbage loopers. All plants had multiples, but one has twelve! I hope I got them all. I have about a dozen cabbages. Not sure how to preserve them, I have never made sauerkraut, but I do can coleslaw, and freeze the sliced cabbage for winter stir-fries.

    We used the “Florida Weave” on the tomato plants. It works well, as long as you remember to start when they are young and actually circle each plant and stake. Leave no slack. Finally, in zone 4B we are starting to get paste tomatoes and our first table tomato. Not enough for canning. No flowers on the pepper plants, yet. The cucumber vines are dutifully climbing the fence but the actual fruits are fat on one end and skinny on the other. Not many, either. The yellow summer squash is doing too well. I will need to slice and freeze or dehydrate all of the fruits from two plants.

    I did not plant green beans this year since we still have 100 jars in the pantry. I did plant black beans and they are tall, full of pods that already seem to be drying out. No luck with the lentils and garbanzos from the panty; they just did not survive. Reseeded the sugar pea rows with rutabagas, spinach, basil, lettuce.

    We are preparing for another strawberry bed just like the one we have with foot tall sides. The plants that I transplanted in early spring are happily growing baby plants that need to be transplanted to a new bed so we get more actual berries next year from those original plants. I gave most of the berries to the neighbor.

    The flower gardens are out of control. I just do not have the incentive to get in there and weed out those dang perennials that have rhizomes that do not respond to being dug up. The big garden is full of yellow narrow-leaved sunflowers, OVERCOME with yellow, and a foot taller than the phlox. I don’t care for yellow.

    I have been canning hamburger in various forms. I made meatballs for spaghetti and canned them in ½ pint jars in a beef broth. I ate too many while I was stuffing the jars since they were really good. I also fried up some hamburger, with an onion and put 1 pound in a quart jar for a future meal – stroganoff, tacos, or whatever I need. Every week it is another thing to can for long-term-storage. I am hoping to get a shelf full of home-canned meats so I have more room in the freezer. The local sweet corn arrived two weeks ago. It is delicious and that means some corn and black bean salsa, and corn chowder on the shelves. Things are getting busy again now that the vegetables are ripening.

    On a personal note, I made us medical appointments for the two of us this month. Time to get our check-ups and my eyes checked. We’ll see how that turns out. Once those are dealt with it is time for hearing aids for both of us. I can tell that Hubby is getting “older” since he is having trouble doing some basic reasoning. To be fair, a wayward finger, or click of the wrong link really sends the computer and its owner into a tizzy.

    We have not really been anywhere except one of us to the grocery, or pharmacy. Trying to stay home and out of trouble. But that does not mean we still are not spending money. The microwave died and so did the basement dehumidifier, they are still to be replaced. One way or another I will either get new glasses or cataract surgery. Plus the boards for the raised garden beds. Our printer was not working, just not putting anything on paper, so we went to Best Buy and purchased a new one. It had to be delivered because they had none in the store. Well, our house is “out of the way” and you have to know where we are to get here. There were two attempted deliveries and the driver did not follow instructions. Finally, we got hold of the company and said specifically go to the end of the drive – beyond what you can see. Finally! Hubby gave the young driver what for because he was close, had our phone number, yet, still did not call for help. Now, we still cannot use the new Epson printer because we have Macs not pc computers, so no disc with instructions for us and the online instructions don’t work. Sometimes things just do not work. While we do not “need” the computer for business, I am tired of writing directions for canning, recipes and knitting out by hand, and I cannot print more mask patterns in different sizes.

    My family has been faithfully wearing the masks that I made for them. Each of them has a different lining color or thread color. I should probably make some for the college-bound grandson’s roommate. I have been making masks for the people I know. I am happy to give them as presents for the little things that they do; especially for our friends in the ham radio club. I made some for my great-nephews. They may only be 2 and 5 but their faces do not fit a child size and I will need to be creative to make some that fit.

    We welcomed two new nieces this month; Lucia Noelle and Olivia Samara were born to first cousins. It is wonderful to see the new families – through pictures. Simple joy. Lucia has a ten year old older 1/2 brother who has been waiting very patients for a sibling. Reportedly he is over the moon.

    We have not seen our family in months, but get to chat with mine on zoom. We got scolded last week because we could not hear them. Their fault of course, oh, wait, our computer volume was off. More fodder for the grandkids’ teasing file. For some reason, Hubby’s son will not set up a meeting. We need to work on tha

    The grandchildren are getting ready for school. Two of mine are doing remote learning and the oldest is expected to return to college on campus. My daughter is willing to stay home and help the youngest with the on-line learning since he has “ignition” problems; he just cannot get started and stick to things. If she can be patient, it might just be a really good thing to have that 1:1 help.

    All-in-all, we are safe, well, and happy. No real complaints. We hope all of you are well, too.

  • #29665

    Cinnamon Grammy

    Greetings to Antigone and everyone else.

    It is apparent that it is summer time since many of the conversations are about gardening. And the weather in Florida; glad this one missed you Corsaire.

    Mama Cando, hope all stays well with your grandchildren. My grandsons went on a campout with their scout troop and supposedly were exposed. One of the scouts had played ball, with someone who had been tested for the virus, the day before he went to the campout. The first mother did not bother to quarantine her son so there was a huge possible exposure. Fortunately, all were well.  And good luck with your garden

    We know of no one who has tested positive, and no family or friends of extended family or friends. Our family is being very careful about errands and exposure, so hopefully it will stay that way. Our state has a mask requirement and a low transmission rate, so, lucky so far.

    Little Sister, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We all want our loved ones to thrive and live a long healthy life without pain. Please remember to get a break yourself during all of this. I am not saying that you cannot do this, but such concentrated attention takes a toll. Your sanity is very important, and you need to get out and relax even if it just for tea with a friend. Caring for my father-in-law nearly killed my mother-in-law, so please make sure you get respite.

    Stay healthy everyone, have fun with your gardens or whatever project you are working on.

  • #29666


    Thank you so much Cinnamon Grammy for the prayers.  It has been a long hard several months, but DH is getting a bit stronger. He still can’t do much of anything without loosing his breath but hopefully after he has the second surgery to get him off the blood thinners and starts the heart rehab, things will start looking up within a couple of months. I am tired but still doing ok.  My thyroid was way off and hopefully that is getting back in line again.

    I have been doing a lot of canning though we don’t have a garden this year. But what I have seen and from what people are saying, I think maybe it might not have been a bad idea to have decided not to plant the garden this year. But on the bright side of that. The soil got a rest.

    I have been canning all sorts of things from the huge freezer we have. I have canned hamburger, veggie soup or as DH calls that stone soup. It has all kinds of veggies in it from freezer.  Made barbeque and canned it, beef, chicken and turkey.  I am looking to finish canning what is left in freezer. I have it a little over half way emptied now. Need some new canning recipes for what I have in there.  Still a lot of frozen veggies, beef, chicken, Not to mention bacon that DH cannot eat due to salt. So thinking of calling my granddaughter to give to her if she has the freezer room. I bought turkey bacon with low sodium that DH can eat. Though it’s not the same as the real deal, it will do.

    We are staying home for the most part and only talking and texting to family members. Due to how 3 of them work, We must keep our distance.  ER and other places that can be a high risk. Can’t take the chance with DH’s heart issues.

    DH has had his shower and is now in bed watching TV so I do have a little time to myself right now. That does help to have that little bit of time. Though now that he is walking on his own with the rollator, without my being right there walking behind him and the fact that now he can take a shower without my help also, has freed up my time just a little bit. Hoping this next surgery doesn’t set that back. He will be in hospital for just an overnight stay. I will be staying there with him as well.

  • #29669

    OldMt Woman

    Hi everyone.  Popping back in for a bit.  Trying to stay more regular here…..yeah, we’ll see if I can hold that.  Glad the hurricane/tropical storm didn’t do too much damage in most areas.  Some got nasty side affects of flooding and tornadoes.  *yike*

    So far our elderlies have been fine.  With increasing elder health issues, they stayed home and we did shopping during most of this spring.  Going to store in our rural area at 7am means store full of products from unloaded trucks.  Also means very few people shopping. We’d done a bulk shopping in Feb to restore what we’d used during an illness.  So we merely tried to keep stocked up as product was available.  And shop for elderlies …drop their supplies off at their door.

    We continue to sanitize or wash with dish soap all things from store.  If it’s cardboard we might repackage.  Or, if we don’t need it immediately, we just set it to the side for a week or more.  Cuz we’re stocked up and really don’t need it til well past the time when virus will have died.  We’ve got a system now of washing all veggies/fruits immediately.  Advantage is when we cook, we know it’s clean already.

    We’re staying away from most people events since we’re rural and we can.  Always have good masks at-the-ready.  Visits to the National forest are safe and enjoyable.  …except the day a HUGE number of quad and tri riders met out in a parking lot.  Must have been 47 of them all taking their toys home.  A sheriff’s vehicle was at the end of that  DUST-stirring parade.  So they must not have been keeping any distance…probably parking lot party.  LARGE party.

    Many people don’t want to play “COVID Precautions” any more.  Tired of it!  Wanna go back to “normal”.  Well, it’s their choice ….but my choice is to do what protects me and mine.  Been doing that and will continue.  I will gauge my own risks and make my choices.  They can make their choices/live with results.  Wish them well but…. I can do my own ways.

    However….I don’t know why it has to get into fist fights and broken legs in stores when there are differing opinions.  Everything’s a BATTLE these days.  Everything’s HOSTILITY.  Too many take offense at someone simply minding their own business.  Doesn’t it seem like if you go your own way…..take personal responsibility for your own choices….that the “herd” is near to panic?  {shaking head}  As if we ALL should be screaming and fearful and furious over….something!!!   “Calm and Sensible” has gone waaay out of fashion.  Hmph!  Makes no sense.

    OldMtWoman….keeping to our own business..

  • #29673

    Osito Arelano

    The great potato famine, as my DS likes to call it, was at least better this year than last. Still not high yields per plant. I keep scouring the internet trying to figure out where I went wrong.

    We did have a good carrot crop that i canned.

    I had ONE Bell pepper plant and ONE jalapeño plant survive.  Slim pickings there.

    More zucchini than I could ever eat. Tried a new recipe to use it up. Zucchini marmalade.  Man that was a lot of work. It came out good, I got around 20 jelly jars full. But did I mention how much work it was?

    Plenty of green beans, easy peasy to can.

    Ran out of canning jars for the first time ever. And of course they are hard to find anywhere.

    Not sure yet if I’ll have enough tomatoes to can this year. Guess we’ll see.  May not matter if I can’t find jars. Plan B is the dehydrator.

    Everyone in our house is healthy.  Some of us are creaky, but healthy. We do know several people who have caught the virus, fortunately none needed hospital.

    Masks are hit or miss here. We have a state mandate, but I don’t think that made any difference to people’s behavior.  They’ve already decided if they’re going to wear one or not.

    Stores are starting to look like they have stock again on most things. The exceptions being guns and ammo, and big packages of TP.



    • #29681

      Crow Bar

      Yeah, my potato plants are doing, meh, at best.

      Beans are doing well. I need to pick the garlic.
      Spinach did really good at the onset but went to seed. Going to collect the seeds, Same with the rutabaga, garlic, dill, and anything else.

  • #29674

    Joe Bag_O_Donuts

    Hello all.  Spent much time trying to remember my login.  Doing fine here in ???????, hot and muggy as usual.  Preps going very well, expanding our water catchment by 1200+ gallons in the very near future.  Built a wood crib, but used very old tin and now the tarp I placed down first is full of water. So now I tear down and rebuild with tar paper and left over shingles.  We have been calling ahead to find lids for our canning jars and scarfed a few, but it is tight.  Firearms paraphernalia is hard to come by right now so stock up if you can.  Do Not forget the shot gun ammo, especially Buck Shot.  Be good and catch you later.  On a final note, does anyone use HAM radio?  Very good source of information but mostly Line of Sight for me.  If there is a generally accepted freq I would love to know.  GOD BLESS ALL

    • #29682

      Crow Bar

      There are a few people on here that do HAM radio. Maybe they will chime in.

      Ammo, have not had to buy anything but .22LR, and I got a few bricks last year just as a just in case.

      I have been stocking up on .22 air gun pellets and slugs.

  • #29675

    grannyj smith

    Have any of you heard of this “pandemic fatigue” that plagues one with anxiety, depression, exhaustion, heightened irritability, brain fog, lack of motivation and sick of all bs.  It left out job and home loss and trying to feed a family.

    After years of wearing my Earth Sprit sandalls which is the only pair of shoes I owned and would wear wore out along with my five dollar handbag, so dh gave me money for new sandalls and new purse. I used coupons and saved enough money to get me some new denim capris with money left over, my wallet has not had cash in it in forever.

    In September going to order more soup mixes that require only water for making which is good for storing and using during winter months, that will be my prep for next month.


    • #29683

      Crow Bar

      I call it “COVID fatigue.”
      Depending on who you listen to, it is a super killer virus that only wearing a mask will slow it until there is a vaccine.

      Or, it is a mild cold for the 99.95% of those it infects. As usual, protect the elderly and those with compromised immunities.

  • #29685

    Josefina Arenas

    Yes, grannyj, I’ve sure heard of pandemic or COVID fatigue.  Many of my coworkers are suffering from it, mostly because we’re all working from home, penned up, and when we go out in public, we’re supposed to wear masks. Travel has come to a standstill because of quarantine requirements.   It’s getting old and we’re just getting ready to go into regular flu season, so it won’t let up any time soon.  I agree with Crow Bar– we should be protecting the elderly and those with compromised immunities and let the rest of the world go on living as usual.

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