The Rest of January Check-In

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This topic contains 110 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  OldMt Woman 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #8057

    Daisy
    Keymaster

    Whoops! I forgot to make a new check-in for you guys. I’ll set these up monthly and just keep them one long, awesome convo!

    What are you guys doing to prep this month?

  • #8083

    Flamingolady
    Participant

    Working on making new hand towels from my fabric stash for over the kitchen sink to dry my hands. Also found some double sided quilted fabric that I will use to make pot holders.  Made apple muffins to use up some apples that were getting a little soft. Cleaned out the fridge and updated the grocery list. Washed a load of laundry and hung it in the basement.

  • #8088

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    The Portal to Hell hall closet: The shelf supports are out! The building super is a strapping young man and he went to town with a hammer, chisel and crowbar and got them out in 15 minutes. Now I feel so old and decrepit… It was a terribly noisy process and I would not blame my next-door neighbor if he came pounding  on my door to complain, or called our management company tomorrow. It turns out that the shelf supports were nailed in with many dozens of 2 inch and 3 inch nails, but the former (deranged) owner had plastered over the nail heads so that’s why it was unclear how they were attached. One shelf support was actually just a piece of scrap metal wedged in tightly, and the super whacked it with a hammer about 10 times till it fell down. Tomorrow i will take the wood supports to basement and flatten the nails with a hammer so no one gets hurt when I dispose of them. The holes left in the walls are not bad except for two. The super recommended I fix them with joint compound. So, the tasks for this week are to fix the holes in the walls with joint compound and fill in the cracks in the door frame with wood filler. I also want to order some flat plastic boxes to neatly store all the materials that I did keep.

    @oldmtwoman what you posted about how people survived the solar minimum (you posted it under the Dec. 31-Jan. 6 Check-In thread) was very interesting to read, thank you! I think that would merit a thread to itself, survival during a solar minimum.

  • #8094

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMtWoman – Thank you for the information!

    Molly Malone – So glad the Super was able to get those shelf supports out!

    Yesterday I went to lunch with an old friend and some new neighbors at a restaurant that was about 1+1/2 hours’ drive away.  On the way back home, I chatted – just a little bit – with the new neighbors about emergency preparedness to start to broach the subject.   Didn’t really do any prepping, as such, that day though.

    Today, I’ve been trying to fight off what seems to be a slight head cold coming on, and watching the snow come down, while catching up on my online correspondence.  I also read a few online articles about food storage and downloaded some recipes that use shelf-stable ingredients – pretty quiet day 😉

     

  • #8095

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Quiet day. Sunday. Slept a bit in late afternoon. Watched some youtube videos on cheese making. Finally tried the mozzarella cheese recipe. Major flop. I don’t think I was getting the temps correct. Not to be daunted, I will try again but next time with accurate temp taking device. Supper my favorite from scratch spinach stuffed chicken breast wrapped with bacon.

    cold, rainy, gray weather hard on the old bones…that’s my excuse for low energy level the past few days….but, looking forward to new week tomorrow…who know what mischief I might find to get into…

    Nite all

  • #8098

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today I took plenty of water and food with me when I left the house.  I also am using leftovers for lunch.

    Continuing my New Year cleanse, I took a walk today and got some exercise cleaning.

  • #8101

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    MollyM…this closet of yours is becoming quite the saga.  Glad you had help with ..HOW MANY nails/screws?  Whew!

    RE…new thread on Weather including Solar Minimum…  I can transfer data to there.  I haven’t actually looked to see HOW to start a new thread.  Anyone want to start it and we can dump info there?

    Question:  is anyone else having trouble FINDING threads they’ve participated in but can’t find them again unless someone posts a new response?  I’ve lost at least three.  I did find one using search function.  I must be missing a pattern here.

    Was a rest day after dealing with weather issues these past days.  DH at work so I feed our animals in P.M.   Going down to barnyard, I always take my truck cuz coming back up STEEEEP driveway is ok somedays and nigh-onto-impossible other days.  Tonite I was out after dark and the cold settled in.  The high today was a lovely 40*.  But after sun sets in mountains on a very starry clear nite, we’re now below ZERO.  Yuk.

    Anyway, I tried to unlock and turn the mechanism to lift the window of my truck’s topper.  XL dog jumps in when I get tailgate down and rides there.  Tonite I could NOT get the handle to turn, releasing the window. FROZEN and would not be budged for all my whacking on it.

    Thus could not lower the tailgate.  Thus could not get dog into truck.  Thus we walked down and then UP, trailing a child’s sled behind me with the poultry water jug.  Would not even consider going down by myself without the dog.  Esp. after dark with our wildlife…or I could fall.  She guards me very well and would [rightly] have a FIT if I left her behind.  She’s good as Early Warning….ears and nose.

    Well we did just fine…finished chores.  I hooked dog’s retractable leash to carabiner on my belt and also the rope to the sled pulled behind me.  Left my hands free to use two dead aspen saplings as walking sticks.  My usual ski pole…aka: walking assist stick was unavailable – inside frozen truck topper.  I usually keep it unlocked to avoid this persistent problem.  Hmph!  I keep old broomsticks, sticks, and such stashed everywhere just for these situations.  Two are definitely better….bi-lateral support!  We zoomed right up.  Dog is trained to assist me if I need it…a grip on her body harness.  But this worked fine.

    ACK…It’s MINUS 9 degrees.  Hope our power doesn’t go out cuz we don’t have a wood stove like LovingLife

    OldMtWoman  …G’nite all

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8115

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Am just catching up here. We are in the midst of cleaning up Christmas. My family’s crazy tradition is to leave Christmas decor up until the Feast of the Epiphany. Which according to my grandmother is the last day of Christmas in the old country (12 days of Christmas). The great grands, grands, and my mom did this and I’ve continued it. My DIL’s have learned to be patient with their DH’s as they are continuing it too. Next up is an overhaul of the storage area. DH and I have been gleaning out some of the Christmas and other holiday decorations we haven’t used over the last few years and will donate. Oh the joys of living in a smaller house. LOL. DH is planning a trip for us to see the aunt and uncle and the cousins that live down south.I pray that they stay well, My aunt(mom’s sister) is 84 and my uncle (dad’s BIL) is 91 now. He is just amazing, he still drives all over the place, just sledge hammered a section of his broken driveway out this summer and replaced it(with the help of his son). He’s the neighborhood go to guy. My cousin that lives with him(he’s a priest at the local church)says some days he’s hard pressed to keep up with his dad HA HA HA HA. I have been SLOWLY adding to the preps each time I go grocery shopping. Can’t wait to put out the grow boxes (since we learned from our mistakes last summer;)) and see what we can grow.

  • #8119

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Finished cleaning up small bedroom. Rearranged it so I would have more room. Bed now in front of window. The 2 bookcases I use to keep my canned goods in are now caddy cornered with 5 buckets behind one and 6 behind the other. I pulled all the buckets of food I have stored in closet to go through to make sure all was good. took 8 buckets and set against the wall, 4 across & stacked 2 high. This is 50 inches across. So going to get a board that is 50 inches long to go over top of the buckets and then make a tablecloth to go over that so it will look nice to use as a work area for my crafts. I have been doing scrap books for the kids pictures to give each of them and this way I don’t have to keep packing it all up when not in use. I can just go in and work on them a little each day. So now all 24 buckets of food are out of the closets. Will be redoing the shelving as it is not very good nor sturdy. This will give me room for the canned water. Which is now needed more so than rice, beans, flour,etc. I have more than enough food to get us through a year. That’s about as far as I am going on food preps at this time. Just keeping it rotated and only stocking what gets really low as sells at stores come up for those items.

    • #8128

      Molly Malone
      Participant

      @littlesister that is a very interesting idea to use the food buckets as the base for a table. I am going to mull that one over. I wonder if I could do something like that.

      @oldmtwoman I am impressed and always interested to read how you are dealing with homesteading in the mountains in the cold weather. You and your husband are tough! Oh, to find threads you’ve participated in, go to the upper right hand corner of the screen, there should be something there that says Howdy oldmtwoman. Hover your mouse over those words. A menu will come up. Try the Activity or Forums links.

      No major update on the Portal to Hell hall closet. I am now working on filling in the cracks and holes with wood filler and joint compound. You are probably wondering why I live in this apartment?? Well, 5 years ago, I was able to buy it cash for half price, because it was a trash-filled wreck that had sat empty, unsold and unrented, for 2 years. I renovated over the years as I had the money. It’s comfortable now, but still not finished. This is horrifying, but… I have 2 more closets that are exactly like the hall closet….

  • #8124

    Loving Life
    Participant

    @oldmtwoman You inspire me. You also make me laugh at your antics.

    @mollymalone. You definitely win the prize for the worst closet dilemma.

    @mamacando. I had a friend that her kids renamed the Christmas tree the Easter tree! I love Christmas and keep my decorations up through MLK day. The decorations just make me smile. The pine cones and such also go with my rustic house. My recent guests loved the decorations.

    @littlesister. Congrats on the progress. Why canned water and not bottled water?

    Today, I went to the post office for mail. They don’t deliver to me. I really am rural :). I had a box with a manual pasta maker. I immediately went home and started cooking. I made Mama’s meatballs with gravy (for non-Italians that red sauce with meat) from scratch, then I made some linguini using my new pasta maker. My almost Italian Grandmother would be so proud. The pasta with Mama’s Gravy was fabulous.

    Did everyone read @daisy post today regarding what a financial collapse could look like in the US? While waiting for the sauce, I did and it really got me thinking and reviewing my life.

    If government employees can’t make it through one missed paycheck, what will the US do during a bad recession? It could get real ugly. I am doubling down on my from scratch and self sufficiency efforts.

  • #8129

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Loving life. I am buying the canned water as it will keep 50 years unopened. I found out about it through Food storage moms. She said Brownell’s was the cheapest place. 29.00 for I forgot if it was 12 cans or 24 cans per case. But think it is 12 cans. I just ordered 2 cases but they haven’t been delivered yet. I am going to order 2 cases a month. I do have bottled water but you can’t store it for long periods of time as the plastic will break down over time and can cause cancer as they say. I have canned my own water as well and it will keep forever like that but it takes up my canning jars that I need for canning food. The canned water will work better for me and will be easier to store as temps are not a factor. It is pricey compared to bottled water but is worth the extra price for not having to use it for several years and just keep it for the hard times if water becomes a problem in a SHTF senario. Store it and forget it is great. The bottled water I have to use up within a couple of years and then buy more. I will get bottled water during hurricane season.

  • #8131

    Loving Life
    Participant

    @littlesister. Thanks for the information on the canned water. In addition to a well, I have bottled water and collapsible water containers for water storage along with rain barrels. I live less than 1/4 mile from a mountain stream. With all that said, I am glad for your information on canned water and will budget for a couple cases to add to my water supply.

  • #8135

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Molly, using the food buckets as a table is easy. Just line them up against a wall. You can put them 2 high or even 3 high. For me 3 high is to tall as I am only 5 ft tall. 4 buckets across to line a wall is about 50 inches long. So I am getting a board that is 50 inches long to lay over top of the buckets. That is all there is to it. You can paint the board if you like but I am just going to make a tablecloth to size of buckets to hang almost to floor. That way no one will see a bunch of buckets. I got the idea on a web site a long time ago but never did it. I have heard of people using the buckets to make end tables with. Using the same concept. That way you are not using up much needed closet space and you have a useful piece of furniture sort of speak.

  • #8136

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Loving life we also have a shallow well but needs work. No fresh water around us but lots of salt water. We have a couple of ponds we could get water from but would need to be treated. We would have to travel a short ways to get to them. We also have the water barrels and the collapsable water containers as well as the 6 gal. plastic water containers. We have a lot of ways to store water but the canned water is a great solution to clean storable water. Temps do not effect it over 120 degrees. So you could keep it stored in a shed or garage with no problem.

  • #8137

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Molly Malone – Oh no, 2 more closets like the “Portal to Hell”?!!!  Stay strong 😉

    Today I made a pizza from stored ingredients – the thin crust was store-bought but a type that is pretty shelf-stable, home-canned sauce, shredded Baccio pizza cheese I got several months ago at an outlet grocery store and kept in the freezer, and re-hydrated (home-dehydrated) mushroom slices.  Very tasty – and so easy!

    With the help of Paul Lebeau and his staff at the Mockmill company, and two employees at Goal Zero, I finally finished my research into the feasibility of running the various Mockmill models using a solar powered battery/inverter set-up, and decided to order the model 200.  I’ll place the order tomorrow.  I should still be able to get the sale price and, hopefully, the free bonus package of a variety of grains to try will still be available. Once the new mill arrives, I’ll put my Nutrimill Classic up for sale on Craig’s List or EBay to help defray the cost of the Mockmill (and to make space for it!).  Hope the Mockmill will inspire me to do more breadmaking 🙂  BTW, I’ve been really impressed with the breadmaking course currently being taught online by Carolyn Thomas of Homesteading Family.  I treated myself to it as a Christmas gift to myself <smile> and I feel it has definitely been worth the course fee.

     

  • #8140

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Hang in there Molly. You will have those closets fixed in no time. I have one I need to put better shelving in. It to is a mess. And I hate the wired shelving.

  • #8141

    Mama cando
    Participant

    Loving life
    Maybe you can convince my DH to let me do that too LOL. this years tree, yes it’s a real one,hadn’t dropped any needles, so it may have stayed good till MLK day. I have a 3 season room that I have a small artificial tree decorated that I keep up,(if I can get away with it;) till Easter. Hey it’s still winter here and we’re supposed to get a lot of snow soon, why not. Does Brownell’s have a web site? I looked into canned water but thought it would be too expensive on the site I went to but if what you say is true about the price there, maybe I could add some to what I have so far.
    Molly, I am so sorry about the closet shelf, glad it’s finally down. I sincerely hope the other two aren’t as bad and it will be easier to renovate.

    • #8297

      Littlesister
      Participant

      Yes, Brownell’s does have a website. Just type in Brownell’s and it will take you to the site. I just received my water a few days ago. I am liking what I got. Worth every penny. So next month I will order 2 more cases. I am fixing up a place to store it in the near future as I need to finish the projects I have going now.

  • #8149

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Loving Life and MollyM….thanks for kind words about the life stories that keep spilling out of my fingers and onto the keys.  I just catch a memory and ….  LOL

    And yes, right about now when we’ve got SNOW and SUBZERO NIGHTS and vehicles not starting or otherwise being awkward …we DO have to be tough as old goats!  AND the new hay/feed shop owner [young newbie] didn’t get his winter hay contracts set and isn’t delivering now cuz he’s limiting purchases to 10 bales….AUGH!  Know how many bales can be strapped to DH’s car when he’s in town?  3 skimpy ones and 2 decent ones.  Know how long that lasts?…not long enough.  Dude delivered some FANTASTIC timothy grass hay in Oct.  Course newbie didn’t know how to drive his bitty truck and we had to sled every bale across to the hay shed…[which we admittedly built in the wrong place]  But now…..after summer’s drought there’s allegedly a shortage and we’re bringing in hay 2 x 2 on the roof rack?  Gaagh!

    Anyway….back to someone else’s current dilemma:  MollyM you have TWO MORE CLOSET CHALLENGES?  Gal…hate to say it but January is gonna be over ‘fore you get all of them done.  LOL  But we’ll all be here next month too, cheering you on!  But hey, it sounds like you got a very great deal on that place, despite the labor you put in.  Better than huge mortgage.  Wisdom!  Gonna take a lot of wisdom to survive any crash or ‘stuff’ we all might have to face!!!   Good for you!  [thanks for the tip on how to find threads…I’ll try that.]

    Lil’sister…great use of space and non-obvious prep storage.  Do you line up the buckets 2-deep or stagger them?  We also store some long term water.  Bought couple cases of qt size retort packaging …. specifically for a BO situation.  Stationed with other stuff for same purpose right as one might open big garage door.  …which does not actually open without knocking out a board that squished the door down TIGHT for rodent control.  {old, crooked, leaning cabins, hmph]  Also, obviously, garage does not store vehicles…too small for modern vehicles, but it doesn’t freeze either.  I have a few home-canned quarts of water up here – thinking of a quick need in a First Aid situation.

    Today……I have accomplished something that I haven’t managed to do since 2016.  And it will have a HUGE effect on how organized I am thru this whole year.  For at least the past 2 decades I have ordered big calendars [15×24″].  1) I can see the dates from across the room.  2) I can write a lot of data on the bottom of each square.  Most folks now record their data on electronic devices.  Not me.  I continue to add to the many “scrolls” I have stacked up on a shelf ….in case I need to reference a certain year.  2017 and 2018 were realllly rough years.  DH and I and our elderlies have had a sudden onset of constant medical issues from pulled ligaments in foot [me…it began the trend] to pulmonary embolism to broken hip and pulmonary hypertension.  And constant other odd things.  I’m heading for surgery in the next month or so.  So I let the data on the calendars slack.  Worrisome for a data fanatic like me.

    I record birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, repairs on the cabin, when dog goes in heat, …all sorts of things that I will not remember unless it’s right there in front of me.  This took me all day because I had to reference way back to the 2016 calendar…then check ’17 and ’18 for updates.  Took notes on the side for WHEN medical events occurred [cuz medical folks always ask!]  What year I got the dryer and the laptop [yes, this laptop is getting to that cranky stage of life].  10 yr old dryer is still working wonderfully tho.  🙂   I had to have a clear head to do this – so once I began, I just kept going.  And I FINISHED!  \0/   I have sooooo many partially finished projects that this is a real thrill.  And a hope for this year to be easier with this data ‘front and center’.

    The other accomplishments:  Backed old truck into the sun so I can get that back topper window/tailgate open!  While waiting for that to thaw, I walked the line downHILL, pulling up the 350′ of hose from under deep snow.  Has to be sun-warmed for the next filling of the stock water tank.  If it’s buried, the water will choke up and turn slushy/plug waaaay before reaching the tank.  THAT is worst case scenario.  Ever haul that many feet of frozen stiff hose and try to fit it into the warmed basement without cracking it?  BTDT….and it is to be avoided!

    At one point of yanking up that hose…both boots slipped at same time and I flooomed down into the snow on my rear.  I was not amused cuz I didn’t dress for playing in snow.  Bare hands.  Nylon exercise pants.  WAS wearing knit hat but not even a coat.  Whoooooo, that was cold!  Scrambled up and shook off as much as possible and finally finished.  By then the back truck window was melted and opened fine…as did the tailgate.  Shut everything down and went back inside.  Worked just fine later at feeding time…and I fed before dark cuz we’re losing warm to the clear starry skies again tonite.  Balmy 40* daytime … -5 now at 2AM.

    OldMtWoman ….G’nite all

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8172

    Jessee Jones
    Participant

    The past three days have been spent washing empty canning jars and dry canning crackers, sugar, vanilla wafers, and flour. Unfortunately, after finding three bad boxes of crackers. The dog and chickens were very happy! Nothing goes to waste on the homestead. Anyway, also worked on installing the propane wall heater in the current house as I am staying cold. When done, will officially have a backup for when the electric is out.

  • #8178

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    Checking back in, finally. I need to read all of your posts when I’m not so exhausted. Daughter had her cancer surgery last week but still has to have help even turning in bed lest she tear the stitches out. The surgery turned out to be more complicated than the doctor thought at first, but he got most of the tumor and thinks radiation will take care of the rest. Unfortunately, even with husband’s help, I haven’t been able to sleep more than 2 or 2.5 hours straight at a time because daughter needs to be turned every so often, and the pain medicine schedule is every 3 hours, and when husband gets up to take care of it, I wake up anyway 🙁

    Nevertheless.. I have actually been working on some prepping in the last few days – dejunking here and there, establishing concrete steps to meet the years’ prepping and financial goals, getting a slow start on garden planning. I am taking this week off from work to get through the most difficult time, so I actually have a quiet bit of time here and there.

    We had an involuntary “dejunking” event just last night. Our house has been through several minor floods. We finally got the problem fixed, but neglected to take all the furniture off the bricks we had set it on to try and keep it dry. One of the pieces we had neglected was my husband’s dresser, which had a nice ceramic bowl and pitcher set on it (one of my preps). Well, the dog jumped off the bed, bumped against that dresser, which had somehow gotten off balance, and the whole thing fell over, shattering the bowl and pitcher set and dumping everything on top of the dresser. Fortunately, the dog escaped any harm. Lesson learned? Watch out for unbalanced furniture, and get a bowl and pitcher set of metal or wood (not doing the breakable ceramic again…)

    Watching the Netflix series with Marie Kondo for inspiration on the dejunking.

  • #8180

    Flamingolady
    Participant

    I did the grocery shopping yesterday and found pineapples on sale at a really low price. I bought 3 of them and today I cut them up into chunks and canned 7 pints. Really pretty in the jars. I had to go to the register of deeds this morning to get a certified copy of hubby’s birth certificate so he can renew his driver’s license. While I was there I looked up the death records for 4 family members to update my genealogy records. Found more history of cancer on hubby’s side which did not make him feel better about the cancer he is currently fighting. I updated all the budget sheets yesterday and made menus for the next few days.

  • #8183

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Hieronyma!!!  Glad to hear a report on your daughter.  Whew…I know when I went to stay with our elderlies after an operation, other elderly and I got about 6 hrs of sleep total in the first 48 hrs.  Brutal….but you do what you have to do for them.  Praying for y’all.

    We had a beautiful heirloom pitcher and bowl set.  It was destroyed when the wind blew the curtain and knocked the whole thing over …before I ever got to inherit it.  Sooo sad.  But yes, I try to collect more durable materials for prepping.  ‘Heirlooms’ are in a different category and some are very durable [my cast iron stuff] and some are so very fragile.

    I’m hung up today with a severe muscle spasm in R shoulder.  Sets the nerve pain off.  >_<   Very limited range of motion.  Limits the activities too.  Likely it was all that writing on the calendars yesterday.  I’m prone to muscle spasms and usually try to avoid any repetitive action or positions.  I did switch off tasks yesterday but after a lot of snow removal before that, ….well things are fiery today.

    DH ran into town to make use of that last day of a stock-up sale on canned goods.  Got cases of canned tomatoes….to make pasta sauces and stews. Other specific items for storing away.  Good price if you bought a bunch.  Brought home more hay on top of car.  Nice sunny day…48*   See…I don’t always live in North Pole conditions.  LOL  Nights….they’re still really cold.

    We’ve been missing some folks….Xant and Skypony and lots more from our “community” …  🙁

    OldMtWoman

     

  • #8189

    namelus
    Participant

    Oldmntwoman  hAve you tried eating more salt( old sea mineral type) and potasium supplimental for spasms? Cbd works will if it is a nerve issue

  • #8208

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Namelus…yeah, thanks.  We do use sea salts and I love salt.  Plus I’ve got professional-level herbal/mineral/homeopathic/nutritional support.  I have a disease that I’m not naming…and it is the culprit.  Had it all my life and am still far more able than “should” be expected.  Doing well with what I’ve got…so I’m not complaining.  Just get stopped dead-in-the-water some days.

    Today was one of those days.  Not so much spasm pain today.  But flat-out fatigue and scrambled coordination.  So I stayed put and the computer is my best friend for the day.  Later now tonite, I’m doing better.  Can now get up for a bit and then down to rest. Next ‘up’ period’ I think I’ll try to rush thru a shower/wash hair.

    Other than splinting my broken reader glasses as I mentioned in the ‘January Challenge’, haven’t done much.  Not sure I’ve been outside today, which is highly unusual.  But we have a motto:  Try to be a part of the solution; not a part of the problem.  DH and I have both been on both sides.  We work it out well.

    I think we’ll have sliced beef sandwhiches tonite.  About all we’re able for this day.  DH is working on a bunch of correspondence he has to get out.  I’m praying the dumb printer will cooperate.  It should.  It’s new.  But I’ve got baaaad history with printers.  Hmph!    😉

    OldMtWoman  G’ nite all

    P.S.  Yeah see?  I hear DH ‘talking’ to that printer…and I don’t hear it printing!  They’re not to be trusted, the nasty things!

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8212

    Flamingolady
    Participant

    I had to see the chiropractor this morning for a hip issue and he stated the physical therapy I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks has greatly improved my back tightness. Good to be told I’m making a lot of progress on my health. Found gas at $1.93 a gallon on the way home so stopped and filled the gas tank. Straightened up the fruit cellar and made note of what is running low. Stopped at the local grocery store yesterday and picked up 3 large buckets from the bakery department. I filled one of them with beans I had vacuum sealed. Organized our entertainment cabinet and made space in one drawer for extra spice bottles. Washed up the laundry and dishes.

  • #8218

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Haven’t posted in a couple of days. Here’s my update:  On January 15th, I did several hours of online research about smallpox, its potential use as a bioterror weapon, and the two types of smallpox vaccines.  It was really interesting (and scary) to read about.  Years ago I read Dr. Michael Osterholm’s book “Living Terrors”, which prompted me to begin serious efforts to prepare for SHTF scenarios.  On January 16th, I placed my order for a Mockmill 200 (yeah!), which should arrive in 4-5 days.  I also drove to a larger town in a nearby state to have lunch with a friend.  Before driving home, I stopped off at the outlet store of an apple products’ store.  They often well used 55-gallon blue barrels for $20 U.S. plus tax.  Unfortunately, the only barrel they had available that day was of a light beige colored plastic and didn’t seem suitable for water storage – so I passed it up.  I’ll check again the next time I visit that town.

  • #8219

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    <Sigh> my last post should read “… They sell used 55-gallon blue barrels …” .  I hate auto-correct, lol !

  • #8225

    Jessee Jones
    Participant

    Old Mt Woman, thank you so much for the information about the “ice age” and solar minimum. I have been reading up on and trying to research this. My dad taught science and had spoken about this before he passes away. I have bought net pots, hydroponic fertilizer, and rock wool to grow my greens in the house.

    I have also been reading up on some different types of seeds that I may buy and try in my area.

    Gas in one town was $1.55/gal and the next town, $2.15/gal. Crazy!

  • #8228

    corsaire
    Participant

    The kitchen has been pulled out, with the refrigerator as the only appliance standing

    ( plays taps for the other appliances )

    So its been the coffee maker, toaster oven and my new addition; a 10 dollar electric hot plate from Wally world.

    just been reading blogs as well as DIY videos. SeeJaneDrill is really good. She explains things in a clear concise manner.

  • #8234

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    hey…quick check-in…I’m just really, really tired tonight…made English muffins this morning which turned out nicely…

    ordered a Food Saver vacuum sealer thing which arrived today…finding counter space for it is going to be a bit of a challenge but I’m excited for the possibilities…

    So tired, good night – tomorrow more to tell

  • #8235

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today I took a walk and continued my cleanse.  I also made a bulk purchase of an item on sale.

    I am making beans from scratch with onions and garlic in the thermal cooker. 🙂

  • #8236

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    I am really enjoying reading about everyone’s activities, and they are inspiring.

    Jan. 16: Worked on developing “routines”. I know these are really valuable when you get tired – have to think about building on these. Daughter gradually healing. Made out menus for the next 2.5 weeks to take advantage of mostly storage food, if possible, because January is turning out to be  a rough month financially.

    Jan. 17: Finally got out of the house for the first time since last Friday, when we got back from the hospital. Left husband in charge of taking care of daughter and there were no disasters 🙂     The home nurse has shown up several times to check the surgical site, but no bath help yet, so I pulled out the homemade dry shampoo today and cleaned daughter’s hair the best I could. Also found out that our priest will be coming to lunch on Jan. 31 to bless the house – Orthodox homes are supposed to be blessed by the parish priest between Theophany in early January and the start of Lent, and our family’s date falls on Jan. 31. Now I “really” have the motivation to get things de-junked and super clean!!

    A question for all – does anyone know if a “capped” well can be re-opened and used? Our house used to be on well water, and some of them in the neighborhood still are, but it was connected to municipal water about a year before we bought it. What does “capping” a well even mean? I suppose I could ask in another forum if necessary. At any rate, if possible, I’d really like to get that well working again with a manual pump.

  • #8238

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Old Mt Woman – I’m sorry you’ve been having trouble with spasms and fatigue!  Hope you’ll feel better soon 🙂

    Hieronyma Textor – Glad to hear your daughter is healing. Sending prayers for her speedy recovery.

    Today I got most of my monthly grocery shopping accomplished.  Had to hustle to beat the worst of the snow that started coming down just as I was entering the last of the five stores I went to today.  In addition to my usual groceries, I also got more organic elderberries as well as some adzuki beans, “real salt”, non-ionized sea salt, canned Brunswick stew, and dried pasta for my storage pantry.  I also bought 2 gallons of distilled water to later use when I try making a sourdough starter.  I unpacked most of the groceries but am going to take a short nap before I unpack the rest of them. It was a productive – but tiring – day.

     

     

     

  • #8240

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Amy Dixon….LOL I think I have “auto-correct” reading.  I read it as you intended it.  $20 is a good price.  Do you have to spend a lot of effort the clean them out from whatever they held?  Small pox….nothing like a good plague story to give one nightmares….and incentive to start packing in odd things like urinals, bedpans, chucks, buckets for upchucks, ice packs, hot water bottles [non-electric versions], N95 masks, surgical gloves, clear soups, crackers, etc.

    Hieronyma….whew, now you have another project deadline….for which you want to clean house?  Well, do what you can and be satisfied.  Surviving the extra stress [mental, emotional, physical] right now is enough.  When you have the time/energy, can you post the ingredients for your homemade dry shampoo?  I know you can use cornstarch but that’s all I’ve heard.  No hurry.

    As far as ‘capped well’…..this quote: “A well is “capped” if it has a metal or plastic cap, or a watertight fitting or pump, which is threaded, bolted, or welded into the top of the well to prevent entry into the well. Simply capping or plugging the top of the well is not sealing.”  This article was for the state of Minnesota so your-mileage-may-vary [YMMV].  Even after reading this article, it wasn’t real clear to me tho.  Bummer that wells are still allowed but yours got capped before you got there.  🙁

    http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/disclosures/wellsatpropertytransfer.html

    Corsaire..good luck with the kitchen remodel.  Better for resale, yeah?

    Thanks for kind words everyone.  I am definitely feeling better today. \0/   Got hair washed [able to raise arm enough] last evening.  Went into town to visit elderlies late today…before we get snow again.  Keeping wary eye on the approaching storm.  It’s very scattered so far.  Got horse water tank filled again.  Prep for WINTER ….again.

    I’m taking all our usual stuff to ward off ….whatever ‘bug’ thinks it can knock on my door.  I woke with that ‘feeling’ in the throat, nose, etc.  Immune boosting stuff + REAL VitC tablets.  We’re almost ALWAYS successful.  We haven’t been actual down and sick for ….5 yrs?  This will be the 2nd viral or bacterial attack this winter.  Kept the other one at bay and plan to wage war on this one too.  Will also be drinking ginger/honey/lemon tonite yet.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

  • #8246

    Prepperfan305
    Participant

    Spent the week decluttering items that are no longer useful in my home. Put them in several boxes in my garage to let a friend go through, since they will be moving from out of state and only able to bring 1 truckload.

    Stocked up another month of diapers, wipes, TP, cat food, and an extra 55 gallon barrel wrench. Going to the thrift store today to see if I can score any fun things. Husbands boots that we ordered are finally at the store, so we get to go get those too.

    Found out our roof swamp cooler (😣) drips every once in a while when it snows or rains. We have our handy man coming to remove it and patch the roof this summer, but that may get moved up if we find a problem today.

  • #8250

    Littlesister
    Participant

    We’ve had a couple of down days. Saw the new Doctor Wed. He said I was dehydrated, so need to drink double the amount of water. Hubby has been on blood thinner for years now (Prodaxa). Doc said he was anemic. That explains somethings about him as he doesn’t want to do much anymore as it just wears him out. The first visit was a get to know you type visit and to address anything going on now along with getting all our health and meds list. We have to go back first of March for labs, chest x-rays, and ekgs. Haven’t had a phy. because of the other quack doctors we have ended up with because of obama care. Now we are finding internal med doctors that are now taking medicare again. So we took advantage of it and got a really good doctor that was recommended by one of the specialist I see. He said it was time to get out from under those doctors we had. They did nothing for us.

    Hironyma Texter, Glad to see your daughter is doing much better. She should be up and running soon.

    Hubby found me a board to put over the 8 buckets I have lined 2 high across the wall in small bedroom. He just has to cut in down a couple of feet. It was in his shed in loft. So didn’t have to go buy a board. So now need to get my table cloth made for it As soon as the board is on top of the buckets so I can get my measurements. It will make a great work area for my scrapbooking as well as a way to store the food buckets in the open in that room. No one will know what they are.

  • #8259

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for the prayers and good wishes! I really do appreciate it, and there is some news below. And thank you OldMtWoman for the article. I hope it’s just a “cap” and not a “seal”. Will have to get someone out here to look. Hope you continue to feel better, too!

    Today I added some more detail to my new business plan, and put down reminders of which annual goals to work on in each month in my bullet journal. Nothing much else except dealing with the fatigue and dizziness from a migraine aura – the migraine has been successfully prevented with coffee, rest and ibuprofen thus far.

    On another note, we got an incredible (good) shock today. The back story: in October my daughter had a lump in an area with a lot of lymph nodes biopsied. The biopsy showed cancer. A PET scan was ordered, and the PET scan lit up in various areas in the abdomen, especially right where the lump was, which was another confirmation of cancer. After much grief because the first doctor, to our horror, seemed to want to cut a big hole in her abdomen (taking the skin too and then trying to sew everything back together!), and do something similar to FGM and a complete hysterectomy as well, we finally found another oncologist who would only take the lump and leave the rest intact. Boy are we glad we did! Last Thursday, this less “knife happy” doctor removed the lump. The new doctor, by the way, had been classified as one of the best doctors in our area, and we knew we were lucky to get him.

    While daughter was still waking up in Recovery, the doctor sat us down and told us he got most of the tumor, but not all because it appeared to have grown into the bone, and that it definitely looked like cancer, and she would probably need radiation therapy. There were lots of tears, especially from Daddy for his little girl. So then we go into Recovery to see our daughter, who is just beginning to wake up. What is the first thing she tells us and the recovery room nurse? “I had very nice dreams while I was out. I don’t remember all of them, but Mary was there.” I didn’t know what to think, but hoped it meant something good.

    Today is one week after surgery, the pain is finally improving (the surgery was still brutal, though not anywhere near what the first surgeon wanted to do), but she still has to have assistance just turning in bed because the stitches could still tear if she uses here abdominal muscles too much.

    And then the doctor’s office called today with the histology report.

    No cancer.

    The histologist is confused, to say the least. The original biopsy and the PET scan indicated cancer. But the ugly painful lump that was removed is not. Either someone made a whopper of an error when they evaluated the biopsy and then the PET scan, or we have witnessed a miracle. They are going to go back and compare the biopsy and PET scan with the histology of the tumor and try to figure out what happened. Like I said. Shock. But very happy shock!

  • #8262

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Hieronyma…… NO CANCER?  I am jumping up and down [figuratively] and grinning widely [literally!].  You know, when these things happen, it’s hard to know what to do.  Cuz we know miracles can / do happen.  🙂  So do errors but however it happened, this is just the best!!!  Thanking God with you all.  So happy for you!  SO glad you got a doc that you trust.   [ I’ve got something going on and I’m hoping/praying I’ll get that answer too.  Progress towards surgery is slow tho  ]

    LittleSister….also getting new doc that you’re happy with…..so important.

    Prepperfan3…..when DH and I made a major cross-country move decades ago, his brother saved some things for us.  It was greatly appreciated cuz we mostly had very basics in boxes.  I hated starting from scratch every couple decades.

    The “bug” that was trying to invade and make me ill….haven’t noticed anything much today.  Still taking a bit of immune boost and REAL Vit C….JIC.  Today has been ‘off’.  Too much ordinary stuff and resting.  Some computer research ….see that over in “Jan. Challenge”.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

     

  • #8274

    Loving Life
    Participant

    Wow to the whole NO Cancer. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    I went through my winter storm checklist. I am rechecking all supplies to ensure I am ready for the winter storm headed to NY. Forecasts are for 12-18 in; but in my higher elevation, I can expect up to twice that amount so up to 3 FEET of snow. That type of winter storm means possibly a power outage. I have lots of wood beside the wood stove, all ready to go. The wood stove is a cranking. I almost feel a hot flash from the heat! Lol. Shovels are prepped. I checked all the lanterns, lights, etc. I have tons of food and water on hand. I have plenty of fuel for snow blower. The chain saws are also all fueled and ready for any downed trees. Solar batteries are all charged.

    I just have to make a run to the dump to drop off trash and recyclables. In my community, the locals won’t be stampeding the grocery store, but there will be a line at the dump for trash. Another one of those signs that you really live in a rural area. Lol.

    Have a great weekend.

  • #8275

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

     

     

    Hieronyma Textor – So glad to hear the good news about your daughter’s histology report!

    OldMt Woman – Yes, $20 is a good price these days for those used, food grade 55-gallon barrels (They used to sell for just $10 a few years ago, though, so I grumble at having to pay $20, lol).  The barrels are sold already rinsed out but when I get them home I use a drinking water-safe hose to fill them about 1/4 of the way up with water and some plain, fresh chlorine bleach, screw in the bung caps, tip the barrels over on their sides and vigorously roll them around on the ground for a few minutes so the water sloshes around inside.  Then I leave each barrel on its side in one position for about 20 minutes, then rotate it 1/4 of the way around and let it sit for another 20 minutes or so.  I repeat that step two more times, then empty out that water, raise the empty barrels to their upright positions, lift or “walk” them over to where they’ll be stored, and fill them with potable water, to which I add a water preserver solution.  I can do (and have done) those steps by myself if I have to but, of course, it’s easier if you have a helper 🙂

    Muffy1938 – I also re-seal whatever I don’t use up right away out of a No. 10 can of dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.  Usually I vacuum seal those (very dry) leftover items in glass canning jars using the attachment for my FoodSaver vacuum sealer.  I recently got a special vacuum-sealable lid called a “That Seals It!” that is designed to fit an opened No. 10 can.  You place it on top of the opened can and either use a small manual pump or an accessory hose and electric FoodSaver to pull a vacuum, thus re-sealing the can.  It looks like a clever gadget but I haven’t tried it out yet.   If you want to see a video of how it works, go to YouTube dot com and search for “That Seals It! Manual Operation”.

    Yesterday, I went to a small, Mennonite-owned grocery store in a nearby town and got some nice slicing tomatoes.  While I was there I noticed that they had vacuum-sealed packs of fresh, local,  bacon “ends and pieces” for about $2 a pound.  Since I usually only use bacon in small amounts to add to dishes like bean soup for extra flavoring, getting those end chunks and pieces instead of paying a lot more for full bacon slices I’d only cut up anyway, seems like a good idea 🙂  I also saw that they had Ball 1/2 gallon canning jars at $10.50 U.S. (Plus tax) for a box of 6 jars, so I bought some of those also.  That store also carries big stacks of 29 dozen (!) canning jar lids/flats wrapped in brown paper “sleeves” for a good price. I put those on my “wish list” to buy later on.

    After shopping, I stopped in to visit an older friend of mine who lives in an assisted living home near there.  I brought her some fresh blueberries this time since she’d already  eaten up the freeze-dried ones I gave her for Christmas, lol.  Her son recently brought her a little refrigerator she can keep in her room – so next time I visit I can bring her more fresh fruit and the sharp cheddar cheese she loves 🙂

  • #8280

    corsaire
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor No cancer. Yes, this is fantastic news. Kudos to you for your perseverance in getting a decent doctor.

    And indeed OldMtWoman, better resale value. The old cabinets looked as if they were made out of cardboard.

     

     

     

  • #8282

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Tears in my eyes as I read your “no cancer” report!!! Praise God…continuing prayers for your daughter as she heals from her surgery.

    I’m struggling with energy issues as the grey, rainy days continue in our area…all those in the neighborhood having to get out in the weather are commenting on the mud…and now we have a weather report indicating wet roads becoming ice and possibly some snow…but of course, it’s winter and to be expected…

    Got a package of soup bones from my daughter-in-law today to make beef broth…she doesn’t use these packages so I get them for broth and stew meat…was going to have another go at making cheese but discovered I only have the one large pot…hmmmm….I know I have others but where????

    Carolina is settled in her new school in Espalion, France and the others are headed back to the States…I think they’ve had a really good travel adventure….I want all my grandchildren to travel as much as possible before they get settled down (whatever that means these days…I’m not sure I ever settled down until a few health issues and maybe just old age began to slow me down).

    Prepping and gardening are the main things that are keeping me interested and occupied with living…I know so many my age who’ve sort of given up and just seem to survive day after day…well I don’t want to just survive…I want to live!!! Thanks to all of you for giving me so many good things to think about….

  • #8296

    Old Goat
    Participant

    I store 16 buckets under my twin mattress a friend of mine stores mylar bags in their box spring, have used the buckets for end tables before too. A bed skirt covers the ones under the mattress. You can make coffee table with mason jars in crates too, it is cute for the meals in a jar stuff, or you can run fabric with a little velcro around it if you don’t want it seen (depending on where you live or who your around)  lots and lots of places to put things depending on your circumstances.

    In a tiny home you can put your emergency candles in the small mason jars, put sand paper on the lid, throw a couple of matches in so you have them when you need them, the punch a hole the lid and hang it on the beam that hold your loft up. You can store herbs, nails and screws and spices this way too. although I like the magnet board idea for the spices better. You can also store a tiny first aid kit that way.

  • #8299

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Hieromma Textor, I just saw your post as I don’t know how I missed it. I am so glad to hear that there is no cancer. A true gift from God. He does heal the sick and he took good care of your daughter. Keep a strong faith for her to recover and get her strengh back.

  • #8301

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    @oldmtwoman: Praying you’ll find out what’s going on and come out whole on the other end 🙂   I forgot to give you the dry shampoo recipe – it’s just arrowroot, with some cocoa powder added for color if you have darker hair, because with dry shampoo, you never quite get it all back out. It works nicely if you use it soon enough. I use the shaker bottle that the arrowroot comes in and just shake it on my hair, work it in all around the scalp, and then brush and brush and brush – with a clean brush of course. You might have to clean the brush and then brush again.

    We waited a bit long with daughter because we kept expecting a bath aid, who never showed up. However, 10 days after surgery, on Monday, we are supposed to have one. Daughter says at least she’ll be clean for her appointment to have the drain taken out. The first dry shampoo application involved 5 or 6 brushings and cleaning the brush. But she also has incredibly long, thick hair.

    @Muffy1938: Praying for some extra energy for you. I don’t know anything about your particular problem, of course, but for me, I have found that St. John’s Wort tincture works well. You have to match the herb to the person, though, and you have to look out for drug-herb interactions, too. St. John’s Wort is an MAOI type antidepressant, but of course, since it’s a plant, it has a lot of other properties, like being excellent for nerve pain. My fatigue is due to fibromyalgia and polymyalgia, which cause depression when they start to flare, which of course causes severe fatigue, and a dropper full or two of St. John’s Wort tincture every 2 hours during the day, for a day or two, usually gets me right back on my feet (as long as I can sleep at night). It’s not something I do constantly. Once I feel better, I might take a few more doses and then stop until the next flare-up, which is usually quite a while.

    We are in the winter storm in the Midwest now and praying the power won’t go out. With no wood heat, the heating situation will be iffy with an invalid in the house. We have plenty of candles, but the butane heater will have to go in daughter’s little room and husband and I will have to just pile on the quilts and wear sweatsuits to bed. We will still be able to cook on the gas stove, but no heat or hot water because those are triggered on and off by electricity, even though they are gas. So I’ve placed candles strategically, and I’m typing this early tonight 🙂

    Everyone stay warm!

     

  • #8302

    RufusJ
    Participant

    Hieronyma– Praise God, Praise God, Praise God! What an awesome report! No cancer! What a relief!!!!

    I’m still dealing with those glaucoma meds. It seems each med is worse than the one before it, and so many of them make me horribly anxious as well. Most of them don’t have anxiety as a side effect either. Phooey. Maybe I should move to Colorado and become a pothead. Just kidding… I’m also doing Vitamin C (5 grams a day at least), Gingko, B12, Skullcap and a few other tinctures I can’t think of at the moment. I’m scheduled for a vision field test on Friday.

    Cold here but no snow. The cows were sure glad to get their cubes and hay today. We put the goodies out and then honked for the herd, and they came running over the hill for their treats. They have a hollow they hunker down in when the wind blows and it keeps them protected. They’re a little thin but not bad, and this is the last of the really cold weather here. Grass is already greening up in places, and it has finally stopped raining. I hope.

    Preps? Ha. I took a nap. My get up and go got up and went today. No prepping  but I hope to hit it this coming week. I have fruit to dehydrate and I need to pick up some bins so I can move stuff off shelves and use that space for other things.

     

  • #8303

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today I baked pumpkin pie (gluten free) and crackers from scratch.  While I do not have a full EDC yet, I had water and an extra coat in my car as I went out.

    Yesterday I got a pound of grassfed ground beef for free with a coupon.  Today I used it to make taco meat.

    An extended family member has been out of work for a while, and having an emergency fund plus food at home is REALLY hitting close.  I need to make a good plan to stretch our money as much as possible to get in shape better financially and with being overall prepared for what is to come.

    Our situation in the US is NOT comforting in any way.

  • #8313

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Been functioning pretty well today.  Walked the dog tonite while DH did the rest of the chores.  I had good energy to walk her further.  🙂  It goes up and down but I try to stay fit when I can go further.

    Am so pleased to have one more tote box cleared out.  I saved very little of what was in it.  🙂  It was a spur of the moment choice to tackle that this evening too.  Sometimes…when you think about it too long, it just wears you out before you start!  lol

    OldMtWoman …y’all be careful if you’re in the SNOW STORM’s path!

  • #8328

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor – You may already know about this product but if not, it might be something you’d want to consider for washing your daughter’s hair while she’s still unable to shower or bathe.  It’s called “No Rinse” Shampoo, and it comes in either a liquid form in a bottle or in a more gel-type form inside what’s basically a loose shower cap.  I used to use it to shampoo my elderly parents’ hair when they were bedridden.  I feel it  works well.  To use the No Rinse Shampoo Cap, I would prop them up in a more or less seated position in bed, place a towel around their shoulders, put the Shampoo Cap on their head and gently massage the No Rinse Shampoo inside it throughout their hair and into their scalp.  After that all I had to do was remove and discard the Shampoo Cap and towel dry their hair (or blow it dry if that was what they wanted).  My Mother, in particular, enjoyed having her hair shampooed that way.  Although my dear parents have since passed on, I still keep some No Rinse Shampoo Caps (and commercially packaged No Rinse bath-sized Wipes) on hand all the time in my preparedness supplies for my own use if I should ever need them in an emergency situation.  As I recall, at least as of a few years ago, they were available at WalMart and at some local drug stores (and online too, of course).

    Yesterday I stayed home because more snow was predicted.  It never arrived so, as it turned out, I could have spread my monthly errands over three days instead of rushing madly to get them accomplished in two ,<sigh>.  Instead of going out, I unpacked the groceries and long-term pantry items I’d purchased and then spent time catching up on my email correspondence and reading some articles about sourdough starters and what to bake with your immature sourdough starter “discards”.

    Today, I started adding this month’s grocery purchases to the pantry inventory list on my computer.  I also spoke by phone with a friend who lives in on an island near Seattle, Washington.  She can’t reach the mainland unless the ferry’s running so she wants to have plenty of supplies on hand “just in case.”  One thing she’s particularly worried about is having enough potable water, so we discussed various methods of storing and purifying water.  I was hoping to drive to a friend’s house in a nearby state tonight to watch the lunar eclipse through his excellent telescope but, given the dangerously low temperatures, we decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to be standing around outside in the cold wind.  So, my plan now is to watch the eclipse on SLOOH dot com and, maybe, if I’m feeling particularly brave, poke my head outside for just a minute or two when the eclipse reaches its maximum point so I can catch a glimpse of the “red moon” with my own eyes, lol.

  • #8339

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    AmyDixon…..Thanks!  I put the No Rinse Shower Cap on my permanent Shopping List.  I’ve got the bath-size wipes in our BO kits.  But hadn’t heard of that product.  I don’t even have cornstarch/arrow root powder [thanks Hieronyma]  in the Hygiene box.  ….missed that and I have longer/thick hair.

    Well, life just got more….and then MORE ….difficult.  DH will be leaving for most of this week.  Family emergency and he must go.  A LOT of scrambling around while we get ready for him to go and for me to be here ….alone.  Oh boy…..I don’t drive more than a few miles on these gravel roads.  I don’t DO highway speeds.  Means I can’t get to our elderlies and they can’t get here to help me.  He and I both have to have extra cash …JIC!  Tomorrow he will shop for a few basics for me  [JIC]….and Italian sausage for the spaghetti sauce.  He’s just brought in enough pellet bags for the stove.  [WISH we had real wood stove in case of electrical outage!]  Propane tank was just filled.  I think we have enough hay bales….we SHOULD have a barn full if hay guy hadn’t messed up this winter.  Hmph.

    I normally do not do morning feeding.  I don’t function well for a couple hours after waking up.  This could be …challenging.  THEN….the forecast calls for even MORE SNOW while DH is gone.  We’ve just got pathways cleared and the melting is flooding some of them…which turns to ice overnight.  I’ve been shoveling dirt/grit on ice….if any dirt/grit isn’t frozen down.  One hillside gave me enough to sand the steps to goat house.  I’m quite skilled by now at flinging grit from the shovel to land several yards away in a nice spread…..usually.  LOL  Those steps were running with melting/thawing water.  The frozen “French drain” that isn’t working this year, is instead pouring water under the porch where we walk to enter the garage.  I finally threw down some old hay from the goathouse….so when it freezes, there will be some grip.  I did some of the same down in barnyard tonite.  Everything is so locked down/frozen…and then running with melt water during the sunshine.

    I have one option:  My church folks might be able to bail me out if I’m really in over my head.  One of them will be driving DH to airport….and later bring him back.  So our car will be here with me.  I could not possibly drive in city traffic and highway speeds to get home after dropping him off.  So that’s handled.  Church folks will help more if I’m stuck but none live that close.  We’re all spread out in this county.  But I’m rarely stuck to the point that I can’t do something….or adapt until I can.  The only thing making me nervous is the additional snow and my muscle spasms if I shovel or sweep.  I do have plenty of Nuprin…Hmph!   I might just walk over the snow and only clear snow in absolutely needed places……  Pttft….which is all of it if I don’t want to slip on these steeeep hillsides.  Ack.

    Found out my old goat is having trouble jumping up to the shelf they love to sleep on in the goathouse.  So I moved one of our car-lift ramps [for changing oil, etc] in there for the ‘old lady’ to use.  Not sure if she’s figured out why it’s in her way tho…..LOL

    Watched the moon tonite.  It bothered the neighborhood dogs when it went dark.  I watched thru binoculars….makes it look like the moon is illuminated from inside.  Not so much when it’s fully occluded.  It’s always quite a show and our area was very CLEAR tonite.  Saw planes passing overhead and wondered what the sight looked like to them.  I kept going out to look and back in to get warm….Brrrrrrr!  Clear nights here feel like space air.

    OldMtWoman   G’nite all

  • #8364

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    @oldmtwoman: Please stay safe. Will be saying a prayer for you.

    @AmyDixon: Thank you for the tip on the No Rinse Shower Cap!

    January 20 & 21: No prepping. Went to church on Sunday while husband stayed home with daughter. Today I drug through the day feeling like I was going to get a migraine. Getting ready to go to bed really early. Tomorrow is another day. Watching a lot of Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix hoping the “tidying” lessons will sink in by osmosis. I really want to get this place in order. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak…..

  • #8369

    Littlesister
    Participant

    I like the idea of the no rinse shower caps. Will have to check on that. Would be great for my preps. I have been tearing up the closets trying to go through things and get them organized. It has been a good 6 years since I really went through them and cleaned them out. Got linen closet almost done. Just a few things left to go through. Still a long way to go for the small bedroom closet and the one in the office/craft room. Almost got the one in office/craft room emptied. Need to redo a couple of shelves in that one. Hubby hates it when I clean out closets. Why I will never know. But he can be aggravating when I am cleaning like that. So after dinner I made him clean the kitchen. That kept him out of my hair for a while so I could work on closets. Getting tired now, so will be getting started again early tomorrow.

  • #8373

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today my husband and I took a 30-minute walk in the bitter cold and stayed quite warm with our winter clothes.

    When I went out to run errands, I had an almost-full tank of gas and dressed very warm for the 12 degree weather.

  • #8379

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Thanks, Hieronyma!

    Speaking of closets, I wonder how Molly Malone is coming with her Closet Challenge?

    I think we’re set for DH to be gone.  The weather is not cooperating.  Too many patches of ice hiding under the snow.  Took a knee on one of my skids tonite.  {roll eyes}  Just trying to get set up for doing this all by myself for the rest of this week.  I think we’re nearly set.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

  • #8385

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor – You’re welcome 🙂

    Yesterday (January 21st), I had a pretty quiet day.  It was extremely cold outside again, so I stayed indoors and caught up on paperwork.  I did take periodic breaks, however, to watch the preparedness-related videos posted on the new “Modern Refugee” YouTube Channel.  I particularly enjoyed the video in which he demonstrated how to process field corn so it can be eaten either as hominy or masa, and the one in which he showed the different types of supplies and tools he packs in his day pack versus his “get home” bag.  The video in which he demonstrated how he makes candles using Crisco (or generic) shortening and used glass pasta sauce jars was also quite interesting.

  • #8394

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Just want to let you guys know that Augason Farms now has a sale on canned water. It is 40% off bringing it down to about the price Brummel’s has it for. I am not buying anymore this month but next month I will be getting 2 more cases. The price is 59.99 for a case of 24. That brings the price down to what Brummel’s has it for. Don’t know how long the sale will be for.

    I now have all my long term food in one closet instead of it being spread everywhere. I now know what I really have. I got lucky as well. I had 2 water bobs that I always keep close at hand for hurricane season. I found two more in top of closet. Since I found out I don’t need a bath tub for these but can lay them in garage on a tarp where nothing will punch the plastic, it will give me total of 400 gals. of water. I now have to go through my canned goods and get them moved to the hall closet that I use for my pantry. I am really getting tired but it has to be done. Hubby said it looks like a hurricane hit my office. It is piled up with things to go through.

    Molly, Hope your closet situation is coming along nicely. You really had your work cut out for you with the shelving problem.

  • #8400

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor, OldMtWoman, and Littlesister – If you end up purchasing any of those No Rinse Shampoo Caps (and/or any Bath-sized body wipes) and think that you’ll be wanting to store them for a long time, you might want to do what I do to extend their usable shelf-life as much as possible.  Even though they already come in pretty good packaging that doesn’t allow much evaporation, I always put them (still inside their original, sealed packages) inside a large Ziploc- style bag and seal up that outer bag.  I have found that they retain their moisture for an extra year or two on the shelf if you do that.  Presumably, if you didn’t want to do that and they ended up drying out somewhat in storage, you could always sort of “revive” them by spritzing them with fresh water and letting them sit for a few minutes – but it’s a hassle to have to do that, so I try to double-package them so they won’t dry out at all.

    OldMtWoman – Please be careful!  No more slipping, O.K.? 🙂

    Today, I uploaded 38 pages of World War II-era recipes from Great Britain to a book and file sharing group to which I belong.  Another member of that group then sent me about 66 more books and files full of recipes folks used back then to cook with their rationed ingredients.  It will take me a long time to go through them all but it should be a fun task!  I expect that a lot of those recipes would prove useful if a SHTF situation ever develops in this country that severely limits our access to ingredients we now consider standard but which either come from other countries or from parts of our country we might no longer be able to access if, for example, our transportation infrastructure was severely damaged, or if there were not enough healthy people left to drive the big rigs anymore.  Gee, guess I’d better stop writing now before I depress myself and everyone else, lol.

     

  • #8404

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Wow!!! Ya’ll are really making it happen…Sorry I waited to the end of the day to comment here…there’s so much to tell so I’ll jump back on in the morning….

    Will be hoping you can manage okay OldMtWoman with DH away….

    G’nite…tomorrow for sure…all is well and family back on USA soil safely…well, Carolina left in France but she’s in a really good place and I think it’s going to be a great experience for her.

  • #8413

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Well, Amy Dixon…..I can easily say I did not slip once during my many hours outside today.  Cuz most of the time, I was trudging thru snow up to my knees or higher.  Aaack!  WIND woke me at 6 AM.  I was horrified to peek out a window and see blizzard conditions.  WHAT?  But…but….local weather did not think it would be in our area.  Way over there, it said.  😮  The trees were ….hard to describe cuz they were ‘scrambling’.  Big movement in all directions.  Least it shook the snow off so we didn’t have that heaviness threaten electric lines.

    By 9 AM when I went out to care for animals, the BLIZZARD WIND had cut back to a more normal STRONG WIND with heavy snowfall.  That force earlier might have been the odd way wind always hits this valley.  But the timing was painful..beginning my time alone.  DH HAD to get some stuff done on computer before leaving…printing his ticket and car rental, for one.  Other stuff.  No way he’s going to get a couple more bales of hay in this stuff.

    So I went solo…with large dog to take care of animals.  Driveway is a MASS of white…hard to see where the drainage ditch is on one side.  I put water container [for poultry] in sled and dragged it downhill.  Container slid to front and dug into the snow all the way down.  But it did make a good track to help our snowplow guy….cuz I stayed right on the line of the berm/trench.  I could feel it with my boot.  I knew he’s figure out why I left him this indicator.  We’ve both been professional drivers.

    Once down in barnyard, the full effect of wind and the DRIFTS it creates down there, was evident.  And ….had to protect dog while it took me 4X as long to finish.  Put an old nylon padded horse blanket down for her to lay on.  But I closed one side of it into the old van door to keep the wind from hitting her…and the blanket from blowing away.  She was snug and sat watching me….she guards me.

    Waded thru really deep drifts to reach poultry – as always when we have heavy wind from that direction.  THANKFUL the severe wind had slacked!  Got them set with more bedding, food [both are kept in their house] and the water I’d lugged down for them – warm.  Closed them up….no going out to play today.  Light stays on to increase their warmth.

    Wading down and up to reach hay-eaters.  They’d taken shelter in the shed or on lee sides.  The tarp covering the opening to the hay storage had ripped open…drat!  I had to get snow off some tack and the few bales I have.  It’s a dry snow so not hard…just more labor.  Handed out flakes of hay in the protected areas.  Was pleased to see my oldest horse [always has been a skinny, nasty thing!] was not shivering.  Was calm and fine.  That’s a relief cuz you just cannot keep a horse blanket on her.  She ends up twisting it around and walking on it.  {roll eyes}  Not my favorite critter but still needs best care possible.

    Secured the hay shed tarp more securely this time……the old saying about ‘closing the barn door after the incident’ ?  I really should have believed my altimeter.  [that’s the very-high-altitude alternative to a barometer…cuz they don’t work in thin air]  It read the DROP in barometric pressure yesterday!  A deeper drop than I usually see.  Ah well, at least the system was moving thru quickly.  Had sunshine later in afternoon.  Driveway is plowed, as well as it can be. Both vehicles are free of snow ice in all the important places. Like windshields.

    DH left with his ride and I’m expecting to hear he’s reached the destination airport any minute now.  [he just called]  He still has a drive to get to his sister’s house.  He got some rest on the first plane.  And some food while waiting for the second.  Dog and I took a second trip down tonite and everyone was fine…wanted food again.  Didn’t have to walk this time.  \0/

    Resting…took shower…eating….and will sleep and do it again tomorrow.  Without the blizzard/snowfall part.  I do have to drive into the village to mail some business things for DH…he didn’t get a chance this morning…..for some reason.  But it’s a short trip and dog will come too.  I know the roads are plowed already.

    I’m calling our elderlies when I go out and when I’m safe back inside for this duration.  If I don’t call them back….and I can get cordless phone service in a couple location in barnyard to say I’m just delayed….but they can call neighbors or…ask for a ‘wellness check’ from county deputies.  It’s the only back-up we could think of.  Have never had to use it yet….don’t plan to start now.  But my life is often unusual and I’ve learned I’m not able to predict anything.  LOL

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

  • #8421

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy Dixon. Thanks for the advice on putting the caps in a plastic bag to prolong them. It’s a great idea.

    OldMt. Woman:  Please be careful out there and don’t be slipping on any ice. Keep your cell phone with you so you can call for help if need be. Stay safe and God bless.

  • #8424

    Prepperfan305
    Participant

    1/18: found some board games at the thrift store that my kids can play in case of a “need to keep kids busy” scenario. Washed all the dishes that have been piling up and cleaned my kitchen. “Daily” prep that will save a lot of stress if SHTF.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    1/19: Worked on the mountain of laundry.

    1/20-21: Daily life and no intentional prepping.

    1/22: Gathered leftover grocery ads from the local store, which I will roll into tight paper logs to burn. We get at least a box every week, and there’s really only so much paper kindling I can store, so this is one of the things I like to do. Also bought a 20 lb bag of rice to replace the rice I used to make draft door stoppers.

    1:23: Watched the video in Crisco candles, which I plan on copying today and tomorrow. I have 6 things of Crisco just for candles, and LOTS of left over spaghetti jars. I also have been working on reading The Flat Broke Cookbook (thank you so much Daisy) and meal planning for the next 2 weeks.

  • #8425

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Stay safe OldMtWoman and all the rest of you dealing with serious weather….we experienced a small bit of snow, but mostly rain for it seems weeks and weeks…but looks like sunny days headed our way shortly…

    Okay, peeps, for those of you who have experience using the dehydrated foods one can buy, tell me what to do…I had recently ordered #10 cans of soup produced by Auguson Farms. At 80 years old, I’m not especially concerned with long years of shelf life, but rather having these types of things on hand to help me avoid having to go to the grocery store so often and to take less space than an equivalent number of condensed soups cans would need. You with me so far? Well, today I thought I’d open the Cream of Potato soup and have that for lunch. I followed the can directions carefully – that is 2/3 c soup mix plus 2 cups water; add mix to boiling water, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water to desired consistency. Taste wise it’s just okay but with addition of salt and maybe butter, it could be passable. My biggest “oh no” is that it seems none of the veggies, that is potatoes and onions and something else I couldn’t make out, were palatable….hard, yucky, chewy, not good….should I perhaps have let the mixture soak for a while before trying to heat it up? should I have just added a whole lot more water and cooked maybe twice as long? The called for amount of water just created a gosh awful gooey paste. I don’t want to bad-mouth Augustan Farm products based on this one experience, but who can give me some hints at how to rehydrate these types of products so they are tasty….In addition to the potato soup mix, I got Cream of Broccoli and Cream of Chicken. Thanks for any ideas!!!

    Update on my little indoor spinach garden: spinach continues to produce, nothing big and splashy but just the little baby leaves I can harvest and eat…makes me happy…also my onions from roots continue to grow and seem to be replacing the leaves I cut off…so, new hobby is a hit – keeps me up and moving and happy that I am actually growing something from seed…woo-hoo!! Will definitely continue to do the gardening thing at a level I can handle without stress…

    Learned how to use my Food Saver yesterday so when I start dehydrating things I can put them in vacuum bags…haven’t yet figured out what to try dehydrating since deer meat plan fell through….and since I’m participating in the January Make from Scratch contest, I’ve refused to go to the grocery for anything except milk for my morning coffee and my second cheese-making attempt which also flopped. I believe it was Amy Dixon who pointed me to some better youtube videos I can watch so hopefully third effort will work.

    That’s about it for now….thanks to all of you for your posts…they mean a lot to me….

  • #8426

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Still working on closets. My big problem is that when Farm Fresh was going out of business, I waited for the big price drops and it is all just jammed into closets. So I can’t find things I need. So I have been taken it all out of the two closets and trying to get it all organized along with the other closets that needed to be reorganized. I finally got my linen closet back for just my linen and extra TP and Kleenex.

  • #8440

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – You’re welcome 🙂   Also, thanks for the tip about using a water bob laid on a tarp on the floor.  I didn’t know they could be used that way.  Do you know if one can stay filled that way for a long time or just for a short period when a big storm is expected (for example)?  I guess I’m wondering if a water bob’s seams (If it has any) might burst open after awhile if it was filled with water but was not inside a bathtub that would (presumably) be supporting some of the water’s weight?

    OldMtWoman – OMG, you had such a hard day!  Here’s hoping the rest of the time your jDH’s away will be easier for you!

    Muffy1938 – I have some of that Augason Farms’ dehydrated Cream of Potato Soup (or maybe it’s Creamy Potato Soup – I can’t recall the exact name) also but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’ll be interested to hear what recommendations other folks have on how to make it more palatable.  I’m guessing it probably would help to add more water and then simmer it for a long time to try to soften up the dehydrated veggies in the soup.  You also could try pureeing the cooked soup with a stick blender or food processor to break up the hard, chewy veggie chunks if they won’t soften up any other way.

    Today, I mainly just did my usual daily chores.  I did get the chance, however, to watch some helpful short videos by Melissa K. Norris on making homemade doughnuts, and lacto-fermenting sliced small green tomatoes.

     

  • #8441

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy Dixon: I checked into the waterbob a bit more as I found 2 I didn’t know I had. I checked out laying them on the floor over a tarp.  It states to make a frame which could be made of wood. Doesn’t need to be as tall as a tub, but just enough to support the sides. It also stated that the water will last from 4 to 16 weeks depending if you treat it or not. The waterbob states 4 weeks and that is untreated. I would say to use a bit of bleach or maybe the water preservative tablets. That should take it to 16 weeks with no problem. Since I now have 4 of them and only one bathtub, I am going to make a frame to put on the tarps and then set waterbobs in frame to fill up using the water preservative tablets. The plastic seems to be pretty strong and BPH free.

  • #8446

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – Thanks for the interesting information!  Just wondering if you’re planning to make one frame and place your three extra water bobs inside it side by side, or are you going to make one frame for each separate water bob?  (I have one extra water bob myself now but may consider buying some more.  Wish they were reusable.).

  • #8450

    Littlesister
    Participant

    I am going to make one frame for all 4 to sit inside of. But I am going to just take and put another board in between but not attach it to the frame. That way I can just remove the boards when I am done.. They will fit tight against the frame though. I have also seen where some folks are reusing the water bobs by putting some bleach and a bit of water to clean the bobs out.. Then they empty them and shake them to get as much water out as possible and let them dry out and then reuse them. I am not sure about doing that though. The bleach is good but they are a one use item. I am looking around for some as well as the water bobs for some that are like a water bob but reusable. I thought I had seen some on a site a couple of years ago. Will have to go back to see if I can find it. If I do, I will post it.

  • #8457

    Loving Life
    Participant

    I haven’t checked for a few days as I have been busy. Over the weekend, my area got hit with a lot of snow, ending snow total was about 30 inches, then followed by numbing cold, wind chills down in -40s! It was bitter.

    If the SHTF during the winter, I won’t worry about anyone coming this way. They will be frozen icicles by the time they wade through the feet of snow. I had to get my snowshoes out for this last one.

    As I am getting thawed out, I have been doing ok on the scratch challenge. I live my life making more and more items, but times like this last snow I didn’t do everything by scratch. The one day it was so wicked cold, I used my electric baseboards to get it a little warmer. Truth be told, I was running low on wodd inside and didn’t want to lug wood in the extreme cold. Lol.

    I did make most of my meals from scratch, except for the pasta. I was running low on my flour and didn’t want to break into my stores. I made some rigatoni with spicy sausage and peppers one night that I had for several days of leftovers. One of my neighbors makes the sausage. Add crusty bread (homemade) to the meal and it was great.

    @amydixon. You asked how to make some of the bland meals (AF) more palatable. I soak everything for a bit as some of the freeze dried veggie and such need a little more time reconstituting. I would also suggest Tabasco sauce. I also have added tons of different spices. This is one thing I learned from this months challenge, I need to store more spices.

  • #8482

    Jessee Jones
    Participant

    I have been working on putting up eggs by scrambling and freezing. Two cubes equals one egg. Planning to use them later in Feb. when the girls take a break. Also dehydrating blueberries and starting to sort the receipts for the taxes. Going to plant some lettuce in the mason jars tonight to get those growing. Have been making a plan for where to put the raised beds in the new place.

  • #8484

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    We’ve taken walks this week in very cold weather (with below zero windchill/temperatures).  I stayed warm most of the time for half an hour, and the walks really made me think about the importance of layers of warm clothing.

    I’ve also washed a few loads of laundry and hung them up to dry.  It helps the lack of moisture in the air.

    I’m cooking a chicken we purchased several weeks ago on an excellent sale while roasting some vegetables at the same time. This morning I made a double batch of rice for two days’ worth of my husband’s lunches.

  • #8487

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Have almost finished the closets. I can find things I didn’t know I had. That was a good thing. Things I had bought from Farm Fresh when they were going out of business increased my food stores by quite a bit. It is all organized with just a few items to be put in mylar with 02 absorbers. Will need to take a break to start on taxes. That is a bummer. received my order from patriots supply yesterday and last box today. They had the coffee on sale so I bought some. Got samples before and it was really good. 25 year shelf life as well. Also got more Heirloom seeds. I was able to pick what I wanted from them. Bought a few #10 cans of honey wheat bread mix and some other things that I wanted for long term. I do oven can my own bread flour and such but this is more of a back up.

  • #8492

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Littlesister – The wood frame with removable inner dividers sounds like a good idea!  Also, if you ever do come across any re-usable containers similar to water bobs, I’d love to hear about them.

    Yesterday (January 24th), I drove back to that apple products store in the next state over to see if they had any different used, food-safe 55-gallon barrels on display for sale.  No luck.  I took a friend with me who lives in that area and explained to him the sort of used 55-gallon barrels I’m looking for.  He’s going to check at that store every week or so for me (since I only get over there once a month at most) and, if he sees one for sale that he thinks I’d want, he’ll buy it for me – and I’ll reimburse him later.  I know if I’m patient I should eventually be able to get a least a few of those barrels for my water storage.  After getting back from that excursion, I watched more preparedness-related videos on the “Modern Refugee” and “Obsessive Chicks” YouTube channels.  I also read the interesting (illustrated) article about how to make your own animal rennet that is located in the Cheesemaking section of this website: https://fankhauserblog.wordpress.com/2003/02/02/a-cheese-making-course-syllabus/   that Xant mentioned in her recent post in another part of this Forum.
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  • #8493

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Hi everyone.  Well yes, I’ve survived this solo experience fine so far.  Hopefully that blizzard was the worst…tho it snowed again for a few hours today.  Only got 1″.  EXHAUSTING tho, with all the snow and animal care.  But our neighbor plowed the driveway and that means I take me and dog down the hill in a vehicle, instead of wading thru drifts. [not to mention UP THE HILL] The second day [Wed] was spent doing all the chores and then driving into the village.  I don’t drive much but I can usually do that.  Made 3 quite necessary stops that DH intended to do before he left…but there was that blizzard.  Hmph.  One necessity was to buy 3 bales of hay ….they put up on my roof rack.  Also inquired/found out this [more expensive] feed store will deliver.  OK, after DH gets back, we’ll probably do that cuz 3 at a time is a bother and risky.  Like to go thru worst of winter with PLENTY!  [prepper, y’know]   [do you know it’s been a decade or more since we’ve had a real blizzard?  It was quickly gone but in this valley, it was real.

    Been getting down to ZERO degrees every nite.  Still ….it’s not as cold as Loving Life has been having.  Glad to hear you’re staying warm, friend!!  Now you know… more wood close to hand.

    Anyway, our hay-eaters will not starve.  Untied and YANKED the 3 bales off roof and used plastic sled to move them across to hay barn.  I also had to fill the big water tank with the hose that day  Wed.  It was low and the sun was shining on 350′ of hose….laying on top of the snowdrifts.  Thankfully I’d remembered to free it from the depths of 3′ drifts the night before.  There was anxious moments and walking down …and UP….the hill, checking as to why water was not coming thru.  Worst case scenario:  a full length of that many hoses, blocked and frozen solid for the rest of winter.  But no, it did eventually spurt and splutter and finally flow.  🙂

    Got the hoses all drained and looped where they’re kept till next time.  Then went in and had a BIG plate of the spaghetti I’d made on Monday.  Always make food ahead when facing snow storms!

    Today [Thursday]  was a lot easier cuz the BIG STUFF was done.  Paths are not cleared cuz I flat-ran-out of energy…and didn’t want to tax my shoulder any further.  That’s been doing very well.  I can’t raise arm up without support but it’s not in screeching pain either.  I can adapt.   Between AM and PM chores, I stuck the roast into the crock pot and began a beef stew in the cast iron big pot.  I cleaned out my freezer of older veggies including a big turnip and greens.  [homegrown at my friend’s]  Of course onions/garlic/etc.  The last potatoes that are starting to sprout despite that they’re stored in a dark closet!  Added beef from the crock pot after a while.  Some leftover couscous.  Wow….that turned out good.  LOL  “Decluttered” some freezer space too.

    Spent a lot of time resting …reading, on computer…today.  It’s going very well.  DH and family are having a precious time together.  …..tho he did knock on the wrong door at 3AM when he finally arrived.  XYZ street vs XYZ street WEST.  Finally called family and she told him the error [really, she could have been a LOT more clear on that!]  DH left quickly before someone DID come to the door.  Hopefully they never heard him.  LOL  {shaking head}

    Old MtRider  G’nite all

  • #8499

    Loving Life
    Participant

    @oldmtwoman. I understand your issues with the weather. The last week has been snow with bitter cold periods. Doing it by yourself can certainly be a struggle. I am here by myself and I put in work arounds to make it easier. I have to admit that the wood is close to the house, but I was so tired and it was so cold that I decided to use my electric baseboards. I have solar and I am still up for the year. I budget every month to use the electric baseboards a few days.

    @redcarnation. Layers are very important in this weather. Happy to hear that you are getting some good exercise in the cold. Remember to stock extra layers in your vehicles.

    @amydixon @littlesister. Thanks for all the info on water BOB.

    While it was wicked cold, I reread a few of my favorite self-reliance books. With all the posts about water, I decided it was a good time to brush up on all things water. I went to my favorite “The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.” I forgot that our Daisy authored it. I shout out to @daisy.

    Everyone’s water posts got me to assess my water situation in all the seasons. I also did an “everything water” inventory.

    At least in the winter with ALL THIS SNOW, I can boil it down on the wood stove. I like to put all my “plans” into practice, so I went out yesterday and put snow into some containers. I have these side wings on my Vermont Castings Defiant wood stove that are perfect for melting and boiling the snow. If needed I could use this water in case I have an issue with the well. Daisy’s book really got me thinking about multiple water sources. I have my water stores, but I want to save them. In addition to my well, snow, and rain water; I am also less than 1/2 mile from a year round running river. It’s amazing how much water we need to survive, but between all the sources I should be good on sources.

    Another thing that the posts and Daisy’s book got me thinking about was my methods of water storage. I like the BOB idea. I have now added it to my “prepper wants” list. For the spring through fall time frame, I have 3 55 gallon water barrels that I collect the rain water run off in. I am adding another rain barrel this summer.

    For purification, I have boiling, clorine bleach, iodine, and multiple water filters. After boiling my water on the wood stove, I made it taste better by reoxygenating through pouring it back and forth between two containers.

    Water is what I have been up to for the last few days, both literally and figuratively. Lol. It felt good to inventory and assess.

    Next week, I am trying out some of my food stores, revewing some books, and looking at my food inventory. @muffy1938 got me thinking about practicing some of my wood stove cooking on my food stores, especially the AF soups etc.

  • #8501

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Amy Dixon: the other water bobs I was talking about are Aquatank II at Baytec containers. The 300 gal one is on sale now for $297. these are pricey and I have not bought any at this time. Though I would love to get a couple. They have different sizes I think up to 600 gals. These will outlast the water bobs and much sturdier and very heavy duty.   I have also read the on Daisy’s site the prepper’s water survival guide. I loved it. Great info.   Thank you Daisy.

  • #8509

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Been busy cleaning up the 2 bedrooms after cleaning out closets. Also worked on my taxes. That is such a bummer. But gotta do it. Still dog sitting my neighbor’s dog while she and her husband are off on a gambling trip. They should be back by Sunday. Then I will have a talk with her about finding someone else to take care of the dog as I am not phy. able to keep doing it. This dog loves to jump on you. At 180 lbs. She will knock you down if not careful. I can be at the store, Doctor’s office or whatever and I will get a call will you run over to let the dog out, I won’t make it home. This is an almost daily issue. I am now tired of dropping everything to run across the street. I have really given this some thought, so I am going to give her a this is my last time date. This past summer her husband grounded out a tree stump for us for free because I had already been taken care of her dog and the first one that past almost 2 years ago. Now I am still taking care of the dog but now it is a thing where she is taken advantage of me. So at what they charge for dog sitting at 30 to 35 bucks a day, I feel I have already paid for the tree stump at least 3 times.  Gotta love your neighbors. But on a brighter note my closets are now done and the taxes are half way done.

  • #8514

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    @littlesister – Yes, you need to stand your ground.  You’ve definitely paid for that tree stump numerous times.

    Congratulations on the progress on the taxes and closets.

    @lovinglife – Thank you.  Today I went out to get some farm eggs.  I had my extra layers in the car and was bundled up.  With the heat up to 79 and almost full blast, there was still ice forming on the perimeter of my windshield.  It was 5 degrees outside, and the weather is supposed to cool down even more.

    Yes, it is amazing how much water we need and how much we take it for granted.

    Today my accomplishment was having most of my husband’s lunch ready the night before and staying warm while running errands in freezing temperatures.

  • #8518

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Loving Life….I understand the Too Tired To Take Ten steps That-a-way and Ten steps back.  I’m getting to that point…quickly.  With my disease, I always have to do energy assessments.  Can do/Can’t do.  I figure that for me, The Stuff Has Already Hit The Fan.  So developing habits that minimize energy expenditure is good training……for when/if the Stuff Hitting Fan is bigger than my personal situation.  At some point, we just have to survive to continue on another day.  Glad you have the electric/solar as an excellent back-up.  Cuz ….if you got very ill, that would be needed!

    My DH is coming home tomorrow, late.  One more day of solo with animals.  Weather is mild again but the unshoveled paths are getting icy.  🙁   I keep sanding the ones I use most.  Hard to find dry grit to use with all this snow.  It’s going to take a while to get this back to the way we usually do winter pathways.  Some SUNNY WARM January Thaw days will help…..

    OldMtWoman  ….G’nite all

  • #8523

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Loving Life – You’re so right about the importance of storing spices, herbs, and other items to flavor your stored foods!  I have a couple of types of Tabasco sauce (the red and the green kinds) in storage, as well as some jarred curry paste, soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, A-1 steak sauce, etc., in my storage pantry along with many different kinds of whole dried herbs and spices that I bought in bulk and have vacuum-sealed in glass jars (with a small Oxygen absorber packet in each jar also).  I have found that, packaged that way and kept in a cool, dark, dry place, the herbs and spices have at least a 3-5 year shelf life. That works out well since then I can afford to buy a larger quantity of each herb or spice in bulk, get the benefit of the volume discount, and not have to use them up as quickly – which, as a single person, is hard for me to do!  I also stock up on bottled salad dressings when they go on sale.  As you probably know, some salad dressings are useful on more than just salads.  For example,  I have used “Honey Mustard” (or Creamy Caesar) salad dressing mixed with cubes or slices of cooked chicken and served over rice as a quickie “casserole”, and have used  Newman’s Own “Olive Oil and Vinegar” salad dressing mixed with cooked commercially packaged diced mixed vegetables as a tasty side dish.  Plus, some salad dressings make great marinades for meats!  Many commercially prepared salad dressings can last well beyond their stated “best buy” dates, so I have found them quite useful for short and  mid-range storage.  (Another easy “sauce” that I think tastes really good with slow-cooked chicken can be made by mixing a jar of mild salsa with a jar of apricot jam.  Not exactly “homemade” – but sure is quick, easy, and tasty, lol.  I then serve that chicken dish alongside yummy herb-roasted potato wedges.  Surprisingly, they taste really good together!).

    Littlesister – Thank you for the information about the Aquatank II!  I had not heard of that brand of water bladder before.  I agree that Daisy’s “The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide” is very helpful!  I also learned a lot from watching the “Simplifying the Wacky World of Water Storage” video posted by Debbie Kent on her “Store This Not That” YouTube channel.  That video is from a live presentation Debbie did on the subject of water storage and posted about 2 years ago.  It is still available on YouTube.  It’s about 43 minutes log but I was really glad I watched the whole thing.  I’ve been prepping for almost 20 years and yet I still learned some new tips from that video on practical ways to store water economically.  (At the time she made the video, Debbie’s opinion was that people should try to find ways to store water that wouldn’t cost them more than $1 per gallon).

    Yesterday, I stayed home and worked on unpacking and re-organizing more of my preparedness items that were boxed up for my move in 2018.  Still have a lot more to go, unfortunately.  I’m a slow-poke!  Today, I’ve done a little more unpacking but have spent some “fun” time watching more preparedness-related videos online and reading a couple of heirloom seed catalogs I got in the mail last week.  Don’t know how much gardening I’ll actually do this year but I do want to make a “wish list” of heirloom seeds I’d like to get and the best suppliers for them.  I also found out that there is a small museum in a nearby County that sells heirloom seeds harvested and saved from the historic garden on their grounds.  I’m going to try to buy some of my seeds from them since I can at least be confident that the varieties they sell will thrive in this part of the country.

     

     

     

  • #8526

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Old mt.woman you be careful on that ice and take care. I to know how hard it is to keep your energy going. As I am hypothyroid along with other issues. I can have plenty of energy one day and the next don’t want to do anything much. I just keep pushing myself to get things done. Though I have had times when my body says that’s it you’re done and to go take a nap. I sometimes have to do just that.

  • #8536

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    AmyD….seeds grown right there?….so lucky to find a resource like that!!  Will save several years of finding out the hard way…which will/won’t grow in new area.  Our library started a seed sharing deal.  Use old card catalog cabinets to ‘file’ the seed envelopes…LOL   {if you aren’t old enough to know what a ‘card catalog‘ is….Google it.}

    Lil’Sister…definitely relate. Diseases make normal survival a challenge.

    I did other AM chores and end with dog walk on [thankfully] flat road.  I always use an old aluminum ski pole for support but after taking a few steps….I went back to grab another stick for bi-lateral support.   [I stash dead aspen sapling sticks everywhere]  🙁   I got only a few steps again and declared:  PLAN B!

    That means dog and I get into car and drive to a nearby dead-end road.  Rarely meet a vehicle there.  She runs outside the car on her retractable leash….my arm out the driver’s window.  She can full-out RUN….then hit her brakes waaay faster than I can.  Thankful for the retractable leash or I’d lose my arm.  Nearly have a couple times….Plan B needs fast reflexes.  But if I don’t lose my arm, it works without wearing me out….or collapsing which I DO avoid!   LOL

    So….got AM chores accomplished.  Ate.  Read.  TOOK A NAP!  That really helped tho it wasn’t a long nap.  Then PM chores, I could walk dog a short distance.  Stamina is really affected by this ‘siege’.  🙁  But….DH CAME HOME TONITE.  \0/   He’s so exhausted that it’s still going to take both of us to accomplish what we need to do.  Dog was silly-excited to see him back where he belonged!!  Poor thing didn’t know what happened.  I used the code word for him just as our friend drove in the driveway…he’s baaack!

    OldMtWoman….we’re both taking prevention herbs due to being over-strained right now!

  • #8548

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    OldMtWoman, so happy your DH is back in pocket, tired but safely home.

    All of you are mentioning activities and great ideas I want to try but I can’t remember who…for example, I’m investing in spices also in bulk but hadn’t thought of putting them into smaller containers. I need to look into getting that jar sealer to go with my Food Saver machine I think. Although yesterday, when I was trying to vacuum seal some chicken breast was having a lot of trouble getting the bags to seal. My helper knows how to do this and she will be here tomorrow so I’ll get another lesson.

    Today, I made English muffins again. Just love those things and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of cooking them without burning half the batch.

    Someone mentioned thyroid issues….I’ve taken a pill for that for years but am beginning to research how I might try to control that condition through diet. What if pills were not available? The times I’ve forgotten them or tried to go without I definitely notice a huge change in my mood and energy level. My preliminary research suggests it’s not inconceivable that dietary changes might influence for the better.

    Oh, yes…confession time….I’ve had a house guest for the past three weeks as a favor for someone and it has been really, really challenging. I’m just not able to be as flexible as I’d like to be dealing with other people in my space. Fortunately, she has now moved out and on and it’s such a relief. But, I’m still feeling a bit guilty for not being able to be more accepting/loving toward this lady who needed help and would like to have stayed here longer. But, for my own health and emotional well-being, I had to send her on her way. Someone mentioned feeling put upon by a neighbor whose dog requires frequent attention. I guess we all have to draw lines occasionally…it’s just hard to do and I relate to the dilemma.

  • #8550

    Littlesister
    Participant

    OldMtWoman  Glad to hear Your DH is home safe and sound.

    I went to church this morning. Then came home let neighbor’s dog out. So glad today was the last week of the dog sitting. Still need to have that talk with her about my keeping that dog for her all the time and on a moments notice.  So finally got to the store this afternoon as neighbor got home an hour after I let dog out. Wanted to go to Harris Teeter before the really good sales were over. Wasn’t able to go anywhere much all week because of dog sitting and cleaning closets. Got some roast they said was 30% off but turned out it was much more off that that. The most expensive one was $22 with 30% off. But at the register they took off another 25%. I had bought 3 of them. So got a great deal. They are going to close that store and reopen the new one in the old Farm Fresh store by middle of Feb.  So will be looking to stock a few items here and there as they reduce them for quick sale. Hoping they will reduce tuna and salmon so I can get enough to can but that will depend on the prices. Not going to pay 14.95 a lb. for tuna.

    Muffy, if you do find a solution to the hypothyroid issues, I would love to hear about it. If I can’t get my synthroid for it, I to am so tired I can’t function. It will do a number on you. Right now I do have about 120 days worth of my meds but after SHTF we won’t be able to get it anymore. I have also been trying to research it. But nothing yet. Will let you know if I come across anything as well.

  • #8564

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today I went to the store to get more water and a couple of other things before the storm hit, and I am so glad that I did!  Even on my way back the roads were not so good.

    @littlesister Congratulations on the fabulous deal on roasts!

    @muffy It’s honorable to help people, but we can’t go crazy doing it.  I hear you loudly and clearly. The three weeks of help was very generous of you. 🙂

    @oldmtwoman – You are a trooper!  What a blessing that your husband is safely home.  Mine used to travel for work once a week, and boy did his being gone throw everything out of wack. I’m so happy for both of you!

    @muffy and @littlesister – I have a natural solution to hypothyroidism that works.  It’s from a medical doctor who prescribes natural remedies to his patients. Feel free to message me if you wish. 🙂

     

     

     

  • #8569

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Thankful DH is back.  And just in time.  We both began to feel the “microbe attack” yesterday…even before he got home.  Actually, I’d been taking our immune booster and REAL Vit C off and on all week.  A physical strain like that is often an opening for the opportunistic little bacteria/viral varmints.  Hmph!  And so it turned out.

    DH had his classic STIFF neck muscles by the time he got home last nite.  Uh oh.  He began dumping down our type of fortifications.  We’ve had to continue all day today.  We did AM and PM chores together.  I felt dreadful this morning with a headache making me dizzy every time I leaned over to scoop “horse products” from the frozen ground.  He had to come help me finish after he did the long walk with dog.  But together, we did it.

    PM was not so bad….except I’d spent some time chucking and slinging shovelfuls of sand/grit/DG over the melted-snow-turned-ICE …on steps, etc.  I just get these pathways cleared and we have a warm day  [OK…I LIKE the warm days but…] …and the nearby snow drifts on these steep hillsides melt right into the paths.  Gaaagh!  This month has been the worst in years.  So being fatigued and battling with microbes and ICY paths that could be a drastic injury if we fall….  I’m not in the best of mind frame.  Hmph!

    However, we both got a LOT of rest today.  Both took naps.  Taking immune pills and also ginger/lemon tea.  Drinking a LOT of fluids.  We are at WAR today.  Have periods of feeling much better and then later, not so good.  The battle rages but neither of us is truly fully sick.  Just in that preliminary stage.  A bit of cough.  A little sniffle.  Itchy eyes.  Chilled or hot…and switch again.  But all quite tolerable except the headache which disappeared after Nuprin.  I’m confident that we’ll be much improved by tomorrow.  Kept humidifier on all day to counter the dryness of the pellet stove.

    OldMtWoman  ….kinda liked laying in bed reading one of my favorite SciFi books  🙂

  • #8572

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Help….is there a way everyone is using to keep track of your prepping supplies? maybe a pantry inventory list that can be updated as items are used and need to be replaced? I don’t know how to use those computer spread sheets, so will need something paper and pencil type I guess…I’ve not been at this serious prepping thing for very long and am beginning to feel that I need a better system for organizing and locating the stuff I’m buying….I don’t want to reinvent the wheel if there’s something out there all ready….thanks!

  • #8573

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    PS…Also, someone suggested a February challenge for discarding/decluttering “stuff”….I think that’s a great idea and can be helpful to someone such as myself who needs that bit of encouragement to just keep on doing something everyday to make my life simpler and stress free…:)

  • #8583

    Josefina Arenas
    Participant

    Daisy has “The Preppers Book of Lists”.  I’m embarking on a spreadsheet that identifies what I have and where it is located.  This means, assigning location identifiers since not everything is stored in the same place.

    Old Mt. Woman–sorry to hear you’re battling.  I usually have some success every season with 4 thieves formula–basically a bunch of aromatics soaking in apple cider vinegar, then taken 1-2 T a day during the sick season.  Hope you’re feeling better today!

  • #8595

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    OldMtWoman – I’m so glad to hear that your DH got home safely, and I hope you will both be feeling better soon!  Yes, I’m really happy to have found out about the locally grown seeds available for sale.  I also was glad to have found lists online of the plants that the County Extension Service’s Master Gardeners sold at their annual Spring greenhouse fundraising sale here over the past few years.  In most cases, those lists specified the particular varieties of the plants being sold.  I took notes as to varieties they sold since those plants were all grown in this County by the Master Gardeners and their assistants.  Now I feel fairly confident that I know which varieties will do well in my garden – so hopefully I won’t waste money or time trying to grow ones that wouldn’t do well in this climate.  I definitely know about card catalogs, lol.  I was a volunteer librarian at my High School back in the late 1960’s 🙂

    Muffy1938 – I keep lists of my food storage items and my preparedness equipment and tools in my computer but I don’t use a spreadsheet program.  I just type the lists in long Word or Open Office documents that I have divided into categories.  If I want to, I can always use the Tab or column features in the software to line up the information neatly.  Once I update a particular list, I make a couple of digital copies of it on flash/USB drives and also upload one set of the lists into an old netbook I use for back-up storage.  Occasionally I will print out a hard copy of each list to have just in case all my digital back-ups crash somehow.  I have heard that some other people keep their preparedness inventory information handwritten on 3 x 5 cards, and update the individual cards as needed.  Switching gears here, lol, if you decide to get a jar sealer accessory for your FoodSaver machine, keep in mind that they come in either regular or wide-mouth sizes.  (Apologies if you already knew that).  If you get the regular-mouth size jar sealer accessory and have any trouble getting a jar’s lid/flat to vacuum seal down on the jar’s rim, try placing an extra lid/flat upside down inside the jar sealer accessory before placing it over the jar and the lid/flat you’re actually going to vacuum seal.  Usually having that little bit of extra pressure on the lid/flat you’re trying to seal will do the trick.  I have never had to do that with the wide-mouth jar sealer accessory but often have to do so with the regular-mouth one.

    Littlesister – Congratulations on the great deal on the roasts!

    Yesterday, I spent a few hours online tracking down technical specifications and user guides for my older Goal Zero solar-powered devices.  I have hard copies of the user guides “somewhere” but, naturally, they’re misplaced among all the moving boxes <sigh>.  Today, I watched more videos on Modern Refugee’s YouTube channel, re-watched an old YouTube video (by “Misty Prepper”) about making cold process goat’s milk soap, and did some more work on updating my pantry inventory list.

     

     

     

     

  • #8598

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Thanks to all for well wishes.  This certainly has been a strenuous, challenging month.  Gaah!  Both DH and I are much better today.  Still taking our stuff.  No chill/hot for me today…which is the symptom that makes me feel ‘sick’.  Never got to sore throat…but keeping on with our fortifications.  DH began coughing later today.  Used a percussion device to ‘thump’ the chest, bronchial, lung areas.  He hasn’t coughed since.  Also ginger/honey tea soothes things.  We both ate well and I’ve had energy to keep up with dishes….as well as doing AM/PM chores with DH.

    Dang….had this typed and the page jumped up and I accidentally clicked Who-Knows-What before I had the chance to ‘save’…lost it.  Grrrr!  ..so I try again to add this: 

    Thanks for the suggestion on Thieves, Josefina.  I’ve heard of that…used it years ago; think I still have a couple bottles.  Many folks have great luck with that product….and make it themselves.  But we’ve been using our herbal/nutritional products since the …90s, I think.  We haven’t been actually ill in many, many years.  But…you must start the ‘counter attack’ right away.  DH was flying and he should have grabbed his from his carry-on when he felt it coming on.  Running between flights is not a good time tho.  🙁  So he’s playing catch-up a bit.  First thing he did last nite when he got home tho.  Main thing with ours….one MUST use REAL Vit C….not the chemical made in a vat that they call ascorbic acid.  That’s close to Vit C but is not quite…and it makes a difference!

    SOOOO very glad I did that dirt work yesterday.  Manual labor with sand/grit of the Rocky Mts is heavy labor.  But I used a sled and pulled it  [thankfully]  down hill.  The steps and the flooded area I covered with sand/grit certainly did freeze solid last nite.  But the sand/grit was built up to be above the ice this morning….we could still walk there safely.  Same with the “expedient” steps to the goat house.

    These steps I talk of…[the goat ones, not up to house}  …they are made-from-scratch.  Our SIL showed us and started several of them for us one visit.  Just put a board lengthwise to the hill…on it’s edge.  DRive in wedge stakes on the downhill side to hold board in place….till the stakes are flush with the board so you don’t trip on the stakes!!!  Then fill in that “step” with dirt/grit/sand {whatever is “dirt” in your area}. Continue up or down the hill.  Ours are about 2′ wide from front to next step up.  About 3′ wide from right to left side.  Makes it much easier to get up that blasted hill!!!  But they must be cleared of snow…… ice must be sanded ….and in other seasons, the torrents of rainwater gouge mini-ravines which have to be filled in.  Worth it tho.  Safer than raw hillside to climb!!!!

    OldMtWoman ….BATTLE against ice and microbes!!!!  …is it Spring yet?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8605

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    Hi guys! I have been out of touch for a while. I spilled coffee on my laptop, which is a mini-catastrophe for me since I use it to run my life (banking, grad school, etc.). I had recently backed up the data, but i still need a personal computer loaded with anti-viris and anti-malware and anti-keylogger. I’m not logging into my bank on a public library computer. I logged into my school intranet with trepidation because i am getting so behind on homework and reading. A computer repair place said they could fix it for $250 in 2 weeks, so i am doing that instead of buying a new laptop. That’s coming out of the emergency fund.

    The closet is coming along. It’s just slow and boring. I filled in all the cracks in the door frame with wood filler, and have twice filled holes in the walls with joint compound. Some holes are so deep it will take a 3rd application of joint compound (tomorrow night). Joint compound is unforgiving, dries hard like cement. I apply it as smoothly as I can. When i am all done with joint compound, i will put up sheeting around the closet and sand the wood filler smooth.

    Been losing a lot of time at (painful) physical therapy and acupuncture for the arthritis in my knees.

    I second Muffy on a decluttering challenge. I need to make sure my closet doesn’t become a repository for clutter. My goal is to end the lease on a storage unit; move necessary items into my closets and attempt to be ruthless about discarding things.

  • #8618

    Beyond Blessed
    Participant

    I haven’t checked in for a while.  Partly because I “fell off the wagon” and partly because I have been very pressed for time.  We have had four goat kids born since I last checked in and we have also been doing repairs and improvements to our set up.  Tonight we are having goat sausages from our male goat who went in the freezer.  He wasn’t a bad goat, but our current fences were not sufficient to keep him in and he was creating havoc and would have been very difficult to sell as he was a mixed breed, so we decided to put him in the freezer.  We are having goat sausages tonight with rice and green beans.  Last night we had leftover roast chicken and fresh broccoli and frozen corn and potatoes all made from scratch over the weekend.  My husband repaired the main goat house and all the holes the male goat had made in the building too this week-end, so the new babies are more protected from the winter weather and I helped him make another goat “house” with cattle panels and a large tarp and he has also bought more cattle panels to make a start on reinforcing both the goat enclosure and the garden, so they are both goat proof to any goat jumpers we might have in the future (hopefully!).  You live and learn with goats….We did have Burger King burgers last week…. and they tasted really awful.  We had been having take out burgers probably about twice/three times a month before this challenge.. and we stopped getting them and I started making an effort to cook more to comply with the challenge and it seems to have had the unexpected result of changing our taste buds.  Anyway we have decided definitely no more take out burgers from Burger King.  And its certainly getting easier choosing to cook from scratch. I used to do it all the time, but life seemed to just overtake me and I got lazy about it.     This week my aim is to make more cookies and more homemade bread and make some homemade toothpaste.  I am trying to make up my mind as to whether bicarbonate of soda is good to use or not for teeth cleaning.  There seem to be a lot of differing opinions about it.  I also need to buy some pea seeds from Baker Creek.  Wont be long now before planting has to start for those….last year I chose to germinate them before putting them in the garden between two pieces of wet kitchen towel in a plastic bed, otherwise they don’t seem to germinate very well when the weather is cold and damp and then when they do the heat is too much for a good crop..

  • #8635

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    The super stopped by to inspect my progress on the closet. He approved! I told him i plan to wallpaper the interior and he said no no no, the wallpaper will get torn every time i put stuff in and take stuff out. I said, but look at these crappy walls, all lumpy and bumpy and gouged. He said I’ll lend you my professional sander! I thought, do I look like someone who knows how to use a sander? So the sander is now in a box on the living room floor. My concerns are: 1. The apartment will blow up when i plug the sander in. 2. I will sand thru the wall into my neighbor’s apartment. But the super believes in me!!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Molly Malone.
  • #8637

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today was a day to stay warm.  I baked beans in the oven and made soup to warm up the house.

     

    It was -17 and felt like -45 a few hours ago, and the temps are dropping.  Schools have been closed all week.  Some stores are closed tomorrow.

     

    Some friends 12 miles away lost power in the cold.  We charged our phones, filled up extra water, and charged the battery for jumping the car.

  • #8643

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    Molly M!!!  I’ve been wondering if you entered one of your other closets and never came out!  Or perhaps you did find Narnia???  😉   Eewww, bad new on your computer.  🙁   One of mine got ‘watered’ and it wasn’t pretty.  I also had it backed up, or it can be tragic!  LOL on the MEGA- sander.  I think cartoons have been made from such material!  Good luck!

    Beyond Blessed….long ago I found out just how bad ‘fast food’ tastes.  I rarely get into ‘town’ anymore and I get sick trying to eat it.  The exceptions are JimmyJohns and Subway.  ….now if I could just have that reaction to sugar…

    Red Carnation and everyone else in the Polar danger…..stay warm, stay safe….think thru your choices!  This one is extraordinary…..and I’m glad DH is home from his visit to the Midwest…got out just in time.  We’re getting toooo much snow and wind but feeling ‘lucky’ to be missing that monster weather.

    Well, I think DH officially blew our record of many years.  He’s sick.  🙁   He didn’t start taking his herbs quick enough and he’s losing sleep to coughing.  We even stopped in the village [had to get 3 more bales of hay and owner still not there to talk about delivery!]  …any way, decided to get some NyQuil.  The last bottle of that sort we had was expired ….in 2005.  😮   Haven’t needed any.  I can hear him coughing so it’s not helping that much.  Might just switch to an alcohol hot toddy something.  We’re not drinkers but he keeps stuff for this sort of thing.

    He’s been in staying warm and I’ve been out with chores alone again.  But he came to the village on the hay run.  I’m doing ok but haven’t cleared out whatever is persistently trying to make me sick also.  Hmph!  I’ve got some lemon/ginger/honey tea setting next to the bed.  About to drink that and take last immune-boost and Vit C.  I’ve been able to sleep well….DH, not so much with this coughing.  🙁   He has to drive me to the city for appt tomorrow.  The wind is drifting the snow back into the driveway….Grrrr!  Harsh month but we aren’t in the Vortex.  Guess I’ll be thankful for that.

    OldMtWoman  …. G’nite all

  • #8647

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Whoops! I posted yesterday’s check in under the decluttering forum. That’s a great conversation also, so you might want to check it out. I’m hoping February’s challenge might center on getting rid of stuff.

    Thanks, OldMtWoman for notes on where to store dehydrated stuff. Today, I’m seeing how my dehydrated carrots work in muffins. So far, it’s looking good. With some boiling water for about 15 minutes, the shredded carrots looked great. Yeah! Now I know dehydrating my cabbage and carrots will definitely be worth the effort. For those of you with lots of experience in the kitchen, my excitement at actually being able to do something that works may seem a bit silly, but for me it’s a major accomplishment as I’ve never spent much time doing cooking things. I was a single mom of three boys and after they were raised and out of my nest, food was mostly eating out or quick stuff. So, this new hobby is providing me a much needed interest to keep on keeping on with living! Good news: number 2 son just sent me a message asking about helping him with some long-term food storage ideas. One of his teen age daughters has shown a real interest in homemaking skills so I figure he’ll get her involved. She already cans, cooks, sews, raises chickens, etc.

    Anyhow, back to dehydrating…I’m going to fill the trays with more carrots, a head of cauliflower, some spinach, some yellow onion slices, sliced mushrooms and a bag of frozen lima beans and see what happens.My goal is to get as many things preserved this way to avoid freezer requirement. In our neck of the woods, it is not uncommon in the rural area where I live for severe ice storms to knock out power for several days at a time. In recent memory we were out for nearly two weeks. Lots of folks lost a lot of stuff. Anyhow, I’m thinking dehydrating and canning mostly for long term storage.

    So sorry to hear how the weather is affecting so many. Our temps dipped really low last night so schools were closed, but supposedly by Saturday we’ll be back up into the 60s. Actually, we will begin to experience Spring around here in about 6 weeks….I love having the full four seasons….not too terribly long for winter or summer…Fall and Spring just great.

    We seem to have a broad age spread among us…that’s cool…I love reading about MollyM’s closet drama….and OldMtWoman is a great story teller! Okay, carrot muffins are out of the oven and cooling…they look yummy so it’s time for a snack. Maybe a cup of tea….

  • #8650

    woodsrunner
    Participant

    I believe in you too, Molly.

  • #8652

    Hieronyma Textor
    Participant

    Hi all – I disappeared for a while due to exhaustion and time crunches. The good news is that daughter is turning herself in bed now, so we are all getting much better sleep, finally. It’s been 3 weeks since her cancer surgery with the wonderful outcome of “no cancer”! The surgery was hard on her, but she’s sitting up for several hours at a time now and took a shower without the bath lady today, just a little help from me. Occupational therapist is still coming in though.

    I am still so tired I am having trouble thinking, though. Daughter has nausea all the time as an after-effect of all the antibiotics they gave her, so I’m trying to remember to give her bitters before a meal and ginger tea after a meal. She keeps having to remind me. She’s taking probiotics, too.

    In the meantime, we’ve gotten a huge start on dejunking, and I would LOVE a dejunking/organizing challenge in February! Have already thrown out a lot of trash and have 2 garbage bags of stuff to give away at this point. Our priest delayed the house blessing for a week because the cold has hit the Midwest hard and nobody wants to travel much. I don’t blame him. That’s OK – the house will look even better by next week 🙂

    @OldMt Woman: What an adventure! Praying that you and DH get well real soon. We use the Vitamin C and Zinc, but also elderberry, and sometimes a drop or 2 of poke root tincture. Have to be careful with the poke, but it will wipe out the flu fast if you take it a few days when you first feel it coming on.

    @Muffy1938: I just use a “master list” that I have typed out. I can mark in pencil what I have, and then erase and change it when I need to. It’s nothing fancy, and probably not the best – but I am terrible about keeping things up if it’s on a computer. I make my living on the computer, but I just don’t trust it, and I want to do as little as possible that’s not money-making work on it.

    @Molly Malone and everyone else: You’re inspiring!

  • #8653

    Littlesister
    Participant

    Molly, that is some bad news on the computer. Hope all works out. I bought  a new one because hubby was nagging me to get it. Got an Apple. It is not easy to learn. I am still trying to figure it out, but haven’t really had the time to mess with it much. Trying to figure out the folders. My grandaughter came over a month ago to show me but instead of letting me do it at her instruction, she did it and so fast I didn’t catch on to what she was showing me. So it is on back burner for now. The keys on this old one sticks so bad, I have to bang the keys to get them to work. So if there are words misspelled, it is the keyboard. Had to change a password because the 4 quit working for a while. Had to work on it to get it going again. Sounds like you have the closets going pretty good now.

    OldmtWoman  You and your husband be careful in that snow and ice. Hope the two of you are feeling better by now.

    I went to a funeral today, so didn’t get much done. I did get my whole powdered eggs in the mylar bags with the 02 absorbers and in the bucket. Got them from my spice sage. They sell a lot of things like the eggs, celery seed and much more. So far what I have bought has been pretty good. But the eggs I only use in baking.

  • #8660

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Molly Malone – Sorry to hear about your computer issue!  I hope it will be fixed for you very soon.  As to the closet formerly known as the “Portal to Hell”, I’m sure you’ll do a great job with the power sander.  I think your Super is right about the wallpaper idea.  It probably would be prone to tearing or getting scuffed up.  Plus, I imagine it would be difficult to hang wallpaper on a wall that’s bumpy to start with.

    Hieronyma Textor – I’m very glad to hear your daughter’s recovery is going so well!

    Beyond Blessed – Enjoyed reading your update on what’s been going on in your world 🙂

    I haven’t gotten much prepping done the past day or so.  Yesterday, I did charge up my rechargeable flashlights and lanterns, and my Goal Zero Yeti 400 “power station”, in case we lost power in the snow squall that was predicted for my area today.  I also filled up a few extra bottles with drinking water just in case.  Today, it did snow a bit, and we had some high winds for a couple of hours, but the terrible weather that had been forecast never came to pass.  We were just lucky here I guess.  I hope that all the Forum members in the Mid-West and North East are staying safe and warm!

    This afternoon, I re-organized a kitchen cabinet and watched an online video on how to make various types of stocks, court bouillon, and demi-glace.  I also did a little online research into the ingredients in the various brands of Pilot Bread Crackers available for purchase.  I have a couple of No. 10  cans of Mountain House Pilot Bread Crackers already but am thinking about getting some Sailor Boy Pilot bread from Amazon.com and re-packaging it so it will store for a longer time.

     

     

     

  • #8661

    woodsrunner
    Participant

    Hieronyma Textor- Glad your daughter didn’t have cancer but sorry she feels nauseous.  One thing they do at Mayo Clinic is use essential oil scent for nausea.  A drop of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and sniff it may help.

  • #8664

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    I’m stopping in at Muffy’s house for carrot muffins.  🙂   We haven’t baked anything here for ….well since the stuff keeeeeps on hitting the fan.  Minor and semi-major stuff.  Love baked stuff.  {love it too much, lol }

    Hieronyma….isn’t it great when the one needing care graduates in regained ability….so EVERYone can get more normal sleep?  Those first days…week… so very consuming for everyone!  Be encouraged…it’s getting better.  Thanks for reminder of elderberry.  I’d been thinking of getting that product  [tho I’d really love to make some myself but…not right now] …and I never did.  We’ve used it long ago.  As I’ve mentioned, we just never succumb to the microbes.  …until this happened.  So some supply of that sort of meds are WAY outdated and we haven’t replenished.  DH is definitely better but still battling.  Lot of ginger/honey/lemon tea.  His herbal stuff ….which he forgot to bring today.  I brought some of it with us but not his lung decongestant herbs.

    [BY THE WAY…..if it’s a type of pandemic flu…the type that’s wiping out the middle, healthy ages instead of very young/old…..don’t use elderberry.  Google cytokine storm/pandemic.  But it’s supposed to be amazingly effective for all NORMAL flu.  ]

    So we were off to the city today….a very long round trip with several stops.  VERY good results at my appt.  Got a much better plan for a health issue now.  Thrilled with the new doc ….he’d actually read my chart before appt.  Call him DrWelby?

    I’ve got lingering annoyance in my throat that tells me to keep up the good fight against these rather persistent microbes.  DH is much better than yesterday.  Would have been better resting than driving today but….  Next two days we can mostly rest/recover.  Dog and I walked UP the driveway, pulling the water hose [once again] to the top of the drifting snow.  Need to fill livestock water tank tomorrow in sunshine….before weather changes.  My sanded steps and walkways are doing fine….cuz it wasn’t warm enough up here to cause melt water to flow….yet.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #8667

    namelus
    Participant

    Again go to fungi.com and order the spray or  the  drops it  works extremery well and is NOT antibiotic but works like one so any super bugs have no defense against it. It’s not cheap but being sick cost more.

     

     

  • #8676

    Muffy1938
    Participant

    Continuing the conversations through January has been an absolute delight for me! I look forward to reading all your posts and I’m getting so many great ideas for emergency preparedness. At now 80 years of age with my travel capabilities now rather seriously limited, I’ve decided keeping active and busy with prepping and gardening…I think these activities are what will keep me up and interested in life and living….not just surviving sitting in front of mindless television…

    Today, I prepared several trays of veggies for the dehydrating machine….some more carrots but this time sliced rather than shredded; some mushrooms sliced; and some celery sliced. I also roasted some red peppers I had in the freezer since last Sept. and put them in a container in the refrig….Then I ran out of energy..:)

    I’m ordering pantry items from Walmart, Krogers, and Amazon that are shipped to my house for free….the problem is the drivers leave the boxes on my front porch and don’t take the time to ring my doorbell so I know a delivery has been made. Several boxes sat out overnight recently which sort of bothers me a bit, but not enough to stop using this service. I really want to get to the point where grocery shopping except for fresh veggies and fruits is not necessary.

    I’m feeling really, really positive about the future. Or at least positive about my ability to handle whatever the future might bring. Of course, I’ve had lots of experience handling life and I’ve been blessed with a deep faith that just walks me through every storm. Participating in this group is also showing me some other wonderful folks are out there making it happen too even when it’s hard. 🙂

    I’ll be watching for a February challenge, or joining in with the Decluttering forum. Hope to “see” all of you around the forums…

  • #8677

    RufusJ
    Participant

    Muffy1938, your posts are a delight! I love reading about what you’re up to and what’s going on with you. I too look forward to the February thread.

  • #8684

    Red Carnation
    Participant

    Today I hung up a load of laundry to dry, survived temperatures well below freezing, and caught up on some housework.

  • #8685

    Molly Malone
    Participant

    So on this last day of January, i am pretty happy with my progress on the Portal to Hell hall closet. It’s not complete but i accomplished a lot this month!

    Alas, the super’s (and woodsrunner’s) faith in my prowess with the sander was sadly misplaced. Suffice to say I spent a whole lotta time vacuuming, dusting and mopping after the Mount Vesuvius-like cloud of dust…went outside in the -7 weather to dust off my hair, clothes and shoes…opened all the windows to air the place out, now have my air purifier running. Thankfully i was wearing an N95 respirator and goggles. But!! I did get the woodfiller in the door frame sanded. As for the lumpy bumpy walls, well, they’ll still be there in Feb. I have to concentrate on my classes now, got behind without my PC. I plan to spend the whole weekend using the school library’s computers.

    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments this month. It’s great to be part of this community. It’s wonderful to read comments from people all over the States and the world, it is a window into so many different ways of living, so different from my own, especially all the folks living so self-sufficiently in very rural areas. So, see you guys in Feb!

  • #8689

    Amy Dixon
    Participant

    Muffy1938 – How did the dehydrated carrots do in the muffins?  Did they work as well as freshly shredded carrots would have?

    OldMtWoman – Glad to hear your DH is feeling a bit better.  Hope you will both be back at “top form” soon!  I’ve been wondering, what was that percussion device you mentioned a few days ago that you used on your DH’s chest when he was starting to cough?  Is it something that helps break up phlegm so the ill person can cough it up, or does it have some other function?  I’ve never heard of that technique/device before – it sounds interesting.

    Molly Malone – Congratulations on getting the door frame sanded!  When you get the time, later on, to go back and sand the closet’s walls it will, hopefully, be easier now that you’ve gotten some experience using the sander.

    I see that Daisy has already set up a new February Prep Every Day Check-in Forum thread for us to use tomorrow.  I hope we’ll all be able to continue posting.  It’s so interesting to hear how everyone is fitting preparedness activities into their busy lives – and it’s fun to exchange ideas on different ways to prep!

    ——————–

    Today I stayed inside to keep warm.  The temperatures haven’t gotten too extreme in my area but it is still well below freezing outdoors.  In the mail this morning I received a fermentation lid I’d ordered for wide-mouth canning jars, and a catalog from a company called “Seeds from Italy” that sells seeds for over 450 heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  I enjoyed flipping through the catalog and was interested to see several types of herbs and veggies that I’d never heard of before such as: Bolloso Napoletano (a Basil variety with leaves as large as your hand), Lettuce Leaf Basil (with leaves suitable for wrapping around slices of tomato and mozzarella), seeds to grow Capers, Erba Stella (a/k/a Buckthorn/Mutina), Sculpit, Senape Bianca (White Mustard), Cardoons, Rocquencourt yellow beans, Jaune du Doubs (yellow French carrots), Cipollotto da Mazzi (long, thin, white bunching onions), and Zlata (golden brown radishes), etc.  Tomorrow, I’m going to check out their website, GrowItalian.com, to get more information about these interesting plants!

     

  • #8691

    OldMt Woman
    Participant

    MollyM….Mt Vesuvius?  Ack…glad you were wearing breathing/eye protection.  But not the best weather to air out your apt.  Brrrrr!  Sounds like a two-person job with one keeping a vacuum hose next to sander???  You’ve made so much progress….looking forward to hearing it’s completion in Feb!

    Wonder how Loving Life is doing up in her NE location.  Hope she’s keeping toasty warm!

    Amy D….yes, that’s exactly what it does.  Mechanically loosens gunk…or muscle spasm.  I use it for bronchial congestion that I’m prone to getting.  You can do it with a cupped hand less effectively.   Folks with asthma find it helpful but with this device, you can use it on yourself.  Also loosens sore muscles.  It just creates a ….I’d describe it as “mildly rough” vibration.  Has to kind of gently ‘thump’ but not harsh.  Vibrations that are tiny won’t work.  Can clear sinuses too…if you’re careful about the face.

    Unfortunately, these past two busy days have taken a toll on DH’s progress.  He’s just worn out from his trip to the Midwest …parent is in hospice.  🙁  Going to nursing home next week as his sibling can no longer give 24 hr care needed.  So it’s all falling on him at once.  Yesterday in the city.  Today we had to fill livestock tank with water….lotta hose to keep clear. [always glad for a sunny day and get that done!!!]   Then he had to run into village for wood pellets and mail.  Do our business.  Hope tomorrow he can just REST.  Then he’ll be fine.

    I woke with nearly a shriek today.  😮  All those hours in the car, I’ve got a nasty ‘charlie horse’ spasm under one shoulder blade.  Had to wait for DH to wake up to work on it for me.  I can’t reach it, of course.  Thankfully, I’m pretty much done fighting off the nasty attempt to make me sick.  I never actually got sick…as is our usual.  But this has been a harsh couple weeks and it usually only takes a day or two of battle to win.  This lingered in the “potentially sick” stage for much longer.  I also think that DH brought back a different virus/bacteria than what I battled while he was gone.  Complicates things.  We don’t have to go anywhere for several days now….rest is the required ‘medicine’ at our age.

    OldMtWoman  G’nite all …see ya in February.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.

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