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 2 weeks ago.

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  • #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

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