Saturday, October 27, 2018

Taking Some Time Off

I need a break.  I don't watch TV but get my news from several Internet sources.  This doesn't insulate me from all the negative political ads and all the other political nonsense floating around these days.  I am sick to death of it all.

Some lunatic sends bombs, real or fake, to Dems, it is Trump's fault.
Trump wants to stop an invasion from the south, he is an unfeeling monster.
When our President puts Americans first, the left loses its mind.
I swear to God, if a Democrat gets a hangnail, Trump will be blamed.

I think the proverbial straw was when I read that because I enjoy a glass of milk with my chocolate chip cookies, I most definitely am a racist.  See the column by Patrice Lewis on WND.

I have several projects going, the most important of which is working on the afghans for my grands.  There is bread to bake and quilt tops to finish sewing and some canning and dehydrating to do.  I have found several audio books on YouTube that I will listen to while working.  I have set up Pandora to play selections of country and bluegrass music.

The politicians can continue to chew each other up and spit each other out, but they will do it without me watching them do it.

I'm done.

So right now I m off to my kitchen to wash a few dishes and stir up a cherry cheesecake dessert.  I'll see you all right after the midterm elections.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

First Solo Flight

My grandson, Zach, who is at college studying aviation, took his first solo flight yesterday.

His mother says he did four takeoffs and landings.  She also said she was glad he didn't tell her until it was over!

Congratulations, Zach.
You done good!
Love, Grandma

Monday, October 22, 2018

What Else...

do I store besides food and water.  That question was asked of me by one of my commenters.  I have been thinking about it over the weekend and have come up with a list.

Before I get into that, I want to mention that there are countless websites full of opinions on what to store for an SHTF situation.  I have seen videos where people have entire rooms dedicated to preps and have everything under the sun stored 'just in case.'  Some store extras to use for barter.  Others order ready-to-eat meals or #10 cans of freeze dried food.

Me...I live in a three room apartment and use all three rooms.  My storage space is minimal at best, so I have to pare the lists down to the absolute necessities.  That being said...

I have a propane camp stove and a propane space heater should the gas to my building be shut off.  I have no place to store larger propane tanks, so I buy the small ones, pack them into boxes and keep them in the closet farthest from my exit door, which is also the coolest room.

Those with a medical condition need supplies.  I stock 4x4 sterile pads to cover wounds, antibiotic cream and ace bandages.  That is the minimum to properly care for my legs.

I don't buy first aid kits.  I have found that often when a kit is advertised as being say, 100 pieces, 80 of those are bandaids.  So instead I buy a variety of bandaids, a cream for burns, peroxide and alcohol wipes for cleansing an area needing treatment in addition to the above mentioned supplies..  I also have rolls of gauze.  I don't buy the tape sold with the medical supplies, for I have found it useless.  Masking tape or even duct tape works better.

I keep Vicks, Vaseline, lip balm, hand lotion, cough drops and vitamins on hand.  Also a diarrhea treatment and Pepto Bismol.  My Dad always swore by 7-Up or Ginger Ale for upset stomach, so I use those as well.

I keep extra dish soap and sponges along with Borax, washing soda and Fells Naphtha soap for making my own laundry soap.  Also bleach and bar soap.

I have been negligent in taking care of lighting needs should the power be out for an extended time, but my list of 'need to buy' includes at least three oil lamps and fuel (kerosene is too flammable to risk storing in my apartment - thus the oil) candles, flashlights and batteries.  I am also wondering if those solar lights that people use in their yards might work.  Wooden kitchen matches are a must for lighting stoves, lamps and candles.

I have a wicker picnic basket full of sewing supplies.  If a person has a hobby, now would be the time to collect materials.  I have lots of yarn and fabric.  And books.  I have a Kindle, but it would be pretty difficult to charge it without electricity unless I had a solar charger.  A selection of board games, playing cards, paper, colored pencils and markers are going into a box for a worst case scenario time if the grid goes down.  If I didn't have anything to occupy my time and mind, I would be a raving lunatic in no time at all.

And a selection of hard candies.  I know that sounds silly, but if things get bad for a long time, a Tootsie Roll Pop or a butterscotch disc might be the very thing to make us feel better.  A little treat never hurt anyone and it might just keep the kids from doing damage to one another.

I'm sure there are many more items one could stock up on, but that is about all I can cram into my small living space and still be able to get from one room to another without having to crawl over stuff.  :)

What items do you consider necessary to store?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Good Report

So today I had my yearly Dr. appointment.  Looks like I am going to be around a while longer to pester everyone.

Last year I had to argue with my Dr. about coming in every three months like he wanted me to.  I held out for a yearly visit unless I became ill.  Today, when we were finished, he said, "See you next year."  A years worth of prescriptions are being sent to the pharmacy like I requested.  All the levels he checks for are in the 'normal' range.  I am 20 lbs. lighter than a year ago, through no fault of my own.  :)

When a person reaches a certain age they are required to answer  questions about their mental health.  Judging by the questions, there must be many of my vintage who have no interests to keep them busy and who are suffering from depression.  I find that so sad.  My youngest son was there with me and while I was filling out one of those questionnaires,  he asked the nurse if there was a blank to fill in about being stubborn and ornery.  I love that kid and his sense of humor.  :)

Even though I was in the last place I cared to be, it has been a lovely day.  I got to spend time with my youngest and I enjoyed every minute of it.  He has a new car and he was showing me all the features it has.  There is a screen showing what is behind him when he backs up.  The screen is also his cell phone that he can access with a touch of the finger while driving.  When he stops at a stop sign, the engine  automatically shuts off and then restarts when he wants to go forward.  The seats heat up.  Good grief!  I asked him what he would do if suddenly all the gadgets failed.  Considering that his job requires extensive cell phone and computer use, he said he would probably enjoy the peace and quiet.

I think what is left of my day, having taken a nice long nap, will be spent quietly recovering from climbing stairs and answering questions.  But tomorrow, watch out.  There are cookies to be baked and bread to be made.   All things considered, life is still pretty darned good.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Off and Running like a Herd of Turtles

Having spent a relaxing weekend, it is time to get busy.

15 lbs. of hamburger are waiting to be jarred and processed.
4 lbs. each of broccoli and cauliflower and onions await the dehydrators.
10 lbs. of potatoes need to be peeled and sliced and dried

My bread machine has been dusted off and is ready to produce lovely loves of bread and some tasty rolls.  My gosh, but store bread has become expensive.  I don't like baking bread in the machine, but shape the dough into loaves and bake it in the oven, now that the heat of summer has past.  The only drawback is that I can make only one loaf at a time.  But I can live with that.  The machine makes it possible to have good bread for pennies and it does the stirring and kneading for me. 

So I am off, like a herd of turtles, to see what I can accomplish in the next couple of days.  As they say, 'Keep on prepping.'  Judging by what is going on in Portland with the antifa mob taking over the streets and all the craziness elsewhere, that seems to be pretty good advice.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


7 AM.  34 degrees.  My son's Facebook post after his drive to work this morning:

"Aaaaand there are snowflakes in the air."


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

It Rained...

yesterday.  It rained the day before yesterday.  It is going to rain tomorrow.  And the day after tomorrow.  It is raining now.  I wonder if I can find building plans for an ark online.

Youngest son called me yesterday.  He was picking Maddie Mae up from gymnastics, so I talked to her, too.  The gymnastics season hasn't started yet, but she practises and says she is learning some new moves.  I made her promise to pester her Dad until he took some video of her so I can see what she is doing.  She said she would be happy to do just that.

Boston's school now and then has a themed day.  A week or so ago, the theme was patriotism.  Boston wanted to wear a Trump 'Make America Great Again' hat.   David said he couldn't find one in time.  Even so, I was so proud!!  We both agreed that the way things are these days, wearing a Trump hat might have gotten her beat up.  I still love the fact that the hat was her first choice for the day. 

I was going to make beef stew and biscuits last week but life just got in the way.  So today I put a big pot of stew on the back burner to simmer the better part of the afternoon.  Duane came over to eat supper with me and took a bowl full home to take in his lunch when he goes to work tomorrow.  Wish he had taken more - I will be eating stew the rest of the week.  :)

There is really very little going on here at the moment.  I read or crochet or nap.  I have ordered some more food for the dehydrator - hash browns and corn - that will arrive Thursday.

I have noticed that some of the bloggers I read regularly are experiencing the same sort of uneasiness that I am.  And maybe a sense of urgency to fill in any gaps in the preps.  Sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.  My retired cop friend who keeps me and several others informed of what is going on around us, has been more prolific with his emails lately.  I might have to give him a call and see what he knows for sure.  In the meantime, I just keep adding to the shelves as often as I can.  Seems like the smart thing to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Desserts From the 1950's

A frequent commenter on this blog and I have been talking about old time Jello dessert recipes.  My Mother was the Queen of the Jello  refrigerator type dessert recipes and I have several of those recipes in my possession.  Thing is, I couldn't find them. 

I have Mother's old recipe box.  I think it is actually Dad's recipe box.  Mother's would have been organized and alphabetized.  This one is full of clippings from magazines and newspapers, recipes written on the backs of old envelopes, recipes written on pieces of notebook paper and recipes cut from the backs of boxes and labels.  I went through, piece by piece but no dessert recipes.

I carefully looked through all of my old cookbooks.  No luck.

Then the light bulb went on and I remembered I had moved those recipes to my own recipe box.  Sure enough.  There they were.

As it turns out, only one of these recipes uses Jello.  But if memory serves, the rest are so good that I am including them as well.

The following are written here as they appeared on the original recipe cards.  Notes in parenthesis are mine in the hope of making instructions more clear.

Lime Dessert

Dissolve 1 pkg. (small size) lime Jello in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add 2/3 cup sugar.  Stir until dissolved.
Beat 3 egg whites until stiff.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
Fold Jello into egg whites.  Fold in 1 pint whipped cream (I think this means start with 1 pint of whipping cream - then whip) into mixture.
Crush 25 Hydrox (or Oreo) cookies.  Butter pan (I don't know what size) and spread 2/3 of the crumbs on bottom.  Pour in lime mixture.  Top with remaining cookie crumbs.  Chill 12 hours.

Cherry Dessert

18 - 20 graham crackers
1/2 lb. marshmallows
1/2 lb. butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can cherry pie filling

Crush crackers.  Place 1/2 in 7 x 12 inch pan.  Melt butter, add milk and marshmallows.  Cook until marshmallows are melted.  Cool.
Add cream which has been whipped.
Place 1/2 mixture over crumbs, then pie filling, then rest of marshmallow mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry Chiffon Dessert

30 marshmallows
1 - 1/4 cup milk
1 pkg. frozen strawberries  (Many brands of frozen strawberries come in 10 oz. packages.  Back when this recipe was used by my Mother, the berries came in 16 oz. packages.  I would go with more berries rather than less.)
1 pint cream, whipped
1 loaf angel food cake

Melt in double boiler marshmallows in the milk.  Cool.
Drain juice from berries and save.
Whip cream and add berries and marshmallow mixture.
Tear cake into bite sized pieces and put in loaf pan.
Pour mixture over cake.  Chill.

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. corn starch
reserved juice plus 1 cup water

Cook until thick and chill.  Spoon over pieces of dessert when served.

 Lemon Freeze

 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
 1/8 tsp salt
 1/2 cup sugar
 3 eggs, separated
 1 can (6 oz.) evaporated milk, chilled

 Line refrigerator tray (I'm not sure what a refrigerator tray is, but I would use a pie tin or a 9x9 inch pan.)  with 1/2 the crumbs.
 Blend lemon juice, rind, salt and sugar into well-beaten egg yolks.  Stir over low heat until mixture thickens.  Cool.
 Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
 Whip chilled milk.
 Fold egg whites and whipped milk into lemon mixture.
 Turn into crumb-lined pan.  Top with remaining crumbs and freeze.

 Fluffy 2-Step Cheesecake

 1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
 1/3 cup sugar
 1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
 1 prepared graham cracker crust
 1 can cherry pie filling

 Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth (use wire whisk).
 Gently stir in Cool Whip.
 Spoon into crust.  Refrigerate 3 hours.
 Top with pie filling just before serving.

 Raspberry Revel

 1/2 lb. vanilla wafers
 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 3/4 cup butter
 2 eggs, well beaten
 1 box frozen raspberries, drained
 1/2 pint whipping cream

 Crush wafers and line a lightly buttered 9-inch pie pan with half the crumbs.
 Cream the sugar and butter well.  Add eggs and blend.
 Pour over the crumbs.  Add a layer of berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Top with remaining crumbs.
 Refrigerate 24 hours. 
 May garnish with additional berries.

 So there you go, SJ.  :)
 These are the recipes I remember from the 50's and 60's.  None of them are fat free or sugar free or anything free.  They are what we ate before we were supposed to be skinny.  Personally, I am not fond of all those 'free of everything good' foods, which is probably why I love these desserts. 

 So go ahead.  Live dangerously.  And above all, enjoy.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Case For Storing Water

It doesn't need to be a catastrophic event to find we need to have water included in our food storage plans.

Duane stopped in about midnight Friday night.  He said the lady living in the apartment beneath his had knocked on his door to find out if he was having problems with water overflowing in his apartment.  It seems she was having water pouring into hers through her ceiling.  Finding no source of the water problem, they concluded that a pipe may have burst between the two floors.  Duane went down to the basement and shut off the main water valve.  (That's one of the advantages of living in the same building for a number of years.  You know where the shut-off valve is.)  They called our landlord and left a message about the water problem.  Duane then let me know what was going on.

For some in my building, having the water shut off will be a major problem.  I asked Duane if he needed water for the morning before he went to work.  He said he was good.  He keeps cases of drinking water in his apartment.

Storing water in my small apartment is a challenge.  I have no place to store those big water barrels that many use.  What I do have is space behind my sofa that contains several dozen 2 liter soda bottles and gallon juice bottles filled with water.  I have 6 cases (24 per case) of bottled drinking water on a shelf in one of my shelving units.  Used sparingly, that amount of water will last both Duane and me at least a week or more.  Including the absolute necessity of morning coffee.  :)

In looking around my apartment I found that with a little bit of rearranging, I have room for 4 more cases of bottled water.  If I spend the money to buy several of those square, stackable water jugs I have seen advertised, I could store still more water under my bed or in an out of the way corner of my apartment.

Water is more important to have on hand than is food.  They say we can go a couple of weeks without food but only about 3 days without water. 

I'm sure there are others like me to whom water intake is vital.  I take a pill each day to help get rid of the fluid build-up in my body.  Which means I need to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.    Which is a really silly Catch-22 situation, but there it is.

We are not in an emergency situation by any means, but it has caused me to rethink my water storage and think of ways to improve it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Upright, Taking Nourishment

Still have no idea what this creeping crud that has been plaguing me is, but it sure is a sneaky devil.  Thought I was about over it when it smacked me upside the head and said, "Not quite yet."  I'm not the only one.  One of my nurses and the cleaning lady were down with pretty much the same thing last week.  A couple of my blogging friends have been fighting it as well.  I feel pretty good today, so it is time to fold up the green fuzzy blanket and get some stuff done.

Over the weekend I did manage to do some dehydrating.  I dried 4 lbs. of green beans, 1 lb. of corn and 1 lb. of carrots.  Found the corn and carrots when I was digging the green beans out of the freezer.  This morning I put 4 lbs. of broccoli and 4 lbs. of cauliflower in the dehydrator.  I still need to clean and chop 4 lbs. of onions to dry. 

I just mailed off a letter to my grandson Zach, who is in his first year of college.  His Mom thought he might like a letter from home.   I write letters the old fashioned way with pen and paper.  Do they still teach cursive writing in schools?  I wonder if he will be able to read it.  He is a smart kid, so I suppose he will figure it out.  :)

It is cool and rainy here today, with the temp at 46 degrees at noon.  I heard a nasty rumor about the possibility of snow in the northern part of Minnesota.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  One of the worst blizzards here occurred on Halloween of 1991 and dumped 28 inches of snow on Minneapolis.  I don't mind snow as long as I can look at it through my window from the comfort of my rocking chair, but not quite yet, please.

Not much else going on here in my little Home Sweet Apartment.  I have 4 lbs. of bacon to can, but I think I will order another 4 lbs.  next week before canning so I have a full canner load.  I had started an afghan for granddaughter Boston, but I just didn't like the way it looked, so my daughter Jill brought me different yarn to try.  I like the new yarn much better and will post pictures when I am further along with it.  I think the weather calls for beef stew with biscuits for supper.  That's the plan, anyway.