Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Resolutions

There are some who use the new year as an opportunity to make lifestyle changes by making resolutions.  I am not one of those people.

I have tried over the years.  I really have. But I think the longest time that elapsed between making the New Year's Resolution and breaking it was maybe a week.  I guess I am more of a 'go with the flow' kind of person.

That's not to say that one should not have goals.  Goals are a good thing.  I have goals.  One goal is to increase my food storage to have two years worth stashed away.  Another goal is to make sure I have enough of other essentials that may be needed within that time frame.

The New Year is nearly upon us.  I have seen 73 of them.  Some good - some not so much.  But I am thankful to God for allowing me to see each and every one of them.  I pray He will give me a few more.

None of us knows for sure what 2020 will bring.  Those who are oblivious of the world situation are convinced all is well.  Those of us who pay attention know better.  But whatever happens, we would do well to be as ready as possible.

Hope for the best - prepare for the worst.  And pray.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Small Town Answer to the Christmas Grinch

In 2015, the city government officials were forced to remove a Nativity Scene that had been a tradition for over 40 years in the small north central town of Wadena, Minnesota.  The reason?  The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group that hates all forms of religion, threatened to sue the town. Wadena with its population of under 5000 souls, could little afford a court battle.

What happened next was quite remarkable.

It seems the law indicates that religious scenes may not be displayed on public property.  However, they are perfectly acceptable on private property.

The City sold the offending Manger Scene to the local Catholic Church for mere pennies on the dollar who then displayed it on their property.

The shop owners displayed Nativity Scenes in their shop windows.  Some did decorative painted Nativity Scenes on their store windows.

The good citizens of Wadena set out Manger Scenes on their front lawns.

Word got out and other good folks drove hundreds of miles to this little town to donate Nativity Scenes to be displayed.

By the time all was said and done, there were at least 1,000 Nativity Scenes displayed throughout the town.

Take that, atheists!!

May the Spirit of one small town in Minnesota be an example to the rest of us to stand up and be counted for our beliefs.

This is me...Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry and most importantly, a Blessed Christmas. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Anyone who visits here regularly knows that I use a grocery delivery service due to physical limitations.  Here is how it works:

The company issues a catalog once a year, listing all the groceries I can order.

Every other Monday a volunteer calls me and takes my order that is delivered, for a small fee, to my kitchen table on the following Thursday.

Most times the groceries I order on Monday are the same as the ones I receive on Thursday.  This time, however, I ordered 4 bags of frozen cut green beans - and received 4 bags of frozen collard greens.  Surprise!

What does a woman born and raised in the tundra of Minnesota know about collard greens.  I have never even tasted collard greens.  Spinach - yes.  Collard greens - no.

I suppose I could have called the delivery guy and he would have come back and picked up the bags of collard greens and given me credit on my bill, but I thought, "What the hey.  Live dangerously."

So I put them on dehydrator trays along with 2 bags of frozen spinach and 4 bags of frozen hash browns.  All of the veggies are now dry, packaged, labeled and added to the shelf of dehydrated food.
I had also ordered 2 bags of frozen sweet potatoes to dehydrate.  I thought they were sweet potatoes cut into chunks or slices.  What I got was 2 bags of sweet potato fries.  Surprise!  Because the fries are cut fairly thin, I am not sure how well they would rehydrate, so into the freezer they went and I will have an occasional meal that includes sweet potato fries.

A week or so ago I experimented with dehydrating raisins.  The reasoning behind this was that raisins we buy at the store still have moisture in them and likely would not be a good item for long term storage.  But dehydrated, they could last a very long time without going bad.  Dried, they resembled small wrinkly pebbles.  I put some of the raisins in water and let them sit on the counter overnight.  In the morning I had nice, plump raisins that can be used however I wish.  I will dehydrate more raisins.  Variety is good.

I had another experiment that was a dismal failure.  I have several quart bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer.  I thawed out two of them, drained off the water and dried them.  When I soaked them in water, they rehydrated alright, but somewhere in the process, two quarts became about a pint total of shredded zucchini.  I don't know if that was because they were frozen before dehydrating.  Freshly shredded zucchini might work better, but for now, I will keep the remaining bags in the freezer, and if I get my hands on more zucchini, I will slice and dry rather than shred.

Life seems to be full of little surprises. I wasn't happy about the collard greens, but if nothing else, they can always be used as a filler in soup.  They won't go to waste.  Now when we can afford an occasional failure is the time to experiment, rather than further down the road when every ounce of food will be needed.  Learning to roll with the surprises and learning to make do with what we have will make the hard times just a bit easier.

Keep on prepping.     

Monday, December 16, 2019

Wake Up Call

I may have mentioned before that I have an old school mate who keeps me informed as to what is going on in this crazy world of ours.  He is a Vietnam vet and retired cop.  I trust his word.  Completely.

Yesterday I emailed him, asking him if his 'good old boy cop network' had any notion of how law enforcement would react to the gun grabbing laws like Virginia and Washington State are pushing for.  He said the out state officers are pro gun, but the administration in the city areas are totally anti-gun.  He went on to say that here in Minnesota, the State Senate is only two votes away from enacting the same laws as VA and WA.

He went on to elaborate that he thinks Washington will not wait until the 2020 election but will keep trying to remove Trump regardless.  By any means necessary.  He is looking at food shortages and gun grabs.  He just ordered 1800 servings of freeze dried products.  He has alternate places to go when things get really bad.

My friend says he is scared for his kids and grands who don't see the threat he sees.  This man has had a life of service and still at the same age as me, teaches conceal carry classes and is involved in martial arts.   I will tell you true - if he is scared, I am terrified.

The time to get the ducks in the row is now.  We may still have time.  Or we may not.  The hatred from the left is so completely insane that I wouldn't be surprised at anything they would do now to grab the power they so desperately seek and to push their socialist/globalist agenda.  Trump is about all that stands in their way.

Every extra can of food, every extra jar we home can, every extra pound of flour we set aside means one more day we can survive when it all goes south.

Pray and prepare. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019


is an insidious disease.  Those of us who have it will have good days where the joint pain involved is at a minimum and we will have days where it pretty much kicks our butts.  These last few days where Mother Nature has decided that Minnesota needs to be a deep freeze have been of the butt kicking variety.

Those days will often find me curled up in my recliner, wrapped in my green fuzzy blanket, reading murder mysteries from my Kindle.  Other times I can be found at my computer, working on organizing my family tree or maybe sorting out the vast number of family photos I have saved.  But sometimes I just stroll through cyberspace, reading articles and viewing videos that catch my interest.

One such article caught my eye.  Portland, Oregon has a very large homeless population.  Now I have the deepest sympathy for those who find themselves in that situation.  There have been a couple of times in my life where I was just a few dollars away from finding myself in the same situation.  But today's homeless also include drug addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill.

One would think that the solutions might be found in finding ways to treat the underlying problems.  But Portland's Commissioners are working on another solution.  They propose that when a new building is built, the property owners will be required to provide 'safe spaces' for the homeless to camp out.

Political Correctness has definitely run amok.  Instead of looking to provide services for those in need, their solution is to let the problems continue, but at the expense of property owners and the expense of those who will live in those buildings with the required safe spaces for the homeless.

There is an apartment building going up across the street from where I live.  If that building were to include space for the homeless to pitch their tents, I would not be pleased.  I have already over the years watched drug deals go down in the alley across from my living room windows.  I live next door to a bar.  I see the effects of excessive boozing.  Every community has its share of untreated mentally ill.  To live in a building that welcomes these problems on the grounds is unsafe and unhealthy at best and horrific at worst.  And it does nothing to help those in need.

We spend billions of tax dollars in aid to foreign countries.  Seems to me that using some of that money to find ways to actually help these people rather than just shuffle them off to another area of the city would make sense.

I guess common sense does not exist in government any more, be it on the national or local level.

The temps here are rising.  This flare-up of arthritis seems to be ebbing.  I have hope that within a day or so I will be able to resume regular activities.  Until then, an Agatha Christie novel is calling my name.  :)

Friday, December 6, 2019

Catching Up

Today was grocery delivery day.  After putting groceries away, I started peeling 15 lbs. of potatoes and 2 lbs. of carrots.  In the morning they will be diced into 1/2-inch dices, blanched and set to dehydrating.
I am experimenting with dehydrating raisins.  I know that others have made their own raisins by dehydrating grapes, but grapes are a bit pricey here and it is more cost effective to dry store bought raisins for a longer term storage.

Every two weeks I get two 5 lb. bags of flour and two 4 lb. bags of sugar.  I had fallen behind on repackaging these into Ziploc bags and stored in 5 gallon buckets, so that was my next project.  Into the pantry closet they went.

I found two large bags of pancake mix still in their paper packaging that I had forgotten about.  Bugs like paper packaging, so into Ziplocs went the pancake mix.  I have been big on making my own mixes or making foods like pancakes from scratch.  That's fine under ordinary circumstances.  But I got to thinking that in an SHTF situation I might not be able to get eggs to make pancakes.  Cans of powdered eggs are not within my budget, so having pancake mix that requires only water makes sense to me.

I have found that in my area, instant powdered milk has gone way up in price.  I use powdered milk for many of the mixes I make, but with the increase in price, it is becoming cheaper for me to buy some ready made mixes rather than make my own.

All we need do is watch about a half hour of news to see how completely crazy our world has become.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I plan to continue to add as much food to my preps as I can before we go completely off the rails. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Back to Busy

It was lovely to have a week off, but the insanity surrounding us seems to take no time off at all, so it is back at it for me.
I have 2 lbs. of carrots ready to go into the dehydrator.  My grocery order goes in today for delivery on Thursday and I have ordered 10 lbs. of potatoes to go with the 5 lbs. I have left over from the last order.  So Friday I will cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes and dehydrate them as well.
I am ordering a canister of raisins.  I saw where raisins can be dehydrated so they can be stored for long term, so I am going to give that a try to see how well that works.  If the experiment is successful, I may dry more.

Each order includes sugar and flour.  I read somewhere that one of the first food items rationed during wartime was sugar.  I haven't the space in my small apartment to store wheat, but have had success in repackaging flour in heavy duty Ziploc bags, filling buckets with the bags and keeping them in the coolest room.  It takes a considerable amount of flour just to keep me supplied with bread.  If I am feeding several family members, I don't want to run out of flour should I be unable to get more.

I also have another can of coffee coming.  One just can not have too much coffee stored.  :)

I haven't just been sitting on the couch eating bon bons and watching soaps while I have been on time off.  As tempting as that might have been, I did manage to finish one window quilt top.  Here it is.  Not a very good photo, but I think you can get the general idea.

The others are nearly done, and then it is just to add the flannel batting and the backing, and they can go up on curtain rods.

I know these are not your standard window treatments.  But I like them.  They are bright and cheerful and they make me happy.  I can just tie them back during the day to let the sunshine in.

That's pretty much all I know today.  Evil has not been on vacation so it is time to press on with the prepping.   We may need it sooner than we think.                    

Monday, November 25, 2019

Time Off

I am taking this week off to get ready for the holiday.  I'll be back Monday with bells on.  Well, maybe the bells are a bit too much, but I will see you all then.  Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tired Of It All

First our President was accused of being an agent for Russia.  Nearly three years and many millions of tax dollars later, the special council in charge of the investigation and his band of attorneys could find no basis for the accusation.

Now our President is undergoing an impeachment investigation over a phone call to the President of Ukraine.  A phone call that was made public and contains nothing even close to 'crimes or misdemeanors.'

And yet the dog and pony show in the House committee continues.  They call it an 'Impeachment Inquiry.'  That is not what it is.  It is just the latest effort by those left leaning politicians to oust our duly elected president.  To tell those whose votes elected him that their votes really do not matter.  And if this effort fails, you can bet your bottom dollar they will try something else.

I am tired of it.  I am tired of it all.  President Trump is the only thing standing in the way of those who would shred our Constitution and initiate their socialist ideals.  Those same socialist ideals that brought us those freedom loving leaders in China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
Seems to me those House of Representative Democrats have forgotten just who they work for.  They are the People's House, but they have done very little to benefit 'We the People.'  Instead they waste time and our money feeding their hatred.
If they can do this to a duly elected President, imagine what they can do to you.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

It snowed.

 Again.  So I made a big bowl of potato salad and a ham sandwich and went on a picnic by the lake in my mind.  Sometimes when the world around me has gone completely bat guano crazy, a little voyage through fantasy land is all that keeps me sane.

Work on the quilts is coming along slowly but surely.  Today I should be able to get most of the quilt tops finished and with any kind of luck at all, I hope to hang them in the windows by the first part of next week.

I bought a bag of oranges that turned out to be too sour for my taste, so I sliced them thin and they are now in the dehydrator.  I have no idea what I will use dried orange slices for, but it seemed a shame to waste them.

Baked another loaf of bread.  Using the bread machine, it takes very little time or effort and I am liking the homemade bread so much better than store bought.  I really don't know why I haven't been doing this all along.  I suppose it is like Dad used to say, "Too soon old, too late smart."  :)

There is a sewing machine and a stack of fabric pieces calling my name.  Best get back at it.  Pictures to follow when they are done.

Monday, November 11, 2019

How Did They Cope

While on R & R, I watched two British TV series found on YouTube - 'Wartime Farm' and 'Wartime Kitchen and Garden.'  Both series dealt with the way the people of England coped with the trials and tribulations of WWII, focusing on how farmers had to increase food production and how the average family dealt with restrictions and rationing.

A couple of things caught my attention.  One was how the people were able to find ways of doing things when the normal solutions to problems were unavailable to them.  They went to the farm scrap heap for materials to make the tools they needed.  The gardeners found ways to use every available square inch of space to grow the much needed food.  Homemakers came up with ways to stretch the meager rations to feed their families and other ways to do what needed to be done in the home under difficult circumstances.

Another thing that caught my attention was that one and all were not only willing but happy to "do their bit" in the war effort.  They dealt with most circumstances, many of them difficult even in the best of times, without complaint.  They were more concerned about their 'boys on the front line' than they were for their own comforts.  They were patriotic.

I'm not sure we here in the States, at this time in history, could manage so well.  We did cope similarly during that wartime, but we have become spoiled and way too dependent on gadgets for every purpose.  We have mostly lost the knowledge our ancestors had that enabled them to make do in dire situations.  And I don't think we have come together as  nation, leaving our political viewpoints and prejudices behind, since 9/11.  We can do better.

So I am off to run bits of fabric through my sewing machine.  We had an inch or two of snow last week and a dusting of the white stuff yesterday.  Today is clear and cold with temps close to single digits.  Quilts need to be finished.  And I think a pot of soup is in my future.

Stay warm and keep on prepping.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Those of us who have physical limitations...

have learned over time to pay attention to what our bodies tell us.  We know when we can forge ahead and we know when we need to back off and rest.  The next day or two I believe I will be in 'rest mode.'

I mention this not because I am in a 'poor, pitiful me' place, but as an encouragement to others who may be facing similar circumstances.  You see, there are those who tell us it is all just in our heads.  Or we want sympathy.  Or it is just an excuse to avoid something we do not want to do.  It is none of these things.

The people who say these things to us are, for the most part, still able to hike up a mountain or go for a run or do the weekly housework in just a couple of hours.  Because they don't have to deal with shortness of breath or pain in joints or any number of symptoms that plague the elderly,  they don't understand what it is like for those who deal with these things on a daily basis.  And I hope they never have to deal with limitations.

All things considered, I have accomplished quite a bit this week.  I have drawn around a plastic template 810 times and cut out that many fabric rectangles.  The 2-inch x 4-inch rectangles have been pinned and mostly sewn together giving me 4-inch x 4-inch squares.  I have maybe 50 left to sew.  When that is done, the squares will be sewn into rows of nine squares each.  15 rows will make one window quilt top.

In keeping with the theme of using what is on hand, I found I may have enough flannel left on the bolt I used for bandages and family cloths to use instead of regular quilt batting.  I think that will be enough to make the window quilts thick enough to keep out the drafts.  By using old sheets for the backs of the quilts, the only things I need to buy are curtain rods to hang them.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Today was grocery delivery day.  As I am not going to be doing any canning until after the holidays, the order was mostly canned goods like fruit and corned beef hash.  The rest was staples like flour, sugar, cornmeal.  We won't mention the package of Oreos - Double Stuff.  :)

It was after I put everything away that my body said, 'OK.  That's enough.  Rest time coming up.'

I will be back at it in a day or two.  Those of us who have limitations don't like it much.  We wish those around us understood this is not by choice.  My kids and grands get it.  They see me often enough to understand.  Others - not so much.  But we learn to cope as best we can.  And we find that even with limitations, life can be really grand! 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Back to Basics

This morning I had a bit of a wake up call.  Nearly two weeks ago I had put a loaf of bread in my refrigerator and then promptly forgot about it.  I found it this morning.  When I took it out and looked at it, I was amazed to see there wasn't even one spot of mold on it and the slices were still soft.  That scared me just a little bit.  When I looked at the ingredients on the bag, most of them had names I can't pronounce.

The list of ingredients was lengthy.  The bread recipe I use contains seven.  And I can pronounce all of them.  Granted, at my age I probably could use all the preservatives I can get, but this list on the bag was a bit much.

Thing is...I had become lazy and had stopped making my own bread.  I don't even have the excuse of physical limitations because it takes very little effort to dump ingredients into a bread machine.  And even without the machine I believe I could still turn out a respectable loaf of bread.

So it is back to the basics for me.  Jennifer over at 'Prep School Daily' - listed in my side bar - has a recipe for a Soup and Sauce Mix that I am planning to try in order to use in place of condensed cream soups and basic sauces and she has several recipes for it's use.  Considering the price of a can of 'cream of' soups now, it makes sense to find cheaper and more healthy alternatives.

Grandma managed to feed a family of nine children without the use of convenience foods.  I expect I can manage a meal for one without them.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Drowning in Fabric...

It is amazing to me just how many yards of fabric scraps one person can accumulate.  I discovered I not only had plenty of scrap fabric for the window quilts, there is more than enough for at least one full sized quilt.  As long as I was making a mess with little snippets of cloth, I decided to cut out enough pieces for the quilt along with the window quilt pieces.

Years past it would have been a quick and easy job of cutting quilt pieces for patchwork, using a heavy plastic ruler and a rotary cutter.  However, as with many of my vintage, arthritis in the hands is causing problems.  I have tried every trick in the book, but I am unable to keep the cutter straight and the ruler as firmly in place to be able to cut precise pieces.  So I have reverted to the method I used many years ago before the newer cutting methods were available.  I made a template of plastic and draw around it for each patchwork piece, cutting them out with a scissors, giving each piece about a quarter inch seam allowance, using the pencil line as my sewing guide.  Time consuming - yes.  But I was wasting too much fabric when the ruler would slip or when my fingers couldn't control the direction of the rotary cutter.  Using a template is an old time method, but it works.

I am spending today cutting fabric.  A friend mentioned the British TV series, 'Wartime Kitchen and Garden.  I found it on YouTube and am watching that today as I work.  It is about how cooks and gardeners coped with the food rationing in England during WWII.  So far I am finding lots of useful information that may be needed right here at home, if things continue to slide downhill.

I hope to start sewing by the weekend.  Until then, back at it.  Only about 500 more pieces to go.  Sigh.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A New Project

My son walked in the other day with news that the construction that has begun across the street will be a seven story apartment building.  I have three windows in my living room that face the street and the construction.  Granted, I doubt there will be much construction before spring, but like my son said, when the building is occupied, unless I get some curtains on the windows in my second floor apartment, I will be living in a goldfish bowl.

Minnesota gets a bit nippy in the winter.  Blizzards are not uncommon.  Below zero temps for days on end are the norm.  I have found that even though my windows are new, they still can be a little bit drafty when the wind is strong.  Many people use plastic to keep out the winter cold, but I don't much care for that solution. I decided to make three window quilts to fit the windows.

I am making scrap quilts, using the fabric scraps I have leftover from other projects.  I also have a number of cream colored sheets that can be used for the backs of the quilts.  I can use tie backs to let in light during the day.  There are enough sheets to also make curtain panels to use in the warmer months.

I suppose I could have just purchased thermal drapes, but I really like the idea of using what I have on hand.  My bank account likes it, too.  The only thing I need buy is the batting for the window quilts.  This is good practice for a time when we may have to learn to make do with what we have.

I will post pictures when the quilts are finished, but don't hold your breath.  Making quilts take time.  I do hope to finish them by the time the temperatures head downward. It is not unusual to have snow by Thanksgiving, so I had better get busy.  :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Food as a Weapon

Most of us who are into prepping have heard a slacker or two say, "Well, if things ever get really bad, I will just come to your house."  Or they ridicule us for stockpiling food.  Or they tell us we are wasting our time by canning and dehydrating because we can buy whatever we want at the grocery store.

We have heard it often enough.  Mostly from those whose priorities are big screen TVs, new vehicles and vacations in exotic lands.  The same ones who run up their credit cards to own the latest gadget or buy the designer clothes in order to impress their friends. They have no earthly idea what is happening right here in our own country because they either aren't paying attention or they believe what they hear from lying politicians and the main stream media.

There is no way to sugar coat the truth.  We are in trouble.  America is deeply divided in every way.  Some say a civil war has already begun.  Senseless violence is becoming the norm.  And in Washington, there are those who are doing their level best to remove our duly elected president from office.

Make no mistake.  What is happening is nothing less than a coup de tat.  Have you thought about what could happen if it is successful?  What life will be like if we refuse to comply?

Ol' Remus over at the Woodpile Report gives us examples of what has happened when socialism has reared its ugly head.  You might want to take a look.  I'll wait.

This is why we spend hours and hours canning and dehydrating food.  This is why we buy extra food with each grocery shopping trip.  This is why we prepare.

If you don't think something similar could happen here, you are sadly mistaken.

My thanks to CW in Iowa for the 'heads up' on the article in the Woodpile Report.  And as she often says, "Keep on prepping."

Monday, October 21, 2019


Occasionally my mind goes on vacation and leaves me here all by myself.  That seems to be the case today.  After several false starts on a blog post, I have come to the conclusion I have nuthin'.  So rather than bore you, I am going to spend this cold, rainy day at my sewing machine.  Perhaps my mind will return tomorrow with something worth writing about.  Until then, those folks in the side bar have lots of good things to say.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Common Sense Prepping

When I first realized the need to be prepared for bad times, I did some online research.  I watched videos.  I read blogs.  I looked up statistics.

I found there was a vast amount of information out there.  There were sites that told me about the gear that every prepper had to have.  There were lists of foods that were absolutely necessary to store.  Other sites showed me how to survive out in the woods.

I dutifully made lists of the recommended items.  I searched online for the best prices on various items.  I worked out scenarios of what would constitute a SHTF moment and what would be needed in those situations.

And then my common sense side said, "Hold on.  How much of this stuff really applies to you."

First off, I am not going to be building any shelters in the middle of the forest.  I am an old woman with health issues.  I am connected 24/7 to an oxygen machine, fondly referred to as R2D2, due to it's size and shape.  I would be hard pressed to make it to the end of the block, to say nothing of heading to the hills.  Having knowledge of bushcraft skills might be fine for someone young and healthy, but for me...not so much.

These facts eliminated the need for specialized gear.  My gear consists of a variety of flashlights, oil lamps and candles.  It includes a propane camp stove and a propane space heater.  It also includes two pressure canners and two dehydrators.  The dehydrators will be useless if the lights go out, but in the meantime they have made it possible to stock up on dried food.  The rest of my gear is the normal household tools and utensils.

Most of those of my vintage are on a fixed income.  We can't justify spending large amounts of money on the recommended freeze dried foods or the pre-packaged ready to eat meals.  My solution to this problem is home canning of a variety of meats and vegetables and fruits along with lots of soups and stews that only need to be heated or, in a pinch, can be eaten right out of the jar.

Not everyone has the skills or equipment for home canning.  But by adding a few extra cans of food every time one shops for groceries, a deep pantry can be a reality over time.  Some of you are aware of the fact that due to health issues, I use a grocery delivery service.  Each delivery includes a couple of items I can not make at home, like sugar, flour, powdered milk, rice, etc.  These are stored away for future use. I use what I store, so food is rotated out and replaced regularly.

I once watched a video of a woman who had a full sized chest of drawers completely filled with health and medical supplies.  She had everything from leg splints to neck braces to several kinds of over the counter pain killers to vitamins of every kind. There were medications for every possible situation.  I was impressed.

But I can not afford to do the same.  What I have done is to stock up on the basics - aspirin, burn cream, peroxide, alcohol, band-aids, cough drops, etc.  I add to the stash from time to time - items like diarrhea medication, multi vitamins, antibiotic salves.  And I found a good First-Aid book that covers the common medical and injury needs.

If a person has the wherewithal and the storage space for a full compliment of prepping items, good for them.  But most of us tend to pinch a penny or two in our daily lives, so we do the best we can with what we have to work with.

The main point is that we do something.  Sitting idly by, waiting for the government to rescue us in times of disaster isn't going to cut it.  The way things are going, I doubt that rescue will be on the minds of 'our betters.'  Seems more likely they will be the ones we have to watch out for.  The better prepared we are, the better our chances.

Keep on prepping.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Proud Grandma

A week or so ago I received a phone call from granddaughter Maddie Mae.  She was letting me know that she had been accepted into the National Honor Society.  I made her promise to send me pictures of her induction into the Society.

This is my Maddie Mae, showing her induction certificate.  She works hard to maintain a very high grade average and I am really glad that her hard work has been rewarded.  She has earned the honor.

I got a bonus picture of Maddie with her family - my son, his son and daughters and his lovely wife.

I am so very pleased with the way David and Staci are raising their children.  They are being taught the values that seem to be going by the wayside in our country.  They know how to work and they know that not everyone gets a trophy - it has to be earned.  Family time is important to this group.  And the result is three good kids.

Maddie Mae - I am so very proud of you and your accomplishments.  And it makes me happy that you called to share your news about your induction into the National Honor Society with me.  This post is for you, Sweetheart.

Love, Grandma

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Civilized Behavior Is a Thing of the Past

My youngest son planned to go to the Trump Rally in Minneapolis Thursday.  As it turned out, the friend he planned to go with couldn't make it and David decided not to go alone.  I am glad he didn't.

I am not glad he missed the rally for I think he would have enjoyed it.  But I am glad and relieved he missed the aftermath.

The animals were protesting in the streets outside the venue. And the four legged kinds of animals are better behaved than those sorry excuses for human beings.

They carried signs filled with vulgarity.  They screamed obscenities.  They harassed the police.  They threw rocks and bottles at the police.  They threw rocks and bottles at the horses of the horse patrol.  They started fires in the streets.  They harassed and bullied innocent people leaving the venue who were just trying to get to their vehicles to go home.  They threw rocks and bottles at the cars leaving.  They threw jars of urine on supporters of our President. 

It saddened me to see the behavior of these thugs here in my home state.  We are supposed to be a state where nice, friendly people live.  And for the most part, we are.  But when people act like this over just a political rally, what do you suppose they will do when the sh** really does hit the fan?

This was a wake-up call for me.  It not only showed me that my efforts to get ready for whatever happens are spot on, it was a lesson on how low humans can sink when they don't get their way.  The attempt to shut down the rally ahead of time failed and this was their answer.  The mayor of Minneapolis didn't help the situation.  He declared it "Love to Hate Trump Day."

I don't care what the political leanings are as long as we can treat each other with respect.  They can protest all they want.  It is their right.  But when they become a mob of thugs trying to physically hurt those on the other side, that is where I draw the line.

This mob showed me what to expect in the future - maybe sooner than we think.  I believe that 'keep on prepping' and 'keep your powder dry' both fall under the category of Good Advice.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Minnesota Cops Fight Back

I love my home state of Minnesota.  It is a beautiful state, from the rolling farmlands in the southern and central parts of the state to the pine forests of the north, to its '10,000 lakes.'  It is true that winters are interesting with occasional blizzards and massive snowfalls, but if you have ever walked through woods so quiet you can hear the snowflakes touch the ground, you will understand true beauty.  I have sat on the deck of my brother's home and watched a small black bear up a tree on the other side of his driveway.  I have watched yearling fawns running and jumping and playing in the first snowfall of the year.  I have heard the haunting songs of the loons calling to one another across the waters of some of the most beautiful lakes anywhere.  I have spent hours, rod and reel in hand, catching the best tasting fresh water fish.

You may have heard the term 'Minnesota Nice.'  If you get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, you will find it in abundance.  The people are for the most part, friendly.  Neighbors help neighbors.  They get together for summer barbecues and winter snowmobile rides.  People you don't know will wave in passing.  They will go out of their way to help someone in need.

There are good folks living in the cities, but sadly, the political climate is decidedly left leaning, complete with the current Trump Derangement Syndrome.  President Trump is holding a rally in Minneapolis this week.  The mayor of Minneapolis has decreed that police officers appearing at the rally are not allowed to wear their uniforms even though officers have traditionally been at events in uniform.  He has also decided to charge the Trump campaign way more for security than has ever been charged for an event before.  The hope was that Trump would cancel the rally.  The mayor obviously doesn't understand the concept of 'fighting back.'

He also doesn't understand what it does to morale when officers are told they can not wear a uniform they are proud to wear.  So the officers in the Minneapolis Police Department fought back and they designed this:

The officers will be wearing this shirt to the rally.  They have offered it for sale on their website.  (Note:  When I tried to post a link to the MPD Federation website, I found a notice that the website has been suspended.  I don't know if that is just temporary or permanent.  Odd, that.).    All proceeds go to charity.  A spokesman for the Department said in an interview that they would like to flood the audience with red shirts.

My goal here is not to sell t-shirts.  I have no connection to this effort.  But I do love the fact that these police officers, who put their lives on the line for us every single day, have decided to fight back against tyrannical politicians.  God bless them for having the courage of their convictions.  If more of us did what we could to fight back against those who would try to take our freedoms from us, we might not be so close to losing them to those who think they know better than we do how we should live our lives.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Everyday Stuff

The leaves here in southern Minnesota are beginning to turn colors.  The daytime temps are now in the 50's and 60's and the northern part of the state has already had a hard frost.  It is the time of year when we in the north begin to prepare for massive amounts of ice and snow and sub-zero temperatures.

I taste tested the chicken vegetable soup I canned last week.  That is some seriously good soup.  I had layered 1/2 cup chicken, 1/3 cup each corn, carrots and peas and 1/4 cup each of celery and onions in each pint jar.  On top of that went a chicken bouillon cube and the jars were filled with water.  They were processed for 75 minutes.  This has become my new favorite go-to soup.

I am running low on canning jars again, so it is time to concentrate on other items for my food storage.  I transferred four containers of cornmeal to zip lock bags and stashed them away.  Bugs seem to like the cardboard and paper containers, but I have had no problems with keeping dry food in zip lock bags.  I also have been ordering extra sugar and flour with each grocery order, and need to get more molasses to use in making my own brown sugar (1 Tablespoon molasses to 1 Cup of sugar).

I had bought 10 lbs of potatoes, thinking I would use some of them in the soup, but decided instead to dehydrate them.  So later today I will be peeling, slicing and blanching and getting them into the dehydrators.

Yesterday I made up several more of my cookie mixes - chocolate chip and oatmeal - which are my favorites of the cookie mix recipes HERE.  I need to make up some brownie mixes and more hot chocolate mix.  The hot chocolate mix seems to disappear quickly these days.

Winter is my time for needlework.  I have picked up where I left off on my youngest grandkid's graduation afghan and have been spending evenings with a crochet hook and usually a movie.  I am sick to death of the dog and pony show that is Washington these days and am back to reading headlines only.  Keeps my blood pressure on an even keel. :)

That's about it for me here in my little corner of the world.  Hope things are going well with all of you and that your pantrys are filling up.  I am hearing rumors that a long, cold winter is coming, at least for us here in the tundra.  Keep on prepping.

Monday, September 30, 2019

She’s Back

Knowing his mother was likely going through withdrawal without a working computer, Youngest Son took pity on me and delivered a new one today.  And, bless his heart, he got it up and running for me as well.  Later on I will take both laptops to the computer doctor to see if they can be salvaged for backups.  Thankfully, I have an external hard drive so I didn’t lose anything important.

The end of last week and the weekend were taken up with canning.  I wound up with 54 pints of chicken vegetable soup, 32 half pints of chicken and 24 half pints of the leftover veggies.  I will be concentrating on other preps as I am nearly out of canning jars and definitely out of shelf space.
The weather here is weird.  We have been having beautiful, cool fall temps.  But today the thermometer reads in the mid 80’s with 75% humidity.  But tomorrow promises to be back down to the 60’s.  I like that much better.

So I believe the rest of the afternoon will be spent installing programs and figuring out a new operating system.  Not my most favorite thing to do, but I won’t complain.  I have a computer that works, and that makes me a very happy, chubby granny.  😊

Friday, September 27, 2019

Dead Computer

My main computer went belly up this morning.  The old one I am on right now heats up within minutes.  So I will be off line until Youngest Son brings me a new computer, hopefully over the weekend.  Other than learning some not so nice words while dealing with the dead computer, all is well here in my little corner of the world.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

More Canning

Last evening my long, tall son dragged the last eight chickens from my freezer.  This morning I cooked three in stock pots on top of the stove, baked two in a roasting pan in the oven and cooked another three in my electric roaster.  All eight are cooling in bowls and pans on the kitchen table.  As soon as they are cool enough to handle, the meat will be removed from the bones and stored in the fridge.  Tomorrow some of the meat will be canned, part of it in half pint jars, which is a good size for sandwiches like a can of tuna, and more in pints.

My Thursday grocery delivery includes frozen peas and corn, potatoes, onions, carrots and celery.  Lots of them.  These will be chopped and added to chicken in pint jars with a bit of chicken bouillon on top for flavor.  This will be canned as chicken vegetable soup.  If there are any vegetables left over I will use them for vegetable bean soup.

So if things are quiet here, you know that I haven't run away from home.  I am just up to my neck in chicken.  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Stand Up For What Is Right

The 'Freedom From Religion Foundation,' an atheist group that is notorious for doing everything they possibly can to eliminate religion from the public square, has been bested by a group of school kids.

A high school in Alabama traditionally offered a prayer over the loudspeakers before football games.  This, of course, caused the atheists to get their knickers in a twist and they pressured school officials to eliminate the prayer and replace it with a moment of silence.

The kids were having none of it.  At the next football game the students stood en masse along with the rest of the fans and loudly recited The Lord's Prayer.  The full article is HERE.

We hear about students who are woefully ignorant when it comes to their grasp of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  We hear of kids who blindly follow along with whatever is the latest stupidity preached by the lunatic left.  But these kids made a decision to literally stand up for their beliefs.

I applaud this group of students as well as their parents who obviously raised them right.

Friday, September 20, 2019

A Drama Free Life

There have been a couple of days of R & R going on here.  That is par for the course when one has been going nuts with canning.  Now fully rested, it is time to get busy again.

I have eight more whole chickens in the freezer and hopefully my long, tall son will drag four of them out tomorrow so they can thaw and I will then cook them up and can the meat.  I have plans for the last four chickens that include ordering a variety of fresh and frozen vegetables that will be delivered Thursday next week to layer in jars along with the chicken for chicken vegetable soup to can.

Other than plans for the next few days, life just goes quietly on.  There is enough crazy and drama in the news, so I don't need to create any here.  The biggest thing happening will be the arrival of my daughter tomorrow, who has promised to show up with bags of shredded zucchini for my freezer.  I may have to keep some out for a loaf of zucchini bread.

Most times a quiet life and zucchini bread is far preferable to the insanity around us.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit...

Yesterday I cooked up a double batch of baked beans.  The link to the recipe is in the previous post.  Because I got a late start, I didn't get them jarred up and canned until today.

I used half pint jars.  That works out well as a serving for one or two people.  I put a couple of pieces of cooked bacon on top of the beans in each jar.   The last canner load is processing as I write.  A double batch gave me 60 half pint jars of baked beans.

In about an hour this canner load will be done.  And then I do believe a nap is called for.  :)

Keep on prepping.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bacon Update

Over the weekend I turned 25 lbs. of bacon into 38 half pints to add to the shelves.  A general rule of thumb is that 1 lb. of meat equals one pint canned.  Considering the amount of bacon I set aside for eating and to add to baked beans, along with the amount I consumed for 'quality control,' (Come on.  It is bacon.  The temptation was just too great.) the amount canned was just about right.

Last evening I set 4 quarts of white beans to soaking and they are now in my big electric roaster, cooking.  Later this afternoon I will jar them up, add a little cooked bacon to each jar and process them.  The recipe can be found HERE.

This recipe is kind of fussy and time consuming, what with the pre-cooking, but I have tried several recipes and methods over the years and found this one to be really good.  It is worth the time and trouble.

I have a long list of food I need to can up before prices become too outrageous.   I hope my kids won't be too unhappy with me if I wind up needing them to lug more jars up the stairs.   :)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

If you had any doubt...

about what the intentions of the left are, the last 'debate' should have told you.  They don't even try to hide it any more.  They want to control every part of your life.  They want to take your guns.  They want power and they want to keep power.

Rev. Paul over at "Way Up North" has an article that lays it out clearly and completely and is well worth your time to read.  We are in deep doo, folks, and I believe God is the only one who can fix this.

Pray and prepare.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Going AWOL Again

Yesterday 25 lbs. of bacon arrived in my kitchen via my son whom I often refer to as my pack mule for all the supplies he has huffed up the stairs to my apartment over the years.  After we appropriated several slices each for further use, I sliced the rest into one inch pieces, filling roughly six one-gallon bags plus about 3/4 of a quart bag to be used when canning baked beans. 

So I am off to the kitchen to start browning the bacon, packing it into half pint jars and running it through the pressure canner.  I have no clue how long this process will take, but I hope to resurface by Monday.

Have yourselves a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

We Said We Would Never Forget

Those of us who are old enough to remember, know exactly where we were when we heard the news about a plane crashing into the first tower.  We watched in horror as the second plane hit the second tower.  The news of the plane crashes at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania came later.

Eyes glued to TV screens, we watched the first tower come down, followed by the second.  We saw people running in terror, trying to escape the devastation.  We later learned that over 3,000 lives were lost that terrible day.

That day we came together as a nation.  In New York, strangers clung to each other, eyes wide in fear and horror or with tears streaming down grief stricken faces.  In small towns all across America, folks gathered on street corners, looking up at a sky empty of planes and wondering how on earth something like this could happen here.

Before 9/11, we were a patriotic people.  But the day after, Old Glory flew everywhere.  When the body count came in, we grieved as one.  We gathered in churches and prayed for the souls of the dead and for the families left behind.  We said we would never, ever forget.

But we have forgotten, haven't we.  Oh, we remember during the week that marks each anniversary.  But during the other 51 weeks of the year, we are more divided than we have been since the Civil War.  Many of us are still patriotic.  But too many have forgotten what a truly marvelous nation we live in.  They would rather turn it into something totally unrecognizable. 

On that day of terror, the first responders ran toward the horrors, the saving of lives their first priority.  Over 400 of those brave men and women died in the process.  Today firemen, police, emergency medical personnel still rush to the scene in times of trouble.  But more and more often, they are exposed to hostile actions from those who have absolutely no respect for their bravery and their willingness to stand between us and evil.

I don't ever want to see anything as horrible as we saw on that day.  But I sure wouldn't mind seeing seeing a glimpse of the coming together of our country that existed when we all felt wounded and when we all became angry when we discovered the plot to destroy us and when we felt the pride as one nation that even though evil tried to destroy us, we did not break.  Yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing that again.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

How Much Home Canned Food is Enough

The other day I was looking at my shelves full of home canned food, feeling all smug and superior - right up to the point where I actually did an inventory.  Turns out I don't have enough full jars to feed two of us for a year.  And in a crisis situation where I was feeding several family members, the food in jars would be gone quickly.  So much for smug superiority.

When I figured the amounts needed to feed two people, I went with pint jar size.  Figuring one jar each of meat and vegetables daily for the main meal, it would take 365 pints of each for one year.  If we had soup for lunch 3 times weekly, I would need 312 pints of soup, as one pint is a meal for one person.  If we added fruit to our diet, dividing one pint between two people twice a week, I would need 104 pints.  That's over 1100 pints of food.  And that's not counting foods like tomatoes, pasta sauce, chicken broth and other foods used to make different dishes.

Granted, there are other foods in storage like pasta, rice, beans, cornmeal and oatmeal, along with flour and yeast for making bread.  And there are cans of tuna and salmon along with other store bought food in cans.

Thing is...it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking we have enough - to become complacent.  I have 15 family members, including grands and spouses.  I doubt that all of them would come knocking on my door in an emergency situation, but even if half a dozen of them did, I would be hard pressed to be able to feed them for any length of time. 

Now is not the time to slack off.  The world around us grows more insane by the day. 

Keep on prepping. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Just a Quick Note...

first, to say just how awesome I think you all are.  I tell you about people who mean something to me who are hurting and you are right there with words of comfort and most importantly, with your prayers.  I can not begin to find the words to express my thanks and gratitude.  I have had no further word on either of the ladies, but I will update when I do.

I will be away from my computer for a couple of days.  Yesterday I browned 12 lbs. of hamburger and chopped 2 lbs. of onions that went into my electric roaster today, along with other ingredients for chili.  The chili needs to cook a bit longer and then I will start the canning process.  That roaster holds a lot of chili!!  In between canner loads I am dehydrating frozen hash browns and bags of slaw mix.  And there are bags of flour, sugar and rice that came with my grocery order that need to be re-packaged and stored away.  Considering I move at the speed of a herd of turtles, I expect I will be busy most of the weekend.  :)

Hope you all can get out and enjoy the last hurrah of summer.  See you next week.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Life Can Change in a Heartbeat

Most of you who come here regularly are aware that I have a condition that requires nursing services to care for my legs.  They do for me what I can not manage to do for myself.  They clean the affected areas, apply antibiotic salve and bandages where needed and wrap my legs from toes to knees in Ace bandages to help control fluid build-up.  Thanks to their kind and expert care on their three times a week visits, my legs are in better shape now than they have been since this all started.

I mention this only to tell you how much I admire and how grateful I am to these ladies who take such good care of me and of many others who need their help.  They have chosen careers that are not easy, and yet they are always cheerful and professional.  Over time I have gotten to know some of them quite well.

Yesterday I learned that the nurse I see most often, the sweet little lady who is expecting her first child in November, had fallen down some stairs.  She wasn't badly hurt, but the fall had an effect on her pregnancy.  She was hospitalized for 24 hours and is now home, apparently on bed rest, doing everything possible to see to it the baby goes full term.

Then I found that the nurse I saw on Monday has suffered a tragic loss.  Her grandbaby was found in her crib, non-responsive.  The baby was rushed to the hospital and in spite of the best efforts of the doctors, the child couldn't be saved.  I can imagine nothing more heart wrenching than to lose a child or grandchild.

I don't know what I can do for these ladies who take such good care of me, except to lift them both up in prayer.  I hope those of you who are so inclined will join me. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

I'm Still Here...

I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth just yet.  I have just been busy.

I have had some time between canning sessions so I decided I needed to do some organizing.  I am not good being organized.  But a friend of mine was telling me about re-organizing her living quarters and that kind of lit a fire under me to get busy and do the same.  (It is all your fault - you know who you are.  :) )

I worked on the organizing project over the weekend and today, getting mostly everything I wanted to done.  A couple of hours tomorrow should finish it up except for the 'closet of terror.'  That's the closet where everything I don't know what to do with gets stuffed.  I'm kind of afraid to open the door.  I think something growled at me the last time I did.

My regular grocery order will be delivered Thursday.  I have food coming for both canning and for dehydrating.  Sometimes it is awfully tempting to just say, "Heck with it.  I have enough."  Thing is, I don't think I will ever have enough.  I don't know what is coming.  I just know it is not good. 

My morning routine is to drink a couple of cups of coffee while checking out my favorite blogs and the news of the day.  I think for a little while I may skip the news.  It just gets more stupid by the day.  I know I need to keep an eye on what is happening in the world around me, but sometimes I just need a break from the insanity. 

So this evening it is just me, some hand sewing on a quilt top and a movie.  With maybe a piece of the wonderful fudge Duane brought me from the State Fair yesterday.   I had never tasted cherry chocolate fudge before, but I really hope to again.  (That's a hint, Son!)

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Social Security Scam

Yesterday my phone rang.  Often I let calls go to voice mail, but as I was expecting a call, I answered.  The voice on the other end informed me that he was from the Social Security Administration.  He further stated that there was a criminal complaint against my Social Security number.

Now in all the years I have been dealing with the Social Security Administration, never even once have they called me.  If I wish to speak to them, I am the one who initiates the call.  If they wish to get in touch with me, they do so via the US Mail.

So I told the gentleman that in all fairness and full disclosure, I was informing him that the call was being recorded and would he please clearly state his name, his title and the phone number at which my attorney could reach him to discuss the matter.

He hung up.  I don't know why.  :)

We are old.  We didn't get to be old by being stupid.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why Prep

If we should be foolish enough to announce to friends and family that we are preppers,  the most common reaction is that look we get like we have just sprouted another eye on our foreheads or maybe have suddenly grown a third arm.  And if we garden or can or dehydrate, the astonishment of those in our circles is increased.

The first remarks are usually, "Why would you go to all that work when you can just go to the grocery and buy what you want?"  Then we are called conspiracy theorists because nothing bad will ever happen.  And then they want to know what on earth will we do with all that food.  Or all those medical supplies.  Or all of those candles, flashlights, whatever.  Followed by the inevitable. "Well, if anything bad ever does happen, I will just come to your house."

No.  You won't.

Like many who are into preparedness, my main concern is my family.  A few of them are on board and understand why I do what I do.  The rest - not so much.  But that doesn't mean that I will turn any of them away should things go south.  I couldn't live with myself if I denied any of them food and shelter in hard times.

I have had some who want to know what I am preparing for.  There are many reasons to be prepared.  It doesn't need to be an end of the world apocalypse.  Job loss, illness, accident, weather events, anything can cause life as we know it to change.  It just makes sense to have something put away for whatever rainy day happens.

Some of us look at those who homestead, who tend large gardens and raise livestock, who can, freeze and dehydrate vast quantities of food and who are as close to being self sufficient as a person can be these days.  We become discouraged because we are not in a place where we can do all those things.

The good news is that we still can prepare.  A few extra cans of tuna or green beans can be purchased with our regular grocery shopping and stashed away.  If we have the means to home can, there are Farmer's Markets that yield an astounding array of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Frozen vegetables from the store can be canned or dehydrated to extend their shelf life.  When chicken goes on sale at the grocery store, a couple of extra packages can be canned up and added to our food storage.  By watching the store sales, all sorts of items can be purchased at a lower cost.  We don't have to do it all at once.  But little by little we can build up a deep pantry or a stash of medical supplies without having to spend all of our savings to do it.

Some in the prepping community espouse 'bugging out' when things get bad.  That's all well and good if you are young, healthy and have somewhere to go.  I will be staying right where I am.  Here is where the food and supplies are.  With my health and mobility issues, I would be lucky if I made it to the end of my block.  Others say if we are in a city environment, we need to move.  For some of us that is not possible for various reasons.  What we can do is maintain a low profile and stay as inconspicuous as possible. and be prepared to defend our lives and the lives of those with us.  And that may be the best we can do.

Some say that building a community of like minded people is necessary.  I agree that is a good idea, but for many of us, those like minded folks don't live in our neighborhoods.  My community consists of a couple of my kids.  Nobody else in my area would even consider putting forth the effort to prepare.

Many of us feel totally alone in our efforts.  But we are not completely alone.  We have built a community of blogging friends and if the Internet goes away, we still have our faith and nothing or nobody can take that away from us.  Just knowing there are folks all over the country who believe in taking care of themselves, who refuse to count on government solutions to problems, who are  ready, willing and able to defend themselves and their families, goes a long way to keeping us focused on what we need to do to survive any situation.

We are all in this together.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

News Flash

Listen up.  For those who would work to change America into something it is not and was never intended to be, I have some news for you.

There are two genders.  God created them.  They are Man and Woman.  If you want to pretend to be something you are not, don't expect me to buy into the lie.  If you are a hairy chested athlete who decided he is a she in order to compete in women's sports, you should be ashamed of being too lazy to do the work to succeed against other men.  And should you go ahead with the farce and win a trophy competing against those of the opposite sex, you should be booed off the field for the cheater that you are.

When are those in power going to understand the simple reality that all the gun laws and restrictions in the world are not going to keep me safe.  If some deranged individual kicks in my apartment door with mayhem on his mind, I have mere seconds to react.  I can use those seconds to call 911, and officers of the law will come as quickly as they can, bringing with them chalk to outline where my body lays and a body bag to carry me away.  Or...I can shoot the bastard and live to hug my grandchildren another day.

Those on the left get their knickers in a twist because illegal aliens are deported and their children are separated from them.  We see pictures of crying kids and I hate to see children in distress as much as the next person.  But who is to blame for these circumstances.  Not law enforcement.  They are upholding the laws enacted by Congress.  Try putting the blame on the heads of parents who chose to cross our borders illegally, putting their own children in peril.  Had they chosen to come to our country legally, their children would not be sobbing their hearts out when Daddy is taken away.

I'm a racist.  You're a racist.  All God's children are racists- but only if they are conservative.  And why is this, you might ask?  Because that's all they've got.  The left has Socialism.  They have free stuff for all.  They have notions of gun grabbing.  And when their ideas are questioned for the lunacy that they are, their stock answer is, "Shut up, you racist."

If you are determined to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, our very country, take a knee somewhere else.  The sports arena is not the place to do it.  Shame yourselves on your own time.  My young grandson loves sports.  He plays baseball.  He plays football.  He plays hockey.  He learns how to work with others as a team.  He learns sportsmanship.  He learns how to win gracefully and how to lose gracefully.  He learns he has to work to win that trophy,  And then you blockheads come along and teach him that none of that matters.  You teach him that the very country that gives opportunities to do what he loves, deserves to be ground under your cleats.   You might have been a hero to youngsters at one time.  All you are now is an ungrateful embarrassment. 

There are lunatics in Washington, DC.  There are lunatics in Hollywood.  There are lunatics in the sports arena.  There are lunatics in every place where the power hungry reside.  There you will find the lowest of the low - the lawless - the depraved - the hateful - the most vile.  Those who consider themselves the elites.  The ones who know better than we do how we should live our lives.  The ones who are above us all and who expect us to blindly follow.

But take a little side trip into middle America.  The places where the real people live.  The farmers and the ranchers and the factory workers and restaurant cooks and office workers and cab drivers and the cops and the firemen and the first responders and store clerks and the miners.    Those people who will shake your hand without trying to rob your wallet at the same time.  Those people who will tell you the truth.  Those people who will stand, hand over heart, when the flag passes in the 4th of July parade.  Those people who go to work every day so their families will have a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Those people who don't give a tinker's damn about fame or power or any of the rest of it.  Those people who watch their daughter's dance recitals and their son's baseball games.  Those people who find nothing more important than reading a bedtime story to their children.  Those people who cling to their guns, their Bibles, their God.

Those are the people who matter.  The elites may try to convince us that their insanity is something we all should buy into.  But Middle America is better than that.  Middle America knows what is truly important and there are more of us than there are of the lunatic elite.  And we can be pushed only so far.  I think we may be on the edge of the cliff now.  But we will not fall off the edge and into their cesspool.  We know what is good and right, and it ain't you - the self centered, power hungry, anti-patriotic, morally deficient elite.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lessons From the Great Depression

While on self imposed R & R, I spent some time reading articles and watching videos about the Great Depression of the 1930's.  I have very little understanding of the Stock Market nor do I care much about the politics of the time.  My focus is on how the average citizen managed to keep body and soul together through those hard times.

One reoccurring theme was having cash on hand.  Banks closed their doors and folks could not access the money in their accounts.  People lost their entire life savings, not to mention their homes.  Renters were evicted because they had no money to pay their rent.  Those who had stashed cash in their mattresses probably didn't have enough cash to last for years but chances were pretty good they had enough to at least give them time to make rational decisions on what to do before the cash ran out.

Those who lived in the country fared better than the city dwellers.  They planted gardens, kept chickens for meat and eggs, had a cow for milk and butter and raised hogs for meat.  Many of those interviewed who lived through the Depression said they didn't know there was a Depression because they had plenty to eat.  And they had products to barter for what they couldn't buy.  They would trade eggs and butter for sugar and coffee.  They sometimes paid the doctor bills with vegetables from their gardens.  They were cash poor but they had the means to work around that.

Those in the cities felt the effects of the Depression sooner and to a greater degree than the country folks.  Jobs disappeared.  Food became scarce.  In February of 1931, desperate to feed their families, citizens of Minneapolis rioted, smashing the windows of closed grocery stores and running off with whatever food they could carry.  This was repeated over time in many areas of the country.

In the cities, soup kitchens run by churches and private charities were opened to feed the masses of hungry people.  Bread lines formed as people stood in lines for hours in hopes of being given a loaf of bread or other food to feed starving families.

Those who had a variety of skills were better off than those who knew only the skills required to do the jobs that no longer existed.  A man who knew how to shingle a roof, clean a chimney, do maintenance work on a vehicle could earn cash or barter his services for food.  Women provided laundry services, baked bread and cakes to be sold, did sewing for those who didn't know how.  The more skills a person had, the better their chances of survival.

People learned to 'make do.'  Lacking money for new clothes, holes were patched, seams were taken in or let out as needed to make a piece of clothing fit, holes in stockings were darned.  Mothers used whatever they had on hand to fashion clothing for their children - old sheets, flour sacks, etc.  Old cloth coats were taken apart and turned inside out to sew new coats or jackets for the children.  Scrap fabric was saved and turned into quilts.  Nothing was wasted.

Broken tools, appliances, furniture were not thrown out but were repaired until they could no longer be fixed.  People glued soles back onto worn boots.  Others lined the insides of their shoes with cardboard to cover the places where holes were worn through the soles.  Children wore shoes only in the winter, for there was no money to buy new shoes and they weren't to be worn out in the warmer months when kids could go barefoot.

Today we live in a disposable society.  We break the Mr. Coffee, we buy a new one.  We have more shoes than any one person can ever wear out.  We have clothing hanging in the closets that aren't worn because the fashion of the day dictates these items to be 'out of style.'  We firmly believe that the supermarkets will always be open, filled with every imaginable product to eat.  We rarely carry cash, choosing rather to whip out our credit cards to pay for nearly everything.  And we no longer know how to can tomatoes or sew a seam or bake a loaf of bread.

If we ever have another set of circumstances resulting in another Depression, I fear most of America will be in a world of hurt due to a total lack of knowledge needed to survive. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Off Kilter

I am just a tad bit under the weather.  Nothing serious enough to worry about, but enough so that rest is needed.  I will return shortly, when I can get my brain cells to function.  All they do right now is yawn.  :). 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Canning Report

I had about 45 lbs. of beef that was cut into one inch cubes, packed raw into pint jars and processed in my pressure canner for 75 minutes.  I got 37 pints of beef cubes.

There was a certain amount of waste in trimming fat and gristle from the beef.  I suppose I could have been more precise in trimming, but I wasn't, with the result was that there is a considerable amount of red meat in with the scrap fat.  Not wanting to waste anything, I bagged up the scraps and froze them.  I'm thinking maybe I can boil them up later with some onion and carrots, skim the fat, strain out everything else and wind up with some decent beef broth.  Worth a try.

I had two packages of brats that together held a total of 36 brats.  Common sense flew out the window and rather than test just one jar, I ran 7 jars through, each containing 3 brats, only to find when I did a taste test that I didn't care for the results.  The brats held together during canning but the texture changed, becoming more like the meat had been very finely ground.  Somebody else might not mind this change, but I didn't like it.  That being said, I'm sure I can find a use for the canned brats, perhaps cutting them into small pieces for use in casseroles.  I froze the remaining brats.

And then I ran out of jars.

I messaged my kids on Friday saying, "I am in desperate need of canning jars.  I am begging here.  Any takers?"

Almost immediately daughter Jeri messaged me back saying she could do the deed but not until Monday.  She asked if that would work.  I said I would make it work 

I browned the burger over the weekend and canned some Monday evening and the rest this morning.  40 lbs. of hamburger got me 54 pints. 

The plan was to use part of the hamburger to  make and can chili, but plans often change.  It is hot and humid outside.  Not a good time to be cooking pots of chili, so that will wait for cooler days.  The chickens will also stay in the freezer for a while.

All in all, I am pleased with the amounts of canned meat that are headed for the shelves - and for Duane's apartment, because I am pretty much out of storage space.  Having a kid living next door comes in handy now and then.   Lucky for me, he is always willing to help when needed, as are the rest of my kids.  I would have a tough time doing what I do without their help. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Going AWOL

Just a quick post to let you know I will be AWOL for a few days.  Youngest son, David, did some shopping at Sam's Club for me today.  He brought me 40 lbs. of hamburger, about 45 lbs. of beef, 18 whole chickens and 2 boxes (18 each box) of brats.  We figured it out and he hauled nearly 200 lbs. of meat up the stairs to my apartment.  He never complained even once.  All he said was, "Do you suppose the next time we could spread this out over a couple of days.?"   :)

The chickens are in the freezer.  The hamburger and brats are in the fridge.  I still have another 12 lbs. of beef to cut into one inch cubes to be canned tomorrow.  Some of the hamburger will be used in chili to can and the rest will be browned and canned plain.  I am going to run one jar of brats through with the hamburger just to see if I like them canned.  If not, they will be repackaged and frozen.

I think I will be busy through the weekend and likely not at my computer.  When I finish, I'll be back.  Until then, the folks on my sidebar have some really good things to say.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Wealth of Information

Yesterday someone named Jennifer left a comment on my Food Shortages post.  Within the comment was the request to leave what she called a 'shameless plug' for her blog.  Normally I ignore comments like this, but I took the time to check out her blog and wound up spending a considerable amount of time there.

Her blog is an absolute wealth of information.  She had information about everything from preparedness to canning to medical.  This blog is well written, well laid out so it is easy to navigate and is full of common sense. 

So many blogs and videos I find about preparedness are the macho types who tell us we are all going to die unless we buy the right gear or know how to make a shelter from twigs and vines or brag about how they will just go 'live off the land up in the mountains' when the nearing crisis arrives. 

Jennifer, on the other hand tells us how to use our food storage, how to use herbs and how to preserve food and much more.

Check out Prep School Daily.  And take notes.  You will be glad you did.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Food Shortages?

I have been hearing rumors of food shortages caused by the rains and floods this past spring.  Several folks have told me about Walmart stores posting signs about shortages in their canned vegetable aisles.  So I decided to do my own research.

I have seen several pictures posted of the Walmart signs.  I have read many articles about the flood damage to farms, fields, livestock and grains that were stored in grain bins that are now ruined. 

I have watched opinion videos and read blogs on the subject.  Opinions range from "We're all gonna die!" to "Move along.  Nothing to see here."

Me...I go by facts. 

The fact is that millions of acres were flooded in the middle of planting season.  Some farmers were able to finally get into their fields to plant and others could not.  Whether we have a decent harvest is going to depend on the weather come fall.

The fact is that many, many cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry were killed by the flood waters and much of the reserved livestock feed was lost.  Whether the livestock industry can recover remains to be seen.  But I do expect meat prices to go up.  It takes longer to build up a herd of cattle than it does to raise a field of corn.  I would guess that eggs and dairy prices may also be affected.

As far as the shortages in the vegetable aisles of Walmart, it could be that the company is actually unable to keep their shelves full.

Or there could be a clever person in the corporate office marketing department who knew that if the stores posted signs alluding to shortages, people would rush to stock up 'while they still could.'  I was reminded of the 'Great Toilet Paper Scare of 1973' when Johnny Carson, host of the then popular Tonight Show, made a joke about a toilet paper shortage.  Within a week the store shelves were empty of TP.

So how will I handle these rumors?  Well, I do not believe we are headed into famine territory.  I do believe that we may see real shortages and more likely, corporations taking advantage of the rumors to raise prices.  I will not dash out, hair on fire, to grab what I can from store shelves.  I have, however, asked my youngest son to do some shopping at Sam's Club for me, picking up fairly large quantities of chicken, hamburger and beef roast to be canned in various ways.  I may add to the list some link breakfast sausage and brats, as I want to can those as well.  With what I already have on my shelves, that will give me plenty of meat to use in making all sorts of meals.

Many of you who visit here often know that due to physical limitations, I use a grocery delivery service every two weeks for my normal grocery shopping.  My order that will be  delivered this coming Thursday includes twelve 1 lb. bags of dry Great Northern beans, half of which will be used to make and can another batch of baked beans.  The rest will be saved for ham and bean soup to can later.  I also am ordering 6 bags each of frozen whole kernel corn and cut green beans, both to dehydrate.  And 10 lbs. of potatoes to slice and dehydrate.

My crystal ball is broken, so I have no real way to know what the future holds.  So on the chance that the predictions come true, it makes sense to me to go ahead and get food now while prices aren't through the roof.  And if nothing happens, I am still ahead with more food added to my food storage.

For the life of me, I just can not understand why so few refuse to plan ahead when it comes to food.  We saw pictures and video on the news showing the devastation the floods caused.  Even the main stream media carried interviews with farmers who lost everything.  And long before that, there were the pictures of people digging in dumpsters looking for food after a hurricane.  When will it occur to some that after a disaster, someone from the government is not going to show up with a sandwich and a bottle of water.  The government is in charge of politics.  We are in charge of feeding our families.

Keep on prepping.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Bits and Pieces

I moan and groan when it is hot and humid and I complain when it is too cold, so it is only right I mention the two perfectly fine days in a row here in the hinterlands of Minnesota.  Sunshine for those who are out and about and for those of us indoors, windows open with a lovely summer breeze flowing through my apartment.  Glorious!

As you know, my life is filled with drama and excitement.  OK. I lied.  There is very little going on here at present.  I am deciding what I need to can or dehydrate next and think I really need to do another batch of baked beans.  They are really good and the half pint jars are perfect for one person.  Duane hinted that more beans might be a good idea.  I sent a case of them home with him and I have a sneaking suspicion they won't last too long.

Has anyone noticed that grocery shelves, particularly the canned vegetable aisles, have been not nearly as full as they normally are?  I have a high school friend who is a Vietnam vet and retired cop, and who keeps me informed about news that I might miss.  I joke that he is plugged into the 'good old boy cop network,' but that may not be so much of a joke.  He knew about the Somali riot at the local amusement park last summer before I did.  He lives 100 miles away.  I live just a couple miles from the park.  Recently he emailed me about several people reporting signs hung on the canned veggie aisles of Walmart stores in various parts of the country, stating that due to the bad spring weather, Walmart was experiencing shortages of vegetables.  I don't get out to check on that myself and I have not heard of that happening in my area, but it is curious.  I know that some food shortages have been predicted due to the wet spring and the flooding that happened.  I do know that most grocery stores would, in an emergency situation, have their shelves emptied within three days.  I don't think I am willing to take a chance.  Personally, I will continue to add as much as possible to my food storage - just in case.

After taking stock, I find I am all out of home canned chili, so that is definitely on the list.  I think more half pint jars of meat for making sandwiches would be good as well.  I think it might be a good idea to dehydrate more potato slices before the price of potatoes goes up.

This morning I heard an awful racket in the street outside my building.  Turns out the city was removing half a dozen of the small trees that were planted along the boulevard.  They had died over the winter and are now mulch.  I hope the city replaces them.  They attracted the small birds that I like to listen to in the spring and summer.

Later in the afternoon I heard a strange sound outside my living room windows.  When I looked I saw a man at the window.  This was something new.  I live on the second floor of the building.  Seeing someone at my window is not an every day occurrence.  On closer inspection, I found he was on a ladder, painting the trim on the outside of my window.  I haven't been anywhere to buy curtains, but decided then and there to just make some.  I have several bed sheets of a cream color that I am sure contain enough fabric to cover all three windows.  The frugal (read 'cheap') part of me likes the notion of curtains without spending any money.  I come by the frugality honestly.  My parents, children of the Great Depression era, were the king and queen of 'making do.' 

That's enough blathering for now.  Hope your day was as nice as mine was, in spite of the racket and pseudo 'peeping tom."  :)

Keep on prepping!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Canning Beef Stew

Last week I made beef stew for supper one evening.  I opened jars of potatoes, carrots, beef and tomatoes to make it.  Duane came over to help me eat it, took some home with him and I ate off the leftovers for a couple of days.  I had several canning jars that needed to be washed.  If I had a dishwasher, I wouldn't mind so much, but my dishwasher consists of my two hands located at the ends of my arms.  I am not fond of washing jars.

About that time I got to wondering if it would work to can all the stew ingredients together in one jar.  I already can all sorts of soups, so why not stew.  With that in mind I ordered 8 lbs. of chuck roast, 10 lbs. of potatoes, 4 lbs of carrots, 4 lbs of onions and 2 bunches of celery.  So then I got to thinking that if I was going to can beef stew, why not can chicken stew, too.  So I added 6 lbs. of frozen chicken breast and 2 lbs. of frozen corn to the order.

My groceries were delivered early afternoon Thursday.  I peeled the potatoes and onions and washed the carrots and celery.  Then I sat at my kitchen table and cut everything into bite sized pieces.  The potatoes went into a bucket of water to keep them from turning black overnight and the rest went into the fridge in zip lock bags.  The beef and chicken were cut into bite sized pieces and the meat went into the fridge in zip lock bags as well.

This morning I got my jars and pressure canner ready and proceeded to layer the ingredients into quart jars.  Each jar got a cup each of potatoes and carrots, and half a cup each of celery and onions.  I topped off each jar with beef cubes, adding 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and thyme and 3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes along with two beef bouillon cubes per jar, then filled them with water..  I processed the quart jars of stew for 90 minutes.  To use the stew it just needs to be heated and thickened.  It might need a bit more liquid, depending on how you like it.

While the first seven jars were processing and when I had filled the next seven jars was when I realized I had screwed up.  I had not ordered nearly enough carrots.  Stew just doesn't taste right without carrots. 

I thought about either freezing or dehydrating the rest of the vegetables, but both require blanching.  Did I mention that today was the hottest day of the year so far with the temperature this afternoon at 96 degrees and a heat index of 110 degrees?  There was no way I was going to heat water on the stove for blanching.  The pressure canner was generating enough heat, but my apartment was staying tolerable.  I wanted to keep it that way.

So I started filling jars.  In addition to the 14 quarts of beef stew, I got 10 pints of cubed potatoes, 2 pints of carrots and 9 half pints each of celery and onions.  Tomorrow promises to be cooler - back in the mid 70's - so I will fill half pint jars of the rest of the beef and the 6 lbs. of chicken.  I have lots of beef and chicken canned in pint jars, so I thought perhaps the half pints would be nice to have on hand for sandwiches.

Things don't always go according to plan.  In my case, they often go awry.  Being flexible and refusing to panic are a big plus, no matter what the situation.  None of the food was wasted and I will can more beef stew and chicken stew another (cooler) day, keeping better track of the amounts of ingredients I will need.

Keep on prepping, even if you have to change course in the middle.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I Was Gonna Rant Today

I started writing several times.  Lord knows, there is enough material out there to write about.

I could write about the lying, hateful stupidity of AOC and her squad.

I could write about the border crisis and why Congress doesn't fix it.

I could write about why illegal aliens who broke our laws when they set foot on our soil, should not be given free stuff.

I could write about the Rule of Law and why it applies only to you and me.

I could write about the growing violence and hatred across our country.

I could write about the Democratic presidential contenders ideas of free stuff for all, their willingness to grab our guns and their determination to turn my country into a Socialist state.

I could.

But I won't.

Because when it comes right down to it, what I really want is for them to take care of business and then go away and leave me alone to live my life in peace.

I don't think that is asking for too much.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

No More Plastic

I had ordered 4 bottles of ketchup in my last grocery order to use in making Barbecue sauce to can, knowing I had another 4 bottles in my closet pantry to add to them for the amount of sauce I wanted to can.  However, when I brought the ketchup from the pantry out into the light of day, I found it had turned a dark brown in color.  Granted, it was a year past it's 'best by' date.  But when I opened the bottles I found they had an off smell to them.  Into the trash they went.

The new plan for ketchup is to buy #10 cans of ketchup at Sam's Club and re-can it.  I have done this before with good results even several years after canning.  Apparently, storing food like ketchup or salad dressing in plastic bottles for long term isn't working, at least not for me.  After checking prices on Sam's website, I find it is very cost effective to buy the large cans as opposed to bottles at the grocery store.

Last post told you about canning baked beans.  I got 8 pints and 19 half pints from four 1 lb. bags of dry beans.  I haven't done an exact figuring of cost, but an educated guess tells me I would be surprised if I had used over $7 worth of ingredients total.  And considering an 8 ounce can of baked beans was costing me $1.38, I think it was well worth the time and effort.  A taste test told me I will can these again.

Unless something really ticks me off and I decide to write a rant, I likely will be AWOL until the end of this coming week.  It is hot.  It is humid.  I am doing small, quiet things right now because heat and humidity are not kind to me.  However, I am ordering ingredients to be delivered Thursday to can beef stew.  I'll tell you all about that when the stew is in the jars.

I whined so much last winter about the snow and cold that I don't dare complain about hot weather.  So I will make another batch of iced tea and patiently wait for fall.  :)