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.