Wednesday, December 30, 2020


there is a need to just stop and smell the roses.  Or the coffee, if you prefer.

This year we seem to have our noses buried in the thorns rather than the flowers.  

There was a time when the news was about the everyday events in our neighborhoods, our country, the world.  Now it seems we have two choices - elections or virus.

Considering that both topics are all about controlling the population, I find myself weary of both.  

Those who are more concerned with their own power and ill gotten wealth care for nothing else.  We The People are just a pesky inconvenience to them.  They wouldn't know Truth if it bit them on the bum.  

There was a time when we stood a chance of voting them out.  Given the rampant fraud of the last election, I doubt that is possible any more.  And even if it were possible, the elite have succeeded in dividing us as a nation.  When we lived in a time where we were united in fighting evil, there was nothing we could not accomplish.  Sadly, those days as well as many of our God given Constitutional rights are behind us.

So what do we do?

Me...I have handed the whole shebang over to God, for He is the only one who can give us Justice and set us free from the Slavery that lurks just around the next corner.

And although the Powers That Be wish to control every aspect of my life, I refuse to give up my Soul.  I have heard it said that the very best revenge on those who would wish us to be miserable, is to live life to the fullest.  So I continue to do the things that make me happy.  And I continue to prepare for whatever curve ball those scum of the earth decide to throw at us.  

So to all those greedy, power hungry, miserable excuses for human beings, you can just go pound sand.  For We The People have something you will never have.  We have love for our country.   We have the love of family.  We have the capacity to truly care about our fellow man.  

And we have an Ace in the Hole.  Remember how you banned prayer from our schools?  And insisted that Nativity scenes be removed from the public square?  And you closed the churches based on a lie?  And all the other things you did that are against His Commandments?

We might not be able to fix everything you have wrecked in our beloved nation, but I sure would not want to be in your shoes come Judgement Day.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A White Christmas

Looking out my window a few minutes ago, I saw snow falling like mad and the wind is howling.  A blizzard has been predicted for my area and it seems to have arrived right on schedule.  Those wishing for a white Christmas are getting it in spades!

My little apartment stays cozy.  My oldest son who lives in this building will be here for Christmas dinner.  He says he has a cheesecake for dessert.  I am grateful that we don't need to travel any further than down the hall.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who stop by regularly to read and comment.  Without you, this little venture of mine would be pointless.  You make this space feel more like a gathering of friends than just a blog, and for that I am truly grateful and blessed.

May each and every one of you enjoy a Merry Christmas and the hope for a better New Year.

God bless you all.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Canning Stew Vegetables

Times past I have canned beef stew.  I am down to just a few quarts of stew, so it was time to can more.

I did things a bit differently this time.  Instead of adding beef cubes to the jars, I canned just the vegetables.

My grocery order last week included 6 lbs. of carrots, 4 lbs. of onions and 10 lbs. of potatoes.  The vegetables were peeled, sliced and diced.  I wish I had remembered to buy celery, but I have half pint jars of canned celery on the shelf that I can toss into the stew when I heat it.

Each quart jar got 1 cup of diced potatoes, 1 cup of sliced carrots, 1/3 cup of diced onions, 2/3 cup of crushed tomatoes and 2 beef bouillon cubes.  Water was added to within 1 inch from the top of the jar and the quarts were processed for 40 minutes at the pressure for my altitude.  Unless it is something like taco meat or chili, I don't use seasonings until I am using the canned food as there are times when seasonings can become bitter or stronger during the canning process.

The beauty of this mixture is that it can be used in several ways.  As is, it can be vegetable soup.  Add a pint of canned beef cubes and you have vegetable beef soup.  Thicken the liquid and you have beef stew to serve over biscuits or rice, or as the filling in a pot pie.  I often add a packet of beef gravy mix for extra flavor.  And having all the veggies in one jar makes it possible to make small batches of soup or stew instead of having to open several jars for the same results.

I got 14 quarts of vegetable mix.  There were leftovers, and not being one to let anything go to waste, I canned them separately.  I got 9 pints of diced potatoes, 7 half pints of diced onions and 2 half pints of carrots.  They were processed for 40 minutes, which is the longest processing time for one of the vegetables.

Now is not the time to slack off on preparing.  Our future right now is uncertain at best.  So after Christmas I think I will can something similar for chicken, omitting the tomatoes.  With power hungry bureaucrats losing their minds over a virus and promising more lockdowns, it is a good thing to have a variety of foods stored to get us through hard times.

Keep on praying and prepping!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

So yesterday...

our Governor Who Would Be King decreed that we Minnesotans have been granted the privilege of dining outdoors at our favorite restaurant.  That's Outdoors.  In Minnesota.  In the middle of December.  Where yesterday's morning temperature was a balmy 7 degrees F.  Sigh.

Anyone with a small amount of common sense can see that even if the tents for dining that were used last summer were set up again and even if heaters were used, we would be hard pressed to drink a cup of coffee before it iced over.

On the bright side, there are some here in my state who have had enough.  Yesterday a list of small business owners was published.  Those business owners are opening for business in defiance of the proclamations from on high.  They are located throughout our state.  They are not merely rebellious.  They are fighting for their lives, for their businesses they have worked so hard to build, to pay their employees, to feed their families, to take care of themselves without government handouts.

Of course the bureaucrats can't have that.  We are supposed to simply comply and never question the decisions of our betters.  A couple of liquor licenses have already been pulled.  Some fines have been handed out.  But even so, more small business owners are signing on every day. 

Those who have grown a spine and have made the decision to open their businesses in spite of ridiculous government mandates, have my admiration and support.

Who says you can't fight City Hall!     

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dear Governor...

I see by the local news that you are holding another press conference to let us know what new hell you are going to put us through with your mandates and restrictions.  There are a couple of things you might want to consider before becoming even more drunk with power than you already are.

You say that your rules are for "the greater good."  I am pretty sure that sweet girl with the lovely smile and friendly manner who waits tables at the restaurant down the street isn't thinking about "the greater good" now that you have deemed her job "nonessential."  That job is essential to her when she needs to pay her rent and feed her kids.  I wonder how many meals she and many others like her skip in order to have enough food for her children to eat.  You don't look like you have missed any meals, Governor.

Then there is the fellow who has worked hard all his life to build up his small business.  He has already drained his life savings just to pay his loyal employees and keep his business afloat but very soon he will run out of time and money and his doors will close forever.  He has treated his small staff of employees like family and now he will have to let them all go, through no fault of his own.  But I'm guessing that you and those in your office are still being paid.  Paid by people like the business owner that you have put out of business.

Lets talk about the kids.  The ones whose chances of contracting the virus are slim and none.  The ones you won't allow back in school.  The ones you won't allow to play sports.  The ones you want to keep from gathering with their friends like kids are supposed to do.  The ones who are being cheated out of an education and a childhood.  Those kids.  

And then there are the elderly.  The Grandmas and Grandpas who would give anything just to hug a grandchild again.  The ones in nursing homes who don't understand why they have been abandoned.  The ones who die alone.  All because of your rules and regulations.  

I understand there is a virus going around.  I also understand it is no worse than the flu we deal with every year.  This is not about a virus.  It is about fear and control, for when a population is fearful, they are easier to control.

I am here to tell you, Governor, that some of us are not afraid.  We are mad as hell.  We are tired of being treated like children who haven't enough sense to take care of themselves.  Most of us have grown up, raised families, worked for our livings and made decisions without consulting you.  And now you think we are OK with you telling us what to wear, where we can go, what we can do.  

Perhaps it is high time you remembered, Governor, that you work for us and not the other way around.         

Sunday, December 6, 2020

I meant to get back here sooner...

but I sort of got busy.

My grocery order was delivered Thursday.  It included 6 lbs. of frozen peas that turned into 25 half pint jars of canned peas.

There were 4 nice sized pork roasts that were on sale.  One went into the freezer.  The other three roasted in a slow oven all morning on Friday.  When cooled, they were shredded and on Saturday combined with 6 lbs. of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and heated.  Each pint jar got 1/2 cup of meat and 1 cup of veggies along with a chicken bouillon cube and water.  This made 20 pints of soup.  There was leftover meat, so 3 pints of it were canned with the soup.

Finding room for food storage in a three room apartment can be a challenge, so I expect to do some serious rearranging to find space for it all.  Some might say that I have accumulated enough, but it is my opinion, especially in the uncertain days ahead, that we keep on preparing like our lives depended on it.

They just might.  

Friday, November 27, 2020

What Can We Do

 Whenever I see a news broadcast, it is filled with hype and speculation.  Will Trump win.  Will Biden win.  Will Sidney Powell really release the Kraken.  Will Rudy and Company prove their case for fraud. Will there be more lockdowns.  Will there be more restrictions.  Will the vaccine be mandatory.  On and on and on - hair on fire from talking heads and pundits and all the rest.

Short answer - I don't know. 

There are all sorts of people out there with advice.  Some good - others not so much.  There are those who are convinced the only path to survival is to pack up and move to some remote location.  Others recommend attending protests, carrying signs and marching to get the desired results.  Still others think that a strongly worded  letter to congress critters will help.    

Personally, I have my doubts.  If I were still in my twenties, I might seriously consider moving, but I am a 74 year old granny with health issues.  Not gonna happen.  Neither will you find me carrying a sign and shouting slogans.  And my representatives haven't given a rodent's behind about my opinion for decades.  So what can I do?

I can first and foremost remember that God is still on His throne.  He is the one in charge and it is His will that shall be done.  

I can pray for the safety and well being of friends and family.  I can pray they will be spared the truckload of ugly that seems to be headed our way.

And I can live.  I can live without allowing the fear that politicians and media wish to dump on me.  I can live by enjoying what I have and those I love, to the fullest.  I can do what makes me happy.

And I can continue to 'stack it to the rafters.'  We hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  And I will continue to pay attention to what is happening in the world around me.  Forewarned is forearmed.  But I will not let it suck the life and joy from me.

So today, the bones, skin and scraps from yesterday's turkey are simmering on the stove, creating a delicious turkey broth that will be canned tomorrow.  That makes me happy.  And later today I will eat leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.  That makes me happy, with a bonus happy that tonight I don't have to cook.  And later I will email friends.  Staying in touch makes me happy.

In the end, we as individuals can not change whatever is headed our way.  But we can hope and we can pray.  And we can trust God.  And we can enjoy life as much as is possible.

That will drive the 'powers that be' nuts.  :)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

I know this year for many, Thanksgiving will not be the same traditional gathering with friends and family.  And I know that 2020 has been a year the likes of which I would rather not repeat.  But even so, there is much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for family, for even though I can't see most of them just now, their phone calls - hearing their voices - hearing about what they have been doing - brings me more joy than they know.

I am thankful for friends who stay in touch.  They keep me from feeling isolated and they keep me informed about what is going on in our crazy world and most importantly, they make me smile.

I am thankful for each and every one of you who visit this silly little blog.  For without all of you, this whole thing would be pointless.  I enjoy your comments and I have the added benefit of learning much from them.  You all are greatly appreciated.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving even if it isn't what we would prefer.  May God bless each and every one of you and keep you safe. 

With a grateful heart,


Friday, November 20, 2020

I Was Gonna Rant

I really was.  There has been much to rant about in the last couple of days.

Our Governor here in Minnesota is at it again.  This time his power grab has had an effect on several members of my family.  He cost one of my sons one of his jobs.  He made some of my grandchildren cry by depriving them of proper schooling, of their recreational and competitive sports and is isolating them in front of computers instead of allowing them to be with their friends doing kid stuff.

I also had a pretty good rant going about the state of our national election.  I had lots to say about cheaters and fraud and corruption.

But here's the thing.

They have finally worn me down.  The politicians and the pundits and the newscasters.  I am so done with it all.

I don't want to see any more press conferences from either side.  I want to see proof in a court of law and I want this election to be decided one way or another.

I don't want to hear any more governors telling me how very sorry they are and that they feel our pain and oh, yeah, you no longer have a job and you can't go to school and you can't go to the gym and forget about that funeral for your Grandmother or that wedding of your niece and sorry, but your grandson can no longer go for religious instruction for his Confirmation.  And forget about a traditional Thanksgiving and you probably won't be with family at Christmas either.

And most of all I don't want to hear about a 12 year old friend of my grandson being caught using Google to search for ways to commit suicide.

I want our lives back.  I don't want a new normal.  I liked the old normal just fine.  I want our country back.  It used to be a pretty good place to be.  

I wonder what would happen if everybody just stood up and in unison yelled "NO MORE!"

Friday, November 13, 2020

Another Canning Marathon

My youngest son delivered a quarter beef to me on Wednesday.  For several years he has been getting beef from a farmer who lives just a couple of miles from his house.  The farmer doesn't sell directly to the public, but to a select group of customers.  David still had beef in his freezer so I was able to take that order.  

There was a total of 165 lbs. of meat.  I sorted the meat out, setting some of it out to thaw and stacked the rest in the freezer.  David had done the math and with processing and packaging at a local butcher, it came out to less cost per pound than a pound of hamburger at our local big box grocery.  And I really like the idea of supporting a local farmer.

So Thursday I spent the day canning meat.  I ended up with 33 pints of hamburger, 3 pints of stew meat and 12 pints of beef roast.  

The stew meat and roasts were packed into jars raw.  The hamburger was browned and then packed into jars.  I didn't use any liquid in any of them.  They were all canned for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure for my elevation.

So with the meat in the freezer and the meat in jars, I have enough to last my oldest son and I for a long time.  

Now is not the time to ease up on prepping.  No matter how the election turns out in the end, I think we are in for a rough time.  As a dear friend often says, "Stack it to the rafters.  We're gonna need every crumb."  

Monday, November 9, 2020

My Quiet Life - Not Today

Every now and then I have mentioned my quiet life.  Today was not one of those quiet days.

My son Duane lives in the apartment next door.  On the other side of his apartment is another, occupied by a younger married couple.  I have not met them, but Duane tells me the wife is a pleasant person who works to support them both.  The husband apparently has some serious mental issues.  Duane has seen him outside in the parking lot back of our building, running around swinging a machete.

This afternoon Duane came into my apartment to tell me about what was happening.  He said the guy next door to him had been crashing about in his apartment.  Then Duane saw him in the parking lot, wielding a baseball bat, taking swings at parked vehicles.  Someone called the police.

I listened to the scanner for a while to see what was happening.  At one point the guy had a gas can and  lighter and was threatening to set the can on fire.  The police were trying to talk him out of the apartment.  Eventually he did start a fire in the apartment and that was when the talk ended and he was taken out, hopefully to a hospital for some help.

The fire department was on stand-by and quickly put the fire out.  But there was a lot of smoke and the building was evacuated.  A firemen helped me down the stairs.  A business owner a couple of doors down the street offered to let Duane and me stay in his office.  It was cold.  It was raining.  We were grateful.

When the smoke had cleared, two firemen helped me back up the stairs to my apartment.  My phone began ringing almost as soon as I was back home.  The kids were checking up on their brother and mother.  One of them had driven here but couldn't get close as the streets surrounding my building had been closed off.

I am none the worse for wear, with the exception of a bit of embarrassment at walking down the street wearing my floor length robe and big, fuzzy socks over my leg wraps.   If I had known I was going out for the evening, I would have dressed for the occasion.  :)

God bless all those, and there were a lot of them, who came to take care of a very bad situation.  And if you are so inclined, please offer a prayer for the fellow who caused all of this.  It must be terrifying to be living with the demons of the mind that would make someone do the things he did.

And now, if you please, I will go back to my quiet life.  

Saturday, November 7, 2020

It Ain't Over Yet

I have to admit to a little bit of panic when I read about the voting results this morning.  But then I realized that just because the Media proclaims a winner, that doesn't make it so.  The Media does not certify election results. 

There are reports of a considerable amount of shenanigans going on in the counting of ballots.  President Trump's attorneys are headed to the courts to address these issues.

Nobody knows if the outcome of the election will change.  That remains to be seen.  But until the election is certified for one candidate or the other, all we can do is wait.  

And have some faith that occasionally, wrong is punished and right wins.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Are We Ready?

Several people I know have made last minute shopping trips just in case the post election violence threatened by the left leaning crazies comes to pass.  My last grocery order filled in most of the gaps in my food storage.  My order for this week includes fresh fruit and vegetables and items that I would like to have but can live without should the delivery become impossible.  I have also decided to wait on ordering a couple of items online, for the same reason.  If the promised chaos happens, who knows what might happen to my order.

And isn't it sad that we are not only held hostage by a pandemic that isn't, but also by those who wish to rip apart a perfectly good nation.  Never in my lifetime have I seen such complete insanity and such efforts to try to keep 'we the people' under the thumbs of those who think they know better than we do on how we need to live our lives.  A pox on them all.

In the meantime, life goes on here in my little corner of the world.  Having put off cleaning out my chest freezer for about as long as I could, that is happening now.  I found several freezer bags full of homemade vegetable soup that I thawed and canned, giving me 7 quarts to add to the shelves.  The closer I get to the bottom, the more I am finding stuff that has lived there far too long.  Several bags of squash had to be tossed as well as a badly freezer burned pizza.  Being only a couple of inches over 5 feet tall, reaching the bottom of the freezer is a challenge, but thankfully there is one long, tall son living next door who says he will drag out the rest of what is left in the bottom.  

While waiting to see what our future holds, I have been having a bit of fun.  A friend sent me some packets of micro greens seeds and I planted one of them in a shoebox size container of potting soil.  Looks to be about a gazillion tiny plants growing and when they are big enough I will snip them off and use them in a salad.

I also dehydrated six bunches of celery last week, so I saved the root ends and set them in another shoebox size plastic container, adding about an inch and a half of water.  I now have celery growing from all six roots, the largest stalks being about 4 inches tall.  I think I will just leave them alone, adding water when needed, and see just how tall they will grow.

It obviously takes very little to amuse me.  :)

I pray the promised riots do not happen, but I am not counting on it.  Many are taking the threat seriously.  It is reported that Texas has the National Guard on standby in the largest cities.  I have seen reports of other states doing the same.  All across the country store owners are busy boarding up their windows.  Some governors and mayors have recommended that stores stay closed on election day.  If that many folks are taking the threat seriously, we will do the same.  

Thankfully, we are stocked well enough to hunker down for a long time, if necessary.  I pray that things stay calm and peaceful, but judging by what this year has already given us, I am not counting on it.

Stay as safe as possible, my friends.  Most of us have been prepping for whatever crisis happens.  It is my personal belief that we are on the threshold right now.  I really hope I am wrong.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

No Drama Here

This is my quiet time this year.  Everywhere I look around me, there is drama.  Some of it has to do with the upcoming elections.  Some of it has to do with the virus.  Our bonehead of a governor seems determined to keep all of us fearful at least until the election.  To listen to his reports, you would think the streets were littered with bodies.

Here in my little apartment, I prefer to stay as drama free as possible.  I still check the news so I can keep track what the enemy is up to, but my life goes on no matter what the current insanity is.

I was happily surprised to receive my grocery order this past Thursday in full with no substitutions.  That hasn't been the case for the past couple of months.  Since then I have dehydrated 6 lbs. of frozen corn and 6 bunches of celery.  The dry goods I ordered - sugar, flour, pancake mix, etc. - have been transferred to Ziploc bags and stashed away.  I have never had a problem with bugs or rodents here, but knowing that both like cardboard and paper packaging, I find that putting the food into Ziplocs and then into buckets or tubs insures it stays that way.

The canning is on 'hold' until the middle of November when my beef is ready and when, with any kind of luck, Youngest Son will have some venison for me and his brother.  Whenever he has a successful hunt, he shares with us.  We enjoy some venison fresh and I can the rest.

As many of you who come here often know, I have Home Healthcare Nurses who come in three times a week to treat my legs.  They are doing a bang-up job, for I have gone from having several open, draining wounds to having none at all for a long time now.  Anyway, my favorite nurse, Caroline, brought me a gift last week.  Her sister had a garage sale where she sold lots of fabric.  Knowing that I sew, Caroline brought me what was left from the sale and wouldn't let me pay a dime for any of it.  There are three pieces of nice, plaid flannel and two pieces of pretty cotton print, each being three yards in length.  I am not sure what to use the cotton print for yet, but I think the flannel will make some nice, cozy pajama pants, or as the more sophisticated than I call them - loungewear.  Bless her heart for thinking of me with such a nice and useful gift!

Sometimes I am not completely pleased with being housebound, but this week I am grateful that I don't need to stick my nose outside.  We are having record breaking cold for this time of year in my part of Minnesota, accompanied by about 7 inches of snow earlier in the week.  The local news reported over 700 vehicles involved in fender benders or sliding off the roads into the ditches. 

Times like these make me especially glad to be a prepper.  I sipped a cup of coffee and watched the snow come down, knowing I already have everything I need right here to weather the storm.

Keep on prepping! 


Friday, October 16, 2020

Bits and Pieces...

 The pressure canner is put away until our quarter beef arrives mid-November.  Although my supply of canning lids has increased this week due to a good friend who surprised me and blessed me with a box containing enough lids for over 150 more jars of canned food, I am still putting off doing any more canning until I see how many lids and jars I need for the beef.  Oldest son has contributed half the price and yesterday we talked about what to can and what to keep in the freezer.  He says canning any kind of steak would be a sin and I tend to agree, but we both decided that we will set aside a few pounds of hamburger and a couple of roasts and can the rest of those.  My chest freezer isn't all that big so canning is the best way to have much of the meat preserved. 

In the meantime, the dehydrators are getting a workout.  I had dried cut green beans in the past, but decided to try dehydrating French cut green beans.  I had six 1 lb. bags of them, frozen, and they turned out fine.  I tried rehydrating a few in warm water and they actually rehydrated better than the cut green beans.  Even so, I expect I will use these, crumbled, in soups for flavor.

My memory, being a bit frazzled around the edges these days, had failed me when I discovered about 10 lbs. of onions in a milk crate stashed in a corner.  Lucky for me, none had gone bad, so I peeled and quartered them and ran them through my food processor.  The idea was not to puree them but to turn them into onion flakes.  They are in the dehydrator and when dried, I will be making onion soup mix using the following recipe:


3/4 cup dehydrated minced onion

4 teaspoons onion powder

1/3 cup beef bouillon powder

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

2 tablespoons sugar

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Stir each time before using. To make a bowl of onion soup, mix 2 tablespoons in a cup of boiling water. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. For onion dip, mix 1 tablespoon (or to taste) in one cup sour cream. Let sit for a couple of hours in the refrigerator to allow onions to rehydrate.  Use this mix any way you would use the commercial onion soup mix.

In case you hadn't noticed, although I'm pretty sure those of you who stop by here have, the world around us has lost its collective mind.  There are those well paid thugs who like to burn and loot and harass and destroy that are threatening widespread thuggery should their boy lose the election.  There are food shortages as well as shortages of other products on the horizon.  Some of those shortages are already being felt in the stores.  And we have mayors, governors and candidates threatening to shut us all down again due to a virus with an over 98% recovery rate.  Because of the fear-mongering main stream media, we have people too afraid to live their lives normally.

I still keep up with the news because it is always good to know what the enemy is up to, but have found that in order to maintain a positive attitude, it has become necessary to limit my time absorbing the news of the day. 

Instead, most of my time is spent on 'stacking it to the rafters' when it comes to preparing.  And spending time doing what I love - sewing, crocheting, working on scrapbooks and genealogy, reading mystery books, etc.  If I weren't housebound, I expect I would be going for a walk in the park or down along the river, enjoying the beauty of Fall. 

Fear has turned us into a nation of sacredy cats.  We don't get together with friends or family.  We don't hug.  We mostly hide and wait for some government entity to tell us what to do.  That is just wrong.  It is not normal.  Humans need to be with other humans.  Living in fear shrivels the soul.  

We need to just live.

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Passing of a Friend

We weren't bosom buddies in High School, but we socialized in the same circles.  The 'country kids' sort of stuck together, mostly because the city kids didn't understand that when hay needed baling or barns needed mucking out or row crops needed combining, that's where you would find the country kids - not at the beach on a Saturday afternoon.  My Dad didn't farm, but there was still a big, old farmhouse to clean and weeds to be pulled in the garden and lessons on bread baking to learn  Farmers or not, the country kids worked.

Glenn and I knew each other well enough to to talk when we met.  It isn't easy to know people well in a graduating class of nearly 400.  We lost touch after graduation.  I went on to marry and produce children at a rather alarming rate.  He, too, married, had sons and joined the Navy.

We connected again about 10 years ago through Facebook.  Glenn had come out of Vietnam and joined the local police force where he protected and served until his retirement.  

We talked on the phone a couple of times, but mostly we emailed.  He would send me links and information about what was happening in our insane world.  I always accused him of being connected to the 'Good Old Boy Cop Network,' and I think he might have been.  He knew about what was happening close to me before I did, and he lived 100 miles away.

I heard of his death this morning.  It came as a surprise.  Last week he was canning salsa.  Earlier this week he taught a conceal carry class.

Glenn was one of the good guys.  He was an unapologetic patriot, volunteering for Nam when others of that time were trying to figure out the best route to Canada to avoid being drafted.  He believed in law and order and spent a good share of his life in that profession.  He cherished friends and family.  And he knew for certain that when his time here was done, he would meet Jesus.

Godspeed, my friend.  Well done.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Coming Up For Air

This past week has been devoted to food preservation.  19 quarts of chicken have been canned.  This evening another load of meat will be set out to thaw for canning over the weekend.

The dehydrators have been running nearly nonstop with apples onions and potatoes.  A couple of weeks ago I dried carrots.  Carrots need to be blanched before drying and I tried a microwave method that worked like a charm.  But this week I found that the same method doesn't work for potato cubes.  They turned black in the dehydrator.  Lesson learned:  stick to the tried and true methods.

So today is a day of catching up on all those pesky household chores that tend to go by the wayside when busy working on food storage.  

There is one thing I have noticed in the past 24 hours.  Since our President came down with the virus, I have seen some of the most vicious, vile, hateful remarks by some blog commenters (Not here.  You all are too classy for such things.), on social media and on the left leaning news shows, that I never thought possible.  There is something seriously wrong with people who delight in the fact that our President and First Lady have contracted a virus that can kill.  I guess this is what happens when you insist God be removed from our schools, public buildings and all the rest.  

Pray and prepare.  Not only are we fighting a virus and civil unrest, we are fighting evil.  Pray and prepare. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Lost Art of Tinkering

My Dad could fix just about anything.  I suspect this talent was born when he was a young man during the Great Depression.  The youngest of nine children living on a farm in northern Minnesota where the soil was sandy and cash was scarce, the family didn't buy new to replace broken.  They fixed.

I can remember watching Dad glue the soles of his work boots back on rather than buy new boots.  When car and bike tires had inner tubes, Dad would take out his tube patching kit to patch a hole.  He wasn't a mechanic, but I have seen him tinker with the engine of a car - mine more than once - until it purred.

Because I am my father's daughter, I decided to tinker with my new pressure canner that wouldn't build up pressure and was spouting steam from several places around the lid, before going through the hassle of returning it. 

When I looked closely at the gasket that came with the canner, it looked odd to me.  It fit alright around the underside of the lid, but it looked awfully flat.  So I switched it out with the gasket from my old canner, added three quarts of water, turned the fire on High and waited to see what would happen.

Lo and behold, not a single steam leak.  Pressure built up to where it needed to be.  Soon after putting the weight on, it started jiggling like it is supposed to.  

I am in the process of dehydrating apples, potatoes and onions.  But tomorrow evening I will set out chicken legs and thighs and possibly four whole chickens to thaw to be canned.

Sometimes it pays to tinker. 

Monday, September 21, 2020


40 lbs. of browned hamburger has thawed.  16 pints are in the new canner.  Another 16 pints are jarred up and waiting.  And the new canner leaks steam like a sieve.

I fiddled with it all morning trying to get it to come up to pressure.  Nope.  Didn't happen.  The only thing left to try is to order a new gasket and see if that helps. If that doesn't work, back it goes.

Thing is, I could order another pressure canner from Amazon.  They want to charge me $100 over what I paid for the one I have now.  If I am going to spend that kind of money, it will be for an All-American pressure canner.  The manufacturer's website tells me that all the All-American  models are out of stock.

So here I am.  I still have 40 lbs. of browned hamburger and no functioning pressure canner.  Good thing I stocked up on rolls of Food Saver bags.  Figured out the size bag needed to hold a pint of hamburger, made up the bags and vacuum sealed the whole works.

Things don't always go according to the plan.  And I am beginning to think Murphy has taken up permanent residence in my apartment!  I would much prefer to have the meat in jars on the shelf, but rather than lose it, I went with Plan B - vacuum sealing and freezing.

Isn't that what preparedness is all about?  Being as ready as we can be when things don't go according to plan.  Having alternative methods of doing what needs to be done.

The solution to a problem might not be ideal, but if the solution works, then we have accomplished what we set out to do.

Keep on prepping, even if alternative methods are necessary.  The way things seem to be going, we will need every crumb.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Drum Roll, Please

I am extremely proud to present my very first Great Granddaughter - Miss Aspyn Marie.

She weighed in at 8 lbs. 14 oz. and like her Grandmother and Great Grandmother, doesn't seem to have a problem expressing her opinion.

This is the quilt I made for little Aspyn.  The top is flannel and the print has little bees all over it.  The back is a pale gray fabric with white lettering that spells out, "Love you to the moon and back."

Welcome to the world, sweet child.  And most importantly, welcome to my family.

Let the spoiling begin!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Preparedness Update

I have been a busy chubby granny this week.

Monday my grocery order went in for delivery on Thursday.  Chicken was on sale for 77 cents per pound, so I ordered 6 whole chickens and 6 each of the family packs of legs and thighs.

The very next day, Youngest Son called to say he was picking up his brother Wednesday morning to do a Sam's Club run for me.  

Wednesday morning I handed the boys my list and some cash and off they went.  

I have ordered a pressure canner but it won't be delivered for another week and a half, so the meat I ordered specifically for canning had to be frozen for now.  That involved a panic mode cleaning out of freezers in order to have room for the important stuff.  

Since I brown hamburger and cook whole chickens before canning the meat, here is what I wound up with when all was said and done.

40 lbs. of hamburger, browned and frozen.

12 whole chickens, cooked, deboned and the meat frozen.

4 whole chickens frozen for future roasting or frying.

30 chicken thighs and 60 chicken legs stuffed into Ziploc bags and frozen.  Those I like to pack into wide mouth quart jars and can them whole.

8 lbs. of breakfast sausage that came 2 lbs. per roll.  I cut the rolls into thirds, flattened each piece and vacuum sealed them before freezing.

2 large whole pork loins.  One I cut into 1-inch thick slices for boneless chops and the other into several small roasts.  These were also vacuum sealed and frozen. 

9 lbs. frozen blueberries, repackaged 1 cup per bag and frozen.

12 lbs. fresh strawberries, cleaned, halved and frozen in 1 quart freezer bags. 

There were also 24 lbs. of frozen hash browns and 18 lbs. of frozen mixed vegetables that have been dehydrated.

I use my home canned food for my everyday meals and was getting a little low on some of the meats.  It gives me some peace of mind to be able to restock.  And I am blessed with sons who are willing to take the time to shop for me and who haul it all up the stairs without complaint.

I will be pleased when I can get it all into jars and on the shelves.

I probably wouldn't have bought so much meat at one time, but with the reports of meat processing plants closed due to the threat of the virus, I decided I had better get as much as I could while I still could.  I have noticed more substitutions and out of stock items in my twice-a-month grocery deliveries than there have ever been before.  That isn't just meat, but other products as well. 

We live in a world that seems to be upside down and backwards.  We have the threat of the virus hanging over our heads.  Has anyone else noticed that young children did not get the virus right up to the time school was due to begin and then, all of a sudden, we hear of the dangers of school children becoming infected?

It really isn't about a virus.  It is all about control.

So no matter what the elite powers that be decide to throw at us, we had better be ready for it.  

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Pray and prepare.  

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Checking In

Due to my quiet lifestyle, there hasn't been much new and exciting to write about.  Thing is, I rather like the way I live.  Give me peaceful over drama any day of the week.

I managed to dehydrate most of the vegetables from my last grocery order.  There are still some bags of frozen peas and broccoli to run through along with 5 lbs. of onions.  I expect I can do those this week.

I spent considerable time working on the quilt for my first Great Grand, due to make an appearance this week.  It is a 'rag quilt' which means the seams of the blocks are on the outside of the quilt.  They are all snipped at less than quarter inch intervals so when the quilt is washed and run through the dryer, the seams fluff up.  It has taken me longer than expected to finish, but that's just the way it is these days.  I will show you how it turned out in a few days.

I usually check the news reports every morning to see which cities are on fire now.  I just can not understand the kind of hatred that fuels these riots.  I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who are harassing and beating bystanders, looting stores and burning down people's hopes, dreams and livelihoods.  I think they should all be behind bars so they can not hurt anyone else.  But I also have to think that they must be living miserable lives to do what they do.  I don't mean miserable in the poverty stricken sense, but miserable in their souls - the place where they have to live with themselves.  

I also wonder what it must be like to live in the hearts of those who allow this kind of destruction of a perfectly fine country to continue, all for the sake of gaining and keeping power.  It is so sad that the potential to do good for their fellow man is completely lost to greed and selfishness.

I will take my quiet little life over that of hate and discontent, any old time.  What I have is worth far more than any amount of fame or power or wealth.  To me, nothing is worth more than the words, "I love you, Mom."

Pray and prepare.  And don't ever forget to tell those who are important to you that they are loved.  For at the end of the day, that's what really matters.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A Sandwich Kind of Person

My Mother was an excellent cook.  She could put a chicken in the oven before we left for church on Sunday and it would be perfectly roasted when we arrived home.  And when company was coming, she was a wonder with fancy salads and homemade bread and desserts to die for. 

Mother taught me how to cook and I can if necessary.  But I have to confess, I am a sandwich kind of person.

I tend to get all involved in various projects and when I do, I eat because I need fuel.  Sandwiches take little time to prepare and to eat.  I will fix something a bit better for supper, but the middle of the day and in the middle of a project, you will find me with a sandwich.

When I get tired of peanut butter or egg salad, I like a meat sandwich, but I am not about to pay close to $6 for less than a pound of lunch meat at the store.  So when I ran across two faded recipe cards in the back of my recipe box for lunch meat, I remembered how good they were when I had made them years ago.  So over the weekend I made some. 


2 lbs. hamburger

1/2 Cup water

1 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. mustard seed

3 Tbsp. Tender Quick

1/8 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. peppercorns (I left these out)

Mix all ingredients very well.  Shape into three rolls and wrap in foil.  (Three rolls fit nicely into a Dutch Oven.)  Refrigerate for 24 hours.  Cover with water and boil for 1 hour.

Summer Sausage

2 lbs. hamburger

3/4 Cup water

2 tsp. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. mustard seed

3 Tbsp. Tender Quick

Mix ingredients together very well.  Shape into rolls and wrap in foil.  Refrigerate 24 hours.  Punch holes in the bottom of each roll with a fork.  Place rolls on a rack in a baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Note:  The Tender Quick is Morton's Tender Quick meat curing salt.  And I went a little heavier on the garlic in both.

Neither sandwich meat tastes just like the store bought varieties, but both taste as good as I remembered.  I kept one roll of each in the fridge to use this week and froze the rest.

It is nice to have an alternative to the processed lunch meat in the stores and it is something I can make with what I have on hand for a change of pace for sandwiches.  The ends of the rolls look a little wonky, so I just trimmed those off, cut them up and ate them on Ritz crackers.  

Waste not - want not.

Keep on prepping and praying.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Alternate Methods

Those of us who for whatever reason can not raise a garden, look for alternate methods to acquire vegetables.  Farmer's Markets are a good option.  But if that venue is not available, we watch the sale ads for our local grocery stores.

The store that my delivery service uses ran an ad for fresh veggies.  And I took advantage of it.  Yesterday 6 cabbage, 8 lbs. of carrots, 2 bunches of celery, 5 lbs. of onions and 6 very large green bell peppers were delivered.  And I had no real idea what I was going to do with them, but they are food.  They will feed my family.

I also ordered 4 lbs. each of frozen corn, broccoli, peas and mixed vegetables.

After thinking about my options, I decided to dehydrate everything.  I have lots of home canned vegetables on the shelves and those are good for meals.  Many dehydrated vegetables will rehydrate well for meals as well, but they are also good for soups, stews and casseroles.

Onions and peppers don't need to be blanched before drying.  Those I will dice and dry.  They can be used as is or turned into powder for adding flavor to various dishes.

After doing a bit of online research I found that the other vegetables that need to be blanched can be done so in the microwave.  That appeals to me because I have a smoke alarm in my apartment that will go off when I just boil water.  Cabbage, carrots and celery are shredded or diced, placed in a 2 quart casserole dish, adding a few tablespoons of water, cover and microwave at one or two minute increments until their color turns bright.  Then they are plunged into ice water to stop the cooking and patted dry before going on the dehydrator trays.

The frozen corn and mixed vegetables are drying.  I am off to shred and dice the fresh vegetables and get them ready to dry.

Food shortages are on the horizon due to weather events, civil unrest and widespread pandemic panic.  Every bit of food we can put back now will insure our families are fed no matter what happens next.

Pray and prepare, more now than ever.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 I am not tech savvy enough to post this video here what with Blogger's new format, so please go over to Rev. Paul's blog to view.  It is important.  Thank you.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Always Have a Plan - B

So here's the deal.  I talked with Youngest Son last evening.  He has been scouting around for a new pressure canner for me since a part on the lid of mine broke.  He has found none.  He says there are no canning jars or lids to be had, either.

I could go online and order all the supplies.  Thing is, when you are on a fixed income, choices have to be made.  I am not destitute.  I can pay my rent and my bills, pay for groceries and meds, do what I need to do to live relatively comfortable.  But I have just so much cash set aside for extras.  And at this point, I have decided that the extra cash needs to be spent on food.

Things are getting dicey out there, folks.  Weather destroyed a good bit  of the corn crop in Iowa.  Many migrant farm workers are now being tested for the virus and when the tests come back positive as they all do, farms are being shut down.  China is in the middle of a food crisis which then has an effect on our food supply.  Ice Age Farmer has several good videos out about these things, but I have also seen other similar reports.

Now maybe these reports are all just fearmongering hype.  But then again, maybe they aren't.  The question is, am I willing to listen to those who think I have taken a swan dive off the edge of sanity with my preparations, or do I pay attention to my gut instinct that tells me I had better kick it into high gear because time is running out.

Bottom line.  I will not risk the welfare of my family by doing nothing.

So onward with Plan-B.

I like having home canned meat in jars because it is fully cooked and often it makes meal preparations easier for me due to my physical limitations.  But there is no reason I can not have the same product in my freezer.

I have a FoodSaver.  Oldest Daughter is picking up several rolls of FoodSaver bags for me at Target this week.  The plan is to cook up the pork that is in my freezer along with what comes on my grocery order this week and what Youngest Son is picking up for me at Sam's Club next week.  All of that can be divided into meal sized portions, vacuum sealed and frozen.

My grocery order this week includes lots of frozen vegetables that can be dehydrated.  There is a sale on fresh vegetables, so I am ordering cabbage, carrots, celery, bell peppers and onions.  I am not sure yet what I will do with those.  I am still able to water bath can, so I might can some relish or pickle some of the vegetables or some can be dehydrated.  It is all food to add to the stores.  It is all food that will sustain my family if things really do get bad.

Flexibility is necessary in these uncertain times.  If Plan-A doesn't work, move on to Plan-B.  Or Plan-C or Plan-D.  Whatever it takes to do what we need to do.

Maybe everything will work out.  Maybe the rioters will go back to their Mama's basements and play computer games again.  Maybe those governors and mayors who are drunk on power will back off from their virus mandates and defund the police initiatives and be sensible again.  Maybe life as we knew it will come back.

Or maybe not.

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Right now, that's all we've got.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Plans - Sigh

So the plan was to take some time off from blogging to do a serious amount of canning.  That was a great plan right up to the time a part on my pressure canner lid broke.  After checking on the cost of sending the lid in for repairs, I found that buying a new pressure canner would cost less.  So Youngest Son went on a quest for a new canner.  And guess what - apparently pressure canners are becoming as scarce as hen's teeth.  He has a couple more places to check and if none can be found in the stores, he says he will order one for me.  As luck would have it, I had not yet thawed the pork in the freezer that I planned to jar up.

Pressure canners aren't the only items that seem to be in short supply.  Every two weeks I add canning lids to my grocery order.  I order six boxes of each size.  I am lucky if I get three boxes total.  And I ordered two cases of pint jars and got none.  Thankfully, one of my dear readers sent me a link to order jars and I may need to do that soon.

Canning supplies are not all that I am finding in short supply.  As some of you know, due to health issues, I rely on a grocery delivery service, so I am not in stores to see the condition of the store shelves as far as shortages go.  But I am noticing that substitutions within my orders are increasing.  The service I use does not substitute items unless the particular item is not on the shelf at all.  Last week apparently at the store where the service shops, there were no bags of frozen chicken breast, no Dawn dishwashing liquid, no DelMonte sliced peaches and no store brand bowl cleaner in addition to no canning lids or pint jars.  Others that I am in touch with tell me the shortages they see in their areas are different, but are shortages nonetheless.  Methinks the time to seriously stock up is coming slowly to a close.

This time away has not been a total loss.  I have been working on an inventory of my food storage.  It is much easier to consult a notebook when doing my grocery order than it is to dig around in my store room to see what I need.  Plus, there is a flaw in my character.  Or in my memory.  At any rate, I have been known to put something away for safe-keeping, only to lose it for all time.  Yep.  I do that.  So now, at the very least, I know what is in the buckets and I know what is stashed under the bed.

I have dehydrated home canned tomatoes for turning into powder.  If canning jars continue to be hard to get, I may do more, just for the empty jars.  

I have been researching Do-It-Yourself projects to replace some of the items I may not be able to get, should the shortages get worse.  I have found instructions for several that I will tell you about as I give them a try.

And I have been getting some sewing done, particularly a baby quilt for my soon to be born Great Grandbaby.  That job is just fun.  And Lord knows, we all could use a little fun in our lives to counter all the insanity around us.  I will post a picture when it is finished - probably next week.

That's all I know today.  I pray all of you are well.  Take good care and continue to pray and prepare.   

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Taking Time Off

I am taking a couple of weeks off from blogging to concentrate on food preservation.  There is pork from a good grocery sale to thaw and can.  There are hashbrowns and tomatoes to dehydrate.  There is close to 100 lbs. of flour to repackage and store.  And that is just for starters.  

I have a quarter beef coming this fall from a local farmer, so the freezer needs to be cleaned out and anything that can be canned or dehydrated needs to be taken care of.  And my sons are planning another Sam's Club run.  And I have another grocery delivery in a week and a half.

If you think for one little bitty minute that things are going to go back to what we considered normal, think again.  We are told we have to 'social distance' and wear masks, but the riots continue unabated.  No social distancing there.

I read in the local news that shootings are a nightly occurrence in Minneapolis.  There was a time not all that long ago that as far as large cities go, Minneapolis was one of the more decent ones.  Now that the 'defund the police' movement has reared its ugly head and law enforcement is no longer allowed to do the job we pay them to do, anything goes and the criminals are deliriously happy with that.  Citizens - not so much.

Between the riots and mayhem that Democratic leaders are allowing to happen and the fear being perpetuated by the left over a virus with a 99% recovery rate, the normal world we grew up in is fading fast.

If you think the Dems will not use every dirty trick in the book and will make up a few more in order to gain power over us, you are delusional.  

Time is short.  If we are not now doing all we can to take care of our families, then shame on us.  That is why I am taking time to can and dehydrate and stock up on other supplies necessary to see my family through what is ahead.  I will be back when I am caught up on what needs doing.

Churches have been closed but so far as I know, there is not a ban on prayer - yet.  Pray and prepare like never before.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Experiment Fail - Sort Of

Whenever I experiment with my food storage and the experiment works, I am quick to pass the information on to you.

So when an experiment doesn't work so well, the only fair thing to do is to let you know what happened.

I had this grand idea.  I often have grand ideas.  Some work.  Others don't.  This one sort of worked but not really.  I will explain.

I have one shelf full of mostly home canned tomatoes and some cans of commercially canned tomatoes.  I also have a box full of bags of dehydrated tomatoes.  Toss into the mix several recipes for using tomato powder.

The grand idea was to use dehydrated tomato powder to make often used tomato products, thus saving shelf space.  If the experiment worked, a good deal of the canned tomatoes could be dehydrated and the shelf space used for those cases of food sitting on the floor for want of space to put them.

So I spent an afternoon running dried tomatoes through my handy, dandy little electric coffee grinder, reducing them to powder. 

The next day I made up a batch of each recipe.  And each recipe worked just like advertised.  The down side was the taste.  I expected them to taste just like the tomato products from the store shelves.  They didn't.

The reasons are numerous.  Perhaps I left the tomatoes in the dehydrator too long and that had an effect on the taste.  Or maybe my expectations were too high.  I was ready to scrap the whole thing.

But after thinking about it for a day or so, it occurred to me that the ketchup made with tomato powder might not taste just like bottled ketchup, but what if bottled ketchup was no longer available.  Anything is possible in our troubled times and with the food shortages happening across the country.  Ketchup that isn't exactly like bottled is still useful should it be all I have.

So I will continue with the experiment.  Most of my home canned tomatoes are going into the dehydrator.  Shelf space gained will be put to good use.  Below are the recipes.  You can decide for yourself if this alternative to tomato products is right for you.

Tomato Paste
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
1/2 Cup water
Equals one 6 oz. can.

Tomato Sauce
2/3 Cup tomato powder
2 Cups water
Equals a bit more than one 15 oz. can.

Tomato Juice
1 Cup tomato powder
8 Cups water
Equals one 64 oz. bottle.

1/2 Cup water
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
1/4 Cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each salt, oregano, cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard

BBQ Sauce
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
3/4 Cup water
1-1/2 Cups brown sugar
1/2 Cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Bring to a simmer.  Cool and refrigerate.

Tomato Soup
6 Tablespoons water + 4 Tablespoons flour
1/4 Cup water + 3 Tablespoons powdered milk
4-1/2 Cups water
2/3 Cup tomato powder
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mix four and water until smooth.
Mix water and dry milk until smooth.
Heat 4-1/2 Cups water until almost boiling.
Whisk in tomato powder and heat on medium low to a simmer.
Whisk in flour/water mix.
Add brown sugar and salt and mix well.
Heat to almost boiling.
Turn off heat and stir in milk/water mix.

Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 Cup tomato powder
1 Tablespoon onion flakes
1-1/2 teaspoon each dry parsley, basil, oregano and Italian seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoon each salt and garlic powder
1/4 Cup brown sugar
Simmer 1 hour.

So there you are.  If anyone gives this a try, please let me know how it works for you.  And as always, pray and prepare.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Let's Call it a Protest

 On the heels of a mandatory, state wide mask order by the communist governor of Minnesota, a friend wrote the following piece.  He is a Viet Nam Vet, a retired policeman and someone who has my complete trust and respect.

"I was asked why I don’t take Covid and the mask situation seriously. I said that I do take the virus seriously. I believe the people who are disseminating the information to us have a long, long track record of lying to and showing dismissive contempt for American citizens as a whole.

At one point, the disease was supposed to have a 5% death rate. The death rate has now been reduced to less than 1/3 of 1% worldwide. The truth is I’m not opposed to masks at all. Much like carrying a firearm, I won’t shame anyone for deciding to wear one or not. Sort of a “my body, my choice” situation I suppose.

However, when considering the trustworthiness of information coming from our politicians, I’ve been unable to reconcile the fact that 200,000 people protesting in the streets is met with little to no concern, but a bar, restaurant or hair salon with 10 people in it could be disastrous. The idea that a Trump rally of 18,000 people is a significant risk but a group of 20,000 students tearing down statues isn’t, leaves me perplexed.

Further, how could you possibly take anyone seriously who mandates that free citizens stay at home and wear masks in public but also calls for the acceptance of millions of immigrants entering our society illegally with no record of immunizations against more common and deadly diseases every day.

The truth is that our political “leaders,” just like with guns, drugs, our national debt or sex trafficking, have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about and no plan outside of what’s handed to them 6 seconds before they reach the podium.

So I choose to protect myself as I see fit. If anyone doesn’t like it, I’m ok with that. Just think of it as a “protest.” That seems to be ok with many people."

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In Less Than 4 Months...

In 4 months, the U.S. transformed into an obedient socialist country.

Government dictated what events are acceptable to attend. Violent protests that instill fear are OK, but church services, family funerals and patriotic celebrations are dangerous. And you bought it without a fight.

Standing in a graduation line is a "safety hazard". Small businesses were forced to close, but crowds to support the corporate money machine at WalMart, Lowe's and Home Depot are OK.

It's "just a mask" & "safety precautions".

Here's $2,400 that we stole out of your pay check in the first place. Enjoy. Buy something with it, from a big corporation.

Cash is dirty. We can't give change. There's a coin shortage. Use your card. In 4 months, they convinced you to use a traceable card for everything.

In less than 4 months, government closed public schools then "restructured" education under the guise of "public safety".

In less than 4 months, our government demonstrated how easily people assimilate to "guidelines" that have NO scientific premise whatsoever when you are fearful.

In less than 4 months, our government successfully instilled fear in a majority of the population in America that allows them to control every aspect of your life, including what you eat, where you go, who you see and your toilet paper.

And the most dangerous and terrifying part? People are not afraid of the government who removed their freedom. They're afraid of their neighbors, family and friends!

And they hate those who won't comply!

It's absolutely terrifying to me that so many people don't question "authority". They are willing to surrender their critical thinking skills and independence. They just... gave up without thinking. Without a fight.

Do you know what's coming next?

"It's just a vaccine. Come on. It's for the greater good".

Wait until you're told that you can't enter any store or business without proof of the Covid-19 vaccine. Wait until you can't go to public events or get on a plane without proof of receiving the vaccine.

To everyone that doesn't believe this is possible - DO YOU UNDERSTAND that government successfully dictated to people WHEN they were allowed to be outside, WHERE they were allowed to go, and HOW their children would be educated in LESS THAN 4 months? And that a majority of the population followed blindly because they were told to do so?

You're kidding yourself if you think this behavior won't be repeated with a vaccine. Or whatever the next step is.

"I don't follow politics."

"Who cares about that stuff?"

"I don't like to think about it."

6 million Jews were exterminated in Germany because 97% of the population cowed to populist control. Nobody wanted to think about it. It's easier to just ignore it.

But that couldn't happen here, right?

They got you. Without a thought. Without a fight. Just like France. Just like Russia. Just like China.

Welcome, comrades, to what they call the New Normal.

It is not "just a mask."

Posted by a friend on Facebook.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Way To Go, Maddie

I have been getting phone calls now and then from my son and granddaughter, Maddie Mae.  They would call while they were out driving so Maddie could practice for her driving test.  Speaker phone enabled me to talk to both of them and there were some fun conversations. 

Yesterday was the big day.  There was another phone call on their way home, telling me Maddie passed her test with flying colors.  I was not surprised.  Maddie is a hard working girl, determined to do well at whatever she sets out to do.

Time flies by.  I have no idea where the time went between this

and this.

Congratulations, Miss Maddie Mae!  You do me proud in so many ways.

So this one is just for you.

Love, Grandma.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Another Scam

A few days ago a small storm went through my town.  About three miles south of my location there were some small trees uprooted and trash cans were tossed about.  My immediate are was untouched.  The storm wasn't bad enough to rate even a mention in the local newspapers.

Yesterday I received a phone call from someone with a thick accent who told me his company was checking the area for storm damage.  They would be at my building the next day to check our roof.  I hung up on him.  A phone call to my landlord confirmed that no request for storm damage assessment had been made.  He was unaware of any storm at all.

This morning I got another call.  The first tip-off was that he asked for Alberta.  Alberta was my neighbor who died a couple of years ago.  The caller sidestepped that error and proceeded to try to convince me that access to the building and to my apartment was necessary to check for damage.  I told him that unless my landlord accompanied him, access would be denied.  What I know and he doesn't know is that my landlord is currently out of town.

We also had a very short discussion about the close proximity of my building to the police station. 

Makes my day when I can get a scammer to hang up on me.  :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Let's see...

First we had about three years of "He's a Russian asset." 
Then there was the Ukrainian phone call debacle.
Followed by the silliest impeachment hearings in modern history.
Then along comes a virus, turning governors and mayors into power hungry tin gods.
When lockdown weary folks began to defy the orders from on high, enter the riots and looting and burning.
And once that activity lessened, here comes a second wave of virus hysteria.
And smack dab in the middle of all this, lets toss in the protest marches designed not to protest injustices but to keep us riled up and spreading hate.  God forbid we should sit down together like civilized grown-ups and try to work out our differences.
And we can not forget those politicians who posture and pontificate and treat us like dim-witted children who can't possibly make decisions for ourselves and our families.  The same ones who do their level best to keep society dependent upon government.  The same ones who think that defunding the police is a great idea.  How's that working for you Chicago, New York, Minneapolis!  Not working out too well for the baby boy who was shot and killed while sitting in his stroller at a family picnic.  Not too well for the little girl shot and killed while playing outside at her Grandma's house.  Not too well for the cops who lost their lives due to the uptick in criminal violence this week.  And last week.  And the week before.  But hey - we need fewer cops, dontcha know.  Not working out too well at all.

I'm tired.  Tired of it all.  I was under the impression that I lived in America.  You remember America, don't you?  That place where we could speak our minds freely.  That land of freedom to live our lives the way we chose to within the law.  Where with hard work we could accomplish great things.  That place where our flag waved proudly and was treated with respect and where citizens were treated the same.

I wonder if we can ever get it back - that America. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I will just come to your house...

How many times have those of us who prepare heard similar words from folks who can't be bothered to set aside extra food for emergencies.  My standard answer is, "No, you won't."

Jennifer over at Prep School Daily has an excellent post dealing with this subject.  Go read it.  It is worth your time.

I will add only two things.  The first is that I keep doing all I can do to prepare because I never, ever want to be in a place where I have to look into the eyes of a hungry grandchild and tell them I have nothing to feed them.

The second is that in spite of the current notion among younger generations, nothing is free.  Someone always has to pay.  The best advice I ever received came from my Dad who said, "If you want it, work for it."

Pray and prepare.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Bat Bike

Some time ago my oldest son ordered an electric bike.  Duane says it looks like something out of a Batman movie, so he calls it the 'Bat Bike.'

Due to shipping delays, it finally arrived this week.  It is painted a flat black color and has a removable battery pack that can be recharged.  Information on this kind of bike can be found by searching 'ecotric'.

The bike required some assembly  The owner of the local bike shop put the seat and handle bars on it and checked it out.  It was good to go.

Duane did a test ride to the Target store about two miles away, where he bought a backpack to hold necessities for mostly fishing expeditions.The bike performed perfectly.

On his way home, Duane passed the Sheriff's office that is close by his apartment.  There were three deputies outside and they called Duane over.  Turns out none of them had ever seen a Bat Bike before and were curious about it.  Duane showed them the bike and explained how his stroke had left him unable to drive a car.  The numbness in one of his legs makes riding a regular bike difficult, so he found the Bat Bike online and thought it might be the answer to his transportation problems.  The battery takes over so pedaling is unnecessary.

One of the deputies asked if he could take the bike for a spin around the block and Duane said he could.  Duane had a good test run and a nice conversation with the local law.

But all cops are supposed to be bad - at least that is what we are expected to believe.  I guess our local sheriff deputies didn't get that memo.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Heads Up

As if there isn't enough crazy in our world, I have had some odd phone calls so far this week.

There have been the daily calls advising me to consolidate my credit cards.  This would be tough to do considering I own zero credit cards.  Sometimes I just play along and waste their time and sometimes I remark on their obvious lack of proper parentage and hang up.  Depends on my mood.

But this week I have received two calls from someone with an accent claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.  The first one I hung up on.  The second I played along with to see what the scam was.  Aparently my Social Security Number was used in connection with a crime in Texas.  They could not recite my number to me for verification and they could not tell me the nature of the supposed crime and they did not know the name of the police officer in charge of the case.  Then we had a short discussion about recording my calls and of attorney generals prosecuting fraud cases and they hung up on me.  I may be old but that doesn't necessarily make me stupid.

Todays call was from someone who said they were from a fancy sounding law firm  They tried three times to get me to say "Yes."  They kept asking if I was agreeing to accept the call, to which I replied three times, "What is the nature of this call."  Finally they told me that the call concerned a settlement of a lawsuit in which I was to receive a cash payout.  We then had a short discussion about phone call recording and fraud.  They hung up on me, too.  Don't know why.:)

Sadly, there are lonely elderly folks who believe that the SSA is calling them and that a law firm really has money to give them.

There has to be a special place in Hell for those who prey on the vulnerable elderly.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Had Enough?

A gang of thugs takes over several blocks in a major city and the mayor describes it as a 'Summer of Love."  Meanwhile, those criminals within this "block party festival" loot and damage businesses, terrorize residents, make demands.  They take possession of a police station.  Finally shots ring out.  Several people are wounded and one is killed, but the police and emergency workers are not allowed inside the borders to tend to the injured.  Even now when the takeover seems to be coming to an end, protesters are refusing to leave.  Read the story here.

Had enough yet?

Earlier this month, a young mother with her small daughter in the back, was driving home.  At an intersection, her car was stopped by a mob of about 20 Black Lives Matter thugs, who surrounded her car, tried to open the doors and jumped on her car, all the while screaming obscenities at the Mom and child.  The mother called 911 for help.  The dispatcher told her the police had been ordered to stand down.  Help would not be coming.  The suggestion was made that the terrified mother could call City Hall to air her grievances.  Read about it here.

Had enough yet? 

Minneapolis is a Democratic run city.  Has been for decades.  In Minneapolis there is a lovely park.  There are many loyal Democrats living around the perimeter of the park.  These truly liberal folks have agreed that no matter what, they will not call the police.  They favor defunding police departments.  Word has gotten out and now this park is covered in tents, housing at least 300 homeless people.  I have nothing against the homeless.  But with this encampment comes an invasion of drug dealers and other sorts of low life individuals.  I am afraid I can not drum up any sympathy for the people living near the park.  They seem to believe that all cops are killers.  They are seeing the reality of what they asked for.  Here is the story.

Had enough yet?

If you thought that Black Lives Matter was a peaceful organization, this interview with the leader of the New York chapter might change your mind.  He has said publically that if BLM doesn't get what it wants, they will "burn down the system."  Read about it here.

Had enough yet?

And as if toppling the statues of those who had a part in the making of our country and defacing our memorials wasn't enough, Shaun King, self acclaimed activist, has called for the destruction of all statues and depictions of Jesus Christ because..........wait for it..........white supremacy.  Here is the story.

Had enough yet?

So just how much more are we expected to endure before we are done.  I have reached my limit of patience and beyond.  I am too old to go out and knock heads together, but I still have a voice.  And so do you.  Maybe it is time we used our voices for something more than grumbling about the state of the world around us.  Our country is crumbling and if we don't speak up now, it could very well be too late.

I, for one, have had enough.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I've Been Busy

My groceries were delivered this past Thursday.  I am concentrating on food storage, so there were bags of sugar and flour and rice.  There were some odds and ends of canned tomatoes and fruit to fill in some gaps on the shelves.

I ordered 4 lbs. of carrots thinking I would cube them and dehydrate.  I keep much of my dehydrated food in freezer Ziploc bags stored in cardboard banker's boxes.  When I checked the box of dry carrots, I found it was full to the brim, so I cut the carrots into chunks and canned 7 pints.

Next were 4 bunches of celery.  I have never been able to successfully rehydrate celery.  It doesn't seem to matter if I blanch it or not, I always wind up with rock hard bits.  So now I just slice it and dehydrate.  When dry, I run it through my small coffee grinder, turning those hard pieces into powder.  I get the taste of celery without the unwanted rock hard crunch.

Next was 4 lbs. of pinto beans.  I soaked them overnight, filled each pint jar about 2/3 full, added a teaspoon of onion flakes made from my home dried onions and a beef bouillon cube for flavor.  This was topped off with a scant 1/3 cup of shredded ham.  I added broth from cooking the ham and processed the jars for 75 minutes.  I had one jar that didn't seal, so I used that for a taste test.  I like it.

The first canner load held 16 pints of ham and beans.  I had three pints leftover, so I sorted and washed 2 lbs. of Great Northern beans, put 1/2 cup of the dry beans in each pint jar along with the rest of the shredded ham and seasonings.  I used water for the liquid and processed them as for the first load.

All totalled, I got 19 pints of pinto beans and ham and 14 pints of Great Northern beans and ham.  Not exactly gourmet fare, but it will certainly fill empty stomachs!

I still have 10 lbs. of potatoes to dehydrate, but that will keep for another day.

Many of us grow gardens that provide us with vegetables and fruit to preserve.  I love the pictures folks post and the articles they write about their gardening efforts.  Takes me back to a time when I could do the same.  But there are also many of us who are not in a place where we can garden.  That doesn't mean we can not build up a deep pantry.

Some who were raised in the country like I was, tend to scoff at those who do not garden, home can and preserve.  I'm pretty sure we would all prefer home grown, organic.  But I'm here to tell you that in the end, it doesn't matter.  If the only means available to store food is to buy extra cans of food at the grocery - do it.  If your only source for meat is the grocery - buy it and freeze it.

Take a good, hard look around.  See those meat processing plants shut down due to the virus?  See those truckers who refuse to go into those areas where they do not have police protection?  See those thugs who are burning and looting?  What makes you think you will not be affected?

I don't care what the reason is for preparing.  But prepare we must.  For if this assault on our country continues to escalate, what you have on your shelves may be all there is.

Pray and prepare. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

This Girl...

turned 16 years old yesterday.  I am a day late with this post, but I think she will probably forgive the error.

Miss Maddie Mae is a busy girl.  She excels in school.  She danced in competitions for several years before deciding to get into gymnastics.  She plays a mean game of tennis.

But those are not the reasons I love her so much.  She is kind and caring.  She already is planning a career of helping others.  She has a delicious sense of humor.  And she is determined to do her very best in whatever challenges come her way.  But most importantly, she never fails to hug her Grandma when given the opportunity.

Happy Sweet 16, Maddie Mae.  This one is just for you.

Love, Grandma

Friday, June 12, 2020

We Are Back...

sort of.  Bars and restaurants in my area are finally being allowed to open for indoor service.  Of course, there are still restrictions.  The restrictions have nothing to do with the virus and everything to do with control.  Nobody seemed too worried about 'social distancing' during the protests and riots.  But a restaurant owner had better make sure there are six feet between tables.

I knew the bar next door was open on Wednesday evening when I heard loud voices and the sounds of a scuffle outside my windows.  Looking out, I saw two young men rolling about in the middle of the street, doing their drunken best to smack each other upside their heads. 

A few feet off to one side stood a little bit of a young lady, hands on hips, watching the proceedings.  After a couple of minutes, she said in a voice louder and more commanding than I expected to hear from someone who likely didn't weigh much over 100 lbs., "If you two don't stop being stupid, I am going to quarantine you both."

The young men stopped trying to bash each other, got up, dusted themselves off and meekly followed the young lady back into the bar.

Sometimes it is necessary to for me to concentrate on whatever humor can be found.  I keep track of what is going on around me, but if I concentrate only on the total insanity that is sweeping our nation, I will find myself in a pit of depression and I just do not have time for that. 

So as I relax in my recliner with my Kindle, I hear voices from the street below.  Two or three young men discussing the attributes of their motorcycles.  A couple of sweet young things discussing the attributes of the boys with the motorcycles.  And the voice of a young man, using his very best pick-up lines on a young lady who obviously is going nowhere with him.

Yep...things seem to be getting back to some sort of normal.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Graduation Under Lockdown

Several years ago, this little darlin' graduated from Kindergarten.  Her parents, my son and his lovely bride, were so proud.

This week, that same girl graduated from High School.  And her parents are still proud of her.  So is her Grandma.

Circumstances surrounding the two graduation ceremonies are vastly different.  At the time of Boston's Kindergarten graduation, life was good.  The only restrictions were those placed on children by their parents.  "Look both ways when crossing the street."  "Play nice with your sister."  "Eat your broccoli."

Things have changed.  A virus swept in.  People were confined to their homes.  Boston spent the last few weeks of her school year taking her classes online.  There was no Senior Prom.  Her graduation party had to be postponed until later this summer.  The traditional graduation ceremony was cancelled.

Boston's school, however, did a great thing.  They found a way to have a memorable graduation for the kids in spite of the virus and all the restrictions still in place.

My son drove his family to the school.  Lining the driveway were signs about the size of the political signs we see in yards - 380 of them - one for each graduate, with their photo and the word "Congratulations."  On a tall fence hung a huge banner honoring the school sports teams who could not compete this season.  Further on a stage had been erected.
When it was her turn, Boston got out of the car and walked across the stage to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" to receive her diploma.  Further down the stage, pictures were taken to commemorate the event.  Her family remained in the car but were able to watch their daughter receive her diploma.

The teachers who were taking part in the ceremony remained on the stage from 9 AM until the last diploma was given at 8 PM.  Those school officials have my utmost respect for doing everything they could under the circumstances, to give the Class of 2020 a graduation ceremony to remember.

But most of all I am so proud of this girl.

She kept up her grades while holding down one and sometimes two part time jobs.  And come fall, she is off to the University.  We feared that the U of M would hold classes online only, but I just heard today that the decision has been made to open the doors for regular classes for the fall semester.

Boston, this one is for you.  You make me proud.  Congratulations!
Love, Grandma  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Just For The Record

Minnesota has taken a hit in the media for over a week.  Here are a few facts about my home state.

First and foremost, any Minnesotan with an ounce of human kindness in their soul finds the death of Mr. Floyd horrifying and completely unacceptable.  We agree that those responsible need to be held accountable.

Yes, we have a governor who would rather sit on his hands and watch our cities burn than to take action to stop the rioting, looting, arson and general mayhem.  It was obvious that on the first night, those who were peacefully protesting were hijacked by thugs and criminals.  And yet it took days of dithering by our governor before any decisive action was taken.  And while he was deciding if calling up the National Guard was in his best interest poitically, those he should be protecting were forced to watch the businesses they worked hard to create and maintain, burn to the ground.  If he had even a shred of common decency, he would be too ashamed to show his face in public.

As far as the Mayor of Minneapolis goes, I would be amazed if he could find his own backside with both hands and a flashlight.  Why a mayor would give a 'stand down' order to his police force while his city is on fire and stores are being looted, is beyond comprehension.  I believe the position of dog catcher is probably more suited to his capabilities, but even that is doubtful.

There are bad people in every walk of life.  One bad cop does not a bad police force make.  Yes, there needs to be accountability for those who make their own rules and hurt those they are sworn to protect.  But most are honorable and do the right thing in any situation.

The cities are filled with those of the liberal persuasion.  Many seek to tear down the lifestyle we know and love, only to replace it with nothing short of Communism.  But once you leave the shadow of the cities, you will find those who are God loving, hard working and independent thinking.  We don't believe the hogwash from main stream media.  We do believe in the Rule of Law.  We believe in the Constitution. 

Even in the cities you will find those who are out sweeping glass from the sidewalks, scrubbing the vile graffiti from storefronts, checking on their neighbors, donating food to those who no longer have a grocery store nearby because some thug set it ablaze. 

These are the true Minnesotans.  The ones who help clean up after the animals have destroyed everything in their paths.  The ones who make sure their elderly neighbor has food.  The ones who take their kids to Sunday School and Church.  The ones who teach their kids to be hard working, responsible, good human beings. 

That's who the real Minnesotans are.