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.