each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas.
I am taking some time to get caught up on a few things here in my little corner of the world, but I shall return right after the New Year. May God richly bless all of you.
I have a 13-year-old grandson. Like most 13-year-olds, he sometimes does not make the best choices.
A while back he was in Shop Class. That class is divided into two groups – one group is in the shop while the other is in the classroom.
The classroom is outfitted with tables and stools. The teacher's stool is fitted with wheels.
While unsupervised in the classroom, this group of 13-year-olds set up their stools like bowling pins, sat a kid on the teacher's stool as the bowling ball and were on their way to a high point bowling game when caught at it. The school principal had a visit from several 13-year-olds and the parents were informed of their children's activities by email.
Just yesterday this selfsame 13-year-old somehow found himself in possession of a snowball in the classroom. Nobody knows for sure just how this happened, but another visit to the principal's office and another parental email was the result.
As my son was relating the snowball story to me today, he said there were consequences at home for acting up in class. But he also said that he found it disheartening that most teachers expected their students to be carbon copies of one another.
Granted, bowling in shop class and a snowball fight in another class probably weren't the best choices. But I have to give the kids credit for imagination and thinking outside the box.
Schools are turning out many, many kids who will grow up to follow along like sheep, do exactly what they are told to do and never once question authority.
Give me the kid who goes bowling in shop class and has a snowball fight in another. Those are the ones who do not follow the crowd but who think for themselves and use their imaginations.
Those are the kids who will grow up to do great things.
My grocery order last Thursday contained potatoes, onions, carrots and celery that are now in quart jars as a stew/soup base. Tomorrow 20 lbs. of hamburger will be canned.
So until I come up for air, I leave you with this picture of my Great Granddaughter, who was not at all impressed with Santa and Mrs. Santa. :)
Methinks this one is destined to become a family classic. :)
learning that another Great-Grandchild is on the way!
My Granddaughter Nicki, her husband Chris and daughter Aspyn made the announcement via Facebook yesterday.
The baby is due in June, which gives me plenty of time to make another baby quilt.
I am really liking this Great-Grandma thing. :)
a blessed Thanksgiving, full of love and laughter. And if alone this year as many are, may your day be one of peace and comfort. Even in the darkest of times, there is still much to be thankful for.
May God bless you, not only for the holidays, but all through the year.
to all of you for your words of encouragement and your prayers. This quitting smoking thing is no fun – no fun at all. I am still somewhat cranky. And I still want a cigarette. But I am smoke free and have every intention of staying that way. Sometimes stubborn can work for us. :)
My groceries were delivered today. There was a sale on turkeys and hams, with a limit of two on each, so that's what I ordered. The hams were about 7.5 lbs. each and they fit nicely into my freezer.
The turkeys, however, topped out at 17 lbs. and 20 lbs. They would not fit in the freezer – no way, no how!
Note to self: Check to see how much freezer space you have before ordering meat for the freezer. Duh!
Guess who will be cooking and canning turkey tomorrow. :)
Not complaining. Not at all. I am just happy to have that much more meat to add to my food storage. And to be able to get it while it is still affordable.
Here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, we have had a couple of light snowfalls. But by mid afternoon, what fell the night before has melted off. That's fine with me. Although it is not unusual to have a considerable amount of snow on the ground by Thanksgiving, I won't mind if that doesn't happen this year.
That's all I know for now. I suppose I could work up a rant about several things going on just now, but I think I would rather stay relatively happy.
Sometimes, the best revenge on those who would try to make our lives miserable is to be happy anyway. Drives them crazy. :)
too late smart."
That was a favorite saying of my Dad's. And it certainly applies to me - his oldest daughter.
After 60 years of living with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I have quit smoking.
At present I am really cranky and borderline mean.
Like any addiction, this one takes hold of a person and doesn't want to let go. But I am determined.
So I am asking your indulgence for a short while until I can at least be civil again. There is lots of good stuff to read at the blogs in the sidebar.
I hope to return soon, a little less ornery than I am now. :)
Those words were commonly spoken by one of my daughters from the time she was old enough to walk and talk. To say that she has an independent streak is an understatement!
It is an independent streak that prompted me to see what I could do to cut costs and “do it my own self” rather than pay the ever increasing grocery prices.
Ingredients are cheaper to buy than products. If we have been preparing for any length of time, chances are good we have ingredients stashed already. With that in mind, the following are some of the recipes I am putting together to avoid at least a few of the higher costs at the store.
HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
5 cups nonfat dry powdered milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups dry cocoa
1 cup nondairy coffee creamer
pinch of salt
Mix powdered milk, creamer, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sift in cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix well. Store in a airtight container.
When ready to use, add approximately 1/3 cup to a mug of boiling water. Stir until cool enough to drink.
CORNBREAD AND MUFFIN MIX
4 cups flour
4 cups cornmeal
2 cups nonfat dry milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Store in airtight container in cool dry place. Makes 9-1/2 cups. Use for the following recipes:
USE FOR CORN BREAD: Melt 1/4 cup butter in 8" square pan while preheating oven to 425ºF. Beat 1 egg and 1 cup water with fork in mixing bowl till blended. Add 2- 1/3 cup Mix and the melted butter. Stir just to blend. Pour into pan and bake about 20 minutes.
USE FOR MUFFINS: Prepare batter as for Corn Bread and spoon into 12 greased medium muffin cups.
USE FOR CHEESE CORN BREAD: After turning Corn Bread batter into pan, sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
CHICKEN, BEEF OR HAM GRAVY
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of chicken, beef or ham bullion
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 -2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of minced dehydrated or freeze-dried chopped onion
To make 1 cup of gravy:
Melt a tablespoon of butter, lard, bacon grease or oil in a pan and mix with 2 tablespoons of gravy mix. Once all combined, add 1 cup of cold water and whisk until smooth. Stir until it thickens.
VANILLA PUDDING MIX
3 cups nonfat dry milk
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all except the vanilla, and store in an airtight container. To prepare, mix 1/2 cup of mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING MIX
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk
5 cups sugar
3 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa
Mix and store in airtight container. To prepare, add 2/3 cup mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then serve.
BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING MIX
2 cups nonfat dry milk
5 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cornstarch
Mix and store in airtight container. To prepare, add 1/2 cup mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then serve.
Taking my age and physical limitations into account, I find some convenience foods easier for me to make. But with prices heading higher each day and no end to it in sight, it just makes sense to me to "do it my own self."
Our world seems to be changing at a rapid pace and not for the better.
My grocery delivery guy calls to let me know if canning jars and lids are available. This past week he brought me one case of quart jars. He said that was the ONLY item on the canning supply shelf. The store manager said the store had none in reserve and had no idea when or if they would get more.
Shortages seem to have made it into my area of Minnesota. My delivery guy tells me that paper products are in short supply, there are a couple of bare shelves and many are looking skimpy. He says there are few choices any more as far as package sizes and brand names go, at least at the major grocery store where the service shops.
I don't know if more people are waking up to the truth that we as a nation are in trouble or if many of the goods needed are sitting at anchor on container ships outside our ports. I would hope that more are learning the value of stocking up.
I canned 7 quarts of chicken legs. Although I followed the same procedure I have done for years, 5 of the jars didn't seal. I am finding I have more seal failures when using the newest metal lids, which makes me wonder what has changed in their manufacture. I know the part of the lids that adheres to the rim of the jars is thinner now than it was on the older lids. I find I am reluctant to can anything else just now. With prices headed upward at an alarming speed, I am not so sure that I want to risk having jars of food lose their seals.
A friend sent me a couple of articles outlining the problems facing aluminum manufacturers. The supply of magnesium is drying up and it is needed for the production of everything from aluminum car parts to soda cans. I have to wonder what we will run out of next week. This 'Build Back Better' thing just doesn't seem to be working out too well.
On a brighter note, there is some venison in my near future. Minnesota has an early 'Youth Hunting Season,' for those 13 years and older, accompanied by an adult. My grandson took the required classes and his Dad took him out earlier this week. Sitting still, being quiet and patience are not terms usually associated with my grandson. However he watched for at least ten minutes, waiting for just the right moment to take the shot. I am proud of him. He has provided meat for his family's freezer as well as for mine. And he is learning a skill that could become necessary in bad times.
Me...I just keep stacking it higher and praying more often. I think I will add buckling up to my routine. The ride just gets more and more bumpy.
to get myself well caffeinated first thing in the morning before heading into whatever the day brings. While sloshing down coffee I will fire up the computer, check emails and move on to some of my favorite YouTube creators. This is what I found this morning:
Note: This video wants to start towards the end and I can't fix that. Just click on the red line at the beginning to see the entire video.
I have no doubt that some left leaning genius will think it is a grand idea to forbid those who will not comply with the jab from entering grocery stores. Why not. They have already caused untold numbers to lose their jobs because people object to being forced to take a medication they do not want. And then they whine about a shortage of workers.
Yesterday I spent some time getting my grocery order ready for this weeks delivery. The store the service uses has chicken legs and thighs on sale at 99 cents per pound and 16 oz. packages of frozen vegetables for $1 each, both excellent prices for my area. I ordered lots of each.
This morning I woke up wondering if I really needed that much chicken and veggies. After viewing the video and doing some of my own research, I decided that yes, I do need that much. And I made some additions to my order for more pasta, rice, beans and the ingredients to can a large batch of coleslaw.
This whole business of bullying people into taking a medication they do not want is beyond deplorable. To rob people of their livelihood or dictate who can enter a public venue and who can not is wrong on so many levels.
We were told that a two week lockdown would flatten the curve. Then we were told we had to mask up and stay away from our loved ones. After that we were told the jab would save humanity. If it works so well, why in the name of good common sense are they so worried about those of us who don't want it.
I'll be damned if I am going to allow some sleazy bureaucrat or politician dictate what my life should look like. I fully intend to live the rest of it on my own terms according to God's plan.
The rest of them can just go pound sand.
So Sunday I was knee deep in chicken. 24 lbs. of frozen chicken breast was thawed, cut into small pieces, packed into jars and canned. I now have 8 more pints and 32 more half pints of chicken in jars. I have no idea where to stack them. I don't care. With less food on store shelves and prices racing skyward, every bit of food we can stash now gives us that much more time to ride out whatever horror the current regime comes up with next.
Yesterday was spent cleaning up the mess I made on Sunday. My kitchen now looks more like a kitchen and less like a place where a tornado went through.
I was able to get a good price on butternut squash, so six large ones are waiting to be processed. Tomorrow they will be baked and the pulp frozen in meal size amounts. I would have liked to can them but my supply of empty jars is dwindling. However, my Prince of a grocery delivery guy promised to call me next week when he is filling my grocery order, and let me know what canning supplies are available. He will bring whatever I need, bless him!
Today is being spent doing things that make me happy. Working on my Grandson's afghan. Reading a good murder mystery. Snacking on the smoked whitefish my son brought me yesterday. And there is the possibility of a pan of brownies in my near future. :)
We spend great amounts of time and energy in preparing for whatever comes our way. Sometimes we may forget that we also have a life to live outside of all that we do to prepare. Doing the things we love is just as important. Sometimes we just need a break to avoid burn out.
So continue to prepare but also take time to smell the roses – or in my case, smell the coffee!
Those in charge seem to be working hard at sucking the joy out of our lives. Sometimes the best revenge is to be happy anyway. :)
I started this silly little blog as a way to pass the time upon retirement and as a source of amusement for my kids and grands. As I became more involved in preparing and had the time to take a long, hard look at the world around us, the blog changed some. I'm still not sure if that was a good thing, but there it is.
To my utter amazement, people actually began reading what I had to say and to my surprise, began commenting on it.
If we take at face value all the ugliness and nastiness of the world as it stands now, especially after the past couple of years with all the insults to humanity, we can easily believe the world is full of horrible people.
But I know better.
I have never met any of you personally. Chances are pretty good I never will. But on several occasions I have asked for prayer and you have stepped up to the plate.
I don't know Gorges personally. I enjoy his blog and I have emailed a time or two. He almost always will leave a comment here. And as I do with all of you, I consider him a friend.
I have heard no more about how he is doing. I hope we will hear soon that he is on the road to recovery.
You, my friends – each and every one of you – with your willingness to pray for someone you don't know, have gone a long way to restore my faith in the human race.
May God bless you – each and every one.
Our friend Gorges over at Gorges' Grouse has had a rough go of it. He recently lost both his sister and his wife. Gorges is now hospitalized. His step-son says, to quote Gorges, "It is not fatal. Just old age." He has requested prayers for Gorges' recovery.
Gorges gives us so much pleasure with his stories and memes and old time photos. There is a link to his blog in the side bar. If you are of a mind to, please pray that our friend is back with us soon.
All day I felt strange. Normally, I am busy. If I'm not working on preparedness related things, I am crocheting on my grandson's afghan or sewing or doing those pesky housekeeping chores that always seem to need attention. But not Sunday.
I was tired. I was sort of in a fog. I would think I needed to go do something but instead just sat there and did not get up to do whatever it was.
It was late afternoon before the fog lifted enough to realize this was exactly how I felt just before I went on oxygen.
I checked my machine that produces oxygen and it was running perfectly. I checked the plastic tubing that attaches me to the machine. And found a place where there was a crack. My apartment was being well oxygenated. I was not.
What to do. It is Sunday. I expect the company that owns the machine might have sent someone out to replace the tubing. But I needed it fixed now. The solution – duct tape.
I patched the hole with duct tape. Oxygen was now freely flowing and before long I was back to what resembles a normal state for me.
Whatever did we do before duct tape?
My point to this little saga is that stuff happens. Every day the likelihood of being in need of having something fixed and being able to get it done with one phone call is fading fast.
Granted, there are jobs that require professional help. But what about the every day things that need fixing. We need to know how to do stuff.
We are never too old to learn. And a good, strong application of common sense doesn't hurt either.
The Cavalry is not riding in to save the day. The more we can do for ourselves, the better.
I told a friend I was going to give my pressure canner a good scrub and pack it away. I complained to anyone who would listen that I had no more room for food storage. I even went so far as to tell all of you there wasn't another inch of available storage space in my little apartment.
Last week I canned up two cases of assorted meats from my freezer. Last Friday I canned 21 quarts of vegetable soup. My grocery delivery order this week includes 12 lbs. of chicken breast to go with the 12 lbs. already in my freezer. That will probably be canned next week.
Where will I store it all? Haven't a clue. But here is what I do know.
Prices at the grocery and elsewhere continue to rise. Shortages are becoming more obvious. My grocery delivery guy tells me that the big box store where the service shops is showing signs of shelves being not as fully stocked any more and choices in package sizes aren't nearly as plentiful.
Whatever I buy now will cost more later, if it is even available. Whining about no storage space isn't helpful. Looks like I will just have to get more creative about storage.
Buckle up. The ride gets more bumpy every day.
“I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.
If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn’t so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.
“We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.
She wasn’t old enough to vote in 1938 – approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.
“Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.”
Hitler is welcomed to Austria
“In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.
“My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.’
“We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.
“Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.
“Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
“We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and
everyone was fed.
“After the election, German officials were appointed, and, like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
“Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
“Then we lost religious education for kids
“Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.
“Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.”
And then things got worse.
“The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.
“We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
“My mother was very unhappy,” remembers Kitty. “When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.
“I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.
“Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.
“It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
“In 1939, the war started, and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and, if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death.
“Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.
“Soon after this, the draft was implemented.
“It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps,” remembers Kitty. “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.
“They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.
“When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.
“Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
“When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.
“You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.
“The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
“Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..
“After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.
“When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.
“If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
“As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.
“All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
“We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.
“Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands.
“Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
“We had consumer protection, too
“We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
“In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.
“So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.
“I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.
“I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.
“They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
“As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
“Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
“No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.
“Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”
“This is my eyewitness account.
“It’s true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.
“America is truly is the greatest country in the world. “Don’t let freedom slip away.
“After America, there is no place to go.”
* If you think it can't happen here, you aren't paying attention.
So the other day I was busy with something or other and my coffee went cold before I got back to it. As is my habit, I set the mug in the microwave and pushed a button. At which time the microwave gave a sad, little 'poof' and died.
I checked the electric outlet to make sure that was working. Yep. It was fine. I was now the proud owner of a very dead appliance. And I still had a cold mug of coffee. That would never do. In my house, coffee is the elixir of life.
I may have inherited my love of coffee from my Mother. Growing up, I can't remember a time when she didn't have a cup of coffee within reach. And I remember that when her coffee went cold, she poured it into a small saucepan and heated it on the stove. Mother lived before microwaves were common.
So that's what I did.
I also had filled a small casserole dish with leftovers from supper the night before, planning to microwave them to eat that evening. Plopped the lid on the dish and into the oven it went for 20 minutes. Supper was served.
Got to thinking about whether I really needed a new microwave. I fed four children for many years without one. I used mine just to reheat some foods and I have a perfectly good kitchen stove for that purpose. And I really do not care for microwave popcorn. Popcorn tastes much better when popped in a cast iron skillet.
Perhaps the time has come to get back to the basics. These days it seems like the future is more uncertain than in recent years. My parents and grandparents managed just fine during hard times because they knew how to do stuff.
My parents were preppers but they just didn't know it. They had a huge garden every summer and in the fall the canners were going nearly every day, preserving everything from corn and beans to pickles and fruit and jam. Dad didn't farm, but he either bought or traded for beef and pork and chickens for the freezer from our farmer neighbors.
The closest grocery store was ten miles away. There was no running to the store for a loaf of bread, especially when the winter blizzards closed the roads for days on end. It was a rare occasion that the bread on the table was not home made.
They not only survived, my parents and grandparents. They thrived. They knew how to do what needed to be done without the modern conveniences.
I really don't want to go so far as to wash clothes in a washtub using a washboard to scrub them clean, but I know how. I have done that.
Perhaps using some of the knowledge of the basics might be a good thing. At the very least, we will know if we can take care of ourselves and our families should hard times come again. And if we find we can't, maybe it is time to learn.
Earlier today I posted Version 1. Shortly thereafter I deleted the post. There are times when even cranky old grannies can be cowardly.
In these times of government officials mandating how we should live our lives, encouraging companies to fire those who are not on board with the agenda of the left, asking friends and family to snitch on those who refuse to take the jab and even in some cases threatening detention for those who will not comply, it is easy to keep quiet. Nobody wants to wind up on a government list.
Fear is a powerful thing. It makes us go against what we know is right and true in order to stay safe.
A ship in port is safe. But that is not what ships are for.
We are witnessing a government completely out of control. Our representatives do not represent us. They represent themselves and those who would enrich their bank accounts. They will and do lie, cheat and steal to further their agenda. They care not one whit about you or me – the ones who pay their salaries.
There are no knights in shining armor riding in to save the day. As much as we would love to see a hero who will save us from the lunacy around us, it is not going to happen. We are on our own.
I have posted two links below. The first is a video by Patriot Nurse. She details what is happening but also gives us hope. I strongly recommend watching it.
The second is a video sent to me by a friend. It is an interview of a person who has worked within a major pharmaceutical company for years. You might learn exactly why so many of us are refusing the jab.
For a year and a half we have been living in what can only be described as an episode of the Twilight Zone. And just this week we have seen what happens when a nation is led by agenda driven, arrogant, incompetent fools.
I am too fat to run and too old to take a whoopin. But I will not just go quietly into the good night. To do so would be a disservice to my children and grandchildren who will live their lives under anarchy if we play it safe.
who say the debacle in Afghanistan is America's shame. It is not.
The shame falls on the heads of those leaders (and I use the term 'leaders' loosely) who ordered our troops to leave the country before evacuating our citizens and those who worked with our people.
I am pretty sure – no, I am positive – that if our soldiers were asked to volunteer to find Americans and their allies and bring them to safety, there would be more than enough to do the job.
There is a price that needs to be paid by those in charge for their stupidity and inhumanity. May the price be high and may it come swiftly.
I can not keep up with it all. It seems like there is something new threatening our way of life on a daily basis.
The powers that be are completely out of control. They seem to be trying to bully us into compliance. There are threats of needing to show proof of the jab to cross state lines. Businesses are being required to ask for proof before admitting customers. Mask mandates are again coming nearly everywhere. Will lockdowns follow?
If you are not already prepared, you might want to get busy. My time is being spent getting my house in order. History tells us that the words “Papers, please” do not bode well for the citizenry.
Is this even America any more?
taken my own advice.
Some time back I talked about the importance of an inventory of preps. And I did that.....for a while.
And then I didn't.
I can't even come up with a good excuse.
So now I am going through and straightening up the room where I store my food. I find I have enough spaghetti sauce to open my own Italian restaurant. And there is enough popcorn to last my lifetime and that of maybe one or two other people. And I don't even want to talk about the number of cans of tuna!
And if that weren't bad enough, I find I have less of some items than I thought I had.
With shortages happening and prices rising, now is not the time to slack off. And knowing what I have and what I need make a big difference in the size of my grocery bill.
So now if you will excuse me, I am off to count cans and jars and packages of food.
And to put into practice what I preach!!
There are limits to how much stuff can be packed into a three room apartment without becoming a candidate for a show on hoarding. After spending the weekend canning the meat and produce from my last grocery order, I have not only reached that limit, I seem to have exceeded it.
On the positive side, should disaster strike, my family will survive for a considerable length of time on my preps. And that is the whole reason we prepare, isn't it.
I will continue to fill in any gaps in my storage, but the time for canning and dehydrating marathons and huge grocery orders has past. I am quite literally out of room.
There are limits on paying much attention to the traditional news sources. As I checked the news outlets this morning it occurred to me that we no longer have news reports. We have opinion panels. And the opinions we hear are mostly based on whether those who believe their opinions matter are Trump supporters or Trump haters. Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him?
There are limits on how much virus propaganda I can listen to. Apparently the first virus didn't scare the population badly enough to get us all hiding in our closets, so now those who want control are trotting out a shopping list of virus variants. Monkey pox anyone?
There are limits to the amount of abuse I am willing to listen to if I choose not to take the jab. Each person should have the choice to make without government officials telling us we will kill Grandma if we refuse. Well, I am Grandma. And I believe in personal choice.
And while we're at it, there are limits to number of lies coming from the mouths of our elected officials and bureaucrats that I am willing to put up with. They do not represent us, even though we pay their salaries. They work for whatever special interest can line their pockets.
I am so done with it all.
We seem to have forgotten that we have actual lives that are to be lived without interference. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and I am just as guilty of that as the next person. But my limit has been reached.
I have prepared for the future as much as is possible in my circumstances. I have made decisions based on what I believe as an adult who still has brain cells that function. I will not comply with ridiculous orders and mandates and threats from those who wish to have complete control.
But I will hug my Grands and their parents. I will spend as much time as possible with those I love. I will sew quilts and crochet afghans. I will scrapbook my collection of old family photos. I will research my family history. I will read good murder mystery novels. I will bake cookies and bread. And occasionally I will nap
In other words, I choose to live the years I have left on my own terms. Which is exactly the way it should be.
Some of you may remember that last November a lunatic living in my building trashed his apartment, tried to set the building on fire and escaped by jumping out a second story window. The police caught him and took him to the hospital for evaluation. Turns out he wasn't crazy. He was mean.
His wife, a lovely lady who worked hard to support herself and her husband, was devastated. My landlord offered her another apartment, but she went to live elsewhere.
Yesterday I heard sirens close by. Today my landlord was here, fixing a light in my kitchen. He told me the sad news.
The sirens I heard were the rescue people rushing to an intersection three blocks from my building. The lunatic had stabbed his wife. She died at the scene.
I want to know why he wasn't in jail. He tried to kill everyone in my building by disconnecting the gas range and then lighting a fire. We are incredibly lucky the building didn't blow sky high.
I was under the impression that attempted murder was a crime.
To the morons who keep letting the lunatics back out on the streets: You are just as responsible for the death of this lady as is the one wielding the knife. God may forgive you, but I'm pretty sure I can't.
It has been fun going through my genealogy research and sorting it into some sort of filing system that might make sense to those who will inherit it all. The next couple of days I am going through lots of old family photos and working on getting them into scrapbooks with notes so my kids and grands will know which ancestors are which.
The heat wave seems to have a chance of weakening toward the end of the week, so my plans for my grocery order have changed. I had thought to order dry staples and I am, but as I watch my country slide into something unrecognizable at an ever increasing pace, I feel as though it is time – heat wave or not – to get busy preserving more food.
Whole turkey breast is on sale this week at 99 cents per pound. There is a limit of 2. I will roast both of them and freeze the meat in meal sized portions.
Boneless half hams are on sale so I am ordering four. Two will go in the freezer. One will go in the fridge for meals and sandwiches. And one will be diced and canned along with diced veggies – cabbage, onions, celery, potatoes and carrots – for a base to use as soup, stew or in casseroles.
Four bags of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast will go in the freezer until I decide how to use them. By the way – I usually buy the store brand chicken breast because I don't care if they are uniform in size or look pretty. I generally cut them up to fill jars and can them. But recently although the price has remained the same, the 3 lb. bags now contain 2.5 lbs. I have found this practice to be true in many of the products I buy.
I know this order will be spendy, but who knows how long meat will be available at a price that doesn't require a bank loan.
Washington may try to put a spin on inflation, but those of us who actually buy our own goods and services know prices are heading skyward. Call it that nagging little voice in my head or gut instinct or whatever, I believe now is the time to do as much as possible to insure my family will taken care of.
I would rather be called one of those crazy preppers and be able to feed my family than to be one who lives in the land of unicorns and fairy dust where nothing bad will ever happen to them.
Take a long, hard look around. We are already there. And unless something drastic happens, I believe we will continue sliding down this slippery slope.
This will not last forever. We will get through whatever those who wish to control us have planned. But only if we plan ahead. And do the work. And don't give up.
Keep on preparing. Keep on praying. And always remember we are not alone. We may have to go through some hard times, but in the end, God is still in control.
It 's just that I am not doing anything blogworthy right now.
It is hot and humid here in southern Minnesota. Looks like it will stay like this for a while. Although the air conditioning in my building keeps my apartment reasonably cool, it is in my best interest to do 'quiet' things while this heat wave is upon us. Breathing issues seem to be worse when it is hot and humid. So I limit physical activity and that keeps me from huffing and puffing like an old steam engine. :)
I am ordering my groceries as usual, but am limiting my food storage items to those that do not need to be processed. On the list for next week is lots of pasta, more varieties of dry beans, more flour and possibly some chocolate that is necessary to keep me in a happy place.
So for now, I am spending time organizing several years worth of genealogy research. That is a task I have put off doing for quite some time, but recently I asked Youngest Son to drag a couple of boxes from a high shelf so I could go through them. And because my memory is not what it once was, I found all sorts of delightful surprises I had forgotten I had. Mother's high school diploma. A copy of my parent's marriage certificate. A letter written by my grandmother to my Dad in the 1920's. She tells about coming face to face with a bear while out picking blueberries. I am rather enjoying this 'quiet' time for I love going through all the material I had forgotten about.
There is still food in the freezer to can, but that will just have to wait for cooler days.
My heart goes out to those who are suffering in heat much worse than we experience here. And to those who are living with the massive western fires. I hope none of you are in the path of that destruction and I pray for the safety for those who are.
So until next time – God bless.
Apparently if you are a YouTube creator and you disagree with the narrative of the Left on the subject of the jab, you go to YT jail for a week for the first offense. Their 'fact checkers' like to call it 'medical misinformation.' It isn't. It is censorship.
Pinball Preparedness is cooling his heels in YT jail for that very reason. However, he started another channel he calls Pinball Prepping.
He posted the following video concerning the road we are on toward full blown Communism. Even though the language is just a wee bit salty in spots, it is well worth your time to watch.
I am tired of hearing “It can't happen here.” It can. It will. Unless we can stop it.
In the comment section of my last post, I made a joke - well, maybe only half joking - about ripping up any government official who came knocking on my door, pushing the vax. And as much fun as that might be, it is not a good idea. Here's why.
I live alone. Opening my door to ANYONE I do not know is a stupid thing to do. And I am embarassed that someone else had to point that out to me.
By the way...Pinball Preparedness on YouTube has lots of good, current information. To access his channel, click on the name shown below each of his videos. Well worth your time.
Todays temps here in Minnesota are a welcome relief from the heat wave we endured the last week or so. Early this morning we were at 57 degrees and now in the afternoon it sits at 67. I can live with this.
It rained yesterday and it was welcome. It has been a while since we saw any moisture. The gardeners and farmers have to be happy.
I can now run my pressure canner again without turning my little apartment into a sauna. Yesterday I canned 11 pints of chicken. Today it is 23 pints of beef/veg meal starter mix and 3 pints of cubed beef. There is still more food in the freezer to go into jars, so as long as the weather remains fairly cool, the canner will be running.
Everywhere I look on the web, I see warnings about the grid going down. That may be just rumor and fear or it could happen. Anything at this point is possible. I am not willing to take a chance on losing all the frozen food due to a power outage.
I see that I can expect someone to come knocking on my door to try to convince me to take the jab. I would like to know how the government knows which doors to knock on. Considering how the government manages to screw up nearly everything it touches, I am thinking this endeavor is not likely to go well.
Seems like each day is a new adventure in insanity. I was particularly dismayed to see how many used our Independence Day to spew hatred of our nation. Those of us who haven't been brainwashed into believing the idiocy of 'woke culture' understand that though we may not be a perfect nation, we are still the best there is. My thoughts to those who disrespect my Country, my Flag, my Anthem – don't let the door hit you in the backside on your way out.
The rest of us – be ready. Be prepared. Those Evil ones who want to rule over us will stop at nothing to get what they want.
But we have an Ace in the hole. We know that in the end, God wins.
Of course, you all knew that, didn't you.
Sometimes in the aftermath of an event in our lives – particularly a sad one – we think we are doing better than we really are. Such has been the case here, but with the help from friends and family, I am slowly getting back to whatever normal is these days. Thank you for your patience.
My children are going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure Mom is alright. Yesterday Youngest Son brought his family to spend the afternoon with me. It was fun to hear what the Grands had been up to. David and I took a stroll down Memory Lane, talking about his Grandparents and about how living on the farm that had been in his Dad's family for several generations had shaped his appreciation for life and his love for the land.
Those who have houses or homesteads may not understand some of the challenges we apartment dwellers face in our preparedness journey. I am finding that I am quite literally out of space to store preps. I did manage to fill four banker's boxes and turn them into a makeshift coffee table with a crocheted afghan thrown over them and adding a plant and some books on top. It is one of the few plans that actually works.
In the process of clearing off a shelf to fill boxes, I discovered two cases of half pint jars full of canned bacon. I had forgotten they were there. The only good thing I can say about old age memory loss is that sometimes it results in some really good surprises. :)
I know I have been preaching 'stack it to the rafters,' but I believe I am going to have to slow down some. If I don't, my little apartment is in danger of looking like one of those hoarder's houses!
I still have some canning to do – meat from my freezer – a batch of ham and beans and a batch of vegetable beef soup. I have room to store those jars, but that is all.
I don't just store food. I use it. So my new strategy is to keep a list of what I use and replace it accordingly. I wish I had a basement or a spare room. I don't. Neither do many apartment people. So we adapt and do the best we can with what we have to work with. At least we will have something to eat should the lights go out, which is more than I can say for those who aren't paying attention to the crazy world round us.
the temps here in Minnesota have dropped to a reasonable level. The canning has begun.
My grocery order arrived yesterday and in it were 1 cabbage, 4 lbs. of carrots, 2 bunches of celery, 3 lbs. of onions, 2 lbs. of frozen corn and 2 lbs. of frozen peas, along with 12 lbs. of frozen chicken breast.
Yesterday afternoon and evening were spent chopping, slicing and dicing. The meat was cut into about one inch pieces.
This morning I filled pint jars with a heaping quarter cup of chicken and topped that off with the veggies, adding water, leaving an inch of headspace and dropping one chicken bouillon cube into each jar for flavor. The jars were pressure canned for 75 minutes.
So far I have 32 pints of chicken/veg mix and there is at least enough left for another canner load of 16 pints – maybe more.
I have canned this mix before. It makes good soup, stew and pot pie filling. I have used it in casseroles and served it over rice. It is my main 'go to' canned food. I have also canned a version using beef, adding a beef bouillon cube and some tomato powder to each jar. Both varieties are good for quick, easy meals.
As long as Mother Nature has decided to turn down the heat a bit, I will be clearing out the freezer and canning up most of the meat. We were lucky this time in that we didn't lose power during the heat wave, but I have seen where some parts of the country had those problems. Meat is getting more expensive by the day and I am not willing to risk losing what I have. By canning it, I will have shelf stable meat.
With the direction our country seems to be headed these days, the more I can put on the shelves now, the better.
I don't want to be a prophet of doom. I would rather look at the positive side of things. But lately that seems to be a stretch. If the current power grabbers have their way, we will be dependent upon them for our very existence. I know that most who stop by this silly little blog agree that we are not hard wired to tow the mark. We would much rather do for ourselves than stand in line for a handout.
So we prepare. We do everything we can to remain independent. Because at the end of the day, we can live no other way.
I feel like a kid who is playing hooky from school, but without the fun involved. Here in Minnesota it has been hot. And humid. Youngest son called me yesterday and said the thermometer on his truck that reads outdoor temperature said 103 degrees. The air, even inside, feels heavy. It has not been a productive week.
On the positive side, a box fan moves the cooler air around my apartment making life more pleasant.
I feel sorry for those who have outside jobs. My youngest son oversees several landscaping crews. He has been filling a cooler with bottles of water and Gatorade to hand out to the workers. Having done that kind of work for several years, he knows how miserable it can be, working in this kind of heat.
A few years ago my oldest son told me about a trick he used while working in a hot restaurant kitchen. He would get towels wet, wring out the excess water and toss the towels into the freezer. When frozen, they were still pliable enough to drape around the back of his neck. I have been doing the same thing with some of my flour sack type of kitchen towels. Works like a charm.
The weather guessers say it should be a little cooler and less humid starting tomorrow. Hopefully I can begin canning up the meat in my freezer without turning my apartment into a sauna.
I hope things are more pleasant where you are. Keep on prepping and praying!