Friday, May 27, 2022

Sums It Up

 


 That pretty much sums up my opinion of  the current administration.

However, one might add the term 'despicable' for the empty suit and it's handlers for using the murder of children to promote a gun grab.  

Mr. President, we have guns to protect ourselves from people like you.

God help us. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Attention Prayer Warriors

 One of the friends of this blog has her husband in the hospital for tests.  It is serious enough that he was transferred to a larger hospital for further testing.  I am sure that prayers for his health will be sincerely appreciated.

One thing I love about my blog is that I know when one of us needs prayerful help, it is freely given.  Thank you, my friends, for being the kind and caring people I have grown to love.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Bits and Pieces

Is anyone else tired of the nonsense?

God made man. And then made woman. And that is all.

Kindergarten teachers should not teach children about their gender. That decision has already been made at a much higher level.

If there is confusion about the matter, a quick peek inside knickers should tell a person what they need to know.

Apparently, lawmakers in Oregon haven't figured that out as they now require tampon dispensers be located in boy's bathrooms.

Really? That's what you people are worried about? I honestly didn't realize there were that many people whose common sense had left the building.

I have a couple of things to worry about that are a bit more important.

Like many of my vintage, I live on a fixed income that doesn't even begin to keep up with inflation. And there are many others, through no fault of their own, who are either out of work or working several part time jobs to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads.  Unlike those who stand in line looking for handouts.

My father was one of those who worked hard to take care of an invalid wife and three kids. He worked a full time day job, cleaned office buildings at night and fed turkeys and cleaned huge turkey barns on weekends.  He considered any kind of handout to be shameful.

I am proud to be that man's daughter.

I could say that the price of gas doesn't affect me because I no longer own a car. That would be wrong. Fuel runs the ships that bring goods to our shores. Diesel runs the trucks and trains that transport goods to store shelves. It also runs the farm equipment that is used to grow our food. Fuel prices affect us all.

Those of us who rent are finding increases now or in the near future. My rent is going up in July. I can afford the increase, but many who have kids at home are really struggling.

A few months ago my two week grocery bill was on the average $120. That included buying items for my preparedness food pantry. Last week the bill for a similar order was $240. I live alone. I prepare for my family, but doubt if I could feed my four children were they younger and still living at home.

Because I live a very frugal lifestyle, I can still manage. Many can not. And don't think for one little bitty minute that your government gives a rodent's behind that many are suffering. They would rather send billions of dollars to fight a war we are not involved in. They would rather send pallets of baby formula to our southern border for the illegals when our people find bare shelves in our stores. They would rather vote to kill unborn babies than to take care of those already here and hurting.

I don't know how to stop those power hungry, evil people who are hell bent on destroying this country and it's people. In my world, there are consequences for actions. That doesn't seem to be the case in their world. “Rules for thee but not for me.”

What I do have is faith. I believe that even if those horrible people don't get what they so richly deserve in this lifetime, they most certainly will in the hereafter.

I can not sort it out. But God can.

Monday, May 9, 2022

You think this is all about abortion?

 Think again.

Tucker: This is about attacking Christianity - YouTube

If you pay attention to history at all, you can see where this insanity is headed.

Pray.  Prepare.  And pray some more.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

How to Comment

Blogger has fixed “Comments” even though it was not broken. Sigh.

For either a comment or a reply to a comment, a white space will pop up with the words “Enter Comment” at the top. Simply click on “Enter Comment.”

Now at the top of the white space are the words “Comment as:” followed by a drop down of choices. Pick one.

Next are the words “Enter Comment.” Type in what you want to say and then click "Publish.”

I have no idea why it was necessary to change what was working well, but there it is. I hope this helps those who have something to say.  Half the fun for me with this blog is reading what you all have to say.  I have learned more from your comments than you have ever learned from me.

I will leave this post up for a couple of days before adding another post, giving anyone who is interested time to see it.

Thanks for your patience. I fear mine is close to running out!



Monday, May 2, 2022

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

My preferred way of preserving most foods is by canning. But the store here hasn't had canning jars on the shelves for several weeks. I did score 6 boxes of canning lids a couple of weeks ago, but those, too, are scarce as hen's teeth. Since I am nearly out of jars, having only 4 cases of half pint jars left in my stash, I spent part of the weekend looking for alternative ways to store food.

First, I claim none of what follows as my own ideas. Many others who are smarter than I am about these things have been my inspiration. I have added links to three of the videos that showed me how to do what I had in mind to do.

Note: The third link is to a video from “The Purposeful Pantry.” Darcy is my favorite dehydrating guru and I highly recommend her channel.

I have canned many 'meals in a jar,' consisting of soups and stews. But now that canning jars are so scarce in my area, and because I have lots of dehydrated food on hand, I have decided to see what I could do with putting together meals using dry ingredients. Instead of storing the mixes in jars, I am using ziploc freezer bags.


I know there are many prepackaged meals on the store shelves. And I do have some of those in my food storage. But things have changed. Much of that kind of packaged food is beyond my pay grade these days. With inflation headed skyward, I find it more important than ever to closely watch my expenditures. Especially because I am experiencing what many are experiencing and that is increases in rent and utilities.

So I am going through my recipe collection to find recipes I know my family likes that I can put together and store for future use. I don't dehydrate meat like some do, but prefer to add a jar of canned meat if needed for a recipe.

Here are the links. I hope they serve as an inspiration for just another way to be prepared.

*6 SOUP IN A JAR RECIPES- Gift Ideas - Emergency meals* - YouTube

Dry Soup Mix in Jars - YouTube

Dehydrate Canned Beans and Make a Meal in a Jar (Taco Soup) | Perfect Christmas Gift - YouTube

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Blogger Hicup

 For reasons unknown to me, I can not reply to comments from the post on the results of the egg dehydrating experiment.  So I guess I will have to do it this way until things straighten out.

LindaG...You are welcome and may God bless you and yours.

Peteforester...I don't know the shelf life of dehydrated eggs.  I am storing them in canning jars.  I don't have oxygen absorbers.  Perhaps someone else who has done this knows more than I do on the subject. 

deb...You are very welcome. 

Results From Dehydrating Eggs

 Sorry it took so long to finish up with the dehydrated eggs.  I sort of got busy canning chicken, bacon and hamburger. 

My dehydrator fruit rollup inserts for the trays held 6 eggs each.  So I cracked 6 eggs into my blender, pulsed them just enough to blend them well and poured the eggs onto the trays.  It took about 24 hours at 125 degrees to completely dry.  I put the dried eggs into a ziploc bag. 

So this morning I ran the dried eggs through my little electric coffee grinder to turn them into powder.  36 fresh eggs became nearly 2 pints of powder.

The instructions I had seen said to mix 1 Tablespoon of egg powder with 1 Tablespoon of water to equal 1 egg.  Since both my trials needed 2 eggs each, I mixed up eggs and water accordingly in 2 coffee cups and let them sit for 5 minutes to allow the egg powder to absorb the water.

I melted a little butter in a pan and scrambled the first mixture.  I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised.  I had expected issues with texture and taste, but there was very little difference from fresh eggs.  I will have no problem at all eating these eggs when the fresh are no longer available or too expensive for my pay grade.

I used the other egg mixture to make a pan of brownies.  I could detect no difference from using fresh eggs.

All things considered, I will call this little experiment a success and I will be dehydrating more eggs soon.

Note:  When pouring the blended eggs onto the trays, I strongly suggest having the trays already on the dehydrator.  The reason I suggest this is from the experience of wiping 6 blended eggs off my leg, foot and floor.  Yep - not a good idea to fill trays and then move them to the dehydrator.  :) 



Thursday, April 21, 2022

If the current administration...

is trying to wreck our country, they are doing a fine job of it, judging by my grocery bill today.

A couple of months ago, a 3 lb. package of frozen chicken breast was $9.99. Today I paid $16.00 each. One loaf of bread was $4.99. The lady who takes my order was right. An 18 count carton of eggs is $4.50.

How on earth is a family with kids going to keep feeding them? Those who think it is foolish to stockpile food are going to be hungry if this trend continues.

I found 6 fruit rollup inserts for my dehydrator trays. I don't have the fancy, expensive dehydrators. Mine are the round ones with the heater and fan in the lid. They do the job.

I cracked 6 eggs at a time into my blender and pulsed them 3-4 times. I just wanted them blended – not whipped. Six eggs fit on a tray and I have 6 trays in the dehydrator now. Will let you know how they turn out and will also test making scrambled eggs and baking using them.

As long as I am at it, I decided to can some chicken and bacon. I am out of pint jars, so they will be canned in half pint jars. That is just the right amount for sandwiches and enough bacon to add to eggs or scalloped potatoes.

I know that I am paying too much for food, but it will cost more next month. So whatever I can put back now costs me less in the long run.

People are talking about food shortages and more inflation. I don't know if those predictions will happen, but I am not willing to bet food for my family on the outcome. Stack it to the rafters, people. And if nothing happens, you and yours will eat well for a long time.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Eggs Experiment

 The way my grocery delivery works is like this.  Every other Monday a volunteer calls to get my order, which is then delivered on Thursday of the same week.  Today my order went in.

I have decided, after doing some online research, to try dehydrating eggs.  I will post the results of this experiment after I give it a try.

I decided to dehydrate eggs after comparing the price of a #10 can of Augason Farms freeze dried eggs - 72 servings for $69.99 on sale - to purchasing 72 fresh eggs for $18.50.  Even figuring in the electricity used to run the dehydrator, it is still much cheaper to do it myself.

With the reports of 'bird flu' causing the slaughter of flocks of chickens, and knowing that the cost of a carton of 18 eggs has gone from under $2 to $4.50 within the last two months, finding a way to preserve eggs has become high on my list of things I need to do.

Dehydrated eggs can be used for scrambled eggs or omelets and for baking.  Granted, there will be no more fried eggs, but that is better than no eggs at all.

The way things seem to be headed with food shortages and higher prices, the more we can put back now, the better.  Nobody is going to save us.  We are on our own.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

True or False

 I try to keep track of what is going on in the world.  Or at least here at home in the States.  I hear about food shortages.  I hear about the possibility of the economy crashing.  I hear about threats of another World War.  And I hear that 'bird flu' is destined to be the next pandemic.

Because most of those in DC wouldn't know the truth if it bit them on the bum, and because most of the media doesn't recognize anything except the Democratic Party Line, I just don't know what is true and what is not.

But here's the thing.  Whether we are told the truth or we are lied to, whether bad things happen or not, our families still need to be taken care of.  I prefer to err on the side of caution.  

A few weeks ago I bought two turkeys on sale, cooked them and froze the meat.  This past week I bought carrots, potatoes, cabbage, celery and onions and with the turkey meat, canned 30 quarts of turkey vegetable soup.  And then canned the leftovers.  Next week I have about 10 lbs. of bacon to can.

Not everyone cans food.  And that's OK.  Some are in a place where they can plant a garden or raise animals and birds for meat, dairy and eggs.  Good for them.  Really.

Some of us have to rely on Farmer's Markets and local farmers or the grocery stores.  And if that is the case, I truly hope you have been preparing for quite some time.  It can be done.  I am living proof of that, as I am among the apartment dwellers who can maybe grow something in pots on a window sill, but doubt the landlord would be happy if I kept chickens in the kitchen.  :)

There are those who question the sanity of those who prepare.  There are those who believe nothing bad could ever happen here and if it does, it surely will not be in their back yard.  I wish you well, but do not look to me to take food from the mouths of my grandchildren because you can't or won't prepare for emergencies.

It is time to get busy.  Now.  While you still can.

 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

LIPIDLEGGIN’

 

LIPIDLEGGIN’

F. Paul Wilson

[Editor's note: This story was first published in 1978 by F. Paul Wilson. Then it was probably considered rather "out there". Today it's a prescient look at what is close to becoming a reality as the Food Police continually try to foist their "good-for-you" policies on individuals. We're pleased to bring this story to our audience.]

Butter.

I can name a man's poison at fifty paces. I take one look at this guy as he walks in and say to myself, "Butter."

He steps carefully, like there's something sticky on the soles of his shoes. Maybe there is, but I figure he moves like that because he's on unfamiliar ground. Never seen his face before and I know just about everybody around.

It's early yet. I just opened the store and Gabe's the only other guy on the buying side of the counter, only he ain't buying. He's waiting in the corner by the checkerboard and I'm just about to go join him when the new guy comes in. It's wet out---not raining, really, just wet like it only gets up here near the Water Gap-and he's wearing a slicker. Underneath that he seems to have a stocky build and is average height. He's got no beard and his eyes are blue with a watery look. Could be from anywhere until he takes off the hat and I see his hair: It's dark brown and he's got it cut in one of those soup-bowl styles that're big in the city.

Gabe gives me an annoyed look as I step back behind the counter, but I ignore him. His last name is Varadi--sounds Italian but it's Hungarian--and he's got plenty of time on his hands. Used to be a Ph.D. in a philosophy department at some university in Upstate New York till they cut the department in half and gave him his walking papers, tenure and all. Now he does part-time labor at one of the mills when they need a little extra help, which ain't near as often as he'd like.

About as poor as you can get, that Gabe. The government giraffes take a big chunk of what little he earns and leave him near nothing to live on. So he goes down to the welfare office where the local giraffes give him food stamps and rent vouchers so he can get by on what the first group of giraffes left him. If you can figure that one out...

Anyway, Gabe's got a lot of time on his hands, like I said, and he hangs out here and plays checkers with me when things are slow. He'd rather play chess, I know, but I can't stand the game. Nothing happens for too long and I get impatient and try to break the game open with some wild gamble. And I always lose. So we play checkers or we don't play.

The new guy puts his hat on the counter and glances around. He looks uneasy. I know what's coming but I'm not going to help him out. There's a little dance we've got to do first.

"I need to buy a few things," he says. His voice has a little tremor in it and close up like this I figure he's in his mid-twenties.

"Well, this is a general store," I reply, getting real busy wiping down the counter, "and we've got all sorts of things. What're you interested in? Antiques? Hardware? Food?"

"I'm not looking for the usual stock."

(The music begins to play)

I look at him with my best puzzled expression. "Just what is it you're after, friend?"

"Butter and eggs."

"Nothing unusual about that. Got a whole cabinet full of both behind you there."

(We're on our way to the dance floor)

"I'm not looking for that. I didn't come all the way out here to buy the same shit I can get in the city. I want the real thing."

"You want the real thing, eh?" I say, meeting his eyes square for the first time. "You know damn well real butter and real eggs are illegal. I could go to jail for carrying that kind of stuff."

(We dance)

Next to taking his money, this is the part I like best about dealing with a new customer. Usually I can dance the two of us around the subject of what he really wants for upwards of twenty or thirty minutes if I've a mind to. But this guy was a lot more direct than most and didn't waste any time getting down to the nitty-gritty. Still, he wasn't going to rob me of a little dance. I've got a dozen years of dealing under my belt and no green kid's gonna rob me of that.

A dozen years... doesn't seem that long. It was back then that the giraffes who were running the National Health Insurance program found out that they were spending way too much money taking care of people with diseases nobody was likely to cure for some time. The stroke and heart patients were the worst. With the presses at the Treasury working overtime and inflation getting wild, it got to the point where they either had to admit they'd made a mistake or do something drastic. Naturally, they got drastic.

The president declared a health emergency and Congress passed something called the National Health Maintenance Act which said that since certain citizens were behaving irresponsibly by abusing their bodies and thereby giving rise to chronic diseases which resulted in consumption of more that their fair share of medical care at public expense, it was resolved that, in the public interest and for the public good, certain commodities would henceforth and hereafter be either prescribed or strictly rationed. Or something like that.

Foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats headed the list. Next came tobacco and any alcoholic beverage over 30 proof.

Ah, the howls that went up from the public. But those were nothing compared to the screams of fear and anguish that arose from the dairy and egg industry which was facing immediate economic ruin. The Washington giraffes stood firm, however--it wasn't an election year--and used phrases like "bite the bullet" and "national interest" and "public good" until we were all ready to barf.

Nothing moved them.

Things quieted down after a while, as they always do. It helped, of course, that somebody in one of the drug companies had been working on an additive to chicken feed that would take just about all the cholesterol out of the yolk. It worked, and the poultry industry was saved.

The new eggs cost more--of course--and the removal of most of the cholesterol from the yolk also removed most of the taste, but at least the egg farmers had something to sell.

Butter was out. Definitely. No compromise. Too much of an "adverse effect on serum lipid levels," whatever that means. You use polyunsaturated margarine or you use nothing. Case closed.

Well, almost closed. Most good citizen-type Americans hunkered down and learned to live with the Lipid Laws, as they came to be known. Why, I bet there's scads of fifteen-year-olds about who've never tasted real butter or a true, cholesterol-packed egg yolk. But we're not all good citizens. Especially me. Far as I'm concerned, there's nothing like two fried eggs--fried in butter--over easy, with bacon on the side, to start the day off. Every day. And I wasn't about to give that up.

I was strictly in the antiques trade then, and I knew just about every farmer in Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. So I found one who was making butter for himself and had him make a little extra for me. Then I found another who was keeping some hens aside and not giving them any of the special feed and had him hold a few eggs out for me.

One day I had a couple of friends over for breakfast and served them real eggs and toast with real butter. They almost strangled me trying to find out where I got the stuff. That's when I decided to add a sideline to my antique business.

I figured New York City to be the best place to start so I let word get around the antique dealers there that I could supply their customers with more than furniture. The response was wild and soon I was making more money running butter and eggs than I was running Victorian golden oak. I was a lipidlegger.

Didn't last, though. I was informed by two very pushy fellows of Mediterranean stock that if I wanted to do any lipid business in Manhattan, I'd either have to buy all my merchandise from their wholesale concern, or give them a very healthy chunk of my profits.

I decided it would be safer to stick close to home. Less volume, but less risky. I turned my antique shop up here by the Water Gap--that's the part of New Jersey you can get to without driving by all those refineries and reactors--into a general store.

A dozen years now.

"I heard you had the real thing for sale," the guy says.

I shake my head. "Now where would you hear a thing like that?"

"New York."

"New York? The only connection I have with New York is furnishing some antique dealers with a few pieces now and then. How'd you hear about me in New York?"

"Sam Gelbstein."

I nod. Sam's a good customer. Good friend, too. He helped spread the word for me when I was leggin' lipids into the city.

"How you know Sam?"

"My uncle furnished most of his house with furniture he bought there."

I still act suspicious--it's part of the dance--but I know if Sam sent him, he's all right. One little thing bothers me, though.

"How come you don't look for your butter and eggs in the city? I hear they're real easy to get there."

"Yeah," he says and twists his mouth. "They're also spoiled now and again and there's no arguing with the types that supply it. No money-back guarantees with those guys."

I see his point. "And you figure this is closer to the source."

He nods.

"One more question," I say. "I don't deal in the stuff, of course"--still dancing--"but I'm curious how a young guy like you got a taste for contraband like eggs and butter."

"Europe," he says. "I went to school in Brussels and it's all still legal over there. Just can't get used to these damned substitutes."

It all fit, so I go into the back and lift up the floor door. I keep a cooler down there and from it pull a dozen eggs and a half-kilo slab of butter. His eyes widen as I put them on the counter in front of him.

"Is this the real thing?" he asks. "No games?" I pull out an English muffin, split it with my thumbs, and drop the halves into a toaster I keep under the counter. I know that once he tastes this butter I'll have another steady customer. People will eat ersatz eggs and polyunsaturated margarine if they think it's good for them, but they want to know the real thing's available. Take that away from them and suddenly you've got them going to great lengths to get what they used to pass up without a second thought.

"The real thing," I tell him. "There's even a little salt added to the butter for flavor."

"Great!" He smiles, then puts both hands into his pockets and pulls out a gun with his right and a shield with his left. "James Callahan, Public Health Service, Enforcement Division," he says. "You're under arrest, Mr. Gurney." He's not smiling anymore.

I don't change my expression or say anything. Just stand there and look bored. But inside I feel like someone's wrapped a length of heavy chain around my gut and hooked it up to a high speed winch.

Looking at the gun-a snub-nosed .32--I start to grin.

"What's so funny?" he asks, nervous and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's his first bust.

"A public health guy with a gunl" I'm laughing now. "Don't that seem funny to you?"

His face remains stern. "Not in the least. Now step around the counter. After you're cuffed we're going to take a ride to the Federal Building."

I don't budge. I glance over to the corner and see a deserted checkerboard. Gabe's gone--skittered out as soon as he saw the gun. Mr. Public Health follows my eyes.

"Where's the red-headed guy?"

"Gone for help," I tell him.

He glances quickly over his shoulder out the door, then back at me. "Let's not do anything foolish here. I wasn't crazy enough to come out here alone."

But I can tell by the way his eyes bounce all over the room and by the way he licks his lips that, yes, he was crazy enough to come out here alone.

I don't say anything, so he fills in the empty space. "You've got nothing to worry about, Mr. Gurney," he says. "You'll get off with a first offender's suspended sentence and a short probation."

I don't tell him that's exactly what worries me. I'm waiting for a sound: the click of the toaster as it spits out the English muffin. It comes and I grab the two halves and put them on the counter.

"What are you doing?" he asks, watching me like I'm going to pull a gun on him any minute.

"You gotta taste it," I tell him. "I mean, how're you gonna be sure it ain't oleo unless you taste it?"

"Never mind that." He wiggles the .32 at me. "You're just stalling. Get around here."

But I ignore him. I open a corner of the slab of butter and dig out a hunk with my knife. Then I smear it on one half of the muffin and press the two halves together. All the time I'm talking.

"How come you're out here messin' with me? I'm smalltime. The biggies are in the city."

"Yeah." He nods slowly. He can't believe I'm buttering a muffin while he holds a gun on me. "And they've also bought everyone who's for sale. Can't get a conviction there if you bring in the 'leggers smeared with butter and eggs in their mouths."

"So you pick on me."

He nods again. "Someone who buys from Gelbstein let slip that he used to connect with a guy from out here who used to do lipidlegging into the city. Wasn't hard to track you down." He shrugs, almost apologizing. "I need some arrests to my credit and I have to take 'em where I can find 'em."

I don't reply just yet. At least I know why he came alone: He didn't want anyone a little higher up to steal credit for the bust. And I also know that Sam Gelbstein didn't put the yell on me, which is a relief. But I've got more important concerns at the moment.

I press my palm down on top of the muffin until the melted butter oozes out the sides and onto the counter, then I peel the halves apart and push them toward him.

"Here. Eat."

He looks at the muffin all yellow and drippy, then at me, then back to the muffin. The aroma hangs over the counter in an invisible cloud and I'd be getting hungry myself if I didn't have so much riding on this little move.

I'm not worried about going to jail for this. Never was. I know all about suspended sentences and that. What I am worried about is being marked as a 'legger. Because that means the giraffes will be watching me and snooping into my affairs all the time. I'm not the kind who takes well to being watched. I've devoted a lot of effort to keeping a low profile and living between the lines--"living in the interstices," Gabe calls it. A bust could ruin my whole way of life.

So I've got to be right about this guy's poison.

He can't take his eyes off the muffins. I can tell by the way he stares that he's a good-citizen type whose mother obeyed all the Lipid Laws as soon as they were passed, and who never thought to break them once he became a big boy.

I nudge him. "Go ahead."

He puts the shield on the counter and his left hand reaches out real careful, like he's afraid the muffins will bite him. Finally, he grabs the nearest one, holds it under his nose, sniffs it, then takes a bite. A little butter drips from the right corner of his mouth, but it's his eyes I'm watching. They're not seeing me or anything else in the store... they're sixteen years away and he's ten years old again and his mother just fixed him breakfast. His eyes are sort of shiny and wet around the rims as he swallows. Then he shakes himself and looks at me. But he doesn't say a word.

I put the butter and eggs in a bag and push it toward him.

"Here. On the house. Gabe will be back any minute with the troops so if you leave now we can avoid any problems."

He lowers the gun but still hesitates. "Catch those bad guys in the city," I tell him. "But when you need the real thing for yourself, and you need it fresh, ride out here and I'll see you're taken care of."

He shoves the rest of the muffin half into his mouth and chews furiously as he pockets his shield and gun and slaps his hat back on his head.

"You gotta deal," he says around the mouthful, then lifts the bag with his left hand, grabs the other half muffin with his right, and hurries out into the wet.

I follow him to the door where I see Gabe and a couple of the boys from the mill coming up the road with shotguns cradled in their arms. I wave them off and tell them thanks anyway. Then I watch the guy drive off.

I guess I can't tell a Fed when I see one, but I can name anybody's poison. Anybody's.

I glance down at the pile of newspapers I leave on the outside bench. Around the rock that holds it down I can see where some committee of giraffes has announced that it will recommend the banning of Bugs Bunny cartoons from theaters and the airwaves. The creature, they say, shows a complete disregard for authority and is not fit viewing for children.

Well, I've been expecting that and dubbed up a few minidisks of some of Bugs' finest moments. Don't want the kids around here to grow up without the Wabbit.

I also hear talk about a coming federal campaign against being overweight. Bad health risk, they say. Rumor has it they're going to outlaw clothes over a certain size. That's just rumor, of course... still, I'll bet there's an angle in there for me.

Ah, the giraffes. For every one of me there's a hundred of them.

But I'm worth a thousand giraffes.

(c) 1978 F. Paul Wilson

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Taking a Break

 It is a quiet time here in my little corner of the world.  I have nothing special going on.  I continue to stack it to the rafters but other than that, there is nothing new to report.  Sometimes we just need to take a step back and that is what I am doing for the next couple of weeks.  Take care of yourselves, my friends and keep on prepping and praying.  See you soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Bits and Pieces

 It has been a strange day here in Minnesota.  A normal March includes a blizzard.  Today we had heavy rain, complete with thunder.  The rain turned to ice after dark and then it snowed on top of the ice.  Warm, sunny beaches are looking good about now.

But instead of heading to the tropics, I will be canning turkey.  My grocery order goes in Monday for Thursday delivery.  The sale ad featured whole turkeys at 99 cents per pound.  Turkey wasn't that cheap even at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  There is a limit of two and because my freezer is full to the brim, the turkey will go into jars.

I am finally able to move about on the knee I popped last week.  Thank you all for your prayers.  But because I spent several days babying the injured knee, I have some catching up to do.  So between now and Thursday grocery delivery, things need to be scrubbed and dusted and all that kind of exciting stuff,  Sigh.

But even with all of that, there is still some fun to be had.  I am probably the only person in western civilization who doesn't own a cell phone.  So my son gave me an iPad.  I can now send and recieve texts and I can FaceTime with my family.  Now nearly every day I get a photo from my son of his dog, Oreo, a black and white Aussiedoodle.  I now know that she lugs around a purple hippo toy and she sits on a bench in my sons home office and watches the world go by.  And I have a video of her at the dog park, sniffing squirrel tracks and doing zoomies.  She gives me a smile a day.  :)

I have always enjoyed phone calls from my kids and grands, but it is even more fun to see their smiling faces.  I now know that grandson eats cheese crackers doused in hot sauce and granddaughter likes homemade malts.  And their sister gave me a tour of the neighborhood where she lives while attending college.  I really am having fun wth this!  

On a more serious note, I am not sure what to make of the Russia - Ukraine thing.  The truth seems to be a scarce commodity.  Some are showing horrifying pictures and videos claiming to have been taken in the middle of battle, only to be proven to be from years ago.  Others tell us to get ready for nuclear war.  I can't change anything about the situation, so I think I will just wait and see what happens and continue on as I always do.

One thing I do know for certain is that prices of goods and services are not going down any time soon.  And some of the reports I have heard about farmers having to pay huge prices for fertilizer this year if they can get it all, and that fuel prices are getting to the point of being totally out of reach for many, tell me that there is the possibility of grain shortages.  Whatever I buy today will cost less than it will tomorrow.  

Last night I opened a jar of chicken breast that I had canned 5 years ago when I paid 99 cents a pound on sale.  The same chicken is now over $7 per pound.  Who knows what the cost will be in a year.  Even if we are paying more than we did before, it still is a good plan to stock up as much as possible.

I can't change it.  But I can be as ready as is possible for whatever 'it' is.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Personal SHTF

We prepare for what we like to call a time when the s**t hits the fan.  Most think of that as being national or world wide disasters.  However, it can also be on a personal level.    

So yesterday I was walking through my apartment when something popped in my right knee.  After some well chosen words I discovered that walking had become somewhat interesting.  One of the first things I did was whine to a friend and the second was to proceed with feeling sorry for myself.  

After icing my knee, which seems to be getting better, the pity party continued.  Right up to the time a short while ago when my phone rang.

It seems the extended warranty on my car has expired.  And since the call had interrupted my sitting with my leg propped up, I was in just the right mood to discuss this with someone named Jason who had an East Indian accent.

Thing is, I haven't owned a vehicle for several years.  So I asked Jason which one of my vehicles needed the warranty.  Jason is cagey.  He said it was the last vehicle I had purchased.  So I informed Jason that I had bought three cars on the same day and he needed to tell me which one needed the warranty.

That is when Jason hung up on me.

It is amazing how good a person can feel when they get a scammer to hang up on them.  :)       

Saturday, February 26, 2022

And just like that...

 the pandemic is over.  Amazing!

I check my local news sources now and then, mostly for amusement.  For the past two years the daily headlines have told us how many new virus cases were reported and how many deaths were attributed to the virus.  

Today?  Crickets.

I guess there is something new to distract us from the invasion at our southern border, the price at the gas pumps and the empty shelves and higher prices at the grocery store.

I have no doubt that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will have an effect on us here in the States.  And in the meantime, I don't see anyone doing a single thing to deal with the problems that directly affect US citizens.

So, as long as I cannot change what is happening in the world around me, I will continue to do what I can to make sure my family is taken care of.  This week I canned ham and added pork chops and chicken to my freezer.  My grocery order included paper products, over the counter meds and instant potatoes.  I will continue to stack it as high as possible.

I refuse to be one of those people who, when the shelves are bare, will look around and wonder what happened and what are they going to do now.

Pray and prepare.    

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Past Time to Get Serious

 I had planned to do a couple of experiments like dehydrating mashed potatoes and canning syrup made from fruit peels.  

After taking a long, hard look at what is happening in the world around us, I decided the best thing I can do right now is stick to my tried-and-true methods of preserving food.

As preppers, we learn to adapt to circumstances.  Only those who live under a rock could fail to see what is happening across our northern border.  Canadians who want their freedoms and lives back and who have been peacefully protesting toward that end, have been treated like terrorists by their leaders.  There is a similar protest planned for the US.  What do you suppose the outcome will be should our people be treated like the Canadians. 

Canada, a land of people known for their friendliness and niceness, has seen their people trampled by horses.  They have watched truck windows being smashed and drivers pulled from their trucks and arrested.  They have watched their people being beaten and arrested for nothing more than standing in the street.

Canada is literally in our backyard.  If you believe nothing like that could happen here, you are delusional.  Enjoy your rainbows and unicorns. 

I don't think I have the time to play with experiments.  And if I haven't been serious about preparing, I should be.  Whether the truckers here decide to form a convoy to DC, or if they just decide to go home, lock the truck door and wait, the results are the same.  Goods will not be delivered.  Stores can run out of food in maybe three days.  People will be hungry in about a week.  Hungry people are dangerous people.

I don't know what the near future holds, but I am not taking chances that everything will be just fine.  Things here have not been just fine for at least two years.  So, I am busy canning and dehydrating and filling in any gaps in my preps.  That's what we do.  We get ready for whatever happens.

God bless those Canadians who want nothing more than to be free from tyrannical mandates.  And bless those here in the States who are on a similar mission.  And I wouldn't mind seeing some righteous punishment for those who willingly hurt the people they are supposed to care about.    

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Retirement Does Not Equal Boredom

Before I retired, folks warned me that I would be bored. In the thirteen years since that time, I cannot recall a single boring day.

My time at present is devoted to food storage. Between the store shelves that are in my area becoming less stocked week after week and the Trucker Convoy in Canada that has an effect on the delivery of goods here in the US, I am taking no chances and am doing everything I can to continue stacking it to the rafters.

By the way – I am behind the Canadian Trucker Freedom Convoy 100%. There are rumors of a similar convoy here in the States and I truly hope it happens. All the mandates and lockdowns and regulations need to stop. We, too, need our freedoms back from those who wish to have complete control over our lives.

These convoys will have an effect on the condition of store shelves and not just groceries. Perhaps that is the price we will need to pay to get out from under the tyranny of those who forget who pays their salaries.

So being mindful of the possibility of even more bare shelves, my grocery order this week included pork shoulder roast on sale at 99 cents per pound, with a limit of two. I thought I would just freeze them for future meals. Turns out there were two roasts in each package and each package weighed about 15 lbs. So I canned them and got 13 quarts of pork roast.

I dehydrated 6 bags each of frozen green beans and frozen broccoli. I have 10 lbs. each of potatoes and onions to dry this week. And 8 lbs. of fresh carrots gave me 7 quarts canned.

I don't know what is going to happen in the future, but whatever it is, I do not want to be caught short.

Keep preparing. And most importantly, keep praying.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ice Fishing

There is so much bad stuff going on that it is easy to get mired down in it all. Sometimes we just need a break.

My son and his son went ice fishing.

Lake of the Woods is probably the most beautiful place in Minnesota. It is located at the most northern point in the state and shares a border with Canada.

I have fished the lake in the warmer months. I haven't the courage to visit in the winter.

There is a resort that rents fish houses. These aren't your run-of-the-mill fish houses. They are more like a small cabin with all the amenities.

To reach their fish house my son and grandson drove about 10 miles over the ice. It had been cold enough that the ice was over 50 inches thick. David told me that the temperature reached 30 degrees below zero while they were there.





They had good luck fishing.





My granddaughters have been to the Lake with their Dad in previous winters. He hopes they can join him for one more trip before winter ends.

This is a photo of two happy fishermen. :)



Ice fishing isn't high on my list of fun things to do, but it ranks right up there with my son and his family. In these times that don't look like they will get better any time soon, it is important to go do whatever it is that pleases us. We continue to keep track of what is going on around us and we continue to prepare as best we can. We have had two years full of mandates and restrictions. It is time to live again.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

“Let them truckers roll, 10-4.”

That from the country song “Convoy” by C. W. McCall, many moons ago. But it seems that the events of the song are now a reality all across Canada, but for different reasons.

The Prime Minister of Canada mandated restrictions involving the jab on truck drivers crossing the border. The occupant of the White House here in the States followed suit.

So now, smack dab in the middle of a supply chain crisis, these two numbskulls decide to make it worse.

The Convoy of truckers started out as a protest against the virus mandates. But it has morphed into much more than that.

It is now the “Freedom Convoy.” There are 18-wheelers, some hauling trailers and some bob tailing. There are gravel trucks and cement trucks and pickup trucks, many sporting the Canadian flag and protest signs. I even saw a video where farm tractors had joined in.

These drivers are on their way to Ottawa to tell their government officials precisely what they think of their tyrannical mandates. And from what I have seen, it looks like these drivers are willing to stay there until things change.  Last I heard, there were 50,000 trucks involved.  I expect that number to grow between now and Saturday.

They are done. Done with the masks. Done with the lockdowns. Done with the mandates. Done with the tyranny.

And so are the Canadian citizens who are standing in the snow and cold – along the roads – on the overpasses – waving flags and carrying signs and cheering the passing truckers.

And so are the folks who have donated millions to help the drivers pay for food and fuel. And the ones who are delivering sandwiches and coffee to the drivers. And the folks who are opening their homes to those drivers who would like a shower and a bed for the night.

Americans – take a note. This is what happens when we stop believing what government tells us. When we refuse to accept their idea that we are all racist. When we ignore the fear mongering and get on with living our lives.

When we begin to act like Americans again, we can accomplish wonderful things.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Food Shortages Are Real

I have been trying to put into words my observations on the continuing food shortages. And then this morning I saw the following video. Alaska Granny says it much better than I could.

Food Shortages Getting Worse Get Food While You Can - YouTube

Much of my food storage consists of home canned foods. Canning supplies in my area are nearly nonexistent. A couple of weeks ago I was able to score two cases of quart jars. I haven't seen regular sized canning lids for nearly a year. Thankfully, a dear friend sent me a dozen boxes. I will be filling jars with meat from my freezer and canning it over the weekend. Meat doesn't get freezer burned while in jars.

So far, the store where my grocery delivery service shops is reasonably well stocked, although I have noticed more substitutions for what I order than were previously common. And packaging sizes seem to be shrinking but the prices don't.

My crystal ball is in the shop, so I have no idea where all of this is leading. I just know that now is not the time to slow down with the preps.

I don't do what I do out of boredom or as a hobby or for any other reason than to make sure my family is taken care of no matter what happens.

Keep stacking it to the rafters. We do not want to be one of those who wonders where the next meal is coming from.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Oopsie...

When I do something preparedness related and it actually works out, I usually tell you all about it. So it is only fair that I tell you when I mess up.

A couple of months ago I had extra onions that needed to be used up. So I peeled and chopped them and filled six dehydrator trays. When the onions were completely dry, I shut the dehydrator off to let them cool before removing them from the trays.

And then I promptly forgot about them.

Until yesterday.

When I took the lid off the dehydrator in order to fill trays with orange slices, only to find myself staring at chopped onions!

The onions sat in the dehydrator for two whole months!

I checked the onions. They were still crisp. There was no mold. There were no creepy crawlers. I rehydrated some to see if they tasted OK. They did. So I packaged them up and put them away.

There are many websites and videos about dehydrating and storing dried foods. Some say mylar bags with oxygen absorbers is the best storage method. Others swear by vacuum sealing and still others use canning jars.

All of the above are good methods but are somewhat beyond my price range. So for the past 10 years or so, I have been putting my dried fruit and veggies into Ziploc freezer bags and storing the bags in cardboard banker's boxes.  And there have been no quality issues at all.

If I had a rodent problem in my apartment or if creepy crawlers were a problem, I would have to use a more robust storage method. But in the 25 years I have lived in this building, I have seen no signs of either. And if the dried onions had sat in the dehydrator during the more humid summer months, there may have been a problem.

I am in no way suggesting that others use my storage methods. I am saying that in my opinion, possibly some of the newer ways of doing things aren't totally necessary. After all, the Native Americans of a century or more past, sun dried much of their food. They stored it mostly in clay pots or tightly woven baskets.

So I don't think I will obsess about the method of storage. I think I am just very thankful that I have dehydrated food to store for future use.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Whack-A-Mole

That's how a friend described the prepping lifestyle. She said we think we have it under control and then something pops up that we have to deal with. For her, it was a nip from a new puppy who isn't old enough yet to have any manners, and her collection of butterfly bandages was quickly depleted

My latest 'whack-a-mole' moment was in the baking ingredients department. Each of my kids and grands got a quart jar full of hot chocolate mix and a bag of caramel corn. I didn't need to buy any of the ingredients, but making those items sure did trim down my supply. And showed me that I didn't have nearly enough of any of it to begin with

This prepping thing isn't just a one-time shot. It is a lifestyle. And I am convinced that I will never be as prepared as I would like to be. There will always be a 'whack-a-mole' moment where I find I need something else.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed. It would be easy to just give up. But this preparedness thing is not a contest. We don't need to have everything perfect all of the time. We don't need to have as many jars of peanut butter or bags of rice as someone else has.

We do need to work at having what our families need in an emergency situation. And after a while, there will be fewer moles to whack.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Rainbows and Unicorns

I am a bit late in getting back to posting here.  I have been pondering which direction to take this blog.  Should I stay strictly a preparedness blog?  Should I stay within the realm of rainbows and unicorns and happy thoughts?

Sorry folks.  I find I am just not wired to keep my opinions to myself.  And with that in mind, I give you a Chad Prather video that expresses pretty much how I feel about this whole virus thing.  Thanks to my friend Red who sent me the link.  The language may get a bit salty, but the message is spot on.

Chad Prather's Powerful Reality Check: "Covid Is A Joke And You Are The Punchline" (bitchute.com)

If we do not stand up for what we believe is right, then we deserve everything the government tosses at us.