Wednesday, December 21, 2022

There comes a time...

 when perhaps it is a good idea to put everything on hold and spend time with loved ones or just doing other things.  That's where I am.  So I will be here resting, reading, sewing or whatever I decide to do until after the new year.  

Here in the Great White North, everything is frozen solid.  The temp this evening is minus 8 degrees.  Snow and wind are headed our way.  

We don't need to prepare for the end of the world.  Preparing for cold and snow and wind is just important.  While others are lining up in the grocery stores, stocking up on whatever they need to get through the storm, I will be sitting on my cozy apartment with a cup of hot chocolate, watching the storm from the comfort of my recliner.  Your neck of the woods may have different weather related difficulties, but being well prepared is the same no matter where we are.

Stay safe.  Enjoy the holidays as much as possible.  Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a better New Year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Just Checking In...

 There hasn't been much activity here in the Great White North lately.  I haven't been canning or dehydrating, but am more concentrating on basics like rice and pasta and sugar.  My groceries are delivered Thursday afternoon and there will be things to repackage and put away.  I repackage in Ziploc bags anything that comes packaged in cardboard or thick paper, like sugar bags.  I haven't had a problem with bugs here, but past experience tells me bugs like paper or cardboard - plastic, not so much.

I am nearly finished writing out the old family recipes and some of the stories associated with them, for my kids.  I still need to dive into my recipe box and find Mother's recipes for apple pie and peach pie.  

Each summer Mother would make at least a dozen apple pies using apples from our very small orchard.  Dad would bring home lugs of peaches from the grocery store and she would make about the same number of peach pies using part of the peaches and would can the rest.  She stored the raw pies in the freezer, stacking them one on top of the other, forming towers of pies.  We would bake them, one at a time, throughout the winter months.  When her hands became too crippled from arthritis to be able to continue this practice, she turned that task over to me.  To this day I love apple and peach pies.  Making them - not so much.  :) 

Here in Minnesota, for the last day or so, we have had rain, sleet, snow - rinse and repeat.  It is in times like these that I am more than happy I do not need to go outside.  That will be especially true come the weekend when temps here are supposed to drop to single digits.  Times like this I envy my friend in California who is picking oranges and grapefruit from the trees.  :)

That's all I've got for now.  Stay safe and warm. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Holidays for Old Folks

 This time of year can be a bit stressful for those of us with large families and limited income.  We worry about Christmas gifts for our kids and grands, without wrecking our budgets.  Here is how I solve that problem.

I have six grands, one grand-in-law and two great grands.  Because I don't know what gift would make each one happy, they get cash.  Teens in particular seem to like having extra spending money.  The little ones have something for the piggy bank that will eventually add up to a fair amount for them when they are older.  In order not to break the bank, I save a little here and a little there all year so I have enough set aside by December.

One year everyone got jars of my hot chocolate mix along with bags of homemade caramel corn.  But this year because health issues prevent me from doing large projects, my kids are getting hand written recipe cards that contain recipies from their grandmothers and a couple of aunts, all of whom are no longer with us.  There are stories connected to some of the recipies and I am including those, too.

Whenever there was a family gathering, my mother would make a cold shrimp salad.  At one of those gatherings I was fixing a plate for her and I asked if she wanted some shrimp salad.  She wrinkled her nose and said "Absolutely not.  I can't stand the stuff."  When I asked why she made it, she replied that it looked pretty in the bowl!  And that was Mother.  She loved 'pretty.'

Included is Dad's recipe for peanut brittle that he made every Christmas season.  His children called it "Dad's World Famous Peanut Brittle."  He almost always cooked it a bit too long so it had a slightly scortched taste, which distinguished it from other peanut brittle.  And that is how we liked it.

Mother's recipe for gingersnap cookies is there, too.  When growing up, my family lived in a big, old farmhouse with a large screened in porch.  We often had visits from relatives.  In the summer, Mother would serve her gingersnaps along with ice cold lemonade, all enjoyed on our front porch.

There are all sorts of ways to enjoy the Christmas season without spending a fortune.  All we need is a little imagination and to remember the reason for the season.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Anyone besides me completely fed up?

Here's the thing...

I don't care what was on Hunter's laptop.  Nor do I care what percentage of ill gotten gains went to the 'Big Guy.'  I have no interest in who dines with Trump.  Who is banned from Twitter and who is not is of no interest to me either.

Every day one politician or another is bellowing about the wrongs being done by those in the opposing political party.  The next day those opposing are screaming a rebuttal to the accusations of the accusers.

Nobody seriously tries to change anything.  They would rather get their faces on TV and their pockets lined by special interest groups.  There is not even one politician I would trust.  If they were honest people they would not be politicians.

I will not be marching in the streets to protest anything.  That  changes nothing and these days is more likely to get me run over or shot.  Write or call my congress critters?  Nope.  Whatever makes anyone think the politicians care what we the people think.

I have come to a place where most of my alloted time on this earth has past.  There are not all that many days left.  I can think of no good reason to waste time worrying about what government types are doing.  They are going to do what they want no matter what I say.

What it comes down to is that many of us just want to be left alone.  Not by friends and family, but by those in power who think it is just fine to tell us how we need to live when they have not a single clue about what it takes to live a normal, everyday life. 

I intend to live out my days spending time with kids and grands and great-grands.  My pantry is full enough to feed my family for a long time if necessary, but I will continue to add to it.  There are quilts to sew and afghans to crochet and genealogy research to be done.  Those things make me happy.  The government has not even once thought about my happiness or that of the rest of us.  So they can just scream and holler all they want.  I am not impressed.  Nor do I care any more.

I am just done.  I refuse to comply with their silly edicts and mandates.  I refuse to bow and scrape.  I have only one Lord and Master and He doesn't live in DC!

We know they will not leave us alone.  Continue to prepare.  Continue to pray.  And perhaps if enough of us just say "No," that might at least slow them down a bit.    

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Yeah. I know...

 I managed to disappear for a while.  I'm sorry.  No excuses - my bad.

I have been adding to my stores.  My son did a Sam's club run for me.  I canned 10 lbs. of boneless chicken thighs and froze 10 lbs. of apples.  My grocery order arrives tomorrow and there should be some canned goods included for my food storage.

Some of you are of retirement age.  I think whoever coined the phrase "Golden Years" must have been in their 20's and never had to deal with all the fun - and often painful - stuff that comes with old age.

I mention this only because I completely understand the frustration that goes along some of the 'delights' of old age.  My arthritis flare-up doesn't seem to be going away this time.  I tell you this not to whine or feel sorry for myself, but to illustrate the fact that sometimes we need to adjust how we do things.

I am pretty much done canning unless there is an emergency reason for doing so.  Lifting a heavy pressure canner isn't working for me.  But I have other options.  I can freeze or dehydrate most fresh foods.  And so far, the stores in my area don't have much for bare shelves, even if their prices have reached ridiculous heights.  So I am buying more canned goods.

For some products that have outrageous prices, making my own is an option.  I like to have boxed scalloped potatoes on hand for an easy meal.  But not at the price they want now.

Scalloped Potato Mix

Sauce:  1/3 C. +  2 Tbsp. dry milk - 2 Tbsp. each flour and cornstarch -  1 Tbsp. crushed dry onions - 1/4 tsp. pepper.  This equals one batch.

The dehydrated potatoes are thicker than the ones in store bought mixes, so cooking works better in a crock pot.

3 C. dehydrated potato slices - 3 Tbsp. butter - 3 C. hot water - one batch sauce mix.

I just let it cook on 'medium' all day and about an hour before supper I might toss in a cup of either diced ham or cooked and crumbled bacon.  With a vegetable or a salad, this makes an easy meal.

Here's the thing.  Don't give up.  There are some who are in far worse shape than me and yet are able to carry on.  Nobody said life would be easy.  We just do what we can, which is more important than ever these days.

Pray and prepare, my friends. Pray and prepare.



Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Busy Time of Year

 This past week I made up a dozen batches of my dry soup mix, using vegetables that I had canned some years back and now have dehydrated them.  If someone wants to use dehydrated foods they already have in stock, here is the recipe.

Soup Mix

1/3 Cup each of dehydrated corn, green beans, carrots and diced potatoes

3 bouillon cubes  (may add more dry bouillon to taste)

1 tsp. garlic powder and 2 tsp. dry parsley

1/4 Cup dry onions

I added a couple of Tablespoons of dry, shredded cabbage just because I like it.

This soup can be made in a crock pot.  Add 2 quarts of water - a little more depending on how much broth you like in your soup or if you add additional dry veggies.  I just let it simmer all day.  An hour before serving, I add a pint of canned meat - usualy beef or chicken.  The meat may be eliminitated if just a good veggie soup is desired.

My grocery order arrives tomorrow.  My bill is outrageous for the amount of food I am getting.  I am incredibly thankful that I started stocking up years ago when prices were at a more reasonable rate.

As a result of prices at the grocery store rising nearly to the completely unaffordable rates, I am going through the recipes I have collected over the years, looking for home made substitutes for some of the products I normally buy.  I have stocked ingredients.  I can make a variety of mixes to replace some of the convenience foods I have been using. 

I am not hurting financially - yet.  But I probably will be if I don't change the way I do some things.  I am also looking through my mother's recipe box.  She cooked before convenience foods or microwaves.  I really need to remember how she stretched meals.

I doubt this inflation will end any time soon.  We can either pretend everything is alright or we can adjust the way we do things accordingly - in the real world.  Nobody - at least nobody connected with the government - is coming to save us.

As always - pray and prepare.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Follow Up

 Having received an email from our friend, CW, I want to let all the Prayer Warriors know what she said.

CW has a cancerous tumor that will require about 6 months of treatment along with surgery.  

Cancer in any form is difficult at best.  I can hardly imagine what she must be going through with everything else she has on her plate.  I know her to be one who is strong in her faith and believes in the power of prayer as we do.

We will not forget about her and I know that she is thankful for your concern and prayers.

I am amazed and humbled by the response to the call for prayer for one of our own.  It renews my faith in the basic goodness of people.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Prayer Warrior Alert For One Of Our Own

 Over the years I have come to regard you who come here regularly as family.  One of our own is in need of prayer.

I have been in touch with "CW from Iowa" via email for quite some time.  Her husband was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer a while back.  His struggle is nearly over.  

Tomorrow CW goes for tests to determine to what stage her colon cancer has developed and what treatment she will need to undergo.

These fine people have an adult son who is devoted to his parents and is doing everything he can to make life easier for them.  He, too, has a lot on his plate and could use prayers for strength and courage.

I strongly believe in the power of prayer and I am asking those of you who are of a mind to do it, to pray for this family.  When CW's email arrived this afternoon, she asked if perhaps I could call upon our Prayer Warriors.  And I have no doubt that you will heed the call.

Thank you.



Sunday, October 30, 2022


 An experiment that actually works.

While browsing through videos, I found one at "The Purposeful Pantry" about dehydrating canned vegetables.  Darcy, the lady who puts out so many helpful dehydrating videos, was using cans of vegetables from the grocery store.  As most of mine are home canned in jars, I thought I would try dehydrating some of them that have been on the shelf for quite some time.

I dehydrated one pint each of corn, carrots, green beans and diced potatoes.  Then I tossed the dry veggies into the crock pot along with a handful of dry onions, 4 chicken bouillon cubes, a half teaspoon of garlic powder and 2 quarts of water.  About an hour before suppertime, I added a pint of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon, as I thought the broth could use just a bit more flavor.

The result was a really good chicken veggie soup that went well with some cornbread.

I have some home canned veggies that have been sitting on the shelf for several years.  I think I will dry them and store them with the bouillon, onions, garlic and maybe a handful of dry parsley to make a soup mix that needs only water and canned shredded meat to make an easy meal.

It is really nice when a plan comes together.  :)

Monday, October 24, 2022

Summer Sausage Made With Hamburger

 As has happened many times, arthritis has reared its ugly head in the form of a flare-up.  This is nothing to worry about.  It has been part of my life since age 15.  It will go away in a few days.  But until then the flare-up is a realy good excuse to baby myself and order pizza.

I will be away for a few days.  Until I return, I leave you with this recipe for one of my favorite ways to use hamburger.

Summer Sausage from Hamburger

2 lbs. hamburger

2 Tbsp. mustard seed

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

2 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke

2 Tbsp. Morton Tender Quick

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix together thoroughly.  Divide mixture in half and form two even rolls.  Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Poke holes in the bottom of each roll.  Place on a rack in the oven with a pan underneath to catch any grease.  Bake for 90 minutes.

This is good sliced for sandwiches or used with crackers and cheese.  I generally make about 6 lbs. at a time, keeping a couple of rolls in the fridge and freezing the rest.


Monday, October 17, 2022


 I am old.  I am not fond of change.  But this Recession we are in that seems headed toward a Depression has me rethinking my options.

I like convenience foods.  And I have occasionally been buying premade mixes.  Not so much for the flavor and certainly not for the health aspects.  It is mostly because those of us who have joints that don't work very well any more tend to go for 'easy and quick' as opposed to time consuming 'from scratch' foods.  If I can microwave something instead of standing for a length of time stirring a pot on the stove, I will do it.  Or if I can just add water or milk to a mix instead of mixing from scratch, I will do that, too.  It hurts less.

So this afternoon I have been putting together some of my favorite homemade mixes.  Not only do I know what is in each one, but I find it is much less expensive to make than to buy. 

Swiss Mocha Mix (from the YouTube Channel, "Little Village Homestead.") 

1/2 C. instant coffee  -  2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 C. sugar - or to taste  -  1/4 tsp. vanila

1 C. powdered milk

Blend well.  To use:  2 large Tbsp. in a mug of hot water.

Hot Cocoa Mix (from the YouTube Channel "katzcradul")

5 C. dry milk  -  3 C. powdered sugar

1 1/2 C. cocoa powder  -  1 C. Creamora

pinch salt

Mix well.  Add to hot water in a mug, to taste.  (Note:  This tastes less like Swiss Miss and more like the old fashioned cocoa Mom used to make.  It is also really good if one bottle of malt powder is added.)

Gravy Mixes (from "Suttons Daze" YouTube Channel)

Chicken or Beef Gravy

3/4 C. flour  -  1 tsp. pepper

3 Tbsp. either beef or chicken bouillon

Country Gravy

3/4 C. flour  -  1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. pepper  -  1 tsp. onion powder

To use:  Melt 1 Tbsp. fat (butter, margarine, bacon grease, etc.)  Stir in 2 Tbsp. mix.  Whisk in 1 C. water.  Whisk until thick to make 1 C. gravy.

Brownie Mix  ( Don't remember where I found this.)

4 C. flour  -  4 1/2 C. sugar

1 C. cocoa powder  -  1 1/2 C. dry milk powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder  -  1 1/2 tsp. salt

Sift together 3 times.

To use:  Combine 1 3/4 C. mix, 1/4 C. warm water, 1/4 C. oil, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 egg.  Beat well.  Pour into a greased 9-inch pan.  Bake 20 miutes or until done - 350 degrees. 

I expect to be adding more convenience type mixes this fall.  I highly doubt that prices are going to drop.  I can add to my food storage this way while saving a bit on the already outrageous grocery bill.

We need to keep stacking to the rafters however we can.  And most important, keep praying.  We need all the non governmental help we can get.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Listen and Learn

My young nurse is a wealth of information.  All I need do is listen.

She is a nice girl.  Does a good job.  But her way of thinking is far removed from mine.

She came in one day last week, grousing about having to work the weekend.  Just for reference, there are some patients who need daily care.  The nursing staff takes turns on the weekend shift.

She said she didn't think the human body was made to work so hard.

She said that.  And was serious about it.

The girl obviously has never followed a farmer around on one of his sunrise to past sunset working days.  Nor has she known anyone like my Dad who worked a 40 hour a week job climbing in and out of train boxcars, taking samples of grain for testing.  And then working his second job cleaning a church or an  office building.  And working weekends taking care of two large barns of turkeys.

Don't misunderstand.  I like the girl.  But I fail to understand that while the rest of us are working to stack food and water and supplies as high as we possibly can stack it all, are not spending our money frivolously and are paying attention to events around us, she is going on vacation twice in as many months and flew to Chicago on a weekend to party with friends.


Mine are to feed my family should it become necessary.

Hers are to have as much fun as possible.

I understand that the young often think they are 10 feet tall and bulletproof, but the reality is that there may come a time when she will be wondering where her next meal is coming from.  

I find that incredibly sad.  

And she is not alone.  There are a couple of generations of folks who believe nothing bad will ever happen and even if it does, it won't happen in their back yard.

I sincerely pray that God will help them.  For I will not.

Monday, October 3, 2022

You All Are Amazing

 "Prayer is not a gentle knock on the door.  It is a FERVENT EFFECTUAL POUNDING on the doors of Heaven."

When I posted the request for prayer, I was a mother who feared losing another son.  Things have changed.

My son had a scan of his heart that showed no damage and normal function.  He had a stent put in one blocked artery.  He has a few restrictions and diet changes.  He goes home to his family tomorrow.

No one will ever convince me there is no power in prayer.

I can not even begin to properly thank all of you for your kindness, your caring and your prayers.  But mostly I thank God for listening and answering.

May that same God bless you all.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Prayer Warriors Alert

 My friends, I am again reaching out to you with a request for prayer.

A short time ago I got a phone call from my sweet daughter-in-law.  It seems that my youngest son had a heart attack this afternoon.  Fortunately he paid attention to his symptoms and went directly to the hospital.  He has had a stent put in.  His wife says he is awake and talking and is very tired.

We will know more tomorrow after the doctors see him.

Prayers for my son and his family would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Canning - Yes and No

While going through the shelves I use for my home canned jars of food, I found a few jars of fruit that I had canned as an experiment a couple of years ago.  I decided to open one jar of each to see how they held up.

The first was a jar of those little oranges - mandarin oranges or as they are sometimes called, Clementines.  They had been canned in a light sugar water syrup.  They had turned a kind of brownish color.  That could be due to the fact that the shelving unit holding them is located in my living room and isn't in the dark.  The fruit had turned to mush.  Others may have successfully canned these, but as for me, I will use the mandarin oranges in a can from the grocery store.

About the same time I saw where some were canning grapes, so I gave that a try.  This time I just covered the grapes with water.  They stayed fairly firm, but had nearly no taste at all.  I can think of no good reason to waste jars on tasteless fruit.

I will still can some fruits, but these two are not among them.

It is fun to experiment with canning new foods.  But at this time when grocery prices are headed skyward, I believe I will be sticking to what I know works.  For me, that is mostly meats, soups, stews and vegetables.

After all, the point of this whole food storage thing is to make sure my family has food when things get really bad.  In my area, jars and lids are a hit or miss situation.  I will be spending time getting rid of the experiments that failed and filling those jars with what will fill the bellies of hungry family.

As always, pray and prepare. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Things don't always...

 go according to plan.  At least, not in my house.

The fellow who usually does the shopping and delivery with the grocery service I use, had today off.  The one who did the shopping and delivering is a very nice guy.  But he has no clue about how I shop.

The plan was to buy a turkey, a couple of chickens and vegetables in order to can quarts of chicken/turkey vegetable soup.  I got the chickens.  The turkey turned into a rather small frozen turkey breast.  Four pounds of carrots turned into two small bags of baby carrots.  My regular delivery guy knows that when I order cabbage, I want large heads.  The one I got was slightly bigger than a softball. 

So, the soup isn't going to work out.  But there is always a Plan B.

The chickens and turkey breast are in the freezer and will be used for meals later on.  The veggies are all chopped and tomorrow morning they will be blanched and frozen.  It is all still food.  And it doesn't matter if I open a jar to use it or if I thaw out a package.  Food is food, no matter how it is preserved.

Sometimes we have an idea of what we want to do and then Old Murphy shows up and tosses a monkey wrench into the works.  The trick is to be flexible.  If one thing doesn't work, we just try something else.

But I kind of wish Murphy would find somewhere else to hang out.  :)  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Call It Whatever You Want

 Gut instinct.....That little voice in the back of your head.....God leading us.  Whatever name we put to it, most of us have experienced the feeling that we need to do something in particular - or to not do it.  I have learned over the years to listen.  When I don't, chances are pretty good I will find myself knee deep in yucky doo.

So this week, plans have changed.  I had thought I didn't need to do any food preservation just now.  I scrubbed out my pressure canner and put it away.  And I washed all the dehydrater trays and the plastic liners.  They are neatly stacked out of the way.

So when I went to figure out my next grocery order, that little voice in the back of my head was yelling at me.  Chickens and turkeys are being killed off and destroyed by the hundreds of thousands.  Probably reached millions by now.  Better order some while you can.  So I did.

If they are in stock, I ordered two whole chickens and a turkey.  Along with that I ordered cabbage, carrots, onions, celery and frozen peas.  I have a couple of cases of quart jars left.  Groceries are delivered Thursday.  Over the weekend I hope to can quarts of chicken/turkey soup.  This soup has many uses.  It can be heated up as soup.  Rice or pasta can be added to stretch it to feed more people.  It can be made into stew to serve over biscuits.  It can be thickened for use in pot pies.  There are possibilities limited only by imagination.

I seem to be more aware of using every bit of food lately.  The "waste not - want not" of my parent's teachings comes back to memory.  So any leftover meat will be canned in smaller jars.  Any leftover vegetables will be dehydrated.

I am not telling you that you have to rush out and buy poultry.  That's not the point.  The point is to listen to whatever small voice speaks to you.  Bad things are coming, even though many are convinced bad things can never happen - especially not in their back yards.  Whatever you need to do to be as ready as possible, do it.  And pray.  That's the most important thing.  Pray.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Paying Attention

 When I talk with people who are not in the preparedness community, I quickly learn why we are in such a mess.

Fairly new nurse.  Young.  Cute.  Does a very good job with her duties here.

I thought today I would see if she was aware of a potential railroad workers strike.  Might happen.  Might not.  But if the strike happens, the repercussions could affect us all.  So I asked her if she paid any attention to the news reports.  Her answer was no, she didn't because she was way too busy dealing with her personal life.

I believe this is a response that is way too common.  Granted, we all have personal issues to deal with.  The difference is that we are still able to see beyond the personal and see what is going on in the world around us.  And prepare accordingly.

I wonder of those who think the world revolves around them are going to be able to handle it when they find out it doesn't.

Pray and prepare.  Now more than ever.

Friday, September 9, 2022

New Normal...

I really dislike the term 'New Normal.'  I rather liked the old normal.  The following showed up in my email.  Thanks, Deb. 

I am sharing this with you as for the next couple of days I will be busy canning up as much as possible from my freezer.  So far here in Minnesota, we have heard no threats of blackouts as are happening elsewhere.  But I am willling to take no chances with losing what I have.  Prices are way too high to replace it all.  So here you go.  I shall return in a few days.       

I Used To Be A Pretty Normal Person .......

I used to think I was pretty much just a regular person, but I was born white, into a two-parent household which now, whether I like it or not, makes me privileged, a racist, and responsible for slavery.

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today's standards, makes me a fascist because I plan, budget, and support myself.

I went to Grammar School and have always held a job. But I now find out that I am not here because I earned it, but because I was "advantaged".

I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me a homophobe.

I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel.

I am older than 70, making me a useless eater who doesn't understand Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

I think, and I reason, and I doubt most of what the 'mainstream' media tells me, which makes me a Right-wing conspiracy nut.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive culture, making me a xenophobe.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair reward according to each individual's merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

I believe our system guarantees freedom of effort - not freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me a borderline sociopath.

I believe in the defense and protection of my nation for and by all citizens, now making me a militant.

I am proud of our flag, what it stands for, and the many who died to let it fly, so I stand during our National Anthem - so I must be a racist.

Please help me come to terms with the new me because I'm just not sure who I am anymore!
Funny - it all took place over the last 7 or 8 years!

If all this nonsense wasn't enough to deal with, now I don't even know which toilet to use... and these days I gotta go more frequently!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Taking a Break...

 to let my sewing machine cool down.  Just kidding, but it has been in nearly constant use for a few days.  Each of my six grands has a 'Grandma Made' rag type quilt, as does the first great grand.  So it is only fitting that the second great grand has one too.  It should be finished in a day or so.  There are also several quilt tops that need to be finished and turned into usable, warm quilts.  I hear the winter promises to be long and cold.

I have also taken a break from canning and dehydrating, mainly because I simply have no space left in my little apartment to stack any more food in jars without being in danger of tripping over them.  However, I am still stacking foods like rice and oatmeal and pasta.  And I am filling in gaps in my medicine chest.

I suppose I could go on another rant, but there are so many things happening right now that it might be hard to pick one.  I think I will just keep an eye on what is happening and continue to get ready for when the insanity comes to my town.  As far as I can tell, there is no stopping the left from working overtime to tear our country apart.  I can't stop them.  But I can do my best to be ready for them.

Until then, I will enjoy the sunny fall day, continue to sew like crazy and pray while doing so.

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Pray and prepare.


I just took the time to watch 'Appalacian Homestead with Patara.'  In this video, she says what the rest of us are thinking.  It is well worth your time.

Farmers! Veterans! Elderly! Abused! Used! Displaced! - YouTube


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Coming Up For Air

 Contrary to popular belief, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth.  I have just been busy.

Ten lbs. of onions have been dried.  My son stopped at a small Farmer's Market on the other side of town and brought me a few carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I sliced the cukes, sprinkled them with coarse salt and dehydrated them.  I had done this once before and liked the flavor of them as a snack.

I still have the carrots and plan to shred them to use in making a few loaves of carrot bread.  Haven't decided to use the recipe that calls for raisins or the one that has crushed pineapple.  I am leaning toward the one with pineapple.

The tomatoes were a delight.  It has been a long time since I had home grown tomatoes.  They reminded me of a time as a young girl when Dad and I would grab a salt shaker from the kitchen and head for the tomato patch in the garden to eat our fill of fresh tomatoes.  One of the simple pleasures in life is a tomato sandwich for lunch.

My groceries will be delivered tomorrow.  So far I have received everything I have ordered, but not always the brand ordered.  The choices are becoming limited as far as brands go.  I am having to cut back on the size of my orders due to skyrocketing prices.  Frozen chicken breast has gone from a little over $3 per pound to over $5 per pound.  My delivery guy tells me about a few bare shelves that once held items I don't buy.  I am grateful to have shelves full of home canned meat that was put up well before inflation hit us so hard.

I believe those who have ignored what is happening around us are going to have a much tougher time as the food shortages increase and prices continue to climb.  Especially those like me who can no longer plant a garden or raise meat animals.  If they are just now realizing what we have known all along, they are nearly out of time and it will be way more expensive to buy the food they need.  

I am off to work on finishing a quilt for my new Great Grand.  I want to get as much done on that as possible before my groceries arrive.  The order includes a boneless ham to dice and can in half pint jars for adding to dishes like scalloped potatoes or to use as sandwich meat, and potatoes and celery to dehydrate.

It would be so easy to say "I told you so" to those who haven't prepared, but as tempting as that might be, I think they could use prayer more than ridicule.  Continue to prepare.  Continue to pray.  Keep on stacking. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Get It Done

 Does anyone else feel the need to get things done before our world falls apart? 

I am not in panic mode just yet.  But I feel as though if I don't do what needs to be done, it could very well be too late.  

I have onions in the dehydrator to be followed with dehydrating cooked rice to make instant rice.  

The pieces for my great grandson's quilt are cut out and pinned together, ready to sew.

I have acquired enough canning jars to clean out my freezer and can as much as possible before freezer burn sets in and before storms cut off our electricity as they sometimes do.  We have thunderstorms summer and fall and blizzards in the winter, both of which have been known to knock out the power.  Thankfully, tornado season is nearly over without much damage.

I try to keep up here but I can make no promises.  Those in the side bar are better at posting regularly  than I am.  Sorry.  That is just the way it is.  When a person moves at the speed of a turtle, it takes time to do what needs doing.

Keep stacking it high and work on those chores you have been putting off.  I really do hope I am wrong and soon we will be frolicking through fields of daisies.  But I have my doubts.  So I work as hard as I can.

Keep preparing.  Keep praying.  We need all the help we can get.   

Thursday, August 11, 2022


 Today was a busy day.  My groceries were delivered this afternoon.  Part of the order was frozen vegetables.  Carrots and corn are in the dehydrators.  Tomorrow green beans and mixed vegetables will follow.  After that there are 10 lbs. of onions to dry.

9 lbs. of chicken breast are thawing to be canned tomorrow.  9 lbs. of hamburger will follow.

I was able to get 2 cases of pint jars this time.  A year ago the jars would have cost me under $10 per case.  Today I paid $18 per case.

A year ago my entire order would have been under $150.  My bill today was $352.

Looks like I am going to have to cut back on my food orders if I want to pay my rent.

And that is precisely what those in DC - the ones who don't give a rodent's behind about the people who put them there and who pay their salaries - want.

Well, guess what.  I will not slow down.  I will not give in or give up.  I will find ways to keep preparing anyway.  We didn't get to be this old by being stupid.

Brandon and Company - stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Take time...

to stop and smell the roses or the coffee or whatever pleases you.

Everywhere we look, we see warnings about what the 'elite' are doing to gain complete control over the rest of us.  And they seem to be doing just that.  High gas prices.  Rising grocery prices.  Shortages of products needed by farmers to provide the rest of us with food.  Hoards of illegal aliens washing over our borders like a tidal wave.  The list is endless.

Many of us who are preparing to keep our families fed during whatever disaster or plandemic happens next, are feeling like time is running out.  And we are wearing ourselves out doing everything possible to stay afloat.  This can lead to burnout or feeling like our efforts are not enough to make a difference.  And here is where taking time for rose and coffee sniffing comes in.

We need to take time to enjoy whatever makes us happy.  In my case, a morning spent with a daughter, a granddaughter and a couple of great grands provided me with enough 'happy' to last a while.

My grocery delivery this coming Thursday includes chicken breast and hamburger to be frozen until I can find enough jars to can it. And a variety of frozen vegetables to dehydrate. But until then, I am thoroughly enjoying myself with sewing a quilt for the young gentleman with all that dark hair. :)

We have enough bad stuff going on. And we will keep on doing our best for our families.  But now and then, we need to take time to enjoy whatever makes us happy.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in preparing that we forget we still have lives to live.

Those who keep trying to make us miserable are going to hate the fact that even after they do their dirty deeds, we are still happy in our faith, our families and with life in general.

Go sniff a rose.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Let the Stacking Continue

 Everywhere I look - particularly on the preparedness and homesteading YouTube channels - the main theme is to continue stacking food and supplies to the rafters.  I don't pay too much attention to the ones who spend time trying to sell me freeze dried food or to the ones peddling the gear they say I can not live without.  I have no notion of being the next Rambo.  Nor do I have the funds to buy over priced food.

So what I do is figure out what I need to feed my family and what I need to take care of emergencies.

Canning jars are still scarce, but the guy who delivers my groceries every two weeks has promised to bring me jars when available.  So before prices go much higher, I am buying frozen chicken breast, hamburger and ham to freeze now and can later.  A variety of frozen vegetables are on the list for dehydrating, along with onions, carrots and potatoes.  Each grocery order includes staples like sugar, flour, pasta, rice, oatmeal, tuna, Spam, and a variety of canned foods, depending on what is on sale that week.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to build up a food storage pantry without completely wrecking the budget.  We are living in perilous times and it doesn't look like things will change any time soon.  

If you believe that nothing bad will ever happen and even if it does, it won't happen in your back yard, you are delusional.  And if you believe the government will help you in times of trouble, you are sadly mistaken.  Who do you suppose is responsible for the state of affairs in our country today.

If you can, buy food.  History has shown that starvation has killed millions of people.  In case you have forgotten, here is a reminder.

"How Much is Enough? The Seige of Leningrad."

Keep prepping.  Keep praying.  We are on our own.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

No You Are Not!

 I have been busy.  What was once my bedroom is now a store room for my food storage and supplies.  And it was an unorganized mess.  And because it was an unorganized mess, I found I was ordering more of some items I needed and not enough of others.  And at the rate grocery prices are increasing, I just can not afford to spend needlessly.

Due to physical limitations, it has taken me a considerable amount of time to set things to rights, but most everything is now in containers or on shelves, sorted and labeled.  I now know that I need to get another 25 lbs. of rice and that I have enough cans of tomatoes for now.

I still need to do some organizing of the large shelves that hold my home canned foods.  I have three sets of shelves, each about 6 ft. high, 4 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep - six shelves on each unit.  Two units are in my store room and one unit is in my living room.  All are full of food in jars.

Here is where the title of this post comes in.

Many of you know that I have home health care nurses that come to my home three days a week to do what is necessary to keep my lower legs as healthy as possible.  At one time I was hospitalized for two weeks due to open sores and draining fluid on my lower legs.  Thanks to the nurses, that problem has not reoccurred.

I usually have one nurse to deal with, but lately a second nurse arrives on Wednesdays, to give the regular one a break, I suppose. This past Wednesday a nurse arrived that I had never seen before.  When she finished her duties, she got up to leave.

The store room door is close to the entry-exit door in my kitchen.  I keep the store room door shut so visitors, with the exception of family, can not see what I have in that room.  When I saw the nurse was reaching for the store room door, I told her she needed to use the other door.  But instead of stopping, she went ahead, opened the store room door, took a good look around and said, "Oh my!  You sure do have a lot of food in here.  If things get bad, I'm just going to come here."  To which I replied, "NO YOU ARE NOT!!"

I am completely amazed at how many people, at least in my area, are completely clueless as to what is happening around them.  And the mindset that others will be happy to take care of them when they are too lazy to prepare for themselves, is astonishing.

There was a time when I thought that I would help people other than my family, but that time has past.  The question has to be, which one of my grandchildren should I let go hungry in order to feed someone who couldn't be bothered to do for themselves. Not gonna happen.

Prepare.  Pray.  If you are paying attention, you know it is getting worse every day.  And we are on our own. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022


 A couple of times each month I get a phone call from some sincere sounding guy who wants me to donate to a police/firefighter fund.  I usually just hang up on them.  But this time I let him get through his script that ends with him telling me I can donate whatever amount I want. 

So this time I asked if I could just donate to my local police.  He didn't seem to like that idea.  So I said that my uncle and my cousin were both officers on our local police force and it would be much more convenient for me to just write a check and give it to my uncle.  (He lied to me so I lied to him.)  The caller didn't like that idea either.

I spent another few minutes coming up with ways to avoid sending him any money until he finally hung up on me.  Made my day!

More serious information will follow in a day or two.  Right now I have broccoli in the dehydrator.  I have a couple of experiments I want to try involving dehydrating cooked pasta and rice.  So when that is done, I will be back with the results.

Keep on prepping!

Friday, June 24, 2022

I Do Not Understand...

 why there are women in the streets tonight, protesting the fact that due to a Supreme Court decision, it is now more difficult for them to kill their unborn babies.

I do understand that there are those who believe motherhood is not for them.  I do not fault them in any way for their decision to remain childless.

But if a woman does not wish to be pregnant, perhaps it might be a good idea for her to keep her knees together or to use one of the many methods available to avoid pregnancy.

If she would rather kill her child, then may God forgive her, for I fear I can not.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

This and That

 I have been neglecting this blog lately.  I have no excuse, really.  I can truthfuly say that stuff gets in the way and consumes my time and attention.

My dehydrators have been running and I have added potatoes, spinach, onions and more eggs to my food storage.  This past Thursday my groceries were delivered and they included 8 one pound boxes of strawberries that were on sale.  In order to freeze them along with 4 lbs. of butter, I had to remove several bags of frozen peas to make room.  It made no sense to run the pressure canner for just peas, so I dug deeper.  When all was said and done I had 9 pints of peas, 3 pints of celery and 25 pints of meat - hamburger, pork and chicken.  

I haven't been overly concerned about the power blackouts discussed on various preparedness YouTube channels, but when the local news put out the same warnings for my area, I figured it was time to clear out the freezer as much as possible.  Taking stock of the number of empty jars I have left, I am thawing out enough food to fill them.

It has been suggested that perhaps people would take being prepared more seriously if politics were not discussed here.  I understand the sentiment, but it is my belief that the two are intertwined.  We see gas prices, grocery prices, any number of prices on other goods and services headed skyward.  Many parts of the country are finding empty shelves in stores.  And if we are honest, we can see that these problems are mostly caused by the decisions our politicians make.  

The way to be fully prepared is to know what is happening around us.  I don't mean that we have to immerse ourselves in the daily theatre that is DC.  But in the same way we watch the weather so we know when a storm is approaching, we need to know what new horrors our representatives have in store for us.

Unless something changes soon, it is my belief that we are in for a really rough time in the coming months.  Pray.  Prepare.  Pray some more.        


Monday, June 6, 2022

Done. Just Done.

For the last several years I have been trying to get folks to understand the importance of preparing.  But I am done.

Anyone who stops by here regularly is aware that I have the need for visits from home health care nurses to help me deal with a medical issue.  This past week a new to me nurse came by.  Nice girl.  Does a good job.

I had one of my dehydrators going on my kitchen table today.  She asked about it and I explained that I was dehydrating eggs.  She wanted to know why on earth I would dehydrate eggs so I briefly told her about the problems with 'bird flu' causing huge flocks of chickens to be killed and about the price of eggs going up.  We also touched on the issue of upcoming food shortages and inflation.

Her response?  "Oh, I don't think we have to worry about any of that happening here."

I am so done.  If these people are determined to live in the land of unicorns and fairy dust, they are welcome to it.  But I can not.

Over the weekend and today, my dehydrators have been running, drying eggs, onions, spinach and hash browns.  I have finally been able to lay my hands on pint canning jars, so in the next day or two, I will start canning whatever I am able to can from my freezer before the predicted electricity blackouts begin.

Those who believe nothing bad will ever happen are not paying attention.  And if you can not see that the plan for controlling all of us is being played out every single day, then you are not paying attention either.

I feel sorry for those who are going to be in a world of hurt because they did not prepare.  But I do not feel sorry enough to take food from the mouths of the 16 people in my immediate family and give it to someone else who couldn't be bothered to plan ahead.

I pray that our food storage will never be needed.  But that is God's decision and not mine.  So I will continue to put food and supplies back, just in case.

Pray.  Prepare.  And pray some more.

Saturday, June 4, 2022


I have been really busy and I will get into that in another post.  But right now there is something more important to me and my family.

Meet my brand spanking new Great Grandson, Oakley Andreas Bono.

Weighing in at 9 pounds 9 ounces, Oakley is a healthy boy.  He was a bit reluctant to make an appearance but finally arrived this afternoon.

I am well and truly blessed.

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




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.]


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