Saturday, May 27, 2023

Potato Experiment

 A number of years ago, my oldest son would go to the large Farmer's Market in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He would bring me all sorts of fresh produce for canning or dehydrating or freezing.  One time he showed up with 100 lbs. of russet potatoes.  And because at that time I wasn't all that familiar with the process of dehydrating potatoes, I canned most of them.

What I later discovered was that the top inch or so of the potatoes in the jars turned gray.  They weren't rotten.  They were just gray.

I'm pretty sure that nobody is fond of eating gray potatoes.  I know that the persnickety members of my family would surely go "EEEWW" at the sight of them.  They haven't as yet been truly hungry.

Sometimes I am tempted to relate what I saw on a program about a high school class visiting a German concentration camp.  At that time, a number of years ago, the camp had lush, green lawns.  A student asked the guide, who had been imprisoned at that camp, who mowed the lawn when he was there.  His reply was, "Nobody mowed lawns.  If we saw a blade of grass, we ate it."

Back to the potatoes.  I decided to try dehydrating some of the potatoes, thus eliminating the gray pieces.  So I opened several jars, drained and rinsed the pieces, spread them out on dehydrator trays, picking out the gray pieces and tossing them.

During the dehydrating process, the potato pieces took on a dark brown color that didn't go away when rehydrated.  And the potato pieces did not rehydrate well enough to be useful.  This experiment was a total failure.

So what will I do with the 75 lbs. of potatoes I still have in jars?  Use them.  Just like I have been using them.  I pick out the gray pieces.  Then I fry them up for a breakfast potato.  Or use them in a potato salad.  Or heat them and pour gravy over them.  Or make mashed potatoes from them.

These days it seems prudent to use up what we have, even if we might want something else.  Grocery prices, in my area anyway, continue to rise.  I can not afford to waste food.  Or anything else, for that matter. 

I don't see things getting better any time soon.  Perhaps now would be a good time to concentrate on the old ways of doing things.  At least that way, we will be able to continue on while others are wondering what happened.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

My Son Was Right

 He told me that if I didn't have a place to rant, my head would explode.  And I have to admit that the explosion is getting close.

This morning I watched a video by our bumbler and chief.  He again wants to take our guns.  And if he can't get his hands on them, he wants us to keep our guns under lock and key.  Now I can understand that perhaps households with small children might want to keep their guns out of reach.  

Just for the record, my four children were raised around firearms.  They were taught about safety and respect for the tools, for that is what they are.  That tool brought home venison to feed them.   That tool chased off someone who might have done them harm.  They, unlike many today, were raised to have respect for their parents and for the rules.

Picture a 77 year old woman who lives alone in an apartment located in the downtown area of a rather large suburb.  When I first moved here about 25 years ago, I knew the neighbors.  Even though I am surrounded by bars, I had no fear of walking my dogs after dark.  I worked in the neighborhood and had no fear of walking a few blocks home after 10 PM.

That has changed.  I wouldn't consider going out after dark now.  The neighborhood has changed in that there seem to be more people who are angry most of the time compared to the friendly neighbors of years past.  My building is over 100 years old.  The cheapest of doors were used when the upper floor was converted to apartments.  A good swift kick could open my door.

I don't move fast at all any more.  The pace of a herd of turtles is an apt description!  So someone kicks in my door.  What am I supposed to do.  Ask the intruder politely to please wait to hurt or kill me while I go unlock my gun safe?  Or without any protection, perhaps if I throw a can of tomatoes at him, that might just keep me alive.  (snark)

I want to peacefully live out my remaining years.  And that includes avoiding any violence.  We all know that violence is becoming more prevalant in our society.  I pray the time never comes when I need to protect myself from the bad guys.  Who have guns.  Who will never give up their guns.

And because our government is only going after the good guys with guns, mine will stay within reach.  And will not be locked up.  And will not be turned in no matter what fraudulant laws the state or federal boneheads come up with.  After all, the Second Amendment is there to protect the citizens from a tyranical government.

Looks like we may need them sooner than later. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

The End

 It has been a good run.  Nearly 14 years of posting here.  I have written about everything I know concerning preparedness.  I have ranted about our useless politicians and other crimes against humanity.  I have shared the death of my son and the births of my great grandchildren.  But now I am tired.

After careful consideration and soul searching, I have made the decision to bow out of this arena.

I am truly grateful to all of you who have stuck with me for so long.  I have learned much through your comments.  I have enjoyed our conversations.

Everything in our country seems to be swirling down the drain.  I can no longer keep up.  Perhaps I don't want to keep up any more.  I will be 77 years old soon.  Before I join my son at the throne of our God, there are things I really want to do for my family.  I am working on my extensive family tree.  It is important that my children and grands know where they came from.  I have a large box of photos that needs to be labeled and put into albums.  There are more quilts to sew and afghans to crochet.  I am never bored and I am always busy.

If anyone wants to stay in touch, I welcome the opportunity.  My email is  I check it daily as I already am in touch with friends made here.  If you so desire - feel free.

I have no words to express just how much I have come to thinking of all of you as friends.  Stay safe.  Stay prepared.  And above all, continue to pray.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Down Time

 I have decided to take some time off from blogging.  There are several things that need my attention before Spring finally arrives.  With any kind of luck, I should be back in several weeks.  Stay safe and pray.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

It can happen to you...

 There are so many who are under the assumption that bad things can happen, but if they do, it will not be in their backyard.  If that's where you are, chances are pretty good you do not join the rest of us here in our way of thinking and preparing.  But if by some chance you stumbled upon this blog, I highly recommend the following video.

🚨 He WARNS it's Gonna Get Bad SOON! 🚨 - YouTube

Patara at 'Appalachia's Homestead' is a common sense video creator, unlike many who run around, hair on fire with each and every bad thing that happens.  I trust what she says.

I have had a small break to refresh and recharge.  My adult children have agreed to haul some food in jars to their homes.  So today I am up to my elbows in canning hamburger.  My son kindly brought me 40 lbs. of it yesterday. 

Buckle up.  Looks like the road ahead is full of potholes.


Monday, March 6, 2023

Reaching the Rafters

Everywhere we look, we see those with the preparedness mindset talking about 'stacking it to the rafters.'  I have often said that myself.  And I have meant it, for I believe things in our country are likely to be worse before getting any better.  If we are paying attention at all, we can see the signs all around us.

But what happens when our food and supply storage reaches the rafters?

I am guessing that there are many - particularly those of my vintage - living in small apartments.  Not everyone can have a homestead.  Not all of us are physically able to keep a garden.  Those of us living on a fixed income can not afford to pay for the maintenance and taxes on a house, upkeep and fuel for a vehicle and buy groceries, too.  

I have spoken before about living in a very small three-room apartment.  I live here for several reasons.  I can afford it.  It is close to my children and grands and great-grands.  That is important to me.  And I need to be where I can get the care I need for a couple of medical conditions.

I have now reached the place where I literally have no more room to store anything.  Several shelving units are full.  Cases of home canned food are stashed in every conceivable corner.  Boxes holding dehydrated foods and other dry goods are stacked as high as I can stack them.  I am now in serious jeopardy of looking like a candidate for the TV show about hoarders.

I am done.  Well, almost.  My son is bringing me 40 lbs. of hamburger to can.  And I still have stuff in my freezer that needs to go into jars before freezer burn sets in.  But after that I will just be replacing what I use and that is all.

My adult children have agreed to take home with them some cases of food in jars and God bless them for that.  After all, this has been done for the sole purpose of making sure my family will be alright should the worst happen.  And I might have convinced them that it will be easier to remove stuff from my apartment a little at a time rather than all at once when I leave this earth to join my oldest son in Heaven.  That being said, I plan to stick around for a good, long while to annoy my kids.  :)  

I am not saying that stacking it is not important.  It is very important.  But sometimes we need to decide to either continue stacking or move on to other things.  Right now, I am going through and getting rid of things that just are not necessary in order to make my apartment a home again and not just a storehouse..  And using time to make quilts or crochet afghans or to work on my family history so my kids and grands will know about the good, hard-working ancestors that came before us. 

We all have different priorities.  We do what works best for us.  I am just saying that we need to decide for ourselves where we are headed and what each of us needs to do.

My one constant is prayer.  Always. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Still Busy

 Slowing down is not an option.

Has anyone seen what the geniuses in the WEF (World Economic Forum) have decided?  Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, Al Gore, et al, have decided that our food needs to be rationed and we no longer need to eat meat.  Because, of course, climate change.


So if you will excuse me, I need to put away the 20 pints of pork loin and 10 pints of sweet potatoes that I canned a couple of days ago.  And slice 10 lbs. of potatoes to dehydrate.  And work on my next grocery order that will, I believe, contain lots of hamburger to can and freeze, and whatever else I can find to add to my food storage.

Think those who believe they are better than me are going to tell me what I can feed my family?  Nope.  Not hardly!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Busy Again

 I am guessing that many of you know about that little voice in the back of our heads that tends to shove us in the direction we need to go.  That's the same one that lets us know when danger is near.  Some call it a gut feeling.  Whatever it is called, we do well to listen.

I have this nagging feeling that things are about to go head over heels off the cliff.  I don't know if it is the big balloons in the sky or the chemical spills from derailed trains or the many food processing plants going up in flames or the possibility of the Chinese marching over the hill.  Whatever it is, now is not the time to slack off.

I am storing more water.  My grocery order for Thursday includes 6 of the half pork loins that are on sale.  And 10 lbs. of russet potatoes and 5 lbs. of sweet potatoes.  The pork and sweet potatoes will be pressure canned.  The russet potatoes will be sliced and dehydrated.

The top of my kitchen table is covered with quart bags of frozen strawberries.  Tomorrow morning I will add a little sugar and can them for use as ice cream topping or in baking or just to eat as sauce.  And after that I will can up whatever is below the berries.  We here in Minnesota have a forecast of up to 20 inches of snow in the next few days.  Snowstorms sometimes take out our power.  I also ordered a bunch of extra kitchen matches to have on hand for lighting candles and a propane camp stove (really don't want to do without my coffee) and a propane heater.

I am not saying that we will go to war tomorrow.  I am saying that anything is possible.  We are now living in a country whose leader thinks it is more important to visit Ukraine than Ohio.  Which shows me that the powers that be do not give a rodent's behind about our citizens.

We are on our own.  Keep stacking.  The reason I do this is so that when push does come to shove, those I love will be taken care of as best I can.

Pray.  Often.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

What's Next?

 It doesn't seem to matter where we look. There is chaos and confusion everywhere.  

The latest insanity is the speculation about the objects in our skies that are being shot down.  Are they weather balloons?  Are they spy capsules?  Or are little green men from Mars going to parachute down and demand to see our leader?  If it is the latter, I do believe they will be sorely disappointed.

The headlines are full of other events that promise to destroy us all.

Guess what.  I simply no longer care.

Those in charge who think they are so smart - let them deal with it all.  Most of the problems originated with them anyway, to distract us from whatever criminal, stupid or mean thing they are trying to hide.  They are going to do exactly what they want to do, including lying, stealing and cheating.  And we know that no matter how much the congress critters fuss and fume and pontificate, nothing will change.

I will still glance at the headlines so I know when to duck and cover.  And I will continue to fill my pantry to feed and take care of my family should the worst happen.  But no longer will I wade through the layer of bull crap they are spreading.  I have better things to do.

I have adult children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that I love more than my life.  I have close friends that I love as well.  They deserve my time and attention way more than do some lying critters in DC who wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit them on the bum.

So yesterday I sorted out some of my fabric stash, looking for and finding enough fabric suitable for the backs of a couple of quilts.  And I found enough leftover yarn for another crocheted afghan.  Tomorrow I plan to bake bread and chocolate chip cookies.  

It is raining here today.  Raining hard.  The snow that fell earlier this year is gone.  We are having 40 degree days.  Normally we are up to our elbows in snow and shivering in sub zero temps.  I am enjoying this while I can.  This is Minnesota, after all, and we can expect at least one more snowstorm before the lilacs bloom in the spring.

And all of the above makes more sense to me than laying awake at night, worrying about how our government is going to screw us next.

We have lives.  It is time to live them the way we want and with the blessing of God.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Paying Attention Yet?

 Have you noticed just how much bad stuff is going on all around us these days?

Doesn't matter in which direction we look, there is something on the horizon that can hurt us - we the people.  And our elected officials are doing nothing to stop the madness.

I want things to get back to a normal that we can live with.  It is those who are in control who do not give a rodent's behind what I think.  They continue to do what they can do to enrich their bank accounts and ignore the fact that many can no longer afford to take care of their families. 

So what do we do?

I am not in a position where I can bug out to some secret location deep in the northern Minnesota woods and 'live off the land.'  No matter what happens, I will be right here in my little apartment, as will many of us be in our homes.  

Even so, it is possible for me to do everything I can to prepare for whatever happens next.  My every-other-week grocery order arrives tomorrow.  The weekend will be spent dehydrating frozen corn, mixed vegetables and hash browns plus 10 lbs. of onions.  Yes, they are expensive, but I am pretty sure that they will cost more next month. 

The room where I store most of my food and supplies has been organized, everything sorted and labeled, so I know at a glance what I have and what I yet need.  Because I was blessed with a mother who taught me to sew, I am working on sewing together quilt tops to make warm blankets that are necessary in my cold climate.  And I have collected recipes for making many of the food items I would normally buy, like cream soups, Bisquick, other soups using dehydrated vegetables and pasta, and seasonings, to replace some of the items I might need to buy.  Jennifer over at 'Prep School Daily' is a wealth of information on all things preparedness and is the source of much of my information.  Her blog is listed in my side bar. 

This isn't a brag session but is a suggestion or two to give others an idea of what we can do to get ready for whatever our 'betters' have in mind for us which is absolutely nothing good.  You know, I am sure, that everything that is happening now is all about control.  As those close to me know by now, I do not do well with some trying to control me. 

I think those things that can make life even tougher than it is are accelerating at breakneck speed.  The wide-open southern border, the flight of a Chinese data gathering balloon flying across the breadth of our nation, the out-of-control inflation, are but a few examples.

Get ready.  Don't wait.  Do the very best you can to take care of your families, especially since it is likely that some of them think you are nuts for doing so.  We do not want even the nay sayers to starve.

And pray.  All the time.  God is our only hope.   

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

As you know...

 if you have followed along here for a while, I am easily distracted.  Sort of like a dog when it spots a squirrel.  :)

While digging through some boxes and baskets, I came across a partially finished granny square afghan that I had completely forgotten about.  How a person can forget about a green and purple afghan is beyond me, yet there it is!  And because the weather here has been bitterly cold, it occurred to me that an extra blanket might be a good idea.

I have been working to finish the afghan to the exclusion of everything else.  Partly because I wanted another warm blanket and partly because I was feeling a bit of burn out concerning my food storage.  Sometimes, we just need a break.

The afghan will be finished today, for all I have left to do is to crochet one row around the edge for a border.  After that, it is back to stacking food and supplies to the rafters, starting with several quart bags of strawberries in my freezer that need to go into jars before freezer burn finds them.

So far I have not heard of empty grocery store shelves here in my neck of the woods.  But I am noticing that substitutions as far as brand names or types of some goods are becoming more frequent.  For instance, my grocery order last week included 4 rolls of parchment paper.  I got 2 rolls because that was all that was on the shelf.  I also ordered 4 large bags of shredded hash browns to dehydrate.  What I got was 4 bags of potato dices, marked 'hash browns' on the bag.  We preppers are nothing if not flexible, so the diced potatoes went into the dehydrator anyway.  I know I will find a use for them. 

Keep stacking it, my friends.  We are going to need every crumb.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Looking Back

 I don't know where to turn any more.  If I agree with the propaganda of the left, I am just as bad as they are, but I will not be harassed or 'cancelled.'  And if I continue to believe in God and the Constitution, I am labeled every nasty name in existence.

I have to wonder what happened.  How did we as a nation get to this point?  Are we so incredibly stupid that we no longer see bs for what it is?  Seems like it.

I remember a time when my kids could go outside to play without needing adult supervision.  I remember having friends of all shapes, sizes and colors and nobody thought anything about it.  I remember a time when people could have conversations about political differences without the hate and discontent we see now.  

A generation or maybe two back in time, people were vastly more prepared to fend for themselves and handle hardship than current generations.  Not only did they have the skills to do things like build stuff and care for livestock or raise their own food, they did these things as a matter of course.

During the Great Depression, money was tight for a farmer in northern Minnesota like my Grandfather.  But he would not even consider asking for help.  One of his daughters went to teaching school.  A couple of his sons went to work in logging camps.  My Dad and a brother hopped a freight train headed west.  They worked on grain thrashing crews.  They found jobs going behind the machines that dug potatoes and they picked potatoes off the ground and filled sacks.  They sent every penny they could home to help the family.  The rest of the kids stayed home and milked cows, fed hogs and cared for the chickens and the huge garden.  They all worked to take care of the family.

Now folks just get in line to sign up for food stamps and welfare benefits.  And have meltdowns if they can't get exactly what they want.

Most times I think we should be looking backward for inspiration instead of looking to see what we can get for free.  The day may come when all we have left is the knowledge gleaned from our ancestors.  Grandma and Grandpa survived because they knew stuff.  Because they relied on their own selves instead of relying on government individuals who couldn't find their own backsides with both hands and a flashlight.  

Nobody is coming to save you.  You could at some point have to depend on yourself and on the knowledge you have.  Never stop learning.  It could save your life.

Sunday, January 15, 2023


 Is anyone else but me noticing how often the F-bomb is being dropped?  Doesn't seem to matter where or under what circumstances.

I am not a prude.  I know there have been times when provoked that I have been guilty of unleashing language more becoming to a drunken sailor than to a lady.  But it is not language in the heat of the moment that I am talking about.

Many of my evenings are spent with computer videos and yarn and a crochet hook.  I watch many preparedness YouTube channels and sometimes other channels just for the etertainment value.  It is on the latter channels that I have noticed a serious uptick of ugly language.  It seems like folks have lost the ability to talk without dropping those bombs.  

Thing is, those words are no longer bombs.  They now seem to just be part of everyday conversation.  So I have to wonder if words that years back were not uttered in polite society are now just part of the program to bring the population down to the level of some crawling creature.  Like the insistance that men can be women if they wear a skirt.  Like the insistance that abortion is not really murder.  Like the insistance that white people have some sort of privilege and are automatically racist.  Like that.

When we let all those things go by without question, we are agreeing that all of it is just dandy.  I do not think these ideas are dandy.  I think they are dangerous.  And to not acknowledge them is to agree with having our lives turned backwards and upside down.

Nope.  Not gonna do it.  Not gonna agree.  Not gonna allow that kind of foolishness under my roof.  So there!  End of rant.  For now.


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

One Size Does Not Fit All

 Over the years I have watched many preparedness videos.  Many of them have really good information.  But very few fit my lifestyle.  And I am pretty sure there are many of my vintage who are in the same boat with me.

I would love to have a homestead and raise chickens and other meat animals and grow a big garden.  And I admire those who can sustain that kind of lifestyle.  But I am not one of those people.

There are all sorts of videos about what one should pack into a bug out bag.  Good information for those who plan to cut and run when things get dicey.  But many of us can not even consider leaving our homes due to age or physical problems.

I do what I do in order to make sure my family is fed should things get really bad.  I am able to defend myself should it come to that, but I can not move all of my stored food and supplies.  It does me no good at all to can, dehydrate or buy food and supplies if I can not use them as intended or if I leave them behind.

I also pay no attention to those who tell me I must have 10 specific food items or that I can not survive unless I have the gear they are selling.  Some of those 10 items are often things I don't use.  And the idea of needing 'gear' is ridiculous for me as most times they are talking about things like night vision goggles or tools to build a shelter in the woods.  Don't need much in the way of gear here in my little apartment. 

The point to all of this is that each of us has specific needs.  What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone.  In preparedness, one size doesn't fit all.  We need to take what we can use and let the rest go.  

Finding alternative ways to do what we need to do is helpful.  We can't garden or raise animals, so we visit Farmer's Markets in season and take advantage of grocery store sales.  

Keep stacking what we know will be used.  And most definitely keep on praying.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Looking Back

 Most people, at the beginning of a new year, look forward to whatever it brings.  I find myself looking back.

Some time ago, someone close to me had a look at the room in my apartment where much of my food storage is located.  Their reaction to the shelves and boxes full of food was to ask why.  Clearly they were under the assumption that nothing will ever change, that the stores will always be completely stocked and nothing bad will ever happen - at least not in their back yard.

Generations younger than mine do not seem to realize that for us, being prepared is not just some trendy thing to do.  It is a lifestyle.

Looking back, I remember the huge garden my Dad planted every year.  And how summer and fall we canned and froze as much food as possible to get our family through the long, cold Minnesota winters.  Dad didn't farm, but he did rent out our 9 acre field to the neighbor to grow corn or soy beans in exchange for beef.  That same neighbor milked cows, so we got our milk from him, and our eggs from another neighbor who raised chickens.

My grandparents raised milk cows and hogs and chickens for meat to feed their family of nine children.  Dad told me about loading a wood burning stove onto a hay wagon, along with boxes of canning jars.  The family would go to the blueberry bogs of northern Minnesota, where they would camp.  The kids would pick blueberries and Grandma would fire up the stove and can blueberries until all the jars were full. 

In addition to canning vegetables from their huge garden, Grandma made butter from the cream separated from the milk, and traded the butter in town for flour and sugar.  They dug a root cellar in the side of a hill near the house for keeping potatoes, carrots, cabbage and rutabagas over winter.  

Families then did not depend on anyone to take care of them.  My Dad consdered it shameful to accept any kind of government help.  They did as much as was humanly possible to take care of their families.

All of this was common to families older than my generation.  They were preppers but didn't know it.  Neither did I until I saw some websites about preparedness.  This is just what we did to feed or families.

Even if we can no longer raise vegetables or meat animals, we can still be prepared.  If you think some government agency is going to bring you a ham sandwich and a bottle of water, you are sadly mistaken.  Nobody is coming to help.  We need to be as self sufficient as possible.  Look to the old ways.  Those people survived without all the gadgets.

Most importantly, continue to pray.