Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas

 Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas.

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I pray that all of us might find peace as well as joy in these troubled times.

I will be away until after the New Year.  Stay safe and may God truly bless you all.


Monday, December 18, 2023

Blueberry Picking Time

Northern Minnesota has lots of wild blueberries.  Some grow in wet areas called blueberry bogs and some grow in the pine forests.

Many years ago, when my kids and I lived in that part of the state, I spent hours in the middle of summer, out in the pine woods, picking blueberries.  I was lucky enough to find an area that held a wealth of berries and that nobody else knew about.  Blueberry picking areas were jealously guarded by those of us who wanted the berries.

My family ate some of the berries fresh.  I canned blueberries in a simple syrup, made blueberry jam and froze the rest.

My Dad's family picked blueberries, but used a different method than I did.  Keeping in mind I had only four kids and there were nine of them.

When the berries were ripe, my Grandpa and his sons would load a cast iron, wood burning stove onto a hay wagon.  Added to that were crates of canning jars, large stock pots and a goodly amount of sugar and enough food for a couple of days.  They hooked up their team of horses, everybody piled onto the wagon and off they would go to a blueberry bog several miles from their farm.

Everyone had their job to do.  A couple of the boys gathered dry wood to burn in the wood stove.  The rest would head out with pails to fill with berries.  Dad once showed me a homemade blueberry picker he used that made quick work of filling his pail.

Grandma and a couple of the girls were in charge of canning the blueberries.  They cleaned the sticks and leaves out and washed the berries.  The jars were filled and the berries covered with a light sugar syrup and water bath canned.  They didn't go back home until all the jars were filled and canned.

If you have never eaten wild blueberries, you are missing a treat.  Store bought blueberries are tasteless by comparison.  It was worth every minute of time and effort to pick blueberries.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Our Frugal Ancestors

I am not a totally frugal person.  I like my conveniences, little luxuries and the occasional cheeseburger that someone else cooks.  But what if those things were no longer available and we had to live without, like my Dad's family back near the turn of the century.

When you can't just run to the corner store or the supermarket for groceries, you figure out how to get what you need in other ways.  My ancestors did get some items they couldn't produce themselves, but those items were usually obtained through barter.  

For instance, the family had a few milk cows.  After each milking, fresh milk was run through the cream separator that stood in the lean-to by the back door of the house.

My uncle Kenneth did the milking.  He would carry pails of milk from the barn up to the house and pour milk into the large bowl on top.  Then he would work the crank.  I have no clue how it worked, but the cream flowed from one of the spouts and the milk - minus the cream, flowed from the other.  Grandma made butter from most of the cream and that was used to trade for flour, salt, etc.  The milk didn't last long with a family of nine kids.

There was a bucket in the kitchen, set in an out of the way corner, that held food scraps.  If Grandma shelled peas for supper, the shells went into the bucket.  Scraps like onion skins or corn cobs went into the bucket.  Cooking scraps went into the bucket.  And when the bucket was nearly full, it was dumped into the pig trough.  The pigs acted like they had just been served a fine, restaurant meal!

The family grew rutabagas.  Some were for human consumption, but most were stored in the root cellar and cut into smaller pieces for an addition to the regular animal feed.  

My Dad was the youngest of the nine children.  From maybe 9 or 10 years old, he had a tendency to get himself into a bit of trouble.  Nothing serious.  Just enough to annoy his parents.  He told me about his mother's form of discipline when he acted up.  She handed him a kitchen knife and pointed toward the root cellar, where he spent a considerable amount of time cutting up rutabagas.  :)

The family used every method at their disposal to save.  They were cash poor, but rich in their love of one another.  And in my opinion, that kind of rich is worth more than anything else.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Harvesting Ice

 Everywhere I look I see dire warnings about the possible collapse of our country.  I'm never quite sure if there is truth in it or if it all is just fearmongering for clicks.  Whatever the reasons, perhaps it might be a good thing to know how those who came before us managed without all of the modern conveniences we have today.

My paternal grandfather died before I was born.  But with the help of my grandmother's sons, she stayed on the northern Minnesota farm until her death in 1955.

Grandma's house had electricity by the time I knew her.  But there was no plumbing or running water.  The bathroom was an outhouse several yards from the house and water was provided by a hand pump just outside the kitchen door. 

Her kitchen boasted a very large cast iron wood burning stove used for cooking, baking and sometimes, heat.  Grandma didn't have an electric refrigerator, but still used an icebox like this one.

The icebox needed blocks of ice to keep food cool.  The method Grandma's sons used to get ice would not work in a warm climate but was perfect for northern Minnesota.

About February, Grandma's sons would hook up their team of horses to a large hay wagon and off they would go to a nearby lake that was frozen over.  Armed with axes and saws, they would cut large blocks of ice from the lake, load them onto the hay wagon and take them home.

There was a root cellar dug into the side of a small hill near the house.  A wooden door had been put into place to keep critters from helping themselves to the squash and pumpkins and rutabagas stored there.  One side of the cellar was for the ice.  The blocks were hauled down into the cellar and covered with straw.  This way, the ice was insulated and stayed frozen all spring, summer and fall until it was time to harvest more.

The icebox had a compartment to hold food and another to hold a block of ice.  There was a container in the bottom to catch the water as the ice melted.

I suppose the family could have invested in an electric refrigerator, but like most folks of that era, they were a frugal bunch.  Raising a family of nine children on a farm that had mostly sandy soil did not provide great wealth.  But they managed to raise all nine kids and they did a good job of it.  Life was not easy, but I don't remember anyone complaining.

I sometimes think today's young ones consider it tragic if a Starbucks closes.  They could stand to learn from those who coped with hardship on a regular basis.  Not only coped but thrived.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Skating in Duluth Harbor

Once in a while I will enjoy the sight of a huge ship entering the Duluth, Minnesota harbor from Lake Superior, via the Harbor Canal.  There are cameras on 24/7.  It is sort of relaxing to watch the long ships entering or leaving the harbor.  Here is the link for the canal camera.  Duluth Canal Cam - YouTube

Some folks enjoy the lonesome sound of distant train whistles.  I like the sound of the ship horns blowing a salute to the Lift Bridge at the entrance to the harbor.  The Lift Bridge raises the entire roadway high enough for the ships to pass underneath.  The bridge is equipped with a horn that blows an answering salute.

Watching the ship enter the harbor today served to remind me of a story involving my Grandfather, ice skates and the Duluth Harbor.

My Grandfather was born in Chenango County of New York in 1883.  His family moved to Minnesota before the turn of the century.  They stayed for a time with relatives in Duluth before moving to a farm.

Minnesota winters can be cold.  Even a lake as large as Lake Superior can freeze, at least along the shoreline.  

When I was reading some letters written between my Grandfather and his siblings, I found one where he talks about ice skating on the Duluth Harbor as a child.  What caught my attention was his description of skating around the sailing ships that were frozen in the ice along the docks.

What a fascinating time that must have been.  Every few years, Duluth hosts a gathering of 'tall ships' that serve to give us a taste of what life was like back then.

 According to the accounts of life back then, written by some of my ancestors, life wasn't easy.  But neither was it terribly complicated.  

Men were men.  Women were women.   They knew the difference.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Best Laid Plans

 You know how it is.  We make plans.  God laughs.  And sometimes I think He might send that Murphy character just to keep us humble.  :)

Thursday of this week was my grocery delivery day.  It has become a normal thing that the weekly sale ads contain very little that I am willing to spend money on.  But this week I lucked out.

I haven't seen any chicken at a reasonable price in ages.  Yet there it was.  Family packs of chicken drumsticks and thighs for 99 cents per pound.  Average weight per pack/ 6 - 7 lbs.  There was a limit of four each.  I got 8 packs of chicken.

And here is where the plan comes in.  I planned to package the drumsticks in meal sized amounts for myself and toss them into the freezer.  I did.  I planned to stuff the thighs into wide mouth pint jars and can them.  That's when Old Murphy reared his ugly head.  Sale chicken pieces are often odd sizes and that was true with the thighs.  Wasn't working very well. 

So on to Plan B.  Tossed half the thighs into my largest stock pot, covered them with water and cooked them until tender.  Did it again with the other two trays.  Was planning to take the meat from the bones and can it that way.

Murphy wasn't quite done with me.  I am old.  I am arthritic.  I have lots of good days and a few not so stellar days.  The next morning, I found out quickly that I would not be wrestling a large pressure canner.  Luckily, I still had some freezer space, so into the freezer went several pounds of cooked chicken thighs.

The point to all of this is that things don't always work out the way we would like.  In my case, chicken is still chicken, and it was at a good price.  Doesn't matter if it is canned or frozen.  It is food.  And no matter how it is preserved, it is there when needed.

There seems to be silver linings in the clouds if we look for them.  My silver lining in the chicken freezing debacle was that instead of taking the time to do some canning, I was able to use the time to add some information to my genealogy program.  I found that the website "Find A Grave" has a considerable amount of information on those ancestors I am looking up.  I not only find where they are buried, but often I find links to other family members.

My family thinks I am obsessed with my family tree - all branches.  And I guess I am.  I know most of my family has little interest, but my hope is that maybe someday they will want to know about those who went before.

Continuing to prepare is important.  Especially now when a good share of the world seems to be going bat guano crazy.  I also believe it is good to know where we come from.  Don't have to be as deep into genealogy as I am, but if we don't learn from history, we will just repeat it - mostly the bad.

Hang in there.  Keep stacking.  And most importantly, keep praying.  

Friday, November 17, 2023

Scam the Scammers

 I have been really busy.  And when I am busy, those scam phone calls annoy me more than usual.  Especially since I am probably the only person on the planet who doesn't have a cell phone, so I have to stop what I am doing and go answer the phone.  About two weeks ago, being totally out of patience, I did something about them.

Typically, I get three kinds of calls.  The first is the call that starts out with a cheerful voice passing the time of day but soon asks if I can hear them alright.  What they want is for us to answer "Yes" so they can then use that recorded affermative reply for whatever nefarious purposes they have in mind.  My solution was to remain silent.  Someimes it took two or three minutes for them to hang up on me.

The second type of call was the one where they ask for me by name.  No amount of hanging up, swearing at them or any other response ended those calls.  So finally I used my sweet little old lady voice to tell them I was sorry, but I didn't know anyone by that name and they must have the wrong number.  Took about a week for those calls to stop.

There have been an astonishing number of calls trying to sell me additional supplimental Medicare.  Nothing worked to stop those calls.  That is until I let them read their script up to the part where they ask if I am over 65 years of age, to which I replied, "Well, no I'm not. I am 40 years old."  That's when those callers hung up on me.

It has been about a week and a half since I have received a spam call.  It is lovely to be free of just another annoying thing.  I won't claim that I have completely ended those calls, but so far, it seems to be working.

Saturday, November 4, 2023


Doesn't look like the world situation is going to improve any time soon, so my days are filled with various and assorted preparations.

Grocery prices continue to shoot up like a rocket.  And I'm finding that the weekly store ads offer very little that I can use.  So like everyone else, I am paying the highly inflated prices for the items I need.  Does anyone who could fix this care even a little bit about what this inflation does to the average family?  Nope.

Twelve lbs. of hamburger arrived with my grocery order this past Thursday.  Since I am nearly out of frozen hamburger to use for cheeseburgers, meatballs, meatloaf, etc., that was divided into one pound packages and tossed into the freezer.  Next order will include more burger for canning.

Another four large bags of frozen shredded hashbrowns are dried and packed away.  Note:  The last time I tried dehydrating the frozen hashbrowns that are cut into small cubes, most of it turned black.  That is the only time I can remember having a problem dehydratibg frozen vegetables.  Might have been operator error, but I just don't know.

24 half pint jars of cubed chicken breast are in the pressure canner.  For someone cooking for one, that size is perfect for a couple of sandwiches or a small chicken and pasta salad or any number of dishes for one.  The whole idea is to eliminate leftovers.  I hang my head in shame to admit that sometimes leftovers are fortgotten in the fridge until they resemble science experiments gone bad.  Sigh.

Evenings are my time to relax, so that is when I sometimes watch a movie and crochet.  I have lots of yarn leftover from other projects and that makes for some pretty and warm granny square afghans.

Since I amuse easily, I have been having some fun messing with phone call scammers.  I have been getting more scam calls lately.  Some ask for me by name.  Instead of swearing at them like I have in the past, I very sweetly tell them they must have the wrong number as nobody by that name lives here.  I now get only maybe one or two of those calls a week instead of the former several daily.

But the most fun are the calls trying to get me to buy additional Medicare packages.  With those, I have been letting the spammer read through his script up to the point here they always ask if I am over 65 years of age, to which I reply that I am 40 years old.  That answer brings a 'click' on their end of the call.  The number of those calls has decreased significantly.  :)

I have no earthly idea what will happen in the future - near or far - but I feel like I need to keep stacking it high.  And more time spent in prayer is a good thing as well.  


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Is anyone else...

 feeling like they are on sensory overload?

Everywhere I look I see stories and articles and videos about the mess we are in and how the next world war is likely just around the corner.  Some of it is true and some is not.  Some of it keeps us informed and some is just click bait.  But it seems like no matter where I look, it is getting more difficult to find anything good in our situation.  And I know that I am guilty of posting similar things.

My morning routine is to pour a mug of coffee and check the online news to see what new horrors are being thrust upon us.  And lately I find myself spending more time online than I should.  I don't know about anyone else, but a steady diet of doom and gloom can send a person down the slippery slope into depression.  And I haven't got enough time left to waste on 'poor, pitiful me' thoughts.

Everyone has things in their lives that bring them joy.  One of my daughters and her man just spent several days at their cabin on a lakeshore.  Disconnect from work.  No Wifi.  No cell phone service.  Drive into town to use both.  Play with their new puppy.  Good for them!

My son and his wife just spent a few days in Arizona.  Farmed the one son still at home and the dog out to Grandpa and Grandma.  Just the two of them.  They FaceTimed me to show me the beautiful red rock cliffs of Sedona.  Both work so hard and a mini vacation was needed.  And my heart is happy to see this couple who have been married well over 20 years and who still like each other!

Me...I need to stay in touch with what is happening in our world for it could easily have an effect on us all.  But at the same time I need to stay sane enough to make good decisions should the time come when those decisions could mean life and death.  

I once had an acquaintance who remarked when I said I was too busy for whatever event she had planned, "How can you be busy.  You're retired!"  Honey, get comfortable.   I'll tell you!

I will be canning more chicken and hamburger next week.  I am in the process of sewing little pieces of fabric together to make quilts.  (Snow flurries are predicted for this weekend.  Good grief!)  I am writing down family stories - mostly about my parents and grandparents - because my kids have shown an interest in them and maybe some day so will my grands.  There is a boat load of information being entered into my genealogy program so my family will know where they came from.

Staying busy works to keep me relatively happy.  Whatever works to keep you as sane as possible is a good thing.  These days when we have a truck load of lies, deceit and just plain bs headed our way on a daily basis, we need to deal with it while still keeping from losing our minds.

I find that prayer works the best of all.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Don't Care

I don't care what Trump is doing.

I don't care who becomes Speaker of the House.

I don't care that there are those who believe in multiple genders and I surely don't care if they are butt hurt over 'misgendering.'

I don't care what your sexual preferences are and I certainly do not wish to celebrate whatever they are.

I don't care what the news networks say for most of it is lies.

And I really do not care what most politicias say or promise, for not only are they liars, most are bought and paid for.

There are some things I care about.

I care about my grocery bill being more expensive by the week.

I care about what my great-grands will be taught when they reach school age.

I care about fuel prices heading skyward.

I care about illegals getting free everything while our vets are homeless and many of our citizens are suffering.

I care that the current administration allows our borders to be open with God only knows how many terrorists entering at will.

And I care that nobody in power gives a rat's ass about those who put them into office.

Mostly I care about my family and what could happen to them if the crazy doesn't go away.

Things really do need to change.

It is time.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

No Rant. Just Work.

As you all know, I enjoy a good rant now and then.  Gets rid of some of the frustrations we are facing, and it really is kind of fun sometimes to virtually slap the snot out of those who are determined to rule over us.

Just now I simply do not have the time.

I pay very little attention to any of the major news sources.  For the most part, they wouldn't recognize truth if it bit them on the bum.  And I stay away from the YouTube Channels and Blogs that tell me if we don't do what they say, buy the gear they are selling or stock up on what they say we must stock up on, we will surely die.

But there are those who have earned my respect over the years.  Pinball Preparedness ( Pinball Preparedness - YouTube).  Patara at Appalachia's Homestead  (Appalachia's Homestead with Patara - YouTube).  Modern Refugee  (Modern Refugee. - YouTube).  Rudy at Alaska Prepper  (Alaska Prepper - YouTube).  Alaska Granny whose link is on my sidebar.  There are others, but these are the ones I pay attention to the most.

All of the above are not busy screaming that the sky is falling like so many others do.  They do not try to scare us. They instead are keeping us informed about what is happening and are urging us to continue our preparations or better yet, step up what we are doing.  

I don't care what the sound bites from the White House or Congress say, things are not getting better.  We are up to our necks in government debt.  I buy groceries every two weeks and every two weeks prices are higher.  There is a whole boatload of things that need to be fixed.  Not happening.

Those that I trust keep saying that the future is not looking all that great.  I seriously doubt that the upcoming election will make much of a difference either way.

So most of my time is now being spent doing whatever needs to be done.  Today I dehydrated broccoli and mixed vegetables.  In the morning 4 large bags of shredded hash browns are going in the dehydrators.  While they are drying, there are bags of flour that need to be repackaged to avoid creepy crawlers.  There are several quilts that need to be finished, including one quilt top made from bright pink plain and floral flannel that my daughter has laid claim to in exchange for a fabric store run to bring me quilt backing fabric and quilt batting.  :)  My storeroom (formerly my bedroom) needs to be sorted out so I know exactly what I have and what I need.  There can no longer be guesswork in my grocery orders.  Not with prices headed skyward.

Prayer has also increased.  Not for myself.  I am doing OK for a cranky old lady.  For our nation.  For those who are having a rough time keeping body and soul together.  But mostly to allow the Almighty back into the areas of our lives that He has been tossed out of.  Schools.  Courthouses.  Government buildings.  Some have even been arrested for preaching on city sidewalks.  

Pray.  Keep on preparing.  And pray some more.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

I Know What We Need

 I check out the news because I need to know what the enemy is up to. 

I see gangs of kids hauling off merchandise from stores without paying for it.

I see elected officials sending billions of dollars to fund a war that is none of our business.

I see women marching in the street to have the right to kill their unborn babies.

I see an administration that has already declared war on vehicles fueled by gas and diesel, kitchen stoves fueled by gas, the kind of light bulbs we have used for decades and ceiling fans, announce that now, when winter is approaching, we need to get rid of gas furnaces and switch to all electric.  

And I see an entire generation - maybe more - who have no idea whatsoever might be the right bathroom to use.  Who believe lipstick and dresses have the power to turn men into women.

I know what we need.

We need to bring back the generations who knew how to recognize right from wrong.  We need to bring back our ancestors who believed in consequences for actions.  Most of all, we need to bring God back into every part of our lives.

And a Grandpa with a switch to tear up the backside of a miscreant kid might not be such a bad idea either.

Monday, September 18, 2023

I now understand...

the meaning of the phrase..."Stop the world.  I want to get off."

Evenings I will sometimes find a video to watch on my computer while sewing or crocheting.  A couple of nights ago I was scrolling through YouTube videos.  I understand that many videos are fake, just to get clicks, but many seemed to be somewhat true. 

I saw gangs of people stealing huge dollar amounts of merchandise from stores and nobody stopped them.

I watched an argument over whether men can become pregnant.

I watched a Senate inquiry of potential judges who were unable to define a woman.

I watched parents at a school board meeting reading pornography from books that are found in elementary school libraries, only to be hauled out of the meetings.  Apparently, it's OK for third graders to read what is too deranged for school board member's sensitive ears.

And there were countless videos of people screaming at one another over trivial matters.  

And, of course, everything bad known to man is the fault of one who has not been President for several years.

I would really like to know when stupid took over the psyche of many Americans.  

In the world I grew up in, none of this would have been tolerated.  Of course the world wasn't all honey and roses, but most people were held responsible for their actions.  We knew how many genders there are and which bathroom to use.  We mostly worked out problems by sensibly talking to our neighbors and reaching solutions agreeable to both.  

We honored the American flag and and all things patriotic.

The direction we seem to be taking is sure to continue with all things hateful.  

Saw a t-shirt the other day that had printed on the front, "Stupid Should Hurt."

True, that.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Stacking, Stacking, Stacking

I am not one who lives in the conspiracy theory world.  I have been around the block way too many times to believe everything I see on the news or on the internet.  And half the time I am skeptical of what I am told by some individuals.

But something is going on.  Something that does not bode well for the average citizen.  Something bad.

Me...I refuse to take chances with the welfare of my family.  There are a lot of us.  With good appetites.  

7.5 lbs. of shredded hash browns are dehydrated and packed for storage.

24 half pint jars of chicken breast are in the pressure canner.  About 3 lbs. of meat are in the freezer until I can get my hands on enough for another canner load.

15 lbs. of russet potatoes are waiting to be peeled, chopped and canned.  I'm trying a new to me method of canning.  Potatoes canned in water turned out awful for me.  I dislike the taste, texture and the buggers mostly turned gray in color.  So, this go-around will be canned without liquid.  Can't be any worse.

The plan is to can or dehydrate whatever is on sale.  This time I got 3 lb. bags of frozen chicken breast for $5 each.  Granted, they are not pretty.  The meat looks pretty rough.  I would guess these bags are full of the 'seconds' while the pretty meat is packed on Styrofoam trays, covered with cling wrap at an also very lovely price.  I don't care.  I cut the chicken breasts into about 1-inch cubes to pack into wide mouth half pint jars.  Doesn't have to look nice.

The only negative thing I can say about the grocery delivery service I use is unless an item is listed in the weekly sale ad, I don't know the cost of anything until it arrives in my kitchen.  I was in for a shock when I looked at the grocery receipt.

When did a can of pear halves become worth $2.39 each!  A box of a dozen wide mouth canning lids runs $5.99 each!  The hashbrowns I dehydrated were $5.49 for a 30 oz. bag!

Don't even try to tell me those in power care one hoot about us.  I have to wonder how in the world those folks who are raising kids and working their fingers to the bone for wages that don't even come close to covering all they need - how are they managing.

My days of wimping out simply because arthritis rears its ugly head from time to time, are over.  And yeah - I know that's what I tend to do.  But that isn't going to get the job done.  I still do it - but slower.  A turtle's pace.  As a dear friend likes to say, "Turtles of the world.  Unite!'  :)  

Stack it high and wide.  If this country continues down the path we are on, nobody but the elite will be able to keep food on the table.

God help us! 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Here we go again.

When will the government types learn that all most of us want is to be left alone to live our lives the way we want.  Within a civil society - Yes.  Within the law, provided stupid is not part of our laws - Yes.  Without hurting others - Yes.  

Apparently, the first virus go-around didn't scare us enough to knuckle under to whatever the powers that be think we should do.  From what I have seen from those who know more than I do, another round of idiocy with more of the same regulations is on the horizon.  Some health facilities and schools have already issued mask mandates.  My answer to that is...

accompanied by a double middle finger salute!

I also have no doubt that the next rounds of vaccines are already bottled up, waiting to be plunged into the arm of some poor person who actually believes politicians.

I wonder why we hear nothing about flu season any more.

On another note:

I have tried over the years, without being too preachy, to introduce some of the younger nurses I see weekly to the concept of preparedness.  I might be sitting at my kitchen table when they arrive, repackaging food items for long term storage.  Or I might be filling water bottles.  Or there might be several jars of home canned foods ready to go on the shelves.

A couple of the older ones have gotten busy stocking up.  When I see them, they like to tell me what they are working on.  But most of the younger ones - far the majority, look at me like I have grown an eye in the middle of my forehead.  

Sometimes, in order to get rid of the headache, we need to stop banging our heads against the brick wall.

I am so done.  If asked, I will answer to the best of my ability.  But time is becoming too short to waste it trying to teach those who have no desire to learn.  

Although arthritic hands tend to make pressure canning a bit of an adventure, after taking stock of the chicken I have on the shelves, I am orderng 12 lbs. of chicken breast this time around to can in half pint jars.  Living alone as I do, I find the half pints just the right size for sandwiches or to have slathered in BBQ sauce for supper or for adding to a cold macaroni salad.  So I will give one more try to pressure canning.  The small jars are light enough in weight to be manageable.

One thing about us preppers - we rarely give up.  We soldier on even when things get tough.  For we know that if bad things happen, our families will be taken care of.

And that's what it is all about, isn't it!

Saturday, August 26, 2023


This morning I watched the live webcam of the Lake Superior Canal at Duluth, Minnesota.  I enjoy watching the people who line up to watch the huge, long, low ships enter or leave the harbor with their loads of grain or iron ore or taconite.  There often are sailors on deck who wave to those in the crowd.  I enjoy hearing the ship's horns blowing a salute to the lift bridge that raises high to allow the passage of the ships, and to hear the bridge's answering salute to the ships.

But my favorite view is of a rather large, grassy area just north of the canal.  Often the activity there, mostly children playing, is good for the soul.

Today I saw several seagulls either walking through the grass or flying in circles low over it.  And in the middle of that activity were three or four toddler sized kids playing "Catch the Seagull."  A bird or two would land and the kids were after it until those birds on the ground took flight and a couple more took their turn at being chased.  Looked to me like both kids and birds were enjoying the activity.

Sometimes - particularly these days - we need the gentle distraction of kids chasing seagulls.

Looks like the government types are gearing up to try to control us with more pandemic rules and regulations.  I already find that mask mandates are in effect, particularly in health care facilities and colleges.

I saw this morning where the government has an alcohol czar who has decided that no more than two beers a week should be allowed.  Now, I no longer drink alcohol, but it still seems to me that might be a personal choice.  Does no one recall how well Prohibition went in the 20's and 30's?

The final example of pure insanity I came across was the article that said Biden thinks we should regulate ceiling fans.  Apparently, the fans use way too much energy.  But electric vehicles don't.  Sigh.

Yep...some days watching kids chasing seagulls is vastly better than facing the reality of our new world.

Oliver Anthony's song, "Rich Men North of Richmond" is truer than anything else I have heard for a while.

Keep stacking it high.  Stay on bended knee, praying.  It is coming at us like a speeding freight train.  Get ready.

Friday, August 18, 2023


Is there a reason that we are putting up with enough governmental bullsh*t to require wearing hip waders in order to slog through it all?

I don't need to tell my readers to wake up, but there are so very many others who just skip blithely through life without a single clue.  

Nobody is coming to rescue us.  Case in point:  how much government aid has gone to Hawaii since the horrible fires there and how many of our tax dollars have been sent to aid those in a war overseas that has nothing to do with us. 

Our founding fathers would be stacking bodies like cordwood by now.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Normal? Really?

 We are never going to see what was 'normal' for us in years past.  Perhaps that is the reason I hate the phrase 'New Normal' so much.

I just don't see a whole lot in the world around us that could be considered normal.  Men wearing dresses and makeup and calling themselves women is not normal.  I hear the question 'what is a woman' so often that it makes me wonder if there is a shred of common sense left.  And why, pray tell, haven't some people figured that out.

I am seeing the names of several new viruses being hailed as the new diseases we need to be afraid of and for which, of course, new vaccines are at the ready.  And I am hearing that we should again be confined to our homes when these deadly viruses are upon us.  How ever did we manage to live through previous viruses without 'government protection.'

Granted, we have lived through some less than stellar administrations.  But the current one seems hell bent on destroying America rather than working toward a better future for us all.  It reached the epitome of 'petty' when its leader decided that home appliances were going to ruin the climate unless we changed them out for whatever he deems suitable.

Insert big sigh here.

Frankly, I just cannot keep up with all of the foolishness, nor do I want to at this point.  Each and every day there is something else coming at us destined to make life harder.

On the bright side, empty store shelves don't seem to have reached my area.  I am still receiving everything I order every two weeks.  There may be brand names that are unavailable, but there are substitutions that work just as well.

This week I ordered frozen corn and mixed vegetables to dehydrate.  Those are done, but celery, onions and potatoes are waiting to be cleaned, peeled, chopped, sliced and dried.  I am concentrating my efforts on dehydrating just now.  This is not the time to slack off with the preparedness.  God only knows what kind of crazy we will see tomorrow, next month, next year.

As always - keep preparing and keep praying.  God is our only hope.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Just Checking In

The older I become, the faster time seems to go by.  I realized this morning that it has been a week since my last post.  So here I am - checking in with all of you!

Six large bags of frozen hash browns are dehydrated, bagged and put away.  Same with six 16 oz. bags of frozen broccoli.  My grocery order goes in Monday for delivery next Thursday, so I am working on the list.  Probably can use more dehydrated onions.  I seem to use lots of onions.  And I grind some for onion powder - one less item to buy.

I am also checking my stash of ingredients.  Since even the prices on small items like gravy or taco seasoning mixes have headed skyward along with so many other items, I think now might be the time to use my recipes for making my own rather than buying.  

It is not all work.  I have been collecting information about my ancestors for a number of years now.  And because I think it is important for my kids and grands to know about the people who went before, I have been working to organize it all in a genealogy program to make it easier to follow and understand.  For me, this is not work.  It is fun.  Especially when I unearth a rogue or reprobate!

I admit to loving gadgets.  My son brought me a gadget that I am really enjoying.

Background.  I have two computers.  One is a desktop with a huge monitor.  I have used this one for a number of years.  It holds genealogy records, photos, etc.

I now have a laptop that I use for genealogy, among other things.  But I had no way - at least no easy way - to transfer data from one computer to the other.

Enter my son with an external hard drive.  This little piece of electronics has enough memory to hold my entire Documents file, including a ton of photos.  Plus much more.  As I have been writing this post, a wealth of information is being transferred from the desktop to the external hard drive.  Next step - plug the device into my laptop and  download.  I was afraid there would be a whole project in itself to do the transfer.  Nope.  Cut and paste.  I can do that without any frustration.

Most of the time we plan and God chuckles.  But this time the plan is actually working.  :)

That's all I know for now, except that the world is still a hot mess with no end in sight.  I still check news reports to continue to know what the enemy is up to.  And, as always, preparing is at the top of the list.  That and daily prayer for this used and abused land of ours.  Or more to the point, it's used and abused citizens.

Can't give up.  Won't let them win.  Have never been very good at following orders, especially from the kinds of morons who are now issuing their silly orders.

Keep preparing.  And most importantly, keep praying.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Little Green Men

Seems Congress has found something else to try to justify their existence.  They are holding hearings about Unidentified Flying Objects.  That's right, folks.  Now we need to worry about those pesky UFOs cluttering up our skies.  

This may be new territory for the younger set, but us old farts have been hearing about 'flying saucers' for, at the very least, 50 years.  A whole tourist industry was built upon rumors of what was hiding in 'Area 51.'   The book and comic book industry has produced countless publications featuring those little green men from Mars.  And the film industry - both movies with live actors and the animated variety - have produced many films about invasions from outer space.

Good grief...even Bugs Bunny has dealings with Marvin the Martian.

I am not saying that it is impossible to find life on other planets.  And I am not saying that such life could never find its way here.

What I am saying is that these hearings are a doozy of a distraction.

Seems to me there are some things to concern ourselves with that are just a tad bit more important.

How about the fact that government officials lie to us so often that lying has become standard practice for them.

How about the fact that millions are openly crossing our borders illegally and nobody is doing anything to stop it.

How about the fact that kids are being sold to pedophiles.

How about the fact that groceries are fast becoming a luxury item.  

How about the fact that our government wants to limit all sorts of items like gas stoves and firearms and meat.

And how about the fact that using the wrong pronouns in addressing some individuals is becoming unlawful.  Really?  When did we lose all forms of common sense!

There are countless other issues that our leaders should be addressing.  But holding hearings to try to prove to the voters that they are doing something for us is wearing thin.  Thing is, once they have performed for the cameras, they do nothing.

And once again, I do believe we desperately need a Do Over!

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Keeping On

 It is easy, sometimes, to use a setback - no matter what kind - as an excuse to avoid the chores we know need to be done but don't really want to do just now.  I have been guilty of that.  But my lazy days were not during a time of crisis.  If things in our country don't change real soon, that crisis is going to overwhelm us all.

I had a talk with my son today.  He knows that lately, arthritis is kicking my backside pretty hard.  I have had to stop canning because arthritic fingers tend to drop jars full of food and heavy canners.  He is bringing me a few items that will make life a bit easier.  And I had never heard of a battery operated can opener before.  Who knew?

Just because one way of preserving food has become a problem doesn't mean the job can not be done.   I spent some time the past few days, going through the room where I store my food and supplies, to see what I needed to dehydrate.  Turns out the list is fairly long.  My grocery delivery is a week from today and will include several bags of frozen hashbrowns, bags of frozen broccoli and maybe some more whole kernel corn.  Frozen foods are so easy to dehydrate.  Just spread out on trays and dry.

And because we all need a bit of fun now and then, I think I will dehydrate some mini marshmallows.  I had seen a video about that over at 'The Purposeful Pantry.'  There are tons of videos about dehydrating there.  Here is the link.  The Purposeful Pantry - YouTube   The dehydrated mini marshmallows can either be a snack or can be used to top off a mug of hot chocolate.

No matter what our limitations are, there are things we can do to prepare for whatever horror our leaders have planned for us.  Not all of us have homesteads.  Not all of us have space for a garden.  Not everybody can raise cows or goats or chickens.  I admire those who can do these things.

But the rest of us need to know that if we cannot home preserve foods, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hitting the grocery store sales and stocking up that way.  It doesn't matter how the stocking up is accomplished - just that it gets done.  Soon! 

I think we all know by now that when the going gets tough, we are on our own.  Nobody from the government - local or national - will be offering help.  We had better do everything we can to feed ourselves and our families or friends.  

Keep praying.  Keep stacking.  Both are absolutely necessary.

Friday, July 14, 2023

It is Time

 Looks like our "leaders" are about to get us totally involved in the war they have been wanting.  You don't send your troops to a country at war, just for the fun of it.  And you don't suggest reinstating the military draft unless you want to send more of our soldiers overseas to fight.

There is a video out this morning that lays it all right on the line.  Most of you are familiar with Patara over at Appalachia's Homestead with Patara.  And if you are, you know she is totally a straight shooter who tells it like it is.  I strongly suggest watching her video if you haven't seen her latest one already.

Here is the link.

💥 Rich Man's WAR! 💥 - YouTube

And if those who believe nothing bad will ever happen and even if it does, it won't have an effect on them - good luck with living in Fantasy Land with all of those unicorns and the fairy dust.

It is about to get real.

Please, God.  Help us fight the evil that has taken over our land.

Monday, July 10, 2023


 We all have issues in our lives that cause us to change course from time to time.  Mine is arthritis.  Occasionally it rears its ugly head and makes physical work difficult at best.  So, until this particular flare-up goes away, I am spending time doing things that require very little movement.

That doesn't mean that I am abandoning preparing.  It just means my grocery order this week includes items that don't need to be canned or dehydrated.  Paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products as well as some canned goods will be delivered on Thursday.

And because I never have been able to just sit and stare into space, I am using this time to work on the never-ending project of organizing my family tree.  Even though my family doesn't share my enthusiasm for splashing about in our gene pool, I find it fascinating.  Especially when I discover the rogues and outlaws.  :)

And since all of my aunts and uncles and grandparents on both sides of my family have passed on to their reward, my kids and grands do not know what kind of people they were.  So, while sorting out ancestors, when I remember something about an aunt or uncle or grandparent, I write it down.  

My Uncle Kenneth is a prime example.  A veteran of the Second World War, he was the one out of a family of nine children to remain on the family farm in northern Minnesota, to keep the farm going and to take care of his elderly widowed mother until her death in 1955.

As a young child, Uncle Kenneth scared me.  He was always dressed in rough clothes suitable for the barn or for the fields.  Add to that his normal weeks growth of beard and his ever-present slouch hat.

Turns out, Uncle Kenneth was one of the kindest men I have ever known.

My best memory is of winter on that small farm.  There were 4 or 5 cows to milk, morning and evening.  In the evening, Uncle Kenneth would walk from the house to the barn, holding a lantern in one hand and guiding me along by holding my hand with the other.  I can still see in my mind's eye, the lantern light sparkling on the snow.

Uncle Kenneth knew I loved animals and there were cats in the barn.  They would line up while he often would squirt a stream of milk at them that they handily, each one in turn, would catch in open mouths.  And, with a twinkle in his eye, he sent one of the kittens home with me, much to the chagrin of my mother, who wasn't fond of animals in the house.

I think I might give most anything for just one more walk to the barn with my Uncle Kenneth.

Don't let the memories fade.  Our loved ones may no longer be on this earth, but they remain alive in our memories and in our hearts.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Back to Prepping

 I hope all of you had a good time celebrating our Independence Day.  Mine was fairly quiet, considering my building is just across the alley from a neighborhood bar.  I can watch from my living room windows, the fireworks display from the local amusement park - far enough away so I get the beauty of the fireworks without the noise.  Then the more inebriated of the bar patrons set off their fireworks in the middle of the street.  A whole lot of noise and very little sparkle.  Couldn't get mad while laughing at them, stumbling over themselves.  :)  Thankfully, nobody got hurt.

For the past few days I have been working on canning the meat in my freezer.  The point is to get it into jars before freezer burn finds it.  So far I have two cases of pint jars full of either chicken or turkey, and another case of hamburger.  There are still 8 lbs. of bacon to can, but because I am not as young as I once was, a day or two of recovery is necessary before continuing on.

Both last summer and this summer have found good deals on strawberries.  They are surprisingly tasty for supermarket berries.  I have been buying six 1-lb. containers at a time, eating a pound or so fresh and freezing the rest.  I still have a large amount of strawberry jam stashed away, so I think I will heat the frozen berries with a little sugar and can them up as strawberry sauce to use as ice cream topping or in other desserts.  My mother would can berries this way.  One of her favorite ways to use the strawberry sauce was over a slice of angel food cake, topped with whipped cream and the berry sauce.  Ah, the memories.

In between canning sessions, I am working on an inventory of my storage, to see exactly what I have and what I need.  Some of my kids and grands were here around Mother's Day.  They hauled out a truck load of food in jars along with some of the dry goods, like rice.  That really helped me as my apartment is small and space is at a premium.  

I admit to falling way behind on keeping track of what I have and what I still need.  But with prices continuing to rise and a few products out of stock at the store, it is in my best interest to stop procrastinating and get busy. 

Keep at it, my friends.  Now is not the time to slack off.  May God bless you all.


Monday, July 3, 2023


 This is my Pride Flag.

Long may she wave.

Sunday, June 25, 2023


 Ever notice that when those who actually tell the truth, as opposed to the media in general, start questioning the actions of the current administration - especially the actions of the Biden Crime Family - stuff happens.  

Even those in Washington who might be considered the 'good guys,' seem to have trouble with the truth.  They like to hold hearing after hearing, pontificate at the drop of a hat and never really do anything to the advantage of 'we the people.'  

Perhaps it is time for a complete do-over.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Time To Remember And Enjoy

 My last post started with a description of children playing near the Duluth Harbor Canal.  Yesterday my son sent me these pictures of my Granddaughters at the same canal.  

These pictures were taken a number of years ago.  Both girls are now college age.  But the pictures remind me that even while we prepare for an uncertain future, we need to take time to enjoy family, friends and the world around us.  

I have been busy dehydrating food.  My last grocery order included 6 bags of frozen corn and 6 bags of frozen broccoli.  I like dehydrating frozen vegetables as the necessary blanching has been done before the veggies were frozen and all I need to do is spread them out on the dehydrator trays and dry them.

Dehydrating 10 lbs. of potatoes are a different story.  Those I peeled, diced, blanched for 3 minutes and then dehydrated.  I use these mostly in soups or stews I make in a crockpot.

I have some canning of whatever I find in my freezer to do, but since the temps here in Minnesota are predicted to be in the 90's for a while, that will have to wait until the next cool down.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our preparations that we forget to live our best lives.  My Granddaughter's pictures remind me that it is equally important to enjoy our time on this earth as well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Way it Should Be

For some reason known only to the computer gods, when I click on the YouTube icon, the first thing that pops up is the live feed from the Duluth, Minnesota canal that the cargo ships use to go from Lake Superior into the Duluth harbor to load or unload whatever they are hauling.  I have no idea why this happens, but as I enjoy looking at the scene, I just left it alone.

If you would like to take a look, here is the link.  Duluth Canal Cam - YouTube

The scene can be peaceful on a sunny day, or it can be full of the violence of waves crashing over the barriers or onto the shores.  In the spring there are huge slabs of ice floating in the canal.  In the winter, the snow piles up on the walkway.  But in the summertime, people line up the entire length of the canal walkway to watch the ships and to wave at the crew members. 

It is interesting to get a close-up look at the massive ships entering and leaving the canal.  And to hear the horn salute between a ship and the lift bridge at the entrance of the harbor.  It is fun to watch the people.  I didn't know that some scooters have headlights and taillights.  Now I know.  

But what I saw today made my heart glad.  There is a fairly large patch of lawn near the canal.  I watched two children - maybe toddler age or a bit older - running in circles, chasing one another.  Their pure joy was obvious.  After a while an adult - probably their Dad - joined them in a game of Tag.

It crossed my mind that this is exactly what the lives of kids should be.  Running.  Playing.  Happiness.  

But how many kids are deprived of that joy.  How many are being groomed by drag queens.  By those who want to convince them that boys are not boys and girls are not girls.  By those who think it is OK to mutilate children who are not old enough to understand what that means for the rest of their lives.

If adults want to cut themselves up or pretend to change their gender, they can do so.  They are grown-ups.  Kids are not.  I pray that we can return to some sort of sanity that allows kids to just be kids.

There has got to be a special place in hell for those who hurt children.  Has to be.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Just Done With the Foolishness

 I have come to the conclusion that I simply don't give a rodent's behind about the 'feelings' of the left.

I do not care about their pronouns.  More often than not, I am hearing about medical facilities, school administrators and others who are requesting a listing of pronouns on the official paperwork.  Others are having hissy fits over the fact that someone 'misgendered' them.  I.  Don't.  Care.  Live in your fantasy world if you want, but don't expect me to go there with you. 

I just saw a couple of articles reporting that the resident of the White House is planning to outlaw gas appliances.  Kiss your gas furnace, your gas kitchen range and any other gas appliances you own, goodbye.  I have lived in the same building for over 25 years.  The building runs on gas.  My kitchen stove always works.  I am always warm in the middle of a Minnesota winter.  I don't think I could say that in an all-electric building.  And considering the cost of electricity these days, I can guarantee that the rent increase to cover the costs of an all-electric building would put me out on the street. 

Target stores got themselves in trouble for assuming all customers would be just fine with the 'gay pride' onesies they want to sell for infants.  Or with the women's swimsuits designed for men.  Target lost me some time back when they allowed men wearing skirts to enter the same bathrooms my granddaughters would use.

According to the man who claims to be President of the United States, I am a huge threat to democracy.  After all, I am precisely what he has warned us about, time after time.  According to this moron, because I am Caucasian, Christian and Right thinking, it is inevitable that I will do something drastic.  Like maybe burn down a city.  Or riot in the streets.  Or stop traffic on the freeways to protest 'climate change' or the use of fossil fuels.  Oh, wait.  That is BLM.  And Antifa.  Both terroristic organizations funded by the Left.

I have to wonder when the Left will drag the next pandemic out of the closet.  I suppose it depends on a couple of things.  If we are close enough to the next election, pandemic restrictions are useful to those wanting mail-in ballots.  Cheating is much easier using mail-in ballots.  On the other hand, if anyone starts looking fairly closely at the business dealings of the Biden Crime Family, another pandemic might be a good distraction, although it seems that those on the Right are the ones punished, even if they have done nothing wrong.  Those on the Left skate.

I am done.  I am aware that nobody in power cares about my opinion.  But maybe - just maybe, if enough of us refuse to play the game, we might just have a fighting chance to live reasonably normal lives in the country we love and are fast losing.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Water, water everywhere...

I have to wonder how many equate loss of power with no water when we turn on the tap at the kitchen sink.  Most of the younger set look at me like I just grew another eye in the middle of my forehead if they see me filling bottles with water to store.

My grandparents didn't worry about this happening.  They had an outhouse.  They had a hand water pump a few feet outside the back door.  Just inside the kitchen door was a small stool that held a bucket of water and a dipper for drinking.  Can you imagine the horrified shrieking from those germaphobes who would be forced to drink that water?  Funny thing.  None of Grandma's 9 kids died from sharing a drinking dipper.  And that was the best tasting water I have ever had.

Living in a city apartment as I do, there is no outhouse.  There is no pump outside my door.  Many people fill large water barrels and store them in the garage.  Here there is no garage nor is there room for large water barrels.  And since we are told that three days without water could be fatal, other arrangements are necessary.

There are several empty 5-gallon buckets that can be filled with water at the last minute if necessary.  I have tested the theory and found I can fill 3 or 4 buckets when the lights go out and before water pressure is lost.  This water can be used for bathing and for flushing the toilet.

My method of storing water is to fill 2-liter soda bottles and large juice bottles with water.  The bottles are washed well, and the last rinse has a few drops of bleach included.  The full bottles are stored behind my couch that has been pulled away from the wall enough to accommodate two rows of bottles.  Heavy cardboard covers the first two rows and a second two rows go on top of the cardboard.

Bottles of water are stored on the bottom shelf of a unit that holds my dehydrated foods.  And more bottles are behind the bedroom door.  And more are stashed wherever I can find room - mostly behind furniture.

I do have some cases of commercially packaged water bottles, but they are somewhat expensive, and I live on a fixed income.  I also cannot afford an expensive water filtering system.  Sometimes we just have to make do.  I have a gas kitchen range that I can light with a match when the power is out.  And a small propane camp stove can be used to boil water if necessary.

It would be lovely to have one of those systems for catching and storing rainwater, but unless something can be rigged on a balcony, that's not going to work in an apartment setting.  And this being a very old building, there are no balconies.

We live in a time where we just don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I hope I never have to rely on water in bottles.  But what if I do.....

Monday, June 5, 2023

I don't understand...

 why the gay comunity needs an entire month to celebrate their sexual preferences.

I have absolutely nothing against anyone in the gay community.  I have gay friends and family members.  Their preferences have nothing to do with my love for them.  

What I fail to understand is why anyone would discuss in public the things they do in the privacy of their bedrooms.  Or hold a parade dedicated to their sexual wants and needs.

Thing is...I simply do not care what someone else does as long as it does not involve hurting others.

I would expect that grown-ups might find a better use of their time.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Stack It High

 We're talking about food here.  Since the debt ceiling bill passed and no doubt will be signed, reports indicate that we ain't seen nuthin' yet as far as food inflation is concerned.  We have always said, "Stack it to the rafters."  Now might be the time to go beyond.

Due to physical restraints and just plain old age, I have my groceries delivered.  This service makes life much easier for me as well as many others of my vintage who find mobility to be a problem.  But once in a while they get it wrong.  Just a minor thing. 

Right now I am concentrating on dehydrating food.  Four bags of frozen hash browns dried overnght and are cooling down so I can package them for storage.  Hash browns are really handy to have.  I just soak enough for a meal in water for about 20 minutes, drain and fry.

I had ordered 6 bags of frozen corn to dehydrate.  What I got was 6 cans of corn.  Sigh.  The corn is still food and the cans will go on the shelf.  The corn to dehydrate will be ordered for the next devery.  

Frozen veggies are my favorite for dehydrating.  They have already been blanched for freezing, so all I need to do is spread them out on dehydrator trays and dry them.  Many vegetables do not rehydrate well enough to use as a side dish.  I mostly add them to soups I make in the crockpot where they do rehydrate over time or I turn them into powders to add as flavor to many dishes.

Corn, however rehydrates well  But mostly I grind it up in my mini food processor and add it to my cornbread recipe.  Adding the corn gives cornbread a wonderful corn flavor.

And now I am off to my kitchen where I wil cry for a time.  No, I am not sad.  But I do have onions to peel and chop for drying.

A question before I go.  Has anyone ever dehydrated meat?  I have seen videos on the subject, but still am not sure about trying it.  I am thinking mostly chicken or hamburger, as I use those two more often.  If anyone has any thoughts on this, please share.

Please, my friends, do not slack off on your preparations.  The current administration will gladly provide illegales with cell phones, housing, food stamps, medical care and anything else they need.  However, you - American citizen - are on your own.  Do whatever you can to make it through hard times.

And by all means - pray!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

What Happened...

 There was a time when I could walk the street in front of my building, day or night, without fear.  Not any more.

There was a time when there was no question about which locker room or bathroom to use.  Not any more.

There was a time when children could go to 'story hour' at the public library without encountering men dressed as grotesque women.  Not any more.

There was a time when sex education did not include elementary school children.  Not any more.

There was a time when the language I hear coming from some kids would have earned them the experience of learning what a bar of soap tastes like.  Not any more.

What happened?  How did we reach the place where the question of the day is, "What is a woman?"  News flash - just take a peek inside your knickers.  Indoor pumbing belongs to women.  Outdoor plumbing indicates a man.  Easy peasy.

I am so very tired of all the foolishness.  Common sense seems to have left the building.  At what point did so many Americans buy into the culture of 'woke.'

Seems to me we need to pay attention to the ways of our parents and grandparents.  They didn't waste time on silly things like defining a woman.  In my family they were too busy tending the crops, milking the cows, working in the lumber mills or, in the case of my Dad, holding down two and sometimes three jobs to feed his family and care for his invalid wife.

It is my opinion that the downward spiral mostly began when our government decided that God has no place in our schools or our office buildings or in our lives.  The war against religion has escelated.

I am thinking that as we watch our nation sink deeper into the mud and mire, perhaps now might be a good time for prayer before that is banned as well.

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.