Wednesday, July 3, 2024


There sometimes comes a time when choices need to be made.  I find I have reached that place in my life.

Those who have been kind enough to follow this little blog are aware of the physical limitations I deal with daily.  I find these days it takes me much longer to do the tasks that need to be done.  I jokingly call it 'working at the pace of a herd of turtles.'  And as a dear friend who also has limitations likes to say, "Turtles of the world, unite!"

This is by no means a 'poor, pitiful me' post.  I do not feel sorry for myself, and I would never want anyone else to feel that way.  I say these things to give you, my faithful readers, an explanation as to why chances are pretty good there will be no more posts.

Right or wrong, I believe our beloved country is in serious trouble.  And it is also my belief that there is damn little I can do about it.  I know of few politicians, local, state or federal, who give a rodents behind what those who elected them think.  Letters, phone calls, emails have no effect on what they do or how they vote.  For the most part, they are in it for the ill-gotten gains and the power.

As much as I want to believe that all will be well if only the upcoming election goes a certain way, that is not the truth.  We may have those who wish to correct all the damage that has been done to this nation, but it will take more than one election to bail us out.  And no matter what anyone says, there is only one Savior and He is not running for office.

Because it takes me so long to do what needs to be done, I will be concentrating on preparing.  My family comes first.  Always.  And in the past 14 years that this blog has been in existence, I may have imparted all the wisdom I have.  I really am having trouble coming up with new posts.  And quite frankly, I feel like time may be running out.  My attention needs to be elsewhere other than this blog.

I sincerely thank all of you for sticking with me through thick and thin.  Keep stacking it to the rafters.  Stay safe.  And may God truly bless each of you.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024


 When did the American people forget how to use this small, two letter, one syllable word?

I hear about governmental regulations telling people they can't grow a garden.  There are all sorts of reasons given, mostly pulled from thin air under the guise of "save the planet."

We have states where farmers are told they can not water their crops.  The same ridiculous reasons are given for this stupidity.

And then there are the continuing efforts to disarm us all.  What part of "shall not be infringed" do they not understand.

This stomping all over our rights is nothing new.  A friend told me about when he was a kid, some 50 years ago.  There was a small tree growing in the yard of the family house.  The roots were causing problems.  The city said the family could not cut down the tree.  So in the middle of the night, the kid and a hand saw took care of the problem.  Fines were levied.  Citations were written.  There was a judge involved.  All over a very small tree in a yard the homeowner had paid for.

The stupidity has grown by leaps and bounds since that time.  

We now have rules and regulations covering every aspect of our lives.  And what I find astounding is that so many are OK with that.  Have we become so lazy that we no longer care that we are living under the thumbs of politicians?

Should a bureaucrat have had the audacity to tell my ancestors how they should be growing the crops in their fields or even hinted that they weren't allowed to grow food to feed their families, I'm thinking that unfortunate soul would have been frog-marched off my ancestor's land with the promise of what would happen should that person be stupid enough to try that again. 

Spines need to be grown.  And we need to remember not only how to say "No," but how to say "Hell, No" and mean it.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Time Out and Tired of Politicians

 So, the past week has found me in Blogger time-out more than once.  I was working on my method of putting the various branches of my family tree online without having to pay genealogy websites' monthly fees.  That involves making new blogs off of this one. (These can be seen by clicking on "View my complete profile" on the right side of this page.)  Each page contains one Family Group Sheet for each ancestor.  I have lots of ancestors.  Blogger gets its panties in a twist when I add lots of pages at one time.  So, they slap my hands and set me in a corner until they are over their snit.  Sigh.

So while in time-out, I have been spending time sewing quilts together.  This is Minnesota.  Winters are usually mind numbing cold.  A good supply of blankets and quilts is a good idea.  Our winters often include blizzards.  Blizzards can knock out electricity.  Cold is no fun at all.

Seems like my days are filled with all things preparedness.  I find myself convinced that these efforts are necessary.  I don't know what the future holds, but none of it looks really good.

There is one thing I have all but eliminated from my daily routine.  I have stopped paying attention to the latest "slings and arrows" being thrown around by politicians seeking election or re-election.  I am tired of the foolishness.  I am tired of the stupidity.  And mostly I am tired of both sides thinking that we are so ignorant that we will actually believe the lies.

I might actually listen if the solutions to problems were discussed instead of the personal picadilloes of opponents, real or imagined. I don't care.  What I do care about is the fact that in my last grocery order, I paid $4.99 for one pound of butter.  So it now costs me $1.25 per stick - that's per stick - and I have to weigh whether or not I really want butter on my popcorn.

That may seem like a small thing to some, but to many of us, the increases in the price of not only groceries but in so many other goods and services are a big deal.  Toss in the threats of war that are being talked about lately and all of the other issues we hear about, and it is easy to become fearful and overwhelmed.

So I stick to sewing quilts and canning food and dehydrating food and storing all the other supplies that may be needed.  Gives me focus.  Keeps me sane - or as sane as I can be these days.  And I know I cannot change the behemoth our government has become.  But I can do everything in my power to make sure that no matter what happens, my family will be alright.

And that is far more important than anything any politicians could say.  As far as government goes.....I just wish they would leave me alone.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Successful Experiment

When I get involved in a project and mealtime rolls around, I go for quick and easy.  And that generally comes in a jar of home canned food.

While scanning my shelves for something that looked good, I found, hiding back in a corner, a jar of sausage patties.  I remembered having a large quantity of bulk sausage some time back and canning patties was the experiment of the day.

The date on the jar was August 2019.  I popped the lid, took a sniff and concluded the patties looked and smelled OK.

Dropped the meat into a small cake pan.  Dug in the freezer and found some Tater Tots.  Threw in a couple of handfuls of those.  Into the oven the pan went at 400 degrees.  Let them heat until the sausage looked browned on top - about a half hour.

Fried up a couple of eggs and dinner was served.

Tasted great.  An experiment that actually worked!  Not too often that happens, at least for me.

If anyone is interested, the sausage was formed into patties that fit in a wide mouth pint jar.  Water was added to cover, and the patties were canned at 10 lbs. pressure (for my area) for 75 minutes.  Even while experimenting, following the basic rules of canning is not only important, it is necessary.

I have a bunch of hamburger in the freezer and I'm thinking I might try this with the beef.  Also plan to buy more bulk sausage if it ever goes on sale.

Doesn't hurt to branch out and try new things.  Might actually come up with a winner.  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Caroline and Alberta

For a while now I have been noticing that people in general are becoming cranky.  And rude.  And sometimes, downright mean.  Not everyone, but it is out there.  I no longer go out among the population.  But I live next door to a bar.  Used to be this neighborhood bar was kind of like the TV show "Cheers."  It was a rare Saturday night that I would hear a fight in the alley between my building and the bar.  I mostly heard folks talking and laughing and enjoying an adult beverage and the company of friends.  But now I can pretty much count on a ruckus in the street on a weekend.

Some of those who come into my apartment tell me about ornery people they have run across out in the world.  Say it is becoming more common.  Didn't used to be that way.

Enter Caroline and Alberta.

Caroline is a nurse.  A darned good one.  She has been taking care of my legs for several years.  She isn't just a nurse.  She is a friend.

Some time back her sister had a garage sale where she sold her excess fabric and lots of other stuff.  Caroline knows I sew.  She brought me three pieces of plaid flannel, each at least 3 yards long, plus a couple of other cotton pieces about the same size.

Alberta was my next-door neighbor in my building a few years ago.  She was a hard-working farm wife until her husband died.  She would stop in every now and then - not really often.  Or we would talk if we saw each other outside.  Under her rough exterior was a sense of humor and a heart of gold.

She showed up one afternoon, carrying a box about the size of a banker's box, filled with large denim yardages.  She knew I sewed, and she thought I might like to have the denim for a project.

Her remark as she sat by my kitchen table was, "I wanted to see you and I wanted you to have this fabric before I die."  

And because we had joked with each other in the past, I said, "Oh, Alberta.  You are too ornery to die any time soon."

Less than a week later she was carried down the stairs in a body bag.  I still miss her.

This past week while digging through some boxes I have stored, looking for I can't remember what, I ran across the flannel and denim.  Both are now cut into 7 inch squares.  I am in the process of sewing everything together to make two lightweight rag quilts.  I will post a picture when they are finished - maybe in a week or a little more.

And when I rest under the quilts, they will remind me of my nurse who is also my friend and of a friend since departed who had a rough exterior and a kind heart.

Would that people stop fussing at each other and go back to a world of friendships and kindness.  To a world where being offended wasn't like an occupation.  And a world where "woke" meant literally "not asleep."


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Reasons for Paranoia

Anybody else having nagging feelings about being watched.  Being listened to.  Being recorded.  All of the above?

There was a time when I would have been happy to show people my shelves of home canned and dehydrated food.   Not to brag...well, OK.  Maybe a little bit.  We do have the right to be proud of the results of hard work.  But mostly as an incentive to prepare.  As in, "See?   You can do this, too.  And if you want help, just let me know."

That's how things used to be.  Now...not so much.

As an example, not all that long ago I had a new to me nurse come by to deal with my legs.  Now, the exit door in my apartment and the door to the room where most of my food is stored are close to one another.   Perhaps it was an honest mistake.  Perhaps not.  But when she opened the wrong door when leaving, her remarks were:  "My God, but you have a lot of food in  there.  I know where I will come if anything bad happens."

At that point I informed her that this was for my family should an emergency arise.  And then I wanted to know which one of my grandchildren should go without so she could eat.  And then I called the nursing office to let them know that this particular nurse would not be allowed in my apartment again.  Never.

It's not like we aren't being watched nearly every minute of the day.  Grocery store parking lots have a camera on every light pole.  Buying stamps at the Post Office?  Cameras whirring there.  Cameras at every busy intersection, recording where you are at any given time.

A while back I asked my son in a phone conversation to please pick up a battery operated can opener for me.  Within a couple of hours the ads popping up on my computer were for battery operated can openers.  And I don't even own a cell phone.  Those phones that are notorious for gathering private information and tracking the users.

My daughter was here a few days ago.  We talked about her upcoming trip to Montana.  In a conversation with another family member, it was mentioned that one of my grands had just finished her first year at a Wisconsin college.  Want to take a wild guess as to the subjects of the vacation ads now visible on my computers?

I don't believe the Russians will come marching down my street.  I doubt that the marauding hordes will overtake my neighborhood.  And I am not buying into the fearmongering of many of the YouTube channels, as in "Buy this gadget or you will surely die!"

However, I have 16 people in my immediate family to worry about.  With that in mind, as much as I would like to help those outside my family in an emergency situation, that's not happening.   Family first.  Always.

And I believe that those who will come knocking on the door looking for a handout are the same people who went on vacation and who feel the need to dress in the latest fashion and who have money to spend on pedicures but failed to see the need to stock up on food and water.  And now expect someone else to feed them because they didn't bother preparing.

So I am doing whatever necessary to downplay my preparedness efforts to those locally.   But I do admit to being somewhat paranoid about those who I don't really trust.  Nevertheless, the stacking and praying continues.  Hope you all are busy doing the same.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Looking Back...

One of my granddaughters gave each of her parents a book.  The pages are filled with questions ranging from birth to the present.  Then she decided that Grandma needed a book to fill out as well.  Her reasoning, "I know about my ancestors.  But I don't know hardly anything about your life."

So, I am slowly filling in the blanks.  And the process brings back some long-forgotten memories.  Not sure if that is a good thing always.

While working on the part dealing with childhood, it occurred to me that kid's lives years ago would cause apoplexy in some today.

(Apoplexy, informal definition:  incapacity or speechlessness caused by extreme anger)

Sports drinks came from the garden hose.  Drinking water came from a tap in the kitchen.  We would have considered it a foolish waste of money to buy bottles of drinking water.  

My kids rode in the back of my pickup truck.  Side note:  We once chased a black bear down the road by our rural house, until he veered off into the woods.  Kids waving and shouting like mad, enjoying the sight.

Some of my kids were involved in sports.  When they lost a game, they tried harder to improve.  They were not awarded a 'participation trophy.'  Another side note:  My grandson's team lost in a tournament.  Grandson asked his coach where his trophy was.  Coach replied that if he wanted a trophy, he had better earn it. A rare coach these days.

"Play Dates."  Really?  Scheduled play was unheard of.  We went outside.  In the summer there was bike riding and sidewalk roller skating (remember skate keys on a shoelace hanging around every kid's neck?) and exploring any grove of trees within a couple of miles from home.  And building forts in among the trees.

Winter was the time for us in the North to get our snow sleds out of the garage and slide down the hill at the end of the block, watching for street traffic.  And when the skating rink at the elementary school was frozen over and the little warming house with the small wood stove inside blazing away, we pretended to be Olympic speed skaters or figure skaters.  Except for me.  Never did learn to skate backwards.  :)

Moving to the country brought new adventures.  Wading in the creek running at the end of the bean field.  Catching frogs and crawdads.  Feasting on wild plums and raspberries.

Walking the mile and a half to school, spring and fall.  Couldn't claim both ways were uphill and snowdrift deep.  My kids knew the roads.  And the hills.  And that plows cleared off the snow.  :)

The fun of me and my cousins being dragged behind a car by my Dad and Uncle.  They hooked up with sturdy ropes, an old car hood, smooth side down, to Dad's car, set us kids on blankets in the hood and away we went, sliding along on the frozen lake.  

Seems to me that today's kids are growing up without knowing what real freedom is.  My generation and that of my kids had rules.  "Come in when the streetlights come on."  "It is your turn to wash the supper dishes."  "Stop teasing your sister."  

But we didn't have someone watching our every move or planning our play.  We learned to think for ourselves and to make hopefully, good decisions.  I doubt today's kids will learn what real freedom is.

Judging by current events, I'm not so sure any of us will keep the freedoms we now enjoy.

As always - keep stacking it to the rafters.  Keep praying.  We need all the help we can get.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Homemade Mixes

Any of you who have been hanging around here for a while are aware of the fact that I have a medical condition involving my lower legs.  They have to be wrapped 24/7 to keep them from filling with fluid that could result in open wounds and infection.  I see home health care nurses three times a week.  These angels have kept me wound free and infection free for several years.

I now see a new nurse.  She is not only excellent in doing her job, she is also like-minded.  I know you all are aware of how few and far between like-minded people are.  It is a joy to be able to talk about current issues and preparedness.

We were talking about grocery prices.  I mentioned that I liked having those packets of brown gravy mix on hand for various uses, but I no longer order them because I refuse to pay the price now asked for them.  Instead, I am making my own gravy mixes from scratch and find I like them just as well or better than the packaged mixes.  And I know there are no nasty ingredients in them. 

My new nurse / friend asked for recipes.  I was going to just print out several recipes for mixes, but I am kind of low on printer paper at the moment, so I decided to post them here and anyone who could use them can just copy and paste.  I may have posted some of these before, but if so, I think they are worth repeating.

I have, over the years, collected tons of recipes from the internet and I have no clue where I found them.  These are just a few that I use regularly.  Enjoy.

Homemade Beef Gravy Mix  (About 2-2/3 cups mix)

1-1/3 cups powdered milk                    3/4 cup flour

3 tablespoons beef bouillon                  

1/8 teaspoon thyme or celery powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder                   

1/8 teaspoon sage or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

TO USE: Pour 1 cup cold water in saucepan, using a whisk to blend, stir in 1/2 cup mix.

Stir constantly over medium heat until gravy is smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Makes 1 cup gravy.


Homemade Chicken Gravy Mix   (Makes about 2 cups of mix.)

1-1/3 cups powdered milk                       3/4 cup flour

3 tablespoons chicken bouillon               1/4 teaspoon sage

1/8 teaspoon thyme or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon pepper or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

or 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

TO USE: Pour 1 cup cold water in saucepan, using a whisk to blend, stir in 1/2 cup mix.

Stir constantly over medium heat until gravy is smooth and slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Makes 1 cup gravy.


Chicken or Beef Gravy

3/4 cup all-purpose flour                       1 tsp ground black pepper

3 tablespoons of chicken or beef bullion

Country Gravy

3/4 cup all-purpose flour                     1/2 tsp salt

1 -2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of minced, dehydrated or freeze-dried chopped onion

This batch will make you 8 cups of gravy.

To make 1 cup of gravy

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, lard or oil in a pan and mix with 2 tablespoons of gravy mix. Once all combined, add 1 cup of cold water and whisk until smooth. Stir until it thickens.


Spaghetti Sauce Mix

1/4 cup cornstarch                          1/4 cup dried onions, minced

1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

3 tablespoons dried vegetable flakes or 3 tablespoons sweet pepper flakes

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning                   4 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons sugar                                        

2 teaspoons dried garlic, minced

To Use:  1 lb. ground beef,  2 cups water,  1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

Directions: Combine the first eight ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place up to 1 year. 

To use: Stir in 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce mix, water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.


Spaghetti Sauce Spice Blend

1/4 c. celery salt           1 T. dried basil             1 T. dried oregano

1 T. dried parsley         1 T. garlic powder        1 T. onion salt

1 T. sugar                     1 T. pepper

Mix ingredients together, place in an airtight container. Shake before using. Attach instructions. Makes about 3/4 cup. Instructions: To make spaghetti sauce, whisk an 8-ounce can tomatoes with 1/4 cup spice blend in a saucepan; simmer for 30 minutes. Pour over an 8-ounce package prepared pasta. Serves 4.



5 cups nonfat dry powdered milk                    3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups dry cocoa                            1 cup nondairy coffee creamer

pinch of salt

Mix powdered milk, creamer, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sift in cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix well. Store in a airtight container.

When ready to use, add approximately 1/3 cup to a mug of boiling water. Stir until cool enough to drink.


Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

1 (25.6 ounce) box nonfat dry milk powder

1 (16 ounce) container instant chocolate milk mix

1 (13 ounce) jar malted milk powder

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1 (6 ounce) jar powdered nondairy creamer

1/2 teaspoon salt

In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Store in an airtight container. Keep in a cool place.

To serve: In mug, pour 6 ounces of hot water over 1/3 cup cocoa mix, and stir until well blended.


The above are a few of the mixes I regularly use.  I find that in addition to doing more pressure canning lately, I am making more homemade convenience foods rather than pay the insane prices that continue to go skyward.  I still believe that the more we can do for ourselves, the better off we will be.

Keep stacking, my friends.  Keep praying!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Here we are...

 We have known this time was coming.  We really hoped that our beloved country would be spared.  No such luck.

This really isn't about Donald Trump.  He is just the tool the corrupt left is using to stay in power.  

When you can bring bogus charges against your opponent, tie him up in court during the campaign process and use corrupt prosecutors, judge and jury to convict him, you have fallen about as far down as is possible.  Morals?  Nope.  Caring for those you have taken an oath to protect?  Not happening.  Using every foul means to win an election?  Absolutely.

If you think for one little, bitty minute that all of this has nothing to do with you, you are sadly mistaken.

Where do they go from here.  They have already allowed millions of illegal aliens into our country.  Who do you suppose is paying for all of their benefits - housing, food, medical, etc.  How many killers, rapists, terrorists and disease and drug carrying people are here now.  Nobody knows.  And if the left gets their way, there will be no end to that particular madness.

How about the billions of dollars sent to finance a war that is none of our business.  Perhaps our homeless vets could make good use of some of that.

Your grocery bill gone down any?  How about the price of the gas in your car?  Anything else you buy cost less now?  I doubt it.

I am not a huge fan of Trump.  There are things I don't like about him.  And I don't, even for a second, believe he is our savior.  But I do think he loves our country and would do his level best to save this nation, where it sure does look like the opposition is doing everything they can think of to wreck the country we love so much.

Keep preparing.  Watch what is happening around you - stay safe.  And above all else, pray.  Pray for us, our families, our nation.

As a good friend says...powder dry, larder full, Bible open.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024


 I worked for a while on organizing my family tree for printing.  Seems like having hard copies for many digital documents might be a good thing.

Then I found a couple of boxes of forgotten denim and flannel.  So now there are boxes of denim and flannel squares, ready to be sewn into quilts.

And tomorrow my grocery order includes pork that is on sale ($2.29 / lb.), cabbage, carrots and onions.  More "meals in jars" will be canned over the weekend, this time in quart jars instead of the pints I have been using.  A few packages of ham are thawing to use along with the pork.

So, when my son asked what I had been doing, and when I told him, he remarked I have the attention span of his dog, Oreo, who loses her mind over squirrels and bunnies.  :)

I know he is right.  I have always had many more interests than any one person could possibly manage.  But now I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.

Anybody but me having that feeling like the proverbial second shoe is about to drop?

For you youngsters - The idiom "wait for the other shoe to drop" is a common expression that refers to the feeling of anticipation or anxiety when waiting for something, usually negative, to happen.

And when that shoe does hit the floor - and we all know, deep down, even if we will not voice it, the shoe is now mere inches off the floor and the crash is on the way.  So perhaps a variety of interests could just serve us well.  The more we know how to do for ourselves, the better off we will be.  

I'm not talking about the folks who are busy practicing their Paul Bunyon woodsy skills or are all excited about 'living off the land.'  I wish them well with that fantasy.  I'm talking about knowing how to garden, preserve food, fill their annual deer license for meat in the freezer, raise hogs for meat and chickens for meat and eggs, keep a milk cow.  And if you can't do those things - kinda doubt my landlord would be happy to find a pig in my living room and chickens in the kitchen - figure out how to adapt.

Watch the grocery sales.  Find a good deal?  Buy as much as possible.  (I do not leave some for the next person.  If the next person wanted what is on sale, they should have been at the store sooner.)  Grocery store meat may be canned.  So can frozen vegetables.  They last longer in jars than in the freezer.  Buy flour.  Freeze the bags for a couple of days to kill any creepy crawlies and their eggs.  Bake bread.  Leave expensive packaged cookies on the shelf and find Mama's recipe for chocolate chip or ginger snap cookies.

Do whatever you can for yourself.

Nobody is coming to help.  In fact, those who are supposed to care about "we the people" are the very ones promoting this mess we are in, to say nothing of doing their level best to send our kids into battle.

I think the phrase I will practice is, "NO!  I WILL NOT COMPLY!"

Stack and pray.  We're gonna need it all.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Odds and Ends

 I'm sort of between major projects just now.  My grocery order arrives Thursday afternoon.  I have ordered nothing that needs to be processed except for frozen shredded hashbrowns to dehydrate.  Love having those on hand.  I just soak them for maybe 10 minutes,  drain and fry them up.  Taste just like fresh.

This time I am filling in the gaps in my storage.  More rice.  Instant dry milk.  Canned apricots because I sort of depleted my supply because I ate them.  And more peanut butter because I am a sucker for microwave peanut butter fudge.

Microwave 1 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/3 cup milk for 3 minutes.  Stir to blend and then stir in 1 cup peanut butter.  Pour into a buttered 8 or 9 inch pan.  Chill until firm.  Easy to make when the sweet tooth is screaming to be satisfied.

I have been spending time working on getting my family tree ready for printing.  I keep hearing about threats on our electric grid as well as threats of internet problems.  I have spent more years than I care to think about gathering information on my ancestors.  It would break my heart to lose it all, especially since I hope someday my kids and grands may have an interest in where they come from.

And speaking of Grands, I have two in college.  And I worry about them.  I don't know if the insanity going on in many universities has hit the school of one of them, but I see where there are riots at the school where my other granddaughter is due to graduate within a couple of weeks.  How does this happen?  Why are students allowed to riot against those of the Jewish faith?  And didn't we have something similar happen in the late 1930's and early 1940's?  This isn't just "freedom of speech or freedom of assembly."  If this abomination isn't stopped, history may very well repeat itself.  

In talking with a friend, the topic came up about the lack of skills within the younger ones in our society.  They seem to have all sorts of smarts when it comes to anything electronic but tell them to bake a loaf of bread or change a car tire or have a cup of coffee that didn't come from Starbucks, and they are lost.  Don't suppose it is entirely their fault if nobody ever bothered to teach them the skills that are important for survival.  Sad, really.  When push comes to shove, they are mostly doomed.

I would prefer to keep a good attitude going, but lately I find that somewhat difficult to do.  Every day there is something else in the world surrounding us to be concerned about.  So I continue to do what I feel is important to me and my family.  Sometimes all I can do is order more canned apricots, so order them I do.  If nothing else, my family will have food.

Stack it and pray, my friends.  Stack it and pray.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Down Time Well Spent

 Apparently, Blogger decided I needed to spend a few days in "time out."  I couldn't post or comment.  Then after a couple of days, my comment telling you all what was happening, appeared, followed in another couple of days with full access to this blog.  Still have no clue as to why this happened.  But on the bright side, the time in blogger jail wasn't wasted!

I have found that the items in the grocery store sale ads are usually stuff I don't want or need.  But this past week I lucked out.

Pork, chicken and hamburger were all on sale.  I ordered them all.

Pork and chicken breast are now canned.  I have 32 more pints of meals in a jar and 24 more half pints of plain chicken breast.  16 rather large chicken leg quarters and 20 lbs. of hamburger are in the freezer.  Leftover onions, carrots and corn are in the dehydrators.

At the astonishing pace food prices are increasing, any time I can get a deal I take it.  

I saw from a couple of trusted sources that more egg laying chickens have been slaughtered with the excuse of "bird flu" as a reason.  We aren't talking hundreds or even thousands.  More like millions.  As a result, I fully expect the price of eggs to skyrocket.  Might be a good time to dehydrate more eggs while I can still afford to buy them.

I have to wonder just how long the general public is going to stand for the government crapping all over them on a daily basis.  When Congress can send billions to other countries but refuses to spend a dime on protecting our borders, perhaps a major change is in order.

Until that happens, we continue to do what we can to care for our families.  Pretty sure nobody who represents us in the halls of Congress is going to help.  I long since gave up on trusting any of them.  My trust lies with God.  May He watch over each and every one of you.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Back At It...

 I have spent time in the past couple of weeks working on sharing my genealogy research with my family.  I feel it is important for my kids and grands to know their heritage.  But if they have nothing to eat, it isn't going to matter where they came from.

My twice monthly grocery order goes in on Monday.  I find I really like the pint size chicken meals in a jar that I canned a short time ago.  Especially when I am really busy and just don't want to cook, by using a jar meal, I can have a relatively healthy supper in mere minutes.  

I already have lots of food combinations for soups and stews in quart jars.  And that is great when cooking for multiple people.  Just this week I made beef stew using my canned beef stew base in a quart jar and adding a pint of beef cubes.  It tasted really good, but there is just me here in this apartment and I really am not fond of eating the same food three days in a row.  I also don't like waste.  Yes, I could freeze the leftovers, but I tend to freeze and then forget. So, for me, (and my fading memory), the pint size jar meals work well. 

I have lots of hamburger in the freezer, so I'm thinking pints of chili.  And I am ordering a variety of fresh and frozen veggies to go with whatever meat is on sale next week.  

This is just something that I find works for me.  The point is that it really doesn't matter how we are stocking up on food, it is the stocking up part that is important.

High prices - border invasion - corrupt politicians on all levels.  That's where we are, and I don't see things changing for the better any time soon. 

Do what you can.  Full larder, dry powder, open Bible.  And pray.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Tee Hee - Ha, Ha, Ha

 The sound of laughter.  Don't you miss it?

I grew up in an extended family of happy people.  My Dad was famous for telling "Dad" jokes that made everyone around him groan.  And his eight siblings all had the same, rather dry sense of humor.

Even the family of my very strait-laced mother knew how to laugh.  The giggles emanating from her siblings when they all got together was music to the ears.

My children inherited a well-developed sense of humor from both sides of their families.  I remember their Dad laughing so hard at some silly thing or other that his face turned beet red and he nearly lost his breath. 

My kids loved to try to make me laugh.  There was the time when our old farmhouse had about an inch of water on the basement floor from the snow melt leaking in.  One of my daughters descended the stairs from her bedroom, dressed in swimwear, complete with flippers on her feet.  Her remark:  "Will you please light the wood stove in the basement?  I invited my friends over for a pool party and I promised them the water would be warm."

Another daughter would call me from school on her lunch hour to tell me the joke of the day.

I still hear laughter generated by my kids.  My son loves to tell me about funny things his kids have said or done or about his dog being on high alert for mailmen, Amazon delivery drivers, neighbors out walking and especially about the presence of bunnies and squirrels.  All of which is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.

Some of my best memories of my oldest son are those times he made me laugh.  Like walking into my kitchen, empty coffee mug in hand, saying, "Just give me coffee and nobody has to get hurt."

But I have to wonder what happened to most of the rest of the world around me.  

Granted, the world is a hot mess.  There is so much going on in our country alone that there isn't room to list all of it here.  But beyond that, so many are now "offended" at any reference to anything they don't like that I think they have forgotten how to laugh.  

We need to remember how to laugh at the silliness and especially at the absurdity of things we see and hear.  A good friend of this blog said that if we don't laugh, we will end up screaming!

True, that.

Monday, April 8, 2024

I find it funny...

that after all the dire warnings and hysterical hype over today's eclipse, the only folks who will actually be able to see anything are those in Maine.  The rest of the country is under cloud cover.

Don't ever try to tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor!

Monday, April 1, 2024

She's Back...

 Yeah.  I know.  AWOL again.  I'm sorry.

Hasn't been a waste of time, however.  Dehydrated broccoli, green beans and onions.  Canned chicken legs and thighs.  Cut up and froze two spiral cut hams that were on sale.

As much as I am reluctant to admit it, age seems to be catching up to me.  My sister had the right idea when she told me she was simply counting the years backwards at each birthday.  I wasn't that smart.  And to top it off, unlike those who have the good grace to be aging like fine wine, I seem to be aging more like milk.  :)

As the result of all those birthdays, standing at the stove to cook a meal doesn't work all that well some days.  So, I decided to can some meals in a jar.  I've got lots of soups canned, but this is a bit different.  Into wide mouth pint jars I put a handful of chicken breast chunks.  Topped that with layers of chopped celery and onions, sliced carrots and either peas, green beans or corn.  Tossed two chicken bouillon cubes on top and added water to within an inch of the top of the jar.  Pressure canned the jars at 10 lbs. pressure (for my altitude) for 75 minutes.  Two canners full gave me 32 meals.

And they taste good.  Found I can eat as a soup or thicken for a stew or consume just as a chicken dinner.  Two minutes in the microwave and dinner is served.  I may do more using different meats - whatever is on sale.

In the meantime, I have been working on making access to my Family Trees a bit easier for my family who might be interested.  Being a grumpy old woman who is also a cheapskate, paying a monthly fee to put my family data online irritated me.

So, I figured out how to do it, using this blog.  Earlier I had made more blogs under the umbrella of Mom's Scribbles.  One held writings by ancestors and another I used for some old pictures.  This time I made a new blog for each branch of my Family Tree - five in all, including the ancestors of my kid's Dad.

Adding links is a pain in the posterior to accomplish.  I am not that computer savy.  So, I gave each person in my direct line a separate Family Group Sheet.  Each page has a label listed in the side bar.  The object is to choose a person you know to start with.  From there the labels can be used to move on to other ancestors.

To my kids...the Matheny Family Tree is complete except for photos.  Go to Mom's Scribbles.  On the right side, click on "View my complete profile" and then click on Matheny Family Tree.  I will add photos later.

My grocery order went in today and I ordered nothing that needs processing.  I am kind of on a roll with the ancestors and want to finish that project.  Personally, I believe it is important to know our heritage.  I want my kids and grands to realize they spring from some pretty good people.  Oh, we have our share of rogues and reprobates, but for the most part they were hard-working, God-fearing folks who make me proud to be counted among them.

And with that, I am off to wade in my gene pool.

Things around us don't appear to be getting better.  Keep stacking.  Keep praying.  Stay safe.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Old Ways

 I have been a bit under the weather the last week or so.  Nothing serious.  It is "flu season," after all and this probably was just a mild case of the garden variety flu.  I expect that before long, the flu will suddenly become another horrible virus requiring several doses of whatever so called vaccine our government deems necessary, along with keeping folks indoors, wearing face diapers and all of the silly rules presented by those in power last time.

Unless we have learned anything at all from that debacle.

Since I haven't felt much like doing anything and because I have never been one to just sit and stare at the walls, I have been using the down time to work on my family tree.  While wading through my gene pool, it occured to me that if we pay attention, we have a lot to learn from those who have gone before.

My grandparents were Preppers.  They just didn't know it.

One of my grandfathers kept a roof over the heads of his family of six kids and food on the table during the Great Depression by finding and keeping a job that was necessary in his area.  He was for many years a depot agent for the railroad in the small northern Minnesota town where they lived.  In addition, his family kept a huge garden to help feed them.

My other grandparents raised a family of nine children on a small farm in the same area of Minnesota.  My Dad, the youngest kid, learned to love gardening while helping his mother raise food to feed their family.  They raised a litter of hogs every year, milked a few cows and raised chickens.  They were hunters who kept venison on the table along with the home raised pork and chicken.  Grandma canned as much food as possible, including the wild blueberries and raspberries that grew in that area.  

These activities were not anything special.  They were a way of life.

Unlike so many today, my ancestors didn't head for the Doctor's office or the Emergency Room of the hospital when they had a headache or a case of the sniffles.  When growing up, in my house an upset tummy was treated with Pepto Bismol and a bottle of 7-Up.  The common cold was dealt with using Vicks VapoRub.  And we all survived!

There is a blog that is chock full of all things preparedness.  I highly recommend it for references to so many aspects of preparing.   Jennifer has done much of the research so we don't have to.  Here is the link and her blog can be accessed using my sidebar.

Prep School Daily

Things aren't looking all that great these days.  I barely recognize the country I grew up in.  And it is more and more apparent that we as citizens are on our own.  Remembering how our ancestors lived and researching all aspects of being prepared for whatever cliff the elites decide to push us off is necessary for our survival.

As a friend of this blog is fond of saying:

"Larder full, powder dry and Bible open."

Friday, February 23, 2024

Attention Prayer Warriors...

 A friend of ours, B. W. Bandy, who runs the blog "Everybody Has To Be Somewhere," is in the hospital following a bad car accident.  He has given us much pleasure with the photos of rural Canada that he posts.  Perhaps we could return the favor with our wishes and prayers for his recovery.  Details are in his post today.  

The view from here (

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Time Flies By

 Anyone else feeling like time is running out for us?

I look around and see so much that would have been condemned by my parents and the preachers who preached in small churches across our nation.  In my opinion, Mega Church preachers fall in the same category as politicians.  

I'm not going to dwell on the horror that is now my homeland.  You all know what is happening.  Contrary to the belief of those in charge, we the people are not - for the most part - stupid.  Stupid is when we believe everything we are told by our "betters."

Those in charge do not give a rat's ass about any of us.  They care about getting reelected so they can continue to line their pockets with their ill-gotten gains.  

I find that the bad news has become overwhelming.  I don't even try to keep up with it all anymore.  I scan headlines so I am aware if the hoards are headed into my neighborhood.  I can do absolutely nothing about the rest.

What I can do is make sure my family is taken care of when the inevitable happens.  And that is how I spend my time.  And that's where I have been.

Grocery prices are still heading skyward.  But I am still buying what I need to make sure my storage area is as full as possible, knowing that food will cost more next month than it does now.

Quarts of beef stew base (veggies and seasonings to heat, thicken and add canned beef cubes to for a quick meal), more chicken and the leftover stew veggies were all canned last week.  This week my grocery order includes frozen hash browns, broccoli and green beans to dehydrate.   In between the food processing sessions, I have been putting together and packaging dry soup mixes, flavored rice mixes and other dry mixes.  They are handy to just dump into a crock pot for an easy meal.

I have been spending evenings either crocheting an afghan or putting together quilt tops.  This winter has been unusually warm for Minnesota.  Today it is 43 degrees here in the Minneapolis area.  Mid-February normally finds us shivering in sub-zero, snow blowing, frozen slippery roads weather.  Still important to finish the quilts.  This heat wave could turn icy in a flash.

No election will save us.  No politician cares what happens to us.  Only a miracle can change things back to the place they should be.

Our only Savior is Jesus.  If we forget that part, we really are doomed.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

One of the Good Ones has Passed

 I was today informed by one of my readers that one of my favorite bloggers has gone on to his Heavenly Reward.  Gorge Smythe of "Gorge's Grouse" fame has passed.

I have followed Gorges for a number of years, commenting on his blog and he, commenting on mine, with an occasional email thrown in for good measure.

He described himself as an opinionated curmedgeon.  He was.  And he also had a sense of humor second to none.  His antics often brought not only a smile to my face, but laughter as well.

I never knew what his dog's real name was, for he always referred to her as "The Mighty Dachshund."  But within his writings was the love he felt for the long bodied, short legged pooch.

Gorges shared his family with us, as well as the beauty of his home state of West Virginia.  Through his porch sitting posts, he brought his world to us.  And I am forever grateful to him for that.

I will miss him.


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Pay Attention

 Patara at "Appalacia's Homestead With Patara" posted a video today.  She says exactly what many of us have been thinking.  I urge you to watch this video.  And then, if you aren't already, Get Busy!

🦇 You Live in Gotham Now 🦇 - YouTube

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Behind the Scenes

 Earlier this evening I watched a video from "Appalachia's Homestead with Patara."  Here is the link:

Texas Trucker Convoy & "Patriots" Bullying other Patriots? (

Patara makes a good point.  Why are there efforts NOW to slow down the invasion crossing our southern border?  Why not 1 - 2 - 3 years ago?  The border crossings were just as illegal back then as now.  So why wait so long before taking a stand?

I'm not bashing Texas.  I am grateful that someone is at least doing something to help alleviate the situation.  But what I wonder is - while all eyes are on Texas and while eyes are on the cross country Trucker's Convoy taking place - what are politicians trying to sneak past us?  You know they are.  Why else would they be working on a new law when there are already laws on the books regulating immigration.   

Me...I don't trust a single politician any further than I can toss them. 

I'm thinking that if we haven't been spending time in prayer, perhaps now is the time.  This whole situation does not bode well for the average citizen.  The only help we are going to get will come from above.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


 Yesterday I saw a news article about Congress working on a bill to fix the problem of illegals crossing our border.

If memory serves, don't we already have laws concerning immigration?  And wouldn't it be a simple matter to enforce those existing laws rather than trying to come up with new laws?

Politics at its finest!  Why bother to follow our laws when politicians can royally screw things up instead!  I am so done with the lot of them.

Sunday, January 21, 2024


 I got a call from my son a few days ago.  Actually, it was a FaceTime call.  He showed me what he was cooking for supper and he showed me a cyst on their dog's tail that will be removed soon and he showed me his lovely wife so I could wave and say 'Hello.'

But mostly the call was to let me know that he would be stopping by to see me Friday morning.

His oldest daughter had given her Mom and Dad each a book.  The books are filled with questions about their early lives.  And then my Granddaughter decided that she knows about her ancestors, but knows very little about her Grandma's early life.  So my son brought me one of the books to fill out.  I hope my memory still works.  It should.  I couldn't tell you what I had for supper two nights ago, but I pretty much remember the 50's and 60's!!

This book is not something to be filled out in an evening.  This will take time.  It asks questions beginning with my birth, through childhood an on to young adulthood.  I actually think this is a great way to preserve family memories.  The website for the book is:

There are a couple of questions In the book I'm not sure I can or will answer due to the answers being very personal.  But a lot of the questions trigger memories.  One is asking which parent as a toddler I liked spending the most time with.  That reminded me of my Dad telling me that I liked to "help" when he was working on his car.  While he was working under the hood, I was busy at the other end bashing the tail light with a rock.  :)

I'm glad that my Granddaughter wants to know more about her Grandma.  I wish I knew more about my parents and grandparents early lives.  It is a good thing to keep family memories and traditions.  So many seem to be lost just now.  Nothing is as important as family and faith.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

From The Past

 I was digging around in my computer files, unsuccessfully trying to organize old pictures and genealogy documents, when I stumbled upon this old blog post.  Since I have had a number of 2 AM sleepless nights lately and because I still have odd thoughts skipping about in my brain at that time, I thought perhaps my kids and some of the rest of you might find the following either interesting or amusing.  Take your pick.  :)

2 AM Musings

One should never fall asleep around suppertime and wake up after 9 PM.  It really wrecks going to bed at a decent hour.

And to make it worse, strange thoughts float around in one's head at 2 AM.  Well, to be perfectly honest, strange thoughts aren't really all that unusual for me, but I digress.

I was wondering, at 2 AM, why my parent's generation was so terribly worried about what people would think.  Like the time when my Mother's doctor prescribed a shot of brandy at night to help her sleep.  Mother made Dad get the brandy from the druggist rather than the liquor store, even though he paid twice the price at the drug store for brandy in a prescription bottle, because she was afraid of what people would say if they saw him coming out of the liquor store.

As a kid, I went through a stage where I wore mostly jeans and my Dad's old flannel shirts.  I lived in the country.  I played in the woods.  I grubbed around in the garden.  I did yard work.  I sat up in apple trees and read books.  I liked jeans and old comfy flannel shirts.  But Mother was always after me to change clothes because what would people say if we got company and they saw me dressed like that.

My 4-H softball team practiced on Sunday afternoons.  I loved playing softball.  I was a pretty fair shortstop.  But Mother was worried about what people would say if they knew that I was playing ball on Sunday, which was a day of rest.

I always wondered who "They" were.  Who were these people who were just waiting for my family to do something out of the ordinary so they could say whatever it was that they were going to say.  I probably, in retrospect, shouldn't have posed this question to Mom, for, as I recall, it got me a week of living in my bedroom and a month of Wednesday night Prayer Meetings at the church, no doubt to pray for the state of my rebellious soul.  I think that having a daughter who was, at that time, a bit of a free spirit, must have been a trial for her.

Odd, the things one remembers at 2 AM.

Saturday, January 13, 2024


 Yes, I know it has been a while since my last post.  I sorta got busy.  No excuse.  Just fact.

I began canning again this week.  I was running low on chicken canned in half pint jars, so 16 of them were processed this afternoon.  Tomorrow - 4 lbs. of carrots.  After that - 18 lbs. of hamburger.

I have several unfinished projects - mostly quilts - that need to be finished.  Should have been done by now.  Especially since snow and then below zero temps are on the way for Minnesota.

I have discovered there are a vast number of people who are clueless about the state of affairs here in the USA.  Some doctors are among those.  Had a phone appointment with mine last week.  It has been my experience over the years that at nearly every appointment, there are suggestions for changes in my diet.  Apparently, Cheetos and Oreo cookies are not on the favored list. This time fresh fruits and vegetables along with lean meats were suggested.  Also I was to eliminate pasta and bread.

He got sort of grumpy when I reminded him of the price of groceries and suggested that if he expected me to dine on fresh food, perhaps he would be willing to foot the bill.  And because I had the good sense to stock up on flour and yeast, bread was one item I could afford to make.

Anybody else failing to recognize our country any more?  I just don't get it.  When exactly did much of the population become stupid?  Why do so many think it is OK to chop off body parts and pretend that men are women and that women can become men.  When did so many of the younger generation decide that socialism is a good thing.  And why, in the name of all that is holy, did patriotism beome a bad thing!

I don't know where all of this foolishness is leading, but my tendency is toward non-compliance.  I am a grumpy old woman, after all!  There is not one single person in any form of government who knows better than me how to live my life.   But they continue to try.  It is called control.  Nope.  Not buying into it.

I can't change much.  But I can continue to prepare.  Seems like now, more than ever, the importance of stacking it to the rafters is essential.  So is prayer.  Often.

Take good care, my friends.  I think that cliff is dead ahead and close.