This Week on The Homestead: Homesteading Progress and Preps For The Week / June 9, 2018

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

218 Responses

  1. Thor1 says:

    Puppy power

    • Thor1 says:

      Puppy has started pointing, strange for a GSD. He tried to climb the fence last night, stranger danger. All the other dogs n the neighborhood were barking too. Maybe a coyote was near……

      Charged all rechargeable batteries.
      Cleaned and oiled firearms.
      Cut more firewood.

      Went to doctor’s and had blood test for high blood pressure meds.
      Went to dentist and got a bite guard for night time.
      Mrs went to dentist, she needs a crown/bridge.

      Bought 3 cases of water.
      Bought more SPAM.
      Bought 20 lbs of rice.
      Bought more peanut butter.
      Bought more plastic freeze bags, storage bags and garbage bags.

      Rain barrels are full.

      Garden is growing like crazy.
      Garden experiments…..garlic is doing great, avocado still hasn’t started but the Mrs gave me 3 more seeds to start. LOL

      • Thor1 says:

        MD, nice looking firearms, but don’t sweat them……..

        Raised bed looks good tomatoes and what type of pepper is that?

        Fun in the summer consists of kayaking, biking, hiking and sitting around the fire pit cooking and relaxing like you said, with a good drink…….LOL

        • Thor1,

          I’ll try not too. But they are awfully hot so I don’t know. I need to turn off auto correct and start proofreading before I hit publish.

          • Thor1 says:

            MD, I know, that autocorrect can get funny sometimes.

            I have an M77 in 30-06, real nice hunting rifle…….

            • Thor1,
              Looks like you were first again; but, I’m pretty sure I’m dead last, since the day was spent away at a ham radio flea market followed by a small family reunion. So can dead last be the new first? LOL

            • Sarah says:

              HI again I have a “REMINGTON” 270 BDL I have for years and years + WHY I like it the recoil is not that bad ! It has help put food on the table 1

          • AXELSTEVE says:

            MD Creekmore.
            I forget to look before I post also. It is a common malady. More so before coffee in the morning. Seems like I post in another language sometimes.

      • Thor1 says:

        Took puppy out for a walk with his bugout bag on. He heeled nicely and soon the Mrs will be able to walk him. She weighs 110 and puppy weighs 100 so got to be careful.

      • Bam Bam says:


        Avocados are really easy to grow. Did you peel the skin from the seed? You need to peel the skin so the seed won’t rot. I just peel the skin and set in a glass of water with toothpicks.

    • Sarah says:

      MORNING from SEATTLE,WA. I have “KITTY POWER ” ! I have a BENGAL cat he is a good watch cat I take him for walk to the park on a lash I have to say he is one hell of a hunter ! (BETTER THAN ME)

      • Sarah,

        I have to say he is one hell of a hunter ! (BETTER THAN ME)

        But, is he willing to share the catch, LOL. We’ve had dogs & cats that all hunt; but, only the dogs would retrieve the game and bring it back to me, while the cats only bring back the few pieces they don’t want.

        • GA Red says:

          Growing up, we had a cat that my mom locked in the kitchen at my grandmother’s house one night, because my mom kept hearing something. It took two nights, but the mouse was placed at my mom’s place on the kitchen table.

          • Sarah says:

            MORNING from SEATTLE ,WA sounds like the cat is showing you he is a ‘GOOD” hunter ! My son has a dog that is 1/2 the size of “CAT” and the dog cant do nothing and scared of my kitty ! I well say my cat is a hand full

            • Thor1 says:

              Sarah, I had a cat and its like TOP said, it would leave a bunny head, some intestines and a foot. My front yard looked like a bunny zombie Apocalypse happened…..LOL

              My wife was horrified and thought it was such a sweet Kitty…… LOL

              • Sarah says:

                WELL my cat did the last 2 chickens in DAMN LITTLE SHIT! (HE IS NOT LITTLE) at over 1 year old he is 18 lbs. he even got a black bird no lose there ! he try’s to keep the birds out of are cherries tree! he has no problem climbing up the tree even jumping a 6ft fence a friend told me having a ‘BENGEL” cat is like having a 2 year old this summer I well take cat out on camping trips to see how well he does he does not mind being in my van

                • Thor1 says:

                  Sarah, my Grandfather put a GSD down for getting in the chickens and it only killed one. Once they get the taste of blood, they will continue to kill chickens.

          • Bam Bam says:

            GA Red,

            Great story. I have an inside cat. He hunts at night. In the morning, I wake up with random socks from on top of the dryer.

            • GA Red says:

              Bam Bam – I used to have a cat that thought socks were serious treasures – especially the wool socks the hubby sleeps in at night.

              • Sarah Querry says:

                Give you a id about cat 🐈 I call him “ Napoleon “he was the runt of the litter he was a little less than the other kitty’s ! Being the runt they would not give me the papers on him , that was ok I what a pet no show cat 🐈 he does have a attitude ! Ok I am a cat lover

                • Sarah Querry,

                  he does have a attitude ! Ok I am a cat lover

                  Cat pvers here,too.
                  All cats have an attitude as part of their nature. You know what they say about small pets. “Dogs have owners and cats have staff.”
                  Our outside herd is down to about 6 from a high of nearly 20 and we still have 2 in the house that are both good animals who often seem to think they are people.

  2. Fixit says:

    Can’t say I did much this week . Added a few more canning jars and set the trellis for the brand . Now I need to go work on some roof before it gets to hot.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Question.. Only one I could think of that might know….
      RE:sorrell seed, How would one need to process it to use for flour? Have you tried it and how did it work out for you…. D.o you have any idea how the seed turn out…as in a gallon of seed will give how much flour?

      • Fixit says:

        As far as yield per gal. if seed i can not tell you . Here is what I do know . You would want to first put them in a low heat oven for an hour to dry out before grinding . The seed will have the same sour taste as the rest of the plant and so would not be good as a line flour but perhaps as a addition to other flours to make them go further. Might have to play with this as I have a patch that has seed tops right now.

        • Anonamo Also says:

          Thanks, will be watching for any results… I have some more to pick as well. probably 2-3 more gallon.. will replant several areas, and take someback to parents place for back up green patch… .
          What i can’t eat/secure , the chickens love.. So can’t have too many.. I like them best small but also dehydrate some for adding to soups and stews..Love the things with eggs(like turnip greens).
          Have you experimented with any of the wild grass seeds? was an article from somewhere I read this week…

  3. Northern wolf says:

    Possibly borrowing someone’s hammock in the shade with a good book , but we are having cool weather here rain this weekend.our rivers are still pretty cold to get in .
    So my weekend is some work then just hanging out doing nothing,that is a good deal for me being on the run all the time with multiple jobs,just doing nothing is good ,maybe a nap later lol

    • Almost There says:

      N W,

      I agree. Doing nothing every once in a while is good. That’s what I’ve done today. Washing a few clothes for work this week.

  4. Prepared Grammy says:

    We went camping and fishing this week and came home with 54 pounds of filets. I also bought some fish breading, and friends gave me several jars of mayhaw jelly. The garden did well while we were gone and so did the weeds. I know what I’ll be doing next week.

    Stay safe. Be prepared. He’s in charge.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Prepared Grammy, hi! Hope you are good!

    • Prepared Grammy,

      The garden did well while we were gone and so did the weeds. I know what I’ll be doing next week.

      I suspect I know also, like us, it’s probably the seemingly endless job of mowing the grass. With the rain I think some days if you listen closely, you can almost hear it growing, LOL.

      • Sarah says:

        I am real bad about my garden I have strawberry’s growing they never made into the house I eat a big handful of fresh STRAWBERRYS is so good! I even got ment growing good with tea !

        • Almost There says:


          Lucky you. Our strawberries are done for the year.

          • Thor1 says:

            Mine got overgrown by blackberries… Oh well.

          • Sarah Querry says:

            Living in the north west Seattle,Wa. It is cool and rain like today it is 59 ! July are Aug. then we well see hot weather like 70s are 80s! Are blackberrys. Are starting to come out love black Berry’s make a bunch jam with them

          • Almost There,

            Lucky you. Our strawberries are done for the year.

            Ours never made it; but, we did get a few blueberries. Still hoping to plant some cold weather varieties like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts; but, our mulberries are now starting to come on so there’s still hope for some fresh fruit. Our local farm market just started up last Thursday so my maple sugar candy lady should be there along with more fresh veggies.

            • Sarah says:

              A VERY LOVELY “TEDDY BEAR” TUESDAY yes MY , broccoli IS so slow growing IF the crows well stay away ! and in a few week my Bing cherries well be read to “EAT” ! yesterday I made some cat food in the crook-pot for my BENGAL cat chicken and brown rice he love it

  5. Goatlover says:

    Hunted down some more elderberries this week. Made syrup with it this time! Also made up 2 pounds of chèvre goat cheese yesterday to try to sell at the farmer’s market (a friend has a booth there and is selling it for me). Will see how that goes over. It might be a way to convert extra milk into $$$. I also made a few jars of cowboy candy yesterday to use up the extra jalapeño peppers. I had to buy another case (or two!) of canning jars. I’m certain I need an intervention….

    Harvesting yard-long beans, a few tomatoes, and figs. Life is good on the farm! Blessings to you all.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Hi. I’m Grammy and I’m a jaraholic.

      • JD in NY says:

        LOL Granny I have been told by a few that I have a “problem” with jars myself…..but I’m ok with that, No intervention need! 😀

      • Sarah says:

        I have to say I am a “CRAIGSLIST SHOPER FOR THE FREE STUFF” LAST year I got a very nice GUN CABINET for free ! It holes 8 long guns + the botton well hold all the ammo and cleaning stuff

      • Prepared Grammy,

        Hi. I’m Grammy and I’m a jaraholic.

        I would recommend a 12 stack program, since stacking them higher than that might be dangerous if they fall on you. Otherwise, unless its taking money away from necessities, or causing undo clutter, I see no problems there. In a pinch they could also make good barter items. Remember that Attitude is everything.

        • Antique Collector says:

          Ohio Prepper
          Morning, is that what is wrong with me…per “Prepared Granny”, jaraholics? lol
          My family gave me canning jars for my birthday present, since I never want anything else.

          • GA Red says:

            Antique Collector – it’s bad enough in our family that my SIL texted the hubby last night after our bed time to ask if we wanted some jars. LOL

    • GA Red says:

      I buy jars as I find them at a good price. Sometimes for me. Sometimes for my daughter.

  6. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Looking to the skies for the monsoons, had a relatively wet winter and should see some decent rains this summer. For now however, we work with 114-117 days and grumble about all the Californians and Texans moving here. ..

    Gardens set, using collected rain water from last year for watering and chickens are laying heavy

    • Greg M. says:

      We too are looking forward to the monsoons. Got a sprinkle yesterday but not enough to really do much good. And you are absolutely correct, too many Californians. I don’t mind the Texans as much except they have such an insufferable superiority complex.

      • Terra says:

        You are so right. My brother visited from California and looks down on those of us who don’t live there. He says he lives in “paradise”, but I’ll take where I live any day. The superiority coming from him is nauseating.

        • Terra says:

          I’m not saying all Californians are like that. I was referring to my brother.

          • AXELSTEVE says:

            I am not of that type also. I am not a lisping ear ringed snowflake cowering in their safe place.

            • AXELSTEVE ,

              I am not of that type also. I am not a lisping ear ringed snowflake cowering in their safe place.

              I don’t really mind those few people that I’ve encountered; but, the ones that insist you join them are the truly dangerous ones. With tons of regulations and high taxes, including more coming on gasoline, they keep voting in the progressives. I think that is prima facie evidence of a mental disorder.

    • AXELSTEVE says:

      My aunt moved from Komradfornia to Arizona recently. Her son is at A S U . She is not the typical Komradornian though. You would think that she was born there.

    • shirlGirl says:

      Jesse, I hope you get some moisture from hurricane Aletta. I fear it will not bring it this far north. Chickens, huh? You must be outside the city limits. My folks live off Old Spanish trail. Don’t think chickens are an option there.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I wish we could all get rain when we need it, and only when we need it. However, I’ve never been able to control the weather, no matter how much I’ve tried.

      • JD in NY says:

        Grammy…have you tried washing your car or hang up freshly laundered clothes on the line? Apparently Mother Nature keeps close tabs on my outdoor activities 😉 LOL!

    • JD in NY says:

      I’m surprised you are getting so many Californians and Texans Jesse. I can understand northerners & Cali’s moving to get away from the liberal nonsense but why Texans? Is there something going on in Texas I’m unaware of?

  7. GA Red says:

    Morning all! Went to my first Ollie’s. It’s like Big Lots on steroids. LOL Bought a big box of band-aids and a couple of hand shovels for about $5.

    Most of the week has been spent working and tending the garden. The only production so far is a few peppers and cherry tomatoes.

    For summer fun, we have our kiddie pool and we wander through North Georgia, discovering new places.

    That’s about all. Prayers for those in need.

    • Gloria says:

      I gave up on Big Lots when it became more of a regularly stocked store. I LOVE Ollies and when we visit Michigan we check out every Ollies in the general area.

      • GA Red says:

        I haven’t given up on Big Lots yet. There are still several items I can buy there for less than my regular grocery places. You just have to know what you’re looking for and how much it costs elsewhere.

      • Gloria,

        I gave up on Big Lots when it became more of a regularly stocked store. I LOVE Ollies and when we visit Michigan we check out every Ollies in the general area.

        The “Big Lots” chain started here locally in Columbus Ohio. It was originally called “Odd Lots” and was very much like the current day Ollie’s purchasing salvage from truck and train wrecks or company overstock. You might find great deals that had to be purchased on the spot, since they would normally not be back again, ever. Before changing their name, I started noticing blister packed items like batteries with the Odd Lots name and price printed on the package and that was the end of a really great store.
        Like GA Red, we still stroll the aisles there on occasion and do sometimes find bargains; but, you need to know what makes up a bargain based on prices in other area stores and even the internet vendors.
        We lso love Ollie’s and have signed up for their email advertising to keep on top of things they have that we may need or use. When we go there, we nearly always bring home at least some food, LOL.

    • Almost There says:

      GA Red,

      I have to put myself on restriction when it comes to Ollie’s. There is ALWAYS a bunch of stuff that I find I need, so I have to space out my visits… ARGH!

    • JD in NY says:

      I love Ollies but the closest to me is 50 miles north so that keeps me in check whether I want to or not.

  8. Northern Gal says:

    Garden is all in and things are coming up quite nicely considering how dry it is. (N. Canada) My only preps were gardening. Yesterday was my birthday, so I treated myself to a scenic drive! Included going on a ferry (over a river), a farmer’s market, a stop by a river and a drive through both forests and farm land. Then a nice supper and beer to top it off!

  9. JP in MT says:

    I like the Ruger’s. They look like 77’s not Mk II’s, correct? I picked up an RS (rifle sight version – uses Remington rings vs. the standard ones and has a barrel band front sight) in 30-06 a couple of years ago. All I’d ever seen was one in 270, and I didn’t want another caliber in the collection.

    Vendor’d at a gun show over the weekend. Bought some “short 40” ammo cans, a book, a range bag. DW got a new CCW purse. Sold a handgun and a knife. Introduced myself to a guy a had seem the last few times I’ve done this show. Turns out there was a reason he had a bunch of Rawles’ books on his table, it was James himself. I didn’t recognize him because he doesn’t look like his published photo. Interesting man.

    Picked up some Calrose rice @ Costco while we were out.

    Amazon orders came in: a wool saddle blanket (for the dog box), 45th Firefox book, 7 mil x 5 gal. gussetted mylar bags, bottle to tank propane adapter.

    Getting prepped for next week at the church’s kids camp. Truck’s satellite radio rewired, topper off/ATV in.

    Sunday, we picked up our “house guest”. A Chow/Doc mix that was with the older lady we were taking down to AZ. She was in the hospital for medical tests and treatment for acouple of days. Now, the assisted living place won’t let her keep the dog. We took her went to the vet on Friday because we are not sure of her medical background and her rabies tag is from 2013.

    Went to the periodontist Wednesday. We found the molar we were working to save is not salvageable, it’s abscessed. Got it pulled on Thursday. Once the jaw heals we’ll get the implant for the tooth in front of it. Trying to get this dental stuff done and out of the way before full retirement.

    Last weekend before DW and I end up heading in different directions for the week. I get to play, she gets to work. I think that sounds fair!

    • JP in MT,

      Introduced myself to a guy a had seem the last few times I’ve done this show. Turns out there was a reason he had a bunch of Rawles’ books on his table, it was James himself. I didn’t recognize him because he doesn’t look like his published photo. Interesting man.

      While I’ve never met him, I did correspond with him in the 1990’s and helped add material to his first book, “Patriots” for which I have an attribution. The book BTW started out as an internet shareware novel, first called “The Grey 90’s”, then “Triple Ought”, with the final edition called “TEOTWAWKI..” When the final edition was sold and committed to print it turned out that TEOTWAWKI had already been copyrighted, so the published name was Patriots. I think the original files have long since been deleted; but, I do still have printed copies of each version that used up a ton of printer ink. Today we use laser and it’s a lot less expensive.

  10. Labgirl says:

    Info Prep: Ordered and received the Bulletproof Survivor CD. Ordered and received toner cartridge for the printer from Amazon.

    Food Prep: Gallon of white vinegar, 4 cans sardines, 2 packs instant potatoes, box of stevia, 120 bags of green tea, bag of flax seeds, 2 bags granola, 3 boxes of Mini Moo creamers, 2 jars beef bullion cubes, 3 cans diced tomatoes, 2 cans pinto beans.

    Hurricane prep: went to Big Lots before tropical storm Alberto and bought mostly healthy snacks for our hurricane bags. It missed us but you never know and the hurricane season had not even officially started.

    Garden: Planted a patch of okra which has come up and now I need to mulch. Dehydrated the little cabbage I got, froze 9 cups of peaches and ate the rest (small crop due to late freeze), picking and freezing tons of blueberries, rooting about 10 dwarf mulberry cuttings for future chicken pasture/garden.

    • GA Red says:

      Labgirl – this was my first year trying to start a lot of seeds indoors. My okra is doing the best of all.

      • Labgirl says:

        Sounds like you had a good gardening start this year. I started more seeds this year than last. Then I scrambled trying to get enough prepared garden to set them out. I may have gotten carried away with tomatoes and peppers.

  11. Babycatcher says:

    Weeding ,weeding, weeding! Went to my two youngest grandchildren’s high school graduation. Lovely trip! So good to see them all! Got home and hit the ground running. Hubby found a sale at Tractor supply, so I picked up two thornless Raspberries, one blueberry, some bulbs and a couple of other plants. But mostly weeding. Prayers for all.

  12. Livinthedream says:

    Went to our first ever Amish Produce Auction in Ethridge, TN. Check out plowboyauctionsdotcom. It’s a long way, but worth it. The heart of TN Amish country. They DO NOT, BTW, grow organically.

    Stopped at Farmers Market in Loretto, TN yesterday coming home. Bot qt sheep’s milk @ $6, pound grass-fed bacon @ $12, jar home-processed grass-fed lard, $7, an Amish pasta drying rack, and various treats.
    This week has ben gardening – still much to do.

    Added a super to hives. First one so full I’m lucky they didn’t swarm. And that in only 2 months!

    Had to spray Concord grapes with nasty Capstan. Black rot fungus. Not good.

    Sprayed pecan trees for pecan gall , Annual event.

    Sprayed Apple trees with organic JMS Oil for cedar rust.

    Everything else sprayed with Spray-n-grow foliar micronutrients.

    Made first batch of Peach Jelam (Jelly-Jam) using Chilton Co. peaches. Stick w/freestone!

    • Babycatcher says:

      I loved visiting the Amish community in Ethridge! If they weren’t so strict, I don’t think I would mind living there. But they do get some wicked storms!

  13. Penrod says:

    Pretty quiet here again. DW continues to recuperate from rotator cuff surgery. She had a doctor visit on Monday and first PT was yesterday. All well on that front.

    Good family news: a family couple in the LA area have started prepping for earthquakes. This seems like an important psychological breakthrough. They bought jugs of water, canned food, and a big first aid kit. Not perfect by any means, but the acceptance that they need to do something and acting on it is a big step. Now they can improve. I hope so, because they sure are in earthquake territory!

    We are lucky indeed not to live on the Big Island. It sounds like even people in no danger of lava coming over the windowsill are getting pretty bad vog. Last I saw over 600 houses had been buried, and a bay filled up and turned into a peninsula. The video I saw yesterday made the orange flows so pretty I’d almost like to don a mask and snorkel and jump right in.


    • Penrod,

      We are lucky indeed not to live on the Big Island. It sounds like even people in no danger of lava coming over the windowsill are getting pretty bad vog. Last I saw over 600 houses had been buried, and a bay filled up and turned into a peninsula.

      It’s been 10 year since our trip to your state and looking at the map of the big island, I see places where we visited, now pretty much devastated. As for that bay, it’s just making more land, as those islands have done for millions of years. In a few years there will no doubt be developers making plans for beaches and more condominiums, LOL.
      How are your plans to move to the mainland coming?

      • Penrod says:

        Hi TOP, Quiet at the moment as we are concentrating on DW shoulder repair. I signed up for Medicare a couple weeks ago- we are required to as part of DWs health insurance plan. Thinking about Franklin TN, south of Nashville. Nice little town, tho sprawling of late. Close enough to the Big City for amenities. No decisions yet though.

        • Penrod ,

          I signed up for Medicare a couple weeks ago- we are required to as part of DWs health insurance plan.

          That’s pretty natural. When the DW turned 65, 11 months before I did, it became mandatory as it did for me about a year later. All in all we are rather pleased with the coverage; but, it depends a lot on sorting through and picking the correct supplemental plan if you don’t do the Advantage route or perhaps if you do. Since we are both now retired they simply take the Medicare premiums out of our SS and all we then need to pay is the premiums for our supplemental and drug plans. The coverage has so far been excellent; but, you need to look over the rules and follow them. For instance you get a certain number of checkups and inoculations per year and can get a colonoscopy up front. I think they are trying to be smart by doing preventive medicine to catch problems prior to becoming chronic and expensive.

          Thinking about Franklin TN, south of Nashville. Nice little town, tho sprawling of late. Close enough to the Big City for amenities. No decisions yet though.

          While we’re pretty anchored down here, before I was married I traveled, hiked, and camped a lot and actually considered NC & TN since I love the mountains like those where I grew up.
          If you end up in Franklin TN, you’ll have some relatively close company since it puts you about 50 miles from Almost There, 200 from Babycatcher; but, about 400 miles from me.
          In any case, I wish you luck on the health problem and your eventual move to solid land and would still welcome you to Ohio, LOL.

          • GA Red says:

            And depending on your route, about 250 miles from me. 🙂

          • Almost There says:

            Yep, very close. There are a few others around this area too.

            Franklin is an expensive place to live. So is Leiper’s Fork and Thompson’s Station. It is also building up a lot because everyone wants to live there. Very pretty countryside, farms and the elite crowd. The music industry folks have run up the cost of places down there, building these huge, sprawling mansions. Depending on what you’re looking for, it may be something you would like.

            If you want in the country, Cannon County, Smithville area, Liberty are nice too. For myself, I would like something on the Caney Fork, Granville or up near Dale Hollow lake.

  14. Greg M. says:

    We’ve been picking cucumbers for a couple of weeks now, really tasty. Hope to get some shishito peppers and tomatoes soon. Looking forward to our Arizona summer monsoon rains. That is when the garden really kicks into high gear. All our vegetable gardens are raised beds
    M.D. – love your new Ruger .308. I have one and love how it shoots. Have you taken it to the range yet?
    Made some whole wheat crock pot bread. It came out really good, give it a try. Do a search for crockpot bread baking, it is easy to do and results are tasty.
    Prayers to those who need them.

    • Greg M,

      Thank you! No not been to the range yet with the .308 but plan to in a few days. The .223 shoots awesome though.

      • Greg M. says:

        M.D., Please let us know how your new .308 shoots and what you think of it. I really enjoy mine. Ruger makes a good platform, regardless of caliber (in my humble opinion.) .223 is a fun round to shoot too.

    • Almost There says:


      I’m not sure if you are aware, but there is an aluminum insert for bread made for crock pots. Whenever I see one at Goodwill, I get it. I think I have 3 now. A guy I worked with a long time ago said his MIL used to make bread in it and it was the best he ever had. He gave me the recipe, but I would have to find it. If and when I do, I will post.

      • Greg M. says:

        Almost There,
        Please tell me more about the aluminum insert. I will also try to look it up on google. I am very interested in your friend’s MIL’s bread recipe. I am new to breadmaking and VERY new to crockpot bread making. So far I’ve done well on 2 out of 2 attempts, one with white bread and one with whole wheat bread. Both were very good tasting, maybe a little thicker and chewier than store bought bread but I liked it anyway. Thanks for the info, looking foward to hearing more.

        • Almost There says:

          Greg M,

          Here is what it looks like

          I thinks I paid a couple dollars for mine. There may be some recipes out there from Rival. I will keep an eye out for it when I going through stuff. I think I kept it inside the first one I ever bought. Just need to find it.

          • Almost There says:

            I “think”… therefore I am… Lol…

          • Greg M. says:

            Almost There, Thank you so much for the photo and suggestion. My crockpot is the oval type, do you think there are oval type inserts? I will look around and do some searches later on. I really appreciate your information.

            • Almost There says:


              You’re most welcome. I’ve never seen one for oval pots. I just recently bought an older rival crock pot with the glass lid at GW for $2.50. I want to make some herbal salves, but could also make some bread. Never hurts of have 2.

  15. Mrs. B says:

    It’s cooling off this weekend and it feels good. I’m grateful to have the windows open so I’m able to enjoy what’s left of spring. Getting ready to take a load to my new place in Missouri so lots of packing needs to be done. Bought a 24 ft enclosed car hauler that will help me save time and money moving.
    My favorite activity all summer long is going to get some BBQ at various mom and pop places and learning what they do for variations of my own favorite recipes. Although I won’t have much time for this due to the move, I plan on bringing my fishing pole to see if I can get a few crappie for supper for the family as we unpack. God bless everyone…

  16. JD in NY says:

    HELLO Homesteading Pack!!
    Haven’t been on a while as the 2 jobs, my homestead, hubby, kids and puppies I really haven’t had time to be online and catch up to what is going on with the pack. I will say I do miss you guys (and pack girls too 🙂 ) So our field is planted with corn and my garden is planted for now but I will be adding more as soon as my seedlings are big enough to go in. I don’t have as many plants as I have had in the past (only 75 as compared to 200+ tomatoes in yrs past) but I planted what I felt was in my comfort zone and could handle this yr. Plus I have maintenance to do on the deck and siding along with my regularly scheduled lawn, barn chores so yea I’m a bit busy LOL. My chicken eggs didn’t hatch as the heater quit in the middle and I didn’t realize it until too late 🙁 so hopefully I won’t need more but if I do I’ll have to get them as juveniles instead of babies. Money is still tight and I am doing a no spend month where I will not be purchasing anything unless there is a NEED for it including groceries. We have a wedding, Father’s day and 2 graduations this month so it already will be an expensive month so I’m trying to keep our costs to a bare minimum. Good news is that DD was on the Deans list and received a 2,ooo$ scholarship from a womens engineering group this yr and YDS received a partial scholarship to the school of his choice as he was the only Eagle scout and qualified candidate for that scholarship so I’m pretty proud of those 2 🙂 . Older puppy CB turned 3 a couple weeks ago and youngest pup JZ is now 1 1/2 yrs old (can’t believe we’ve had them this long…time sure does fly doesn’t it? JZ thought it was fun to chase the geese that were in the pond until one turned on her and chased her out of the pond then it wasn’t fun any more. CB just watched from a distance as I think she has already performed this feat before and learned her lesson LOL. Now they both watch the geese from the farthest shore and occasionally bark but never get closer…lessons from the school of hard knocks I guess 😉 . Now back to my chores as I’m off today and have lots on my list hoping to get it all done (hey one can hope can’t they hahaha!). Hope everyone is doing well Prayers to those in need and of course prayers out to our men and women in camo and blue! Peace

    • Always Forward says:

      Congrats on your childrens’ success. That is great and a big encouragement to them too.

      • JD in NY says:

        Thank you Always Forward it hasn’t been easy with the youngest but as my DD has said in the past…The hassle was worth the tassle! LOL

    • MaineBrain says:

      Congrats on the scholarships! Every bit helps.

    • Antique Collector says:

      It is good to see your posting, I read the site when I have time. Wonderful news on your children receiving scholarships for their education, bet they are proud to be selected.
      Sending our best to your household, may the financials improve for your family.

      Dh is doing better, but I have still have all the honey do’s & chores. Keeps me one busy person….

      • JD in NY says:

        Antique Collector glad to hear your hubby is doing better! I understand about the honey do list as I’m the honey who’s doing. LOL. As far as finances go it could be worse as at least our only debt is the mortgage and property taxes. I work with several older people some in their mid 70’s who can’t make ends meet because of all their debt and had one actually tell me it was impossible for us to live on 25,000 a yr with a family that has kids. I said we do it and have been doing it for a few yrs as DH has not been able to really contribute monetarily like he would like too. The key is having the mindset to doing it. I can everything from my garden that we don’t eat during the summer that will feed us during the winter and we hunt for meat, clothes shopping at thrift stores and garage sales, older cars paid with cash that we saved up which also makes our car insurance cheaper, cook from scratch and we don’t eat out heat with free or cheaply purchased wood and a tank of propane I make last a yr or close to it. no satellite/cable TV, basic internet and we turn off all the lights during the day and only 1 or 2 on at night and all are LED. It is not easy but we make due with what we have. He was floored that we do all this and don’t live under a bridge LOL! Told him living in debt is a choice and I chose not too 😉

        • Almost There says:


          You are truly an inspiration.

          • JD in NY says:

            Almost There I don’t know about that whole inspirational thing as I’m not doing anything different than most folks on here including you. All I know is I don’t want to be required to work (DH also) 40+ hrs a week into my 70’s if I don’t have too because of debt. We don’t have much but it’s ours bought and paid for and I believe if an economic collapse were to happen we would be better off than a lot of people who don’t know how to go without and do not grasp needs and wants. That’s why I like this site because you guys get it and no one ever belittles another because of their economic status.Actually all of you inspire me to do even better 😀 !

            • Sarah Querry says:

              Very well said ! Iam 74 And worryabout when the “SHTF”! When I was young never in my wildest dream I would become a prepper And stock up food 🥘 and at 70 started raising chicken 🐓 and grow a garden ! And I love it and the food out of the garden tase a hell of a lot better ! I even got my kids into prepping too ! Grandkids is a ????? ! When out I always ask stores do they have old people discount 😁 when I have extreme $$$$ I buy more. Of stuff that well last a long time

  17. momof2sons says:

    I checked out your shirt at I think its great. Going to order one in a couple of days.

  18. Patriot Farmer says:

    MD, That is an awesome pair of rifles. I have owned both and loved them. I really wish I hadn’t sold mine.

  19. Gloria says:

    ODS found a complete used Mehu Liisa juicer extractor for $25 at the thrift store for me. This one is the original aluminium rather than the stainless steel they make now. But it’ll still be used with the stainless one I have and will cut my grape juicing time in half. Our 3 Concord vines are in full production this year along with our older grapes so we’ll have juice to last a year or more.

    The heatwave of the previous week disappeared and it became sweatshirt weather with rain. Finally got my tomatoes and peppers in the ground and I’m working on other garden chores as I can. Dratted chipmunks seemed to like the cayenne pepper I sprinkled on my replanted onion bulbs so now I’ll try hotsauce on them. Strawberry crop should be great this year and we’re making wire mesh covers against thieving chipmunks and birds. Blueberries love the cool weather and are coming on fast so we must get their shade cloth covers on very soon.

    Picked up another 50 ft heavy duty hose on sale as ours tend to get run over by careless lawn tractor drivers. Bought a great 3 spout water diverter for the wall tap. 2 will run hoses to different locations, the 3rd is to fill water cans and such. DH hooked up my rain barrels and we got a deluge one evening that filled them all. I just hope we’re not in for another wet, cool summer – bad for bees, bad for produce.

    A beekeeper neighbor invited me to help him work his hives last weekend and gave me a frame with about 10 queen cells, plus a frame of brood and bees, and a frame half filled with honey for them. A queen hatched but there were no drones to mate with so today we drove quite a ways to get a fertile queen that we’ll introduce to the colony which seems to be doing well. The same neighbor put me onto another beekeeper selling nucs so I’m waiting to hear on that one. Losses in our area were so bad, from 75% for most to 100% for some, that beekeepers with queens are holding onto them as they too suffered losses. Only a few are selling nucs and those of us in need are doing some fancy begging. Wish I knew how to separate queen cells into other frames, but I don’t. I’ll have to learn.

    Found a great sale on 16 kilo bags of high end dog food so I got 2 bags now keeping cool in our basement. Our pooch is prepped for a while. Also hit a great sale on real bottled cranberry juice, 4 litre size for $1.50 ea and I got 16 jugs for storage.

  20. Overwatch says:

    For some reason, my post last week disappeared. Mrs. Overwatch went to Aldi’s on the recommendation of Ohio Prepper and got flashlights to add to the vehicles. They’re knockoffs of the Atomic Beam but they’re good enough for backups for the GHB’s. Thanks OP.

    Picked up some beneficial nematodes for the yard and garden. They eat all kinds of bugs and leave earthworms alone. $25 for enough to treat my area.

    Finally bought the Ruger LC9S. Nice little gun, under $300 brand new. While at this local shop, I noticed an M-1 carbine with bayonet and two 15 round mags in a pouch on the stock. Not your usual impulse buy but I’ve always wanted one. Having lost my dad last year, the WWII rifle kind of makes me think of him a little more.

    Speaking of WWII, I finally met my wife’s grandfather while in his area of upstate NY on business. 99 next month. Veteran of Guadalcanal, New Guinea, etc. He remembers everything. Still sharp as a tack. I’m heading back in a few weeks for another visit. Now I know where Mrs. Overwatch got her blue eyes and mental toughness.

    • Overwatch,

      While at this local shop, I noticed an M-1 carbine with bayonet and two 15 round mags in a pouch on the stock. Not your usual impulse buy but I’ve always wanted one.

      While I’m pretty much done purchasing new guns except for the DW once she’s comfortable enough to start carrying, I too have always been enamored with the M1 ‘30’ carbine. While I really don’t ‘need” any more firearms, should the right opportunity arise, there is still room in the gun cabinets for a few more, LOL.

      • Overwatch says:

        They had a Walther P38 made in 1941 too. $900 but in beautiful shape. I’ve reached a point where “need” ain’t got nothing to do with it.

        Those little M-1’s are handy. I had always wanted one. If only these things could tell their stories.

        • JP in MT says:

          The seconfd centerfire rifle I bought in the early’70’s was an M1 Carbine. It is actually cheaper to shoot now than it was then.

          I bought my DW the Chiappa M1 Carbine; 9mm using Beretta mags (her perferred pistol). It is a little rough and needs a gunsmith’s TLC, but has the same great handling qualities.

  21. Sarah says:

    “FREE” is very good since I am on a government fix income

  22. Jean says:

    Let’s see….how do I enjoy summer days? I certainly enjoy getting to sleep in a little longer on Saturday morning in the cool of the morning. Love to get away for a weekend camping trip with friends. Nothing beats sitting around a campfire, catching up with each other and a nice grilled steak, baked potato with butter and sour cream, grilled corn topped off with homemade peach ice cream…..yum! You do know peaches are in season! Oh, and I forgot a nice cool ride down the creek in an inner tube with feet in the water.

  23. Jean says:

    Also forgot…. had a friend give me a truck load of split oak firewood (oak). Free is good, but I do have to stack it!

  24. Zulu 3-6 says:

    Did my weekly shopping and added to my grocery stash as usual.

    Went to the dentist and got two new crowns.

    Granddaughter got up on my coffee table and started dancing to some music from the TV. I knew her mom was due any minute to pick her up, so I stuck a bunch of dollar bills in the baby’s waist band. Baby was still dancing when #1 daughter came in and saw what I had done. I got smacked in the arm and had to let granddaughter keep the money for her piggy bank. She got $10 out of the deal. I’m a baaaad boy. #1 daughter actually thought it was funny as hell, but will never tell her baby that. Luckily, no one took photos. 😊

    Other than adding to the grocery stash, nothing much else happened in the prepping department this week other than reading stuff online and browsing through some prepping books and medical texts.

    Had a brief t-storm come through this afternoon and the power went out for a couple of hours. No biggie except I was watching some YouTube videos on the Battle of Belleau Wood. Kind of a Marine Corps requirement this time of year.

  25. AXELSTEVE says:

    Our lab blew out his knee jumping into our truck. So we now have a lame dog that needs a new knee. We are going to have it done as soon as it can be booked. Poor pup. He is on pain pills and antfi inflammatory meds
    aory meds.he is 6or 7 so he has a few more good years if we get it done.

  26. Zulu 3-6 ,

    Went to the dentist and got two new crowns.

    I’m still nursing the last one I had yanked. I’ll be getting 4 new crowns starting in late July. Since we’re paying for these ourselves, we’ll be doing it slow to stay within the cash flow, since later in the year will be 4 implants. My mouth will end up costing a new car; but, my parents had dentures long before my age so it’s all good.

    I’m a baaaad boy. #1 daughter actually thought it was funny as hell, but will never tell her baby that. Luckily, no one took photos.

    Photos should have been mandatory. Someday that little girl will be a teenager and photos like that can give you leverage if you should need it, LOL. I think it’s the prerogative of parents and grandparents to embarrass their offspring.

    Had a brief t-storm come through this afternoon and the power went out for a couple of hours. No biggie except I was watching some YouTube videos on the Battle of Belleau Wood. Kind of a Marine Corps requirement this time of year.

    On Memorial Day, one of the satellite channels was running a bunch of movies I recorded, like “The longest day” and “The dirty dozen”. It’s been years since I’ve seen these, and they are I think good for everyone to watch now and then, in remembrance of those who kept us free. I realize that they are dramatizations; but, they are based in fact and perhaps will keep the interest of those who do not know, like, or understand history.

  27. MD,
    I’m having an issue with my main post.
    When I post it, it simply disappears like nothing was entered; but, if I repost the same thing, I get the duplicate post response. I’m otherwise able to comment with no issues.
    Is there now an invisible length limit or something?

  28. Mustang says:

    With all the land hunting, weddings, and doctor appointments, it’s been especially slow on the prep side. The garden is having a tough time with the drastic weather changes early in the season. The onions all bolted so I don’t expect much from them this year and the garlic got drowned after some heavy rain flooded the lower area and covered the beds with about 20 inches of water for a few days. So much for trying to make use of the drainage area. The eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes are doing well as well as the squash.

    Ordered another 420 rds 5.56 “Green Tip”, and sent 200 to my brother. My youngest gets back from Afghanistan in a few weeks and I’ll give him another 200. Also ordered another 1000 rds of Federal 115 gr 9Mm for practice and a case (500 rds) of Federal 7.62X54 for the AR-10…..which I’m still waiting to buy. Just haven’t decided since there are so many brands and models. This will be my primary hog hunting tool with a thermal scope to help with the night time hunting.

    Still making routine bike trips of 25-50 miles, only now I’m taking BOB and HK along for the ride. I have a belly band for the HK that’s comfortable and very discreet. In July I’ll be making a trip from Virginia Beach to Charlotte NC (About 360 miles by bike) over a 3-4 day period. Getting tired of the same basic routes around Virginia Beach and all the flat terrain.

    • Cndnate says:

      Have you looked at and considered the savage line of modern sporting rifle in 308 rather than the Ar-10?

    • Thor1 says:

      Mustang, you have an AR 10 chambered in 7.62×54 ??? I thought that was the Russian round for a Dragunov….

      308 would be 7.62×51 except 308 is a little higher pressure round.

  29. MM says:

    Good Morning Pack –

    We spend the summer staying out of the heat! This means that most outside chores need to be done early – before 9 or 10 am. After that, outside activity is limited to floating in the pool with a cold beverage. And teaching the grands how to swim. We also will take some road trip to the high country to get a little relief and some cooler temps when we can.

    Garden/Landscape – DH and I completed some major pruning getting tree branches up and also away from where they can rub on the house or shed. Deep watering the fig tree – it has lots of figs on it and we are hoping for a good harvest this year. Something is up in a not good way with the grapevine – it has not put out much in the way of vines this year, and no grapes set as a result. Need to do some research on what the issues might be and attempt some corrective measures.

    DH kept working on is Ham test study – hoping that will be completed some time soon. He also is doing research on properties and getting info on various options for our BOL/future homestead for when we are ready.

    Quiet week for us so I think that wraps it up!


  30. mom of three says:

    Garden is growing I have two tomato plants, that are behind in growing , next week our weather is going to be up in the mid 70’s so that should get everything moving. Our local berry gal, they are having a sale on flats of berries for making Jam, so either today or tomorrow I’ll be jammimg up jars yum, yum. On Saturday, we got a break in the weather and it was sunny so hubby and I went to our property and got cleaning up we have a corner that has gotten over grown with English Ivy so I tackled that job, and hubby, started to take a deck down around a old hot tub can we saw early 1970’s lol… The deck is gone and the ivy,I have one spot left I can’t get to it because we have one small deck area left to cut out then I can lean the ladder and snip it away. Its growing from the neighbors side so we need to address the problem they are older folks in there late 70’s both have had heart surgerys, and they have not been down to the States in a year. Both hubby and I go and mow their yards and walk around the place and knock down spider webs, and prune the plants, so I may have to tackle the ivy, and kill it for them. A friend has a trailer so we’re going to load the Hot Tub, and take it to the dump, wonder how much this will cost.. School, is almost done next week Thursday, time to enjoy our break…

  31. suzy q says:

    Attended a workshop on dehydrating and smoking. What was interesting was this year we had some who are freeze drying so we got a taste of that. Apparently freeze dryers are becoming quite popular in this area.

    Not much in the way of other prepping as work is a little nuts in fact will be leaving in a few to work out of town for the day.

  32. Thor1 says:

    MD, check this out…..a little pricier than the 308 but……..

    • Looks, kind of interesting but to be honest, not interesting enough for me to want to buy one…

      The inventor was on the Doomsday Preppers show –

      • Thor1 says:

        Oh wow, I thought he looked familiar. The guy that some how shot his thumb off. How ironic, he designed a gun…….LOL

        Its kind of like the short lane shotgun adapters that I have for my model 24V 30-30/20ga.

      • Sarah says:

        “WOW”! growing up my father taught “GUN SAFTY” though NRA the first thing he taught was “KEEP your finger away from the barrow ever class he always remember us to keep finger away from the hole !

  33. Fixit says:

    I now can list 8 people in this area that I know that have freeze dryers.

    • Thor1 says:

      Fixit, I love my freeze dryer. After watching the video on EMPs from SOL-ARC, I unplug the freeze dryer when not in use. The video shows that the power grid wiring/ wiring in your house, will act as an antenna to fry components. It might survive if unplugged.

  34. Fixit says:

    The trouble with freeze dryers is th a they are energy hogs . So post EMP you might not have power to run it unless you have a propane tank farm to run a genny . Enjoy it now but don’t lose low tech skills to preserve foods .

    • Thor1 says:

      Fixit, at max it draws 17 amps , but it does run a long time. But that is at motor start surge.

  35. Fixit says:

    Ok let’s take your 17 amps cut almost a third off and call it 12 amps . 12 x 110 =13200 watts x 24 hours = 31680 so 31kw a day. In my off grid world that’s more electric power than I use in a month. Just saying it’s a great tool now but post EMP not so much.

    • Thor1 says:

      Fixit, 12 x 110= 1320w both of my systems can handle 1500w constant run and one can handle 3000w surge so it should be able to handle it albeit I have not experimented with that scenario. I hope we don’t have to find out but I do have other means of preserving food such as canning,dehydrating and smoking. Its just another survival tool. It does have advantages of 25 year shelf life and weight for now anyway……

    • Fixit,

      Ok let’s take your 17 amps cut almost a third off and call it 12 amps . 12 x 110 =13200 watts x 24 hours = 31680 so 31kw a day. In my off grid world that’s more electric power than I use in a month. Just saying it’s a great tool now but post EMP not so much.

      That 31 KW per day is actually 31 KWH per day or 930 KWH for a 30 day month. My latest bill was for 1979 KWH for the last month; but, that include some heavy use of air conditioning, , an electric clothes dryer, two refrigerators and a chest freezer with perhaps the biggest power hog being the well pump. The upside is that we don’t rely on someone else for water & sewage and have never had no water or a boil order. I’m just starting to play with the beginnings of larger scale solar; but, don’t expect that to ever be our only electric power source.
      In a grid down situation the generator can easily run the entire house; but, we would refrain from using the clothes dryer and would definitely not be running the freeze dryer.

      • For some reason my post of the items for the past week is not being recognized; but, my normal replies seem to work fine. Very odd behavior.

        • This is my third attempt to post, in pieces.
          We kept an eye on the weather all week since it was a 40-70% chance of rain and while a few thunderstorms did come through the area it was still a great weather week with two quick ones dropping 0.6 and 1.0 inches of rain respectively. There were hot days in the 90’s with nightly low temperatures in the high 50° & low 60° range that made for nice sleeping.

          • Continuation
            For fun we’ve been working in the greenhouse, putting in some range time, and building a few little campfires at night in the cool evenings. We’re still working on getting in a small garden this upcoming week with purchased plants that are still plentiful, since the wet spring has kept everyone in the house and out of the mud.

            • Continuation 2
              This past week we did and acquired the following:
              1. Picked up a 3 month supply of COQ10 & Omega-3 Krill Oil
              2. Our newly installed outside hydrant stopped working. The plumber who installed it came by and fixed it with no problem. I helped & watched and now I know how this new version hydrant is constructed to be repaired without digging it back up making future maintenance rather easy.
              3. This is the bad plumbing week. Next our toilet wouldn’t flush so the DW and I made a trip to Home Depot. When we arrived home I got the few tools we needed and talked her through removing the old handle and arm, installing the new one, and adjusting the flapper valve, so it now works. This is only the second time we’ve fixed this since 1990, and I told her the next time she could do it on her own, if need be.
              4. Two Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil 34oz in cans
              5. Four Office Style Surge Protector 6 outlet each with two 2.1 amp USB charging ports from
              6. 10 packages of white chocolate M&M’s @ Meijer’s on sale for $0.22 each. We’ll be getting more on our next trip if they still have them.
              7. 5 jars of caramel topping and 2 hot fudge at Aldi’s. Since this is a seasonal item, we buy in bulk when they have them, so we can enjoy them all year on the cheap.
              8. Worked our radio club’s 2nd annual TrunkFest & Flea market. I helped run the club tables selling items that were donated to the club, along with my own items. I took in about $200.00 for some of my own Junque making it a rather good days work. I also got rid of about a dozen food grade buckets. It was great weather that left some extra cash in my pocket and a bit less of the old junk at home.
              9. Additional Adventuridge Pop-Up LED Lantern Sets from Aldi’s. Two LED lanterns with batteries for $10.00. We purchased 2 more packages and will gift some to others who need them. These are basically clones of the Atomic Beam lantern and are great lights to have around, especially at that price.
              10. Worked with some local people in constructing some 5-gallon water bucket, gravity drip water filters. More and more people are starting to think “correctly” about their city services. One of my new found ham radio friends runs the water & waste water treatment plants for a small village in the area and had to manually run the water distribution a few times per day when a lightning strike took out the control systems at the treatment plant. Even he was urging people to have an alternate means of processing water, as he does. He should have the automation back running in a few days.

          • GA Red says:

            OP – the youngest is in Ada for the next week or so (again). She said she nearly froze last night, but there were things other than the cooler temps causing her issues.

        • Almost There says:


          It’s the Russians fault.

      • Thor1 says:

        TOP, Ben Franklin flew a kite with a key on the string this day in 1752……LOL

        I wonder what he would think of today’s electronics…….LOL

      • Thor1 says:

        TOP, but it could still be done if that was all I ran. So why wouldn’t you want to preserve food in this manner if it was possible in a SHTF scenario?

        • Thor1,

          TOP, but it could still be done if that was all I ran. So why wouldn’t you want to preserve food in this manner if it was possible in a SHTF scenario?

          I didn’t say you wouldn’t want to. Each person has to set their own priorities for time and energy management. In our case, we can heat with wood in a pinch and conserve the propane to run the generator to run the well pump, some lighting and keep batteries charged. This could also keep the two refrigerators and the freezer running, with clothe drying going back to the old solar powered dryer, AKA the clothes line in the yard.
          Without electricity we could still dehydrate &/or smoke food as our pioneer ancestors did.
          It would in the end depend on the event type, longevity, and your personal priorities and I’m not sure how much we could use the freeze dryer in that case.
          It basically comes down to how you want to utilize a limited resource when there are other ways of preserving that can be used not requiring that resource.

          • Thor1 says:

            TOP, I believe I would be doing everything possible to survive, so if it was deemed necessary, then it would be done. But prepping like that would be for either long term or bugging out. You don’t want to have to bug out carrying canned food in glass jars……….

            • Thor1 ,

              But prepping like that would be for either long term or bugging out. You don’t want to have to bug out carrying canned food in glass jars……….

              We have no intention of bugging out except for very short periods of time for something like a truck accident and a hazardous or noxious cloud heading our way.
              The plan for the freeze dryer is to just have an additional way for preserving long term storable food, and perhaps even for a bit of profit or barter. I’ve already had some people ask if I could freeze dry some items for them, so we might be able to make some money with the equipment or keep a share of FD foods as payment.
              I’ve been canning for about 50 years and dehydrating for 40; but, only dehydrating with an Excalibur for a few years. The freeze dryer is just another tool in the inventory and like any other tool in the box; we decide when to use it base on the situation and food item available.
              I really want to attempt beef or pork to see if it really works like the Harvest Right videos on rehydration where you simply add water and fry up the meat.

              • Thor1 says:

                TOP, nobody wants to bug out, its a last resort, no other option. But, it can come to that. Marauders could burn down your house and give you minutes to escape or a nuclear device hits or something else. A plan “B” for bug out, is a 2nd option. Everyone would prefer to bug in, where ALL your supplies are, but you might not be able to stay there in SHTF, that’s why they call it SHTF.

  36. Bam Bam says:

    I am expecting a formal job offer this week. This is an online position. I got finger printed and filled out the hiring application, but I can’t get a formal offer until I clear the background check. I hope they can fit me into the fall schedule. If not, I won’t start until spring. Please keep me in your prayers.

    My dh and and I are starting to talk about relocating. I have 12 years left on a 30 year mortgage. So, I am sitting on a sizable chunk of cash. We want a smaller home on more property. We don’t even use half the house we pay to cool and heat. I would like to pay for the new place just with the equity of our current home. I am shifting more into the long-term homesteading mindset.

    • Thor1 says:

      Bam, good luck with the job offer……and maybe a new home.

    • Bam Bam ,

      I am expecting a formal job offer this week. This is an online position. I got finger printed and filled out the hiring application, but I can’t get a formal offer until I clear the background check. I hope they can fit me into the fall schedule. If not, I won’t start until spring. Please keep me in your prayers.

      I would say good luck; but, I think luck has very little to do with things when you have the right talent and attitude and I think you have all of that. As for the background checks, I’ve had them run on me numerous times in the past for jobs and now every few years for my CHL and the organizations for which I volunteer and I don’t think anyone ever fails one unexpectedly. Wife beaters and convicted felons or those with criminal issues know who they are, so you just have to be patient and wait for the bureaucracy to churn through the process.

      My dh and and I are starting to talk about relocating. I have 12 years left on a 30 year mortgage. So, I am sitting on a sizable chunk of cash. We want a smaller home on more property. We don’t even use half the house we pay to cool and heat. I would like to pay for the new place just with the equity of our current home. I am shifting more into the long-term homesteading mindset.

      If I recall correctly, you are in your mid 30’s and that IMHO is a good time to make the selection and settle down. You’re mature enough to know what you want and financially stable enough to pull it off. When we purchased this place back in 1986 I was 35 and we knew that we had found the place where we wanted to live until the end.
      I know you live in Florida where your cooling costs are significantly larger than your heating costs and perhaps you have thin enough blood to be unable to endure the northern cold; but, keep in mind that up here cooling costs are generally minimal and heating or at least auxiliary heating can be as simple as tossing another log on the fire. If you are in the right area and willing to do a bit of work, you can generally find wood free for the cutting and hauling with the occasional splitting. On a cool day you can add a layer for warmth; but, on hot humid days there only so much you can take off and even in the extreme, only so much unlayering can help. Here’s hoping they get this job offer tendered quickly and you and the DH can get started on your real homesteading adventure.

    • Antique Collector says:

      May all your wishes come true on this new adventure. Good luck from the both of us.

    • JD in NY says:

      Fingers crossed Bam Bam 🙂

  37. Almost There says:

    Hi everyone,

    Lots of heat this week. Rain today and for the rest of the week. Worked OT Sat, Tues, Wed. Visited friend in the hospital Fri and Sat night. Pretty pooped and late posting this week.

    HAM – Went to the local ARRL meetup and there was a presentation on EMP. Bottom line is that no one knows what will happen. So, we all prepare as we see fit for it. HAM that helped us out with our class said he would help me get an antenna set up. There are a few that I’ve noticed along my road that people have, so it will be fun to start learning about it. Got a radiogram from someone in OH (not TOP though), and was relayed by someone locally. That was cool.

    Aldi’s – They had camping stuff available again this week. Went back and bought a 1 person pop-up tent that I’m still trying to determine if it’s one I want. It’s like those cat houses with the wire that you just open and poof, it’s up. It’s not easily carried, so it may need to go back and I find one somewhere else that’s more transportable. Those things are kinda tricky to close back up too. 2 sets of atomic lanterns; 2 boxes of Ramen noodles; 3 more cases of water, 1 was the fruit flavor that I’ve never tried; a self-inflating mattress; 5 cans of salmon; 4 bags of sugar (they are again carrying pure cane sugar). Thanks for the alert TOP on the lanterns.

    Oh, and my find of the week – At work, they had something called a MEK light. It’s from Mychanic, it has 650 Lumens LED lights, 2 different light settings, is rechargeable, articulating on the 360 degree swivel hook, tripod standing, or handheld work light. It is great. Well made. I bought one for me and my brother. Here’s the link:

    Prayers for the pack, for unspoken requests, for the President and for America. Have a great week everyone. Now to read what everybody has been doing.

  38. Anonamo Also says:

    Hi All ,
    Sorry TOP you are not last… but I will be nearly so…(smile)
    We have had adventures this week. replaced an outside hydrant found a water leak DH dug up about 15 feet of pipe ane electrical line put in unshileded from the shovel via conduit.. quite a shocking experience.. Guess the ablation was a good one. DH still recoverig from experience.
    In maintainence mode secondary to health issues, sinus infection and bronchial pneumonia for both of us, …staying and treating with multiple methods,.. everyhting from antibiotics to albuterol inhalation oregano, D3,Vitami C, pippsisswea, Usnea, rabbit tobacco, anti histamines and decongestants,garlic vinegar, honey and cayenne fg peroxide and now DH is on silver., after awakening worse again…this morning.
    I have read thru most of the comments glad to see some that were missing again posting. Many are in transition and healing modes ,…prayers for all the Homestead pack continue…
    Small steps taken this week… goods rotated out to ones in need, along with filtered water supply to DD,.Had a 2 hour drive to meet her and exchange loads…. and several stacks of goods consolidated…. Some dry goods packed for longer term….
    small garden raised bed- is not doing well.. sweet potatoes onions radish, turnips, beets pretty much a bust so far,… took 25 day radishes 9 weeks to mature. because of weather instability…, have watered every 3 days…and liquid fertlizer applied.. mostly root crops..
    Tomatoes , okra ..seem to be in recovery from transplant, will be adding amendements this week and mulching heavily…This entire bed was filled and planted in last 2 weeks. also have okra in 30 gallon pot… have added extra soil and am adding feed and water regularly…
    Obtaind about 80 lbs of gravel for fill around hydrant with about 15 yards of sand and clay … with goal being to discourage grass and ants building around pump, and well head.
    ….. mixed some ant food up and fed 2 or there mounds near kitchen, several more on agenda..
    …. cut..sage grass hay with weed eater and got animal areas in dry again after monsoon rains( 6 inches over a week.) and an over abundance of rain last month, worked on trenching areas for better darinage and located more fill material… to haul./ hand load so in heat, not an option,.90 degrees and 85% humidity is not pretty!.
    Moveable coop is a little heavy for me to move, but possible., 15. mature .Girls are giving around 11-14 eggs, even the girl in infirmary is doing well as far as laying… had wound that needed closer attention…so Miss Henrietta has a 50 gallon tucker tub, and wound dressings.. to two wounds…
    Potatoes in 4 varieties seem to be doing well. have added soil every 5 days.
    The RIR’s we got tn the spring turned out to be 5 roos and 3 hens… some are slated for final disposition in coming 1-2 week..,no need to feed adult birds past expectation of tender meat.

  39. Sarah Querry says:

    The “CAT” does love chickens. ,and black birds 🦅! The cat well lay in the tall grass for hrs. Watching the birds coming down in the garden cat does Petty good ! The book I have on Bengal cats say they need Fresh meat Cat gets it for sure !

  40. Bam Bam says:

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading. Tonight my dh and I attended a make-shift memorial service for a homeless man named Cliff. He had been homeless for 10 years and homeless at this particular site for five years. There were more than 30 area residents who showed up at his service. The local paper did a story on him. I don’t know why Cliff captured the attention of the community while other homeless people continue to be ignored. All I can say is that Cliff never fast talked folks. He never asked for much–just three bucks cash or a bacon double cheese burger. He had no teeth. He could only eat soup, burgers or (I am told) anchovi pizza.

  41. MaineBrain says:

    Stopped at an Aldi in Manchester, NH, to get supplies on our way to a vacation condo in Vermont. What great prices. Man, I wish we had them in Maine. Might have to stop by on our way back home to stock up.

    Wasn’t going to do any veggie planting this year as we’re prepping the house for sale, but we happened upon a farmer’s market in Rutland on Saturday and I just couldn’t resist a couple of tomato plants (Black Krim and a Cherokee Purple – Maroon heirloom cross).

    Took advantage of the (relative) proximity to visit a Style Encore shop in Williston, VT (the only one close to us), to try to sell some of my business clothes (prepping for retirement, downsizing the wardrobe). What a disappointment. Out of 3 bins of clothes and a bag of shoes, they bought two pairs of shoes and one pair of yoga pants, total $7 and change. I don’t buy trendy clothes, I buy classics that will look as good ten years from now as they look today (I hate that cut-out-shoulder look, so 2017!). So what if my classic wool blazer is 10 years old, but they want only things 2 years old. If you’re buying clothes this year and selling them to Style Encore next year, you’re wasting your money. Oh well. There are a couple of online resellers, after which I’ll try to sell at my own yard sale. I’m a clothes horse, long story about hand-me-downs and being the youngest child in a large family, but now I’m over it. There are a couple of charities that want business clothes for women who are trying to lift themselves up, so that’s my ultimate out. But I’d rather have the $$!

    Keep on keepin’ on, all.

    • MaineBrain says:

      PS, I tried to post this a while ago but it never went through. If you are ex-military, check out AFVClub-dot-com. We are in a four-bedroom condo in Vermont for $500 for the week. We’ve stayed in AFVC condos in Florida, Williamsburg, Cape Cod, and Aruba (!!). Usually the rate is $349 for the week (this Vermont condo was paired on a two-for-one deal with a condo in Myrtle Beach, which was a premium price – $1000, so, buy Myrtle, get Vermont for free, $500/$500. Any military service qualifies you for AFVC.

  42. M.D. Just found your new site, really like it.
    Been super busy lately so haven’t been around much.
    We have two huge fires not far from us the 416 above Durango already over 2000 evacuations and more on pre-evacuation notice then the Burro fire about 30 miles from us so the air has been horrible. Really makes you think about what you would take in an evacuation if you had time to pack a few things. My daughter is working the smaller fire as an EMT and we have several from our volunteer fire dept on both fires DH hasn’t had to go yet.

    We are just getting in the last of the gardens planted in three different places hopefully they will all produce we are trying raised beds for the first time thinking they will be a lot easier.

    My income has been greatly reduced so I am trying to practice more homesteading/self-sufficient ways which has been my ultimate goal so at least now I will be able to find some of the holes in my preps. I have gotten a milk goat and more chickens since I last posted am getting a quart and a half of milk ( which I have been giving to one of my doggie calves) and about 5 to 6 eggs a day.

    I got several pounds of strawberries I put most in the freezer the rest I am going to make and can a strawberry lemonade concentrate, I canned 60 pints of pineapples and froze about 2 gallons. Taking a beef to the butcher so trying to can up some stuff from the freezer so I will have room.

    Hope everyone has a great week and please keep all the Fire and First responders working all the fires in the country in your prayers.

    • Ranchers wife,

      Thank you.

    • Antique Collector says:

      Ranchers wife
      Sending our prayers that the rain storm down our of Canadian region will arrive before Fathers day to help put out the fires and reduce the onslaught of devastation.

      You asked what do to pack ahead of time:
      family photos, family inheritance items that can be stored in a trailer, documents-birth certificates originals, wedding certificate, pcu computer & backup cd’s or hard drives, IRS paperwork, bank records, passports, passwords in a book/binder, camera’s & sd cards, guns & ammo in canisters. cash(if on hand), bullion if you have any-rare coins.

      All the items above will be paid in an insurance claim but you will receive pennies unless they are scheduled to your Farm/Ranch home policy. Most are only $500.00 an the way it is set up you will only receive that amount for any loss no matter what was destroyed. Not all items will have coverage for replacement, will be classified under ‘personal property’. Check your policy out now to see how it reads, and if changes are needed to be made now is the time to do it. fyi

      When was the last time you took a sd card to photograph every nook & cranny of your home, shops, barns & equipment. It helps with verification of items & your memory.
      Praying your area is not hurt by this fire but want you & yours to be prepared as much as possible.

      • Antique Collector,
        Thanks for the list., I have been going to put a grab and go binder together for years but keep putting it off thinking we really don’t have any emergencies in our area, I know a stupid way to think haha. While we are far enough away to not have to evacuate it does make you think. I will be working on a grab and go binder as well as documenting things and making a list to put inside the binder of what else I need to grab. Think I will also, make copies of everything to store on an off-site location.

        They are now saying neither fire will be out until we get some monsoon moisture which is a good month away. It is just to hot and super dry here. They have closed the entire forest ( San Juan ) which is something they have never done. Pretty scary.

        • JD in NY says:

          God bless you Ranchers wife and those who are being evacuated! I can’t imagine suddenly having to leave my home not knowing if it will be there when I return. Scary!

          • Sarah Querry says:

            Here in Seattle,WA it a very high inpack from earthquakes , being Attacked By zombies ! I am 74 and disable but I do what to move to erestren WA. Off the grid I have to stay active My house is running out of space for storing ? I keep buying book on what to do living off the Grid ! I have to say “ Amazon “ does have a lot of good books 📚

        • Ranchers wife ,

          I have been going to put a grab and go binder together for years but keep putting it off thinking we really don’t have any emergencies in our area,

          Instead of a grab & go binder, it’s probably a better idea to have a grab & go container or two. If you take important documents like marriage license, vehicle titles, deeds, loan or mortgage paper work plus checking, savings, credit card account numbers and contact information and store it in a fireproof box, they can be safe, collected, and easily transportable. You can also keep valuables in the box like PM’s and some cash. What we really need is a “Grab & Go” box or kit, not a “Grab, Find, pack, & Go” kit. The list could be good for additional niceties you don’t already have packed in case you have time to grab and pack them. In our case, our BOB has enough clothing to keep us for a few days at a hotel or friends home for something like a hazardous material spill that affects our property.

          I know a stupid way to think haha.

          Not stupid, just standard procrastination when life gets in the way. Working, paying bills, and interacting with friends and family are also important to our well being.

      • Antique Collector,
        For all of those photos & other paperwork, you can also scan them and keep them on a USB thumb drive. Thumb drives as large as 256 GB have gotten inexpensive. They are large enough that they won’t get lost as easy as an SD or Micro SD card, have no moving parts that can sustain shock damage like a hard drive, and are easily readable by nearly any computer platform and operating system.

        • Sarah Querry says:

          I collect kerosene lamps most I payed less than 20.00$ And I have a kerosene stove with oven All are over 100 years old ! I tell my kids it there Inherents ! I have them from the computer room / gun room even in the bathroom and all work my kids say if we lose power I have lights and doing the winter I have a kerosene stove ! “GOD” I love Craigslist !

          • Sarah Querry ,

            I collect kerosene lamps most I payed less than 20.00$ And I have a kerosene stove with oven All are over 100 years old !

            While I prefer propane, I have an acquaintance that is moving to Florida soon and I’m trying to talk him out of his Kerosene refrigerator. It’s also an old one; but, with virtually no moving parts, they last almost forever if you keep the wick trimmed and don’t let the fuel tank run dry. You can get new ones from Lehman’s; but, they are Gawd Awful expensive.

            “GOD” I love Craigslist !

            Unfortunately, Craigs list around here is mostly junk at almost new prices/

            • Zulu 3-6 says:


              If your friend is smart and knows Florida has hurricanes, he won’t give up that reefer. 🙂

    • AustinElaine says:

      Made my strawberry lemonade concentrate this past weekend. We just finished last year’s.. good stuff!!

      • Almost There says:

        YUM !!!I’ve been wanting to make some of that. Can you please share the recipe again?

  43. Antique Collector says:

    Mrs. Cdbascom
    Hope I used your correct call sign it has been a while for me. If you are not aware they passed the care giver bill which will effect those from wars before 9/11 I am hoping will assist you for your dh.

  44. ShirlGirl says:

    ANTIQUE COLLECTOR, what a great and thorough list. I’m going to gather everything on it and put it with my Bob! Thanks a ton!

  45. Sarah Querry says:

    Hot weather ha ha ha ha herein Seattle,WA . It got to 65 they say latter this week it well be in the 50s and rain 😃

  46. Grammyprepper says:

    I have been working crazy overtime at work d/t being short staffed and dealing with vacations, so not much prepping here. Tomatoes are doing well, but I really need to get them caged/staked and mulched. I also still need to find some parsley to plant, since the seeds I tried to start are not producing. I also apologize to the Pack, as I haven’t had time to read the 200+ replies. Hope everyone is doing well.

  47. Mustang says:

    After reading many of the posts I feel somewhat guilty for being retired and having an abundance of time on my hands. If I ever get squared away and find a suitable piece of property I’ll need all the time I have to make it into the homestead I hope to leave behind.

    Just returned from another bike ride. Only 20 miles today, but tried a different route that I’ll never use again. Just too many cars this time of day and the road was terrible! One thing I have noticed on all my rides is the general lack of awareness of others either walking or riding bikes. It seems everyone is so totally engrossed in tier phones, talking or listening to music, that they sometimes practically jump out of their shoes when I pass them. As I approach them from a long way off I’ll watch them plod along and never once look around or behind them. When I get closer I’l yell to them to let them know I’m behind them and what side I’ll be passing. Very few ever acknowledge and then freak out as I pass them. Even though most are part of the younger crowd, I’m surprised at the number of older folks 50+ that are just as unaware.

    • Thor1 says:

      Mustang, I love having designated bike trails so you don’t have to worry about cars………

    • Mustang ,

      After reading many of the posts I feel somewhat guilty for being retired and having an abundance of time on my hands. If I ever get squared away and find a suitable piece of property I’ll need all the time I have to make it into the homestead I hope to leave behind.

      I don’t feel guilty for being retired and having an abundance of both time and money, since I have worked long and hard for it, as I suspect have you and others. As an early teen I carried newspapers and shoveled snow to earn money and in college I kept a full engineering course load and worked part time for most of that time. I started a job 2 weeks after graduating and worked for all of those years, never taking up lots of time or money for big vacations. Purchased my first house @ age 25 and spent a ton of time & money fixing it up and eventually when the new wife and I had a chance to purchase this place we were renting, could purchase and pay it off in 10 years. We scrimped and saved to afford to fix this place a bit at a time and to have a good nest egg for retirement. In short we worked hard, lived frugal lives and have no guilt that we have a nice retirement.
      As for hoping to leave this homestead behind for my kids, our main goal is to make it comfortable for us, and they will get whatever they can from it and be happy.

      Just returned from another bike ride. Only 20 miles today, but tried a different route that I’ll never use again. Just too many cars this time of day and the road was terrible!

      We really can’t cycle from here without a trip to somewhere else due to traffic. The upside is that all of the traffic means the DOT trucks keep the roads prepped and clear in winter, well before any storms arrive.

      When I get closer I’l yell to them to let them know I’m behind them and what side I’ll be passing. Very few ever acknowledge and then freak out as I pass them. Even though most are part of the younger crowd, I’m surprised at the number of older folks 50+ that are just as unaware.

      I think we used to talk of wisdom coming with age; but, unfortunately in the modern age, chronological age, maturity, and wisdom no longer have a close relationship, since many older people still act like children, perhaps trying to avoid getting old, or just wrapped up in the same gadgets as the kids.