Homesteading Progress and Preps For The Week

Hello everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a good week and managed to get some stuff done this week… we’ll get into homesteading progress and prep in a moment but first I want to ask you all a couple of questions…

First, what type of content and subjects would you like to see more of here at MDCreekmore.com? As you’ve probably noticed I’ve been writing and posting a lot of different ways to make extra money and or become totally self-employed.

I’ve been doing this because “a lack of money” has always been the number one response to the question “what is your biggest obstacle to prepping or setting up a homestead” so I’ve been doing everything that I can to give you ideas and ways to solve the problem that you told me that you had.

However, from the lack of responses, it doesn’t seem like readers are very interested in the subject of making extra money and being self-employed… Have I not been covering the topic correctly, or in a way that’s actually helpful to you? If not, then what can I do differently to help you more?

Okay, now on to the next question for you…

I’ve been playing with the header subtext and would like to know what you think… take a look at the samples below and let me know which one that you think fits the blog best and that I should use via the poll below…

Header 1
Header 2
Header 3
Header 4
Header 5
homesteading and self-reliance
Header 6

[poll id=”2″]

Okay, not that we have that out-of-the-way let’s get on with Homesteading Progress and Preps For The Week…

This week I…

I filled with survival gear and buried this waterproof cache tube in a secret location. If you want to buy one of these then you can get one here.
Planted blueberries…
I got my garden tiller fixed and now I’m ready to till my garden area for planting…
Planted Roses…

Okay, that’s it for me this week… What about you?

197 Comments

  1. Love the pictures.. keep it up..

  2. In addition to whay I normally do, I have picked up several people that I house sit for and although they also have horses I am going to look into adding more people who don’t have horses. I find myself making more with the house sitting on the side. And it’s not to hard .
    I think that header # 6 is the good choice.

    • Northern wolf,

      Thank you for your input – it’s appreciated.

      • I try to keep up with things,horses are not a 9-5 job ,never a dull moment here

        • Northernwolf ,

          I try to keep up with things,horses are not a 9-5 job ,never a dull moment here

          You have a gift for understatement. When the DD left for college 9 years ago we stopped keeping quarter horses; but, just the miniature and a companion goat (along with a small flock of chickens) keep us (mostly the DW) quite busy. They are however a lot of fun.

  3. I have been reading and lurking for awhile but am brand spanking new to prepping and such. While we have always had backup’s of food and water located in the basement we are now starting to take it more seriously. Presently we live right outside of Philadelphia so a planned move to land we all ready own is scheduled in about 5 years(for good-but for now it is a bol)

    Anyway I am just reading and learning everything I possibly can here.
    Thank you
    Kellie

    • Kellie,

      You’re welcome. Did you take my free 10-day prepping course?

      • I am actually on vacation starting this Friday so am looking forward to taking it. Everyone has been so nice already. Thank you….it is kind of scary being new.

    • I’ve found this to be the best place to learn.

    • kellie ,

      Anyway I am just reading and learning everything I possibly can here.

      Welcome aboard. You will fine quite a nice community of helpful people here. The diversity of knowledge on this forum means that you can get answers (and opinions) on a wide variety of subjects, so don’t be afraid to put in your $0.02 worth or ask questions.

    • Pettycoat Pepper

      MD I like the new site. I like several of the options for the new header and cast my vote.

      I’ve been self employed most of my life. Folks can find ways if there’s will. I find will generally comes from need.

      It’s been busy! I finished my 10 x 12 shed and moved everything in. Made a trip to the doctor as I found I was covered in poison oak! No fun but did learn that apple cider vinegar, followed with alcohol and finally aloe vera helped.

      Tilled up 4 – 24” x 30’ garden beds and planted 1.5 of them so far. I have more starts in the House but haven’t had time yet given the weather. This weekend isn’t looking good so maybe next week.

      My new apiary is settling in nicely. I’ve fingers crossed for some swarms this next month.

      Did a bit of earth moving this week and checked under my house. Too much water there so will need to get a drainage pipe installed along the side of the driveway to divert to the field.

      Feeling like I’ve accomplished quite a bit this week. My new homestead still has tons of work that needs to be done but given I moved in at the end of fall just as the monsoons arrived, I’m feeling like I’ve gotten a foot hold.

    • Hi. I’m right outside of Philly too. Delco. It’s hard to find like minded people around here. Glad someone has their head on. Maybe we should talk.

      • Js484 ,

        Hi. I’m right outside of Philly too. Delco. It’s hard to find like minded people around here. Glad someone has their head on. Maybe we should talk.

        I’m originally from western PA (Johnstown in Cambria County) and traveled in my youth to Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) country. I am fortunate enough to have a lot of Amish in my area of Ohio; but, you have quite a large population just an hour west of you in Lancaster County that might be worth looking at. They tend to be a rather cloistered society; but, I’ve found that if you are really sincere, you can often get them to work with you and show / teach you about their self reliant lifestyle.

    • Welcome. The wolf pack is always helpful, supportive and eager to share, whether we are new to prepping or have been doing it for a while. Still in progress!

  4. I’ve been readying the old homestead to list and sell and getting ready for my move to the new/better homestead. Selling/buying a new home and getting ready for the move is the most stressful process that I have ever been through. (Mind you I worked in a psychiatric correctional facility for 26 years) I’ve had more sleepless night and lost more weight in the past month than ever before. If this process is successful my new homestead will be phenomenal.

    • Patriot Farmer: is it possible you are “overthinking” the process? Yes, there is much to think about, much planning, much “doing”. I’ve done it. as an “older” person, too (we retired from the city to the farm 5 years ago, and we are building or rebuilding almost everything – as funds & energy are available!).

      This will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. Don’t overthink it. Don’t overdo. Pace yourself, as much as possible. Step back once in a while. Take time to enjoy what you’ve accomplished so far. As long as you are not living in the street and starving, you are a success!

      Furthermore, after what you’ve been through for 26 years, this MUST SURELY be a “piece-a-cake”!

      • LTD you could be right about over thinking this process. But every night I go to bed thinking that maybe I should have done this earlier or I wish I would have waited to do that. I’m sure that everything that has or will happen is how it is supposed to be.

    • Patriot Farmer ,

      If this process is successful my new homestead will be phenomenal.

      You of course meant “when” the process is successful, Right? LOL
      Although it’s been 20 years or so, I understand that stress. In my case it was waiting to sell a previously owned home to pay this one off. In the end you will do fine, and it will be all worth the effort.
      Would you care to tell us where your new homestead is located, as in state or region.

  5. Canned salsa this week with tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro from my garden. Added a brick of cheddar cheese to my cheese cave on Monday—goat’s milk is flowing heavy around here with 4 does lactating. Reorganized my home canned food today to make a bit more room. Canned pole beans again this week. Been enjoying the first Foxfire book, a few pages at a time before bed each night. That’s it for me!

  6. As far as articles posted some i read , some i scan and some i pass up on . I say write and post what you know of your guess writer knows .
    This week I picked up a commercial can opener for $15 . I also got two briskets that we put In corning brine. Planted onion set. That’s it for me

  7. Cleaned up garden at b/o location. Tested buck shot on a new 20 gauge shotgun that will be a defense gun for both wife and I. Tore down an old fence line. Purchased a backup leatherman knife. Worked out four days this week to stay in shape. Like the new format..

  8. Puppy got to chase his first bunny this week…. Almost got him…..LOL

    Put the new shelf up for long term food storage.

    Going to look at a jeep tomorrow for another BOV and a camper.

    Going to have the 4X4 truck painted black and put a new dash on.

    Bought chicken noodle soup. Multi cans.
    Bought pasta. 5 for $5
    Bought tomato sauce X 2
    Bought tomato stewed X 2
    Bought more dog food.
    Bought 100 rnds of 50 cal.
    Bought 2 10 rnd mags for the Barrett CQB $150 a pop.

    Activated the Big Berkey water filter system

    Freeze dryer… Eggs,chilli,spaghetti and bananas. All have been great !!!

    Looking at putting a jacuzzi in, it would also be another emergency water source. Plus ahhhh. LOL

    Watching the garden grow…..lots of lettuce…

    • Oops, mounded the potatoes and got the last 3 tomato plants ready for planting.

      1/4 stems….thanks miracle grow… They almost died ICU….LOL

    • Thor-
      My cat is a great help in keeping the bunnies away from the garden. But the big ones always out run her,

      • Moe, didnt out run, out turned. Puppy is much bigger….LOL

        • Thor-
          Unfortunately the cat’s growth was stunted, some of the rabbits are as big as she is. But her size lets her get pretty high in the trees. I swear the starlings know right where I plant the seeds. So I don’t mind her foraging through the trees.

          • Moe, starlings or mocking bird…..? I have a new bird in the neighborhood, a baby falcon….Puppy almost got him in the air…LOL Lots of hawks and a golden eagle. At night a great horned owl….Scarry

            • I have a friend who owned a Blue Heeler that terrified the local cats. She could climb trees if the lower branches were within reach. Cats don’t know whether to poop or go blind when a dog is climbing a tree after them. Harley was a great dog, but gone to the Rainbow Bridge now. My friend has a new Blue Heeler, a good dog, but he isn’t quite the same as Harley.

              • Z36, good story….LOL

                I had a pit bull that liked chasing squirrels up the trees. She would run up the large trees after them 15 feet. I will never forget the look on the squirrel’s face when it saw her coming up. LOL One night she saw a deer on the other side of a chain link fence and hit it so hard she bounced back 15 feet. The deer stood there and she hit the fence again.before it finally took off. I was feeding her a dog food made from venison at the time so maybe she thought it was dinner. LOL

                • I love pits I plan on getting another since I had to put mine down a month or so. He was my wing man.

                  • DD1 and hubby just got a Great Pierinese/Pit Bull mix puppy. I haven’t seen it yet, but they need to get stock in their dog food brand company. Looks like we’ll at the food the the gas cards for gifts for them.

            • Thor:
              Starlings. I consider them attack birds. They aren’t afraid of much, but the cat is good at annoying them. And they are smart, so if a cat stakes out a territory they build nests elsewhere.

            • Thor1
              If you have that many predator birds near you (falcon, hawks and golden eagle.), you must have a lot of small prey animas too. I had falcons, hawks and horned owls, which cleaned out all the little varmints in the area. The owls used to perch on the barn roof and they left bones and tails as a calling card. Once the varmints were cleaned out, the big birds moved on.

      • Moe ,

        My cat is a great help in keeping the bunnies away from the garden. But the big ones always out run her,

        Perhaps you don’t have enough cats, LOL. We have two in the house; but, a small herd outside. That herd now has about 6-8 members; but, once had more than 20. Rabbits, Chipmunks’, and Squirrels are very rare around here.
        Good for the garden; but, not part of a long term food plan.

        • TOP:
          Per DH’s request we are a one cat at a time household. A lot of travelling and very private people. We don’t want someone coming in to feed.

          • Moe ,

            Per DH’s request we are a one cat at a time household. A lot of travelling and very private people. We don’t want someone coming in to feed.

            That is understandable. The outside cats just get some feed in a couple of pans and the inside cats are fed by the DW’s nephew who lives with his wife in the house there she grew up, just 1 ½ miles from here.

            • OTOH, If you are living in a rural community, being too private can be a detriment, since some of the strength for the DW & I are our neighbors and relatives, many of whom make up our MAG. In a real serious SHTF situation, groups can share to resources, the work, and perhaps more impotently, the security.

          • We are also very private. The indoor and outdoor kitties can be left alone for one night thanks to feeders. For longer term, we prefer that one of the daughters comes by but we do trade cat sitting duties with a young couple nearby in a pinch – like the daughter’s wedding last summer.

        • I had 2 cats, one got hit by a car and we gave the other away to a good home. The latter was very destructive to the house and garden too as it thought the raised beds were litter boxes. It really did wipeout the bunny population and would leave bunny heads and entrails on the front porch….. LOL

          • I hope none of these people are preppers……

            https://youtu.be/g3OHEK7e3Ps

          • Thor1,

            I had 2 cats, one got hit by a car and we gave the other away to a good home. The latter was very destructive to the house and garden too as it thought the raised beds were litter boxes.

            Your problem was that you only had two cats. Until you get enough to herd them, they act as individuals; but, once they form a pride with proper pecking order, they actually behave quite differently.

            • “Cats are like potato chips – you can never have just one.”

              We currently have 4 “house” cats and feed at least 5 ferals, plus a few raccoons and possums. Since I learned that possums eat ticks, I don’t mind them having some food to attract them to the yard. They do act differently when there are multiples, but herding cats is still an art form. LOL

          • We have an outdoor cat that we feed and keep her up with vet visits. We feed her well but she still hunts. She also keeps us pretty stray cat free. She comes into the house sometimes for short visits.

        • But I thought cars were part of a long term food plan.

  9. Why did the other website shut down so quickly. I’m into rural/urban prepping in small village in AR but not into homesteading. I like your valuable articles. and have a couple of your books. I’m doing a Essentials for Emergencies seminars at Village Bible Church annually to help many who are clueless in our area.

    • Howard D. Lisech,

      It will be impossible to make it long-term after a major collapse without homesteading. You can only put so much in your bug out bag or pantry. It will eventually need to be replaced and if you have no way to resupply then you won’t make it.

    • Howard D. Lisech ,

      I’m into rural/urban prepping in small village in AR but not into homesteading. I like your valuable articles. and have a couple of your books. I’m doing a Essentials for Emergencies seminars at Village Bible Church annually to help many who are clueless in our area.

      Your “Essentials for Emergencies seminars” sounds like a good thing you are doing for your community. I work with our local county EMA and we do similar things here. You might also look into CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training as an adjunct to your seminar.
      While the basic 72 hour or 1 week or more preparedness resources are a great start, and will keep people going until government agencies can respond (or react), nearly anyone can do a bit of homesteading if they are inclined. For instance, container gardening can raise quite a lot of food in a small urban setting.

  10. With the crazy weather we’ve had, I waited to start my seeds, but I am the proud ‘mother’ of a tray full of seedlings! Now, to prep their ‘home’, which is a hybrid lasagna/raised bed type garden. Excited to be trying a few new to me tomato breeds (all heirloom, of course!). With the kids getting ready to move out, WE are also working on cleaning out/downsizing, anticipating that we will also eventually be moving. Have enjoyed M.D.’s free blogging course and the prepping course, and am in the midst of the homesteading course. I’ve found the prepping and homesteading courses to be a good review as well as gleaning some new information. The blogging course was insightful. Not sure about blogging for myself, but I do help run a sports related website/blog. I recommend everyone, especially newcomers, take the courses. And don’t be afraid to ask questions!

    • Grammyprepper, I’m pretty sure I know you and you know me. We are both blessed with Radiance.

  11. I like the photos, and I’ll be planting more blueberries too. As far as what content I’d like to see, I like the homesteading and prepping information.

    This Week:

    -Added to the stockpile: paper plates, plastic cups,

    -Goats: Both does have kidded. We ended up with triplet bucklings and a single doeling. They’re all doing well. We’ve disbudded the bucklings and will do the doeling in about a week. I’m having to closely watch the doe with the single doeling to make sure her bag doesn’t get too full on one side.

    -Chickens: All chicks are doing well, and most of the fertilized eggs I donated to the teacher across the hall seem to be developing well.

    -Homestead: DH built me a large shelf in the goat barn. It’s helping with organization. I’m storing the extra feed pans, buckets, heated waterers, etc. on it.

    -Home: Got a new faucet-mounted water filter.

    -Garden:
    All apple trees, pear trees, raspberry bushes, and blackberry bushes made it through the winter. I lost three blueberry bushes. The asparagus and lettuce are coming up.
    We’re waiting for the ground to dry a little more so we can work up the garden and get it planted. I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt!
    The tomato and cabbage plants in the basement are still doing well, but I want to get them in the ground.

    -Information: Reading Nella Last’s War.

    -Health: I got LASIK done just over a week ago. I won’t be completely healed in my right eye for about another week. (It needed far more work than the left.) I’m already thrilled! I can’t believe how well I can see. It’s nice to get up in the morning and be able to see without putting on glasses or contacts.

    -Skills: I started some sour dough starter on the fifth of the month. I’ve been keeping it up and makings rolls, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and loaves of bread. I bake with yeast, but sour dough is something I’m not used to. I’m getting the hang of it, and DH, kids, and grandkids are enjoying it. I’ll be using it for pizza dough this weekend.

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

    • PG:
      I have had trouble keeping a starter going. Do you have any tips?

      • I wish I did. I’m not sure what’s going on. Did you get starter from someone else or start it yourself? I did Amish friendship bread when my kids were little, but I haven’t done anything with sour dough since then. So far I’m keeping it alive, but we’ll see. I’ve had it going less than a month. The homemade thick crust pizza dough today was a success.

      • Moe ,

        I have had trouble keeping a starter going. Do you have any tips?

        While it’s been some time since the DW was using sourdough starter, we kept it in the refrigerator. Every once in a while you take some out to make bread, sticky rolls, or other items, at which point you add a little more water, & flour letting the mixture sit covered out of the fridge to warm up to let the yeast start feeding. You then place the container back in the fridge.

      • Petticoat Prepper

        My sourdough starter is almost 2 years old. I keep in the fridge and once a week I take it out and pour out some then add equal parts water and flour. Mix well, let sit on counter over night then back into fridge. If you find it separates and there’s a kind of greenish water on the surface it just means it needs to be fed.

        • Petticoat Prepper,

          My sourdough starter is almost 2 years old. I keep in the fridge and once a week I take it out and pour out some then add equal parts water and flour. Mix well, let sit on counter over night then back into fridge.

          That’s basically what I stated above. Sourdough is a yeast that’s a living creature and needs to occasionally be fed and then allowed to warm up to get feeding and growing again.

          If you find it separates and there’s a kind of greenish water on the surface it just means it needs to be fed.

          As a living creature, the yeast feeds and then excretes. This liquid is at least partly the excreted alcohol and when you get a lot of it, that means the sugars are gone and need to be replaced, so time to feed.

  12. MD, what was wrong with the tiller? ……Curious

  13. MD, I am self employed, semi retired. Mostly I do a bit of woodworking, not as much nowadays, but enough. Then, I do some handyman type slash building maintenance. Also, I have stock market investing that I have just been messing with for about 10 years. For a while I even delivered papers, which lasted about 3 years, 100 miles a night, 7 nights a week. thank goodness I am a fairly good mechanic too. By the way, I like all the header subtext, how bout rotating them?

  14. I had a hard time deciding but finally opted for#6. Runner-ups were #3 and #5.

    I rotated food out of the Go Bags.

    Planted more onions, lettuce, rutabagas and peas. Harvested the first of the asparagus. I also noticed a potato popping up in a bed. The potatoes in the bags are not up. I may replant next week.

    We are getting close to our last freeze date. It is tough not to go all in.

    Today was beautiful and I took the afternoon off to watch a track meet. Lots of gardening talk. Someone asked if I had ever grown purple sweet potatoes. I didn’t even know they existed. Has anybody tried them? Do you have any sources?

    Also found out one niece started bee hives and another has added a chicken coop. It is good to see the next generation learning these homesteading practices.

    Stay safe everyone.

  15. Free Stuff: gravy mix (2), paper plates, donut, bagel

    We took off last Saturday to Cabela’s to use our points, military discount, and coupons. I had to special order my wheel well tool boxes for the truck, but due to all the other discounts and sales I got free shipping, and a Blackstone 17” propane griddle and a bacon press for free. (It only took until Wednesday.) I also stopped at my new favorite gun shop and picked up a box of Federal “Train & Protect” 9mm 115 gr JHP ammo to try and a small range bag.

    Friday was planned for a long day trip. My buddy had to put down his boarder collie 2 weeks ago and we are going to pick up his new pup. It was a full day, 12.5 hours wheels rolling, 2 hours for breaks. The new pup is just a pleasure.

    Plans for the trip to AZ are finally coming together. The DW is driving the lady and her dog down, and I will be taking the truck with her household goods. We have a departure date, house sitter, dog sitter, truck rented, and the packing date all set at our end. The person controlling her finances has gotten her a 2-bedroom place w/the 2nd bedroom is for storage. Washer/dryer, fridge, and freezer will be sold. Crew set up for unload. She is currently looking for someone to take the truck to the rental agency or have them pick it up.

    Extra money is always an issue. But I usually can do it with a few driving gigs and gun shows. Friday was one drive, next month it AZ. Last time it was NM. Low overhead, just me (and I”m cheap) and, hopefully, wildlife avoidance. My personal goal is $1,000/mo. average (about what I’d make with a part-time job). So far this year I’m on track; made it last year.

    • JP,
      The hearing for Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, M.D. to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was postponed with your Senator Jon Tester alleging he is unfit and calling him candy man for passing out medications. He’s been the physician to the current and last 3 presidents. Just wanting your opinion on the subject, since you no doubt keep closer track of your local politicians than the rest of us. Is this just more democrat resistance & obstruction?

      • TOP:

        Yep, he’s from Montana. Said all the right things to get elected, then followed the D’s party line to the letter. Having a real challenge getting re-elected.

        Talked with someone who knew him when he was just a rancher, befor epolitics. He says he was an a** then and ain’t changed one bit.

        • JP,

          . Having a real challenge getting re-elected.

          That’s good to hear and something I would expect from places like MT and TX.
          OTOH, Nancy Pelosi talks about how republicans “pray” on Sunday and then “prey” on people’ the rest of the week, and they keep sending her back to congress.

      • TOP:

        Remeber Montana is like a lot of states now. Population centers lean left, rural leans right but is out numbered.

        • JP:
          It sure is a pain getting outnumbered!

          • Moe:

            I just prefer to think of it as a “target rich environment”.

            • JP & Moe,

              I just prefer to think of it as a “target rich environment”.

              Deep down I think those liberal city folks also understand this and that may be what drives their crazed push to limit guns to the agencies they think they can control. After all, how else can they come out and take unneeded supplies from those of us who hoard them when TSHTF, the shelves are empty and their ATM & EBT cards no longer work, LOL.

        • my friend of many years moved to Montana a few years ago and he loves it. Another friend of mine moved back a few years ago and he is happy there.

  16. Trying to make good use of a nice paycheck and dollar general’s 50% of clearance. Toilet paper, hot chocolate, laundry soap, gloves, Kleenex and canned peas have all made their way to storage. So far everything has come to about $30. Regular price would have been at least $60. More to come tomorrow I hope.

    • Just got back from a fourth trip to Dollar General spent just over $21 on $58 plus worth of groceries, toilet paper and laundry soap. Love those kind of sales it really helps with the prepping.

  17. MD, All of your new headers are super but strategically I would shy away from #1. There will be traffic viewing your site for the first time that could be classified as anti-firearm. If those folks spend the time to view the quality of advising and depth of knowledge in the membership, they may well stay with you and eventually become “educated.” If they get scared away by the title, you can not help them now or later. Just a thought from a business perspective. Also, I agree that articles on producing income are very important. I moved halfway around the world (Republic of the Philippine Islands). There is virtually NO employment here for foreigners. Unless you were sent here to set up a call centre to service your home country or to help open new fast food franchises, forget about working here as an EX-pat. You have to plan ahead and bring your own work. Keep up the great work man.

  18. I like #6 too – the focus on self-reliance is the biggest reason I read the blog. Second biggest reason is this weekly sharing of information. I try to read the other articles but don’t always comment on them.

    This week has been more about restocking some items that were rotated out to our daughters or were used by us. We also have finally gotten some sunshine and the seedlings have been outside for a week. If we can get the garden ready today, we will plant either today or tomorrow. We also transferred the extra wood pile to the rack near the back door, getting ready for future use. We don’t use the fireplace often, but like to have the wood close just in case.

    Prayers for all in need.

    • We don’t use the fire place a lot but it is nice to have a bit of wood it’s a bit chilly today so we have a small fire going to keep the house around 70, and watch Miss Priss, lay in front on the carpet is so neat .

      • I also use the fireplace to burn mail that would be shredded if we had not killed every shredder we ever bought. Besides, the ash goes in the garden periodically.

  19. Re: Making Money. My wife and I were part of the “Back To The Land” homesteading movement in the mid 1970s. We are still on the same piece of land. We obviously found ways to make a living.

    We started by traveling around and looking at places and their surrounding communities to get a feel for if we would like to live there and could make it. We were looking for that “Mother Earth News – 10 acres and Freedom” type of place. So was everyone else and those places had inflated prices while larger places could be bought close to the price of the 10 acres. We ended up with 80 acres with river frontage. ( about 12 -14 tillable the rest hillside woods and pasture).

    We made our living as crafts people. I did jewelry and my wife was a weaver. Art fairs were popular in those days and we traveled quite a lot on weekends. Now there are other options such as Etsy stores and other on-line markets which makes the travel lighter.

    I branched out into commercial art/graphic design in the pre-computer era which helped pay the bills during the winter months when there were no art fairs. I also took some ornamenta iron classes at the university and added ironwork to my offerings.

    Beginning in 1988 my wife and I both went wholesale. Me with a titanium jewelry line i created and whe with a wool felt pincushion line marketed to quilters that still goes strong today. It meant 5 or 6 trade shows a year and no more steady art fair travel.

    In the mid 1990s we decided to go to massage school – took 9 months away in Ft Lauderdale and came home to start a practice. Mine thrived but my wife preferred doing her felt work and found the massage on large people exhausting. I made a good living with massage until 2009 recession. Too many clients lost jobs and moved for work, but I still did an OK living. Now I am retiring out of that.

    Next phase: sell our place and downsize for our older age years. We still intend to live in the country. Less to take care of, less taxes, less infrastructure costs.

    Bottom line: making a living while homesteading is doable. One needs to be flexible find your markets and switch business if your markets become non-viable or health and age makes what you had been doing no longer good for you. ie: You don’t want to still be a roofer or brick layer in your 60s.

    Also, is everyone doing what you are doing? There tends to be group think in the generation or movements. So is there room for you to make that living or do you need to think outside the box?

    • swabbie Robbie,

      Would you be interested in expanding on how you made and make a living in an article for the blog? Might help readers who haven’t been able to get it together themselves…

    • swabbie Robbie,

      Re: Making Money. My wife and I were part of the “Back To The Land” homesteading movement in the mid 1970s. We are still on the same piece of land. We obviously found ways to make a living.

      My story is similar. I graduated from college in 1973 in the middle of that movement and took a job in a small community in north central Ohio. I interviewed for numerous jobs and had several offers with a little higher starting salary; but, the job I took not only was in a small community in an agricultural area, on the way to my interview I was forced to pass several Amish buggies and took the time on the way home to seek out some of these people and talk with them. I later rented and them purchased a house on the edge of the town, and got to know more people who lived in the rural areas around me. I now live about 27 miles south of that original town, after marrying a local farm girl who grew up just 1 ½ miles to our east.
      My first job in that little town lasted from 1973 until 1976 when they moved most of the operation to Johnson City, TN at which point I took a move within the company and then had a drive of 45 miles 1 way. When I got married I move south and the drive was lessened to about 25 miles. In 1984 I took a better job in the north end of Columbus and my drive expanded to 40 miles. When that job ended, I found a new job and dropped the commute to 20 miles. My next job was a little closer @ only 24 miles. My final job, was back working with a company I cofounded where I was able to telecommute full time except for an occasional trip to AZ to the home base.
      Basically what this is all trying to say is that if you really want the rural lifestyle, you may have to make some sacrifices and suffer some inconveniences, it is very doable. While I was working most of our vacations were local 1 or 2 day affairs, and many vacation days were spent here on the homestead building, repairing, splitting wood, or tending garden or livestock, and socking money away in savings and retirement accounts, paying cash for nearly everything, including a few new vehicles.
      To us all of these inconveniences were simply the cost of tuition while we learned how to do many old time skills and lived at least in part from the fruits of our labor.
      Now in retirement we really have no need for much additional income; but, will still on occasion find something to do to have a little more mad money.

      • OP
        That is our story too. Had to drive many miles to work, but we wanted to live more rural and that’s the price you have to pay. It was worth it. I did not want to live in the city. I’ve got too much country in me. We have moved three years ago after retirement and to be close to grand kids. We moved to a small town. Life is good.

        • Terra ,

          That is our story too. Had to drive many miles to work, but we wanted to live more rural and that’s the price you have to pay. It was worth it. I did not want to live in the city.

          Yep. I lived in the city during college and couldn’t wait to move out. I sort of grew up in the city; but, where we lived on the edge of the town in a valley in western PA was only a few blocks from hundreds of acres of wooded Appalachian mountainside, so we had many of the city amenities within walking distance and camping and hiking in the wilderness within that same walking distance. I could not think of a better place to grow up as a kid.

          I’ve got too much country in me.

          Same here. No matter the weather, I can walk out into the yard and be free. I can shoot a gun or sit around and see fox, coyote, and various woodland critters along with the occasional deer within 50 yards of the house.

          We have moved three years ago after retirement and to be close to grand kids. We moved to a small town. Life is good.

          No grandkids and none likely anytime soon. The boys live an hour southeast and 2 ½ hours northwest of us, and the DD is living in the Boston area, and everyone is pursuing their own lives and goals, so it’s all good.

  20. I like #6 too. I’ve also enjoyed the self employment articles. Being self employed, I certainly identify with this mindset. Having to rely on a corporation for all of your income is, I believe, far more dangerous than self reliance and several revenue streams. They’ll sell you out at the drop of a hat.

    Burned the branches of a blue spruce we lost during one of our four successive Tuesday nor’easters. Lots of smoke but it’s mostly gone. I didn’t want to lug them to the dump. It would have been a terrible mess.

    I scored another C-cell Mag-lite at the big orange box. Less than six bucks, how can you say no? I also picked up a bottle jack for Mrs. Overwatch’s Jeep. Took care of some repairs around the house with the help of a neighbor and a few cases of beer.

    Does anybody know the area of Monroe county, TN? My wife’s dad is there and he wants us to visit with the ulterior motive of relocating. It seems nice and I am sick of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Massachusetts. It would be nice to not be surrounded by Marxists. I’m looking at Sweetwater and Madisonville. Any good restaurants? Is it a quiet area? Schools okay? Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Overwatch,

      Thank you for your feedback – it’s greatly appreciated!

    • Having to rely on a corporation for all of your income is, I believe, far more dangerous than self reliance and several revenue streams. They’ll sell you out at the drop of a hat

      You are certainly right about that! DH put in over a quarter of a century for one company, rarely taking time off work. He traveled heavily, gave a lot of “non-compensated” time. His job was eliminated because it was “no longer needed”. Then they brought him back four years in a row as a “consultant” because they didn’t have enough people to do the job at certain times of the year.

      Then they simply replaced him with a newer, cheaper model – for a job they “did not need”.

      If you are a younger worker and think corporate America will do you right, you might want to wake up and smell the roses!

    • We are two counties over from Monroe. Beautiful place. Lots of land, rolling hills, lots of water in between. I would do it in a heartbeat! You can live like a king for what you spend in Mass.

      • I don’t want the locals thinking I want to change it back into Massachusetts. I would be coming trying to escape socialism. I’m on most of the opinion that a stop sign is too much government.

        That being said, my wife laughs. She says you’re a big Italian from the Northeast. They’re all going to think that you’re on the witness protection program.
        I’m insulted! I would never rat!

        • Overwatch ,

          I don’t want the locals thinking I want to change it back into Massachusetts. I would be coming trying to escape socialism. I’m on most of the opinion that a stop sign is too much government.

          So far I think TN has avoided that; but, Texas and AZ are getting tired of the comradfornians who I think are mostly trying to keep the rules; but, escape the taxes.

          That being said, my wife laughs. She says you’re a big Italian from the Northeast. They’re all going to think that you’re on the witness protection program.

          Having interacted with you and knowing your real unmistakably Italian surname, she might have a point; but, that means she is also in the program and perhaps can get a job as a comedian, LOL. That being said, Mrs. Overwatch sounds like quite a lady, LOL.

          • GA is also being invaded with those trying to change it away from its conservative base. Many are coming here from the Chicago area and the NE. Ugh.

            • GA Red,

              GA is also being invaded with those trying to change it away from its conservative base. Many are coming here from the Chicago area and the NE

              So far Ohio has been somewhat immune; but, there seems to be something in the liberal progressive psyche that forces them to make everyone conform to their ways of thinking, even when their way of thinking and governing has provably failed over the years. This would make them all insane as that condition is defined by none other than Albert Einstein who stated: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” These people hate to be confronted or confused by the facts.

  21. I spent my week trying to get healthy. I am taking the 21 pill course of Methyprednisolone I got from y doctor last year. I decided not to suffer for a month like I did last year. I do think it is working.

    I sold my old truck to my farmer neighbor. He said he wanted it as a work truck for crew. His 14 year old daughter wants it for herself. He has the 50 acre field on the other-side of my home and I think she made 5 high speed laps around it last night. He said she claims she is chasing deer out of the potatoes.

    With that money and my wife’s overtime I got one credit card paid off. Now to get some deer fencing for my garden.

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

    Played with my new iTarget system. I had to tinker with it for awhile to get the cell phone camera zeroed with the target properly. Once that was done, it went well. The bullseye on the target itself was a little hard to see indoors, so I adjusted the distance and got closer. I hate getting old. You can use any target that the frame will fit (8.5×11), but the bullseye can’t be too dark, or the laser light is simply absorbed and not reflected back to the camera. The target that comes with the system has a light grey bullseye, so that doesn’t help old blind people like me see the bull as crisply at distance as one would like.

    My son is a bit bummed out. His girlfriend decided to join the Army as a personnel admin specialist. She leaves for basic at the end of July. She’s a tiny little thing, so admin is a good pick for her. She’s maybe 100lbs soaking wet, if that. She works out regularly, but I don’t know how she’ll be able to wear and carry even just a basic combat load with armor for any length of time. That stuff breaks you down even when you’re a male and a lot bigger. Ask my body, it’ll tell you. #1 daughter is bigger, and she had problems with just a basic load in Afghanistan. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to wear it all full time.

    Had some rain here in the Orlando area. While it’s no big deal for me as far as spring planting goes, it does help keep the threat of wildfires down. Even in the city area, we have big sections of parks, woods, and other flammable flora. We had quite a burst of rain the other day that flooded out a major road under a railroad overpass less than a mile from my place. That was rather odd as I don’t think it flooded out even during the hurricane last year. Some idiots decided to try and drive through the water and had to be rescued by the fire department as the water got pretty deep as the storm went on. Always happens, it seems. Helps keep the hose heads in a job. 😊

    Received my 5.56mm green tip and .357 magnum. Packed the green tip in an ammo can and the .357 in speedloaders and my handgun ready ammo can.

    Found out there was a storm water pump failure at that train overpass. It’s been fixed. I was right that it didn’t flood like that last year in the hurricane. Somebody wrote in the city blog that it hasn’t flooded like that in the 40-years she’s lived here. Actually, there were two pumps under there, but they replaced the one and added a third. It is a major north-south route in and out of Orlando proper, part of the hurricane evac route, so it’s kind of important to keep it open.

    #1 daughter took granddaughter to the doctor for her 18-month well-baby check. She is that and then some. The doctor did mention there is another flu bug going around. We tried to give the baby some elderberry syrup, but she went into full-fledged fight mode and wouldn’t take it. So, we took some instead.

    A prep that isn’t necessary for me, but is for granddaughter, is the swimming lessons her parents have been taking her to. They teach babies how to recover themselves and float on their back in case they fall into a swimming pool. The teachers drop them into the pool headfirst as it is normally very disorienting for a baby. Not at first, of course. They get babies floating first and work them up to the tougher stuff. Granddaughter has been doing very well and can immediately recover and float in summer and winter clothing (with diaper). A swim suit recovery is a snap for her. She also knows how to dog paddle over to a pool ladder and hold on. I strongly recommend these lessons for anyone who owns a pool (or visits someone with a pool) and has little kids. Proven lifesavers. Granddaughter enjoys her daily lessons and looks forward to them. But I think she is done with lessons now that she can recover in winter clothing reliably. They also teach parents how to work with their child in a pool to reinforce the lessons.

    I signed up for the Bosses new Prepping course. I don’t know what I’ll learn, but learning even one new thing is a plus. Especially for free. 😊

    • Zulu-36:
      My Dad grew up on a small lake just North of the flooding you were referencing. They moved there just after his younger sister was born. She swam about the same time she walked. I am glad your family believes in early swim lessons. I believe that is a key skill to learn.

  23. This week 4 women from our group canned up 70 qts of tomatoes, Mexican tomatoes and spaghetti sauce for our pod. Got a dozen Jalepeno pepper plants in the ground, plus eating tomatoes. The onions and garlic are looking good for a May harvest, Ordered 4 Lavario washers for our group compound.
    Anyone having trouble finding Anaheim chili plants or seeds? I cannot find ANY….
    That’s it for me.

  24. MD,
    As for articles, I have no real preferences since I’ve been doing this a long time (most of my life) and the DW & I now live quite comfortably in retirement. I personally come here for the community of people and the give and take of ideas and resources. I contribute where I can; but, nearly every week I utilize information on a book, website, course, or video that adds to my knowledge. My weakest area is in the field of herbals and there are some here who cover a lot of these quite well in just the comments.
    I didn’t vote for your header selection, for two reasons. The first is that when I mouse over the headers to see them, an icon appears that blocks out most of the text so making the sample larger would be helpful (at least for me). The second is that unless a header is really obnoxious, and none of these are, most people I know along with me; go to a site for content, not the header. Any of these are IMO fine as is your current header.

    Is your tiller a Troybilt? It looks a lot like my 35+ year old Troybilt Horse that has seen better days.

    This past week we did and acquired the following:
    1. Received a Sorbus Wall Mount Pot Rack with Hooks from woot.com to add more storage to the summer kitchen
    2. Received a Avalon Oversized LED Digital Clock for the radio room. This clock has 3 inch LED digits that even I can see from across the room, and when set to exact time via NIST station WWV has not drifted even 1 second in nearly a week. Another great deal from woot.com
    3. Received a Dremel 2000-01 Versa Tip Precision Butane Soldering Torch that has been the one tool in my inventory I was lacking. Now I can work on antennas and connections on the roof, the property, or up on the tower and solder connections without dragging along an electrical extension cord.
    4. Acquired the E-book: “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon
    5. Fixed some nagging roof leaks using Flex seal spray. One was just a huge pile of leaves blown into a corner that was acting like a sponge in light drizzle.
    6. While fixing the leak I discovered one element of my main VHF antenna had come loose and was lying on the roof. That has been repaired and upgraded.
    7. Received a Hiluckey Solar Power Bank 10,000 mAh Waterproof / Shockproof Portable External Battery Pack with Dual USB. This was reviewed by Jesse M and now I have one to play with. It’s inexpensive enough ($21.00) that everyone should be able to afford it, and have a way to charge those Kindles, and other USB chargeable devices, using only solar power if that becomes your only option.
    8. Additional training and coordination with our ARES emergency communications team.
    9. Yearly trip to my Ophthalmologist (retina specialist) and things are looking good with my ocular pressures @ the perfect midpoint.
    10. In preparation for more dental work, I had two teeth extracted. One had fused to the jawbone and had to be cut loose with a laser.
    11. 2 BIC Lighters for the EDC from Dollar General.
    12. Added 20 additional desiccant packages to the inventory
    13. Participating as I write this, in the 2018 Ohio NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) exercise.
    14. Since the DW will be out of town on election day, we picked up absentee ballots
    15. Ordered some radio stock (Microphones, Antennas, and cables /connectors) to sell at our upcoming Hamfest / Trunk fest in June. This will allows some of the new hams to get inexpensive accessories for their radios that I know will work and eliminate their guessing whether some online offering will work,, and hopefully make me a bit of cash.

  25. Finally recovering from bronchitis & spring pollens – 5 weeks later. So glad to be back among the living!

    Isbar chicks hatched this week – 14 of the little cuties!

    Moved 5-week-old pullets/cockerels to outdoor tractor. I have 18 of the, and thy were getting quite large and quite crowded in their 4-ft metal farm tub, in the greenhouse.

    In process of gathering fertile Ameracauna eggs for a customer who wants to hatch them.

    Canned one extra ham I had around. Have a lot of extra eggs right now & can’t get to where I can sell them. Making and drying home-made, organic egg noodles.

    Keeping an eye on bees and continuing to feed. They are doing great!

    We’ve finally had our last frost and are seeing the sun – woohoooo!!!!

    Between sickness and weather, we are way behind on garden and outdoor work. Trying hard to play catch up. Have not even begun planting – this week, will hit it hard!

    After paying taxes, we are “so po’, we can’t pay attention!”. Hopefully, only for a little while, but, no major purchases recently, for sure.

    Got rid of 3 unneeded roosters and one mean French Copper Marans hen – they have a good “rehome”.

    Oh, and a “not so pleasant reminder” – I was taking Doxycycline, a form of tetracycline (Bird Biotic) to help get past all these “issues” – having already done everything the doc wanted to do, and still not over it. Doxycyline did more to clear up issues than the antibiotics doc prescribed and/or the shots given, BUT….I FORGOT – do not go out in the sun when taking tetracyclines!

    After 15 minutes of sitting out in sun, watching roosters I had just moved to see how they would adapt to new surroundings, I ended up with a “phototoxic sunburn”. Yes, this is very serious, folks. Be careful taking certain antibiotics (such as tetracycline) and STAY OUT OF THE SUN when taking them!

  26. Feedback, M.D.:

    I suspect it’s true for many of us, but, I have little time to comment. Being a full-time homesteader is a full-time job and then some, as I’m sure you already know. So please don’t think silence is indifference; it is simply a matter of not enough hours in the day to “do it all”.

    I don’t know whether anyone else wud enjoy this, but I like the idea of a place where we could come in and share and comment DAILY with one another – not just wait for a certain subject to be posted. Maybe even post a question, looking for help that day on a particular subject.

    At any rate, thank you for ALL that you have done, and all that you do, M.D. Without you, where would we be?!

    • Oh, and then there’s the issue of connectivity. Some of us just don’t have the “connection” to blog, or even to respond, at times.

      • LivintheDream ,

        Oh, and then there’s the issue of connectivity. Some of us just don’t have the “connection” to blog, or even to respond, at times.

        I understand that and it’s just a part of rural living. Back in the 1980’s & 1990’s I used dial up modems for internet and eventually for web access, starting at blazing speeds of 1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, and eventually 23,000 with some special modems. I then switched to satellite; but, at $90.00 per month, that was a bit painful; however, did allow me to telecommute part time to work and eliminating that drive a few times per week made up for the extra expense.
        Next came a local WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) @ 1.5 Mbps eventually moving up to 3.0 Mbps; but, that had some issues. DSL @ 1.5 Mbps was added to that three with a special router and now most of that equipment sits on the shelf since my current DSL is guaranteed @ 5 Mbps; but, quite often hit 6.0 Mbps when testing. I have friends in local towns only 6-10 miles from here who have 60-100 Mbps via Cable TV, and I have a friend who is an engineer with my local telephone provider (Centurylink) who tells me that they have plans for 25 Mbps DSL for every subscriber within 5 years, so as they say: “Hope springs eternal.”
        I know that the Federal government has some broadband initiatives’ akin to the R.E.A. so long term all of us in the boonies will be getting better and faster service.
        I learned a long time ago that living in a rural setting had its complications like long drives to work, shopping, and medical; but, none of our family would trade being closer and having faster internet for the freedoms we get living here on our little plot of land.

        • Everything u said is spot on, OP. We pay well over $100 per month for internet. We always run out if data, & r too cheap to buy more – so we wait it out, or, go to our church & use their free wifi. In the 3 weeks we do have a plan, it seems every cloud or raindrop interrupts service. Same for satellite tv.

          Small price to pay for living the dream!

          • Livinthedream,

            Everything u said is spot on, OP. We pay well over $100 per month for internet. We always run out if data, & r too cheap to buy more – so we wait it out, or, go to our church & use their free wifi. In the 3 weeks we do have a plan, it seems every cloud or raindrop interrupts service. Same for satellite tv.

            Our satellite internet service was about $90.00 per month; but, we now have 5 Mbps DSL for a total cost of about $85.00 that includes a landline with all of the calling features (Unlimited Long Distance, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, 3-way calling, and voicemail) with no data cap. We’re hoping for better service as some of the cable providers are slowly moving out this way; but, I know a fellow ham who works in the planning department for our landline carrier (Centurylink) who tells me that their long term plan is 25Mbps minimum for everyone. We have a combination of satellite and off the air TV, with the common receiver and DVR for all of it. We do occasionally get a signal loss with the TV; but, for local programming we can use the off the air signal and for most other things we have a backlog of things to watch already recorded.
            In a real pinch for internet we can hang out at the local library or pay a few dollars at numerous local restaurants.

            Small price to pay for living the dream!

            Indeed. Longer drives and a bit more expense, both of which can be handled with some planning, far outweigh small lots, too close neighbors, and HOA rules or other restrictions.
            Our cell coverage is rather poor here except for Verizon; but, we have good quality cordless telephones on the landline that will work anywhere on the property, so when working outside we’ll often carry both a cell phone and one of the handsets.

          • Billy T & kellie ,

            The wolf pack is always helpful, supportive and eager to share, whether we are new to prepping or have been doing it for a while. Still in progress!

            I’m one of those who has been doing it for a long while; but, I am also still in progress, my point being that prepping is not a destination; but, a journey. Each day we walk the trail with a general destination in hand; but, you need to occasionally stop and look back where you started, and by doing that, realize how far you have come. This will help make sure you keep your focus and keep you from being discouraged if things don’t appear to move as fast as you had hoped.

          • For me it is satellite or nothing. With Hughesnet for $89 I get 50 GB a month plus another 50 GB if used between 2:00 and 8:00 AM. I am online at least ten hours a day and never use half of it, but I am the only user.

    • LivintheDream,

      I don’t know whether anyone else wud enjoy this, but I like the idea of a place where we could come in and share and comment DAILY with one another – not just wait for a certain subject to be posted. Maybe even post a question, looking for help that day on a particular subject.

      Actually I think you’ve already found it. The old WDYDTPTW and this ”Homesteading Progress and Preps For The Week” serves that purpose for me. Once you’ve posted at least once and subscribed to the comment follow-up here on Saturday or even later in the week, you’ll get constant updates on which you can continue to comment or ask questions. I check my email regularly and as these follow-up comments appear, I see them and comment or answer questions as needed.

      • Well, maybe you get updates, that feature quit working for me. Being I have plenty of free time I just visit the site every few days to see new posts.

        • Daddio7 ,

          Well, maybe you get updates, that feature quit working for me. Being I have plenty of free time I just visit the site every few days to see new posts.

          I have always gotten updates; but, I have my own domains and email and I don’t use Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, or others like those and that may be the problem. I also don’t use a Smart phone to handle my email, and I’ve heard that those can also have a problem with delivery and bouncing, especially when there is a high volume of message traffic, and this site can generate a good volume of emails. With my vision issue, going back to the forum to see what I’ve missed is a really hard thing to do. In the end we all have to do what works for each of us.

  27. Wow, I slept in today the rain is making it’s way back for a few more days so sleepy mornings, my kids had half day Thursday and Friday off for teacher, work day so a crazy week. Our daughter turned 18, I started to read this blog in 2009 alot has changed in those 9 years. I bought a new catnip plant for kitty, not sure if she likes it or not, bought a cilantro plant, couple of hot peppers, and three types of lettuce, also a few potato starts, I’m still working on the bed so next week I’ll get them planted, we’re suppose to be getting quite a few more plants from friends who have a farm, we shall see. Mowed, and clipped my chives back killed all bugs that were living in the big planter. Bought two very nice, and large candles, got a few tapers from one of my favorite thrift stores. Kitty caught her first bird, and brought it into the bedroom, oh boy lots of praise from hubby, I just petted her and told her good kitty, though I rather have dead mice, not birds, ha ha.. Food wise just keeping everything rotated, got a few more deals at Safeway their Monopoly game, will be wrapping up in the next two weeks, so I have a couple more free things to get. I did get another tomato sauce, a bagle asprin, all for free, they had some great coupons for cheese, bacon, bread. My other store had Stash Tea, for $1.49 a box limit three and some hamburger on sale so two pounds for under $7.00 yikes, but that is cheap so I ground and cooked it up and dehydrated it and got one Quart jar from it I want to have a few more QT, and a few pints, put away I also put an oxg absorber, in the jars so they sealed down need to get another bag of Oxg absorbers, from Winco. Today, I will make a Dollar tree run, for more shelf stable milk, and get some Sunlight powder bleach, and just see what else is new. Well everyone have a great rest of your weekend, maybe I’ll make some cookies today sounds like a good rainy day project:)

  28. I liked all of the headers but number 5 was my preferred one. I picked up a free, 3 led flashlight (new). Always nice to have extra flashlights. Our garden is doing well so far, We have cukes, tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet peppers (already have a few peppers growing), sage, lavender, mint. Fruit trees look good this year, some apples, pears, plums, apricots, nectarines growing. Hope to have grapes and blackberries too. Our roses are blooming like crazy, extra nice this year.

  29. MD

    I voted for #6 also. It seems to be the best according to the consensus.

    Is there any way you could work the ‘wolf pack’ in anywhere? It seems as though a great number of us prefer to be a member of the pack! I miss those wolves in the header. Oh, well.

    As one reader commented don’t mistake silence for indifference. You work VERY hard and it is sincerely appreciated.

    However, we all live in different circumstances. Speaking for myself only, I tend to look before I leap. I have stayed out of a lot of trouble that way. Without going into a lot of detail, I have been hit with several major traumas in the past 3 years and I have to set my priorities.. This blog came along at the right time to help me help myself. and I try to read it every week. I post less often because , even though I am retired, I work 7 days a week just trying to keep up. I’m sad I can’t put in 18 hour days like I did 5 years ago,

    Susan

    PS I like the archive lookup. Too bad it wasn’t available in the old blog.

  30. MD, please continue the articles on making money. I plan to supplement my retirement fund by being self employed. I have a list of ideas which I hope to try when I retire. In a couple of years, I might be able to write that article from experience.

    The biggest obstacle in prepping and homesteading for me is doing it alone. My son helps a little with some things. Otherwise, I do what I can with the time and energy that I have.

    Garden: moved chicken tractors and planted out my Seminole pumpkin seedlings; did some mulching. Picked some loquats and froze them. Only 2 of my 4 sugar canes came back up. Ordered a different variety from Baker Creek seeds today.

    Bought for storage: 2 bottles barbeque sauce, 2 pair of garden gloves, 2 packs buffalo flavor tuna, 2 cans olive oil cooking spray, 4 cans chicken, 3 cans diced tomatoes, 8 cans beans, 2 packs chili mix, 4 packs chicken marinade, 2 turkey breasts at 99cents/lb and 2 bags of frozen chicken tenders BOGO.

  31. Well hello there stranger LOL! How have you been? My email is still the same, drop me a line when you get a chance!

    • Hey, gal! I don’t have ur email. It was lost in a computer crash. I was a very bad techie granny, & did not back it up. If u still have any of the others, K, R, or J, they can give u my current email address. I’m using gmail.

      Hope all is well with u & yours Love you!

  32. Did a big Costco run and stocked up on quinoa, chia, organic flour, bottled sauces, teabags, panko, cheeses, Oxy-clean, dog treats, and dry cereals. Many items were on special, one had simply come down in price, others would be going up soon. Have to hit the local thrift store for more used quart mason jars for sealing the bounty.

    Also stopped at a major seed store and got 5 pounds of buckwheat seed for our bee meadow, along with borage, thyme, calendula and cosmos for the bees. Topped up on onion bulbs for the garden and found my favorite variety of potato seed, Bintje. I’ve got these and other potatoes cut for eyes and drying so they’re ready for planting time which will be another 3 weeks here. I also located someone willing to send me some Egyptian walking onion bulbs soon. I used to have them until the little devils walked away into the ether.

    Temps this week have been in the 50’s to 60’s F and most of the snow has melted. Ground is still too mucky to walk on but it’ll be time soon enough. We managed to gather some fallen large tree branches that we’ll cut on site then haul in the tractor to the house when the muddy hill dries up a bit. Still have a large snapped tree to deal with, aka the widowmaker.

    Went to a big knitting show in the city today and picked up quite a few sock and shawl yarns, and sourced a local wool producer for sweater yarns when I need them.

  33. What beautiful weather we are having here. It makes me want to tackle the world all in one day. I just usually read this site, but wanted to share a little even though I’m not much of a writer.
    This week we were able to dry can the rest of the flour I found on sale a while back and get that stored away.
    I’ve been dehydrating all the best looking herbs, sage, thyme, lavender flowers for my sleep tincture, kale, parsley, dill, nasturtiums, and anything else I can use from the garden.
    DH sprayed the weeds down the long driveway and mowed the orchard. It looks much better.
    We dug all the thorny sprouts out of our thornless boysenberry row. The berries are plumping up nicely.
    He also put up a great fence with a cute garden gate around the 5th and new garden patch to keep the twenty chickens out. They see but they can’t touch. We are feeding them the last of the lettuce that is bolting and that I don’t want to save for seed.
    We are eating cherry tomatoes that I cloned from last year and potted up for the greenhouse and then planted outside. Keeps the salads interesting until the big ones come off.
    I weeded the asparagus row and hope it will replace the row that got shaded out by a mulberry tree.
    This week we started training our border collie and blue aussie puppies to walk on the leash. Mine yanked me all over the place. But I will succeed! We are going to get away for a week in the new to us trailer we bought. So the dogs have to get used to other humans and walk on a leash. It shouldn’t take long, They sit and down pretty good already.
    Even though world news sounds so bad right now, I am looking forward to this summer and know the Lord is in control. Happy homesteading to everyone.

  34. MD, have you ever considered an “Ask the Pack” segment? Readers can submit homesteading/prepping how-to type questions for the pack to you. You can choose a worthy question to publish each week for the pack to answer and respond to.

  35. Voted for number six. Extra income will very on individuals. I mow a few lawns and pick and choose HVAC related issues. Early retirement after thirty years in the business so friends and family work well. Sell a few eggs.
    Tilled the garden and planted potatoes, corn, onions and peas. Garlic coming up from fall planting. Planted fifty new strawberry plants. Repaired the riding mower and wheel barrel
    Was given a 4w x22l x 6h wood shed for the price of removal. Sectioned in thirds and moved most. Was built two years ago but new owners don’t want.
    Made last payment on my truck. DW bought a car two years ago, so will be debt free again in three years if not sooner.
    Babysitting DGD again few days a week. 18 months old and is learning to gather eggs. No fear of chickens or ducks. Non broken yet.

  36. MD, the header should say:

    Survival, Homesteading, Tactics and Firearms

    SHTF…….LOL

  37. MD, I like #6.

    The daffodils in the front garden are in bloom, and I heard the spring peepers last night. Sure signs of a change in seasons! Not much prepping this week, spent the week in South Carolina visiting with Hubby’s sister and her husband. Both have been having health problems of late, so it was good to have a chance to spend time with them. Good to get home last night too.

    For those who are current or retired military, Armed Forces Vacation Club is a great resource. They bank unused timeshare condo weeks and sell them cheap. AFVClub-dot-com.

    Off to the grocery store to replenish supplies. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

  38. MD, everything in balance? *eg , the articles on making money from blog.

    Good preps for the week, glad it is working out well for you!

    Just plugging along here 🙂

  39. I voted for #6 as this best captures my interests. I want to acquire homesteading skills. My home will be paid off in 10 years. Then I will retire, sell this place and get a place in the country.

    I have only been checking this site on the weekends. Now that I know there are articles published during the week, I will check in more frequently. I am interested in making extra money, especially during the summer months when my paychecks are much smaller.

    We did a major stockup at Walmart and Aldis this week. We picked up another three months of prescription medications from the pharmacy. We picked up the regular stuff–pet foods, cleaning supplies and other foods not available at Aldis. We picked up canned foods from Aldis as well as our usual veggies.

    I ordered and received generic foodsaver rolls. We have had success with Food VacBags. I can’t wait for 1st. I bought $300 worth of meat from Zaycon last week, and I put it on my credit card. I hate having debt and want to get this paid off immediately.

    My dh was complaining of heel pain. So I flipped over his walking shoes. He walks the dog three miles every day. Sure enough, the shoes had worn down on one side. He has had a new pair of walking shoes in his closet since Christmas. He put on the new shoes today and said he had no pain. He is off walking the dog now. Footwear will be so important post collapse. If the South had better boots and clothing, . . . .

    I continue to do two kickboxing classes each week in addition to the five taekwondo classes. We did 650 situps on Friday. Yes, that was “650”. I am a bit sore. I moved from a size 12 to a size 10, and soon will be in a size 8. I am glad I can find pants on Ebay for cheap.

    • Bam, 650…..did you puke???

      I’ve lost more weight too. 24lbs……

      When I get into the abs workout its 100 sit-ups on the ab machine with 100lbs, 100 backups and 50 sides. Then 2 sets of 20 crunches and 2 sets of 20 leg lifts.

    • Had my first Aldi’s experience in South Carolina last week. Sure wish we had them around here!! Closest one is about 150 miles away in NH. I wanted to buy another suitcase and fill it up to bring home.

      • MaineBrain ,

        Had my first Aldi’s experience in South Carolina last week. Sure wish we had them around here!! Closest one is about 150 miles away in NH. I wanted to buy another suitcase and fill it up to bring home.

        We have 3 to 5 Aldi’s within a 25 mile range; but, we don’t have any Winn Dixie or Publix, so we can all have that FOMO feeling.
        FOMO BTW is Fear Of Missing Out, LOL.

        • FOMO indeed, TOP! We’re headed to Vermont for a week in June and I’ve already scoped out the locations of the Aldi’s along the way!

  40. Alert….

    I read an article that Israel just attacked an Iranian base in Syria approximately 2 hrs ago with a tactical nuke.

    This is unconfirmed but possible……

    • Now 9 missiles from Turkish airspace…..

      Claims Russia said it was now a direct fight….

      • Got a lil for this ?

        • Fix it,

          Halturnerradioshow.com

          I can’t put the link in here.

          • Thor1 ,

            Fix it,
            Halturnerradioshow.com
            I can’t put the link in here.

            That’s not a very credible source.
            Hal turner radio show?
            You mean this guy?

            Harold Charles “Hal” Turner is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier, and blogger from North Bergen, New Jersey. In August 2010, he was convicted for making threats against three federal judges with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

            • TOP, don’t know the guy but he was right about an attack. It was on Steve Quayle site.

              • Thor1 ,

                don’t know the guy but he was right about an attack

                Yes and that attack has now been reported from several other news sources; however, none of them mentioned a nuclear weapon of any size, just some deaths and large explosions from a munitions storage facility that was struck.

    • Thor1,

      Actually, Israel using a tac nuke is very unlikely unless their nation is in dire danger of being nuked themselves. Sure, it’s possible, anything is. But without some real justification that will fly with the U.S., the UK, France, etc, most unlikely.

      It appears that whatever attack on that Syrian base did was set off a munitions storage area, resulting in a nice big explosion and accompanying fireball. Having been witness to two such explosions in Vietnam, they are most impressive. And you don’t want to be too close to them either. BTDT with one,

      • Z36, maybe a battle field nuke. I heard possibly a bunker buster or munitions blowing up with it.

        • Thor1,

          Use of a nuke is a very serious escalation. Israel is not careless or capricious when it comes to using explosive force. They have no problem using it, but are as careful with nukes as we are.

          Again, having mentioned witnessing two major munitions explosions in Vietnam, and one intentional one stateside, they usually have very big fireballs and mushroom type clouds just like nukes. But, even tac nukes have a bigger blast area than a simple chemical explosion.

          There would be no question a nuke was used. Everybody and their brother would be screaming loud and clear about it.

    • Thor1,

      I read an article that Israel just attacked an Iranian base in Syria approximately 2 hrs ago with a tactical nuke.
      This is unconfirmed but possible……

      Anything is possible; but, since I just checked our local CBS affiliate, Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, and MSNBC and none of them are even mentioning an explosion, I suspect it’s only a rumor, especially anything dealing with a nuclear device.
      Where did you read the article?

    • I always thought that any nuke is tactical. But being a life long civvie maybe I am not immersed in the proper gubmint speak.

  41. Good evening fellow wolfies,

    Late to the party due to being in FL for my BIL’s, nephews and sweet mom’s memorial service. It was very, very nice. The people at my sister’s church were very sweet, took care of everything. Folks my BIL went to school with from grade school were there, along with quite a few of his nieces and brother and sister. The place where they are buried is very beautiful too. People commented that they haven’t ever been to a triple memorial, but that’s ok. It served to be a good thing for many of us. After the memorial, many folks came back to my sister’s house and we all shared memories of practical jokes that my BIL did to people. One my sister told that was on her was not very funny to her at the time… Sounds like she may still have some deep down anger about it… HA… Glad to be back home. There’s no place like it.

    Didn’t do much prepping last week except froze some mango meat that I didn’t get to so I could work on them later.

    Moved to the smaller storage unit on Wednesday. Cat appears to be doing well. Brother is back to normal and not hissing at her anymore. Whew!

    Went to a couple of estate sales yesterday. Found a Swiss multi-tool and Swiss Army knife, few medical supplies, safety pins, straight pins, web cam camera, 2 big jars of older buttons. Cousin was cleaning out some boxes that had been in storage, so got a few more medical supplies. Had to buy a carry on suitcase at the yard sale for $1.50 to bring it all home.

    Missed HAM class, so will have to make up answering the questions this week prior to Friday. And read up on the next 2 sections.

    Izzy, maybe you can send an e-mail to MD, so he can send me your e-mail address. He has my permission to send you mine.

    Prayers for the pack, for unspoken requests, for the President and for America. Now, time to catch up on what I’ve missed. And GO Predators!!!!

  42. I am actually on vacation starting this Friday so am looking forward to taking it. Everyone has been so nice already. Thank you….it is kind of scary being new.

    • kellie ,

      Everyone has been so nice already. Thank you….it is kind of scary being new.

      Anything new is scary; but, be assured that just making the determination to start, puts you way ahead of most of the general public. You can start with simple inexpensive things, like never let your vehicle gas tank sit with less than half a tank. Instead of waiting until the gaige reads nearly empty or for the low fuel light to come on, stop and fill up when you get around half a tank. The only additional cost is filling it to full the first time.

      • kellie ,

        Everyone has been so nice already. Thank you….it is kind of scary being new.

        Anything new is scary; but, be assured that just making the determination to start, puts you way ahead of most of the general public. You can start with simple inexpensive things, like never let your vehicle gas tank sit with less than half a tank. Instead of waiting until the gaige reads nearly empty or for the low fuel light to come on, stop and fill up when you get around half a tank. The only additional cost is filling it to full the first time.
        The biggest hurdle for preparedness is your mindset, and just posting here gets you started.

  43. MD your cache photo gave me a great idea…We were going to put parking bollards up so when guests come they wont hit our porch pillars…momma already dinged one! You can use 6 or 8 inch iron pipe welded to.a plate for the bollard, then fill the sucker with goodies of your choice. See amazon for pics of some metal bollards. Put in a removable concrete plug or metal cap, then place a plastic bollard cover over it for total waterproof cache. Metal detector will ping off the pipe and no one is the wiser!!

    What we did this week
    1. Momma got her an avacado tree
    2. I got two olive trees to plant. We’re in the
    south so they grow in my locale.
    3. Freeze dried blueberries, raspberries, and
    broccoli.
    (after failing on the blueberries before, I freeze them first, then beat them with a meat hammer. The “tenderizing” make small splits in the blueberry skin so it freeze dries easily!)
    4. Set up 3 raised beds for momma to plant
    her veggies in.
    5. Bought a couple more blueberry bushes.
    6. Tractor work on the farm.
    Whew!

    • Bro. James,

      That would work – good idea.

    • Bro. James ,

      You can use 6 or 8 inch iron pipe welded to.a plate for the bollard, then fill the sucker with goodies of your choice.

      We’ve used water well casing driven into the ground and filled with a piece or two of rebar and concrete. If you can drive a standard 8-10’ piece and only leave 3 feet above ground, it makes a pretty good post to stop most vehicles.

      Put in a removable concrete plug or metal cap, then place a plastic bollard cover over it for total waterproof cache. Metal detector will ping off the pipe and no one is the wiser!!

      I hadn’t thought of this. A pipe with a cap inserted axially into the casing with a few covers would be easy to do and not cost a lot. Thanks for the Great idea!!!

  44. Header #2 should read “Prepping, Homesteading and Survival Blog”. I think you have many more people interested in prepping there fore it should be listed first.

  45. Uncapped, thawed and tested eggs I kept frozen for the last four years. Scrambled just like fresh. All I did originally was broke the eggs into a mixing bowl, stirred them and placed in a container. They don’t look beautiful, but look great after being cooked. Biggest downside is using freezer space.

    • Billy T ,

      Uncapped, thawed and tested eggs I kept frozen for the last four years. Scrambled just like fresh. All I did originally was broke the eggs into a mixing bowl, stirred them and placed in a container. They don’t look beautiful, but look great after being cooked. Biggest downside is using freezer space.

      Interesting!! We’ve never done frozen bulk storage like you do nor stored them for 4 years. What we have done is scramble 1 or 2 eggs and place them into an ice cube tray for as many little “egg cubes” as you want to make. Dump the cubes into Zip Top freezer bags or vacuum seal them with your FoodSaver and tick them away in the freezer. Take them out & thaw to make scrambled eggs, or to use in a recipe like cookies, cakes, or some healthy casserole if you prefer.

    • All the “Putting Food By” -type books I’ve read say that, in order to freeze eggs, you need to add either salt (for scrambled) or honey (for baking) to stabilize the eggs. Did you do that? And if not, how were the eggs post-defrost and cooking?

      • MaineBrain ,

        All the “Putting Food By” -type books I’ve read say that, in order to freeze eggs, you need to add either

        salt

        (for scrambled) or

        honey

        (for baking) to stabilize the eggs. Did you do that? And if not, how were the eggs post-defrost and cooking?

        I don’t know about Billy T; but, we simply scramble them, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then store the individual cubes in air tight bags. We’ve never added anything and while when thawed they may look a little gooey; but, still work well when you cooked them as scrambled eggs or in baked goods. Then again, we don’t add salt when we make scrambled eggs to eat.

        • It’s simple enough to test. Try some each way and see for yourself! That’s why we have both vanilla and chocolate ice cream – some like one and some the other – and some like both!! 🙂

          • Now you’ve got me hungry, Billy! A dairy/ice cream place hereabouts used to sell cashew turtle fudge ice cream but they’ve since discontinued it. I want some right now!!!!