Panic Porn seems to be ramping up again! No XMAS!

September 27, 2021

Toilet paper is going to be rationed again at Costco and other stores in the USA. I think Toilet paper is wonderful but it is easily replaced by a sponge and a bucket full of breach water,  a bidet and rags that are washed.  Is it a little gross using a sponge rather than flush and forget Toilet paper?  Yes!  Is it a crisis not to have TP?  No it is not a crisis level event. I recommend you use color coded sponges and a bucket of bleach water to sanitize and clean the sponges.  You could use rags, phone book pages but it is not something to panic over.

Gatorade seems very sensitive to supply chain issues.  I recommend you buy powder Drink mixes like Tang, Kool aid, Country time and yes Gatorade makes a powder mix though it is only in the orange flavor. Fizzy drinks AKA soda pop flavors are getting in short supply.  I think Ginger ales should be added to everyone’s med supplies as ginger is good for nausea and also works great for gas, but tastes better than Baking soda.  I know a lot of people that prefer lemon-lime sodas when you are sick but I think a natural Ginger ale is a bit better as a multi-tasker of fluid replacement and anti-gas, anti-nausea soda.

Liquor like Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and other smaller retailers in the USA have a supply issue of getting glass bottles and have become hard to get in some states. If you want a well stocked bar for the holidays or want hard liquor for your prep supplies I recommend you start stocking up now and not wait for the rush of the Holidays.  Buying one or two bottles a week or every 2 weeks should not send up any red flags.  If you start now.

I live in Idaho that generally has low electricity prices because of all the Hydro power via dams.  But most of the reservoir’s behind the dams are low on water going into fall so they may not have the water level to run the turbines of those dams.  I hate praying for it, but we need a very heavy snow fall and very cold temps that keeps a lot of that water frozen during the spring melt.  In Idaho we had a good winter snowfall this year but we had a fast warm up in spring and a very little spring rains.  You add in politicians that have short term thinking about draining reservoirs to placate the Greenies you get less power production and less water for the farmers that grow food.

I’m not against commercial Agriculture in the USA.  We do feed a lot of the world.  But it is not all good and being local is also a good thing. Your garden is about as local as it can get and you don’t need a trucker to get food from your garden to your table.  I know it takes some effort to find local suppliers and I live in the middle of a big agricultural area.  I’m seeing the difference of prices of buying local and buying from the local mega-mart shift.  Its not so much that local prices are coming down in price as the local mega-marts prices are jumping up in cost, but dropping in quality and quantity.


Baking bread, freezing green beans and Gift Cards

September 19, 2021

I have been doing kitchen stuff most of the day.  I did a lot of bread baking stuff starting with my Artisan bread recipe but I used the kitchen aid mixer rather than hand stirring the dough.  Using the mixer did save me some physical effort and the dough looks better than what I usually get from hand mixing the dough.  I don’t know if all bread doughs react to refrigeration like the artisan bread dough but it is nice to put the bread dough in the fridge and have some time between making the dough and baking bread. 

I’m trying out a new bread type called Challah.  I bought a loaf of this bread at the local farmer’s market and loved the flavor.  The recipe is a bit more complex than the artisan bread with the additions of butter, eggs and sugar and braiding the dough,  hell I can’t even braid hair and I need to braid bread dough…. 😉

Okay I just pulled the Challah bread out of the oven and it looks pretty good despite this is my first time trying to braid dough. The dough still needs to cool but just looking at the loaves I’m feeling positive that the results will be at least edible and perhaps positive for a new recipe to add to my bread making preps.  

I got the foodsaver bags all set up and got the pork chops and chicken thighs in the freezer.  Getting the green beans prepped and in the freezer is taking a bit more effort and time than I had anticipated.  It is not that canning, drying or freezing veggies takes a lot of time.  It is all the prep work so you are able to freeze, can or dehydrate food that takes the time.  I cut off any stems of the green beans and toss any beans that are dried out or look a bit iffy for blemishes or  dried out and less than a optimal veggie I want to freeze for the future.  I cut off the ends of the green beans and toss any beans that are discolored or dried out.  I blanch the beans for 4 minutes in boiling water and then toss the beans in an Ice bath to stop the cooking process.  After that I seal the beans up and freeze them.  I suppose  you could use a pressure canner to “can” or pickle the beans.  I’m not sure check out the “Ball” canning guide as I know green beans don’t have enough acid to to be hot bat canned and need a pressure canner to be safe.  I can’t think of a dumber way to die from food poising  than using only a hot bath canner or steamer when you can do the same amount of work and just use a pressure canner. 

I think I need to elaborate about adding Gift cards” to your cash preps/emergency funds.  Perhaps it generational or perhaps it is a economic “class” thing but I want to get more into depth about using gift cards rather than your debit/credit card or cash to buy something you need/want. 

I use cash buying stuff because I have a issues about handing over cash for a purchase and that is a good thing because I really notice how much money I am spending for that item. For me Sliding a card is just to easy and I don’t always notice how much money I spend if I just swipe my debit or credit card. If you look at the advertisements it is always about how fast and easy it is to spend money via your bank account or your smart phone. Those folks at the banks seldom make saving money as fast and easy as spending money.

I’m not saying gift card are a great way to save money. I do think they could be a tool if you get unbanked as you could still buy and pay bills online. Online buying is here to stay so how can a person adapt and if you want an online debit card that has minimal risk tracking back to your bank account I think these gift cards are an option. Especially since the US/DC establishment wants to track all your $600.00 purchases to get those Criminals that hide $600.00 drug and military arms purchases that everyday Citizen must be doing to keep the feds from getting their rightful share of the people’s income. LOL

I don’t want anyone to protest the government. I just want you to not comply and walk away from supporting the Feds. You are a construction contractor, plumber and see a Biden sticker or Inclusive sticker just walk away from the job. ” Just to busy or there is an emergency somewhere else” .

Two local hospitals declared last month that all health care workers had to have the vaccine by Sept. 15th or be fired. Sept 15th came and now the vaccine was no longer required for health care workers. I have know Idea if this is happening in other parts of the country but the local hospitals have activated volunteers that signed up to help medical facilities in a disaster. Idaho has not suffered a disaster!

I suspect that Hospitals don’t want to pay higher wages to attracted the people that work food service, laundry and janitorial staff at higher wages that is the norm in Idaho. I’m no Union advocate but a straight up captilist. The prevailing wage is not Federal Min. Wage. The wage is what it costs to hire some one to do the job!

I wish more people realize you are selling your work, time,. knowledge and effort as a contractor not as an employee. Damn skippy you should get the most money per hour worked as well as provide the most value to your boss as well as your customers.

Update: the bread is edible and is pretty good over all. I need to tweak the recipe but it was a good start!


Another freezer full

September 17, 2021

I picked up the beef today. It was sold as 1/8th of of beef but I got to choose what cuts I wanted within reason. I got a good mix of high end cuts, some roasts, lots of burger along with some bones for the doggo and making bone broth. While not cheap I actually got a bit more meat than I expected and the small freezer is so full I don’t think I could add an Ice cream bar and still close the lid.

I have some freezer space for stuff as I added Ice blocks this summer to fill any empty space and as a backup just in case the power went out to have some time to set up the generator to power the freezers during a power outage.

The local market did not have corn but I got a big bag of Green beans that I can freeze using Food saver bags. I have a bit of freezer space for my latest purchaces but I may have to move around the Ice blocks to add more food to the freezers. If you want to preserve green beans in a freezer recipe… I blanch the beans for about 4 minutes , cool in a ice water bath and then bag the beans in via Foodsaver bags and freeze. The taste and texture of the beans will knock the socks off of any canned or frozen green beans you can buy at your local mega mart.

Speaking of the local mega mart I bought Mom 13 pounds of some chicken thighs and pork chops I bought for a dollar per pound. I got myself some of the chicken and pork to freeze. I’m not saying anyone should buy organic or only local stores especially if you have a limited food budget. Speaking for myself I usually went for meats on sale that were of average or better quality. I think once you have the basics of dry goods on hand you should start making some local connections to get higher quality food even on a small scale. You don’t have to practice being miserable. Life itself will try and make your life miserable without any input from you.

I think about food prep as a staircase. 1st step is your basic beans and rice. It’s boring but you can survive on it.

2nd step: Adding , snacks and those want to haves. It does not have to expensive a 12 pound bag of pop corn is cheap and you can buy an air popper for a couple of bucks at a yard sale or 2nd hand store. Fun size candy bars are in every dollar store so you can satisify your sweet tooth. I can only speak for myself but I lived on beans and rice for 6 weeks and I would have committed some mayhem for a bag of potato chips during that time. It seems a bit silly to say but you should store what ever snacks you want to have on hand. It’s your money and your preps.

You should prep for you and perhaps your family first! What I do for preps may not work for you but I think my basic preps is a good starting point. You can stock a freezer full of Rib eyes and a liquor cabinet full of top shelf liquor to trade/supply/ cook for the local politicians/warlords and I have no idea if that is the correct choice.

Last but not least if your a peeved how things are going in the USA and most of the west the most powerful thing you can do is to walkaway. Not protest, sadly not voting. Just stop playing the game. Get your kids out of the government school system and home/charter school or join a pod. This part will be tough but if you see a Biden bumper sticker or Democrat sign don’t work for that person. You are more powerful if you just don’t comply. Don’t march just don’t comply with the edicts coming from DC.

Here in SW Idaho the 2 major hospitals stated everyone working at the hospitals must be vaccinated by Sept. 15. They hospitals have recinded that decree and they have been looking for “volunteers” to do everything from data entry, janitorial services and manning the kitchens and cafeteria without paying/ hiring people to do the jobs and get a good wage.

I know I may sound a bit like a commie but it is capitalism of supply and demand for the price of labor. Labor is a cost and the people that are willing and capable of doing the work demand higher wages. 2 major hospitals dropped the vaccine mandate because of workers not taken the vaccine. Mcdonalald Douglas dropped the vaccine mandate because 400 workers refused to take vaccine to work. MD is a major government contractor.

I don’t recommend anyone anyone protest as you make yourself a target. Just don’t comply with any edicts that take your freedom. Get local and stock up as the Powers that be will be angry and will want to punish someone. Don’t be a target.


Buying more local meats, raw milk and veggies.

September 15, 2021

I am so happy I started buying local! Especially with the new vaccine mandates the government is pushing onto the private sector businesses. The costs are a bit higher but I think the improvement in food quality is worth the effort.

My area has a lot of ranches, orchards, farms and dairies and it seems you have to find at least one local food supplier of some sort “IN”, then you start finding a network of suppliers that direct you to suppliers of other products you need. I really like how the city of Caldwell Idaho has has worked with local producers to make a map and promote the local farms, wineries that offer local food and even over night accommodations to spend a weekend at a “farm”. If you want to start buying local you should do a web search for “buy Local” and your location. I found a few dead web links but once you find one site selling locally they often lead you to other sites offering different products. Of course your local farmer’s market is another great place to start finding local producers.

This is my week to pick up my grass fed 1/8th of beef from a local ranch. While the price is higher than what I generally pay at the local mega-mart. I have found since inflation is really starting to hit the supply chain the cost difference between locally grown meat and veggies is shrinking significantly. Just a couple of weeks ago a local market had Organic locally grown leaf lettuce for the same price as Regular leaf lettuce in my local Albertsons grocery store. Of course prices will be lower based on the season but I think that now more than ever you can buy much higher quality food stuffs for about the same price as you can get at your local mega-mart.

I am loving the Raw milk being delivered to my door every couple of weeks! I go through a couple of half gallons in those 2 weeks so I freeze the milk in pint jars so the milk does not go bad during that two week period. Plus if the roads get nasty this winter I don’t have to go to the store for milk as I have set up the delivery. Yeah it is kinda retro getting milk bottles on your door step and the cost is bit more than grabbing a jug a milk at the mega-mart. But I get real unpasteurized milk straight from the moo and I love it!

At the local farmers market stand I can get a much better price on veggies. Local mega-mart is selling 4 cobs of corn for $4.00. At my local market stand I get 12 cobs of corn for $4.00. I get almost 2 pounds of green beans for $2.00 a bag as opposed to paying $2.00 for just one pound of green beans at the local mega-mart.

I’m not telling you to shop exclusively local food providers. I will be buying some chicken thighs and pork chops from Albertsons for .99 cents per pound. For myself and Mom. But I think you should start now getting local food suppliers lined up and vetted that provide good quality stuff at a reasonable price. Plus with going local you make contacts and become a real person rather than just another customer. I have always loved shopping at local stores because you can get that service that is specific to you and you seemed valued. Not to knock the bigger stores as I have got the same sort of treatment and some of the Mega-marts but the mega-marts are always limited by cooperate rules. The smaller markets/shops you are more often dealing with the owner or one degree of separation from the owner. Being a polite customer is rewarded at the local level. Being an asshole customer is rewarded at a cooperate level.


Adding in a new buying method. Gift Cards!

September 9, 2021

If you have read prepping blogs you know there is always talk about money or how to buy sell or trade if the normal banking system goes down for any reason.  I love the convenience of debit and credit cards for on-line bill paying or buying stuff over the internet.  There are some down sides to that as all of those purchases are tracked directly back to you and your bank account.  Now cash is great if you can make the purchase face to face and it can be private since your bank, corporations and or the government can’t track what you buy.  A big bonus with cash is it does not rely on electricity or the internet for the transaction to complete. 

But what if you want to purchase something online but you don’t want to use your credit or debit card from your bank?  I’m suggesting anything illegal, just a way to make an on-line purchase without your name or access to your bank account accessible after you make that purchase.  I think store bought Visa, Master card or Discover gift cards in various denominations could fill this need.  

I play Fortnite and yeah I a 55 year old woman likes playing the game.  I’m also an old school gamer used to paying once for a game and not supportive of the loot box mechanics of many of the new games.  What I did is get a Visa gift card and bought $25.00 of the in game currency. I think I have gotten $25.00 worth of value playing the game and Epic can’t access my bank account, nor can I make a large purchase of stuff in the game without adding another gift card or regular debit/credit card.  I recommend you never give a child your credit/debit card number to purchase any game or save that card to any game playing system.  Use a gift card as the kid’s allowance but the kid only has the gift card’s “value” as the max they can spend on the game.  Some parents have taken several thousand dollar hits because their child wanted to buy “loot boxes” in a video game because the parents think it is a free to play game. 

I think there are other online purchases that gift cards could be a good choice.  Let’s say you want to get an online subscription for some thing like Netflix because they have a show or some films you want to binge watch.  There is a free period if you sign up with a credit/debit card and they hope you forget to cancel or the company makes canceling the subscription difficult.  Well the gift card’s money runs out and the subscription is canceled not by you but by the company and there are no repercussions to you as you just used a gift card. 

Buying gift cards can be great for people that want to use mostly cash and are unbanked for what ever reason. I don’t think most of the people that don’t use a bank are criminals. Sure a few are but most folks often get caught in the credit trap of not having an banking account and are not able to create financial connections to be profitable to banks or live/work in the wrong area to use credit unions.

Downsides of using gift cards is paying a fee buying the card. Your local mega mart is not selling that card at it “face” value. I figure you will pay 50 cents and up depending on the value given to the card. Watch your store’s coupons as many of the gift cards will offer a discount coupon if you buy their card. Look at the expiration dates for the cards. I just bought a VISA gift card that expires in 2025 but I don’t know if most cards are good for 4 years.

While I may not like it the governments seem to be pushing people into using grey/black markets with the covid push of a mandatory vaccine just to buy groceries or engage in simple commerce. Gift Cards are well liked by people that prefer anonymity and breaks the chain of credit/debit card reporting to banks. But unlike cash the gift cards can be use online.

This is only an idea I’m starting to work on. I’m limiting myself to buying $25.00-$50.00 per month of gift cards but I sort of count it towards my Emergency cash stash of a few months. Just something for you to think about as you prep and what may or may not work for you.


A few twinges but feeling pretty good today

September 4, 2021

I’m feeling the change in the weather from summer going into fall. One very nice thing is how quickly it cools down at night.  I have not had to use the A/C unit to cool the house down as window fans do a great job bringing in cool air and the house stays cool through out most of the day.  There are few days of hot weather (95 degrees +) coming up and I’m keeping the small window unit installed just incase it get to warm to sleep but I suspect it is getting close to pull the A/C unit out for the year. 

For next summer I have bought a lot of shade cloths and some Agriborn type fabrics that should help mitigate the heat if we have another hot summer. I really missed  having the “frost” fabric to drape over my garden beds that stopped pets, bugs, added some sun protection as well as contain all of the water irrigation in my garden beds.  I’m adding the sun/heat protection at the end of the season because the items are on sale but it is like when I added all the winter products after Snowmeggedon.  It is a type of insurance that you can have on hand when/if the same sort of conditions happen again you are ready for them and somehow things don’t seem as difficult to handle after you have those tools. I know a hot dry summer in a desert is not a disaster but more part of the the natural cycle but it was a small disaster for my garden. I was a little discouraged but I learned a lot about new tools and ways to mitigate a hot dry summer for my garden beds. For example: PVC pipe for making frames to hold shade cloth of plastic fencing are easy to build and can be put up or taken down or changed if the conditions change. 

I’m also thrilled I got my older windows 7 PC box up and working.  Windows 10 is okay but I don’t care for how it needs to “talk” to Microsoft to work or how you can’t really choose what updates to install.  I would not have installed Windows 10 except newer AMD Motherboards don’t make drivers to support Win 7.  Personally I’d use Windows XP as an Operating software if I could use it with new CPU”s, GPU’s and motherboards.   Now  Microsoft is introducing another OS that requires more memory, beeffier CPU’s in an economy that has a major chip shortage and while I’m not a Guru most of the OS is about making stuff look pretty rather than focus on function. At the end of the day you have to ask  “Does this tool do what you want?”

There are literally parking lots full of vehicles sitting around not being sold because of a computer chip shortage.  Some of the shortage is due to engine updates but a lot is due to so called entertainment consoles or Navigation protocols, HD cameras for backing up or parallel parking.  I suck at parallel parking.  I simply drive to place that does not require that type of parking and walk and I use a walker!  I can do a couple of blocks with my walker and if you use a scooter or electric wheel chair you can can cover at least a mile or 6 city blocks.  I have a an old Kia Mini van and the remote opening of doors is very cool and I’d love to have it, but I like having a car that does not need a software update just to drive from point A to point B. 

Things are getting so silly we are almost to the point of the old joke that if Microsoft built cars…. is reality. 


First milk delivery and ordered some beef

September 2, 2021

Got my first milk delivery today and was a bit surprised to find the milk on the porch at 7:30 AM. The milk bottles were in an insulated bag and still cold so the delivery worked out great.  My biggest cost was the deposits on the bottles and bag for the delivery but that should be a one time only cost getting the deliveries started.  

I ordered 1 bottle of milk for Mom and 2 bottles for me and chose a 2 week delivery schedule. For Mom I’ll transfer the milk into a 1/2 gallon jar and freeze it since she will have to get the milk from me when she comes into town.  I might end up freezing some of my milk in jars during the 2 week delivery schedule but I have plenty of pint and 1/2 gallon jars for that task.

I really missed having my glass of whole real milk every day. Both Mom and I noticed that adding the real milk to our diets we did not get the munchies through out the day plus we both were sleeping better at night.  My body seems to be adjusting faster since my little break from the raw milk because I added some feta cheese to my scrambled eggs that is supposed to have the probiotics to help your gut process foods effectively.  

If you live in Southern Idaho and are looking for Raw milk, Reed’s Dairy delivers to a lot of cities/towns.  

Reed’s Dairy, Boise
PO Box 16683 Boise, ID, 83715
Tel: 208-562-8885 | Email: service@boisemilk.com

I set up the order for beef from Valli-Hi Angus for the middle of September. The price of the beef is a little higher than the mega-mart but the quality is higher and it is a local supplier.  I’m seeing some empty shelves in the larger mega-marts and inflation is starting to affect prices dramatically and I believe this is only the beginning of inflation and more shortages. Crazy weather, supply disruptions and rising cost will affect everyone.  I think it is best that a person starts looking for local suppliers and start stocking up on products you know you will need in the future.  I went to a little market and got some raw milk to get me going again and the organic and locally grown produce was about the same price I paid in Albertsons.  Yes those items are seasonal but it shows as prices go up at the mega-stores, locally produced items become more competitive in price. 

I did a little shopping trip to the local Bi-Mart store and got a good deal on the Foodsaver rolls and paraffin wax I use to make fire starters for the wood stove. I got a bic lighter 5 pack for under $5.00 and some bedding pads to catch moisture. Honestly they were basically the same as puppy training pads but I got 60 pads for $7.00 when the puppy training pads were 50 for $10.88.  Sometimes substitutions for products that are almost the same thing can have wildly different prices depending on how they are marketed.

Last but not least I added a few more items to the front bedroom to make it a little bit homey.  Mom has a minor day surgery coming up and she will be spending at least a night here at “casa de chaos” and I want her to feel comfortable.  It has also motivated me to get the front bedroom more functional rather than just being a giant catch all for stuff. 

I stopped by the Family dollar and picked some blackout curtains and got them hung in the room.  I am surprised just how much hanging those curtains softened as well as made the room not feel like just a work or storage room. It became a place for living and doing stuff.  It might seem silly but the room seems full of potential rather than just four walls.