100 Days of Final Preparations – Part 1, by Elli O.

I’m writing this as a stand-alone article. However, if you would like to read more about our journey through the world of preparedness and our homestead, please see my previous article in the SurvivalBlog archives for November 26-27, 2019. As a follow-up I am writing this to explain what we have done just in the past 100 days and how the global pandemic and possible near-future economical collapse has impacted us and our preparations.

100 DAYS OF FINAL PREPARATIONS

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a mindset of preparedness, partly because of my background as a first responder and a disaster preparedness educator. But I became a true prepper (if one can define such people) about eight years ago. The shelf of extra canned goods turned into an entire room and a half full of supplies for our family of four during normal times (and 7+ during a bug in time), piles and boxes and containers of food, medical supplies, ammo, non-electric kitchen tools, and whatever I think we might need to survive The end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI).

And then COVID 19 hit. I remember reading about it early in 2020 here on SB.com and thinking, “Is this what might push our society down the slippery slope of chaos?” In January when national media picked up this news I had already begun filling in any holes in my preparations. I didn’t give into panic buying, as had so many people, but I began to have this sense of uneasiness concerning the future.

This “sense” was nothing new. In the past, I have felt the urgency to prepare for the future in different areas of need. I contribute this nudging to God’s Holy Spirit and have tried to be obedient to His leading.

As the situation within our country began to worsen, I started reaching out to others (followers of Jesus Christ who are also preppers) to get their take on the situation. I did this for two reasons: to see if it was just me with this sense of uneasiness and to listen to the opinions of others who are more knowledgeable regarding the situation- those in places of authority in our county who would possibly have access to more information regarding the COVID 19 situation. The responses were the same–this could be the perfect storm that brings our world to a crashing halt.

So the following is our family’s response to what could be TEOTWAWKI:

On March 23 our state (Ohio) enacted the Stay At Home Order and all non-essential businesses were closed indefinitely as a way to curb the spread of COVID 19. Two out of three in our household were among the blessed ones who are considered essential and are still working. I am mostly retired and get paid as a disaster preparedness educator, although the social distancing order forbidding gatherings of more than 10 people has placed my work on hold.

FINANCIALLY

In this year’s first quarter our term life insurance came up for renewal. The rates for our $350,000 insurance increased 5-fold — from $50 a month to $250 a month, so this was cancelled. Also at this time the stock market was volatile (sounds like such an innocuous word). Then our Midwest state became one of many with Stay At Home Orders. Although most members of this household are considered essential workers, the household income has decreased slightly, and remains uncertain for the future months.

During this time I had my quarterly meeting with my financial adviser- only this meeting was different. He didn’t have my report on his big screen television nor did we discuss my account. We spoke of the world pandemic, my family, and our farm. A day later, I realized that never once did we talk about my investments- so I called him and found out the (disappointing and drastic) news that I had lost 20% of my retirement in 3 weeks!

And I don’t blame him because many times in the past year SurvivalBlog has advised the readers to lower their risks by getting out of the stock market all together. And since I had read the warnings (even if I hadn’t followed them) I knew what I needed to do. My husband and I had discussed many times the idea of purchasing silver and gold but had never acted on this thought. But as soon as I received the news about my financial losses I withdrew 70% of what was left and purchased silver and gold. My advisor suggested to me to withdraw the rest and place it in a CD where it could earn at least something (albeit very little)- and where I could gain access to it more readily.

FARM SUSTAINABILITY

We have a small “hobby” farm with a few beef cattle, sheep, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, and rabbits for meat. What we don’t raise is hay to feed our animals in the winter or grain to feed them year round. So this was an area that was lacking and needed help. My husband contacted a local farmer and purchased these supplies from a local farmer a local granary. Should the ability to purchase this in the future become impossible, we are set for the next year.

We contacted a local couple who had a ram they were willing to share for stud services in return for some of the lambs.

We also contacted a friend who owns a large apple orchard and asked about any extra trees he might have after the spring planting. We will soon be getting almost a dozen apple trees. Another local beekeeper gave me several frames of capped brood that his bees left before they died this spring. I was able to extract about 15 pounds of dark, rich honey from them. In exchange, I keep him supplied with fresh eggs from our hens.

Especially now, I realize how important it is to develop these relationships (with local farmers/tradesmen) before we are desperately in need of them.

SHOPPING AT STORES
  1. FARM SUPPLY STORES

We have four family dogs and we made sure that we stocked up on their food, although they can eat just about anything. But one of the dogs must be on a special diet . So his handler made sure to order several more months’ supply of his food. If/when we run out, their new diet will include rabbits that we raise. We picked up some farm penicillin should the need arise for the animals- both 2 and 4 legged. (Wink, wink).

  1. GROCERY STORE

I looked over our pantry inventory and decided that we were basically well covered, with the exception of facial tissues. This was taken care of in January- while everyone else was rushing to get toilet paper. I also made a trip to our local bulk food store to grab the basics like flour and sugars. Although we have several hundred pounds of sugar and flour, as well as several cases of wheat berries in #10 cans, I felt like these staples are always things that we can use. And if stored properly these will not go rancid. We also purchased several 1-pound packages of yeast. I also picked up supplies to make more laundry detergent and 2 toilet plungers. These will come in handy is the electricity is not available to run the clothes washer. I plan on using a 5 gallon bucket and plunger for washing clothes!

  1. PHARMACY STORES

For the humans in the home we made sure all prescription meds were stocked as best possible. We also stocked up on extra medication for one of our dogs. I picked up additional Vitamin C tablets.

  1. GARDEN CENTER

Before our local garden center closed to inside shopping, I was able to purchase several dozen packs of seeds and several more bags of potting soil. The latter was more for new raised beds rather than for the established beds, for which we use rabbit manure. I started seeds: tomato, melons, peppers, and a few herbs. Now, six weeks later, they are ready to be transplanted into the garden. I am finally making good use of my greenhouse.

  1. LUMBER YARD/HARDWARE STORE

I picked up some cedar fencing boards to make more raised beds, as I see a need to increase the amount of food we raise this year. We also got stain for the deck to complete a spring project when/if the rain stops!

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2.)




54 Comments

  1. Good morning!

    Wonderful article!! I too started topping off items in our stocks starting in Around January and then worried while my husband traveled to your state for training in his new job during February!! Thankful that he was home safe in our state (Illinois) when our lockdown started.

    Can’t wait to read part 2.

    Have a Rockin great day!

    1. I have been following Dr. Chris Martensen, who does YT videos on CV19. He has the best information I have found. Pretty pitiful how WHO, CDC, the Surgeon General, etal. has lied to us about treatment and prevention.

      Eastern Virginia Medical School has a protocol on prophylaxis and treatment protocols that I believe represent the gold standard.

      https://www.evms.edu/covid-19/covid_care_for_clinicians/#d.en.140202

      The .pdf file summary is concise, and includes Vitamins and supplements that they have found to help prevent or minimize the infection.

    2. We too have stocked up the best we can. We made a deal today to sell our milk cow. She is open and we never got her bred – but with 9 months of snowy weather here in Alaska… hay to feed her is just too great a burden to manage. I can put up quite a lot of wild loose grass hay with hand tools – but cow just eats too much. Thrifty Shetland sheep and scrappy goats serve us better.

      Best to think of what you may be able to feed without a feed store! And plan for that.

    1. re:
      Vitamin D

      This hormone is produced by sunlight hitting the skin, primarily the torso.
      Cholesterol in the skin changes to produce the hormone our bodies recognize as Vitamin D.
      Absorbing the hormone requires several hours, so a shower after working in the garden worshes this vital nutrition down the drain.

      Get tested for your Vitamin D levels during a standard lipid panel.
      If you live away from the equator or worsh obsessively, your labs will show a dangerously low level.
      My first labs showed a ’17’, much too low for my body to function effectively.

      After supplementing for a year at 20,000iu daily, I tapered to 5,000iu daily.
      This was with a knowledgeable physician supervising.
      My latest labs show a perfect consistent ’88’.

      Why use frequent labs and a physician?
      Excess Vitamin D is linked to cancers and hundreds of other problems.
      Keep your levels under ‘130’, and you should be fine.

      Do statins and other cholesterol reducers interfere with this essential hormone?
      Bet on it.

      1. Keep in mind that megadosing can be dangerous with any of the fat soluble vitamins (K, A, D, and E.) Definitely consult a doctor before taking more than the RDA.

        1. Yes… Beware! These vitamins are important to good health in the right amounts, but can be dangerous to health when depleted or taken in excess. Good medical labs can help you track your levels.

          Related to this… Some medications will impair uptake ability or even actively deplete key vitamins and minerals. Consult your doctor(s) about any medications you’re taking for more information, and get good quality expert advice.

  2. Hi, Ellie!
    I’m enjoying your article. It’s great food for thought. We’ve done many of the same things to get ourselves prepared. I’m looking forward to Part 2.

    I have a suggestion for you. Although a plunger will work in a pinch to agitate your wash in a bucket, what works much better is a breathing mobile washer. If you find one in a thrift or antique store it may be made of galvanized metal, but they’re currently made of plastic. We have one, and I’ve used it at our cottage where there’s only a pitcher pump for water, and I also use it at home for pre-soaking heavily soiled items. You can find the breathing mobile washer on Amazon, currently for around $30. It comes with a shorter handle, but you can swap out the handle for a longer one so you can use it more easily while standing.

    1. I picked up (possibly from a suggestion from this site a long time ago) a commercial mop bucket with wringer to use for laundering by hand. I will, however, have to remove the caster wheels to keep it from moving around while plunging. The breathing, mobile washer would work well with this–putting this on my list. 🙂

  3. Elli O-

    Great article. Sorry to hear about you retirement fund. About 3 years ago I got my wife to get out of the market, she had her financial advisor put everything into a cash money market. Well he kept asking her if when she wanted to “get back in” and I kept saying not now. I finally suggested she put one account back in the market with a low risk type of fund. Well fast forward to now and she thinks I’m pretty smart. She is now at a 8% loss of the invested fund, and has no desire to invest the rest.

    From what I am seeing locally many people acted upon raising their own food. I was lucky enough to get some chicks in March before everything got shut down. I watch craigslist for items I want and I can’t believe the prices. $8 for a Rhode Island red chick!!! Pullets $32! Prices of lambs, goats and pigs sky rocketed. There out there but people want premium dollar for them.

    1. We just butchered 10 cornis cross-average dressed out weight 6 pounds. We did have one 6.9 pounds. Brined 24 hrs, all seal-a-mealed in the freezer for now. Will probably can a few cut up ones later. They were $2.50 a piece, which was more than last year. Our hatchery was considered essential as was our farm store.

    2. @ 3AD Scout

      Yeah- people around here have been offering to sell their new chicks for $8 each(bought for under $3 each). Someone offered to sell their several year old layers for about $10 each that aren’t laying enough now to make room for their new birds(in the past they’d have just offered them for free). I’m still on the fence about buying chicks- I may just order some and if I change my mind I’m sure I can sell them!

  4. I like the breathing plunger idea. In the interest of not putting more stress on my back, has anyone found a a 5 gallon bucket (or like) that has a drain on the bottom?

    1. I use a two bucket system so I don’t have to wait for draining. The clothes will plug the drain hole. One bucket/plunger to wash and a second bucket/plunger for rinse.

      1. You can buy a “honey gate” from a beekeeping supply company. Then you drill a hole in the side of a 5 gallon bucket and attach the gate. You can open and shut the gate to drain the bucket from the bottom..

  5. Yup we have also accelerated our “preps” to fill in the gaps. I have been doing this seriously for over 30 years and there are still many gaps. Make a list-buy… make another list-buy… This window of opportunity is significant and is a gift from our gracious Heavenly Father.

    Balancing the reality of the budget takes some prayer, wisdom and a dispassionate review of the necessities. Oh and time constraints. At any rate, great article Elli & a reminder to press on (with urgency). God Bless!

    1. Agreeing with JAck2, Elli. You took a hit on the retirement fund, then invested in those tangibles. Ask JWR about tangibles. I just today fixed the broken handle on a tangible shovel. An investment.

      I envy the farm scene you have going. Still working to get my sweet spouse to join in raising some walking protein sources.

      Carry on in grace

  6. Great article. You sound like you are getting it together. I hope you are well stocked up on different kinds of fuel for home and farm. I noticed yesterday fuel prices are going up . Make sure you have extra fencing and staples or ties for your posts.There is so much you don’t think about until it’s almost to late.
    Be sure you have lubricants and filters for cars,trucks and farm equipment. Also get stocked up on #8, #16 and # 20 HDG nails, Deck and dry wall screws. Watch for yard and farm sales. Usually you can find shovels,hoes, rakes and other tool with broken handles for a good price. Always be on the look out for buckets of bolts and nuts.
    There is a lot more I could put on a list so use your common sense.
    All the Lords blessings.
    The Gman

  7. I also decided to ramp up the preps early in January. This event is certainly a wake up call, and it hasn’t even been going on all that long.Since I have been accumulating stuff for years the basics were on hand, but I decided that 6 more mouths were likely to show up and did the math. 2yrs of food for the wife and I turns into 6 months when the mob shows up. They have not had to move in yet but we are almost 5 months into the event and if they had to have moved in in January we would be looking at short rations soon. Not being wealthy I decided that calories were what I needed so I made weekly trips to our local restaurant supply, Costco and Wally world. As I added hundreds of pounds of rice, and various legumes, flour, canned meat, yeast, wheat from the local LDS pantry I began to notice a trend. towards mid February the selection began to diminish. No rice at a place that normally had pallets of it, fewer and fewer varieties of beans, and of course no TP. While my supplies of food were in the tonnage range I began to feel a certain amount of uncertainty about the future. The pandemic is not as bad as it could of been and is likely to resurge I now am beginning to feel that the efforts to stop it will result in a massive depression and that of course will require further preps, it dosen’t seem to end. What man doesn’t screw up mother nature will sometime throw in her 2 cents into the mix just to mess with us. To quote the Red Green Show “We are all in this together and I am pulling for you.”

  8. I bought the 12″ diameter rolls of Toilet paper from a janitorial supply just before the “shortage”. The biggest inconvenience for us has been no barber/ beautician. Good luck!

    1. For almost a decade, I’ve had six months’ worth of toilet paper, wet wipes, and feminine hygiene items squirreled away in the attic along with the other expected items. When the Great TP Panic of 2020 hit back in early March, I was able to top off our normal bathroom supply just before the shelves went completely bare. As we consumed it at a normal pace and began to run low last week, my wife became a little concerned that our local grocery store *still* had nothing available, and even Amazon (not our primary source of products, but a source nonetheless) continually stated that nearly all TP was out of stock. I calmly told her I had taken care of this potential problem years ago, to which she smiled and said “I knew you probably had.”

      I’ve been with my employer many years and am in management, yet our local County Health Officer deemed our business as “non-essential” back on March 19 and we’ve been closed ever since. My wife’s employer was allowed to remain open, so we have her continued income, and my unemployment benefit is helping, though less than what I earn through my paycheck. But my adult son’s application was rejected with no explanation provided, even though he’s been with his (now also closed) employer for a few years. The fine print on the website states that they’re being automatically reviewed and decided by a computer filter (not a human being), and a call to the appeals line results in a recorded message stating that the department isn’t accepting calls for the duration due to COVID-19. He also received an email update from his company stating that they’ve been irreparably harmed by the mandated shutdown, and will be re-opening on a slow, gradual basis that will be conducted in phases. His position looks like it won’t be reinstated until at least the end of 2020, if at all. Fortunately, he’s been utilizing the past two months to focus on building up a second income stream via an online structure.

      This has changed all our lives within a very short time. But it’s why we prepare during the good times, yes?

  9. Elli O! Thanks so much for sharing your personal prepping journey with all of us! You’re giving a lot of thought to your preparations, even now, and that’s excellent. This will pay dividends for you and your family, and your experiences are are reminders for the rest of us too!

    When we first started to see the news emerging from Wuhan, we knew it was a deadly virus, that it was highly contagious, and that it was on its way here — with terrible implications for all of us. …and even though we were well prepared generally, we know that preparedness is an ongoing journey, and we proactively reviewed and filled in the gaps of our supplies. We continue to do that, even and especially now. We encourage everyone to join in the effort — to shore up and strengthen every position. This virus is not the first challenge we will have faced, and it will not be the last. There will be more to come.

    Also agree with Jack2: “This window of opportunity is significant and is a gift from our gracious Heavenly Father.” Well said!

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  10. From an investment perspective, I got out of the SM over a year ago and have suffered no loss of investment yet.

    Since we moved back home at the beginning of the year, and had to forsake all our supplies to get here, we have managed to accrue quite a stock back up. I won’t say we are where I want to be yet, but we are far better than where I expected to be. This COVID thing put the spurs to our plans some, so that was actually a positive. Despite the shortages at the grocery store, we managed to score some great deals on a lot of good meat to can and freeze, so I am out of jars and my new freezer (lucky snag a month ago) is packed full. Meanwhile, the daughter has been putting the freeze dryer I bought her in February to good use, so that is a plus. I also got put on the short list of a friend who has one of those rare apple orchards up here, and will be able to collect all the apples I can use in a few months. All in all, I am surprised how well we are positioned now. I could always use a bit more ammo, though one of my shelving units collapsed under the load I recently put on it.

    Still on the list is a suitable cargo trailer, a wood stove, and putting in a garden. Regrettably the garden will have to wait another year, as the yard needs some serious engineering and rework to get into usable shape, for which I do not have the resources to do at this time. So we will have to go with containers this year instead.

    The state of the union is not so much a biological threat as a socio-economic one. When you look at the numbers, you should realize we were never in that great a danger from the bug, but rather how it has been used to usurp our rights and force us into a new paradigm, one we are not likely to recover from. I view my preps as a means to survive the transition into whatever world we are moving towards. It takes time to change a man, and my supplies will buy me the time I need to get by until I can adjust to whatever new role life has waiting for me when the dust of this “calamity” finally settles. Even so, most of my vigilance is focused not on preserving what’s left of this life, but promoting what I believe will come afterwards, which is far more durable and hopefully pleasant.

  11. A second wave of the virus could begin near the end of summer, and because of the complacency that is developing, be much more severe as the country must go back to work, yet will not take the precautions need to slow the spread. Hopefully it is mutating into a less virulent form. Regardless of how the virus plays out, there is also the knock on effects of the virus to consider, such as war with China, the possibility of force vaccinations, the results of the election, and the unknowns of a destabilized world.

    At this point, is not just about piling up supplies, but also setting oneself up to live frugally.

    1. You make a number of very good points, Tunnel Rabbit!

      We think that the ability of people in America today to persevere is quite limited. At this point, they simply want to return to life as they knew it before the virus. …but they probably do no know what they are asking for, and a second wave could be coming within a matter of weeks. Complacency will be a tremendous problem, and contributing factor.

      You also remind everyone that in addition to stocking up, learning to live frugally will be key. We think you’re spot on.

      Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

      1. Hi Tellesilla,

        Articles such as this one help us review and strengthen our resolve. Yes, most folks are tired of the Covid thingy. They got all fired up and did their best on short order to prep for that, and are recovering from being emotionally drained, or stressed out about it, yet this is only the beginning. I am currently concerned that the military will be used to force vaccinations on us, and at the same time, perhaps an RFID kind of device that is linked to our smart phones. This may begin near the end of this year. I can’t rule it out. Talking with others around here, I can safely say, this is not going to be well received, and because of that attitude, the implementation of such is not likely to be successful. Because we are a small and insignificant population whom may prove to be just too nasty to deal with, we are more likely to be left alone. See how that works?

        To be a successful as we might be, we need make prepping a life style, unfortunately only a fraction of a percent make it to that level. Remind friends who do not read this blog, to stay at it, and scale down their current life style to a level that can be sustain during a depression. This is the time to get realistic with oneself, and sell unnecessary items to free up capital and continue to prep. The next three months may prove to be the last best chance to get the most we can done. Being a survivalist is hard work at times, yet every action that improves preparedness is rewarded with a sense of peace and accomplishment. I just had this talk with friends this afternoon after shoveling the truck full of some of the best composted horse manure. I’m going back for more, and by doing so I’ll help fix the rotting log on their 100 year old, and massive barn. We are also exchanging seeds, so should one of us fail to have a successful harvest of a particular variety, perhaps one of us will be successful and provide the other with that seed. We both are novice gardeners. Prepping is not just about buying stuff. A man may have nothing, yet his real wealth may be ascertained by the quality of friends he has.

        1. Tunnel Rabbit – Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! You remind us all about the importance of good quality relationships — which have too often been a casualty of the modern world, and should be restored within our culture. We should all endeavor to understand friendship much more fully.

          From your reply: ” Remind friends who do not read this blog, to stay at it, and scale down their current life style to a level that can be sustain during a depression.”

          There is wisdom in this beyond the words themselves. We call this deleveraging, and encourage everyone to consider how best to accomplish the goal of deleveraging in their lives (financially, physically, emotionally).

      2. @ T of A

        I agree. I think far too many in the US now are pretty well spoiled. They don’t have any idea how to deal with hardships, are in rotten physical condition, heavily medicated and expect the government to rescue them. I fear what will happen if this virus gets worse, “second wave” happens, stuff closes down again etc. It’s been pretty quiet here so far and many have been quite “obedient” re: staying home and not being in large gatherings but I’ve noticed some anti-social behavior on the roads; have been cut off by some drivers with bad attitudes, had people pull out right in front of me, some seriously aggressive driving, etc. I suspect some are using their vehicles to take out their frustrations and rage and figure nothing will happen to them. Having almost been hit several times recently due to this it’s a worrisome trend.

        1. Hello Ani – Many great points, and thank you for sharing these! There is so much we can do to improve health and well-being on all fronts — for ourselves, and for people around us!

  12. Learning skills that enable you to stretch your resources would be a good thing to pursue. As a side note. We’ve been dealing with a sink that likes to clog up so have been purchasing Liquid Plumber. Having items like this on hand could be very useful. We usually have what we need on hand but I hadn’t thought of having extra of this. I’m now thinking of what else I would want that we don’t use regularly. Already we are seeing shortages of items that were always available.

    1. Sis,
      Good one! I actually hit the plumbing isle a few weeks back and picked up extra kits to fix the levers and floats & stuff for the toilets. Also extra wax rings too. When ever I’m at the home supply stores I always browse every isle just to see if there’s anything interesting or something I haven’t thought of yet to add to our preps.
      Only problem with that is I always find SOMETHING like tools, Etc that I just have to have 🙂

      Husband knows plumbing, Etc so I always help him so that I can learn how to do these things too!

      Rock on

    2. Read the reviews of Liquid Plumber and other similar products. I had a friend once who loved those products.He was called to replace the destroyed pipes after after people had used the the magic products. He said advertising worked wonders selling junk.

      Carry on in grace

  13. Elli O. ,

    Thanks for your article it is thought provoking and very much appreciated. Instead of a CD in a local bank which provides a very puny return at best, we opted for a Vanguard GNMA account which has check writing privileges and decent returns. The 1 year returns are 7.64% and the 3 years average is 3.8% . We have had this account for many years , no commissions and very low annual maintannce fee. I am not affiliated with Vanguard , just a happy customer.
    Blessings

  14. I’ve been a long time reader of this blog. Not full time just every so often I’d check in. The last time I checked in was 2014 in December. I often recheck around fall winter time. What brought me back was learning that bit coin was at 8k per whole one. So I came here to see how the community was looking at that.

    While I was looking at that around December or so I noticed the news of Wuhan.

    Well around December is when I start to make decisions of if I should push on buying more commercial canned food or just add to my home canned stock pile and how much fresh food I should keep in ratio to my stored foods.

    Well I looked at the news and went well I had better focus on more commercial comforts so I secretly went down to Costco (BJ’s) and bought up a month’s worth of canned veggies. Then hit Amazon for my yearly PPE buy (that’s normal) but threw in a month worth of canned meat.

    I hid these from the wife (hard to do in a roomate living apartment situation) my wife doesn’t have a prepper bone in her body even though she is 56 and from the country. I think it’s because she is an excellent hunter (yup better than me) and Fisher (I grew up in a dessert).

    Then the news quickly showed rapid spread.

    I scooped up another 2 months worth of canned food.

    Well I had no where left to hide it so the gig was up and I was caught red handed when my wife asked …

    “Love…. Ummm…. Why does the bed feel higher?”

    And I explained that we live in NYC and it would get quarantined and we would need to be ready for a possible 3 month lock down.

    This was in february at the beginning.

    Then March hit and the shut down got affected literally the week after I returned home from taking her for a one week vacation half way across country that we took a China Town bus for (they are like grey hound only half price and filled with middle East and Chinese people). So that was almost perfect timing my math was bad I wanted NYC to quarantine whilst I was in her home town with her family.

    So that was my pandemic preps and my chance to tell my wife I told ya so all in one. There have been other preps but I don’t wish to put that on a public server in this day and age.

  15. Good idea, Bluesman. I will also look into that. I will comment that once “we” were declared “deplorables” and “clinging to our guns and Bibles”..I shifted my stock market investments to businesses needed and utilized by us deplorables…in other words Walmart, Dollar General, Tractor Supply, Costco, etc and got out of tech and most energy stocks…While the CoVid crisis has been going on these last 4 months I have been averaging a return of 4.2% a month. So I have actually made very good money during these times. I don’t own any PM’s and frankly don’t really understand them. I have a friend who is heavily invested in PM’s (to the tune of several Million$) and he seems constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown with worry about who is controlling and manipulating the value of PM’s.

  16. Hi Elli, great article, looking forward to part 2.

    I have a hand clothes-washing system that I built using a breathing mobile washer (the “plunger”) that others have mentioned. I made it using a 20-gallon blue barrel so that I could do full loads of wash at a time and I used it exclusively for three years. A 20-gallon barrel is very up and down compared to something like a square laundry sink so the shape works perfectly for doing large loads of laundry with the “plunger.” I should probably submit an article on it so I can include some photos of the plumbing, stand, and wringer setup. The plunger works like a charm and once you get used to washing clothes with it, it goes pretty quickly. I only quit washing clothes that way due to arthritis in my hands. I also have a wringer like my grandma used to have, bought from Lehman’s, but Amazon sells them as well. The wringer is adjustable and squeezes most of the water out of the clothes before you line dry them, greatly speeding up the drying time. Wringing out clothes by hand works great for an occasional pair of socks or dainties, but is very punishing on your hands when you are doing entire loads of laundry on a weekly basis.

    Plunger: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002QUAPSO

    Wringer: https://www.lehmans.com/product/lehmans-best-hand-wringer/

    Amazon Wringer options: https://www.amazon.com/clothes-wringer/s?k=clothes+wringer

  17. Blessings to all of you! It cheers me up reading here. I spent a day this week organizing, doing an inventory, and putting preps in containers because I had just been piling things up the last few months as I “topped off”. It “feels like” I need to double, triple, quadruple my preps and I’m trying to ensure I’m not having an emotional reaction to everything that’s going on. If my family “showed up”, there would be 15+ mouths to feed and that doesn’t include extended family. I told myself I had to update the complete inventory, have everything stored properly, before I purchase another thing. In Genesis 41, the story of Joseph being put in charge of “food storage” for all of Egypt because there would be 7 years of abundance, followed by 7 years of famine, is something I have always remembered. On the one hand, I feel almost silly and on the other hand, I’m doing what I feel in my spirit I should be doing. I pulled out a couple of chickens and 10 lbs of hamburger from the freezer, and a large bag of potatoes, and told myself I needed to can every day for the next few weeks. Picked up more ammo (what I call the “mean” bullets). Sometimes I hate the “urge” to keep prepping. So I decided to do some decorating as a fun distraction – sewing and painting. I was noticing how much the big dog (new to me) eats, LOL. He’d much rather have raw food for sure, so I’m not so worried about running out of “dog food”, but I have several months worth. As I’m organizing, I’m cleaning, which always eases any anxiety I feel. I was thinking of changing out some door knobs in the house to locking knobs. Not that a door couldn’t be kicked in, but the casual nosey person wouldn’t be so apt to snoop if a door was locked. I’m starting to think that food storage needs to be out of sight, out of mind, and am reorganizing my regular pantry to look “less stocked”. I’m not paranoid. I’m a realist. I also know if my house burned down, many thousands of dollars in preps would disappear with it. I’m thinking of taking some food buckets out to the barn but I’m concerned about summer heat there (we don’t have a rodent problem and the barn has a cement floor and shelving). Maybe put a few buckets in the garage, which is separate from the house. Maybe even putting some storage at a family members home (like-minded). Just to spread it out so all my eggs aren’t in one basket. Glad to hear we’re all kind of on the same page though!

    1. SaraSue,

      You’re comments made me think of a gazillion other things I need to think about/act on but that’s OK. That’s why I come here everyday, we all give each other ideas & moral support.

      I too feel much better when I’m cleaning, I actually call it rage cleaning. When I’m feeling overwhelmed , I go nuts & start deep cleaning (even if it’s clean already).
      I think I might have a problem, LOL

      Have a Rockin great day!

    2. I like your idea of spreading out your preps at family members homes. If they want to eat during a crisis then they should share the “joy” the rest of us have regarding “where do I find space for all this stuff?!!” 🙂

      Sounds like the new “puppy” is adjusting well and eating you out of house and home!

  18. https://www.yirego.com/product-page/drumi
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/drumi-the-foot-powered-washing-machine#/
    Speaking of washing clothes, plungers, and buckets… Has anyone seen anything like this foot-powered, non-electric washing machine elsewhere?
    The 2 links above are for the Drumi, which I have followed for awhile, but seems to be an unfortunate failure at producing and distributing, yet a great concept.

    I would love to know if there was another company who successfully ran with this concept and brought it to market. I love the idea of being able to replicate the wash and rinse cycle while sitting or standing and possibly doing other ‘chores’ too.

  19. I have been adding to my basic stocks of food. My freezer is full to the top with assorted salmon, steaks pork chops and a box of mint frozen yogurt bars, do not laugh they are good.
    My garage refrigerator is due on Saturday with a decent size freezer. I think 20 pounds of meat will fit easily.
    The pantry is being built up well, actually running out of room. I won’t put good in the garage since in the summer it gets to 80 even though it insulated.
    We just get sun from dawn to 1Pm so we get the heat on summer days.
    Thanks to all for your comments since it gives me ideas of what I need to accomplish in the coming days. I totally agree we are in a time of grace to get your house-physically and spirituality together.

    Our live stream Wednesday night Bible Study in Romans has been a blessing and gets ones mind off the negative news. It’s hard to fight normalcy bias but with The Lord’s help we will get through it

  20. If you do make use of a 20litre bucket and plunger, make a plywood disc to sit in bottom. Drill 1/2 inch holes in this and coat in epoxy or polyester resin to waterproof.
    This prevents plunger sticking to the bottom and pushes water upwards.
    Well worth the time and effort.

  21. Yes sir, I agree, wringing clothes by hand is hard work. Jeans are the worst! The mechanical roller type wringers are expensive, but really help the clothes dry faster. There are also small spin dryers, but they run on electricity. What my brain envisions is a “salad spinner” type clothes dryer that could be hand or foot pumped. It would be similar to those spinners on the spin mops for your floors.

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