Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

I’m now back at the ranch and have plunged into a flurry of activity. Presently, I’m cataloging, packing Elk Creek Company antique gun orders, and catching up on the “Honey Do” list.

Our Independence Day Sale is still in progress and ends on the evening of Sunday, July 5th.  So that has me very busy. We’ve already had seven orders, so please get your order in soon! All of the guns are “first-come-first-served.”

On Monday, in addition to packing some orders, I plan to fire up one of our pair of Stihl Farm Boss chainsaws.  The Husqvarna size-equivalent is the Husqvarna 455 Rancher. I consider them comparable, and from local reports, the Husqvarna is slightly better. So, if I had to do it all over again, I’d buy Huskies.

Remember our motto: “Two is one and one is none.” Some folks like to have one small saw for limbing and for dropping small trees, and a larger saw for serious felling. But I opted for two of the same model saws each with 20″ bars. That is because we don’t have many trees on our ranch that are more than 24″ in diameter. So I can “make do” with 20″ bars. The big bonus for me is that the two saws use identical bars, chains, spark plugs, recoil starters, et cetera. In my book, interchangeability of parts trumps.  I also still have a smaller, lighter Makita electric chainsaw with a 16″ bar, but it is of course limited by the reach of extension cords.

Thankfully, I am nearly done with laying in our winter firewood supply.

A reader in north-central Idaho saw my request in the blog for a set of shelves to house my antique revolver inventory and offered me a very generous trade for an autographed book, a blog archive USB stick, and some consulting time. He has a seven-foot-tall set of shelves with adjustable slots that should work nicely. Lord willing, I’ll be picking that up, this coming week. My thanks to him, in advance!  And thanks to the half-dozen other readers who responded. The only problem with most of those was the long driving distances required if I had bought any of them. Nothing personal, but diesel fuel is spendy!

And now, over to Lily.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Yay, Jim is home!!!  Finally! I missed that man!

This has been a rainy and cool week.

Early in the week, I sliced the side slightly top-ish part of my right index finger deeply on a broken mason jar concealed by soapy dishwater.  I had just slid some more dishes into the sink to help Miss Eloise get them done faster, (There was a big thunderstorm approaching with a lot of wind and we were worried about a power outage. The house was a wreck.  I hate a messy house during a power outage.  The storm never materialized or passed to the north of us).  Thus I plunged my hands into the soapy water and encountered the broken mason jar.  I yelped. It immediately poured out blood. It was all my fault for working in haste. (Shaking my head with regret). It took nearly three hours for it to stop bleeding when pressure, elevation, and ice were removed. When it finally stopped bleeding, I had only lost about a teaspoon of blood. I applied butterfly stitches and Iodine and covered it.

Obviously, this injury slowed me down considerably in my work as I wasn’t wanting to risk getting it dirty and infected.  Therefore I spent a lot of time in the Word of God, studying the book of Hebrews and on the internet watching my favorite Watchwomen and Watchmen.

I was able to get into the garden in between rain showers to weed a few times using my left hand, primarily. I’ve been picking the first group of strawberries.  We have been eating them fresh and in homemade dairy-free strawberry shortcakes with coconut cream and very little sugar, instead of preserving them, but more are on the way. I transplanted six more tomato plants into the greenhouse.

I harvested about eighty plus garlic scapes.  These I will be saute-ing, freezing and infusing in olive oil.  It is the first time I have ever harvested them.  Two years ago, I planted some scape bulbets in a section of my garden that are this year finally looking like garlic.  Maybe this year I can get bulbs from them?

We’ve been watching and helping, ever so gently when needed, hatching baby chickens. Yes, we’ve had success with the incubation this time.  I plan on getting a new batch of eggs to incubate ready, shortly.  We need to build our flock again.

I’ve also spent time researching how to feed our chicks naturally without commercial chick starter and have made up lists of grains and foods for them. This is something I should have done years ago, but as I have said before, lots of other activities have been developed and refined during the past ten years.  It now time to focus on this one.

I am feeding the chicks ground up: split peas, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, flax seeds, red hard wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, chopped hard-boiled egg, and greens from the garden.  They are also getting a little bit of ground-up layer pellets. I also am giving them tiny gravel that I picked up in our driveway to use as grit as well as some grit that we had for some small budgies, we had, years ago.

In the past we’ve ordered mail-order chicks from Murray McMurray.  These chicks were always already two to three days old.  These chicks you had to teach to eat and drink.  My babies were put into the feed tank under a 200-watt lamp. They were eating and drinking within six hours.  I give them water with electrolytes and sugar added.

It’s amazing to see the chicks eating and drinking so soon,  just a few hours after hatching, after being able to stand up, even before being completely dried off and fluffy.

Here is a video worth watching: Nathan Leal: There Will Be Blood. He is someone who is basically summarizing everything I’ve been thinking and feeling for the past five years and is saying exactly the same things of the other seven or so other people that I like to listen to who are confirming what the events of our day mean and what is coming down the pike — perhaps as early as September.

Time is running out. Continue to stock up, pray and repent and read the Word of God, so you know how to defend for yourself and your beliefs, provide for yourself and witness of the Lord’s grace and salvation and be able to stand strong. The girls and I are currently reading Richard Wurmbrand’s book Tortured for Christ: Faithful Christians Heroically Enduring Agony, Suffering, and Death in Communist Prisons. He was a Jew who came to faith in Christ. Wurmbrand experienced in Romania the Socialist takeover by the Nazis and then the Marxist takeover by the Soviet Union — much like what we will be experiencing here, soon.  I highly recommend reading Wurmbrand’s book.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Went and stocked up on some meat with the wife.
    A while back I went to an auction and got a welded tripod (it can’t collapse) for use over a fire. Great for outdoor cooking. For Independence Day I am Cooking 2 fresh chickens on a spit over a fire (the coals). I got to thinking and decided to modify the tripod to accommodate my spits. I drilled holes through the legs and put stainless steel “Eye” bolts through them. I then slid my stainless steel spit through two of the eyes and placed a rod coupling nut on each end so the spits can’t fall out of the eyes. I can still hang a Dutch oven or pot from the top of the tripod while I’m cooking on the spits. We dispatched 3 roosters, plucked them and gutted them. My son helped and learned. He kind of complained at first but I told him if your going to eat something you should have enough respect to do the dirty work yourself and not rely upon others to do it for you. In the end he was amazed and went through a gut pile identifying organs.

    Son and I Leveled and compacted the gravel where our 1500 gallon water will sit. The tank was delivered Monday. Unfortunately we have some minor fixes to make before we start to fill the tank. Based on the forecast it doesn’t matter since there is no rain in sight. Moved some gravel along side the new barn and placed some in front of the door to the old barn. My son helped me move some extra corrugated steel roofing and lumber up into the barn loft where we store extra building supplies. I took some time off this week to get some stuff done.

    I picked up 2 Oregon combo packs (one chainsaw chain and one 16” bar) for my saw on clearance for $7.50 each ( originally $27). I was bidding on some items on an online auction and got the winning bid on a quick hitch for my tractor for about $100 and an 1858 New Model Army black powder revolver for about $190. When I went to pick up the items from the auction they had leftover items from an estate sale. I picked up 2 full 20lb propane tanks, a box of wire cable of various diameters and lengths with thimbles attached and a clevis all for $20.

    Looked at the photos of two auctions in the next week. Going Monday to bid on some old corn shellers and an old coffee grinder that I want to use to crack corn with (if I win). Then the other auction has a bunch of poultry equipment including a feather plucker and an anvil ( I have lost bids on the last 3 anvils) they are crazy expensive. I think shows like Forged in Fire are increasing demand for blacksmithing equipment.

    As we celebrate our independence today I scratch my head as we seem to be living in George Orwell’s 1984 with “New Speak” and “thought police”.
    If you are pro-constitution you are an extremist domestic terrorist but if your ANTIFA your just a peaceful protester.

    If you believe in the Constitution and exercise your rights and speak out about things that are repugnant to the Constitution you are “Anti-government”, but if you are an Anarchist and riot you are a peaceful protester.
    “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated” Thomas Paine.

    From what I understand this poem was read on each boat as General George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River to attack the German Hessian Mercenaries.

    1. 3AD Scout, Paines missive was read by General Washington in Valley Forge as a Large number of enlistments were expiring and feared the Army might cease to exist.
      Semper Fi

  2. Ah Lily, there’s nothing like haste to cause pain. I decided to move our chickens to another coop and made the mistake of not moving the rooster first. I was just grabbing whatever I could catch. The rooster properly did his job and kneecapped me to protect his hens. I was busy so I just cleaned it out as best I could and bandaged it so I could get on with my work. Two days later, my knee was badly swollen and my second mistake was not going to an urgent care. The swelling was going down by the time I finally got in to my doctor and I’m on antibiotics.
    Take your time and think before acting, It’s less painful.

    1. I so appreciate learning from the hasty mistakes of others. Thank you both for offering your humble recounting.

      I pledge to listen to the Holy Spirit and move accordingly this weekend. And, after that if I have the fortitude. Listening and following Holy Spirit is wise to do every day. That makes each of those days an “independence day”.

      Carry on, in grace

  3. Happy Independence Day! Don’t normally shoot off fire-works but went to the fire-works store to get roman candles and other colorful and noisy items to celebrate America’s independence. Found some smoke canisters which give a 2-minute distraction and some roman candles that flash and sound just like a, well, you know; plus a few other noisy and colorful items. Thought they might come in handy in the future. Enjoy America’s Independence celebration now, because it might be erased from our history by the crazies.

    Spent hours emailing many Republican Senators, from every state, trying to shame them for surrendering to socialists and not standing for America. Decided to stop spending at walmart after they announced that they removed any item that said “all lives matter”; because it is “offensive”. To me, all lives matter.

    Read some articles (Natural News) which both surprised and scared me. Spending time now going to the sources trying to triangulate the info. Gearing up for more trouble this fall; getting harder to find good hunting supplies at reasonable prices now, but found some. It wasn’t a huge buy so it should not trigger any inquiries.

    After watching the armed couple in St Louis face off with socialist trouble-makers, decided to purchase a small inexpensive body camera; we are no longer innocent until proven guilty. Still figuring out how to work it but it captures what’s going on in front of you in video and audio.

    Our county sheriff’s department said it is important to have ‘No Trespassing’ signs every 50′. I know bad guys don’t care about signs but the sheriff says it helps legally. My son is replacing the older faded signs on the acreage on the county road side and will be putting up more signs in the lower meadows and deep forest areas next week.

    Found some wide mouth canning jars at a reasonable price so got all that I could afford. The grocers in my location have removed limits on meat purchases but still have limits on TP, PT, and various canned goods. In some grocery stores they have #10 cans of basic veges with no limits, but have limits on small 8-10 oz cans —- go figure. I just buy the #10 cans and repackage them either by freezing, dehydrating or canning.

    Still canning as fast as possible. I made meatloaf and PC’d it in wide mouth jars; it is very good. I used 90/10% hamburger which cuts down on the grease and used V8 juice as the sauce. Serve with some mashed potatoes and a fresh vege and you have dinner in less than 15 minutes.

    Made apple crisp and canned some for future sweet attacks. Mixed up another batch of garlic bread seasoning; it goes fast in my house. Got two more dogs bathed, shaved and nails trimmed. It just takes time.

    Spent many hours this week studying the scriptures and pondering. As troubles increase around us, it gives me peace to remember the Lord’s blessings upon us.

    May your week be healthy and productive.

    1. Did you see this article? Natural News and a Dot-Gov site are both linked below.


      From the article: “We begin with the recent news that China was caught attempting to smuggle “10,800 assault weapons parts” into Louisville, Kentucky.”

      …and an additional link here from this page titled “10,800 Assault Weapons Parts Seized by CBP in Louisville”.


      We’re thankful for the interdiction, but wonder… For those illegal shipments caught, how many get through? This is a serious source of concern.

      1. Telesilla, yesterday here in Southern California, I saw an aircraft skywriting “F— Your Border Patrol” in Spanish. There was also some other writing which I was not able to read clearly (wrong sight angle). Skywriting costs money, so someone must be behind this — possibly China or Russia or maybe even Mexico. I have no proof either way. I certainly hope this isn’t our nation’s last Independence Day. I really think that there are some people in the United States who are willing to live under foreign rule as long as the ruler’s name is not Donald Trump.

        1. MJ… Thank you! Your sharing is much appreciated, and give us all greater insight into what’s happening all around us. I believe you are correct, and that foreign interests and money are moving against the United States, and overtly against President Trump. It’s just so tragic and heartbreakingly sad that it’s happening at all. Yet… We cannot allow the tragedy or sadness of these times discourage or deter our efforts. We must fight forward.

        2. Likely it’s one of the several “foundations” that are backing open borders, AntiFA, and BLM. That would be one of the many Soros backed foundations, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Obama Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, or any one of a dozen or more globalist foundations. The other governments really don’t have any need to get involved with these kinds of trivialities.

          Russia, in particular is not really globalist in nature, it is the most Christian country in all of Europe today. If it wasn’t for the ongoing Russia, Russia, Russia hoax, we could be great friends and allies. This is not the Soviet Union that we grew up with, it is not the communist country it used to be.

  4. Good morning Avalanche Lily. In my reading I was given to understand that oyster shell is not good for juvenile chickens and I believe most layer feed has that in it. You might check the feed bag to see.
    I have been thinking along the same lines about chicken feed so I will be interested in following what you learn.
    I pray your injury is healing well!

      1. A community inspired feed recipe, I like that Telesilla of Argos! All the knowledge condensed into a solution. I’ll check out the link, thanks.

    1. It may be possible to grow all the ingredients in this or that chicken feed recipe. I would think the kelp would difficult for most of us to grow. Minerals will always be the hard part of being self sufficient, although with chickens, it is easier than with cows, since chicken/guineas/poultry do eat bugs, which contain minerals obtained from places other than your own soil. I have spent a little time trying to figure out how to attract bugs here to feed them. I hadn’t had a lot of luck. I’d love to hear other people’s ideas. I am not interested in eating them myself, but I will happily feed the poultry with them, and then eat the eggs. This is one reason it concerns me this recent trend in genetically modifying the different bugs with killer genes. It will mess up the cycle of life. Of course, non-Christians do not see the world as being good in the way God made it, since they don’t acknowledge that God is good and what He made is good. They see the world as evolving, and thus broken. So of course, meat, as naturally grown, is broken. Eating chickens is bad. Eating beef is bad. Eating milk from a cow is bad. Butter is bad. Saturated fat is bad. I am concerned about the rumor that they are seeking to make it illegal to own chickens. If that’s the case, we will have to figure out how to grow our own chicken feed, cow feed, etc.

      So I always go back to the way the old timers did it. Of course, the modern breeds are not the same as the old breeds. So I have experimented with different breeds, to try to see which ones will survive the best with as little store bought feed as possible. Also a consideration, egg production, and broodiness. I am still experimenting, but right now, my favorite is the Black Australorp. I am also trying different orpingtons and am presently setting some silkie eggs. I would like to be able to set other kinds of eggs under a broody hen also, such as peahen, geese, duck, turkey, etc. The Black Australorp will hatch their own eggs, but not anyone else’s.

      For food for chickens, I have experimented with fermenting feed, sprouting seed, milk, pumpkin, etc. The fermenting didn’t impress me or the chickens. The sprouting wasn’t really balanced nutrition, and the egg rate severely dropped. The milk, combined with a little bought feed, and supplemented with pumpkin, has worked the best. So maybe a combination of all of them would be sufficient. I could not be raising this quantity of heritage chickens for meat without bought grain. I couldn’t produce enough alternative feed sources to justify it.

      The old timers utilized whatever grew. They liked root crops (turnips, etc) for themselves and the cows/chickens. They also liked winter squash, since it was super easy to grow and store, it was nutrient dense, and everything liked it. My great-grandpa, when asked how they survived, said, we ate what we grew and grew what we ate.

      1. Anon, I agree about the breed of Black Australorps, they are great chickens. I’ve had really good results with them. They are broody girls for sure!
        A while back I had some Jersey Giants and we liked them too so my replacement chicks this year are those. We’ll evaluate after a year and decide which we’re going to keep as the ongoing, permanent flock.
        Now, I’ve had good results with fermenting feed for chickens and hogs. We keep it really simple, using three buckets, keeping the fermentation only three days out.

        1. TeresaSue, There are a few breeds of chickens I would like to try if ever given the chance, and the Jersey Giants are one of them. I may give them a try someday. I sometimes do work for people who trade around chickens, and so I may be able to get some one day. I’d also like to try some brahma’s. Both the JG and Brahma’s should be pretty good meat chickens. This year, I am going to try some silkies and see how they do. I got some Golden Seabrite Banty’s last year, and they are doing well. They aren’t really old enough to set, though. Supposedly Silkies set the best, when you give them other eggs. I have tried SO many different breeds, trying to get them to hatch for me, and hadn’t really had any luck. As I said, the BA’s will hatch their own, but not anyone else’s. Still, I like them for that. There isn’t really a perfect breed of chicken, just whatever works for you.

      2. We have found our turkey hens are wonderful for sitting all types of eggs, including our pea hen eggs. We have an incubator room which is wonderful now for large hatchlings, but while we can, we experiment the old fashioned way. I too am concerned as we get closer to the election. I pray, prepare and work hard.

        1. Southern Girl, What breed of turkeys do you have? We only have one old gobbler. He is fun to have around. He is some kind of mixed brown breed (not wild). He will live out his life here, being the barn buddy. Sometime soon, maybe, we hope to get some more turkeys, and maybe the hens will set. That is a good option for hatching pea eggs. The guy we got the peacock from was using silkies to hatch them, so I was going to try that. He said that he didn’t get a good hatch rate in his incubator. I also prefer hatching under hens if I can. It’s quite a bit more work to accommodate the little mama’s, but the babies are gentler and they get a better hatch rate. I plan to try putting the silkies in chicken tractors. Of course, the pea chicks can’t be on the ground. I have a design that I have made for chicken tractors for broodies, where I put the mama in a raised section of the pen with her babies. The nest has a back door, and so when they go broody, I close the front door and open the back door, so when they hatch, they go in that raised section. I developed it for some game/banty hens I have. They did great in it.

  5. The chainsaw was an area I got caught in during the pandemic. Finished my winter cutting then focused on Christmas. Then during the pandemic lockdown I went to use it and the chain blew. I hadn’t replaced the “spare”. Sure enough stores were closed and UPS took 3-4 weeks to deliver because of the backlog. I coulda been in real trouble.
    Chains, bars and plug.

    1. I guess I shoulda added what Plan B was. I was on my old fruit trees, mulberry and apple, and the wood wasn’t too hard. I used a skill saw on the initial cuts and a reciprocating saw with long demolition blades. The skill saw went thru like butter though only a few inches but my thought was that’s a few inches I don’t have hand saw. The reciprocating saw with the demo blades isn’t as efficient as a chainsaw but it’s not a bad option either. While lot better than have saw.

      1. Yeah my Stihl don’t use the wrench to tighten the chain. I use a spark plug socket rather than the wrench tool. That EZ start is pretty cool too.

  6. Lily, I hope you heal quickly. Ouch! Plus, it is so frustrating to be hampered from working with both hands when there is so much to be done. Grateful your hubby is home safely.

    My gym shoes (tennis shoes? Cross trainers? ) actually needed replacing several months ago. I finally got out the other day to replace them. The selection was very depleted. I don’t order shoes online because I’m fussy about fit and want my shoes to last. I’d rather have one pair of good, well made shoes than 10 pairs of ‘cute’ shoes. I had to go to a few different stores to find something suitable. I talked to the clerk and she mentioned they were having trouble keeping stock up to previous levels. If you need shoes – I recommend getting them sooner rather than later. I sense that things are not going to improve.

    I canned a box of peaches this week. We were only allowed to purchase one box. I saved all the peels. Half of them I am fermenting on the counter now for fruit vinegar. The other half are in the freezer and someday when it is not 90* I will make peach peel jelly. The peach truck comes back in two weeks so I will get more. Hopefully!

    Our local u pick strawberry farm got hit by a frost Menorial Day weekend. They say there will only be half as many berries available. Another local u pick farm is shut down for two years to totally replant. Literally slim pickings for strawberries this year.

    I did my monthly shopping earlier in the week. Paper products and meat are low.

    The down state kids are visiting. Their county has had 2,000 COVID cases. Ours has had 10. They voluntarily took COVID tests before they came (hubby is high risk) and they all tested negative. I wish they would just stay here. Mamas worry. They have also had rioting just blocks from their home.

    When all 15 of us are together we sure go through the fresh produce. The grands love their fruits and veggies.

    We spent hours at a nearby lake yesterday. It was very hot out but the crowds weren’t bad. I love watching my grandkids play together. When we got back to the house they roamed the woods looking for -and finding- toads. They love being outside.

    Thank you for all the inspiration you provide here. I look forward to hearing what you all are doing and experiencing.

    1. @ wormlady

      Decided to go u-pick some strawberries; it’s been ages since I have done this since I grew my own on the farm for so long. Checked into a local u-pick and the state has issued Covid-19 guidelines which require people to register for a date and time, no kids under age 8, pay a deposit to reserve your spot(which is credited towards what you pick) and you get one hour in which to pick! Oh, and no snacking on berries allowed now! Our new normal…….

    2. Wormlady I’ve been looking for cherries to can up and a woman who has an orchard north of Lewiston said the cherries are thin this year, not a good year for them. The orchard I usually get peaches from was totally frosted out this year. It makes me uneasy for sure.

  7. Just an fyi if you get a big foot style garden cart you can mount a pair of t-105 deep cycle batteries, an inverter (size for max load and a 10-20% extra) and a pair or more 100 watt solar panels to make a portable power station for the homestead.

    I found it useful during power outages to carry from neighbor to neighbor running their refrigerators a bit to extend cold until power came back on. Also can power emergency medical needs like O2 and breathing treatment needs BUT USE a SINE WAVE inverter or fry the electronics.

    Nice to be able to use corded power tools like that electric chainsaw AND if you research it you can “fake” rechargeable batteries for your cordless ones making them corded to the battery bank. Many 18 volt tools run fine with 12 volt dc from the rolling battery bank OR if the old rechargeable batteries are kaput.

    I have a friend that converted a lawn tractor with a blown engine into a solar recharged mower and with that sinewave inverter has a mobile power bank for 120 volt power anywhere on his ranch.

    Lead acid batteries are low tech and if you research how to clear the sulfate build up that reduces and “kills” them eventually with calibrated over-charging and such you can keep them going for years and even rebuild them if you have replacement battery acid stored away and willingness to smelt the plates and recast. It was done during the early years before the grid killed off the windchargers at remote farms.

    Some of us already melt lead for our black powder hobbies. It’s not that hard.

      1. Tunnel Rabbit after reading so many excellent posts from you I am surprised friend! Do a little research on lead acid batteries. The design hasn’t really changed since the 1900’s. I suggest a kindle download of “Electricity for the farm light, heat and power by inexpensive methods from the water wheel or..” by Anderson, Fredrick, and Irving. And then seek out early battery books. Back then the homesteader had to be able to repair their own batteries.

        The two most common issues are sulfate buildup beyond what a simple over charging can clear away and broken-cracked plates, once a part falls off it often short circuits the battery OR the internal circuit is broken. Removing the top off the battery and draining the old acid allows simple disassembly. Melting the lead plates will separate the calcium lead alloy of the plates from that sulfur issues.

        OUTDOORS please with a fan blowing from behind you, gloves, fire resistant apron, eye shield please. Research how they mold bullets, but this is a plate mold needing but one side as the sky works for the other. Reassemble in the battery’s internal rack establish circuits, replace top with a caulking seal (remember to cut ABOVE the battery filled line please) and replace acid. While doing Missionary work in South America we had to help rebuild old heavy duty truck batteries for solar systems because we could not get “Real” deep cycle batteries.

        BTW there are ways clean the old acid from impurities and get more use from them. Beyond todays reply as it involves chemistry. The old pre-1900’s battery books describe it.

        We live in a throw away society with Amazon Prime. Not that way in a lot of the 3rd word even today.

    1. Michael… would you please provide additional info regarding what you describe in the opening paragraph… this is something my BIL and I would like to build…TY… would be happy if moderator wants to provide my email and you send to me directly

      1. RCB5472TN please go to the search engine of your choice. Type in Homemade portable solar generator and enjoy. Many folks before me have pretty good sites describing their idea.

        Step ONE is determine your intended use. How many watts do you need for how long. Solar is modular but nothing is better than the weakest link.

        Don’t Cheap Out on the wire, go for a size larger than recommended Like shotguns the larger the number the smaller the wire. Your able to buy it by the foot from HD or Lowes so go big please. Nothing like looking at a failed system and asking WHY is this tiny 18 gauge wire preventing the power flow…. That and unsecured wires (broken circuit) or solar panels placed under a nice shady tree have been surprisingly common.

        My old hippie rule of thumb is to remember a 10% loss every time you change something. I.E. 200 watt solar panel to battery 10% loss, power drawn to inverter (BUY SINE WAVE please trust me) 10 % loss converting it. Some use that sine wave to charge a cordless tool battery recharger so 10% loss from the battery charger THEN 10% loss to the new battery’s storage.

        There are fancy calculations on various excellent webpages but the 10% loss per change works well for me. Then I tend to have a little more power than planned available. Or as my Grandmother would say “Such a Problem”.

        Hope this helps

  8. Been cleaning out my mother in laws home who is in a nursing home. She was a bit of a “hoarder”, never threw anything out, but a neat hoarder all kinda of stuff packed in boxes. Found a bunch of random hardware, thought to get rid of, how much of screws, nails, etc can one have? After walking at home depot aisle the other day and seeing the prices of some of theses, I decided to keep as much as possible.

    1. NJ Tax Pro-

      Good move. It is nice when doing a spontaneous project that you have hardware on hand and don’t have to stop, drive to the hardware store and back. In TEOTWAWKI that hardware cache will be priceless as we have to build, modify or fix things in order to survive. The other thing I like about buying old lots of hardware at auctions/garage sales is much of it is Made In the USA and is much better quality that the pig iron garbage being peddled today.

  9. If you’re going to by a Husqvarna chainsaw I recommend the line of XP saws in whatever cc you think you need. These cost more but are professional saws. Just like Stihl has homeowner saws and pro saws.
    I do get amused when someone asks how large your saw is by referring to bar length. The size of a saw is motor size not bar length.

  10. Boo! Sorry about your finger, Lily.

    I recommend The Torchlighters series as a family show. It is well done cartoons about Wurmbrand and other Heroes of the Faith. So good for all ages!

    I have been harvesting tomatoes, okra, peppers, and cucumbers.

    I canned cucumbers into pickles.

    I bought the coolest old fashioned looking Panasonic shortwave radio off Amazon.

    Bought more canned meat.

    Our baby chickens are medium sized hens now. Getting ready to move them in with the older flock.

    Celebrating Independence Day with family and fried chicken, watermelon, fried okra, sliced tomatoes, apple pie and ice cream! And quizzing the kids on why we celebrate this important day. History matters!
    And fireworks! This means the dogs sleep in the house tonight and the hens get moved to the shed. It gets loud out here.

    Happy Independence Day!

    P.S. Parent Warning: if you’re kids play Fortnight, monitor it today. BLM and Van Jones have a video on the big in-game Fortnight movie screen promoting their indoctrination. We won’t be playing it today.

    1. Fried green tomatoes are a fabulous summer treat! Saw this in your post, and smiled. We love these with a little ranch dressing for dipping. ENJOY!!!

  11. JWR, I have been using the still farm boss for years, it was originally the 029. I put a 24 inch bar on it and it runs well with the longer bar. More chain means less sharpening and added capability to the saw. Her is a trick for sharpening, buy the diamond sharpeners for the dremel type hand grinders. The regular abrasive sharpener stones get do not last at all. I regularly go 2 years on a single diamond sharpener and get a lot more life from a chain as the diamond units are extremely fine grit, they remove less metal and produce a sharper edge. 4 cords of oak per year average, 1 chain and one sharpener every 2 years, borrowing any mishap. A couple of things for first-timers: any tree near a building should be suspect as people have a penchant for hanging things on trees to keep them handy, therefore large nails get imbedded and grown over. For those of you in cattle country, if you see a series of horizontal scars on a tree 3-5 normally, do not cut near them as there may be barbed wire embedded in the tree and barbed wire is so hard that it can literally rip the teeth off a chain before you know it. ( voice of experience here)

  12. I agree with Roadkill, both saws you mentioned are homeowner saws, not professional saws. If you cut all your own firewood and heat with primarily wood, you will be much better served by the professional line of saws. Stihl or Husky, I own and work on lots of both. Stihl is preferred here though.

  13. Lily, was it supposed to be a rib tickler? First you tell us about the nasty gash on your finger, then a few paragraphs later you recommend to us a video called, There Will Be Blood. 🙂

    I got some of the blackberries tied up earlier this week. The first ripe berries are fun to go out and just graze. On Friday there were finally enough to start picking. After some discussions on SurvivalBlog about how to preserve blackberries, the thought occurred to me while picking to sieve the seeds out and try making fruit leather with some. So that’s now on the to-do list.

    I saw some deer tracks in the garden. Turns out the deer fence pole behind the fig tree had been served up as hors d’oeuvres at the annual Wood You Like Some More termite convention. I cut some fresh hickory poles and got that fixed. It occurred to me as I was tying it to the t-post to leave the base 6″ off the ground to keep the termites from getting to it. I would call it a stroke of genius but since any low-IQ 8-year old could have thought of it, I’ll call it a case of cerebral flatulence when I tied up the original pole. I tied more bailing twine to the deer fence with some rag strips on it to be sure Bambi can’t miss seeing it even if he has a severe case of myopia.

    The beans are up high enough so I mulched those with oak leaves and then got the sweet potatoes weeded. Ants are eating some of the baby butternut squash which hasn’t happened in the garden before. The turmeric is really taking off now. The Tennessee Red heirloom peanuts are going bonkers. Last year’s crop did well so I tripled this year’s production area. They’re a lot of fun to grow (it’s the only fruit I know of that is produced underground) and will supposedly even grow as far north as Canada, anywhere that has at least 100 frost-free days.

    I had a hive that was getting overpopulated late last spring so I split it into two hives. When you do that, the new hive doesn’t have a queen but they will turn one of eggs into a new queen when they realize that Mama missed the connection at O’Hare. They apparently hadn’t read the manual so they didn’t produce a queen. I left them a copy of “Making Queens for Dummies,” told them to read up and we’d try again. Later I moved some eggs from another hive into their hive and they made a new queen. I finally saw her this week and she’s making lots of babies, so I’m pretty excited to have another hive in the apiary. Some days I feel like a real beekeeper. Other days I feel like the bees are just laughing at me. I can’t actually hear the laughs but I can see their tiny little shoulders going up and down.

    I sold the second swarm I caught this year so that will provide some funds for building more hives. After I sell this year’s honey, I will have paid for all my beekeeping expenses since I started four years ago. That’s always a good feeling to know that everything from here on out is profit, plus I get all the fun that comes with beekeeping. I built four nucs this week, which are small hives for raising queens among other things. I have more fun figuring out how to make the jigs for simplifying the work that actually pounding nails and putting things together. I harvested almost 50 lbs of honey on Friday. It should make about 32 pints when I get it put into jars tomorrow. One hive which I harvested 15 lbs of honey from less than two weeks ago wasn’t even on my list to check today, but I did anyway. The drones must be sneaking the ladies steroids or something. They had already rebuilt the three combs I had extracted honey from and another 5 frames were ready for harvest. I hope the steroids won’t disqualify me from selling the honey as organic. This is going to be a bumper year for honey. I’ve already gotten over 100 lbs and that’s mostly from three hives. There are two more producing but they weren’t quite ready.

    I haven’t seen the raccoon that used to come to the back deck every night. As much as I hate all the damage they do in the garden it was fun seeing him. I also saw a red tanager which is always a treat since I don’t see them that often. The bob-whites have been calling but I only rarely see them. Once or twice a year I will flush out a whole covey of them of but mostly I just hear them. Same with the coyotes, I hear them all the time but have yet to see one in the past 10 years. In town I saw a grackle but never see them closer to home for some reason.

    I got another nice haul of poppy seeds from one of my local government buildings and some of the hollyhocks are getting close.

    Hoping everyone has a great week this next week! 🙂

    1. StF, I like you more and more. ” Wood You Like Some More termite convention”, is a classic. I L O V E puns. Oh my.

      Then “cerebral flatulence”. Keep ’em coming. As we continue to see and weep for our world. As we prepare for painful times. Humor and prayer will nourish us.

      Carry on, in grace

  14. Lilly: After watching there will be blood, I like many people question the up coming election as which is the worst of the two. Last time, I opted not to choose between the two. Again, I believe that regardless of who is elected there will be blood in this nation. I truly hope that if Trump is re-elected, that he resigns and Pence becomes President. Do you see things differently? Or have we come to the times of nothing can save the Union.

  15. Great news of JWR’s safe arrival home to the ranch and the family!

    Avalanche Lily! So sorry to hear about the accident and your injury, and praying for your speedy and total recovery. We’re very, very thankful this wasn’t more serious. …and your sharing is an excellent segue to a safety tip we hope will help all SB readers. Many years ago we know a fellow who was cooking and thought he might loosen the lid of a jar by tapping it on the edge of the counter top. The glass broke, and he suffered a deep cut that resulted in emergency surgery. But even with that, he lost the use of his thumb and fingers which remained forever “curled”. It all happened so quickly, and was forever life changing for him. We share this story with the hope that it will raise awareness and prevent an injury to someone else. Be careful and stay safe, everyone!

  16. Another busy week in the garden and in stocking up supplies… We’re in full preparation mode for the fall and hope to be ready for winter as well. After a long hot summer, it may be a long cold winter. We remain very concerned about conditions broadly.

    Most fun were the acorn squash harvests… Doing really well with these, and have quite a few spaghetti squash and Delicata squash coming. The zucchinis continue to produce well, and it seems we’re cutting back the leaf growth every week to keep them from becoming too dense. Beans and sugar snap peas have come up, although our start was a little late with these. The pepper plants are growing nicely (in-ground and in-greenhouse), and we are looking forward to enjoying these too! The cucumbers are amazing, and we’re preserving these as pickles, and as a frozen puree for smoothies and chilled cucumber soup.

    If everyone discovered the joys of gardening, we are convinced that we would live in a very different world — and a much better one!

  17. Greetings from a fly-over state. This week I got my first goat and her buck kid. They are pure bred registered alliances and I only paid $275 for all. I plan on milking her once a day and allowing the kid the rest of the milk. She and I will learn how to milk together. The reason I got her is so if/when things go south, we will have dairy products.

    This week I dehydrated herbs from the garden, and harvested yellow squash, zucchini, and crookneck squash. Worms got one of the cauliflower and I can’t ID the worm. So I will be off to the local garden center with a picture.

    And the best news ever… our DS and DIL will be moving into the second home on our property. This was originally my parent’s home before they passed. It will be a great blessing! I have wanted this for 6 years but God’s timing is best!

    More canning done, filling up the larder for these uncertain times.

    Blessings to JWR and AL, and the rest who read and contribute to this blog. I have learned so many crucial things.

  18. Concerning canning meatloaf. I found it easiest to bake the meatloaf mixture in wide mouth pint or pint and a half jars. Then after baking pour the excess grease off. Clean the rims well, place on canning lid and ring and then process in a pressure canner. I like to make a sauce
    On top of my meatloaf but found it doesn’t can well so after I remove the canned meatloaf I cut in up in circles, placing it on a rimmed cookie sheet. I then put the sauce on it and bake it a while to heat it up. It’s a quick and handy meal. Also , while developing our previous property i brought the canned meatloaf and cut up slices to make sandwiches with. They really hit the spot when you’re doing hard labor.

  19. Lily,
    Can you tell me more about planting garlic scapes? I have some forming right now and would love to plant them. Do you have to put them in water to form roots first? Please let me know the process. I would also love to hear more details on how you are infusing them in olive oil. Do you just put them in a jar in olive oil or is there more to the process? Hope your finger is healing up. Thaks!

    1. Hi wnycountrygirl,

      I am not cutting the scapes and planting them, themselves.

      If you let some of the scapes go to flower, they will grow bulbet seeds at the end of the flowering stage.(Flowering scapes, take nutrients away from the garlic bulbs and they won’t grow so large) The bulbets eventually dry out and drop to the ground. If they are left alone they will, the next spring sprout and grow garlic grass. But it takes three years for the grass to mature into a Garlic bulb. It is another way for garlic to propagate itself.

      I discovered this quite by accident by not plowing under a patch of the garden that had them drop and another year I collected them and planted them in another patch to see what would happen. Basically, I looked for garlic and found grass that smelled like garlic, so I left it alone, for two years, because I also had walking onions and regular onions that I was collecting seeds from in that patch. This spring I went out to weed that patch and found a more mature Garlic grass which will most likely form garlic bulbs this year. Yesterday I watched a video on how to harvest and use scapes that confirmed the three year time span to maturity from the bulbets.

      I will be infusing in oil for the first time ever, myself this year. I read the directions yesterday. I will have to look up the directions again, before doing it, but basically, one takes a clean quart jar, put a fourth cup of oil in it. They said to use a tastless oil. But I only use coconut or Olive oil, so, I will be using olive oil. Bruise the scapes and put them in the jar of oil, cover the jar with a lid and put in a dark cool place? for a few weeks.

      I will let you all know when I do these things how they turn out.

      Blessings and may you have a sweet week,


      1. Lily and friends as an FYI I found that if you cut to eat and *ah* forget about your scapes those dried out pods when blended with some soapy water makes excellent bug spray for your plants. Just don’t use the blender you cook with :-). Would probably work better with fresh scapes but waste not want not. Very intense smell of garlic so do outside.

        An example of companion planting after the fact. Look up how many plants are protected from pests if you companion plant them with garlic.

      2. Thank you Lily! I will be letting those bulbs develop on my garlic and then plant. Thank you for the info. Cant wait to hear how the oil turns out . It sounds yummy!

  20. Hi everyone,

    Things are getting bad — see my reply to Telesilla of Argos.

    On a brighter note, I harvested my first successful corn crop!! (The previous summers I made some mistakes, so I didn’t get anything.) Best of all, the seeds were from the few cobs from last summer. I have lots of corn cobs, not as big as corporate corn cobs, but some of them taste nice and sweet! Yum! I’ve also made tomato sauce with the tomato crop. I also cleared out an overgrown patch in the back yard and mixed in some compost. I planted an old potato there, and I’ll plant something else in the patch too as soon as I decide what to plant.

    My father works overseas, and my mother stays with him. Things are getting bad where they are too. (For OPSEC, I won’t name the country — but it’s not a nice, stable Western European country.) Inflation has gone completely through the roof; my mother told me that a 1 liter jar of honey was being sold for $40USD — that would be thousands in the local currency. She also told me that someone publicly shot himself just a few blocks away because he was not able to find work to support his family.

    I hope that what’s going on in that little country won’t happen here. Unfortunately, there are too many similarities — a politically and racially divided population here, and inflation caused by quantitative easing (It’s not as bad here — yet. Keep on stockpiling!).

    We now also have foreign countries stirring the pot via social media and skywriting. I saw billboards advertising the “Black Information Network” — might foreign nations be behind that as well?

    I’m going to move out as soon as my parents return later this year–right now I’m the caretaker of their home. I’d appreciate any guidance fellow readers could offer about Washington, New Mexico, and Michigan — my company has offices there.

    Good luck and be safe to one and all!

  21. In full canning mode here with peaches, pickles, corn relish, roast, and green beans. The only thing not available yet are the tomatoes. We are getting a few but not enough to can. This week I noticed one of my wicking tubs looked odd. Mama wren decided she liked my tomato for a shade tree and built a nest with four eggs right on top of the soil. Don’t know why she would have chosen a place so close to the ground. I expect to be scolded every time I go near my pots, but somehow we are going to have to co-exist. St. Funogas , I saw my first Summer Tanager a few weeks ago at my feeder. He was beautiful. I sure do hope it comes back.

  22. Hi everyone

    Not much going on here this week. It’s been so hot here (upper 80’s to mid 90’s). We haven’t had this kind of long term heat in many years. Some of the stretches of heat records go back to the 30’s . They are saying that all of July will be above average.

    Mom and I finally were able to go get our hair done (this is something we enjoy doing together). Thank goodness too as my roots were grown out 5 inches!! I think I was starting to scare people!

    USMC son has been deployed to Kuwait. I miss him terribly as he wasn’t able to get leave before he deployed.

    USMC Daughter is doing much better after having a 700lb ammo container shift and fall on her left hand. She is very homesick.

    My garden is doing so well! It’s small but I’m proud of it. My squashes leaves are a foot across so I had to go in and prune some out that didn’t have flowers, otherwise they would have overtaken the rest of the garden. The flowers for the squashes are so pretty early in the morning before it gets hot! I have taken close up photos of the different ones. I may even end up printing and framing them.
    I just saw yesterday that I have my first 3 green beans ever 🙂

    Discovered that my small indoor hydroponic garden wasn’t doing well because I didn’t have the pump plugged in 🙁 . Duh, we like fresh flowing water, don’t you?
    I took the plants out of the system and put them in pots with soil. They have small fruit on them but they are green and too small. I’m hoping to save them and hopefully they will grow better

    Spoke with my Spinal Surgeon and after him asking me a series of questions and my concerns we have decided that in the end of September I am going to have my Cervical Spinal Fusion surgery. I’m not particularly thrilled about this, but my symptoms are getting much worse and I don’t want to risk permanent nerve damage to my body. If I put this off too long, I risk becoming incontenent, having permanent nerve damage to my neck and losing use of my hands . I’m not excited about any of that!!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful Independence Day.
    Fighting for our freedom has never been more important

    Lily, hoping and praying that your hand heals up soon with no longer term damage
    JWR, good to hear you are back home safe

    Hope you all have a Rockin great day

    1. RKGRL68, Be aware that the spinal surgey will leave you permanently crippled(have seen it too many times) and strongly urge second opinions from NON-Surgeons(carpenters and nails). The squash blossoms are a real delicacy(battered and fried)

  23. I live in Southern Arizona and if one is crafty one can build a solar hot water system to heat one’s home as well as being able to use a solar oven for cooking. I am able to find Sweet Sue’s whole chicken in a can for a good price. There Walmart stores here that are carrying generic Dak type canned hams for 3.00 a can. I am stocking up as long as I can find them. I am an urban prepper so have to make due with canned chicken for long term storage. Happy 4th.

  24. Lily

    You don’t want to bump that finger. A quick remedy for that or for sprained fingers is to take a spent shotgun shell and cut the plastic portion off to use as a protector or splint. Gauge (12, 20, 16, 410, etc) for finger diameter and cut length to fit.

  25. It’s been a fairly busy week here. We’ve continued slowly restocking the larder, as finances permit. In addition, the garden is doing fairly well, especially the tomatoes. Green beans are doing ok, and okra has started producing as well. And finally, after four years, we appear to be successfully growing corn. I’ve planted additional corn and green beans, and will be continuing to plant some of those this week. The blackberries are just about done, though a few are continuing to produce here and there. I anticipate the muscadines and scuppernongs ripening over the next couple of weeks, so I’ll start canning jellies, jams, and tomatoes towards the end of the month into early August.

    We also spent a lot of time cutting down some trees, thinning out some of our woods, then cutting those into firewood for next year. In addition, we had to repair a slightly dilapidated chicken coop, one of the “kit” styles sold in stores that we acquired a few years ago. We had a group of chicks hatch a few weeks ago that are not quite ready to leave “the nursery” and join the rest of the flock. However, we have another group hatching in a few days, so we moved the first group from the nursery into the renovated coop…dubbed “the preschool” by my Lady…and the second brooding hen into the nursery. These two groups will have nearly doubled our flock, and I’ve determined that if at least two of the newcomers are roosters, I’ll be harvesting them…a first for us…this fall.

    We’ve enjoyed a fairly relaxing Independence Day, although we’ll be livening things up shortly as my adult offspring assert fire superiority in our area. I can’t imagine where they developed such a love for pyrotechnics. I’m sure that the fact that part of my misspent youth involved wearing crossed cannons on my collar had nothing to do with it.

    Enjoy this Independence Day, folks, and reflect on what it cost to earn this holiday. I pray we’ll never again have to pay such a price.

    1. From your post: Enjoy this Independence Day, folks, and reflect on what it cost to earn this holiday. I pray we’ll never again have to pay such a price.”

      Well said, Francis Marion, very well said.

  26. Sitting outside with a blessed family twilight gathering around our warm chimineria, roasting marshmallows and listing to the sounds of loud reports echoing across our part of the county. Very glad they are not M4 and AK reports. Happy Independence Day.

  27. Just a thought on saw chains. Though expensive consider carbide chains. We used them at the FD and the things will eat nails, shingles, etc. no problem. Much less sharpening . especially nice if cutting wood with dirt, roots and such. This veteren owned company makes a good product, made in the USA.

  28. Super glue works great for binding cuts quickly. Sharp clean cuts, which sounds like you had from the glass Lily. I’ve used it quite a few times

  29. I need some advice. I purchased a Sthil MS461 about five years ago after a wicked storm blew a tree of mine over onto my neighbors property. I never really use the saw until fall. In the owners manual it cautioned about the fuel that I must use. It says to use 90 octane or higher. The shop I bought my saw at stopped carrying the 1 Liter metal fuel containers, they now only carry a type of fuel that is a 40:1 or a 50:1 fuel oil mixture. Can I use 100 octane fuel in this thing? will that burn it up? It was easier to buy the 90 octane 1 liter jugs than trying to guess should I put Chevron (with Techron) or Shell brand fuel. Please respond if you have any “good gouge”.

    1. The only fuel I use in my Stihl saw is 91 octane which is “non-oxygenated”. I never use ethanol fuels in any two cycle engine unless I have no other choice. Oxygenated fuel and ethanol are synonymous for the most part. I would probably not use 100 octane fuel in a two cycle. It might be OK, but then if it isn’t you could be in trouble down the road.

      As far as the oil that gets mixed in the gas is concerned I use only oil that meets the TC-W3® specification as it is higher quality oil and will prolong the service life of the engine. I will not use SuperTech oil. Check out the following link for a description of the newer oil:


      My personal favorite oil to use in all two cycles is Head Start® from Conklin, but it is hard to find as it is only sold through dealers, but there are now quite a number of other companies that manufacture this newer type of oil.

      As far as bar oil is concerned I always use bar oil – never motor oil or worse yet used motor oil. Motor oil is not designed for chainsaws and bar oil is not designed for internal combustion engines.

      If you use quality products in your saw it will give you many years of service. Both Stihl and Husqvarna make good saws and I have used both.

    2. I enjoy reading the articles and comments (over the past few years) but have always kept my opinions to myself. I have, however, been feeling convicted lately to chime in occasionally and maybe even write an article.

      After reading a couple replies about chainsaws and fire wood, I decided to give my $.02. To East Sierra Sage, the MS461 is a great saw. I have the older 046 Magnum with a 20″ and 32″ bar, but usually save it for the bigger stuff. (Like JWR, I do most of my fire wood cutting with my Stihl Farm Boss.)

      David ‘n’ Goliath gave some sound advice – the quality of the oil is important and I would not use 100 octane. I purchased the 046 used from a guy that collected and rebuilt Husqvarna and Stihl saws. I follow his advice when mixing my fuel. He recommended using the prepackaged Stihl synthetic (HP Ultra) with at least 89 octane gasoline, mixing only a gallon or two at a time so it stays fresh. Ethanol free gas would be better, but it is not readily available where I live, so I mix a gallon at a time and use it up pretty fast. Besides, the Stihl synthetic oil is supposed to have a Stabil type product in it. The prepackaged oil is quite convenient, but I’m sure it is more expensive. Long term I plan on figuring out a good way to measure the 2.6 fl oz so I can purchase it in bulk. Since I have been mixing my fuel this way, my saws, line trimmer, and blower have all been running well. I think it is also good not to let any of those little 2-cylce engines sit very long between running them.

      For reference, on the back of the Stihl Engine oil bottle, it says to mix with “fresh 89 octane gasoline” and that it makes a 50:1 mix.

      One last comment about brands of saws: my dad always told me to buy the best tool you can at the time you are buying it. If you can only afford a big box store special chain saw (that has a long bar and not enough CC’s to push it), then get it and know that it won’t last. But on the other hand, if you want to use it for many years to come, put your money into a good quality saw, even if it is used, and it will last for decades. “Buy once, Cry once!” In other words, I would recommend Stihl or Husky saws. There are a few other good brands as well, but depending on your area, it maybe harder to find parts and/or service.

      Keep it sharp and it will cut!

      1. Hello SMH,
        Yes, do write an article if you can. JWR is in need of articles so sharpen your “pencil” (can’t sharpen a computer keyboard that I know of) and write one. I’ve been thinking along that line myself for a while now and guess it’s time to do one myself. Hmm – what subject: Welding for Beginners, Gardening for Newbies, Gardening in TEOTWAWKI… I guess I’ll have to use the search function on this blog and see what has already been written about and then try and pick a “gap” in the articles if there is one. There’s such a wide variety of topics to choose from.

        Regarding ethanol vs. regular non-oxygenated gasoline: It’s been my understanding that the alcohol can mess up the carburetor diaphragms. Joe (above on this page) mentioned about this. My best friend has been a lumberjack longer than I’ve been alive and that’s what he says as well. If there is something about auto mechanics / chainsaws I need to know I call him up. A very valuable friend indeed.

        I do mix gas in small batches, too. The most I’ve ever mixed was two gallons last fall when I was doing a lot of cutting otherwise it’s a single gallon at a time.


  30. You all have been sooo busy!! I ended up in the dentist chair twice this week. It’s been on my list of things to do so I don’t need the book, When There is No Dentist! Thankfully, I am able to get all the work that needs to be done ($$$) and now it can’t be put it off any longer. Did my annual cancer blood work and just got the results back. I am no worse off than last year and I’m just thrilled about that!! Most of what I did this past week was super boring, must do home maintenance. LOL.

    Sorry about your finger Lily. When I was sewing a few months ago, I started to hurry (as I was cutting fabric) and sliced off a quarter of a finger tip with the rotary scissors. You’d think I’d have learned because a few months earlier I had sliced straight into my wrist with those rotary scissors and just missed the main blood vessel. I slow way down now when I have to cut a lot of fabric, making sure my hands and arms are out of the path. Thankfully, I have the medical supplies to deal with cuts and while it was painful for a couple of weeks, both healed with no infections.

    I love all the stories!!

  31. This is, of course, not medical advice, A.L., but if I had a cut like yours I would make a pad or poultice of bruised or chopped yarrow leaves, and bind it around the finger, and not disturb it for many days. I would expect it to heal quickly. Of course, I would be alert for any signs of infection, like pain or stiffness..swelling would not be visible.

    For many years we have fed chicks a 50-50 mix of hulled sunflower seeds and corn, coarsely ground together in a hand mill. Our birds free-range, even motherless chicks we put in an outdoor cage (with a buried light-bulb in upside-down cardboard box for heat), so trace minerals and grit take care of themselves.

    1. John Leyzorek …i had the same thought about yarrow for AL’s cut! As the “fixers” in our families, one wants to provide the smoothest path over these bumps in the road. ( Getting ready to cut my crop of yarrow today and dry it.) These “little” slings and arrows of life have a huge impact on our day to day activities. Seems ALWAYS to be at the wrong time! My FAVOURITE herbal go-tos are plantain, nettles, yarrow, comfrey and lemon balm…have been learning to allow my intuition more freedoms in their use.

      Plantain especially is becoming a new best friend! In May, just as my local dentist office was getting up and running again, i had a major pain in my mouth. After x-rays and examination, nothing definitive could be found. They refered me to an oral surgeon for further help…grrrrr. After employing warm salt water in my water flosser, there was a marked improvement overnight. So i started using the flosser, (similar to a Waterpik,) nightly. Then i would tuck a folded plantain leaf into my cheek and leave till morning. I have continued to do this and the issue is gone. (Since my teeth are cracked and sensitive to cold, that is still there but no other problem. Continuing to do this routine nightly in hopes of improvement for this as well.) Have used fresh or dried leaves and both seem equally effective. ( Have read the roots of plantain are good for toothache but need to investigate this more.)

      As a spit poultice, plantain is incredibly effective at easing bee/wasps stings, AND it is almost always nearby! Chew up a clean leaf and apply to sting/bite…the grands are always amazed at how the owie goes away so quickly!

      As ALWAYS…learned alot from you all who commented!!!

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