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:

On Thursday, I did some on-site consulting with a client with an off-grid retreat on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I’m now en route, returning to the ranch. Today, I have a full day of consulting planned with another client. We are meeting in a small town on the east shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

We are again taking orders at Elk Creek Company. Thanks for your patience.  With both the election looming and early Christmas shopping, I expect to sell out most of my antique guns by early November. If you want to buy one, then order it soon!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

[Lily Edit: Hag Sameach Sukkot to all of our Jewish and other readers who celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  Our Lord God, the Creator God, Yahweh, dwells with us in our hearts through the gifting of His Holy Spirit, when we believe on the redemptive  work of His son Yeshua. Someday soon, He will reside with us physically, when He rolls back the sky and returns in the Clouds of Heaven at the end of the Age of Grace.  Come Quickly Lord!]

This week has flown by very quickly.  It has been sunny and warm in the afternoons in the high seventies.  I am enjoying the warm temperatures and no mosquitoes.

What did I do this week?

This week I canned about twenty plus cans of Coho Salmon that I had bought and froze until ready to can.

I harvested the plums from the plum tree, about fifteen pounds worth.  I harvested about ten pounds of Mackintosh apples and two Gravenstein apples, and one other kind of apple from my very young orchard.

I also canned another large batch of tomato sauce, from my tomatoes that are ripening inside.

I spent more time collecting, drying and packeting fruit and veggie seeds.  We are still packing tomato and Jalapeno pepper seeds, I collected seeds from store bought organic Butternut squash and store-bought Honey Dew melons.  Even though these two do not grow well out here, the ever optimist in me will try again next year.  I will probably plant them in pots in the Green house bathroom earlier this coming year and see what happens.

I planted horseradish and Comfrey roots in my new herb garden that I am trying to establish.

I harvested almost all of the celery growing in the green house, rinsed, chopped and dehydrated it in my Excaliber Dehydrator.  They yielded three quarts of dried celery.  I still have two patches growing outside, that I cover when the nights threaten to frost.

I harvested a large amount of Cilantro of which I still need to dehydrate.

I harvested the last of the green tomatoes that were still out in the garden, that I covered up during potential frost nights.  I pulled their vines and threw them into the compost.

We’re still harvesting and munching on the golden raspberries.  The red raspberries primocanes were killed in the first three nights of frosts that we had a few weeks ago, and are therefore not producing a fall crop.

All of our critters are doing super well.

I did some sewing to mend some clothing.

I ran some errands in various surrounding towns and cities.  That always takes up a big chunk of our time.

I listened to the books of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua while driving and working in the kitchen.

Of course the girls helped me in some of these projects.

I spent some hours this week listening to June Knight of the “We Are The Bride” Ministries WATB.tv.  She had a group of women join her this week to listen to the government’s “Vaccine Congress”  in Washington D.C. this week.  Scientists and others, Dr. Fauci included, discussed how they would make the vaccine (or vaccines) mandatory and how to distribute them and how to deal with those who resist.  If this is not associated with the Mark of the Beast….Very serious times we are living in.

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. Happy Sukkot!
    Great prepping progress!
    Off to enjoy eight days living preparedness in the wild (as wild as we can get) as commanded by The Creator and enjoying our harvest with Him.

    Great book choices to listen to. They are life changing when you realize exactly what The Creator says in them and that He says the commands can not be added or subtracted from

    1. Shalom to you Shalom, Ani, Avalanche Lily and all other SB readers that recognize the Messiah for who He was and is. Last week Shalom posted the following:
      “Do you know the Mark of the Creator is keeping the Sabbath and obeying His commands? He says He sets His Mark upon us.”
      Very well stated. If people know “the Mark of the Creator” they can look in the opposite direction to find the “Mark of the Beast” and it’s not what a lot of people think. It will be in direct opposition to the Creator. Trying to change His laws. The Bible says that this opposition will “… think to change times and laws” Daniel 7:25

      Also a few weeks back someone stated that the United States was not mentioned in the Bible. It is mentioned in the Bible. France is also mentioned. They are both described in detail, but not by actual name. Most people surface read the Bible and miss so much. Just like science classes in school, the students see only what is on the surface — the printed page and they all too often stop learning when they leave school.

      1. David ‘n’ Goliath, I appreciate your comments. If you are inclined, and have time, I would love to learn more about what the Bible says about the United States and France, and/or whatever else you were alluding too.
        Blessings on your week, Krissy

        1. Krissy,
          That would take quite an explanation and quite a bit of time as I’m very slow at typing, but to give you a little start I would recommend to read the books of Daniel and Revelation. Daniel chapter 2 outlines the time periods from Bablylon down to the end of time. The book of Revelation focuses in much greater detail on the end time events which we are all living in now. I should also mention that Daniel chapter 3 gives a glimpse into how the anti-Christ type mindset operates and how a false system of worship is forced on people.

          Another thing is about prophetic time and how it is mentioned in the Bible. Consider the following passage from Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” The last phrase of “… a time and times and the dividing of time.” is part of the clue.
          time = 1
          times = 2
          dividing of time = ½
          or a total of 3 ½
          Now lets look elsewhere in the Bible for how to decipher this.
          Numbers 14:34 “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.”

          Ezekiel 4:6 “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
          The key phrase here is “day for a year” which is prophetic time. The 3 ½ in Daniel 7:25 is 3 ½ years.

          I realize this might be new to a lot of people. This is just a start. I’ll have to write more when I have time. I would like to write more about how France is mentioned, but that will have to wait for now. At least this gives you a starting place.
          Blessings to you as well,

        2. France and Spain are mentioned in the book of Obadiah 1:20
          Oba 1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

          Zarephath; is France In Hebrew Tzarfat צרפת

          Sepharad, is Spain in Hebrew Sfarad ספרד

          The United States is considered to be the isles mentioned in numerous prophetic books for example:

          Isa 66:19
          And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

          Also in Ezekiel 38:13 The Young Lions of Tarshish, which might have been an ancient coastal city of Spain or Britain could represent the USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc. because they are young countries.

          “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”

          This has been the speculation of many in the prophetic movements of the last at least fifty years.



          1. We were also mentioned in Daniel as the ships of Tarshish. And that prophecy came true in 2012. We shifted out one of our aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and Iran chickened out. Their leader then gave a speech about how Iran will support anyone who would take up arms against Israel.

            The next verse talks about the antichrist, who is revealed by the First Seal. So we’re very close!

        3. This applies to all nations in all times:
          Galatians 5:22–23
          But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

          Carry on in grace

  2. I can see clearly now, my glasses on
    I can see all laundry piles in my day…
    Gone are the twisted frames that had me blind
    It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

    Received the new pair after last week’s eye exam, and ordered a second pair for backup. (Ouch! $$) Given how many days it took for my eyes to stop trying to cross, the old ones must have been REALLY bad. Eye doc says I am actually a candidate for the newest type of minimally invasive vision correction surgery, so we are researching insurance coverage. (Ouch!! $$$$) I HATE the thought of anyone messing with my eyes, but on the other hand, just imagine…to just wake up and SEE? It would be a game changer and one less BIG thing to worry about in case of aerial Schumer.

    Received a few more ordered things: fruit leather sheets for one of the dehydrators, underthings for one of the littles (bit the bullet and paid through the nose for ones made in the USA), desiccant packets, bucket tops, etc. Husband bought a new dremel and a complete set of drill bits (“to have them all in one place”). Need to organize all the other partial sets for spares. Cleared out under the bathroom sink, inventoried, and made a list of more toiletries etc to stock deeper.

    Electricians spent hours here and replaced the shoplights with brighter, safer LEDs; replaced the rusted-out motion sensor lights on all the corners of the house; advised about iffy outlet inside; installed an interlock at the main panel for generator hookup; installed new power outlet at one kitchen counter that had none.

    A couple mornings ago, upon opening the front door, I was informed by shocked voices that “It’s FREEZING, Moooommmmm!” Yes, our summer heat has broken. It was seventy degrees. (Please don’t pelt me with snowballs for bragging about it! 😀 ) So we’ve spent a lot more time outside. One little got brave enough to climb a tree for the first time. Another gathered acorns–he’s obsessed with the idea of roasting and eating them. I sent him to the Encyclopedia of Country Living to read all about them. Husband has trimmed up some overgrown things in the front yard. I really like the overgrown look (illusion of security to me, and illusion of run-down-ness to ill-intentioned passersby), but we cannot have branches messing up the roof either, and it’s good for him to get away from his screens and work outside.

    We joined (virtually) the prayer march last weekend, and have been playing “Earth to God” by John Rich many times since. What a simple yet powerful song.

    On the homeschooling front, I thought we would hit the academics hard with Eldest gone in the mornings for therapy, but it has turned out to be more life lessons than straight-up three Rs. (Though those are always incorporated)
    The kids usually grab the junk mail to play with and color on, and with all of the political spamming, this has given way to interesting conversations. One evening, I had a flyer waved in my face by a little who (quoting it) implored me to “NOT LET JOE BIDEN SHUT DOWN THE ECONOMY!”….as though I am personally responsible for Joe Biden. I guess when you’re her age, Mama is personally responsible for everything! I replied, “Hmmm…honey, what is an economy?” She giggled and ran off. I then reminded her slightly older brother (who honestly thought that I was just gonna TELL HIM, instead of making him get the dictionary to begin! silly boy) that you cannot possibly declare something good or bad before you even know what it IS.

    We had long, LONG discussions about how advertising is always trying to convince you of something, and how both candidates are going to be saying the good parts about themselves and the bad parts about each other, and we have to look at what someone DOES more than what they SAY to find the truth. (They know this last principle from mine and their father’s assessment of the BLM Corporation vs actual justice.) Finally, I told them to pretend we were starting a neighborhood environmental club like in Ranger Rick, and I was running against one of them for president. I took a piece of paper and some crayons and wrote, “A (his name) has pulled up PLANTS by their ROOTS! A is BAD for the environment. This is the truth! Vote against A!” Ohhhh my goodness, they were AGHAST. Even tore up my flyer. LOL! “But MOM!! Those were WEEDS! Weeds are PESTS! They were growing in the patio! You TOLD me to pull them out!” Once his righteous 6yo indignation had finally blustered itself out, he was able to see how taking just one small part of the truth, and leaving out everything else, can change the entire story very very much. On his own, he went off and thought on it, then came back with their extensive plans to interview both presidential candidates and write to them and etc, with little sister chiming in constantly… I explained how he won’t get a personal reply from the candidate themselves, just from their campaigns, but praised his critical thinking, ideas and truth seeking. He had even copied the campaign’s address from that flyer onto his envelope! (Then I ate more chocolate. MAN, is this exhausting. But I utterly refuse to raise sheep.)

    Had lots of things spoil at once in the fridge, which never happens and I think was a result of the temp not being set cold enough for its load. We’d gotten tired of things freezing on the top shelf and turned it up, but, too far I guess. It was very discouraging, but a definite push towards shelf-stable supplies and away from total reliance on fridge and freezers. Had a tentative discussion with family member about food storage, who had actually been wondering about supply chains as well, and to my surprise told me his wife was also open to discussions! She’s terrified of covid and it is still hurricane season, so perhaps I can emphasize the need for preparedness without ever touching on things she considers “too political.”

    Ordered five-gallon food-safe buckets for the bulk stuff (will use the smaller ones for dehydrated veggies, bottles of oils, etc), and think I will FINALLY have everything I need to pack them. I feel like we’re WAY overthinking this, and it shouldn’t be this hard. Shoulda read back articles on SB BEFORE ordering the items one at a time. But we have: buckets, lids (regular and gamma), lid opener, mylar bags, desiccant packets, oxygen absorber packets, bags for the vacuum sealer, and a source for dry ice. Did I forget anything?

    Have a good week, friends. Stay safe and sane out there!

    1. “instead of making him get the dictionary” Thank you for the memory chuckle! When our children were growing up and would ask me how to spell something, I would reply with “d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y”.

      1. LOL Just Me! Yep, they spend more time asking questions and trying to do it “the easy way,” then just getting it done!

        In turn you have reminded me — in sixth grade or so, our teacher grew exasperated with one boy’s complete inability to SHUT HIS MOUTH that day, and told him to begin filling out a write-up slip (detention). He asked, “For what?!” And she replied, “For your oral diarrhea!” So he started writing, then asked me, “How do you spell diarrhea?” He’d always picked on me, so I answered exactly they way you did. And he WROTE IT DOWN! (After all they both start with D-I-, right?) The teacher had a good laugh. Poor teacher had her hands full with that class. Same boy would never bother to pack himself a snack from home (not it was not food insecurity–we knew his folks), and always pester me to share some of mine, so one day I put some dry cat food in my container and told him it was “those new multi-grain cheerios! Haven’t you seen the commercials?” Teacher was trying so hard not to laugh while she told me I might have made him sick and I shouldn’t do it again…I didn’t get truly in trouble though.

        1. Wow, you spelled diarrhea correctly, Bear. It is a tough one.

          My sweet spouse uses a simple word, “Flotch” in place of diarrhea.

          Easier to spell on the run.

          Carry on in grace

    2. Kudos for buying American! I know it’s tough to shell out the extra money and finding American made can be nigh on impossible sometimes (FYI: there are websites that help). I’ve had to resort to second hand so much since NAFTA. Great for the budget BTW!

      Let’s do what we can to bring manufacturing back!

      1. Yep, I found a helpful website (usalovelist.com) that had lists of American made products, and selected a company from there. Have actually set husband to ordering another set now for Eldest. We do buy secondhand for clothes whenever possible (and hooray for friends outgrowing things!) but with underwear, well, yuck. Mostly the elastic is stretched into oblivion and it is stained.

        BTW how are you feeling this week? 🙂

    3. Hey Bear, can we get one parody per week? They’re great! 🙂

      After wearing glasses since I was 10, I coughed up the bucks and got lasik surgery almost 20 years ago and I was the best $2,000 I ever spent up to that point of my life. If you can afford vision-correcting surgery, it’s well worth the cost. I was needing new glasses every 6 months due to the industry I was working in so not having to buy those twice a year helped pay for the surgery. I ended up with 20/15 vision and for a full year, I would walk outside and just look at stuff! “Wow, I can see the outline of the pine trees on that mountain 15 miles away.” “Check out that golden eagle sitting on the cell tower.” I felt like the Six Million Dollar Man! 🙂

  3. Good morning!
    I admire your progress at growing enough for storage! I am just at the stage where we can make several meals out of what I grow, but there is not enough to put up. However, I am still buying the produce and canning/dehydrating/freezing. I continue to dehydrate the Gala and Fuji apples with cinnamon and nutmeg. Again, I have canned chicken, ground beef, and sirloin. I planted the last garden with lettuces, spinach, turnips, and collards, while weeding and thinning the other two gardens. The beans are coming along quite nicely, as are the winter squash plantings. I have finished shopping for Christmas in anticipation of supply disruption/inflation following the elections. I listened to several online podcasts on prophecies and Revelations this week. The past 24 hours I have been praying fervently for the health and well-being of our President, his staff and family. Blessings to all.

    1. “I continue to dehydrate the Gala and Fuji apples with cinnamon and nutmeg.”

      Oooooo, I am stealing this idea. Have tried cinnamon (we really couldn’t taste it), but not nutmeg yet.

  4. I can’t believe how fast time is going. I’ve read everyone’s progress that has posted here every Saturday for the last two months and have been amazed. What a great work God has been doing throughout the country to be prepared for what may come. God is so faithful!

    Today is our big day. God has been working in my family’s life. You will recall my husband had cancer then surgery during this whole covid thing. My daughter also experienced blessings through her pregnancy that threatened my unborn grandson. Both are doing great and little H is such a blessing to all of us.

    We have listened to God’s prompting and have sold our home of 8 yrs. One where we planted an orchard, created a pond and made a wonderful place to ride out what may come. We thought to move to the redoubt but that wasn’t to be , at least nit at this time.

    We pack up the truck today in preparation to moving 45 minutes north of our location. To a property that is slightly larger but way more isolated and off the beaten track. In the last few years the surround properties have been or are being developed to the density of the suburbs. Close to 130 new home lots are being created right next door to our “rural” property. Many of the people that will move into these new homes will be from the greater Atlanta area. Telecommuting is a good thing for many people but that means they can move further from the city. With the rioting and unrest we have seen this summer that was a cause for concern.

    The nearest Wal-Mart has seen an very large increase in city demographics. I don’t know why they have come here except as a scouting trip. I know it sounds paranoid but there is nothing here to draw this demographic.

    We received an offer on our house after we showed it 5 times. The whole process we have been in constant prayer. After the sale of our home, we had no place to go or even where to go. God has worked in the family’s lives that are buying our place and also the family’s lives whom we are buying their home. They prayed for us as we prayed for the family who bought our home. Each of us improved our situation and had specific needs that were met through the sell and purchase of each home. It is truly amazing how God’s guided all of us and we have made friends with each other and all of us are Christians.

    Our new home and property is every bit has wonderful as the property we sold and in some ways even better. God is abundantly providing for us. Just one example: our new place has a large greenhouse! Woo woo! I hope to be able to start some winter greens next week.

    Well I just wanted to share but now I need to get busy. Lots to do today!

    God Bless all of you!

    Sorry for any spelling mistakes no time to proof read.

    1. Wow!! God is indeed good, all the time! Thanks for sharing those blessings to encourage us. Congratulations on your successful closings and good luck with the move. And we are SO happy to hear of your husband’s, daughter’s and grandbaby’s good health!

    2. CD NorthGA, Thank you so much for sharing what the Lord has been, and is currently doing in your life, as well as the buyer and sellers’ lives. So many blessings! Tears of joy for you are falling down my face.

      Lord, please give blessings of peace, strength and endurance for all concerned during moving.

      In Christ,


  5. It’s definitely looking(and feeling) like October. We are having an early but gorgeous leaf season here but it is going fast. After 4 nights of hard frost we experienced a glorious stretch of Indian summer days this week. Now we’re getting some much needed rain; other than a brief sprinkle we hadn’t had any rain since Hurricane Laura. It’s been a very dry summer here.

    I’ve been harvesting tomatoes both ripe and green. I grew an insane number of them(for a home garden) thinking that who knew what the situation would be with groceries etc by harvest time and at least I’d have plenty on hand for others. Next year, unless TSHTF, I’m growing less than half of what I did! OMG….. it’s almost feeling like harvesting for Farmers’ Market again! 😉 So I’m canning tomato sauce and drying cherry tomatoes, giving some to neighbors, lather, rinse, repeat…….

    Harvested the last of the winter squash and potatoes. Broccoli is still producing side-shoots(Arcadia is SO amazing). Brussels sprouts are sizing up nicely. Not sure if I’ll do melons again or not; did get some ripe ones and some I hope to ripen fully indoors but it’s dicey. If I do this again I’ll try covering with a double layer of row cover all season except for a brief time to allow pollination of some of the flowers and see if this helps. It’s an Arava Israeli style melon and quite yummy but really was bred for the Negev! Will try drying some this week; never did that before.

    Have gone through my seeds and ordered some more of what was available. Would still like to get more of certain varieties but can do without if need be. This year was my first year here in this location so I wasn’t sure how things would do at this latitude and elevation. Was really pleased at how well my Amish Paste tomatoes did here. Same thing with Rutger, Jet Star and Sun Gold. Mountain Magic was new to me but did awesome(small slicer style late blight resistant hybrid). I grow some hybrids as they do well for me. If I have to I’ll switch to all OP but for now, I include them. Galine and Swallow eggplants did super well as did Carmen peppers(all hybrids). Finding varieties that will grow well in the far North is sometimes challenging.

    I also ordered my asparagus roots and a few more fruit/nut trees as well. Hopefully they arrive next spring but you never know…..

    Am going to make sure I’m set for next spring in advance. Will try to source some compost now. Need to decide if I want to try fencing the garden(expensive project). I’m going to expand the garden and have asked someone to come and till when he can get here. I don’t want to count on doing this in the late spring. I can dig it all up by hand if I have to but would rather not! I have it all covered to kill off the grass.

    Got the wood stove going last night. A woodshed is on my wish-list; really miss the huge one I had on the farm. Trying to get done/buy what I think I need for the long-term as I can swing it. The metal roof is hopefully happening shortly. Trying to balance that palpable sense of unease/urgency with keeping a level head on my shoulders and not succumbing to panic purchases; easier said than done these days!

    1. “Trying to balance that palpable sense of unease/urgency with keeping a level head on my shoulders and not succumbing to panic purchases; easier said than done these days!”

      Wow Ani, you said it. Same here for sure …

      1. I was going to suggest their seed catalog, but you beat me to it. They have quite a selection of tomatoes of which I’ve grown a few in past years. I bookmarked their website several weeks ago.

      2. Thanks! That’s Jackie Clay-Atkinson’s seed company. I’ll spend some time with her catalog. My go-to companies have long been Johnny’s and Fedco but I’m always open to new sources, and they do live in Northern Minnesota so if it grows there, should grow here as well!

        1. … and I’m in Northern Minnesota as well. Try the Fireworks and Forest Fire tomatoes. They are both quite early and were both developed by Peters Seed and Research, now no longer in business.

  6. Repaired our front steps and painted them. In the process of redoing our flagstone path as well. Going out to hunt for more stones on the property today. This is time consuming but needing to get done. We will put some Skid Guard Tread on the steps as well. Working on a ground plane antenna for CB radio as well. Cleaned all vehicles and added fluids where needed. Continuing to build on our pantry items each week.
    Our church is planning a pot luck this month and a harvest dinner for Nov. Praying for our country and leaders, reading through the Old Testament. Hoping everyone has a blessed week. Glad Jim is on his way home.

  7. I’ve been looking into freeze drying vs dehydrating. It’s my understanding that freeze drying provides truly long term storage (20+ years) where as dehydrated foods would need to be rotated more often. There appears to be a significant difference in price for freeze dryers vs dehydrators. And the texture of the finished product is different. I’ve been considering a Harvest Right unit for about $2,000. I’m sure that you all have considerable experience in this area. Your comments and advice would be deeply appreciated.

    1. Kenfr we have had a Harvest Right freeze dryer for the past four years. I think we got one of the early models. My brother just bought on. The improvements have definitely sped up the freeze drying process time. I may eventually purchase the newer model.

      Typically processing times range from about 24 hours to 40 hours depending on the moisture content of the food(s) you are freeze drying. We try to group similar foods or foods that might might off an odor while drying Like sausage.

      You can freeze dry many types of foods. We just finished a batch of raw eggs. When dry they turn into a powder. Add water and you can make omelets or scrambled eggs. You could not tell the difference from fresh eggs.

      The main difference between a dehydrator and a freeze dryer to over all storage time. Properly stored freeze dried foods will last much longer. We believe the freeze dryer has definitely been worth the expense.

    2. Kenfr, It was my understanding that freeze dried food retains nutrients better long term as well. Seems to me, if one has the man power and time, use both the dehydrator and freezer dryer. If one ends up with too much food, what a wonderful problem to have, lol. Krissy

  8. Continued to buck and spilt wood for the wood burning furnace. Finished re-loading the 9mm rounds and switched over to reloading .223 rounds. Ordered and received 4 yards of soil and put it into the raised beds I put together a few weeks ago. Grabbed my copy of Che Guevara’s “Guerrilla Warfare” that I purchased at the PX when stationed at Fort Campbell. I am re-reading all the parts I highlighted. Know thy enemy – this is the lefts revolutionary playbook. Worked on laying out the fences for the paddocks that will be used for cows in the spring- will start picking up the “T” post and wire now. Went down to the courthouse to get my concealed carry permit. Too busy this week to hit any stores so no purchases.

    1. Know the enemy indeed…a good reminder. There’s a few things we want to re-read too. I’ve been grateful for the links posted here about real-time stuff happening in the streets. Scary, but putting our heads in the sand sure isn’t helpful.

      BTW my husband sends you regards from a fellow Spearhead vet.

  9. @ Kenfr, I would suggest first that you look at videos on You tube to get some idea of things you can freeze dry. Betty’s Freeze Dryer Group, Retired at 40,and Epicenter Bryan all offer different kinds and ways of freeze drying foods and will give you ideas that you probably have not even thought about. Two of these offer a facebook group that I have never joined as I don’t do facebook, but I would imagine have a lot of good information. To me, freeze drying is a learning process and it seems that the freeze dryers are constantly being upgraded and improved. There is a new oil pump coming out in a week or so that is the fourth pump to be offered. I have three different pumps because I have had trouble with them and one was free. This summer I did a major repair on my freeze dryer and now I am having issues again. I don’t know if this happens a lot with dryers that are a few years old or if it is just in my case. That being said, my service technician has been wonderful and has worked closely with me to help me resolve my problems. The long term storage of foods is an enormous plus for me. This summer while going through my food storage I discarded food that I had dehydrated because it looked horrible. It is a lot of work put into storing food only to have to discard it. If you have a family that constantly rotates and uses foods then dehydrating is good. If you are a small household like mine and don’t constantly rotate your food, then freeze drying works better for me. The GSM coming means lots of weather differences. Suppose we have a year or two where there are no crops. You can have a store of food that looks great, that you can use 15 years from now. That is a huge plus in my book. I am not sure which size you are looking to buy, but if you can afford it, go for the larger size. I have the small one, and have often wished I had the medium. I hope this helps.

  10. I’ve been overly blabbyiferous this week so I’ll spare you all more agony and keep it shorter than usual.

    I spent the week singing the praises of Telesilla of Argo. As part of a kitchen-cleaning project, it was time to get that eight-week-old sheet of paper off the counter with her peppermint patty recipe, as well as 10 lbs of apples, and two oranges. She made a gross understatement when she said they were good. Everybody I shared them with said, “Wow!” Thanks T of A! I sliced and cored all the apples for the freezer, keeping back enough to make a cobbler. The two oranges became marmalade.

    I’ve been collecting mirrors for a few years for some solar projects. I got some free broken mirrors at the auction last weekend as well as some whole ones for cheap and got those all cut up into 1½ x 1½” squares. One large unframed mirror I got for $1 had “Whittier-Coburn San Fran, CAL” stamped on the back and some quick research revealed it was over 100 years old so I kept that one and will make a frame for it. By the time I got all the mirrors cut, I had over 750 smaller mirrors. Just a few more and I’ll have enough for the first project. A second solar project is also progressing for a future SB article.

    I wondered if lentils would work in a rice cooker. Sure enough. I experimented with lentil hummus and lentil stir fry and both turned out great. I can also mix it with the rice + brown rice + quinoa mix I already use in the rice cooker and cook all four at the same time for an interesting dish.

    In my favorite book, Dandelion Wine (Ray Bradbury), one of the last rites of summer is when Grandpa takes the porch swing off its hooks on the veranda and stores it in the shed. Likewise, when I put the kitchen window back in this week, it was a sure sign that the summer is over and fall is here. It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes.

    The lemon basil I planted late is ready for the first harvest and smells wonderful. I’m anxious to try it in some recipes. Does it work in tea? The summer garden is finished, just need to dig the sweet potatoes later in the month. Didn’t Jeremiah Kerr say, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and our produce is all canned?

    Everyone have a great week!

  11. Can you believe it is October?!! So much has happened this year it seems that we have gone from one crisis to the next. I was listening to a podcast and the speaker reminded us how we need to be patient and trust the Lord’s ways. He specifically mentioned Proverbs 24: 17-18; “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him (KJV)”. I guess I have to repent because I would like to see a bunch of traitors and human traffickers in prison.

    Two of my small dogs have respiratory infections so I’ve got them on herbs, oils and just started antibiotics. Trying to keep them away from the rest of the house animals is not going so well.

    Canned 6 pds of pickled brussel sprouts, 3 pds of coleslaw and 10 pds of asparagus and will finish off about 8 pds of cauliflower today. I have just enough zucchini to can a sweet bread today for the first time. Don’t want to waste jars, but have to keep freezer space open for the beef delivery in two weeks.

    Went by the thrift store for the first time since January and it was slim pickings for sure. I did find a dozen pint wide mouth jars, a couple of organizer bins and a like- new soft and fluffy blanket throw for my fur babies.

    Got the portable generator ready for this season’s use; starts on first try. Son finished adding 2×4 supports and insulating the shed; it is much stronger and I feel more confident it can endure the winter storms which are coming. In extremely cold (below 10 degree weather, I could put some rabbit condos in there to keep the bunnies from freezing.

    Still reorganizing canned goods; this is going to be a long project because I fit it in between other projects. My son started moving some of the bucket storage out of the garage to a storage shed which we insulated last year.

    Still working on seed organization; I’m going to need some more containers for the larger seed bags and a storage unit to keep them in. Thinking seed potatoes are going to be hard to come by in the spring, so I’ve picked through some of ours to separate and want to get some different varieties to let sprout in next year.

    Praying for two of my neighbors, one just diagnosed with cancer the other with dementia. I know from experience how hard it is for the care-givers. Also praying for President Trump and his family.

    Our state’s early voting starts on the 12th so we will be make a city run to the big warehouse stores next week and to one of the big grocers to get some specialty items before hunkering down. I may go into the closest small town to me for animal feed, but not going to any city after the election.

    May your week be safe and productive.

  12. JWR

    Wondering if you’d be willing to write a piece about the preparations that you take while engaging in the long-distance driving you have been doing recently? What do you bring with you? How would you plan on getting home should things deteriorate quickly? What if your vehicle was no longer running? Etc etc.

    I’ve morphed from someone who was on the road traveling all the time and living in several places overseas to a virtual homebody now, with excursions out of course to work, shop etc but all within my state(and mostly no further than 25-50 miles away). It’s probably not a great time now to travel but I’d like to be able to get together this coming year with friends in Maine, maybe go back down to NC etc. Just feeling even more trepidation about doing this………

  13. A prayer request for Dan Bongino who is facing a serious health crisis. Dan has been an outspoken Conservative voice, and was critical to organizing the details and storyline of the Spygate scandal. He needs our prayers, now more than ever.


      1. Unknown… He mentioned that he would be going in for some kind of surgical procedure next week, and so had prerecorded at least one podcast. He also shared that his condition is “treatable”. He did not use the word “curable”, but this can mean so many different things — and does not necessarily mean a malignant cancer, although it may. Some masses are benign, but continue growing and so are treatable, but not necessarily curable — and this is also a possibility. My own impression is that Dan Bongino is trying to share as much as he can responsibly, and is still in a place of many unknowns. It’s also such a deeply personal experience, and he is most assuredly processing a lot of emotion — as are his family members. Hoping that he’ll have more news to share shortly, and that it will be the best news possible going forward.

  14. My week was absolutely packed with work and family stuff so not much progress on the things that count.

    I ran a batch of a dozen apples through the dehydrator and the results almost all fit neatly into a half gallon bag. This is a great option for storing nutrtionally dense foods in small packages. Two more batches planned for today. I like the dehydration option because mine was purchased used at $12 and works great, vs a $5K freeze dryer setup. I am very close to buying an Excalibur.

    I brought the bag of apple slices with me on a work related road trip. I was not paying attention and ate the entire bag within a few hours. That was a mistake. I had to pull over and buy a few large bottles of iced tea, etc. This is something to watch out for with young children.

    The ammo shelves are practically bare everywhere (but they did have 25-06 which is why I bought a hunting rifle in a nonstandard caliber). Most 308 and 30-06 is gone but if you like .204, 25-06, 6.5 CM or 300 then you will do just fine.

    I visited Bass Pro Shops and bought a couple packages of Mountain House Southwest Spicy Skillet meals, specifically to taste test. I believe this stuff is new. We tried it last night and while it’s a bit on the spicy hot side we really liked it. Plus it is gluten free so it fits the dietary needs of two of my four adult children who don’t eat a lot of gluten. We are adding this one to our list. Gluten free has become a priority for us as testing is proving out a high gluten sensitivity in my kids. Pretty amazing how much damage that stuff can do to your body even if you don’t have a sensitivity issue to deal with.

    While was off doing my thing for work, my wife was enroute to pick up our daughter from college. She called it quits in frustration after the college mandated COVID testing for all students even though only a few tested positive this semester. She is extremely smart and capable and asked all the right questions about false positive results, privacy on test results, what is being done with the test swabs, etc. I am proud of her especially since she left a school that was very difficult to get into and a full academic scholarship at that. She equated it to “prison”.

    Daughter #2 remains in college locally but left the retail store she was working at and accepted a job at a vet’s office. She is working on wounded animals and her skills may come in handy in the future.

    I wish I had more prepping progress to report but just ran out of time. Over the next two weeks I’ll be driving over 2K miles for work so I will be hitting a ton of stores looking for ammo and other supplies he have on our stock up list.

  15. If you want to drive a Generation Z snowflake crazy it’s easy.
    #1 Put them in a room with a rotary phone,a clock with hands,and a television without a
    #2 Leave them with operating instructions written in cursive hand. Lock the door.

    We got real lucky at ACE Hardware. No canning jars or lids but a Presto 23qt. pressure canner. The good fortune continued with 4 cases of qt. jars at the Veterans Thrift Store.

    We found some really great buys on food this week. Albertsons/Safeway has split chicken
    breast or thighs or drum sticks @.79lb.(1st Thursday is 10% off for seniors over 55)
    Smiths has boneless pork sirloin roast @.99lb. Of course Super One continues to have
    canned veggies @.48-.50 ea.
    This next week will be a apple canning and dehydrating marathon.

    1. LOL Vickie! I had seen that earlier this week. Does the TV get a set of collapsible bunny ears that only help when someone stands juuuust so, holding them in place?

      Given all of the proven cognitive and fine motor/OT benefits of writing in cursive–not to mention the ability to READ WRITTEN COMMUNICATION from many older humans–i cannot believe how cursive instruction has been eliminated from curricula. My own kids will not escape so easily. 😉 I keep getting asked (by older family members, no less) when they will get more typing practice, and I reply: After their handwriting is squared away! (And don’t whine at me kiddo, or you’ll get some EXTRA sentences to diagram!!)

    2. Vickie, Thank you for making me laugh. You are so right. I experienced #2 first hand in college last winter. When I went to the tutor center for help with statistics, the receptionist saw my chemistry notes, and said, “Aww… You’re one of those people.”

      I was taken aback because I had no clue what she meant.

      She was referring to my notes in cursive writing.

      She wrote cursive as well, and we had an enlightening conversation.
      I had missed the memo that the government decided to dumb down American kids even more. I was in such disbelief, I immediately did an impromptu survey of the students in the center, and sure enough, not one of them could write cursive.

      On the flip side, the younger students are excellent at IT! I used the tutor center mostly for help with doing a million things on the computer; things that came easily to them but not to me.

      My Algebra professor had a great saying. “It’s okay. No one is born knowing this. You have to be taught.”

  16. It may be a little off-topic with regard to prepping progress, but in a sense, maybe not.

    JWR’s introduced the blog today with a tribute to the men who died in the sad incident in Mogadishu, the subject of the excellent movie, “Black Hawk Down.” It reminded me of another movie, “The Outpost.” It deals with an incident in the war in Afghanistan at Combat Outpost Keating. The best comparison for what happened at Combat Outpost Keating is the movie, “Zulu”–hundreds of Taliban assaulting less than 100 soldiers in a small military compound that should never have existed there in the first place.

    The acting is excellent and the combat scenes are riveting. The movie is now available on Netflix.

    When I said that the movie might have some relation to prepping progress, some readers might pick up an idea or two from the movie for the coming societal disruptions post-election day. It’s likely to be a rocky ride.

    1. My son and I watched “The Outpost” this weekend. It brought back multiple thoughts.

      First, I remembered the faults of pride, arrogance, and authoritarianism. The most basic soldier recognized the stupidity of the location and some recognized the idiocy of the mission. Some had the guts to speak up just to get slapped down by a bootlicker who was more worried about his officer evaluation report than the lives and limbs of his soldiers.

      Secondly, I was reminded of brotherhood and the selfless acts to protect one another. I believe most soldiers would die for their country, but would prefer to have their lives count before being traded. It is a hard pill to swallow when you recognize that someone died in vain.

      In the end soldiers need to carry out orders, but officers and NCOs need to encourage and develop critical thinking. To think there isn’t some improvement is to deny truth and potentially fall on your face later.

      The movie, “The Green Berets” with John Wayne, emphasizes walking through the defensive preparations. It’s a long movie, but a good segment on preparing the base prior to the attack, actions, and consolidation.

      I’ve watched Zulu and Zulu Dawn and couldn’t remember which was the better one. I think Burt Lancaster starred. This movie also illustrates pride, arrogance, selfishness, brotherhood, courage, and the defense.

      One other thought on defensive preparations is a website lizardfarmer. It had numerous obstacles.

      May God bless you all

      1. Zulu Dawn was inferior to Zulu but dealt with the actions that led to Rourkes Drift.
        Another really good movie, albeit about British troops, was Kajaki.
        Really sums up Brotherhood.

  17. In awe, per the usual, of all y’all have accomplished. I can’t even remember what I did this week other than steadily working on a large quilt, researching a new living locale, training/cleaningupafter/feeding/puppies, topped off a few more supplies. The greenhouse is a jungle of ripening tomatoes. I remind myself that the most important thing RIGHT NOW is to train these little creatures properly for much happiness later. Reminds me very much of tiny children, which I had plenty of.

    Praying for so many, but am advising family members to guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus because the chaos out there is stunning and the stress can create all kinds of health problems. Something people don’t often think of in a SHTF scenario is how your body will react to the stress. It’s important to get good sleep, eat good food, breathe intentionally like a woman in labor, clear your mind, and methodically attend to “The Things”, etc.
    Blessings to all!!

  18. Good afternoon everyone,
    Well, it’s countdown time for me. I’m having my spinal fusion surgery this coming Wednesday so I have be in a frenzied mode for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been rage cleaning my house and mom and dads house the last week, windows, floors, Ect (basically every surface in sight). Have lots of meals made for us and them so just heat and serve. I feel better knowing that everything is in order and I just really want to get this done and on the road to recovery. I have no illusions that this is going to “fix” everything that is wrong, but hopefully it will take pressure off some of the nerves that are causing me so much trouble.

    I hope you all have a Rockin great day and please don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks.


    1. RKRGRL68!
      We are lifting you up in prayer, and will continue to pray in earnest as you pass through this time of surgery and recovery… MAY GOD BLESS and KEEP YOU!

    2. Hey RKRGRL68, many of us infidels have you in our thoughts as well. Your surgery should make the long trip to Jorj and back more comfortable and we’ll need you in top shape to work an occasional galley shift sharing some of your wonderful Italian dishes. 🙂

      Wishing the best for your speedy recovery!

    3. Hi, RKRGRL68,

      I will be praying for you about your spinal fusion. You can do this because the Lord has you in His hands. I had a fusion from T10-S1 over three years ago. I made it and you will too. If someone is physically available to pray with you before your surgery, I would suggest it as it’s so very comforting. I look forward to hearing about the success of your surgery. Everyone here will have you in their/my prayers. Blessings from TX.

  19. The week has flown by as many have said. The tensions in our country magnify our feeling of not enough time and yet each day is productive. I’ve taken to making even more lists so that I can remember all those things I think of in the middle of doing something else and frankly so that I can see my progress, especially when I start to panic that I don’t have enough done.

    We had some metal brackets made so that we can extend the roof line of our outdoor kitchen area. Right now the rain comes in from each side and despite the roof we are still getting wet. Now…we still need to go pick up metal sheets of 2 foot strips to roof it over.

    I started harvesting in earnest this week expecting the fall rains to begin soon. I grew a yellow grape tomato for the first time this year and ended up with two and a half five gallon buckets. I am a member of the facebook group Rebel Canners. Someone from that group made roasted tomato basil soup using yellow tomatoes. I spent yesterday roasting trays of tomatoes and will finish and can the soup today. So far I am very pleased. The tomatoes are less acidic. With roasting tomatoes, onions and garlic, the soup has an almost split pea color but it is very good.

    I picked up several very large heads of cabbage at a local farm stand (mine were very small this year) and today I intend to pick beets and carrots to add to the cabbage for a coleslaw. The Youtube couple (Simple Living Alaska) made what looks like a great coleslaw that is vinegar based. They canned it for storage so I am going to try that recipe today.

    Progress on my bathroom remodel is slow but steady. I finished the bathtub tile surround and finally grouted and sealed it this week. I’m ready to paint and then do the floor. I’ve been trying to figure out what to put down for a floor and finally found a laminate product a Home Depot that is waterproof and easy to put down so that will be my next step.

    Be well everyone,

  20. Today I cut up the volunteer pumpkin from my garden. It was too big for ordinary kitchen knives, so I used a pruning saw. (I washed it first!) I cut it in half, scraped out the innards, and cut it into pieces. Now it’s in the oven roasting. I can then peel the skin off and puree the rest of it.

    The instructions I’m following are here:


    My parents will be returning from overseas on Monday. That means I will no longer be needed to care for their home. A big chapter of my life is ending now, and I am looking to start a new chapter in the Redoubt or some other state which is less crowded and regulated. The job search is on! I’m looking for desktop support jobs; feel free to send suggestions!

    In about an hour my friends will be here for a barbecue. The election is only a month away, so let’s enjoy life before the riots really start!

    Keep on prepping!


  21. To Sblog readers that pray,

    I want to thank you. Your prayers have been effectual in my life, as well as my family’s. The last two months have been a blur. Weeks of health crises in others were followed by blessings of healing.

    My dad was told not to walk or drive for 6 weeks because his Achilles heal was so bad, it was at risk of rupturing. For the men reading this, you know what my dad did. He kept walking and driving… (He did let me drive them on their 58th anniversary road trip to the Redoubt though.)

    Hence, I have been helping my dad as much as possible, fix up a 1950’s house to rent.
    We were putting up a rail fence for the back yard last Tuesday, and I started violently throwing up liquid and bile. Oops. I forgot to eat breakfast that morning with that Naproxen I took for the pain in my thumbs… An hour later I started another bout of throwing up again, only this time it was really different. It looked like blood, and there was a lot of it. Having thrown up into a garbage bag, I poured some into a canning jar and headed off to the nearest Urgent Care. I thought they would have a dip stick of some sort to tell if there was blood in it or not.

    There was no need. The doctor was an ER doc, and after asking me questions, told me I had a Mallory-Weiss tear in my esophagus. She didn’t even need to test my sample, just looked at it, and said she has seen this a lot in the ER. The doc was awesome. I felt so blessed. She gave me two prescriptions and I was good to go back and help my dad, with the caveat that if it happened again, I would head straight to the emergency room. This happened one day before my medical insurance ended.
    Sweet! Not to mention, I didn’t throw up blood anymore. PTL! I know I’m not supposed to take Ibuprofen, and the doctor said if I was going to sneak a pain pill, I should sneak ibuprofen instead of naproxen because naproxen is much harder on the stomach… Good to know.

    Another immense crisis/blessing pertained to my mom. After months of feeling tired, she went to the doctor and found out she needed her gall bladder removed asap. It took two weeks for the insurance to approve her laparoscopic office procedure.

    The 30-40 min surgery took over two hours because unbeknownst to the doctor, my mom’s gall bladder had previously burst and was growing on other organs. The tests and scans did not reveal any of this until he got in there. The doctor could not believe that my mom hadn’t been in excruciating pain for weeks, let a lone that day.
    He said her gall bladder looked like someone had taken a hammer to it, and pulverized it. Did I mention my mom is a tough cookie? The flip side is you do not want her being the one to nurse you, hahaha.

    There was a complication with the surgery, and she was going to need another surgery to fix it. This would need to be done in the hospital. However, there were no rooms available for 8 days. With issues in-between, she survived the 8 day wait, and the final surgery. There is much more that happened, but those are the main points.
    She is recovering great.

    I have so many other crises and blessings, and the Lord has been faithful.

    My son-in-law persevered through extreme mental hardship doing multiple levels of of exams and interviews for three months, and received the work. promotion. It was akin to passing the bar.

    My dad and his partners’ big project finally sold for good, after falling through three times. Also, they will be giving a young farmer and his family some pasture land for free… Blessings to share!

    Oh, you are not going to believe this. The large family that just rented my dad’s house, did not want the old chest freezer, so I got it for free. It just needs cleaning.

    So much more to share. Alas, I’m out of time. God bless each of you this week.


    1. re:

      Sometime around 1998, I turned allergic to the NSAID ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory’ drugs such as aspirin.
      I am violently allergic to Naproxen… one 500er put me in hospital a couple decades ago.

      The weird part?
      I used those drugs for much of my life after watching their benefits touted by sponsors on televisionprogramming.
      Suddenly, one day last century, my body quit tolerating them.

      The other weird part?
      At that moment, I experienced my last headache, my final muscle strain.
      No more irritating aches-n-pains.

      Not a coincidence — the last time we owned a television set was sometime last century.
      We have zero-zero-zero interest in televisionprogramming.

      1. LargeMarge, What a happy ending to your story. So glad you figured out the Naproxen nsaid allergy. Thank you for sharing how it can happen suddenly after being taken for years. Love how you are remarkably improved by eliminating the nsaids! hahaha Good to know. Krissy

    2. Krissy!
      Thank you so very much for sharing all of this with all of us… God keeps watch, and He is moving through your life and the lives of those around you. The blessings are more than wonderful, and we are ever grateful for His every intervention!

  22. FYI regarding canning supplies. Today I watched a video where a letter was read from Newell company. They are the parent company for Ball, Golden Harvest, Kerr and one other. They have stopped shipment of all supplies until March 1st. due to the shortages that they were not prepared to supply this year. A couple of hours later , I watched a second video where a community member had gone to check her lids after seeing the first video. The lids had been ordered from Amazon, and upon opening the box, they were actually lids from outside countries and were not up to standard. I have no reason to believe this is not true.

    I have been able to find wide mouth pint jars in the grocery store in the last couple of weeks. After watching the video above, I went back to the grocery store and of course the shelves were empty. Glad I picked up three boxes on previous trips.

    1. sewNurse, did they mention why they were stopping all shipments?

      I wish for their own sake, people would do a simple test so they have to take my word for it, and the following experiment would also lock it into their muscle memory so they can remember it in a pinch. Take all those jars you toss into the garbage and process them as you would jars of jam or tomato sauce, except use boiling water instead. Be sure to boil the lids as you normally do to soften the seals. You’ll see for yourself that the lids not only seal, but the jars won’t break. Save the jars for a year and you’ll see that the seal is still holding. (Somebody on SB mentioned this is how they store sterilized water for first-aid emergencies.) There’s no point in being afraid and paranoid about recycling pickle, salsa, and pasta sauce jars (among others), and reusing your Ball/Kerr canning lids, when you can test it so easily yourself. Then when you see those jarred items on sale, you can stock up knowing that the jar alone is worth 75¢, making the product inside that much cheaper. That will become more important as we see more jar and lid shortages next year. If you never need to use the jars, nothing lost, nothing gained. If you need jars and don’t have them, you’re up the creek without viable means of propulsion.

      As a side note for those afraid to reuse jars and lids, are people aware that even a botulism-infested jar of home-canned stuff is made edible by cooking it for a minimum of 15 minutes to denature the protein that makes the botulism toxin?

      Botulism bacteria won’t make you sick or kill you as long as you’re not an infant. Botulism spores won’t make you sick or kill you. Only the toxin they produce can kill you. When you hot-water-bath meat for example, the botulism bacteria are all killed but not the spores that can grow into new bacteria after the jar cools back down. For that reason, we pressure can meats to kill the bacteria and the spores. If not pressure canned, the spores “hatch” and grow into new bacteria. Those bacteria, under the right circumstances, then produce toxin and it’s the toxin that kills you. Most toxins are proteins, and heat denatures proteins, changing their properties so they are no longer toxins. A simple example is what happens when you fry an egg. The egg white is clear, and a protein, and when it’s heated, that protein is denatured, changing its properties so it is no longer clear, but opaque.

      From the Ireland FDA:
      “Does cooking kill Cl. botulinum and its toxin?
      Normal thorough cooking (pasteurisation: 70°C 2min or equivalent) will kill Cl.botulinum bacteria but not its spores. To kill the spores of Cl.botulinum a sterilisation process equivalent to 121°C for 3 min is required. The botulinum toxin itself is inactivated (denatured) rapidly at temperatures greater than 80°C.”

      When you google it, you get responses from people who are not qualified to answer the question in the first place. In the link below, the lawyer, professional writer, copywriter, and some guy named Zack all say you cannot make botulism food safe by heating. The one guy who is qualified to answer the question, an epidemiologist named Timothy Sly, Professor Emeritus (Public Health /Epidemiology) at Ryerson University answers “If you mean “can the botulinum neurotoxin be made safe by normal cooking?”, the answer is yes. It is denatured before the temperature reaches boiling point of water.”


      And one more authoritative source quoting FDA statistics: “Many of us believe that home canned foods are probably not as inherently safe as the data might suggest, because almost everyone cooks the food before serving it. Botulism toxin is destroyed by boiling for 10 minutes. So even if the products were improperly canned, people would still be safe because of the cooking.” That would explain why there are only an average of 17 botulism poisoning cases per year in the US, in some case all victims for the year sickened by the same jars of improperly canned potatoes which were then used in potato salad instead of in a cooked dish. The whole article below is a good read.


      My point isn’t to get you to go out and eat some denatured botulism toxin, but to learn about the hows and whys and the basic science behind things so we’re not afraid to do things like reuse jars from things we buy at the store, especially when we can so easily test it ourselves. Knowledge can be a life saver, especially when the SHTF.

      1. Hey SF,
        If you have not already read it, you should look for a book written by Harold McGee called ” On food and cooking the science and lore of the kitchen” for anyone that is a food geek and loves to play with their food this is a great book. With all of the experiments you do I think you would find it great fun.

  23. The reason for the stoppage of the shipments are to catch up and get ready for the 2021 canning season. Unless they can explode the market with supplies at that time, it looks to me like you would have a situation where everyone is scrambling for supplies. There are supplies out there right now as canning season is slowing down, but I would imagine they will disappear shortly.

    Back in the day, everyone used Mayo jars for canning, but most of these are plastic now. I grew up eating string beans as well as pork tenderloin that was water bath canned. Anyone that knows anything about southern cooking knows we cook our string beans a lot longer than 10 minutes. LOL, Lots of housewives were afraid of pressure cooking and canning. My aunt blew the lid off her cooker at least twice. People reused their lids too.

    1. Hey sewNurse, I’ve always wanted to buy an old aluminum 4-quart pressure cooker at the thrift store and set it up on a campfire on my north 40, far away from the house. There’d be a tripod above it with a loop, and a wire attached to the weight on top. A 100′ string would let me pull the weight off from a distance once it gets up to steam, so I can see just how far the lid blows. Sounds like your aunt already found out! lol. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Mark your calendars for March 1st… We may see a race to the canning supply shelves unless the company is planning for a surge in sales (and working to meet that anticipated demand).

  24. We hauled a U-Haul cargo trailer load of 5-gallon pails and #10 cans of grains, beans, other dehydrated and freeze dried food, and an odd assortment of survival gear from our storage unit to our new prepper property hundreds of miles away. We then had fun trying on clothes we had not seen since we packed them away in 2013. We also used this move as an opportunity to inventory and consolidate our supplies and look for holes we need to fill.

    We enjoyed a test burn, using one of the wood stoves at the new house for the first time on a chilly evening. Happy to report the flue drew very well. I am used to a wood stove with a glass door, and I never realized what an advantage actually being able to see the flames is. Definitely hard to tell when you need to throw in some fresh wood with a solid door. I also missed the thermostat we usually have stuck to the pipe, but that is an easy fix.

    On a rainy day, we visited three gun stores and two general stores with in a 30 mile radius, mostly to see what they were like as this area is new to us. I saw a surprising number of ARs but very few pistols. I had a good conversation with one gunsmith who had fewer than 20 guns in his shop and very little ammo, but a decent supply of foods in #10 cans, which was a surprise. We saw .45 HydroShok ammo selling for $27 for a box of 20 and some .223 at about the same price. No one was selling bulk ammo. One store had a big hand-written sign that said “We are out of 9mm – Don’t even ask!”

    Before we left, we had 17 tons of gravel delivered. That dump truck driver was masterful, laying it out on our driveway smoother than I have ever seen before. We only had to do minimal raking.

    Back at home, I am doing small repairs to get the house ready to sell. What should have been a simple job of replacing the rubber washer in an outside hose faucet took far longer than expected because the valve stem was frozen in the faucet body. I tried three different approaches but it remained stuck. Finally, I heated it with a propane torch. Then, as I turned it with an adjustable wrench and my wife gripped the faucet itself with a pair of channel locks to keep it steady, it surprised us both by popping loose so fast I thought my wrench had slipped. The fun was not over: as soon as my screw driver hit the brass screw holding the old washer in place, it crumbled. I had to drill out the old screw and replace it with a steel one to cut its own grooves.

    I’m just glad the other faucets on the house aren’t dripping!

    1. Pete,

      Congrats on moving to your BOL permanently! I did it in early summer of 2019 and haven’t regretted it! My wife has even come around to enjoying our new home. With the Covid and riots she is even more pleased.
      I remember moving all the prepping stuff that I had left at the house and then trying to organize it all again- good luck!

      1. Thanks, Scout, it is definitely keeping me busy! But after our months of quarantine, it is giving me some much-needed exercise.

        My wife is very pleased with the house and already planning the garden and a pollinator garden, but I admit some concern about how well she will be able to handle the isolation and lack of social activities.

  25. I checked our Walmart stock and it says they have 6 cases of quart jars in stock. I ordered them immediately for pickup tomorrow. We’ll see if they can fulfill the order.

  26. Canning lids are not available in many small towns in Montana. Don’t know about the big towns. My friend bought some lids a short while ago. She used them on jelly. Three out of seven jars didn’t seal. She then read the instructions. She had used them like she always had. Put them in boiling water for 10 minutes before using. The new lids said not to do that, just wash them and put them on the jars like that. The rubber on the newer lids is much thinner than on older lids. I have re-used the older lids for jelly many times but I doubt it will work with the new lids.

    1. Based on my own canning experience, you should have no problem reusing the new lids. Instead of boiling for ten minutes, just bring them to a simmer for a few minutes – just enough to soften the seal material so you don’t see the depression from the previous seal. Then apply normally. I’ve heard lots of folks had issues with the new lids, but I haven’t had any issues when using this method.

  27. The last week went by very quickly in our home. Our 12-year-old daughter has been ill for two weeks. A Pertussis test was negative, but with a 40% false-negative rate. Our nurse practitioner says she has classic Pertussis symptoms. I’d be grateful for prayer for her. We homeschool, but she takes 3 primary subject classes with online homeschool academies and is falling behind; she’s also missing a community Art class, which she loves. Most of all, she feels miserable.

    We enjoyed some cool, windy, rainy days this week. Mornings were crisp but above freezing. We’re now getting less than 12 hours of daylight per day. The wind finished defoliating the trees; they are now without apparel.

    Spent too much time trying to connect with and get answers from one of my business suppliers who sells dry grocery items. I submit one order per month. Pre-covid, a shipping confirmation would be sent within a day, and I would receive the order within 1 to 2 weeks. Since March, the time frame for both has continually worsened. I’ve yet to receive part of my 8/11 order (the box was packed several weeks ago and is MIA), and I haven’t received any confirmation on an order submitted 9/8. Out of stock numbers have been high for months due to weather, covid, and a huge increase in demand.

    We continue to make baby steps forward.

    Health/Physical Fitness: We bought a used recumbent bicycle for a great price. Stocked up on supplements. My husband and I have been exercising almost every day, frequently ending the day stretching together to a Yoga Faith video on YouTube.

    Move to Idaho: My husband spent all yesterday searching for syllabi for his master’s degree classes to submit with his application for professional licensure. Keep your syllabi!

    Budget/debt-reduction: Listed many items for sale and sold more than half of them. Lined up help and made a loose plan for downsizing our storage shed. My husband is going to check with the facility regarding current availability on Monday.

    Indoor gardening project: Ordered the rest of the supplies I’ll need to get started. Organized seeds.

    Winter preps: Dear husband is purchasing more kerosene Monday.

    Spirit: Been more consistent with daily quiet time prayer and Bible reading. Have listed to the KJV Dramatized Audio on YouTube while doing chores. I was especially grateful for a devotional in my Write the Word Journal (from Cultivate what Matters). Psalm 105:1-2 was the focus; I took it to verse 5. My takeaway: When we thank Him, call upon and seek Him, sing to Him, remember, consider, and share with others all He has done – glory, tell, rejoice – we grow in strength, commitment, and faith. ♥

    Thank you all for sharing. This is my favorite section. On busy weeks, I may miss other posts. I always try to catch this one. I learn a lot from you and also see that we have much to do. May your week ahead be blessed.

  28. Looming shortages explained by a food industry executive for the next 18 months(yes EIGHTEEN):

    Aluminum- beverage containers, and I’m thinking possibly baking dishes and foil wrap

    Food cans, especially the 10 to 16oz, but soon the #10 cans will be very short.

    The food safe lining product they spray inside the cans

    Plastic lids, flip up lids -think of salad dressings, ketchup, mustard, etc,etc., especially the 37 to 39mm size are now gone.

    Nearly any overseas specialty items….here, there are NO black olives now…even at Costco and Walmart, while green olives are 6 to 9 dollars per jar.

    Jeff, the Exec, spoke last month on Prepping 2.0 and urged listeners to buy cases of food, looking at an 18 to 24 month time-line.

    Products will be going to the highest profit markets. Many regions will not see certain products.

    We are seeing increasingly bare shelves, and odd brands in many canned and jarred products, but little volume of them. He predicted this as well.

    He said many food companies will be closing permanently this winter.

    I say don’t be scared, be prepared. Eyes wide open, No Fear.

    God bless everyone.

  29. The last couple of weeks have been fairly busy at work, including a good bit of travel. In addition my Lady and I have both been dealing with some health issues. While not life threatening, they have definitely affected quality of life, and our ability to handle things around the farm. Fortunately, this week we were both able to finally get into see appropriate specialists, and are hopefully now on the road to recovery.
    The persimmon harvest has ended, but this year has seen the best haul since we moved here. We put in the fall plantings, peas, carrots, and spinach. We’ve seen the temperatures turn cooler faster than normal, but I think we’ll still get a good harvest on these vegetables. I also harvested an excellent bunch of sweet potatoes.
    Based on a lot of things I’m seeing, I think we’re going to experience significant disruption over the next few months. I believe at a minimum, these will cause shortages like what we saw back in March. Because of this, we made a large run to s few stores, stocking up on enough canned goods, dry goods, OTC medicines, and meat to last for the remainder of the year. I hope I’m being overly pessimistic, but in the worst case, I’ve made a solid investment in tangibles.
    I’m looking at another busy work week, but will have a long weekend coming up. I’m hoping to get most of the muscadine juice I have in the freezer processed into jelly next weekend. In addition, I should have some other supplies previously purchased coming in over the next few weeks. And my Lady has some renovations planned for the chicken coop, so is week should be busy. Stay alert, stay safe, and keep prepping folks.

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