Sunday, February 27, 2011


The sad ugly truth is that finally the snow has melted and with that, the true nature of just how bad my yard looks has been revealed. Snow kept the children's toys that they had haphazardly strewn about the yard hidden. My compost bin is not doing what it was supposed to do. A lot of grass died last year from not having enough rain, hoping it will spring back to life.

This last week I have been busy buying prepping related materials. I still need to get a dutch oven and I want to get some enamel coated pots. I have tons of cast iron skillets, and stainless steel stock pots. I also have a lot of teflon coated pots and pans, which I want to do away with. We will be working on getting the new closet pantry done this week now that we have all the needed supplies.

I also went to a goodwill outlet store yesterday, I purchased a tile topped table that is the perfect height for $30. This table will be turned into a portable kitchen island, to give me much  needed counter space when I am cooking, or canning, or dehydrating. The table is just slim enough that I can wheel it out into the attached garage when not in use. We have wheels that have brakes on them that we purchased last year in the hopes of finding a table for that purpose. We are going to stick the wheels on the legs and then try and figure out a good way to add a shelf around the bottom of the table legs.

I hear the sound of children cleaning the yard and hubby using the saw on my shelves guess I better get out there and pitch in. C-ya!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The picture above is some seeds I have started. I couldn't wait any longer I had to plant something. So I planted broccoli, cauliflower, roma tomatoes, bell peppers. I got the pellet packets and trays at Big Lots for $12 total. I got the seeds for $18 off of ebay. I got 51,000 seeds that are non-hybrid heirloom variety.Seeds are below:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Waiting on my Excalibur to get here sometime today!! So excited about it, found out about an LDS cannery not too far from me and put in a call to them, now just have to wait for them to call me back so I can get all the details and info. I got my 51,000 seeds that I won on auction off ebay. Also got my survival disk. I know I need to get more skills than just ordering and buying stuff, but up till now I have not been brave enough to walk in someplace and ask for bulk food. It took me a while to ease into that area.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday cheese and Amish Store Monday

So I made the Velveeta it was a bit too creamy next time I will use less sour cream. I am going to can it later today or in the morning. Here are some pics of it:

Also today I went to an Amish Store. That place was amazing! I picked up a number of items, but also felt comfortable enough to talk to the owner of the place to ask about placing large bulk orders of hard red winter wheat berries.Good news is I can get 50 pound sacks of it for $25.75. I will have to place it in my Mylar bags with o2 absorbers myself, but can get 200lbs for $103!!! And the place is 4 miles outside of town. I also bought a cheap manual grain mill there just a practice model, until I can afford a better one. Here are some pics of what I got:

Enough with the pics I really think I hit the jackpot at this store. Fountain Acres Foods is the name of the store. They don't have a phone number. Or a website. If I buy the 50 pound sacks of wheat berries I get them for 52cents a pound. They are certified chemical free. I ordered 4-50 lb sacks of the hard red wheat, and 1 50lb sack of spelt. They will be in next week!   

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My poor little kitty

So I took the cat in yesterday to be spayed, it went well. But the cat came home super groggy, and kept wanting me to love on her through-out the night. Not a problem, but this morning I checked her tummy and she had chewed off all her stitches, so back in I went. They put a staple in her now and all is well so far.

They recommended I get a cat cone collar so after driving all over the place I found one. My cat hates the stupid thing and fights it to the point that I am worried she may hurt herself more trying to get the thing off than just letting her chew the staple. Needless to say that we didn't make it to the gun show with my poor little kitty needing me. Hubby and 2 boys went to a few gun shops and looked around though.

 I picked up a bunch of tp and paper towels and Pyrex storage bowls and mixing bowls yesterday. Also bought a new electric can-opener, and a nice set of stainless steel knives. Looked at a sewing machine which a new one is a 1000x's better than the 3 ancient ones I have that all seem to have at least 1 major thing wrong with them.

So the late skill this week is on Sunday I am going to make my own velveeta cheese and then can that turning it into home-made cheese-whiz. I will post some pictures of that late Sunday night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

UGH this week

Ok I have had a great week, but have been so incredibly busy that I think I might lose my mind. Kids all got haircuts, got my car fixed ordered a excalibur 9tray dehydrator. Won an older DS and 4 mario games off of ebay, ordered some books off of Amazon. My car was like $900 to fix!! I thought it was the transmission going out, no it was the cattalitic convertor, and the intake gaskets, and the filters through-out the car. Great news was I have a super car now! All the kids and hubby got new shoes. My cat is going in to be spayed today in just a few minutes actually, maybe things will slow down this weekend. Oh yeah there is a gun show this weekend I think that we are going to crap. Oh well maybe next week.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Funnel Cake

Woke up this morning and made funnel cake for breakfast for the kids as a special treat. They loved it, it was pretty awesome. The recipe I used called for lemon-lime soda, made the batter very bubbly, with a slight tangy taste. Made so much batter that we will have to make it again in the morning or after lunch.

I am trying to talk myself into or out of buying an excalibur food dehydrator. I really really want one, but don't know if I will use it enough to get my money's worth out of the machine. I also want a grain mill, to grind my own flour. I have flour right now but want to be able to buy wheat berries and make my own, sometime down the road.

I have been working on the household binder the last few days. I also ordered a survival cd from the best prepping forum ever....APN!!! American Prepping Network, thanks to so many people there who are really helpful, friendly and smart, I am adding to my preps and skills day by day.

I am going to try and make a quilt this next week. I don't know if I can do it, but I sure can try. I know how to sew by hand, I have 3 sewing machines but don't know if any of them work. Guess I will try and work on these things this week as well.

Need to get the drywall for the garage this week and get that done. Also need to do a closet conversion to turn the living room closet (which is a pretty big closet) into a food storage area for my mason jars and extra food preps. DH will be researching and purchasing a few home security essentials the next few weeks. I have been putting these projects off long enough, time to get em done. I want them all done by the end of February.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beef Stew and bisquik

I managed to make the bisquik and the beef stew today. I also made up some funnel cake mix, but haven't added it to a mason jar yet.

Here are the jars ready to go in the canner:

Here is what it looks like before it gets pressure canned:
And after it has been canned:

All in all not a bad day. I am not used to canning, this is only my second attempt at using a pressure canner but practice makes perfect. I usually wash up dishes as I go along doing something so that I don't use up all my counter space, I don't have a dishwasher. I have thought about buying a dishwasher, but they are expensive and I can wash dishes by hand and save a bit of money.

busy busy day

So yesterday I didn't manage to get to the bisquick mix, the day was just too busy/hectic. I did make the roast so I will be canning beef stew in the next couple of hours. But check this out, I didn't have any beef bones to make the beef broth....but I did have ham hocks, so I made ham hock broth, it tastes divine, add that with the roast that is already done, mmmm hmmm. The broth came out with almost zero fat in it.

                                         This is a pic of straining the cooked and cooled broth:

This is a pic of the broth after it has been strained:

So that looks, smells, and taste like some pretty awesome broth. I also took some time last night to work on a household project that I have been needing to do without realizing I needed to do:

Ok so whats the big deal about a three ring binder right? Well this is a household binder. I can put calendars in here, schooling type stuff in here, list of phone numbers and addresses, coupons, bills to be paid, Daily/weekly/monthly chores that need to be done in here, Drs. Appt's, seriously I think that this thing will be a beneficial item once I get a few things added to it. It was so simple: a three ring binder you have laying around, some tab dividers, paper to write on, a hole puncher, I used ziploc bags to put grocery and household coupons in one and restaurant and clothing coupons in another. My desk was super disorganized before I made this, now its bare. I can put so much stuff in here, that I won't have to spend the time looking in this or that drawer to find the one thing I need now. Oh My Gosh! Mine is plain right now but... you can add decorative paper and basically anything you want to it, manuals for appliances, shopping lists, projects that you want to do with the steps and supplies listed. I don't know how many times I have seen something on sale and didn't buy it because I didn't know that a project would call for that item. With 4 kids and numerous responsibilities and tasks this I believe will help me get more organized and run the household stuff more efficiently! YAY!!!

Ok well gotta run and get on this beef stew and bisquick stuff.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dry Cocoa

I made some dry cocoa today! I saved it using a mason jar but didn't get out the food saver attachments as 1 qt I gave to my aunt 1 qt I kept and a pint I gave to my dad. Got to talk to both of them about prepping. Also talked a bit about maybe moving out to the farm in the very near future.

I made some rice pudding with raisins and had some bean burritos for lunch. The rice pudding was actually really good. Tuesday I will be working on Bisquick mix and funnel cake mix. The funnel cake mix will be a good thing for when the kiddies want a little something sweet, and time is short. I am also going to go to the library and see what types of cookbooks they have for making mixes in jars.

I am currently making some broth and tomorrow I will be making some roasts. On Wednesday I plan on using the broth and roasts to make some homemade beef stew and can that. I also made up about 10 gallons of laundry soap, which once mixed with water when I add it to my laundry bottles will give me 20 gallons of soap.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

testing of pictures

Hopefully that worked and what is viewable is a picture of some ground beef broth.

Skill of the week: Dry Mixes

This weeks skill I will be working on is making up dry mixes. I have never made my own Bisquick, or powdered cocoa mixes. I have made oral re-hydration solution (thanks RM). I am also going to be using my food saver attachments and o2 absorbers for the first time this week. There is a sale on strawberries at a grocery near me this week as well, so I will try my hand at making some home-made strawberry jam/jelly.

I am trying to learn things that don't really require too much money, or going outside in the frigid temps we have been stuck in all winter. Every little thing I can do that will add to my preparedness skills will be a blessing. I am hoping to learn more about this blog and be able to at least post some pictures. We will see how well that works out.

There are many things I would like to do but do not yet have the equipment needed to do those things. I am going to be purchasing a dehydrator in the next couple of weeks. I want an excalibur but may end up getting a Nesco model instead. I have heard of people just using their ovens to dehydrate things, I just really want a dehydrator.

On a more personal note I went to the skates tonight with my kids. My 11 yr old son kept telling me he could beat his mom, so I convinced the guy to let us race... I won and my son is a poor sport. It was exhilarating flying around the rink and not having to go slow. I was laughing the whole time, maybe that's why the son was so upset. I wasn't laughing at him just at the feeling, of going so fast. Next time I will have to let him beat his poor old mom in a race I guess. I can be pretty competitive. So tomorrow I will be making cocoa mix, and with any luck I can post some pics of that.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Work In Progress

That is what I am. I am fairly new to prepping or for that matter to living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. This blog will be a diary for my journey. I have given myself a personal challenge, to learn 52 new skills that I would have never dreamed of trying before. I hear that learning new skills is what every prepper should do. I am giving myself a week to learn each new skill, some things may take 1 day or less, some may take longer.

This past monday I learned how to crotchet, and I also learned how to make homemade blueberry jelly. Not a big deal to most people, but for me it was a great accomplishment. There are so many things that I have never learned to do, but now want to learn very badly. The 52 new skills I will be learning will be prepping/self-reliance related skill sets.

I am usually a super happy and upbeat person, and may not be everyone's cup of tea. I can be socially awkward and say the wrong things frequently. I forget a ton of stuff. Sometimes I feel dumber than a box of rocks. Have numerous little obligations(not talking about the 4 kids here lol). I swear sometimes I feel like I am living in a bubble over here on my little patch of dirt.

Since I have already learned 2 new skills this week, I will begin the next skill on Monday 2-7-11. I will think about what new skill I would like to learn between now and then. Along the way I also hope to learn other skills that may not be prepping related and show pictures around my house/city.