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About kappydell

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    Family Member
  • Birthday 01/31/1954

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    just moved to georgia from wisconsin
  • Interests
    self reliance; lo-tech living; cooking, crafts, anything to do with food!!, camping, livestock, garden & orchard, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, etc.

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  1. absolutely with a drawl! we got some more tomato plants today from the nursery - they are trying to get rid of them and is giving two for the price of one. Since there is no such thing as too many 'maters, we got some extras to plant now, to bear into autumn and even winter if we cover them in time to keep frosts at bay around December. No seed potatoes there though, so I put some "littles" in the refrigerator to try to fool them with a short "winter" into sprouting for fall planting. Im digging out the mustard seeds for greens now, the collards are getting kinda frail, too. I wonder if there are "summer" versus "winter" collards? Maybe I'll try the cowpeas I have that make good snaps, just to try, since cowpeas thrive in heat while snap beans pout and go on hiatus when it gets over 80 degrees. Mary says she knows where the carrot seeds are and she wants some of those planted for autumn and winter carry-over. Yellow squash are succumbing to vine borers, but that is normal I have read, for this area. You plant short season ones, pick squash while they make them, then when the vine borers hit you are done. I read about one gardener who loves zucchini and she plants two cycles of them each year between vine borer hatches. One cycle is enough for us. Time to start a compost heap, I think.... I am getting requests for sample seeds from other seed savers in hot areas. The latest one lives in Texas, looking for heat tolerant greens & tomatoes. I have some I found that were bred in TX to withstand heat that she has been looking for. Most places that have them only sell to commercial clients; I lucked out and found one that sold to regular folks but they went out of business, so I bought as many as I could afford to get. Tomato seeds store well thank goodness. On the bright side the peppers are beginning to come through, both the green bells and the sweet long yellow ones. Makes for a pretty fire and ice salad.
  2. speaking of haircuts I got one at last! a very short pixie.....i like the low maintenance. My last cut was before back surger back in January! Then covid hit and no haircuts. The bangs would no longer stay combed over to one side, instead getting into my eyes constantly (usually when I had my hands full, naturally) and that was getting really old. Nor could I coax the sides to NOT stick out at strange angles making me look constantly disheveled. So I am tickled. First that I found a place that gives a good cut at a good senior citizens discount, and second that they are open again. Yay!! They had an opening sale going, so when I paid with my usual $20 bill the hairdresser got extra on her tip - a win-win all round! Got it cut extra short because it looks like we will be going into lock-down again (my doc warned me when we took her some fresh tomatoes, peppers, squash and taters). Then we stopped and picked up extra tomato plants on sale (two for the price of one) at the garden center. We will put them in some of the newly emptied garden spots. No such thing as too many tomatoes. They had no more seed potatoes, so we put some of the 'littles' from our plants into the fridge to simulate winter and nudge them into sprouting for fall planting.
  3. We are resting up after our fireworks show on the 4th of July. Chainsaw Mary held a fireworks license and worked part time shooting them off up in Wisconsin....she blew the budget buying fireworks down here in Georgia! Bought $350 worth. Went to our prep-partners' home (the ones that have a boat dock where we keep the boat) and shot them off the dock, which is tradition around these parts. Mr. Prep-partner was skeptical, but CM and I have worked together before and when we got our rythym going he enjoyed the show. There were lots of cheers & clapping over the water as well. People bring their boats up and down the lake to see amateur fireworks displays. Anyway, we had an hours' worth (even moving along briskly) of bending, touching the fuses, then walking away quickly in the opposite direction, so we are still a little sore from all that exertion. It was fun though, and CM is already planning next year's show....more tubes, more multiples, more "cakes" and fewer singles will make it a little less strenuous. Ka-BOOM! Next project is jug fishing, which is legal here.
  4. wierd that nobody has it on the net.... 1. buy (or save) an old water heater tank. Keep the old piping, too that you disconnected when it was taken out. 2. Cut a square hole for a door in one side that will be facing the wall. Preferably where there is a lable so it can disguise the fact it is a door. It ill take a while as it is a double wall with insulation between the walls. Put some magnetic latches on it to hold closed (if it is hidden, you can just put on a padlock & hasp. 3. Remove all the crap inside (hard water leavings, dirt, stuff like that. 4. Save a spot next to the new tank, to set the repurposed one. Put it there, and make sure it is reinforced at the base just as it would be if it were holding lots of water. Turn that door so it is somewhat discreetly positioned - to one side is better than pointing straight out into the room. Reposition the old unused pipes against the working pipes, so it looks like it was designed to hold extra water.... 5. Load it up. while you are at it, why not cut trap doors over the closets to stuff things in the rafters? or maybe an unused "extra" sewage pipe bit enough to stow firearms inside? Set it next to working stack, held in by a discreet bracket. Nobody in their right mind opens one of those stacks up to see what is inside, LOL.
  5. It appears we are entering season 3 with a vengeance.....HOT and dry. Our tomatoes and snap beans are refusing to produce and they are looking rather peaked. (two syllable versioin...peek-ed not as in the top condition, LOL.) Time to start our autumn transplants, under partial shade of course. Se need to find a way to rig some shade (yes I know I sound like a brokoen record). Meanwhile we are replanting areas where squash succumbed to borers and wilt with carrots and onions. We pick squash until they quit, then as they succumb we pull them out. Cabbages are all picked, lettuce is also, so I guess it is mustard's turn. As potato vines dry down we are digging potatoes. They are pretty good this year only about 10% have disease. We are trying to master the tricks for growing them here, and it looks like part of it is to plant short season ones and do multiple plantings. we are also using a sprinkler nightly. Mary likes to hand water, but it is too humid for her to stand out for optimum watering amounts. The okra is starting to bud out, blooming will begin soon; the sweet potatoes are trying for world domination in the garden zone. The lack of rain killed one of our blueberry bushes; hopefully the apple trees will hang in there. The pomegranate needs transplanting, but we are uncertain where to put it. Partial shade or full sun? How much clay soil will it tolerate? and so forth. It seems happy in its pot meanwhile. I don't think it is a wicking pot candidate, as they max out at 50 feet tall. I wonder if a wicking clay hole (huge of course) would work? Hmmmm. I am trying to multiply cuttings from my rosemary bush for landscaping. They seem hardy to our heat and smell soooo good when you brush against them. If corn bore more prolifically I'd put some in to see how it weathers this hot/humid season.
  6. Our favorite caffeine for emergencies is called "water joe" - when we can find it, that is. It is caffeinated water. Tastes like water. Kinda wierd tho, drinking water (hydration) containing caffeine (dehydrating), LOL. But a good option for when you need a little lift without additional sugar, chemicals etc. Like I said though, you have to find it first.....that was one of the things we were going to bring back from Wisconsin.
  7. Wal mart makes energy water flavor packets. Each one has caffeine equal to 1 cup of coffee...I usually make up a quart water bottle with 2 packets and nosh on it all day. Current favorite iis sugar free lemonade. Just get the ones marked Enenrgy...they also make some that are just flavoring. I get tired of coffee so I use these a lot and there is a lot of flavor variations...grape, leonade, watermelon-lime, and (of course) peach mango. Does not have the bitterness of coffee that upsets my stomach either. If you can handle the artificial sweetener in them you might try them for caffeination purposes. Their variety pack has several flavors you can try to see how you like them.
  8. Im going all out....St Peters Palms (protects from storms, as I can attest) St Benedict medals (protect from evil & demonic influences) on all 4 corner of property plus driveway entrance, with a border of exorcised salt all around (the devil flees salt, which is one reason Christ called us "salt of the earth"). The cross is a great idea, I will do that too. More on each building inside and out. I buy in bulk and have them blessed upon arrival, since invariably someone else wants some I like to have extras to give away. Today our refrigerator looks empty - the space I cleared out of the freezers is now re-filled with "new" meat. After we made our 2nd trip we cut up 35 lb of steaks, 25 lb of ground chuck, and 6 pork tenderloins. We shared more with our prep team partners to help them fill their new freezer. And now....the press is starting to make noises about the return of covid....i guess they got tired of talking about demonstrations (or folks were getting too angry about the rioting) so they had to find something new to talk about. We figured something was up when the National Guard started setting up a field hospital in one of the county's larger empty buildings.
  9. Good news and bad news....I cant figure out why anyone would say retirement is 'boring'. AFter I schlepped in my meat finds this morning, a prepper friend called us and sent us links from the Wisconsin TV news. It seems our old hometown is now having demonstrations, and the staging area just happens to be the (closed) motel where we were planning on staying at in a few weeks. As usual the peaceful demonstrations ceased shortly after they started and they morphed into nasty ones. 15 miles down the road in the state capitol, one of the state legislators had a run in with demonstrators and they beat him up (yes pbysically) quite badly. Covid rebounding has just caused more states to close their borders, Illinois is not letting non residents enter the state supposedly, and that could make going thru there pretty awkward if not impossible. The IL motel we had planned an overnight stop over in (we always stopped there before) is also closed and in the middle of more demonstrations. We decided to postpone our trip....so disappointing to all the folks we were going to bring cheese back for when we told them due to covid and civil unrest, the cheese was "back-ordered" until we could get north safely. In our county the national guard is here, supposedly for covid hospital operations for when the covid numbers shoot up again (they are starting to climb) or to aid LEOs with protesters (they are attacking war memorials, statues, religious statues, whatever apparently strikes their fancy and assaulting anyone who objects). The sheriffs dept has advised people there is a surge in burglaries and other crimes as well. We would rather stay home, uninfected, and keep an eye on our property and help our neighbors keep an eye on theirs (we all know each other). The good news? We went and got another batch of that sale meat (3 more ny strip loins, four more 5-lb hamburger chubs, and 3 more pork tenderloins) with the money we had planned to spend on gas. We do not know if we will see those sale prices again, or if another covid spike will cause shortages, and we have room in the freezer and empty canning jars to fill thanks to my canning up the freezer meat that was due to rotate. Mary said to go ahead and can up some of the new stuff too - I will probably do a load of pre-cooked hamburger crumbles, and some more steak cubes over the week end. I scored some Lysol spray and wipes for my doctor, who had lamented she cannot find it (it disappears from stores here by 6:30 AM). She runs her own medical offices (has two) and purchases supplies herself, so she does not have the resources of a chain medical operation. We do not expect her to shop at 5 am on the possibility of finding what she wants..that is one of the advantages of retirement is that I can do that extra mile. Her independence is one of the reasons we like her...she will go against the tide of corporate medicine, will work out financing with patients, and we suspect, if the mark of the beast becomes required for medical care she will work under the table. What makes us think so? Her reaction when we told her we would not accept repayment for any of the disinfecting supplies we took her. The exchange went something like this: "I want to pay" "No". "I insist" "No" "I will take if off your co-pay next time you come in" "I don't have a co-pay for clinic visits" "Shoot!" CM then says "tell ya what doc, if I get a boo-boo you can fix it up for me". "Don't you think I wont do just that!" "Deal". I just love a doc that will barter. Besides if that covid "bump" occurs (and she believes as we do, it will) it wont get any easier to find that stuff. So we get it now, when we find it, while we can afford it. She also confirmed (in front of Mary, so now I will never live it down) that she considers me extremely high risk due to my medical history. ("Keep wearing those masks and using sanitizer" she admonishes us, "and stay home!" ) So we will stay home, strengthen our personal infrastructure, and watch what happens. I think we are actually seeing that old curse "may you live in interesting times" occurring before our eyes. We will remain home...tend our garden....feed our critters....go fishing....and keep shopping those granny hours (5 to 7 AM) to keep our larders full. We finally got some rain tonight, enough to actually soak in a bit. Tomorrow we will pick the garden again before the sun gets high, then move indoors to process that pile of meat into manageable packages. 'I will start fortifying our perimeters with sacramentals (talked to CM about it to see if she thought I had slipped my trolley....she said to go ahead, it makes sense). I did not want her wondering if I was nuts or not, so I'm glad to see she agrees with my plans. Our AC actually froze up today so we have started turning it off long enough to thaw out on a schedule. This is no time to lose our AC but we have backup plans from the last time it happened ready in the wings. Life goes on, and we are more grateful than ever that we are where we are.
  10. Today was my Social Security payday, so I got up for the new granny shopping hours - 5 AM to 7 AM. It was important to get up that early to bag some meat at decent prices....Kroger was having a sale....ground chuck in 5 lb chub for $3.99/lb; pork tenderloins $2.99/lb; NY strip half loin $6.99/lb; fresh peaches 78 cents/lb; I spend was was left after bills on this stuff. By way of comparison, Walmart prices (the only comperable game in town around here) runs ground chuck at $4.52/lb; pork tenderloin $4.36/lb; NY strip (steaks) $11.97/lb (yikes). Heck yes, I blew the budget! Wish I had more money, there were no limits on these meats. Those half-the-normal-price-price peaches will taste good on ice cream, too.... I do love it when the sale hits the same time the money does. Now to put a lock on the freezers.....
  11. Mary & I go in separately & make several trips when they have good sales (rarely). Its the only way we can get enough to share with folks who cant get there while the supplies are there. We also use the self check out to avoid questions. So far so good.....our latest mission is to find Lysol disinfectant with bleach or hydrogen peroxide for my MD who says she cant find it at all. (Our last gift to her was 2 gallons of alcohol based sanitizer - and 4 qts of hydrogen peroxide. (She is still using that stuff which is good, as the supplies of it are even scarcer than when we found that batch.) Limits are ONE for sanitizer at Krogers, even less than at Walmart at the smaller town where supplies are slightly more plentiful. I will be going out in the wee hours tomorrow (granny hours are back to 5-7 AM again) to try to score some Lysol stuff. At least bleach is plentiful - many folks have bought into the idea that it is "too" corrosive to use...I just take the usual precautions, no problems. I like its versatility and to me, nothing smells as 'clean' as bleach!
  12. washed the canning jars before labeling them. Got 5 qts of "steak cubes" from T bones & ny strip steaks in the freezer from last year. None were freezer burned. (Yay!) Put the trimmings into the crock pot for 14 hrs, it is cooling in the refrig. now so I can skim off fat & boil down to double strength tomorrow. Then I will can up a load of 'double strength stock - I get 10 pints to the canner load, most will probably be chicken since that is what I had the most remains to make stock with (bones & skin). Our dear friends & prepper pals' freezer came today, in the rain, of course. "only" $400 with shipping - prices on freezers are crazy, but their old one died and they needed something to work with and were happy with a little one so we fronted them the money until payday. At least the wait time was reasonable - only 2 weeks instead of that open ended time span we had with the Sears debacle. The garden is finally kicking out tomatoes - so far a couple a day - tonight we had our first plate load of vine-ripened tomatoes with our steaks & baked 'taters. Nothing else needed to complete our favorite summertime feast, but we had cheesecake on hand, so even dessert was decadent. If I had remembered that I would have picked some of our volunteer black raspberries for a sauce/topping. I think I will have to start picking & freezing some of them for when we want something a little different on ice cream. That has me wondering now - I never raised blueberries before. Do the ripen all at once or do I need to keep them picked so they make more? Such a delightful quandry. I think they are ripening now. Along with tomatoes, our "now picking" list includes green peppers, and summer squash. I even have some zucchinis to grate up for zucchini bread (the only way DM will eat it).I have recipes for the yellow summer squash too, but cant keep up with it since I have to use a cut down recipes. But it does give me the chance to use my cut little blue ceramic 3 cup casserole. Guess I'll have to freeze it. Have to look around and find out if I can freeze the casseroles, or if it is better done separately. The coyotes are moving around at night here lately. Either it is breeding season or the lumber company has disturbed their habitat by cutting in a new area. Now I have to go armed to feed the kitties. The first promise our neighbors extracted from us was an agreement to shoot coyotes on sight, as they kill pets around here. Id use my trapper training and put out traps, but too many dogs get loose and I would not harm a neighbors pet for the world. Oh well.
  13. Yesterday and today I am making stock from my frozen trimmings. I put them in the crock pot for 24 hrs, then strain, chill, remove fat & boil down to 50% volume. I have almost enough for a canner full of pint jars. I figure double strength stock will be diluted down with water when I use it, so pints should do nicely. I cant believe what the stores are charging now for stock I also took a lot of steak package out of the freezer to cut up and can, mostly T-bones, porterhouse and NY strips. Last July seems to have been a good year for meat. We shall see what this year holds. So far its not looking very auspicious. But I am clearing out some wonderful freezer space as I go.
  14. Sometimes you want to try to salvage it - especially when the budget is tight and the alternative is no meat. I, for one, am taking steps to watch my rotation of foods more closely so I do not have to utilize these tactics...hopefully....but I acknowledge that it is nice to know there are options "just in case". Sweet Baby Rays rocks! I especially like my sauces sweet! The last time i made BBQ to use up some "old" hamburger, CM said the sweet sour was a little sharp....but her taste runs to even sweeter than I am used to, so I have to remember to keep it more to her taste than mine (I am more flexible).
  15. Nowdays with the price of meat going through the roof, more and more folks are not only buying freezers, but a lot of us are using up and rotating what they already have on hand to make room for new stuff. But once in a while, you run across some freezer burned meat, and you ask yourself "Hmmm, I paid a lot for this....can I salvage it?" The answer is yes, there is a good chance you can. First of all, freezer burn won;t hurt you or make you sick. It does however, make the meat tough, dry, and sometimes odd tasting. But it won't kill you, if you have to eat it. I just recently salvaged some steaks that spent a little too much time in the freezer by doing a little homework and trying one of the things other people recommended. Although I do not expect you to go out and deliberately leave things in the freezer that long, it sure is nice to know that all is not lost! Here is what I found out. SIX WAYS TO SALVAGE FREEZER BURNED MEAT 1. Slow cook with BBQ sauce. This counteracts the toughness, dryness and the odd flavor, which are the three main traits of freezer burned meats. 2. Grind or cut into chili dice pieces, then precook, drain & rinse well, and finish by making it into chili. 3. Soak in white vinegar which tenderizes & removed odd flavors. This is what I used except I sprayed the meat (I keep white vinegar in a spritzer to clean grease off my stove). I sprayed it around 30 minutes before dinner. The smell & flavor of vinegar disappeared with cooking and the meat was delicious simply grilled. 4. Pressure cook and make stew or curry. The tomato in the preparation be it juice or puree, works same as the vinegar, deodorizing and tenderizing. The pressure cooker speeds things up. 5. Marinate in any commercial marinade, then cook as usual. One of my favorite cheaper ones is plain old house brand Italian Dressing. Garlicky, so if you object to garlic, use vinaigrette without garlic instead. Or you can purchase an 'official' (but more expensive) marinade. if you have a good one, heck, make your own! 6. Cut it up, partially cook as for hot pack canning, then drain & rinse. Can it in a broth (I use bouillon cubes). As I clean out freezer to make room for new meats (just in case we get another covid bump in the autumn) I am finding some items that are older than I would like, but that I am using anyway, since meat prices are about 3 to 5 times higher than when I bought them less than a year ago. But I fear no freezer burn, for I have successfully counteracted it, and it worked, by gum!
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