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About Jingles

  • Birthday 01/03/1972

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  1. Can smoked or bratworst be dehydrated? I see huge sales on skinless smoked sauage and would love to slice it really thin and drying it like jerky and using it in soups later. Is that safe?
  2. I'm alive, just had more disasters in my family than I can count! But I feel right now I need to include time for myself and this is where myself wants to be.
  3. Hi everyone, it's been a long time since I have posted here. I have been going through my very own disasters and haven't been around long enough to post, but in the last week I have found so many thing I needed to share I decided to MAKE myself make time to share them. A warning it is a long one, but I think it's worth reading. In the past two years I have found several things you may not consider important enough to store in your preps (I know I didn't think they were important) here are the things I have learned. 1. Wedding tulle. The small hole stuff. The smaller the better! Get as much as you can afford! I just recently bought 30 yards and still need another 20 yards to complete my project. Why you ask? For making simple effective mosquito netting. Recently our air conditioner died and with the heat wave and the constant rain and the windows open all the time. We have clouds of No-See-Um's (gnats) EVERY WHERE!!! Apparently my children and I are allergic to them and we are now covered with bites and those nasty little buggers can fly right through regular screens! 2. Skin-So-Soft. Obviously they say this stuff works for mosquitoes, but works much better with No-See-Um's! 3. Ivory bar soap. We ran out of laundry soap last winter and had NO money to buy more of that fancy liquid stuff. So I grabbed all the little left over bars of ivory, a cheese grater and a box of baking soda and made a batch of my own laundry soap. Turns out equal parts of grated Ivory and baking soda cleans 10 times better than the liquid stuff AND it's 10 times cheaper! I mix 3 tablespoons of the power mixture with water until it dissolves and then pour it in before I add the clothes. Even my DH's nasty brown stained socks from his construction work come out clean and that's amazing. I am now stocking the big bags of baking soda from Sam's and as many bars of Ivory I can store. We use it for showers and washing hands as it is, so we need lots. 4. Rodent traps. This summer I have lost more eggs than I can count to a resourceful raccoon, who I would love to shoot, but is very good at not getting caught when I have a gun. Plus we now have a family of woodchucks who have decided my yard is their favorite stomping grounds! I am investing in a rodent trap set from the feed store. Yes they are expensive, but they are VERY useful. For now they will tempt and catch that darn raccoon and remove (dead or alive) him from my chicken coop, and if things get bad those traps will be meals for us if we need meat or even furs. Why not have them now for use and then appreciate them more when you NEED them. 5. Laundry line or wire. I don't know about the rest of you, but the gas prices are killing us up here in the mid-west. So I have been doing even more laundry on the line. Now I always do laundry in the summer on the line it just makes sense, but now I am doing laundry on the line in the winter too. I have a basement that is fairly dry and clean so I am hanging lines on the beams down there and hanging clothes down there all winter. It saves us a lot of money. I also have used the extra plastic coated laundry wire to tulles up beans and peas when I need to. I also use the cording type for all sorts if things. 6. A roll-up sled. I am now keeping two of these in our car all winter. We recently had a break down with our fairly new car (computer issue and a plug the dealership failed to remove during diagnostics) My DH and I had a long walk to a gas station. That got me thinking what would I do if I had my two young children in the car? How would we get them to walk somewhere if we "had" to. So now the sleds are in the car with some laundry cord in case we need to drag them or anything else for that matter. Get them in the spring and they are dirt cheap! 7.Muslin. Bleached, unbleached it doesn't matter, the more you can afford the better. I recently invested in 7 yards of 90 inch wide white muslin. I ended up making myself two old style nightgowns, my daughter a couple summer nightgowns, and my son several pair of white boxer shorts. I still have enough to make my DH boxers if he really needed them. You can dye the stuff if you want to, it's cool, extremely cheap (I got the 90 inch stuff for 5 bucks a yard) and it can be sewn into anything. It's warm enough to use for winter nightgowns, it's opaque enough to be modest, and it's soft enough to use as sheets or even diapers if need be. Flannel is great for winter, but is hot in the summer. Muslin is great all the time. If you don't sew, than remember others can and if you have the fabric you have a seamstress as a friend. 8. Buckets and plastic storage boxes. Lots of them. We recently went through a tornado in the area and since then we have had power outages all the time. So every time it rains we get as many buckets full of rain water as we can so we can flush the toilets, take care of the animals and do washing if we need to. Small buckets are great for planting stuff in, larger ones are great for storing things in, all of them are great for water catching. We use them all the time. Even if you live in the city (we live in the country) you can use them. If you have the money a couple garbage cans on wheels are VERY good to have around. 9. Garden Cart barrels. They are a new thing I've seen in the stores. I got one this summer to use as a laundry cart. I discovered a hundred uses for it since then. We use it to haul water out to the back gardens (saves hauling the hose for little jobs), we fill it with ice and pop for parties and can move it anywhere we need it to be, I use it to carry groceries in from the car when I have a ton to bring in, it has tuff wheels and the barrel shape and doesn't leak so you could use it as a hand washer by your laundry line if things were bad enough. I have only one right now, but come the end of summer I think I will try and pick up another one on clearance. They are really worth it. 10. Mercury free, battery free thermometers. It may not seem like a necessity, but when you have a very sick kid and the batteries go out on your trusty thermometer and the doctor tells you that you can only double the ibuprofen when the temperature is at a certain temp and you don't have a thermometer what do you do? Learn this one the hard way. So now I have two of those little glass bubble ones. I wrapped them in bubble wrap and store them out of anyone's reach until we need them. They are very touchy! I also bought a couple cheap battery ones so we have them when we need them too. 11. Fly tape! LOTS of them. Nothing work better at catching No-See-Um's, moths and other nasty light and sweet attracted bugs as those sticky little bug tapes. What would we all do without them? What would you do if the stores ran out of them and you had no power or air conditioner ALL SUMMER? Yep I'm making a special box in my preps just for bug tape, worth every cent I spend on them. 12. Metal coat hangers. You would not believe how many times in the last year we have used one of these things. They have thousands of uses. Plant poles, tomato cages, use them to hang herbs to dry, as a hook for reaching in tight places, a holder for bird deflectors (pie tins swinging in the wind), drawer handle, bucket and bushel basket handles, picture hangers, keys for old door locks, repair parts for old lanterns, woven to make a burn barrel cover, like I said thousands of uses. Worth stashing a box of them in a corner somewhere. 13. Medical tape. We ran out of band aids this winter (I know I couldn't believe it either, but hey I have kids what can you say! I've learned my lesson, I promise) I had a small old roll of that clear medical tape and a couple cotton balls which was very useful when my son got a nasty scrap. Now I have band aids AND medical tape so I can mend larger boo boos and if we ever run out of band aids we'll have it. The clear stuff tears off easy and seems to last forever. It would also be a very important item for trade if things get bad. Oh and trust me duct tape is NOT a good substitute for medical tape. 14. Wax and wicks. What would you do if you lost your power and ran out of those pretty (smelly) candles? Ever figure how much candles cost? I did one day and since I don't like scented candles I went looking for cheap unscented one. I found those prayer candles at our local store at $1.50 a piece. They burn for a good while and are already in jars so that make them easy to use. I also found those emergency candles at the local dollar store 6 for a buck. But they are small and will only last for a few days before they are gone. BUT you can buy huge block of paraffin wax at the local craft store for cheap (I use the 40% off coupons on them) and the wicks on a roll too! So I have saved the jars from some of the jellies and cheese spreads the family like to eat on holidays and I now have a stack of 10 pound blocks of wax and a couple rolls of wicks. I figure I can make at least 25 - 30 prayer candles for about $7. Now that is a savings! 15. Aluminum food pans. All different sizes. I recently went to a local bulk food store that caters to the local restaurants and found aluminum food baking pans. You know the kind that you put sheet cakes in or the ones you get TV dinners in. They were really cheap and came in 10 different sizes and many came with lids. I got to thinking after that trip that we could sure use some of those. For things like left-overs to put in the freezer, or for storing things in. Then I started gathering my own seeds for the following year and drying tea leaves and realized those sheet cake pans are awesome! I now have a stack of them and when I gather seeds or herbs I lay a paper towel on top of the pans and then spread out the seeds or herbs and stack the pans on top of each other (cross ways so they sit on the edge of them) and let the stuff dry. They are light weight and are easy to store and there are a ton of uses for them. Plus if things get bad I can make breads in them and be able to make several at a time. Like I said I've been thinking on this for awhile and it is long, but they are things we learned lessons from here and I feel I should share with all of you. Hope they help. Jingles
  4. Did you check and see if they germinate before you tossed them? We lost a whole bucket several years ago and we tested the beans to see if they germinated and yes they did so we planted them the next spring to see what they would grow. We ended up refilling the bucket that following fall. Just a thought. The bugs didn't bug the plants.
  5. Went grocery shopping last week at Walmart and was shocked to find the entire three 10 foot long racks of ALL types of sugar were gone! Every single bag!!! I needed sugar for jam so I headed out to the other grocery store and they had plenty of sugar and it was cheaper than Walmart. So I wondered is it a run on sugar or was there a bug outbreak. Can sugar get an outbreak? It did scare me but good so I bought extra sugar at the other store.
  6. I have a big bag that I got at Sam's club a year and 1/2 ago and it still works great for cakes and stuff so they must be right about the 3 year thing. Seems like a mineral would last forever. hmmm
  7. As for which ones need to be cold or not. The medicines you get have the manufacturer's name on the prescription label on the bottle, you can look up their website and there is usually information on each medicine at their site for general use. IF you need more information on the medicine you can call the manufacturer like I had to do and ask their medical rep about that medicine. In my case that was easy because my kids condition requires that we keep extra pills for stress dosing. So I explained that sometimes we have those pills here for a whole year and I needed to know how to store them safely. After a couple days and a lot of research from the rep she found out for me. I was a little upset that she didn't actually know since it was her unit, but apparently they don't do that form of research. As far as they were concerned as long as it lasts a year that is all they care about. But she was good enough to look up what she could for me. She was the one that found out that the pills we were getting were almost expired as it was. I was really upset about that one! As far as getting to know your pharmacist. Because of my kids condition our pharmacists know us by name and know both of my kids whole entire life depends on their helping me and I made that clear from day one. So they are good at helping me. We use Walgreen's because we can go anywhere and still get the kids meds if we need to which is very helpful when we travel. The biggest thing is getting brave enough to ask. Because I did ask my kids Doctor learned about this too since I told them all about what I learned AND they also found out how much of a shortage there is of their medicines. There is only 1 pharmacy in our area that carries the kids medicine and only orders one months worth at a time. If we don't stock up and anything happens (like the trucking strikes that was threatened last summer) we are in BIG trouble. So now even our Doctors encourage us to hold on to our extras. If you don't ask they won't care. So ask and they will care.
  8. Ok here's my tip: Be One with Nature. If you can't beat them BRIBE THEM!!! I have a real terrible problem with deer, rabbits, turkeys, fox, and wood chucks. So we put up a chicken wire fence around our garden plots and then we tilled a small area out near the woods and threw a packet of lettuce, clover, and cheap wheat seeds in there and let them go to town. They don't try so hard to get into my garden if they have their own and if they want it weeded they can do it. Plus since I am saving seeds and just hate to throw any extras away I can just toss them into that bed and the animals can enjoy. As for getting rid of them. I am less likely to do that since if they stay and TSHTF then I will get the meat and know what they are eating instead of someone else. Free turkey for Thanksgiving would be nice.
  9. I have two kids with life threatening conditions so I know just how you feel. I had to do some major research to find out just how to store medicines and how long to store them and fortunately I had a really good pharmacist who just took several classes on it and was very concerned for my kids. Here's what she told me to do. 1. Buy enough meds (over the counter) for a year. If they have longer Exp. Dates then buy enough till that exp. date. 2. For the prescription medicines depending on your insurance you can usually go a week ahead of time to get your refills which after 4 months is a month's extra medicine. If you do it fora year you'll be 4 months ahead. 3. On prescription medicines ask the pharmacist for the manufacturer's exp. date, because they are not on the bottles and can be as close as that month for expiring. I found this out the hard way. And I got that info straight from the factory! 4. Do NOT store your medicines in the fridge or freezer since the moisture in the fridge and freezer is very high and will make the pills swell and be useless. (I was shocked by that one. The pharmacist said that was one of the biggest mistakes people make) Also she said that some medicines loose their potency or won't work at all.) But she said that some medicines require to stay cool. It is best to research the medicine and find out what the best conditions are for it. The medicine the kids take needs to stay at room temperature (not too high or low) 5. All medicines should stay out of light. She said to store them in a dry dark box in a cool place. 6. She said that there have been medicines found in military med boxes in storage areas that were opened after 30 years that were just fine and tested to find them at only 1% less potency. So it can be done, but it depends on the medicine and how it's stored. 7. Lastly rotate all medicines every time you get fresh ones. I store my medicines in a rubber maid box under my kitchen table with desiccate packets in them and every month when we get new prescriptions or over-the-counter meds I rotate the meds and I swap out the desiccate packets. If you are really lucky you will get the original bottle the prescriptions were packaged in and they will last a lot longer then the ones in the plastic bottles. I have a few, but the pharmacy doesn't like to give them out much. OH and watch the recalls because a lot of the stuff I have has been recalled and now I have to lug it all back in. (Grumble Grumble). Hope this helps.
  10. I just want to point out something most don't mention. Though we are fighting a battle on the southern borders of our country they are NOT the easiest area of the US to get past. Though we know of the hundreds and maybe thousands who come accross those same southern borders it's the hundreds and thousands we don't know in the northern areas that people should be worried about. There are areas between Canada and the US where you can drive thru because the check point is a toll booth with a sign that says sign in when you pass. Yes we need to stop the illegal immigration and protect our borders, but that should means ALL our borders. I live in Michigan and I know of what I speak. Around here Canadian quarters spend exactly like US quarters, there are people from every culture and no one would ever be able to keep track of all the people passing thru all the border roads and check points not to mention who rides thru the locks, or even just walks thru the woods! It wouldn't be hard at all to sail accross Lake Michigan or Superior if someone really wanted to. Like I said protecting our borders should mean ALL the borders. And No offense to the Canadians because they work as hard as us to protect their country it's just easy to get in and out of anywhere it's a big place you can't watch it all. And isn't that one of the things we all want to avoid? I got nothing to hide until someone tells me everything I own is bad then what?
  11. I read somewhere that if you have city water you don't need to add anything to your water because it already has clorine in it, but if you use well water you should add a few drops of clorine into it to kill any bacteria. Does anyone know how many ml is recommended. I would be using a medicine dropper to add the clorine and since I am allergic to clorine on my skin I am not real thrilled with the idea of adding it to my stomach. I used to have problems drinking city water when I lived in the city (not to mention taking a shower!) That was why I considered doing the canning jar method, but still wonder if I would need clorine in them too? Also I still need water for the rest of the family so I need to get the safe amounts for that. Do I sound over-strung? I really am not, just don't like adding chemicals into my water makes me think I'm going to poison my family.
  12. We left the pipe open, but capped it off and we have our well pipes in our basement so the old well pipe is still sticking out down there. So my DH is building a box to hold one of those cast iron hand pumps on the old pipe. Our new well has the power pump on it. So we have water either way. They are two seperated pipes with two differnent pump systems. Hard to explain, but they work. I just have to haul water from the basement when we have to use the hand pump. You should know we have a shallow well so it is easier to pump water up from. Those deep ones are hard to pump up by hand because it has such a long way to go.
  13. We had to replace our well recently and was advised to move the well spot a couple feet away to prevent the caking from minerals from blocking the water flow so instead of pulling the old pipe out we left it there and capped it with a hand pump and a valve. So now when I need water and the power is out I can use that hand pump. (we loose our power all the time so this is needed often). I am still planning to can some water as soon as I fugure out if I need to add something to it before I can it.
  14. http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?sh...mp;#entry300865 Here is what we use for our garden. And last summer I got 46 pints of green beans, 60 quarts of tomato sauce, a bushel of onions, a bushel of potatoes, 40 pints of dill and bread and butter pickles, 6 quarts of frozen swiss chard, a whole summer's worth of lettuce, radishes for ever meal, a half bushel of green peppers and jalopeno pepers, and a pint of strawberries. Oh and a huge amount of zucchini! This year I am using the topsy turvy planters for the tomatoes so I can grow wheat and corn in the beds in the back. We grew enough food to feed my family and my brother and Dad's family. Yes you can grow enough, BUT I strongly suggest if you don't have a good fertilizer source that you invest in a pet rabbit. I got one last summer just for the "poop" and he has paid for the cost of his up keep. I am now gathering foods from my yard to dry to feed him this winter which will save us even more money on his upkeep. Also remember when planting in containers and beds you need to water more. Also plant up, not accross. Plant pole beans, plant tomatoes in cages or topsy turvy's, lettuce will grow in anything so grab any old container and plant them there. We added a new garden this summer for the kids, made out of their old kiddy pool that was cracked by ice last winter. It was a bigger one so we're planting mini pumpkins, a cherry tomato, carrots, green beans, and peas in it. All will be caged or string lined so they go up and the pumpkins will be used as mulch to keep the other plants cool and moist. But all the tenticles will be led to safe places to hold on so they don't strangle the other plants. OH and don't let anyone tell you it can't be planted in a container. I haven't found anything you can't grow in them including sweet corn. You just have try and see how it goes. Just have fun.
  15. Just came from shopping and yes Sugar has gone WAY up. A 10 lb bag is $7 a bag!
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