2018 JULY – What Did You Do To Prepare This Week/Month?

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This topic contains 56 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  IceFire 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Picked up the additional rolled roofing needed to finish the chicken coop roof, as well as 2 screen doors, 13 sheets of siding, and 2 of OSB for the interior wall. Got it all home and unloaded, then cut off the length of rolled roofing I needed, and got it up onto the roof and nailed down, so now the roof is completed. Started measuring and cutting siding…have one end wall done, as well as the entire back wall.

    Also cut the pieces of OSB for the interior wall, have half of the interior wall in place. Leaving the other half open as well as the end wall until I get the front walls done, because I’m using the interior of the coops to access the fronts. As I finish them, I can close up the walls.



    I started on the Christmas presents for this year. Have requests for flannel versions of the disposable cotton rounds facial pads. I’ve made 10 out of scrap flannel and cut out about 20 more.

    I have requests in from family members for toddler leggings, T-shirts, and nightgowns for winter. Also requests for more flannel washcloths, some accessories hangers (over the shoulder dust hanger over clothes with a pocket for accessories), and other misc. stuff I can’t remember but have written down in the sewing room. 🙂

    Husband is making an emergency binder filled with important things like copies of paperwork, phone numbers, where to find important docs, and keys to certain areas in the house, and so on. I have 3 designated backpacks, one filled with important docs, one filled with warranties, and one filled with tax docs. He will be placing his binder with them, so if we ever have to evacuate due to tornado or fire activity, we can grab and go.



    More work on the chicken coops today. Got the siding up on the fronts of the coops, cut the window holes, put in the “windows” (actually inexpensive screen assemblies), trimmed around the outside of the windows, cut down the doors (they were about 6 inches too tall, and added the additional wood (2×4 on one side of the doorways, and 1×4 on the other) to make the doorway narrower to fit the door.

    Tomorrow, hope to finish the bottoms of the doors (I had removed the screening from the bottom part of the doors, which I will replace with wood, and cut in a “chicken door.” Once that is done, I can add the hardware (door hinges, door handles, and barrel bolts to be able to lock the door; then get the doors hung and trim around the outside of the doorways. After that, it’s making the storage cabinets, roost ladders, and “brooder boxes”; putting up the other half of the dividing wall, then the siding on the end wall.



    In the ongoing decluttering process…

    Spent the morning cleaning out the guest room. Since no one’s been here for 6 months, Husband and I used it as a dumping ground when I didn’t know yet what I wanted to do with stuff or didn’t have time to put stuff away.

    There is now a box and a hamper filled with stuff for the thrift shop. We’ll drop it off tomorrow.

    Moved more sewing stuff out to the sewing area in the cabin.



    Got the doors for the chicken coops done using scrap wood for the bottom panels, hardware on (hinges, door handles, and barrel bolts) got them hung, and trim around the outside of the doors, with a “chicken doorway” cut into the bottoms of the panels. Will need to rig up some sort of doors for the chicken access that can be closed/locked.

    Started working on the roost ladders…have the ladder “rails” cut for 2 roost ladders, and started cutting the holes that the roost bars will go in. Husband had a good idea…taking the unused pans from the dog crates (that are currently being used as a temporary “door” for the duck house) and placing them under the roost ladders…will make cleanup under the roost MUCH easier! While they are SLIGHTLY wider than the roost ladders, they are just the right length to go underneath.

    While I was going through the scrap wood pile (leftovers from other building projects) identified several pieces that I can use for the brooder boxes and shelving/storage cabinets for the coops. Got them moved into the coop for storage (where it will be dry) JUST before the thunderstorm hit. Plus, they are where I can decide which will be used for nest boxes, which for brooder boxes, and which for building my storage for chopped straw, feed, and vet supplies, etc.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  IceFire.


    Today was grocery shopping and yard sales.

    Yard sale(s) – only one.

    2 pneumatic tools for our air compressor – a Dewalt nailer and a Dewalt stapler, both barely used – $9.00!!!
    1 handkerchief – 25 cents
    1 stainless steel 8-cup measuring cup – 75 cents
    1 Little Golden Book for neice – 25 cents

    Oh – and 2 cups of lemonade from the little girl selling it – $1.00
    Whenever I see kids being entrepreneurs, I buy. Encourages a work ethic.

    Grocery (and other) shopping:

    Restocked what we used.

    4 T-shirts on sale – $1 each (will make nighties for toddler)
    6 camisoles on sale – $1.68 each (for nieces)
    1 collapsible dog bowl for EDC bag

    2 cans baked beans
    2 gallons vinegar
    3 packs AA batteries

    For a sewing project:
    2 packs of crayons – 25 cents each



    Started working on the storage cabinet for the chicken coop. Only 1 coop will have the storage cabinet…rather than unnecessary duplication, I’m making a “pass through” door between the two coops so that I can go between the coops to access food, supplies etc.) Got to the point where I needed additional 2x4s, so hubs and I went in to town to get the 2x4s, plus door hinges and pulls for the pass-through, and cabinet hinges for the cabinet.

    We got home just in time to eat lunch, then I unloaded the wood and hardware and started on another project…building the door for the 1st stall in the goat/cow shed, so that I can keep the animals out and use it to store hay an feed, plus put in the milking stand. Got the door done, (used a 4×4 plywood panel, and added 2×8 on either side on the top and 2 sides, to reinforce it) trimmed the outside edges of the stall with 2x6s(necessary in order for the edges to be able to bear the weight of the door…that sucker is HEAVY!) then noticed the storm clouds gathering, so went to the feed store for 2 bales of hay for the cow, plus oats for the horses and the grains needed to make up another batch of the goat/cow grain mix. Got home just in time to feed, then unload the hay and grains before the storm hit. Hope to get the stall door hung tomorrow, when I’ll have the guys to help (did I mention that the door is HEAVY?)



    In the ongoing de-cluttering and down-sizing campaign…I sold 2 of the couches that turn into beds. Have had them for 5 years and they’ve been used maybe 5 times. The money went into the emergency fund.

    I have 4 camp cots with mattresses that are easier to store and use. So they’ll be my guest beds, besides the queen size bed in the guest room.



    We planted a large garden of veggies and everything is growing well now that I’ve learned how to combat slimy slugs — I put out little jelly jars holding a tablespoon or two of cornmeal, lying on their sides, next to the plants. The slugs eat the cornmeal which swells up their bodies and they die. I’m feeling hopeful now that my garden will thrive. Also planted more coffee trees and actually harvested enough berries to make three whole cups of very yummy coffee! I used a Whirly Pop s.s. popcorn cooker to roast the beans.

    Just got my new GrainMaker Model 99 Mill and ground my own organic flour for the first time. I will only grind enough flour for a month at a time, and keep the wheat berries and corn sealed in air-tight buckets. Grinding by hand is hard work, so I ordered a motor for it, but at least I know I can grind any kind of grain by hand should the situation change.

    Reorganized my storage room to hold more of my food buckets and water and hope to start dehydrating again soon if the rain will ever stop.

    I finished stocking my backpack with essentials and am trying to work up the courage to practice walking my get-home route on my worn out knees.

    Every time I think I have done everything I can to be prepared, I think of some other essential thing I need or a project that needs doing, but we are proud of ourselves as we are a lot more prepared than we were a year ago. Prepping is not only essential, but has taught us how to live healthier,more independently, and has given us the opportunity to learn new skills that are also enjoyable. Best thing we ever did.



    Not too much on the prepping front today. Daughter and I went to the produce distribution today…they were doing half price, since some of the stuff had come in spoiled, so there wasn’t as much variety. We ended up with 4 honeydew melons, 2 watermelons, and a box of tomatoes each. After we got it home, we cut up the honeydews and watermelons (some of the honeydew is in wide mouth pint jars for my husband to take to work in his lunch bag, and the rest will get frozen. Some of the watermelon will be eaten fresh, and the rest is going into the dehydrator. When watermelon is dehydrated, it concentrates the sugars in it, and it comes out like candy!

    The tomatoes will get skinned, cut up, and go into my biggest stock pot (40 quart) to be cooked down and turned into spaghetti sauce.

    After we processed the melons, daughter and I went and “sprung” her husband’s aunt from the nursing home for “girls’ day out.” Took the aunt for lunch, then shopping before returning her to the home. She had a good time, but was ready for a nap when she got back. Frankly, so was I, but there was livestock to feed, and eggs to gather before fixing dinner for husband and myself.



    Mkcr5921 – I’d be interested in how you are growing your coffee trees. I have a small coffee plant Husband bought me for Christmas. It was doing just great for the winter months in an east window. Then we put it outside for some sun in the spring, and brought it back in that evening. The bottom leaves are weird, half bright green, half brown (but not dead). The upper leaves are bigger and well developed. Not sure why the bottom part is not as green. It has been in the east window for several months now, no more going outside!

    I moved moved more stuff from the guest room to the sewing area, and am now going through loose patterns, notions, and other stuff to get it looking better. I told Husband that even though I get it all straightened up, I just have to re-do it again in a few weeks – there’s still sewing stuff out in the garage!

    Right now, I’m putting the free patterns I printed off the internet into clear page protectors. They will then go into one of my binders of sewing patterns.

    Some day, this sewing room will be organized!



    Worked on the “lower cabinet” for the chicken coop this afternoon after Church. Already had the base done…today, put the uprights on and the upper support rims (holds the uprights together AND supports the “counter” that rests on top.) then, cut and attached the side and back walls, then put the whole thing in place under the “counter” and screwed it down. It only needs some sort of door now.

    Son-in-law and a friend of his hung my “feed room” door on the cow/goat shed. I moved in the “cow hay” and the goat feed that was already mixed, and also the milk stand and stool. Now I can store additional hay instead of needing to make weekly trips…could only store 2 bales at a time on top of the milk stand.

    Outdoor projects are now all on “hiatus” for the next couple of weeks until I get a couple of pressing sewing projects done (have just under 2 weeks to get them finished.) Once they’re finished, though, it’s back to finishing the chicken coops.

    Also made arrangements with a friend/fellow prepper from church for his current battery bank for his solar system…he’s going to be “upgrading” to lithium/ion batteries, and we’ll be getting his old ones (less than 2 years old.) That will give us a good start on our system. After having done the chicken coop build, I’m pretty confident that I will also be able to build the “power shed” with no problem. Most likely the new well house, too, when we get to that point.


    Went to the wife’s family reunion outside of Gettysburg. Went down a couple of days early so she could spend time with her sister that lives in Fairfield, so I went to some yard sales and flea markets.

    Picked up 2 cast iron frying pans, 1-12 inch and 1-14 inch, a pair of snow shoes, 2 round mouth shovels and 1 post hole digger. Also brought back 2 bushels of peaches. She and the daughter are canning them now, will use the skins for groundhog bait.


    Canned and dehydrated 5 bushell of sweet corn.. Went to our favorite auction and scored on a 1908 singer treadle sewing machine really cheap. It seems to work really well just need to order a replacement belt and learn how to use my feet the right way.. I think that might prove to be a challenge

    My wife and I dug out our quilting supplies and started sewing again. she wants to make a few things to sell



    Went out to check on the peach tree, because the peaches should be ripening soon.

    Every last peach was gone. Peach pits littered the ground around the tree, eaten down to the very nubs in the pit. Not a bit of flesh left.

    Husband’s sunflowers suffered the same fate. They had flowered and the heads were just developing. Every last one was chewed off, just gone.

    The only plants left in the garden are some spindly tomatoes that have only produced about 5 tomatoes.

    My deck garden is still intact – the sunflowers have flowers that are developing into the seed pods. Almost everything is struggling. They grow spindly and puny looking, develop some leaves, but we’ve only been getting a handful of fruit, or none at all from tomatoes, squash, peppers and cucumbers. The locals blame it on our short spring, only about two weeks before we went to temps in the 90s-100s.

    The only thing truly thriving is the lemon tree I planted from a seed. It went outside in the warmth at 6 inches tall a few months ago and is now nearly 4 feet tall. No lemons though.

    I am considering building a “cage” around the garden, even putting a wire mesh top over it and around the edges to keep digging and climbing critters out. I want to enclose the peach tree in this garden, too. Thinking of pruning the peach tree down and keep a dwarf. Not sure how to do that but I’ve been reading up on it.

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