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Prep Genrl Weekly Prep Thread: February 25 ~ March 3, 2018
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  1. #1

    Weekly Prep Thread: February 25 ~ March 3, 2018

    Darn - another month slipping by by; I know February is a short one, but it sure has gone by fast!

    I asked Hubby to bring home some boxes from work yesterday, so that I could pack up some items to take to the thrift store - he did bring home some boxes, but they are full of engine parts, so I don't think they'll suit for the thrift store Wonder what that man is building now???

    Granddaughter had Scholastic Bowl on Saturday - she was a 'Mathlete' - and plans for 1:1 time with her Dad for Sunday, so it was just the grandsons who were waiting to be picked up late morning on Saturday. Thanks to a wretched, rotten, day from Hell at work on Friday that saw me getting off work an hour late and replayed in my brain until about 3am - did I mention it was a bad day? - which was then followed by two friends dragging me out of my house at 8am Saturday to go to the pool for an hour long water workout plus watching a 5th grade basketball game before I escaped to pick up the boys.... Well, I was tired enough to take them out to lunch (at least I was smart enough to feed 'em first!) then to the store to let them pick out whatever they wanted to eat this weekend - Ouch to the pocketbook, and Yuck to the food

    While we were at the store, I informed the boys that they were spoiled - and they informed ME that daughter told them that since I spoil them, she doesn't have to.... seems to me it worked out that way when she was a young'un, too - except it was my Dad spoiling her. Can't say much, I still gag at the sight of a butterscotch candy due to MY Granny feeding me them every time she saw me

    We were mugged by Girl Scouts again while leaving the store - one of the adults was younger grandson's playground and lunch teacher and he was so excited to see her that we weren't able to slip by unnoticed. I'd used the $10 Wal-Mart cards I'd been given as a bribe to flip shifts this week at the store, so figured since I was ahead of the game, I could give the boys $10 each; they each used it to send two boxes of cookies to soldiers. After that, it was a quick trip to the foo-foo bakery for apple pie before heading home to watch videos and play on their tablet (older) and scatter a giant bag of Lincoln Logs across the floor (younger) as it was pouring rain outside.

    Both boys are participating in a Read-a-Thon for school; the school is hoping to collect $10,000 to pay for new lockers. The older one read Ranger Rick magazine to us as we drove home yesterday and the younger one read 'One Fish, Two Fish' to me this morning, so we coughed up a bit of $$. I think older grandson is more excited by the principal's vow to dye his hair purple - "AND NOT WEAR A HAT!" than he is the thought of new lockers

    I'm sad that I had to miss the FFA petting zoo on Friday, but discovered that March is going to be a busy month here, schoolwise - Granddaughter has already hit me up by text to buy tickets to the student musical; luckily, I have to work the day of the Dodge Ball Tournament - can't remember what it benefits, but it is to do something for the schools. So nice to see the community come together to do things for the kids' benefit.

    With all the rain we got yesterday and overnight, the only playing outside today will be jumping in puddles as there is standing water in the yard. So far, one boy wants to come to the pool with me; the other one is either going to bring his tablet with him (he only gets it on weekends; he's watching a Ted Talk now) and sit on the bench by the pool or stay with Hubby, who will drive him home.

    Hubby is coming with me to the pool tomorrow - well, he's going to the weight room while I'm in the pool; then, weather permitting, we may go to the range to try out my new shotgun. I'm really afraid it's just going to have to go in the safe for future use for the boys as it's pretty big for me, even with the shorter barrel he put on it. I'd rather buy a youth model that fits me than cut the stock down on this one - with a 7 year old grandson who is just 9" shorter than me right now, I think I'll have someone who will be able to handle the full size one by the time he is old enough to use it

    Well, it's taken me almost 2 hours to type this with the various interruptions; guess I'd better get it posted before I lose it!

    Take care all; wishing you all a safe and happy week!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    in the bunker
    I took my daughter cross country skiing several times; it was quality time. It was her 2nd time. We took lots of pictures. She fell and did not quit, which was good. It has been snowing a lot, so aside from snow storms, it was perfect conditions.

  3. #3
    I am envious, Ivan! I miss cross country skiing - really enjoyed it back in the late 70's/early 80's when we had 'good' snow for doing so...

  4. #4
    Forgot to mention that the red-wing blackbirds are back as of Monday - that's a sign for us that spring is on the way

  5. #5
    A lot of water fowl headed north here.

  6. #6
    sister saw two robins - early for the Upper Midwest ...
    Illini Warrior

  7. #7
    We've also had numerous flocks of snow geese coming through! I may actually start to believe that spring is coming lol!

  8. #8
    Hit the Amish bulk food store today as a friend and I were on the way home from her MD appointment; I didn't need much but did come home with two large bags of rolled oats and 10# of unbleached wheat flour; I will vacuum seal the oats in gallon size bags, and put half or more of the flour in gallon jars with oxygen absorbers; what's left will go in the kitchen cabinet for current use. I also snagged another half dozen wide mouth half gallon canning jars while I was there - I use them for food storage by adding an oxygen absorber/vacuum sealing them; then storing them in marked cardboard boxes.

  9. #9
    Hubby and I have been spending too much time organizing the cellar... a project I've wanted to do for at least 10 years! I designed a shelving system to take advantage of a smallish "nook" (we used to stack the firewood there when we were using a wood burning furnace in the basement) to store the 5 gallon pails. They've been randomly stacked in that space for way too long, and my ability to access what I needed was awful... first attempt to locate the specific pail I wanted (a photographic memory definitely helps, but only in that I knew what I had... not where, exactly, it was!), then move 30 or 40 buckets to be able to grab the one I wanted. Giant PITA, and made an accurate inventory and supply management impossible.

    We got the shelves all built last week, and as of today, are about 3/4 through the massive sorting and shelving process. I've insisted on opening every bucket... they've been stored outside on a hay wagon since before Christmas, and even though covered by a tarp, I didn't trust that some of the cheapie Wal-Mart lids would be completely waterproof.

    And they weren't! However, a bigger surprise was that the expensive GammaSeal lids also weren't!

    Fortunately, *almost * everything was properly packed in heavy Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, although there were a few surprises... pails with multiple 2# packages of dry beans, for example. I suspect they were stashed that way "temporarily", and then got moved to the cellar (hubby tends to "help" by doing stuff like that, without asking first... it's hard to complain about a man who voluntarily helps with housecleaning, though!)

    Fortunately, there hasn't been much waste. A couple of pails of white rice that had the rice packed in vacuum sealer plastic bags lost their seal (I'm not impressed with those sealers, really... when they work, they sure do extend the life of the food... invaluable for freezing chicken breasts and boneless pork loin chops. But the seals fail way too often to suit me, and when they fail, you'll know it if you try to eat the food! For long term storage, it's really hard to beat GOOD Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers). The rice in those pails (less than 10 years old, and stored in a very cool basement) was badly rancid.

    Regardless of what anyone will tell you, both white rice and white flour will turn rancid in the presence of air...much sooner than you'd expect. Fortunately, chickens don't mind... I'll be blending the stuff we had to toss in their feed over the next few weeks.

    The biggest surprise was a pail of elbow macaroni (in my experience, one food that keeps just about forever, even without any special packaging beyond what's needed to keep it completely dry, is pasta). It was in a heavy Mylar bag, but had lost its seal. I decided to open it (planned on adding a couple of fresh 02 absorbers and reseal it). It smelled fine, but the top noodles seemed slightly... off. Almost as if they'd gotten slightly damp, and just slightly stuck together. I almost had myself convinced it was just from the pressure of the tightly sealed bag (properly sized 02 absorbers will suck so much oxygen out of the sealed bag of will be as hard as a brick)

    But I decided to pull the bag out of the bucket, and double check for moisture or a pinhole...

    And that was when I discovered the pail had cracked across the bottom, which had allowed some sort of small beetle to gain entrance... the entire bottom of the bag was a mix of pasta "sawdust" and dead bugs! Yuck!

    The chickens were thrilled!

    So, it's been a long process, and my back isn't very happy, but I surely am! I can now see exactly what I have, and put my hands on it when I need to restock the pantry.

    I still need to restock the basement cupboards, so I can move the cases of last fall's canning to the shelf units I designed to hold cases of canning jars, but we're getting there. And just in time..despite the winter storm currently roaring outside, it's nearly time to get the plants started and the gardens ready.



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