Story Nann

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Chapter 43

“Will you please tell all them retards not to haul it out and water the trees all over the place?!” I sniped at a medic group I caught crossing the Decker land as they surveyed water sources.

“Excuse me?”

“Do I really need to explain it to you?” I asked as I pointed to a tree just off one of the Ridge’s common trails where the grass was badly yellowed.

It actually took the female of the bunch to put two and two together. “They aren’t supposed to be pissing any place but in the latrines.”

I gave a sarcastic chuckle. “Trust me, peeing on the trees isn’t all they are doing.”

The woman said, “Gross. That’s disgusting.”

“Yeah it is,” I agreed. “So somebody please tell them to stop doing it. At the rate y’all are going you are going to foul the streams and kill the trees.”

The Combat Medic that seemed to be in charge said, “How do you know it is personnel doing this?”

“Well, since there are only two other people up here on the Ridge, and one of them is me, it kinda puts the odds against us being the ones to be pooping and peeing all over the place in this quantity.”

“Our people are using the latrines.”

“Suuuure they are.” I looked at the guy that was humping their equipment around for them and he reddened up real hard and fast. He couldn’t even pull off the innocent look.

The Head Medic or whatever he was called saw his expression and made an irritated face before telling me, “It will be addressed.”

“Thank you kindly.” Then the female medic started coughing.

“You okay?” I asked out of habit.

“Allergies,” she said after nearly strangling. She pulled out a box and then cussed as it was apparently empty. “Sir, I need to req another box of cough drops.”

“Sorry Reynolds, none to be had.”

She groaned.

One of the other guys there said, “Drink some hot sauce.”

She made a face but I said, “He has a point but you don’t have to drink it straight. Save your packets of tabasco, honey, and lemon juice that come in your meal kits.”

“Why? You willing to trade for some cough medicine?”

“Don’t have any and Mitch would ground me for two lifetimes, and I’d be old and gray before I saw another human. He ain’t going to be happy about me talking to y’all. The only thing that might save my butt is you being female.” I snorted. “Take a packet of tabasco, a packet of honey, and half packet of the lemon juice and mix it together and take about a teaspoon at a time when you need it. And, before you decide I’m also about to try and convince you to lick a frog’s butt in the light of a full moon, it’s the lemon juice that cuts the crap on your throat irritating it, the capsicum in the tabasco is the medicinal, and the honey has a buttload of antioxidants and is an antiseptic and antifungal as well as soothes the irritation. And if you don’t believe me use your college edumacation to look it up when you get back to civilization.”

I turned to leave and the guy in charge says, “Wait. Repeat that.”

“Which part?” giving him my best dumb hick look.

He looked at me and said, “I got a kid sister your age that’s also a Venturer.”

Despite my surprise I tried to hide my grin as he was looking at my sweat-stained scout shirt with my Summit Rank clearly showing that I had on under my overalls that day. I nodded and repeated the recipe for the cough syrup.

“You’re the kid that grossed Malinowski out about eating kudzu,” he said.

“Probably guilty but I can’t say for sure. Your people get grossed out pretty easy.”

He snorted. “We’ve got a lot of greenbean city kids that’s for sure. That’s the primary reason we are out surveying for health risks.”

“Start with if it is water and its wet don’t drink it unless it has been treated. If it is a fruit, plant, or root, don’t touch it or eat it unless one of y’all says it is okay. And if it is an animal, reptile, or insect, assume it bites or stings. Because they can wind up dead or wishing they were dead by messing with any of the above. And if it is a mushroom or other fungus treat it like it is a poisonous maneater and stay away.”

“You have mushrooms in your basket,” one of them said, pointing out the obvious.

“Yeah. So? I’ve spent my entire life being trained by someone that knew what they were doing.”

“And where is this paragon of wisdom?” someone else asked.

It wasn’t funny anymore. “She … ran out of medicine. Nice to meet you. Goodbye.”

“Hey, take it easy kid,” the head medic said. “No one meant anything bad by it. A lot of us have lost people.” He sighed. “Unfortunately it … desensitizes a person and your mouth gets away from you.”

Not wanting to make things worse I immediately said, “Fine. Apology or whatever accepted. I still need to get back.”

“I’ll send you will a hall pass if you’ll answer a few questions.”

Cautiously I said, “Depends on if I can help.”

He nodded. Basically it was some geography questions, asking about “some story he’d heard about a pig farm in the area,” and if there were any particularly poison plants he needed to warn people off of.

“Okay, here’s some down and dirty. They’re still better off not eating anything until someone else confirms it isn’t poisonous.” He nodded. “And for gosh sake don’t believe that old saw that if animals eat it then people can. That’s a lie that have sickened and killed a lot of folks. For instance, birds will eat holly berries all day long and twice on Sunday … but they make humans sick as a dog. Get me?”

When all the medics nodded, I said, “Okay, a few that should be easy to spot. Poison ivy and poison oak I hope you know. Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel are for sure things you want to keep your hands off of. They’re pretty when in bloom but each and every part, from the stem to the flowers, is toxic to humans and for the love of mike don’t burn them cause the smoke the fire gives off is just as poisonous. Same for foxglove. Like I said, pretty but deadly poisonous in all its parts. Poke is another one people do the stupid with. There’s a way to make very new growth edible but I wouldn’t even bother telling them that. Mostly just say it is easy to spot due to the bright pink color of the stem. The small berries start green and slowly turn into a blackish-purple; however, only a few of those berries are enough to kill a little kid and they don’t do much for full-sized folks either. Only other one I can think to warn them of is Nettle if they are going off trail. The plants look soft and fuzzy, but the formic acid, serotonin and histamine found in the fuzzy hairs cause a stinging sensation in whichever area of the body that has been touched. The itching and burning pain only lasts a couple of hours but make no mistake, it won’t be pleasant. That should get you started.”

“Get us started?” Reynolds asked incredulously.

“Yeah. This isn’t a city or town. Mother Nature still rules. So does King Karma. Humans are still top of the pointy food pyramid but you won’t stay on top if you can’t stop from doing the stupid.” Deciding to take a chance I asked, “Can I ask you something?”

“Depends on if I can help,” he said, mocking me a bit like he would have his kid sister. Made me want to stick my tongue out at him and prove how immature I could be if pushed too hard.

“What’s up with all the changes? Planes going east and west instead of north and south. All the military personnel going this way and that. All the surveying being done like you might be here longer than just a weekend or two. I will admit it is … freaking me out a little. Mitch says that I should just mind my p’s and q’s and I’m more than willing but … easier to do that if I know if I should be doing something in particular.”

The man looked at me then nodded. “You really don’t get any information out here do you.”

“You mean radio and tv and that sort of thing? No. And we don’t have internet either. No newspapers. No mail. Nothing. It is like being deaf. All we’ve been able to do is guess.”

“Well it is in the news in the Safe Zones so I’m not breaking regs to tell you. And I’m one of those that feel that keeping civilians completely in the dark is a good way to create problems.” He was silent for a moment then I started getting more information than I had expected.

“The enemy hasn’t been able to take any of the East Coast. Not because that Coast is stronger, it is simply further away from the enemy’s current bases and supply lines. Nor have they been able to take Texas though the battles are pretty constant around the original national border. The Mexican government has fallen and now Mexican rebels fight with us more than against us. That’s given us an advantage along the West Coast where the same thing is happening. The enemy only for sure holds LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Bad enough but even that’s changing. San Diego? Hard to say after the military was forced to pull out … but we’ve left them nothing but salted earth. But you want to know why we are doing what we are doing right here.”

“Yes please,” I said proving I had manners.

“The enemy is building up along the incursion borders again. Last time they were allowed to get away with it for reasons unknown to us in the field. That isn’t happening this time. We figure they are trying to prepare for another push. We cannot let them overrun this region. If they do there is a danger of reaching the higher density population zones. If they take the interior of the country, or possibly split the country in two … do I need to spell it out?”

“No Sir,” I said trying to keep a blank face.

“So, you keep playing young and too stupid … but don’t act it. Command says we are to stay away from civilians … particularly minor civilians. So stay a minor for as long as you can. Understand?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Do you understand when I say Third World health issues?”

“Put it in context please.”

“As in there are areas that, due to where the enemy comes from and their poor hygiene practices, certain communicable illnesses that had been eradicated in this country are returning. Similar to what happened when we’d have years of very large migrant surges. Only this is worse because healthcare is being rationed due to shortages and communities are losing herd immunities. The worst problems we are experiencing at the moment are meningitis, whooping cough, measles, polio, and TB. We’ve had outbreaks of malaria and yellow fever in the Deep South. Diarrheal diseases are some of the hardest to stop once they get started and would be some of the easiest to prevent if people would just follow some basic hygiene rules. Rotavirus, E. Coli, cryptosporidium and giardia, norovirus, and shigella are the biggies. We’ve also has several cholera outbreaks in some of the POW containment areas that have then spread out into surrounding communities. Thus far we’ve kept the epidemics in check because we’ve been able to blanket the areas with medication. However we can’t continue to do that because medicine production is at an all-time low. Soap and water would go a long way to help but soap is a rationed item, water is also rationed in some urban areas, and the fuel to bring the water to boiling temperatures is also in short supply. Europe is refusing to allow us to import anything because they are worried about drawing the enemy’s attention and because our manufacturing capabilities are dedicated to war time needs we can’t export what they need or want. It is a Catch-22. There have also been outbreaks of West Nile, Zika, and Dengue fever since mosquito control is falling way down the list of what can be addressed. And to top that all off I just got a flyer to expect this year’s Covid and Flu seasons to be some of the worst on record. So, if you know any more of those proven homemade remedies, write them down. If you are willing to share, I’ll see what I can do.” He hiked his eyebrow up and I nodded. A deal had been struck.


Contributing Member
Thank you Kathy!

Not a doctor, only a poorly trained herbalist, take my advice at your own risk.

I like hot sauce added to a warm broth when feeling poorly.

Charcoal for diarrhea. Over cooked grains or other starchy foods. Safe, untreated, soft woods will also work, if you have willow, save the bark and the layer below to make woven containers and aspirin.

The above mentioned foxglove for heart problem in very small doses.

Cinnamon, in a tea or cooking, for an upset digestive system. I have found that lukewarm cinnamon tea with a little raw sugar or honey helps with nausea of getting over heated.

Apple juice for irritated throat, even from talking or singing too much.


Contributing Member
Grreeaaat, a nice new chapter to wake up to!!!!!!
Thank you!!!!!
When my spring allergies get bad I use a lemon and ginger sipping drink.
It stops the sore throat, dries up my nose, stops the itchy face, stops the coughs and used to annoy my co-workers when I was feeling fine and they were miserable.
However they wouldn't touch it even though it was simple to make.
It didn't come from a pharmacy? Go figure??


to fear "I'm from the government I'm here to help"
Thank you Kathy. Luckily, us in the great white north don't need to deal with things like malaria or zika virus although west nile is around as is hanta virus. Lyme disease also tends to be around this time of year thanks to ticks.
I don't wish to Hijack your forum:
Definition of politics....... poli is Greek for many.......... Ticks are blood sucking insects.

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Chapter 44

“Just how long are you going to stay mad at me?” I asked.

“’Til I feel like it,” Mitch growled from the chair he had decided to use as a bed.

I tried again. “You know I didn’t mean anything bad by what I did.”

“That’s not the point.”

“I guess not,” I sighed. “So next time I do something without asking you first I guess I shouldn’t fess up asap.”

In irritation Mitch snapped, “Dammit Nannette, don’t go twisting things.”

“I’m not. ‘Nite.”

Like he couldn’t conceive of the possibility he yelped, “You’re just going to go to sleep?!”

“Probably not. But I have to try. See I’m learning how things work and it isn’t sitting well but I’m also learning I don’t have a choice.”


Ignoring him just enough to express my feelings on the subject I said, “You, as an adult, can do whatever you please, up to a reasonable point of course, and can withhold information as you consider it prudent. Me, as the minor, has to suck it up buttercup and deal with it. You, as Boss Dog, can do as you please regardless of reasonableness or not simply because you are the one in charge and there will be no repercussions.”

“What the hell does that mean?!”

“It means that when I am no longer a minor … some few months from now … I will have the rights that I currently do not.”

“That’s not what I meant!” he snapped getting angry again.

“It’s what you said,” I reminded him.

“Dammit to hell.”

In a still reasonable sounding voice I said, “Stop cussing or you are going to wind up with acid reflux like you did last time you had a fit.”

“It wasn’t the cussing that gave me acid reflux,” Mitch growled. “It was guys trying to guess if you were a girl or not.”

I snorted. “Yeah, and I found their stupid just oh so complimentary.”

“Huh?” he asked, obviously confused again.

Trying to get him to see if from a different viewpoint I asked, “How would you feel if a bunch of females stood around trying to figure out if you were a guy?”

He was stunned silent for a moment before going, “Oh. Er …”

“Furthermore, how happy would it make you to …”

“Let’s not go down that road.” I heard him get up from the chair and then he sat on the bed. “Why in the hell is it that you go off by yourself, run into a military patrol, and then stop and chat like it is no big deal but I’m the one that feels like apologizing?”

“Probably because I already apologized for moving outside the game plan, did it as soon as I got back to the farm and could find you, yakking your head off with Sgt. Cahill and that female Captain with him, but explained why at the same time. I didn’t even throw anything at you or burn your dinner tonight after you screamed at me pretty good where everyone and their mother could hear you.”

He sighed. “That … shouldn’ta happened.”

“Why not? It’s the way you feel.”

“Now Nann …”

“Don’t. I’m done. And done in right now. All I asked was …”

“… how long I was going to stay mad. How about I’m done being mad and hope you are too.”

“I was never mad,” I told him wondering why I wasn’t.

“Uh huh. Then what were you?”

Trying to be honest ‘cause that is the only thing that worked with Dad and Dale I answered, “A little scared. Not sure I yet understand how you could have found out about this stuff but not told me. Wondering if there is some way to turn this to our advantage somehow, but knowing I don’t get to be a part of doing that because I’m stuck in this box until I turn eighteen and then I’ll …”

“Uh uh. Don’t do that.”

I was just too tired. “So I’m supposed to stay dumb and in the box until the world blows up and then just act stupid and surprised?”

“You ARE mad.”


“Nann …”

“I’m not playing Mitch. I’m tired. Too tired. And tomorrow I gotta pick the pie cherries while you go off doing whatever you do with them other soldiers. I’m going to be doing a lot of other stuff while you go off with them too. And no, I don’t expect you to help. And yes, I can get it done ‘cause I got it done last summer for Grammy when you weren’t around. Just go do your thing but Mitch?”

Quietly he answered, “Yeah?”

“Don’t play me no more.”

“Uh …”

“You may have meant well, and may still, probably do ‘cause you aren’t a bad guy. You probably don’t even think of it as a game. But, I don’t want to be treated like I’m only good for some attention when other people aren’t around. I’m not going to be your dirty secret. Because the way I felt about things wasn’t dirty.”

“Nann …”

I sat up. “You were flirting with that reporter or whatever she is. You called me your ‘little cousin’ which just added insult to injury. Sure, I was off foraging – and I’m not going to stop so don’t even think of asking or telling me to – and I crossed paths with a medical crew or group or whatever you soldiers call them. There was no avoiding them because you know what part of the trail I’m talking about. They didn’t crowd me and there was a female with them that played chaperone. It was a fair exchange of information with a chance to have another fair exchange. And it should tell you how bad off things are if they are willing to hear about home remedies from a ‘minor’ … kid is what they really think I am. And apparently so do you. But even if I did do something heinous, you didn’t have to flirt with that woman in front of me. Or maybe you did. I got the message either way.”

“Nann … Wait, where are you going?”

“To the bathroom because on top of everything else I guess it was a good thing that Dundee sent them supplies. So leave me alone. I got a bad habit of either turning into Sasquatch with nasty static electricity or a watering can full of sour milk at that time of the month when I’m upset and I really don’t want to be either one because it is a waste of energy I don’t have right now.”

It was embarrassing having him insist on coming to the outhouse and standing guard just because I refused to use the indoor facilities since I’d forgotten to fill the bucket before it got dark. Having him know I had to go because I was on my monthly just added another load of upset to an already overflowing container of it.

“You didn’t need to follow me,” I told him. I wasn’t going to run off and find anyone else to talk to.”

He sighed. “Let’s just get inside. That ain’t heat lightning. It looks like we’re going to finally get some rain. The water barrels and garden need it and so does the meadow. I’m going to have to start letting the cows out whether I want to or not. The area around the barn is getting eat over and they need more than hay. If I let them into the east pen can you keep an eye on them while you are in the orchard?”

“Yeah. I’ll set Butch and Pretty to circling the animal pens.”

“Er … thanks.” We had just entered the kitchen and he’d turned to put the crossbar on the door. “Wait just a sec. Let’s go over a few things.”

I thought oh great, another lecture. Instead he asked if I could sit at the table with him for a few minutes or did I need some female space and downtime. “Has it ever stopped me before?” I asked.

“To be honest? Never … never gave it any thought. And that’s the first thing I need to talk about. See … just because you keep calling me an adult doesn’t mean I know everything. In fact, ever since I got blown up it feels more like I know less and less. And … maybe I’ve … overcompensated.”

“I don’t understand.”

“What I mean Nann is that you mean a whole lot to me. More and different than anyone ever has. And … I don’t always have all the answers. Okay?”

“What’s that mean? Did I do something wrong? I mean more wrong than …”

“And that’s the other thing.” He sighed. “Instead of appreciating that you came to me right off, trusted me enough to tell me right off, I acted like a butthurt idiot. And kept right on digging that hole ‘cause you let me.”

“I didn’t do no such thing.”

“Yeah you did. You let me be the man, the Boss Dog, all the way up to and beyond me hanging myself with all the rope you gave me to do it with.”

“Er …”

“Not your fault Sweetheart.”

“Mitch …”

“And I’m not trying to sweet talk you out of your mad though it would be nice if we could meet halfway.”

“Then why are you talking like this? I didn’t ask you to.”

“Because … look Dad was a lot older than me and he … I guess he talked to me more about some things than most guys my age would get from their fathers because of it. He’d seen a lot. Watched my bio-mom and bio-grandmother and him and his first wife make all sorts of mistakes. He always made me understand though that I wasn’t a mistake but that I was going to have to live with their mistakes and do my best not to repeat ‘em.”

“Mitch …”

“You talked, now it’s my turn.” When he realized I was letting him do the talking he said, “I’m older than you, have more experience than you, and that means that I need to act like it. That don’t mean I get to get my panties in a twist ‘cause of stupid crap that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s not like you meant to catch them guys’ attention. And I can see by the look on your face, even in the dark, you ain’t real happy they noticed you. And after you explained it the way you did I even understand why you ain’t real happy with them. Hurray me that I’m not that big a knothead.”

He sighed. “Now this next … look, I know you’re female. And I know there’s biological realities that females have to live with. I never wanted to hear about or know about all that stuff before. Used to drive me crazy to hear Dad and Grammy talk about all that stuff and their illnesses and doctor visits and stuff in detail like they did. I thought I could keep playing blind man but … it bothers me that you know more about boys and men than I know about females in general.”

“That’s cause all I had to be friends with were boys and Dale … look, he was just good at explaining things so I wouldn’t run face first into stupid boy stuff when we were all hanging out together as a crew. The exchange was I was supposed to help him stay up on female stuff so he wouldn’t get caught sideways by his girlfriends ‘cause Mom and Dad weren’t real good at that kind of thing. Mom explained the practical stuff but the rest of it I have been on my own about. Well, at least what Grammy didn’t explain.”


“Yeah. She felt … responsible I guess. I always just accepted it as Grammy being Grammy but it might have been that whole Poppa Decker vs. Mr. Lofton thing that she didn’t want me to … I don’t know, it was just Grammy being Grammy.”

He was quiet for a moment.

“Looks like we both got lucky. But I sure wish they were here now. Nann … I didn’t mean to act like a butthurt drunk. This being older and more experienced than you isn’t helping me not make mistake as much as maybe you think it should. You’re a sweet armful Nann. And you’re mine. And I want it to stay like that. Forever. But there is a crapton of things going on in the world and I’m still learning … same as you … how to color inside the lines. And … aw hell. Nann, I need to talk to you about something. I found out today so don’t go thinking I … that I’ve been holding it back from you.”

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Chapter 45

“What do you mean you haven’t been holding it back from me? What ‘it’ do you mean?”

I could just make out Mitch’s troubled face in the dark.


“I was trying to get word to your folks, that you were safe.”

I didn’t know what the look on his face meant but I was immediately afraid.

“Nann … Sweetheart …”

I was shaking. “Just tell me Mitch.”

“You know I been trading with Cahill. Just admit it. You know.”

I shrugged. “Yeah. You’ve been trading honey.”

“Not ours, the stuff we found bottled up at the Delray place. Cahill is smart though. He knows we have resources but this way … this way whoever he trades it to can assume it is just something salvaged.”

“Uh … okay. Just … just another type of camouflage.”

“That’s a good way of thinking about it,” Mitch said approvingly.

“What have you been trading for?”

“Favors. Information.” He cleared his throat. “Like I said, I was trying to get word to your folks.”


He sighed before saying quietly, “Nann, Geri’s campground is being used as a staging hospital command center. It was set up last month. The civilians that were on site were moved to a new area, but before they could set up in the new location, that area was swallowed into a buffer zone and they were shipped further north but I don’t know where yet.”

“There’s more isn’t there? Just … just tell me Mitch.”

He cleared his throat. “Lisa got into some trouble. She’s been sent to work off her sentence. I don’t know where. It looks like someone she was calling her boyfriend was grooming her to become a … what you called a party favor … for his gang in exchange for drugs.”

“Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.”

“Shhhh. Better that she get caught before that life ate her up. Lisa isn’t the kind of girl that could live with being that kind of used. Believe it or not though, things aren’t as bad as they could be. Sgt. Cahill says the reputation of the group she was assigned to is good, real solid. That means that someone thought she was worth saving. They’re known to be tough, strict, even hard … but they have a very low recidivism rate.”

“A what?”

“It means that people that have gone through their program, few of them return to their old life, not even addicts.”

“Are you trying to say Lisa might have caught a break?” I asked like he was trying to tell me a fairytale.

“I know it sounds messed up Nann, but that’s the way Sgt. Cahill explained it. Most addicts … Nann, she caught a break, that’s all I’m saying. It could have gone a lot worse for her. And for the family because of her.”

Putting Lisa and her issues to the side I asked, “And … and you don’t know where Mom and Dad are?”

“No, but Cahill says he’ll try. He has to be careful. If he is caught doing favors for people he could get in a crapload of trouble. But listen, I did find out about Dale and … them knucklehead friends of his … yours.”

I shuddered. “They’re all over eighteen. They got drafted.”

“Not exactly.”

He’d managed to stop the panic that was setting in with surprise. “What do you mean? Not exactly?”

“They were already part of a militia group. Tracking them might actually mean we can find where the rest of the family was taken to.”

“How?” I asked with barely disguised hope.

“Most militia members stay in areas where their own families’ are. If we can find Dale, we might be able to find Uncle John and Aunt Dina. I can’t promise … I’ll try my best.”

“Could you get in trouble?”


“You said Sgt. Cahill could get in trouble but … could you get in trouble doing this too?”

“Er …”

I said something I didn’t want to, and I don’t think he expected me to say. “Don’t.”


“Don’t. Mom and Dad wouldn’t want that. I don’t want that. It’s wrong to even think of asking you to take them kind of chances.”

“Now Nann …”

“I mean it Mitch.”

“I … I know you do. Surprised as hell but … look. If I can find out something I will. But that’s why I say that I can’t promise. I’ve got responsibilities and the top of that list is you.”

Then it hit me square in the heart. “They aren’t coming. They never were.”

“Nann … Honey … I …” He sighed and then his tone changed, and it was almost painfully honest. “Not right now. I’m sorry Nann but I … I won’t lie to you. There’s no way based on how far away they are being sent. That doesn’t mean that they might not come this way at some point. And we need to be prepared.”

“Either way.”


“You’re trying to tell me we need to be prepared either way.” It was like being squeeze by a boa constrictor. Things just got tighter and tighter and tighter. “I … I need to … to be as strong as you. In … in case … like with Uncle Hy and Grammy … just in case.”

He could hear me trying not to cry. It felt like my chest, my heart, was being crushed. The idea of not seeing my family ever again. I thought I had hurt over Uncle Hy and Grammy. But now I felt like all the scabs and scars I had were being ripped open. The idea of not seeing them again, even if it was just to say goodbye, I could barely breathe.

Mitch must have sensed it. “Nann, don’t give up hope. War is hell and I’d give a whole lot for you not to have to learn this lesson, not learn it this way for sure. I would have saved you the pain but … had the worst happened and you found out I knew, had known for however long … I …”

Somehow some way I was turned loose. I still hurt but the first shock of it has worn off. “No. I get it. Don’t set yourself on fire over it.” It was like Grammy was there patting my back. I realized that I was about to learn the same lesson she had. Sometimes all you could do to make sure you got up in the mornings and put one foot in front of the other was to do it for someone else. Mitch needed me. He didn’t say it the same way I sometimes did, but I sensed it, even if it was just as a person to look after and be Boss Dog for. I would have to start with that. The rest I would figure out as I had to.

Mitch confirmed my suspicions when he said, “I’m here Nann. You aren’t alone. I’m not alone because you’re here. Life just kicked us in the stomach but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t still together.” He took my hand and the cold that had wrapped me up slowly melted.

I didn’t know about Mom and Dad. I didn’t know about Dale. I didn’t know about Uncle Day-Day and Aunt Fran. I didn’t know about Lisa … or Geri … or Stan or any of the rest of them. I didn’t need to go scaring myself. Life was hard. Okay, so it just got harder, a lot harder. But I still had to find a way to get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. Grammy found a way. Mom would expect it. And I … I need to expect it of myself, because one day I would know. Either way. And I still had to be able to live with it one way or the other. I looked at Mitch and then just leaned over and tried not to cry.

Life was worth crying over but sometimes giving life what it tried to pull out of you just takes too much energy. And I have a crapton of things that have to be done tomorrow. More than I can ever get done. But I still need to try. Because Mitch is right. We can’t give up hope. We’re here, together. And maybe they’ll come someday. Or some of them will. Someday. But today Mitch and I are together and that is going to have to be enough.


Contributing Member
Thank you Kathy!

While diarrhea is mentioned in many stories what would someone do for constipation in a situation like this story?
Avoid foods like cheeses, MRIs, artificial oils, and mono-diets (eating only one thing).

Add more fiber to your diet, whole grains, popcorn, and fiber tablets.

Even though constipation may make you wish you were dead, diarrhea could kill you quicker.
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Veteran Member
I was thinking more along the lines of a "wild" fix. I know when I was a kid we always had polk salad sautéed in a small amount bacon fat. Let me tell you that would do the trick but in a survival situation polk may not be avaliable.


Contributing Member
I was thinking more along the lines of a "wild" fix. I know when I was a kid we always had polk salad sautéed in a small amount bacon fat. Let me tell you that would do the trick but in a survival situation polk may not be avaliable.
In that case, plums-fresh or dried, little green apples, too much of any fruit, lots of nuts, or a lot of corn.

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Chapter 46

Cherries, cherries, and more cherries. Last two days that’s what I have done the most of, but not the only thing that’s for sure. Getting up yesterday was hard. Not just ‘cause I was on my cycle. I’ve ignored them as much as possible since I started having them hell weeks when I was nine years old. Mom had her own problems and taught me that you didn’t get to stop life just because your body was reminding you it was female. At least it isn’t a full week anymore. Used to be a guaranteed eight or nine days of running to the bathroom a lot with at least three or four of them full on university level crampy camp. Now I’m four days and done and it’s barely an inconvenience. I use less than half the supplies I used to. And that is why my supplies have lasted almost twice as long as I expected them to. From here on out however, I need to start thinking ahead. Mom and Grammy aren’t here to help me figure out what to do.

Mom and Grammy aren’t here for a lot of things. All I’ve got is what they’ve already taught me and whatever I can figure out for myself from Grammy and Uncle Hy’s idea books. And cherries are abundant enough that I’m doing a bit of experimenting on my own. Abundant?! Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha hahahahaha … … …

Sorry. Last two days have made me remember that Uncle Hy didn’t just have field crops and honey as income. He took whatever that Grammy didn’t want from the gardens and orchards to the farmer’s market at the highway produce station. Last summer he had me to help. Or he and Grammy would have people from church to send a kid or two for what they called shares. Before that they had Mitch and the cousins on his side of the family. The kids picked and got half for their families, and half stayed with the farm. Well this season I don’t have anyone to help me. I’ve been picking off twelve peach trees and thought I was doing good, had just started to learn to use the dryhouse to help me out. And here comes the cherries. Oh my stars and garters as Grammy would say.

There are twelve pie cherries, eight sweet cherries, and then another twelve mixed golden cherries. Thank the good Lord above … and no that isn’t sacrilegious … that they aren’t coming in all at one time. The Bings won’t even come in at all until next month … assuming the birds and squirrels don’t ransack the trees before I get anything. I’ve found where something is trying to chew through the tree netting in a couple of places. Like I need more work. If we had a cat or two around here it would sure help. Problem is we don’t because Grammy didn’t care for them as she’d grown up around mean ones and wouldn’t stand for one here on the farm. Uncle Hy never went against her on it. I miss my old cat but he’s been gone a couple of years and probably wouldn’t have known what to do with a squirrel even if he had gotten up off his fat, fluffy butt and accidentally caught one. The dogs help a little bit, they love chasing squirrels up trees and then their tails just wag while the squirrels is up there barking at them. But for eating, the dogs prefer large prey like ‘coons and ‘possums. They’d have to eat a gazillion of those tree rats to fill their bellies, especially now that we’ve had to ration their kibble.

I’ve had the steamer juicer going nearly 24/7 despite it making the house hot, especially at night when everything is closed up tight, and me having to doze upstairs (meaning in the kitchen instead of the cellar) much to Mitch’s displeasure. ‘Course most of that is because he’s off “reconnoitering” with a team set up by Sgt. Cahill and I’ll explain that later.

What it comes down to is that there’s no market for us to haul all the excess to. And we can’t afford to let it go to waste because what we waste today might be something we need tomorrow. Mitch also isn’t ready to trade with the military supply people because he wants to be in a stronger position in case they want to come take it all rather than trade for some. So I’ve been a picking and canning and drying fool. Mom would blow her stack to hear me talk lately. For some reason to her fool is like calling someone a curse word. It has to do with something someone told her (or called her) when she was younger than me, so I’ve always tried to be careful about using the word, but it kinda fits at the moment and for the foreseeable future.

I’m juicing the cherries I can’t finish canning during the day. And if it isn’t a batch of cherries in the juicer it’s something else. The dryhouse is full of peaches so that’s why I haven’t been able to dry cherries yet. But pie cherries aren’t the best for drying – or so says Grammy’s notes – you want the sweet cherries for that, so they turn out like raisins and not sour rocks.

The last batch of peaches that I’m going to dry are on the screens now. Everything else will either be used fresh or I’ll turn it into peach nectar and can it that way. Instead of juicing on the back end I’m doing that to the pie cherries on the front end. I’ve also been canning pie filling, cherry jelly, cherry bourbon jelly (it would scandalize my parents), cherry-pineapple marmalade (using canned pineapple), cherry preserves, pickled cherries, I started a huge batch of maraschino cherries, cherry butter, cherry vinegar, and maple cherry syrup. I’m cherried out and I’m no where close to being done with them yet. All I’ve done is pick the pie cherries so far.

Guess what I forgot was going to come in? The figs. That’s ‘cause the fig trees aren’t in the orchard, they’re out front of the house near the wind break to keep windstorms from knocking all the figs off before they ripen. Now I know what all the dat-blasted ‘coons have been fighting over the last few days. They are as bad as cats for making noise when they are in a mood. Grammy always made spiced figs, pickled figs, fig jam, fig conserve, Lemon Fig Jam, and Fig and Cranberry Relish for the holidays. I can make them all but the last two. I need to hold back what lemon juice and preserved lemons that I have for things that are needs, not just wants.

Gotta work on finishing the mulberries as well because all the other berries are starting to come in; honeyberries, marionberries, blueberries, blackberries, loganberries. I’ll turn them into jam, jelly, pie filling, relish, syrup, juice, and preserves. The serviceberries too assuming the birds don’t get them all before I can even get a few. Strawberries are almost all finished and from them I’ve made syrup, butter, preserves, jam, and pie filling.

Peaches, and now nectarines, I’ve pickled plain and spiced, turned into conserve with the left-over walnuts that Grammy put up in jars, canned them in halves and slices, made preserves plain and brandied, made peach/nectarine butter plain and spiced, made jam plain, spiced, and brandied, made pie filling by the quart jar, made chutney though that one got a face by Mitch, and I’ve made up a few batches of peach cantaloupe jam now that the melons are coming in.

The list of melony-things I need to make is watermelon rind pickles, cantaloupe preserves, spicy melon pickles, cantaloupe pickles, watermelon jelly, and Mitch asked tonight before he left if he could beg for some fried watermelon rind. I nearly told him he could beg, but that didn’t mean I would have time to make it. But of course I didn’t. He’s dragging on fumes, trying to work all day and all night with only a few catnaps in between.

The black currants, if I can get to the bushes before the deer, I’m just gonna dry. There’s still plenty of Grammy’s special recipe put back – Lord help me if Mom ever finds out I helped Grammy make it last summer. There’s lots of that put back and the conversations that Mitch and I have had about it border on the ridiculous.

“But Grammy and Uncle Hy didn’t drink. I never did understand why they went to the trouble of making all them wines, liqueurs, and stuff like that,” I told Mitch out of coming out of the room that always stayed locked down in the cellar. Dad and Uncle Day-Day knew what was in there, Mom and Aunt Fran most definitely did not.

Mitch shrugged. “’Cause for that’s the way it’s always been.”

“Does that even make sense?”

Mitch chuckled. “Sweetheart, in case you never figured it out, Dad had his own ways for his own reasons and he pretty much didn’t care if anyone else understood why.”

“Duh,” I told him. “But, are you going to expect me to keep on doing that sort of thing?”

“Don’t have the sugar for the wines so’s those can go on hold but I like a hard cider or a good mug of mead on occasion. You … er … against that?”

“You mean ‘cause Mom and Aunt Fran were strict teetotalers?”

“Well … yeah. But what about Uncle John?”

“Dad didn’t drink ‘cause he didn’t … and ‘cause his mom and sisters all have sugar problems and Uncle Day-Day is borderline. He doesn't want to risk it … but he isn’t one to tell other people how to run their lives. I was sworn to secrecy but Dale and the rest of the crew would sometimes get a couple bottles of beer and split them to celebrate something big.”

“Did you?”

“Did I what? Drink? Lord no, Dale was a hypocrite extraordinaire on the subject. He and the guys could ‘just have a sip’ but the idea of my lips touching anything like that was a real sore subject for him. Probably ‘cause of Lisa. I never pushed it though I would have liked just to taste it to see what all the fuss was about.”

He made a face. “Er … I admit that the idea of a woman drinking doesn’t thrill me but, if you want a taste …”

“No. Honestly not just that big a deal. I was just asking if you wanted me to keep makin’ the special recipes.”

He gave it a thought. “Hold off on anything that takes white sugar. I’ll pull out Dad’s books to see if he writ down the recipes for his meads.”

I laughed. “Writ down?!”

“Er …” he gave a chuckle himself. “I’ve been playing it up so much with the other troops I’ve kinda turned it into a habit.”

“Yeah. Right. Just don’t habit that too much. Not even Uncle Hy talked like that. Unless he was pulling a prank ot telling one of the old stories.”

He went on laying it on so thick I threw the kitchen rag at him and we both wound up nearly howling. I swear, it is way too easy to fool people that just because you are from the country doesn’t mean you live and speak like you live in the 1800s. I know there are people that really do talk like that but honestly? Not as many as tries to play at it.

And speaking of making some people cross-eyed, I’ll can some succotash with the lima beans, tomatoes, and corn that is coming in. I swear some of those soldiers really are strange. It’s like they don’t know where food comes from and what it looks like unless it is in a can on the grocery store shelves. They are really bizarre. They could probably trade some labor for good eats but I don’t know that I can trust them to know the difference between a weed and a pea at this point. I heard a group of them talking one time. They didn’t even know what corn stalks were, thought they were some ornamental grass of all things. But that’s fine, more for us, and less for us to worry about.

I am, however, going to have to find some way to save the garden corn without turning it into a wild critter boo-fay as Grammy used to say. I’ll probably have to can all of it if I can’t locate instructions on how to dry it. That’s going to be a lot of extra jars. The field and dent corn will hopefully make so we’ll have animal feed over the winter and maybe I might be able to grind some for cornmeal. I’m gonna look like that old cartoon guy Popeye if I grind as much as is making in the lone field that Uncle Hy planted. I’m gonna have to find a way to can all the collards too though no way will we ever eat them all. There’s a farmtruck full still in the garden.

The okra doesn’t look good. I don’t know if Uncle Hy got a poor batch of seeds or just what. I hope I can save some of them for next year's seed because they aren’t making worth much of anything compared to what they did last summer. Maybe they’ll surprise me but I don’t think so. I’ll fry up what does make but I don’t think I’ll be canning any pickled okra though that isn’t a hardship as there are still plenty of jars down in the cellar.

Squash is starting to come in and needs to be kept picked. Summer squash is all there is so far, but the others can’t be far behind. I’ll use some squash for extending the flour by making Squash Biscuits and that will make Mitch happy. He hasn’t complained, he is the one that set the rationing we are doing, but I’m going to see if there is some way … bean bread, squash biscuits, dumplings, that sort of thing … to see if we can at least have a little bit most days.

Onions are still coming in and I think I have saved most that I can by braiding and hanging them to dry. Next comes things like spicy red onion marmalade, sweet onion jam, onion relish, and pickled onions. I think I’m going to try putting some in the dryhouse too though the smell of that alone may draw attention we don’t need. Peppers of all sorts will be ready in a few days too. Most will go, like they always did, to Grammy’s mouse and rat prevention instructions. I also need to make hot pepper vinegar and pickled hot peppers, and some I’ll save for spicing up some of the salsa. Uncle Hy loved his salsa and he ate it on just about everything. I know about a gazillion ways to make different kinds. And I have a recipe to share with the medic … Grammy’s antiflu remedy … since he seems to think it is going to be real bad this year. It takes cayenne pepper and cider vinegar as its main ingredients. It can be kinda strong, but Grammy used to just smile and tell the boys, “Give you big arms and a hairy chest.” Me she would dilute it down and we’d laugh a little at the boys trying not to act like they’d swallowed a scalded cat.

Tomatoes will be making between now and through September. Grammy and Uncle Hy must have planted every heirloom variety they could get their hands on. Good thing Mitch and I like them because we’ll be eating a lot of them fresh just to try and save the waste. Between now and then I need to make green tomato pickles, tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, tomato puree, tomato conserve, spicy tomato butter, tomato relish, tomato jam, yellow tomato preserves, red tomato preserves, green tomato preserves, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, salsa, tomato soup, tomato jelly, and ketchup. Sounds like I wouldn’t have enough tomatoes to do it all with but trust me, I’m going to have tomatoes coming out of my ears by next month. If it was like last year we still wound up with enough tomatoes for the farmer’s market and to give away, and Uncle Hy planted even more of them this year.

I hate to ask Mitch but I need him to check and see if the hills of potatoes are ready and if they are that’s gonna be a dang (sorry Mom, my mouth runneth over lately) lot of work to dig by hand. But the field potatoes can’t go to waste, I need them to stretch things and to make soups with.

The cucumbers are gonna come in a close second after the zucchini and I need to spend some time pulling out Grammy’s pickle recipes and which ones I’m supposed to make first. Before I can do that I gotta get the pickle crocks washed up and I also need to put some cabbage to turning into kraut in those crocks. Uncle Hy must have gotten into what Grammy and I made last year because there aren’t near as many jars as I thought there should be. And Mitch said he didn’t eat it … which of course set him to wanting some and I used one of the last jars of hot dogs we canned last year (used asparagus jars since that’s what we had) to make a kraut and dog casserole for lunch. I can’t believe it may be that I won’t see a hot dog again, or at least not for a long time. I didn’t eat a lot of the things, but for them not to be around at all? It makes my head itch and gives me a scared feeling for some reason.

Ugh, let me change out this batch of cherries and I’ll “writ down” what Mitch has been doing and why and after that I need to take a catnap and then wake myself back up and pit some more cherries before I’m out of things to do. Ha! Like that is likely to happen before the Second Coming. Sorry again Mom. I don’t mean to be sacrilegious, don’t mean it that way at all, and I hope wherever you are I’m not turning into a disappointment to you and Dad. I’m just … I’m just full up and sometimes only hyperbole makes it easier to take. That’s not a good excuse but it is the way my life is right now.


Retired, practising Curmudgeon
This chapter reminds me why the women of my mother's generation (or even the first few years of mine) never seemed to need help w/ weight control or conditioning. Gym membership? Hah!Hah! Go hill up some spuds then get busy picking cukes and after that, take in the wash; the sky is clouding up.

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Chapter 47

I can’t believe I fell asleep. I’m lucky the juicer isn’t ruined. Thank you Pretty for waking me up. Of course, she didn’t wake me up because of the cherries, she woke me up because Butch wanted me to come listen to something upstairs. I hope that is thunder. Mitch says the rain he predicted the other day was only delayed so maybe that is it. I know it started clouding up while I was cooking supper so … maybe … hopefully that is all it is.

The reason why Mitch has been gone two nights now is that he is putting in so many hours a month to continue to be covered by military medical. That means he can keep getting those eye drops without having to “trade” for them. He won’t get a paycheck but at least he will get something plus still being “active duty” will count towards whatever happens after this stupid war is over.

For now he is helping the local command figure out why their maps and the actual roads around here don’t line up. Roads that are supposed to be there aren’t and roads that are there aren’t on their maps. Two words … Forestry Service. That and those dingbat climate-disaster-pending-environmentalists they had on their payroll. Some big operation bought up a lot of the land at the lower elevations. That land is essentially tree farms now and they lease sections out for hunting land … only the environmentalists don’t know that. Or didn’t or whatever tense of the words should be used. The highway skirts the lower levels but ends before you get anywhere near the bridge that Uncle Hy dropped what feels like a lifetime ago. It turns into a county road that the county doesn’t maintain even though they are supposed to.

All the roads inside the valley or up on the ridge are private and maintained – or not – by landowners. The never had proper names either so it made giving directions a hoot with all the over yonders, right turn at the split trees, left turn at the dried up beaver pond, and that sort of thing. For the most part you either knew your way around or road with someone who did. Otherwise you stayed out and most people liked it that way and wanted to keep it that way. I know Uncle Hy did.

When the tree farms went in those investors or whatever they are took out a lot of those roads that crisscrossed old property lines when they were still field crop kinds of farms. Some of that group even fenced that land off and put up no trespassing signs. Not like it did a lot of good. Funny how those fences would sometimes wind up with nearly undetectable holes in them that when you peeled them open was big enough to drive a truck or tractor through. Even on the Ridge we had crapheads that liked to plant their stash so if they were found other people would get in trouble for it. Who knows how much money was lost when a prescribed burn was done with no notice. And used to be poachers were alive and well and the leased hunting land could sometimes get contested and downright dangerous to cross. Of course for now all of that wasn’t supposed to be happening since we are a Buffer Zone.

“Why can’t they do all their figuring with their stupid drones-for-hire crews? Why do you have to do it and why at night?!”

Mitch started chuckling. “You still have a grudge against those drones. They do have their uses you know.”

“Droneverts. And you bet I do. I hate those things. I spotted one while I was out foraging this morning and I wanted to take my slingshot and take it down. Nearly did except I figured they’d make us pay for the stupid thing and we don’t need the trouble.”

He reached over and gave me a sticky kiss from the honey he was putting on his biscuit. He was in a good mood because he hadn’t expected to have any for a couple more days and because he was a little wired from the high-test coffee they had given the men to keep them going all night.

"I hate to say it, but they were probably making sure you were safe.”

“Safe? From who? Buncha ‘tards. My business is none of theirs,” I growled.



“You still keep the Glock in your pocket?”

I turned to look at him from where I was doing dishes in the dishpan. Slowly I answered, “Yeah.”

“Good. It’s possible that we have people hunting in the tree land.”

I gave it some thought. “They have to be locals if you aren’t for sure. Uncle Hy taught you and Dale to read sign real good.”

He shrugged, accepting the compliment the way someone sure of their skill does. “That’s possible. Could be refugees … might be AWOL enemy troops. I’m not sure. Not enough evidence either way yet. They’re only on the edge of the town side. No real in-roads up there.”

“The river.”

He looked at me then said, “Tell me your thoughts.”

He sounded so much like Uncle Hy and Dad when he said that it took me a second to loosen my chest enough to draw breath and answer him. “You aren’t for sure which means there can’t be much sign. You tell me that there’s been no enemy incursion into the valley, only salvagers, and they just about don’t count ‘cause they drive trucks and stuff and you haven’t seen or heard of anymore. So maybe them people that were over near the pig farm moved down to the river for water. They could pull it off if they had purifiers and filters. If water is that big of a deal to them, they would stay down by the river though the bugs must be eating them alive by now. Or maybe some of the hunting lease holders are dug in right near the river. Trout have been running good and there’s all sorts of other things they could be eating down there too. For all we know they could be salvaging in town themselves. The fact that they aren’t coming further up the ridge means that they don’t think anything up here is worth the effort … and probably they’re on foot which means they won’t want to get too far from their base camp.”

Mitch nodded and went back to eating while talking with his mouth full. “Wish I had you out there with me. Some of those kids are useless as a nail made of soap.”

“That bad?”

“And then some,” he answered.

“They can’t be all that young if they are in the military.”

He snorted. “Age has nothing to do with it. I swear some of them make me feel Dad’s age. All they wanna talk about is getting their check and getting a girl. Which reminds me …”

“I have no desire to get near any of them.”

Mitch growled, “It’s not your desires I’m concerned about.”

Irritated myself as I wasn’t fond of that kind of ignorance I asked, “If they’re that stupid why did they send them so close to the border?”

“Cannon fodder.”

I stopped and looked at Mitch and tried to figure out if he was fooling around.

Mitch noticed and then laid off the sarcasm. “They know what to do with a gun I’ll give them that. Some have even seen action. But they aren’t long on smarts. I know people used to think I was stupid …”

“And they were stupid for thinking it. You went to college and nearly had straight A’s.”

He gave me a pleased look. “Don’t worry about it Nann. People are going to think whatever doesn’t make them work too hard. All I mean is yeah, I’m a country boy but even I – before I went off to school – wouldn’t have been as green as some of these guys are. Knowing how to use your weapon is one thing. Knowing what to do so you can avoid having to use your weapon is a completely different thought process.”

“Are they a bunch of nails looking for hammers?”

“Not exactly. More like they have to constantly gin themselves up so they don’t feel scared. It is annoying the guys that have been around longer, or the ones that are older and done with being pups. Know what I’m trying to say?”

“Yeah. Besides still being scared of the dark and the noises that come out of it, they’re just about to grow up, like they’re on top of a hill, but they can’t quite bring themselves to go on over yet because that first step is a dilly and what comes afterwards means play time is over.”

I turned back to do the dishes and then felt him behind me. “You okay?”

I knew he was asking if I was coming to terms with the information on the family we got, and what we didn’t get.

Nonchalantly I tried to answer, “Sure. It happens to the best of us. Gotta grow up some time.”

“Nann …”

I took a breath and straightened my back. “I’m okay Mitch. And I don’t need babysitting. If you’re finished, I want to get the dishes washed up so I can go start on the cherries. And you need to try and get a little sleep.”

That’s when I found out why he had to go out and that he’d be doing it off and on for a while.

“Are they feeding you at least?” At the look on his face I rolled my eyes. “Well aren’t they stupid mean. Can you at least have a canteen of something?”

“Don’t know that I want to bring any kind of food. It might create questions.”

“What about green broth in a thermos?”

Smiling a little and nodding Mitch said, “You know, that might work.”

I snorted. “Tell them it is dandelions, dollar weed, and onion grass. Breathe on them if you have to so they’ll believe it. I’ll drop in some scallions to give you something to chew on. If a medic starts having palpitations over you drinking weeds just tell them it is to stave off colds and stuff from being out at night, that green broth has lots of vitamins in it. Buncha ‘tards. How many of them are complaining about chiggers and ticks yet?”

Mitch started laughing and snorting so I figured there was some inappropriate story there that I’d just soon as not hear. It was and it involved a bunch of guys ignoring the advice of the more seasoned soldiers about sitting on logs and on the ground without some kind of sit-upon between their backside and whatever they were sitting on. How many different ways can those guys be ‘tards?


Retired, practising Curmudgeon
I've watched and helped (tried not to get in the way too much) of the Amish and Mennonites putting up food. What Mother Hen is describing is humanly possible but I know I can't do it.
I have some exposure/experience with those two cultures plus the Hutterites and Doukhobors . They all sort of derive from the same roots except the latter who are almost exclusively of Russian heritage. In all cases, they tend to approach such harvests as a group, almost like a barn raising; they swarm the task, every one gets a share and they move on to the next project. One person dealing with all that's detailed herein would be pretty much beat down by the continuous drudge work.


to fear "I'm from the government I'm here to help"
Thanks Kathy. Sure sounds like Nann needs some reliable help. Maybe a military cook/dietician. Or a distant cousin in uniform.


Veteran Member
I got the recipe about 40 years ago and was told never to give it out. I've only given the recipe to one person - my sister. She tried to make it once and said it didn't come out anywhere near as good as mine. So she didn't want to make it anymore. But every year since then, she makes sure that she gets her jars from me! LOL! I misplaced the recipe one year and she literally started crying!

Like the old saying goes - If I give you the recipe, I'd have to kill you. ROTFLMAO!!

I'll PM you, Siskiyoumom, after I dig it out....
Thank you! I truly appreciate it.
Happy spring!


Veteran Member
Two words … Forest Service.

We live off a forest service road that the maps and google maps show it crossing our land down to the highway far below us. It does not. It dead ends at our place. Over the decades we have had Class A $100,000 RVs meander down our four wheel road getting hecka scratched up and the the drivers upset trying to turn their rig around in our small clearing.

We are miles from no where and get the semi annual Jehovah Witnesses visit.

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We are miles from no where and get the semi annual Jehovah Witnesses visit.
When I was a kid we had a car load of 'em come up to the farm house. Was out riding and saw them and got off the horse and lead her up to the car.

While I was talking with the witness in the front seat my horse took an interest in some sort of green corsage one of the women in the backseat had on. Thought they weren't supposed to wear jewelry etc? The mare had her entire head in the compact car before I "noticed" and jerked her out. The terrified lady squished the poor man next to her against the opposite door. They never came back....?


Contributing Member
We are miles from no where and get the semi annual Jehovah Witnesses visit.
They stopped coming by to talk to me because I would ask some questions about their history that I knew and was glossed over in their training. Only two "saints" that I know as such that I like. One is Lindsey Stirling and the other is an on-line friend, neither hides their faith, but doesn't make it an end all/be all.

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
They stopped coming by to talk to me because I would ask some questions about their history that I knew and was glossed over in their training. Only two "saints" that I know as such that I like. One is Lindsey Stirling and the other is an on-line friend, neither hides their faith, but doesn't make it an end all/be all.
I thought Lindsey Stirling was Mormon, not Jehovah Witness. She went to BYU, I know that much for sure.