After all, we did have the second coldest February on record! Finally, it’s turned nice, in the high twenties in the daytime and dropping only to the teens or single digits at night. Above zero! Hooray!

Finally, we’ve got warmer temperatures and blue sky. But isn’t this leftover snowdrift on our house beautiful?

Making good use of the warm, sunny days, Will fired up Old Trusty, the big bulldozer, and cleaned out the drive to the backyard so the propane delivery guy could fill up our propane tank for the greenhouse. Then he drove down to the barnyard and cleaned out the packed snow and manure that made swinging the 16-foot pipe gate very difficult when I had to open it for him to deliver round bales to the horses and cattle. Boy, did that dozer ever make easy work of a nasty task. (I’d been thinking of taking an axe down there and chopping it into pieces to carry away!) When he was done, he ran the snowblower to our 1,000-gallon propane tank by the house. David called the company to get his new propane tank filled and we agreed that, given the unrest in Ukraine via Russia, we’d better get our tanks filled too, even if they weren’t empty. Yep, propane prices have shot through the roof. But we think they’re going a lot higher. So, we’re biting the bullet and getting ahead with that, as well as having our farm fuel tanks topped off with gas and diesel.

Will snow blowing a path to our big propane tank. He’s feeling good!
And, two weeks after having a serious heart attack, Will’s back on the bulldozer, cleaning out the gateway to the barnyard.

We got a nice surprise on Saturday. David, Elizabeth, and Delilah stopped for a visit. David was going to work on his cabin and snow blow a path to his propane tank. While he did that and warmed up the cold house, Elizabeth and I visited and played with Delilah, who has learned to walk. She is so much fun now that she’s a little person, not a baby! I made a beef roast for dinner, and she was gobbling down the potatoes when she discovered the cinnamon roll on her plate. Oh my, did she ever glom into that! No more potatoes for her! Just let me at that roll! She was so funny we couldn’t stop laughing. She had a piece of roll in both hands, all squished up, and wanted to be hand-fed pieces, into her mouth. Even after dinner, she still had a squashed-up piece of roll in her hand. Just in case she got hungry later, I guess.

We had so much fun, playing with granddaughter, Delilah, on Saturday.

You all know I don’t often get on my soap box, but I grew up during the Cold War so I understand the threat Russia can pose. Not only to the Ukraine, but, possibly to us as well. Maybe not bombings but possibly cyber-attacks that could cripple the grid and life as we know it. So, please, stock up as you can, grow a big garden and can up all you are able and bring home some cash money, just in case. We all know prices are going to skyrocket even more. Our gas at the pump went up ten cents overnight and we know it’ll keep on going up. It doesn’t hurt to be as prepared as you can, but it can sure hurt not to be prepared, burying your head in the sand and hoping things will quickly return to normal. ’nuff said and you all know I’m not a doom-sayer by a long shot. — Jackie


  1. Gas prices here in my part of California are $4.34 for cheap gas up to $5 for higher grade. Propane is $5.11 a gallon. We were already stocked up but I am going over and checking for holes in my inventory. Plus I need to can up some of my beans that are getting old.
    Your Grandbaby is so cute!

    • We think so too! Your fuel prices are higher than ours but ours is climbing by the day, like a dime a day! We’re going to check out our older dry goods in the basement and see if we’re lacking in anything. You sure don’t want to need something and find the bucket empty.

  2. I finally found canning lids on line and ordered several packs to add to my stock.
    Already buying seeds for garden and dry beans to can. Just bought powder milk for my stash of can goods.
    Realized the other day that my battery clock had died last fall, so ordered a new one. Can not find one in big box stores.
    Getting some of my family to start stocking up as we don’t know what is going to happen in the near future.
    My daughter and I are wondering what should we have in stock. Just in case.
    Jackie, do you have a list?

    • In the food department, my book, Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook, has a good starting-point list and the BHM books, the Emergency Preparedness series has a lot of very valuable information that I check on from time to time (even though I wrote some of the chapters), just to be sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Click on the “store” above and see them all.

  3. Bless you Jackie for trying to look out for us all! Is that Will using YOUR snow blower? Guess he had an ulterior motive with that gift! lol Glad to see him up and around and active. Aren’t grandkids wonderful! She’s a doll baby!

    • Yes, he is!! He snuck out while I was at the post office and used it to make a path for the propane deliver driver to access our 1,000-gallon tank. I’m very glad Will’s back in the saddle again, so to speak.

  4. Delilah is such a sweetie! Grandchildren bring such joy! I agree we all need to be stocking up more, just in case. It never hurts to be prepared. I’m hoping my garden will be productive this year so I can grow enough to help out my grown daughters as well. Will is lookin good!

    • I think so too, both about Delilah and Will. I know we’re sure buckling down and checking all of our preparedness boxes. I hope nothing serious happens but would sure be “over-prepared” than not prepared! We, also, try to grow enough to help out our friends, neighbors and family.

  5. We paid $3.46 for fuel oil and $4.71 for propane last week topping up our tanks here in Copper Basin, Alaska and $4.36 for gasoline in Glennallen Alaska last week. My daughter paid $3.85 for gas in Palmer today when she took me for a doctor appointment. I agree we must stock up and those of us who live at the ends of the supply chain must be especially careful. We mostly try and keep the hoop houses and the green house from freezing late in the summer with tank top propane heaters. I have a wood stove in the green house and may try heating it earlier to plant tubs of early veggies for early summer consumption. Our main calorie crop that we can grow is potatoes and even the chickens get some cooked with kitchen scraps and half a cup of cheap rice to thicken the mix. I squish the potatoes with an old fashioned masher when they are cooked soft, add the rice and about a cup of swine concentrate.

    • We just paid $3.00 a gallon for propane and have yet to buy our diesel and farm gas so have to wait for the truck and hold our breaths. We’re very thankful we, also, can grow good potatoes. Our new Wolf Garden supplied us with about 200 pounds of VERY nice, solid spuds last fall. And they’re lasting nicely with very little sprouting. I’ll bet your chickens are very happy with their cooked dinners.

      • I’m writing on Friday the forth, don’t know if you’ll catch this but our gas prices in Alaska went up about $.60 in the last two days. $4.93 in Glennallen and $4.36 on the Kennai Peninsula according to a friend who lives down there today! Glad we filled the fuel oil and propane at least!

  6. Inflation has created a need for frugality that has definite bonuses; I have started using every veggie scrap I used to discard for now making broth and wow is it ever a discovery! All those spinach stems, leek greens, cabbage cores, mushroom stems, tough onion skins, etc, make a wonderful veggie broth. Now the wasteful scraps don’t go to waste any more :) I kinda treat all those scraps like a compost pile for my broth!
    Here in Spokane, WA, we have over 50,000 Slavic peoples and Russian is the second language. I suspect many more will arrive with their family ties reaching to Ukraine being plentiful. Some are so torn up about it, as even within families there are torn alliances! My son has been dating a Ukrainian girl for years and her distress feels very close to home here. We will all need all the compassion we can muster in these trying times. But when we enjoy the little things in life (like grandchildren!) then the bigger picture doesn’t look so hard, I hope.

    • I feel so bad for the Ukranian people and their situation. But what a shining example of bravery in overwhelming odds! I pray for them all daily.
      You’re sure right about inflation creating the need for frugality. I know we’re sure sucking it up, right now. I love your veggie discards made into broth. Such a great idea!

  7. While fuel prices are not cheap, necessity makes an even worse bargain – be it price and/or supply. It’s been in the 50s the past couple of days then it will hit mid-30s/low 40s. It is a bit of a mucky mess out there between melting ice and snow. Calling for 60 and rain on Saturday then snow on Monday. I’ve got a feeling it is going to be a roller coaster of weather in March and April – fully expecting at least one major snow fall (6-10 inches in April isn’t not unheard of).
    Hondo and Spencer are close by Delilah I see. Somehow I suspect she drops little food – my kids never did but the dog was always close by, just in case.
    Remember, stocking up is not limited to food and non-perishables. OTC products, vitamins/supplements, and Rx. Though Rx can be tough to stock up. Check out Blink Health, Good Rx, and/or Canadian pharmacy if you can afford to refill out of pocket. And if you must use mail order, I wish you good karma.

    • I’ve always managed to call in refills for prescriptions just a few days early and thus, be able to stockpile pills over time, using the oldest first. We’ve got a dresser drawer full of OTC vitamins, cold remedies, first aid supplies and more. Just in case.
      Yep, our dogs are our vacuum cleaners; never a crumb lies on the floor for longer than a minute. We just tell them “Search!” and two noses hit the floor in sweeping circles.
      We, too, usually get that last April snowstorm of a foot of heavy, wet snow….after my tulips and daffodils are in bloom.

      • Private insurance (read: non-Medicare) have been a PITA for a number of years re: how “soon” you can refill – not a day too soon. And oh yeah, if you’re going on vacation/out of the country, you *can* refill early but trust me, they’ll be doing the math when you can next refill.
        Husband’s Medicare plan has a quarterly allowance to buy certain products (and delivered to the house so even better given COVID-19 and gas prices). Got the first order yesterday so am doing a bit of reorganizing, checking expiration dates of OTC, and inventory.

  8. Your message of preparation is one many, many people are warning. We just got another tank for diesel and had all filled, including unleaded gas. Cool crops are up and and my own home grown seeds await for summer sowing. Things are going to be dire. Jackie, you’re in an ideal situation with your wonderful close community and neighbors. That’s what we all need is neighborly help. It’s going to get difficult, ugly, and messy, except for the household of faith–all will be well!

    • It will, Elizabeth. We just have to tough it out and do what we can for ourselves and others. We’ve still got three feet and more of snow on the ground so nothing will be coming up here for quite some time. But we’re anxiously waiting!

  9. Little Delilah is adorable.
    Agree with all you said.
    We are in Northern Wisconsin and still have lots of snow but dreaming of getting into the garden.

    • We think she’s loveable too! And such a happy little girl. I can’t wait to smell damp dirt!!!

  10. I must have been on another planet during the cold war days, because I don’t seem to remember much, but what I do remember is Kennedy and 1964 when we were at odds with Russia and him telling folks to put a little food by just in “case”, and going to the store that night for milk ( I had five five and under) and the shock I received at the door!!! No food anywhere, let alone milk!!! Fortunately I had 1/2 gallon at home and a bag of powdered milk, which I mixed up and combined. To say I was never in that position again is an understatement!! Just be prepared folks, so you can sleep at night.

    • Amen to that, Beverly. I remember bomb drills in school, wondering if this time it was real and would I ever see my parents again. Mom and Dad took it seriously too. Dad bought a big lot on a remote river in the upper part of the lower peninsula of Michigan, built a small cabin on it with wood heat. We pounded down a well and they stocked up on food. At the time, I didn’t realize why but as I got older, it made lots of sense as we lived in a suburb of Detroit at the time.

  11. Hey there,
    Yes, Baby Delilah does resemble you and she is a doll for sure. I got a new pressure cooker, and I am ready for summer. Hope it will be a bountiful one and praying for peace.

    • Amen, to that!! Congratulations on the pressure canner. I hope your garden will be awesome this year.

  12. What temperature do you keep the green house at? And what do you use to heat it, boiler system or something else?

    And thank you for the reminder. We bought in at the cheap price of $1.69 for propane, but we’ve almost gone through it. I better have them fill again before summer comes, just to be sure it’s in there for the fall.

    My husband and I talked about all the unrest and how important it is this year for our gardens and canning/preserving to go well. We grow all our own meat, so just getting better at food we grow is key. We aren’t prepared or anything like that, just trying to be realistic like you.

    • Yes. We paid $1.39 last summer for propane and today, it was very near $3.00 a gallon and going higher. Our greenhouse temps range quite a bit. At night they’re usually around 50 degrees F and in the day, especially with sun, around 75 degrees. We heat with an unvented propane wall heater.
      I’ve been poor and seen very hard times so I just want to do all I can to make sure that never happens again. Hunger and fear are not fun.

  13. Today, it’s going to be in the 50’s, then start dropping and snowing, with mixed precip for the week. Well, it’s a good day to get some stuff moved from the basement to the garage. Your granddaughter is beautiful!

    • Oooh, 50’s!!! I’ll be so glad to see temperatures like that. We’re jumping up and down with joy when it’s sunny and 30’s right now. When it’s nice we get so much more done, as we’re full of energy.

  14. Your comment about growing up during Cold War hit home. That probably explains why I am more concerned than my younger friends. I am prepared best I can be. I remember my mom filling out cold room with canned food, keeping cars filled with gas, and instructing my sister and I to come immediately home if let out of school and go to basement if she was not home. We also had a strong respect for our country and added USA to our prayers nightly.

    • We do too, along with the folks in Ukraine. They’re in such a tough position today.

  15. I’m glad to see Will is doing well. Great advice for being prepared, Jackie. It never hurts to have some extra supplies on hand! Your granddaughter is beautiful! I live in Missouri where we normally have fairly cold winters but this winter hasn’t been bad at all. This week is forecast for the high 60’s and low 70’s, what a nice treat. I hope you get a bit warmer soon as well.

    • Thank you, Kris. I hope we will too. I can’t complain about the temps, as it’s sunny and thirty today. ABOVE zero! I sure would rather be too prepared instead of running in circles in dismay, should something bad happen.

  16. Hi Jackie, great advice on stocking up! Everytime my husband tags along with me to the grocery store he always says why do you need that many. Just smile and say we’ve never gone without and we won’t start now! And the garden is getting ready too.

    • I’m so proud of you Carrie! That’s what we all should be doing. I know we are, here at home.

  17. I sure agree with your
    Sentiments on getting
    Stocked up. Purchased
    My spices and will buy
    More. Cinnamon and
    Nutmeg I need, can’t
    Garden those

    • Me either. And I can’t live without spices! I’ve got to check my frozen yeast to see how much is left. I always keep a pound in the freezer, one in the fridge and a half pint jar on the shelf. I sure wouldn’t want to run out of yeast.

  18. You cracked me up with the “we are warmer” comment. I tell my southern friends the same thing and they think I am loco to say it’s warm. But give me a day in the high 20s along with some sun and i begin to wonder if the local swimming hole is ready :-). So glad to see Will chugging along!!! Pyro

    • I am too, Pyro!! I agree with the temperatures; today it was 30 degrees above and we were in heaven!! You could feel the sun’s heat on your back. So wonderful.

  19. Good to see Will back out doing what I am certain he loves. Prayers for our entire world as we go through these uncertain times.

    • Amen, Lew! God must sure be disgusted with some leaders’ greed and inhumanity…not to mention any names or anything….. I’m sure grateful for Will’s quick recovery.

  20. Hi Jackie, I hope your readers will take your advice and stock up as much as possible. On a brighter note, Delilah has really gotten tall and looks like a doll.

    • She gets taller every week I see her! And now she’s starting to say words and is so much fun to be around. She also eats her vegetables!!!

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