Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas. We have been on the final run to finish out the year, and look forward to seeing what the new year brings. Mainly Disney World, and more preparedness. I'll have a longer post after the new year.

We thank God for His ultimate gift for us - K and Family

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Much Needed Update

Like the title suggests, I'm doing a much needed update and probably the last one of the year. I'll try to cover all the bases...

Since my schooling has officially ended, I've kinda drifted around without any major goals besides raising a family, work, chores, and teaching Financial Peace University. I've got a couple of great ideas to develop into apps for the Apple Swift operating system, and have been slowly working through the ideas. I purchased an Apple mini, at a great price, but found out that the unit was too old to support the latest playground for application development. Oops! So that computer is being used by the boys for school.

My younger self wanted to be a programmer, and I taught myself BASIC and took COBOL and FORTRAN in High School. I'll be self teaching myself SWIFT, which is really intuitive after learning all the other languages. It won't be easy, but it won't be impossible either. The plan is to develop the application in Swift then transpose it into the Android platform and earn residual income off the ideas.

While we have positioned ourselves fairly well in our location, we need some acreage to move to the next stage of preparedness: PioneerPreppy, Sandy, and JUGM and Senior setups. Our ideal situation is to have a functioning homestead for family and group members that is already operating at or near  group count. The excess during normal times will be sold at the local farmer's market, and the money used for additional preps, expansion, taxes, silver, and construction.

I've still got a few posts (experiments in progress) that need to be finished: Cheese waxing experiment going on one year for JUGM, wound stitching and review for Sandy's give away, and bullet review for Ammo To Go.

Books I've been reading:

The garage workbench ( 8 ft ) has been started now that the oppressive Arkansas heat and humidity has subsided. I've cleaned the area out, or shuffled stuff in the garage, and made some progress.

I added another center brace on the bench at every 2 feet. The legs will run at a 45 degree angle towards the footer board on the wall to free up floor space. The front of the bench has a lip for attaching a future reloading press. I'm hoping to have the workbench finished by Christmas...we shall see if time permits. I'll take more pictures at a later date.

The family is still on track to visit Walt Disney World in January. Airfare, hotel, and park tickets have been paid in full. We are still saving for food and souvenirs and are one track to have a BIG time.  The boys ( 11, 8, and 3 ) are both doing well in school, Red Ant is having a few problems with the rules, but nothing serious. He will lose screen time for losing points at school.

The Doctor, our 3 year old, passed out last night while reading his Goofy Coloring Book. This is how we found him.

Net Neutrality goes up for a vote on Dec 15th at the FCC. this is a huge issue for freedom of the internet. Very comparable to freedom of speech.

Imagine Comcast or any cable provider deciding what websites get priority/bandwidth. A few European countries have lost their Net Neutrality and have to pay additional fees to access music, blogs, news, videos, etc...

Get involved! This is a power grab for information.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Good Dadding

In an effort to stretch our family food budget, we have breakfast night at least once a week. We  ended up with 11 sausage links and 10 sausage patties at the table, because one link accidentally fell into my mouth. Red Ant got to the table and asked how many links he could have and I replied, "How many is 11 divided by 5?"  It took a minute, but the final answer was two!

We always like to take opportunities to have teachable moments. Well, Row doesn't really care for the sausage patties, which were also on the table, so we suggested that he trade for the items that he wanted. Row really wanted more than two links. I a stroke of brilliance I offered that the boys bid on the lone remaining sausage link. Red Ant said that he'd clean both both sides of the bathroom. Row countered with a 10 minute foot massage. Red Ant offered up another bid with cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming the living room, but Row was quick to counter with a 10 minute foot massage for both parents.

Red Ant got the remaining sausage on the plate, and Row got a link from my plate. Excuse me while I sit in my recliner, have my feet massaged, and watch our middle child clean the house.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Friday, October 6, 2017

Confronting School Socialism One Teacher At A Time

Yesterday, Red Ant with Pincers, our eight year old, got written up at school for coloring on his cap erasers. He has gotten in "trouble" for doing this twice before. First a little background, my mom is a retired teacher/counselor and our kid's teachers have my full support as a parent and should be paid a whole lot more...

I noticed that on the short form, that he was written up for "Improper care of school property". Well, I sure remember paying for his school supplies out of my own pocket. When I asked Red Ant about it, he said that the supplies that he brought to school were put together and the classroom shared the supplies. Classic Socialism. I often voluntarily donate items to the classrooms as our budget allows. What I do mind, is the incorrect thinking that these items no longer belong to him.

I send a note along with my signature on the short form to his teacher.

"Mrs teacher,

We talked with Red Ant about marking on the erasers, but more importantly not listening to your instructions. I do however have an issue a concern with the reason for the short form - "Improper Care of School Property." Red Ant brought two packages of cap erasers to school, you can correct the form to "disobedience to classroom rules" which would be HIS property.


My sweet wife in her wisdom, made a few changes before it was sent off to school. I have a  problem with poking the bear sometimes.

I could go into a long diatribe about the indoctrination of our kids at school, but it is the parents responsibility to teach our kids, not the school. Get involved in your kid's education, be aware and take moments like these as teachable lessons.


Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Storing Sugar For Long Term Storage In Humid Environments

In previous posts I've talked about storing sugar for long term storage since it never spoils, is a calorie dense food, can be used as a preservative (jams, jellies), relatively cheap, hard to produce, and makes an excellent barter item. The five enemies of long term food storage is: light, moisture, temperature, insects/varmints, and oxygen. The humidity can be very high in Arkansas with 100% humidity not uncommon. If I do buy sugar, it can easily turn into a sugar brick within a few months. Our local Kroger ran four pound sugar packages on sale for 99 cents each (1.5 cents/ounce) which is more than half the usual cost.

104 pounds of sugar
Here is my solution: The local Chinese restaurants put uncooked rice in their salt shakers to absorb the moisture. I placed about 3 pounds of sugar in a Quart Ziplock freezer bag, added 1/4 ounce rice between to two bags, then vacuum sealed the contents.

After many years of backpacking, there is no better brand than Ziplock. The Quart size will allow me to gently massage the sugar back into granules if this experiment fails.

I bought a Ziplock Vacuum Sealer for $10 as a Black Friday special last year, and ideally two people and two sealers would make the process go much faster. One making the bags, and the other sealing them.

Between the sealer bag and the Ziplock bag, I put 4 ounces (1/4 cup) of rice, then vacuum sealed the contents. In theory, the plastic(s) will allow some exchange of air and the rice should act as a moisture barrier between the two bags. Sugar does not have an expiration date, so unless a major failure, these should be good to go for 25 years with the plastic determining the failure date.

I've got some more vacuum sealing to do, but the finished products are placed in these square food grade buckets for the pantry.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on my idea of long term storage for sugar in humid climates.

(104 pounds of sugar = 182,520 calories = $25.74 = 91.26 days of 2000 calories /day)

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Great Thing About My Work

The great thing about my work is that I get to meet quite a few different people. This one patient works at the Remington Arms plant, and I asked him about ammo sales. "It's dropped off a cliff since Obama left office.", was the patient's reply. They told me that their client base has been stockpiling ammo for a long time, and this is a great, probably the best time to purchase ammo. I suspect that I should continue to purchase ammo and consider it an investment in future shooting fun.

I also get to meet people from all corners of the state, and can pick their brains about the region that they live.

I've really been getting the itch to purchase some land for our future homestead, but with over 900 bucks a month in childcare, it'll have to remain on the back burner  for a while longer. We aren't willing to go into additional debt. We are kinda caught between the kid's education, which is the main reason we haven't moved, and wanting to live out in the country. Plus, my wife has to have high speed internet for her stay at home job. We've talked about a good time frame, and perhaps as soon as three years we could buy 5 to 10 to 15 acres, have our house custom build for prepping, sell our current house, and live the dream. Until then, we are living below our means, saving money, and expanding our skill set.

Theoretically, we could max out our budget, stop contributing to retirement, and do all this now. We hate living on the edge, and worrying about bills/money. The small farm will have to wait...

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Alive and Busy

Just a short update to keep the blog current, and to keep the few loyal readers informed. Wow! It has been really busy at our household. We are transitioning into the school routine and getting all three of the boys ready or motivated, depending on their age. It leaves me with about 2 hours of  "free time" to run errands, housework, clean,  projects, and other misc. tasks that pop up.

The Doctor, our three year old, is really blooming. His vocabulary and personality are really starting to shine. In the photo below, the parents didn't get up soon enough when the good Doctor wanted some morning milk. So, he helped himself to an ice cream treat. This is what happens when you catch a few more minutes of sleep at our house. It's hard to get mad when he is beaming a bright smile telling you that "I've got ice cream!" 

We have been trying to teach him to take turns watching TV with the other two, but the only thing that he knows is that every turn is "My TURN!".  Sounds like the chorus at a political rally.  Don't worry readers, we will teach him the old ways of respect, earning your way, being a light for the world, and doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Red Ant with Pincers, our soon to be 9 year old, earned another stripe in Cuong Nhu ("Kung New") and by the next testing will be a yellow belt. He is so proud of himself. He has worked really hard and will be ready to demonstrate the first full form at the next testing.  His school work has been good, but he needs to buckle down on spelling. He is a rock star in the other subjects, and has already learned his multiplication flash cards even before being required.

Row, our soon to be 12 year old, has transitioned into sixth grade and doing well. He has all Pre-AP classes, and adjusting to going to many different classes per day. He is definitely our rules kids. He is a rules follower, but I try to offer teachable moments when it's not okay to follow the rules. For Example: Please speed when you are taking someone to the hospital for a life threatening event or when government oversteps there authority. For those readers interested, read How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews.

That just leaves the parents in this update. Sweetheart has been asked to work "voluntary" (read mandatory)  but recommended over time each week for the last year. The money is nice, but time has become a scarce commodity for her. She is still training for her marathons, and races while going to bootcamp most mornings.

We are teaching Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey's program, at church again this semester. The leadership has decided to add another three classes to this course, so it extends it to 12 weeks instead of 9. We provide lunch to about 40-50 people, with the grateful help of another couple, every Sunday afternoon. This is the first semester that we have talked about stepping back from teaching. We love helping people get their finances in better shape, the achieved status in church, and subtly spreading the prepper mindset, but the weekends are crazy trying to get everything accomplished. I also tend to create some unnecessary stress in our marital bliss on Sunday mornings trying to get things ready for church. I'm trying to correct this behavior, but it's a work in progress.

We have officially paid for our Walt Disney World trip in January without going into debt. The majority, if not all, of our extra cash has been towards airfare, on-property hotel, and tickets. We only have food and souvenirs to save up for now.  It seems that everything runs about $400 per person no matter what the line item. Speaking of which, our two oldest boys will be at Disney on their real birthdays. What an awesome way to turn 12 and 9! Sweetheart was able to snag all of our reservations by getting up at 5:00am to register them online. Which means, our boys will have a huge birthday dinner at their chosen restaurants of Be Our Guest and Via Napoli.

I've got a few projects on the back burner, or currently working. For JUGM, at Haze Gray and Red Clay, I've got a block of cheddar cheese in the spare refrigerator as an on going experiment in cheese storage. I'll be picking a warm day to crayon wax them and then store them under the house. Our local cheesemaker, through a conversation, recommended keeping certain cheeses in the vegetable crisper to age. This was his optimal storage technique for the Arkansas climate.

For Sandy, at Oklahoma Transient, as promised, Ill be doing a tutorial post on learning to stitch wounds in a SHTF scenario.  I was the winner of her giveaway for the Voodoo tactical kit. Thanks again! Money has been tight, but I was finally able to order suture needle and thread from Amazon. This is a skill in which the viewer will have to practice this skill set. Watching a video or reading about it does not make you competent, just enough to be dangerous.

I bought a lot of sugar on sale ( 4 pounds for 99 cents) at Kroger, and will be doing a short post on how I think packaging it for long term storage in humid climates might work best. Another experiment in action.

Thanks for reading and Keep Right On Prepping- K and family

Monday, September 11, 2017


19 Moslems hijack 4 airplanes and kill over 6000 people. The enemies of America celebrated.

Never forget who your friends are...

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reloading Consideration for SHTF - Guest Article by 22 J Hornet

Today's article is by a good friend on mine, J, that I've known many years, and one of the few people that I would vouch for like the mafia. He has many skill sets: medical, reloading, hunter, gatherer, backpacker, and survival enthusiast. So, without further ado.... 
The great little round we’ve all been ignoring, or perhaps didn’t know existed. 

In the 1920’s a few fellows a the Springfield armory (the actually Springfield armory not the one your thinking of right now) started messing around with a diminutive little blackpowder cartridge called the 22 Winchester Center Fire or 22 WCF. The Winchester round was an old thin cased, long necked cartridge introduced in 1885 and propelled a 45 grain bullet to around 22 magnum velocities. The wildcatters at the military base started to tinker with the round using modern propellants, bullets, and toying with crimps managed to come up with, what was at the time, the most accurate rifle cartridge ever. They named it the 22 hornet and shenanigans ensued. Fast forward about 10 years and Winchester decided to adopt and standardize the round and so in 1930 Winchester became the first manufacturer to produce 22 hornet cartridges. The little hornet took off and even found itself in military service. Im sure your familiar with some of the survival rifles produced by the United States military like the M6, though it was only one of a few such rifles and all of them came chambered in 22 hornet (among other calibers). 

If the hornet was so popular, why have you never heard of it? Thats a solid question. I’ll answer it with another, have you ever heard of the 222 Remington "triple deuce", the 256 Winchester, the 218 Bee, the 25-20 Winchester, the 264 Winchester, the 44-40 Winchester, the 38/44 Smith and Wesson, the 6mm Remington? Like so many other rounds the 22 Hornet has fallen out of favor with shooters for faster, more powerful rounds with better technology behind their design and bullets. The 220 Russian for instance is the son of the 7.62x39, the father of the 22, 6mm, and 6.5mm ppc, and the great grandfather of the 6.5 Grendel, but have you ever heard of it? 

Now, down to the real meat and potatoes, why should you care about it? Well, have you ever let the words “I wish there was a reloadable 22 (lr)” slip from your lips? I have good news for you, there is, in a few forms if we’re going to be thorough about it, they all however stem from the 22 hornet. With modern powders like Hodgdon H4895, Alliant 2400, and especially Hodgdon Lil Gun the diminutive hornet is capable of nearly 3200 fps with 35 grain pills, however, loaded with a 60 percent load of H4895 one can expect velocities around 1400 fps from a 45 grain soft point. The nice thing about H4895 is the way that it burns. The powder is fairly slow and uniform when burning so the likelihood of having a charge all light off at once is fairly non existent. This is nice because while Hodgdon only recommends loading a 60% load (for legal reasons, it eliminates the possibility of a double charge) you can go well below that. I have read recipes that allow one to take the hornet down to around 700 fps with a 45 grain bullet. You wanted a reloadable 22lr well boys and girls, there you go. 

Time to start getting into the fun part. So you have your 22 hornet, you like it, you’ve shot it and kept your brass (keep your brass, the hornet is not popular and therefor is rather expensive to shoot and buy brass for, it’s worth it though), but your looking for something different. Want more speed? Not a problem, have your chamber reamed to 22k hornet and that same 13.2 (I assume no responsibility for your loads here, load at your own risk and always work your way up) grains of Lil Gun you were using to make 3200 fps now makes 3500 fps. The beauty of Lil gun in the 22k hornet is that you literally cannot load enough of the powder into the case to ever cause a pressure issue, and it allows you to shoot standard 22 hornet rounds in it which eject fire formed to 22 k hornet. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your looking for something more like a 22lr have a look at 22 Squirrel, its a wildcat load that uses a cut down 22 hornet case to mimic 22lr up to a hot lr load like CCI maxi mag. The nicest thing about the hornet wildcats is they place the shoulder forward and at a much steeper angle. This means that cases stretch significantly less, neck splits become a thing of the past, and cases now last 5+ times longer. In fact, some users of the 22 Squirrel are reporting well over 50 reloads per case and even into the 70s. There is also a cartridge know as 22 CCM (Cooper Centerfire Magnum) and one called the 22 Velodog, however both were flops. The 22 CCM is only the most recent reincarnation of an attempt to size a 22 hornet down to 22 magnum rimfire size and shape and it has never turned out well. The Velodog was produced for cyclists as a means to ward off unfriendly dogs as they peddled by. The Velodog gained some popularity overseas and I believe Fiocci still makes it, they were actually the ones who send Cooper Arms their brass for the CCM. 

Personally, I own a CZ 527 in 22 Hornet that has been reamed to K hornet. The cost for the reaming was 70 dollars from the best gunsmith I know (also a hornet fanatic) and the Redding dies were 30 dollars more for the K hornet than for the regular hornet. The CZ has a 1/16 twist (literally my only complaint about this rifle) and it prefers old school, short, fat, flat base bullets in the 35-46 grain range. Most boat tail bullets will not work in the 1/16 twist, save perhaps the 40 grain Hornady Vmax, 39 grain Sierra Blitz King, and the 40 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip. Some rifles with shoot them, others will have to stick to Speer 46 grain hornet/ bee bullets, 40 grain spire points, and 35 grain Vmaxes and the like. No mater what bullet your rifle likes you will need to take the time to analyze bullet construction vs intended game. The 35 grain Vmax at 3500fps is literally explosive and terrific for quarry you want gone but don’t intend to eat. A 45 grain spire may provide better penetration when thats needed, I know a man who euthanizes car struck deer and elk with a 45 grain Hornady Bee bullet. 

My 22k is my favorite rifle and should I ever have children, a 22k hornet will be their first rifle. The flexibility of the cartridge is ridiculous, it has been called the perfect turkey round in states that allow it, it is a fantastic rifle for dog towns out of 250 or so yards, it is legal to take deer with in some states (and plenty of old timers will attest to its effectiveness), its cheap to reload, its easy on the shoulder, and most importantly in a SHTF scenario, its quiet. 

I hope you enjoyed this and found it informative, if nothing else, give the hornet a quick google search, some of you may like what you see. 

Whatcha think? Comments are encouraged and appreciated. - K

Monday, July 24, 2017

Time To Stock Up - Office Supplies/Pantry

Just a friendly reminder to look at the sales papers and stock up your home office with these loss leaders. Over the next few weeks, you should be able to collect some really good deals.

*Pencils never dry out, and they are better for backpacking than pens, the ink tends to smear when the paper gets wet.

* Gallon Ziploc bags are priced at the best price this time of year since they appear on a lot of school supply lists.

*Flash drives or thumb drives are priced really good this time of year too. Might be a good time to transfer some photos onto these portable storage devices.

*Peanut butter is also usually a good buy since most kids are packing their lunches.

*Printer paper, notebook paper, crayons, folders, and pens are on my resupply list for our home office and crafts area.

What are some of the back to school supplies that you usually stock up on this time of year?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week of July 4th

I took off the week of July 4th to take keep the boys out of the house since Sweetheart works from home. I tried to pack a full schedule to keep them occupied, and one of the trips was into the Capital City to the MacArthur Museum of Military History. Red Ant is really into anything military related, much like my brother. I wouldn't be surprised if he did decide to join or armed forces. In case you didn't know, before Brother Bill Clinton, Little Rock most famous person was Douglas MacArthur. General MacArthur was the better person.

They had a real Jeep inside the museum, and it was really cool to see the original design. Speaking of which, I've had my truck on Craig's List for about a month. I'll be using that money to buy a used Jeep Wrangler, or that is the idea.

Through the week, we went to a community bakery for breakfast, and visited with a friend that I worked with at the restaurant. We also went to a doctor's appointment for Red Ant, visited an old arcade and played Donkey Kong, pinball, air hockey, and other classic quarter games. I had forgotten about so many cool games...

On Friday, we went to the Buffalo National River and hung out on the river bank, collected rocks, squashed worms, and  watched people roll their canoes in the rapids.

On the way back, we pulled over at a scenic overlook and had lunch at one of their picnic tables. About 10 minutes after filling up the truck, one of the cylinders started to misfire, and the truck died. Fortunately, we were able to coast into a farmer's market at a small town. The lady at the stand gave me the name of a towing company, and $175 and 100+ miles later, we were at our house.

The truck goes to our mechanic on Monday. Hopefully it's bad gas, a faulty coil, or spark plug. Something cheap would be nice.....
UPDATE: $9000 for a new motor. It's going to junk yard....

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, June 22, 2017

You have Been Warned : Bad Advice Blog Called Out

I've been mulling over this post for a few months to make sure that I haven't overreacted, but I will be removing the American Preppers Network website from my blogrolls. It started when they posted an article on "The Best Survival Foods on a Budget" which included: rice, spam, powdered drinks and milk, dried eggs, and energy bars.


I'll let my few loyal readers mull over this advice. Do you see any problems? First off, if you are looking for foods on a budget, you want high calorie vs. dollar amount. (calories/dollar)

Here is a way better list that I've assembled. The best food choice, hands down, is flour at 4464 calories per dollar. The LDS list wheat berries as a primary grain to store...NO WONDER! You can easily make Navajo fry bread with just flour, salt, and water. Soda bread only uses a little bit of baking soda and no yeast. You could also bake sour dough bread without having to store yeast.

My personal favorite item is sugar at 2854 calories per dollar. Protect from moisture and you have a food storage item that will last indefinitely, relatively hard to manufacture, highly desirable as a trade item, and goes great in coffee. Sugar was actually the first item to be rationed during World War II (Spring 1942) and no sugar could be legally purchased without ration stamps until 1947.

Next on my list is rice at 2320 calories per dollar. I'd also recommend storing Kikkoman Soy Sauce, and the Walmart website sells powdered soy sauce.  (LINK TO SOY SAUCE POWDER)  Having a ton of rice, but no soy sauce would really irritate me after a while.

Let's not forget plain oats at 2148 calories per dollar. The oats make a quick and easy breakfast to go with that tea brick that I did an article about...

The cheap Ramen noodles and pasta come in at 1949 and 1600 calories per dollar, respectively.

So, here you have my top 5 list for budget foods to store. This is not a complete nutritional profile, so I'll add a few more items to help round out the nutritional side of things.

1. Prenatal Vitamins which tend to be cheaper and better profiles.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1245 calories per dollar) and can be stored in a deep freeze for extra longevity. Besides, fried squirrel and rabbit with that flour, salt and pepper makes a great meal. (Be sure to check out the Lard and Crisco comments below)
3. Salt. A no-brainer preferably with iodine if you don't live along the coast. Also, can be used as a salt lick for hunting local game.
4. Green Coffee Beans
5. Lots of spices that can't be grown locally. Here's my list: nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, mustard seed (homemade mustard), cocoa powder, and chili powder.
6. (hat tip to Monsoon Matriarch)  Refried Beans from the LDS for a quick food to make a complete protein with the rice.
7. (Vicki is on point with two overlooked fats)  Lard ran $1.99 for 2110 calories per dollar, Crisco ran 1982 calories per dollar, and olive oil ran 1284 calories per dollar. Purely empirical, lard is the best choice. I checked today, and the lard had a best buy date of Feb 2019 (I'm impressed).

Interesting links:

My tea brick article

Soy sauce powder link for Walmart

IFSBULK. A wholesale supplier and GREAT prices.

APN article that I hate.

Sweet Maria: Coffee supplier

As always, comments are encouraged, and make my day a little brighter.
Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Weekend 2017

Some gave all.

Thank you -

K, Sweetheart, Row, Red Ant, and The Doctor

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Quest for Coffee And SHTF

I've done several posts in the past about coffee storage for extremely bad situations, like being without it. I've looked at several commercial packaging techniques, and the steel canisters seem to be your best bet for ease of use. Look for the expiration dates when you have a few minutes to peruse the coffee aisle at your local grocer.

The holy grail for coffee and long term storage is the green coffee bean, which can stay "fresh" for a year stored in a cool dark pantry, without any special packaging or preparation. The shelf life can be extended to 10+ years with storage in mylar bags and an oxygen eater.

First, a quick education in how the green coffee bean progresses to various roasts. The roasting process was taken from Sweet Maria's wholesale coffee supplier. (LINK)

Understanding the different stages of the roast will help you control the flavor of your cup and appreciate how different roasts result in different cup flavors.
  - Yellowing: For the first few minutes the bean remains greenish, then turn lighter yellowish and emit a grassy smell.
- Steam: The beans start to steam as their internal water content dissipates.
- First Crack: The steam becomes fragrant. Soon you will hear the first crack, an audible cracking sound as the real roasting starts to occur: sugars begin to caramelize, bound-up water escapes, the structure of the bean breaks down and oils migrate from their little pockets outward.
- First Roasted Stage: After the first crack, the roast can be considered complete any time according to your taste. The cracking is an audible cue, and, along with sight and smell, tells you what stage the roast is at. This is what is called a City roast.

- Caramelization: Caramelization continues, oils migrate, and the bean expands in size as the roast becomes dark. As the roast progresses, this is a City + roast. Most of our roast recommendations stop at this point. When you are on the verge of second crack, that is a Full City roast.
- Second Crack: At this point a second crack can be heard, often more volatile than the first. The roast character starts to eclipse the origin character of the beans at this point and is also known as a Vienna roast. A few pops into second crack is a Full City + roast. Roasting all the way through second crack may result in small pieces of bean being blown away like shrapnel!
- Darkening Roast: As the roast becomes very dark, the smoke is more pungent as sugars burn completely, and the bean structure breaks down more and more. As the end of second crack approaches you will achieve a French roast.
- Ack!! Too Late!: Eventually, the sugars burn completely, and the roast will only result in a thin-bodied cup of "charcoal water."

During the next 24 hours, the newly roasted coffee beans will gas carbon dioxide, hence the air vents on commercially processed packages of coffee. I have been experimenting with using a hot air popper, and it is ridiculously simply.

The green coffee beans and the roasted beans to first "pop"
I ordered the sample pack from Sweet Maria's which was eight pounds of coffee beans for about $48.00 w/ shipping. Still a very reasonable price, and the best prices that I've found while researching the topic for a few weeks. (more later on prices)

As a Prepper, this is what I would suggest. Order a sample pack from Sweet Maria's and experiment with the different methods of roasting the green coffee beans. You'll also get to learn the different region growing "tastes" and what roasts (i.e. medium roast, espresso) you prefer. I'll be learning to roast the beans using cast iron and an oven over the next few months. 

SOLUTION: You can either order, and store your coffee with mylar and oxygen eaters, or purchase canned green coffee beans from Costco for about $4.00/pound. I haven't tried the coffee from Costco, so I can't testify to it's quality. Any readers have experience with this brand?  Practice roasting the green coffee beans with varying methods. Having the supplies, but not knowing how to prepare/use them is not good logic. 

If things get bad, you'll still have your morning cup of coffee to greet the day.

Comments are always welcomed and Keep Right On Prepping - K

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blog Fluff

As the title suggest, just a quick post of no importance.

Our family has been planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, or whichever one is in Florida, for a couple of years. The plans got side railed with the newest addition to the family. I jokingly tell my friends that we are a white couple with no rhythm. Anyways, we are taking family walks to gradually get the boys in better shape since the average person walks about 6-10 miles per day.

The boys has also purchased piggy banks to save their money for the trip. Red Ant is saving for a gigantic Lego set at Disney Springs. Row has informed the family that he will be using his money to rent a motorized wheelchair. Smart boy.

Image result for disney world motorized wheelchair
Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Garage Renovation

When we bought the house, it had a ramp from the garage into the mudroom. It came in handy for moving heavy appliances, boxes, and other items that needed a dolly, but time and resources have made it possible for me to finally start work on a work bench area.

I remembered to start taking pictures about half way through the demolish process. The handrails have already been taken down along the 10 foot sloped ramp.

All of the 2x4's have had the nails removed, and the ends trimmed (if needed) for the workbench. I'll repurpose as much of the wood as possible. I still have plans to build a small step down for the Doctor since it is a HUGE step for a three year old. It'll be easier to get into the house on leg days as well....

Our teaching Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class has ended until this Fall, so we will have more time to complete planned posts, projects, and a mini-blog series. I don't know if I talked about the surreal feeling of being done with school, but I am slowly refocusing my energies towards skill sets.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Analogy

We took the kids to our church Easter Egg hunt yesterday, and I was thinking that all of the kids scrambling around to collect the eggs is very similar to what happens whenever the weatherman calls for any frozen precipitation. It's nice being a parent and standing back watching all the mayhem.

Happy Easter.

-The K family

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Backyard Potatoes

I had a hour before work to finish up the side yard potato/compost containers. Last year, we had to replace the main water line from the house to the meter, and they dug up quite a bit of the side of the house. The monkey grass was re-purposed to keep the water away from the foundation and move the water towards the backyard.

I cleaned up the old leaves and mulched them with the mower. The leaves will make the base layer, then some sand, followed by the cut potatoes (with eyes). I'll top off the potato cuttings with more mulch and a little bit of soil.

The cages are being kept together with zip ties, so that at harvest time, I can just clip the ties and harvest the potatoes. I chose this area for a few reasons, plenty of light, more soil is needed at this location, easy to watch, plenty of room for runners since this area doesn't get mowed, and close to the faucet.

I'll periodically post throughout the year until the first frost. I've probably started with about three pounds of raw potatoes for this endeavor, plus $13 for the rabbit fencing. Maybe $16 as a start up cost....

I'll start the third container this weekend with the boys as a science experiment.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Backyard Potatoes

In the practice of moving from hoarder to sustainer, I've had an experiment going since this winter with raw potatoes.

These potatoes have been in the pantry since the first frost of last year, and looking kinda tired, but they have sprouts and should be able to produce more potatoes. The idea is to see if these potatoes from the last harvest can be replanted with only storage in a cool dark place.

I'll be putting them into wire fencing containers with sand, and periodically dump bagged mulch from the yard on top of the plants. This should make the plant climb the container while producing more potatoes per square foot. The wire fencing will be connected using zip ties to make the harvest easier.

I also had a bag of older potatoes that I bought a few weeks ago, to compare results. The red potatoes were cut in half, with eyes on each half, and will be dried for 24 hours before planting.

I'll post tomorrow with the final product.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Rant Alert About Netflix

We've used Netflix combined with Amazon Prime video for several years to ditch high cable costs. We spent $243/ year for our home entertainment needs. Recently, Netflix replaced the 5 star rating system with a thumbs up or thumbs down due to the customer having a hard time deciding how to rate a video series. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

These are the same idiots that caused Burger King to stop selling the 1/3 pound burger because the customer thought it was smaller than the 1/4 pounder. Listen, people are generally stupid. I mean, if you have to put warning labels on hair dryers to NOT use them in the shower, well...we have a problem.

I'm rating Netflix a big thumbs down for caving to the intellectual deficit in America.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

News link:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Revamping Blog and a Long Overdue Post

I'll jump right into the update starting with the youngest family member to the oldest. The Doctor, soon to be three year old, is in full terrible twos mode. He is constantly testing limits, telling us No, and generally being a two year old. He is still our sweet boy that is willing to dish out hugs and kisses at any random moment, and frequently wanting to share a sweet treat.

Beach picture (2016) run through Prisma application
Red Ant, our eight year old, has been accepted into the Gifted and Talented program within our district. This means that while in elementary school he gets "dragged out" of classes for enrichment programs three times per week. They are working with  3D printers, reverse engineering household items, and doing a business model for a candy store. He is still enrolled in Marshal's Art, and I'm really impressed with his progress and natural ability to learn the basics of martial arts.

Row, our eleven year old, is growing like a weed and excelling academically as well. He scored a 99 percentile on the ACT Aspire, which got Duke's Talent Search Department attention, and they are tracking his academic performance. A potential full ride scholarship to a well known university! We have also filled out the necessary paperwork for him to be tested for the Talented and Gifted program. All of his teachers have selected him for AP classes for his sixth grade year. He continues to draw, and has been dying to get a YouTube channel to post his own videos with his brother.

Sweetheart is still running and completed her second full Little Rock marathon this spring, and training for other various races throughout the state.

Sweetheart's Dad at our house for his birthday. (Prisma app)
Both of her parents are having health issues, and we have told my parents that they are not allowed to have any issues at this time. Her mom is having heart issues, while her father has a slew of problems mainly due to non-compliance. We are still teaching financial classes at church, and ready for our summer break.

My life has been hard to describe. After officially taking my last test, it seems surreal, that after six years, I no longer have another test or any more schooling on my schedule. I have been toying with taking the HAM radio license, and delving into iOS application programming to build an application of when to buy pantry items at their low price points.  I have already created a spreadsheet for statistical tracking of our state scratch off using limited information and extrapolating the data. Let me know if anyone is interested and I'll put a post together....

My bipolar coworker has gotten on a kick out of calling me a prepper. Either he has been looking over my shoulder which is very real considering his paranoid states or found my blog. Typically, I agree with him and try to blow him off. Yesterday, he asked if he could come bring a cot and stay with my family in the event of an emergency. "Hell no" was my first thought, but politely ran the numbers game that he would reduce our family's resources. Instead of one year's food we would only have about eight months worth. I truly wish I was able to discuss his failure as an adult to take care of himself in the event of an emergency, but that wouldn't be conducive to a good work relationship.

The future of the blog is going to revamped, edited, and trimmed of fat. There will be less frequent posting, but more content if you follow my point. The ways of Monsoon Matriarch, Pioneer Preppy, and Harry Flashman to name a few bloggers.

K and Row

Future Posts:
I still have a review of .223 ammo from Ammo To Go that needs to trip taken to our local National Forest to finish the write up.
I've also been working on roasting my own green coffee beans, and will have a post about that as well.
A small series on building your own medical kit, on the frugal, for the most common medical occurrences for an EMP event.