Sunday, July 17, 2022


Early morning dew soaks the grass before the sun takes over. This is the only moisture any ground cover gets so far these past several weeks. Maybe just enough to stay alive, but not enough to grow harvestable hay. 

Over the course of these past weeks, we have had but two thunderstorms that I can recall. Often, clouds will release rain that never reaches the ground. We did receive some rain late in the week, four tenths. Just a mile away, neighbors received and inch and a half. 

The brisk wind and driving rain lasted no more than an hour and brought with it a smell of freshness beyond words, cool and welcomed breezes and ground puddles. I am told that two more cuttings of hay could happen this season with more frequent storms like that. Forecasts are not hopeful.


First taste of canned pickled string beans this past week. Her winced up her nose at a taste and held the last half of the bean in the air.  

I guess will have to eat all of these myself. Each and every last one and all the other jars on the shelf. There will no more wincing. This batch is perfect.


Fresh bread, baloney, lettuce, mayo and cheese. Cut on the diagonal and served with chips. Have had a hankering for one for several days and it was all that I knew it could be. Like cookies and milk, one sandwich bite and one chip bite till the end. No wincing!!


I found these three articles tucked together early in the week from Vox Populi blog.  

Russian Gas Supply Cuts Threaten World's Largest Chemicals Hub


In the past few months, we have come across some good prices on bulk beef, chicken and pork. Tucked away in the freezer, we found time and attitude this week to thaw and can that beef and pork. What started out to be a half-day canning turned into an all day task. Canning in 100 degree weather is a challenge, a doable challenge, but still more tasking that canning in "normal" weather. Regardless, it is done and we are finished canning this season. 

Cutting beef into cubes

Stuffing jars with cubed beef.


Found this deal on bacon quite by accident. Small, local grocery store and butcher shop had small packages of this bacon in the cooler and we tried a couple only to find out that it is probably some of the best bacon we have ever eaten. Her ordered 10 pounds and opened the box when she got home like it was a Christmas present. 

Ziplock bagged and tucked away in the freezer. 

Do you save your bacon grease and use it when cooking?

My grandmother had a large tin of bacon grease stored under the kitchen sink. Mom did too. I remember the term "dollops" was used quite often as a unit of measurement when this was used for meal preparations. 

At end of afternoon meal, grandmother would bring in the large dog dish, scrape any and all table scraps (including bones) into the bowl and add a very large spoon full of bacon grease on top. I would deliver the dish to the dog and always shook my head at the conglomerations of leftovers and grease that dog would dive into. Only one meal a day for for the dog and he never turned down a dinner.

Bacon grease. Start saving it.   


If you do nothing else here this week, give this video your full attention start to finish.

Best wrap our heads around planning for two to three years for self sufficiency. 

This field is less than a mile away and last year this photo portion would have been full of bales of hay. These two bales of hay well represent what a portion of a hay field is producing today due to extreme heat and lack of rain this season. 

One bale of hay three summers ago. Tight, large and healthy.

Field of cut hay three summers ago. Each row full and rows close together. 

East Texas cut hay field and bales aplenty three summers ago. 

Hay yield in the fields around us today is 25% of what it has been in years past. Cost to produce one bale of hay today is $100, up 4 fold. Cattleman are thinning their herds and the sale barns have farmers/trailers/cattle lined up on the roads outside the facilities. All over Texas. To see this happening in our back yards puts the nails in the coffins of reality. 

I hear talk from now, very good friends, explaining that the price of a bale of hay is advertised for $115 dollars and a buyer must purchase of an entire trailer load. That cost is not worth it.  Unrealistic. It is what it is and the farmer is front line as are the cattleman. All over Texas it is like this. 

Hundred and six today and we saw a hundred and eleven just a few days ago.

326 blogs so far here in The After blog. All are in some degree talking of getting ready and being ready for possible long-term down times. We know what this is going to look like now. No one I visit with or read has their head in the sand. 

All the crap stories that are fed to us daily mean nothing when compared to being able to feed your family, keep a roof over their heads, meet monthly bills and help good folks who come knocking on your door. 

And as sure as God made little green apples my friends, all of this is coming to our doors and soon.

Time is very short. Measured in weeks now. Skill-sets, skills-sets skill-sets. Did I mention skill-sets?

More thoughts from east Texas with Sunday morning postings. God bless, have a good week and much appreciate the visit. 



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