There Really is No Place Like Home

The old saying, “Your home is where your heart is,” is very true. Even though I was in my favorite mountains I was not able to enjoy being there because Von was still here in Texas. As some of you correctly deduced in your emails and comments we did run into trouble. First, let me begin by saying “Thank You” for your concerns and prayers. My family and I appreciate them all.

The first day after arriving was spent resting. This is always the best way I have found to acclimate yourself to the altitude. The second and third day after arriving we began stocking shelves and inventorying our supplies that we brought with us. (Remember, this was our original purpose in making the trip.)

This pantry is just a small fraction of our overall food supplies. Many of our supplies are packed in five gallon Mylar bags and then packed into 55 gallon drums with drum liners. We have dozens of these barrels set aside for food storage. Now, do not commit the same error I did the first time I began placing food in 55-gallon drums. I packed 200 lbs. of rice and 100 lbs. of beans in one barrel and since I had a little room let over, as an afterthought, I place 2 half gallon containers of honey in the barrel before sealing it. When I returned from a short trip I found beans and rice strewn all over the property. No other barrels were disturbed. In order to try and find out how and why the beans and rice were strewn all over the property I resealed the barrel after emptying a small one pint container of honey into it. If you ever want to witness the genius of an animal you should do this. The very next day a cinnamon colored black bear knocked the drum over and began jumping on it until the the end with the removable lid popped off. The bear immediately devoured the honey ad anything that it touched. I named the bear “Jumper”. Jumper has at times found my food while I was still unpacking it.

My oldest son was concerned and fell out laughing, both at the same time, at me chasing a bear through the woods after it knocked over boxes of food to get to the sugar and jellies. He was afraid the bear would turn on me and attack and I was mad that he had ruined 50 lbs. of sugar. Other than a sound cursing Jumper had nothing to fear.

Now, back to the present. We monitored the weather situation on the weather.com. It showed one day of light flurries and after that 5 days of sunshine. What we had was 4 and one half days of snow. So we had to stay inside and and stay warm. Afterwards we had to wait for the snow to melt enough to get outside. After the snow abated we began the construction of a new cabin. We (my nephew Chris and I) worked on this for about 2 days. Chris said he counted the hours and it was 20 hours. I believe him. He really got into the project and was very excited with the progress we made.

It was the morning of what would have been our third day on construction of the cabin, my sister, Gale, said she needed my help. I looked into her eyes and heard her symptoms and guessed that she was having a heart attack. So, with the roads choked with mud and snow and the closest hospital 60 miles away, we made the trip in “several minutes under and hour”. (The posted limit ranged from 25 MPH to 55MPH the whole way.

Into the emergency room and a quick check of her blood enzymes revealed she was indeed in the middle of a heart attack. After stabilizing Gale she was prepped for a flight to Albuquerque, about 135 miles away. When she left I drove back up the mountain at the “usual” pace and it took 1 hour and 20 minutes.

We spent a few days in Albuquerque while they stabilized her and ran numerous tests. It was decided that she needed at least one stent since one artery was collapsed. Once Gale could travel we began our trip back to Louisiana, since I was the only LEGAL driver of the truck and trailer (my nephew had let his license lapse. Good lesson on being prepared here.) I spent several days helping out around the ol’ homestead and then headed back to my lady love.

Upon reaching Texas I learned my best friend had had surgery and is in need of help so I headed north to Waxahachie, Texas to help out where I could. Teddy and I have been through thick and thin together and I could not ask for a finer friend. He has always been there for me and I’ll be hanged if I won’t be there for him. 

Today is Monday, April 2nd. Gale is feeling much better and Teddy goes back to work tomorrow so it is now time to catch up on my “Honey do’s”. My one, maybe two week, trip turned into a 4 week marathon. In retrospect, there is not a lot we could have done differently. We had a plan for such emergencies and we followed it. Everyone is hale and hearty.

This experience should serve as a lesson to us all. No matter how routine a trip, excursion, or afternoon may start out, it can quickly become a medical emergency or emergency of any kind. Had I taken the precaution of rotating out my nitroglycerin tablets we may have had an easier time of it. However, in looking back through the glasses of 20/20 hindsight, we were very well prepared.

Even though we did not finish the cabin I will post an article about what we accomplished and include pictures. It may take a day or two so don’t worry too much if I am late. (I am late finishing the floor in our “new” house in Texas so Von is pretty insistent about me finish this so I can add walls and the rest and we can hopefully move in this June.)

Good luck and God bless all of you.

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20 thoughts on “There Really is No Place Like Home

  1. Cyrus,

    Glad you are back. Sounds like you had quite the trip. Nothing like a good bear story. I love bears. More importantly, I hope your sister is alright. Nothing like a little “pinch” to let you know how fragile life is in this existence eh? I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

    Hope you are well and hope your venture was successful.

    Ben

  2. Codger and Von,
    Bless you both. So glad you are back at home, safe and sound. The few pics you know have up are very impressive to me.

    Glad you mentioned the 55 gal drums. I have two expected as soon as I can pick them up or twist someones arm to deliver them for me. I also have two plastic drums coming. I think you recommended mylar and oxygen absorbers sealed and stacked within a large plastic drum liner. I have some extra contractor liners, but not too many of the food grade plastic ones.

    I did finish putting up several bags of salt (with iodine) today. I have the sacks (also loosly wrapped in plastic) stacked in a plastic trash can with lid. The lid is taped on with duct tape. Before sealing, I dropped in my last new little sack of rat posioning. I don’t think rats are into salt, but with pack rats, there is no telling. The whole thing is in a outbuilding – an old battery tank turned storage space. It is metal and musty, and the smell of rats is high. Hopefully, I will be ok with storing my plastic bin in there. I still have much to clean up in this storage area. When I get done, I will dump a bucket of rat poison in. For now, the moth balls appear to be doing a decent job at keeping new resident rats out.

    Welcome back. You are great! Glad sis is better. And thanks for the reminder about nitro-glycerin. My hubby needs it. I usually get two RX filled. One for car and one for home.

    Blessings.

    • Sunflower,
      Please do not pack rat poison in the same container as a foodstuff even salt. The poison will give off fumes over time which will get into your food products. ALL animals natuarally crave salt and rats are very bad about getting into containers that have salt in order to satisfy their hunger for it. It is okay to leave the salt in the plastic trashcan for the time being but place the poison around the container so they will find it first. Inspect the trashcan a couple of times a week until your metal containers arrive. I usually buy mine at honey producers. Most US honey producers are suffering from Colony Collapse Syndrome (CCS) and mix domestic honey with Brazilian or other honey. If it is 51% US honey they don’t have to state that it contains foreign honey. The 55 gallon barrels are then sold, since they cannot be reused by order of the USDA, and I have purchased barrels with removeable lids for as little as $3.50 apiece to as much as $8.50 apiece. Locate for local supplier. There used to be dozens if not hundreds of them in the grain states like Kansas but since CCS has become a problem i am sure many have gone out of business. Also. do not store food in a commercial trash bag. These trash bags are treated with a fungicide and a lowgrade perticide to keep them pest and oder free while in the home. If you store your food in Mylar bags nd them place them inside of a contractor bag they should be fine. Contractor bags do not usually get treated chemically against odor or pests. Please continue to prepare but please use caution. If I can i will help in any way possible. If i don’t know i will try to find the answer. I ain’t real smart but I know a lot of smart people. Also, Iodized salt is good for seasoning use but if you can, also put up pickling salt. Since there is no iodine in pickling salt it will not discolor your canned foods and meats if you salt meats, which we do. Hope this helps. Hope hubby feels better soon. Thanks for the coconut oil tip. I will look for it. I am into olive and peanut oils. I used olive oil to avoid a gall bladder operation and the doctor thought I was lying to him when i explained why my gall bladder had gone down in size (based on his own ultrasound) but it really works.

  3. Welcome back! Thank goodness your sister is doing better and that you were able to be by your dear friend’s side when you returned. Timing is everything; and when you take care of life, life takes care of you! Bless you for sharing your trip and experiences so that we can all be better prepared for ourselves and for those who are important in our lives. Stay well, my friend!

    • Tanks Rick,
      I printed up the alternate uses of household products that you sent me and Von loved it. She is a huge advocate of listerine and hydrogen peroxide. thePlanetPrisoner is also big on hydrogen peroxide. I sear by olive oil for many internal and externaluses. We use it in all of our cooking and salad dressings. (I only use oil and apple cider or red wine vinegar.) Vinegar is another product that has dozens of uses and oftentimes i use it for brushing my teeth. Really makes the pearly whites slick and smooth. Raw unfiltered apple cide vinegar is the best but is getting harder and harder to find. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 8 oz. of water will settle your stomach very quickly. The Roman army marched all day long oer thousands of miles by using a solution of water, sea salt, honey and apple cider vinegar. It maintains stamina. When a Roman soldier gove some to Christ on a sponge when he was on the cross he rejected it because (1) it was the fruit of the vine and he said he would not partke of it and (2) it would have prolonged His agony until 6:00 which would have been Passover (the Sabbath). The Jews could not touch His body after 6:00 pm because of the law and as a result te Scripture says that they had to hurry, which places His death at @ 4:00pm or so. The Sabbath mentioned was not the 7th day of the week (Saturday) or aliwm alsabit or alshams alshabbit, which literally means the seventh day. Good luckand God bless my friend.

  4. Glad to hear Gale and Teddy are doing fine now. Also happy you are back!

    I am going to have to check on the price of 55 gallon drums locally 😉
    Just got a shipment of mylar bags and O2 absorbers today, so I’m ready to start fillin’ !

    • Fantastic! Like I wrote to Sunflower check with local honey producers in your area. Generally they have lots of barrels that can be had at a reasonable price. (What price today is reasonable?)

  5. Oh wow! What a trip!
    I’m so glad everyone is doing well now. And happy that you were as well prepared as you were.
    Thank God y’all are all safely back home.

  6. I’m glad to hear your alive and well! I was beginning to wonder if one of those gubermint helicopters landed and placed you and yours in one of those Femur camps.

    I would be interested in hearing how Gail will make adjustments to her health preparedness with subsequent trips to NM. I’m sure there are many who can benefit from understanding how this unintended cardiac event will shine light on additional preparedness measures. Under the stress of bugging out i’m sure that many with impending cardiac issues may be pushed through the threshold into a cardiac event. There is CPR class being offered at local firehouse next week and i had thought about attending as it has been many years. After hearing of this experience I will certainly attend.

    So many things seem to be ramping up on the gubermint side of things and I anxiously await your insight and interpretation once you settle in and get caught up with the Honey Do’s. Once again, glad you are all well.

    4 Liberty

    • Thanks Craig! We are well and Gale is doing well as is Mom. Spoke to both of them today and they are ready for the next adventure, altho they are hoping for one a little less traumatic that the last. Gale is talking about coming to Texas in the next week or so. Von and I are looking for to that. Also, we may have to make a quick trip to Louisiana to help my nephew move. He, Chris, is coming to help Von and i make enough progress on the house to move in as quickly as possible. We also plan on hunting hogs and smoking hams and canning pork. Next, we will try to catch enough fish to put away a year’s supply if not more. Von called me while i was still in Lousisana and reported that 4 gunships hovered over my house in Texas and then went to my property where i am building the new house and hovered there before turning and going back in the direction they came. She also reported that they door guns were out and manned. I am sure it is just a coincidence. Happens all the time. Right?

    • Thanks Hognutz. I am really glad to be back. I don’t care what people say, when the person you love is somewhere else that is where you are too. Von is my mate and i feel incomplete without her. Have you ever bought a pant. I haven’t even seen one. but i know what a pair of pants are. That is what it is like with Von. She will often begin talking about what i am thinking about and vice versa. I love it. Hope you and yours are doing well.

  7. Welcome back, Amigo. It looks like our ol’ friend Murphy was hot on your trail, “To estimate the amount of time needed to complete a project: estimate the amount of time needed, multiply by two and use the next highest unit. Hence: A one hour task will take at least two days to complete.” This seems to be the “norm” for my projects of late. I’m glad tragedy was averted and you are safe at home again…well, at least until the next trip!

    Great bear story and a lesson to all of us…I hope I don’t have the same issue with my dehydrated honey. They are amazing creatures.

    • Hi KenBob,
      Don’t forget Murphy’s rule number one: Don’t mess with Mrs. Murphy. i love my bears. I don’t know if they are my bears or if i am their audience. Whatever it is I thank the Lord for the opportunity to enjoy them. They have blessed my life and i have had numerous encounters with bears and never had any problems. I think animals since a person’s intent and bears no I am not a threat unless threatened just like them. they are welcome guests on my porch and they know it.
      God bless you and yours.

  8. As is everyone else, I too am thankful that you are safely with Von and checking off the “honey dew” list. A video of the Jumper chase would have gone viral on YouTube. Thanks for all.
    You and yours are always included in my thoughts and prayers.
    -from Middle Tennessee.

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