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HomeSurvival Handbook

See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

Change . . .

not my favorite thing. Never have been one to re-arrange the furniture, pantry or anything else for that matter.  Some would call that bor- ring.   Not me.   I find it  less stressful by keeping things in my comfort zone.    Not to mention, on the rare occasion I have done some re-arranging – I find myself going back to the old location, not finding whatever I’m looking for and trying to remember where I moved it to!


None of this doesn’t comes even close to comparing to a change in medication.  I’ve been dealing with lots of meds over the last few years and can recognize them by sight – pretty much.  On opening a new refill the other day; the pill was totally different.  Different shape.   Different color.  I was more than a little surprised.  And of course, this happened on a Sunday so there’s no calling the pharmacy to confirm whether the prescription was the right one.


It’s off to the internet to try and find some information. Guess what?   I did!  Found a site that lets you identify pills by their impressions (numbers/letters) and color.   Not only does it identify the pill but also gives any side effects.    The site can also be used to identify pills by generic or brand name.




To see this handy pill identifier tool, visit this link.



Would have been nice if the pharmacist would have told me they had used a different brand – saved me a lot of anxiety.


Over the years I’ve made a lot of changes to the food we eat making adjustments for David’s diabetes – and now lack of a  gallbladder.   Even though the doctors did not say anything about a special diet – we’ve found that fried, fatty or foods with high fat content seem to cause some ‘issues’.  That means I’m now on the hunt for tasty, low-fat foods.  Is there such a thing ??!!!


One meal he seems to enjoy is a smothered, hamburger steak. Made these the other day when he was feeling – as I like to say – puny.  Served it up with a side of mashed potatoes and some fresh string beans.   What is nice about these steaks is that they are soft and easy to digest thanks to adding in bread.    They were something I improvised (didn’t want to make a trip to the store) –  so there really isn’t a set recipe.   Just used what was here.   If you try making them, add in – or leave out – any ingredients you like.  Note:  The recipe below will make about three (3) steaks, for more just double the recipe.


Smothered Hamburger Steaks




  • 1/2 pound lean hamburger meat
  • 1 slice bread (old bread is good for this)
  • 1/4 cup water or milk (use more if needed to make bread mixable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion (or fresh, finely chopped onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 package of pre-packaged brown gravy mix

Note:  Other add-ins might be . . . finely chopped bell pepper, mushrooms, celery



  1. In a large bowl, place the bread and cover with water (or milk). Stir until mushy – no lumps.
  2. Add in hamburger meat, black pepper, salt, onion, garlic – and mix until totally well blended. Note:  It is going to be almost like a thick paste.
  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with spray oil and pre-heat  to low-medium heat.  (if you make it too hot the HB steaks will burn)
  4. Cook until done, turning frequently.
  5. Remove cooked steaks to plate and set aside.
  6. Pour off any excess fat from skillet and add brown gravy mix following package directions
  7. Add half-can mushroom soup to brown gravy. Stir with whisk until smooth.  Add water to reach gravy consistency you want.  (We like ours a little thicker)
  8. Return cooked HB steaks to gravy over low heat turning to coat with gravy.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.


Note: Wet your hands when forming the patties to keep meat from sticking to them.


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