Nothing is ever easy….

June 25, 2011

     As I’ve said before if I wasn’t worried about the SHTF I’d be having a lot more fun discovering new/old ways of doing stuff. As it is I’m still having fun learning how to do stuff the old fashoned way. It’s just I feel a little more pressure on getting it right. Sometimes you got sit back and count your blessings and see how far you have come, how much you have changed, and how much you have accomplished. It’s all to easy to see what you haven’t done, how much more you need to do. It’s very easy to be negative instead of positive. That old cannard is the glass half empty or half full. Doubly diffacult when you have no control over what happens in your life.
    You can’t control your utility raising your rates, but you can get cheap and do your baking, laundry on the weekends when rates are low. You can cut done on gas usage a bit but you still need to get to work, and let’s face it most of us have a hard amount of fuel we will always use. I don’t think anyone can be totally self-sufficient, I think that’s why villages/tribes happen some folks have a special skill that requires they focus on making that valued item. The old village blacksmith for example: making a simple knife requires a lot of work and skill. They can’t be out farming or gardening because they make the tools. Or folks that farm takes up most of the day. they have no time to make a knife not even counting the investment of a simple forge and fuel or skills needed.
     There still is a lot you can do to help make yourself independent. Buy enough food for at least 6 months will get you into the next harvest. Preserve what you can and learn to make do. I know I’m learning all the time and trying new ways of doing stuff. My garden isn’t looking so great. Started all plants from seeds this year and weather has been a bit wonky. Practice and learn cause if SHTF you will deal with bad weather, poor soil and bugs or all kinds of things that screw up a perfectly good plan. Learn while you still have the backups of the grocery store. While you are learning you can still hit the farmer’s market and practice preserving your food if you don’t have a good harvest.
    I sometimes don’t realize how much I’ve changed from being a consumer to making a bit of the stuff  I need to live. But when I think about it I’m a problem for the “Elites”. I pay cash, I barter or trade, I buy low and eat high. I buy 2nd hand or I just make do without. I don’t have pension or 401k, I bank with a local credit union. I’m the problem, I won’t support the debt/credit economy. It’s “indenture servitude” or slavery by credit/debt.
Big bad Feds could take my home, fine I’m ready. I don’t like it and I’m happy to pay my mortgage. But the ultimate in power on any deal is the power to walk away.
   

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Balancing Act continues on unabated

June 23, 2011

    Huzzah, looks like this Flare of CIDP is easing up and I can get back to work on prepping. I got some bread baked and the beer fermenting over this last week.  Knocked down a few weeds with the weed wacker and few pulled out of the garden. It takes me some time to get stuff down in small  blocks with rest in between but at least now I can get something done.That’s the part of the physical “balance act”. We all have work around different claims on our time and energy. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get everything done at once. The Sun will rise the next day for you to do some more, and if the Sun doesn’t come up, you weeding your garden will be the least of your problems.
    So onto the financial balancing act. I’m a firm believer in the main focus of all prep should be getting 1 year worth of all your “basic needs” comes first. Then backups for “emergencies” like the flooding or fires that have caused so many evacuations. You should have camping gear you can throw in the car quickly, a prepacked RV or friends /family you can stay with out of the Impact Zone. A little cash on hand for gas and stuff to tied you over until you get to your destination. After you have all these thing taken care of you may feel a bit lost on what to do next in your prepping or at least I did somewhat so I started looking at being even more self-sustaining and independent.
GET OUT OF DEBT!! This is the most critical thing for independence. Pay off loans, credit cards and get rid of all debt as quickly as possible. Otherwise you are debt slave in this system. I really like the “Debt-free Living” system. I used it to get out and stay out of debt. I suck at using Credit Cards so I don’t have any, but I do have an Emergency Fund setup of 3 months of expenses and I’m working toward 6 months.  It does take a little time to get it done, especially with inflation of food and gas prices. Don’t get discouraged it will happen if you keep working at it. Pay cash or use layaway to make purchases. I’ve used layaway on everything from a Propane oven, 2 guns, to a laptop. Kmart/Sears offer an 8 week layaway program nation wide and it’s a great program.   lot more of local stores are starting to add layaway as an option.
   This can have a positive effect on how you look at your life. You start looking ahead toward the future and you have more control over your life instead of always reacting and being in “crisis management”. Like today I’ve been planning some Xmas shopping for next month. Christmas in July!! Now I  have several nice sweaters I bought at the Macy’s outlet for my sisters and ladies in the family that will be perfect gifts in December. In July camping gear and electronics go on sale so it’s a great time to pick up bargains. Those little video recorders, MP3/4 players, toys are in the Summer Doldrums and you can get some really great stuff without all the pressure of the Xmas season.  You don’t have to fight any crowds/mobs and actually enjoy the season. Heck I already got 2 turkeys sitting in the freezer for holiday meals. I’m hoping to do a Prime Rib again for New Years eve, and I want a fresh rib to cook. Since turkeys are already frozen anyway for Thanksgiving/Xmas I’ll take the money spent on turkey and spend it on prime rib instead in Dec.

This is what I am talking about as far as balance. You know that certain things will always happen from buying school supplies/kid clothes in August to Holidays to birthday presents and cards. Stock up now, you are not cheating you are being smart.


What a miserable weekend

June 19, 2011

Sorry folks, I had lotsa plans and the ole body just went into shutdown. I did get few things done this week and weekend just not what I had planned.  A good example of being flexible and move with the flow instead of against it. Stuff will always happen at the least convient moment, so a good lesson for me  that I should have already learned.
Anyhoo got my laptop and I’m uploading it with the books and games I want to have on hand if I got to boogie. More work to be done but it’s at home and ready to be filled with info.
Got  my pekes combed and brushed out. I think I could knit another dog from all the hair I combed off them.  Tried out a product (Bath in a Bag) from the local dollar store and it did a lot better job than I thought it would. Brand name Out! dog bathing wipes. Not perfect but a darn good subsitute for bathing a pet when water is hard to come by or a lot of work. I think you should do prep for your pets and have a least the same amount of basics for them on hand as you would yourself and your family.
So needless to say I bought a bit more silver and my Mom bought a bit more as well. Goodness knows we aren’t big players we just do the best we can. I’m doing darn good on the basics from bulk food , to meat stored in the freezer, to the garden. We sure ain’t the Hunt brothers we are just doing the best we can in a bad situation.


Welcome Turdites, adding in few more items so you can find what you need.

June 16, 2011

Well I’m getting a lot more hits on the blog as more folks are getting ready. Absolutly faboo from my point of veiw. I want you able to take care of yourself. It makes life easier for me. Totally enlightened self intrest, I don’t want you to attack me for a bit of bread, rice or beans. I sure don’t want to shoot/kill you for it either, but I will in a heartbeat. The more that learn they can be self reliant and do something about it, the less targets anyone has to deal with.
I’m not noble I want you to learn and know you can take care of you and yours. So you don’t fuss with me and my friends. Get your stuff together, be as ready as you can and you will be be greeted with an open hand. Try to lie,  cheat, steal, and trick you will be met with lead. Getting shot is generally contraindicated as a survival strategy.


Oh! muffins and other colorful metaphors

June 14, 2011

I so wanted to be wrong about our hired DC boneheads. But they are dumber than a bag of hammers. I’m not sure about others but I’m tired of playing “Wall”  and wrestling this pig. I think I’ll keep dropping out, getting off the grid and ready to scoot if needed. My income is SSD and busted body, vet “benefits”. Funny when I busted 4 vertabrea in my back it didn’t feel beneficial. But stuff happens always and we serfs are left holding the bag. I’m working on the value added side of the game. I can’t grow wheat, but I can bake bread or make beer and propagate yeast. I can’t grow a lot of corn but I can make tortillas and good chips. I can’t grow beef but I can make good jerky.
Will it work? I don’t know. It’s just the best I can do. I’m having a hell of a lot fun learning stuff. If it wasn’t for that whole TEOWAKI or SHTF stuff I’d be having a great time learning and doing stuff.


Pale ale is bottled!!

June 12, 2011

Pale ale is done. While good tasting I’m not tasting a big difference, perhaps a bit lighter but close to the amber ale.
I’m not making beers based on color coordination so I think Amber ale it is for playing with on recipes.
Tried out the neighbor’s beer quite dark and very dry. Not bad at all but I’ve found I like the fruitiness of the Cascade Hops. But I like wheat beers and I think they are a bit sweeter than barley based beers.
So I got a Dark ale to brew following the same recipe and ingredients. This should give me a base for branching out into my own brews.
Lessons learned:

  1. Sanitation is everything, rince/soak bottles then run through a dishwasher without the dry cycle. Even my Mr. Beer bottles have survived the dishwasher’s lower rack. Scrub with a bottle brush if unsure of origin.
  2. Buy a small bottle of acid based sanitizer, I use 5 star for a spray bottle and for my buckets, bottles, lids and caps.  I keep a spray bottle and spare bucket for the excess as long as it foams a bit it’s supposed to be good for sanitizing.
  3. White sugar as a prime for carbonation seems to be just fine. 2/3 of a cup in 2 cups of boiled water cooled per 5-6 gallons of beer and all bottles are good on carbonation with no explosions. I know some suggest corn sugar but I think it’s a selling point. 
  4. I prefer “Tall boy” bottles rather than 12-16 oz. It just seems easier and faster to me. The local “Beer lady” has mini-Kegs” so I may have to check those out.
  5. These simple recipes for ales and wheat beer give me a good base to build on. But doing the “simple” very well is hard.  I think it is a lesson we often forget. Plus I really am enjoying the process and I got beer and no sin taxes paid. 
  6. cheers

I have the oddest feeling that IT has begun.

June 12, 2011

    I’ve been looking for a “Tipping point” that says the SHTF and I think it  has happened and I missed it. I’m not sure if it’s been the media, the “ROB MOBs”, TBTF or the PTBs but I think things are going down hill fast, for example:

  1. Weinergate: It’s not about sex it’s about the lying and CYA mentality of the politicians and Media lackeys. Charlie Rangel seems as long as Weiner wasn’t going after little boys everything is Okay. 
  2. Urban riots up and down the easternseaboard during Memorial Day and the ROB Mobs, open gunfire in the streets of NY and Chicago has joined Detroit as a war zone. The politicians pass laws against salt, smoking and trans Fat.
  3. Polital theater and nothing has been done but a lot of talk. No budget, Obamacare not touched, Debt out of control. Obama and Boehner go golfing together.
  4. Treasury is looting federal pension plans. I think your 401k is next.
  5. Property law, contracts and the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 10th amendment under attack or simply ignored
  6. Police shootings, SWAT raids and beat downs are way out of control. Nice little object lesson in fear for you serfs.
  7. Wars without end and a 10 year old state of emergency still in effect from 9/11.The House could have defunded the wars and all 3 branches just extended the PATRIOT Act agian.
  8. People are actually bragging how long the can stay in a house without paying  their Mortgage. The average is 18 months now. TBTF banks can’t afford to foreclose cause they will have to much toxic debt or they broke the contract and can’t foreclose. But this is a very bad development for the rule of law and property rights and the housing market can’t correct until losses are taken. 
  9. If gas prices aren’t bad enough the EPA is now causing the shut down of 6 Coal fire electrical  power plants back east. So your rates will increace 10%-35% Which is code for 35%-40%.
  10. More flooding in the midwest means more expensive food & clothes this fall and winter.

     What can you do? Get out of any of the TBTF banks. I know you often don’t get a choice is now servicing your mortgage, but close all checking, savings and credit card accounts as quickly as you are able. I recommend Local banks and Credit Unions. Google any local banks and find out if they are affiliated with the TBTFs. Plus I’ve had 2 CU help me rebuild my credit get car loans when I got disabled.
     Get debt free and go to cash as much as possible. Stop being a debt slave. Lot’s of free ideas on getting debt-free around. Yes there will be pain, but once you start getting rid those “chains of slavery” you will feel a huge weight being lifted off of you. I live on less than $1100.00 per month. I pay for everything including my house payment and, no SNAP, phone or energy/ government assitance I make $10.00 per month to much to qualify. I don’t go to food banks I give to them. That’s only one person.  I make most of my bread and meals from scratch, I grow a garden. I don’t go eat out or go to bars but make my own beer now.
     Get small on costs and downsize whatever you can based on cost/benefit ratios. Such as you can kill or downsize TV cable/sat. If you are like me you find you tend to watch certain shows or networks 75% of the time. Pick the programming that is the lowest cost and the closest match. Netflix, hulu, youtube are great free and cheap alternatives. DVD’s are great, I used them a lot when stationed in Germany. You can get them for free at your local library. Plus you control the TV it doesn’t control you.
    Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime. Buy quality and look at long term costs. I use Magic jack as my home phone. I get a little echo but I’ll put up with that for the price of $20.00 a year. Now my parents have me on their verizon cell “Family plan” as they worry about me being disabled. So I pay my part of their bill and they are happy. Plus I’m not a big phone user anyway. But it’s nice to have when you need it, and they get a little help with the phone bill. Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best option.
     Be creative and get out that “damn box” that everyone want’s to put you in. Stop caring what others think and stop keeping up with the Jones. You are not your job, car, your house or your clothes. Stop putting others in boxes. I know I’m considered odd, at best and a “wingnut” or worse by members of my own family. because I don’t play the game. One has lost a home, car and is declaring bankruptcy again. The other sibling is facing divorce and probably a bankruptcy or lost home in a year. I got bailed out by my parents when I got disabled, I’ve paid back 95% so far and learned . They got bailed out  no pay back and want more of the same. Yet I’m the weirdo…. 🙂 But I sleep well at night knowing I’m doing the best I can not the least I can get away with.
     You can do it too. I’m not special just a little redneck girl from Idaho. Things are not magically easier for me cause I don’t work or since I’m disabled. Sometimes it sucks just like it does for you. As a kid I grew up in what you call lower middle class or poor. But I had food a place to live and a new coat every other year.
If you can get your mind out of rat race are willing to do a little work and wait for what really matters and not give into whims. It is well worth it. For me it was my Mom telling me I’m impressed, A woman that worked 3 jobs as a single mother back in the 70’s to keep her kids off welfare. That’s good enough for me.