Darn and other colorful Metaphors!

July 30, 2012

Well so much for that big item shopping list, as it just blew up in my face.  The items I wanted are out of stock for a month or gone completely and they have a new, improved and more expensive model to take it’s place.  I guess God has decided those are not critical items to have or I need to be saving and getting a little compact 9mm I found and put on layaway today. I  might want  pay it off a little quicker that I first thought!

These things happen, and it does no good to rant at the universe as it  doesn’t care about you one way or the other.  Most of the time it tends to work out for the better in the long run.  Call it Karma, fate or God but I do believe everything happens for a reason and sometimes “Stuff Happens” and you adapt.

I did get a super deal on a 1 oz. Walking Liberty only $30.00 today at the pawn shop.  I think these coins are a work of art and they are also legal tender so no sales tax.  If you are thinking about getting some silver or gold coins I’d only pay for the gold/silver  melt value and not the collector’s value unless you know your stuff.  But it’s a great way to have a little silver and gold and if you love history like I do there are some great resources on the Web on coin collecting.  I’m already considered a bit odd and a geek,  so coin collecting isn’t going to up my weirdo factor overall.

I will be able to get another 15 gallon water barrel as the beer lady is holding one for me until the first of the month. That will give me 250 gallons of stored potable water. I want to get a couple of the collapsible rain barrels to try out and one for the RV and the 500 total gallons will be done.  It’s been about 3 months since my water test and I have found some great buys since then so I’m feeling confident in my supplies though I worry about my family members.  The family is the  reason I tend to overstock on items for one person.  I got the pool shock (5 pounds) of bleach in dry form so we can treat wells or be able to treat several thousand gallons of water. I’m feeling pretty confident overall on the water situation even though I don’t have a well. Not perfect but a good start.

I will be getting a couple of more 48 oz. bottles of Dawn dish soap at the Family Dollar as the are on sale again for $2.25 each. A big box of baking soda, a box of borax and a gallon of lemon juice. I want to add all but the lemon juice to my little RV for camping to make my own cleaning supplies and these are all great multi-taskers.  Walgreen’s is having a sale on toilet paper I’ll check out.  C &C is having a sale, but nothing really blows my skirt up but the All purpose flour $12.95 for a 50 pound bag. But I did a quick inventory and I’m good on flour and grains.  I need to get in more beans and veggies stored when I find sales so that will be my next focus.

My apple tree is going like crazy and the walnut tree seems happy so we are looking at a good harvest from them.  Mom gave me a juicer this year so I want to try making some apple cider and vinegar and do some wine and jellies with the grapes.

Like our ancestors did we work to get ready for winter.  Prepping isn’t a fad it’s a way of life. Sure you can get the pre-made dehydrated food for a year, but you still need clean water to rehydrate it.  Plus learning traditional skills can be a blast and what a great way to do a living history project with your kids.

You can do more than a medieval peasant. You are not a serf , nor simply a consumer no matter what the PTBs think. You are a citizen with  inalienable rights to self defense, protection of property and the pursuit of happiness. Granted by you being born and not some bureaucratic pin head 3000 mile away.

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Shopping trifecta of Hell! VA check comes the 1st Wed. of the month!

July 30, 2012

Actually it’s not to bad for me as I don’t have to shop on the 1st of the month for anything because of my preps and the bills I need to pay can be done over the internet or by mail.

For those that don’t know most SS checks go out on a Wed. of the month depending on the numbers on you card. VA checks go out on the 1st of the month and a lot of states have EBT cards refilled on the 1st of the month. So a lot of stores get hammered on the 1st of the month trying to keep stuff in stock and employees scheduled for the first as many folks are literally living paycheck to paycheck.   Add in heat, rising prices and you got a bunch of very cranky people to deal with shopping on the 1st.  If for no other reason I would prep just to avoid shopping  when 1st and a Wed. are the same day of the month. Thursdays tend to be my favorite day to shop because of smaller crowds of people and the folks that are shopping tend to be more relaxed and the time of day does not seem to matter much overall.

Good news on getting food safe buckets for storage from Paul’s grocery store.  A while back they had stopped selling the buckets as they use them to store pie crusts for the bakery.  They now have enough buckets and started selling them again!  Hurrah!  I  picked up another 5 for me and got Mom a couple for her storage.  As river said in his write up you can’t have to many buckets and these are a great size, slightly smaller than the big 5 gallon “food safe” buckets, these hold 25 pounds of rice, beans or flour but will hold 50 pounds of things like salt or sugar, which makes a inventory a breeze.  The price is  a bargain at $2.00 per bucket.  I can now commit a few buckets for a laundry setup and do a test using the plunger method of laundry.  I’m looking to get a mop bucket/ wringer setup in the future to use for laundry but this is a start!

The big purchase this check is the portable propane camp shower/pump, and one more 15 gallon barrel for water and I’m feeling confident of my water preparation.  I’d still like to get a couple of the collapsible rain barrels from Amazon or Sportsman’s guide for the house and the RV, but I want to get the Big Buddy heater on the 15th and a few boxes of ammo so we will see if I can manage it or will have to wait until Sept.

Sportsman order came in and I got my little power pak doing the basic’s for charging the battery with AC power run it down a bit and give it another charge. The  6-1 400 Mobile power pack does not have a solar panel as I originally thought.  It can be charged via DC power or a solar panel so it’s still a good deal. This gives me 2 little power paks  that I can charge on AC power and recharge via solar/DC power as well as 2 small inverters that will run a few low wattage items jump a car battery or air up flat tires gives me a lot more flexibility for not a lot of cost.

Mom got a 3 pack of the Viatek crank led Lanterns. They come with a small lithium battery that works with the crank you can add additional AAA batteries in the little lantern. Or a cord rated at giving 6 volts DC to charge it up.  It’s a good size and could be used as a flashlight easily. I tested one in the bathroom and right out of the box it gave off plenty of light for the bathroom but it would be a little tough to put on makeup by. It’s the the standard blue tinged light you see on most of the LED lanterns. It’s got a nice wide base for it’s size and bottom heavy so it won’t tip over easily, nor does it feel flimsy.  Using the crank gives you a comforting little bit of resistance without being difficult to use. I think $18.00 for the 3 pack is a good value overall.

Mom ordered a new emergency radio so I got the old one she had on hand. It’s a nice setup with several shortwave bands along with VHF and the usual AM/FM channels.  It looks like the batteries won’t charge in the radio, but my new little power pak charging cable is the perfect size for running the radio from and AC outlet or I can plug into the DC power side of the power pak and run it off the Big battery.  So now I have a multi- band radio that I can at least listen to for news and will run on AC/DC power.

It’s not perfect or pretty but something even better it works!


The survival resume or I’m coming to your house

July 28, 2012

http://thelizardfarmer.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/the-wave-bugging-out-some-things-to-think-about/   Please read it I’ll wait.

What if you had to interview for a place at a bugout spot? What if you were the person doing the interview? What would a good resume  look like for taking someone in or talking your way into someone’s  BOL?  This a mental exercise for you to do and see what you would have to offer or evaluate another person value to your Bugout.

I don’t have a bugout location yet so I would have to apply for entrance to a BOL.  I do have a big strike against me being handicap, physical labor will be my weak point when everything will take more labor!  I was in the Army for 13 years and besides signal communication I have been a Unit Armor(small arms repair up to a .50 cal.), Field Sanitation NCO,  NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) NCO,  Combat Lifesaver and Master driver trainer( Taught folks to drive up to Semi-sized wheeled vehicles, No tracks though, Darn it!).  These are jobs I have done not just read about in a book.  I worked food service for 7 years and did everything from cook and serve small catered events of 15 people,  to planning all the food and costs for banquets of 500 people as well as help serve over 4000 people.

In My BOV I have about 30+ days of food, 4 firearms and 1500 rounds of ammo. I should be able to have around 30 days of water with a little warning plus two filters, A 5 kw generator and 40 watts of solar panels,  CB Radio, Extra cans of Fix a flat as well as Slime for tires. A few hand tools, water filters,  First aid bag and OTC medicines.  My RV is an old 1976 Ford 460 so it will probably survive EMP with a few replacement parts at the worst. I also have a back up BOV in my adult trike. We would have to downsize a lot but 21 days away from home base is doable for me and the pets.

I can bake and cook from scratch in a dutch oven, solar oven and over an Open flame. I can make beer, and smoke, salt and dry meats. I know how to can both veggies and meats. I can butcher small animals and know how to properly cut up meat from larger animals. I can sharpen knives by hand and I know how to reload and cast lead bullets.

I can patch clothing by hand and have over 30 yards  of cloth from 100% cotton to light weight canvas.  I can spin wool or fur, and I think I could spin hair from the tail and mane of a horse to make light weight rope or twine.

I prepared but I had to leave my home. I can show you the way there and we could go see if anything still exist because I stored ….

I’m not trying to gloat I really hope I’m totally wrong on the economy and things will get better. I won’t change what I do because the things that I have learned and do make my day to day life better if not always easier. I look at this and I’m pretty darn awesome even with my handicap of all I have learned as well as done. Probably nothing that would get me hired by a Fortune 500 company.  My basic first aid and medical supplies I have stored would give me a pretty good shot at being taken in. Having a good 60 days of food would not make me an immediate drain on the community resources. Having some guns and ammo makes me capable of standing watch and being able to cook/bake and garden makes me a good resource for sustaining the community. I could set up a couple of printers and PC/laptops/tablet wi fi networks as well as  my stored paper and become a little communication/library center. If the computers go down I have plenty of paper, pencils and books.

I know it does sound a little mercenary but anyone trying to survive does not need folks that are a dead weight that simply uses resources and has nothing to contribute to make life better for the tribe/clan.  All to often I see folks that think an equitable relationship is they take and you give, I’ve seen it in my own family!

What does your survival resume look like?


Security

July 26, 2012

If you decide on getting a gun of any sort,  please have no doubt in your mind that you will shoot to kill.  Killing another human being is a terrible thing even in self-defense and if you are not positive you can do it pick a different way to protect your self. From alarm systems to Pepper or Bear spray.  If you pull your gun you have already exhausted every other option. The gun is not to scare someone or wound them it is to make the stop what they are doing in a very permanent way. If you are not willing to do that pick a different option!

If you decide a gun is what you want pick a gun that is easy to use and you feel confident with using.  Be excited to train with it and don’t fear it. If gun scares you or hurts you to shoot don’t get it. You need to train with it and feel comfortable with it. Don’t count on adrenaline to overcome your lack of confidence in your weapon.

Know your weapon as well as possible. Clean and know and do a basic dis-assembly on your weapon of choice and  know how and why it works. Dry-fire, practice drawing your weapon and doing tactical movements with the weapon unloaded.  Always think “shoot and scoot” never stay still if you can avoid it move side to side and keep thinking about the next bit of cover or if you are caught in the open your next move for cover.

I think for a home defense weapon a 12 gauge shot gun is a good start. This is not a spray & pray weapon you must aim it properly because at 20-30 feet buckshot has only spread about 2-3 inches at most and probably less.  You can usually buy a good shotgun for $200.00 or less and don’t get the pistol grip and doodads until you have practiced with it a bit. Aftermarket stuff is easy to buy once your are comfortable with the basics. I’d say for a home defense weapon stay with an 18″ barrel length as it a bit easier to use going through doorways.  Some shotguns will give you the option of different barrel lengths for defense and hunting/skeet shooting.  You can get a nice variety of ammo from light loads of #8 shot up to 00 buckshot or slug ammunition. For practice and self defense as well as hunting.

A pistol/revolver is a great defense weapon but is a very personal choice based on your needs and abilities. Find a good dealer that will help explain your choices and hopefully you have a range nearby where you can rent and try out a few different pistols and see what works for you. You don’t need to buy the cheapest or most expensive weapon at the store.

A rifle will be for long range and hunting so pick one that is suited where you hunt the most. Where I live in the desert shots of 300yards or more are not that unusual, but where I  grew up in a pine forest you would be lucky to see 100 yards in and old growth trees. So buy based on the that.  If you are thinking of the zombie apocalypse an AR 15 is a fine weapon but it is very expensive and you need to be very proactive keeping it clean and maintaining it.  AK-47 type weapons will take more abuse but they are not quite as accurate as the AR-15 for long range shooting. I went with the SKS which is a balance of a very reliable weapon as well as having a .30 caliber bullet which has a little better stopping/penetration power than the .223 cartridge of the AR 15. Don’t discount getting a hunting rifle that is semi-auto and in a more traditional cartridge like .308 or 30-06 or a Mosin-Nagant in Bolt action. These rifles can be a lot cheaper than what are considered “Assault Rifles” or what I like to call evil black guns and were at one time first of line military equipment  a few years ago. These Rifles seem to be easier to keep under the radar.

Last but not least is the little .22 LR cartridge if you can pick up a .22 that is similar to your pistol and rifle you can do a lot of shooting on the cheap using the .22 cartridge. You can buy a brick of 500 rounds for around $20.00. Where as that might get you 20-40 rounds of rifle ammo or 50 rounds of pistol ammo. Plus the 22 is a great little hunting round for rabbits or squirrels.

On how much ammo to get most prepping sites seem to agree 1000 rounds is the min. for each weapon to store and as you go out to practice you should rotate your ammo as well as store it properly just like all your preps. You are not going to just go to your local store and buy up ammo if martial law is declared or even in a disaster/emergency. So you need to stock up and don’t listen to all the hype as far as news people claiming some one has an arsenal because they have a few thousand rounds of ammo. If you are practicing you know you can go through a couple hundred rounds on the range in a very short time.


Two months to go for my gut check and I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy!

July 24, 2012

riverrider has a guest post up at http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/test-your-preps/  It covers some of the things he went through going 10 days without power after the big wind storm that hit the east.  river comments on my little blog quite a bit and he’s got some cool pics of his setup for water collection and his little solar array. It’s nice of  him to take the time and write out the story of his “little adventure” and add in helpful hints of what went right and what went wrong. I know I’ll never look at extension cords the same way again!

We are a couple of months into my 4 month gut check and it looks as if things are getting worse in the economies of the world not better!  No I’m not in a panic, I did that already last year around October and the PTBs managed to keep things going.  I think I got my panic out during that time and now I can concentrate on what is happening being proactive rather than reactive.  I’m a bit concerned that some folks are starting to wake up and they are in a dither as well  a little prone to panic, they are not making good choices.  I know I was that way when I started prepping!  In a strange way not having a lot of cash was a big help as I had to sit and think about what and how I was going to spend my money on.  It would have been all to easy to max out a credit card trying to buy everything at once and end up paying interest on things bought in panic mode.

We are looking at nasty rise in food prices in the future but we might get a little break on meat prices in the short term.  If you have a pressure canner make sure you have plenty of jars and lids and look to clean out your freezer now by canning meat and stuff for meals. Then if you do get some good buys your freezer will have some space for that meat. I found a site for Tatler lids, these are reusable lids for canning and the cost is $9.50 for 12 on both wide mouth and regular size lids. I do have a few boxes of the one use  Ball lids having some reusable would save money in the long run as well as not being dependent on the supply chain.

If you can,  get all your physicals and screenings done and make sure you are good to go for the future.  I’m getting mine done and so far they say I’m normal for the female stuff though I need to lose some weight. Heck, I knew about the weight thing, but I restarted taking some drugs and pain meds for my CIDP so I can do more stuff,  I hope!   I know I can get by without the drugs if I have too but it can be kind of  miserable some days. Bad thing is one of the drugs can lead to weight gain.  I’m hoping that it help my symptoms enough that I can do more physical work to burn a few extra calories.  I’m still walking with my walker and my Mom about 4-5 miles a day. WE are a bit battered (she had knee replacement in March) but we keep going.  Just think of us as the Energizer bunny that was a chew toy of a pit bull.  Everything mostly works though a bit slower!  This getting old stuff ain’t for sissies.

Remember don’t freak out and keep working your plan.  I will cover security, safety and guns in the next post and I think after that is will be about saving your energy.  I know this is a scary time but people have managed to survive so far I think we will make it!


Joel needs a new leg and Kris is on a new adventure

July 23, 2012

Joel is an critter living in the desert building his own home and being cheap like a  of us.  Unlike many of us he is missing a leg. He needs a new properly fitted leg. Hit his tip jar or stop by his blog @ http://joelsgulch.com/  many of you know Kris in Cali and her “simply living “blog. well she got laid off /fired and she is on a new mission to show folks how to make life great on a simple cash budget as well as make a penny scream in pain cause she has it down on living on $850 per month in Cali and not on food stamps or any other government hand outs .outs.   If you can show them a little love at their sites. Read the blogs and I think we can all learn something. Gosh I thought I was tight with a dollar until I read  Kris, she  can make a penny scream in pain she squeezes it so tight.  They are not asking for a handout at all. Just a little hand up and not to be dependent on the Government. A little $5.00 or $10.00 dollar donation will go straight to helping these folks.  I know money is tight but if you can show them a little love it will go a long way for them.

I often piss and moan but I’m darn lucky where I live and I can keep up on all payments and bills.  heck Craig got an old boat from Rusty and Craig is getting a start for his boat. We should be able to at least get a few funds together for a new leg for Joel as well as pump up Kris’s new job. I think us bloggers are a tribe of a sort. If you can stop by the blog and if you can afford it give them some love. Cause Kris will teach you how to live cheap and Joel will teach you about off the grid power/living if only how not to screw up by example!  Give up a latte, donate that few bucks and read the blogs. I think you will get your moneys worth!


Finished up the shopping and odds & ends.

July 22, 2012

I got a big bag of malted barley from the beer lady,  55 pounds for making beer and I can eat it as well if times are tough.  She has offered to run it through her flaker/grinder to get it ready for brewing. Not a perfect answer but it saves me the cost of buying that gadget right now.  Her shop is about a mile away so I can ride my trike if things get really bad on gas prices. So I’m cleaning up a bucket that will hold enough for about 15 pounds to run through her machine or  about 2 batches of all grain beer depending of the recipe.

Got another bottle of Dawn dishsoap and another box of Dishwashing detergent at the Family Dollar along with a couple of jars of peanuts for snacks.  I have never been a big fan of peanut butter but I love peanuts for an occasional snack.  There lots of recipes for making your own peanut butter on the internet and in cookbooks, so I can make peanut butter if I need to out of my stored peanuts.

My little gum/tooth infection is just about cleared up and I didn’t use any anti-biotics though I’m keeping a close watch on it. Having the little tube of 20% benzocaine oral pain relief was a big help over the weekend when it started. I’m looking to add some more of those little tubes to the 1st aid stash. I also downloaded the E book “When there is no Dentist” and added it to my digital library.  Please don’t think I hate the medical profession, I know the VA at helped me to be functional after my CIDP if not saving my life. I have to say I have a great VA system here in the valley compared to some horror stories I’ve heard or read about.  Heck my Mom wants to use my VA doctor!  I’m not sure why my Doctor  stays in the government/VA system instead of private practice, but she is a great doctor!

I just think the medical profession is often over used for many minor ailments most folks could take care of themselves.  After reading some of the horror stories coming out of the UK medical system and some of the abuse in the USA’s own nursing homes and the abuse of people using “Emergency Rooms” in the USA.  I think everyone should know how to give some basic first aid and long term care.   With Obamacare and a possible collapse coming I think it’s best to be able to do all you can for yourself and others and not be totally dependent on the healthcare system.  If you do treat anything always keep a little notepad handy so you have a record of what you have done either to the doctor or if someone needs and Emergency room/doctor office visit. So they know how the person was treated.

I had a short but interesting conversation with my sister about the power outage on the east coast. I guess I let my contempt show through for folks that had seen many “disasters” over a 3 year period and still didn’t have a few basics on hand and then whined about stores running out of stuff or the government not helping them!  Of course the old standby came out of her mouth was folks are on a fixed income or poor and can’t afford to prepare.  I had to remind her I’m on a fixed income and that is a BS excuse after 3 years!

I know far to many folks like myself that do prepare and don’t have a lot of money to spend on it.  While they may not buy the $3500.00 gourmet freeze dried food for 1 person for a year or whole house generator/solar panel setup. They do have water, food, first aid, heat/light and something for security and or a weapon. We work our butts off getting that garden in and preserving it. We plan our shopping trips with all the care of a 4 star General looking at logistics/tactical and strategic goals for an campaign halfway round the world. Our budgets are planned out to the dime or penny to get the most bang for our dollars.  We are always learning new skills and reading or getting books to make life better for ourselves, and then we practice.

I started my prepping I was one of the sheep. My disease woke me up to the fact I had lot’s of toys and stuff on credit I didn’t have even a weeks worth of food, no guns or ammo, no water, no power and I was absolutely helpless in just my day to day living without any job or money coming in. I did not like that feeling of helplessness and I did things that were silly.  I also learned a lot and got less silly as I learned!  I really don’t have a lot a patience for folks that like to complain or whine yet do nothing to help themselves.

Oh sure everyone screws up when they are first learning. I hope you folks have learned to avoid my screw up and the common ones and have at least screwed up in a new and creative way! That’s how you learn and if you can learn from others mistakes all the better! WE tend to learn the most from our mistakes rather than our successes!  Revel in your screwing up and don’t try to be perfect just try to be good!  The last perfect man was hung from a cross and I’m certainly not up for that happening to me!

Ladies and gentleman we are living in historic times and it won’t be easy. So buckle up buttercup it’s going to be a bumpy ride!