Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Idaho Preppers Network turns one!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed and/or commented and/or read Idaho Preppers Network this year --hard to believe it has been a year today. I hope the next year goes as well, and that we all get as prepared as possible! I've certainly learned a lot, and hope to keep learning more and more....thanks again!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kindness makes a difference

The economy doesn't seem to be kind to anyone these days, but a few experiences in the past couple of weeks remind me that people still are...

--I was debating on a purchase in a store that shall remain unnamed, but the price was somewhat steeper than I was wanting to pay. I kept coming back to look at the item that I was considering, and one of the store clerks said to the effect, "I'll let you know something--that will be 50% off tomorrow." I asked if it was just the following day (knowing I wouldn't be back the next day) and was told that it would be discounted for at least a week. There were not many of the item on the shelves, and the clerk even offered to put my name on it and put it under the counter. I declined, but said I would be back. I was grateful to the clerk for sharing that information.

I was back two days later, and the item was nowhere to be seen on the shelf I had visited previously. I need to mention that the store in question is not one that I would ordinarily frequent because (at least in my perception) the prices there tend to be higher. But because I had come back another day, and had not purchased the original item immediately, I had more time to look around. I came across something that was a perfect purchase at a reasonable price for someone else on my list, and was going up to purchase it, when I asked the clerk who was there (not the same one) if the fact that I couldn't find it on the shelf meant that they didn't have it. The clerk checked on the computer, and directed me to the promotional table, where, yes indeed, the original item was there, discounted price and all.

I don't mention the name of the store because I wouldn't want the store clerk who was so kind to get in trouble over it. But, I will point out that as a result of this employee's kindness, there were two purchases made, not one, and that now I will most likely return for further purchases sooner because I discovered, only because of my return visit, that there are more items that I may like to purchase eventually. The kindness of the employee does nothing but improve my overall impression of the store as well...

--I've been using coupons more, and there are times that I will go out of my way because the coupons enclosed in the newspaper make it worth my while to visit a particular shopping establishment. I can sometimes get sticker shock visiting the dairy section of just about any grocery store, especially when it comes to cheese prices. So recently, when there was a good coupon price on bricks of cheese, I made my way to the store in question so that I could take advantage of it.

When I got there, the advertised price on the dairy case was a dollar more than the coupon price. Thing is, on top of the bricks of cheese in question, someone had left one of the coupons so that someone else could take advantage of the better price. I left it there, since I had my coupon (and cheese limit) in hand, but I was really glad to see that someone was that considerate of others. It is that store's policy to have a coupon-sharing bin at the entrance to the store, but to go through the extra effort to help ensure that the coupon was used by placing it where someone who didn't have time to go through the bin/didn't know about the coupon price was just an example of extra kindness to me....

The preceding examples of kindness were personal experiences, but there are evidently many more experiences happening across our state where people are being kind to each other, if you look at this article from the Idaho Statesman. Despite the rough economy, many people in Idaho have made huge efforts to help those less fortunate.

Way to go, Idaho. Kindness does make a difference, whether it's materially with goods that are needed, or whether it's the smile that comes because you know someone is going to save a dollar because there was an individual nice enough to leave a coupon for someone else...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Wishing everyone a wonderful day--Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gotta love basic breads...

Sorry it's been so long--computer issues and general busy-ness and whatnot have made for far and in-between posts. Thanks for coming back to read!

You may remember when I listed some rice and bean recipes, because it's always good to know some recipes for the staple foods. Thought it might help someone out there somewhere to list the bread recipes I've found to be easy and successful in my house, some of which are more basic than others..... In no particular order:

1. Beginner's bread over at Hillbilly Housewife, which was my first loaf-type bread, and which has served me well. There has been occasion where I was too impatient to let it rise as much and baked it anyway, and it was still good. We all know whose fault the not-as-high-loaf was.... :)

2. Angel biscuits, the recipe for which is found in this post on my other blog.

3. This recipe for fry bread. This recipe was mentioned in the post already mentioned on my other blog as well.

4. This roll recipe, which was my first successful foray into the world of yeast. Takes eggs and butter, so not as basic, but there are sales on butter around just now. Just put some butter in my freezer after I was able to get it at a good price.

5. Buttermilk biscuit recipe, found here, at Safely Gathered In. I just add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk to get the buttermilk, so pretty food storage friendly.

That's just five, and I may add more later. I have one that I wrote down, but which no longer links to the same location, so I will have to go in search of the link and see if I can find it. Just underlines the importance of printing out/writing out recipes that you find work for you so that you can continue to make them without the help of links/the computer....

Hope these help someone, and hope that everyone is enjoying the Christmas season! The recipes linked are easy--it's what I look for, so wishing you all the best if you try them!

Monday, November 30, 2009

J.S. from Nampa: Prep Multi-Taskers

I am a big fan of Alton Brown on the food network. There is only one uni-tasker in his kitchen and that’s a fire extinguisher. That is how I approach preparing. Honey for example: anti-bacterial, medicinal, sweetener or can be used in sauces, or curing. Best of all it lasts forever or at least 3000 years. Salt: Seasoning, preservative, cleaner, weed killer and cuts down on shoveling snow.

Animals: Cats and dogs great multi-taskers. Dogs are great security alarms, great stress reducers, and entertaining. Cats are great hunters, very little of my garden has gone to squirrels or birds this year. Stress reducers as well. Chickens, rabbits, live stock, they provide you with a renewable resource and should be treated with respect.

Check your city codes; I can have only 3 chickens and no roosters. But Rabbits are not covered at all in the code so I can have as many as I can maintain. Also rabbit manure is not “HOT”. It can be placed on garden and planting beds immediately. If anyone needs some manure let me know. I have about 2 trash cans full I am giving away. Bring a container with you and you can get some free fertilizer. I also have 9 bunnies that are being weaned; colors are black, whites and sables. They are cross breeds I like that because they tend to be hardier than pure breeds.

Time for the sales:

Cash and Carry Expires 5 Dec. 09
Flour 50 pounds $11.00
Coffee Large can 34.5 Oz. $4.99
Bacon $ 9.95 10 Pounds
Rolled oats 25 pounds $ 11.78

From Marie: Thanks, J.S., for another great post! And blame me if you have to hurry to get the deals listed here--there was a delay in my posting it. You still have five days, though, if there is a Cash and Carry near you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day--and weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you

Thank you to all the brave men and women who serve/have served in the armed forces and their families.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

J.S. from Nampa: Prepping Starting Small

Preparing can be a little overwhelming to a lot of folks, but, you can start small.
For example:

3 day supply of all your needs. All you need is container to store the following items, and can be easily transported

Food: 3 meals a day for 3 days for each person. Something easy to prepare, cup o’soup, instant oatmeal, granola bars ect.

Water: 1 gallon per day per person. Now is great time to get water jugs because all that camping and hunting sales. If you drink soda buy it in the 2 or 3 litter bottles. Wash the bottles and fill with water, 4 liters equal just over a gallon. Don’t use plastic milk jugs, the plastic in them breaks down rather quickly. Remember this for food and sanitation.

Sanitation and health: all purpose Bleach can be used purify water, kills viruses, germs and bacteria on surfaces. Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, toilet paper, Comb, brush, toothbrush, bar of soap, toothpaste, feminine hygiene and/or diapers, garbage bags.

First aid Kit Disposable gloves and masks

Entertainment: Books, games, cards, dice, Radio with extra batteries.

Heat and light: Flashlight with extra batteries, Sterno has a little emergency kit for around $8.00 that includes a little stove, fuel for the stove and 7 candles. You will need small pan or mess kit for cooking.

Keep fuel tanks half full or more at all times.

Medications: Allergy, prescriptions, Pain killers, cough drops, indigestion, diarrhea…

Copies of insurance papers, driver’s license, Pictures of pets and family member in case of separation. Have an out of state contact number if possible. They will be a check in spot to let folks know you are ok.

Don’t forget your pet’s needs, leash, collars, food and water, dishes. Sanitation doggie training pads, a cat box and litter, most shelters will not allow pets, only service animals.

Warm clothing, emergency blankets, Extra undies and socks. T-shirts and sweats.

At least $20.00 in bills and change. Assume your ATM card and checks will be no good.

Remember the best survival kit is no use to you if it’s at home and you are in your car. You will have to duplicate your effort somewhat. But if you have the same things in your car as you do at home you have just doubled everything if caught at home.

Now you probably have a lot of these items already on hand. Once you have everything together in backpacks or a carry all, you will be ready for 3-6 days at home or you can put it in your vehicle in case you have to evacuate.

The thing is don’t get overwhelmed, start with 3 days, then a week, then a month, then 3 months.

This is just a basic setup to start with. Okay say to yourself I have 3 days worth. You may have a large initial investment if you have no camping type gear. But these are multi-taskers, they don’t spoil. You can always use them for other things such as camping, tailgate parties, and travel that sort of thing.

From Marie: Many thanks to J.S. for another great post on emergency preparedness!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Soup's on--sale!

Went to Wal-Mart last night to purchase, among other things, some soup. The shelves were about bare of any type of soup that we would usually eat, and the reason is:

Progresso soups are on sale for 2/$3
Campbell's Chunky soups are on sale 2/$3

I figured I would just have to ask when they were going to stock up again, but managed to get a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup (Chunky) because they were on display in the front of the store by the checkout. Then this morning, having forgotten something needed for this afternoon, I found myself in the vicinity of a different checkout line, and found 4 packs of Campbell's chicken noodle soup, at 2 packs/$4. I got several, because if I find that I can get soup for $.50/can I try to take advantage of it.

It may go beyond the price of the soup when it comes down to actually using it, as was recently pointed out in this post over at iPrepared. Also, canned soup is a lot less effort and requires a lot less energy in terms of heat to prepare, so it's good to have on hand if you have a shortage of either fuel or personal energy due to illness or other circumstances. But hey, if you can get it at a better price, you win in more ways than one....

In other food advertising news, thought I'd mention that at Albertson's this week they have Rice-A-Roni for 10/$10. I mention this one because of the Spam Fried Rice recipe over at Preparedness Pro that makes an oh-so-handy meal in terms of a 3 month supply option. I've already mentioned it on my other blog, but if you're looking for another easy meal for your rotation, you might want to check this one out.

Let's hope that everyone is preparing enough so that they'll always be able to say soup's on when we'd like to---emergency or not.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Yet another way that we're all in this together...

Found this article on Idaho government a little while ago--it shows how dependent the financial system of the state is on personal income tax. People who have no jobs don't pay income tax, and the state, in turn, receives less money. Programs still have to be paid for, or cut. So for everyone that loses their job, everyone feels the effect somehow.

If we end up paying more-- for example, for school activities or the like--then that money has to come from somewhere. The more supplies we already have on hand in terms of food and/or other supplies could help by allowing us to put the money at our disposal towards these new expenses while eating our food storage, instead of our having to choose between the two.

That's just one example, and while I am certain other people could give better explanations/examples, I do know that anything we put aside today in terms of emergency preparedness supplies will help us later. Those fortunate enough to remain employed may be able to put available cash towards other expenses and even be able to help out others, while those who find themselves unemployed will be in a much better to position to feed themselves and/or their loved ones.

We're all in this together--please do what you can to increase your emergency preparedness supplies. One can at a time, one bottle of water at a time, one piece of knowledge at a time, it all matters. The key is to start. Or to keep going. And above all, to never give up. If you are in a hard situation right now, I hope your circumstances improve quickly. What affects one of us truly does affect us all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

J.S. from Nampa: Prepping is a Mindset, Not About What You Have or Don't Have

Prepping is kind of like eating an elephant.
How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time.

Everything needs a start point. I am not sure what drives you. Now maybe it’s I want to prep for whatever comes. Or it might be I’m not sure what I can afford power or food this winter. It maybe you live in Earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood country. FEMA has been less than stellar in response. Winter is coming up, are you ready? Trust me guys all you have to depend on is yourselves, friends, family and neighbors.
FEMA and DHS have stated they will not be around to help, anywhere for 3 days to 2 weeks. Go to the FEMA or DHS websites, and check out what they are saying about their own “emergency response”.
So if you are depending on the US Government to help you. You will get mighty thirsty and hungry.

Go to the Google or ask how much help folks got in the Dakotas during flooding, or during the ice storm that cut across mid-Appalachia last winter. Power was not out for a day, but for weeks. Do you have water/food for 2 weeks? Trust me all stores will run out of everything in 3 days.

Now this is about preparing. Take care of yourself 1st then you can help others. You can’t get into a “Bunker Mentality” you have to be ready to help and be help by folks. Get to know them before any emergency.

You will save on your food budget. You will have peace of mind. You are ready.

Get ready boys and girls it will be a bumpy ride. But it can be fun as well.
Rethink your lifestyle:
1. I love nothing better than sending back those credit card offers I get in the mail and stuffing as much paper and weight as I can back in their pre-paid envelopes. Funny I don’t seem to receive very many offers from them anymore.
2. Do you know what is going on in the world? Its global economy, what happens in Russia or China or Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil or the US or any country will have an effect on the whole world. This isn’t about politics, it’s about the power of information.
3. Prioritize: Remember the rule of 3’s. 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.

I believe Food is a great investment. You will need it no matter what. Once you have your basics covered you may want to look at other options.

And courtesy of Kellene Bishop at Preparedness Pro:

HINT: Do you have meat that is freezer burned? Use a pressure cooker to cook it, will re-hydrate the meat and you won’t waste it.

From Marie: Thanks, J.S., for another great post!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Guest Post: J.S. from Nampa

From Marie: Reason I don't know how many that I really, really, really should check my e-mail more often--thanks to J.S. from Nampa, who wrote me an e-mail and graciously agreed to let me use it as this post:

I am not an LDS member but I also believe in being prepared. I am on a fixed income and make just enough not to qualify for any “assistance” from the government. I have 1 years worth of food already and did it in less than 6 months on a $100.00 a month budget for food. Now I’m working on not only surviving but thriving. Some things that worked for me:

Use the internet prior to shopping. Most stores have their sales flyers up on their websites every week. Fred Meyers on Sundays, Paul’s and Albertsons on Wed. Cash & Carry’s ads are once a month for dry good goods/freezer items.

Rethink priorities

100 pounds of rice will feed 1 adult for a year. You can get that at Cash and carry in Sep 09 for $35.00. Same for Beans but pintos are running about $25.00 for 50 pounds at Cash and carry. A person needs less than a pound a week of meat to be healthy. Get your basics 1st then add too them. Shop the ethnic food Isles in stores. In Paul’s I have found beans and rice up to 25% cheaper in the “Hispanic” Isles compared to the regular ones, because you buy in bulk.

Spices and more spices, Rice is so flexible you can make Indian Curries, Thai, Mexican, South American, Creole or Cajun meals just by using different spices.

Flour is critical for me since I bake all my own breads. It will store for 2 years in proper containers. I bought flour 1st and now working towards whole grains. I like Masa, better than corn meal. My body handles in better, it’s cheap and all you add is water.

My Basic List for Prep Start

50# bag of rice $17.00
50# bag of Pinto’s $25.00
50 # White Flour $15.00
10# bag Sugar $5.00 More if you have a sweet tooth/baking coffee,teas or make your own candies
Powder milk Lg Box $18.00
Honey, Real 5# $12-17.00 Great multi-tasker
Yeast 1# $2-5.00 Starter for sourdoughs and gets you going for baking breads, donuts and more.
Salt 4# $5.00 Kosher,iodized, and Pickling Salt

Now for about $100.00 you have a good start. No, it’s not perfect but it will give you a basis to build on without breaking the bank.

Thanks again to J.S. for the great info!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's a National Day to Remember

No matter where you were in America on September 11, 2001, your hearts were with the people who died that day.
With those who were injured that day.
With those who were risking their lives that day.
With those who were trapped that day.
With those who were awaiting news about their loved ones that day.
With those who gave and heeded the cry, "let's roll", and in so doing spared the lives of others as their plane went down.
With our leaders, who had to deal with an attack on our country.
With every American who hung a flag and prayed for our country.

To those mentioned above, as well as those who are fighting and have fought for our country, and their families, our hearts are still with you, no matter where we are.

We will never forget.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good only today....but it's really good

The part that is only good today are the deals I mentioned in the previous post that end today at Albertson's. You may want to head over to the The Grocery Girls to see a good example of what you can walk away with if you have coupons on top of the good deals. Also, thanks to Brenda from that site, who left detailed comments on my last post about info that will be particularly helpful if you live in the Meridian area, and other areas that these deals are probably in effect. That's right....

The part that is good every day is that The Grocery Girls is an Idaho blog, and is now under the Idaho blogs section on the sidebar.

I know, I just gave a lot of free advertising to Albertson's this week, but hey, if they're going to have good deals on ready-to-eat with far-in-the-future expiration date foods, among other necessities, I think they deserve it. But if you want to take advantage of these particular deals, they end tonight, so time is of the essence.....

Monday, August 31, 2009

In the short-term category...

The Albertson's deals that end tomorrow had a couple of deals that I thought would be good for my short-term storage. To be honest, when it comes to my three-month supply (that I keep working on) my main concern is the dinner meal, so I haven't concentrated as much as I could on the other two meals.

However, and I am sure as I can be without relocating the flyer from last Wednesday's paper, that one of the deals that is week-long is 18 oz. jars of peanut butter 2/$4.00. I was so excited about that that I went that day and bought some peanut butter, which I figure is really good for lunches, and pretty filling any time of the day. They also had some pretty good buys on cold cereal, which as a rule gives me sticker shock, so got some of that too. 2 Tramps, from over at Tramp's Camp left a comment on my other blog about The Grocery Girls blog, whose Aug. 27th post goes in to more detail on some of these deals, and gives ideas on how to save even more on your purchases. I mention these details on this blog because I don't know how widespread Albertson's stores/Albertson's deals are, but I would imagine they are similar across our state, and as mentioned on the Grocery Girls blog, are likely to be similar in Utah as well. In any case, if you have an Albertson's near you, it may be worthwhile to give them a call and find out...

So, yeah, still working/should be concentrating more on my short-term storage, but at least now I have more peanut butter in the storage room.... :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

If you are interested in a wolf tag...

You won't have to wait long to buy one. Thanks to IdahoBob, who informed me in a comment on my last post, that they go on sale August 24th. More information is always helpful...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A new policy on wolves. What does that have to do with food storage?

Was interested to learn that there will now be a hunting season on wolves in Idaho--as this article points out. One of my first thoughts was, if I were able to hunt down a wolf, would it have any edible value for my family? Is wolf meat edible for anybody? If we hit hard times, it might be useful to know...

One of my second thoughts was to wonder where I put a cookbook that I bought a couple of years ago---it's a collection of recipes, many of which are older, and if memory serves, there is a recipe for preparing muskrat in there somewhere. Ah, good times---not that I personally have ever even been in really close proximity to a muskrat, but it is good times when people know how to use anything and everything to provide food, etc. for their families.

I ordered that county recipe book from e-bay, and was hoping to find some really basic recipes so that I could use my really basic long-term storage supplies. I didn't start in earnest using my long-term supplies until considerably later, so the cookbook (once located) will probably be a lot more useful for me now.

After I thought about that cookbook, I remembered that you don't always have to go to all that much extra effort to get a recipe for something. This was evidenced by the fact that I was looking for something to do with my pumpkin puree last year, and should have looked to my grandmother first, who has a pumpkin bread recipe that I posted about here on my other blog. Having supplies is a necessity, as is knowing how to use them once you have purchased them and/or have managed to get your hands on them. (I'm thinking getting a hold of wolf meat is no walk in the park, for example. :)

Well, seeing as how this post seems a little disjointed, here are the points I was trying to make...

--The policy on hunting wolves has changed in Idaho. If you're interested, I believe the season starts in September, according to the linked article.

--Really basic recipes that work with food storage items can be found in older cookbooks if you are willing to look for them.

--Sometimes the best recipes you can find are within your own family, if you think about it and are willing to ask. (Unless you have relatives who have some famous, classified, top-secret recipe that nobody gets, even if they ask.... :)

So, the question remains: is wolf meat edible? And hey, if you're willing to share, food storage recipes are always welcome.... :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Of gardens, a food bank, and school supplies

Had a question about Idaho locations on my previous post, and my husband answered it in the comment column. His mention of Malad reminded me of how fun it is to live in Idaho....

Saw this article and thought that there might be other people who would be interested in reading about how some cities are planting gardens any and everywhere they can. I'm kind of jealous of those people who are now allowed to have hens (but no roosters) out back, as the linked article mentions....

In Boise, the Hawks are helping out the food bank-- details here. If you can stock up so that you won't need help from the food bank, or so that you can have enough for yourselves in an emergency, as well as enough to help others, you will be in a pretty good situation. If you already need help, I hope that things improve for you soon.

Don't forget to stock up on school supplies--they're awfully inexpensive at the moment, and would come in handy for communication and entertainment in case of emergency situations. Going out soon to shop for school supplies--hope that there will be some left....

Well, that's about it at the moment. Raspberries are ready and I'm glad they're producing so well this year. Corn's getting taller, but lacking that height that I always hope for....hope everyone continues to have a great summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thought the H1N1 virus was old news?

I hadn't thought about H1N1 all that much once summer started, but it did affect our family's travel plans recently. We had family come out from the Southeast for vacation, and got to visit with them one weekend down in Utah. We were going to go down the following weekend as well, until the Wednesday of that week we found out that one of the cousins had the swine flu, and another appeared to be developing similar symptoms. We didn't end up seeing the relatives from back east again before they left. It was a big disappointment, but we figured what was in Utah shouldn't be brought back to Idaho, if at all possible. Fortunately, the cousin who had it has gotten over it, and the second cousin had something, but it doesn't look like it was the same thing. Just a reminder-- in this case one close to home--that the swine flu (aka H1N1) is still something that brings to mind the saying, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst...

This article indicates that it is still a problem. Hopefully everyone is/is getting ready for a possible quarantine--even if a quarantine doesn't end up being declared, the emergency supplies you have on hand for a possible quarantine will come in handy for any other emergency as well.

One of my favorite sources for recommendations/information on the swine flu is Preparedness Pro, and here is a link to her swine flu archives. Haven't been to visit the sites I usually visit as regularly lately, (summer can do that to you :) and upon looking for another subject concerning the H1N1 virus on the Preparedness Pro site, I found out that there was a thought provoking post on the swine flu vaccinations posted only yesterday. Went searching, and found the archives. Amazing what you can find when you follow the links....

I also like this list over at Survival Lady. I wouldn't purchase everything on this list, and would add to it (as she suggests) according to my own family's particular needs, but it supplies a lot of food for thought about what might be needed in a pandemic situation. I think it was probably this list that prompted me to buy a second humidifier at a garage sale lately. Again, always hope that pandemic supplies won't be needed for an actual pandemic, but better to have it and not need it, than the other way around...

My condolences go out to the loved ones of Robert Manwill. There is a brief update on his case here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Take a listen, and Are you up for a challenge?

Had family activities going on when the actual broadcast took place, but wanted to point out that some members of the American Preppers Network were on the Family Preparedness Guide Program Saturday with James Talmage Stevens. Fortunately, if you go to the link, you can listen to the program there, as I have done. They did a really good job--and got the first international call as well, apparently, from Canada. (Gotta love Ontario!) And a call from Kymber over at Canadian Preppers Network. Very impressive, and I highly recommend taking a listen.

Over at Preparedness Pro, there is a challenge to live on what you have (no shopping!) for a two-week period in the month of August. I am strongly considering doing it, not starting on the 1st, obviously. Yeah, not proud of it, but one of my first thoughts was how inconvenient it would be in some aspects. However, better to have inconvenience now, than a survival crisis later--and I would rather find out now what I'm missing. Unfortunately, emergencies aren't known for being convenient, and in this case, you aren't prohibited from using electricity, etc., so it will be a lot easier than some emergencies would ever be...

So much good information out there, and so many good ideas (hope we're up for a challenge :)--thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Have you seen Robert Manwill?

Just heard about the fact that Robert Manwill, an eight-year-old, went missing in Boise on Friday. Details and picture here.

There is currently no Amber Alert out for him. Please keep an eye out for him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not a typical emergency subject...

But it is an emergency situation nonetheless. What do you do if you are a child and are separated from your group at an amusement park? What do you do if you are the responsible adult in such a situation?

I spoke with a family member recently who has worked security at an amusement park in the past. This is the gist of what was said, and recommended:

--If you are the parent, speak to any employee. Anyone dishing out icees or refreshments or walking by in official amusement park gear. If they can't contact security for you, they can tell you who can.

--The first impulse, this relative said, is to go looking for the child, because you want that child back right now. Again, speak immediately to a park employee so that security will be notified and they also will be looking for your child.

--Inform your child what to do if they find themselves in such a situation. They should do the same thing that is recommended that you do. Contact an employee--anyone who works for the park. The person thus contacted will call security, and the child will be taken to the lost child station, and a responsible adult will be found to reclaim the child.

This may seem like common sense, but at the moment that a child goes missing, common sense may go out the window when anxiety over the situation occurs. If you have thought it out ahead of time and prepared yourself and your children with the knowledge they need to get out of a situation, there is a better chance of a quicker reunion.

This may seem a little off-topic, but I was interested to learn how the amusement park system works, at least as I understand it. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and if you teach your children before an emergency happens how to deal with said emergency, everyone is the better for it. This also applies to the more typical emergency preparedness topics that get discussed on this blog, and a few examples may be:

--teaching your children how to cook emergency meals in case the adults usually responsible are ill or otherwise unable to do so.

--teaching your children what to do when the power goes out.

--teaching your children how to garden so that they know how to/are able to assist in growing their own food in case of food shortages.

Those are only a few situations, but I would love to hear more ideas about how to get children involved in emergency preparedness. How are you involving children in emergency preparation?

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst can start at a very young age indeed...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

5 questions

The jury is still out on Twitter. I will let you know if I decide to use it--been busy around here, and haven't researched it enough yet...

Have seen around on other blogs that sometimes they send around lists of questions and sometimes everyone reprints the questions and answers them and/or sends them to specified people telling those people to answer them..... Well, having established that this whole idea is not new to me, I present the following questions (or non-questions) with my answers, but with absolutely no pressure on anyone else to do the same thing. (You are welcome to use these wherever you like, however.) It might be interesting for anyone reading to see how they're doing in terms of these questions, though, just in their head. And then do a little dance o' joy in their head when they see how successful they actually are.... :)

1. Name a non-food storage emergency item that you have bought in the last week.

I will say, for the record, that I bought aluminum foil. It was part of one of those mix and match 10 for $10 deals so I got a couple of small rolls. Haven't bought that brand before, so hope that they aren't normally like $.79/roll or something. Anyway, needed more in storage, so it looked good to me....

2. What are you still putting off in terms of your food storage?

Sprouting. Sprouting. Sprouting. (Can I say more sprouting when I have done no sprouting?) Um, yeah, and it won't happen this week so it will be next week at the earliest. Seeing as how I have now been in possession of sprouting equipment and seeds for a pretty long time, this is not one of my bright and shining moments. Gotta learn to sprout. Gotta just do it...

3. Name something you have added to your food storage in the last week.

I added some canned fruit to my food storage, because canned fruit is one of my weakest areas in terms of food storage. Ah, fruit cocktail.....

4. Have you tried something new in terms of food storage recipes this month?

Notice I said month and not week because I don't try new recipes as often as I should--but I did try to make frybread last night, the outcome of which can be found on today's post at my other blog. I did make this recipe (Thanks Harried Homemaker!) last week due to a special request by one of my children. I need to not only make successful recipes more than once, but incorporate them into "regular" meals or the meal schedule...

5. Have you helped anyone with their food storage in the last month?

This one is a little harder to answer, because there is always the maybe of people finding recipes on my blog or using a link I've put up to increase their food storage or food storage usage. The things I put out on food storage are usually in the form of how to find information from other people, but I hope it helps someone somewhere somehow. The short answer is I hope so. We did donate some canned food to a canned food drive this past week, so some of our food storage was rotated. Don't think that counts though...

Thought this was worth posting about because I hear/read things here and there about the pandemic, and hope that people are concentrating on getting as many supplies in as they can within their means, because it looks like it won't be long before it may be needed. 90 days quarantine is a long time. 90 days of supplies is a lot of supplies. Having a variety of recipes that will help ease stress for 90 days would be a definite advantage. But every little bit counts, every person who becomes more prepared is a definite plus, and any help you/I /we can give each other will leave us all better off when/if emergency supplies are needed.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Got an answer

A great big thank you to MatthiasJ over at Kentucky Preppers Network for sending a link about Twitter in response to my last post. If you haven't had a chance to check out Kentucky Preppers Network, I highly recommend it--full of great emergency preparation information.

I'm going to pretend that I'm not the only one who needs to know more about Twitter, and who needs to look at this website :) :


More information is a good thing.....

I have a question...

I have been hearing about Twitter, and tweets, but I don't know how to use them. I got the impression somehow that you needed to use Twitter on phones, but come to find out it can be used on the computer. If someone is willing to explain how to use Twitter on the computer, I would appreciate it-- I want to know if it is something that could better this blog, and hey, any kind of communication that can help you in an emergency is definitely worth looking into.

So, if someone could send me information on Twitter, with as many details as you can fit in on how much it costs, how it works, (phone and computer is fine, I just don't think I would be using it as phone technology, but someone else may be able to) if you think it could better communication about things important to this network, etc. it would be greatly appreciated.

In a nutshell (I figure you know I'm long-winded by now :) How does Twitter work, and would it be beneficial as emergency communication?

From what I heard, it certainly seemed to help with communication that wasn't getting out in any other way during recent unrest overseas....

Thanks for any help in advance.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cap and Trade can still be stopped

Gotta love the checks and balances. Especially in this case, since the Cap and Trade Bill passed in the House of Representatives.

For any and all Senators, look here. For Idaho:

Senator Crapo

Senator Risch

I called Senator Crapo's office this morning, and was informed that he has not yet decided on which way he will be voting. Please call and let him know what you think.

I was informed that Senator Risch is voting against it. I asked his staff to thank him. Please call and let him know that you are supporting him in his decision.

If you are wondering why I find this applicable to prepping, you are probably not alone, and may want to check out this post from last week. I really feel that this could have a negative effect on our abilities to prepare for emergencies, as well as hasten the need to use the supplies we (hopefully) already have on hand.

Your opinion does matter, and it can make a difference. Please contact as many Senators as you can to make your thoughts known. Our vote may not affect them, but there are only 100 of them, and their vote definitely affects us. Cap and Trade needs to end in the Senate.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

If you are interested in any of the Idaho tea party activities, you can find more information here.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July! Happy Birthday, America!

Monday, June 29, 2009

You can learn a lot from a name

Went to the Malad Welsh Festival on Saturday. It was a lot of fun.

There was a "Taste of Wales" booth,Welsh singing, other performances, and games for the kids to play. One of the highlights was a horse-drawn wagon tour around Malad. The picture above was taken of the wagon behind ours--it was nice that the weather was great there on Saturday.

About now you may be thinking (if you are still reading) that this is just a fun activity post, but oh, even on this trip I found something that applies to prepping...and it has to do with how Malad got its name.

According to those on the tour, Malad reportedly got its name in one of two ways:

--When some Frenchmen arrived in Malad, they got terribly ill after drinking the water. Malad is short for maladie, which means sickness in French.

--When some Frenchmen arrived in Malad, they ate the tails of some beavers that had apparently not had that great of a diet. Beaver tail was considered a delicacy at that point--and you guessed it, they got sick. So they named the town Maladie, which eventually became Malad City.

So what did I learn from this trip?

--The Welsh Festival in Malad is great.
--Was reminded that clean water in all circumstances, including emergency preparation, is a necessity. Make sure you have good water to drink, or you may be marked forever. Malad's been called Malad for a long, long, time.
--Know the source of any beaver tail you decide to eat. You know, just in case... :)

A good time was had by all. (This time. Not the time the Frenchmen visited. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank you, Congressman Minnick! Thank you, Congressman Simpson!

Just called Congressman Minnick's office (again) and was informed by his staff that he is voting against the Cap and Trade Bill.

Just called Congressman Simpson's office (again) and was informed by his staff that he is voting against the Cap and Trade Bill.

That's Idaho. Thanks to all who called and e-mailed. And thank you, thank you, thank you, to Congressman Simpson and Congressman Minnick for voting against the cap and trade bill.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Speak out on "Cap and Trade"

You might be asking yourself why I would want to make a post about the cap and trade bill coming up for a vote tomorrow in the House of Representatives, or link to an article like this one. What does that have to do with prepping?

Well, according to the linked article, this bill:

--has the potential to really, really, really negatively affect our energy bills.

--could cause food prices to go the wrong way---up, up, up.

I don't want to have to resort to using what could be considered emergency supplies before I have to in either the energy or food arenas. These problems are only two of the problems I see with this bill, but aren't they reason enough?

I hope that you are against this legislation as well, but whether you agree with me or not, I ask you to contact your Representatives about this matter as soon as you can--it's scheduled to go to a vote tomorrow. If you are in Idaho, our Representatives are:

Congressman Walt Minnick

Congressman Michael Simpson

If you are not in Idaho, you can find your Representative's contact information here. You will need your zipcode to access information.

The bill is H.R. 2454, but asking them to vote against the cap and trade bill will help everyone. Food and energy prices are at sticker shock levels for many already. The good news is that the previously linked article also indicates that the result of the vote is not set in stone.

I just got off the phone with Congressman Minnick's office. His staff indicated that he has not yet made a decision on this legislation. This may be true with other Representatives as well. Your voice can make a difference.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guest Post: A Fathers Day Lament

Note from Marie: This is late only because I don't check the e-mail account connected to this site often enough. I first saw this today, and my gratitude goes out to IdahoBob for graciously allowing me to post this wonderful tribute to his father. As I told him, I think it is a message that resonates all year round.

A Fathers Day Lament

Today is Fathers Day, and it is the first time that I have not been able to talk to my father on this day. You see, he passed last July.

I was out of town for a month, working on a job in another state, and my wife called me one morning, on my boss's cell phone, to give me the news. It was not un-expected, 'cause he had recently had quadruple bypass surgery, and had developed pneumonia. He was a very sick man for next four months.

When we found out that he had developed pneumonia, we made the decision to travel to where he was hospitalized, (in that horrible Socialist State of Kalifornication) and spent two weeks with him. No hesitation or argument with each other, we packed and went.

Ya have to understand, my father was my hero. He was the most important man in my life. I loved him, deeply. And I told him so, often.

So today, especially, I miss him. there is a great big empty hole in my heart.

On this day, Fathers Day, hug your fathers hard, kiss 'em, tell 'em that you love 'em, and that they are the most important man in your life.

Make 'em your hero.


Monday, June 22, 2009


Note from Marie: I am sadly, sadly, sadly lacking in knowledge when it comes to HAM radios, but wouldn't want those in Idaho who would like to be involved in a nation-wide network be denied the opportunity due to lack of knowledge. I do plan on getting licensed sometime, and would appreciate input from anyone from Idaho about local HAM activities. That said, I have no idea what the title to this post is....but thanks to WV Santa for this information and the permission to post it: (Hope I got the spacing right after the cut and paste--I tried. :)


OK now I have done it in true DX fashion for all you HAM'S out there.I know others that read this will be real confused now but I would really like to hear from you HAM'S out there so I figured I would write in a language you would understand. We need to get HAM'S involved here so we can try to get a net going to help with off the grid communication among the prepper networks. I know there are many Ham's already involved in the prepper network and many more that read so please come forward and help us with getting this going. Now that all the people that read this (that are not HAM'S) are confused let me add one more slang that only the HAM'S will understand.

73 de W4DMHPS

Please email me so we can get to work on this.

God Bless all from the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia Santa


From W4DMH

Dave aka Santa

To everyone that has showed an interest in the HAM radio netJust to let everyone know Bob KI4HEE from South Carolina and myself Dave W4DMH held a test run Thursday night on 40 meters at 9:00 PM Eastern Time or 0100 UTC time.

I am sorry that I did not get this info out but this all came about by email at the spur of the moment. It was a success even though I do not have the proper antenna in the air for 40 meter. I will cure that this weekend however. Bob will be posting the results on the South Carolina Page on Saturday June 20 2009. I invite you all to read that to see how the impromptu net turned out. For a spur of the moment thing, I think it was great. This little test run proved to me that if we try we can make this work.

I will let you know when this all gets worked out for sure but for now I believe we will try this on Thursday Nights from 9 pm to 10 pm Eastern time or 0100 to 0200 UTC on the frequency of 7.245 or there about for any that wish to come join in or just to listen.

Thank you all for your interest in the American Preppers Network Ham Radio Net. Hope to hear you soon.

73 All


Dave aka Santa

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meridian Dairy Days

A lot late posting on this, but there is one day left for Meridian Dairy Days. If you live in or are going to be in the Meridian area tomorrow, you may want to check out the last of the Meridian Dairy Days, which apparently have been going on since Tuesday. You can find out about the details here.

Sounds like a good community event. I don't know the details, but if there are people there who could become your local source for produce or dairy or name your needed item here, everyone wins. Don't forget the list of local suppliers on the sidebar, and if you are not from Idaho, you may want to check out the food co-op directory , which is a fantastic directory that includes co-ops both in the U.S. and Canada. Making sure you have a local produce supplier can be priceless in an emergency, and already being a customer before an emergency can only benefit all involved...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attitude, attitude, attitude

Well, I watched the final episode of "Out of the Wild" last week. Out of the nine who started, there were five when this episode started. There were only four who made it (yes, some made it!) "out of the wild" and back to civilization. (I blogged about this show here, in case you have not yet heard about it. )

One of the things that was striking to me about this episode is what the woman who left the experience said when she was leaving. The people in this experience were to get no reward (other than personal satisfaction) for completing it, so that was not a factor. And they didn't know when the experience would end. What this woman said (paraphrasing, sorry that I don't have it verbatim) was along these lines:

"People say what if it ends tomorrow? For me it doesn't matter. For me it ends today."

I have to say that I admire everyone who stuck with this experience, and the woman who left (I think there were only like two or three days left in the experience at this point) was an extremely valuable member of the team. She knew how to do things cooking with what they were able to hunt down and eat that I thought were amazing. She stuck it out for about four weeks if memory serves, and then she decided she was done. She didn't know it was almost over. But it was.

For the four remaining people, it would appear to get worse before it got better, and they could easily have just decided to just push their little rescue buttons. Some of the things that happened just previous to their boarding a train that would take them to civilization (My apologies for any inaccuracies--it's not on purpose, and hopefully there are none):

--They hadn't eaten anything substantial for three days when they got their final map, which, by the way, indicated that they had something like 14 miles to hike before they reached their next shelter. For some reason, it seems to me that one of the things they were worried about was the fact that they would have to make a temporary shelter at a high altitude on this particular trek, and hadn't been that successful in that kind of endeavor in the past. They found this out the night before the actual trip, giving them plenty of time to decide to just go home.

--They finally saw some cabins, but there was no one there. If they hadn't been paying attention, they may have missed the fact that railroad tracks were close by. When they saw the tracks, they had another dilemma: would the train come by once a week? Would the train come by once a month? They looked at the tracks and found that they were clean, indicating that a train had come through since the last snowfall. Since this is Alaska we're talking about, it was snowing regularly by this point. I think about that moment a lot--if trains only come by once a week or once a month, would I have stayed with the experience at that point? Or would I have figured that since the tracks were clean, that I had already missed the train, and there wouldn't be another train for at least days, and maybe weeks? I like to think that even if I thought that temporarily, that I would have then decided to perhaps follow the tracks... So there was another point that they could have said they were done, but they didn't. They made a makeshift flag out of a white shirt (which indicated distress) and waited for a train.

A train did come. I don't know how long it took, but it was the same day. The four who remained were transported to a town where their family members were waiting for them. Their attitudes, again, in my recollection, were different, and the one that sticks out to me the most was what one of the men said, along these lines:

"I was never going to quit. That button (that would have immediately summoned a helicopter to take him back to civilization) on my belt may as well have been nothing more than a piece of jewelry."

The other people who made it also gave their reasons, and though I don't remember their words exactly, they all stuck with it, even though it was an incredibly difficult ordeal. It seems that one of them said that there were times when she was so cold she just wanted to go home. And another said something like he was never going to quit as well.

I guess what it comes down to for me in terms of attitude was that they made a decision not to quit, and they stuck with it. This didn't mean that they didn't want to go home. It didn't mean that they wouldn't rather have had nice things, and at the very least would have preferred having the basic comfort of being able to get warm. It meant that they wanted to go home the way that they chose, and they did have the choice. It did matter, to the ones who made it through to the end, that the whole experience "could end tomorrow." They had hope, even though at times they had very little else. It looked very, very bleak before it got better. But it did get better. They won. And the only competition they had was the competition within themselves.

How does this apply to surviving tough situations and preparing for emergencies? I'm sure it varies from situation to situation when it comes to specifics, but having a good attitude, and not giving up, is much more likely to lead you to a positive outcome whether you are dealing with emergency preparedness or actual emergencies. Even preparing for emergencies can seem overwhelming at times, because there are so many things that could happen, and sometimes there are things that we would like to get, but have to wait and save up for. The people on the program would rather have been warm "today", but had to wait as well...

Continuing to go forward is a triumph, even when progress seems slow. You never know what will happen tomorrow, and tomorrow does matter, whether for preparation, or in the midst of emergencies. In the case of the people in the program, attitude appears to have been a major factor. It is a major factor for us as well. My proverbial hat is off to all of the people who participated in that experience.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something fishy

Well, perhaps I should have said some things fishy. A couple of fishing relating items specific to Idaho:

---Idaho's having a free fishing day this Saturday--June 13. Find the details here.

---There's a request for public comment on fishing rules until June 26th. Find the details here.

Thought you might be interested--it's good to acquire and develop fishing skills. It's also good to make your voices heard....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gratitude for the Armed Forces

We heard there was a B-17 at the Idaho Falls Airport this past weekend, so we loaded up the children and managed to get there. As you can see from the weather, it was not exactly an ideal time for planting the garden. As it was, we were outside in the rain, except when we took a self-guided tour of the aircraft. No matter what the weather, we wouldn't have wanted to miss this--not very often you see a WWII plane up close and personal...

There was also a gentleman there that was a tailgunner on a B-17. Amazing. We took our children through and talked about history and hopefully they will remember the men who fought in WWII, both those who did and those who did not come back.

What does this have to do with being prepared? Well, we each need to do our part and if we are prepared for emergencies of whatever nature, we will be stronger individually and stronger as a nation. We can learn from the resourcefulness and courage of those who have gone before us so that we too can meet whatever is coming our way. WWII was a tough time--victory gardens, rations, and in the end, success.

It is always hard for me to know what to say to Veterans of whatever war they have served in, because words always seem so inadequate. Having acknowledged that, I will say this:

To those who have served and returned: Thank you for putting your lives on the line to protect our freedom and to serve our country.

To those who have had family members serve and not return: I am grateful and I will never forget.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Please get your grains in...

Not such good news on the wheat front. Kellene Bishop, over at Preparedness Pro, put this post up recently about the wheat shortage. I hope that you will read the entire post, including the comments, but this portion will hopefully catch the attention of some of those who may be sitting on the fence when it comes to purchasing some wheat for their storage:

"I have just received inside information from two chains that formal letters are being disseminated among grocery stores across the U.S. informing employees that wheat and affected prices will be doubling by the end of the summer. Food prices in general have experienced the highest inflation rate of the past 18 years. "

"Not such good news" is not strong enough. Bad, bad, unfortunate news is closer. There is also this post, over at North Dakota Preppers Network posted a while ago. More recent articles on the wheat situation can be found here and here.

If you don't have wheat, or enough wheat, in storage, please consider increasing your supply if you have the means. In Idaho, the news may be a little better, according to this article, but it's always good to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's all about the numbers

--Or, maybe 90% about the numbers, and 10% about bragging rights--when it comes to the whole issue of which state has the safest drivers. Or the "least worst" if you can say that.... The article, Where the Worst Drivers Live, indicates that Idaho (with a nod to my internet friend Carl out in Wisconsin, the state which duplicated the highest test score) tied for the highest test average (80.6%) on a test which "measures basic knowledge of driving laws", according to the article. Hey, I'll take all the good news I can get...and avoiding an automobile emergency because you know what you're doing is really good news....

--Numbers, of course, are the heart of polls, and when it comes to having a garden in your front yard, here's how the numbers played out according to those who responded: (Thanks everyone!)

Do you have a garden in your front yard?

Yes 25%
No, but I would if I had to 50%
No, and I would never choose to 16%
Not applicable--I don't have a yard 8%

I just think that it's good to think about all our options, however many options we may happen to have....

--Five is the number of people still left in the experience in "Out of the Wild", which I posted about on May 14th. Some of them are understandably getting pretty discouraged, seeing as how winter has settled in, and one day there was game to be had, and the next day there was nothing. They don't know the number of days they have left if they continue to make it out of the wild, but they do each have their own emergency button to press that they can use any time that they want to get them out of their situation. That one button is what I see as the biggest difference in what they're doing and an actual emergency--in an actual emergency you can't push any number of buttons and have things go back to normal, or go back to your old life immediately. I do have to say I admire their fortitude and willingness to stick with the task at hand, perhaps especially because it would be so easy (and I imagine really tempting) to simply push a button and get out of the obvious misery they're going through...

Well, that's some numbers, anyway...I'm still pretty excited that Idaho came out number one, in a good way, on the driver list. Didn't expect it, with so many in the running, but it's nice to see.... :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have you heard about the Fisherman's Breakfast?

Sorry, all out of clever titles at the moment, but thought that if you weren't already aware of it, you might like to know that there will be a fisherman's breakfast tomorrow, 6 am-1pm in St. Anthony, and the details about it can be found here. Also included, according to the article:

"Breakfast visitors also will get to hear a presentation by the Idaho Fish and Game about prospects for fishing as Idaho's general fishing season starts Saturday. And Smokey Bear will be at the event to shake hands with kids and promote fire safety."

Thought you might want to go and support it---being able to fish would be an awfully useful skill to have in the case of an emergency. Knowing how to avoid a fire emergency is vitally important as well. And to have breakfast thrown in? Kind of hard to turn down....

If you go, I hope you enjoy--it's a long-standing tradition.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You might want to consider storing more...

Seeds, that is. I was thinking about just having enough to plant one year's garden/crops until I found out what a person who is basically an expert on emergency preparedness in our area thought about it:

"If purchasing seeds, consider only those plants that can mature in our local zone (high altitude and ~90 day growing season). Purchase enough organically grown, open-pollinated garden seeds for 2 years of planting in the event the 1st planting is ruined by frost/hail, or seeds become scarce or unavailable the following year."

Basically, I see this as preparing for an emergency that could happen during an emergency. And situations unfortunately do occur where emergencies don't happen one at a time and few and far between. For example, there is what is going on in Uganda, which you can read about in this article. If I have my facts straight, in 2007 the regions written about had damage by floods. The floods were followed by drought. There have been delays in planting. In 2008 disease hit an important crop. Available food has become more and more expensive. And there is more--low crop yield, stolen food--it's a dire situation. I recommend reading the article in its entirety, because it is sobering, thought-provoking, and may give you more ideas on how you should prepare. It's certainly given me some.

Some may think such conditions would never happen here, wherever here may be when you are talking about a worldwide web. I think that it wouldn't matter where you were sitting, standing, working, or living if you didn't have food to eat. It's something that we all have in common--the need to eat-- and while our climates, viewpoints, material wealth, etc., may differ, we also all have the personal responsibility to do the best we can to prepare for difficult situations that may come. You/I/we all need to do what we can within our means to prepare, and sometimes there may be multiple emergencies that hit at once or one after the other--hopefully you/I/we will think as far ahead as we may need to in order to make it through such situations in the best way possible.

Oh, and about the seeds---if you end up not needing them, it's better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them... Just think, you may be providing yourself a second chance at a garden ahead of time if you get enough seeds in storage before there's a problem. And in addition to that, it gives you options. I love options.... :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Got land?

If your answer is no, you might be interested in the article, "Urban farmers make the most of tiny Boise plots". In Boise, people who don't have land work other people's land-- in return, for the most part, for labor or part of the produce. It sounds like a good plan if it works well for all parties involved, although there are a couple of downsides also included in the article.

I was interested to find this after a recent conversation I had with someone who is basically an expert in emergency preparedness. During that conversation, this person pointed out that the people who are "stuck" in the city with no way to garden will be in real trouble in the case of a food emergency because they don't have land to grow food. Perhaps if there were more programs like this around, there would be fewer problems if there were a disruption in transportation of food goods, less produce available from bigger farms, etc.

The thing is, it doesn't seem like this is a "program" per se--one of the people mentioned actually put fliers around just to find the landowners when he was first starting and wanted to use the land for food production. These people are just going out and finding a way to have land they can use, and perhaps make a profit as well. And how much land do you have at your disposal, really? Some of the people in the article use a front yard as a garden.

I recommend reading the entire article. It's amazing what people come up with when they try to come up with a solution, and are willing to help each other...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It takes more than food (water, and shelter) to survive well...

TV can be educational, or at the very least, it can make you think. Has anyone else been following the show "Out of the Wild" on the Discovery Channel? Nine people volunteered to go out into the Alaskan wilderness, with no idea as to how long they would be there, with directions to go from shelter to shelter to shelter until they make it "out of the wild." They have to endure the cold, hunt, endure the cold, manage the conditions while ill, endure the cold, get along with each other, endure the cold, go hungry, endure the cold....well, you get the idea. As of this writing, four people have used the GPS locator each one of them has been given, which when activated immediately results in a helicopter ride back to civilization. That leaves 5 who have already endured more than two weeks in harsh conditions, and who, at the end of the last episode, were setting off on yet another trek, not knowing that they had farther to go than they thought, seeing as how they had misread their map... There is no prize for anyone, unless you count the satisfaction of knowing that they can survive the experience, so it's not a matter of money or luxury items as motivation.

What have I been thinking? Some of the reasons that people went home were really a surprise to me. Let me preface my thoughts with the statement that I really admire everyone who was willing to undergo this experience, and anything I say here is not meant as a criticism or negative judgment. It just made me rethink what may be necessary in an emergency situation, and with the acknowledgement that I may remember some things wrong, here's what I've been learning (I apologize that I don't remember everyone's name--I will just use no one's name instead):

--The person who decided to "push the button" on the GPS locator first was actually the person with the best hunting skills. At first I thought this person was the oldest in the group (I don't think I saw the first episode in its entirety) but as far as I can figure, she was the second oldest. I was really rooting for her, because in an emergency situation you hope everyone will make it, and her attitude at first was that she was going to stick with it. She then decided that she didn't want to do it anymore, and if memory serves, said that she was "too old" to finish the experience. She pushed the button pretty early on. (Easy for me to say, I wasn't there...)

The thing that saddens me about this, especially as I have seen further episodes, is what an asset she would have been to the team with her hunting skills. There have been many days where the remaining individuals have gone with little to no food in part due to their limited hunting skills. She was and would have continued to be a valuable contributor to the team if she would have been able to continue. My point? Age is something you can't change--everyone gets older, and it certainly beats the alternative. Many times with age comes greater knowledge and experience--knowledge and experience that would be gravely missed were it not there to benefit the group going through difficult circumstances.

--The second and third people to leave left together, but for different reasons. One was the actual oldest person in the group, again, as far as I could gather, and he had great difficulty keeping up with the strenuous requirements of traveling and enduring the conditions. He tried, but he was slowing down the group, and he finally decided to go home. I don't know that anyone would be ready for hiking the Alaskan wilderness, but being in the best possible physical condition that we can be will help us in any type of emergency situation. Hey, it can't hurt....

The other person that left that day was the other member of the team that was experienced in outdoor activities and skills. He didn't leave because of physical duress (although I'm sure there was physical duress for everyone involved)--he left because he didn't like being part of a group in this type of situation. From what I could gather, he was used to making decisions on his own, and he didn't like the group dynamic, and having to consult with/wait for/depend on/ others in a situation that he recognized was dangerous, such as when there was a slower member of the group, and he was anxious to get to shelter for survival purposes. He elected to go home because he was used to doing things by himself, and he no longer wanted to participate in the experience.

What did I learn from this? We need to prepare for situations in such a way that we can have minimum stress--and respect other people's differences. Not everyone will want to be part of a big group, but their knowledge and skills can be a benefit to everyone if they are allowed to contribute in ways that they are comfortable with. Because this person didn't like the constant interaction, the group as a whole lost the valuable skills he had in dealing with the outdoor conditions....

--I would have to say that the last person to date that decided to "push the button" was the biggest surprise to me. He was the strongest of the group, and one of, if not the, youngest member. He was also probably the largest, and when there was little to no food to sustain the group, he suffered greatly, to the point where he passed out in one of the shelters. Too many calories used, with too few calories consumed, is not a good combination for anyone, and it resulted in his decision to leave the experience. It makes sense that a bigger person would need more calories to maintain the strength needed in any kind of emergency situation--it just didn't occur to me that in the kind of situation where there are fewer calories available per person that the smaller individuals might last longer because they need fewer calories...but that's what happened here, and the person I thought would be among the last to get a helicopter ride has already boarded and gone...

So it takes a lot more than just food, water and shelter (although some of the shelters featured on this show looked pretty insubstantial) to survive in emergency conditions. There is attitude, physical fitness level, and a number of other factors that will affect the outcome when you/I /we find ourselves in harsh conditions. Watching them skin and prepare and eat the wild animals they were able to hunt successfully shows me how much I have to learn in that area--and it also shows me that you do what you have to do. Having the knowledge ahead of time so that you can get every last bit of nourishment out of whatever you are lucky enough to get your hands on will help a great deal if it's all you have to eat. It may also be good for nourishment and morale if you have food stashed in different places (as they find in the various shelters) that you can pull out as a last resort when you are truly in difficult straits...

Well, my thanks goes out to Discovery Channel for airing Out of the Wild The Alaska Experiment. I just went to find the website for it to link it here, so I will probably check that out some more, but the program times are there. (I don't know anyone who works for this channel, I just like what I'm learning on this program.) If they air repeats, I would recommend watching them.

How would you/I/we do if we found ourselves in harsh circumstances working with a group of people who had the same goals to survive? What are our attitudes? What can we contribute towards the group's survival? Hopefully we are/are getting prepared enough so that we can supplement our diet/supplies with some meat from local wildlife, rather than depending solely on their occasional appearance to have anything to eat at all. After all, wildlife wants to survive as well. Just watching the beavers on this show was evidence of that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If you give a person a carrot...

Well, first, the mail carriers' food collection (which I am under the impression is a national collection) was on Saturday. I don't know about anyone else, but it was a little harder this year to part with my Spam, since I use it so much more often now. :) I did send some away, though, because it's my understanding that protein items are always in demand. For those who don't read my other blog, and tend to like Spam as well, you might look at this recipe, which I found over at Preparedness Pro, and which I already posted about on my other blog. Can't have too many good Spam recipes on hand....

Just looking at the news around Idaho, the good news is that as a state we are getting better at making sure children don't go hungry, according to this article. Going up from sixth worse in the nation up to 27th worse is definitely a good thing, but still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I hope that the food collection by the mail carriers will help those with or without children who already find themselves in an emergency situation...

And in other Idaho news, from Post Falls comes this article, which contains this opening line: " A community garden will teach students about growing vegetables while helping them cultivate better lives, school officials in this north Idaho town believe." While the students won't get the immediate benefit of the food grown, (according to the article, "Food produced at the garden will be donated to area seniors who are no longer able to garden for themselves") they will be learning valuable skills--a fact that is summed up nicely in the article's last line: ""I think this is absolutely the most wonderful thing," said Barb Tilton, a local gardener. "This is so good for the kids. This is something they can take with them for the rest of their lives."

So good things are happening here in Idaho. Mail carriers collecting food for people already in need of assistance. Improving on how well we are dealing with children who are hungry. And another generation being given the chance to learn how to grow their own food. What's that saying about giving a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime? Something like that. Well, giving a person a carrot is good, but teaching him how to garden is even better....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Case in point: Comments can make a blog better

*Note*: If you have not yet read my last post, you may want to do so before reading this one so that you can compare and contrast. Or, just read this one. It's better.... :)

I maintain that useful, helpful comments left on blogs benefit everyone, and in my case often end up leaving more information in the comment section than I originally put out in a post. Let me show you what my previous post, "If Monday is washing day..." could roughly have looked like (minus some of what I would have also still included if this was the original post) if I had had the comments people left before I wrote it:

(As Gen-IL Homesteader's reminds me) In the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ma's daily chores were:

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.

I read and read and did I mention read these books when I was younger, so what better excuse do I have to wait until at least next Monday to use this:

Yeah, it's a plunger, but it's a plunger for washing clothes. My dad came up on Friday from out of state and brought a bunch of emergency preparedness stuff (thanks Dad!!) which will probably be mentioned here and elsewhere, but today the plunger gets the place of honor.

And this is no ordinary black rubber plunger. Not only is it blue, :) but is made of what appears to me to be hard plastic, and has a slightly different shape and a really different bottom which you can see in (you can thank Sondra from over at Clean Frugal Living for prompting me to be a better blogger by including) these pictures:

I am very glad to have the plunger, and the plan at the moment is to use it in a food storage bucket when the power goes out. You could use it in a tin tub, I suppose, but seeing as how we don't currently have one of those in our possession, a food storage bucket will have to do.

(Thanks to Kymber over at Canadian Preppers Network, I have learned about) This post over at Yukon Territory Preppers Network is a great source if you are thinking about the importance of clean clothes in an emergency situation. Written by Jennifer of New Mexico Preppers Network , it details her methods on washing clothes without electricity. I highly recommend reading it--lots of wonderful ideas, and she has more (and better) pictures... :)

And finally, you might even be able to get even more convenient accessories for washing without electricity as most of us know it if you keep your eyes open for a deal, and it will definitely be easier to keep clothes clean in an emergency if you have thought things out ahead of time. A good example of this (thanks to Carl, who leaves great and informative comments) can be found here:

"I bought a gavanized metal version of the Laundry Plunger over Lehmans for somrthing like $12.00. I had my Better half test it and she says it works fine for small loads.

I also bought a couple of metal bushel and a Half buckets to heat wash and rince water in over an open fire if required.

In the middle between our 25 speed automatic washer and dryer, I bought a 50's style Hotpoint wringer washer at a garage sale for $50.00

The advantage of this thing is that it has two speeds, fast and slow, the motor draws about 300 watts, which my solar system can handle. The wringer is a bit to learn to use, but I am sure the average 3rd grader can figure it out."

So, you could just hand wash, which was my original plan until I got my new little blue plunger "washing machine". You could use some of the ideas in Jennifer's post that I linked, and/or look around before there's a problem and find some really good options for reasonable prices or think about ways to heat water like Carl did. Whatever the case, it is going to ease stress if you know what you will do with dirty clothes before you find out that you have run out of clean ones, and the methods you employ now are no longer an option....

Ok, wasn't that better in terms of just plain old wonderful and useful information? Just an example of how much you miss if you don't read the comments. And how much others miss if you don't leave yours.... Thanks to Gen, Sondra, Kymber, Jennifer, and Carl--your comments and sharing of knowledge are much appreciated!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

If Monday is washing day...

Isn't there a poem, or saying or something, where the chores are all assigned a day of the week so we can all have harmony in housework completion? Seems to me that there is, and that washing the clothes was on Monday...if anyone knows how it goes, I'd love to be reminded. If it's just something that I made up in my head, work with me anyway, because if there is a world where Monday is washing day, I have less than a week until I hypothetically, and in sync with everyone else who lives according to aforementioned poem/saying, get to use this:

Yeah, it's a plunger, but it's a plunger for washing clothes. My dad came up on Friday from out of state and brought a bunch of emergency preparedness stuff (thanks Dad!!) which will probably be mentioned here and elsewhere, but today the plunger gets the place of honor.

Wasn't really expecting the plunger--but that's what happens when your parents are also into emergency preparedness and are really good at it and have thought about things that are needed ahead of time and are generous and are willing to take the time to drive all the way here to deliver things that you hadn't thought of only to drive all the way back home almost immediately. The original plan was to just have my dad bring up some water containers that fit into his vehicle and don't fit into ours, but when my dad's trip coincided with things that my mom found that would make life easier in an emergency, their teamwork resulted in more goodies for us....

I am very glad to have the plunger, and the plan at the moment is to use it in a food storage bucket when the power goes out. You could use it in a tin tub, I suppose, but seeing as how we don't currently have one of those in our possession, a food storage bucket will have to do. One of the things I like about the plunger is that it will spare our hands at least a little by reducing the time we have to have them immersed in soap and water. And if the power was out, and it was cold outside, (isn't there also a saying about winter being nine months long in Idaho ? :) being able to have clean clothes and dry hands would be a big plus...

I don't really plan to use the plunger next Monday, but since one never knows when an emergency will occur, it's good to have it in the supplies. Hope I don't need it before next Monday...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Not much to see here

For those who haven't had a chance to check it out yet, Tom, founder of the American Preppers Network, along with other contributors, has put together the Swine Flu Pandemic website, with a lot of videos, viewpoints, and advice on the news of the day--all in one spot...

As to Idaho, my understanding according to this (extremely) brief article is that we now have had our first case of the swine flu. Good news is that no hospitalization was needed. Hope that there will be no more cases, but hopefully everyone is prepared if there are....

I did go and invest in some hand sanitizer the other day. I went to Wal-Mart to make said purchases, and was told that they were out except for the trial/travel/incredibly small size, so I got a few. Thing is, when I went to actually purchase everything, there were larger bottles in the check-out line, so I got one, along with the tiny ones. My point---if you go and think they are out of hand sanitizer, check the temptation shelves that stare at you as you wait in line, and make sure that they don't have some there....I personally am keeping the hand sanitizer in storage in case someone gets sick, and using good old soap and water for regular handwashing.

Yeah, I don't have much to write about the swine flu--I'm leaving that to those who know more about it. Hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hopefully you're more prepared than not...

By now you have probably heard about the possibility of a flu pandemic, and Ernie over at Indiana Preppers has done a lot of work to compile a somewhat massive list of articles to read about it here.

Hopefully everyone has been putting some things together in preparation for emergencies/hard times/name your situation, and these things would help those who have done so immensely should there be circumstances that require everyone to stay at home. Some of my thoughts on this issue:

--I was telling my husband that if they declared a pandemic and told everyone to stay home, the first thing I would do would be to fill everything that I could with water. If everyone stays home, chances are that regular water services will be cut off. We have some water in storage, but nowhere near what we would need for 3 months worth, which is the general number that I've heard about how long a quarantine would last.

--Over at Colorado Preppers, there is an excellent post about Preparing for a Home's Power Outage. Hope we never have to use these pointers, but there's a lot to think about in case we do have a power outage.

--In particular for Idaho readers, and anyone who lives near an Albertson's that has this sale running, there are a couple of good prices on storage items if you want to run out and strengthen your supplies. As far as I know, you do have to have one of those oh-so-nifty Albertson's cards. Progresso soups, which last time I checked at the local national chainstore were $1.68 (hopefully I don't have them switched with Campbells dinner soups, which I think are currently going for $1.62) are $1.50 each if you buy 4. (It's one of those things where if you buy $10.00 worth at $2.50 each, you get $4.00 off at the register, making it 4 for $6.00, hence $1.50 each. Aughhh, I don't even like reading that....but it's a good deal, compared with current prices.

There are also some pretty good prices on cold cereal, which would come in handy for power outages.

--These are only some of the thoughts I have--I just hope people have already been preparing for something like this, and that this doesn't turn into a pandemic. Someone who is very emergency preparation minded sent an e-mail this morning, part of which I'm cutting and pasting here:

" Will this be a pandemic? Or is it just another hard flu? You will have to decide for yourself what this is at this point and whether or not you will quarantine yourself and your family before the government says to. Now is the time to keep up with the news and rely on prayer for guidance for your family.

At the very least this is a wake up call to have the recommended three month minimum supply of food, water, medicine and all necessities. If this becomes a pandemic we can expect to be quarantined for three months. The government has been warning us for several years so most of you, hopefully, believed it and prepared. If not, get to the stores before the shelves are empty. Call your doctor NOW if you need a 90 day prescription refill and get it as soon as you can. It will never hurt to always be 90 days ahead on essential meds.

Please do not underestimate the time a disease will take to spread. With our methods of travel added to the ventilation systems in large confined areas and the number of times we go to malls, sports activities, etc., one person who was exposed a day ago could unknowingly begin the infection of thousands of people before really feeling sick him/herself.

What am I doing? I am taking my own advice and staying home the rest of the day and checking the news frequently. Am I panicking? No. I am watching and waiting, going about my usual routine and not doing anything differently than planning to not go out into crowds. I am regretting I didn't see this sooner because I did go shopping this morning and I would not have had I been aware of this article."

Get as prepared as you can while you can. Wishing everyone the best, and hoping that our food storage/emergency supplies will not be needed until another day, if ever....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You can't believe everything you read or, Is this really happening?

Yet another entry from the e-mail files. Received an e-mail today saying that the sender had received a message and wanting to know if anyone in their e-mail realm could verify it or not. Can you? Here is the message, minus the added personal commentary, plus the extremely limited editing, and compliments of copy and paste:

"I just don't know how true this is - it sounds really wackky. So will have to see what is up.

I had a conversation last night with a family member who lives in north central Missouri out in farm country. We were discussing the signs of the times and he told me something that made my blood run cold! His friend/neighbor works for an agricultural supply company that furnishes fertilizer, pesticides, and the next season's crop seeds to most of the farmers throughout his region there in Missouri.

According to his friend, business at his company should be going full throttle right now, they'll do 80% of their business in a four month time frame. But right now, their business is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! When the orders didn't start coming in at the end of Feb. like they usually do in years past, the company called the farmers to see when they were going to start ordering. They got the same answer from almost everyone, THEY WOULDN'T BE PLANTING THIS YEAR!

The agricultural supply company's business IS DOWN 85% over the same time last year, the farmers can't get credit from the banks to buy their seed and supplies for the beginning of the growing season. If this problem is typical across the country then the horse manure will be hitting the fan THIS YEAR. I'd like to get a sense of what's going on in other parts of the country and see if this credit problem is regional or national in scope. I'm hoping members of the forum can check in their local areas to see what's happening.

My relative's friend said that there is typically a 6-8 week lag time between ordering these supplies then getting them in and then out to the farmers. If the credit backup broke loose tomorrow, they could still get most of the supplies in and out to the farmers by the end of the planting season. But if the problem persists for another 30 days or more then forget it. This season will be toast as far as the food supply is concerned.

With all the talk in recent months about drought, floods, cold weather, wheat rust, false smut, and the like, I never considered the fact that perhaps the single biggest threat to our food supply would be the lack of credit!

I posed this on another thread a few days ago. Add to this the current world food storage supply which has been severely depleted and we are talking disaster here. The writing is on the wall. If building up your food storage is not your primary goal this year, then you are just plain nuts.

One of my best friends tells me of another of her friends- they own and supply about half of the dairy to the Las Vegas area.The Government is forcing them to sell their milk at a certain price which does not cover their expenses. They are about bankrupt. When they finally do go bankrupt the Government plans on taking over their business."

End of e-mail.

I asked the person who sent it to me if I could post this on this blog, and the first reaction they had was to wait until we found out if it was true or not. I said maybe someone in this national network knows if this is true, so it was agreed that I could post it. Anyone know what the status is with farming this year? I know that farming is down--I've posted about the decrease on my other blog. This, however, if true, is a decrease on a much larger scale.

Then there is the classic "friend of a friend" or "friend of a relative" thing going on. I'm always suspicious of reports where it's someone's best friend's uncle's mechanic's friend of a friend or something vague like that. Hard to know if it's true or not, because it could just be an attempt to respect someone's anonymity.

Not trying to perpetuate rumors, just trying to find out what is really going on. I actually checked out snopes.com before writing this post, but there was nothing there, at least under what I entered as the main ideas. Things can be scary enough without exaggerating an already difficult situation. If someone has the facts, I would appreciate the input....