Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It seems like such a long time...

Basically because it has been. Turns out I had no access to the internet whatsoever while out of town, and no internet access=no posts. If you have come back after such a dearth of posts, thanks for checking back... :)

Went shopping yesterday to find that the local national chainstore had raised the prices on their canned soup that I like to store by $.18. Really disappointing--hope it goes back down soon, but really pretty unlikely considering at least one other store in the area already had astronomical prices on same said soup last time I checked. Here's hoping...

Also returned to find much e-mail to read. One e-mail reminded me of a response I left on Riverwalker's site, Stealth Survival, when he asked what people thought about gun bans. I wrote:

"When I think about gun bans, I think that it's a slippery slope and am concerned for the safety of the 2nd Amendment. I don't want legislation that negatively affects or changes the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution."

In my opinion, the legislation discussed in said e-mail would negatively affect or change the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, so I am most definitely and assuredly against it. Even though such legislation has not been introduced to my knowledge in the state of Idaho, it could come here as well, and if you are in a different state, you may want to speak your conscience on the issue if such legislation is up for consideration where you live. I present to you the majority of the e-mail that I received on the subject of "Ammunition Accountability Legislation":

Ammunition Accountability Legislation

Remember how Obama said that he wasn't going to take your guns? Well, it seems that his allies in the anti-gun world have no problem with taking your ammo!

The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including Illinois and Indiana) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the manufacture a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know how much you buy and what calibers. Nobody will be able to sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless the ammunition is coded.

Any privately held uncoded ammunition must be destroyed by July 1, 2011. (Including hand loaded ammo.) They will also charge a .05 cent tax on every round so every box of ammo you buy will go up at least $2.50 or more!

If they can deprive you of ammo they do not need to take your gun! This legislation is currently pending in 18 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.

Send to your friends in these states AND fight to dissolve this BILL!!

To find more about the anti-gun group that is sponsoring this legislation and the specific legislation for each state, go to:


As I said, you may not agree with me, but you have to know about legislation to make your voice heard on it, regardless of your position on the subject. If such legislation comes to Idaho, or reaches national levels, I will do my best to make my own views known.

Having seen some pretty unpleasant comments left on other blogs, at least one of which expressed the opinion that the blogger and/or commenter deserved an ugly consequence for his/her convictions, I would say this: even if I were to meet my end by firearm, the bullet, encoded or not, would not have shot itself. The person who pulled the trigger would be "accountable" for that...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Got water?

At Albertson's last week in their flyer I saw that they have gallons of water for 10/$10. That's with the Albertson's card, but after I bought the less than 10 bottles they had on the shelf, I found out that it's normally only $1.19 anyway. Still and all, I wanted some more drinking water in storage, and now I have some, and the dates on it are pretty good. If you don't have any water storage at the moment, the general rule that I've heard is that a survival amount of water would be a gallon of water per day per person, and that's the bare minimum--it doesn't account for any water for cleaning, washing, etc. I figure even $1.19/gallon for water packaged in sturdier plastic isn't a bad price. I don't know if that regular price requires a card or not.

One of the reasons that I worry about having enough water in storage that is ready to use is the possibility of a pandemic---a widespread devastating illness such as what occurred in 1918 with the flu, that spreads quickly and disrupts just about everything in everyday society. I recently received an e-mail that had links to information about pandemic preparedness, one of which is Pandemic Preparedness Planning over at Provident Living. There are links on that page to more information about preparing for a pandemic, including Pandemicflu.gov, and a link to a video by BYU-Idaho (if you live in Rexburg, you can't really get more local :) about prevention of Avian flu.

It's difficult (and can be expensive) to store enough water for emergencies. However, if your emergency situation turns out to be a pandemic, it will probably will be worth all effort and expense that you put into water storage now to be able to remain at home and not risk exposure by venturing out to find/buy some. If you have sickness already in your home, it will help with caring for the ill and lessen stress for everyone if you have a safe, reliable source of water in your own home to work with. Why the stress on water if you have running water in your house? My understanding is that if a pandemic takes place, it is highly likely that no one, including those who make sure that the water that is coming out of our faucets is safe for use, will be venturing out to do their jobs. Will it get that bad? I don't know--but the better prepared that we are, the less we will have to worry about.

Got water? It would be hard to overestimate its value in any kind of emergency, not only in a pandemic. So important that I would be surprised if there weren't more posts on it to come....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ok, now what?--A few recipes for your food storage beans

You may recall that in this post, I gave survival amounts of food storage for a year for one person. Thing is, if you don't eat some of these items regularly, you may find yourself at a loss about what to do with them. Cooking with food storage is a skill that I am working at, and I've made some progress, but I have a long way to go. Stealing from my personal blog once again, I will give you some links to recipes that I have made successfully. You have the advantage of having them in one place (there is a post over there where these particular recipes are together, but now you don't even have to click over there. Ahhhh. :) :

Beans and Rice

1. This recipe turns out to be rice and beans in one dish. I use olive oil, and fry Spam before adding the spices (dried or powdered) to give it some extra flavor. Then I either reheat the Spam and serve it with the beans and rice, or put it in with the beans and rice before putting it in the oven for 30 minutes.

2. This recipe is great for spreading on tostadas. I soak the beans before adding them to the crockpot, because I worry that they won't get done, and they have always turned out fine consistency-wise. I use powdered spices, and a small can of diced green chiles, and after a few tries, figured out that the personal preference around here is a lot less black pepper. Can't guarantee how much black pepper you will prefer, but this is a great recipe.

3. This recipe also has beans and rice together in one dish as the final result. I use olive oil instead of peanut oil, dried and/or powdered spices, and if memory serves, have only used chicken broth here.

I switch around the type of beans I use. That's one of the great things about beans--there are so many kinds, and so many ways to fix them. Still need to find and get more comfortable with a few more bean recipes myself, but these have worked so far for me, and my family gets beans and rice more often now, so it's a more familiar meal. I don't think you can overestimate the value of knowing how to use what you store...if you'd like to share any of your recipes, they would be welcome!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This is for the hunters...

Found out today that they are considering changes in the hunting regulations in Idaho. I personally don't hunt, but think that it's a valuable skill and useful for feeding your family if you also have the skills to harvest the meat. Read here for more information--there's a meeting coming up and they are asking for public input. If you have something to add, you might want to speak up now....just a head's up!

Related articles can be found here and here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Making some noise--for the U.S. Military

Note: This is a little bit of a departure from my usual preparedness post. I still think it applies to emergency preparedness, however, because if there is anything we can do to help others to be in a better situation either health-wise or financially, the better off we will all be if/when a crisis arises. If military personnel, who, as I understand it, do not have the highest payscale around anyway, had to choose between health care and food or other necessities as a result of a cut in benefits, it would be harder for those who wished to do so to prepare for future emergencies. Those who can now take advantage of preventative health care options would no longer be able to do so, which could in turn lead to more problems and even emergencies health-wise and financially. The more people that are prepared for an emergency, the more we all benefit... That said, here's the post:

Not too long ago I was in attendance while a bagpipe ensemble, complete with drums, was performing. After the music had ended, one of my children said to one of the musicians something along the lines of, "Who thought up something that could make such a horrible noise?" Obviously, this child was not a huge fan of bagpipe music. If you had been there, it probably would have been equally obvious that this question made me uncomfortable.....but the musician's reply made a lasting impression on me.

Turns out, according to what he said, that the bagpipe is the only instrument that has been officially declared a weapon of war. If I recall correctly, he said that we owed part of our country to the playing of the bagpipes, because in one area, the French were scared off and left the region because the Scottish and Irish got so riled up when the bagpipes were played that it frightened the opposing army off. (My apologies if the exact details are off, but the point as it came across to me remains the same.) I think I asked if it was the actual music that caused such a reaction, and from what I understood, it was because it was such a call to the people that the bagpipe was such a dangerous weapon--the people united behind the bagpipe's call, and it had a tremendous effect.

I recently received an e-mail that I found deeply disturbing about a proposal to cut healthcare benefits and increase out-of-pocket health care costs for those who have served/are serving in the U.S. military. You can learn more about what is being proposed here. I do have blood ties to military personnel, back through multiple wars, as well as more recently, so it is likely that I would see the effects of such measures on people that I know personally. However, I don't think that I would feel any differently about such measures even if that weren't the case, because there is no question that as an American, I have felt the benefits of the work of those who have served our country. And I think that there is a way that we can stand up for our servicemen and servicewomen as they have stood up for us and the things that we believe in---by making a lot of "horrible noise" when their promised benefits are threatened. No, I'm not suggesting the bagpipes. I'm talking about more about e-mails, phone calls, and letters to those who represent us and our military personnel, asking them to reject any attempts to cut back on or cut out promised military health care benefits. They need our support now, and we need to make a lot of noise. A lot of noise on this subject would, I do not doubt, have a tremendous effect. Here is what I am planning to send:

It has come to my attention that the Congressional Budget office has made a recommendation to eliminate the program TriCare for Life. I am writing to ask you to reject any proposals and/or legislation that would result in higher out-of-pocket health care costs for U.S. military personnel. Those who have served our country, regardless of status--active, retired, veterans--deserve both our support and their promised health care benefits.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

I'm going to write to elected officials from Idaho and elsewhere. I realize that this blog may be read by those not affected by such legislation (who are probably not still reading... :) and by those who are against policies and actions and other military maneuvers that the U.S. has made. I'm not talking about policies or actions or military maneuvers. I am talking about people who answered the call to serve our country, and in many cases put their lives on the line for our freedoms. Freedom is not free, and it is not bipartisan. This is not a political post nor blog, but it is an American one. If you want to join me in thanking our military for standing up for us with their lives, I can think of no better way than standing up for them with our voices...

U. S. Senate

U. S. House of Representatives

Let's go make some noise---a lot of it.