Fall Feast Jubilee


Let me tell you something: I have not cared for a very long time.

I’d say it’s been about five years since I last cared. And by “care” I guess I mean important.

Let me rephrase that: It’s been about five years since anything other than my family held any importance for me.

Five years ago, I gave birth to my fifth child, a son, exactly one year and one week after giving birth to my fourth child, a daughter. So I had a newborn baby and a 1 year old …and then the next year I had a 1 year old and a 2 year old …and the year after that I had a 2 and a 3 year old …and, well, you get the picture.

I stress this because in a society where hardly anyone has children anymore I think it is difficult for the average person to fully grasp the gravity of caring for children so close in age. Not to mention the fact that I also have three other children whom I homeschool. And throughout that time when the fourth and fifth child were still very young I was also milking goats twice a day, milk for those very young children, but it is time consuming milking goats, taking up at least 90 minutes a day, sometimes more.

Life during that time was not “normal” in any sense of how the average person thinks normal should be, not that it matters, but I am trying to show you how completely different my life is from yours. In order to keep up, in order to have any sense of order, I threw out everything that had nothing to do with my family.

Honestly, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that we do not celebrate christmas or easter, have not done so since 2006, and that we observe The Biblical Holydays instead. But, truth be told, I haven’t observed any holiday, holy or otherwise, in at least 5 years…not since my fifth child was born. And you might ask, “well why didn’t you go back to observing them once the children were a little bit older and you had more time?” I could have, but honestly, I didn’t want to. It’s as simple as that. Do you realize how extremely freeing it is to not feel required to do anything? It’s like lifting a yoke of bondage, breaking the shackles of slavery. You have all these groups constantly vying for the attention of families, especially mothers with young children, and to just say NO to all their expectations is quite simply the most wonderful feeling in the world!

Oh sure, we have marked the passing of holidays on the calendar, the children have a basic understanding of what the various holidays are and what they mean, and my husband always takes advantage of independence day and new year’s eve to blow off a bunch fireworks for the kids, and he always blows off fireworks for their birthdays, it’s his thing that he does. Last year and the year before that, my parents visited for thanksgiving and we did the whole turkey dinner thing, but that has pretty much been the extent of any sort of holiday celebrations around here for the last five years. And yes, we still celebrate birthdays, of course we do, I am their mother! The date of my children’s births is almost as important to me as it is to them!  Although, neither me or my husband really bother celebrating our own birthdays …it’s just not important and that feeling of freedom is lost when things become expected of you.

In 2014 I became pregnant with my second daughter, my sixth child, and during that pregnancy I was the sickest I have ever been during pregnancy, the morning sickness phase extending a full 15 weeks before I started feeling even partially normal again! At that time my fourth and fifth child were 3 and 2 years old and they turned 4 and 3 years old six months before their baby sister was born. I wasn’t incredibly busy during her baby phase, she’ll be two years old in a few months, but I did wanna soak it all up and enjoy every second. Because the more kids that I have and the older I get I realize more and more, that I honestly don’t know when the baby I am holding will be my last baby and the baby time is so very very fleeting….

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t often think of other people’s lives in comparison to my own, that’s just not how I think, but lately I have realized just how extremely different my life is from “the average person”. My husband works at home, he is always home, he is always here with us. I am a stay at home mom, I am always here as well, and, of course, so are the children. We do whatever we want, whenever we want. We don’t have to wait for my husband to get “time off” during some holiday so we can go do something together as a family. No, we are always together as a family. Everyday we can wake up and say, “let’s do something completely different today!”. That feeling of holiday, that excited lively feeling that most people only feel around thanksgiving and christmas, you know “the holiday season”, we feel that every single day. Every day is a celebration of life here.

While the children do a lot of “normal” stuff that you might expect from a homeschooling family, like playing piano and guitar, making their own videos and music and putting it all together on the computer (it’s quite the skill, my husband does this as well and he taught them all about it), dabbling in making their own computer programs, just minor things for right now. And, of course, the basic artsy crafty things like drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting with clay etc. And real life skills such as cooking food, and basic housekeeping skills, and we even recently began teaching the oldest son, who is now 13, things like balancing a checkbook and keeping track of accounts and credit score online etc. The majority of our activities, however, revolve around the outdoors. There is the garden, which the children have participated in more this year than any year previous. And of course the animals, we have goats, chickens and rabbits which the children enjoy helping to care for and playing with. There is also archery, the three oldest boys have all gotten pretty good, as well as target practice with BB and pellet guns. Then there is basic foraging and plant identification, and more real life skills such as fire making and shelter making, they even made their own teepee this year and messed around with small animal traps like a snare and deadfall (although they have yet to actually catch anything and the teepee still isn’t fully completed…but to be familiar with the concepts and ideals, a basic “introduction” is what is most important at this point..) not to mention, running all around our ten acres and swimming in the creek which they have done plenty of during this extra hot and humid summer! They’ve also been doing plenty of camping, which we plan to continue to do as we go into October.

October. This October, for the first time in a long time, I really do feel like celebrating the fall feasts though. A genuine desire from deep in my heart to celebrate them, haven’t felt that in a looong time for anything (other than my family!). With Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot all falling in October…plus it’s a Jubilee Year! AND, lest we forget, my own personal holiday, the seventh season of “The Walking Dead” starts on October 23rd! And then there is Halloween, which I actually do like believe it or not. And also all the trimmings and trappings of The Fall Season! Today, for the first time this season, I awoke to a crisp coolness in the air, we got just below 50F last night so, after an extra long hot humid summer, it’s FINALLY beginning to feel like Autumn here!

I have lots of plans for the whole month of October, the younger children are ages 8, 6, 5 and almost 2. The two oldest boys, ages 13 and 11, have celebrated plenty of fall feasts, and even the 8 year old though he probably doesn’t remember most of them. But the younger children (especially the 6 and 5 year old) are at that ripe age of learning and understanding to really begin to grasp some of the deeper concepts of the fall feasts. As in times past I will primarily utilize the theme of grapes, which we typically harvest during this time of year and make grape jam. Grapes and wine and vineyards and The Vinedresser and the great winepress of the wrath of God and how one of the first things God did after The Flood was teach Noah how to make wine….ALL of these are themes highlighting the prophetic significance of the fall feast season along with the secondary theme of wheat (which is also harvested at this time of the year) the wheat vs. the tares, separating the wheat from the chaff grinding into flour then made into dough and baked in an oven which is symbolic of the process of purification that all true believers must go through to become as Messiah who is “the bread of life”, not to mention the fact that he is the kernal of wheat planted that by his death life is given to many etc. etc. I get so excited just thinking about revisiting all of these things again, how they are so interconnected and interwoven throughout scripture. I also plan to write many more blog posts during this time, Lord willing…but don’t hold your breath 😉

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”

41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.” (Matthew 21:33-46)


Whole Wheat Sourdough Chocolate Chip Pancakes


So, recently I was reading this article about how the Russians are preparing for WW3, that the old people are stocking up on salt, matches and buckwheat.  And I thought, “Now how cool is that?  That is exactly what I do!” Except I stock up on hard red spring wheat and good ancient sea salt and waterproof matches, but it thrilled me to no end to realize that I stock up like an old Russian lady preparing for war! … it tells me I am doing something right at least!

The main component of my food storage is hard red spring wheat, my Wonder Junior hand mill, and my sourdough starter.  Using these three things I can make good basic food for my family even in an emergency or “grid down” situation as these are easily cooked on a cast iron griddle over an open fire. I simply utilize my starter as the basis for pancakes.  I feed my sourdough starter at least once a day, and every time I feed it I remove half of it and save it for making these sourdough pancakes.  I keep my starter thick, thick like a dark chocolate brownie batter thick, that way it doesn’t become too watery when converted to pancake batter.


Nice thick “fully fed” sourdough starter, you know the flour has been thoroughly converted once it takes on a fuzzy or ashen appearance on the surface.

My basic pancake formula is:

  • 1 cup starter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

This can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled!  We have chickens so we always have eggs on hand, but it is possible to make this using 2 tbsp. canned pumpkin puree in place of the egg should you want a completely pantry based recipe.


I use the back of a spoon to press the baking soda through a fine mesh sieve to make it easier to stir quickly into the batter.


One can never own too much baking soda!

While the salt is not essential it certainly improves the flavor!  However the baking soda is essential for proper leavening!  Just like when you combine baking soda and vinegar and it bubbles, the baking soda here combines with the lactic acid in the sourdough starter that is a byproduct of the bacteria eating the whole wheat flour,breaking down things like phytic acid and gluten, making it healthier and easier to digest.

So you mix together the starter, egg and salt really well and then add in the baking soda last.  I press mine through a fine mesh sieve, and then mix quickly and stop once just mixed in.  Then let it sit five minutes so the chemical reaction can completely work it’s way through the batter, DO NOT mix anymore after you have mixed in the baking soda, mixing it will “deflate” all the bubbles and the pancakes won’t be as fluffy, then cook like normal pancakes.  I personally like to use coconut oil on a cast iron griddle, it makes them slightly crispy on the edges.


Bubbly Batter!


Coconut oil is another essential component of our food storage.

This basic pancake is great with butter and raw honey.  I also like to make mini pizzas out of leftovers by topping with tomato sauce, fresh snipped oregano and/or basil from the garden, and shredded mozzarella cheese then just stick under the broiler till the cheese melts.  You can also use them as bread for sandwiches, one pancake = one slice of bread.

My other favorite variation is the chocolate chips!  To the basic batter, before adding the baking soda, also mix in 1 tsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. vanilla.  Then when you pour your batter on the hot griddle place some mini chocolate chips over the top, they will sink into the batter while the first side cooks, then flip.  Because sugar is added to the batter we do not use raw honey on the chocolate chip version, but they are really good alongside a couple of fried eggs and bacon…OMG I love breakfast 😀


I use 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.


Place chocolate chips.


Then flip!

Prepping Basics: Water And Keeping Clean


This is geared towards the beginner prepper with limited funds, done in order to secure the most basic things first. This is based upon the classic electric-grid down scenario, which is the most likely, and could be caused by any number of things, from a blizzard/hurricane to an EMP pulse or even a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun, both of which would fry all electronics, even cars and cellphones.

WATER SECURITY: The importance of water absolutely cannot be stressed enough, it is essential to life, without it you die in about 3 days yet millions of people live without their own source of water. Reliant upon being hooked into the city or town water supply the cleanliness of which is dependent upon having a functional water processing plant, the funtionality of which is dependent upon a faulty and extremely vulnerable electrical grid. Most processing plants have back up generators and enough water stored to keep supplies going for a little while in an average localized emergency type situation, but in instances like an EMP detonated over the country or a CME from the sun everything electrical would be fried, and even if the water still flowed in such a situation it would get very dirty, very fast. Quite honestly, it is very hard for me to fathom how anyone can feel comfortable living without their own secure and reliable source of water.

The easiest way to begin to correct such a stupid lifestyle choice is to save one gallon milk jugs and vinegar jugs. Every time you have an empty one don’t throw it out, instead clean it out and then fill it with water from the tap, leaving about 3 inches of space at the top to allow for expansion of water so that the jugs don’t burst if they happen to freeze.  Remember, in a grid down scenario there will be no real way to regulate indoor temperatures without electricity. Obviously though, if you live in a place such as Florida for example, where freezing is not likely to be an issue then just go ahead and fill it all the way to the top! Add 8 drops of regular unscented plain bleach to the jug and screw the cap on tight, shake a little to distribute the bleach, write the date on the outside of the jug with a permanent marker and store in a cool dark place, like at the back of a seldom used closet or in a corner of the basement. Although I don’t drink soda, and I don’t recommend that people do so, you can also save water the same way buy using empty 2 liter soda bottles, adding 4 drops of bleach instead of 8. Also, buy and store extra bleach, it’s a great multi-purpose disinfectant for more than just water!

((btw, you can also store water jugs in your freezer, filling up any extra space, especially in a chest freezer! and use them to keep your food cold at the beginning of the grid-down situation and then once fully melted you can drink the water.))

Another thing you can do, of course, is to simply buy water and store it. One gallon per person per day, store at the very least 3 DAYS worth, for a family of 5 that would be 15 GALLONS and this is just BARE MINIMUM, this does not include water for washing dishes, clothes, or bodies. Three gallons per person per day would be more ideal, so three days supply for a family of five would be 45 GALLONS! (personally, when I lived in suburbia, dependent upon the tap for water, I always stored 50 GALLONS MINIMUM.)

Even then that, to me, always seems so woefully insufficient. Personally, a secure clean water source is something that I would spare no expense on especially if I lived in a place where I was dependent upon the tap. For me, a high quality industrial strength filter, something like a Big Berkey or Berkey Light, along with the white fluoride filters (which also filters out heavy metals and other poisons like arsenic) and an extra set of the black filters, is an ABSOLUTE must have!

This combined with some type of water catchment system, or at the very minimum at least a bunch of extra clean buckets for catching rain water and then feeding the rain water through the Berkey (filter for drinking and cooking but the water can be used “as is” for washing) would be a lot more secure and actually I would do ALL of these: store water in jugs and have a filter and have a way to catch rain water and I would have ALL of that accomplished before buying ANY extra food stores, throwing all available extra cash towards solving the water issue first and foremost, it really is that important!

Plus, don’t forget that, in an emergency, you can also empty the water from the water heater and if you have warning and the forethought to do so, such as in the case of an incoming blizzard/ice storm or other large storm like a hurricane, you can also fill up your bathtub and fill up any other large containers like your water catchment buckets that I suggested before (Lowe’s sells 5 gallon buckets for about $3.79 each, at least that was the price last time I checked) or large stockpots/canner etc. And in the case of a blizzard, which is something very likely to occur where I live in the mountains, don’t forget that you can also melt snow for water!

Extra Credit: Also have a portable filter, something like a LifeStraw or something equivalent to that, for each member of the family.

2. KEEPING CLEAN: This isn’t something that I see covered very often but it is so important! In a grid down situation with very limited water it’s gonna be difficult for most people to maintain their usual first world standards of cleanliness. First to go, right off the bat, will be the daily hot water showers along with the continuous ease of clothes washing and daily clothing changes. Without electricity and an ample source of water such luxuries are far too wasteful to be indulged in on a daily basis.

Better learn NOW to accept the fact in your brain that it’ll be very strict sponge baths in a grid-down situation, what I call “The Triple P” Sponge Bath: Pits, Privates and Presentation (ie. appearance, which means face and any visible dirtiness on arms legs feet etc.) and the same water used for the sponge bath can then be used for washing your underwear and socks. Scrub them well by rubbing the sides of cloth against each other, then rinse them in clean water, wring them out really really well and hang to dry, preferably outdoors where the sun will hit them and disinfect them. Then put on fresh pairs of each keeping your stock rotating between wearing and drying.

This would be your BARE MINIMUM daily cleanliness ritual most likely performed at night before going to sleep. You won’t be changing your clothes until they are far too visibly dirty or stanky to keep on any longer, good idea then is to NOT sleep in your regular clothes but, after your sponge bath and changing into clean socks and underwear, put on some type of pajama for bed, just sweatpants and a t-shirt will suffice for most people kept exclusively for bedtime wear, along with a scarf tied around your head or knit cap in the wintertime. This will help keep your bedsheets clean as frequent changing of sheets just won’t be practical in this new grid-down world. Besides, sleeping in nothing but your underwear probably isn’t the best idea as the odds are greatly increased that something might happen at night where you may have to suddenly flee or defend yourself or even just to run out the back door and shoot some predator trying to eat your chickens. Sleeping with shoes and gun nearby and ready to go is ALWAYS a good idea!

Besides stocking up on extras of your regular soap or body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant  etc. another good thing is Dr. Bronner’s Natural Soap. It is very liquid and concentrated, a tiny bit goes a very long way; just a teaspoon or two in a gallon of water to wash the body and a couple articles of clothing, plus it doesn’t have to be rinsed off making it especially useful for sponge baths!

Cleanliness is so important because people are toxic. I remember as a younger teen, at my church summer camp, an especially obese girl sweating so profusely outside in the hot humid air, she was just sweating and sweating and sweating, and then seemingly out of nowhere, she broke out into a horrible case of head to toe hives! Apparently her sweat was so toxic that she was allergic to it!

Such a reaction really isn’t all that surprising, sweat is the body’s preferred way to rid itself of toxins, especially heavy metals. However, the majority of americans are rarely active enough to get a good sweat going, but in a grid-down situation they won’t have a choice! LOL I can easily envision the same thing happening to all the millions of obese americans so used to sittin’ on ass in front of the TV or computer screen all day inside their electricity fueled climate controlled domiciles. In a grid-down situation without air conditioning, plus the added increase in manual labor that naturally follows, people will be sweating out ALL KINDS of toxins! Which makes it even more imperative that people keep themselves clean or they make suffer secondary afflictions, such as head to toe hives, an allergic reaction to their own toxic sweat!

Proper trash disposal also falls under the topic of keeping clean. Forget about garbage collection, you’ll be on your own in a grid-down situation. I know about, and have read many times in various preparedness articles, the reccommendation that people get paper products as part of their preps. Paper plates, cups, plastic utensils etc. with the reasoning that it will make everything easier at first without having to wash dishes, however, I could NOT disagree more! YOU will have to dispose of all that trash!!

Just imagine the amount of trash that gets hauled away from your house each week, now imagine that trash just sitting around in your yard, in your house, on the street corner. It’s gonna get real ugly, real fast! Bag upon bag of food covered paper plates, coffee stained cups, cruddy utensils, cardboard and plastic packaging, dirty diapers, bloody tampons etc. attracting all KINDS of things: flies, roaches, vermin, stray dogs, all spreading filth and disease.

This is how plagues start people.

Now, under normal conditions, the logical thing would be to burn your trash to dispose of it, but in an extended and possibly permanent grid-down situation this may not be wise. While you and I may have been smart enough to prepare there will be MILLIONS of people who did not and within about three days, more or less, those people are gonna be running out of food and doing anything and everything, including hurting, killing and stealing from others, in order to secure their next meal.

A giant smoking trash fire in your backyard might as well be a dinner bell, if you have something to burn it means you had something to eat which means you might still have more (especially if they can literally SEE the empty food packaging and paper plates covered in food residue as they burn..) and once people figure this out they’ll be all over you like zombies in a horror flick.

Ideally you want to keep the trash build-up as minimized as possible which definitely means no paper products. Instead store plenty of dishwashing soap, I buy this in big one gallon bottles from Sam’s Club for about $5 a gallon, and wash everything by hand, reusing the plates, cups, bowls, pots and pans that you already own (wow, what a novel idea! *rolls eyes*).

Instead of stocking disposable products like toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, tampons, or menstrual pads…which also tend to be bulky and take up space that can be used for more important things like food…store plenty of extra washcloths, hankerchiefs, handtowels, regular sized towels and cloth diapers along with sufficient amounts of liquid laundry detergent to wash them (I buy all these things, except the cloth diapers, hotel/restaurant commercial use high quality white colored in bulk, 24-36 ct. packages, from Sam’s Club). One more reason why it is imperative to have your own water source or, at the very least, some way of catching and storing rainwater. Something like this system <—-Clickable link! an all in one starter kit for about $100.

Plus water collection is a lot quieter and attracts a lot less attention than a giant smoking trash fire! And even though the tap might stop running (and if it keeps running it might not be trustworthy, at least not for drinking and cooking purposes…) the drains should continue to drain into the sewer for quite sometime, which means that you can also use the collected water, most likely the grey-water leftover from washing laundry, to manually flush the toilet as well. Although it is also a good idea to have a camp toilet as back up. You could also use a 5 gallon bucket with fitted seat, a scoop of dirt and then a handful of grass between layers of waste will help it begin to decompose until you can bury it. Having extra shovels is always a good thing too!

For the most part, the food items that are part of your food storage should be removed from packaging and stored in permanent containers like glass mason jars or food grade heavy duty plastic, preferably with an air-tight lid, once these containers empty they would just be washed and stored away in hopes of being re-filled with food again in (hopefully) the not too distant future. Other trash, like aluminium food cans, can be washed, labels removed, and kept as well. If the grid-down situation becomes permanent the aluminium in those cans then becomes a resource which could be broken down and remade into all sorts of useful items.

Same thing goes for other food containers, especially those things stored in glass, but plastic is fine too, like peanut butter jars for example, which tend to have really nice fitting lids. I routinely buy pickles, those big fat kosher dill monster sized ones in those huge 1 gallon glass jars, NOT for the pickles mind you (my homemade homegrown ones are at least 10 times better..) but for the JAR! $4.50 for a nice big one gallon glass jar is a pretty damn good deal if you ask me, it only takes about two days for my kids to eat them all and then the jar is MINE. I store all kinds of bulk organic grains, organic whole and ground spices, and organic dried herbs in those jars and then vaccum seal with a Pump -n- Seal <—-Clickable Link! which requires no electricity to run!  We’ve had one for going on ten years now and it is an indispensable part of our prepping.

Any other clean paper and plastic material, without food residue or bodily fluids on them, can be safely stored in a garbage bag inside a garbage can with a tight fitting lid, maybe store the garbage can in the garage or basement but if you are going to do this the trash MUST be clean, not even one crumb of food allowed or else you’ll be attracting mice or rats! Obviously though, the moment there is opportunity to do so, you would want to burn all of this. After about a week or so, when the smell of riotous burning cities (and they WILL be burning by that point!) can provide cover for the scent and in the middle of the night when it’s harder for the smoke to be seen from afar. Burning indoors in a fireplace or woodstove is ideal. If burnt out of doors try and contain it in something like a burn barrel and keep the fire small to minimize the amount of light it gives off so as not to attract unwanted attention.

That’s it for now, I’ve tried my best to give a basic overview of what I know, if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section.  The next part in this series will be about heating, cooking and energy economy.

Frivolous Lazy ASS Housewives


In the average single income household, such as where the husband works outside the home and the wife stays at home, especially if said husband works extra long hours or odd hours, such as a graveyard shift, I always feel very very bad for that man. Especially if said wife is the type that is always spending money, the recreational shopper type always looking for something new just for the sake of buying something…a new pair of shoes, new throw pillows for the living room, a new kitchen whatchamajig, new DVDs for the children, and every few years she’s all like “time to buy a new washer/dryer!” OR “time to buy that new stainless steel fridge I’ve been wanting!” OR (even worse) “time to buy a new that new SUV!”

And, more often than not, this family is already deeply in debt. Credit card debt, a mortgage, probably two car payments so that she can go traipsing about while her husband is at work (..although I guess most recreational shopping is probably done online anymore, making it even easier to waste money..) Savings mean very little with debts like that, if you don’t have enough savings to completely cover your debts then you actually DO NOT have savings. It’s as simple as that.

And I always look at that kind of a situation, one that I saw quite often when we still lived in Maryland, and I think to myself…well firstly I think to myself “how can the husband allow that?” I mean, he’s the one making all the money, how can he allow her to just spend it ALL with no regard for anything? Whoever makes the money should control the money, that’s only fair. Call me old fashioned, but if the husband is working his ass off all day and night to make the money, he should be the one managing the money because he is the one who earned it therefore, logic dictates, that he will be then one to most sensibly spend it because he understands and appreciates all that went into obtaining that wealth.

In my experience, the majority of men tend to be more logical and sensible than the majority of women; whether liberal or conservative, religious or non-religious, black or white, rich or poor, it seems to supersede ALL boundary lines…it even applies to homosexual relationships! There is always the cool calm collected more “masculine” partner and then the silly frivolous emotional more “feminine” partner, at least that’s what the movie stereotypes always portray and it’s the homosexuals that basically run Hollywood so it MUST be true, right? right? (LMAO!!)

But seriously, men, in general, are more level-headed and common sensical than females.

Now now, I am aware that there can be exceptions to this, and NO I don’t need you to tell me about your “special case” ’cause Lord knows nothing annoys me more than when wives bitch about their husbands (rolls eyes). “Oh he’s just so immature! I HAVE to handle the money, if I didn’t the bills wouldn’t get paid and there’d be no food on the table! He would just go out and spend it all on worthless junk!” but what you’re actually saying is “boo hoo hoo, but he won’t spend the money how I want him to spend it, waaaaaaaaa! *sniff, sniff*”. But YOU didn’t earn the money. “But.. but… but, we’re husband and wife! we’re one flesh! he NEEDS me to help him make decisions.”

Really? Really? Do you honestly think the man is going to let his children go hungry or go without needed things like clothing and shoes or forget to pay the mortgage/rent and make eveyone be homeless just so that he can buy some man toy? Seriously?? Wow, then if that’s the case you did a pretty shitty job in choosing a husband didn’t you? After all, you’re the one that chose to marry the man…how does the saying go? sleep in the bed you’ve made? or something to that effect, yeah I think that applies here.

Do you want to know what I really think? Of course you do! or else you wouldn’t be reading my blog *grin*. I think that you, dear wifey of the above described hypothetical situation, are full of excuses that serve as cover for your real desire and that desire is to live a life of “luxury” sittin’ on ass at home doing next to nothing while your husband slaves away all day, that’s what I think. Either that or you just straight up do not trust or respect your husband AT ALL! I mean, keeping house and caring for children is really NOT that difficult, especially when you only have two and they spend the majority of their time in school away from you all day.

And that brings me to my second thought and the main topic of this blog post:

“What in the holy hell do you DO all day?!”

Historically speaking, the role of wives has always found meaning and fulfillment in securing and maintaining the homefront, doing her damnedest to make the absolute most of the resources at her disposal.  I know that this is looked down upon by the wives of today, but honestly it’s just plain common sense, especially for a single income household: your husband provides the resources and while he is away at work the wife (and children, if you’re homeschoolers) works hard at preserving, stretching, and growing those resources.

For example, number one thing: Land.  Most suburbanite single family home dwellers almost always have at least some small patch of land, what use are you making of it?  It wasn’t all that long ago when nearly every family home at least had a small garden and some still even had chickens, especially in the south.  Chickens are really the ultimate resource maximizer, so much of your husband’s money goes into providing food and waaay too much of that food often ends up wasted and in the trash, especially for those who have children.  But chickens, being omnivores, will eat ANYTHING!  Feed those food scraps to the chickens, even if it’s just 2-3 hens the way egg prices are going it’ll be worth it, and in return you get good healthy eggs, and when the chicken is done laying you get meat! and practically for free.  And the chicken waste can be used to fertilize the garden or fruiting trees/bushes whatever you plant on your land.  The money that your husband earns goes towards paying the mortgage/rent for that home on that bit of land and yet, more often than not, it is a resource that is utterly wasted!

I always see such a big deal made in all those wifey christian circles about the Proverbs 31 woman, so many lift her up as an example, but never actually DO anything.  Yet time and time again throughout that chapter we see a wife taking the resources provided by her husband and making best use of them in every possible way!

If not for religious reasons then do so from the standpoint of pure practicality, everybody knows that the economy is tanking, there is no getting better.  If your husband still has a job then be grateful and work at home to match his work away hour for hour, you have no excuse for sittin’ on ass watching TV or in front of the computer or reading a book or, quite frankly, doing ANY recreational activity while he is working hard to provide for you and the children.  If you are at home there is no excuse for using more expensive and less nutritious pre-packaged foods (or even worse, eating out!), you have the time (especially if your kids are in public school) you should be cooking from scratch using cheaper and more healthy ingredients, especially homegrown which is practically free!

Instead of pining away for some new piece of furniture or some new bit of decorative whatever: fill in the blank.  Instead of wasting money on something new, thoroughly clean, repair, refurbish and reorganize what you already own…you’ll be amazed at what can be done with a bit of elbow grease and some creativity and you’ll be maximizing the resources your husband has already provided instead of wasting money on something new.

Our foremothers, the visionary colonial women, the tough pioneer women, the ingenious women of the great depression, if they could see what the american housewife has devolved into I think that they would be both disappointed and embarrassed at seeing what all their hard work has led to.  That a major part in the economic downfall of our country was played by the lazy, materialistic housewife that squandered and wasted so many resources.  You better figure it out again soon, time is running out.


Nutrition and Food Storage


The food items that take center stage in our food storage system are protein and fat…not canned vegetables, not beans and rice or pasta, or pancake mix and bottles of maple flavored high fructose corn syrup *sigh*…NO! it is canned meats of various types and FAT, mainly coconut oil (both extra virgin and refined) and peanut oil along with smaller amounts of extra virgin olive oil, butter and very soon we’ll be adding in lard as we recently discovered a source that doesn’t have added BHA or BHT (nasty chemicals them is..)

In “the end of the world as we know it” (teotwawki) type scenario, like economic collapse for instance, such as would make Greece look like a walk in the park, which is probably the most likely scenario at this point, not including any number of natural disasters that could occur. The main thing most people will have a hard time getting their hands on will be protein and fat. I mean just look at our nation’s heartland! We grow literally MOUNTAINS of soybeans and corn each year (granted most of it is genetically modified). We, as a nation, also produce lots of wheat and potatoes.

But meat? The size of our cattle herds hasn’t been this low since the 1950’s! (but the nation’s population has grown tremendously!) and we just lost MILLIONS of birds, both meat fowl and egg laying fowl not even a few months ago! (..I wonder what turkey prices will look like this Thanksgiving..) and that’s not even mentioning the pig diarrhea thing that was happening before that, and forget about fish! I’ll take my seafood without a side of radiation thankyouverymuch.  Personally, I mainly stick to canned sardines or anchovies as they are small and fast growing so they can’t absorb a lot of chemicals or radiation before being harvested, plus they are very nutritious overall.

I mean, just outside my backdoor, even without the garden, so long as it isn’t the absolute dead of winter, you could quite easily forage for wild greens and herbs aplenty for a nice salad.  The southern Appalachias has the widest diversity of plant and animal species in ALL of North America (it’s true, Google it). And you could make a soup of wild roots like burdock, chicory and dandelion, maybe adding some wild garlic and edible mushrooms to the soup depending on the time of year, to go with the salad.  Or add the greens to the soup if you prefer.

Of course, all of this would be much more palatable and nourishing with the addition of some type of fat, a nice salad dressing made with extra virgin olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar (which also plays a HUGE role in our food storage..along with real gray sea salt and whole peppercorns and a pepper grinder or three for back-ups). Plus, the soup could certainly do with a dollop of coconut oil, butter or lard and you’d have a meal that can almost sustain, but without the added fat you’d just barely be getting by.

Of course, if you had a gun and ammo you could also shoot something. But that would mean knowing how to use a gun and knowing how to butcher an animal and most americans have never even picked a leaf directly off an edible plant and eaten it…and that’s assuming they even know which wild plants ARE edible…let alone butchering an animal! lol (I laugh merely to keep from crying, God this nation is PATHETIC…)

I would do it even better by having canned meat broth or canned coconut milk or even canned evaporated milk on hand, however the coconut milk has way more fat and calories which is why I prefer it. I would use one or a combination of these rather than only water for the soup. Just a small step above that level would be to grow potatoes or sweet potatoes, which are SO EASY to grow you really have no excuse for not doing so, you can even grow them in an average sized suburban backyard. I would add the potatoes or sweet potatoes, without peeling as that’s where most of the nutrition is, to the soup as well…and now we’re talking almost a REAL MEAL!

You also have to keep in mind the expenditure of energy used in foraging for the wild edibles and in digging up the wild roots, hope you own a shovel or hand trowel! Then finding clean water to wash it all, scrubbing and chopping the roots, chopped finely so that they cook faster, and then making and keeping a fire going hot enough and for long enough to cook the soup until the roots are tender enough to eat, which would involve expenditure of EVEN MORE energy in collecting up enough wood. And that’s assuming you actually know HOW to make fire, which is assuming A LOT I know (rolls eyes).. even with matches or a lighter it’s still not very easy, having some dry cardboard or newspaper will help get it going faster though…

Quite honestly, doing ALL of this just to get a meal is really NOT the easiest thing in the world and most average americans sittin’ on ass all day would probably have a hard time of it, expending more calories then they’re getting in the long run. But, hopefully, if you are smart and stored at least some food you won’t have to resort to ALL of that, at least not right away.

Your stored food, if you do it right, will be there to help you make a slow transition into growing, foraging and hunting the majority of your own food over time while, at first, using your stored food to fuel these activities. Which is exactly WHY I recommend storing ample amounts of fat as part of your food storage plan, one gram of fat is 9 calories! Protein and carbs are only 4 calories per gram, with protein having the most nutritious 4 calories per gram.

My most preferred fat for long term storage is coconut oil, especially extra virgin coconut oil but refined (like the jars of Lou Ana coconut oil frequently found in a lot of grocery stores) is okay as well. It is 100% PURE saturated fat making it very shelf stable at room temperature. Guaranteed store-able for at least five years, especially if it’s in the smaller unopened 1 quart sized containers, stored in a cool dark place like a basement or root cellar it could easily last a decade I would think.

Same goes for small unopened jars of peanut butter spread, like JIF Natural, which has palm oil (similar in composition to coconut oil, both are tropical oils with high amounts of saturated fat) mixed in with the peanut butter to reduce separation, but it also has the added benefit of making the peanut butter more shelf stable as well.

As a matter of fact, just this past week my local Kroger grocery store was selling 16 oz. jars of JIF Natural for 99 cents each when bought in groups of five (their buy 5, save $5 sale). That’s 2,660 calories of almost PURE FAT for 99 cents!! And as far as I can tell by watching the sale patterns over time, they seem to run that sale only about every 8-12 months. But even my local Walmart sells the larger 28 oz. jars of JIF Natural for $4.98 each regular everyday price…that’s still 4,655 calories per jar = 935 calories per dollar which is still pretty damn good. And that peanut butter could easily be stretched by pairing it up with bread or crackers, or making an oriental peanut sauce served over noodles for instance, as peanuts and wheat (especially WHOLE wheat) together form a complete protein.

An especially nutritious meal is to take sprouted wheat kernels, I prefer red spring wheat for it’s higher protein content, ground to a mush in either the food processor or a hand grinder and cooked mixed with water and peanut butter to make something like a hot cereal.  Seasoned with a bit of salt and drizzled with some raw honey it tastes reminiscent of peanut butter cookie, especially when eaten with a glass of raw goat’s milk from our goats, my kids also like it with a bit of chopped banana mixed in!

That brings me to my second favorite fat for food storage: peanut oil!  Not roasted peanut oil, but the more bland flavorless type typically used for deep fat frying. We usually buy huge 5 gallon jugs of it from Sam’s Club for around $40 each…that’s $8 a gallon!  Now it certainly isn’t the most nutritious of fats but it isn’t nearly as bad for you as soybean oil or canola oil, and it can be used for everything from baking to stir-frying and even making mayonnaise.

There is also extra virgin olive oil which should really never be used for cooking. We reserve ours mainly for mixing half and half with peanut oil to make mayo or in homemade salad dressing to drizzle on top of homegrown salads, eaten along with a hardboiled egg or two from our hens, makes for a great cheap and nutritious meal.

You can also can your own butter <—-Clickable link!

…and can your own cheese <—-Clickable link!

I’ve done both and continue to can my own butter, but not the cheese so much as I am not really a big fan of processed cheesefood stuff like Velveeta, but it would be better than nothing when the SHTF.  The canned butter works well though and lasts a long time, the oldest jar I ever opened was three years old and it was still perfectly good!  However, with both the canned butter and canned cheese, storage is important, they very much need to be stored in a cool dark place.  The jars that I had for three years had been stored in the coolest darkest area of our basement at the time, it had a dirt floor just like a root cellar!

For stored meats we buy canned beef from here <—-Clickable link! .. Spam, vienna sausages, canned corned beef and corned beef hash, sardines, and anchovies for the most part.  We like to buy meats that pair easily with what we grow, for example: corned beef hash and scrambled eggs or fried vienna sausages with eggs or canned beef with beans or finely chopped Spam stir-fried crispy with veggies like zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic (the BACON Spam is especially good in a stir-fry!).

The meats can also be paired up with other grains that we store.  Pinto beans, lentils, brown basmati rice, red spring wheat, and thick rolled old fashioned oats.  All are 100% Organic and with the exception of the oats, all are soaked and sprouted before cooking.  The oats being rolled cannot be sprouted but I do soak/ferment them before cooking.

Why do I sprout them? Mainly to reduce the gluten in the wheat and the phytic acid content in everything else including the wheat.  Phytic acid is a compound found in all legumes, grains, and nuts that inhibits mineral and nutrient absorption in the body. Mainly minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins all of which are incredibly important to dietary health. Soaking and sprouting nuts/seeds/grains/legumes helps increase phytase activity, ie. the enzyme that helps break down phytic acid.  A wide range of health benefits have been associated with sprouted grains including: increase in folate, increase in vitamin C and vitamin A, increase in B vitamins, reduction of common allergens (especially with wheat), increase and ease of digestibility, increases in protein content, increases in amino acid content, plus it makes minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc easier to absorb; and in general starches are converted into simple carbohydrates making them “easier to digest” which is especially helpful when it comes to beans.

There is no hard and fast rule for sprouting, it’s really more of a method, basically the smaller and softer the seed the less soaking time required to get it to sprout.  The amount of water I use is enough to fully cover by at least one inch, but you might have to add more if all the water is used up before the soaking time is done.  Also, it needs to be reasonably warm, at least room temperature but 80F is more ideal.  I stick mine in the oven with just the oven light on and the temperature stays pretty steady between 80F and 85F.  After soaking you drain them in a colander and I just leave it in the colander out on the counter with a bowl underneath to catch the drips and rinse at least twice a day which is just like “watering” the emerging baby seedling.  For the things that I store, here is my main “rule of thumb” so to speak…

PInto Beans: Soak 8-12 hours, 2 days for sprouting

Lentils: Soak no more than 8 hours, 2 days for sprouting

Brown Basmati Rice: Soak 9 hours, 3-4 days for sprouts (although I often just soak and cook as the sprouts are so tiny and take too long imho)

Hard Red Spring Wheat: Soak no more than 8 hours, 2 days for sprouts

After soaking and sprouting just cook like normal.  I like using the sprouted pinto beans cooked and then mashed and refried in coconut oil, refried beans are loved by everyone in this household!  The lentils and rice are very often served together in the same dish, but I also use the rice to serve alongside stir-fries and the lentils are frequently made into stew using things like homegrown potatoes and carrots along with chicken broth made from homegrown chicken.  Our favorite way to enjoy the sprouted wheat is in the hot cereal form than I mentioned earlier or let the wheat continue to sprout for another two days, they’ll get very sweet tasting and are great “as is” or lightly steamed and served topped with butter, salt and pepper.  You can also cook theses “extra large” wheat sprouts along with rice for added protein and nutrition.

All done for now, more about sprouting in the next blog post!

Rustic Summer Vegetable Soup


I make this every year, usually in August, and, except for the bay leaf, all the ingredients are 100% homegrown organic straight from the garden! This recipe can also be expanded infinitely in size so as long as you’ve got a pot big enough to hold it all!

1 pound fresh shell beans or white dry bean like cannellini or great northern, soaked in warm water for at least 12 hours but preferably 24 hours
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 pound yellow onions, finely chopped
1 pound zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 pound green beans, ends removed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced

My favorite Green Shelling Bean "Haricot Tarbais"

My favorite Green Shelling Bean “Haricot Tarbais”

Super easy method! First cook the beans, bay leaf, garlic, and onions together at a vigorous simmer in 2 qt. of fresh water until the beans are soft. About 30 minutes for fresh shell beans, 45-60 minutes for dried beans. Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid and bay leaf.

Return the cooking liquid and bay leaf to the pan and add enough water to make 6 cups total. Bring to a simmer and add the zucchini/summer squash and green beans and cook for 10 minutes. Next add the tomatoes and continue cooking until everything is tender but not yet falling apart. Then add the already cooked beans and let simmer for another five minutes or so. Remove the bay leaf. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into serving bowls and spoon some the pesto on top.

Full of basil with roasted garlic on top

Full of basil with roasted garlic on top

Finished pesto!

Finished pesto!

Easy Pesto
In a blender whirl together several cloves of raw garlic or several whole bulbs of roasted garlic along with LOTS of basil, adding enough extra virgin olive oil to get a nice puree of moderate thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I make this every year and keep it in the fridge to add quick flavor to almost any dish, it’s especially good spooned into soup or smeared on chicken. I also make a similar version using cilantro instead of basil.

The finished soup, dished out and cooling, for five HUNGRY kids!

The finished soup, dished out and cooling, for five HUNGRY kids!

Prep Like It’s 1999


“I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin’, could’ve sworn it was judgment day
The sky was all purple, there were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from the destruction, you know I didn’t even care

Say say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna PREP like it’s nineteen ninety-nine..”

I’ve been actively prepping for 13 years now, it’s easy to remember since it began, for me, the day my husband and I got married. He had been a prepper even before there was such a term!

I remember him, only two weeks after we started dating, pulling a huge pack out of his closet and opening it up revealing all sorts of survivalist gear from paracord and a compass to a mini fishing kit and emergency Mylar blankets and everything in between! Along with a map all marked up in detail showing the safest and easiest route, both by road and on foot, to his friend’s property in Southern West Virginia (we lived in central Maryland at the time, just north and east of Baltimore city…)

He also showed me a couple of guns and a couple of machetes that he said we would use for protection on our journey should we ever have to “get out of dodge” – nowadays the average prepper would say “bug out” lol – in the event of another 9/11 or something worse occurring, our plan back then was to get out of the major metropolitan areas before marshal law was declared (remember this was February 2002, only five months after 9/11…and yes, for those of you thinking it, he was a Y2K prepper…)

We were prepping in a tiny apartment just on the outskirts of a sprawling crime ridden city. We were prepping when we lived in an 82 year old fixer upper with a large backyard in a suburban neighborhood in West Virginia. And we’re prepping still, but now in a small cottage on 9 acres in the middle of the deep backwoods of Southeastern West Virginia. And with each place we’ve lived our prepping principles have changed and adapted. Basically, at this point, I think we could pretty much survive anywhere! lol

But no matter where we’ve lived, for us there has always been three main basics to prepping and survival: Protection, Water, Food…and yes, in that order!

There is NO POINT in wasting time and energy procuring water and food if you CANNOT protect it! If you will not or cannot protect what is yours then you are better off not preparing AT ALL ’cause you’ll just end up feeding the bad guys in the long run.

Half assed is a dead ass.

Protection doesn’t only mean physical protection from other people, it’s not just guns and knives which I am not going to discuss here as there are plenty others who are far more knowledgeable on the subject than I am.  However, the subject of protection also includes protection from corrupt and unscrupulous government agencies that have no greater desire than to rip apart and destroy a large homeschooling Christian family.  Always, always, ALWAYS be as compliant with the law as much as you possibly can if you are homeschooling, never give them any excuse AT ALL to think that you are doing otherwise.

Same goes for vaccine refusal. Here in West Virginia if you want to send your child to public school you are 100% REQUIRED to vaccinate that child, no exceptions, not even a religious exemption is allowed. The way around that? You homeschool.

Homeschooling and vaccine refusal tend to go hand in hand in this state.

But if you are going to homeschool, it must needs be done LAWFULLY or else when it’s discovered that you are not in compliance with homeschool law (and quite honestly all it really takes is just one tiny phone call from an idiot ass nosy neighbor who happens to “notice” that your kids are outside during school hours..) action WILL be taken against you in the so-called “best interest” of the children.

That being said, one simple way to protect yourself from this is to keep track of when school is in session and the days the kids have off in the year. Just call up the school board and request that a school calendar be sent to your house and do not let your kids outside unless it is a time when all other children would normally be outside after the school day is done (we wait till the public school bus passes by our house) or if it’s a scheduled day off, same goes for snow days as well.

Of course this applies more to those who live in a place where they actually have neighbors. Even though we now live in a place where we have no direct neighbors we still stick to this rule unless we are all headed into the woods, even a car driving by on the road can’t see that the children are out during school hours if they are in the woods! lol

Don’t be stupid. Pay your taxes (render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s)…if this really bothers you then stick to such wealth production as that cannot be monetized ie. hard assets. Knowledge and skills cannot be taxed, any and all tools are great for this niche as well, especially hand tools. Also food that you grow/forage/hunt along with livestock and wood, whether standing timber or stockpiled from the local lumberyard along with things like nails, screws, etc. etc.

Try not to so much view property taxes as them forcibly taking your wealth, but more like you are paying them off, a bribe to keep the off your back so to speak…they operate like an organized crime syndicate anyways so might as well call it what it is. And if all they ever demand of you is money understand, and then thank the Lord above, that you are getting off lucky! Most governments throughout the history of the world have often demanded far more from their citizenry, if not their very lives!

In many ways I do my best to be the gray man just another nameless face in a herd of blithering sheeple. I’ve been utilizing this all of my life, before I had ever even learned there was such a thing, it just came naturally especially when I was in high school. And honestly, it’s just plain common sense: if you are outnumbered and surrounded then you better do your damnedest to blend in and NOT draw attention to yourself, this is how I got through the twelve hellish years of public school (okay maybe the first five years weren’t quite hell, but the rest certainly were!) with my soul still fully intact on graduation day. It does not matter what they think of you and, ideally, it is best if they do not think of you AT ALL!

Also, in keeping with the gray man idea, we do not belong officially to any club or established organization, not a church, not any political organizations or gun clubs, not even the local homeschool group…we are friends with like-minded people, there’s just no “official” record.

Another thing to consider:  West Virginia isn’t one of them, but some states have laws that require you to have electricity and/or running water especially if you have people under the age of 18 living in your house, make sure that your state isn’t one of them and if so make sure you are in compliance with that law.  The same goes for healthcare (just keep in mind that there IS a difference between having and using)…again, give them NO EXCUSE to target you!!

Getting back to the more practical aspects of prepping, under the category of protection is also lighting and shelter.  The number one thing for lighting that I simply cannot recommend more is a Waka Waka Light, it is a small handheld light with a built-in solar panel that charges even on an overcast day.  We have one for each member of our family over the age of five, they use them for reading before bed but, of course, the true purpose is to be used in an emergency or teotwawki situation. You can also use outdoor solar lamps made for the intention of lining a walkway but they can just as easily be used indoors after charging in the direct sunlight all day, however the solar panel does not work as well as the one on a Waka Waka Light.

One thing that most people in a grid down situation might not think of is simply just doing without light and adapting to the natural cycles of light and darkness.  We quite naturally fell into this rhythm during Derecho 2012 when our power grid was down for 11 days.  You simply work when it’s light, sleep when it’s dark, this is especially important if you find yourself in a population center, using light at night could possibly attract all sorts of unwanted attention.

My main pet peeve about lighting that I have run into several times over the years is this absurd notion that you must buy those little expensive bottles labelled as “lamp oil” for your oil lamps…NO, you do not…instead just use good old fashioned kerosene from a gas station, it’s waaay cheaper and also produces a much brighter light!  Almost needless to say, you can also use candles, I am always on the lookout for used candles at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales.  If not used “as is” then melted down and re-purposed into fire-starters.  I have bought huge pillar candles for as little as 25 cents each! Don’t forget to stock up on matches and plenty of lighters!

As for shelter, well, the securest shelter is one that you own in full and a mortgage, no matter how you cut it, is NOT full ownership, simple as that. We own our own house and land and have been absolutely 100% DEBT FREE since 2003.  The closer you can be to fully owning a house and piece of land as far away from the city as possible the better off you will be and the more secure your preps will be…not much else to say really…moving on to water…

Water! is so important! If you do not have access to a safe clean water source independent of the electrical grid then you better be storing LOTS of it!  One gallon per person per day is the absolute minimum, three gallons per person per day is more ideal.

One thing my husband did when we still lived in the city was locate a natural spring. In the woods between our apartment complex and the eight lane interstate highway, woods that were narrow but quite long running for a good distance along the interstate, about one mile from our apartment he found a naturally occurring spring and we kept it’s location in mind just in case we ever found ourselves in a situation without water…if you collect from a natural water source however, just make sure to boil the water for at least seven minutes, ten is better, and treat each gallon with bleach.  For those who might be interested, here<—clickable link! is a good article on locating a natural spring.

I used to store water in old one gallon milk jugs and vinegar jugs adding 8 drops of bleach to purify and screwing the cap on tight stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight, like the back of a seldom used closet. When we moved from Maryland to West Virginia I remember dumping close to 50 gallons of water down the drain lol. Now we live on land with it’s own well and medium sized creek fed by two natural springs, I still keep 20 gallons (in four 5 gallon jugs) stored in the house at all times though.  I also highly recommend the Big Berky water filter, we’ve been using one since 2006 and they work great!

As for food, I tend to disagree with other preppers out there on how exactly to go about on food storage.  In my opinion, if you do not have the ability to cook or properly store food independent of the electrical grid then you should only be storing food that requires no cooking or refrigeration.  Especially if you find yourself in a city situation, the smell of food cooking is liable to attract unwanted attention, ie. people that will want to take your food.  Bag upon bag of dry beans and rice do you no good at all if you have not the means to cook it!

 Buy Canned Food that does not require cooking. Everybody goes for the tuna, but it’s a poor choice, containing few calories or fat it can fill your stomach but will not provide much in the way of energy and in a survival situation you NEED energy! And FAT, fat is essential in helping your body to properly deal with stress and can even prevent you from going into shock should your situation become especially perilous. Go for the sardines or canned salmon or even canned mackerel, with plenty of hot sauce or mustard and some saltine crackers…it will provide you with REAL (mostly nutritious) energy.

Any of the canned chilis taste fine cold, and other canned meats like SPAM or canned ham (NOT the chicken, you need the fat and it doesn’t have enough!) or potted meat even…any of these paired up with saltine crackers (preferably whole wheat saltines if you can get ’em) or other cracker like Triscuits will provide good basic energy for little money and it will not go bad nor does it require cooking. Other good ideas are shelled roasted and salted sunflower seed kernels, banana chips fried in coconut oil or palm oil (both the sunflower seeds and banana chips I get from The Dollar Tree for $1..I mix these with raisins and mini M&M baking chips, or mini chocolate chips if melting isn’t going to be an issue, to make my own trail mix). Peanut butter is excellent as well and BUTTER is a good idea too, the salted kind can remain at room temperature, around 70°f, for weeks without going bad. All of these things have A LOT of calories for little money and they don’t require refrigeration or cooking.

Also, make sure you have plenty of manual can openers on hand!

Other good food ideas that don’t require cooking or refrigeration: canned olives, canned coconut milk, canned sweet potatoes, beef or BACON jerky in vacuum sealed packages, jarred pickled eggs, canned meat broth, extra virgin coconut oil, raw honey and dried seaweed in vacuum sealed packages..might sound weird but the seaweed will last forever unopened and has lotsa good nutrition it can be soaked in broth and then drank-eaten together even without heating the broth. Also, good high quality moist grey colored sea salt! It is one thing that most people cannot produce themselves (unless they live near the ocean) plus it will never go bad and if you have a large reserve you can use small amounts for barter since the majority of people in a SHTF scenario will be too late in realizing the preciousness of something as simple as salt!

Once you procure the means to cook without electricity, maybe a propane or kerosene stove with ample amounts of stored fuel.  Or, even better, a Biolite Stove, we bought one a couple of years ago, it cooks great, especially the grilling attachment, we use hickory harvested from our woods for grilling…PLUS it can charge any USB device with nothing more than a simple woodfire and wood is the one thing that we have basically an unlimited supply of! Thus enabling us to charge things like our cell phone, tablet or laptop so that we can continue to run our Ebay business even when the electrical grid is down!

Next up, if you’re lucky, prepping and nutrition.  AKA “We NEED Protein People!”