Archive for January, 2012

Have you ever gone to make a meal, gotten almost done making it, and then viola! You are missing the last ingredient? Or how about outside working in the yard, pick up a branch or 2×4 or some such thing, gotten a splinter (why are you wearing work  gloves eh?) and then can’t take it out because you can’t find the darn tweezers? Or better yet, skipped putting gas in the car coming home from work even though you are almost on E and then wake up late the next morning (come on! Admit it! You have done this!) and getting gas is the LAST thing you have time for?


Well, these are all ‘little things’ that could really mess you up and points out an underlying principle in being prepared. Remembering the ‘little things’ in you plans. All the prepping and gathering won’t do you a darn bit of good and might even cost you your life if you don’t remember the little things. While ‘remember’ at the last minute right now might just be a hassle, if things get even slightly dicey (speaking from experience here and the little things that I overlooked for an itty bitty hurricane named Irene) you could find yourself up a creek without a paddle so to speak, and unable to get ‘it’ at the last minute.


So, a list of lists begins (yet again) of what I think some of the most often overlooked items to have. Some of this is based on personal experience and some is just plain knowing.


In no particular order except #1:


1)      keeping the gas tank filled…seriously, I am even lax about this sometimes and can find all sorts of excuses not to fill up the tank again when it gets down to half…bit me just today when lo and behold, when I went to go get my kids from the babysitters, gas had jumped 10 cents in just a few hours…sigh

2)      tweezers…these are great for all sorts of things but if you don’t have them, you don’t have them and I ALWAYS recommend having more than 4 in the house and even 1 or 2 in the car. From experience, don’t go ‘cheap’ on all of them. The dollar store ones are just fine for nabbing ticks or larger things, but have you ever tried to dig out a splinter with a rounded wide edged pair of tweezers. Not fun and more damage gets done than doing good.

3)      Work gloves, more than one pair and more than one type. You can often pick up wholesale lots on eBay or just wait for Walmart to put them on clearance. For some reason around my house one of the pair manages to disappear unexpectedly and sometimes that’s okay (don’t throw the lone one away!) but sometimes its not. I have a plastic shoe box full (over full really) of various work gloves including the plastic ‘chemical’ type.

4)      Needles as in ‘sewing’ needles. Not just for mending clothes but people too in a pinch, fishing out things in the skin, puncturing holes in things. The dollar store or Walmart will often carry big packs of them on the cheap.

5)      Electrical tape. No joke! Great for sealing things up tight, including leaky pipes in a pinch. Again, eBay has some great bargins on this.

6)      Cayenne Pepper. This great for all sorts of odd things in a pinch…bug control, controlling bleeding (including internal), clearing the sinuses and cooking too!

7)      Plastic Tarps…need I say more? How many do you have?

8)      Lighters. Anyone who smokes (no judgment here, we all have to have our vices) knows the frustration of not being able to find a ‘light’, but think about it. Small, compact, fire starting potential. Great for putting a seal on plastic (carefully) or even melting the end of a rope or shoe string.

9)      Nuts, bolts, washers, nails, screws…you get the idea. I absolutely HATE loosing one of these and then being SOL until I can make it into town. You can pick up ‘assortment’ packs at Walmart, Lowes, even the dollar store sometimes for a tiny investment. I particular LOVE LOVE drywall screws J Never have enough of these!

10)  A good set of hex keys, screw drivers (and not the little bits for the electric gizmos, but hand ones, unless you are lucky enough to get a non-electric ‘socket’ type screw driver set. But with that said, this might not fit in every where), tiny screw driver set. While the dollar store is a good ‘start’, I have found that the tools from there aren’t so great for heavy or hard use. Spend the money as you can to get a GOOD set. And don’t forget a good socket set too.

11)  WD40 or something similar. Oh the headache trying to break loose the oil drain plug on the new generator in 90 degree heat! I would have given almost anything for this right after the hurricane… but someone used the last of it and didn’t say anything to me about it…grrr…

12)  Manual Can Opener and more than one of them. I have used this type for several years, wearing them out eventually of course, but living out in the ‘woods’, weelll…lets just say I learned the hard way on this one. The can opener ‘died’ (wouldn’t work) and I figured out no one local carried them or didn’t have them in stock. 2 days without one really drove home the point on redundancy to me. And I don’t want you buying those cheap little skinny ones…those thing stink and are hard to use. Go to Wally World and spend the extra 2 bucks and get one with a nice size grip and twist handle. Your hands will thank you.

13)  Toliet paper and baby wipes…do I need to say more? Unless of course you are growing Lambs Ear in  your herb garden or plan on using your T-shirt in a pinch.

14)  Lots of batteries as money permits. Dollar store ones are okay. I have had some for several years that when I dug them out they still had juice. Can’t promise how long they will ‘last’ when used, but in a pinch, they work.

15)  Got pets? Don’t forget their food. I personally freak out when I have a full plastic kitchen garbage can full with one extra bag. 4 Pitbulls J they like to eat. But seriously. How many of you have pets and wait until you run out before buying another bag of food?

16)  Garbage bags…both the white ones (kitchen) and black ones (lawn/leaf/contractor) Great for a million and one things besides the garbage. How many do you have left in your pantry?

17)  Anti-histamines

18)  Got a baby? Diapers and more than one package of them.

19)  Scissors of all types and sizes from tiny to big.

20)  Zip Lock baggies of all types and sizes and not just a couple boxes of them…they are handy for a zillion things, reusable and take up almost no room.

21)  Thread, string, rope

22)  Salt

23)  A good book or two

24)  Comfort food, simple things, snacks

25)  OTC Pain killers

26)  Food staples such as bread, milk, eggs, butter, salt, rice (even if its freeze dried)


The list could go on and on, but these are some of my favorite ‘little things’ that when I don’t have them…well, I feel a bit stupid.



Happy New Year?

Happy New Year my fellow survivors and preparedness believers…I hope you had the chance to spend the holidays with your loved ones in peace and comfort. I had most of my family in my home which was good and led to some interesting moments and some truths coming out, but I am grateful for them and being able to be with them all none the less. But as you and I go into 2012 I am wondering what this new year will bring to us.

Last month, December, was a month that I don’t care to repeat financially however…as people beat each other up over waffle makers, maced each other to get the latest Xbox and took shots at each other over tennis shoes, my own eBay business tanked and tanked hard right before Thanksgiving. So much for the holiday spending and from what I also understood from other sellers, they didn’t have much going on either which is really strange for eBay during the holidays. For me, there were some obvious reasons as I lost my ‘top rated’ seller status thanks to a nasty little man who tried to get a refund from me without returning the crystal (which resulted in my listings basically being on the bottom of the pile) but there was something else going on too…and that was the Euro…a lot of my big sales that sustain me during the winter months come from Europe and the month of December saw a dramatic fall in the value of the Euro verses the dollar…not good for sales and the governments over there are really getting hyper about getting their VAT taxes on packages that come into their country, so those sales are disappearing somewhat. And there are those who still think that what happens in Europe stays in Europe…ha! We are pretty interconnected economically and I for one am very concerned about the drop of the Euro. It looks like Greece won’t be the only country going down in flames this year and the Lehman Brothers didn’t learn a darn thing…or did they?

But anyway, things turned around on eBay for me last week in a big way as soon as my ‘top rated’ status came back…interesting huh? Supposedly this ‘status’ isn’t supposed to be such a big deal, but as I found out, lose it and you are punished. Call me paranoid, but I am left with the feeling that eBay does its best to punish sellers who make some buyers mad and caters to ‘the customer is always right regardless’ mindset which is part of the problem in this country…And I am left wondering how to prevent this issue from coming back up without resorting to being held hostage by individuals bent on getting something for nothing with their Khol’s/Walmart mentality nor having to cut prices and giving free shipping to all to keep sales up…but this is what I am up against and trying to find a happy medium the beginning of this year.

I had thought that perhaps having other websites would be a safety net against eBay meltdown but have learned otherwise and this leaves me feeling very uncomfortable this new year with more questions than answers. But I will figure it out, usually do if I just let it sit for a while. Amazon is looking better and better but the cost of doing business there and the difficulty of getting a storefront together on their site makes me shy away from them, but I may have to bite that bullet.

A few things I did learn from this experience is that I have done pretty good on my preps. Didn’t have to worry about food or toilet paper or diapers while I had no money coming in  and figure that I could last upwards of 3-4 months even with a house full of people on what I have on hand right now which means I am making progress!!! What little came in went to gas for the most part and dog food (have you noticed that the prices of dog have gone up and you are getting less for it??) I am seriously considering going to the following recipe for my Pitbulls to save on money and be able to stock up for them. I have copied this from and will post the entire posting in a bit just as an FYI as a reference for you… this is the permanent link to the article on Survivalblog : How to Make Homemade Dogfood


The “Third Recipe” for Dogs:

White rice- boiled with an optional chicken bullion cube – carbohydrates for energy, easy digestion and bullion cube for favor. You can substitute potatoes occasionally. No pasta, will ruin a dog’s teeth.

Vegetables – frozen or canned or fresh – green beans or peas/carrots or mixed vegetables – I prefer frozen over canned – and green beans are best. Easily digested and have fiber.

Meat – chicken, turkey, tuna or beef or wild game or eggs

Two half meals – morning and evening- and the cup portions depend on the size of your dog(s). All ingredients are roughly in thirds, but if you have an active dog, use more rice.

Primatene mist has now disappeared from the shelves and is now illegal to sell at all. It seems that is a victim of the ban on CFC’s but my instinct tells me that big pharm and the AMA pushed this. Just another victim in the march towards control of the populace in my opinion. I suspect that we will see an increase in deaths from Asthma in the coming months and years as those who didn’t know get caught without emergency asthma control or run out of what they were able to stock pile or expatriation dates come due on what is had.

As an aside, Sam’s club in my neck of the woods has some awesome deals on cold weather clothing and socks.

It seems that the Judiciary in Virginia has declared a silent war on bailbonds and Constitutional Rights of its citizens…magistrates in my neck of the woods are telling those with secured bonds to bring cash or titles to their office to get someone out, that the person who has a secured bond can’t use a bailbondsman. Regardless of your stance on bail, you have a right to use a bailbondsman to post bail for you if you live in this state (VA), you don’t ‘have to post cash or land’ in order to get someone out of jail. And the dangerous part of this new trend is that the STATE holds your money until you are adjudicated fully which can be months and then they take out fines and fees before giving your money back to you. Interestingly enough, they aren’t telling people THIS little fact, but instead are telling people that if you pay a bondsman you don’t get the money back (which is 10% of the bond amount) but if you post the cash or title you will get it back. They forget to tell the fine print…

Now, with this said, the state of Virginia is having a hardtime getting its fines and fees from those court ordered to pay them and I suspect that this is an attempt to ensure that these get paid. And IF you are late getting to court or somehow or other miss your court date, well, guess what? You forfeit that money you posted immediately, no recourse, no hope…done deal whereas if you use a bailbondsman no worries, the bailbondsman has legal recourse with the courts such as a time frame to make sure you ‘appear’ before he has to forfeit.

Interestingly enough we (myself and my partner) have seen the courts changing dates and times without letting the defendant know about it. Their (the courts) answer to this is ‘well, its YOUR responsibility to make sure you appear and that YOU have your dates and times right’. Now, with that said, somehow the lawyers involved (mostly court appointed) know about the change but the defendant doesn’t get the message…makes you wonder doesn’t it? Sigh…seriously? Somehow I have a hard time accepting that the courts can just change things and then expect you to somehow magically know this without giving notice in writing like they USED TO DO. You’d get a letter in the mail well in advance, but now they just let the ‘court appointed’ counsel know and let it go at that…and this person just happens to work for the state… I smell something rotten going on and regardless of your opinion or stance on crime or belief about those who get arrested, it should worry you when the courts start demanding money for release and don’t give you the option of using a bailbondsman (in the states where this is the norm) and then start changing dates and not giving notice to the person whom it most effects. It just doesn’t sit right with me…sorry, my opinion and I am not liking the trend that I am seeing. I can’t help but wonder how many other states are doing this too to get money in their pockets.

And just in case you have been hiding under a rock…Obama signed the NDAA into law on the 31st.  Read more about it here…NDAA There goes your rights…though ‘they say’ that it won’t happen…uh huh…isn’t that what they said about Too Big to Fail and bailing them out? Happens everyday now…

Anyway, life rolls on and I was able to replace what I used for the most part and add a few goodies too…bit the bullet and bought a case of freeze dried yogurt bites from Thrive the other day. My kids will eat this and dairy is important to have in your diet especially if you are female. Found a good deal on cotton tube socks on ebay yesterday too. And just a heads up for those who are stocking up on antibiotics…tetracycline is becoming harder and hard to get so you may want to look into this since it’s a ‘go to’ antibiotic.

Lastly, the flu is going around and manifesting itself as a potentially nasty upper respiratory issue that comes on quick and lingers. I am just hearing this from people that I know looking for ways to halt the slide into pneumonia that seems to happen if you don’t catch it in time. Suggestion here…get the homeopathic Bronchitis by Heel…it seems to stop it (the pneumonia) from happening and for adults I wouldn’t be afraid to use Mormon Tea mixed with rosemary to help yourself.


Happy new year one and all, keep your eyes open and keep on preparing and keep your loved ones close to you this year. Mend the fences that need mending and let go those things that no longer serve you. Life is too short and unpredictable to carry burdens upon your heart and carrying these burdens gets in the way of being prepared.