Tag Archive: Being Prepared


gunscoffee
I am going to start off by saying this: This is my OPINION and my OPINION only…take it for what it is…
Starbucks is now ‘respectfully’ requesting that gun owners do not carry their firearms into their stores after a letter from citizens in Newtown, Connecticut sent a letter to Starbucks requesting an outright ban…REALLY??? Not that I am party to the liberal mindedness of Starbucks and I do realize that private property (ie store owners) can outright ‘ban’ firearms on their property, (such as the AMC movie theaters do…make a connection there??? And lets think about the other ‘no gun zones’ too where bad things have happened). I would question the reasoning behind their motive of ‘respectfully’ requesting that no ‘guns’ come into their stores, after all, a lot of ‘meetups’ occur in Starbucks where gun owners openly carry their firearms into the store, sit down and drink their coffee…and NOT ONCE HAS ANYTHING BAD HAPPENED. Geeze…have you ever heard of the saying ‘when seconds count the police are only minutes away’?
Really Starbucks? Now you are openly telling those who would seek to harm others or rob you, that your stores are ‘gun free’ (respectfully of course). Ever wonder why 7-11’s and other convenience stores openly courted police officers to come and get coffee??
In the risk assessment arena that now places you up there on soft targets. I used to enjoy a cup of joe once in a while from Starbucks inspite of their liberal socialist views, but this is my fare thee well parting…I am not going to be a sitting duck. Politics are one thing, but safety is another and no cup of coffee is worth my life being put in jeopardy.

I am all about saving money and getting the most bang for my buck, however, I do live by the rule ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’… in other words, you can buy the cheapest or mid-grade item right now, because its ‘cheap’, but you wind up having to replace it later on down road because it wears out faster, quits working or doesn’t work properly because its ‘cheap’.
The flip side to that saying is that sometimes you can find great items, expensive ones on ebay, craigslist or yardsales and be cheap but get the ‘expensive’ product. And that is what I usually like to do, find what I what I want at the cheapest price available.

But sometimes, like with pressure cookers, you really don’t want to buy used (too much of a risk and many time pieces are missing and yes, you can buy the replacements, but that just adds to the cost doesn’t it?) so last year, when I went looking to purchase a pressure cooker I turned to Amazon to get one at ‘cheaper’ price. There were two available by Presto and here is my tale of two pressure cookers:

Of course I wanted to save money so I went with the cheaper 6 quart Aluminum pressure cooker (about $25 at the time) by Presto. And this is a direct quote:

• Cooks three to ten times faster than ordinary cooking methods, saving time, energy, and money.
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
• Strong, heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
• Includes cooking rack and complete 64-page instruction/recipe book.
• 9-3/4 by 16-2/3 by 8-1/2 inches; 12 year limited warranty.
4 and half stars from over 300 people…heck yeah I thought! The other one available was the Presto 6 quart Stainless Steel pressure cooker and at the time was almost twice the cost…nope, I thought, why spend the extra money for something ‘fancier’ and honestly what I thought was just a ‘shinier’ version designed to make Presto extra money?
And of course, I had done my research on pressure cookers and found mixed comments on using them on induction and glass cook tops (I have a glass one). So…I went cheap, ignoring my ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’ rule….

Fast forward over the past year…I used this aluminum pressure cooker weekly, not one problem…everything came out perfect, no problems, quick, easy meals…until one day last week…I put in my meat, proper water amount, etc. did everything I was supposed to do, got it wobbling properly and knew I had at least 20 minutes before it would be ready so I jumped in the shower (that one of the pleasures of using a pressure cooker by the way, get it going and move on to something else). When I got out of the shower I smelled the food, which is not usual, but this was really strong…something was a foot. Got dressed quickly and went to check on the cooker and the closer I got the more burn smell I got and then I noticed the whole POT was wobbling along…NOT A GOOD SIGN!!!
Alright, even though the timer said I had at least another 10 minutes to finish cooking I took it off the burner and did my quick cool down, the pot itself definitely no longer sat flatly on the stove, in fact it very rounded at the bottom. Got it open and the meat was burned beyond recognition, 1 inch think burned crap on the bottom of the cooker…lets just say, something went horribly wrong this go around. Warped and burned beyond saving it was…sigh…trash…complete failure on many levels…so much for trying to save money…

So, I bit the bullet and purchased the stainless steel version, a bit more money, but having used stainless steel pots and pans for YEARS I know this one will last forever….it even clearly states:

• Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast; Helps tenderize economical cuts of meat
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically; Complete 64-page instruction/recipe book included
• Ideal for use on regular, smooth-top and induction ranges; Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
• Cover lock indicator shows when there is pressure inside the cooker and prevents the cover from being opened until pressure is safely reduced
• Helper handle for ease of handling; Extended 12-year limited warranty

You can check the stainless steel one out here:
<a href="Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Good news is that now that the old one has died I now have another base plate, weight regulator…threw away the seal as I suspect that the seal also failed since the pot warped on the base…at least I was able to salvage something from ‘trying to save money’…sometimes its just not worth it and in a SHTF situation, or another situation where you might not be able to replace something easily, just keep this little story in mind… cheaper is not necessarily ‘better’.

I have used my stainless steel pressure cooker and to be honest, wow! What difference I notice in the texture and taste of the food and the clean up was so easy (the aluminum was a bit of scrub to clean well)…all over the type of metal used…who woulda thunk it? So ladies and gents, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money if you are wanting to get into pressure cooking…it’s a great way to save time, money (energy bills) and get the slow cook taste in no time…get stainless!!

And be sure to browse the books for pressure cooking for great recipes and a few other favorite things I have found:

Soo…there ain’t Brown Recluse Spider in Virginia eh??? Or so ‘they’ say according to ‘their’ maps. I personally know better from about 20 years ago when I was bit one time on the shoulder doing new construction work and then about 6 years ago when I was bit not once, not twice but THREE times on my calf.
Never saw one though up front and personal until yesterday afternoon…looky what I saw on my ‘screen’ to my workshop only 3 foot away from me:

Yep, that’s a Brown Recluse spider, born, breed and hiding out waiting for me to walk through the ‘screen’ (which is actually a sheer curtain I hang up at the shed door).

Here is ‘map’ where they are most commonly found:
map recluse

The below information is taken directly from an OSHA Fact Sheet (link at end)

The brown recluse belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. The characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern is located on the top of the leg attachment region (cephalothorax). Because they are secluded and withdrawn, as their name implies, the brown recluse avoids open spaces. Brown recluse spiders are dangerous and they can bite and inject toxic venom.
Identification
• Body size: 1/4 to 3/4 inch
(6.4-19.1mm)
• Color: Golden brown
• A dark violin/fiddle shape
(see top photo) is located on
the top of the leg attachment
region (cephalothorax) with
the neck of the violin/fiddle
pointing backward toward
the abdomen.
• Unlike most spiders that
have 8 eyes, the brown
recluse has 6 eyes. The eyes,
arranged in pairs – one pair
in front and a pair on either
side – can be readily seen
under low magnification.
Habitat
The Brown Recluse Spider
builds small retreat webs
behind objects of any type.
Symptoms
• The severity of the bite may
vary. Symptoms may vary
from none to very severe.
• The bite generally becomes
reddened within several hours.
• There is often a systemic reaction
within 24-36 hours characterized
by restlessness,fever,
chills, nausea, weakness
and joint pain.
• Tissue at the site of the bite
and the surrounding area dies
and eventually sheds.
Protection
• Wear a long-sleeved shirt, hat,
gloves, and boots when handling
stored boxes, firewood,
lumber and rocks, etc.
• Inspect and shake out clothing
and shoes before getting
dressed.
• Use insect repellants, such as
DEET or Picaridin, on clothing
and footwear.
Treatment
• Clean the bite area with soap
and water.
• Apply ice to the bite area to
slow absorption of the venom.
• Elevate and immobilize the
bitten extremity.
• Capture the spider, if at all possible,
for identification purposes.
• Seek medical attention.

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data…Facts/brown_recluse_spider.pdf‎

Here is something that they don’t tell you: most of the time you won’t even KNOW you have been bitten, let alone actually SEE the sucker that bit you. I know the times I have been bitten I didn’t even think about a brown recluse bite until after the tissue in the area started necrotizing and the fist time it got so big (the necrotized area) that it was the size of half dollar and I wound up at the ER for something else and the nurse saw it (the wound) and freaked. The next time I was bit I thought they were bug bites until they began ‘pitting’ (necrotizing) and I immediately remember the first time I was bit by a recluse.

And medical attention? They give you Keflex and send you home and tell you ride out the WEEKS that it will take your body to fight the venom and heal…yeah, no joke…nothing to do except prevent and ‘infection’ and keep the wound clean…seriously..
And in a shtf situation or you can’t afford to go to the doctor just to be patted on the head and handed an antibiotic for hundreds of dollars, what are you going to do?

The ‘treatment’ advice above is great general ‘bite’ advice…but personally here is how I have always taken care of brown recluse bites (for some reason I am a recluse magnet) with EXCELLENT results:

BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL DROPS STRAIGHT ON THE BITE
4-6 times a day

Seriously, that it…the first bite since it was so large I used hydrogen peroxide to clean out the dead tissue…let it dry out and then applied the bergamot essential oil, but the wound healed within 10 days and I used no antibiotics…minimal scaring too.

The next I was bitten I immediately applied the bergamot essential oil straight on the bites and while the skin discolored the necrotization only got to be about the size of eraser head and then healed within 4 days…
And that is all I DID…and now, living out the woods almost any bite that I know for sure isn’t a tick bite or mosquito or fly bite (ugh, May Flies and these little orange flying things around here), out comes the bergamot and I forget about it…no issues…

One strong word of caution: this is just what I do and I am not advocating that YOU do this…use your head and if you can see your doctor, especially if you become very sick…just use your head please… I believe that prevention is key in avoiding the doctor and what I have written is what works for ME. You may want to try it yourself or keep a bottle of the bergamot essential oil in your bug out bag or if you go camping just to ‘prevent’ infection, etc. especially if you are not sure of what bit you (since normally you won’t feel the bite from this spider). Everyone will react different and I am writing about what works for me and hopefully you will never need this ‘emergency’ advice from one prepper to another. But it might be worth the small investment of a few dollars just in case…save the antibiotics for something really bad!

Other notes: when self treating when professional medical help is not immediately available I like to use the rule of thumb…treat aggressively and often and don’t IGNORE anything. Don’t down play something new or unusual…

And one last thing: All citrus essential oils are oils that make the skin photosensitive…meaning, if you use the oil on your skin and go into the sun with that area where the essential oil was used…it can cause a bad BURN. So keep it covered….

One more thing to go into the woods with!

You may find more information on this subject at:

Survivalmedicineblog.com

woodsLast year was a personal TEOTWAIKI (the end of the world as I knew it)…from the suicide of my youngest daughters father (whom I found only 10 minutes after speaking to him in person, leaving and then feeling something was wrong…oh yeah it was…and going back to find him dead by his own hand), to the SWAT team at my door at 8 am, to a down turn in business, loosing a business and just about every imaginable small shtf that could happen happening. Over the past year and a half I have worked really hard getting to a new normal while still dealing with life changing events…it has been wave after wave, but fortunately, I learned how to surf! It was full of bumps, bruises and backslides and some painful mistakes, but I have finally learned to surf (figuratively) in getting through the crap life throws our way, big and small. That is the hallmark of a survivor by the way…I have truly learned in many ways what Tim Gunn (okay, I admit it! I do sometimes watch Project Runway) “make it work” as he is looking at a hot mess that aspiring designer has made. But somewhere along the line, my world of preparedness and my thinking became so narrowly focused upon my home and my immediate surroundings that a simple day outing in the woods with my friend became a real eye opener in situational preparedness.

Knock, knock…what the (bleep) are you thinking?

The started off well enough, coffee, breakfast, discussion what to do…common everyday talk between people…suggestion…lets go out to the WMA are nearby where he hunts regularly so he can take a look around (hunting season coming up)…okay…so here I am getting dressed for a walk in the woods, no biggie, I live in the woods…I know how to get dressed for going into the ‘woods’, do it everyday after all…so on go jeans, tank top and sturdy trail shoes…I get looked at and he looks at my shoes and says ‘you’re wearing those???’ in that tone of voice that only someone who does something all time can only have talking to someone that has broken some unspoken ‘rule’ of the road. Okayyy…it quickly dawned on me that we weren’t go onto some nature trail…so off the shoes came and on came the ‘real woods’ boots, you know the kind hunters wear? yeah those kind of boots…I was thanking God at that point that I had spent the previous week walking around in them to break them in (much to the dismay of my 15 year old, apparently your mother wearing camo/woodland hunting boots out in public is NOT cool). I at least had the presence of mind at that point to pull my socks up to my knees, after all, ticks love to climb up shoes/boots onto legs. I also changed my shirt to a loose short sleeve one.
Alright, all set and up to snuff approval wise for what to ware…out the door we go…
Its been a long running discussion between us about ammo, where to find it, prices etc…so we’re headed out to the WMA and he decides to show me where he has stopped before to buy ammo before hunting. Of course, me and my big mouth, having lived in my small town for a few years, I begin to explain to him about one side of the highway and the other and how you just don’t cross that line (its like the railroad tracks)…uhhuh…that went over like a lead balloon…dead silence…smack, upside the head I am confronted with a prejudice that is so ingrained in me that I didn’t even realize it until it came out of my mouth and got a strange look…you know the one, the slightly raised eyebrow real quick with no comment. Anyway, we stop at this little hole in the wall (and that is being not an untruth) gas station that has a sign for ‘check-in’ (as in for hunters with deer and turkey)…and lo and behold! walk back into the back and bingo! AMMO!!! no .22 but they had plenty of other including 9mm (haven’t seen that in MONTHS) and .17 and well, you get the idea…and the prices? pre-Sandyhook!! man, did I feel about stupid, again…so I bought what I could afford and on the way back to the car I have to acknowledge about eating crow on this one. Basically something along the lines about getting over my snobbery (yeah, I admitted it) and thank you for showing me someplace new…the answer was something along the lines of ‘well, its always good to have more than one place to get something’ (nuff said on that subject, point well taken)…but of course on the way out of the area I have to defend my position and my line of thinking (just keep on digging Laura)…anyway, at this point I feel absolutely DUMB and shut up. But I swear, I still won’t go there at night…nope…not…

So over the river and through the woods, nice ride, he’s busy scoping out places to go fishing in the area, pointing out upcoming places to look at from the GPS and we are looking for the no trespassing signs or private property signs (which by the way, I learn from him later that even when its posted you can’t restrict access to public water ways within reason).
Fast-forward, we are on WMA land, he’s pointing out the WMA land, private property, where you can and can’t park, etc, etc. up and down gravel roads, being educated about what Bucks do and what to look for, looking at the ‘weeds’ growing trying to figure out what some are and aren’t…Wild passion flower is an intoxicating smell! Wind up on the water, he does some fishing off the public dock…back in the car…down another road to nowhere…he finally pulls into this parking area and we get out…looking at the weeds…and I need to use the restroom but of course…lol, its the woods…not an issue, not the first time with no bathroom or toilet paper (hmm, remember for future, baby wipes, flushable stuff, paper napkins even better as they server more than one purpose or really, do guys worry about it?) but ladies, remember, when out in the woods, find a slight hill…water runs downhill (at least I remember that). But he had to remind me about bug spray (seriously Laura? I mean, really?) He had some thank goodness, I should have sprayed myself down BEFORE leaving the house!! And off we go through the woods down to the water…come up to a rather large tree that had fallen down across the path and up and over…and me, like an idiot, just walks OVER IT…yep, got the look again…never, ever in the woods just walk over a fallen tree, always step up onto it, look down and then step down…snakes like to hang out under dead wood…I shrugged and said, well, I figured you went first and would have found it and I was safe (ha!), got the look again. Point taken. Where I live these little buggers live, cottonmouths, timber rattlers and copperheads…in general they will run from you, but corner them, step on them, forget it, they strike in defense..
Cottonmouth, the only viper snake in the US:
cottonmouth
Timber Rattlesnake:
timber
Copperhead:
timber

copperhead

And just as a side note, I noticed where people had recently camped in the area…what a frickn’ mess. Not good caretaking nor OPSEC…take out what you bring in or burn it out…better yet, don’t leave yourself ‘noticed’ for being in an area (ha, now why I can remember that and not bug spray…)

Yadah, yadah, yadah…mess around for a while at the water, (at least I didn’t embarrass myself by falling on my butt going down a step hilly area to get to it, like I have done before) I explained to him about WHY it wasn’t a good idea to eat the arrownroot from the water where we were at (duh, plants draw up water and act as filters for the water ways and if the area is known to have high levels of mercury and other contaminates…duh..what will you be eating???) not to mention you can’t just pull a water plant out, you really have to dig them out…of course he had to prove me wrong on that point…I won, I managed not to give him a look.
Back to the car we go…and yes, this time I remembered to step up, look and then down, and I learned a little something on that one, I need to go to the gym, I can walk forever, but stepping up two feet onto the top of the dead tree easily…hahaha…crap…not as in shape as I thought I was. Endurance yes, strength no…sigh…another lesson learned…
But the biggest lesson learned with this simple walk in the woods came a bit later…we are out in a clearing looking at the weeds, checking things out and he tells me to stand dead still. So I freeze immediately, nothing happens so I start to think he’s messing with me and move slightly and then BUZZZ, I scream because I thought it was a wasp, turns out it was a horsefly that had landed on me…but all I could think about at that point was ‘crap, it has been a wasp I had nothing with me to stop the anaphylactic reaction I would have if stung and we are MILES from help’ …DUH!!! I am ready to go at this point.
Another side note, that bug spray I used? yeah, okay, kept the suckers off my clothes and exposed skin, but you know what? they found their way to exposed skin UNDER the clothing…bites around the waist band and a few other places…I now understand the use of pyrethin on clothing…screw the bug spray…

Long and short of this tale is that I had become complacent and non-thinking about my potential situation and circumstances simply by going out in the woods…from shoes, to bug spray to the more serious side of nature, snakes, bees, wasps…it was an eye-opener for me…I had isolated and insulated myself so much that the possibilities just didn’t register in my brain and here I sit calling myself a survivor and prepper…really? I can tell you how to prepare yourself to bug in and tough it out at home, but put me in the woods…and I USED to do this quite a bit before, but because I went into protective mode due to circumstances from the past year or so, it all went out of my brain, and honestly, it could have gotten me seriously hurt or even killed and possibly put my partner in jeopardy. NOT GOOD….
And then it got me thinking…I was depending upon someone ELSE to keep me safe out there….trusting your partner is good but what if? I will be the first to admit that I will never be the woodsman he is, after all, he grew up in the woods has spent his whole life out there, tracking animals, camping, hunting, fishing…but me, I am a liability to him and myself simply because I don’t have even a few basic skills and knowledge of being ‘outdoors’. I got off easy this time and am taking steps to not let the same mistakes occur again, but it made me really wake up…If I had to leave my home on foot or get home on foot, I probably wouldn’t make it over some ‘trivial’ mistake or oversight on my part. They say we are given situations to make us grow, the first is slap on the hand, then a knock on the head and then a hammer and then well, the building falls in on you. I got the slap on the hand and have no intention of getting hit on the head.

So, I did buy the pyrethin spray to treat my clothes and boots and socks…
I have a very small kit together for going out that can be put in a pocket for short trips for bug bites/stings with things in it just in case I go into anaphalytic shock…and a small ace bandage too that will fit in my pocket easily since I am NOT known for being graceful.

And I count myself lucky that I have someone who is a good man and knows ALOT more than me who doesn’t put me down but supports me in my learning.
I also count myself lucky that someone is watching out over me from above.
Moral of the story, we get so used to our ‘normal’ in prepping and survival that we forget to look outside of ourselves and see ourselves outside of the normal routine or what we have planned….while I in no way plan on bugging out or leaving, its always good to have some sort of idea of what may happen if you had to abandon your plans and go do something else.

Lessons learned from a simple walk in the woods….and a blessing in disguise…

The Garden of Rain SHTF

Seems to be the only thing this year that is growing well is the grass and the weeds!
Since I have been out in the woods I have had my hand at gardening after many years of not doing so and dang, I don’t remember it being so hard! I grew up gardening the old fashion way out in the Midwest and frankly, we just dug up the earth and in the plants went and things just grew well, no separating crops, no each one having their own ‘place’ or anything of the sort. Yes, we had ‘rows’ but everything grew together (separating the plants as needed, some on one end others on the other if they didn’t play nice together) but we companion planted in a small ¼ acre and always had a LOT of fresh veggies.
So in the name of becoming less dependant (read that not wanting to spend more and more of my hard earned money on food from the store) I have been trying my hand at intensive, companion gardening…

Since I live where there is a lot of tree roots and the soil can become very compact about 6 inches down I have put in raised beds over the past 2 years, tried growing in small containers. Got the soil right (peat moss for now until composting gets going), have learned a few things about what plants do and don’t like…did everything ‘right’…even prepared for hot weather with no rain or little rain! What I didn’t count on was rain, lots and lots of rain!
Got potatoes in old tires and yes, they grew well, died back and when I went to unearth them…well, found mush, tiny potatoes and only a few large ones…the soil at the bottom tire was soaking wet…not good…am thinking I may fill half the first tire this go around with rock and then the dirt and finishing off with straw as the plants grow (yes, I am going to try again this year, there is still enough time for another early crop).

Typically I have had zero issues with growing strawberries and have several different varieties growing together so I get early, mid summer and late summer crops…hahaha…the new plants grew very little until about 2 weeks ago when they decided to take off and grow literally like weeds and now, finally, I have fruit coming on (I did get a small amount at the beginning of May before the rain started in earnest) so fingers crossed there.

Tomatoes anyone? 4 plants and well, they grew fast when the heat finally came to my neck of the woods but then came the RAIN!!! Took forever for the fruit to grow and ripen properly…and then, after that one harvest (not many and small) they decided to die off (too much rain again). Then we had a week of nice weather and they are now perking up and setting fruit again, but I am not expecting too much.

Lettuce? What lettuce? I planted seed and in the past I have had so much lettuce that I couldn’t eat it all….this year…only tiny seedlings and then poof! The rain came and they went away…the ONLY lettuce that I had was what was left from last year in the raised bed and it bolted very quickly this year.
Carrots, never have had a problem with growing carrots either, but they did the same as the lettuce and what did survive…well, lets just say I have about 12 tiny carrots this year, the rest drowned.

Squash…sigh…miserable…the plants did very well, blossomed well, and actually produced well, BUT, once it started raining…the yellow crockneck only got to be about 6 inches long with skins on them that were ¼ inch thick…acorn squash…they are the size of baseballs and ready to be picked, out of planting 4 plants I got one viable squash per plant…now, the zucchini on the other hand did very well this year, a lot of it…that is until the plants started to rot at the soil line from all the rain…

I had also put in an onion bed in early March…can’t mess up growing onions right? They grew great tops, and then the rain came again and next thing I know I go out and the bulbs are on TOP or half way out of the soil…seriously??? Yes, that is how much rain we had day after day with little time in between rainfall…

My hops plants which I have been growing successfully since I moved to my home took off well and then drowned…not sure if they will come back next year…so instead of having fresh hops to pick now I have some straggly looking vines that are trying to come back, but the season is over for this year for them.

Sheesh…last year I struggled with not enough rain and high temps and this year fairly cool weather and rains that drowned everything and before anyone makes the comment that my raised beds are not draining well enough, its not that, they DO drain, very well, but no garden can survive the kind of rain that we have had this year…everything looks like a drowned cat right now, soggy and dying…

Peaches were another interesting thing this year, bloomed early, set fruit slowly, matured slowly to the point where I was wondering if they would every be done, they finally did ripen enough to pick but one tree did no fruit and raccoons or something nailed the two trees in the back before we got other…

And usually by this time of year I have large bed full of lobelia in full bloom…not this year, the plants are just now getting ready to bloom.

Its been a strange year this year for gardening…definitely a learning experience and I am not too sure what I can do in the coming years to defend against too much rain…am playing with some ideas such as tenting the raised beds (like you do to protect against frost) to divert water away from the beds. Drought I can handle, heat I can deal with, but too much water?

I am just happy that at this moment in time I do have time to learn to how to handle too much rain, too little rain, etc.

So how have you done this year with gardening?
Any thoughts on how to deal with too much rain?

Don’t Put Off Doin’ What Needs Doin’

Ever had one of those moments when something happens and you are left to wonder what the heck you were thinking about when you put off doing something that you just KNEW needed doing? Yep, one of THOSE moments and you know exactly what I mean…putting off getting more gas and running out, cleaning the steps off the back deck only to go down them on the rear, put off going to the grocery store only to find yourself without that all important ingredient right when you are in the middle of making dinner. Not mowing the grass for the 3rd weekend in a row and then finally getting out there to do it only to find that you spend half the day declogging the lawn mower and then having to rake up the clippings otherwise you will wind up with dead grass? Or better yet, buying rice in bulk, putting it to the side to seal it up properly and then forgetting about it until one day you notice a smell or better yet a trail of ants or mouse poop leading you right to that rice you bought but didn’t put away properly? Yep, one of THOSE moments.
Well, I had one of those moments about a week and half ago…I knew I had to get some sort of lighting up going between my house and workshop because it is pitch black out here in the woods at night and half the time I wouldn’t think to grab a flashlight or had my hands full going back and forth. But I messed around, found a million reasons NOT to spend the money or time or effort to light up the path even though I KNEW I needed to do so for safety’s sake.
Early one morning last week I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to come out and work (might as well do something productive right?) and sure enough, trip, fall, hit the head, sprawled face first onto an extra propane tank (and of course I had knocked it over so my head it the edge on the bottom of the tank), neck at some awful angle, arms and legs splayed out with a nice 2 inch cut that went deep. Yes indeed…all because I kept putting off doing something I knew needing doing…putting up lighting so I could see!
Don’t know how long I was out (scary) but was able to control the bleeding and take care of the cut myself (cleaning it etc) and this wasn’t my first rodeo with a concussion (my nickname isn’t Grace for no reason) but what I didn’t expect was to get whiplash from this (and let me tell you, I would by far rather deal with a concussion than whiplash any day!) and that (the whiplash) has had me down and out in quite a bit of pain for the past week…cut is almost healed up (no antibiotics or stitches thank you!) but the whiplash is another story. While I am a big one to take care of myself without seeing a doctor, after 5 days the pain was so intense that I had to go to the ER because I couldn’t get on top of the pain and it hurt so bad I wanted to throw up, yep, not good…so here I sit, thinking about this and kicking myself in the rear for not spending the $30 and 1./2 hour of time to get some little motion sensitive lighting up. Yep, one of those moments where you hope and pray no one says “I told you so”. I know how lucky I am not to have really hurt myself, but my point in telling you about this is to make this point…don’t put off doing today what needs doing otherwise you might find yourself in a bad situation…Like a concussion with whiplash, or out of gas in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service, or needing that food only to find it rotten or infested.
I am lucky in some ways that I know how to take care of deep wounds, concussions and whiplash without using drugs (for the most part!) from a doctor and I will post on that over at Survivalmedicineblog this coming week. I am only using pain meds and a muscle relaxer at night so I can sleep (which is very important in the healing process) and during the day I am using herbs and homeopathics to help myself heal and not go through the prescriptions, but I am still busy kicking myself over the woulda, coulda, shoulda of the whole situation…all this could have been avoided IF ONLY I done what needed doing instead of putting it off. $30 dollars and ½ hr of my time…needless to say the lights are up now.
And this got me thinking and looking around my house…what ELSE am I not doing that could be life saving or important for me to get done? Not a whole lot, but needless to say I now truly understand the importance of getting my priorities straight, health and safety first! I have had my children clear out pathways around the house (trip and fall), gotten more lighting up, cleared the grape vines away from the back deck steps (they were a virtual FENCE)…am getting ready to repaint the outdoor stairs with an anti-slip paint (yep, another one of those things that I have paid for in the past with pain), replaced fire extinguishers…figured out my kids had used up half of my battery supply without telling me (replaced those!) and have a phone call in for a chimney sweep to come out and clean my wood stove. I am sure there are other things that I need to do too that fall under health and safety that I haven’t found yet but I will…my priorities have suddenly changed to taking care of business to make sure things around me are safe and sound BEFORE I or someone else gets hurt or something else fails when its most needed.

So dear readers, what are YOU putting off doing that you know needs doing?

And by the way, you can find the lighting I bought and put up over at my Amazon store…cheap, effective and easy to put up!

Stay safe and take care of business this week!