Tag Archive: economic collapse

One thing this shtfmom has given great thought to is how to cook if things go south. Back plans to back up plans…Of course I have your typical electric oven (which I wish was propane, but so it goes). But having gone through a few different times without electricity for long periods of time I have had to address the issue of how to cook without electricity. Yes, there is the rocket stove and you can make those on the cheap…but having a natural abundance of free wood spending that money on a good one (after all I have quite a few people to feed!) and a fire pit and cast iron…well, of course this is appealing to me…not to mention sitting around a good fire and eating great food with great company. There is nothing like an open fire to bring people together. And I don’t about you, but in a situation where you have chickens, alot of the time people avoid the ‘wings’. This is a GREAT way to use the wing and eat well. In any type of situation you may come across in this world, knowing how to cook over an open pit fire will serve well…give it a go and give it a try! Being prepared to cook under various conditions and using different methods is a plus in my book!

My friend over at VaCreepinOutdoors came up a bit ago and he made these awesome Garlic Parmesan chicken wings over the open fire…
Hope you enjoy the video and the inspiration it may give you and maybe next time you decide to ‘grill’ you may think about open pit cooking instead. And by the way…find him on YouTube for more great survival skills…great and informative videos.

Published on Oct 22, 2013

Making wings in a dutch oven. They turned out great.

9 fresh wings. ( total of all wing parts. flats and drumsticks combined)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1teaspoon Italian seasoning
1teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

coat wings in olive oil, dredge wings in remaining ingredients. Cook at 425 in preheated oven for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet. You can flip them at 15-20 minutes. I usually don’t. If you like crispier wings, just cook longer. At time of plating you can ad shredded parmesan cheese or the regular granulated works fine. Or just eat as is.

That’s what I go by for fixing in the oven. A dutch oven takes longer and won’t crisp like an oven but they are fall off the bone good. Expect an hour minimum cook time. The longer they cook in a dutch oven the more tender they will be. If concerned about eating under cooked chicken of any kind, the rule is 160 degrees. If chicken exceeds 160, your good. There is actually enough moisture in the pot to cook for an hour and a half to 2 hours. As stated, longer cook time for a dutch oven, the more fall off the bone tender.

Just be careful that your skills doesn’t get you designated as camp cook. LOL

Anybody can catch a bluegill. Right????.


Typically I do not get into politics, however, I strongly feel that I must say the following:

The government shutdown is just a precursor and a foreshadowing of things to come. The fall out of the shutdown is just beginning and we are barely 2 days into the government shutdown and protests are already beginning….food stamps (upon which a growing population of Americans are dependant upon), the Womens Infants and Children (WIC) program has been targeted, Headstart programs are closing, federally backed housing programs are going to go backlog, Federal parks are closed or closing down…and who knows what else is going to ‘close’ down or no longer be funded…800,000 thousand government workers are ‘furloughed’ without pay…and there are many who depend daily on the spending of government workers to make their own paychecks. This is a downhill slide people and just a glimpse of what is to come in our country.
This country will be ‘broke’ on October 17th, 2013 if the debt ceiling isn’t raised and the way things look, we have an ideology war going on between the House of Representatives, the Senate and the President and the American people are going to be on the short end of the stick.
Let me say this clearly, I am a firm believer that we need to cut big government, cut spending and that the American people needed to become less dependant upon the system. But this has to happen in such a way that the debt this country carries is not just placed on the backs of the poor and ever shrinking middle-class. A reset in the American mindset must happen, one from the ‘I am entitled to have…’ to one of ‘I am willing to work hard for what I have or want’. We are a country of crack-money addicts and the government shutdown is just beginning in a bad economy (I remember the last one) where entitlements and big government programs are propping up many people.
Think ahead a little bit and plan a little bit, get prepared now, be ready to do without, change your habits NOW, scale back NOW, figure out how to do more with less NOW because this government shut down is just the beginning folks and the pinch isn’t really that bad only two days in, but the protesters are coming out already…

I will be doing my best to ramp up my postings on surviving on less and doing more with less, but each and everyone of you knows your own strengths and weaknesses and it starts and ends with you. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, there are things you can do to get ready for the coming storm and YOU CAN DO IT. Be a survivor, get proactive and do it now while you still can.

“In winter, lying in bed, I thought of one thing until my head hurt: there, on the shelves in the shops, there had been canned fish. Why hadn’t I bought it? Why had I bought only eleven jars of cod-liver oil, and not gone to the chemist’s a fifth time to get another three? Why hadn’t I bought a few vitamin C and glucose tablets? These ‘whys’ were terribly tormenting. I thought of every uneaten bowl of soup, every crust of bread thrown away, every potato peeling, with as much remorse and despair as if I’d been the murderer of my own children. But all the same, we did as much as we could, and believed none of the reassuring announcements on the radio.” – Dmitri Likhachev, Reflections on the Russian Soul: A Memoir (of the siege of Leningrad)

Saw the above on Survivalblog.com and think it speaks to the coming storm.
Stay safe, get ready and be prepared.

Author/Editor Survivingshftmom

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 Survivalblog.com 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.

Something I have noticed over the past few months that seems to be accelerating…goods are disappearing from stores. Have you noticed this? Stores are carrying more and more store brands (the quality of which I find questionable in many cases) and removing the brand names. Less of particular types of goods are being carried and by result, there is more ‘space’ in a store (less shelving). And goods are not being restocked and less is being restocked. This goes from Walmart to grocery stores to the local Sam’s club to Target even down to Pet Smart. (In fact, one Walmart store has completely removed their jewelry section). This is troubling to me and I can’t quite put my finger on ‘why’ this is occurring. I understand that we are in the midst of an economic depression that isn’t being spoken about and that sellers are adjusting to lower sales of ‘higher’ priced items (read that name brands) and that they are putting in less choice because they don’t want to put the money into items that are or could be slow movers. But not restocking? Is there a supply problem I don’t know about? Or perhaps shipments are being delayed because they are running less trucks and they are trying to save on money for fuel? (but give me a BREAK, fuel costs went up 2 years ago so that doesn’t float with me). Or is it that we, the public aren’t being told the truth about the value/exchange rate of our dollar and the supply problem (thanks NAFTA) is starting on the other end of just getting the raw product or item into theUS? Something is a miss when the Pedigree dog food I buy from a particular Walmart is ‘missing’ for weeks before they get it back in. Something is not right when a good selling product (such as organic canned veggies or even Dr.Pepper soda) goes on the missing list and I am told they don’t know when or IF they will carry it again. Maybe I am spoiled…but the list of things I have noticed go ‘missing’ is growing and rapidly growing, but the cheap crap from China (including food that is of  a questionable nature in terms of safety…such as apple juice of which over 60% comes from China and contains levels of cyanide that I find unacceptable…that stuff never gets out of your body and you wonder why I insist on organic??) is coming in here faster than it can be sold. What is the deal there? I understand that money is being deflated and costs are being inflated making it harder and harder for the average American to maintain a higher standard of living…but this is starting to feel like an attack is upon us…a trade/monetary war of which is not being spoken. Take a product away and they will buy something else from us. But what about socks? I swear a month ago I went looking for just run of the mill cotton socks and the local Walmart had NONE or next to none in any size, neither did the Target, neither did the Old Navy store near by. And it was only 2 weeks ago that they refilled the shelves. I even had a hard time finding ordinary socks online IN STOCK!! This just strikes me as very odd…and its alarming at the sametime to me, one of the indicators of collapse is the unavailability of goods for a length of time. And before someone points out this to me, I do understand that this past year the cotton harvest was abysmal, so that could be a part of the problem too. But I have to wonder, what are we not being told? Where is it going? And the big question…why?

With this said, I am going to give you a list of items that I have noticed are ‘disappearing’ or getting hard to get that you may want to get when you find:

1)      Cotton socks

2)      Fire starting methods (lighters, lighter fluid, matches, etc.)

3)      Quality Canned Goods (store brand is the lowest grade of food available, avoid if you can!)

4)      Bottled Water

5)      Baby Food

6)      Quality Pet Foods

7)      Ammo

8)      Batteries of all types

There are other things such as soda, garbage bags, detergent of all sorts and media (CDs, Books).

Anyone else notice the ‘disappearance’ of something I haven’t mentioned? Maybe I am paranoid or maybe I just spoiled about having choices, but what I am seeing is concerning me, anyone else? I know at this point, when I see these items I am very likely to get everything I can afford to…tell me what you think?


So the silly season is upon us, the opening shot fired being Black Friday…sigh…and so it begins. I will be honest in saying that I went out into that fray for one thing (okay, stupid! but I promise you it wasn’t for a toy or waffle maker nor electronic…in fact, it was for something that will help me when the crap hits the fan, but I will never, ever do that again and I am not sure that I even want to go into town ever again unless forced to…the madness, meanness and hatred that I felt in town that evening was hair raising and all that over some cheap items that had no real value in terms of survival (unless you call keeping up with the Jonses survival, but I don’t). It gave me a good dose of reality of where people are mentally and I didn’t like it one bit. Result? I am redoubling my efforts at being prepared…every penny will go towards being ready for a bad turn in the world and practical use.

Questions to determine value:


Will it keep me/mine warm?

Will it keep me/mine from being hungry?

Will it keep me/mine healthy?

Will it provide me/mine safety?

Will it give or provide me/mine the knowledge to any of the above questions?

I also keep this in mind…pay now, pay later, but pay you will…I use this saying and keep it in mind when trying to decide if the price in dollar terms is a ‘good value’. Just because its cheap does not mean it’s a good value. I’d rather pay more money wise and have it last and work long term than go ‘cheap’ and have it last 2 seconds and need replacing or repair quickly. And this includes FOOD. Garbage in, garbage health…again, pay now, pay later, but pay you will, some how, some way.

If the answer is NO to the above questions then I am not wasting the time, effort or money on it. Not going to do anything for me but take up space.

So what are items that I intend on procuring for warmth?

MORE Firewood

Extra clothing (gloves, hats, jeans, etc.)

A way to safely procure wood in the future.

So what are items that I intend to procure for the hunger question?

More can goods concentrating on meats and veggies

More #10 cans

A rocket stove

More raised garden beds (this can be done during the winter)

A small root cellar

More canning jars and extra lids.


Sugar (various forms)

So what are items that I intend to procure for the healthy question?


More soap

Hydrogen peroxide

More Vinegar

Alcohol (it has many uses and not just for getting drunk!)

More solid shoes to be stored for later use.

So what are the items I intend to procure for safety?

A CB radio.

An external dial up modem to retrofit my computer.

More ammo.

One more weather radio, preferably solar/hand crank.

And on the knowledge front? Well, I have always been a collector of books but I will periodically check amazon for new ones and I am always interested in medical books…can never have enough knowledge.

So that is my list. What’s on yours?

I have been pretty feverish in my efforts over the last year or so and have a good start, these are the dirty little details that I am left with at the moment.

Remember, plan, set goals and then go out and do. Every little bit counts and gets you that much further ahead of the hoards. Your needs will be determined by your own personal situation, but the these questions will help you to determine what you need.