Tag Archive: prepping

Today a few things have come to my attention that bears ME looking at my own personal GOOD plans and preparedness and perhaps you should too…first on the agenda of things that will come to pass…The state of Minnesota went into shut down mode a couple of weeks ago over an impasse in the budget (hmm, sounds familiar) where a lot of people who worked for the state have been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, but today, the Miller Brewing Company announced, that because no one is available to process licensing, they may have to shut the plant down and pull all their beer from store shelves and bars. While this in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much, it’s the large picture that does. We are so regulated in our everyday lives that even a partial shut down of the big gov brother would cause untold misery. Not that not having the beer of your choice is a big deal (though I suppose it will wake some people up to the impending reality of economic crisis) but it’s the fact that we take for granted so much of a government running (somewhat) efficiently that when it stops, even for a short time, that it can have dramatic impact on our personal and daily lives, especially if you are a business owner such as I am, let alone our food supplies that are so heavily regulated… This is troubling…and is starting me thinking even more about the little things that I take for granted in being able to get right now…liquor for my herbal medicines, herbs from out of the country, heck, right down to the envelopes that I use for mailing things (which aren’t made in this country). It also makes me wonder about law enforcement (which is already hurting from cut backs) and what the roads and areas are like up there right now and what it could be like in my neck of the woods if my state every went into meltdown mode (or my country for that matter since the state is so hooked on that feeding trough). My other business is dealing with the courts…and right now in the state I live in they are backed up to the hilt (which has other consequences) and are not hiring even to replace key people such as court clerks that make the wheels of justice MOVE with speed…what would happen if this continues along as it is and people quit or get laid off? Nothing will happen, no one get anything done in the courts and it basically would become a septic tank back up that would take years to unravel…definitely not a pleasant thought on top of everything else…in China yesterday a 12 year old bridge came apart…and in California they are closing a 10 mile stretch of a major highway for a couple of days…THEY ARE WARNING people to expect 30 mile back ups and to BE SURE TO HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS…(and this happened in China not too long ago…took DAYS for people to get home) What’s my point here? From a survival and preparedness stand point it reminds me that we are so dependant upon our infrastructure that isn’t being taken care of (I vaguely recall somewhere where a large section of highway peeled up because of the intense heat) or that is getting hit hard by the weather this year that it becomes imperative to keep that full tank of gas and know all of the get out of dodge routes that you can possibly know and don’t depend upon that navigation system either that thing is programmed for major roads and doesn’t know its head in the ground sometimes. But escape routes are important no matter where you are at and for many reasons. I for one don’t want to be caught at the grocery store and not know how to get home if something happens to my normal route or having to leave home or the area for some reason in all haste and be stuck having to use major routes with everyone else (think Houston during that hurricane). And having a full tank of gas, well, that’s nice too but getting caught in a 30 mile back up? Just how long will that tank last…and the highway authority is TELLING people NOW over construction work that was planned…hmmm…just something crossing my mind today…

In short, I am reassessing my GOOD plan today and need to remember to top off the gas tank too this afternoon. This GOOD plan (get out of dodge) should include escape routes, mode of transportation, what you will take with you (food, water, clothing, personal items, pets, valuables, you have to make choices and doing so now, having that plan will make it easier just in case) and knowing where you will go in the advent of such and such. You should also have a GOOD Plan for if the SHTF when you are work…same drill…and this means having in your car a good BOB (bug out bag) that would or should conceivably get you home or to the agreed upon location with your family. I am thinking about the ‘what if’ plans for my businesses too and need to make some decisions soon about particular things dealing with my businesses. Continuity type things…And again, I am thankful today that I don’t live inMinnesotaorCalifornia…they are dealing with some major SHTF issues and its not even bad yet.

Do you have a GOOD Plan? A BOB bag? Know the routes that can save your life and get you out of Dodge without facing the hordes and zombies? (Yeah, the very same ones who no longer have their beer) And yeah, I know it sounds funny that way, but humor keeps you sane you know?

I am almost 40 years old…a mother to 5 children and 4 Pitbulls…a small business owner (2 of them) so I work for myself from home…a prepper and very much a survivalist as I have survived some pretty ugly, life threatening and definately life changing situations in my life. I am very aware of just how quickly things can change in a heartbeat, either through my own decisions and choices (or lack there of) or by someone close to me or through the actions and decisions by others who are virtual strangers to me. So the question is what exactly is SHTF and TEOTWAWKI?

To start with, SHTF is $hit hitting the fan…or all hell breaking loose or really bad things happening that spiral out of control and where it stops nobody knows. It can be a matter of large or small, but in generally accepted terms and circumstances it means really, really bad things are happening that you are unable to control or stop. On a more personal level it could mean an ugly divorce, the loss of a job or unemployment benefits or even the car breaking down…A SHTF senario can happen on a world or country level, such as we saw when the banks almost collapsed across the global a few years ago, or the collapse of Argentina’s economy and Greece’s pending implosion or the world trade center terrorist attacks or the housing bubble and subsequent bank meltdowns for which they then asked for a handout. These are the root CAUSE of SHTF, but it’s the aftermath of the cause of the crap hitting the fan that concerns most. Many times the situation of the crap hitting the fan starts at the top until it reaches the individual where it is transmuted into higher gas prices, job losses, family members going off to fight a war, food prices going up and up and well, any number of things.  For many it can be a series of events beyond their control that turns their life into a living nightmare of nothing but problems with little, few or no good solutions that can leave one feeling helpless, confused and scared to death.

It is my personal belief that SHTF is happening right now and we are just beginning to smell it and just beginning to see it. SHTF changes lives and the way we do business and how we live…it is happening right now and it is snowballing into a TEOTWAWKI…(the end of the world as we know it which is the very bad end to SHTF).

Most of the media and others would have you believe that SHTF is some cataclysmic occurance and that TEOTWAWKI is something that will happen quickly. But that isn’t necessarily true…stop and think about it for a minute…for many of us, things are just harder and changing how we live though we grew up knowing mostly nothing but good times (but I remember the gas lines of the 70’s and listening to my parent lament about rising food prices at the same time). Growth into the McMansion era, good jobs and salaries were for the most part easy to come by, credit was easy to get for many things and in many ways. Food and gas prices until the recent past were stable and fairly reasonable for the basics. Home prices kept going up along with the stock market and investments…things were great in general, even after 9/11, though it came to our collective consciousness at that point that there were other in the world that hated us because we were Americans. I believe that that single occurance, 9/11 ushered in the first wafts of SHTF on a massive scale and that 9/11 was definately a TEOTWAWKI event that morphed our world into the current wave of SHTF that we are now experiencing because the policies that implimented in the 9/11 aftermath are primarily responsible for the state of the union and world that we now face head on with no escape and no good answers. (But not completely responsible, just the catalyst).

With record unemployment, (and the numbers the media uses ‘adjusted’ so that the truth is obscured), expodentially rising costs of fuel and food and housing, banks going under in record numbers, other countries going under even with ‘loans’, the weather events of the past few years, medical help becoming further and further out of reach as we need help and environmental concerns rising, can you honestly deny that we are in a SHTF senario that is TEOTWAWKI? This is what I am trying to survive through so that I may come out on the otherside alive with my family and friends alive too. I see the signs and you can too if you care to look…while it’s certainly possible that a comet may hit us, or some 2012 movie scene may happen or a dirty bomb will explode, I am not betting my last dollar on that nor do I worry overly much about things like that either. In the real world its the day to day grind and small things that add up to TEOTWAWKI on slow boil. Most certainly along the way big bad things will happen like Katrina (and if you didn’t get THAT message loud and clear that you are on your own please do so now) or the quake in Japan that caused several meltdowns to happen at one time, but again, I emphasize that SHTF, in reality, in the moment, is the series of small things beyond our control that in the end cost us big and make us change our life and lifestyle. We are in the midst of SHTF and witnessing TEOWAWKI. And I am sure, that coming up in the future that there will BIG sprays from the fan and leaps and bounds on the front of TEOWAWKI.

Do I sound like a doomie or someone who is paranoid? I don’t think so, I have just lived through my own personal versions of SHTF and TEOTWAWKI more times than I care to admit and I am a good student of history and human behavior…I am feeling a haunting deja vu but on a much bigger scale than in my own life. I see that we are all so very connected and that what happens ‘over there’ has a direct impact ‘over here’. I know for a fact that those who feel they are loosing power tend to exert it even more and do their darnest to take away freedoms in the name of ‘safety’ (this smacks of domestic violence). I know for a fact that when gangs of people feel free enough to walk into a store and take what they want and leave that something is very wrong. I know for a fact that when someone is half-beaten to death over an ipod on the open street that something is very wrong. And I know something is definately wrong when our Constitutional and Civil rights are thrown by the wayside in the name of making things better and safer.

Its really not that hard to miss or understand what SHTF is or that the result is TEOTWAWKI when you see it this way. Are you prepared and ready to survive? I am working on it, how about you? I am hedging against TEOWAWKI by gathering food, water and other essential items I and my family will need until the crap stops flowing. All you can do in a SHTF situation and in this very moment is to hold on for the ride and do your best to be prepared for what may come during and after the worst of the SHTF. And when you get to the otherside of TEOWAWKI and are in the reality of the flip side, I hope and pray that you got yourself ready as much as you could because I really want to see you there, whole and healthy. SHTF happens and TEOWAWKI happens, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t survive it.

One thing that I am always on the look out for is a GREAT deal…after all, what mom who is preparing for SHTF wouldn’t be? Its more important than ever to stretch the dollar, make the most of what you have and get ready for ever increasing self-reliance. So, lo and behold, I found strawberries (organic) at the local grocery store today. On sale by the pound, many on the point of being overripe (but those are the BEST aren’t they?) and I just couldn’t help myself. Had to buy what I could reasonably manage to eat and dry in the next few days. My family loves to eat them enough that I put in about 100 bare root strawberry plants this year, but being small they only produced a handful of small (but sweet) berries this year. Made a mistake though, didn’t get everbearing plants so right now the plants are growing but no fruit for the rest of the summer…oh well, next year unless I can find some everbearing plants on eBay in a couple of weeks. Last years plants were eatten by my greenie Pitbull (the same one who over the past couple of weeks has somehow managed to get 1/2 of my very small peach crop inspite of the fence)…trial and error..yes, pitbulls like to eat plants…especially tasty ones.

Making do for now with my great deal at the store and will be drying them tonight and tomorrow to go with my growing collection of dehydrated foods. Dehydrated strawberries are a great addition to cereal and wheat berries btw. You can also rehydrate them and add to bread or blend into a smoothie at a later date..and the great thing about this is that I saved $$ Am playing around with making my own sorbet too perhaps instead of feeding my children the stuff from the store. A bit of time invested would be well worth the cost savings and knowing that the food is good.

Now for the BEST part strawberries are an excellent source of healing and help for your and your families’ body…check it out:

Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.

Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever

Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumors. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.

Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.

Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.

Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties

the above is taken from: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-strawberry.html

So the next time that you are in the store and see a fruit or veggie that your family loves to eat at an awesome price, why not go ahead and pick it up? Break out your dehydrator, trusty mason jars and 02 packets and save yourself a buck or two down the road and still enjoy the fruit and veggies? Actually, in my house they are munched down on by themselves dried…much better than candy (sweeter) and no mess, no fuss. And be sure to get organic strawberries to avoid high levels of pesticides that can be found in much of the ‘regular’ strawberries.

Simple way to dehydrate:

Just chunk them up (I like to make them about 1/3 of an inch in size so they don’t fall through the screen plate) and then spread evenly around the tray and let it go until nice and crunchy!

Here’s to happy eatting the fruit of summer…strawberries…and helping the health of my family on the cheap.

Just for added thought…here is the nutritional value of strawberries…

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg

Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg

I get strange looks sometimes when I buy big bags of rice, or 4 packages of diapers or 6 12 packs of toliet paper (all at one time), and sometimes those looks aren’t from strangers. The poor UPS guy who delivers in my rural town (who must think I am sort of crazy survivalist) has delivered, this past week alone, a 50 lb bag of organic hard white wheat and boxes from Auguson Farms and 50 lbs of DE (amongst other things like a huge box of diapers, but that was Fed Ex and that guy knows for sure I am crazy). But its all good. I am just doing my duty as a good parent to ensure that my children are and will be taken care of no matter what. I am making sure that they will have what they need just in case something happens to my income or one of us gets hurt and can’t work or something happens that disrupts supplies (think storms, floods, pestilance of the crops, heck even the banks collapsing). Down where I live, when hurricane Isabel came through, they had no power for 10 days…there were reports of people stealing chickens and killing goats after 3 days…yep and that was just a little bitty hurricane. No power, no grocery store. And those great big trees across the road? well, that would kinda keep you at home wouldn’t they? and the county surely has bigger problem than my road, so no deliveries or movement for several days…but I digress…

When you are pregnant with your child you plan. You start thinking of all the things you will need for the precious child that you will be having soon in your life and next thing you know…you are getting PREPARED! You buy the crib, the car seat, clothing, diapers and any number of a million and one zillion things. You are getting ready for a life altering event…the end of the world as you know it right now…the birth of your child. You pick the hospital, your doctor, make arrangements ‘just in case’ this or that happens, you get your family involved (or not). You start making plans for what you will and won’t do after your baby is born, breast feeding or bottle feeding? Stay home or go back to work or even work from home? Daycare? All these decisions are called making plans which is part of you getting prepared for the arrival of your little one. Preparedness can be so much work! But you know these things that you are prepping for make a good parent…planning, preparing, getting things… being ready for him or her when they arrive and your world changes. Next, after the arrival of your new baby you realize just how much you don’t know about this thing called ‘being a good parent’ so you start asking question and doing more preparing for when they begin to sit up, eat solid foods, crawl, walk, talk. You have to get your house ready after all don’t you? Not to mention get all the information you can lay your hands on so that you can make informed and sound decisions about how you want to raise your child…this is all part of being a good parent. It just goes on and on this getting prepared for your child and it changes, evolves overtime to fit, upon demand, the circumstances and stages that you see coming down the road for your family as your baby grows and circumstances change. A good parent has…foresight, knowledge, leadership skills and techniques, tactics and supplies on hand for whatever may come at any given moment and sometimes, in a strange or odd moment…wisdom from past mistakes…Sometimes things just take you by surprise…can you say forgetting the diaper bag anyone? (this why you put a couple of diapers under the drivers seat)…or a fall or accident (speed dial and first aid kit) or someone notices that you are busy paying attention to something else and sticks the half chewed dog biscuit in the dvd player, managing to close it too…(say bad language and a screw driver when you find it later that night) but that is okay, you have thought things out enough to feel confident that when it happens you handle it with grace and ease (or freak out first, quickly regaining a shred of self-control). But my whole point is this…you planned and prepared yourself into being a good parent!

So, I, ever wanting to be a good parent have just taken things a bit further…preparedness is being a good parent. Being ready for when the crap hits the fan, in whatever form it may come to your door step, (think going into labor!) is being a good parent.   Having things on hand ‘just in case’ or for an emergency, is being a good parent (extra this or that, tools) and most certainly having a means to protect your family is being a good parent. It might seem a little strange at first, this new aspect of being a good parent, simply because you haven’t do so before. But that’s okay, you’ll get over it. You will gain a new sense of pride and confidence (hmm sounds just like what you feel as you get the grove of being a good parent!) as time goes by. You will find that you are less anxious and worried about the future. You will find that this new aspect of being a good parent will actually help you become a better parent as you gain skills in being self-reliant that will be passed onto your child…indeed, preparedness and parenting go hand in hand…and it is all part of the job.

Here it goes…

Well, I am finally getting around to doing something that I have been thinking about for a long, long time. After hanging around several other blog sites for the past year or so I am jumping in…here it goes!

Let me introduce myself, my name is Rev. Laura aka SHFTMom…I am a girl scout at heart and believe in being ready for what ever may come my way, financial down turns, the skinned knee, the car breaking down at the most terrible time and oh, that little thing that seems to be looming closer with each passing day, TEOTWAWKI. Now, before you go thinking that I am some nutso job who thinks the world is going to go to you-know-where in some ball of ash or that a comet is going to put us back into the stone ages, know this…I don’t believe that..but what I do know and believe is that life as we know it now and have for say the past 30 or so years is coming to an end and that what we are facing not only as a country, but as a world is a complete rearrangement on a wholesale level, the kick-off, at least in my own humble opinion will be the final collapse of the economy. So, I am getting ready, wish I could do more and will be sharing on various things as I go along…so…what’s that song by REM? Its the end of the world as we know it…and I feel fine…that is until I broke of the stem of my tomato plant today as I tried to put the cage back into the ground. But its all good…I got 6 more plants! and that is the essence of being prepared to survive no matter what may come.