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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spreading the Word about Prepping

I got a message from one of the Michigan readers the other day. He expressed a concern that many new preppers have mentioned. In essence what he asked was, how do you deal with people that think you are around the bend when you mention prepping to them?

Being a prepper draws a lot of raised eyebrows and comments to your face and even worse behind your back. I do not know if you have seen Momma Bear in the Mitten posted from time to time on the blogs, but she is family. When she first started prepping she was like an evangelist for prepping and now everyone in the family makes cracks about it. Since I started prepping back in the 1970's very few know I do so now. Look at prepping like selling Amway, you are either a believer or you run and hide from the idea of someone tiring to recruit you. You are not trying to get people to sell soap and make money but rather you are trying to get them to prep for dire times. It still breaks down to whether they are believers or not.

I had a guy from work come up to the farm one Saturday so he could try out his new pistol. I broached the subject of prepping to him and now all he does is go around work telling people he is coming to my farm if the world goes to hell. You have to be selective in who you talk to about prepping. By rights the guy should have been a good candidate for prepping based on all I know about him, but I sure missed the mark on him.
Sure, it might be best to keep your mouth shut and say nothing, but most of us want our friends and family to survive and be there. Another thing I have found is a lot of people are prepping but they do not think they are preppers. I have one cousin that has a back up generator, stored food, and a few other items to help out in an emergency, but she doesn’t think she preps. Prepping comes in many degrees, some of us running on high go ahead and others slightly above idle.

Do not let the sheeple get you down. Keep prepping because you know it is right to do. My family has been ready since the 70's and we still keep prepping even though so far we have not had TEOTWAWKI. It is like the guy falling off the skyscraper, as he passes each floor he says, so far so good. Sooner or later he will not have “good” anymore.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Couple of Updates

The rabbit we rescued was not a good fit with our home. Every time one of us held the rabbit she would pee all over us. The dogs did not bother the rabbit other than they would smell her as she moved around the kitchen, but the dogs bothered the rabbit by being around at all. One of the cats looked at the rabbit as a nice lunch. My wife spent hours sitting on the floor petting the rabbit but the rabbit would shy away from her most of the time.

My wife mentioned the rabbit to her boss and he told her if we wanted to get rid of it he and his wife would love to have it for their 14 year old daughter. We discussed it and made the choice to make a gift of the rabbit to the girl. Today the rabbit is well cared for, and hops to the girl when she gets home from school. The boss told my wife that the rabbit shows affection toward the girl, has the run of the house and is a great fit for their family. Everyone is happy, so I guess it is win- win as they say.

The walnuts are gone. Carhart Warrior loaded them in the dump bucket of his tractor and drove them back to the woods where the squirrels are having a fall banquet. Now, fat squirrel I like a lot better than walnut so this could work out to be win-win also.

I trapped a second opossum at my Mother-in-Law’s and this one is “as big as a dog”. This one was re-located to a drainage ditch half way between the city and our farm. No, I did not dispatch this one; it was smart enough to get the hell out of the cage when I opened the door. However, I did e-mail Bill and told him we were having special hamburgers at half-time Saturday. (He is the one that found the critter at Mom’s.) He declined the invite for some reason.

My finally trapping adventure at my mother-in-law’s resulted in one fat raccoon. We left him go at a metro park. As soon as the cage was opened the coon was headed into the woods as fast as his legs would carry him. Now one of my wife’s co-workers is talking about maybe having me trap a skunk she saw in her yard. I will think on that.

Thank you to all that left a comment and let me know I was not alone out here. It helps a lot to know I have at least some support.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Odds and Ends

My wife started to get a tooth ache so she called and made an appointment to get it looked at. I went along for the ride and while she was in the chair I did something I have not had a chance to do in a while. I went dumpster diving.

I started with a walk through a car wash looking for money. I found sixty three cents. I then headed behind a grocery store to check for any “loot” I might find. I hit the jackpot as it were. I found several canned goods in the dumpster. I got some beans, tomato juice, cream of mushroom soup, tuna fish, steak sauce, a large package of mushrooms, half a dozen boxes of pudding/pie filling mix, and the surprise of the evening was a two pound jar of peanut butter and six jars of jelly. I had the makings of several meals at least in part, and lunches for a couple weeks as long as you like PB&J sandwiches.

We lived on dumpster diving several years ago and my oldest son did most of his “shopping” by DD when he was in college. There are a few things you need to know about eating from a dumpster, but the worst part is the image folks have of it, not the food you get. If I had been prepared for the DD I would have gotten a lot more stuff too.

I went back and re-read some of my earlier posts here and I am wondering if Ken, Treesong, and several others still read regularly? It sure would help keep me going if I got a few more comments from the posts. I sometimes think I am writing only for myself anymore.

I have another bumper crop of walnuts this year. I wish I knew some way to put them to good use. I would give or trade with anyone in the area that wants some. If you live in Monroe, Lenawee, or Washtenaw County and want a bunch of walnuts let me know.

My wife wants to go on a day photo safari this afternoon. We ran some errands this morning and she as already taken several shots of a log cabin and some nice color foliage. Our next stop is an old mill and who knows where else.

My mother-in-law lives in a big city and is plagued by a possum “as big as a dog”. I set two live traps last week and caught a possum Tuesday. She was thrilled we got the culprit but we still set the trap since the one I caught was smallish. Trapped it did not look “as big as a dog”.

I post once a week. I send my post in on Thursday and it goes up when they have time. Once in a while I struggle for a post but most of the time I have two or three in the can ready to go. It is not a killer pace I have set for myself. I wonder why there are so many blogs out there that have not posted in months? I check about a dozen blogs on the weekend that I have not seen an update for in a long while. Even guys like Joe over at Viking are not posting regularly anymore. I will admit I could not do a daily post, but come on, since July?

Somehow I left my cell phone in my pants and it got washed. It was an old dinosaur of a phone but it worked for me until I washed it. I hate this new phone like you can not believe. If you have something that does the job for you and you may not be able to replace it, guard it jealously.

I need not remind you that winter is coming. Have you got your back up heat sources ready in case you need them? Are you ready for a week without power or being snowed in for a few days? The great fall weather we are having now will soon be replaced with the cold and snow of winter, so do not let your guard down. Keep prepping and being ready for the worst, just in case.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Is it Truly a Year’s Supply?

This is my fourth or fifth attempt to write on this subject. It just never comes out the way I want it to nor does it convey what I am trying to express. I will try again and see how it goes.

We always hear and read about how much folks have supplied. This guy has two years worth of food and the other guy has six months of gasoline. Have you wondered how they know those numbers?

Over the last few years I have kept track of several things I use daily to see just how much I would need for a year’s supply. Just before we moved to the farm I found a store going out of business that had three bottles of shampoo on sale for a ridiculously low price, three for a dollar I think it was, maybe 50 cents each. Anyway I figured that would last me most of the rest of my life. It turns out that one bottle will last 24 months. My second bottle is about used up and except for the time I was in the hospital and used the shampoo they gave me I have pretty much stuck with my “supply”.

My wife and I each use a separate bathroom for showering and well, other stuff. One roll of toilet paper will last me two weeks. I have tracked this for a while and that is my average. The other day I was in the bathroom changing out a roll of toilet paper. I knew it was Friday because I change out the toilet paper every other Friday, almost like clockwork. A four pack of rolls is good for about two months in my bathroom. Six to eight packages of toilet paper should last me one year. My wife goes through a little more in her bathroom. Add in the additional usage from guests and the boys home on leave and the total of rolls we use in a year is right around 100 rolls. Call it a case of toilet paper, 96 rolls. I no longer have that much in storage, but I did a few years ago.

It is very easy to underestimate the amount of an item you hope to have a year’s supply of. When we moved back to the farm I loaded a shelf in the basement with paper towels. My wife and I looked at the full shelves and decided we were good for at least a year. Six months later we were buying towels again. Underestimating some items is no big deal, but if you have made a short guess on your food supply you might be in for a long hungry time until crops grow. Or if you heat with wood and you figure two cords is enough and you need four, you will be down right cold or working in the subfreezing weather trying to cut wood.

It is an easy task to track usage. Make that list and write down how much of something you use. Once you get a handle on it the task of maintaining a year’s supply of anything gets easier. If you know you need 96 rolls of TP for the family for a year once you reach that you can move on to other items. A few times a year you stock up and forget about that item again. It takes a load off of your mind and helps you feel like you have accomplished something.

Start with a few items and keep building on the list. Before long you will know the peace of mind of having a year’s supply put away. The more items you do that with the more peace of mind you will have as we race toward TEOTWAWKI.

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