Turn Your Apple Harvest into Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

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fresh-ripe-apples-on-the-treeFall is abundant with many opportunities of harvest. One such opportunity for us in the Mitten State is the bountiful apple harvest. If you live in Michigan, it’s no secret that apples are very prolific here!

Even without your own orchard or even your own tree, there are apples to be had alongside country roads and often people will give them away for free! Apples can be found in virtually every part of Michigan, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of at this time of year. For us, we’ve had the good fortune of buying a piece of property with a well established orchard. The last couple of years, we barely scratched the surface of the bounty, even though we made apple pies, apple sauce, and ate apples to our heart’s content.

This year is a different story. I decided I wasn’t going to let those beautiful red, green and yellow orbs of goodness go to waste. Along with collecting as many as we could for pies and sauce, we also collected for cider, and apple cider vinegar! The inspiration came to me while I was fermenting grain with whey. If grain and vegetables benefit from fermentation, so can apples, and it’s an age old process that preserves the apple harvest for months or even years.

Hard apple cider is made simply by allowing raw apple cider from freshly pressed apples to ferment. Don’t let the simplicity of the thing fool you, however. Good hard apple cider is difficult to get right. The cider is traditionally fermented in oak barrels, but it has been problematic due to the inherent leakiness of wooden barrels, and our current divorce from using wood anything. We’ve used glass fermenting jars. The fermentation process will occur regardless of any added culture. Wild cultures that are naturally present in the apple will ferment the cider just as well as the purified strains from the store. The only problem with wild cultures is, you’re not sure what you’re getting! If you’re not much of a gambler, you can always add a yeast killer, wait a few days (the appropriate length of time should be described in the directions), and add a known culture. If vinegar is your end goal, the wild cultures will do just fine. A cider maker may also choose to add sugar or honey or some other sweetener to boost the end alcohol content. For vinegar, adding sugar will make a more acidic end product.

The cider will go through two stages; aerobic and anaerobic fermentation. During the first aerobic stage, the cider will froth and foam – it is casting off impurities, and the cider maker should be sure to keep the fermentation vessel clean during this time. He should also take care to keep the top covered. Even though this is is an aerobic process, the cider maker will not want wild yeasts and dust to prematurely spoil the cider. When the foaming subsides, an air lock can be placed over the opening so that the anaerobic process can begin. You will notice that during this stage, there will be lots of bubbles from the yeast fermentation process. You know that the cider is near finished when the bubbles slow or completely stop. The actual amount of time it takes completely depends on the blend of apples, their ripeness, sweetness, and if any sugar or sweetener was added.

Apple cider vinegar is easy to make. First you have to make hard apple cider, described above. If you aren’t interested in drinking the hard cider, it doesn’t really matter how well it turns out, because either way it will turn to acid vinegar. The hard cider is simply allowed to remain in open air, so that the alcohol can be converted to acetic acid. The cider maker may add a bit of previous apple cider vinegar to the mix to speed the process. Raw apple cider vinegar will grow a ‘mother’- a cloudy yeast complex that floats around in your cider. This is normal. Stir it twice daily, and test your vinegar after about a week. If it has reached a desirable acidity level, simply pour it into clean storage containers such as glass canning jars, seal it, and keep it in a cool, dark place. Vinegar will last indefinitely, but it may get stronger over time. If your vinegar turns too strong, dilute it with water to taste.

The amount of apples needed to make cider is not very large. This depends on the type of apples and also their ripeness. The taste of the cider and vinegar will also depend on the type of apples. Optimally, one would want some sweet, some tangy, and some bitter apples to round out the flavor. For our first try, we were able to obtain a few different varieties. The process is still underway, as fermentation takes time. But our liquid gold is bubbling away, and we’re eager to try it!


Thanks to Michelle Maier for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest.

We have over $2,097 in prizes lined up for the Fall 2015 Writing Contest, including all of the following:

– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
– 1 free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $239 value
– A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
– 2 large heirloom seed collections from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, valued at $103 each
– A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $59 each
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $43 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $33 each
– 4 copies of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, valued at $31 each

 

Set Up Secure Chat Server… on the cheap!

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If you are looking for a secure chat solution that you can control, XMPP may be what you are looking for.  Plus, if you give Digital Ocean a try, you can run your own server from one of a few different locations worldwide for just $5/month.

Digital Ocean has a write-up about how to get started with XMPP right here: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-openfire-xmpp-server-on-a-debian-or-ubuntu-vps

Once you have your own server on Digital Ocean, you can do lots of thing… you can set up file-shareing using OwnCloud: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-owncloud-and-configure-owncloud-apps-on-an-ubuntu-12-04-vps

While you are at it, why not kick it old school and get a BBS online?  (you remember the good ol’ days of bulletin board systems?): https://gist.github.com/phuckewe/897d8559f2f6c287d07a

For just a couple cups of coffee per month, you could get started on running your own messaging coms on a server that has a an easy dashboard on Digital Ocean.

November Skill of the Month: DIY Prepper Projects

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Nov SOMThis month’s skill of the month is DIY prepper projects. While many of our skills are Do It Yourself (DIY) projects (canning, handicrafts, etc.), think more “shop class” and less “home economics” for this month’s projects. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you’ll need a band saw and full wood or metal shop. Many of these are easily done with your kids with no special tools. In fact, the DIY Buddy Burner uses things most commonly found in the kitchen junk drawer and recycling bin!

This website is for moms (and some dads, grandmas, and more). I want you to have projects you can do with your kids to help them learn a new skill or just plain learn something new. If you homeschool, you may be able to work some of these into your curriculum. If your kids go to public or private school, enjoy the chance to expand  their knowledge base!

Why DIY projects?

Because it’s just too darn easy to either waste money buying everything pre-made or to give up and not bother to do something at all. And we all now that in a disaster, neither of those is a good option. In an emergency, the broader your set of DIY skills, the more things you can handle. This isn’t just because you learn those skills. It’s because you can combine all those bits of knowledge to find novel solutions, just like McGyver did.

Resources to Get You Started:

Read More Here:

These DIY projects are a great way to put some new skills to use. Or, in the case of the first one, to create a space to store all that you are making with other skills, like canning!

From the Desk of John Rourke – November 6th, 2015

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Received word from loyal reader JM that there is an approaching solar disturbance that will impact the planet sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. This is a continuation from an earlier flare that appears to have damaged some power plant systems and grounded airlines in Sweden.

I have some additional EMP Emergency Kits that I have been wanting to work on. As soon as I get done with this post I am going to go ahead and get them finished.

Check out this video:

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GearBest.com has their CooYoo Quantam LED SS mini-flashligtht on sale for only $21.99 with free shipping. Use coupon code “cyss” to get this price. Regular price is $32.40. Limited time offer.

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The Quantum throws 130 lumens of light and is amazingly bright for such a small flashlight. Includes built in rechargeable battery.

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Reminder: Next week I will be AFK and my posting will be sparingly.

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Remember Mount St. Helens eruption back in 1980? I do. It was an edge of the seat event that being 11 years old fascinated me. The sheer amount of earth that was blown into the atmosphere and slid down the side of the mountain is just incredible.

Well – Mount St. Helens is in the news again as a discovery of a magma pool under it has been discovered.  Lets hope any trouble is WAY off in the future.

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Have a great weekend everyone!!!

 

 

Giant World Seed Bank

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A few hundred miles from the North Pole and above Norway a set of islands called “Svalbard” exist. They are controlled by Norway and are hosting something that is quite unique – a Doomsday Seed Vault. This Global Seed vault holds over 1.5 billion seeds. This is an incredible amount and within those seeds a tremendous variety exists. Wheat alone is represented by over 50,000 collections from all over the world.

The intended purpose for the vault is to house seeds in case of some world catastrophe or plant die off. Although the environment is frigid additional refrigeration is provided. Should the vault lose power the seeds will remain preserved for years.

Here are some pictures of the Global Seed Vault:

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albard-racks-55733-600x450

seed-vault-e1445655575944 (1)

location-of-seed-vault (1)

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Lets hope this global seed vault is never needed.

I have stored many seeds and found them to germinate for at least 3 years after date of packaging. I have to admit that many seeds I have tested were not stored especially well. They sat in my garage on a shelf. I think this points to the durability of seeds.

How about you? Have you put away seeds? Seeds are some of the least expensive preps that can be purchased and their use so incredibly rewarding.

Rourke

Diatoms Marginalized Cyanobacteria Forcing Them Into Specific Niches (e.g., high-light, low Fe, low N, low P

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stock here: Dud presents some good information below, don’t let the German throw you, lol.

I have long been of a belief that the Fukushima radiation in the Pacific has been a last straw which caused a tipping point in the balance of organizms, and in all likelihood, a mutation or 3 occurred which gave some small organisms an advantage enough that they would marginalize other species.
  
the research belows flows along these same lines.

————————————————————————————-

DudNovember 5, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Quote: “Die Wissenschaftler am MIT kritisierten auch, dass Regierungsbehörden sie bei den Messungen behindert haben. Sowohl das National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), als auch die Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) und das Energie Ministerium (DoE) boykottierten die Arbeit der Wissenschaftlern.

„Wir boten unsere Dienste der NOAA an, denn wir wollten mit unserer Expertise helfen. […] Das NOAA hatte die Aufgabe dieses Desaster zu untersuchen und die amerikanische Reaktion darauf abzuschätzen. Ihre Reaktion war weitere Modelle anzufertigen und dadurch die Effekte [des radioaktiven Niederschlags] einzuschätzen, aber keine Außen-Messungen. Sie sagten, sie machen so etwas nicht. Sie messen keine Radionuklid. Stattdessen schoben sie die Verantwortung an das Energie Ministerium weiter. Dieses wiederum sagte, es hätte nichts mit den Meeren zu tun. Das sei Aufgabe des NOAA und nicht ihr Problem“, sagte Buesseler bei seinem Vortrag am MIT.

In den Tagen und Wochen nach der Katastrophe von Fukushima, fürchteten sich die Bewohner der US-Westküste vor dem radioaktiven Niederschlag. Dennoch entschied die Umweltbehörde EPA, keine Messgeräte an den Küsten von Oregon, Washington und Kalifornien aufzustellen. Dies berichtet Central Coast News und bezieht sich dabei auf eine offizielle Email der Umweltbehörde.”
http://www.deutsch-tuerkische-nachrichten.de/2014/01/497959/fukushima-usa-boykottieren-messung-von-radioaktivem-niederschlag/

Quote: “The divergence of the cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococccus during the rise of the diatoms – the most important phytoplankton group in the ocean – suggests the impact of biogeochemical changes on marine microbes. The diversification and proliferation of diatoms in the oceans marginalized cyanobacteria. Diatoms are the workhorses of the ocean biogenic carbon cycle – in comparison to cyanobacteria, they grow quickly and sink faster – thus they sequester fixed CO2, N and Fe that all other surface ocean microbes need. The diatoms changed the ocean, thus putting pressure on cyanobacteria. A result (because many other things also happened) was the genome streamlining and niche adaptation of the lineage. The best example is the high-light adapted MED4 strain of Prochlorococcus. This particular strain has a small genome, low GC and is nitrogen-cost-minimized, as detailed in our paper. Diatoms marginalized cyanobacteria forcing them into specific niches (e.g., high-light, low Fe, low N, low P) where they are successful and well adapted (like these clades that live in iron poor water).
Where we are heading?

What are the implications of cost-minimization in the genomes of ocean microbes? Could it alter the overall nutrient pools in the surface ocean (and thus affect the potential CO2 draw down by phytoplankton)? These are questions we are now pursuing using modeling approaches in an attempt to bolster our understanding of biogeochemistry through genomics and microbial ecology. We are teaming up with Jay Cullen, a chemical oceanography professor, good friend and super smart guy to figure out if cost-minimization and other metabolic changes in microbes might be having more of an effect on biogeochemical cycles than we think. Stay tuned.”
http://phylogenomics.blogspot.com/2011/09/guest-post-from-antarctica-joe-grzymski.html

(Thanks to vital1 for this link:) http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Fallout-Fish-Sternglass8oct71.htm

stock here, the above link is a great one. it is 1971, 44 years ago, Sternglass wrote:

They know, it would seem. They’ve known for a long time, it would appear.

Are they crucifying Dana? See FD Cbox for additional info.
stock here—Dana Durnford was arrested after complaints by Woods Hole and U of Victoria, they also partly scuttled his youtube account while he was in jail.

And Kenny boy Bueller says

Any increase in exposure to radioactivity increases your risk — the question is how much,” Brenner said. “We are daily exposed to radiation from a variety of sources. Our body is naturally radioactive. We are bombarded from the sky by cosmic rays.”

dud continues…….
I can’t seem to find any evidence of anybody threatening Cull’s life … WTF?
Certainly, it is a great time to find those blogs spreading the news like wildfire, now. Much easier to see whom is reveling in this.

Remember my dissection of “Academic Dishonesty?”

Thanks for being here, stock. You rock! Tip it like you do! (real good!) 😉

Peak Preparedness: What Safety Measures Your Home Should Have

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By BC

Emergencies can happen at any time. By preparing your home for some worst-case scenarios, you can prevent damage or serious injury. Keep your family safe and make sure everyone knows the rules and safety measures you have in place. Here are some good ideas to check out as you prepare.

Smoke Detector
All homes should have smoke detectors on every level. The best detectors are photoelectric, and can quickly detect fires that are at just the smoldering stage. The extra time to get to safety can mean the difference between life and death. 

Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide is one of the primary causes of accidental poisoning in U.S. homes. Detectors keep you safer by alerting you when concentrations of this deadly, invisible gas rise. To make sure they work as intended, place carbon monoxide detectors in or close to bedrooms and on all levels of the home. They should be installed either on the ceiling or near the ceiling, and you should test them monthly. All detectors should have a battery backup in case of power failure. 

Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers can put out small fires before they turn into a major disaster. Keep at least one in the kitchen, and make sure the extinguisher is rated for all kinds of fires. Everyone in the home should be taught how to use it in an emergency, and be re-taught every year.

Fireplace Safety Supplies
If your home has a fireplace, make sure you keep it clean and maintained and that you have access to a fireplace supplier like Alpine Fireplaces that offer additional safety supplies such as safety screens and stovepipe thermometers to monitor the temperature in the flue. The chimney is one of the most common sources of house fires so keeping yours clean and well-maintained is key to saving lives and property.

Escape Ladder
Equip your multilevel home with escape ladders in each upper-story bedroom. If residents need to exit the home quickly, the ladder may be the only means of escape. 

Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve
These valves prevent water heater explosions. In high temperatures or high pressure, the valve opens automatically to release pressure. If your water heater is not equipped with this safety device, purchase a new one with better technology.

Home Alarm System
An alarm system helps protect your home from burglary and unwelcome intruders. Alarm systems are often equipped with panic buttons you can use in other situations to summon help quickly.

Disaster Kit
Prepare a disaster kit containing medical supplies, emergency lighting, and enough food and water for everyone to survive for at least three days. Keep the kit in an accessible area, such as a hall closet.

When it comes to emergency preparation, it is difficult to over prepare. When you detect a potential safety hazard or when you think of more you could do to keep your home and family safe, take care of it as soon as you can. Emergencies don’t wait for a convenient time. 

 

 

 

 

 

4 All-Natural, Chemical-Free Wormers For Your Livestock

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4 All-Natural, Chemical-Free Wormers For Your Livestock

Image source: Pixabay.com

Many small farmers and homesteaders use natural wormers for livestock in place of chemical alternatives.

Let’s first talk about why you might consider an alternative to chemical wormers. Chemical wormers are easily obtained, easily administered and touted as the answer to parasite infestations.

However, as with most chemical concoctions that can be used on the homestead, they come with some possible side-effects that you may want to consider.

One of the most prevalent: Parasites develop resistance to chemical parasiticides. That means eventually they won’t be effective on your livestock and you’ll need to change wormers.

Another consideration is the residual chemicals that can be deposited in your soil when the wormer passes through your stock.

If you are raising livestock for meat consumption you should consider the residual chemicals that may remain in your meat. If you sell your products to others, many of today’s consumers do not want to risk chemical residues in their meat.

If you want to avoid the possibility of your wormer not working and the residual complications associated with chemical wormers, you might want to consider some of these alternatives.

1. Herbal wormers

There are many pre-formulated herbal wormers available commercially for different types of livestock. You can also research and formulate your own. Be aware that herbs are powerful and that caution should be used when mixing and dispensing to livestock.

2. Diatomaceous earth (DE)

Food grade diatomaceous earth is approved as an anti-caking agent in animal feeds. Make certain you obtain food grade, as other grades of diatomaceous earth are poisonous to animals or humans.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth: The Best All-Natural Wormer For Your Livestock

For the best results, use DE continuously as a feed supplement.

3. Essential oils

4 All-Natural, Chemical-Free Wormers For Your Livestock

Image source: Pixabay.com

Many small farmers have successfully used essential oils as an alternative worming protocol. Some of these oils should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil before adding them. Some of the most common essential oils are clove, nutmeg, fennel, vetiver cumin, anise, tea tree, Idaho tansy, thyme and laurel leaf.

4. Garlic

Fresh garlic or garlic powder can be used as a wormer. Introduce small amounts of the garlic over several days as to get the stock accustomed to it before increasing the amount over time. Garlic acts quickly on existing adult worms.

The best way to keep your livestock free of parasites is to use a regularly scheduled worming routine and practice good prevention methods.

Avoid keeping animals in close quarters for long periods of time. A good prevention method for keeping parasites to a minimum is rotating your stock to clean pastures and shelters on a regular basis.

To test for parasite levels in your stock it is best to have a veterinarian perform a fecal examination test (or you can learn to do these yourself).

As with any alternative health protocol, do your research and consult with your veterinarian before starting any treatment protocol for parasites.

Do you use alternative wormers? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

How To Build A $1,000 Indestructible Off-Grid Home

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Building your own home is never free, but a growing number of homesteaders and off-gridders are discovering it can be far cheaper than we often envision, simply by using the resources already on the land.

These modern “earthbag” homes cost as little as $1,000, can be built without much skill, and can survive earthquakes, floods and even wildfires when other homes in the surrounding area are destroyed. In other words, they’re less expensive than conventional homes but more durable. They’re even bullet-proof.

Earthbag homes are the subject of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to Kelly Hart, one of the nation’s foremost experts on earthbag structures who also hosts several earthbag websites dedicated to spreading the word about their usefulness.

He shares with us details about an earthbag home he built in Colorado and he also tells us:

  • How the benefits of earthbag homes far outweigh any negatives they bring.
  • Which basic materials go into building an earthbag home, and how you can find some of these items for free.
  • How long it takes to build an earthbag home, and what you can do to speed up the process.
  • Why an earthbag home typically will last far longer than a traditional home.
  • How bugs and varmints aren’t a problem in earthbag homes as some people may suspect.

Earthbag homes are used around the world, including in Nepal, which experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake earlier this year that destroyed more than 150,000 traditional homes. Earthbag homes, though, remained standing.

If you’re a homesteader, off-gridder or simply someone fascinated by alternative forms of construction, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!

What’s a Good computer Setup for Survival & Disaster Preparedness ?

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My Recommendations:

If you want something tough as nails but you dont need the fastest computer around get an old Toughbook:

Panasonic CF-30 Rugged Toughbook Windows 7 Touchscreen 4GB RAM 1TB HDD

If you want a fast, powerful computer, MIl-spec tested and good enough for NASA, then consider a good Thinkpad such as the T420. It wont stop bullets like Toughbooks but they are lighter, durable, easy to repair pretty and powerful hardware. A Thinkpad with a Mini Dock Series 3 docking station is a great combo. If you happen to need something smaller then go for an X220:

Lenovo IBM Thinkpad Laptop T420 14 Inch Laptop

If you need both extra durability and lots of hardware power, get a newer Toughbook with a docking station:

Panasonic Toughbook 14″ LED Notebook – Intel Core i7 i7-3520M

FerFAL

Surviving Poverty Part 1: How to Live in a Van

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camper vanThere’s been a few news stories floating around over the past few weeks that have a common theme. In San Francisco, a city with some of the highest rental costs in the nation, it seems that more and more people have been choosing to live in their vehicles. That may not sound very surprising, but what is odd is that these stories don’t involve struggling low-income workers.

Instead, these people are fairly well paid tech employees. The one that’s really been making the rounds on the internet, involves a Google employee who bought a box truck and sleeps in his company’s parking lot. It’s not that he couldn’t afford to rent an apartment per say, it’s that he couldn’t stand the thought of paying so much money for a place to sleep. If he decided to rent, he’d probably be close to breaking even.

You know there’s something very wrong in this country, when an employee for one of the most profitable companies in world would rather live in a truck than pay rent. It suggests that in some parts of America, you don’t have to be poor to be homeless. Just imagine what it’s like for the folks who really are poor, of which there are many.

On any given night in America, there are over a half a million people living on the streets or in their vehicles. As you can imagine, that’s not a good place to be in your life, but it happens. If you think that this is something that might happen to you one day in the near future (and who are kidding, it could happen to anyone these days) here’s a word of advice: Don’t wait until the last-minute, hoping for that next job interview to come through as you burn through your savings. If homelessness is a real possibility in your life, it’s something that you should be preparing for, not waiting for.

The more money you have at your disposal when you decide to leave your home, the easier your life is going to be without a house. If you have no money, you’ll be living on the streets with little more than the clothes on your back. It’s better to put your savings towards a van or a truck that you can live in. Unlike living on the streets, you can actually maintain a fairly decent standard of living with very little money. Here’s a few basics that you need to know to get started.

Choosing a Vehicle

The box truck chosen by that Google employee isn’t necessarily the best vehicle for the job, nor is it the most affordable. It is roomy, but it isn’t very discreet. Our society is incredibly fearful of homeless people, and depending on where you live it may be illegal to sleep in your car (check your local municipal codes. There may be a neighboring town that allows it). You want something that flies under the radar.

Camper vans are a pretty good choice since they’re already designed for living in, but they also look the part. Anytime a camper van is parked somewhere, it could raise a few eyebrows. An ordinary cargo van with at least a 6 foot bed may be a better choice, because you can convert it to a camper van without it looking like a camper van. And unlike a box truck, nobody will notice you moving from the driver’s seat to the back when it’s time to go to bed. Try to avoid white vans since again, our culture has deemed white vans to be “creepy.”

Ideally, a reliable van will be worth at least $5,000, but obviously you may not have that kind of money. Fortunately there are plenty of really cheap vans from the 90’s on Craigslist that can get the job done for less.  Even the ones in the $1000-$2000 range still have some life in them. Just don’t plan on doing any long distance driving.

When you’re looking for a van, think of it this way. How many more miles does it have left? That cheap van may only have 10,000 miles of life before it craps out, but if you keep your lifestyle local that might last you a couple of years. That’s a lot longer than most people stay homeless. And look for taller vans over longer vans. You’ll have more storage space, and it’ll be easier to find parking in urban areas. Something with a shell top is even better.

Parking

The best place to keep your van while you sleep is probably in a Walmart parking lot. Walmart will let you park there indefinitely, (though this usually only applies to their retail outlets, not grocery stores) because they know you’ll shop there. Otherwise you can also park on residential streets, but you have to plan ahead by looking for spots that are inconspicuous.

You have to find spots that look more public than private, and your van will likely go unnoticed on a street with lots of parked cars. It’s also a good idea to change spots every other night. And while we’re on the subject of going unnoticed, you should consider getting some curtains for all of your windows too. Not only will this keep the sun out, but it will also prevent people from seeing you inside.

Preparing For The Elements

Vans are notorious for being very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, and you shouldn’t completely rely on your vehicle’s heating/AC unit (more on that in a moment). Insulating your van is a must. Most people with little money may insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor with cardboard or blankets (magnets and paracord are a good idea). Others will go the full mile and deck out their van with some combination of fiberglass, foam, and foil backed insulation.

Electricity

A good battery will be the backbone of your electrical system. You’ll have to find a deep cycle battery, because your car battery will quickly burn out if you keep charging and draining it (like using your vehicle’s AC all day when you’re not driving). You’ll probably need one with at least a 100 amp hour capacity, though you’ll have to consider how much power you’ll be using on a regular basis, and how often you’ll be able to charge it. Keep in mind that you’ll have to run AC and heating devices through this, as well as your computer and cell phone. (consider turning your smartphone into a wifi hotspot)

And remember, these batteries are super heavy, so you may need to buy several smaller ones and connect them in parallel. AGM batteries are probably your best bet since there’s no off-gassing, they last a long time, and they’re maintenance-free. After that, you’ll have to find an inverter to convert the DC batteries to AC for your electronic devices. Add the total wattage from all of your devices, and buy an inverter with a capacity that is at least 1.5 times higher.

If you have any friends that are willing to help out, you shouldn’t have any trouble charging the batteries at their house. The amount of power you’ll be using will be negligible for them, and it only takes a few hours to charge them (plus you’ll need an address for paying bills and ordering packages). Otherwise, you might want to consider mounting a solar panel on the roof.

Food and Water

Obviously, you don’t want to be eating fast food for the duration of this experience. Fortunately it’s not that difficult to prepare your own meals in a van. For starters you’ll need a really good cooler, and if it can be helped, it shouldn’t be one of those cheap plastic ones you see in the grocery store. A small Yeti Cooler will maintain a cool temperature for a really long time.

As for cooking, you should probably avoid electric stoves and microwaves. They will probably eat up your electricity at a faster rate than any other electronic device. Contrary to popular opinion, you can use those little camper stoves that run on butane or propane without coming close to asphyxiating in the tight quarters of a van. You just shouldn’t use those stoves to stay warm. Keep your cooking time to less than a half hour for each meal, leave a window cracked, and you should be fine. If you’re really paranoid you can put a carbon monoxide detector in the van, but I’m willing to bet that it will never go off.

And for water, you should probably store it in a mini water dispenser, or at least jerry-rig an ordinary container to dispense water. Just make sure it’s made of plastic and not glass, and secure it when you’re driving. And since you’re no longer connected to the grid, that means you’ll have to find water by other means. Unless you want to be seen taking a large jug to a public water fountain, just go to the grocery store. Most grocery stores have a water dispenser of some kind, and it usually costs far less than bottled water.

Bathroom Business

This is probably the most controversial subject for van living, and for good reason. Dealing with your waste while living in a van sounds really unsanitary. You could set up a composting toilet and pee in bottles, but depending on your situation it may be best to simply rely on public facilities. If you want something that is more reliable though, you should sign up for a 24 hour gym. Depending on where you live it’ll cost you anywhere between $30 and over $100 a month. It’s probably worth it though, since that will be the best place for you to take a shower and shave as well. Overall, it will make your van living experience a lot easier (and cleaner).

Security

Though van living may sound incredibly dangerous since you’re not in the comfort of your home, it’s not as bad as it sounds. People who break into cars generally aren’t the kinds of people who are looking for a fight. If they were, they’d be breaking into houses, mugging tourists, or robbing banks. They’re looking for something easy, and if they know somebody is inside they’re probably going to run.

However, it’s still a good idea to have something you can protect yourself with like a bat, knife, tire iron, or heavy flashlight. Keeping a firearm at the ready in a vehicle is not recommended for legal reasons, though I’m sure the laws vary from state to state. Even where it is legal though, it’s going to be frowned upon by most cops you come across since society really doesn’t trust homeless people. And rest assured, this lifestyle will attract the attention of the law from time to time.

 

So there you have it. Those are a few of the basics for living in a van, though it is by no means a complete guide. Whole books have been written on the subject, and there are plenty of websites dedicated to vandwelling. If this is something that interests you, there is an abundance of research that is available, and you should take advantage of that. This isn’t something to take lightly, and you need to know what you’re doing. Hopefully now, you at least have an idea of what you’re getting into.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For

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Planning and setting up your own survival garden is no easy task. It requires knowledge, precision and a bit of practice to get it done. But once you got the project going, doesn’t mean you can just let nature take care of everything while you relax and await to pick the fruit of your labor. Mother Nature works both ways and that which creates, can also destroy. Leaving things to chance is not an option, so you have to take your role as a farmer seriously and watch out for those pesky insects, that if left to their device, can destroy everything you worked so hard for. It takes a bit of studying the phenomena in order to understand it, so you can identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and what’s the best method to apply according to the amount of damage that has already been inflicted. If the infestation is light, picking the insects by hand should suffice, but if we’re talking heavy infestation, you’ll probably have to resort to insecticides. Next I’m going to walk you through a list comprised of some of the most common garden pests and how to read the signs they leave behind.

 

Aphids

They are probably THE worst garden pest imaginable, as they have no preferences when it comes to garden vegetables; they simply go for everything that’s green. The easiest signs to read are visual: you know you’ve been attacked by aphids if you happen to find clusters of small, soft-bodied on buds and growth tips. Sticky secretions can also be found from place to place and leaves tend to get curly. Aphids never invade in small numbers and it’s very unlikely hand-picking will do you any good. The best way to deal with them is to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil. There are also specialized poisons that can be sprayed directly on the vegetables, but I strongly advise you to consult a specialist before purchasing or using such products.

 

Root maggots

They’re food of choice is usually cabbage, carrots, turnips, squashes, spinach and radishes. Their presence is clear if you happen to find wilted plants or yellowish quarter-of-an-inch insects on the root of the plants. The first thing you need to do is to actually stop the flies from laying their eggs near the seedlings: simply put plastic or paper shields about 4 inches in diameter near the plants. If the situation gets out of control, you’ll have no other option but to drench the soil in root maggot insecticide, but do so under the supervision of a professional.

White flies

4

 

These tiny flying insects have a real craving for tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and sweet potatoes. They’re easy to spot as they’ll easily fly around from plant to plant if disturbed. If in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to plants, because they’ll feed on the nutriments of the underside of the leaves. Light infestations can be easily dealt with by simply spraying neem oil or water. But if you’re dealing with heavy infestation, get the right poison for the job, according to a qualified professional.

 

Slugs and snails

They’re not the fastest insects out there (possibly the slowest), but don’t get fooled: they can inflict serious damage to your tomato, carrot, lettuce and turnip crops. They are voracious eaters and if you happen to find irregular patterns of holes in the plant’s leaves or stems, doubled by slime trails leading from plants to plant, you’re dealing with slugs or snails (or both). During the day they rest under all sorts of debris, so removing them out of the way and keeping the garden as tidy as possible will keep you out of harm’s way. But if you’re dealing with infestation, you’ll need more than just a tidied up area. You can simply attract and drown them in shallow pans of beer or special baits that are available on the market.

Borers

They prefer melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. If you stumble across wilted plants or just wilted growth tips, then you might suspect you have a borer problem. And if you happen to spot small holes drilled in the plants (usually where wilting begins), than you know for sure you have a borer problem. Plants can still be salvaged from borer infestations by simply cutting out the borer, but if they get to infest the base of the plant, it’s compromised and needs to be torn out. In order to avoid such an obnoxious parasite, spray the base of the plants with the right kinds of insecticide during late spring / early summer, but only under the supervision of a professional.

 

Beetles

There are many varieties of beetles out there and they can affect all sorts of crops imaginable. Beetles don’t need special methods when it comes to detection: they’re easy to spot as many are brightly colored and shiny, and they’re feeding methods leave irregular holes in the foliage. As they’re not that hard to catch, picking them by hand would be a cost-effective method if you’re dealing with light infestation. In the case of heavy infestation, just spray the area with the appropriate insecticide, recommended by a qualified professional.

Gophers

Gophers don’t have very specific cravings, and go for everything they can get their tiny paws on. They’ll voraciously eat any sort of root they’ll stumble across in their underground tunnels. But they also eat the above-ground plant if not disturbed; the mostly prefer carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. If left unattended they can ruin a whole garden in a matter of days.

The most eco-friendly approach in dealing with your gopher problem would be to encourage the presence of birds of prey in the vicinity, by placing bird baths or keeping the garden as tidy as possible so they’re easily spotted by the winged predators. But if the bird method seems a bit drastic, you could just let your dog or cat to roam freely in the garden. Gophers are easily scared and will behave if constantly pressured. Flooding their tunnels is also effective and easy to do.

Dealing with garden pests is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There’s a solution to any sort of problem you might stumble upon and nothing can stop you to achieve your goals in survival gardening. But I strongly advise you to never deal with poisons and insecticides on your own, always consult a specialist in the matter before doing so. You not only risk damaging your garden, but also your health. Pest poisons and insecticides are very dangerous if not handled properly.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Survivor Rocket Stove is the Greatest.

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Survivor Rocket stove

The new stove

Earlier this year while I attended the Utah Prepare Conference and Expo, put on by the Utah State University Extension programs.  While there, I had to look at many new developments in new preparedness products.  One thing that particularly drew my attention was the Survivor Rocket Stove made by Silverfire.  Now I have encounter Silverfore’s product in the past and have found them to be excellent.  Here is a review I did of The SilverFire Scout Biomass Stove is very Efficient

Todd Albi the owner of Silverfire has several different cooking and heating products on the market. I have not had the chance to test them all, but I bought one of the Survivor Rocket stoves and have spent some time playing with it.

Survivor Rocket stove

Fire in the combustion chamber

Survivor Rocket stove

Lighting the stove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stove is stainless steel and well made.  It measures about 12.5 tall by 9.5 wide without the tray for inserting the kindling.  It is fairly heavy, which I consider to be good.  It can hold an 8-quart Dutch oven or a large frying pan without wobbling

Survivor Rocket stove

The door gets hot so I made a tool for opening and closing the door out of a piece of stiff wire

Survivor Rocket stove

They can burn very hot, it you want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a bit of a learning curve, when you first start using it.  But once you get used to it, the stove will put out a constant heat with attention every 5-10 minutes. When you first light it, start the fire with very dry small wood and shredded paper or a fire starter.

I learned you have to use the proper sized wood for the job at hand.  If you want to boil water fast, start with some small sticks then increase in size.  If you want to simmer, let the big pieces turn to coals then add small sticks as needed to keep the heat up.

Survivor Rocket stove

Here you can see the left over fine ash

Survivor Rocket stove

Here is another look at the tool

 

If you overload the combustion chamber it will choke off the air flow and generate smoke.  So feed the stove slow and steady. Use dry material; it will burn just about any type of biomass, sticks, pine cones, dry grass or brush.  There will only be a small amount of white ash left over, and you just have to turn the stove over and it falls out.

I am very pleased with my decision to get a Survivor Rocket Stove.  It works much better than the ones I have had in the past.  I recommend it, with one condition, you have to use it to learn how it functions best, prior to really needing it.

Howard

The post The Survivor Rocket Stove is the Greatest. appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Hazard 4 Officer Tactical M.O.L.L.E. Backpack Review

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Hazard 4 Officer Tactical M.O.L.L.E. Backpack Review

If you’ve been around here for a while and the Hazard 4 Officer seems familiar to you, it should. I reviewed its (almost) identical sibling last year, and today we are checking out the traditional/non-sling pack day pack option (what a mouthful!). I had high expectations based on my general appreciation for Hazard 4’s gear, and they… Read More

This is just the start of the post Hazard 4 Officer Tactical M.O.L.L.E. Backpack Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Hazard 4 Officer Tactical M.O.L.L.E. Backpack Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

CASH from Square Foot Gardening

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In his best-seller, Square Foot Gardening, Mel Bartholomew showed gardeners his revolutionary system of planting in square foot sections to boost vegetable yields. Now in his follow-up, Mel tells you everything you need to know to be a successful square foot gardener. Earn $5,000 or $10,000 or even $20,000 per year – even with limited […]

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Nitro from Ping Pong Balls

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Ping pong balls are made of nitrocellulose, I am sure that many would like to create non-nitro based balls, but industry has never been able to create ping ping balls with the same bounce as the nitrocellulose based balls. Now, while extracting nitro from ping pong balls is easy, the nitrocellulose is adulterated with camphor.  […]

The post Nitro from Ping Pong Balls appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.

Prepping With Babies: Everything You Need To Know To Prepare The Entire Family For A Long-Term Disaster

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prepping with babies and toddlers

Incorporating babies into your preparedness plan, both current and future little bundles of joy, takes a significant amount of detailed planning. We have four incredibly intelligent and adorable grandchildren ranging in age from not-quite-here-yet to 17. Thoroughly reviewing their essential needs and developing a plan to meet those needs seemed a bit daunting at first. But as all veteran preppers know, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Once I had a categorized list of vital, secondary, and morale-boosting items, I breathed a massive sigh of relief and began working baby and youth preps into our weekly and monthly TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) purchasing and training objectives.

survival planning Coordinating your preparedness purchases with other parents of young children in your mutual assistance group will help keeps costs to a minimum. Don’t forget to pass down clothing which one child has outgrown and others will fit into in only a few short years.

Begin the prepping baby goals by placing the three biggies at the top of the list: food, clothing and shelter. Taking small steps toward preparing to survive a disaster with babies and young children will help you accomplish the most important steps first and help prevent an overwhelming sense of panicked angst.

I have likened the process of prepping for babies to going Christmas shopping for a large family. If your holiday list nearly rolls out of your hand and onto the floor like mine does, stress can occur quickly. By sorting the list by either family groups or by age, you can strike a name from a single group when each gift is purchased and then mark the entire group as finished.

mutual assistance groups Horses will likely once again become a vital mode of transportation during a power grid down or other type of long-term disaster. Relocating young children and pregnant women away from danger will go much more quickly in a saddle than on it would on foot.

Whittling down the list in an organized fashion makes it far more likely that you will be able to suppress the desire to run screaming into the snow and get nothing accomplished.

Shelter

Although planning a permanent, emergency, and even a bug-out shelter for the entire family or mutual assistance group also helps protect the baby or toddler from the elements, more should be done to better shelter the little ones.

Making sure a baby is both sheltered and mobile is extremely important. Imagine packing a baby on your hip for miles and miles if the family suddenly found itself on foot. Hiking through the woods with an infant in your arms would be no picnic either. Purchase a baby stroller and a baby wrap carrier so the baby can be pushed along a road or safely hung from your shoulders when traversing rugged terrain.

prepping tips for parents Purchase a lightweight and inexpensive umbrella stroller and backpack style carrier for use by current or future babies in your family to help keep the little ones mobile during a disaster.

These items can be picked up inexpensively at yard sales, online auction pages, and from secondhand stores. Even if you do not having a baby in the family or tribe — as I prefer to call mutual assistance groups — you could get the news that a loved one is expecting not long after the lights go out. The secondhand purchases of strollers, baby wraps and pack-and-plays (playpen/portable crib) would make excellent barter items during a long-term disaster.

Clothing

Keeping a growing baby in clothing during normal circumstances can mean continual trips to the shopping mall. Learning how to sew, both with a machine and by hand, will help keep babies and children in suitable clothing during a lengthy disaster. If the power grid fails, the country could be without power for up to three years. The amount of growth newborns and children up to the age of 12 experience during such a span is significant. Learning how to sew will also be useful when adult clothing needs mending as well.

Simple onesies and romper patterns can be traced from existing clothing, so only minimal purchases of new or gently used outfits in various sizes would be required. I have snagged enough shirts, pants, coats, socks, underwear, and footwear at end-of-the-season sales, church rummage sales, and yard sales to clothe all three of the still-growing grandchildren until they reach adulthood for less than $100 each.

homesteading Hand-me-downs, even if the children are multiple years a part in age, may come in quite handy. The children will grow into the clothes or the material and findings can be used to make or mend garments to fit their current size.

Unless you live in an expansive mansion or own multiple a pole barns, it would be virtually impossible to store enough diapers to keep the bottom of a single baby fresh for very long. Cloth diapers are a cheap and earth-friendly alternative to disposable diapers. Patterns for making the diapers and removable inserts are readily available without charge online.

Food

Nursing is often considered the healthiest way to feed babies, but not all mothers can successfully nurse, and not all mommies will survive a given disaster. Learn how to make your own baby food and stockpile the items necessary to make emergency baby formula just in case the babies who come into your family or tribe are not able to garner sustenance from their mothers. A baby routinely consumes up to 32 ounces of water mixed with formula per day.

homemade baby formula Stocking up on enough baby formula to feed even a single infant would take massive amount of space. Learn how to make your formula just in case nursing is not an option.

Emergency Baby Formula Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup non-instant powdered milk (or 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons instant powdered milk)
1 1/2 cups boiled water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Directions

Thoroughly mix together the water and powdered milk.
Add the sugar and oil and mix thoroughly again.

off the grid parenting Learn how to make your own diaper rash ointment and how to sterilize water for mixing with baby formula.

Diaper Rash Reliever

1. Coconut oil can be gently rubbed onto the rash and help soothe the baby’s discomfort.

2. A chamomile-based ointment will also help soothe and dry up diaper rash. Mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 2 tablespoons powdered chamomile flowers. Sprinkle the powdered mixture onto a baby’s bottom during each diaper change to prevent rash, or gently pat onto rash when one develops.

Baby 72-Hour Pack

  • One 12-ounce can of powdered formula
  • 100 ounces bottled water
  • 2 bottles and nipples
  • Cloth diapers with three inserts or a pack of disposable diapers (which will take up a lot more room)
  • 2–3 packs of diaper wipes
  • 1 container of diaper rash ointment or powder
  • Clothing – 5 onesies, 5 sleepers, 5 pairs of socks and 3 bibs
  • 2 swaddling blankets
  • A small thermos to help keep mixed formula warm (It also serves as a body warmer when wrapped inside a swaddling blanket with the baby.)
  • Disposable hand warmers
    Teething salve, teething cookies, or teething ring (or all three)
  • 1 bottle infant Tylenol
  • 1 bottle sunblock
  • 2 pacifiers
  • 1 nose/ear syringe
  • Comfort item, such as a toy or pillow
  • Extra pair of mittens and knit hat
  • List of allergies, medical conditions or other important details that others in the family or group need to know in case mommy and daddy cannot share such important emergency information
  • Extra pair of shoes if the baby is mobile

68 Items You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t

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68 Items You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t I have to admit, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my food stockpile: what I’ve already stored, what I’m gonna store, how I’m gonna store it, how I’m gonna cook it, what it’s gonna taste like. What can I say? I like to eat. Food …

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The post 68 Items You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Deal With Migrants and Refugees

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Written by Dan Sullivan on The Prepper Journal.

1/5 (1) Editor’s Note: This article was generously contributed by Dan Sullivan who comes to us from his own blog, survivalsullivan.com. Dan talks about a situation that is impacting the world right now to varying degrees based upon your location. The consequences of the continuous waves of migrants is yet to be fully seen, but […]

The post How to Deal With Migrants and Refugees appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Taking Leave…

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Dateline: 5 November 2015

A Dead Elm
(click picture for larger view)

I’ve decided to take leave from blogging here for awhile and devote my writing time to posting updates to Jimmy & Bekah’s Diner Dream project at GoFundMe. 

The campaign is off to a great start. Several readers of this blog have contributed. I greatly appreciate it. The project runs to the end of the year and I expect to be writing regular updates there until then, or until the $10,000 goal is reached, whichever comes first. I suspect that the end of the year will come first, but one never knows.

I invite you to stop by the GoFundMe page and read my updates (if you make a donation of any amount, you will automatically receive the updates by e-mail). The most recent update will be at the top, and there will be a link at the bottom of the update to read previous ones.

I hope to post updates there at least twice a week. I’ll discuss the perception among some people in my community that I’m “begging” for money for my son and daughter-in-law. I’ll also address the following e-mail, which I received on the first day:

Herrick, I believe your intentions may be good with wanting to help your son and his new bride with making their dream a reality; however, my concern is if they don’t feel “right” asking people for financial help, how do they really feel about ol’ dad going world-wide doing it for them.  Sometimes we parents can be a little over zealous.  And, isn’t true that we have more appreciation for what we work hard for.  


My discussion will, of course, be upbeat. And I’ll discuss diner things too. They say that updates are an important part of a GoFundMe campaign. People want to know more about the story, how it plays out, and how their contribution is being used. I can do that. I’m into it.

I had not planned to take this break, but I can see that it is necessary. Something has to give, you know? 

I have so  much to write about from the Deliberate Agrarian perspective, but this little project is actually part of my deliberate agrarian life. It’s important to me and my family. 

Lord willing, I’ll be back.

Dropped Elm
(55ft long)

Elm Stump

Elm Branches in 12A
(behind Leland)

Little House on the Prairie Craft: Old-Fashioned Hand Warmers

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When I was one of the lucky bloggers chosen to receive a package from Andover’s Little House on the Prairie-inspired fabrics, my daughter couldn’t have been happier.

A long-time fan of the series of Little House books, as well as the television show, she insisted that the craft we use the gorgeous new fabrics for be something Laura herself might have used. (By the way, you can win your own goodie bag from Andover – see the details at the end of this post!)

Since we used to live in Canada, the books that always seemed the most relatable to my children were the ones in which Laura described the long, cold winters of her childhood.  In Little House in the Big Woods and The Long Winter, the Ingalls family used a variety of methods to keep their hands warm, including putting baked potatoes in their pockets and stuffing heated, fabric-wrapped rocks into their hand-muffs.

With the first frost hitting our part of California, Rosie decided that the perfect Little House on the Prairie craft would be hand warmers from the beautiful, vintage-looking fabric. As a homeschool mom, I decided this would be a perfect learning experience for school credit. After all, it combined literature (the Little House books), Home Ec (a part of our curriculum that most public schools don’t teach anymore), and technology, since Rosie would be putting together the tutorial, a first appearance for her on the website.

Using two of the fabrics, she stitched little pillows that she then stuffed with rice.  These can be heated up in the microwave if you use one, or they can be placed near the woodstove in a heat-resistant ceramic crock so they always stay warm. Another alternative is to place them in a clay flower pot on a heat vent in your home. (Be sure not to block the entire vent with this.) Use your own judgment (and check with an adult). Please don’t set your house on fire.

Place a warmer in each of your mittens or in your coat pockets to keep your fingers toasty, no matter how cold the weather is outside.

How to Make Old-Fashioned Hand Warmers

by Rosie Luther

This is a great craft for those who are just learning to sew. There’s no pattern, just a set of directions that you can modify to meet your needs and to use your available fabric. A larger version could be made to use as a heating pad for sore necks.

1.) Decide what size you’d like your handwarmer to be, then cut a rectangle of fabric twice that size.

handwarmers step 1

2.) Fold the fabric over, double. then iron it to make clean edges.

handwarmers step 2

3.) Hem the edges of the fabric, then turn it wrong side out and sew two sides closed.  For the third side, leave an opening that you can fill with rice.

handwarmers step 3

4.) Turn your little pillow right side out. Then, use a funnel to fill the pillow with rice.

handwarmers step 4

5.) Hand sew the opening closed.

Heat your handwarmers, then go outside for a walk in the snow!

completed project

How to win a HUGE gift package from Little House on the Prairie and Andover Fabrics

Would you like to win your own goodie bag full of these fabrics, books, and other Little House awesomeness worth nearly $400? Andover has paired with the Little House on the Prairie website to make this happen!  Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you don’t win, do not despair. GO HERE to find a store selling the Andover Fabrics Little House on the Prairie line.

Comment below and let me know what you’d make with these lovely vintage-style fabrics!

The post Little House on the Prairie Craft: Old-Fashioned Hand Warmers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

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10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

Image source: Pixabay.com

Those little orange boxes of baking soda are handy to have in your refrigerator to get rid of unpleasant odors and on your pantry shelf to use in baking, but there are good reasons you should store this amazing resource for emergencies.

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO₃) is a compound that contains the mineral nahcolite and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. Historians know that ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, used baking soda for many purposes around the home.

Often priced at about $1 for a one-pound box and even less expensive when purchased in bulk quantities, baking soda is an affordable and important part of your off-the grid supplies.

Here are 10 reasons you should stockpile baking soda:

1. Personal hygiene. Baking soda is an ingredient in many types of toothpaste, and you can make your own by mixing it with some water. Baking soda also freshens breath. Simply mix a teaspoon into a glass of water and gargle.

You also can use a paste of baking soda and water to remove dirt and stains from the hands and body. Or pat some baking soda under your arms for a natural deodorant.

Produce Boiling Hot Water, Anywhere, Anytime With Absolutely No Power Whatsoever…

Baking soda works well as a dry shampoo. Sprinkle some baking soda into your roots and then work through your hair. Brush well, and your hair will look and smell fresher.

2. Medical uses. Baking soda is a natural heartburn reliever, since it helps to neutralize the acids in your digestive tract. Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water. Stir until dissolved completely. Drink once every four hours. This remedy is for adults only and should not exceed five teaspoons per day.

A baking soda-water paste is an effective way to soothe the pain of sunburn and insect bites and stings. It also can soothe and protect areas of chafing on the body, such as between the thighs.

3. Indoor cleaning. Baking soda works as a gentle abrasive cleaner on all your kitchen and bathroom surfaces, including counters, sinks and tubs. With water and elbow grease, it will power out many stains without worry of scratching surfaces.

Try using baking soda to remove cooked-in or burnt-on food on your pots and pans. Remove all excess food and then place a layer of baking soda on the stain. Cover with about two inches of water and bring the pot to boil. Remove from heat and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you should be able to wipe the remains away.

10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

Image source: washjeff.edu

4. Outdoor cleaning. You can use a baking soda-water paste to clean your outdoor grill and outdoor furniture.

In addition, its mild alkaline content makes it a safe cleaner for your car. Mix one-fourth cup of baking soda in a quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to all car surfaces, including chrome, light covers, tires, vinyl seats and mats.

5. Clean batteries. You can neutralize corrosion on batteries with baking soda. First, be sure to disconnect the terminals. Then apply a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water with a damp cloth to clean away corrosion. Wipe dry. Then reconnect the terminals.

6. Clean drains. Did you know you can safely clean sluggish drains with baking soda? Simply pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain and flush with boiling water for quick results. An added bonus? Your drain will smell better, too.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

After your drain is running better, sprinkle some baking soda in your sink – even stainless steel ones – and scrub with a damp sponge or cloth for a shiny surface.

7. Laundry. Baking soda can be used alone or as a boost to your regular laundry detergent. Add one-half cup to your washing machine load to help balance pH levels.

You can use baking soda to freshen and deodorize bedding and sleeping bags in between washings. Sprinkle on the bedding and let the baking soda set for about 15 minutes. Then shake well outdoors to loosen and remove the baking soda.

8. Put out fires. In an emergency, you can use baking soda to smother fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and carpet. Baking soda can be used for electrical fires as well, and the good part is it will not ruin some items, as water will.

9. Deodorizer. Baking soda does a great job of absorbing odors. In addition to your main refrigerator, you can use it in coolers and portable refrigerators as well.

Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your garbage cans to neutralize odors there.

Here’s another deodorizing tip: If a skunk sprays your dog, add a cup of lemon juice, a box of baking soda and a half-cup of shampoo in a warm bath to help kill the odor.

10. Cooking. You can use baking soda to safely clean your fruits and vegetables before eating them or cooking them. Scrub them with a clean brush and a paste of baking soda and water. Then rinse thoroughly.

You can decrease the cooking time for dried beans with baking soda. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water you soak the beans in overnight before cooking them. It not only cuts the cooking time in half, but it makes the beans more digestible for most people.

Finally, here is one more reason you need to stockpile baking soda. You can use it to make a rehydrating drink for survival situations. In cases of severe dehydration, when other methods of rehydrating are not available, here is an effective option.

Mix the following ingredients together:

      • 1 quart of water
      • ½ tsp of baking soda
      • ½ tsp of table salt
      • ¼ tsp of salt substitute (potassium chloride)
      • 2 tablespoons of sugar
      • Fruit juice as flavoring (optional)

Have dehydrated person take small sips of the solution every five minutes until he or she begins to urinate normally.

Do you know of other uses for baking soda? Share your tips in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Nuclear attack on U.S. cities ‘very real’ threat — is this Biblical?

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Nuclear attack on U.S. cities 'very real' threat — is this Biblical

Nuclear attack on U.S. cities ‘very real’ threat — is this Biblical?

With nuclear attacks on U.S. cities by radical Islam (Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc.) now considered a ‘daily threat’ by Homeland Security, that’s what a lot of people nowadays want to know.

Bin Laden’s plan for “American Hiroshima” calls for the death of millions of people, including children, and involves multiple nukes inmultiple cities.

That was in 2005. The years are passing and news reports point to terrorists it seems coming closer to pulling this off.

By now it’s pretty clear. One or more U.S. cities could be attacked by terrorists with nuclear weapons at some point in the days ahead.

If you find this hard to believe, consider that FBI Director Robert Mueller recently confirmed the claims made in FBI consultant Paul Williams’ book, titled The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, where he says Al Qaida is planning nuclear attacks on 7 U.S. cities.

Coincidentally, these attacks appear to be prophesied in multiple books of the Bible.

Nuclear attack on U.S. cities ‘very real’

With the last chapter in the Bible written almost two thousand years ago by the apostle John, it’s surprising that anyone alive at that time could envision the political and economic world as it would exist two thousand years later and then write about it.

John of course had the assistance of an angel, who gave him a series of terrifying visions, which he was told to write down exactly as they were shown to him.

4

Words from Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ also gave John very clear and ominous warnings for the churches that think they follow God, but have been corrupted by sin and false teachings and in one warning, “Satan’s deep secrets” (Revelation 2:24). These warnings from Christ show us the importance of comparing our church leaders to the Holy Bible, and also show that many, many churches in the last days have fallen away from Biblical truth.

John’s visions of the future nation of America?

From the time of John’s words from Christ and visions from an angel of God, now fast forward to the present day; the United States should be worried about some of the visions John was told to write down.

The United States fits the description of Mystery Babylon the Great, a ‘city’ described in Revelation (last chapter of the Bible) that sits on many waters, and has many peoples and languages, and where sexual immorality and false religions are rampant.

Revelation goes on to describe what many Bible scholars and evangelists believe to be a direct analogy to the United States, or what may be New York City, or what may be multiple U.S. cities.

In ‘one day and one hour’ it is destroyed by its enemies; the apostle John writes that God lets this destruction happen to bring about his wrath.

Revelation 17:15 – “…the waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The 10 horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose, and to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are accomplished. And the woman you saw is the great city that has an empire over the kings of the earth.”

James 5:1-5 – Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Is Mystery Babylon a ‘future Rome where the Anti-Christ rules the world from’, or is it New York City?

1) Mystery Babylon cannot be a future city where the Anti-Christ rules the world from, because in Revelation 17:15-18 the Anti-Christ destroys Mystery Babylon by fire.

2) Rev. 14:6-8 puts the fall of Mystery Babylon at the beginning of the Tribulation (also called the ‘time of wrath’ in the Book of Daniel). It’s ‘kingdom’ is then taken over by the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and ten foreign nations (ten horns), and the people who live there cannot buy or sell unless they receive a ‘mark’ (6-6-6). If you accept the mark, God says you will receive eternal punishment in Hell. Christians on earth during the Tribulation are warned to refuse the mark at all cost.

Most likely the mark won’t be an actual number, but some sort of micro-chip implant under the skin that identifies each person.

Coincidentally, on August 1, 2007, CNN announced that the technology to micro-chip humans has arrived (we used to have a link to this article; strangely, the article has completely disappeared from CNN archives and cannot be found on a Google search).

Were there any warning signs?

Obviously the government of Mystery Babylon the Great DOES NOT READ THE BIBLE.

Otherwise they would have realized what their fate was prophesied to be.

The United States is in a similar position.

Our number one threat, as said by Cheney recently in the Chicago Tribune, is attacks by nuclear terrorists on American cities (see link above). He says it is now a ‘daily threat’. Coincidentally, this fits the exact description of what happens to Mystery Babylon the Great in Revelation.

It is ‘consumed by fire’ in ‘one day and one hour’. It is made ‘desolate and naked’ and ‘her flesh is devoured’.

This sounds a lot like a nuclear attack.

Revelation 14:6-12 and the Christian Rapture

If you read Revelation 14:6-12, this catastrophic attack on Mystery Babylon the Great appears to be the first event to start God’s ‘hour of judgement’ on the nations of the world – also known as the Tribulation — also known as the Time of Wrath.

If you’re familiar with the rest of the Bible, then you know that the rapture of the Christian church appears to occur right before the ‘hour of judgement’. This is commonly called the ‘Pre-tribulation rapture’. (Studying the Bible, I tend to believe in an ‘Early Tribulation’ rapture, and believe that this will occur when the Fourth Seal of Revelation is opened, in Chapter 6 of Revelation.)

This is why Christians around the world need to seriously consider what will happen on the day New York City is attacked with nuclear weapons.

So, if New York City proves to be Mystery Babylon the Great, and Mystery Babylon the Great is destroyed when the Fourth Seal of Revelation is opened, millions of Christians around the world – who are True to the teachings of the Bible and have sincerely given their hearts and minds to Jesus Christ – will likely VANISH (be taken to Heaven in the long-awaited event known as the ‘rapture of the church’) in the moments before the attack.3

Hundreds of millions of other Christians will likely be LEFT BEHIND, as punishment for half-hearted faith and following the doctrines of false teachers that have corrupted much of the Christian church (more on this below).

Al-Qaeda’s U.S. Nuclear Targets

WorldNetDaily.com reports al-Qaeda has obtained at least 40 nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union – including suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells and even some missile warheads; it’s alleged that the attacks will take place in daylight, so that the whole world will be able to see the images of a mushroom cloud over an American city.

Now, whether they have 40 nuclear weapons — or just one nuclear weapon — if these attacks by Al-Qaeda are Biblical, we’re destined to lose.

And until you see Homeland Security reading from Bibles, you can assume that our government does not concern itself with Bible prophecy –

If they did, right about now they would be sitting in a circle holding hands and praying, because the terror attacks that are about to hit our country are supposed to be devastating.

Mystery Babylon the Great Theories

For decades there have been different theories as to who Mystery Babylon the Great is, as its destruction is prophesied about in great detail in Revelation (Chapters 17-19), and also appears to be prophesied in Jeremiah (Chapters 50, 51) and Isaiah (Chapters 13, 47). One theory in recent decades has been the United States.

Now in 2007, this looks like the best theory — and one it would be smart for President Bush and Homeland Security to have a scenario for.

Just as the people of the United States should start to realize that we may meet the same fate as the Bible’s Mystery Babylon the Great, the attack from our enemies may come, before we have time to do anything about it.

The Day After a Nuclear Attack

If the United States gets nuked by terrorists in the next few months, I’m sure there will be widespread repentance by non-believers.

Many will be huddled around campfires reading Revelation Chapter 17 and 18 to each other, talking about the fall of Mystery Babylon the Great, and it’s too bad we didn’t have the foresight to realize that the Bible was talking about our country.

The day after… what about the day before?

  • Take reports in the N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, and Chicago Tribune (see links at the top of this article) seriously. Dark storm clouds are on America’s horizon. There is a reason a nuclear attack by Islamic radicals on U.S. cities is now considered the top threat by Homeland Security. Yes, these reports aren’t making headlines – most likely the government is doing all they can to not create panic and they appear to have cooperation with the major networks to keep this story toward the back pages.

    If you want to follow reports on this topic, I recommend going to http://news.google.com and every few days doing a search for ‘nuclear attack’. More and more news sites are reporting government activities in preparation of a terrorist nuclear attack on one or more U.S. cities.

    What Christians Need to Know

  • Right now it is very important that you become true to the Christian faith, REPENT of any sin still in your life, and become passionate about God’s Greatest Commandment for our lives (Matthew 22:37). Once you are ‘right’ with God, prepare you and your family for a probable rapture (your family must be ‘right’ with God as well).

    As talked about earlier in the article, the rapture appears to occur right before the ‘hour of judgement’ – and I believe that the ‘hour of judgement’ will begin with a nuclear attack on New York City.

  • Study Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. Note that only the Philadelphia Church (and a number of believers of the churches in Sardis and Smyrna) are guaranteed to be spared the ‘hour of trial’ (hour of judgement). All the other churches are told to REPENT, or they will be left behind to go through the tribulation. We know that these promises apply to all Christians, because each letter ends with “Anyone with an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

    The Bible says no man knows the day or the hour, but we are told to watch for the signs and “…when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28). Considering that Bush, Cheney, and Homeland Security believe there is a high likelihood of a nuclear attack by Islamic radicals on one or more U.S. cities, I would say it’s time to lift up our heads.

    Is Revelation 18:4 the ‘rapture of the church’?

    As Mystery Babylon is destroyed in Revelation 18, God says, “Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in any of her sins,” and I believe this event is the rapture. Now, let’s compare Revelation 18:4 with the rapture of the ‘Two Witnesses’ in Chapter 11 of Revelation –

    Revelation 11:11-12 – Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.

    When God says “Come out of her my people” in 18:4, this is strikingly similar to what he says in Revelation 11:12 that brings the Two Witnesses up to Heaven. We know that verse 11:12 is a definiterapture. Conclusion: The similarities between passages give evidence that 18:4 is also a rapture (in this case, the rapture of all faithful Christians). Why do I think this? Because Rev. 14:6-8 puts the destruction of Mystery Babylon at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

  • Please note that Revelation 18:4 appears to describe the rapture, and it occurs as Mystery Babylon the Great is attacked.

  • Read the Bible. As mentioned above, read Chapters 2 and 3 in Revelation. Note that God is not pleased with the majority of Christians, and requires repentance. One group of Christians really has God ticked off and he threatens to ‘vomit’ them from his mouth for being ‘lukewarm’. What we learn from God’s warning to these churches is that it is not enough to just call ourselves Christians. It needs to be in our hearts and reflect first in everything we do in our daily lives.

    ‘Lukewarm’ Christians are in the same boat as Satan worshippers – NEITHER GROUP IS SAVED. That is the harsh reality of what God warns all Christians in Revelation 3:16.

  • Pray for sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Here is a web page I found atAllAboutFollowingJesus.org that explains this very well. Most new Christians are un-familiar with the Biblical teachings of sanctification, yet it is very important to know. Most people who fall away from the faith likely due so because they never make a sincere attempt to sanctify themselves with the Holy Spirit, which is a spiritual gift from God for believing in Jesus Christ and repenting of your sins.

    The Rapture

    One of the ongoing debates in the Christian church is whether the rapture occurs BEFORE the Tribulation, or if it occurs AFTER the Tribulation.

    Scripture is very clear that there are TWO raptures – the purified church prior to the Tribulation (small percentage of Christians), and then the rapture of the tribulation saints (believers who become true Christians during the Tribulation) at the end of the Tribulation. Many of course will be imprisoned and executed by the Anti-Christ for refusing the mark — called 6-6-6 in the Bible — that allows people to buy or sell under his rule.

    This is why it’s better to be a Christian pure in the faith NOW, before the Tribulation starts – so that you can be considered part of the first fruits of Christ and make the first rapture.

  • 15_620x1101

    It almost sounds like an NFL Draft, which is probably why the rapture of the Christian church is such a hard concept for non-believers to grasp. To non-believers it sounds like wishful thinking. And that’s one reason why I believe God is looking forward to the rapture –

    To really shake up the world – specifically, those non-believers who have scoffed at Biblical teachings for so many hundreds of years and the Christians who have fallen away from the faith.

    Now, if you’re concerned that you or someone you know will fall short of God’s high standards for the first rapture, please read the following article:

    Is Christ’s Return Imminent? Shocking Evidence for the Timing of the Christian Rapture

    Left Behind

    Christianity is the largest religion on Earth. The United States, founded as one nation under God, but now one nation under multiple gods, had better accept that God is real, and his promises of judgement are about to unfold.

    A lot of people call themselves Christians – however, many are lost to the pride, corruption and sexual immorality of this world. Others were Christians at one time, but then later fell away from the faith, and back into rebellion.

    Many nowadays do not have a close relationship with God.

    Perhaps later this year, in the wake of nuclear attacks in U.S. cities a lot of people who think they’re Christians are going to be in for a rude
    awakening –

    They’re still here. God’s warning in Revelation 3:16 was the real deal. Lukewarm faith absolutely disgusts God. God hates sin, and lukewarm believers have too much sin in their lives.

    Evan Almighty

    In the movie Evan Almighty, Steve Carell, a modern day American, is called by God to build an Ark. Could this movie be God’s way of telling America that the flood waters are coming?

    In recent years, American Muslims have been warned by Islamic terrorists to leave the United States. They have been warned more than once apparently. If these warnings come again, it may be in the months or years after Evan Almighty hit theaters, and the people of America are reminded one last time about the story of Noah and the Great Flood.

    However, instead of building an Ark, you may want to consider building a nuclear fallout shelter (for family / friends who refuse to accept the Truth of the Holy Bible).

    Because it’s not flood waters that are coming – there’s a great chance that the first serious waves to pound the U.S. will be Islamic terrorists with nuclear weapons.

    The same day that New York City gets attacked with nuclear weapons, we can expect widespread attacks in multiple American cities.

 

Source : www.surviveanydisaster.com

Other Useful Resources :    

Mega Drought USA:(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)-DIY

Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)-DIY

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)

 

darkestomen

 

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Gold, And Pulling The Plug On The Fiat Petro-Dollar

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The United States has been fully off the gold standard for 44 years. Depending on where you read statistics, the average life expectancy of Fiat currencies are somewhere between 27 and 39 years. Fiat economies ALWAYS collapse. The thing is… The U.S. Dollar is on life support, and the world is about to pull the […]

15 Awesome Ways To Make Your Boy’s Bedroom The Envy Of All His Friends

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15 Awesome Ways To Make Your Boy's Bedroom The Envy Of All His Friends

As a sibling post to our 15 Majestic DIY Upgrades For Girl’s Bedrooms here is one for the boys!

No matter the age, these upgrades will delight the little man (or men) in your life. We’ve found designs for all sorts of tastes; superheros, legos, Minecraft, cars, and more! If you’re just looking for some classy and fun ways to organize the fields of toys spread across the floors of your home, we have solutions for that too.

Have fun perusing this list and find something that can inspire you and your kids in your next design!


 

wallgarage

Matchbox Car Garage – Perfect for the little motorheads in your life and to keep all those little cars off the floor and out of the way! Plus you never have to hear “Mom, where’s [insert care name here]?” if they’re all visible on the wall.


 

DSC_0504-2-800x532

Lego Figure Display Wall – Lego fans will love having all their little figures out on display! These are super easy to make and customize for any room of the house.


 

superherodresser

Super Hero Decoupage Dresser – Reimagine an old dresser with some paint and a little bit of fabric, or you could use comic book pages, and create something that your kids will love! You can even find cool super hero drawer pulls to match.


 

comiccanvas

Comic Canvas Wall Art – Create some dynamic wall art with this excellent tutorial! Pick out your child’s favorite comic or superhero and use pages from the comic. For an added bit of fun, find sound effects from the comic itself and create those.


 

suitcasedresser

Suitcase Dresser – For the Harry Potter fans, this dresser refinish is an excellent addition that could be used in other rooms of the house if your boy grows out of it.


 


 

DIY-Minecraft-Crafting-Table

DIY Crafting Table – If your kids are into Minecraft, there’s a whole slew of DIY and tutorials for making Minecraft themed items, but this Crafting Table desk is one of the coolest easy designs we’ve seen!


 

Super Hero Bed pic 1

Superhero City Bed – This step-by-step how-to shows you how to build this awesome loft bed for your little man! Complete with ladder, slide, and under bed storage, this cityscape adorned bed has everything a little superhero could want.


 

superherohouse

Action Figure House – This action figure play house has been specifically design with little ones in mind. It has doorways, ledges, secret doors, and a dungeon for hours of imaginative play!


 

figurelamp

Toy Lamp – If you’re looking for a use for all of those little figures and toys that your kids have collected without having to get of them, this is the perfect project!


 

superhero-wall-art

Backlit Canvas Superhero Logos – If you’ve seen the backlit canvases that have been circling around the internet, here is a version that’s perfect for your super hero enthusiast! The best part is that you can use any superhero logo (or other series) to create these.


 

batmanbed

Batmobile Bed – Up your “greatest parent” game with this DIY Batmobile bed design! The directions are clear and easy to follow with templates for all the piece and painting.


 

Dino-Mobile

Dinosaur Mobile – For the younger, but still geeky, tikes, here is a cute and easy little dinosaur mobile that would be great for a dino themed nursery or toddler room.


 

magnetwall1

Magnet Wall – Magnet walls are some of the most engaging things that you can include in a child’s room. They’re also super simple to install and make for hours of fun!c


 

DIY-Removable-Non-Permanent-Lego-Wall-from-Lalymom.-Great-for-any-Duplo-or-Lego-Lover.-

Removable Lego Wall – We’ve seen plenty of permanent lego wall DIYs, but this one allows you to put up and easily removable alternative that will help to keep lego off the floor and out from under your feet!


 

game-board-storage-art-2_thumb

Board Game Wall Art – These are absolutely ingenious! Board games are fun and beautifully designed so they make for excellent wall art. What’s even better is that these frames hold the board and all of the pieces on the back of the board so that all you have to do it take it down and play the game in the frame!

Even More Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

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Growing your own food

As if you needed any more reasons to start growing and raising your own food, Chipotle restaurants have now given you one more reason.

Chipotle restaurants are noted or want to be noted for using organically grown foods. Obviously, the growers cannot use commercial fertilizers and still call their product organic, so they typically use animal manure for fertilizer. Before the manure can be used however, it must be composted for a specific period, but foods grown in other countries are not regulated as heavily as they are here in the United States.

The manure may go directly from the barns to the fields, bypassing proper composting practices, which would have eliminated the bacteria in the manure, bacterium that has sickened close to two dozen people so far.

In addition, human feces has been found on some food products grown in other countries, so it may not just be animal manure being used as fertilizer. In fact, in July 2015, the FDA banned Cilantro from Mexico because of human feces in the fields.

Once in the fields it is not a far stretch to imagine it is on the leaves of your produce as well. Some foods do not require cooking that would kill the bacteria, and a quick rinse may not be enough to remove the bacteria (Stapleton, 2015).

Foods from other countries or even from this country could pose a health risk if not properly grown and processed, and part of the processing to ensure you are safe must be done by you. You have to clean any foods that will not be cooked to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria present on the product.

You simply cannot buy fresh produce carry it home and slice and eat. You shouldn’t do this even with produce you grow yourself. A proper scrubbing and rinsing is important to wash away contaminates on the product. You also have to clean fruits and vegetables that have heavy skins that are not usually eaten. The knife used to cut into the product will carry the bacteria inside to the edible parts, as will your hands, if you handle the skins before washing the skins and your hands thoroughly.

If you compost at your homestead it has to be done properly to ensure the organic matter has been broken down (decomposed) correctly. This requires heat, which is generated by the decomposition of organic matter. Cow/horse manure can be composted, but it should compost for up to six months before being used as fertilizer. The heat generated must reach a certain level and maintain at that level.

Hot composting manure before applying it to your garden will kill parasites and reduce seeds from any weeds in the manure. Hot composting balances food, water, and air in the compost pile to favor the growth of much needed microorganisms that thrive in high temperatures.

It takes one-half to one cubic yard of fresh organic matter for the pile to reach the recommended temperatures for hot composting”, states Nick Andrews, small farms specialist with the OSU Extension Service. “The pile should also have a balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and good moisture and oxygen supplies (OSU, n.d.).”

Associated Press (2015, November 3) Retrieved 2015, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/11/03/officials-identify-microorganism-responsible-for-chipotle-e-coli-outbreak-shift-focus-to-suppliers.html?intcmp=hplnws

OSU. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/turn-manure-compost-your-garden

Stapleton, A. (2015, July). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/28/health/mexico-cilantro/

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Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know and More!

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Canning Jars 101 - Everything You Need To Know and More! | via www.BackdoorSurvival.com

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

When I recently did some organizing of my supplies, I was a bit surprised at the sheer number of canning jars I had placed into boxes.  By the time I got to the 20th box, I admitted to myself that I am clearly a canning jar hoarder.  That said, I don’t think I am in need of an intervention. Yet.  On the contrary, I think everyone should own more versatile and beautiful canning jars.

Canning jars, also commonly referred to as Mason Jars, have a long and colorful history.

The History of Canning and Canning Jars

Canning as a method of preservation was first created during the time that Napoleon was in charge of the French Army. The army wanted a way to preserve food so that soldiers could be better nourished.  The military offered a prize of 12,000 francs to the person who could come up with a solution to this issue.

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know and More!

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

Filed under: Food, Prepping

US Sees Record Gun Sales for 6 Months in a Row

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bushmaster

By Joshua Krause – The Daily Sheeple  

It appears that America’s firearm buying binge isn’t going to dissipate any time soon. What looked like a temporary surge in firearm purchases last summer has lasted well into the fall, with no signs of it relenting. In fact, according to the FBI, gun sales have reached record levels for the 6th month in a row.

The FBI’s instant background check system processed 1,976,759 firearm purchases in the month of October, which is 373,290 more than they saw in October of 2014. And that of course, doesn’t even consider the background checks that involved multiple firearms. Overall, the FBI has made 17,584,346 background checks in 2015, which means that this year is on track to beat 2013’s record of 21,093,273, which itself beat the 2012 record.

It’s well-known that mass shootings and calls for more gun control are driving these trends, but the left continues to assert that there is no threat to our right to bear arms. However, the fears these gun owners have seem to have been justified in recent months, considering that President Obama has thought about using executive orders to tighten gun sales, and Hillary has mentioned her approval of an Australian style gun confiscation. As long as the political class threatens gun ownership in America, our gun buying binge is only going to escalate.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple: US Sees Record Gun Sales for 6 Months in a Row


Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

 

 

Filed under: News/ Current Events

Volcanoes Today, 5 Nov 2015: Rinjani Volcano

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Ash plume from Rinjani volcano drifting over Bali today (MODIS / NASA)

Rinjani (Lombok): The eruption has intensified a lot over the past few days. Activity takes place from a lateral vent on the Barujari cone inside the volcano’s caldera, producing continuous ash emissions and feeding a new viscous lava flow. The lava flow has been advancing more than 500 m in two lobes towards the NE.
This current more intense phase of the eruption seems ot have started in the early afternoon of 2 Nov, when ash emissions became large enough to produce a plume that drifted westwards and reached Bali, where the airport of Denpasar was shut down. The plume was almost 400 km long this morning and the shut-down of the airport has been causing significant flight disruptions. When it can be reopened will depend on whether ash emissions continue and the prevailing wind direction in the coming days.
On Lombok island itself, the rumblings from the eruptions are heard in many areas. Access to the summit area of Rinjani has been closed and a 3 km exclusion zone around the caldera rim is in place. Several villages on Lombok reported ash falls.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 5 Nov 2015: Rinjani Volcano

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

Pacific Storm Poised to Deliver Rounds of Rain, Snow in West

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By AccuWeather

Another large storm is poised to roll into the West with rain, snow and travel disruptions during the second week of November.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark, “There is more good news on the way for part of the drought-stricken West starting this weekend and into next week.”

“A new storm from the Pacific Ocean will spread rain and snow as far south as California and as far east as Colorado, Wyoming and Montana,” Clark said.

The storm will continue to build the snowpack in the high country and soak the soil at lower elevations of the West.

It will follow the first widespread mountain snow of the season in the West, with totals of 1 to 2 feet of snow on part of the Sierra Nevada, Colorado Rockies and portions of northern Nevada, this week.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Pacific Storm Poised to Deliver Rounds of Rain, Snow in West

Filed under: Weather

Solar Storm Grounds Airlines, More Expected! S0 News Nov 5, 2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 5, 2015

Our Book, OBSERVING THE FRONTIER (Digital Download – PDF)
https://otf.selz.com

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Solar Storm Sweden Air: http://www.thelocal.se/20151104/solar…
Lincoln Outage: http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/wh…
Dallas Transformer: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/…
Auckland Transformer: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/73701…

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Thursday, 5 November 2015

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earthquake35

Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.5) (120 quakes)

Updated: Thu, 5 Nov 14:58 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Thu, 5 Nov (83 earthquakes)
Thu, 5 Nov 14:44 UTC M 2.8 / 94.1 km – [info] (241 km) New Zealand

[Map]

GEONET (NZ)
Thu, 5 Nov 14:27 UTC M 3.0 / 3.9 km – [info] (158 km) AEGEAN SEA
I FELT IT

[Map]

KOERI-RETMC
Thu, 5 Nov 14:27 UTC M 3.3 / 2 km – [info] (142 km) 3.3 AEGEAN SEA
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Thu, 5 Nov 14:27 UTC M 3.3 / 10.1 km – [info] (90 km) – 21km WNW of Gabbs, Nevada
I FELT IT

[Map]

USGS
Thu, 5 Nov 14:27 UTC M 2.9 / 2 km – [info] Mauna Loa (5 km) – Big Island, Hawai’i ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Thu, 5 Nov 14:11 UTC M 3.5 / 37.5 km – [info] (198 km) 45 km al NO de Pichilemu
I FELT IT

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)
Thu, 5 Nov 14:06 UTC M 2.6 / 48.3 km – [info] (185 km) 35 km al NO de Pichilemu

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)
Thu, 5 Nov 14:05 UTC M 2.7 / 40 km – [info] (184 km) OFFSHORE O’HIGGINS, CHILE

[Map]

EMSC
Thu, 5 Nov 14:01 UTC M 3.4 / 66 km – [info] (370 km) PUERTO RICO REGION
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Thu, 5 Nov 13:53 UTC M 2.7 / 10.2 km – [info] (656 km) New Zealand

[Map]

GEONET (NZ)
Thu, 5 Nov 13:27 UTC M 3.5 / 74.2 km – [info] (240 km) SAN PABLO-BOLIVAR
I FELT IT

[Map]

INGEOMINAS
Thu, 5 Nov 13:23 UTC M 4.5 – [info] (372 km) Off Coast of Ecuador
I FELT IT

[Map]

IGEPN
Thu, 5 Nov 13:09 UTC M 4.6 / 10 km – [info] (0 km) NORTH INDIAN OCEAN
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Thursday, 5 November 2015

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

12 Solar Heating Projects To Keep You Warm This Winter

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12 Solar Heating Projects To Keep You Warm This Winter

With the clod weather fast approaching for some of us, finding a way to warm the house without breaking the bank is on everyone’s mind. The conversion of energy into heat is one of the most costly processes and that is most apparent in the winter time when the frigid winds are howling and everyone is trying to stay toasty.

To help you out, we’ve found some rather ingenious projects that you can make yourself to help out with this heating issue. Best of all, you don’t have to be an engineer to build them or understand how they work! Most of them can be made for relatively low cost — the junk yard will prove an invaluable friend for many of these projects.

Take a look and see if anything here can help alleviate the strain on you energy budget this winter!


 

solarfurnace

Solar Furnace – Create this simple and straight-forward solar furnace to help heat your house up a little bit more in the winter and help cut heating costs by installing it in some of the most used rooms in your house.


 

solarairheater

Simple Solar Air Heater – This highly detailed tutorial shows you how to create a thermosiphon heating system and install it into your home or workshop. He even goes on to explain how and why it works so you know exactly what the system is doing.


 

waterheater

Portable Solar Water Heater – This portable solar water heater would make a great emergency back-up while camping or just to be prepared. It uses simple materials that you could easily get your hands on and might even have around the garage!


 

solarbox_1453_resized

Solar Heater – Get ready to drink a lot of soda — and then create this low cost solar panel! Using some simple  designs this solar heater takes in air from the bottom and wafts it out the top. It showed a 15 degree different in heat from just this small panel. Just think of what a larger one could do!


 


 

almostfree

Solar Hot Air Collector – This ingenious build made use of materials found for cheap and actually heats their entire house for around 6 hours during the day!


 

thumb-solarthermalpanelframecoilsandglass

DIY Solar Thermal Water Heater: Hawaii Edition – This solar thermal water heater is a great design for warmer climates but solves the expense of energy used to heat water. He even suggests how you could make this work in a cooler environment.


 

solarthermal

Solar Thermal Water Heater – Here is another great example of a thermal water heater that could be used in an environment with enough sunlight. Most of the materials can be scavenged from junk yards or found around the house.


windowoven

Window Heater and Oven – This window heater started as just a simple piece of greenhouse plastic over a window and within a day turned into a solar window oven! Watch the accompanying video and see the oven cook rice, hard-boiled eggs, and even lentil stew!


 

solarwindow

Solar Window Inserts – These simple window inserts can be sized to fit right into your windows and they don’t block light, or the view. Using Aluminized Mylar (the stuff the make emergency blankets out of) is great for this because you can still see through it, it doesn’t block a ton of light and it reflects heat magnificently!


 

cheapandeasy

Cheap and Easy Solar Heater – For those living off the grid, or looking for a serious project, this one is for you! The process is straight-forward but involved for a quality final product. Check it out!


 

hydronic

Hydronic Solar Thermal System – This guy has so many great ideas when it comes to solar heating! This panel system is used to heat water which is them pushed through a series of piping that heats the floor of the main level of his home for plenty of extra, free heat in the cold months.


 

windowmount

Window Mounted Solar Hot Air Furnace – Even with indirect sunlight this project can kick out quite a bit of heat and it easily mounts into a window for simple installation and removal.

Archery Safety Tips

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Archery Safety TipsWhether you’re channeling your inner Katniss Everdeen or simply want to learn more about archery, it’s essential to take safety tips to (proverbial) heart. This is important not just for your own safety, but to avoid shooting the eye out of those around you. With that in mind, let’s review a few excellent archery safety tips so you enjoy each and every shooting session.

Inspect Your Arrows

Take a good, hard look at every arrow before you shoot it. Look for cracks and other signs of damage, as a damaged arrow could easily snap and injure you or anyone nearby.

Wait in Line

If engaging in archery practice with a bunch of other people, it’s important to know your lines. Literally. First, there’s the waiting line where you stand patiently with other archers to take your turn. Next, there’s the shooting line, or the line you stand at to shoot your bow. Finally, there’s the target line, but it’s mainly used as practice for young archers.

Don’t Point

Never, ever, ever point your bow at anything other than your target, even if there’s no arrow drawn. This will help you create correct shooting habits. While you’re at it, never draw your bow if there’s something between you and your target, even if you don’t intend to shoot it.

Load First

Refrain from pulling your bow back if there’s no arrow drawn, as it could damage the bow or you. Ouch. Load your arrow before pulling the bow back — always.

Take It Off

Take off your watch and any jewelry before you begin shooting, as such items could interfere with the process.

Listen Carefully

Listen closely to your instructor whether shooting indoors or out. Your instructor will let you know when you can shoot, when you can’t shoot, and provide plenty of other vital information.

Use these and other archery safety tips to stay injury-free during practice sessions!

Are you an experienced archer? Share your best safety tips in the comments section!

Prepare yourself – Prepping starts with you!

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  In any disaster scenario, your main task is to stay alive. If you manage to do this, you will be able to take care of the others. Preppeing starts with you, and knowing your limits, assessing your emotions and thoughts is a necessary stage of every emergency preparedness plan. Fear, frustration, guilt or anger … Read more…

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December 8th – Will the “Daily Sacrifice” Be Ceased?

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Many subscribers who have followed my Youtube channel know about my revelation timeline and how I feel that great tribulation is near.  In this latest video, I have…

Why Pocket Knives are Important for Everyday Carry

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Why Pocket Knives are Important for Everyday Carry

knife 4You never know when a pocket knife will come in handy. In a worst case scenario, you’ll be carrying it around in your pocket, without using it much besides opening a box or cutting some duct tape every few weeks. But in the best case scenario, you could save someone’s life. All of a sudden, it seems worth it to take a light weight pocket knife around with you at all times, doesn’t it? When most people hear “pocket knife” they see a weapon and they instantly think about self-defense. Who wouldn’t want to protect their families and themselves? But beyond self-defense, pocket knives have multiple uses. If you’re not already carrying a pocket knife with you at all times, the following reasons might change your mind.

Eating food

  • Ever went hiking and couldn’t cut up an apple or split a sandwich with someone? You won’t go through that again if you carry around a knife pocket. When it comes to food, pocket knives are invaluable. They’ll help you cut up cheese or prepare food on the go. Not to mention that they will come in handy when someone places a plastic knife in front of you that is supposed to help you cut your steak. Nothing is more frustrating that being handed a butter knife that is virtually useless. A sharp pocket knife will spare you the hassle and enable you to properly enjoy your meal. Pocket knives even double as a fork when you’re really in a pinch for cutlery.

 

knife 3Making fire

  • Getting a fire started with your bare hands can be pretty daunting. But when you have a pocket knife, the task seems more manageable. You’ll realize that pocket knives are important when you are in a rural area and you’re struggling to find tinder for a fire. The tool will come in handy and rescue you from a chilly night and a cold dinner. Cutting up dead branches and chopping dry wood will seem like a piece of cake.

 

 

Comes in handy

  • Everyone would have come across at least one situation when a pocket knife would’ve been extremely handy: cutting a blister pack, opening an envelope, helping an animal who was trapped in a wire tangle, tightening a couple of loose screws or prying open a stubborn phone case. If you didn’t recognize yourself in any of the above mentioned situations, feel free to learn from the mistakes of the rest of us. You don’t need to go camping to slide this tool into your pocket. It’s bound to make itself useful in various situations from cutting strings, doing some work in the garden or opening unrelenting boxes or packaging.

 

Life threatening situations

  • There is the possibility you might come across an accident or undergo one yourself. In case someone is seriously injured, the first step is to identify the bleeding and do everything you can to stop it. However, it can be difficult to go through layers of clothes so you can reach the wound. A knife pocket is going to prove extremely useful in this kind of situations when another man’s life is hanging from a thread and time is of the essence. Pocket knives can save your life in various other scenarios. They can help you cut through a seat belt in case you are trapped in a car after an accident.

knife 2Criteria for choosing good pocket knives

  • Blade length and overall length – the ideal blade will be under three inches. Make a note to check up on your state’s regulations regarding knives and any restrictions.

 

  • Blade type – there’s no shortage of blades out there to choose from, but you’ll want to go for something that is easy to control and offers versatility for everything you have in mind. The type of blade that fits the bill is the drop point. A great all-purpose blade, drop points feel comfortable and are affordable.

 

  • Price – keep in mind that not everything that shines is gold. It’s not impossible to find pocket knives that are not going to burn a whole in your pocket, but still deliver excellent quality and a durable build.

 

  • Brand – there are many no-name brands out there coming out with pocket knives that could only last you a month with average use. A quick Google search before making the investment will spare you the hassle of ordering a lemon. There are various trustworthy brands on the market that offer durable and reliable pocket knives at affordable prices: Buck, Case, Columbia River Knife and Spyderco, just to name a few.

 

The post Why Pocket Knives are Important for Everyday Carry appeared first on American Preppers Network.

DIY Health Options Keep the Doctor Away

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DIY Health Options Keep the Doctor Away

By Frank Bates

294700-22916-41There was a time when doctors had their patients’ best interests at heart. You could count on getting an honest – and, for the most part, accurate – diagnosis based on your symptoms, as well as an effective treatment plan.

Hopefully you still have a doctor like that, but in reality, there are too many people in the medical profession these days whose jobs depend on making money for their employers. As a result, far too many expensive tests are ordered and far too many unnecessary drugs are prescribed.

Even if doctors know that natural and healthy alternatives would be better for you, you won’t necessarily hear about them. They and the pharmaceutical companies have no qualms about draining your resources while weakening your system with potentially harmful drugs.

The single most important thing we can do to combat this problem is to discover and use alternative health options. This starts with staying as healthy as possible in the first place. Make natural, common sense decisions, including…

 

  • Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Make sure you get plenty of Vitamin D for your bones and blood vessels, and B vitamins for breathing issues including asthma and wheezing.
  • Eat walnuts to help lower your cholesterol, relieve your arthritis and battle depression.
  • Drink coconut water for asymptomatic infections and take iodine for your thyroid and your circulation.
  • Drink a little red wine for your heart and eat blueberries to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
  • Drink apple cider vinegar and honey. In a 10-ounce glass of cold water, stir in two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of raw wildflower honey. Drink it as is or heat it up and drink it as a tea.

 

Because moods can affect how we feel physically, it’s also important to use natural means to remain as upbeat as possible. For mild depression, try some of these natural remedies:

 

  • Consume fish oil and Vitamin D. Both are directly tied to emotional health. Eat fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon. Also, get 30 minutes of sun on your face and arms daily.
  • Eat more protein and fat, and less carbs and sugar. Sugar can lead to chronic inflammation and suppress healthy proteins. Focus on organic, animal-based foods, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • Consume herbs. Two herbs that have been shown to have beneficial effects on mood are Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
  • Fast now and then. Fasting for a day or at least skipping a meal here and there helps your body digest and eliminate cellular debris. It’s a good way to clean out your system and elevate your mood.
  • Exercise. Patients with depression improve as much as those treated with medication when they stick to an exercise program, according to studies.
  • Laugh. Laughing lowers cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. The effect can continue hours after you’re finished laughing.

 

 

Frank Bates of 4Patriots LLC is the editor of the Patriot Alliance Messenger, as well as the content writer for blogs and articles at Patriot Headquarters. He is also the creator of Power4Patriots, a series of DIY solar videos and manuals; Food4Patriots, the supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage; Water4Patriots, featuring the Alexapure Pro tabletop water filtration system; SurvivalSeeds4Patriots, maker of the Liberty Seed Vault; Patriot Power Generator, a portable solar generator; and other products.  

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How to pickle anything (no canning necessary)

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How to pickle anything (no canning necessary) Pickling is not only great fun, it’s really good for you to eat the foods you pickle. Great to stockpile for a SHTF situation or if you just want to save money on your grocery bill. When most people hear “pickle” they probably think of the classic sour …

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How To Make A Dollar Solar Garden Light Brighter And Use Less Power

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How To Make A Dollar Solar Garden Light Brighter And Use Less Power This is a cool little hack, all you need is a soldering iron and a few LED’s and you are good to go. I think I will do this to all my garden lights as they are pretty dim now. I am …

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5 Proven Ways To Protect Your Supplies From Moisture

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5 Proven Ways To Protect Your Supplies From Moisture Moisture can destroy any supplies you have stockpiled. Food is the biggest one but did you know that medkits get ruined all the time when stored too? I have had this topic on my mind for a few weeks now and I went hunting for some …

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How To Build a Barrel Stove

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How To Build a Barrel Stove Build your own barrel stove for dollars and keep your house warm and food cooked for hardly cost! Obviously this would be great to build for an emergency and keep stored away until you need it. I am all for DIY projects that will save you a lot of …

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Oprah’s Path To Destruction

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     I guess it was around 2005 or so that I quit watching the highly popular Oprah Winfrey daily TV show.  I admired her philanthropic efforts and her work in providing education for girls in Africa, among other things.  But the afternoon she said that there were many ways to God, I quit watching.  And I mourned the millions of women who would follow her down that false spiritual path… simply because Oprah said it was OK.
     In the past, she has insisted that she is a Christian with statements like this:  “I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths. All faiths. But what I’m talking about is not faith or religion. I’m talking about spirituality” …  and then there is this: “My favorite Bible verse—because I am Christian—is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live and move and have my being’,” Winfrey said. “And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at 4 years-old … I wouldn’t be who I am today without a spiritual consciousness, without spiritual values and ultimately without spiritual love.”
     But that’s just it… since 2005, and now with her new Discovery Channel, seven-night special, called Belief, Oprah is making it all about “spirituality.”  In fact, the promo for the new series has this to say about her new venture:  Seven billion people, searching for connection, redemption, meaning. Oprah Winfrey presents the seven-night event, “Belief,” a groundbreaking television event exploring humankind’s ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves.  Journeying to the far reaches of the world, and to places cameras have rarely been, “Belief” searches the origins of diverse faiths and the heart of what really matters. From the epic to the intimate, webbed throughout each hour are stories of people on spiritual journeys, taking them to sacred spaces. 
     All that probably sounds good to today’s culture …. but where is JESUS mentioned?  If you call yourself a Christian, shouldn’t you be talking about faith in Jesus… and not just spirituality?  (Take another look at her first statement).  And why isn’t she saying (in her second statement) “I wouldn’t be who I am today without JESUS,” instead of “I wouldn’t be who I am today without a spiritual consciousness, without spiritual values and ultimately without spiritual love”?
     Seems to me that’s a whole lot of New Age drivel, and there are a lot of false gods out there who offer their spiritual wares and diverse ways to “sacred spaces”.  I just don’t trust any of them!  I wholeheartedly agree with Jennifer LeClaire, a writer for Charisma News, who wrote, “No, Oprah is not celebrating Jesus. She’s taking people on a “spiritual” journey that includes many faiths and challenging them to ask the question: What do you believe? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Jesus Christ, thank you.”  And as Jennifer points out in her piece, Franklin Graham gets it right, too.  “A personal relationship with Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ is the only thing that can fill the void in the human heart,” Graham said. “This is not a matter of opinion–Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.’ One way, one Savior, no exceptions.”
     Did you get that, Oprah?  No exceptions!  And while I am having this conversation with Oprah in my head, I would like to give her a warning.  Oprah, I know you have helped thousands of people less fortunate than you, and no doubt many of them might have considered seeking a relationship with God and Jesus because of your humanitarian efforts.  But, dear, all those good deeds will mean nothing when you stand before Jesus’s Judgment Seat and He asks you if you pointed them to Him.  Because, believe me, He will know that your message was not the narrow path that led to Life, but that you offered entrance into “spirituality” through the wide gate that led to their destruction.
     Back in 2012, when she launched the OWN channel, the publicity department for the Black Christian News Network (BCNN) had this to say: “Now we know that some people are going to doubt Oprah’s profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has different people of different faiths on her show and so forth. But before you Pharisees say all of that, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah’s business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you’re doing business in a secular world. So Oprah’s business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ… We believe that Oprah’s true ‘next chapter’ is to finish her life leading millions to the Christ that saved her,” BCNN wrote. “We want to encourage all Christians to pray for Oprah as she grows in her faith in Christ.”
     Well, here we are at that next chapter, and it is her new TV show, Belief.  I’m sorry, but how can there by growth in her faith, when she still will not credit Jesus for her success, or exalt Him as the only way to God?  Until that happens, all the talk about spirituality and honoring different faiths will fall on my deaf ears.  And, somehow, I don’t think Jesus is going to like the fact that her “business side” is willing to compromise and make concessions for other faiths.
     When asked to define what spirituality is to her, Oprah said, “[It] is living life with an open heart, through love, and allowing yourself to align with the values of tolerance, acceptance, of harmony, of cooperation and reverence for life. She said she believes there is a divine thread that connects spiritually to something greater than ourselves.”  All of that sounds man-driven to me; nothing Holy or sanctified.  If only she would realize that He alone is worthy of all her enthusiasm about searching for something greater than herself.  Only then will she discover what true Belief is.

Matthew 7:22-23   “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Are We Prepared To Survive Solar Storms?

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solar stormsIn the fall of 2014, we narrowly missed a major bump in the road, in the form of a solar storm. NASA had warned of its coming, getting their warning down to almost the day. This was to be the biggest solar storm to hit the Earth since the Carrington event in 1859. Fortunately for us, it missed the Earth, passing us by.

This type of storm is both unique and common. It is common in that the surface of the Sun is a constant burning explosion. Solar flares and storms happen all the time. It is rare, in that the solar superstorms which could cause us major problems don’t happen all that often; and when they do, like the one in 2014, they often miss the Earth.

Yet scientists estimate that a solar superstorm has a 95% chance of hitting the Earth once in every 250 years and a 50% chance in hitting the Earth once every 50 years. The main reason we haven’t heard much of them is that it’s only been in the last 50 years that it has mattered.

The Superstorm Versus the Grid

For all practical purposes, a solar superstorm that actually hit the Earth would have roughly the same effect on the side of the Earth that it struck as an EMP.

Therefore, we could expect massive power outages, as transformers on the grid are destroyed, as well as a loss of massive amounts of sensitive electronic equipment controlling everything from our critical infrastructure to our entertainment.

In this case, the size of the storm, it’s length of duration and how directly it faced the Earth would all have a factor in how serious the damage would be. Some storms might merely disrupt communications on a temporary basis, while a major storm might destroy most of the electronics we depend on.

Should the electrical grid substations be damaged, which is a very real possibility with a larger storm, then repairs could take over a year. How much of an impact that will have will depend on how many substations are damaged and whether the possibility of rerouting electrical power for the affected areas exists.

Unfortunately, it came out in 2014 that the government has done little to nothing to prepare for such an event or that of an EMP. While the military has some units which are protected from EMP, as well as a few government offices, there isn’t enough protection to go around for all the departments of the government, let alone civilians and industry.

There is virtually no protection for the three power grids that serve the United States. Estimates of the cost of adding that protection are over one trillion dollars, making it impractical from a financial standpoint.

Even buying and stockpiling spare transformers to deal with such an event is deemed impractical. These are custom-built transformers and they take more than a year a piece to build.

Apparently, there aren’t standard designs which are used throughout the system, but rather each one is more or less an individual. So, a spare transformer for one sub-station probably won’t work for another. Should the grid get hit, chances are, it will go down.

There is one advantage with a solar storm, when we compare it to an EMP; that’s the warning we will have. Scientists know about 12 hours before these storms strike. So, if a reasonable means of spreading the word could be developed, those 12 hours would give people time to disconnect equipment and store it in Faraday Cages before the storm hits.

Of course, that wouldn’t be as easy for businesses and industry; but measures could be developed, which would allow those businesses to prepare for the solar storm and protect their computers and other sensitive electronics.

Alas, this probably won’t happen. Developing such a system is the type of thing that was popular in the 1950s, but would be looked at with scorn today. Few would truly accept the gravity of the situation and make proper preparations. Amongst those who did, all it would take is one or two false warnings and they’d stop listening to the warnings all together.

But then, this wouldn’t do a thing to help the power grid. So, even if individuals and businesses were to invest in developing the necessary protections to keep their equipment from being damaged in the case of a solar storm, without power from the grid, that investment would be useless.

The key to everything is to have readily available electrical power that we can use. That’s going to require major investments and major changes to the grid.

So, What Does This Mean to You and I in Real Terms?

First of all, it means that it’s not a matter of if a solar storm will hit the Earth, but when. Hand-in-hand with that, is the question of how severe said storm will be, which is measured in both magnitude and duration. Both will have an effect on how much damage they can cause here on Earth.

Since we are totally unprepared for such an event, the effects of a severe solar storm could be as bad as an EMP attack. According to the report of the EMP commission, that would have the effect of killing off 90% of our population in the first year, either due to illness or due to starvation.

Without the full infrastructure in place, many thousands of people won’t receive critical medicines that they need. While some will be able to survive this, many won’t. Even those that can survive without those medications will have severe effects, some of which will be debilitating.

Then there’s the food issue. The American agricultural industry is the most productive in the whole world. But it is dependent upon the transportation industry to move product from the farm to the processing plant and from the processing plant to distributors, ultimately bringing it to the retail outlets where consumers buy it.

Without electricity to pump fuel out of underground tanks or to refine petroleum into fuel, those trucks will come to a standstill. Farmers won’t be able to get their product to market and much of what they produce will be wasted.

This is an extremely grim picture, but it is a worst-case scenario. It is possible that the solar storm would not cause this much of a problem. But we really have no way of knowing. There is too little data to go by, although the data we do have indicates that the results would be akin to an EMP attack.

This is going to sound a bit far-fetched, but I need to throw it in here. There is a possibility that such an end game scenario is not only acceptable, but desired by a fair number of Washington insiders.

The Georgia Guidestones, which have the New Age Manifesto inscribed on them, state that the population of the world must be reduced to 500 million people. Apparently, if that means killing off 90 percent of our population, that’s totally acceptable. At least, it’s acceptable to some people.

This may explain why there is so little effort on the part of our government to do anything about preparing for a solar superstorm or EMP attack. Those events would play right into the hands of the elite, providing them with the utopian world that they desire.

The only way of ensuring survival is local self-sufficiency. I add the word local in there, as small communities working together could become self-sufficient enough to survive. Other than that, self-sufficiency will be limited to family units. More than anything, they will need to be able to produce their own food on an ongoing basis, in order to ensure their survival.

Other than food production, we would be faced with our country going back technologically speaking to a time about 120 to 150 years ago. The question then would be how quickly we could adapt to that lifestyle.

Once again, those in smaller communities would have the advantage, as many already have a closer connection to their past. But in addition to that, the crowding in major urban areas makes it all but impossible to return to that sort of lifestyle.

Living as our ancestors did requires space. Some people living in suburbia might be able to do it, assuming they have a source of water and are experts at gardening. But to raise any sort of livestock for meat requires a considerable amount of ground. That means living out in the country somewhere, where you can have several acres to work with.

As with any other survival situation, the advantage goes to those who are prepared. People who are growing their own food now and working on becoming self-sufficient, will have a much easier time adapting to life after such an event. Their biggest worry will be protecting themselves and their efforts, from those who have not prepared. If they can do that, they will be able to survive.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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How To Make Moist Pork Chops In Cast Iron

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I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted to know how to make moist pork chops in cast iron. I have been slowly collecting Lodge cast iron pieces as my budget could afford them. I really want some cookware that I can use outside on the barbecue, or place them on charcoal to make a meal or use inside my home too. My mom always used cast iron when cooking. I can still smell the homemade pork sausage she fried in those pans. Oh, and the fried cheese. I’m surprised I am still alive with all the formed meat in a can and fatty foods I grew up on. What’s really funny, I loved that stuff! Nope, I never fed that stuff to my daughters. Wait, I take that back, I did have my girls eat my parent’s fabulous homemade sausage. Man, I better get that recipe.

Moist Pork Chops

Ingredients:

For the brine: (optional)

3 cups cold water

1 cup water

3 tablespoons of coarse salt, I used Himalayan because it was close at hand

Coarse black pepper to taste

For the pork chops:

6-8 pork chops, center cut-one-inch thick, no bone

Olive oil

Seasonings of choice (I only used salt and pepper)

Instructions:

Bring one cup of water with the coarse salt to a boil to dissolve it, add the additional three cups of cold water and remove the pan from the stove. Let the brine temperature come down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and cover completely with the brine. Cover with foil and put the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.

How To Make Moist Pork Chops In Cast Iron by FoodStorageMoms.com

When ready to cook, remove the pork chops from the cold pan and pat dry. Coat them with olive oil and seasonings. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with your cast iron skillet in the oven. We need the skillet hot to sear the chops. Use some good hot pads to remove the hot skillet from the oven and place it on the stove with a medium-high heat. You will now add the pork chops one at a time into the hot skillet. They will sizzle. Sear them on one side for three minutes.

How To Make Moist Pork Chops In Cast Iron by FoodStorageMoms.com

I turned on my oven/microwave vent because it got a bit smoky in the kitchen. Not too much, just a little. It’s worth it, trust me. Now flip the pork chops over and put them back in the hot oven. Bake another 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick your meat is. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature in the thickest part of the meat is 140-145 degrees after baking. Mine got up to 165 degrees but they tasted great.

Let me know what you cook in cast iron. I would love to share your ideas. Here’s to cooking at home. Here’s a link to the NPPC: National Pork Producers Council They have some interesting information all about pork.

The post How To Make Moist Pork Chops In Cast Iron appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Enjoying the Christmas Season with your Teenager

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Enjoying the Christmas Season with your Teenagers

We have two teenagers in the house…15 & 17
We, as a family, have a few traditions.
In all honesty, they were when we had younger kids and are getting harder to talk the kids into as the they get older.

Things like Gingerbread House decorating and sugar cookie baking.
The last two years I did Elf on the Shelf. Pretty sure I won’t get away with that again this year.
Make thermos full of hot chocolate and drive around looking at lights.

Another tradition we used to do, until we found a church closer to home, was after Christmas Eve service we would walk on the boardwalk in Coeur d Alene then go to Jack in the Box for dinner. I know, so cheesy, but it was a tradition.

Now that we no longer have littles around, at least until grandkids, I wanted to be intentional with what little time we have left with them at home.
We haven’t, in past years, really ever had to deal with ungrateful teens or bored teens, who truly feel tortured to be home.
I don’t know if that is because we are such cool parents or because we homeschool and there isn’t a transition time on vacation’s from school.

Something different this year is the production of Best Christmas Pageant Ever…The teens and I are all in it.
So that’s memory making in and of itself. It runs two weekends in December if you are in town.

Go Shopping
I plan on taking them, one on one, to town to go Christmas shopping, go to lunch, and maybe to a paint your own ceramic place.

Movie Day
Since our weekends with dad are limited in December this may have to be during the week.
This is okay because dad isn’t really into Hallmark movies.
Let the kids each pick a movie and snacks and get cozy.

Make Gifts
Something from the heart. Pinterest is going to be great for ideas this year.

Game Day
Put all the cell phones away, turn off the computer, and pull out the board games. A little competition is healthy.

Holiday Parade
We have, in past years, gone to the parade the day after Thanksgiving. Every year I say never again.
This year my Mother-in-Love will be here so I think we are going.
They do the tree lighting after the parade then we go inside and warm up with hot chocolate and enjoy the Coeur d Alene Resort.

Craft Day
Not just glitter and stars, but harder, more intricate ideas. Maybe Origami tree decorations or these cool ideas on Pinterest. What did we do before Pinterest?

These are a few ideas to help you connect with your teen this holiday.
I also made a Printable Bucket List for you to enjoy.

I pray blessings over you and your teens this Christmas Season!!

Bucket List for the Holidays with your Teenager

photo credit: Brainedge via photopin cc

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Flu Shot Paralyzed Our Healthy Daughter, Heartbroken Parents Say

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Healthy 9-Year-Old Girl Gets Flu Shot, And Hours Later Is Paralyzed And Blind

Image source: GoFundMe

Nine-year old Breanna Browning is paralyzed and trapped in a hospital bed — and a routine flu shot apparently is to blame.

The Texas girl’s parents believe that a reaction to an influenza vaccine administered at her school is the cause of the paralysis and blindness that is destroying the previously healthy girl’s life.

“We know in our hearts this was the flu vaccine that made her ill,” Browning’s stepfather, Johnny Alexander, told Houston’s ABC 13 News.

Browning’s mom, Brenda Faulk, agreed.

“She was perfectly healthy,” Faulk said. “No symptoms, no sickness. Eight hours [after the shot] she was profusely vomiting and again Friday morning. Saturday, she was paralyzed from the waist down, blind and seemed like she had a seizure.”

Browning was jumping and playing in the sand just a few weeks ago but is now in a bed at Texas Children’s Hospital in Galveston following the Oct. 15 shot, the TV station said.

The fourth grader can no longer walk.

“This little girl was full of life and very active,” a GoFundMe website set up for her reads. “And just to think that a simple vaccination that is required did this to her. She remains positive and brave, to be child and not understanding what has happened to her.”

The Hidden Secrets Of Making Herbal Medicines … Right At Your Fingertips!

Tests show that Breana contracted acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, a condition in which the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. ADEM can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, and also by reactions to some vaccinations, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ADEM damages myelin, “the protective covering of nerve fibers,” according to NIH.

Breana will never completely recover from the condition, the GoFundMe page says, and her rehabilitation will take up to a year.

“There are some cases, very rare, that a flu shot has a more severe reaction and those reactions are minor in terms of the number of people who are going to get those,” Dr. Umair Shah, the executive director of Public Health and Environmental Services for Harris County, Texas, told ABC 13.

Browning’s family will need to buy an auto lift, a stair lift and a wheelchair for her. They will also need to pay medication and home healthcare.

“She’s in a place where we lean on God for her healing and to guide the doctors in the right direction,” her aunt, Yvette Ferrell, wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Do you believe vaccines can cause severe reactions such as this one? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn The Real Truth About Vaccinations. Read More Here.

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Survival Food When I Started

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No matter the job or hobby, there are always things we wish we knew when we first started. The great thing about the Internet is you have far more opportunities to learn from others. For example, this article I found on Tips For Survivalists. The very first tip, “Not all […]

The post 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Survival Food When I Started appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Contra Radio Interview With John Jeffers

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Contra Radio Interview With John JeffersThis week Lisa and I had the opportunity to sit and talk with John on the Contra Radio Show. I must say it’s pretty fun to talk prepping as a guest rather than the host. We really didn’t stick to one preparedness topic in this show, we ran the gambit from topics ranging from why we got started to how we got started prepping, to first aid supplies to how people will react in a SHTF situation.

John has the same rational approach to prepping as we do, and you can listen to his show live on BlogTalk Radio, listen to the replay on iTunes, or use your favorite podcast app.

Here is a list of some of the subjects we covered during the show, but for more detail you will have to listen.

SPP122 Contra Radio Interview

How we started prepping and Survivalist Prepper: You can read about this on our about page, but the short answer is that Lisa talked me into it. I was always interested in the outdoor stuff, but she got me into the preparedness aspect of it.

Academy Coming Additions; Threats and Prioritization: In the next month or so Lisa and I are putting together a course at the Academy about prepping and prioritization. As I said in the show, it does no good worrying about an economic collapse if we can’t live for a week without going to the store.

Taking the time to understand the threats you should prepare for first will save you time and money along your path to preparedness. This course will be available soon, but you can click here to have a look at what we already have available at the Academy.

How Friends & Family React to our Prepping: We also talked about how our family and friends react to our outlook on preparedness and why we feel it is so important. All of our children react differently, but over time we have seen them become more interested in prepping…even if they won’t admit it.

Suburban Prepping Tips; Know Your Neighbor: We got a question from the chat room about some tips about prepping in a suburban area that some people might not think about. We talked about how knowing who your neighbors are is important in defining who will be a threat, and who will be there to help if needed.

Tourniquets, Quick Clot and Celox: Whenever you talk about first aid supplies and prepping there are certain areas that people just don’t agree on. Lisa went over the pros and cons of using tourniquets, Quick Clot and the alternative to Quick Clot which is Celox.

SHTF Reactions: How will people react in a crisis? This is a pretty hot topic among preppers and we talked about what might happen, how long it would take and how people who will be depending on organizations like FEMA will be out of luck.

Fish Antibiotics and Lippincott’s Drug Book: Another hot topic among preppers is fish antibiotics. Because Lisa is an RN this was bound to come up. We talked about what they are, how effective they are and the Lippincotts drug handbook that gives you detailed information on all the drugs you might think of.

We have done a podcast on fish antibiotics in the past and this article goes into detail about what different fish antibiotics have to offer.

Prepper Movies: We recently wrote this article about prepper movies you can watch instantly and John asked us why we thought it was important. Although these movies are not as important as actual lessons, they will give you some ideas about some of the choices you might have to make.

On top of that I think it’s important to be able to relax a little bit and not be so focused on working to become more prepared. Everyone needs a little entertainment and down time…as long as it doesn’t turn into a lot of entertainment, and a lot of down time.

The post Contra Radio Interview With John Jeffers appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Prepper Book Festival 10: Middle Ground Prepping + Giveaway

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Middle Ground Prepping | Backdoor Survival

Anytime I hear the term “Extreme Prepping” I cringe.  Extreme denotes exceeding the bounds of moderation and guess what?  That is not, in my humble opinion, what prepping is all about.  Give me the normal and give me the ordinary.  I want prepping to be a mainstream preoccupation and so that is what I write about.

Prepping in moderation using common sense and practicality is the mantra of this website.  For that reason, I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the book Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach  as the next entry in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare.

Written by Jim Serre, this is a book for those of you that want a single, well-written handbook that will educate you about the nature of disasters and disruptive events along with reasonable and doable strategies for creating your own person safety net.

Middle Ground Prepping | Backdoor Survival

In the usual Book Festival fashion, today I share an interview with Jim, and in addition, have two copies of his book up for grabs in giveaway.

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Jim Serre, Author of Middle Ground Prepping

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

Middle Ground Prepping provides five well-defined steps that will allow you to develop a comprehensive emergency plan in a reasonable amount of time. By simply following the Planning, Acquiring, Responding, Training, and Evaluating steps you will experience considerable peace of mind and knowledge that your family is prepared to survive any disaster that may come your way.

You can be a sensible prepper on your schedule without becoming obsessed with over-the-top preparedness notions and low probability theoretical disasters.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

The majority of the research done to complete this book was centered around the historical look at emergency preparedness in the U.S. and the various organizations associated with disaster relief.

A good deal of information was also found within FEMA after action reports related to Hurricane Katrina and Sandy. Additionally, my years of experience as a first responder provided significant perspective on many of the emergency situations presented in the book.

How long did it take to write?

Some of the book’s contents were originally blog posts over the past 10 years; however, we were able to assemble those documents, research items and write the book in about 3 months.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

The main message of the book is that everyone can and should do some form of preparedness in order to support themselves and their family in the case of and emergency or longer term disaster.

You don’t need a missile silo as a bug out shelter to be prepared. Get some supplies, make some emergency plans and practice your plan once in a while.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Like many, after 9/11 I felt the need to do something to help those that can’t always help themselves. I also realized that I was ill prepared on that day without a communication plan.

My wife and I became involved in volunteer Search & Rescue operations with a couple local Sheriff’s Departments. This taught us a great deal about emergency management and our interest in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) grew. I’ve been a CERT Instructor for the past 9 years and continue to learn about emergency management and how to help others in an emergency.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

Here in northern California, our weather if fairly mild; however, local flooding is probably our greatest weather concern. But I tend to more concerned with socio-political events that could disrupt commerce and our ability to access food supplies and medical assistance. The most common would be local rioting that was able to truncate local commerce and force us to stay home with only the supplies and medical knowledge we have.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

Certainly, planning is the key first step in preparedness. One must first identify any and all potential risks in your locale. Such risks may be natural, technological, man-made or other hazards (such as solar flares (and resulting EMPs), collapse of the monetary system, nuclear war, etc.)

What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

Well on the socio-political front, “Aftershock – Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown” by David Wiedemer, PhD provides a good look at what the future could hold for us given the massive job layoffs and redistribution following both the “Dot.com” and the mortgage failure crises we’ve seen.

Do you have plans for another book?

While not yet confirmed, I am contemplating a book about volunteerism in American and the idealistic views of those who start out, but soon lose interest.


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The Giveaway

Jim has reserved two copies of Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach for this Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

Those of you familiar with this blog know that I feel a lot of angst against websites, books, and videos that pitch prepping in the extreme.  Portraying preparedness as entertainment is downright nauseating so when I find an author or website that aligns with my core values, in an totally in.

Middle Ground Prepping is a book not only for those of you that think like I do, but also is an excellent resource to share with those that a hesitant to jump on board.  My thanks goes to Jim for writing this book.  Please enter the giveaway so that you can win a copy of your own.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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Spotlight:  Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach

Learn how middle ground prepping can get you prepared without taking over your life.

Somewhere in between the fanatical preppers highlighted on the hit reality show “Doomsday Preppers” and the millions of Americans who have done nothing to assemble emergency supplies lies “middle ground prepping.” Middle ground prepping is a concept that provides a measured and reasonable approach for novices to prepare for impending emergencies or disasters in order to protect yourself and your family.

Middle Ground Prepping provides five well-defined steps that will allow you to develop a comprehensive emergency plan in a reasonable amount of time. By simply following the Planning, Acquiring, Responding, Training, and Evaluating steps you will experience considerable peace of mind and knowledge that your family is prepared to survive any disaster that may come your way.

You can be a sensible prepper on your schedule without becoming obsessed with over-the-top preparedness notions and low probability theoretical disasters.

Bargain Bin:  For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival.  There is truly something for everyone.

Fall 2015 Prepper Book Festival 10

Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach
Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life
START PREPPING!: GET PREPARED-FOR LIFE: A 10-Step Path to Emergency Preparedness
The Pandemic Preparedness Guide
The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook
Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath
Emergency Evacuations: Getting out fast when it matters most! (soon to be released)
Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide (Survival Guns Book 3)
Rimfire Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide (Survival Guns Book 4)
The Survival Mindset: Situational Awareness to Avoid Violence & Survive Disasters
Playful Preparedness: Prepare Your Children–For Life
The Penny-Pinching Prepper: Save More, Spend Less and Get Prepared for Any Disaster
Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns (The Non-Electric Lighting Series)
Prepper’s Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets and Kits

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook is only 99 cent plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.

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Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

This month is the annual “Harvest Sale” with exceptional values fruits, veggies,and gear that will help you get through winter power outages.

Since I just purchased some dairy products, I thought I would mention that Instant Nonfat Dry Fortified Milk is on sale for 27% off.  Milk is perfect for the prepper pantry because it delivers protein and is also good to use when preparing those oats that you store.  Another good choice is Yoders Canned Bacon at 17% off.  If you like bacon, you are going to love this!

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

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The post Prepper Book Festival 10: Middle Ground Prepping + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Co-ops and buying clubs!

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Co-ops and buying clubs
D.J. Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

Co-ops and buying clubsLast week we talked about pinching pennies and ways to save with projects aimed at reducing the costs of some of the things we need.  Another way to save money and make those pennies last is to buy in bulk, Co-ops and buying clubs.  If in the long run you can reduce the expenses of your household wouldn’t this be something you would choose to do?

Co-ops and buying clubsBuying items in bulk can be a fantastic way to save a few pennies but we also need to remember these things must be stored.  When buying in bulk a few things need some special care, for example; Perishible items.  Taking care to establish safe methods of storage for such items is critical, so you can be sure you are saving those extra pennies.

There are a few ways to purchase in bulk:

  • Co-ops and buying clubs products-bulk-buyingThere are ways such as buying clubs;  The big box bulk buying clubs like Sams or Costco.  One thing with these is you must pay a membership fee and be aware that the prices may or may not be less.  Another kind of buying club might be a social group buying in large quanitities together and splitting up into shares.  You can create your own buying club easily with friends and family.
  • There is what is known as as CSA or “Community Supported Agriculture”,with this you deal directly with the grower. Often times being a local farmer a definition of such might be; According to one I found called the “Barking Cat Farm” they discribe it as: “In essence, it is a mutually beneficial arrangement, where in exchange for your commitment to buy a share in our farm’s harvest, we commit to grow exceptionally high quality vegetables and herbs, and deliver a bountiful portion of it to you every week of the subscription term. Become a member of our CSA program and every week throughout the subscription term you will receive a share of fresh, naturally grown, in-season produce and herbs.” barkingcatfarm.com
  • The Co-Op is another, this I am sometimes confused with as it can seem like a buying club, except when you buy your membership like a big box chain you kind of own into it… it also differes from smaller buysing clubs because often times they are simply buying wholesale and there is little connection to the place where the product originated.

This week I would like to explore some opportunities and ways we can make these things work for us and ways we can store all these extra goodies.

Next Week: Join me and my Guest,  Russ Michaud from Homespun Environmental … Lets talk Water.
Surviving Dystopia Get The Book HERE!
Blog:www.survivingdystopia.com

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The post Co-ops and buying clubs! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Trouble Within: Why Pest Control Is Key to Your Survival

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Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. That’s the survivalist’s mantra. When gathering and storing resources for your family’s protection, it’s important to always have one eye on the worst case scenario. It’s also important to be realistic about where the biggest threats to your safety can come from. An attack can happen […]

The post Trouble Within: Why Pest Control Is Key to Your Survival appeared first on Expert Prepper Blog.