Black Friday 2015 Knife & Gear Discounts

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Black Friday 2015 Knife & Gear Discounts

I’m not going to lie, this year when we were taking a look at Amazon’s Black Friday deals, we weren’t too impressed with what we saw. There are a few pretty good sales on Amazon, which we’ll get to later in this article, but nothing by comparison to last years’ discounts, and the discounts definitely… Read More

This is just the start of the post Black Friday 2015 Knife & Gear Discounts. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Black Friday 2015 Knife & Gear Discounts, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Hillsound Trail Crampons | Try these so you won’t slip on icy surfaces

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More of us will shovel driveways and sidewalks than traverse glaciers and Himalayan trails. This product can help you do both safely.

by Leon Pantenburg

Hillsound supplied this product. I was not paid to do this review.

Bend, Oregon – I awoke to 14 inches of new snow, and I’m not going anywhere until the driveway gets shoveled.

So what does this have to do with a pair of mountain crampons?

Hillsound Trail Crampons can be used successfully in urban setting as well as in the mountains.

Hillsound Trail Crampons can be used successfully in urban setting as well as in the mountains.

Well, if you’re like me, you don’t want some exotic piece of gear that only gets used on a rare occasion. My driveway has a pretty steep slope, and it gets really slippery when the snow melts, and then re-freezes.

I also walk two black Labs every night in often slippery conditions. I have slipped and fallen twice because of the ice. (I didn’t get hurt – I took Judo in college, and know how to fall.) I typically put a set of crampons or Yak Tracs on my dog walking books, and leave them on until the bare ground is visible.

Statistically, there are millions more people who will shovel snow and have to cross icy parking lots than those who will climb mountains and traverse glaciers. But the crampons used for both can make things a lot safer.

In Bend, there are a lot of trail runners, hikers and backcountry travelers who rely on durable crampons. But most of us just use them whenever it gets slick out.

So I was interested in the Hillsound Trail Crampons. I regularly hike on icy trails where a slip could be a really bad thing, and these looked really durable.

The day was cold, but these Troop 18 Boy Scouts stayed warm because they dressed correctly for the weather conditions.

By the time I got there, these Boy Scouts had packed the trail down to the point where it was dangerously slick.

Here are the specs, according to the back of the box:

Eleven heat-treated spikes combine with an ergonomically designed flex hinge guarantee superb grip on packed snow or ice.

Welded stainless steel flex-chain: The integral parts of the flex-chain are welded to prevent links from pulling apart on rough terrain.

Dynaflex sleastic harness: The durable elastic harness ensures a tight hold on your shoes and retains its elasticity to -60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The crampons worked really well for shoving a slippery, steep driveway. What typically happens, is that as soon as the sun comes out, the snow starts to melt and the pavement gets really slippery. That’s what happened after the latest snowstorm, but I was able to keep safely shoveling.

In one place, the snow got so slick the snow blower couldn’t make it up the hill. But I was able to walk right through that spot without any danger at all. I was so impressed, I walked downhill through the dangerous spot to see if the crampons would hold. They worked really well.

That night, I walked the dogs with the Hillsound crampons on my boots, and never felt like I was going to slip on the icy sidewalk or the steep paths at the fog park.

A slip and fall on an icy street could end up being every bit as dangerous as a fall in the mountains, and the urban situation is much more likely to happen.

I’m leaving the Hillsound crampons on my boots until the snow clears. I think they’re a solid product, and one people should look at.

Please click here to check out and subscribe to the YouTube channel – thanks! Widgets






Black Friday-Cyber Monday Deals!

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Black Friday

Black Friday -Cyber Monday Deals!

Skip the lines, chaos and violence this year and get your deals online through!

All three books of The Days Of Noah Trilogy,  Kindle Edition are just .99 cents each, now through Cyber Monday!

Buy a MOLLE Compatible Individual First Aid Kit from Prepper Recon and Get  FREE PDF copies of The Seven Step Survival Plan and Retreat Security and Small Unit Tactics delivered via email! Offer good now through Cyber Monday!

IFAK 7retreat

Prepper Recon visitors get $80 off a Deluxe Sun Oven with Turkey Roasting Kit! This package is complete with bread pans, dutch oven pans and dehydrating racks. And shipping is included! Offer good now through Cyber Monday!

Happy prepping!


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Storing Thanksgiving Dinner

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by Lee Flynn

Thanksgiving leftovers can be a pain in the butt to store. If they don’t get eaten fast enough, they can spoil. If you’d rather have them as food storage, however, it can be even more difficult to store what you’ve already cooked or what you didn’t even open. Do not worry. There are ways to accomplish what you want to without going to incredible expenses.

One of the easiest ways to make the Thanksgiving leftovers food storage is to make sure you freeze it. This can be done by putting it in airtight containers or in freezer bags. To prepare before Thanksgiving, go through your freezer and find what you won’t eat or what is freezer burnt. Throw them out or give them away since freezing food often saves it past the expiration date. However, be aware that freezing the food won’t make it long-term food storage – unless you didn’t cook the turkey since meat is one of the best things to keep in the freezer for this kind of storage.

If you have dried or instant foods that you did not use that don’t expire for a few years, you can use a fleece fabric and your storage area. A root cellar or a specified place would be the best place to put this. Use the fabric to create a blanket and either cover the food or use it to cover the floor of the cellar or pantry. This will show that you have designated it for food storage for the long term.

Another tip is to simply buy extra and designate the extra to go to food storage. This allows you to put the extra in your food storage without having to worry about making sure that you have enough for the holidays. Dried cranberries, instant mashed potatoes, and an extra turkey if you like can all be put into your food storage without compromising your Thanksgiving dishes. You will also save freezer space and your freezer containers. It also allows you to have access to Thanksgiving food without worrying about if they have been freezer burnt.

If you run short on time and cannot use something, store it properly. Potatoes, for instance, can last a while in the pantry before they begin to grow eyes. Clean, cook, and mash them before freezing them to allow you access to real mashed potatoes that will simply need to be defrosted – if you have a camping stove, you can warm them up when you need to.

If you want to store potatoes, consider using a long container and sawdust. Simply put a layer of sawdust on the bottom of the container. Then put a layer of potatoes in. Make sure you do not wash them. Continue this until the container is full. However, you can also use a large trash bag. Be weary of doing so. The trash bag is more difficult to use when you get to the bottom layers come spring or when you get there. The reason the sawdust works incredibly well is because it insulates the potatoes. The container or trash bag keeps the light out, which keeps the potatoes from going green while they’re in storage. Whatever you do, do not put your unused potatoes in the fridge. This will turn the starches into sugar faster and give you an odd tasting potato. Storing them in a paper bag in a cool place if you plan on using them in the near future is a better idea.

Food storage is important, so it’s important to know the limitations of your space, your house, and the different methods you will be using. Using them all to your advantage, you can keep your food fresh, stored properly, or ready to use in an emergency. Having the proper items on hand to make sure they are cooked right is also important, but that can be addressed after the holidays.


Gathering Information: Simple method for downloading YouTube Video’s

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As I build my preparedness library I am finding video’s are becoming a larger part than I originally intended. If a picture is worth a thousand words…well….a video is worth even more.  I am using multiple tablets and Kindle Fire’s to store my electronic library including the video’s.

You name it it can be found on video. This includes movies for entertainment, how to dress a deer, how to take care of a broken arm, instructions on building fences, etc.

The biggest challenge to putting together this video library is actually downloading the video’s so they can be viewed offline. Well – there is actually a very simple method.

Here it is:

Step #1 – Find the video you wish to download.


Step #2 – Find the url for the video at the top of the screen – see below. It starts with .

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Step #3 – add a ss between www. and the youtube – then click enter



Step #4 – at this point another website opens. Now click the green “Download” button and the video will download automatically.

Notice the box next to the green Download button. You can change the video format if you wish.




That’s it!! Super simple and it works great.

Take care – Rourke



How To Make Delicious Bread In A Slow Cooker

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How To Make Delicious Bread In A Slow Cooker Now that the colder air is here to stay for a few months, this is the perfect time to spend more time outdoors honing your skills in the art of homesteading. Making your own bread is one of those skills that can be made in a …

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Why living off the grid will get a lot easier in 25 years

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Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images Workers install Solar Service Inc. photovoltaic (PV) solar electric panels on the roof of a home in Park Ridge, Illinois.

In 25 years it won’t be just preppers living off the grid. As the technology behind renewable energy evolves—and improves—more consumers will opt to cut ties with utility companies and become their own power source.

Much like how people abandoned land lines for mobile devices, consumers will likely begin to adopt new ways of powering their homes instead of being completely reliant on utility companies, said James Wrathall, an attorney in the the energy finance group at Sullivan & Worcester.

“I think consumers are gaining power in the equation and they are seeing these availabilities of this technology and they are seeing the benefit economically and they are going to demand it and they are going to get it,” Wrathall said.

“In the end, greater power of control is going to flow towards consumers, the question then becomes what happens to the utilities?” he said.
The rise of distributed generation

As the cost increases for electricity coming from large, centralized power plants, developments in “distributed’ on-site energy resources are pushing costs down and changing the economics, Wrathall said.

Distributed generation systems make their power at the point of consumption, and usually include using multiple energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal. Creating the energy on-site cuts costs and inefficiencies related to transmission and distribution.

While potentially great for consumers, this change could spell trouble for electric utilities, according to a report by the research firm Morningstar published earlier this year.

“Distributed generation (DG) could be the end of utilities as we know them today,” Morningstar said in the report. “Utilities’ centralized network monopolies break down when customers become self-sufficient competitors.”

Another feature of the emerging energy landscape are microgrids, which are essentially small-scale, localized electricity systems, said Michael Dale, an assistant professor in environmental engineering and earth sciences at Clemson University.

With distributed generation, along with better energy management, efficiency and storage, microgrids will become much more viable, Wrathall said.
Battery revolution

While improvements in distributed generation will make it easier for people to leverage microgrids in the near-term, advancements in solar and battery technologies will help drive the power shift even further, said Jamais Cascio, a futurist and senior fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

“The improvement of batteries will be fundamental to a revolution that will make any kind of living off the grid not just possible, but easy,” Cascio said.

In fact, they are key to the transition.

“Batteries, really energy storage, is fundamentally necessary. It would be like the Internet without servers. It’s fine to generate power, but inherently to live off a micro grid or to be off the grid you have to find a way to store power in the equation,” Wrathall said.

Industry players realize this and are betting there will be storage solutions that will boost their business, he said.

SolarCity, which is the largest installer of solar panels in the U.S., even promised its customers earlier this year that it would be including battery backup systems with every single one of its solar systems in the next five to ten years. Most of those battery units will come from Tesla’s planned gigafactory that is slated to begin production in 2017.

This sort of system is not meant to take users completely off the grid; it would keep its customer’s power working in the case of an emergency. And eventually, improved energy storage could mean more people jumping ship from the grid to take their energy production into their own hands, Cascio said. But first, there will also need to be some improvements in solar technology.
Solar energy everywhere

As people have been saying for decades, much of the future of energy is solar, though perhaps not in the form people currently imagine it.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil even predicts that in less than 20 years solar power will be so inexpensive and widespread that it will meet all of our energy needs. In the U.S. alone, solar capacity has quadrupled since 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But over the next two decades, how it is captured will begin to look a lot different, Cascio said.

“If you think about a world where everything produces energy, everything that touches light produces energy, again you have the idea of a transformation on your hands,” Cascio said. “The idea of energy off the grid really comes down to be able to generate it easily and be able to store it in volume.”

Advancements in photovoltaic materials, such as photovoltaic paint or glass, will help power homes alongside panels. It’s about “building a world where everything that is touched by the sun would create power,” Cascio said.

And it won’t be long before we begin to see these kinds of materials in our homes, Cascio said.

Some high-end homes could have this kind of technology in five years and in ten years it may even become more widely available in home improvements stores.

But even though improvements in solar tech are right around the corner, it could be a while before batteries get the improvement needed to really simplify living off the grid.

“The solar side of stuff is relatively near, but the battery question is waiting for a wild card breakthrough,” Cascio said. “But I would be really shocked that if in a 25 year time frame we didn’t have this breakthrough in batteries. But it could be next year or it could be 15 years from now.”

—By CNBC’s Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.


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Real History Book List

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History, more than any other subset – with the possible exception of economics – has been so purposely watered-down by political correctness and corrupted by leftist ideology. Real History is no longer taught in schools. Yet, a correct and accurate understanding of history is essential. Here is a list of books that do teach Real History, without leftist ideology or political correctness.

A Patriot’s History of the United States – Over the past decade, A Patriot’s History of the United States has become the definitive conservative history of our country, correcting the biases of historians and other intellectuals who downplay the greatness of America’s patriots. Professors Schweikart and Allen have now revised, updated, and expanded their book, which covers America’s long history with an appreciation for the values that made this nation uniquely successful.

The Patriot’s History Reader: Essential Documents for Every American – The Patriot’s History Reader goes back to the original sources-the documents, speeches, and legal decisions that shaped our country into what it is today. The authors explore both oft-cited documents-the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, and Roe v. Wade–as well as those that are less famous. Among these are George Washington’s letter to Alexander Hamilton, which essentially outline America’s military strategy for the next 150 years, and Herbert Hoover’s speech on business ethics, which examines the government’s role in regulating private enterprise.

I’ve been looking for a good, accurate history of the Crusades for a long time. I wanted a book that gives the #RealHistory of the Crusades, not tainted leftist historical revisionism. It hasn’t been an easy task, but in Dr. Thomas Madden’s book, A Concise History of the Crusades, I finally found such a book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those folks who want to understand the reality of the Crusades without the anti-Western, anti-Christian bias that marks much of the academic world over the last 50+ years. Dr. Thomas F. Madden is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University.

Our Constitution ROCKS! & Our Presidents ROCK! are excellent for middle school & high school ages, but even adults will learn from them. I’ve written full reviews of both, which you can find by clicking the titles above, or click the pictures to go straight to their pages on Amazon.

America, The Last Best Hope (V. 1 – From the Age of Discovery to a World at War and V. II – From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom) is a two-volume history of America by Dr. William J. Bennett, who writes patriotic history that reflects his deep respect for America’s traditions and founding values. Intended as American history text books for private high schools & homeschools.

The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society’s Descent into Tyranny by Michael E. Newman does an excellent job of proving that free societies throughout history lose their freedoms and end in tyranny once their populations realize they can utilize the power of government to give themselves benefits at the expense of others. Well written for the general reader, with in-depth footnotes for scholars, this is an excellent survey of the world history of freedom and tyranny. 

In Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers: The Fight for Control of the American Revolution, Michael E. Newman argues that the American Revolution was fought and won by two groups working together- angry mobs and founding fathers. The resulting nation (really a loose confederation of independent states) was “anarchic and chaotic” and a dismal failure, until the founding fathers disposed of the angry mob and their Confederation, creating instead the world’s most successful Republic ever, through the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Wonderful, and often overlooked, history of America’s founding.

Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, by David Barton, tells the stories of many forgotten black heroes of American history. Forgotten largely because their stories are not politically correct, and therefore don’t fit modern progressive narratives regarding race relations. This is real history that the educational establishment refuses to teach, and that you will never hear on a Black History Month public service announcement.

Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, by David Barton, takes on one of the most covered-up aspects of American history – the role religion played in our nation’s founding and the actual intent of our founders regarding Freedom of Religion, as well as the role they intended for the judicial system. Heavy on facts and actual documentation, this book is a must have for Christians wishing to defend the Freedom of Religion they enjoy.

The Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay, and the Anti-Federalist Papers, by Patrick Henry & others, were the embodiment of the debate over establishing the new Constitution, and lead directly to the Bill of Rights. This is primary source material for understanding one of the most pivotal points in American history.

Legends and Lies: The Real West is a fascinating history of many of the legendary characters of the Old West, including Kit Carson, Jesse James, Doc Holiday, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the man who was the real Lone Ranger, among many others. This history looks past the legends, revealing the real people behind them.

The American Patriot’s Bible, available in both the KJV and NKJV, contains 48 long articles (4-pages w/pictures), along with hundreds of shorter articles, notes, and quotes connecting the Bible with America’s religious founding and heritage, something that is not only completely ignored in our public schools, but in fact is treated as criminal. The hardcover edition is not only nice enough to serve as a family bible, complete with pages for genealogy and family history, but is a great resource for learning the religious heritage of America that you were not taught in school.

George Washington’s Sacred Fire is a fantastic biography of George Washington, which firmly settles any doubts over the depth and importance of Washington’s Christian faith and values (progressives have long tried to deny this aspect of Washington). Extremely well-researched with extensive footnotes, this is also a highly readable and enjoyable biography.

 Other Recommended Biographies of America’s Founders
(click on the picture to go to the corresponding Amazon page for more details)

Military Infantry Course Downloads

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These self study course manuals come from the US Army Infantry School. These files and more like them can be found on my military manuals vol 1 and 2 DVDs sold here. Every prepper needs his resources, feel free to download, but I invite you to save time and buy my DVDs and get all […]

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PRN Episode #4 AR-15 Build and Tips

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In this episode David talks about Pros and cons of building vs buying an AR-15, as well as some tips when dealing with AR-15’s The show is scheduled for Monday at 10pm central time at this link. If you cannot listen on Monday, you can always download the podcast for listening at your own leisure. […]

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Combat Leaders Field Guide

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A guide to small unit dismounted combat operations, extensively updated to include both the latest doctrine and lessons learned from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq The Combat Leaders Field Guide covers the equipment, operations, and individual combat skills essential for soldiers and others who must act as infantry. This book is essential for Army […]

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27 Prepper Precepts #2

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I don’t want the manure to strike the air oscillation device. I don’t want to be told that I was right about prepping. I want my food storage to hit its shelf life unopened. But I feel better knowing I have food insurance. Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts that Guided Our First President in […]

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Orajel for Mosquito Bites

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I am the kind of person that mosquitos love to attack, and once bitten they swell up larger than normal.  This means I am always looking for new ways of dealing with the discomfort of bites. I heard of using Orajel for Mosquito Bites, and when I tried it I found a sure fix for […]

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Growing Space Plants

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Being an unstoppable internet searcher I am constantly absorbing new ideas for neat projects (that’s why there is such a backlog between my YouTube channel and my blog articles). When I found “space plants” I had to order some seeds and try my hand at growing space plants Basically the University of Utah in conjunction […]

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Bug Out Truck and Sawmill Trailer

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  See larger image 52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Preppers: A Strategy a Week to Help Stock Your Pantry for Survival Are you and your family self-reliant? Will you be able to provide for them and keep them safe? The best way to prepare for the future is not through fancy tools and […]

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Duct Tape Tip for Backpackers

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A common trick among backpackers is to wrap some duct tape around their water bottle or lighter so that they always have a couple feet readily available for quick repairs.  This is an easy duct tape tip that ensures you always have some tape on hand. I find that having some duct tape with me […]

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Recipe Shakshuka

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Shakshuka is an egg based ethnic meal that is cheap, easy, and uses common foods that urban or rural homesteaders can easily produce and store… Shakshuka is a Hebrew mixture of eggs poached in a mixture of tomatoes, red bell peppers and spices. The spices used for the preparation vary from one recipe to another, but […]

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Merry Christmas

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I want to wish you a merry Christmas, and share the Christmas story with you as it reads in the Scripture.  As you spend time with your family (GET OFF THE COMPUTER) remember the reason we celebrate the day. Luke 2:1-20 King James Version (KJV) 2 And it came to pass in those days, that there […]

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Five Acres and Independence

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This book is a classic, no small homestead is complete without this handbook. However, it can be a challenge to read, as it was written back in the 40’s and republished several times. The small amount of mental work adjusting to the wording saves an untold amount of physical labor as well as waste. Mr. […]

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Ready Set Solar Review

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I won this Ready Set Solar set in an contest, and have waited months to get this in the mail. From their site: “The ReadySet is a renewable energy system that charges from solar panels and can power lights, radios, cell phones, tablets, and even Wi-Fi hot spots. The ReadySet’s intelligent battery can charge […]

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New Class Schedule Page

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I have been busy teaching NRA instructor courses and have not had a lot of user courses, however, due to increasing demand I have scheduled some TN handgun permit, TN armed/unarmed security guard, and additional NRA instructor courses. In order to keep up with it, and allow you to see what is being offered I […]

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I’m not much of the holiday type, and Crom knows I’ve got virtually nothing to be thankful for these days, but, nonetheless, for those of you who are the holiday type I hope you have an enjoyable Day Before Friday Of Color.

Putting The ‘Thanks’ Back Into ‘Thanksgiving’

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Putting The 'Thanks' Back Into 'Thanksgiving'In the U.S., we start at an early age learning about the Pilgrims crossing the sea to escape religious persecution and landing in what is now Massachusetts. We learn about their hardships and troubles and how the native Indians helped them survive. We read about the feast shared by these two people groups and thus, the “first” Thanksgiving was born.

Thanksgiving, like everything else, has evolved over time and has become something far different than that first meal. While there probably was wild turkey served, there were probably other wild game meats, too. The Pilgrims probably did not have access to mashed potatoes, yams, squash and other vegetables, since there was no way to keep them fresh or preserve them until late fall into winter.

And dessert? While today we all dream of pumpkin or pecan pie with mounds of whipped cream, the Pilgrims themselves were running low on lots of staples including sugar, so there may have been no dessert to finish the meal.

But it wasn’t about the meal. It was about the sincere offering of two people groups — the symbol of sharing and of coming together, peaceably, with joyful hearts that was the focus.

Today, we find ourselves not celebrating surviving another year and being thankful for the harvest and blessings before us, but we find ourselves in panic over finding a turkey that is “big” enough (Phil 4:6), wondering who will start the first argument (Eph 5:4) as we gather together. And will my boss be generous enough to give us the Friday after Thanksgiving off as well?

So what happened to the “giving thanks” for what we already have? Like many other holidays in the U.S., this one changed dramatically over time.

Some people, though, are standing up for the holiday.

Image source: FaithAndHumanRights

Image source: FaithAndHumanRights

For example, there is a Facebook poll and banner going around to boycott shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Many Facebook friends are also participating in “30 days of being thankful,” where they start their day by posting things for which they are thankful. Admittedly, lots of them are struggling in coming up with 30 items or ideas.

I can remember a time, not so long ago, when stores and even gas stations were closed on Sundays and all major holidays. Banks were never open on Saturdays, and people were expected to stay home, all day, and enjoy the company of their loved ones!

What happened? Why has this become so difficult for us? We got distracted. We forgot what we are supposed to be thinking about. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col 4:2). We put the “things” first and have made it more of a “Things-giving Day.” So what’s a family to do? I know in my family we make a concentrated effort each year to start with focusing on gathering people together first. The meal is second. This year, we are planning family photos and pictures of the grown grandkids with the grandparents, and grown children with their parents.

This is a time for us to reflect on what we truly are thankful for. Not the “things,” but the people.

The Bible speaks of being thankful, and it represents what the Pilgrims expressed so long ago. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col 3:14-15).

Starting today, and each and every day forward, let’s remember those items that we are truly, truly thankful for and move from the “30 days of being thankful” to the “365 days of being thankful.” Let us never run out of things to be thankful for, even in suffering, because each day brings us closer to being with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:15).

Satellite Images: Record First Snowfall in the U.S. Midwest

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Record First Snowfall in the U.S. Midwest

acquired November 22, 2015

Record First Snowfall in the U.S. Midwest

acquired November 22, 2015 download large image (19 MB, JPEG, 7200×4800)

Source: Earth Observatory

Much of the Midwestern United States was drier and significantly warmer than normal in October and November 2015. So when snow blanketed the region from South Dakota to Ohio on November 20–21, it probably gave some people weather whiplash. For an area that is quite familiar with snow, it was still a storm for the history books, with a few records set for the highest snowfall totals for a first snow of the year.

At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, 11.2 inches (28.4 cm) of snowfall were recorded by the time the storm moved out on November 21. It was the second highest November snowfall since records were started in 1884 and the highest total for the first snow of the season. A new record for first snowfall also was set in Rockford, Illinois (8.8 inches or 22.4 cm). Nearly 800 flights into and out of Chicago were canceled by the snow.

The long-term average November snowfall for Chicago is 1.4 inches, and the average date of the first snow is December 7, according to The Weather Channel. Last winter, Chicago did not accumulate 6 inches of snow until January 5, 2015.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite caught a glimpse of the snowy Midwest at 1:15 p.m. Central Standard Time (19:15 Universal Time) on November 22, 2015. Urban areas tend to appear more gray than white amidst the wide swath of snow.

In its report about the storm, meteorologists from the Chicago office of the National Weather Service wrote: “Interestingly, prior to Saturday the average temperature for the month had been running 6.5 degrees above normal. So this could end up being one of the warmer Novembers, as well as one of the snowiest.” Staff at The Weather Channel also noted that in the past five strong El Niños (1997-98, 1982-83, 1972-73, 1965-66, and 1957-58), Chicago saw snowfall totals reduced by a third to half.

According to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, at least 51 stations across the U.S. Midwest recorded snowfall of at least 10 inches from the November 20–21 event. Tea, South Dakota, measured 18 inches; Grayslake, Illinois, caught 16 inches; Footville, Wisconsin, saw 17 inches; and Bloomfield, Nebraska, reported 16 inches.

NASA images by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response.

Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Aqua – MODIS

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Science, Weather

Describing Dystopia…

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Describing Dystopia…
D.J. Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

DystopiaOften times we plan for things yet we don’t know what it is we plan for…Why do we do the things we do to prepare.

In 1516 Sir Thomas Moore coined the word Utopia… in his book with the same name, he is describing a society possessing near perfect qualities…. Dystopia on the other hand is described as the opposite of that, often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, disasters or some other cataclysmic decline in society…

11-24-15 1984-cover-2-250x272George Orwell’s Dystopian novel 1984 was a classic example of such a society. But also looking to other media showing such, some form of change comes and with it society changes. The needs of the populace often times change from what we live in now to say a society that values water or food or other things. This may seem like dystopia to many when it is just life to those living it.

Many things happen in our lives and in the world we can’t always control…it could be anything from a minor setback, personal loss or even major catastrophes. Walking around thinking it won’t happen to me or the government will take care of me is a naive outlook at best.

7-14-15 419cQUmab-L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_One of my favorite quotes I use on the show all the time is by Alfred Henry Lewis who said, “There are only 9 meals between mankind and anarchy.” This is a fact….3 days is all that represents… It is funny to me that people worry more about protecting their money than they do their families…they buy insurance, invest for retirement…yet don’t keep a candle in the house in case the power goes out.

So in discussing Dystopia, I thought it might be nice to take a few moments to delve into a few of these moments. In my book Dystopia: The Beginning of the End I speak of dystopia for our group, as well as some other media I would like to use as examples to discuss the things we might want to think about in preparing.
I’m also giving away signed copies of my book to the first three callers to call in and discuss with me to help others gain perspective a dystopia they prepare for.
Up Next week: Off the Grid!
Join us for Surviving Dystopia “LIVE SHOW” every Wednesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Describing Dystopia” in player below!

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The post Describing Dystopia… appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Thanksgiving Travel Outlook: Rain, Ice and Snow to Cause Hazards in Central US

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By AccuWeather

Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Rain, ice and snow will force motorists to slow down and will lead to airline delays over thousands of square miles from the Rockies to the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley.

The weather will have little impact on travel along the Atlantic Seaboard, Appalachians and Pacific coast for much of the long weekend.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Thanksgiving Travel Outlook: Rain, Ice and Snow to Cause Hazards in Central US

Check AccuWeather MinuteCast® for Your Location
National Interactive Radar
Black Friday: Will Wintry Weather Put a Dent in Sales This Year?

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Pole Flip News, Cosmic Rays Spiking | S0 News Nov.26.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 26, 2015

Earthquakes Are Predictable:…
The First Wave Crashes:…

Book/Conference Videos

Observing the Frontier Conference:

Solar Alerts on Twitter:

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep:…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop:…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal:…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems:…
Pause on Pausing the Pause:…
Sun Series:…
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown:…
IPCC History:…

Today’s Featured Links:
OLR Inspiration:…
MIT Says one thing……

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

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

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On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the following Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving, and ordering all federal offices closed on that day. Prior to this proclamation, Thanksgiving was not an official national holiday, but was celebrated by individual states and localities on various dates of their choosing. Lincoln’s Proclamation codified the last Thursday in November as the federally recognized holiday of Thanksgiving.

By the President of the United States of America.  A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Calm Before the Storm

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Calm Before the Storm

Everyone is always calm before the storm hits, but when there’s a storm on the way, most people freak out. They load up on water, batteries, flashlight, and canned foods. But, what about the home? If you’re the type of person who likes to be fully prepared, here’s what you need to know about protecting your fortress.



Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts

Clean out your gutters and downspouts, because this is where water will back up and cause flooding right at the foundation of your home. Once you’ve had a thorough cleaning, it might be time to consider shielded gutters, which will resist leaves and other debris. They will keep your gutters clean, while also allowing rainwater to safely drain away.



Inspect Your Roof and Skylights

Ferguson Roofing Company contractors can inspect your roof and skylights. And, you should probably have it done every year or at least every other year. Skylights are notorious for leaking, so pay extra special attention to them. Gravity often forces the seal on internal glass packs to fail.

Because these glass packs use metal spacer systems, and because heat is constantly rising out of the home, it’s also not uncommon for skylights to fail in the fall, winter, and spring, when the outdoor temperatures may be significantly warmer than the indoor temperatures. The heat coming from the attic will cause the metal and glass to shift and expand, while the cold air coming from above will cause the glass and spacer to want to contract. The result is seal failure of the glass pack.

Replacing skylights with newer systems using “warm edge spacer” technology might help reduce the risk or incidence of failure, but there are usually no guarantees. So, all other things being equal, buy the most expensive skylight you can afford, and make sure the company backs the product with a warranty – lifetime, if possible.

Roofing materials wear out, so you should have them periodically inspected, especially after a storm, which can reduce the roof shingles’ useful lifespan. Butterflying, torn, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

Moisture that works its way under the shingles, and is allowed to sit, will rot out the decking underneath, which will then need to be replaced.


Test Smoke Detectors At Least Once Every 6 Months

Test your smoke alarm at least once every 6 months. As long as the batteries are working, you should be fine. However, you may want to test it with a little smoke. If you don’t smoke, buy a pack of cigarettes or some incense.

Light up, and wave the smoke in front of the detector. If it goes off, it’s working. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace the device or check the batteries.

(Editors Note: Do Smoke Detectors wake up your kids?)



Prune Back Trees and Shrubs

Prune back trees and shrubs so that they are not blocking windows or hanging over your roof – especially large trees with branches that could break off and crash through your roof, damaging it.





Check Weather Stripping

Check weather stripping on all doors and windows. Weather stripping is usually not something that will fail quickly and catastrophically. It usually fails over time, wearing down from years of use. Rubber on the seals may rot or dry out, become moldy, or develop micro-tears. Replace any damaged weather stripping, and seal all doors and windows as needed.



Get a Soil Study Done, and Have Your Foundation Checked

Bring in a soil engineer and have the soil tested for porosity. Then, check your foundation. This will help you better understand the risks of flooding in your foundation. Flooding can cause foundation and structural damage, which is expensive to repair. The engineer will be able to give you guidelines to prevent damage and fix any problems you’re having now with flooding.


Stock Up On Survival Food

Canned food is OK, but dehydrated survival food is real food, and it won’t make you feel like you’re eating out of a can. Plus, not all canned foods are “balanced” in the sense that you’re not always getting balanced nutrition.

Most people don’t worry about this because they don’t expect to be out of power for more than a day or two. But, even if power is restored within 24 hours, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to go to the store during that time.

If roads are blocked off, or if there is some other reason that supplies can’t be brought in to your area, then you will want to have food that only needs to be re-hydrated and constitutes a full, balanced meal.

It might be a step or two more complex than canned foods, but you’ll probably enjoy it more and be better prepared if you go this route.

Of course, you will also need to buy a water filter capable of filtering non-potable water – water that may contain viruses, bacteria, and other critters you wouldn’t want to ingest.

These filters aren’t sold in your average grocery store. They are, however, available in camping and sporting goods stores, online, and through various “prepper” and survivalist-themed stores.


Matthew King is part of a property maintenance team and likes to offer his insights on keeping your home in top shape. He is a regular contributor for a number of DIY and home websites.



The post Calm Before the Storm appeared first on American Preppers Network.

A time to give thanks!

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Today is Thanksgiving and a day to truly give thanks, for all that we are blessed with.  With everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s easy to forget about all we have been given.  Pilgrims took time to be thankful, even though their living conditions were hard.  We have so much and we …

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What About The Syrian Refugees?

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big Syrian refugees

Ever since the Friday the 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, the news has been filled with reports about the attacks, follow-on attacks and the investigation of those attacks. As of this point, some of the attackers have been identified as Syrian refugees and others have been identified as living in a no-go zone in Belgium.

That makes it very clear that not only was this a Muslim terrorist attack, but that ISIS is using the Syrian refugee crisis as a means of getting fighters into Europe and probably the US.

Tightened security at border crossing points has caused a number of other ISIS stringers to be caught, trying to blend in with the mass of humanity leaving Syria. Eight of them were caught in Turkey, posing as refugees and another five were captured in Honduras. How many more have made it through is anyone’s guess.

We’ve even caught ISIS soldiers trying to enter the United States. Last summer, ten ISIS soldiers were caught in McAllen, Texas, trying to sneak in from Mexico. No doubt some of the Muslims who have committed acts of violence in the United States over the last few years have ties to ISIS and other terrorist organizations, even if those ties were only through the internet.

While Paris was a tragedy, in the larger scheme of things, what it did was put a point on the fact that the Muslim world is moving. No longer is Muslim extremist terrorism something that happens in the shadows or just in the Middle East. Now it’s something that is happening in the western world, and we can expect to see it continue.

In the midst of all this, we have people who are calling themselves refugees, who are fleeing Syria by the hundreds of thousands. They are inundating Europe, largely bypassing the poorer countries to take up residence in the more wealthy ones. The United Nations is helping them, not only by calling them refugees, but by putting pressure on their member nations to take these refugees in, regardless of whatever hardship it might put upon the receiving countries or their citizens.

But nobody really knows who these people are. They aren’t from the areas occupied by ISIS, nor are they even from nearby cities that are likely to come under attack. These supposed refugees are coming from unaffected parts of the country, fleeing nobody knows what; perhaps that’s because they aren’t fleeing from anything, but because they are fleeing to something.

A Trojan Horse Is Heading to Western Civilization

I’ve seen other refugee situations through the years and this one is unique. Most refugees are either families, women with children, orphans, widows or the elderly. This is not the case this time. The refugees pouring out of Syria are 75% military aged men, 13% women and only 12% children.

If this is a true refugee situation, why are there so few women and children? Why are these “men” abandoning their families to go to Europe or the United States? If they are truly men, wouldn’t they be staying to protect their families?

Of course, you can’t bring these uncomfortable truths up to liberals, as they are convinced that anyone who is against allowing refugees into the country is an inhuman racist. They aren’t bothered by the fact that 75% are men, because they don’t want to know those details. They just want to be generous and give away the hard-earned money of the conservatives, to take care of someone who they think is less fortunate than they are.

Okay, so let me ask the question… What is the real danger in letting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country, even if they are 75% military aged men? After all, there’s no proof that any of them are terrorists or that any of them have ties to terrorist organizations.

First of all, we have the risk of some of them being terrorists or becoming terrorists once they get here. The Islam that is being taught in the mosques today is much different than the Islam of a generation ago. Today, Islam is much more militant, with a goal of conquest and dominion. It wasn’t that way a generation ago. While the Quran hasn’t changed, the focus of those teaching it has. A generation ago, Islam was more peaceful; today, it is violent.

This doesn’t just mean that those who are radical extremists are violent; all Muslims, across the board are leaning more towards violence. Those that aren’t, the “moderates,” are more supporting of those who are violent, accepting the need to conquer the West. Of the Syrian refugees polled, 37% actually support ISIS and the war they are fighting, and oppose to the international coalition against ISIS despite the fact they are seeking help in western countries.


But even those who are non-violent and who do not support violence are dangerous. Fifty-one percent of the Muslims now in the United States want Sharia Law to replace our laws. What I understand is that they don’t believe in or adhere to the U.S. Constitution, they believe in and adhere to Sharia Law, and they will use every opportunity they can find to force Americans to bow to Sharia Law, rather than accepting that our law is based upon our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

So, even if we were able to perfectly vet the Syrian refugees, only letting in those who had no ties whatsoever to terrorism and terrorist organizations, most of them would still be subversives, bent on overthrowing our system of government and replacing it with their own. Is that any different than allowing in a government operative from some hostile government, who would work to overthrow our system of government? Isn’t that what we are doing?

The Long Term Payment to Be Made

But the problems don’t stop there. Of the refugees being admitted, only 10% have any marketable skill. That means that we are going to be putting more of a strain on our already overworked social “safety net.” These people aren’t coming here to be productive workers, they are coming here to get free handouts; and the Democrats are lining them up to get their freebies, secure in the belief that they will vote Democrat.

Like the refugee crisis last summer, when we had “children” coming from Central America (those children were male and had tattoos to go with their gang affiliations), these are going to help push our country closer to the financial brink. In that sense, they are just one more part of that grand Cloward-Piven strategy that Obama has been running throughout his second term.

The few who can work are just going to take jobs from American workers, just like the others that Obama has been busy importing. While some actually take jobs that Americans won’t take, others will directly replace Americans in the workforce. They will work for lower wages, mostly because wages where they came from were so low. Employers will hire them for that, as they try to keep their own profit margins from disappearing.

Video first seen on vinal vladislav.

There is no upside for America and her citizens from this, unless it is the symbol of looking benevolent upon the world’s stage. Of course, Democrats will always go for that, wanting the warm fuzzy feeling of being seen as the good guys, no matter how many people they have to hurt in the process.

The House of Representatives has already passed a resolution requiring careful screening and vetting of these refugees. As of this writing, it hasn’t passed the Senate. But unless it passes with overwhelming majority, it won’t matter. Obama has already declared that he will veto it. So, Congress needs a 2/3 majority in both houses to override that veto. I would be surprised if the Democrats in the Senate will let that happen, even if it does in the House.

In other words, nothing is going to be done to carefully vet these refugees. Obama is going to let 10,000 Syrians loose in the United States, giving them money and benefits, and not worry a bit about what they are going to do. At the least, they will join the Muslim population’s war against our culture and laws and at the worst, they will commit acts of violence as part of their jihad. Either way, we lose.

Twenty-nine state governors have stood up and said that they won’t allow those refugees to be settled in their states. I’m not all that sure how that’s going to work. Typically, resettlement of refugees is a federal function, working with non-profit organizations. The states can’t stop that.

However, the state governors can prevent any state resources from being used to support the resettling of these people, as well as any state funds from being used to support them. That may be enough to slow the process down and make it more difficult, forcing the issue into the courts. But other than that, there is no legal mechanism in place to protect us.

We the people may have to take things into our own hands, or risk being brutalized by terrorists and social jihadists.


This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.


Poll: 13 Percent Of Syrian Refugees Have At Least Somewhat Positive View Of ISIS

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Thanksgiving 2015

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Thanksgiving 2015

Wow has someone been marking two days off the calendar for each day this year! It seems incredibly early to be celebrating Thanksgiving 2015! Today is the day the United States give Thanks for our many blessings.

One of the many things we are very thankful for is the US Military. For those Soldiers and Sailors that are deployed please remember them. The 82nd Airborne nearby had Thanksgiving on Post this week and many are home with family and friends. We wish all of them a Happy Thanksgiving 2015.

BlackKnightsYou can see in the picture above that they are training hard to stay ready. We also can give thanks that our Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMT professionals and volunteers are ready and willing to serve. They never can stand down fully as there are people to serve. Thank you for all that you do!

pumpkinpieWe are very blessed this year and every year! God does provide and we continue to try and make him the center point of everything we do. While we will not be able to spend our Thanksgiving with all our Family and Friends that we would like we certainly feel blessed to have them. We will also be eating fairly well and that is a testament to what God provides. Happy Thanksgiving 2015! May we all recognize how truly blessed we are!

Get Creative With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

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What to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers | PreparednessMama

What will you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? The deed is done and your belly is full.  Hours have been spent creating the perfect combination of choice items to please your family and friends. But what will you do with the thanksgiving leftovers? For me, the day after means a big pot of turkey noodle […]

The post Get Creative With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Pilgrim Myths And Legends

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pilgrim legends.jpgThe story of the Pilgrims is one you think you may know by heart, having learned it during elementary school and having heard it every year since.

But as you’ll discover on this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, the Pilgrim story is full of myths – myths you likely learned as a child. For example, who truly deserves the most credit for founding America – the Pilgrims or the settlers of Jamestown, which was started 13 years earlier? And does it even matter?

Joining us to discuss this are two professors at Liberty University: Carey Roberts, who is chair of the department of history and associate dean of the college of arts and sciences, and Samuel Smith, who is professor of history and director of the graduate program in history.

The Pilgrim story, they tell us, is an inspiring and captivating one that nevertheless is full of legends. They tell us

  • Why the Pilgrims shouldn’t be credited with practicing the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
  • How the Pilgrims helped guide America away from a socialistic form of government.
  • Why the Pilgrims really fled Europe — a reason you probably won’t hear about in the mainstream media.
  • What truly happened to the Pilgrims during the decades after they landed at Plymouth.
  • How the Mayflower Compact remains relevant to this day.


On this Thanksgiving Day, learn the real story of the Pilgrims – a story that will make you even more thankful for what those brave settlers accomplished!

21 Unique Ways To Upcycle Old Sweaters Into Something Adorable

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21 Unique Ways To Upcycle Old Sweaters Into Something Adorable

Sweaters are an excellent piece of fashion, but often times they quickly go out of style. They can also shrink or get worn and pill up (pilling are those little fuzz balls that build up on sweaters and knit materials that more you wear them), maybe a hole forms, there could be any number of reasons that you can’t wear a sweater anymore. But what do you do with it?

Throwing it away seems like such a waste and it might not be in any condition to donate it, why not refashion it? Upcycle those old sweaters into some fantastic and new! This list is a great introduction to the countless projects that reuse sweaters in ingenious ways!


Easy Sweater Lampshade – If you are looking for a quick and easy way to dress up a lampshade or you just want a quick project and have a sweater lying around that you don’t wear, try this out! You will love the resulting soft look of your “new” lampshade.



Patchwork BlanketLike t-shirt blankets and quilts, this is a great way to make use of old sweaters you still enjoy without having to get rid of them completely!



Sweater Pillows – This tutorial has several great pillow covers made and embellished with sweaters! Minimal sewing means you can have these done in a jiffy!



More Sweater Pillows – Here are a few more sweater pillow ideas in case you didn’t get enough from the first post! You will be cozying up with these pillows in no time!



iPad Cover – Make yourself a quick and easy iPad cover or give it away as a gift! The embellishments can be customize to fit your personal style or if you have a patterned sweater it could be perfect as is.



Sweater Candle Holders – Make these simple but attractive candle holders for around your house, or set them up as a charming table centerpiece as in the image! It’s so easy you will wonder why you never thought of this before.



Cowl & Boot Socks – Make yourself a fashionable buttoned cowl and some boot socks to match out of the same sweater with this easy-to-follow tutorial! You will want to wear these all winter once they are done!



Sweater Boots – These adorable sweater boots are an excellent way to keep your feet cozy around the house during cold weather and they are really easy to make!



Upcycled Boot Socks – Have some sleeves left over from another project? Turn them into thick and cozy knee-high socks! These are so easy to make you might have to stop yourself from going after all your sweaters.




Hooded Scarf – This hooded scarf is super stylish and adorable! You can wear it in so many ways that it will go with any winter outfit or jacket. Bring on the snow!



Pom Pom Sweater HatMake these cute sweater hats for your kids with their old sweaters that they’ve grown out of so that they can continue to enjoy them for years to come!



Smitten – Sweater + Mitten = Smitten, clever! These mittens are so easy to make that you will be giving them to everyone that you know as Christmas gifts. They are so cute and simple, you won’t be able to stop!


rugged sweater boots diy

Rugged Sweater Boots – Dress up some worn out cowboy boots, or other booties, with a bright sweater like this ingenious tutorial shows. It will feel like you got a brand new pair of boots.


sweater scarf

Sweater Scarf – Here is an even simpler scarf tutorial that is nearly foolproof! This looks great with highly textured sweaters to make it look even more cozy and show off the designs.



Sweater Bracelets – These look so attractive and fashionable! The best part is that you can have this done in a few minutes and it requires absolutely no sewing.


sweatermittens 2

Sweater Mittens (Take Two) – Here is another version of the sweater mittens that are even simpler to make! They look so warm and cozy and you can have them finished in no time.


Fingerless Mitts – If mittens aren’t your style, try your hand at making these handy fingerless gloves! These are great for around the house while working on projects, reading, or anything really.


Sweater Mini skirt

Sweater Mini-Skirt – Turn that old sweater into a brand new piece of clothing that you will love with this quick and easy tutorial for a cute sweater mini-skirt!



Sweater Ornaments – These sweater ornaments make perfect Christmas gifts for a cute and personal present! Colored sweaters or colored thread will make them even more fun.



DIY Sweater Wine Wrap – Make yourself some reusable gift wrap with this sweater wine wrap. Everyone will enjoy being able to reuse it over and over again!



Sweater Wreath – Create a cozy wreath for your home with this simple tutorial. The embellishments can be anything you want, but these felt flowers and pearl beads look particularly classy!

18 Cozy & Stylish Arm Knitting Projects Anyone Can Make

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18 Cozy & Stylish Arm Knitting Projects Anyone Can Make collage 2

Arm knitting is all the rage right now, and whether you knit or not it is something that everyone can pick up and learn quickly! Make chunky, cozy scarves in no time with these easy techniques! Once you are comfortable trying moving on to something bigger, like a blanket!

We have found some of the easiest arm knitting projects and compiled them here for your inspiration. Give it a shot! Trust us, it is so easy — you will wonder why you never tried it before! Not to mention, these projects come together so quickly that they make great handmade gifts for the holiday!



30-Minute Scarf – A great place to start is with this step-by-step introduction to arm knitting with a 30-minute scarf tutorial. If you are new to arm knitting you’ll be hooked after you finish this project!



Striped Infinity Scarf – Learn how to arm knit stripes with this easy-to-follow infinity scarf tutorial and take this design into other projects to make fun patterns!



Market Bag – This market bag is easy to make in a jiffy and will get you plenty of compliments! They also make perfect gifts for all the bag lovers you know.



Triplet Shawl – This versatile shawl can be also be a scarf or a simple wrap for a bathing suit or over a skirt for a pop of color and texture!



45-Minute Blanket – Blankets are a huge hit when it comes to arm knitting because they are so quick and easy to make. This is an easy blanket to start with to learn how to handle that much yarn at one time.


Garter Stitch Blanket – For a different pattern and texturing, try this garter stitch blanket! The tutorial is easy to follow and you’ll have a great chunky blanket in just a few hours.



Giant Pillow – Pillow covers are another fun project for arm knitting. Once you learn a few different stitches, try incorporating them in your design like the one below!



Cable Knit Tutorial – Cable knitting is a common sight, but now you can learn how to achieve this look while knitting with your arms! Use this on a blanket for a stylish design.




1-Hour Chunky Blanket – This blanket uses several threads of yarn at once to create this thick, chunky throw. This is a great tutorial for those who want to learn to knit with several threads at once.



Arm Knit Fringe Wrap – Learn how to add fringe to your arm knitting projects with this simple, versatile wrap that works as a shawl, scarf, and as a vest! 



Fringe Scarf – Use the pattern for the 30-minute scarf to make this attractive scarf with the added bonus of fringe! This tutorial is easy to follow and the product turns out fast making this a great holiday gift!


Grey Arm Knit Blanket – Try this wonderful pattern for an excellent throw blanket to cozy up in during the cold weather! You’ll be making these left and right once people try it out.


Garter Stitch Scarf – This easy scarf utilizes the garter stitch to add an extra touch of design to a simple scarf pattern. The thick knit of this scarf will add some fun, chunky texture to any outfit!



Arm Knit Shrug – Here is another great pattern for a versatile accessory! You can wear it as a cozy shrug, a vest, or bunch it up for a thick scarf.



Color Block Wrap – This is a fantastic tutorial to learn how to color block with! The directions are clearly written out and the technique can to translated into so many different projects. Try color blocking a blanket!



Seed Stitch – While this tutorial isn’t for a project, the technique that she shows in this handy video can be used in so many other projects that we felt we should include it.



I-Cord Stitch – Traditionally the I-cord is a great way to add a clean edge to a project, or to make a simple knitted rope, but when used in arm knitting it makes a wonderful accessory all on its own!



Basket Weave Blanket – We know, another blanket, but the pattern of this one made it hard to pass up! Once you know how to arm knit, this project will end up being a breeze!

20 Sweet and Savory Homemade Christmas Treats That are as Fun to Make as to Eat

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20 Homemade Christmas Treats That Are Fun To Make, But Even Better To Eat 2

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start baking and cooking up the special treats that you only indulge in once a year. From the most traditional Christmas treats to fun new ideas that are perfect to make with kids young or old, you’re sure to find an awesome idea or two to make this year.

Start making the season merry and bright with some homemade snacks to give to the people you love and appreciate the most. ‘Tis the season!

Let’s get cooking so we can get snacking!



Homemade Gumdrops – Gumdrops aren’t exactly a popular Christmas treat anymore, but there’s no reason why we can’t bring them back! Make these and your kids will definitely have a new favorite snack!

Candy Cane Blossoms from baked Perfection 2

Candy Cane Blossoms – This is a great take on the popular Peanut Butter Blossom cookie that substitutes sugar cookie dough, colored sugar, and peppermint chocolate kisses. The result is a really festive cookie that is as pretty as a picture!


Rice Krispie Treat Christmas Trees – Everyone loves Rice Krispie Treats, and they’re incredibly easy to work with, so you can form them into cones and add the candy decorations. A tray of these are sure to please!


Cornflake Christmas Wreaths – These are a classic holiday treat made with marshmallows and dyed cornflakes. The little groups of holly berries are made with cinnamon drops!


Chocolate Truffle Cocoa Spoons – A nice cup of cocoa really hits the spot on Christmas Eve. These delightful spoons are perfect for adding another chocolatey dash to a cup of cocoa.


Reindeer Cupcakes – These adorable cupcakes are perfect for any school holiday party, and they’re fun for the kids to help decorate!


Banana Snowman Sticks – This is a healthier take on Christmas goodies that you can feel good about packing in your kid’s lunchbox. Fresh fruit can be as sweet a treat as chocolate!


Gingerbread Men – Gingerbread Men are a classic cookie that your kids will love to decorate! This recipe is for a vegan, gluten free variety. They taste so good that you won’t miss the extra ingredients!



Grinch Kabobs – Another fresh treat utilizing green grapes, banana slices, strawberries and mini marshmallows to represent a Santa Hat adorned Grinch head! Another perfect party treat!


Grinch Pretzel Bites – This Grinchy treat is sure to please even picky eaters! The combination of sweet and salty is always a hit with party guests!


Peppermint Bark – Peppermint bark is another must-have traditional treat, but this recipe kicks it up a notch by casting the bark in beautiful snowflake molds. Such a pretty way to give peppermint bark as a gift!


Candy Cane Brownie Trifle – This is a very showy treat that you’ll love to serve at an adults only holiday party. Elegantly served in wine glasses, this is an incredible way to make an impression on your guests.


Frozen Yogurt Christmas Tree Pops – It isn’t cold everywhere at Christmastime. For those of us who live in hotter climates, a cold treat might be what hits the spot! These frozen yogurt trees are so easy to make, even for kids!


North Pole Dirt Cake Cones – These are awesome treats for kids (and adults!) that are anything but ordinary. Just look at those adorable edible penguins!


Reindeer PB & J – If you just want to make your child’s lunchbox a little more special, make them these super cute peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with pretzels for antlers!


Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites – Another awesome bite size snack that is just perfect to serve at parties! These treats are more than just adorable; they’re the perfect way to get a bite of cheesecake without feeling guilty about eating a whole slice!


Melting Snowman Truffles – These snowmen might be melting, but they sure don’t look too unhappy about it! These are yummy little Oreo truffles that can be packed into gift bags for a homemade gift!


Snowman Marshmallows – These are a great treat to make with the kids! Have them build their very own candy-wearing snowmen out of marshmallows.


Pretzel Snowmen – Another take on pretzels, this time using them to create a frame for a smiling snowman figure! Add a fruit strip as a scarf and you’re all set!


Strawberry Christmas Tree Brownie Bites – You’d never guess that these yummy Christmas trees were made from whole strawberries covered in green frosting! So festive, and not too sweet!

Happy Thanksgiving from Apartment Prepper

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This post is by Bernie Carr, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Except for cooking traditional foods, there are not a lot of expectations to get stressed about.  I get to step back, count my blessings, eat a great meal, … Continue reading

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The Thanksgiving Blessing Almost Everyone Forgets

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You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake.
If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

How Do We Know Anything?

The Thanksgiving Blessing Almost Everyone ForgetsEpistemology is the study or philosophy of knowledge.  It answers the questions, “How do we know?” and, “How do we know that we know?”  These questions aren’t simply about ways of teaching and learning or about accuracy in media.  They’re about our deepest assumptions and presuppositions concerning life.  How is knowledge even possible… knowledge of yourself, knowledge of the world, and knowledge of God?

Epistemology may seem an odd topic for Thanksgiving.  And the connection between epistemology and Thanksgiving may not be immediately obvious.  Some quick Internet searches suggest that the only connection between epistemology and “thanksgiving” can be summed up in a question, one mostly asked by skeptics:  How do we know there’s a God to whom we ought to be thankful?

Great question. Onward.

Romans 1

First and foremost, Scripture insists that human knowledge rests completely upon God’s self-revelation.  God reveals Himself in creation generally, and then more specifically, in man’s nature.  Man is the very image of God.  Which means that we can know things with certainty.  That is, we are morally obligated to receive God’s self-revelation and to understand the whole universe in terms of it.  The problem is that we’re sinners.   And in our natural state … we’re not on good terms with God and for the most part we hate anything that even points to God … which means that we also hate real knowledge.

Paul describes this “biblical epistemology” in the first chapter of Romans.  There he argues for the clarity of a general revelation. Man, he says, is confronted with the knowledge of God, the true God, indelibly stamped in his own nature and written in a big, big way across the scope of all creation (v. 19).  It’s always been that way, Paul says.  God’s divine nature and sovereignty have been manifest in the things He has made from the beginning of creation (v. 20).  But men willfully and culpably suppress this knowledge in unbelief (v. 18-20).  So in one sense all humanity knows God, although apart from the grace of God … we suppress this knowledge.  Paul goes further and speaks of a time in history “when they knew God” but willfully rejected that knowledge out of ingratitude. Now we’re getting somewhere.

There were, in fact, two times in human history when all living humanity acknowledged the reality of the Creator God and the validity of His claims on mankind.  In Eden after the Fall, and on Ararat after the Flood (Gen. 3; 9).  Folks heard the promise of God and gave thanks for His mercy.  But that thankfulness was pretty much short-lived.

In each case, within a few generations, men became outright annoyed with God.  Yep, they knew God, but refused to give Him glory (v. 21).  They even grumbled about His laws and His providence.  They complained about His nature. They wanted Him to be more like them.  Paul describes this by simply saying that … they weren’t thankful.

So, since they didn’t like how God did things, they reinvented Him.  They imagined that God was like man … or like the birds of heaven, or the beasts of the earth, or the snakes and beetles that crawl in the dust (v. 23).  And they gave form to their imaginations and manufactured idols.  They worshiped the works of their own hands … manifestations of their own creative and reproductive energies.

Bottom line: They worshiped sex and power.  And God then seemed to let them have what they wanted most: their own way.

pilgrims 2Paul then says that God in judgment gave them over to “reprobate” minds, minds void of judgment (v. 28).  And if they wouldn’t make the logical distinction between God and beasts and bugs, He would abandon them to the full range of such craziness.  Paul describes in some detail the ethical degradation that came from this type of idolatry, but he begins with man’s intellectual inability to discern the true nature and proper use of human sexuality.

It’s not surprising, then, that men who put the transcendent God in the same category with a piece of wood or a rock eventually found that they could no longer think in clear sexual categories.  Ingratitude has both ethical and epistemological consequences.

God, Knowledge And Community

God’s self-revelation is tied to His total self-knowledge.  God fully understands, fully loves, and fully delights in His creation.  He is absolute love, goodness, and joy.  As eternal “Trinity-in-Unity,” the Father loves and delights in His Son (Matt. 17:5), the Son rejoices in His Father (Prov. 8:30-31), and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the Father as the living, divine bond of their love and delight (John 15:26; 16:7-15).  God, then … is overflowing joy and delight.

As far as we’re concerned, God is the Author of every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:17).  There is nothing we can give Him that He has not first given us.  And yet in His absolute self-sufficiency, He calls us to find our joy in Him (Ps. 43:4).  He calls us to be thankful and to enjoy that thankfulness in Him.

pilgrims faithBut since the Fall, this is only possible when we come to Him through faith in Christ crucified and risen (Rom. 15:13).  Only those whose sins are forgiven have real cause to be thankful and rejoice in God.  Only those who have been born again by God’s Spirit can lift grateful hearts and voices to God in true thanksgiving.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and the starting point of true joy and thanksgiving.


Ingratitude leads humanity to idolatry.  Thankless humanity then reinvents God to free themselves from His laws and ordinances.  But when they reject and replace the true God, they also reject the very basis of value and meaning.  They reject the living Truth and find their world devoid of any absolute.  For these folks … all things are relative.  Truth is meaningless.  Ethics are fleeting.  Claims to knowledge are merely power plays to control, enslave, and abuse.

Thankfulness, on the other hand, is really just submission to reality.  It’s not only a recognition that God exists but also a joyful understanding of who God is and what He’s done in time and space.  Thankfulness, then, is the natural response of true faith to the goodness and grace of God in creation and redemption.  So the human heart that’s truly thankful to God rejoices in all God’s works because it knows the world we live in for what it is … the creation of a loving and sovereign God who reveals Himself in plain sight.

Thanksgiving, then, becomes a great time not just to celebrate physical blessings. Despite liberal claims to the contrary, most Americans have plenty of these. But Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks to God for the foundation of knowledge itself. What an amazing blessing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

20 Borderline Genius Baking Hacks You Probably Never Knew About

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20 Borderline Genius Baking Hacks You Probably Never Knew About

Let’s not sugar coat it, baking can be a challenge. Measurements can be exact and something might still go wrong, things bake unevenly, your cake isn’t flat or has bubbles in it, any number of things can go wrong!

We’re here to help you out with some killer baking hacks that will help in a pinch! From substitutions to DIYs to shortcuts that could save the cake (or the day) there is a little bit of everything to help you avert your next baking crisis, especially with the baking season just beginning!



DIY Confectioner’s Sugar – Confectioners’ sugar, or powdered sugar, is a baking staple, but instead of running to the store to pick up more in the middle of the frosting recipe, throw some sugar in the food processor and make your own!

Skip the spatula and use non-stick spray to release hard to measure ingredients like honey and molasses. Spray your measuring cup before measuring these sticky substances and you’ll have a perfect measurement every time!

crimp pie crusts

Crimp Your Pie Crusts – While taste is the one of the most important factors of a pie, there’s no denying that details can help bring a pie to the next level. This video will help you do just that as it introduces you to 20 ways to crimp a pie crust in 120 seconds!


Soften Brown Sugar – You’re reaching for that bag of brown sugar when you realize, to your horror, that it is rock solid and not even Thor’s hammer could break it apart. Don’t worry, an apple slice or a simple piece of bread might be all you need to remedy this woeful tale!

Were you a little too excited to crack that egg and some of the shell fell in? Wet your fingers before trying to scoop it out and the shell will be drawn towards the water and come right out!


DIY Miracle Cake Release – Make the process of “greasing and flouring” your cake pans that much easier with this miracle cake release for a fraction of the price of the store bought kind! It’s also perfect self stable so you can keep it around to use whenever you need it.



DIY Brown Sugar – Suddenly find that you’re low on brown sugar? You can make your own! All it takes is sugar, molasses, and a food processor.


Pudding Mix – Instead of using box pudding mix, try making your own with this simple recipe! Better yet, you know everything that is going in to your mix.

Are you missing a crucial ingredient? Fear not! This chart has the answer to many baking substitutions that you can make in a pinch instead of having to drop everything to run to the store. Some of these may surprise you but they are guaranteed to work!


Make Your Own Gluten Free Flour – If you’re looking for a flour substitute, some recipes call for oat flour. Instead of running to the store to spend money on an expensive bag of oat flour, check your cabinets! You might be able to make your own with this super easy recipe.


Impromptu Tart Pan – We’ve all been there at some point, you need a small pan and all you have are 9″x12″ cake pans, cookie sheets, etc. Hack yourself a tart pan with this excellent video how-to!



mashmallowwhipHow to Stabilize Whipped Cream – If you have used whipped cream for anything, you know that it can quickly lose its beautiful fluffy shape quickly when left at room temperature. One way to remedy this is to stabilize your whipped cream and here are several handy ways to do just that!


Salvage Those Burned Cookies – Did those cookies bake a little long and now the bottoms are a crispy brown that  no one will enjoy? You can fix it and all you need is a cheese grater!


Keep Your Cake Moist – Laying a slice of bread on top of your cake while it’s cooling will help the cake retain its moisture and keep it from drying out.


Drop It Like It’s Hot (It’s Not) – Air bubbles can be the bane of cake bakers everywhere, but there’s a way to fix this. Once you pour your cake batter into the pan, drop it on the counter from a height of about a foot. This will pop any bubbles suspended in the batter and help it to even out better for baking.


Skip The Frosting – Skip the mess of frosting by placing large marshmallows on top of cupcakes during the last 5-minutes of baking, they’ll melt perfectly and do the job of frosting for you!



This Trick Writes Neatly On Cakes – If you can’t seem to get the hang of writing on a cake with frosting, using toothpicks to cheat! Use a toothpick to poke a guide into the top of the cake for you to follow as you write.



DIY Cake Flour – Cake flour is expensive, but makes all the difference when it comes to baking cakes from scratch! Well now you can make cake flour all by yourself instead of springing for an expensive box!



The Key To Making Flawless Cookies – Check out this recipe, and the attached infographic to get the down low on what makes the perfect cookie!



Make All The Colors of The Frosting Rainbow – This wonderful chart tells you how to make all the colors you could ever dream of with a standard box of red, yellow, green, and blue food coloring!

21 Creative & Unusual Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas That Will Delight Your Friends

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21 Creative & Unusual Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas That Will Delight Your Friends

Are you looking for alternatives to the traditional Christmas tree due to any number of reasons? Maybe you have limited space due to a tiny apartment or you want to set something up in the office? Maybe you just don’t want to mess of a real Christmas tree (all those needles!) and you want to try something different this year.

Whatever the case may be, here are some of the most creative, ingenious, and stylish alternative Christmas trees that we found on the internet for this holiday season!


book tree

Book Tree – For the book lovers, this simple but ascetically pleasing book tree is a great addition to a desk, office, or library setting, have some fun with the decorating and add lights or colors to spice it up!


newspaper tree

Newspaper Tree – This gorgeous newspaper tree is super easy to make, creates no mess, and is surprisingly stunning to look at. Follow the tutorial to create this lovely tree!


wall decor

Wall Decor – This is a great way to display any fun ornaments or knick knacks that you’ve picked up over the years. It’s an especially good idea if you have very limited space for a large tree but have plenty of wall space to utilize.


dot tree

Foil Dot Tree – If you are looking for something more minimal and modern looking, this might just be the tree for you. The materials are simple and the assembly is pretty easy to follow!


ornament tree

Hanging Ornament Tree – You may have seen displays like this at stores or in magazines during the holiday season; well now you can have on in your own house! These directions are very clear and there are plenty of variations that you can get inspiration from.


paper sketch tree

Craft Paper Sketch Tree – If you are artsy, you may want to try your hand at sketching out a tree on craft paper or something similar for a creative twist. You can even hang ornaments and other decorations on it.


scandinavian chalk tree

Scandinavian Inspired Chalk Tree – This gorgeous chalkboard tree has some Scandinavian flair and looks absolutely stunning. Customize it with images that hold meaning for your family if you want something more personal.



Ladder Tree – Ladders have become a popular alternative to Christmas trees. They can be painted, wrapped, decorated, anything your heart desires! Pick a theme and go to town on this sturdy alternative.


paper cup tree

Paper Cup Tree – For coffee addicts, this “tree” made entirely of paper coffee cups would be a challenge to put together but the outcome seems well worth it!


light tree

Christmas Light Tree – This is a great option for indoors and outdoors! The instructions are easy to follow to construct this striking and colorful tree.


cardboard tree

3D Cardboard Tree – How great is this for a temporary christmas tree in a classroom or office? It’s easy to assemble and disassemble, making it super easy to move around and put away when not in use.


pvc tree

PVC Pipe Tree – Use different size PVC pipes, cut down to size to make this stunning tree design. Decorate it with ornaments, figurines, or anything else you want to personalize it!


palette tree

Painted Palette Tree – If you’re a fan of that rustic/shabby chic looks, this painted palette tree is for you! The white Christmas tree on the stained wood of the palette is a great touch and allows the colorful ornaments to be hung and pop against the white.


card tree

Holiday Card Tree – Display your holiday cards with this creative method so that you can properly enjoy them all season instead of tucking them away and forgetting about them.



Washi Tape Tree – If you’re just looking for something small and festive, try creating a Christmas tree out of washi tape! You can use any color of pattern and be as detailed or minimal as you see fit!



Tulle Tree – Create a beautiful, soft tree with this tulle tutorial! This shows you how to make a little tree but you you were feeling adventurous you could adjust this to make a full size tree to decorate.



Modern Cardboard Tree – Cut out a cardboard tree and paint, draw, and decorate it however you see fit. When you have quests over ask them to add something to your tree to give the project more meaning!


dowel tree

Minimalist Dowel Tree – This simple dowel tree is a great addition to a modern home and even features a great color scheme! It would be really easy to assemble too.

Branch Tree

Painted Branches – For a simple but striking tree replacement, find some bare branches outside and paint them a bright color to use as a tree! Decorate them with fun vintage ornaments for a retro touch like the one above.


maganize tree

Magazine Tree – If you have bunch of magazines or books and a couple of bookshelves that aren’t overflowing with books, perhaps this simple but effective tree is the way to go!


sheet music tree

Sheet Music Trees – Music lovers will enjoy this one! Though a bit time consuming the steps are simple and the end result is absolutely gorgeous!

20 Survival Uses for Condoms

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If you’re living through a long-term disaster, you really don’t want to be pregnant or get someone pregnant. And disaster or no, there will be times when people give in to their urges. That’s why I think condoms are an important part of any survival cache. But contraception […]

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The Autumn Harvest: How To Store and Cook With Winter Squash (plus recipes)

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winter squashOne of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of winter squashes and all the delicious recipes one can make with them.  Unlike their summer cousins, zucchini and yellow crookneck, winter squashes can be stored for two to three months if handled and kept properly without significant loss to quality.  They lend themselves to cold weather dishes beautifully, too, whether roasted, sautéed, cubed and added to soups and stews, or mashed.

The most readily available squash in grocery stores are sugar pumpkins, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti varieties, but don’t limit yourself to the ones that are familiar- experiment with different varieties and have fun.  It’s almost impossible to go wrong with a nice winter squash.  Many of the lesser known varieties can be found at farmers’ markets.

Harvesting and Storing Winter Squash

In order to store them for months, be sure to select the ones that are blemish or bruise free.  They should also have an intact peduncle (stem) of about 1-inch for squash and 3 to 4 inches for sugar pumpkins.  If any are missing their peduncle, make sure to use them quickly.  The concave area at the top of the squash where the stem used to be makes them susceptible to molds and fungus.

If you’re harvesting from your own garden, don’t handle or harvest the squash while they’re wet and don’t let the harvested fruit get wet.  Cut the fruit from the vine (allowing appropriate stem length on the fruit) using kitchen or pruning shears, brush off any blossom still clinging to the end and any dirt chunks that might be stuck to them.  Space them far enough apart that each fruit gets adequate air flow around it.  The best temperature for curing is warm days between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you think nighttime temperatures are going to dip below 40 degrees or so, move your squash indoors to finish curing.  Frost can sweeten the fruit, but it can also dramatically reduce storage life.

Curing the squash gets rid of excess water which creates several benefits:

  • During the curing process, the skin hardens and creates a protective layer
  • It concentrates the sugars in the fruit making it sweeter
  • It reduces the chances of rot

A harder skin also helps to slow moisture loss (respiration) during storage which helps preserve the quality of the fruit from both an aesthetic and nutritional perspective.

Once your fruit has cured, check them again for any signs of blemishes or bruises and to make sure the stems are still securely attached.  Set aside any that aren’t in perfect condition and use those first or can them using the pressure canning method.  Squash store best at around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and at about 50 to 70% relative humidity.  Cooler temperatures, like those in your refrigerator, can cause chilling injuries to the fruit and shorten storage life just like a frost does.  Higher temps or higher humidity can encourage mold and mildew growth.

Don’t wash the squash!  If there are still dirt chunks stuck to the squash, use a soft rag to gently wipe them away.  Always make sure your squash is dry before storing it.  Carefully stack your squash to avoid bruising or breaking the stems, and don’t stack more than about three feet high.  Any higher and the weight of the squash on the top will squish the squash on the bottom.  I don’t have a root cellar at my house here in California, but since I live above the snowline in the Sierras, my outbuildings can get too cold to store them in without damage.  We use wood heat in the main living area of the house and I’ve found that a back bedroom, with the door shut to keep the heat from the woodstove out, stays at just the right temperature.  Also, if you’ve put up fresh apples, don’t store them with your squash.  The ethylene gas that apples give off makes everything else ripen (read: rot) faster.

I have a confession to make: cutting open hard squashes scares the beejebus out of me.  I’m always afraid I’m going to lose my grip and slice my fingers clean off.  Yes, I know I can get a very nice Japanese cleaver like the one shown here, but I already own a vintage cleaver and many nice knives.  Don’t laugh- my solution is a hatchet.  Yes, the same hatchet I use to make kindling.  It makes an inelegant cut, but pretty isn’t what I’m after.  I just want to cut the dang thing in half (or pieces) and get it in my belly.  If company is coming over, I use my vintage cleaver, a sturdy and thick cutting board to rest everything on, and a kitchen mallet like the one shown here.  I give the squash a firm whack with the cleaver first to se the blade and then use the mallet to hammer the cleaver through the squash the rest of the way.

Five Delicious Butternut Squash Recipes

This is especially helpful when I have several imperfect squashes that need to be canned instead of going into winter storage.  According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation the only way to safely can winter squashes is to cube them and use a pressure canner.  However, there are many recipes that one can make and either freeze the finished product or can it.  One of my favorites is a Butternut soup base recipe found here.  This recipe for Pickled Butternut is surprisingly good when warmed and mashed and spread over cold roast beef.

This recipe, for Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut and Quinoa, can be doubled and the leftover frozen for later use.

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage makes a beautiful presentation for dinner parties while still providing a filling entrée.

Going meatless and gluten-free?  This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Alfredo Boats is just the ticket for cold winter nights. Sweet Dumpling squash, with their small size, make the perfect serving for a side dish.  Stuffed with mushrooms, wild rice, and apple sausage, they pair perfectly with this recipe for Grilled Venison Loin from my favorite game chef, Hank Shaw, over at the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.  Trying to sneak more veggies into a picky eater’s diet?  The Spaghetti Squash is for you!  Once boiled or baked, this squash has a stringy, mild-flavored flesh that is very much like the pasta it’s named for.  Top with marinara sauce and some grated parmesan cheese and your kids will eat it up.

The Blue Hubbard squash has the longest storage life of all the squashes.  This beauty can weigh 15 to 40 (FORTY!) pounds and has a sweet, fine-grained, golden flesh.  These are excellent simply roasted with apples, nuts, butter and maple syrup or honey.  To prepare, start by cutting the Hubbard in half and scooping out the guts.  Core and chop four or five apples and about one cup or so of nuts (I like pecans, but walnuts and almonds work just as well).  Combine the chopped apples and nuts with about ¾ C maple syrup or homey and about a half a cup melted butter (save a little melted butter to brush the squash with).  Feel free to play with the amount of the ingredients until you find the ratio you like.  Place the halved squash in a baking dish with about ½ inch or so of water in the bottom of it.  Scoop the Apple and nut mixture into the center of the cut squash, brush the cut side with melted butter, and cover with foil and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.  The meat of the squash should be tender when done like a baked potato.

Winter squashes come in a variety of sizes, textures, and flavors and if stored properly, make an excellent winter food store.  They’re easy to incorporate into dishes or make excellent entrees.  Check out your local farmers’ market to see their wonderful variety.

Stay tuned!

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Message of Thanks On Thanksgiving Day

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A Message of Thanks On Thanksgiving Day | Backdoor Survival

As I sit down today and compose a message of Thanksgiving, my heart is torn. An optimist by nature, I find it difficult not to be dragged down by the events of the world.  Like many of you, I am experiencing a personal feeling of helplessness as I watch global enemies face off in an unconscionable manner.  I worry for my friends and I worry for my family.  I worry for the world.

As I wrote last year, over the years I have shared all types of Thanksgiving messages, from the upbeat and optimistic to downright depressing. This year I prefer to stay somewhere in the middle, for as bad as things are, we still have a lot to be thankful for.

A Message of Thanks On Thanksgiving Day | Backdoor Survival

What are those things?

More and more, I am seeing that preppers are embracing a “less is more attitude”. They are purchasing only what they need after assessing their risks and making wise purchases that meet those needs.

Skills are beginning to trump stuff.  “Doing it yourself” has become the preppers mantra as self-reliance bubbles to the top of the prepper wish list.

Preparedness  is now being seen as good common sense and not fodder to entertain and ridicule.  I hope to see more of that going forward, thanks in part to broadcast journalist Ted Koppel and his book, Lights Out.

Preppers are spanning the generations.  I read emails and comments from preppers in their teens all the way up to seniors in their eighties and beyond.

These are just a handful of the trends that I have seen this past year and it warms my heart to know that the readers of Backdoor Survival have contributed to these trends by walking the walk, and living the lifestyle, even if they do so in just a small way.

Backdoor Survival Thanks You

I have so much to be grateful for.  This past year the website has grown beyond my wildest dreams and although the work days are extremely long, I have been able to enjoy another year shunning doom, gloom and fear-mongering.

I say this often:  Backdoor Survival readers and fans on the best on the planet.  I wish I could pinpoint what it is that I do that continues to attract such a wonderful base of good people but whatever that it, I  hope I can keep doing it.

Today I thank you for letting me be part of your life and allowing me to be myself.  Yes, I am sometimes quirky and sometimes trite, but always honest and forthcoming, no matter what the topic.

The Backdoor Survival of the Future

At the risk of losing some of you, I readily admit that I am no longer a young whipper-snapper.  Quite the contrary. Last week I turned 66 years old which qualifies me to be everyone’s “Auntie Gaye”.  And as I do at this time each year, I remind myself how precious life is and that life is not to be wasted.  Believe me, that is a whole lot easier to say than to do.

This year I have been in deep thought about how best to maintain Backdoor Survival while also giving myself permission to pursue other activities.  That, too,  is easier said than done and over the past six months I have tried a few things.  Some worked out and some did not, but at the end of the day, what fell out of the process is that I need to continue to serve your needs while having fun in the process.

You read that right.  Having fun has to be part of the equation or it is simply not worth it.

What does that mean going forward and what is the Backdoor Survival of the future?  I am still trying to figure it out.  I want to write a book – a real book and not a simple little eBook.  I want to do more DIY projects and more with essential oils and home remedies.  I want to share more of your stories, tips and real-life experiences.  And finally, I want to do more partnering with trusted contributors in order to  bring you credible information that spans my own sphere of knowledge.


The Final Word

What started out as an annual message of Thanksgiving has become so much more than that.  You are my family and as family members do, I have shared some of my most private feelings about the blog and my own role in educating the world about preparedness and self-reliance.

Everything so far is written in pencil but the energy is there so I will keep pressing forward.

As you gather around your Thanksgiving table this year, do reflect upon the good that is happening in your life.  Give thanks and be grateful for all that you have and not fret about what you have not. That is what I am doing

My heart is full today, as always, as I think about how far we have come.  I know this from your comments and, emails.  Even if you do not contact me directly, in my heart of hearts, I know you are standing tall and are ready to live the rest of your life with an abundance of gumption and spirit.

My wish is for you to continue to thrive, to be well, and to be safe.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to things that will enhance your quest for preparedness.  Looking for the perfect gift?  Check out The Prepper’s Holiday Gift Guide.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath: The book, by Ted Koppel, may finally wake up the masses that believe that nothing bad could ever happen to them.  The consequences of a cyberattack on our power grid may through us back a century or longer.  Are you prepared?

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern:  This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie.  It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month.  Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective.  There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio:  I own two of these.  Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license.  This is the prepper’s choice when it comes to emergency radios.  Special Note:  BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same.  Some units are branded as “Pofung”.  Need help setting them up?  Read How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy.

The All-American Sun Oven:  Without a question, this is one of my top picks for the prepper who truly wants to be self-sufficient. Through a special arrangement with Sun Ovens International, you can pick up a fully equipped Sun Oven valued at $448 for a final price of $315 which includes shipping.

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers.  Value priced at about $50.  For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.


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!

Finally, prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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 Gift Cards

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


Curious About Essential Oils?

If you are curious about essential oils, this will be a good start. A Big Fat List of Essential Oils for Preppers.

The post A Message of Thanks On Thanksgiving Day by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

100 Deadly Skills You Never Knew You Needed

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100 Deadly Skills You Never Knew You Needed Skills have always and always will be the most valuable thing anyone can invest in. You can have all the food, equipment and gear in the world but if you don’t know how to use it or how to adapt you will die! You can spend hundreds and …

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The post 100 Deadly Skills You Never Knew You Needed appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Signs To Avoid Eating Canned Food That Might Be Deadly

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Signs To Watch For To Avoid Eating Canned Food That Might Be Deadly As preppers or homesteaders, we store food, mostly canned goods for a time when we may not be able to buy food easily. Canned foods have great pros but they also have some deadly cons, which if you don’t go out to …

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The post Signs To Avoid Eating Canned Food That Might Be Deadly appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.