DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions

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DIY Vertical Garden Design Step By Step Tutorial Instructions Believe it or not folks, spring will be here before you know it. That means its time to start planning your garden. I can’t wait to start planting my survival garden this year. I came across this awesome DIY project that I am going to be …

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6 Simple Ways To Get More Heat From Your Wood Stove

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6 Simple Ways To Get More Heat From Your Wood Stove

Photographer: Daniel Morrison / Flickr / Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

When the weather outside is frightful, it can be a challenge for people dependent on a wood-burning stove for heat. The question is: How can you improve the efficiency of your wood stove?

An obvious answer is to buy a new one with a built-in catalytic combustor, but they can be expensive. Thankfully, there are other ways to do it.

Here are some steps you can take to improve the efficiency of your wood stove:

1. A clean stove and chimney

Barring a warm spell, it’s a little late in the season to do some of this work, but good chimney sweeping and cleaning of the interior of the firebox can improve the efficiency of any wood stove. This also cleans out any creosote, which can impede air flow and pose the potential danger of a chimney fire.

Air flow is critical to good combustion and heat, and anything you can do to properly manage it will make a difference. If you have a brick chimney, make sure any cracks are sealed. This not only will avoid the potential for a fire but also will improve air flow.

2. A well-sealed stove and damper

There are two primary controls for air flow on a wood stove. These include small gaps that can be opened and closed on the front-bottom of some stoves, and the damper on top of the stove or in the chimney about two to three feet above the top. The damper is the primary air-flow control.

6 Simple Ways To Get More Heat From Your Wood StoveA problem can emerge if there are unwanted gaps on the stove. These typically happen around the door for the fire box. There are kits that allow you to replace the gasket, but it requires you to remove the door and let it cool. That’s tough stuff during winter. There are also kits that allow you easily to fill gaps as a short-term fix. Either way, an unwanted gap will cause you to lose control of your air flow and result in a fire that burns too hot for too long.

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The damper also could have a smoke leak or allow air to enter where the spindle emerges from the chimney or stove. This spindle is attached to the damper flap and here again, wood stove supply stores or websites have various solutions you can quickly apply.

Assuming your stove is well-sealed and the damper is operating properly, there are some key things to damper management. The basic advice is that whenever you start a wood stove fire, you should leave the damper fully open for 30 minutes to get the fire off to a good start and properly heat the chimney for efficient drafting.

3. Seasoned wood vs. green wood

Green wood can have a moisture content between 30 and 60 percent. The result is poor combustion and lots of smoke and creosote. In fact, green wood with a very high moisture content takes more energy to burn than the energy it releases in the form of heat. It’s important that you use seasoned wood for a wood stove.

The U.S. Forest Service recommends that firewood be seasoned for six months to a year in a sunny location and protected from rain and snow with a tarp.

Another firewood consideration: Are you using softwood or hardwood? Softwoods, like pine and fir, are great for starting a fire because they burn hot. But they also burn very fast. That’s why you want to establish a good, hot bed of glowing coals with softwoods and then add two or three hardwood logs like oak or cherry. Hardwoods burn hot when well-ignited — and burn long. Make sure you don’t overload the firebox and when necessary, carefully remove the ashes to an ash bucket and dispose of in an ash pit outside.

4. Added iron on the stove top

My mother has three pieces of cast iron in the shape of ducks sitting on top of her wood stove. The iron pieces get hot and increase the heat exchange capability of the stove by presenting a larger hot surface area to the surrounding air. There are also iron pieces with simple fan blades that actually spin very slowly as the heat rises and runs over the blades.  This, to a small degree, can help distribute some of the hot air.

5. Forced-air blower

A more robust solution for air distribution is a forced-air fan that will blow the hot air from the stove’s surface into a room. This requires electricity so it’s not a pure off-the-grid solution, but solar panels could be enough to power the fan.

6. The catalytic combustor

Image source: stove-parts-unlimited.com

Image source: stove-parts-unlimited.com

Many of the newer wood stoves feature a catalytic combustor as an efficiency feature. You also have the option of buying a separate catalytic combustor for installation into an older stove.

A catalytic combustor is a ceramic disc, usually about six inches in diameter and two inches thick. It has a honeycomb appearance and is coated with a rare metal called palladium. It’s inserted into the top of the stove where the smoke rises to the chimney and works to combust the smoke.

Smoke is essentially a gas that failed to combust and (most of the time) requires at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to fully ignite. A catalytic combustor will combust the smoke at temperatures as low as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The result is that the fire burns better and hotter and any residual smoke that could cause creosote buildup is reduced. In fact, a catalytic combustor can reduce creosote buildup by anywhere from 20 to 90 percent

It’s reported that catalytic combustors are good for 12,000 operating hours before they have to be replaced. That equals 500 days, so you can probably get several years of service from one catalytic combustor.

One caution is that you should only burn natural woods (no building lumber, paper, or treated woods) with a catalytic combustor or the life of the combustor and its efficiency will decline.

How do you make your wood stove more efficient? Share your tips in the section below:

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5 Easy New Year’s Resolutions To Get More Done On The Homestead

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Easy New Year’s Resolutions To Get More Done On The Homestead

Image source: Pixabay.com

Homesteading is no small undertaking. The responsibility for the combination of growing your own food, providing for your own shelter and heat, and living sustainably can take its toll on even those with the stoutest of constitutions. In short, it can be difficult to get it all done.

If you are among those who resolve to achieve more in the coming year and hope to look back with satisfaction at your homesteading accomplishments, here are five ways to frame your resolutions for success.

1. Prioritize. Don’t get caught up in that which is less important. Homesteaders are frequently pulled in so many different directions at once that the tasks which get tended first are apt to be the ones that make the most noise, whether they are the most crucial or not. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so to speak.

Be proactive about defining priorities. Make a solid decision about what aspects of homesteading are most significant to you, and proceed accordingly. If you define yourself as a market gardener who enjoys keeping a few livestock animals on the side, take care not to get so bogged down with dairy goats or breeding sows that your kale and tomatoes suffer.

2. Focus. With all the things on your plate, it is tempting to nibble at one thing and then another, without ever actually finishing any of it.

I follow a famous personal finance expert who advises people to pay off debt by tackling the lowest balance first, no matter what the interest rate. The reason this works, he says, is because success is more about motivation than math.

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I have found that my money guy’s wisdom can be applied to other aspects in life, including homesteading. Sometimes it is worth it to clear an afternoon of big projects so you can tidy up some long-overdue small items. Spending 10 minutes to fix a gate latch, another 15 scrubbing out feed buckets, a few more sweeping the cobwebs from the barn windows, and a half hour pulling the weeds from around the raised bed gardens can result in the satisfaction of actually having a few things finished, and can be the shot in the arm you need to move on to other tasks. And when you get to those, focus on each one as you go, even if it means batting away the others like so many pesky mosquitoes — unless a true emergency happens, focus on the one at hand and force the rest to take a number and get in line.

3. Organize. Spend time up front arranging things — tools, food, ideas, paperwork, and so on — in a manner that allows you to locate them easily. In the end, this will save not only time but emotional energy. It is exasperating to embark upon a project only to have to hunt for the right tools and materials first, and even more so to end up having to interrupt your work and run to the store for a new thingamajigget — especially if the old one turns up later! It is also often counterproductive to begin tasks without having a clear well-thought-out plan.

Frantically searching for spare tractor keys or equipment owner’s manuals or your favorite cheese recipe, discovering some much older home-canned goods that got hidden behind the fresher jars, or making do with a too-small paintbrush because the proper sized one cannot be found are never productive ways to spend time.

4. Evaluate. Is what you are doing manageable? Homesteading is like any other occupation or lifestyle in that you need to know when to say when. Small ideas and side projects can explode into all-encompassing compulsions. A few small lambs can become an out-of-control flock of sheep. A few hours of volunteering can end up as an unpaid committee chair position that swallows you whole. Having five different species of livestock with varying housing and fencing needs can steamroll over you.

Making executive decisions is hard, but imperative. Cutbacks need to happen sometimes, even when you hate to let anything go. Remember that you, your family, and your animals will benefit from you doing fewer things but doing them better.

5. Remember. Think about the reason you got started in homesteading in the first place. Are you still headed in that general direction?

Some friends of mine amassed an expensive herd of registered miniature goats and came to the realization that too much of their time and money was tied up in buying, selling, and showing — so much so that there was inadequate room in their lives for their homesteading pursuits. They sold off the entire herd, purchased a few sturdy dairy goats, and realigned their goals.

Another reason to remember why you started is to reset your heart. In the same way that married couples can heal wounds from a fight by recalling what it was that made them fall in love with their spouse in the first place, homesteaders need to fall in love again with the ideals of homesteading every now and then. Both marriage and homesteading are too hard to do without love. Stop, roll back to the very beginning, and remember why you came.

Whether your homestead is a humble off-grid cabin in the woods with just you and a partner and a tiny vegetable patch, or a sprawling farmhouse filled with a big busy family teeming with activities both off and on the farm, you probably want next year to bring about more progress than the last. By shaping your resolutions within these five parameters, you may well set foot on the path that will lead to success in the New Year and beyond.

What resolutions would you add to our list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

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5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

Image source: Glock.com

When training new shooters, especially rookie law enforcement officers or those new to concealed carry, I always provide a solid foundation of basic marksmanship.

There is, however, another critical element of preparedness and training for those relying on a firearm for defensive purposes. When I started out many years ago in a law enforcement career, my training sergeant left me with a quote I will never forget: “Don’t let your equipment defeat you.” I find myself constantly using that doctrine still today, for both myself and students. Due to the constant new choices and technology for all firearms-related gear, it applies now more than ever.

So what, exactly, am I referencing? Simply put, do not allow your selection of equipment to be a hurdle to success in defending yourself. Tools must be deployed effectively and quickly when your life or the lives of others are at risk. If the gear you utilize for concealed carry impedes your ability to respond and deploy accurate fire … then that gear may in fact defeat you. Put another way, your gear can lead to a deadly encounter.

The following are areas where I regularly see students struggling with their concealed carry gear.

1. Belt and holster system

How may your carry system defeat you? By not allowing you to access your firearm quickly, wearing your gun in a way that others can access it, having too many retention devices to defeat in order to get the gun into play, or forcing you to draw in ways to which you’re not accustomed. These are but a few of the issues that can occur.

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Your holster or carry system must secure the handgun properly. That means retaining the gun in a way that prevents unintentional loss to gravity or another person, while giving you easy, rapid access. The shortest path to such a system is a sturdy belt and holster for waistline carry or a designated compartment for off-body carry (purse, pack, brief case, etc.). You must train with the holster system that you intend to use on a daily basis.

2. Magazines

How may your magazines defeat you? By not feeding ammunition properly, not allowing the slide to lock back, and possibly interfering with ejection/extraction. Again, to mention but a few!

I like to address the magazine separately because it is critical to proper functioning. My suggestion: Use good, factory-made magazines for your defensive pistol, and test them! There are some excellent aftermarket mags for certain handgun platforms, but day in and day out, I use original factory mags for everyday carry.

After hard use in training you may want to consider having a second set of mags for everyday carry. Inspect your mags and never hesitate to replace if needed. Also, consider carrying a spare magazine for your carry pistol — something I rarely see CC folks do.

Revolver carriers must make sure that their speed loaders and/or speed strips match the revolver they carry.

3. Ammunition

5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

Image source: Pixabay.com

How may ammunition defeat you? There are two ways – by not cycling in your handgun of choice or not firing when you pull the trigger. There are a variety of causes; most commonly it’s old ammo, hard primers, poorly made reloads, etc.

Another cause is human-induced and may seem obvious, but I have seen it often enough to mention: inattention or misunderstanding of the caliber of ammunition your handgun requires. This can, of course, lead to injury to both shooter and gun.

Most folks train with ball/FMJ ammo, as do I. However, I never fail to test the ammunition I carry every day in my sidearm. This is to determine if the ammo will feed and cycle without fail in my carry gun. Anyone who has been shooting a semiauto handgun has probably experienced some failures to feed with certain types of ammo. Some handgun platforms and models are more prone to this than others. Bottom line: Shoot a magazine or cylinder full of that costly defensive ammo, just to make sure.

4. The handgun itself

How may your handgun defeat you? There are lots of ways:

  • Not a good fit for your hand.
  • Too many added features that interfere with reliable operation.
  • Safety and de-cocker mechanisms that the shooter cannot manipulate well, especially under stress.
  • Sights that are barely visible.
  • A magazine release that won’t allow for mags to drop free and clear when an emergency reload is needed.

The choices are endless. Caliber, make and model, single- or double-stack magazines, to name a few. Not to mention the add-ons: night sights, red dot sights, laser, extended mag or slide release, etc.

To me, the simpler and more reliable, the better! Don’t get me wrong: I like some added features (such as night sights), but I can live without most.

5. Failure to train

While training is not equipment, it cannot be minimized. In fact, it may well be the most critical factor. You cannot and most likely will not prevail in a defensive encounter if you have not drawn your carry pistol from its holster under stress. Or you have not fired some rounds down range in the last year. Or you’re using magazines with ammo that you’ve not tested together. Can you clear a handgun malfunction quickly if needed?

Bottom line: Does the handgun go “bang” every time you need it to? Does it have reasonable accuracy? Does it function well with all brands and types of ammo? Are the sights easily visible and highly functional? Is it easy to operate without lots of unnecessary manipulation?

I don’t get wrapped around the axle about caliber. Choose what you shoot well, have confidence in, and train with it often. All this will add up to not letting your equipment defeat you!

What mistakes have you seen concealed carriers make? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

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Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Artist: Harold Anderson

Before there were flu shots, vaccinations and antibiotics, our ancestors had no alternative other than to rely on herbs for healing, treatment and prevention.

This isn’t to say that herbs are ineffective, although modern medicine has pushed many of them to the wayside. The truth is that many modern medicines have their base in herbal compounds.

Unfortunately, much of the knowledge regarding herbs and how to use them has been forgotten by the general population. Ask anyone under the age of 50 if they know what plant or tree aspirin comes from, and chances are that they won’t know.

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Here are five herbs our ancestors used – and perhaps you should, too.

1. Echinacea

Although you might have heard of a few studies supposedly refuting this herb’s effectiveness, there are far more positive studies than negative ones. The indigenous people of America used this herb to stay healthy. It is commonly taken in the form of a tea; the normal dose is two to three cups each day if you are ill, but one cup per day for “maintenance.” This beautiful flowering herb is easily grown just about anywhere. Dry the leaves and flowers for year-round use.

2. American ginseng

Don’t confuse this with Chinese ginseng. The scientific name of this plant is Panax quinquefolius, and modern research shows that this tonic herb not only supports a healthy immune system, but it can help to prevent upper respiratory infections, too.

3. Garlic

Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

This herb might not win you a “most kissable” award, but there is no denying that it has powerful healing- and immune-supporting compounds. Long before the discovery of antibiotics, garlic was the treatment of choice for internal infections and was used for everything from bronchitis to dysentery. Remember that garlic has to be cut or crushed to release its active ingredients. An old-fashioned cold remedy was to crush a large clove of garlic and mix it into a tablespoon of honey. This was consumed three or more times per day when a person was sick and once per day to keep the cooties away.

4. Astragalus

A member of the pea family, this herb has been found to improve the immune system by stimulating the body to make more immune cells in both lymph tissue and bone marrow. The leaves are used to make tea, and fresh roots are sliced into soups. This is another easy-to-grow plant that you might want to consider adding to your herb garden.

5. Oregano

Your probably have some of this in your kitchen right now! Oregano is actually one of the most potent herbs for improving the immune system and can help the body boost its white blood cell count.

Immune-Boosting ‘Miracle Herbs’ Your Ancestors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you enjoy the taste, you can make oregano tea. Of course, you can always make more Italian food and add oregano to just about anything you are cooking.

A very old cold and flu remedy was to make a tonic with sage, thyme and oregano in a pot of water and drink three or more cups per day.

While we are on the subject, let’s take a minute to discuss things that some people believe will work to cure or prevent infections or viruses … but won’t.

  • Cutting an onion and leaving it in a room to “absorb” viruses won’t do anything more than give you a pretty awful-smelling room.
  • Burning wormwood shavings or any other type of incense doesn’t work, either. It is thought that the smoke will remove viruses and bacteria from the air, and while it might smell pretty, smoke will only irritate the respiratory tract.
  • Once, when I was young and suffering from a cold, my grandmother had me soak my feet in hot water, then put on a pair of wet socks and wear them overnight. I’m not sure what the idea was behind this one, but trust me, it does not work. It only makes for a long and miserable night with no sleep!

Of course, there are other ways to boost your immune system. Exercise (but not to excess), regular sleep, a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and low stress are all vital components for proper immune system function.

What are your favorite herbs to boost the immune system? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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2017 New Year’s Eve Illuminati Symbolism

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Every New Year, we find the elite occultists slip some type of illuminati symbolism into their ritual.  This year is of no exception, albeit much more subtle.  This…

5 Key Survival Disciplines to Prepare You Now – for “Then”

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Ultimet Survival Tips-Survival Plan

You can determine your chances of surviving any critical crisis, emergency or catastrophe by developing what you WILL need *then* – NOW. How? By increasing your “survival probability” quotient through the habits, attitudes, and mindset you choose today. Let me explain…

Have you watched some of the survival shows on TV where you just know that the person with all the mad survival skills is going to be the one to crush it….and how rarely that is the actual outcome? It isn’t just practical survival skills that matter but what is going on in your head and how you are accustomed to approaching life!

Habits don’t get developed easily. On the other hand, habits die hard – which is a good thing when you are thrust into an unexpected survival or crisis situation with some great habits established.

Let’s look at some lifestyle disciplines – or habits- you might want to develop.

#1 – Intentionality

Ultimate Survival Tips-Survival Plan-IntentionalityOne of the best choices you can make when considering how to live out every day is to choose to live intentionally. So MANY people live in a random fashion as if the forces of life are out of their control. Then, frustrated and maxxed out, they disappear into the oblivion of hours of media input only to emerge, rubbing their eyes and wondering where all their time and energy went and feeling depressed because nothing of personal significance seemed to get done that day beyond the “must-do’s” of life. I know the New Year’s resolution thing is widely bashed but *whatever* time of year it is when you realize you are living “less than”, is a GREAT time to sit yourself down and get intentional. Assess the past. Where did you fail? Where did you grow? What did you totally rock? Why? What is one area of your life that most needs for you to get a plan and be intentional? Nations are not won without a strategy nor relationships, jobs and daily events.

In a survival situation, you would most likely be entering into a big unknown – a situation where all elements may be completely foreign. Without a habit of intentionality and the ability to make a plan, you would surely succumb to the pressures and stresses of the unknown.

#2 – Focus

Ultimate Survival Tips Survival Plan Focus
Have you ever tried to communicate with a child who simply is not “able” to be still enough to hear what you are trying to communicate? My response is usually to get on their level and say, “So and so, I want you to stop and look into my eyes with your eyes.” Inevitably I gain a moment of their focus and a piece of calm enters into the chaos.

We live in a culture where we are literally bombarded (!!) with sensory stimuli on every side and our jobs and relationships are ordered to play into this paradigm of chaos. Cell phones and computers are requirements for life to carry on! Aaauugghhh! How many of us have said we want to run away from it all? I have! How can we accomplish the incredibly important goals of our intentionality if we are lost in the swirl of the chaos around us? It is so important to determine what it is we want/need to accomplish and be able to set those goals as our priorities for living even when that means that good things get pushed to a lesser priority. It’s hard stuff. “The sun’s scattered rays are too weak to start a fire, but once you focus them with a magnifying glass, they will bring paper to flame in seconds.” “If everything is important, nothing is.” and so on….Let’s look into the eyes of our own souls and determine what it is that we will intentionally focus on this coming year and determine to walk in that place of purposeful calm in the midst of everything else clamoring for our attention.

In a survival situation, you have to be able to assess priorities based upon your specific scenario. Do you get shelter taken care of first,or fire or food or water? Trying to do everything without a plan and a focus just might cost you your life. Having developed this skill in your day to day living will set you up to operate in a survival scenario with composure and confidence – a quality that may also bring others around you out alive.

#3 – Self-Control
Ultimate Survival Tips-survival-plan-self-control
We all want what we want when we want it. Isn’t that something we are cultivated to believe is our right and inheritance in this world? Yikes. McLife, as it were. I will refer to children again as I use the example of childishness lack of self-control and the reasons why a good parent will train a child to develop self-control. A child without self-control is unruly, usually self-centered, unable to think past the present want or demand, hurtful, lacks the ability to think about consequences of their actions on themselves or others around them, are high-maintenance, cannot say no to things that are not good for them that they want, and the list goes on….

Well, guess what? All those things are true of adults who lack self-control as well! As the list above highlights – developing self-control not only is a benefit to ourselves, but a great benefit to those around us as well. I like to use food as a means of continually developing my self-control because it’s an area where I can get to feeling really entitled, so I know it’s also an area that should really be kept in check. I will decide to do a month of raw foods only or a year of no sugar or grains or whatever I feel is something that will also benefit my health conditions at the moment. So not only do I develop a personal discipline of being able to say no but it is also something that is bearing exponential benefits in my life as I feel better and function better, etc. It might be something different for you, but a good question to ask to determine where you can develop some more self-control is: Where do I feel entitled, like this is my right to enjoy such and such? Ouch.

Now there is another angle to self-control dealing with the deeper realm of our inner man: If you deal with anger or other emotional manifestations of a lack of self-control, may I encourage you to read David’s page on The Ultimate Survival Tip? There are some areas of our lives where we really need what only God can give to help us change. As a Christian, self-control is considered a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s refining power in our lives.

So why would self-control be important in a survival scenario? Being in a habitual pattern of doing without is such a key when you must do without. Knowing you *can* flourish without the things you think you must have is very liberating.

#4 – Flexibility

Ultimate Survival Tips-Survival Plan-Flexibility

 

When I did my student teaching in an elementary school umpteen years ago, I got very high marks for my ability to be flexible with unforeseen changes in the day. I think being a parent also trains you in this discipline. Considering flexibility as a discipline seems a bit like an oxymoron, and allowing yourself to be interrupted seems contrary to intentionality and focus, but think of it this way – life happens. Are we going to fritz out when it does? Or are we going to be able to adapt our intentionally planned focus to be able to flow with the things we cannot control – because, let’s face it – life is full of things we cannot control! So the key here is not throwing out our intentionality or our focus (or our self-control!) but adapting them into whatever scenario we are forced to live within. These are the little mini-survival scenarios of life, people. Leaning into the wind and putting one foot in front of the other, continuing to head toward that goal. This is where the guts of life are developed. Who hasn’t had the unspeakable thrown at them when they least expected it? Do we curl up in a ball and give over on everything we are pressing toward? I think of the palm trees left standing after a hurricane. Deep roots hold them fast in those crazy winds.

The ability to hold one’s wits about oneself and continually revise a plan toward a goal is key in any survival situation. Being in an unfamiliar circumstance in every way will surely require the ability to be able to adapt to the unexpected.

So these are just a few things I am thinking about today as I look over my past year and into the one coming, seeking to live purposefully and redeem the time, but there is just one more I want to add which is, I think, perhaps the most important and that is….

#5 – Thankfulness

Rehearsing the things around you that are GOOD is such a “super vitamin” for being able to thrive in a difficult circumstance. And there are *always* things to be grateful for! When you make a practice of looking intentionally for these things daily – even multiple times a day if life is really hard- it is like reestablishing a plumb line for your emotions and mental health.
Have you ever been around someone who is continually critical, condemning or complaining? It just sucks the life right out of everyone around them. It is toxic. Simply put, you cannot survive very easily with such toxicity either coming from your own heart or someone else’s with whom you have to share space. A person like this in a survival scenario can be more lethal than a crouching predator. If *you’re* that toxic one, shut that voice up with speaking out those things that are good and keep it up until that toxic root is dug out completely and the desire to complain is neutralized.

Good Luck and Best Wishes as you enter into a season of endless possibilities! ~Carin

Is Broken-Heart Syndrome Real?

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debbie-carrie

image by telegraph.co.uk

The death of famous actress Debbie Reynolds one day after her famous actress daughter Carrie Fisher makes one wonder how the effect of grief can cause serious physical consequences.

 

Carrie Fisher, 60, famous for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, passed away shortly after suffering a massive heart attack and subsequent cardiac arrest on a plane. The day after she passed away, her mother, Debbie Reynolds of “Singing in the Rain” and many other movies was killed by a massive stroke at the age of 84.

 

Debbie’s son, Todd Fisher, commented that “She wanted to be with Carrie”.

 

From time to time, you’ll hear reports about a person who experienced the death of a loved one (usually a spouse) dying of “grief”. Is there, indeed, a “Broken-Heart Syndrome”?

 

Yes, there is. It’s a well-known medical issue called stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Stress-induced cardiomyopathy is more common in older women and not always fatal. The death of a loved one isn’t always the cause. It could be any other stressful event: Getting bad personal news, a major financial setback, or even having to speak publicly could precipitate symptoms.

 

What happens physically in these circumstances? It’s not completely understood, but high levels of stress hormones called “catecholamines” like epinephrine (adrenaline) could possibly cause significant physical symptoms. One of these is an inability of the heart to effectively pump blood. If blood remains in one place for too long, it clots. The clot may travel to the brain, with a stroke as the end result.

 

Although “Broken-Heart Syndrome” occurs most often in those with healthy hearts, those with coronary artery disease may be at special risk. High amounts of stress hormone might cause plaques that partially block a blood vessel to break free. Complete blockage of a coronary artery may occur, leading to a heart attack.

 

Other factors in play include the increase in blood pressure that occurs in stressful situations. A very high blood pressure is a common cause of strokes, where a clot or hemorrhage in the brain stops blood flow to the organ. Heartrates also rise in the face of an unexpected event; abnormally fast rhythms may cause medical issues.

 

Depression also has a role in “Broken-Heart Syndrome”. The grieving survivor might begin to neglect their own health, failing to take prescribed medications or not keeping up with food and fluid intake. Dehydration, loss of control of diabetes or hypertension, and other issues may arise. The shock of a loved one’s death might cause a person to not seek prompt, life-saving medical care.

 

I, myself, was in this situation with my son, who was fading after 2 years of dialysis from severe type 1 Diabetes. I found myself less concerned with my own health and was beginning to feel the effects of situational depression. Luckily for both of us, he was able to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant at the last moment, and I was spared Debbie Reynold’s prospect of burying a child.

 

Family members who have a death in the family (say, a parent) should watch for physical signs and symptoms in the surviving parent or other affected loved ones. These include chest pain, fast heart rates (also called tachycardia), depression, and lack of attention to hygiene and medical conditions. All are important signs that the grieving party needs extra help staying healthy and some emotional support.

 

I can’t say if Debbie Reynolds had other medical problems that contributed to her death. At 84 years old, it might be just a coincidence that she passed away so soon after her daughter. But “Broken-Heart Syndrome” exists, and the importance of family and friends’ roles in providing vigilant support can’t be underestimated.

 

Joe Alton, MD

joealtonlibrary4

 

Our New Three Sisters Garden. Hugelkultur.

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This season we are trying a slightly new garden method, just to see if it works. This will be our three sisters garden, corn, beans & squash. This method of making a garden bed is known as Hugelkultur .

I will be making a video of this later when the crops are up, but right now this is as far as I have got. I dug a trench first & filled it with garden refuge, cut grass & weeds, heavier tree trimmings on top of that, some old garden edging logs that we have replaced, then the soil on top. I did add some chook manure before adding the soil to help break down the refuse.
When I started mounding the earth, I soon realised that I was not going to have enough soil to cover the highest logs. I did not want to bring more soil from elsewhere or use our compost that we needed for our other garden beds, so I removed two of the top logs.

The two pumpkins are volunteers from last year.

The Days of Noah Box Set Billion Dollar Silver and Survival Gear Giveaway!

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Hey preppers and patriots, I’ve just released The Days of Noah Trilogy as a Box Set for Kindle! And to celebrate the launch, I’m having the biggest giveaway in the history of Prepper Recon. I’m giving away Silver American Eagle Coins, lots of survival gear, prepper books, and you read the title correctly, I’m giving away $1,000,000,000 Zimbabwe! Okay, truth be told, one billion Zimbabwe won’t buy you what it used to. I doubt you’d even be able to buy a stick of gum with it. But, as a teaching tool, not to put your faith in fiat currencies, this real one-billion-dollar note from Zimbabwe is absolutely priceless! Of course, I’m also giving away silver, a prime example of how to protect yourself against the type of hyperinflation that turned Zimbabwean billionaires into paupers who couldn’t afford a stick of gum.

 

The Days of Noah, is a fast-paced fiction thriller which looks at how modern conspiracies can play into Biblical prophecy concerning the end times. Watch through the eyes of Noah as the world descends into chaos, a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great United States of America.

This is the complete, three-book box set. Book One: Conspiracy, Book Two: Persecution, and Book Three: Perdition. The individual books in the series spent months at the top of multiple best-seller lists and have acquired 905 Five-Star Reviews to date. Buy your copy and jump into this near-future, post-apocalyptic adventure today!

The entire three-book box set is available for $0.99 for a very limited time!

 CLICK HERE to buy your copy of The Days of Noah!

Mega-Giveaway Details!

One First Prize Winner will win Five US Minted Silver American Eagles, Ten pre-1965 90% silver US quarters for a total of approximately seven ounces of silver, $1,000,000,000.00 Zimbabwe in REAL currency, a fully-stocked, custom Prepper Recon Individual First-aid Kit, a Gerber Multitool, a Combat Application Tourniquet and a Pocket Survival Stove, totaling over $300 worth of prizes!

One Second Prize Winner will win One US Minted Silver American Eagle, Five pre-1965 90% silver US quarters for a total of approximately two ounces of silver,  a first aid essentials kit complete with an Israeli Battle dressing, quick clot, tourniquet, and EMT shears, Dirt Cheap Valuable Prepping by Cal Wilson as well as his latest post-apocalyptic thriller EMP.

Bonus Giveaway! In addition to the regular giveaway, one audiobook listener will win three free codes for Audible.com!

NOTE: Even if you’ve already left reviews for the individual books, you can still leave a review for the box set.

How to Win:

  1. Leave a review for The Days of Noah, The Complete Box Set on Amazon.com.
  1. Send an email including your Amazon screen name that you used for the review to: PrepperRecon@gmail.com. Use Noah Box Giveaway in the subject line. If you would like to be entered in the Bonus Audiobook Giveaway as well as the regular drawing, use Noah Box Audiobook Giveaway in the subject line.

The drawing will be held Sunday, January 22nd. The winners’ Amazon screen name will be posted on PrepperRecon.com to announce that they’ve won. The winners will also be notified via email. Sorry, contest is open to US residents only.

Godspeed in the drawing!

Mark

The post The Days of Noah Box Set Billion Dollar Silver and Survival Gear Giveaway! appeared first on Prepper Recon.

A Look back at 2016: Our Top Preparedness Posts and Stories from 2016

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2016 was definitely a turbulent year; from riots and election-related violence to dozens of terror attacks that were covered up by the media, here is a look back at some of the top stories and articles on OFFGRID Survival from the last year. […]

The post A Look back at 2016: Our Top Preparedness Posts and Stories from 2016 appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

2016 A Year of Change

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With 2016 firmly in the rear view mirror, I look forward to the road that is 2017.

Like anything else, we are in a constant state of change, even if it means all some of us are doing is sitting on the couch, staring at the clock, and watching the seconds slip by. How we choose to pass the time determines our path and helps shape our personal growth. Sometimes decisions and actions must be made which help clear the road for that growth. Often times, however, those decisions and action can be divergent from everyone else, or even evolved from some of your own long held beliefs.

It is no mystery I have a far different, even controversial at times, wilderness survival and preparedness philosophy than the community as a whole. And though we share the desire for the same end result—stay alive—in order to be true to myself, I’ve had to carve my own unfettered path, free of biases and ideologies.

November 2015 would be the last time I logged into facebook, spending just enough time there to hit the account delete button

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Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Happy New Year!

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 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:105

Happy New Year! I pray that God will bless you with health, prosperity, wisdom, and a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit for 2017. Especially wisdom! You’re going to need it this year like never before. You’ll need God’s wisdom to discern between right and wrong, to know how to deal with challenges, to make the right decisions in relationships and business dealings. Have God’s wisdom can make or break 2017 for you.

Wisdom is a great thing to pray for. I truly believe God supernaturally imparts wisdom upon us when we ask. But, I also believe He expects us to seek His wisdom.

How do we do that? By spending time in his Word everyday. No, it’s not legalistic, it’s called discipline. For those of you who have made resolutions to get in shape this year, it’s going to take dedication. You’ll have to commit to going to the gym, swimming, or what ever your preferred method of exercise is, five days a week. If you don’t,  you won’t see any change. That’s not me trying to be legalistic, it’s just the facts.

Likewise if you want to purpose to know God better, get closer to Him, and tap into His wisdom which you are going to need so desperately this year, you’ll have to make a commitment. I urge you to make 2017 the year that you begin each day with reading God’s Word. Can you do it at the end of the day? I don’t know. Many people can’t. They find that the distractions of the day have totally consumed them and they simply don’t have it.

For me, I’ve found that Bible reading is just like tithing. If I offer God what’s left over, guess what? That’s right. Nothing is left over. So, just like giving to God, I offer the first fruits of my day by being quiet and reading his Word.

I promise you, if you’ll make a New Years resolution to read God’s Word, everyday, it will have a radical effect on your 2017.

If you’d like to go a step further, and challenge yourself to read the entire Bible in 2017, below is a great reading plan from our friend Pastor Mike Spaulding over at Souring Eagle Radio. Just click the link and you can download the PDF or print it out and tuck it in the back of your Bible.

Bible Reading Plan 2017

Jesus said “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Prepper translation: “What good will it do you to survive the coming economic collapse, nuclear war, or even a zombie apocalypse if you don’t know you will go to heaven when you die.” A recent study found that 10 out of 10 people die! On that day we will meet our Maker. It only makes sense to be prepared for that day. Click here to learn more about knowing GOD.

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

The post Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Happy New Year! appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Using A Slingshot As A Survivalist Hunting Weapon

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Using A Slingshot As A Survivalist Hunting Weapon

Is a slingshot right for your preps? Learn why and see how to use a slingshot for survival, hunting (small and large game!), fishing, and as a weapon.

When you think of survival weapons you probably don’t immediately think of slingshots.

In fact, when you think of slingshots, you probably imagine Bart Simpson causing havoc in his neighborhood. The story of David and Goliath also probably comes to mind.

However, a slingshot could be a great survival weapon for hunting game and for a little self defense.

When we say slingshot, we mean the rubber band type. Various types of slingshots can be bought or even bushscrafted out of vines, but for the purpose of this article we mean the classic “Y” shaped or over-arm type of slingshot that uses a rubber band.

In a survival scenario, you never know what you’ll face or how long it’ll be before you get home. In this situation, it is essential that you have an easy to carry weapon on your person at all times.

If you need some convincing, we have great reasons you should add a slingshot to your bug out bag.

Ammo Is Everywhere

Unlike pretty much every other weapon, you don’t need to bring any ammo when you plan to use your slingshot. Slingshot ammo is literally everywhere, every little rock you see can be ammo.

In comparison, if you bring a gun, you’ll eventually run out of bullets and you’ll have to scavenge for more. With a slingshot, all you have to do is find a pile of rocks and you’ve got a hundred pieces of ammo that will work.

While nearly any rock will work as slingshot ammo, ball bearing slingshot ammo works much better. They are smooth and aerodynamic, making them much more predictable to aim with. And boy do they penetrate!

If you want smooth rocks that are guaranteed to fly well, you should look near riverbeds.

They Are Lightweight And Small

Slingshots don’t take up much room in your bug out bag and they’re easy to use, even for a beginner, and they are also lightweight.

You can always fit a slingshot and a few extra rubber bands into any bag.

Slingshots are Self-Defense Weapons

While everyone thinks of slingshots as a kids toy, a shot to the head can crack a skull or knock someone out quite easily.

Slingshots can also be used as self-defense weapons. David, Goliath, and Bart Simpson all showed us how powerful a slingshot can be during a conflict. So can the many youtube videos of backyard slingshot shenanigans on watermelons and cinder blocks.


RELATED : Compound Vs Recurve Bow: Which is The Best For SHTF Scenario?


In fact, slingshots are a great way to defend yourself against aggressive humans and animals alike, if you can trust your aim.

Other Advantages To Using A Slingshot

Slingshots are easy to conceal because of their small size. You don’t have to worry about it getting wet, it will work just as well. And for the most part they are completely silent when fired, making stealth hunting easier.

How to Use a Slingshot in Real Life Survival Scenarios

In a real life survival scenario, you can use a slingshot for self-defense and hunting. A slingshot may not seem like the perfect hunting weapon, but they work well.

It gives you an active, stalking approach to hunting small game. With the right pellets, you can kill small game like a bird, rabbit, or squirrel at distances as far as 30 feet away.


RELATED : What’s the Best Close Quarters Weapon: Knife or a Gun?


Obviously you won’t have your scope with you, so you’ll have to aim the slingshot based on your best guess from experience. This is why practice is so important.

You could use other weapons you may have brought with you, but every weapon has its own issues. For instance, you could set a snare, but not use the right bait or just be unlucky (you’ll need a dozen of them and a lot of luck actually).

Can You Take Down Larger Game?

You can feed a couple of mouths hunting small game with a slingshot, but if you have a large group, you’re going to have to knock down a bunch of squirrels to feed them.

So what about larger game?

If you can snag a buck or a wild hog, you’ll be able to feed more people and fill up their bellies better. But will a slingshot take out larger game?

Find out more about using cold weapons for survival on Bulletproof Home.

Yes, you can. It’s a bit harder, obviously, and requires good aim, but a slingshot can take down large animals (and people). You can do it with ball bearings or rocks, but it’s a lot easier with arrows.

With some simple modifications your slingshot can also fire arrows, typically called a slingbow mod. You can also buy pre-made slingbows, but the DIY mods are easy and it is significantly cheaper.

All in all it’s a whole lot easier to stick with small game and craft a bow or bring something like a crossbow if you really expect to hunt large game on a regular basis, but if the opportunity presents itself and all you have is a slingshot you should know that it can be done.

It just takes a bit of patience, practice, and the right opportunity. You’ll have to get closer than a bow, but that’s a small (but dangerous) sacrifice for a slingshots portability.

Usually you will stun the animal if you’re only firing rocks, so aim for the head and be ready to finish it off with a spear or knife while it’s down.

Slingshot/Slingbow Fishing

You can also take your slingshot fishing in shallow water. Remember that, just like bow fishing, the water will refract the light and the fish will actually be in a slightly different position than it looks.


RELATED : 3 Deadfall Traps That You Should Know How To Make


 

Since the water will slow down the velocity of your ammo, the fish will likely only be stunned. After you stun the fish, you can grab it with your hands.

You can adapt your slingshot to shoot arrows as discussed above, and adding a fishing reel to make hauling in the fish easier is just as easy.

Build Your Own Slingshot

If you don’t have a slingshot in your arsenal when the manure hits the fan, you can always make one.

Here’s a great DIY video that shows you how to build a slingshot from scratch.


RELATED : Wilderness Survival Skills: When You’re Lost in the Woods


All you need to create a slingshot is a Y shaped base, small forked hardwood saplings are great for this, so are split and melted PVC pipes. You’ll also need some sort of rubber or latex band (rubber first air tourniquets are perfect), and some rocks.

if you don’t have the luxury of going to a store for these supplies, most of these items can be found in abandoned buildings, lying on the ground, or put together from other items in your bug out bag.

Disadvantages of Using a Slingshot

To be fair, there are disadvantages to using a slingshot as a survival weapon and tool.

A slingshot is not very predictable, especially if you’re using rocks of various weights and aerodynamics instead of ball bearing slingshot ammo. With practice and repetition you can guesstimate where to aim with excellent accuracy, but it’s always a little bit of a guess.

Another disadvantage revolves around the band used in most slingshots, usually made of latex. Over time, latex will harden and wear out all by itself. The more you pull and shoot the slingshot, the faster the band will wear out. It will also wear out quickly if left in the sun all the time.

However, if you’re lost in the woods for a few days/weeks this obviously isn’t a concern, but the band could break. Similarly, if the SHTF, looking for alternatives while you scavenge for other items won’t take much effort. Having a few backup bands stored up will allow you to be proactive in case your band snaps unexpectedly.

The other disadvantage to using a slingshot as a survival tool is eye, teeth, and facial injuries. They do happen, hundreds every year actually. As the band is pulled back, it is very near the shooter’s face. If you’re unlucky enough to have one break it’s going to come back at your face and hands.

Final Thoughts

Slingshots can be used by anyone – male, female, young, and old preppers. The weapon is a formidable weapon after you’ve trained with it and can hit a target reliably.

Slingshots are not a kids toy, a shot to the head can crack a skull or knock an animal or someone out, and they can easily kill small game. They are an extremely good choice for anyone that isn’t comfortable using firearms.

However, using a slingshot isn’t easy, you will have to practice…. a lot!

Practice makes perfect after all.

Source : besurvival.com

About the author :

Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

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Goals & resolutions a better way!

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Goals & resolutions a better way! Bob Hopkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! New Years is upon us! For some, it’s party time, bidding goodbye to one year & ushering in a new. And for others, it’s when we set resolutions for ourselves, and steadfastly try to stick to them… at least until the … Continue reading Goals & resolutions a better way!

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7 Self-Sufficiency Resolutions for the New Year

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7 Self-Sufficiency Resolutions for the New Year

Over the years, I’ve discovered that concentrating on one big goal at a time is the very best way to make any resolution stick long enough to become a habit. Want to eat healthier, exercise more, and quit smoking? Doing it all at once is probably the quickest way to spell disaster, and trying to… Read More

This is just the start of the post 7 Self-Sufficiency Resolutions for the New Year. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


7 Self-Sufficiency Resolutions for the New Year, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Twenty seventeen

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2017

I am not believing it’s 2017 already, in just 3 short years, it’s going to be the year 2020, now that will take some getting used to! People traditionally pick the New Year day to make their resolutions, I’ve never been one to stand on ceremony, I don’t do resolutions. I prefer setting goals, big and small. I will admit that I haven’t been setting goals for a while and I need to start doing that again. I think one thing I need to do is save more money, since we live very much on the cheap it should be easy, right? Well not so much but it’s something that has to be done.

I also want to, need to, start working on upgrading and replacing my solar system. I will keep my old stuff and use it in other locations around the Sky Castle, I really want to have my refrigerator (chest freezer to fridge conversion) on its own system, separate from everything else, I’ll most likely use my current setup for that and have the new hardware for everything else.

The reason I like separate systems is as a backup in case something should fail, having redundant systems is something I recognized as very important from the very beginning. Speaking of redundant systems, I have 2 separate on demand water heaters, one in my kitchen over the sink, the other in the shower. A few months ago, the one in the kitchen started acting strangely, when you turn on the hot tap, the tank clicks a piezo starter and ignites the propane, I noticed that when the water coming through was warmer (from the water tank), it worked just fine. But if the water coming through was really cold, the piezo clicker would continue clicking after the fire was lit, then it would shut off the entire thing. I thought something was failing on the system. We went the whole summer like this because it would work while the water coming through was warmish, not a problem in the summer. But once winter started in earnest, I knew we had to figure out what part needed to be fixed or replaced.

On a whim, I changed out the batteries for the piezo clicker and voila! It worked again, well duh! It was needing fresh batteries, what threw me was the fact that it worked when the water was warmer, then it would stop working if the water was icy cold, it would work in the daytime when the temps were mild, but once it began to get cold at night, it would stop working right. So now I have both of my water heaters working again.

As I said above, I don’t “do” resolutions, especially not ones based on an arbitrary date, I set goals, big ones, small one, and even achieve many of them, we all need goals, a goal is a wish with a date attached, where do you want to be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next decade? If your goal is nothing, that’s exactly what you will achieve.

I do wish everyone a prosperous and happy New Year for 2017, many blessings on my family and friends, even those of you I have never met in person (my digital friends). Let me know what you want to achieve in 2017 below! And happy New Year everyone!

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Top 10 Photos From The Farm For 2017 – And An Aerial Flyover Tour!

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Taking a look back at our top 10 photos from our life at the farm for 2017. First and foremost, Happy New Year to all! On this rare and special occasion that our Sunday Farm Update falls on New Year’s Day,

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The Day When The ATMs Dried Up

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survivopedia-the-day-when-the-atms-dried-out

The people of India suffered through a difficult December, caused by a sudden action of their government.

On November the 8th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that as of midnight the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be valid. As their replacement, the new 500 and 2,000 rupee note didn’t hit circulation until weeks later, it left people in a bind.

There’s a lesson to be learned here; and that is that our money isn’t safe.

The move was made in an effort to curb corruption, forcing both wealthy people who were keeping their assets in cash and criminals who avoid banks to either deposit their money or lose its value.

It’s germane to note that the government stands to make a tidy profit on this move, as people who have been avoiding paying their taxes will be easily caught when they make those deposits.

But in the mean time, it’s left people in a bind. While India is a much poorer country than the United States, with many people dealing only in cash, they are still an industrialized nation, with modern banking, including ATM machines. Just like the rest of the world, electronic money is replacing the paper kind in many places, so people were lined up at ATM machines, with the obvious result, as they tried to get what cash they could.

ATM machines can hold a lot of money; much more than they typically do. Even so, with the massive number of people who were trying to get their hands on cash, even a full ATM machine will run out of bills quickly.

And that’s exactly what happened in India, as ATM machine after ATM machine ran out of money and went out of service, leaving a line of people who had waited to withdraw money that was temporarily unavailable.

Even with all the consternation that the people of India were going through, trying to get their hands on funds to use in their daily lives, it was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience.

It was nothing like the problems faced by the citizens of Cyprus, when the government froze citizens’ assets and stole a percentage of them. Then, they limited how much people could withdraw, so that there wouldn’t be a run on the banks.

How Safe Is Our Money?

I’m saying it again: our money isn’t safe.

Money in the bank can be seized by the government. Money we keep at home can be made worthless at a moment’s notice by the government, canceling denominations, just like they did in India. Our accounts can be locked up and our access to our own money can be denied.

Then there’s the risk of the whole system collapsing. Most money today is electronic, rather than paper or coin. All it takes to make it disappear is erasing a number.

While there are many failsafes in place to protect our money, there are some things which are bigger than those failsafes. Whether they would impede our access to our money temporarily or permanently, any of them would make life more difficult.

Many people put their confidence in the money they have as their security. They figure that no matter what happens, they’ll always be able to buy what they need.

While that might work in normal times, what would those people do, if they couldn’t access their money? A financial crash, the ATM system going down, an EMP attack or a terrorist attack taking out the power grid could all make that happen. Those people would literally go from financially comfortable to financially broke in a moment’s time.

As a society, we have become largely dependent upon our modern conveniences. Unlike emerging countries, where the infrastructure is unreliable, we’ve learned that ours is… at least, most of the time. Since we expect it to be reliable, we live our lives as if it is, putting ourselves at risk.

This is the antithesis of being a prepper, as prepping is all about becoming self-sufficient. Yet I’ve even met preppers who have large bank accounts, filled with money to use on that proverbial rainy day. Yes, they stockpile supplies as well, but they also stockpile money; after all, the dollar is accepted around the world.

But what would happen if that rainy day shut down our financial system? What will those people do then?

What Is More Valuable Than Money?

The truth is, we can’t depend on any money that’s not in our hands, and we can’t even depend on that. As the Indian people just learned, the government that prints that money can declare it worthless at any time. So, what we need isn’t money, it’s something of universally understood value. That limits us considerably.

For most, that means investing in precious metals. Those are much more secure than any nation’s currency. Gold and silver transcend time, with a long history of being accepted as valuable currency in trade, going back even before written history.

But precious metals aren’t the only thing of value. I’ve said for quite some time that my favorite investment for the average person is non-perishable food. Not only doesn’t it lose value, but inflation is hitting food harder than many other things. Then, of course, you can eat it to keep alive in an emergency. In that sense, food is the ultimate investment.

I seriously doubt that if an EMP struck, you could buy much with good old greenbacks, even if you had them. Nobody would be accepting them, simply because they wouldn’t be sure that they could buy anything with them themselves.

Oh, you might be able to use those dollars for a few days, but all it would take is one person refusing to accept cash as a medium of exchange and the whole system would come crashing down.

Our financial system, like that around the world, is based upon the belief that money has value. As long as everyone believes that it has value, it does. But the moment people stop believing, the value of that money will plummet. For this reason, preppers tend to put their money into something of lasting value, like the gold, silver and food I just mentioned.

Do you Remember the Argentinian Crisis?

When cash loses its value, people turn to other means of exchange. Rather than accepting money in trade for goods, they want something that will be of value to them. So, they quickly go back to the barter system.

That’s what happened in the Argentinean economic collapse of 1998 to 2002. Groups of people even set up barter co-ops, so that they could trade things they had, for things they needed.

It wasn’t until the country had recovered from the financial collapse, four long years later, that people started trusting their nation’s money again. In the mean time, they did what they had to do, in order to stay alive. In many cases, that meant avoiding the government and the government’s money.

Video first seen on Albert Clack.

What Would This Crisis do to America?

So, what will happen here? I’m afraid that we might not fare as well as Argentina and Cypress did.

Americans are much more accustomed to everything working and have little idea what to do, when it is not. Without access to money or the ability to use the money in their bank accounts, most Americans will find their options severely limited.

Of course, a large percentage of our society has been infected with the entitlement mentality. So, rather than help themselves, they will expect the Nanny State government to take care of them. Some will even die waiting for that help to come. Others will see that no help is coming and demand that those who have share what they have with them.

This is the point at which society will begin to break down and things will begin to get ugly. It will be a mere three days to a week after the cash stops flowing.

By then, those people with the entitlement mentality will have eaten what is in their homes and will be getting hungry. Some will try begging for food. Others will shoplift. Stores will be looted, both for useful things like food and also for alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Crime will run rampant, as people’s baser instincts take over.

When the stores are empty, these people will start looking in other directions. Some smarter ones will seek out warehouses and other places where there is a likelihood of an inventory of food.

Others will look to their neighbors, trying to see who might have something they can beg, borrow or steal. As they get more desperate, they will even be willing to kill for that food.

Those of us who have prepared for such an eventuality will have to make a choice. We either use the supplies we have to help others, ensuring the demise of our own families, or we shut those people out, condemning them to suffering and death, so that we can protect our children.

As the situation continues, violence will increase. That’s what happened in Argentina. Law abiding citizens had to lock themselves in their homes to defend themselves. Children were no longer able to play outdoors, unsupervised.

Those who were still driving would run red lights, merely slowing to ensure that it was safe to go through the intersection. They had to, as stopping at an intersection opened them up to attack. Anyone they didn’t know personally became a potential enemy, as crime rates surged.

We can expect the same… and even worse. The larger number of guns in the United States and their ready availability will mean that those who turn rogue in their search for food will have the capability of greater violence. An equally high amount of violence will be needed to stop or subdue them.

Those of us who are prepared will use our guns to protect our families. But what of those who are not?

Only a small percentage of Americans, even American conservatives are preppers. So the number of conservative gun owners who have guns but aren’t preppers outnumber those of us who are. While conservatives tend to use their guns to protect, rather than to commit crimes, all bets are off when their children are hungry.

Desperate people, as they say, do desperate things. Some of those people, even though they were the best of honest, law-abiding citizens all their lives, will snap, when their children start crying for food.

It will be ugly; that’s for sure. We depend on money too much, to live without it. Oh, we can live without it if we prepare to live without it, but that requires time and work. Few are making that effort; too few.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Zechariah 12:8

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In that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem, and the one who is impaired among them in that day [of persecution] will become [strong and noble] like David; and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord [who is] before them. 

     Regarding our nation’s recent statements on the U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements, I will have more to say on that tomorrow.  But today, I will let the Bible make its own statement(s).
     From the beginning of her history, the nation of Israel has been beset by surrounding nations, who have declared themselves her enemies.  Nothing has changed in 3,000 years.  Whether it be via the Canaanites, or the modern-day Palestinians, the nations of the world have aligned themselves against the people of God.  But what the world has never understood is the truth as expressed in Zechariah 12:8 — that God can [and will] supernaturally protect and defend Israel against attack — especially His eternal city, Jerusalem.
     As evidenced by today’s battle over the capital city, the Arab peoples surrounding Jerusalem have a passion for possessing the city that, upon historical and religious analysis, does not appear to be justified.  Muslims claim Jerusalem as their third-holiest city, but Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. In fact, Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims comes from the belief that in the Dome of the Rock shrine there is a rock where two significant things happened: 1) where Abraham intended to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and 2) where Mohammed allegedly ascended into heaven. Though this tradition is firmly rooted in the Muslim mind, it is of recent origin. It was invented by Yasser Arafat’s uncle – Haj Amin el-Husseini, who was the past Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. He promoted this myth in the 1920’s and 1930’s to arouse Arab passions against the growing Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
     The Dome of the Rock was built not because of the Koran, but because the Muslim ruler, Abdal-Malik, wanted to gain revenue from pilgrims and worshippers, and because he wanted to prevent the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple.  The Temple in Jerusalem has always been recognized as the dwelling place of YHWH, and followers of foreign gods have done everything they could to prevent God’s Presence from being established in Jerusalem.
     In the recent decades of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel was willing to concede almost everything to the Palestinians in an amazing willingness to make peace. The only thing Israel would not concede was sovereignty over Jerusalem. The recent problems between Jews and the Arab world may have centered around Israeli settlements, but at the heart of it has alway been this one sticking point: Jerusalem.
      The one thing that cannot be argued is that the Jewish claim to the city is entirely Scriptural. As the late Christian apologist, Dave Hunt, wrote in The Berean Call, “The very fact that Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible makes it worthy of special attention. This unique city is the only one upon which God has bestowed His distinctive blessing and protection, and the only city for whose peace we are commanded to pray. God says He has chosen Jerusalem as the place where He has put His name forever. The new heavens and new earth will contain ‘the city of my God…new Jerusalem’. That there will be a ‘heavenly Jerusalem’, but no ‘heavenly’ New York, Paris, London, Damascus, Cairo, etc. speaks volumes.”
     What is even more astonishing is that in Zechariah 12:4, just a few verses prior to the one I have chosen, God tells us, And in that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will come and be gathered against it. 
     We see that being fulfilled in the U.N. resolution this past week.  Who could have imagined when the Old Testament was written that all the nations of the world would be involved in deciding the fate of Israel? And this involvement of all nations in dividing Israel has occurred exactly as prophesied and is still in the process of being implemented. 
     But the nations of the world would do well to contemplate what YHWH says in verse 8… The feeblest among the people of Jerusalem will be like King David; men of war, bold and brave, skillful and strong. The Angel of the Lord will go before them, just as He did in the Exodus and their establishment in the Land.  He will guard His eternal city in supernatural power.  And like God, the city and the people will maintain their supremacy in the world.  
    This Scripture gives us, the Faithful, the hope and knowledge that men and their councils will never destroy Israel’s place in the world, as guaranteed by the Lord.  And as a last thought… perhaps the nations of the world should pay heed to the next verse in Zechariah.  Verse 9 says, And in that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  The United Nations and the leaders of the world would do well to listen to the voice of God.
     
   
      

Great Start to a New Year 2017 is here

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New Year 2017

The calendar has turned and the New Year Eve parties are over. It is time for New Year 2017! Whether you were ready or not it is here. Good or bad 2016 is behind us.

I have mentioned the history of Auld Lang Syne before and you can bet it will be played in my house today. We will be eating black eyed peas, collards, and cornbread today. It is tradition to have those on this day for luck, money, and gold. Also the first day will be profitable today so perhaps the rest of the year will match as well.

I hope you enjoy the master James Taylor and his rendition of Auld Lang Syne. It is a great way to start the New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes,
An pou’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fitt,
Sin’ auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d,
Sin auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Beginning Preppers

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Another year is gone, and another year arrives. Whether you’re a beginning prepper or a more experienced prepper, the beginning of the year is a great to to commit (or recommit) yourself to emergency preparedness. If you’re not sure what to do, check out this list of 10 New Year’s resolutions for new preppers. 1. […]

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11 Things You Should Do Before You Die

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I decided to write about 11 things you should do before you die, in other words, what we may all want to consider doing. Sometimes we need a little push to gather important documents together and put them in a binder like the one I designed: Food Storage Moms FREE Printable Emergency Binder Download Please be patient for it to load and the PDF document should show up on your computer on the bottom left-side of your laptop screen or computer monitor. Once the document finishes loading it will be ready to click and print. I prefer printing it on cardstock, and it’s actually in color if you want to print with a color printer. Here’s the deal, no one wants to talk about death in most cases, I get it. I have to tell you a funny story about one of my cute granddaughters, Emmie. One day she came to visit and said to me “Grandma, did you know you’re going to die?”. I said well, “how did this topic come up today?” She was about six or seven at the time and she had recently had a Sunday School lesson where they had talked about death. Well, Emmie looked me in the eye and said, “well you’re gonna die Grandma”! I am known to laugh a lot and I tried to keep a straight face, but I got the giggles so bad only because she was so serious. We then discussed what she had learned in her class. Yes, indeed we will all die.

Over the last few years, we have all had a family member die, a special friend or someone we really admired pass away. Well, this week I went up to Salt Lake City, Utah for the holiday’s and whenever I go up north I love seeing my family and I love going to visit my very special close friends. I visited one family and learned she had had a very close call with death and she has two young children. We talked about the fact that we have both been very healthy over the years and in one afternoon her whole life changed. Drastically changed with some serious health issues. She is not out of the woods yet, and this saddens me deeply.

On Christmas morning, my daughter received a call that her best friend was headed to the hospital in an ambulance. Her daughter had called my daughter to make a few phone calls to help them get in contact with her friends and family ASAP so they would know what was going one with their mother. Well, the friend lives in Park City, Utah and we had the most beautiful snow storm for Christmas day. But this snow storm was treacherous to drive in. My daughter knew she had to drive up the canyon to support her friend, but soon realized she wouldn’t make it up Parley’s Canyon and turned around and came back.

So after much thought I decided I must write a post about my thoughts to help families be prepared after someone in their family dies. I know it is hard because I have had to help friends figure out where their bank accounts are, mortgage company information, insurance companies, and policy numbers, etc. It’s hard when only one member of the family take cares of the bills and the other partner knows very little or nothing about family finances. I mean nothing. Once one of my friend’s husband committed suicide and she had never written a check or had a debit card. She didn’t have a clue about money or debt. Plus, the family had zero life insurance and she had very small children under the age of ten. She had never worked. Now. this could be a young mother, young father or an elderly person who dies. It’s like Emmie said, “well you’re gonna die, Grandma”.

Now keep in mind I am not a lawyer or anyone in the legal system. These are my thoughts and what I have done with my four daughters. You must decide what works for you. My husband and I have both worked in our careers with legal documents and we know how important some of the things I will list below are for any family. Of course, if your worth millions of dollars you probably have already had an estate planner work these deals out with you. I worked with estate planning with my clients on a very small scale during my banking career and directed them to other professionals to finish up their “affairs” before they died. Keep in mind this is the very minimum number of items I am suggesting you do for you and your loved ones before you die.

11 Things To Do Before Your Die:

  1. Talk about death with your family members, not every day, but we need to talk about it. I know I’m going to die and I have had a good life. I’ve been blessed beyond words. When it’s my time, it’s my time to go.
  2. Gather up your important documents and store them in a binder, folder or whatever is convenient and then place them in one secure place. Let your loved ones know where you have these items stored like birth certificates, bank accounts, investments accounts, your will or trust binder, etc. This way they are not frustrated as they try to help the family member(s) that are left behind. I’m assuming you all have a will or trust. If not, get one now or the state where you live may have to determine what happens to your estate/assets when you pass away. As part of that effort, be sure to seriously consider who you want to act as your executor, administrator or personal representative. Money can make people do some strange things.
  3. Label the passwords to accounts, if you feel comfortable sharing them with those who will help take care of those left behind who may need some help with paperwork.
  4. Talk about funerals or cremations and burial plots, whatever you decide you want for your funeral, or in my case a celebration at a park with food catered. Our best friend’s son died and he had the best non-funeral I have ever been to. It was at a park with no casket, no solemn faces. They had music, food catered and bouncy playthings for the kids. Of course, we all cried, but we laughed and giggled about the life he lived. He was the cutest dad ever, and the memories I have will be cherished forever. He was a hockey player and coach and I bet the park was filled with about 400-500 people coming to enjoy his non-funeral. He lived longer than the doctors thought he would, he left behind a beautiful wife and three small children.
  5. This one is silly maybe, but I have been decluttering my house because I don’t want my daughters to have to deal with my “stuff” after I die. I have helped move many people and sometimes I think, wow, why are we moving this stuff. I’m just saying, think about moving, oh it is not fun. Well, just think of the stuff that’s in your home that maybe could be donated, or in some cases put in the trash. I’m not talking about Aunt Mable’s heirloom hankies, although I have trashed many of those types of items. If those hankies or other things are important to you then save them. But sometimes I think our kids will trash them. They may not be treasures to our kids. Just thinking out loud here.
  6. I remember my mom asking me before she died if there was anything she had that I wanted. I think I hurt her feelings because I said I didn’t need or want anything. I know there are a few things my daughters have mentioned they would like. I have given my china to them, I no longer entertain like I used to. Life changes. There are a few other tidbits they may want.
  7. Decide if life insurance is right for you. I have seen many young mothers and fathers die who leave their loved ones behind in a financial disaster. I have also seen where the families planned ahead. Thank you, God, for inspiring them to do be prepared with life insurance to at least pay off their home and have some money to live on until they can get back on their feet to provide for the family.
  8. Talk about budgets before you die. What income will you lose if the breadwinner should die without warning? The income and budget should not be a secret. Have a family meeting and talk about how much money comes in and needs to go out each month. Make it a positive experience. It’s a good thing to talk about budgets with your kids, we have all heard that phrase, “money does not grow on trees”. The more mature children need to understand where the family stands financially.
  9. Think about donating your organs BEFORE you die. What a difference this can make in the lives of others who need the blessing of a replacement organ to survive!
  10. This may seem crazy, but I told Mark if he wants an obituary, he better write one TODAY or there will not be one. Here’s the deal, I can’t remember all the things I want in my Obituary, or for that matter, whether I want my kids to waste the money publishing one. So, there you have it, write your own obituary (minus the dates).
  11. Talk to your family about rest homes, care centers or whatever you want to call them. I don’t want to waste my daughter’s time and energy taking care of me. If in fact I don’t know who I am after a certain age in my life, I am telling you NOW that’s it’s okay to have someone else care for me in a Medicare facility. Also, please remember to have a “right to die or let me go if I am gone mentally” paper signed if you feel comfortable with that. I do, for sure. The hospital will need this legal document if your state allows it.  It is often referred to as a Living Will.

I hope this post helps just one family be better prepared for the death of a family member or friend. May God bless you in your preparedness in every aspect of your life.

My favorite things:

  1. I suggest you get some colored tabs (ten tabs) to go with your binder like these: Avery Extra wide Ready Index Dividers, Laser/Ink Jet, 9.5 x 11 Inches, Assorted, 10 Tabs, 1 Set (11165)
  2. Get some zippered binder pockets like these: Cardinal Expanding Zipper Binder Pocket, Clear, 3/PK (14201)
  3. I used baseball cards pages or photo pages similar to these: Avery Horizontal Photo Pages, Acid-Free, 4 x 6 Inches, Pack of 10 (13406)
  4. I also purchased binder pockets like these: Avery Binder Pockets, Acid-Free, Pack of 5 (75254)
  5. Page protectors like these: Avery Standard Weight Sheet Protectors, Pack of 25 Sheet Protectors (75530)

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Tiny House Nation

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Lots of nooks for little people

Lots of nooks for little people

Omaha, Nebraska Jan 1st – The TIny house movement is closely related to the off-grid movement.  IT makes sense to have a tiny home if you live off the grid – it means less building cost, less maintenance, less heating and lighting.  But there are still endless battles with local government dictators and with budgets.

So series like TIny House Nation provide a valuable service, and the next episode is no exception.

For the six-member Mike family, living in their pair of tiny houses felt just right. But everything else that comes along with owning a tiny house – construction costs and the bureaucracy of finding land – wasn’t so cozy.

Since the family sold its house this summer, moved into an RV and built its collective 688-square-foot tiny houses west of Ceresco, they’ve faced a rocky road to find a permanent, legal home for their new way of life. They’ve been kicked off properties several times, and despite filming a reality TV show about the construction of their tiny houses, aren’t living in them at the moment.

The construction of the two houses was filmed for an episode of “Tiny House Nation: Family Edition” set to air Thursday evening on Lifetime.

“We want to live in them,” Melody Mike said. “It’s breaking our hearts right now that we can’t.”

The Mikes – parents Melody and Darren; Darren’s teenage son Carter; the couple’s young daughters McKenzie, Trinity and Joey; and their dog – all moved into twin tiny houses in November. The World-Herald detailed the family’s plans in a July article.

Before filming, the family sold its house and moved into a retrofitted RV parked at The Gathering Place, their church in Valley. Shortly after, a neighbor complained, and the city told the Mikes that they had to move. So they moved into a two-bedroom apartment above the church.

Filming went well and was mostly fun for the family, Darren said, but the price quickly outgrew their budget, eventually by about $17,000, even after trade-outs from the TV show.

After construction, the family lived the tiny life for six weeks. They lived off the grid, drawing water from a well and power from solar panels. Darren shot his first deer, and cooked steaks and stew for the family. The kids played outside in the woods, and they made nightly campfires, staring up at the Milky Way.

“We absolutely loved it,” Darren said. “It was a lot of work repairing and fixing, but the lifestyle, it’s totally us. We’re somewhat desperate to get back into that.”

A month and a half in, connections to the underground cistern came loose. Then, the family was told that it had to vacate the land. Zoning problems are a common obstacle for tiny house owners. It’s something the Mikes hope will change soon, and they plan on appealing to nearby counties to find a solution.

The family moved into a friend’s house in Lincoln and, just this week, back to Omaha to live in and help renovate a friend’s four-bedroom house. Until they find a permanent solution, the tiny house structures will be moved to a friend’s land, and they’ll remain vacant.

Friends and family keep coming forward to help in the meantime. They’re grateful.

“The theme of this whole scary part is that God’s got this,” Melody said. “He’s providing for us, and we’re fine.”

Tiny House Nation: Family Edition

Episode: “688 Sq. Ft. It Takes Six to Tiny,” featuring Nebraskans Darren and Melody Mike and their four children

Channel: Lifetime

Time: 9 p.m. Thursday

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