“Urban Wilderness: An Urban Survival Guide”

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WHY I WROTE MY BOOKS:

URBAN WILDERNESS: An Urban Survival Guide

[cover of first edition]

[current cover]


“Urban Wilderness” is the third book I wrote, published in 1979.  A  few years earlier, I had started writing outdoor columns for the Pasadena Star News and other papers, and I thought the collected columns could make a good book.  But I wanted to create a book that was also relevant to the average city dweller, back then, trying to live a more self-reliant life. 

So my proposal to the publisher included a collection of articles, loosely held together by the themes of household ecology, city gardening, wild city plants, pollution issues, and city survival.  It all seemed very cohesive at the time, but in fact, that third book was a hodge podge of great ideas that only loosely held together.  But since Peace Press of Culver City wanted to publish the book, I went ahead and produced a manuscript.  

[Look at that! Larry Dean Olsen wrote us a cover quote!]


Now, if you are unfamiliar with the publishing world, think of the search for a publisher as men or women exploring a dating service.  Finally you find an interesting publisher and the courting begins.  Finally, you sign a contract, and you’re married! You no longer get exactly what you want.  It’s a pretty good analogy of what happens when you and a publisher hammer out an idea for a book.

Though I wanted a well-organized right-to-the-point book about what it takes to live a self-reliant life, the publisher had their own ideas of what it would take to make the book “popular.”  At the time, I didn’t think much of the fact that they also published books by Timothy Leary, and notes from prison, but their ideology watered down the content and arrangement of my well-intended book.  That book is still available on ebay and elsewhere, and you really might find it entertaining.  I still look into that book for the details of how to process olives, and for my carob recipes. 

In fact, if you get a copy of the old Peace Press version of “Urban Wilderness,” just think of it as a series of newspaper articles and it will make a lot more sense.  There is a great chart on common herbs and their uses, and some unique information about the medical value of garlic, and the dangers of aluminum.  And the book contains a lot of my tests that I use in my survival skills courses.  By the way, my complete set of tests and answers and supportive data I use in my classes is compiled into my “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills” book, still available. That testing book was partly the basis for my later “How to Survival Anywhere” book, published by Stackpole.

Eventually, Peace Press closed its doors, and the book never went into a reprint.

Many years after that, in the early 1990s,  there was a resurgence of  survival shows, and I started going to some of these shows and selling my books and giving survival and wild food lectures. Some of you may remember this as the time of militias, when everyone started wearing camos and paintball games were big.  I entirely revised my “Urban Wilderness” book to make it a bare-bones essential guide to the key areas everyone should be concerned about with urban survival.  This was a spiral-bound version that I produced myself, and I sold hundreds of copies.  As Y2K approached, survival and preparedness expositions were popping up all over the country like toadstools.  I made a few tweaks to my “Urban Wilderness” book and also called it “A Y2K preparation manual.”  If you think about it, Y2K planning was not much different than earthquake planning, except your house would still be standing.   I sold thousands of copies of this textbook.  I was very busy in December of 1999,  and then in January of 2000 when the world didn’t slip into the dark ages, and my book continued to sell, I immediately removed all Y2K references for my “Urban Wilderness” book.

The revised book was simple and terse.  It included only what I considered the most essential information about shelter, water (storage and purification), food (storage, cooking, etc.), cooking without gas or electricity, hygiene issues (toilet, etc.), dealing with utilities and using manual tools, communication systems, wise use of resources (making compost, dealing with waste, recycling anything you have to make needed products, and a few other topics. 

If you’re already very knowledgeable in survival skills and planning, this book will seem very basic to you, and you should get one of my later books. If, however, you’re still trying to navigate the waters of prepping, this is an excellent way to begin.

The original “Urban Wilderness” can still occasionally be found for sale on Amazon or ebay.  The revised “Urban Wilderness” book is still available as a hard copy from the store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or from Kindle (at the cost of less than a tip at any restaurant).

Today’s Prep: Refining Gasoline Storage Plan

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There I was, with a 5 gallon plastic gasoline container hoisted up on my shoulder, spout down into a funnel which was in my truck.  Glug glug glug….pause, glug glug.  PAINFULLY slow transfer of my storage gas to the truck, I made the decision right there that I would no longer use plastic storage containers and migrate to all Eagle Safety cans (metal).  I have one can which I keep in the bed of my truck at all times and with the provided funnel mated to it, I can dump gas into my truck relatively quickly.  I’ve used it to help others on the side of the road and I like the fact that it’s nice a robust and won’t swell in the heat like pastic cans.

The one thing that stopped me from transitioning was price, the Eagle cans are between $50-$60 locally and part of me just didn’t want to dump (no pun intended) $200 on 4 cans for storage.  Off to Amazon I went and behold, the cans are there with free shipping for $33 each.

Here is a description from the manufacturer.

Eagle Mfg UI-50-FS Gasoline Can, Type-I, 5-Gal

“Type I Safety Can, 5 gal. Capacity, Red, Used For Flammables, Material Galvanized Steel, Height 15-1/2 In., Outside Dia. 12-1/2 In., Standards FM, UL, ULC, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106, NFPA Code 30, Includes Polyethylene Pour Funnel.

Eagle 5 gallon Type I red safety cans (UI50FS) are constructed of 24-gauge hot dipped galvanized steel, are the only deep drawn seamless can made, have a double interlock no-weld bottom seam, a baked on powder coat finish with a trilingual label, have a spring closing lid with neoprene gasket that vents at 5 psi internal pressure, have a non-sparking flame arrestor and pour spout and are 100 percent made in the USA. Eagle Manufacturing Company’s 5 gallon, Type I red safety can (for flammable liquids) meets OSHA and NFPA Code 30 requirements and are UL and ULC listed and FM approved for safe handling and storage of gasoline and other flammable liquids (Accepted Under CARB).”

The Bottom Line

I’ve been rotating gas out for a number of years now, I like to keep it stored on site for generators or other emergency situations.  Yet one thing I always found annoying were the plastic containers, the now impossible “safety” spouts and even when aftermarket spouts were purchased the ridiculously slow pour rate. Not to mention I feel like plastic just is not as safe as metal, call it a hunch.  If you can swing it I suggest moving to metal can storage as well, even if it’s just one single can.  Remember to store the gas in the appropriate place (read these tips on storage) and cycle through it frequently!

 

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BloggerRobert Kirk said…

I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs “spray & pray”). Using weapons without magazines cuts down on “overhead” cost for mags, meaning you can spend more for ammo. It also means no mag issues like the ARs incompatibility or mag use damage. You might eventually, possibly, have a weapon that is only good for a doorstop in TEOTWAWKI. Not good.


Rucksack Rob said…

RK.
You do have a valid point…almost. I like revolvers a lot! They are dependable, spit out any ammo fed to them and are great for both novice and expert.
My disagreement with your statement is the M1 (Garand I’m assuming). The Garand was and still is one of the best rifles ever designed but let me ask you, how many enbloc clips do you have? When that rifle was standard issue, the military had unlimited clips pre-loaded as issued to the “Joe’s” who carried it. Now again I ask you… how many do you have stashed away to reload w/ 8 rds. of 30-06 after said firefight? Did you stop to pick up the clips that were thrown 3-6 ft. away in the tall grass in the dark?
Yes 20-30rd magazines may be a slight logistical problem for some preppers / soldiers but it’s much easier to stock up now on brand new mags (vs. surplus clips) which, during the heat of any type of battle would be easier to pick up off the ground at your feet or to perform a tactical reload and stuff the mag in a pouch or down your shirt than a clip that was thrown out to ‘tim-buk-tu’
After 24 years in the Army, all in combat arms, I do have some working knowledge of combat rifles, both foreign and domestic and as stated earlier, the Garand is a fine rifle but because of the clips, is one that is slightly outdated for that one reason only. I do own one and love to shoot it but it would not be my first choice for a MBR in a SHTF scenario unless of course, it was the only one I had with me at the time…lol
I forget who said “Be cautious of the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it.” and for all I know, that could fit you to a ‘T’.

Ryan here. This sort of statement about mag fed weapons and ‘spray and pray’ has been thrown out enough over time that I feel like addressing it. I also plan to touch on the M1 Garand and revolvers.

I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs “spray & pray”).”

This kind of thinking conflates skill, tactics and technology. In simple language people mix stuff together and come to an overall flawed conclusion. Lets look at them in order then bring it all together.

Skill- The ability to accurately engage a target comes from your ability to apply the fundamentals of marksmenship. Presuming a weapon is mechanically accurate, which most of them are, a person who can shoot will be able to hit with whatever gun. If we look at it most civilian defensive shooting problems they are not particularly difficult.

Tactics- Moving, shooting, use of cover, etc all. One could say “spray and pray” is a tactic though I would say it I say it is a bad tactic. At best it is a fundamental misunderstanding of small unit tactics (fire and maneuver, etc) but at worst it is utter stupidity.

Equipment drives tactics in the big picture though for an individual with a rifle or handgun not much has changed really in awhile.

Technology- The AR and AK are 50’s technology and semi automatic pistols have been standard across the vast majority of the worlds militaries since WWII. Cops in the US used revolvers for longer than that till say the early 90’s.

Where the conflation occurs in this thinking is that people think by limiting their technology they will somehow magically get better results. At best this thinking is ignorant. People who think this almost universally lack training or experience.

Put it like this, Would an older less capable racecar improve the performance of the driver in a race? Obviously not. The idea is laughable. The answer to improving discipline, taking good shots and getting hits is about training. A shitty shot who is scared can empty a wheel gun or SKS into thin air just the same as they could a tricked out race gun or high end AR-15.

So aside from being fundamentally flawed limiting capacity and reload time via technology are problematic. The issue is that even if somehow a 6 shot revolver made you into a steely eyed killer, which it doesn’t, you would still be a steely eyed killer with a 6 shooter. If you get into a situation where that’s not enough you have a problem.

There is also a layer of economic resentment or jealousy in any of these discussions. The economic classism in American society does not vanish in gun/ preparedness culture. Some folks feel compelled to say their choice, made mostly for economic reasons, is better to feel good about it. Instead of saying “I know its not ideal but its what I can afford” guys have to somehow try to justify it being a better choice.

So in closing using a different gun to try to fix (lack of) training issues is not a useful idea.

Now to revolvers and the good ole M1 Garand.

Revolvers:

1-  Reliability/ durability. We have a tendency to look back at revolvers with rose colored glasses.

As someone much more experienced than I (who was also a LEO in the wheel gun era) said “Revolvers handle neglect better while semi automatics handle abuse better.” If a gun is going to sit indefinitely in a drawer somewhere a revolver is more likely to work a couple years down the road. On the other hand if it might get carried through a mud puddle or dropped in sand a modern universal service pistol is far more likely to function.

They had issues with getting dirty, timing and failing. A local agency used to stop partway through their 60 round qualification to use a brush to wipe out under the star extractors because otherwise the guns (S&W model 66’s) wouldn’t extract properly.

Also revolvers are considerably more fragile than one might think. People think about the big heavy metal frame with a fixed barrel but forget about the little parts like the cylinder stop that are pretty fragile and when broken stop the gun cold.

A lot of revolver owners these days have selective memory in part because they tend (there are exceptions but they are rare) not to shoot much. Any halfway decent gun will be pretty reliable if you shoot 200 rounds a year through it.

2- Revolvers excel at the ends of the size spectrum. The difference between a little 5 shot J frame and a 6-7 shot single stack .308/9mm are minimal. For larger magnum type guns revolvers are stronger and much more affordable. In the middle with compact/ duty sized guns revolvers really lose out. A S&W k frame, probably the epitome of a duty revolver holds 6 shots. A Glock 17 is about the same size, lighter and holds 2.5x the ammo. Multiply that by a couple reloads and a double stack auto is a whole different ballgame than a wheel gun.

3- From a preparedness angle (vs general defensive use) revolvers have a couple of unique pros and cons. Pro- Ability to handle a variety of ammunition. Since a round doesn’t have to cycle the action revolvers are more tolerant of weaker loads than an automatic. Con- Fitting parts. Modern universal service pistols have drop in parts. That means any chuckle head with basic tools can swap out parts. Good luck trying that with a wheel gun. The saying that fixing a Glock involves a tool box and fixing a revolver involves a gunsmith has more than a little validity.

M1 Garand:
I honestly can’t believe we are discussing this. The Garand was the peak of fighting rifles from its adoption in 1936 when everyone was shooting bolt guns we had a semi auto. Then in about ’43 the STV-40 and STG-44 came to be. Certainly by the late 40’s to mid 1950’s when reliable mag fed rifles such as the AK-47 and FN-FAL were fielded the Garand was obsolete.

They feed from an 8 round en bloc clip and are pretty picky about ammunition. Modern 30’06 ammo (the one exception being specially loaded ammo from Prvi Partisan) is too powerful and will potentially bend op rods. To cap that all off the Garand’s in existence are usually 70 some odd years old. Even if they were properly stored and cared for metal fatigues over time.  Also to make matters worse these guns aren’t cheap anymore. A moot point if you own a couple already but at the price these days you could get a new quality AR or AK.

If you are a salty old WWII or Korea vet who is intimately familiar with a Garand that has one and a bunch of spam cans of ammo in the basement then stick with it. For anyone else having a Garand as a fighting weapon is silly.

If you want to own a Garand as a history piece for your collection then rock on. By all means do it, they are a neat piece of history. In the unlikely event you are in some crazy siege thing and have more shooters than guns by all means toss someone the Garand. However planning to use a gun that has serious limitations in a primary defensive role is foolish.

As a final thought despite spending however many words and an hour or so of my time guns really don’t matter that much. If you look at realistic defensive shootings guns don’t matter that much. It matters that a person has a loaded gun, can get that gun into play and shoot it accurately in a timely manner. Somewhere after that it matters what kind of gun the person has.

Put it like this. People tend to be way too focused on the gun itself and in that focus miss the real point that it is about themselves and their capability. A person with the right skills and frame of mind can win a fight with a shitty old .38 wheel gun. A guy who lacks the right skills and frame of mind could be carrying a $3,000 high end pistol and it doesn’t matter. To get it out of the gun discussion I could show up to the course with $20 Goodwill golf clubs and if I swapped clubs then played with Tiger Woods he would still kick my ass.

 

BloggerRobert Kirk said…

I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs “spray & pray”). Using weapons without magazines cuts down on “overhead” cost for mags, meaning you can spend more for ammo. It also means no mag issues like the ARs incompatibility or mag use damage. You might eventually, possibly, have a weapon that is only good for a doorstop in TEOTWAWKI. Not good.


Rucksack Rob said…

RK.
You do have a valid point…almost. I like revolvers a lot! They are dependable, spit out any ammo fed to them and are great for both novice and expert.
My disagreement with your statement is the M1 (Garand I’m assuming). The Garand was and still is one of the best rifles ever designed but let me ask you, how many enbloc clips do you have? When that rifle was standard issue, the military had unlimited clips pre-loaded as issued to the “Joe’s” who carried it. Now again I ask you… how many do you have stashed away to reload w/ 8 rds. of 30-06 after said firefight? Did you stop to pick up the clips that were thrown 3-6 ft. away in the tall grass in the dark?
Yes 20-30rd magazines may be a slight logistical problem for some preppers / soldiers but it’s much easier to stock up now on brand new mags (vs. surplus clips) which, during the heat of any type of battle would be easier to pick up off the ground at your feet or to perform a tactical reload and stuff the mag in a pouch or down your shirt than a clip that was thrown out to ‘tim-buk-tu’
After 24 years in the Army, all in combat arms, I do have some working knowledge of combat rifles, both foreign and domestic and as stated earlier, the Garand is a fine rifle but because of the clips, is one that is slightly outdated for that one reason only. I do own one and love to shoot it but it would not be my first choice for a MBR in a SHTF scenario unless of course, it was the only one I had with me at the time…lol
I forget who said “Be cautious of the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it.” and for all I know, that could fit you to a ‘T’.

Ryan here. This sort of statement about mag fed weapons and ‘spray and pray’ has been thrown out enough over time that I feel like addressing it. I also plan to touch on the M1 Garand and revolvers.

I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs “spray & pray”).”

This kind of thinking conflates skill, tactics and technology. In simple language people mix stuff together and come to an overall flawed conclusion. Lets look at them in order then bring it all together.

Skill- The ability to accurately engage a target comes from your ability to apply the fundamentals of marksmenship. Presuming a weapon is mechanically accurate, which most of them are, a person who can shoot will be able to hit with whatever gun. If we look at it most civilian defensive shooting problems they are not particularly difficult.

Tactics- Moving, shooting, use of cover, etc all. One could say “spray and pray” is a tactic though I would say it I say it is a bad tactic. At best it is a fundamental misunderstanding of small unit tactics (fire and maneuver, etc) but at worst it is utter stupidity.

Equipment drives tactics in the big picture though for an individual with a rifle or handgun not much has changed really in awhile.

Technology- The AR and AK are 50’s technology and semi automatic pistols have been standard across the vast majority of the worlds militaries since WWII. Cops in the US used revolvers for longer than that till say the early 90’s.

Where the conflation occurs in this thinking is that people think by limiting their technology they will somehow magically get better results. At best this thinking is ignorant. People who think this almost universally lack training or experience.

Put it like this, Would an older less capable racecar improve the performance of the driver in a race? Obviously not. The idea is laughable. The answer to improving discipline, taking good shots and getting hits is about training. A shitty shot who is scared can empty a wheel gun or SKS into thin air just the same as they could a tricked out race gun or high end AR-15.

So aside from being fundamentally flawed limiting capacity and reload time via technology are problematic. The issue is that even if somehow a 6 shot revolver made you into a steely eyed killer, which it doesn’t, you would still be a steely eyed killer with a 6 shooter. If you get into a situation where that’s not enough you have a problem.

There is also a layer of economic resentment or jealousy in any of these discussions. The economic classism in American society does not vanish in gun/ preparedness culture. Some folks feel compelled to say their choice, made mostly for economic reasons, is better to feel good about it. Instead of saying “I know its not ideal but its what I can afford” guys have to somehow try to justify it being a better choice.

So in closing using a different gun to try to fix (lack of) training issues is not a useful idea.

Now to revolvers and the good ole M1 Garand.

Revolvers:

1-  Reliability/ durability. We have a tendency to look back at revolvers with rose colored glasses.

As someone much more experienced than I (who was also a LEO in the wheel gun era) said “Revolvers handle neglect better while semi automatics handle abuse better.” If a gun is going to sit indefinitely in a drawer somewhere a revolver is more likely to work a couple years down the road. On the other hand if it might get carried through a mud puddle or dropped in sand a modern universal service pistol is far more likely to function.

They had issues with getting dirty, timing and failing. A local agency used to stop partway through their 60 round qualification to use a brush to wipe out under the star extractors because otherwise the guns (S&W model 66’s) wouldn’t extract properly.

Also revolvers are considerably more fragile than one might think. People think about the big heavy metal frame with a fixed barrel but forget about the little parts like the cylinder stop that are pretty fragile and when broken stop the gun cold.

A lot of revolver owners these days have selective memory in part because they tend (there are exceptions but they are rare) not to shoot much. Any halfway decent gun will be pretty reliable if you shoot 200 rounds a year through it.

2- Revolvers excel at the ends of the size spectrum. The difference between a little 5 shot J frame and a 6-7 shot single stack .308/9mm are minimal. For larger magnum type guns revolvers are stronger and much more affordable. In the middle with compact/ duty sized guns revolvers really lose out. A S&W k frame, probably the epitome of a duty revolver holds 6 shots. A Glock 17 is about the same size, lighter and holds 2.5x the ammo. Multiply that by a couple reloads and a double stack auto is a whole different ballgame than a wheel gun.

3- From a preparedness angle (vs general defensive use) revolvers have a couple of unique pros and cons. Pro- Ability to handle a variety of ammunition. Since a round doesn’t have to cycle the action revolvers are more tolerant of weaker loads than an automatic. Con- Fitting parts. Modern universal service pistols have drop in parts. That means any chuckle head with basic tools can swap out parts. Good luck trying that with a wheel gun. The saying that fixing a Glock involves a tool box and fixing a revolver involves a gunsmith has more than a little validity.

M1 Garand:
I honestly can’t believe we are discussing this. The Garand was the peak of fighting rifles from its adoption in 1936 when everyone was shooting bolt guns we had a semi auto. Then in about ’43 the STV-40 and STG-44 came to be. Certainly by the late 40’s to mid 1950’s when reliable mag fed rifles such as the AK-47 and FN-FAL were fielded the Garand was obsolete.

They feed from an 8 round en bloc clip and are pretty picky about ammunition. Modern 30’06 ammo (the one exception being specially loaded ammo from Prvi Partisan) is too powerful and will potentially bend op rods. To cap that all off the Garand’s in existence are usually 70 some odd years old. Even if they were properly stored and cared for metal fatigues over time.  Also to make matters worse these guns aren’t cheap anymore. A moot point if you own a couple already but at the price these days you could get a new quality AR or AK.

If you are a salty old WWII or Korea vet who is intimately familiar with a Garand that has one and a bunch of spam cans of ammo in the basement then stick with it. For anyone else having a Garand as a fighting weapon is silly.

If you want to own a Garand as a history piece for your collection then rock on. By all means do it, they are a neat piece of history. In the unlikely event you are in some crazy siege thing and have more shooters than guns by all means toss someone the Garand. However planning to use a gun that has serious limitations in a primary defensive role is foolish.

As a final thought despite spending however many words and an hour or so of my time guns really don’t matter that much. If you look at realistic defensive shootings guns don’t matter that much. It matters that a person has a loaded gun, can get that gun into play and shoot it accurately in a timely manner. Somewhere after that it matters what kind of gun the person has.

Put it like this. People tend to be way too focused on the gun itself and in that focus miss the real point that it is about themselves and their capability. A person with the right skills and frame of mind can win a fight with a shitty old .38 wheel gun. A guy who lacks the right skills and frame of mind could be carrying a $3,000 high end pistol and it doesn’t matter. To get it out of the gun discussion I could show up to the course with $20 Goodwill golf clubs and if I swapped clubs then played with Tiger Woods he would still kick my ass.

 

How To Make An Easy Peach Glaze Super Fast

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Have you wondered how to make an easy peach glaze? This recipe is from my mother’s recipe box. What a treasure to make a recipe she made years ago when I was growing up. There is nothing better than juicy fresh peaches. This flan cake has only five ingredients in the recipe. I love the fact that I do not have to buy a cake mix. I can make this cake really quick.  It goes with just about any fresh fruit you might have in your garden or from a farmers market. Today I actually baked this flan cake in my Sun Oven.

The glaze recipe was also in my mother’s recipe box. I use it for every fruit to make a glaze for puddings, pies or cakes. It also works really well with freeze-dried fruit. My family went out to the Hurricane, Utah Peach Days…not one but TWO days. I could not get enough of the excitement of being with family and running into friends. We purchased a box of the biggest peaches I have seen in years. Oh my gosh, talk about delicious! I wish I had picked up two boxes. This flan cake recipe only has 5 ingredients and all of them are in our food storage pantries. You use a hand mixer to mix the batter. Easy peasy…

Easy Peach Glaze & Flan Cake:

Easy Peach Glaze & Flan Cake

  • **Flan Cake:
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • **Peach Glaze:
  • 6-7 sliced peaches-mash some peaches to make one cup and set the cup aside
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. **Flan Cake: Combine all ingredients and scoop the sticky batter onto a greased flan pan. Spread dough evenly with a spatula. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Invert on cake platter after ten minutes. Cool cake before adding fruit and glaze.
  2. **Fruit Glaze: Combine the one cup of mashed peaches with the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the glaze simmer until clear. Remove from stove and stir in the butter. Let cool before assembling the fruit on flan cake and then scoop the glaze carefully over the sliced peaches. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

This is what the batter looks like. It’s a really sticky dough.

easy peach glaze

Baked In The Sun Oven

This month is National Emergency Preparedness Month so I thought I may as well bake the flan cake in my Sun Oven. My Sun Oven never got above 350 degrees so I just cooked the cake a little longer. I actually forgot I was baking the cake so it is a little brown around the edges. It’s nice because a Sun Oven really does not burn food. It’s a moist way of baking. Not that something couldn’t burn. I forgot bread once and it was cooking about an hour past the timer. Yep, I was visiting a neighbor. Oops! The bread was still perfect. Gotta love it! Now, of course, you can bake this flan cake in your conventional oven at 375 degrees as stated in the recipe.

easy peach glazeFlan Cake Pan

The cake turned out great today baking in the SunOven! Can you see where the cake has an indentation? That’s so you can scoop the fresh fruit as high as possible, then spoon the glaze over it. Top it with whipped cream and you have a yummy dessert!

easy peach glaze

My husband has been having a fresh peach every morning in his cereal. I love this recipe for the flan cake because I can always make it at the last minute and I have a fancy looking dessert to serve to anyone. I hope you enjoy the Fresh Peach Flan Cake With Glaze recipe as much as my family does! You will love the easy peach glaze! Enjoy!

Here’s my Cherry Flan Cake

Flan Pan

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How to Get a Broody Hen to Raise Baby Turkeys

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When we talk about homesteading and survival you have to realize that the ability to do things in an unorthodox manner could be what keeps you going. You have to make things work no matter how strange they might be. Do you have any idea just how wild things can get? There is one word …

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Master Class: Intro to Backpacking

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You know, we can read a lot about the things we should do and the experiences we should have. There are plenty of websites blogging about the benefits of camping and getting outside. You know what? Kudos to them. They are part of the reason we are seeing tons of people infected with this outdoors …

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Is The Prepper Movement Pendulum Swinging The Other Way?

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Here’s a serious question for you all. Comment below with your opinion. Do you believe that the prepper movement is fading? Are fewer people into preparedness these days? If yes, then why?   Confidence I am of the opinion that the pendulum has been swinging the other way these past few years. More people are feeling confident about their situation and fewer are concerned about being prepared or prepping. The Economy This is logical I suppose in the sense that “the economy” has at least on the surface improved the past year or two. I know the numbers are fudged,

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How to Pickle Garlic Step by Step

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The powerful allium that flavors so much of our food is actually pretty easy to grow. You can have tremendous success with growing garlic if you dedicate a space and focus on saving some of the cloves in a cool dark place. Of course, your garlic will eventually run out in the winter months, unless …

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WiFi Controlled Camera Slider

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Home security is a part of prepping. While security is something that happens on a daily basis in this world you have to be honest about the fact that we are going to need that security even after a disaster. Still, we can avoid our own personal disasters by being prepared and secure today. While …

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Finding America’s Sanctuary Cities

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Say what you want about America and immigration, its a wreck. When enough people get to the border they make their way in and there is no screening or any type of process that would make sense. Instead, we are left to deal with the repercussions of random types of people entering our nation with …

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Even Christian Textbooks Are “Muddy” About The Son Of God

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son of god

Most Christian textbooks are nebulous about the true nature of the Son of God

Whether Jesus Is the son of God has been the great question for the last 2000 years. So let’s keep asking…

God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made. . . .
—Nicene Creed (AD 325)

 

Is Jesus The Son Of God?

Last week we how 19th-century American textbooks treated Jesus. For the most part, they ignored Him. Certainly, they ignored His real significance as the Author, meaning and center of all history. We have seen that even many 20th century secular texts often recited what the gospels and the early Church said about Jesus. That He was the infinite Creator incarnate in perfect humanity; that He died and rose again to purchase forgiveness for those who would believe in Him. These historians confess no personal faith in Jesus Christ and so they don’t attempt to explain history in terms the crucified, risen, and reigning Christ.

Now we come to a few Christian history texts from the 20th century. This first is aimed at middle school students in Christian schools. In many ways, it is a very fine book in many ways, but when it comes to the Incarnation, it has only this to say:

At this time God sent his Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. . . . This was the best time in history for Jesus to come and save his people, and to send his apostles out into all the world with the Gospel of salvation. . . . For the slaves and the poor, as well as for the rich, Jesus alone had the true comfort. . . . Christ had taught them to be meek and humble and to endure suffering for a while. For those who believed, there would be a better life hereafter.

 

Jesus Christ is The Son Of God

He was born of the Virgin Mary. He came to save His people. Salvation, at least, involves “a better life hereafter.” To the orthodox Christian, this is, at least somewhat familiar territory. But to the secularist, even to the liberal Christian, this is all pretty vague and muddy. In what sense was Jesus “God’s Son”? What is salvation? What exactly did Jesus come to save His people from? Suffering? History? What exactly is Jesus’ connection with history, then or now? We aren’t told.

The next text was “designed to produce a truly objective textbook on world history, suitable for use in both public schools and private schools.” The Foreword goes on:

A public-school textbook should be objective, recognizing that parents and pupils represent a wide variety of philosophical, political, and religious beliefs. Every attempt has been made to present a balanced and objective perspective on world history. . . The Judaeo-Christian background of western history is presented objectively and thus not offensive to those of other faiths.

 

Can Discussions Regarding The Son Of God Ever Be Balanced?

Objective? Balanced? “Not offensive to those of other faiths?” At best, we get an approach that offers equal time for Jesus. There doesn’t seem to be much point in going on. Nevertheless, here is what this history book says about the Advent of Christ:

The mother’s name was Mary, and the Bible record states that she was still a virgin at the time of the birth of Jesus. So the birth of Jesus was a miraculous sign that the promised Savior had come into the world. . . . The Bible states that Jesus was the Son of God and that He came to earth to save people from their sins.

The book goes on to describe Jesus trial and crucifixion—as history—uninterpreted history, that is. But the resurrection comes as a kind of “news story” not as divinely ordained and interpreted fact:

Then, shocking news rocked Jerusalem. The body of Jesus buried three days before, was gone from the tomb. It is this one event that makes Jesus different from other religious leaders and great teachers. He was the only one ever resurrected from the dead. More than 500 people saw and talked to Him after His resurrection. . . Christianity is based on the death and resurrection of its founder, rather than on His teachings.

We should give the authors here great credit for emphasizing the historical foundations of the Christian gospel. They do not, however, officially side with that gospel. The authors only tell us what 1st century Jews might have read in their newspapers. They leave us to decide what we will believe about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it might or might not mean for the history of the world.

 

One More Christian Textbook

After centuries of predicting the coming of a great Savior, God raised up the Man who would prove to be the most important human who has ever lived, Jesus of Nazareth. . . Mary, however, was not married (though she was engaged). So she did not know how she could have a child. Gabriel said that God would cause her to conceive. For this reason, the child would not have a human father. He would be the Son of God.

So far, Jesus is “a great Savior,” a Man-God raised up, and “the most important human who has ever lived.” Jesus wouldn’t have a human father: “He would be the Son of God.” While this last isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s hardly clear. In what sense would Jesus be the Son of God? Because God caused her to conceive His human nature? Or because Jesus, God the Son, is the eternal deity? This lack of clarity continues with the message of the angels.

They told these shepherds that Jesus was a Savior, Christ, and Lord (Luke 2:11). But Lord they meant that Jesus would fulfill the Davidic Covenant: He would rule as David’s greatest son. By Christ, the angels meant that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ is the Greek word for “anointed one.”) By Savior they meant that He would save His people from their sad condition. (14-15)

 

Angels Called Him Savior

When the angels called Jesus “Savior,” they meant He would save His people and their world from sin and its consequences—spiritual, ecological, political, economic, and physical. The angels called Jesus “Christ,” and meant He was the promised Prophet, King, and Priest who would mediate God’s new covenant with His people, the One who would pour out God’s Spirit upon all flesh. When they called Jesus “Lord,” they meant He was Yahweh, Jehovah, the Creator God who ruled the universe. And, yes, these titles and the Child’s location— “in the city of David”—implied the coming of the Davidic kingdom described in the prophets, the one that would fill the earth (cf. Ps. 2; 72; 110; Dan. 2; 7).

The author does speak of godly stewardship. He emphasizes the sinner’s need for repentance and faith. But when he comes to talk about Jesus as the object of faith, he says only “that Jesus was the Christ, the One sent by God to save them.” As he describes Jesus’ death, he calls Christ “God’s own Son” and, finally, in summary, he says, “God had sent His own Son.” But this is terribly late in the game and can mean all sorts of things to all kinds of people. Again, clear as mud.

 

Text Books That Truly Teach About The Son Of God

It takes an enormous amount of time, talent, and money to produce a textbook. Any textbook that comes from the Christian community should excel in clarity, style, historical accuracy, and contemporary relevance. Above all, such a book would be theologically accurate. To put matters bluntly, any Christian textbook should be absolutely clear about who Jesus is, why He came, what He has accomplished, and what He continues to accomplish. If we are ashamed of Jesus, unclear in describing who He is, or even vague in our own thinking about His claims, then we shouldn’t be writing textbooks. (Perhaps we’re not really Christians) We certainly shouldn’t call our textbooks Christian. A Christian text will presuppose the Christ of Scripture at every point and be quick to apply His claims and promises to every subject in the table of contents. This ought to be a bare minimum.

Watch Carefully As The Khan Academy Attempts To Make Him “Fit In”

Conclusion

Christianity becomes more and more irrelevant as we muddy up who Jesus Christ is while attempting to make him “fit” the culture we live in. Jesus Christ, because of the nature of his claims has never “fit” in any culture in history and will never fit. He’s always been an offense because He claims to be the only way. No neutrality here.

Our theological filters are changing rapidly. We were once a Christian nation. As pastors continue to preach “The Gospel of Nice” instead of the gospel of Christianity, we will continue to lose ground. Of course, we should be nice. It’s an important aspect of our faith. But making “Nice” the central message of Christianity is a wicked thing. The truth is, “Nice” is not only a muddy concept itself, but it’s idolatry and the number one rival religion in America today.

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Prepper Recon on the Ever Vigilant Podcast

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I recently had the honor of being on the Ever Vigilant Podcast with Joe Prim. We spoke about how to prepare for EMP and much more.

 

 

Ava’s Crucible, Book Two: Embers of Empire is now available in Paperback, Kindle and Audio edition!

America has fallen and Ava’s band of misfits is all that stands between freedom and absolute tyranny. Her group pledges to launch an insurgency campaign against the occupying force in Texas, but they’ll have to watch out for those who have been tasked with purging the patriots. Her team cannot fail in their mission. If Texas falls, America’s demise is all but certain.

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community, because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

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Putting The Farm Up For Sale – A Life Changing Decision!

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Yes, our little Old World Garden mini-farm is really for sale! I’m sure that may absolutely stun and shock a few of our followers this morning. But it is indeed true. And it is not a sad time for us

The post Putting The Farm Up For Sale – A Life Changing Decision! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Top 10 Home Security Myths

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Here are the Top 10 Home Security Myths presented in an infographic. I have a security system in my house – and it is more than a dog and a shotgun. I know when I bought my system the first question I asked was if my dog would set off the IR camera. I was told by my installer that pets in no way can influence the functioning of security apparatuses and the sensors attached to it. I am sure others have such questions and if you are considering a home security system you may find it interesting and useful

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What Counts As Knowledge of the Lord?

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     It was a normal Sunday afternoon, and Mark and I were invited to gather together with some fellow Christians for a different kind of “church”. The place where we gathered had no walls, no stage, no podium or microphone, no pews. We were small in number — six adults and two children, in fact. We gathered around a picnic table in the shade; in our lawn chairs and sitting on Yetti coolers. We shared a meal together; an agape dinner; a love feast — a true communion.
     Because like the Last Supper and the early Church gatherings, worshiping God and our Lord was always centered around a meal — and more than bread and wine. We put some meditative worship music on in the background and shared our experiences in Christ, our questions and interpretations of Scripture, and what the Holy Spirit was showing us — all as we partook of the bounty of food before us. Yes, we opened our Bibles, and found the glory of the Lord revealed in its pages, but our primary objective was to enjoy the company of fellow Believers in the Presence of God.
     But as I sat and listened and observed our small group, I saw a dynamic forming that made me pause and examine myself. Among us adults were those who could expound intelligently (and with godly passion) on what Scripture had shown them. It was obvious that quality “heart” time had been spent with the Father in the pursuit of a deeper understanding of Him and His Nature. It was a joy to partake in a conversation that was free of religious doctrine and strict creeds. Concepts of God and His “spiritual mechanics” [which would be ridiculed inside the four walls of physical churches] were received with the respect [for God] that they were presented. The boundaries for “acceptable” ideas of God’s sovereignty and majesty were extended to allow for a greater picture of just how big our God really is.

     But then the Spirit pricked my heart. One of our small group was quiet; a man that I had come to greatly admire and honor for his heart; a heart that had been purified by the fire of the Holy Spirit. I knew this man to be truly “born again” — out of the ashes of a defeated soul was birthed a worthy temple for the Lord’s Holy Spirit to reside. He is a natural leader, and people are drawn to his heart connection to Jesus. You just want what he has with the Lord!
     But he sat quietly during the energized and passionate discussions; actually choosing to wander off and enjoy the park where we had gathered. When he wandered back into the group, I made it a point to draw him into the conversation. After all, he had experienced healing a demoniac woman in a terminal ward of a hospital, and reunited her with a family that had been frightened of her and estranged from her. I wanted to know about that! And he has a heart to reach people in prisons, and to change the lives of those in bondage to alcohol, drugs, and trauma in their lives. I could see his eyes light up and his countenance change as he talked about his desire to see those people freed from their afflictions, just as he had been. I wanted to hear about that!
     Then he made the telling statement; and I’m not sure if anyone else heard him … “Most of what you’re discussing is over my head, but I know we are supposed to be doing what Jesus did … and even greater things”. I think I literally stopped breathing for a moment as it struck me. While everyone continued in agreement that Scripture commanded that we continue Jesus’s work in healing and deliverance ministries, and spreading the Gospel of Heaven’s Kingdom come to earth, I once again was reminded how easy it is to become enamored with gaining knowledge of God and His Word, but never being Spirit-led to actually do it!
     I want to be very clear — all the others in attendance were blessed with a personal and intimate knowledge of God’s Word AND walked it out. But here was a man who was honest [and authentic] enough to admit he didn’t have the level of “Good Book” knowledge that the rest of us possessed. Yet I think we would all say that we recognize the heart of Jesus in this man and he inspires us to follow him in pursuit of the Kingdom.
     And here’s what I took away from this situation in which God shined His light… I absolutely know the truth of this Scripture in my heart: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out. It glorifies God when we seek to know Him more. When we’re not satisfied with “the picture” of Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit that our dogmas and traditions have taught us, but instead spend intimate and deep time with His Word, our relationship grows and matures; we begin a closer walk with Them, and I believe, our service is elevated and more fruitful. After all, Scripture says, My people perish for lack of knowledge. Knowledge is a good thing, when it results in action and service.
     BUT, God’s Word also says, For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  I believe intimacy with the Father comes not only from intimate knowledge of Him through His Word, but there is an intimacy that comes from a regenerated heart that knows what is is to defeat the power of the Enemy in a shattered life, and has experienced being resurrected to a new life powered by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If you will, it is a life that exhibits personal holiness apart from spiritual knowledge.
     I don’t know if I’ve been able to accurately describe the discernment I received that day. All I know is that it suddenly became clear to me how multi-faceted it is to “know the Lord”. And it became quite clear that we must not elevate one above the other. Just because someone can’t partake in a spirited debate over the Word, does not mean that they are not walking with Christ. It’s our flesh that demands that kind of performance. To know the Lord [through every avenue possible] should result in taking action for Him and His Kingdom. The Pharisees and the Sadducees studied and possessed great knowledge concerning the Torah and the writings of the prophets, but they didn’t walk out their knowledge. The Disciples were considered uneducated men, yet they walked according to the knowledge revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.
     I guess I would summarize my thoughts like this … God wants us to know Him fully and completely. There may be some whose journey is now taking them towards gaining intimacy and knowledge of Him through study and contemplating His Word. The journey of others has been more experiential, as they have received their knowledge through personal intervention and contact with the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, God wants us to seek both during the process of our rebirth. As the C.S. Lewis Institute says it, “The larger concern is to show us how to live joyful, obedient lives that produce the beauty of holiness and glorify God”. And I saw that joyful image in both examples of Believers in the park that day.
     So, I just want to leave you with this final thought … we should not elevate or glorify one kind of knowledge over another. Rather, we should embrace and seek both for the benefit of being fruitful for the Kingdom. Let us receive ALL that God has promised us in this holy relationship!

Jeremiah 33:3    Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things…

     

What You Need To Send With Your College Student

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It’s that time of year when a student or two we know may be graduating from high school. Some may be headed to college or a trade school. Some may take a year off and travel, it’s an exciting time to watch these young friends and family members reach new goals. I have a list of things every college student may need when they arrive at the dorm or their new apartment.

As a college student enters this new phase in their lives they quickly learn that first aid cupboard at home is no longer available by walking down the hall. I sometimes wonder if we need to have a “college shower” for them. I realize that some students can afford a food card plan, or whatever they may call it, but there are still some items money can’t buy when it’s late at night and you have a fever or you just need an extra tube of toothpaste. So Let’s get started with a few items I’m thinking about for my college student.

Items A College Student Needs:

1. First Aid Kit

This is the first aid kit I designed to send off with all of my grandkids: First Aid Kit It has a printable available to help you start your kit.

The list contains items like fever reducers, cough syrup, cough drops, Imodium D (for diarrhea), Pedialyte for dehydration, essential oils (my favorites are Breathe, Peppermint, and Oregano). A case of Gatorade would be awesome as well.

Please throw in a flashlight with batteries if they are required. All students need a flashlight, and a toolkit for that matter. Stanley Toolkit I Recommend

If you are looking for a solar flashlight, I recommend this one: Goal Zero Solar Flashlight

2. Water Storage

Here’s the deal with water, we all know we can turn on the faucet and the water comes running out, right? Okay, but if by chance the local water source is contaminated our college student will need a couple of cases of water under the bed or in the closet to drink and hydrate themselves and brush their teeth. I’m sure you have seen several cities or states in the news telling those concerned to NOT USE THE WATER for bathing, drinking or washing dishes. Yes, the municipalities we pay to protect our culinary water don’t always come through for us. Picture your student hundreds of miles away from home when this happens to the water supply where they are now living while going to school. Scary!

Then the TV station shows people standing in line to get cases of water, the ones who were not prepared for a disaster. Or in this case, a mistake made by government workers.

You can always purchase the cases of water from the grocery stores, but they may leak and must be rotated every six to 12 months. But they are better than no water storage at all.

My favorite water for a college student would be these: Blue Can Water Here’s the deal, you may think the water is expensive. PLEASE think about this. The water comes in a box with 24 cans that are 12-ounces each and last for 50 years up to 150 degrees. They are easy to move and store easily under a bed or in the closet. I highly recommend purchasing at least two cases per college student.

3. Food Storage

I would love to suggest some pantry staples, but sometimes a can of chili is awesome. You just open and heat it up. Snack Ramen, soups, canned meats, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, honey, and cereal are staples for a college student on a budget.

Plus, maybe some pancake mix and syrup, muffin mixes. Yes, it is processed food, but hey, we’ve all been starving students, or at least some of us were.

You may also want to send a food storage bucket for emergencies or after a disaster. I like this company: Augason Food Storage Bucket

4. Bathroom Supplies

Toilet Paper, shampoo, and conditioner, hand soap and hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and menstrual needs, if applicable. Toilet bowl cleaner supplies, Clorox wipes, paper towels, and window cleaner. I’m a bathroom clean freak, and I own it.

5. Bedroom Supplies

Mattress pad, sheets, pillowcases, quilts, blankets, and bed pillows. I mentioned to my grandson I would like to buy him some comfy sheets so he can sleep well at night. I also had to ask, is the bed a twin or an XL Twin at his student housing complex, I need to know. He’s over 6 feet tall.

6. Kitchen Supplies

I typically give the kids a 4-quart Farberware saucepan. The reason being you can make Snack Ramen, boil spaghetti and make soups. A frying pan is great as well. Now some college dorms provide all of these kitchen supplies, my grandkids have had to provide them for themselves. They have used our extra silverware, plates, cereal bowls, soup bowls and coffee cups. Farberware Sauce Pan These pans last a lifetime, it seems to me. Don’t forget some hot pads, hand towels, and wash rags.

Throw in some dish soap, dishwater soap, and scrubber. Life is good when the kitchen is clean, right? Here in Southern Utah, we have cockroaches, yes we have pest control.  I’m sending airtight containers with one of my grandsons.

I just got home from attending two grandsons’ high school graduations, life is good! Proud grandma, here! Please let me know some of the things you think every college student needs to take with them to their dorm or apartment. Life is good, may God bless our families. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. If properly prepared you can sleep at night, I promise.

Store Blankets and Quilts

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Books: AdobeStock_169730724 by BillionPhotos.com

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