Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween ~Y'all

Keep your goblins safe tonight. 

Stockpile the sweets...Tonight is an excellent way to explain and teach prepping to youngsters.  I don't know about your kids but mine are quite skilled in the Trick or Treating game...  In under 2 hours they can easily gather a haul that will last them until... you guessed it EASTER... the next big candy holiday!  Here's what you do: sort by type Once everything is sorted, explain how many pieces your family thinks is healthy per day... figure out how many day's worth of candy they ended up with.. then every day let your kids pick items to eat, or at night have them pick what will go in their lunches for school the next day..  

Our 7 yr old has a MAD sweet tooth we are taming.  Our under 4's have never had refined sugar  I don't know how much longer we can hold out but so far so good...

Ages 3-6: Well with the lil ones I'm not too fond of sugar, so I'm just saying If you lil ghosts gather the sweets, you get to do the sorting **YUM**
Ages 6-8   Assist them in sorting
Ages 8 +   Tell them how, watch the process

These are the categories we use:
hard candy
sweet tarts & smarties

Carving Pumpkins?  This site might help some:  Pumpkin Carving 101 

Not sure which is scarier the pumpkin or the kid:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Track what you have, Know where it is.

My Dad used to tell us growing up "Spot your gear!"  and though it sounds odd to some folks, he meant "keep an eye on your stuff" "Know where it is, don't leave it scattered" or even simply "pay attention" His 3 words could mean all that, or just part of it ~ it depended on how he said it.  Let's look at that closely ~ Spot your Gear...  Heck do you know even know what gear you have?  I have friends that waste money buying the same things over because they didn't know they bought the same thing 4 years ago, or that they had that book.. and forgot to read it. Or *GASP* something expired because they didn't rotate the stock!

For your food stuff, meds, and gear there is a lovely little freeware program called:  you'll download it on your computer per the directions at this link be sure to read everything there's a link for support, another for a free program to create your own bar codes for stuff/gear that doesn't have barcodes already  ~ It's not mine ~ but I use this.  You can change the program to track lots of stuff all that's available through the support link.  This is very important to know: Once it's installed you DO NOT need Internet access to the machine its on.  Why? Because it is a stand alone database this was very important to our family.  We didn't want our data in the "cloud" especially if the whole world went sideways.  I think y'all could appreciate that.

With that program I bought a scanner at Hand Held Contact USB 80mm Long hand-held CCD Barcode Scanner

For your Survival/Prepper's Bookshelf (and all your other books too) check out they have solutions for books, movies, and video collections. We were given this for Christmas last year since we already had an UPC scanner it made a dandy gift.  I have to admit we are finally getting all of books, videos, and music into it...  really like this!

And while gadgets are great, you can get started with pen and paper too! The important part is,  you spot your gear   Stock what you eat ~ eat what you stock ~ rotate your food inventory!

Thanks Dad for this advice and all the other great "Dad-isms" I love you.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why do we can so much, Mommy?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weather Advisory, Watch, Warning what's the difference?

DO you know?
If the newscaster came on with those phrases which ones would get you concerned?  The best thing is to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify winter weather so when you hear them, you understand the differences.  Hopefully you'll have prepared beforehand so you won't have to be on the roads in bad weather looking for supplies.

• Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
• Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
• Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
• Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
• Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
Blizzard Warning means heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
• Frost/Freeze Warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.

 When a Winter Storm WATCH is issued   Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, and television stations, or cable television such as The Weather Channel for further updates. Be alert to changing weather conditions. Avoid unnecessary travel

 When a Winter Storm WARNING is issued   Stay indoors during the storm. If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs. Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.

Avoid traveling by car in any storm ~ if you're out in winter weather please be sure you have winterized your car.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Season Change ~part 2 ~ Cars

October is a great time to start analyzing your emergency plan for winter. Especially those who may be new to the whole prepping mindset. What do you need to do to get up to speed before winter overtakes you? Today let's look at our cars...

Here’s a list of things to get your vehicles ready for the winter. It’s just starting to get cold in some places. October is an excellent time to focus on winter preps.   Be sure to check all your vehicles. Start by ALWAYS filling the gas tanks in case you have to leave. Never let your tanks get below half filled, just in case.

Do you have a car kit?
Is there a First-aid kit in it?
A roadside emergency kit in it?
If your car stalled on winter day with freezing temps, or you got a flat tire, or you ran out of gas how would you stay warm? How would you communicate with the outside world? Do you have snacks? If you had to walk home or to get help and you weren’t dressed for the weather, does your car kit have an appropriate outfit to keep you warm? Your children too? Shoes? Extra socks? It’s important to think about these things BEFORE you need them. Once you have assembled your car kit don’t forget to:

Check or have checked the following items on your car:
1. Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
2. Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
3. Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
4. Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
5. Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
6. Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
7. Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
8. Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
9. Thermostat - ensure it works properly. (Yes ladies, the car has a thermostat)
10. Tires - make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
11. Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.

Oh and one more quick thing ~
Happy Birthday Mom.  I love you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Season Change ~part 1~ Home

No matter where you live, you’re likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in your life. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms.  One of the primary concerns is a storm’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home sometimes for days at a time. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

General maintenance is important.  It's time to sweep the walks and deck, put away porch furniture, close up swimming pools.  Check each window,  close storm windows and store your screens.  Clean the gutters and pull the last of the summer weeds...  All those little things that need to be done before you get a big winter storm.  Once you've completed the general maintenance items lets address some things you might not have considered...

• Fill plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one for the frozen water to expand. Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold for several hours if the power goes out.

• If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.

• Back up computer files and operating systems. Consider buying extra batteries and a power converter if you use a laptop computer.

• Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other electronic devices when they are not being used.

• Get a high-quality surge protector for your electronic equipment.

• If you have an electric garage door opener, find out where the manual release lever is located and learn how to operate it.

• Make a plan for alternate communication, including having a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone, radio or pager.

• Keep your car fuel tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power the pumps.

• Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) may not work during a power outage, so make sure you have extra cash at home.

• Get a Winter Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.

Prepare Your Family:

• KNOW the emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. What are the procedures for inclement weather? If school is released early who will pickup the kids? How will they get home?

Additional ways to prepare your home:

- Be able to seal off parts of your home either by closing doors, or sealing them with plastic if you lose your main heat and need to heat just one room or area you may need duct tape and plastic,  Also be able to cover a window if a tree limb or some other item breaks a window during a storm....  DUCT TAPE & PLASTIC  good things to have on hand!

• Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the warm air inside.

• Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.

• Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

• Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

• Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.

• Hire a contractor to check the structural stability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are you prepared for Winter?

Seasonal change is upon us... before you know it the mercury will drop and you don't want to be caught off guard.  Now is the time to analyze your preparedness for winter weather and to do some general seasonal updating.  No matter where you live, your likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in your life. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms.  One of the primary concerns is a storm’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home sometimes for days at a time. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Start with the basics does everyone in your home have:
(Verify everyone’s sizes!! Children grow!)

  • light weight sweater/jacket
  • wet weather jacket/poncho
  • heavy jacket/coat
  • cold weather shoes
  • good pair of tennis shoes/sneakers
  • at least 5 pairs of long pants
  • at least 5 long sleeve shirts
  • gloves
  • hat
  • scarf
For every bed do you have at the very least:
  • heavy comforter
  • mid weight blanket
  • flannel sheets
  • 2 extra blankets
  • A sleeping bag for every family member
Aside from your everyday emergency supplies what if you were without power for a week during the winter? How would you heat your home and keep your family warm?  DO you have small children or elderly folks to consider?
If you don't already have one get/create a Winter Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like:
  • non-perishable food
  • water
  • battery-powered or hand-crank radio,
  • extra flashlights and batteries.
  • Rock salt /kitty litter other products to melt ice on walkways.
  • Sand to improve traction Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Also include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Alternate way to heat your home safely
Already have everything? Good for you! Now is the time to check on your items so you can put your hands on them in a hurry if you have to also add additional supplies in preparation for winter weather.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stockpile with less money

My single favorite thing to do is stockpile for free.
What? Crazy? I know! It is completely possible to stockpile for free or near free. How? Well at first blush you may stop and say no way ~ you aren’t interested. But I’m telling you it’s worth a second look. I’m going to give this secret completely free.

Coupons. Yes I said coupons. Oh no I’m losing some of you, but at least hear me out first. My first free item was 300 pounds of Mueller’s Spaghetti. It was on sale at one of my favorite stores. I called ahead spoke to a manager preordered the pasta. We also prepaid which basically means we went in, manager rang us up, processed the coupons and we paid the food tax.

Normal price $1.50 per box $450
Store Discount: .50 per box ( $150)
Mueller 300 coupons $1 off (-$300)

So after subtracting the sale, and the coupons you’ll notice that makes my 300 pounds of pasta FREE. Our state charges tax on food, there was a $2.80 charge for tax can you beat free or near free? Didn’t think so!

Here’s another pasta equation: elbow pasta different store, We donated 1000 pounds of elbow macaroni pasta to charity and stockpiled 500 pounds for ourselves. Again, free. How? Coupons.

Toothpaste ~  We have a 5 yr supply. And yes it was free.
Snack bags ~ 80 boxes free
Soap ~ 75 bars  free
Welches 100% juice ~ 100 of the 64 oz (the shelf price was $500) after sale and coupon for only $100
Shampoo & Conditioner ~ near free $36 for 122 bottles more than a 5 yr supply And so much more....This is NOT a coupon blog. I’m not going to post all the great deals available and no not everything is free. You do have to pay for things. But I’ve been able to stockpile significant amounts of food for our family without breaking our budget…Not too bad huh? I’m meeting my stockpile goals with less money. You could be too!  I learned the art of couponing on a site called  Join me as a friend over there I'm really east to find since I'm still The Prepper's Wife.  If you’re interested go over to: or click the button in the margin of my blog.

Do me a favor tell ‘em The Prepper’s Wife sent you. I’d appreciate it. You can learn all you want to know about saving a little, or saving a lot. And if you think coupons just aren’t for you ~ I guess you’ve got money to throw away. In this economy we sure don't.

All the money I’m able to save by using coupons, I put towards other preps that don’t have coupons. You think about it. You can stockpile with less money.  We are.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street?

What do you think about Occupy Wall Street protesters?  Now they are protesting in major cities across the country. I've given this alot of thought and discussed it with likeminded folks and the way I see it...  It's just a distraction folks.

Now that's a bold statement, but let's look at it together what is really being accomplished by these protests all across the country? I've heard the arguments that the purpose is to raise awareness to the plight of the average American worker.  Really? I'm pretty sure everyone knows unemployment is under reported.  The only way it's measured is by folks still actually on unemployment.  Well there's lots of good folks that have fallen off the unemployment payment rolls.  Families are hurting financially.  I don't think we need to spend money we don't have to go somewhere where the chants and rants will just fall on deaf ears.

Now, does anyone remember London?  That was just a few weeks ago.  Started out peaceful enough right?  Then what happened?  Some ya-hoo got bored and amped up things from peaceful protest to riot.  Didn't take much.

Could that happen here? Maybe. 
Would that be BAD? YES.

Don't be distracted.
Keep moving forward on your practical prepping for any emergency.
Don't spend time and money on the distractions...

Have a goal.
Know your goal.
Share your goal.
Work your plan.
Just my 2 cents. 
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You can't eat gold

Here is something you really need to decide for yourself. Lots of folks talk about having money tied up in gold.  I reckon if you've got lots of money sitting around and all your emergency preparations are met, it might be prudent to have some gold or silver. The only thing is if the whole world goes sideways... You and your children can't eat gold.

Yes I think investing is important. Yes I think having long term plans are important.We're investing in food, medical supplies etc...however our metal of choice isn't gold or silver.  It's lead. We can use lead to hunt and to safeguard our family. Do you have enough lead?  Today's focus on being prepared.  Take an inventory of your lead. Figure out if you have enough or if you need more make a plan to  fix that.

Oh and one more quick thing ~  Happy Birthday C ~ I love you

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Closing time ~ you don't have to go home but you can't stay here

Ok folks its time to learn to say NO.
Just say it out loud right now... NO!
That was pathetic. 
Say it again ~ LOUDER ~ NO!

Why? Because many of you have made the mistake of telling anyone who would listen that you're stockipiling food and such.  Maybe you thought you'd inspire others, maybe you wanted a pat on the back.  We both know what really happened. You heard "Well, I know where to come when it hits the fan" or maybe, "We can shack up at your place" Or maybe you didn't hear any of that, maybe you just made the target list because folks with guns who didn't prepare, now know you did.

OP SEC ~ Short for Operation Security
1.  Keep your mouth shut.
2. Teach your kids to keep their mouths shut.
3.  Say NO
4.  Don't Show ~ this isn't kindergarten folks, no more show and tell.

Here's you answer when folks say they're coming to you during a cataclysmic event: Short answer: NO.

Oh that wasn't enough? Too blunt?
Ok here's the polite, you don't want to offend someone answer:
I'm sorry I've only calculated enough for my family, and I won't let them go hungry. Family first.

Hmm not your style?
Try this one:  Why would you pick my driveway to die in?
Or this:  We also stockpiled LEAD.

Still to blunt? Just say no.
Silence is an implied yes.
NEVER leave them with the implied yes... it could come back to haunt you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Purge to Prep ~

I hear alot of times ~ "I don't have room to be prepared" Are you serious?  Then you have too much useless stuff that can go live with someone else and bless them.   Broken/missing pieces/non functional items throw away this includes stained or otherwise ruined clothing. It's trash.  Too small or doesn't fit and can't be handed down to anyone in your family then donate/freecycle  Keeping it for hand me downs? or maybe as extra fabric (sewers only) ~ box like sizes & seasons together store in the tops of closets make a note of it in your stockpile notebook because this has become a PREPARED item. Be Practical ~ if you haven't rewired that lamp yet and its been 2 years, either rewire it this weekend or throw it away/freecycle it Just won't use it? Donate!  I'm serious folks. You don't need 60 pairs of shoes. You just don't. If the whole world goes sideways would you want to eat those shoes? Doubtful. Bless someone, donate any pairs you haven't worn in the past 12 months. How many puzzles and games do you have with missing pieces? Toss them ~ don't donate what kid wants puzzles with missing pieces? Take it one room, one corner, one closet at a time and be brutal! is an excellent resource for getting yourself on track.

Here's another thing I hear alot...  "But it has real value someone would pay good money"  Really? Make a list of things you want to sell then all at once search craigslist for that item go ahead do that tonight...if you really want to sell it price it below the lowest price one. Be sure to include a picture, snap one on your phone email it to yourself and post it on craigslist TONIGHT.  I made $145 last week on 3 items.  You can too if you will REALLY LIST the items, and are willing to price to sell. Too much trouble? Donate it to the church or crisis ministry or Goodwill... just deduct it off your taxes.  If you purge all the extra "stuff" that you've got you'll feel great, and have space for your "If the whole world goes sideways" stuff....

Stockpile doesn't mean HOARD The number one mistake about those of us who stockpile/prep correctly is that we are hoarders.  Pathological or compulsive hoarding is a specific type of behavior characterized by: •acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others (e.g., papers, notes, fliers, newspapers, clothes) severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space •significant distress or impairment of work or social life That's NOT what your doing if you are becoming practically prepared for any emergency! Prepare by definition means to: "Make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use" Since the items we are gathering do have value to others and I would imagine if the whole world went sideways a considerable higher value than when we obtained the items originally like fresh water and TP :)  We are not hoarders!

People toss around the H word when they see stuff stacked up in a messy fashion.  What good is being prepared if you have to spend an hour looking for something?  You need to put things away where you'll be able to find them!  Neatly is always a good idea.  If you store things under beds and in tops of closets you need to be sure to clearly label things, and please keep a master list of where everything is ~ this will alleviate alot of headaches.

Today's short note: Purge the old, broken, unused, won't use items to make room for your "If the whole world goes sideways stuff"