Archive for prep

I’m Ba-ack! As Best I Can, Anyway.

I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I wish I could blame my absence on writer’s block, an early and fortuitous move, or being busy doing something I love, but I can’t.

Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia. Pushing myself over the winter to work on the blog while trying to work on the house while transitioning jobs while doing the holidays while getting sick from the germs of being around new germ factories kids was too much. I crashed, pretty hard. I ended up being mostly bedridden, sick (still coughing), having to drop to 16 hours a week at work (and still sometimes calling out), and feeling so bad that I actually applied for disability (both disability and SSI were denied; I’m not appealing right now since I feel better).

But the bedrest and forced slow-down helped me immensely. I was able to start to recuperate. We went from eating whatever fast thing I could throw together to eating less-processed fast things I could throw together. *Quick meal tip: you can boil potatoes ahead of time with the skin on and then just scrape or rub the skin off when you’re ready to use it with either your fingers or a spoon edge. Even the big baking potatoes!

I’ve been able to go back to working five days a week, with 1 or 2 of those days being longer than 4 hours. I hope this holds up because the class I’m working in over the summer has two field trips each week starting next week until school starts.

Unfortunately, I also have ADHD, so when I started feeling better I was still too disorganized and scattered to work in “time” for posting. I finally just pushed over the edge this morning to get my foot back in the door.

I’m going to be posting more frequently, but no promises yet as to how frequently (due to being scattered, disorganized, etc). I plan to post on lifestyle “stuff,” which for me will mean posts on the following:

  • homesteading
  • decluttering
  • home management (possibly slanted for someone with chronic conditions that affect memory, as both ADHD and fibromyalgia do)
  • life management – I expect lots of trial and error here
  • vegan recipes – starting with simple smoothies (I make one for breakfast these days)
  • our animals
  • Kaida and her art
  • homeschooling
  • home repair/renovation or random building projects that I do. I’m not trained to build, but I like doing it so, why not? Don’t follow my building advice! Maybe just use my stuff as idea generators.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of what I want to talk about; my brain just stopped. I guess that my clue to wrap it up!

See you next time!

SQUIRREL! Just kidding! I remembered that I want to also post (and maybe even write about) interesting articles I find about ADHD, fibromyalgia, general health/nutrition, or maybe anything else… 😉

8 Things I’ve Learned From Fallout Shelter

I admit it–I play Fallout Shelter on my phone when I have a few minutes around the edges of other tasks. It’s a game where you can take a minute or two to direct your players, then exit out and come back later to pick up where you left off.

So for What We Learned Wednesday, I decided to use Fallout Shelter as my inspiration (future posts will include the TV show Contagion as well as the board game Survival by Doom and Bloom).

What I Learned

  1. Specialization might be good sometimes, but only works if you have enough healthy people to cover all the necessary jobs. In the beginning of the game, you may need to move people around to different rooms to help get levels of the different resources up (food, water, electricity). Later in the game, when you have more people, your players can become more specialized toward working for each type of resource.
  2. Physical fitness is important. Explorers (hunters in real life?) are sometimes out for many hours and need to be able to react to people and events that they find while out.
  3. Even people who cannot work (children and the elderly) need food and water. Plan for extra stored food for the times when people cannot work. Even healthy adults may need to stop work if sick or injured. There needs to be enough extra put away to allow for times like that.
  4. When the raiders come, you need to be able to defend your home. You need to have the right tools to do and know how to use them. It also helps if you can reinforce points of entry. For windows, I recommend this window film. It helps slow down anyone trying to break your window, allowing occupants more time to react to the threat.
  5. Children happen. Plan accordingly. Maybe start planning using the books “Where There is No Doctor” and “A Book for Midwives,” both available from the Hesperian? Both can be downloaded for free. Although, Hesperian is a non-profit, does offer the books bound for sale, and also accepts donations if you are able to do so. Also, there are a lot of books available on Amazon with information about natural childbirth and midwifery. Bonus points if you luck into living close to a midwife or OB/GYN! If you expect to have anyone with you that may become pregnant, you may also want to look into getting a script for childbirth hypnosis.
  6. Pets can be really helpful, even if it is “just” to show us love and help us destress. Of course, many types of dogs can be trained to do “work,” but how many of us actually know anymore how to train a dog to herd or protect? There are a lot of books on Amazon about training herding dogs, as well as several on training your dog as a service dog. Obviously, some dogs are better at some jobs than others.
  7. Store medicine ahead of time. We don’t heal as quickly as players whose health bars refill at the tap of a screen, but keeping first aid supplies and needed/helpful medications on-hand sure go a long way toward helping. Ever seen those people standing in the cold medicine aisle at the grocery store or CVS? Don’t be that person.
  8. Video games are a time sink. It’s great to have something entertaining to fill a few minutes here and there, but make sure you keep it in perspective. If it’s eating into the time you’re supposed to be getting ready for work, maybe it’s time to delete it for a while (guilty; I had to do this before).

I think it’s really neat (do people say that now?) the kinds of useful things you can learn from games! Do you play any prep- or homestead-type games? Which ones do you like? I got us Survival by Doom and Bloom for Christmas. Look for a review soon!


5 Ways To Keep Important Documents Safe And Secure

We hope and pray that nothing will happen to our home, but it’s a good idea to be prepared “just in case.” You likely have insurance on your home and many material things in your house can be easily replaced should disaster strike. Other things like photos and important documents can be hard or impossible to replace. Missing documents can make it harder to rebuild after disaster strikes. That’s why it is a good idea to keep them safe and secure.

1. Invest In A Fire Safefiresafe

A good fire safe will survive a lot of damage. Invest in a quality one for any documents you want to keep at home. You can get a fairly small box that can be stashed away in a closet or cabinet. Make sure both you and your spouse know where the safe is kept and has a key to open it.

2. Get A Bank Deposit Box

You may also want to rent a bank deposit box and store important documents, or notarized copies of them there. This will come in handy when you need the information on the documents (i.e. your insurance policy number), or you need to replace documents that didn’t survive a home emergency.

3. Make Physical Copies

It’s amazing how much easier it is to get a replacement passport or birth certificate if you have a copy of the original. That’s why it’s helpful to make these paper copies and keep them in a secure offsite location (like a bank deposit box). You could also keep them at a family member’s home. Make sure the copies are stored safely to avoid issues like identity theft.

4. Make Digital Copies And Store Them Online

Go ahead and scan the documents or take pictures of them with your phone and store them on a secure online server. Places like One Drive, or even Google Photo, will store quite a bit of information for you free of charge. Since your document scans are living in the cloud, you can easily access them from anywhere with your phone or a borrowed computer. This also makes it easy to email them off to insurance agents, or government officials to get replacement documents made.

5. Upload to Thumb Drives

Upload copies of your important documents to thumb drives. You can keep one in your purse or thumbdriveswallet, car, everyday carry bag, and your bug-out bag. Set passwords so that they can’t be accessed if lost or stolen. Thumb drives frequently go on sale; I recommend purchasing them ‌in multi-packs.

Spend a little time this week to sort through your most important documents and get your paperwork in order. It won’t take you long to scan them, take pictures of them, and/or make photo copies. The little work you’re doing now to be prepared will potentially safe you a lot of headache down the road.

Schedule it on your calendar to revisit your documents every 6 months to make sure everything is up to date and in order. Once the original setup is done, it will be much easier to keep up with it. You’ll likely only need to change out one or two document copies a year.

Tornado Emergency Preparedness Tips


We’re under a high wind warning today and it reminded me that I said I would post about preparing for tornadoes soon. Tornadoes are some of the hardest natural disasters to prepare for because they often strike fairly unexpectedly and very quickly. Unlike hurricanes and snow storms you don’t see them coming with several days of warning. Because of this it is very important that you are prepared at all times if you live in an area that’s prone to tornadoes. Luckily, they are rare in the mid-Atlantic, but they do still occur.

Makes Sure You Are Prepared Ahead Of Time

Things will move fast when a tornado hits. You won’t have a lot of time to plan and prepare. The more you can get done well ahead of time, the better. Start by determining the safest place in your home to get though the storm. Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Basements are ideal, otherwise, stay on the lowest floor possible and put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME, EITHER SINGLE- OR DOUBLE-WIDE, GET OUT! These houses are not designed to even remotely withstand a tornado_damagetornado. That includes me; I guess I’d be packing up the dogs and guinea pigs and driving in the opposite direction, hoping that my chickens, ducks, and goats would be okay. I have planned on looking into building a storm-shelter against the hill behind our house, but other things continue to push it to the back burner.

Once you’ve figured out your safe room (in your non-mobile home house), prepare a small emergency kit that includes things like a flashlight, weather radio, a whistle, and some bottled water and food. A first aid kit is also a good addition. Keep this kit in your safe room.

Now is also a good time to create an emergency contact plan. Make sure you have phone numbers for your children’s schools on hand at all times, and have the kids memorize your mobile phone numbers. Talk about what could happen and what you want them to do should they be at school or a friend’s house when a tornado strikes.

Pay Attention When Weather Conditions Are Favorable For Tornadoes

Pay close attention to the news, emergency services, warning sirens, and the like when weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes. During a tornado watch, tornadoes are possible. If a tornado warning is issued, a tornado has been observed either in person or via radar. Take shelter immediately until the danger passes.

If you are outside, you’ll notice a very dark sky with almost greenish undertones. Tornadoes often come along with dark, low clouds and large hail. If you hear a loud noise that sounds like an incoming train or if you see a spinning cloud formation heading your way, take shelter immediately. The same holds true if you hear tornado sirens.

Find A Safe Place To Wait It Out

If you are at home, head to your designated safe spot. If you are in a different building, find the safest spot you can using the same criteria as mentioned above. If you are outside, seek shelter if possible. Avoid bridges and overpasses. If you can’t find a sturdy building to get into, find a low spot and cover your head with your arms and anything else you have like a blanket or jacket.

I’m curious. Does anyone have a storm shelter for their livestock? Let me know in the comments!

“Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises” by Max Velocity – Free Kindle Download 11/23 and 11/24

“Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises” will be available for FREE download on Kindle this weekend November 23/24.

HERE for the Amazon Kindle Page

From the back cover:

The United States has descended into Civil War.
The storm was rising for some time, a Resistance in the hearts of American Patriots to the strangulation of liberty by creeping authoritarianism.
The scene was set. It just took a little push. A terrorist attack on the United States leads to war with Iran, followed by collapse, as the economy goes over the cliff.
The final blow is a widespread opportunistic Chinese cyber attack, taking down the North American Power Grid.
From the ashes, the Regime emerges. Liberty is dead.
What remains of the United States of America is polarized.
The Resistance Rises.
Jack Berenger is a former Army Ranger Captain, living in northern Virginia with his family. Following the collapse, they fall foul of Regime violence and evacuate to the farm of an old Army friend. Jack is recruited into the resistance, to train the fledgling forces in the Shenandoah Valley.
The fight begins.
Live hard, Die Free.

Patriot Dawn was written as more than just a novel. The concept was to use a near future scenario of collapse and civil war as a vehicle to portray real combat and tactics; to bring to life the concepts described in the manual: ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’. It is open to opinion which is the best order to read them, but either way they are designed to be complimentary to each other.