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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Guest Post: Firestorm Chapter 11a, by Christopher Young

Making Connections

Brenda chattered on, and on. She and the other women had met in the town square, and along the roads, and in driveways. They had set up an informal network of information. Some folks were out of food, others were out of fuel, batteries, diapers, or other things. They set up an informal network and exchange, to help each other out. Of course, most of the women had known each other for years. Serving together on school boards, picking up each others kids at the bus stop, and so on. They already had the network, they just used it for survivalism, now.

Sam was astounded, how much good intel she had had brought home. It was light years ahead of anything he'd gotten from the radio in the house. They had set up an informal barter meet, to be held in the town square, Sunday after church. Sam had been an active member of the local Methodist congregation. The pastor there had been preaching for many years. Pastor Peck had a gentle approach, and a bit of grey hair. He had never married, but had dedicated his life to the ministry. Pastor Peck also had a good sense of humor. When he had to rebuke the congregation for something, he would call it a Pastor Peck Pick. He would nit pick over something or other, usually casual clothes, or use of crude language. The teenagers were found of saying that if the apostles visited, that Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pastor's Pick. But, secretly, they respected the man for his sincerity.

Sam went into the house, to have Brenda tell the others about the trading square. They were doing fairly well with most things. But it would be a good chance to get out to the town, and set things right. Gomer was in the dumps, he might need some time with the Pastor. Maybe get Sammy in to talk to the pastor. See if they could figure out what's wrong. Fortunately, it was Saturday and the trading fair was the next day. That's what was on Sam's mind, the trading fair. Chris asked if there were any Mormon congregations around. That's Chris's brand of church. Sam didn't know. Chris suggested that he could find that information easy enough online. Just go to www.lds.org and look for meetinghouse locator. Sam had to remind him that the internet wasn't working. Oh, well, then, phone book. The phone book showed a LDS congregaton in the next town over, so Chris figured go to that. Take the Blazer, it's only about five miles. Sam decided not to tell Chris that he'd been sucked into a non-Christian cult. Figured he'd let Pastor Peck do that. Maybe even save Chris's soul.

Out to the town, that's what Martha was thinking about that moment. With big news like that, she just had to tell the girls. Her normally timid husband had shot two house burners, and was, fancy the thought, wearing a gun! amazing! News like that had to be told far and wide, and as fast as possible. Martha scurried into the house, she knew she had to get the kids situated. Only one bedroom other than the master bedroom, but it had two twin beds in it. She explained to the kids that it was only a temporary thing, they would have to be in the same bedroom. Jade rolled his eyes, he had enough of Madison, just with her being his sister. Madison sighed, she knew jade was such a messy boy, he would have the room in chaos and disorder. Well, it was only for a day or two.

Jade went in and dumped his suitcase on the floor one side of a bed. And Madison went in, and set up er side of the room neatly. She folded the clothes, and put them in drawers. And stacked a last few items on top of the dresser. That looked much better n ow, looked distinctly lived in.

Lived in, well, that's a description of Sean's room. Back at Gomer's compound, each of the three kids had different house keeping style. Sean was was a walking tornado, he could scatter things every where he went. Left a confusion of clutter behind him. Melissa was orderly, to the maximum. She had to have things lined up neatly. Zack was mostly orderly, but a few things out of the way. Heather's house keeping was rapidly falling off, into disarray. She had spent so many hours taking care of Faith.

On the half hour, Heather did a vital signs check on Faith. She was starting to come around. Her pulse was stronger, and she was just starting to respond to the people around her. Naturally, her girls were thrilled. Savannah and Bobbi took a long time telling their Mom about how she had crashed into a deer, and had gone off the road. They spent the night huddled together to stay warm, and had built a camp fire in the morning. Faith was stll unconscious, but it did the girls good to have someone to talk to. The girls needed to talk.

And Heather had a need to talk to someone. She was worried, the boys should have been back from Ohio, by now. Heather called Gomer, on the cell. Gomer had been sitting in the recliner chair in Sam's living room. He had hardly moved, just sipping his glass of iced tea. Couldn't really call it "iced tea" without the ice. Playing his hand held video game. he'd stop between screens, and stare off into space for a long time.

Gomer did answer the telephone, and Heather could tell instantly hat there was something wrong. She asked what was wrong, but Gomer only mumbled that everything was OK. But, she knew it wasn't everything OK.

Heather disconnected with Gomer, and called Chris on his cell phone. Asked what was wrong with Gomer. Well, best anyone could figure, he was having a rough time being without his Ford. But, we really weren't sure, either. Maybe a Sunday in church would help. Heather actually laughed out loud. Church! Ha! Gomer wouldn't be caught dead in a church. Just not interested. However, that's a really good idea. Heather would take the crew in the Buick, to church tomorrow. That's what they all needed so much. Get out of the house for a while. Got to wash some clothes, and see if she could get Sean to church without him looking like a wild Indian.

Shelf Stable Recipes: Baked Oatmeal

Original Article

Submitted by: Emily, the Harried Homemaker


2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. raisins
1 T. chopped pecans
1 t. baking powder
1-1/2 c. skim milk (or 4-1/2 T non-instant, non-fat dry milk and 1-1/2 c. water)
1/2 c. applesauce
2 T butter, melted (or Red Feather Canned Butter or butter powder)
1 large egg, beaten (or 2 T dry egg powder and 4 T water)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl. If using dry milk and dry eggs, add those powders to the dry ingredients. Combine the milk (or water), applesauce, butter, and egg (or water) in a separate bowl. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients; stir well. Pour into a greased 8″ square baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set. Makes 4-5 servings.
Special Notes:
More photos can be found at The Harried Homemaker Preps blog

Oh No! 2012 Is Right Around The Corner!

Original Article

If you hit this blog  looking for end of the world info due to the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, you might want to check out this link.
If you landed here looking for info on how to survive and maybe even thrive when TSHTF stick around for awhile.
Today I’d like to chat about doomsday cults and other organizations that whole-heartedly put all their doomsday eggs in one basket.  I was reading this story on CNN the other day about a group of people who think that the world is going to end on May 21, 2011 due to some guy’s translation of events in the bible.  Interestingly, a lot of end of the world beliefs are religious based, but not all.  In the last couple thousand years there have been hundreds of people predicting the end of the world which, as you can see, didn’t 2012 calendar quite pan out.
Then I got to thinking:  What’s the difference between me and all these people who are followers of these religious leaders (or anyone) predicting the end of the world on a certain date?  What would cause me to walk away from family, friends, my home, pets, and all my stuff?  Well, a loaded gun might convince me to move on, but rest assured I’d be back with a plan and a bigger gun.
The Question
The fundamental question really becomes:  what is the difference between these people and myself?  Is it a fine line or are they big differences?
First of all, most of these people take the bible as a literal translation.   I don’t.  I’m neither anti-religious nor over-religious.  I tend to be scientific in my approach to things and in those matters the bible doesn’t enter into my thinking.  So if someone were to tell me that on May 21, 2011 the world is going to end I’d say, “Oh yeah?  Can I have your car if you don’t want it anymore?”  Sorry, but I just don’t believe that the world is going to end due to a religious Armageddon.  Ever.
Another difference is that these people tend to believe in a specific date that the “event” is going to transpire.  From where I sit there’s no way you can predict something from the bible by going in and trying to unlock secrets that are ambiguous at best.  And don’t think I’m referring only to the bible because I’m not.  This also applies to any book, religious or otherwise, that has predicted the end and failed including the above mentioned Mayan calendar.
While we may predict some events that may happen such as the real-estate bubble and crash, a market crash, or political events such as the revolt in the Middle-East, it’s nearly impossible to specify the year it will happen much less a certain day that it will unfold on.  Instead someone (Peter Schiff for example)  says, “Watch that housing bubble.  It’s gonna pop some day,” and when it does he suddenly looks like a genius and gets vaulted into the limelight.
Third, these people believe that “The End” is total.  All life will be wiped out.  I do not.  Sure, there are certain scenarios where it could happen, but it’s not likely.
So the differences between me and these cults or groups of people are:
a.) I don’t believe the bible or any other book is a literal translation of events that will unfold,
b.) I don’t believe an exact date can be set for these events,
c.) I don’t believe in a total “End of the World” type scenario that will completely wipe out all life on the planet.  (Other than a comet or asteroid or some such Landscape event.)
d.)  I wouldn’t walk away from everything even if I did believe the “end is near”.
So Why Do I Prep?
If I don’t believe all these warnings of doom why do I prep?  Excellent question.  While I may not believe in portents of doom that come from many directions, I do believe that trouble could come from just about anywhere.  If you look around the country and the world today you can see many reasons to be prepared for trouble:  trouble in the Mid-East pushing up oil prices, an aging infrastructure for electrical delivery, water delivery, and a JIT system dependent on fossil fuels (see the Mid-East reference above).
Add to that an economy being flooded with money (currency debasement) and food crops in trouble due to crazy weather patterns, then I’d say there’s plenty of reason to have a pantry full of food and some kind of SHTF plan.
SHTF could mean anything from a fire or flood in your home, to an economic meltdown, to a nuclear war.  Some of these events are more likely to happen than others; however, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take a little time and prepare myself for anything that might happen.
What Do I Gain?
By having a nice full pantry, gasoline standing by with a generator, a water filter and water barrels among other things, I know that I can get by for a time without outside help if need be.  I don’t have to rely on anyone else to bring food or water to me or my family if TSHTF.  How many people have you seen standing in food lines or staying in shelters after a disaster because they didn’t have anything at home?
To say, “Well, that ain’t never happened before and it won’t happen now,” is one of the most asinine arguments a person can make.  Anything can happen and given enough time most likely will happen.  The question is will you be ready when it does?
There have been comments on this blog (and other blogs) lately about preparing out of fear.  I don’t prep because I’m scared and I hope you don’t either.  I do it so I don’t have to be scared.  If you don’t believe that something bad will ever happen go ahead and cancel your insurance.  You won’t get in an accident, or get sick or break a bone or have some kind of medical emergency.  I don’t pay my insurance premiums because I’m scared, I do it because when TSHTF I’ve got some back up.  Unlike an insurance company though, my preps won’t fight me when I make a claim!
My personal belief is that when you do prep and are fully prepared (whatever that is), or even somewhat prepared, then fear doesn’t play into it.  Prepping is your insurance policy and should give you peace of mind when things get ugly.
Getting back to 2012… I believe there is no chance that the world will end because a calendar written 2011 years ago suddenly runs out.
But I’m ready for it just in case.
Are you prepared?

-Jarhead Survivor
“It ain’t happened before, and it won’t happen now.”
I’m sure there were people sitting around just before Vesuvius blew its top back in the summer of ’79 AD saying just that.
Read here for an interesting history of that volcano.  I didn’t realize it’s erupted 50 times since then though.  History does repeat itself folks!

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