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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grandma goes TEOTWAWKI

I ran across this article today, it’s about a grandmother who has made the active choice to protect herself by prepping for an uncertain future. She made changes in her lifestyle to help her get through any tough times that might come her way. I say with tongue firmly planted in cheek, this grandma has gone all TEOTWAWKI, all I can say is, you go granny!

I don’t agree with everything in this article, such as the parts about making a big deal about people stockpiling guns as a result of the potential coming problems, yes, many people who have their eyes wide open do have guns, I don’t see that as a bad thing or even a shocking thing. I really dislike the spin the media puts on people owning guns, like it’s a bad thing, as if it’s out of the ordinary. Main stream media, please stop making people who own guns look like they are crazed fanatics. The other thing I don’t agree with is the “end of the world” thing, the world isn’t coming to an end, and if it did, it wouldn’t matter, none of us would be here to worry about it, now it is quite possible that The End Of The World AS WE KNOW IT is coming, and those who are prepared will have a better chance of surviving than those who think the government is going to save us, just ask the Katrina victims.

I also don’t care for the term “Doomsteads” in reference to those who are trying to go off grid and/or live off the land, ie being more self-sufficient, it sounds too drastic, doom and gloom and all, I certainly don’t consider myself a doomsteader, nor do I consider aany of the other survivalist I know to be doomsteaders.

I feel sorry for Kathie’s family, they think she has gone overboard on this, her husband left, her DIL worries that she has gone too far and is depressed, I’d bet almost anything that if/when TEOTWAWKI happens, they will all be on her doorstep asking to come in and wishing they had listened to her. JMHO.

I am happy though, that the main stream media is starting to focus on the more normal people who are trying to get ready for what is coming, too often they focus on the crazed, wild eyed, backwoods man and/or his family wearing rags, living in a shack with no running water, it’s about time that the main stream media realized that we are real people, normal people, living simple lives, consuming less and getting by just fine, we are happy, we are healthy, we have everything we need to live and survive.

‘Recession Apocalypse’: 
Preparing for the End of the World

In the serene hills of rural upstate New York, Kathie Breault is hunkering down for doomsday. It’s not an all-out Armageddon that the 51-year-old grandmother is convinced of, but an imminent economic apocalypse.

A few years ago, Breault began reading about what happens when the world surpasses “peak oil” — a point where we will use more oil than we can produce.

“I was afraid that any day that oil would disappear, that gas would start to disappear, that I wouldn’t be able to get to work, I wouldn’t have money, I wouldn’t have food that I needed,” she said. “It was frightening — the picture that was painted.”

Breault and a growing number of so-called “economic survivalists,” are convinced that when oil supply wanes, the world will head for calamity; governments and the global economy will dissolve into chaos and collapse, the group believes, changing life as we know it.

“Everything that we do in our lives is dependent on abundant, cheap energy — all the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the transportation. We’ve lost everything that we know about how to live in a different way,” she said. “I’m totally dependent on a system that I think isn’t going to be there in the future.”

To prepare for a looming catastrophe, Breault began eating healthier, walking four miles a day and biking. She lost 100 pounds as a result. Getting rid of her TV and credit cards, she slashed her monthly expenses and now heats her entire house with a tiny wood-burning stove.

“It gets cold, I wear a hat to bed and I wear lots of layers. I wear long underwear all winter,” she said.

Breault’s survivalist lifestyle marks a radical departure from the consumer-driven life she used to lead. “I was in the malls — big Christmases, big holidays. Every weekend, I was entertaining my family, we had great get-togethers, lots of food. I took trips to Mexico and Ireland and across the country, conferences. Eat, drink, have a good time,” Breault said. “I had a wonderful life. I traveled where I wanted to, I did what I wanted to, and I bought what I wanted to. And I overconsumed.”


Read the rest of the article here:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Story?id=7579167&page=1



Wretha

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

To the person leaving comments in Japanese

Whoever keeps leaving comments on this message in Japanese (my mistake for not recognizing the difference between Chinese and Japanese writing), please stop, I have rejected all of your messages, I can't read Japanese and I can't find a translation site that can properly translate it. I don't know if you are offering me a million dollars or you are promoting porn...

I did finally translate it and it still doesn't make any sense. I hope this translates well enough

このブログで書くことを止めなさい
再度書いてはいけない
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Bottom line, if I can't understand what you are writing, I will not approve the message. If you want to leave a comment, write it in English.
Thanks,


Wretha

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Winter’s Coming, Get Ready Now

It’s the middle of August, smack in the middle of summer, and it’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, the cold air is coming. I have a hard time thinking about cold weather when I’m sweating and grumbling about where the breeze went… But there are little reminders about the coming cold, the sun is setting sooner and sooner each night. The evenings are cooling off nicely, it’s all but getting cold at night. Of course cold is relative, when it’s been near 100° F, then 55° or 60° feels cold, after it’s been in the 30°s, then 55° to 60° will feel like a heat wave. :)

I thought back to last winter as I was pulling a blanket over myself the other night. I thought about what I could do and/or buy to make this winter just a little more comfortable. Last winter we decided to not kill ourselves keeping the skycastle overly warm. When you heat with wood, especially in an uninsulated space, (yeah, I know, just add insulation, it’s easier said than done), no matter how hot you get the wood stove before you go to bed, by morning, it’s cold again. You go to bed with a light blanket and by morning, you need the heavy down blanket. So, in all honesty it’s just easier to go to bed in the cold and bundle up properly for the night in the first place.

My only complaint last winter was my feet being cold, you can only put on so many socks, since feet are the closest to the ground, and they tend to not have much in the way of insulation (fat), they are prone to getting chilled first. My hands come in second at being cold. I decided that I would not have cold hands and feet this winter. I just received 2 packages from UPS (thanks Bobby! You are the best!), the first package contained silk, long underwear, silk gloves and silk (& nylon) socks. I understand that ounce for ounce, silk is one of the warmest fabrics available. I remember my mother, who was forever cold, saying that one of the warmest things she wore was silk long underwear. So if it works for her, then I know it will work for me.





I ordered these from Sportsman’s Guide, along with a couple of other items, the price was right since I was renewing my Sportsman’s Guide membership, that gave me free shipping for the whole order, I also had a $10.00 coupon, it was not a bad deal! I highly recommend Sportsman’s Guide, and it’s very much worth the extra to join the club since they give such great discounts, especially on your first purchase, they give free shipping and an extra discount on top of the club discount.

I ordered nearly the complete set of silk long underwear, the only item I didn’t order was the balaclava, I might order one later, but for now, I didn’t get it. I tried everything on last night, it felt so good, it was warm, soft and comfortable. The fabric is very lightweight so layering it under other clothes will not be a problem. I (almost) can’t wait for the cold weather to hit. I chose the natural colored fabric, the other choice was black.

In that same package we got another on demand, propane fired water heater. It’s always good to have a backup of anything that is necessary, or at least a major convenience, would hot water be a necessity or convenience? You will have to decide that one. I call it a necessary convenience. We are going to use this one for the shower that Mountain Man Bob is building. It has been started, we have the space designated and it’s almost completely closed in. We chose to give up part of the deck on the north side of the skycastle, it will be a large, walk in shower, big enough for two people. I can’t wait to take my first shower at home! :)

The second package I received was a pair of boots. Also from Sportsman’s Guide (unfortunately they are out of stock on these boots, but you can order them from here, Women’s Itasca Ice Breaker Boots ). These are good, warm boots, they say they are rated to 20° below zero F, I doubt I’ll give them that kind of workout. As long as my feet stay toasty warm, or at least not freezing in 14°to 20°, I’ll be happy. I ordered these boots a full size larger than I normally wear, that’s to accommodate the extra socks I’ll be wearing. Last winter, my boots were a half size larger and once I had on a couple of thick pair of wool socks, my toes were cramped. Ladies, I know how hard it is to buy shoes a size larger than you normally wear, but when it comes to keeping your feet warm and comfortable, then you have to sacrifice a tiny bit of (perceived) dignity, besides, these boots are cute and they make your feet look more compact. No one need know what size your boots are. :)

To view more of my off grid pix, go here http://offgridonthecheap.shutterfly.com/




To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
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Wretha

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Monday, August 17, 2009

My Guests

Today was a good day, I had a wonderful visit from Seth and his son, Jamen. We planned this quite some time ago, (I'm good at keeping secrets)... It finally happened today, woohoo!

I met Seth and Jamen out at the entrance to the community and led them in. Seth is a good navigator, he was able to figure his way around the community rather quickly, it's easy to get turned around on these roads.

Once we arrived on the property, I gave them the nickel tour of the skycabin and the property. They seemed to like what they saw, at least they put on a good face. :) They took lots of pix inside and out, I'll post them as soon as I get copies. Seth made the comment that the property is steeper than it appears in pictures and videos, yes, the verticality does not come across well in pictures or video, but they got to experience it first hand. :)

We ate a good lunch under a makeshift roof that Mountain Man Bob put up for our comfort. Seth's son, Jamen made a super dip and popped it on the fire as we were waiting for the coals to heat up. It was very tasty! I cooked some cheeseburgers and some hotdogs, we ate until we were stuffed.

After that, we sat under the metal roof, it began to rain and thunder, we had a nice little shower, fortunately it was a small shower and was quickly over. As if on queue, a young buck mule deer showed up, actually he had been hanging around hoping for a handout, I had some left over burger buns, I tossed a couple out and the deer walked up to eat the bread. He posed nicely for Seth and Jamen while they snapped pix.

The rain seemed to be over, more importantly the lightening was done, we took a stroll in the backyard, up the mountain. We didn't climb up all the way, we just went up far enough to see the area better. Seth's phone began to ring, he had network coverage the whole time, his son's phone has no bars... Seth uses Verizon, Jamen uses AT&T, hmmm, I wonder where the Verizon network people were hiding... LOL

All good things come to an end, and it was time for them to leave... I rode with them up to the Country Store, they needed to get fuel, the store is closed on Monday, but fortunately I have the key so for them, the store was open. A full tank later, they drove me back home, we said our goodbye's and Bob and I watched them drive away.

We had a really good time and look forward to the next visit.



Wretha

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http://offgridonthecheap.shutterfly.com/

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pix and More Pix

I have been looking for a good, FREE and unlimited picture hosting site, I thought I had a good one in Flickr, I really love their system and the fact that I can make slideshows for Blogger. I knew they had a monthly upload limit, I could live with that, but yesterday when I was uploading a new set of pix, I found out they have a limit on the number of pictures that can be viewed on their free account, it's 200, I can continue adding more pix but only the last 200 will show. That's no good for me, and on our very limited budget, I can't see paying for their premium service, ho hum.... I even considered opening up a new account with Flickr, but it's associated with my Yahoo account, I don't want to go through the bother of opening up a new Yahoo account and going back and forth between accounts, yeah I know, I'm digitally lazy. :)

So I went on the hunt for another photo hosting site. I found several that seemed to be unlimited AND free, but the one I really like the best is Shutterfly, I signed up and uploaded a batch of photos, so far so good. The uploader is fast and allows me to upload multiple photos at once. They also offer the ability to create a website with my pix on it, here is the link
http://offgridonthecheap.shutterfly.com/
It's still a work in progress, I'll be tweaking it in the coming days, but go ahead and visit and take a look at the new pix. I have lots more pix and albums to upload, as well as videos. Let me know what you think. :)


Wretha

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

eBook Reviews-The Real Truth

Just a quick note, I have posted a few ebook reviews, I am currently working on more, in the spirit of honesty I wanted to let you know how I do these. First and foremost, I will never post a review of a product that I don't entirely endorse myself, even if it means losing revinue, I will never post a review of an ebook that I didn't personally and fully endorse.

What I do is I will find an ebook that I am interested in and would be of interest to my readers, I will contact the author and ask for a comp copy in return for a review. So far, with the exception of one, I have had good results from this approach. Most authors know that by losing one sale (giving me a free copy) has the potential to gain them many sales. The one that didn't work was really frustrating for me, the author agreed to the exchange but never sent the ebooks, they said they did, but I never got it. I even created a special filter on my email account so that the particular ebook would not be sent to my spam box, I don't know if the author never sent it, or something happened between them sending and me receiving. I finally gave up after several tries.

Some of the ebooks I will earn money on if you purchase through my link, some I will earn no money, I just like the ebook well enough to promote it with no financial gain. Just because I earn some money from some of them does not mean I would ever promote an ebook that I didn't personally like. In fact, I just sent an email out to an author of an ebook to let him know that I couldn't do the review on his ebook, the really sad thing is I really liked the ebook content, and would give it a good review, the problem was that while doing more research on the subject, I found a another site that offered the nearly identical information for free. Either my ebook author had borrowed from the free info or the site offering the free info borrowed from my author. I suspect I know the truth about who borrowed from whom based on the copyright dates, but I can't prove it so it's best to not make any accusations.

Either way, I know that if I could find the free info, then my readers could also find it, and quite frankly, if I had purchased that ebook, then found the free info, I would have wanted my money back. That was a lose-lose situation. I would have earned money from each sale of this ebook (through my link) but couldn't in all honestly promote it, it wouldn't have been fair to you, I cannot promote something in a review that I don't believe in.

I have gotten positive comments from some of you about my ebook reviews, (I have received no complaints about them), I will be on the lookout for more ebooks to review, I am nearly finished with a really good one, and should have it posted soon, I am also lining up other sites so that I can contact the author, I have quite a few that I want to review, I just don't like having too many to do at the same time, I like to get them out asap after the author sends me their ebook. I thorougly enjoy doing these and I hope you enjoy reading them.

If you are an author of an ebook, or even a hard copy (real-non-virtual) book, and would like to submit it to me for review, please contact me and let me know, I'll be more than happy to look over your material. Especially if it relates to off grid living, survivalists, homesteading, cooking, canning, preserving or anything else that might relate to this lifestyle.

If you know of an ebook that you would like to see a review on, send me the link, the more the merrier. :)

Click here to see the reviews I have done to date:
Click here to see my other book reviews

EDIT Aug 7, 09
As pointed out by a reader, I tweaked my DIY sponsors, I removed one of the advertisers that had an obnoxious popup, there is another sponsor with a popup but you can close the window with no problems. If you experience something negative, like an obnoxious popup or something else, please let me know so I can check it out. I always check out the sponsors before I post them here, I try my best to not put up problem sites, but they can always change after I approve them, if that happens, please let me know.

Each sponsor will open in a new window (or tab), when you are done just close the window or tab to return to this blog.

I clearly marked the sponsors, so you know you are clicking on a sponsor, not something I wrote.

I also denote the sponsors that I have personally reviewed.

All of my DIY sponsors will leave a cookie on your computer, that is the way Clickbank works, that's how they know to give me the proper credit when a sale is made.

All of my DIY sponsors have a full, 100% money back guarantee, that's another thing that Clickbank does, the sponsors have to agree to that and since payment goes through Clickbank, your purchase (and refund should you need it) is safe and guaranteed, so no worries about whether or not you will like your purchase.

I hope this helps clear some things up, I do not want to trick or deceive anyone, that's why I check out the sponsors, they have to pass my scrutiny first, and when possible, I try to get a copy so that I can give a review, if I don't like it, I will remove it.

I know that some people will not like advertisers or sponsors, to those who feel that way, I am sorry, my site and all the information here, I offer for free, this blog represents untold hours of work, research and personal experiences. This blog is 100% free, you can read everything I have written without having to pay a fee for access. I have added sponsors, Google ads, Amazon links and such, some I have removed because I didn't like them, I try to be as careful as possible to add only quality ads and sponsors, I have no problem pulling an ad or sponsor if need be.

These sponsors and ads help, in a small way to keep this site going, believe me, I'm not getting rich here, anyone who does this know what I'm talking about. I'm just trying to keep things going, there are costs (for me) involved with doing this, my time, internet access costs, my computer and other equipment... I'm not complaining or begging, I just want those who might be offended by the advertisements here to understand my point of view.


Wretha
email
wretha(at)gmail(dot)com

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