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Monday, December 31, 2012

Words of Wisdom for 2013

This has been a pretty slow year, slow is good though, lots of good things happened, a few "bad" things happened too, the biggest being my dad passing on this summer, that is the cornerstone of my year this year. Though I don't consider death the end of life, in fact for me, it is just a transition into the next life, that is based on 2 things, 1st is my faith, my Christian faith, I am not "religious", religion is how man screwed up the relationship with God, I do however have a great relationship with the Trinity of God, the 2nd thing is my NDE (near death experience), I drowned as a child, I remember all of it, I will not go into detail but lets just say that I went into and fully felt the most extreme peace, love, warmth and lots more I can't explain, based on what happened to me, I KNOW there is life beyond this life.

I wrote this during the week I came home, just before going back to Ft Worth to be with my dad when he passed. I think it's an appropriate thing to think about going into the New Year. I sincerely hope everyone has a great New Year.


A good friend of mine died unexpectedly last week, my dad is nearing the end of his earthly life, it might make you question God as to why "good people" die, a better way to think about seemingly tragic happenings is as a wake up call for your life...

Are you living the way you should be living?

Are you ready to meet God face to face?

Is there anything you would be ashamed of?

What would you be proud of?

What are you putting off that you would really like to do while still breathing in this life?

Is there anything you want or need to say to someone?

Like it or not, we all have an expiration date, we don't know when that will happen, could be before you finish reading this, could be tomorrow, later this week, years or decades from now... you just don't know, so don't put off the things you need to do now, get right with God if you aren't that way already, reaffirm that commitment to God, then reaffirm your love with your family and friends.

Live life to the fullest, live as if you will not be here tomorrow.





All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012


Here's wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy & safe New Year!







All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary

EEEK, I just realized, I missed our 5 year anniversary, living off grid! This time of the year is always busy busy busy for me and yesterday just flat out got away from me. So I'll write about it today,

So, 5 years ago, December 22, 2007, we arrived at our property at about 3:30 in the morning, it was blowing a gale, it was about 14 degrees F, we had been driving for about 12 hours and we were exhausted.

The reason it was so late, we had planned on getting an earlier start in the day, we were packed and ready to go, we were taking a final walkthru of the house to make sure we had everything we were going to take, when we heard a loud crash outside, PB said it sounded like a car wreck, I said it couldn't be a car wreck, I hadn't heard any tires squealing, I went out to see and sure enough, there were 2 vehicles right there, one was sitting at a funny angle in the street, the other, a truck was laying on its side in the ditch, I recognized the truck as belonging to PB's son, he was climbing out the passenger side window which was pointing straight up, he was going to see if the driver of the other car was OK. Fortunately everyone was OK, but because of that, we were delayed getting out by several hours.

Actually we had been delayed before that, we had meant to be on the road days and days before, but the weather would not cooperate, it got super cold and began raining and sleeting, we were afraid our canned foods might freeze on the trailer, so we put a space heater near the food (everything was boxed up and covered).

So after all the delays, we finally were able to get out on the road. PB was driving a truck with barely adequate brakes, hauling a trailer on which the brakes didn't work at all. I was driving PB's minivan, hauling the VW Bug, we drove slow and carefully, stopping many times to adjust the straps and tarps on the trailer. That is why it took 12 hours to get here instead of the normal 8.

Once we arrived on site, we hiked up to the cabin, it was not yet the sky castle, we had an invite by our neighbor to come to his house and sleep the night in relative comfort, but by the time we got here, we were so tired, neither one of us wanted to hike back down the hill to go to the neighbor's house, we were home and we wanted to sleep in our new home.

The rest of the night was kinda scary, the wind was really blowing hard, the cabin was not finished by any means, and it was rocking and rolling in the wind, we watched the ceiling bow up and down. We had no heat inside the cabin, the wood stove was still on the trailer. We put on our thick quilted coveralls to keep warm. PB was too wound up to sleep, between his son having the accident, the long drive and the blowing wind, he just couldn't lay down and sleep. As for me, I had no trouble, I decided that the cabin would stand or fall whether I was asleep or awake, I took our little chihuahua Pekoe, crawled into the tent that was inside the cabin, and went to sleep.

It's hard to imagine that was 5 years ago now, living off grid seems to normal to me, it's like we have always lived this way, my only regret is that we didn't do this sooner. Well, I need to do the church program for tomorrow, so I'll cut this short.

Thanks to all of my loyal readers and followers, I know I don't write often on this site, but my loyal readers are always here and comment when I do write something.

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TEOTWAWKI on Dec 21, 2012 – or not…


I have always wanted to live off the grid, when I was a kid, I didn’t exactly know what that meant, I just knew that I wanted to live away from people and populated areas, I wanted to live off the land, to be free of society, to be self sufficient. There were no solar panels back then, at least none to be had by most people, I was willing to live in a small cabin using candles or kerosene lanterns for light, cooking on a wood stove or fireplace, living like a pioneer. Little did I know that the end of the world would come in my lifetime…

I did know about solar cooking though, my dad and I had a plan to make a solar powered cooker, we even had the materials to do it, my dad brought home a round piece of shiny metal, about 3 feet across, we were going to turn it into a solar concentrator. Now that piece of metal is sitting outside of my sky castle, it never got used as a solar concentrator, it got turned into a lid for a round metal container that we put hot ash in from the wood stove, little did I know that some 30 something years later, that piece of metal would follow me to my off grid life and become a useful object.

Growing up, I felt a need to be far from populated areas, I instinctively knew these areas would not be safe in a SHTF situation, although I wasn’t a fearful doom and gloomer, I just had enough smarts to understand that living outside of town was much better and potentially safer (for me) than living in town.

Fast forward many years, I grew up, got married, had a child, raised my son, got divorced, found and fell in love with the internet, still lived in town, worked a regular job, then I met PB. He was the ultimate DIY’er, he did everything for himself, including first aid, things that most would have gone to the emergency room or to see a doctor, he took care of it himself. We hooked up, got married and several years later, he began telling me about his desire to move out west, to live off grid.

I had no idea he wanted to do this, I had never told him of my childhood desire to do the same thing! So we began to actively look for a place to make our home. During this time, I listen to a radio talk show called “Coast to Coast am", it plays overnight so I subscribe and get their podcasts each morning. While I don’t listen to every program, there are lots of subjects they cover that I am interested in, things like fringe science, things that go bump in the night, survivalists, conspiracies, history and such. One of the subjects discussed more and more was the December 21, 2012 end of the world phenomena.
Apparently the Mayans had created this long count calendar, and the date on the last one apparently ended on Dec 21, 2012. When I first heard about this, I didn’t think too much about it, but as the years went by, this subject was brought up more and more, even the main stream media started talking about it. I remember how Y2K went, it was a big flop, nothing happened, I pretty much believe the same thing about this date as well… mostly, well honestly about 85-90% of me believes nothing out of the ordinary will happen.
As we got closer to making our dream of living off grid a reality, this date event kept coming up and I couldn’t file it away as easily as I had been able to before. Do I believe the world is coming to an end? Do I believe there will be catastrophic disasters such as floods, asteroids, solar flares, planet X coming in for a close encounter? No, I don’t believe any of those things will happen, BUT even in the remotest possibility of some natural (or unnatural) disaster happening, and we all know about last few natural disasters to hit, hurricane Sandy, the earthquake-tsunami and resulting nuclear events that happened in Japan, giant sink holes in the middle of the USA, I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Honestly, I am more worried about how people are going to act at the end of this week, people living in populated city centers who might decide that if the world is going to end anyhow, why not make it a big party, a party that includes rioting, looting, burning and other assorted unsociable behavior. Or if, by some remote chance, some sort of disaster does hit, again I would rather be in a less populated area, assuming you survive whatever it is that might happen, it’s the hoards of people who are going to make life difficult.
So here I sit, looking at the calendar, seeing that date looming at the end of this week. As I said, I don’t believe there are going to be major earth changes or the end of the earth, never the less, I’m glad I am sitting on my very unpopulated mountain, far from the nearest town, hours and hours away from any major population center, if the worst happens then it will not matter much were anyone is, if things just go badly, then I feel like I’m in a safe place, but chances are, I’ll wake up on Saturday morning, along with the rest of the world, look at the clock, turn over and go back to sleep. What about you, what are you going to be doing on Friday night?



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Prepping on a Budget, part 4 – Water


Water, it IS necessary for life. For drinking, cooking and cleaning, it’s more than handy to have around, it’s a matter of life and death. In my previous water article, I discussed how my hubby and I deal with water in our off grid life. Chances are if you are reading this, you live in a more traditional setting with city water on tap, all you have to do is turn on the faucet and clean water comes out. Hopefully that situation never changes for you, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the eventuality that it might not flow out as readily as it always has, and if it does, perhaps it will not be clean and sanitary as you would want it or need it to be. This article will address that situation.

If everything stopped, water, food and such and you weren’t allowed to leave your home, I’d be willing to bet that you would run out of water long before you ran out of food, hopefully you have read my other articles on how to prep foodwise (see links at the bottom of this article) and have already started putting up food for lean times. Now, if you haven’t already done it, it’s time to start storing water. You might ask why someone who lives in a traditional home with city water would want to do this… well at any time your water supply could be cut off, or contaminated to the point where you couldn’t use it for much. Floods, pipes bursting, even the city working on the water systems can interrupt or contaminate the water that flows into your home. Chances are most interruptions would be temporary, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have a backup supply right at your fingertips?

So how much water should you store for emergency use? The minimum recommended is 1 gallon per person, per day, that doesn’t count washing and such, so the more you can store, the better off you will be. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water each day. That is an amazing number to me, since we have to haul our own water, our water use is so much less, I can make a 150 gallons of water last over a week, that’s for 2 people and that’s not being as careful as I could be, I’ve lived on as little as 3 gallons per day for 2 people, it’s not pleasant but it can be done.

So think about how much water you are using now and consider what would happen if that supply suddenly stopped or became contaminated. Of course there are ways to minimize your water usage in emergency situations, you can stock up on baby wipes or wet wipes to clean your hands and small cleanup jobs, don’t forget about using hand sanitizers too, that will save your water for more necessary use. And remember to reuse your water when possible, you can use water you have cleaned with to flush a toilet, don’t waste it if you are suddenly limited on how much you can use in an emergency.

Getting water is simple, the easiest way would be to buy up bottled water, either in gallon containers or individual bottles, a combination of the two would be ideal. If that would hit your pocketbook too hard, then you have to get creative, you can reuse juice bottles, soda bottles and such, just make sure they are food grade and heavy duty enough to stand up to the rigors of storing water for the long term, it’s not recommended to reuse milk jugs, they tend to break down after a while. Glass is easy to keep clean, but it’s heavy by itself and can break if treated roughly, so I don’t recommend glass either.

You will want to thoroughly clean your bottles, be sure to use something to sanitize the bottles too, a cap full of plain chlorine bleach in your rinse water will work, you don’t need much. You will also need that bleach for your water you will be storing, you don’t want to find out the hard way that your water is growing stuff when you need it the most. I have heard differing stories on this, I’ve read that city water that is chlorinated shouldn’t need any extra chlorine added to it to be safe. I have read that to purify water, add 8 drops of chlorine per gallon of water, stir and wait a few minutes, you should have a slight bleach odor, if not, then add more. I would tell you to do your own research, if you are reading this, then you have access to the same information I do and can determine what is best for you and your family. If it were me, I would add 3-4 drops of bleach per gallon and leave it at that. You don’t have to worry too much about having a little too much bleach, you can always leave the water container open to the air for a while, the chlorine will out gas to the atmosphere, ie it will turn into a gas and leave the water behind. Be sure you use PLAIN chlorine bleach, not the scented ones, not the concentrated ones, not the color safe ones, just plain chlorine, for this I would even recommend using the name brand Clorox.

If you really want to be safe, you can buy food grade hydrogen peroxide and add that to your water, make sure it is FOOD GRADE, not the stuff you get from the drug store or grocery store, and NOT the stuff that comes from the beauty supply, it should say FOOD GRADE. I have found it in health food stores, already diluted, but if it is not diluted, wear rubber gloves, eye protection and use caution as well as common sensed, it is caustic and will burn your skin, not horrible burns but you will notice it and probably feel it if you accidentally get some on your skin. Again, research this and educate yourself before messing with these chemicals.

You could always use what I use, and my other family members who live in the city and have good water, we use the Berkey Light water purifier, it’s simple, easy, lasts a long time and requires no water pressure or power to work. Then you wouldn’t have to worry at all about the condition of the water you will be drinking and cooking with.

Now if you have limited space inside your home, you will need to get creative as to where to store this water, of course there are closets, there is always some space in a closet that can be used to store water, what about behind your couch? Who says your couch or other furniture has to be pushed right up against the wall? Read my article about storing food to get more ideas on how and where to store your water.

Now lets move outside. If you have a yard and the room, you can collect rain water, I know there are many places in the USA where it’s illegal to collect rainwater, I am so thankful I don’t live in a state or town that does that, I would just have to be a criminal, I can’t imagine how any government agency can tell people what they can do on their own land in that respect, I guarantee I would be fighting it tooth and nail, but I digress. You can collect rainwater and store it for future use, whether you use it on your garden, or use it to flush the toilet, it’s a pretty important thing to have. You can purchase water collection containers that are made for backyard use, they are easy to set up and you can almost set it and forget it.

If you are a handy person then you can cobble together your own water collection/storage systems, you can use 55 gallon plastic drums, you might even be able to get them used at bottling companies. Just make sure if you get used plastic containers that it held food products, not toxic chemicals, it’s just not worth the chance of getting sick or worse.

I saw an interesting water collection/storage system just today, it uses 3-55 gallon plastic drums stacked up on their sides, it fills from the top (from your roof runoff) and flows down to the next 2 below it. You can find the directions here:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-3-drum-rain-collection-system-better/?&sort=ACTIVE&limit=40

Now if you are using larger containers to store water, 55 gallon drums or something else that it too big to carry around and pour, you will need a good way to get this water where you want it. The simplest way is using gravity, have the water container elevated above the point of use. If that is not possible, then you will have to pump it, either by hand, or using a powered pump. You can easily find hand pumps at places like Harbor Freight, Home Depot, local hardware store, feed store and such. You can also invest in a small 12 volt water pump, the kind that comes in RVs and travel trailers, a bit of wire and a 12 volt battery. You could keep the battery charged on a 12 volt float charger or use a 12 volt solar trickle charger, then if you need the water and you have no electricity or it is too far from a power outlet, you can use the pump and the battery to pump the water where ever you need it.

Here are the links to the entire Prepping on a budget series
Prepping on a budget – part 1 – food

Prepping on a budget – part 2 – book review
Prepping on a budget – part 3 – food storage & security
Prepping on a budget – part 4 – water
Prepping on a budget – part 5 – first aid kit

Prepping on a budget – part 6 – sanitation





All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Prepping on a budget, part 3 – food storage and security

Now that you have decided to start putting aside some food, you might be thinking “Where am I going to keep all of this food and other stuff?” Hopefully you have lots of extra space, an extra bedroom, or a big kitchen with a pantry and lots of cabinets…  or if you are like many of us, space is at a premium and you will have to be creative about how and where you store your preps.

Clearly the ideal situation is being able to store your preps inside your home, in a climate controlled space that doesn’t interfere with your everyday living AND is secure from prying eyes and insects/rodents or anything else that might try to spoil your goodies. Honestly heat is probably your worst enemy, so it is not recommended to store foods or anything that is perishable in an attic space, save that space for things that can’t spoil or go bad. A basement is a great place, assuming it’s dry, and if not, you can store your goodies in waterproof containers, such as plastic totes, 5 gallon buckets with secure lids and such, even a plastic garbage can with a secure lid would work.

Before storing your foods, especially things that are prone to weevils, I would suggest freezing foods for a period of a few days to a week to kill out any eggs, yes weevil eggs come in prepackaged foods, like flour, cornmeal, rice, anything with pasta… freezing the food will help ensure you are not storing bug contaminated foods, you don’t want to find out your foods are full of bugs when you need them most. Once you have frozen the foods, then seal them to prevent anything from getting into it.You can sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth around your food preps to kill any insects that may get past your measures. You can even put it in your flour, corn meal and such, it will not hurt you, just don’t go overboard and use too much, and be careful not to breath it, it will irritate your lungs and eyes. http://cleancoops.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=14



Now as to where to stash your food (and water, don’t forget you need water too). Even in the smallest efficiency apartment there are extra spaces that are wasted space and can be used to stash your food. Under the bed comes to mind first, there are even specially designed totes that fit under beds and can store a lot of food. You can also use plastic totes to make furniture, place 2 totes a few feet apart and put a board on top for a table, place a pretty cloth on top that drapes down and no one need know that you are storing food and/or water in it. There are decorative boxes that can be used as coffee tables and end tables, fill them with your stash. Buy an extra chest of drawers and fill the drawers with food.

Closets, again you can use totes to put in your closet, what about that space up top that you can’t reach anyhow, you can fill that space with extra food and water. On top of your fridge, behind your microwave,  behind the linens in the bathroom, behind your couch, utility spaces such as the space where your water heater lives (be careful not to put things too close to the heat), the space where your air conditioner lives and such… 
Store dry goods (beans, rice and such) in clean, dry soda and water bottles.

I wouldn’t recommend relying on frozen foods to get you though hard times, if the power goes out, then you will be stuck with a lot of food that will go bad before you can consume it.


Food hidden inside the wall between studs
Food hidden inside the wall covered with sheet rock
Stash goodies in a false or drop ceiling

If you own your space (not an apartment or rented space), then you can get even more creative, how about stashing some food in the wall space between studs? Make a drop ceiling and stash some goodies in that space. How about the crawl space under the house? If you do that, it will need to be protected from moisture, insects, rodents and such. If you are handy, you can create all sorts of false walls behind cabinets, shelves and such. This goes a long way toward security:

Security
This is simple, the fewer people who know what you have, the safer you will be. Don’t store your stuff where it is visible. Don’t brag to your neighbors, friends, co-workers and such about what you have. Right now they might just roll their eyes and make fun of you, but if times get bad, these same people might show up at your home and want what you worked so hard to store. Do you have enough to share? Probably not, you are going to be doing good to feed yourself and your family in a SHTF situation. At best, would you want to have to say no to these people? At worst, are you willing to defend what you have worked so hard to store? So the easiest way to prevent that scenario from happening in the first place is to keep your mouth shut. When everyone is standing around the water cooler at work (does anyone actually do that anymore??? LOL) and is making fun of these prepper shows, you just make fun of them too, smile with the knowledge that you are creating a secure situation for you and your family. Don’t give it away that you might just be one of “those” preppers too.

You should also instruct your family members about this too, it’s fun for kids to brag about what their parents have at home, I’ve even heard of public schools querying students if their parents have firearms and such at home, your children should be taught at a young age that it is no body’s business what is stored at home, from food, water and firearms. Hopefully your spouse is on board for all of this and is also willing to keep quiet about what goes on at home. I also don’t recommend taking pictures of your preps and posting them on the internet. It’s fun to compare what you have with other people, but things like that just make you a target for those who haven’t prepared.

Another reason it’s a good idea to keep quiet about things like food storage, I have read about laws on the books (in the USA) about the government being able to come in to your home and take extra food storage in the event of an emergency situation. Don’t think they would do that? Just ask the folks who went through Katrina, the government agencies came through and confiscated people’s guns, of course it was all done for the “good, safety and security” of the whole, it left a lot of people unarmed and unprepared for the looters who showed up later. Am I being alarmist? Perhaps. Do I believe the government will take care of us in a major catastrophe? No. In the event of a major emergency, you will most likely be on your own for a while and you will need to be able to feed and protect yourself and your family. Hopefully this situation will never happen, but it’s better to be prepared for something that never happens than to be unprepared during an emergency and wish you had done something before.

This isn’t just  being prepared for major emergencies, this could be something as simple as losing your job, having your hours cut, an unexpected bill, an injury that keeps you from working… if you have some extra food put aside, then you have more options, then you might not have to decide if you want to buy food or pay your rent or mortgage.

How do you prep on a budget? Do you have any questions about this subject? Please ask in the comments, and if there is anything else you would like to see here, please tell me your suggestions.
Here are the links to the entire Prepping on a budget series
Prepping on a budget – part 1 – food
Prepping on a budget – part 2 – book review
Prepping on a budget – part 3 – food storage & security
Prepping on a budget – part 4 – water
Prepping on a budget – part 5 – first aid kit

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prepping on a budget, part 2 – book review




While scouring the internet looking for ways to be more self sufficient, I ran across a great (new to me) author, her name is Susan Gregersen. As I dug deeper about Susan, one of the things that really interested me was her very down to earth nature, she writes using everyday language, nothing pretentious here. If you have lots of money to prep with, then this book isn’t for you, but if you are on a tight to impossible budget, like most of us are, then this will be a great book for you.
 
Susan has written several books and sells them, at a super bargain price I might add, on Amazon. I contacted Susan and asked if I could do a review on one of her books, and possibly her daughter’s books too, like mother like daughter, they are both published authors. She replied and said she would be happy to let me review her books. She sent me a copy of Poverty Prepping, available right now on Amazon for 99 cents (free right now if you have a Kindle and have Amazon Prime, if you don’t one, you can still download this book to read on your computer). She also sent me a copy of a newly published book, Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check, both of them are real gems IMHO, and at 99 cents, well you just can’t beat that. But if you only get one of these books, I recommend Poverty Prepping.


Susan’s book, “Poverty Prepping: How to Stock up For Tomorrow When You Can’t Afford To Eat Today“, shows that even on the smallest paychecks, it is possible to prep, to help set up a buffer against even harder times, even if it’s only one or two extra items per paycheck, even if you have to sacrifice some other thing to do this, it’s worth sacrificing for a short period of time for the better good for you and your family. I wrote about this in part 1 of this series.

Susan gives some really good examples of how to prep even on the tightest of budgets, what to pick out, how to store it, what extra things to buy for bartering purposes, how to get things free (gardening, foraging, hunting, trading…), as well as non-food items… One thing Susan does not cover, and I would highly suggest adding later is about not going into debt to do any of these things, don’t use credit cards, don’t take out a loan, and for gosh sakes, stay away from those title loan places that seem to be on every street corner now, you will lose money as a result of the high interest charged by all of these methods.

I would say this book is well worth your time, and it’s such a major bargain, even if you only get one thing from this book, it’s well worth it. As of right now, this book has 46 reviews on Amazon and has 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Here are the links to the entire Prepping on a budget series
Prepping on a budget – part 1 – food
Prepping on a budget – part 2 – book review

Prepping on a budget – part 3 – food storage & security
Prepping on a budget – part 4 – water
Prepping on a budget – part 5 – first aid kit

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prepping on a Budget - part 1

With prices on everything going up and our earnings going down, many of us are living on the edge, some of us are only one paycheck away from being homeless. Right now, food and supplies for everyday living is readily available, you can walk into any store and find the shelves stocked with food. But you must realize those shelves can be empty in just a matter of hours in any kind of major emergency, and when that happens, it will not matter how much money you have, if there is no food in the stores, there is no food. These types of emergencies can be on a global scale, solar flares, asteroid or comets impacting the earth, to regional problems such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, to very local problems, such as a car hitting a power pole knocking out the power for your entire neighborhood… even down to a very personal crisis, like losing your job, being injured and not being able to work, having an unexpected bill. What can you do to help ensure that you will survive?

As I mentioned, grocery stores have stocks of food, right now, but that could change in a heartbeat. It used to be that grocery stores had larger warehouse areas in the back of the store, they received fewer but larger shipments. Now, most stores have at best, a 3 day supply of food in the store, including the stock room in back. They receive multiple shipments a week, but ultimately receive less stocks of food from each one. If anything were to happen to the transportation of these foods, trucks, or trains, or airplanes or ships, then your grocery store will run out of food within about 3 days, that’s IF there isn’t a panic run on food, then you have hours at best. If something happened and you could not leave your home, starting right now, today, how long would it be before you started running out of food? How long before you would be in real trouble? A few days? A week? A couple of weeks? A month?

Today I’ll talk about how to prep in the area of food, even if you are on the tightest of budgets. If you say to me that you cannot afford to put back extra food for emergencies, I will tell you that is precisely WHY you need to do it. If you have extra food, even as little as an extra 2 weeks to a month’s worth of food, then in a financial emergency, such as an unexpected bill, or job loss, you will not have to choose between buying groceries and paying your rent or mortgage.

First you need to decide how much extra you can spend, if you do not have a budget written down, it’s time to do it and see just where your money goes, you might be surprised as to how much waste happens a few dollars here and a few dollars there. I know there are ways you can stretch your earnings, do you really NEED that $3-4 dollar cup of yuppie coffee? Do you really NEED to eat out at lunch (or breakfast, or dinner)? How about taking your lunch for a month and spend that extra money on food supplies to put up. Do you really NEED to buy prepared junk foods and convenience foods? How about buying more basic foods and actually cooking a meal from scratch?

Ladies, how about doing your own nails for a month, or you could go to a beauty school to have services done. Do you really NEED every premium channel on satellite or cable TV? Do you really NEED to drive as much as you do? Fuel is very costly, running around for no good reason eats into your budget. How about putting your gym membership on hold and working out at home, or find a cheaper gym for a while. How about shopping in resale shops? Do you really NEED to pay full retail price for clothes and such?

Now that you have determined how much you can spend, now to decide what to buy. Ideally you would buy foods that don’t require refrigeration and will last a long time. Obviously rice and beans come to my mind, also canned foods, dehydrated or freeze dried foods. The reason to stay away from frozen foods is in an emergency where you might not have electricity, you don’t want to lose hundreds of dollars worth of food that you worked so hard to put up. If you are really good in the kitchen, you can even can your own foods in Mason jars and such. I have a friend who buys chicken and beef in bulk quantities when it’s on sale and cans it, she spends a day preparing and canning the meat, she even cans her own stock/broth.

I love those little hermetically sealed aseptic foil packs of foods, like tuna, chicken, beef, you can even get milk in those foil boxes that don’t require refrigeration, just watch the dates on those, even though they are aseptic, they do eventually start tasting “off”.

You can also stretch your money by clipping coupons, you can even print coupons from the internet, but be aware, the ink you are using might be digging into your savings, so decide if you printed coupons are worth the savings. Get together with coworkers, people from your church and neighborhood, create a coupon co-op, that way anything you don’t want, someone else might be able to use, and you can get coupons that someone else might not want. Use store sales, if there is something you like that would work well in your preps, and it’s on sale, then instead of buying one or two, buy a few extras to put aside. If your store limits the number of a sale item you can purchase, then bring along a friend or family member to help, and don’t forget, they probably will not try to stop you from buying something, taking it to your car, coming back in and buying it again.

You can shop at discount stores, look for dollar stores, Big Lots and such, you can find LOADS of prep worthy foods (along with other goodies to put up for emergencies), what you would have spent on an expensive cup of latte, you can buy a whole box of tuna packets, for what you would have spent on a month at the gym, you can fill a shopping cart with canned meats and such, as long as you shop smart. Don’t forget about store brand foods, you know the ones that used to be referred to as generic? WalMart has their Great Value line, I usually buy those first because they are such a bargain and they are just as good as the name brand, Sam’s club has Member’s Mark, look at the stores where you shop, buy one of a store brand item to try it and determine if you will like it before buying up quantities. Even the dollar stores are starting to carry their own house brands, usually at half the price of the name brands.

Be sure to rotate your foods too, you don’t want to find out that your foods have gone south when you are in a position to have to eat it. Grocery stores use a system called “FIFO”, first in, first out.
One more place to find food to put up, is at food banks. I have gone to food banks and I often find many people walking past the foods that would be best for putting up, things like bags of beans, bags of rice, one food bank I used to go to would allow you to take as many bags of beans and rice as you could fit into one grocery bag, I was amazed at the numbers of people who would walk right past that to go to the more convenience type foods. Please don’t let pride stop you from providing for yourself and your family.

Later I’ll discuss how and where to store your precious foods, what other items to stock up on, and security related to your preps and family.

I originally wrote this article for www.off-grid.net, as of right now, I have 4 total articles in this series, I'll be posting the rest of them here in the coming days.

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 26, 2012

#360

I voted early and I was number 360 yesterday. My friend was number 359. It felt good to vote, though honestly with Texas being a red state, my national vote only went toward statistics. The local votes were interesting, there was only one place where I had a choice between Rep and Dem and I chose the Dem, only because the current person in office (being a Rep) was not doing his job and we were losing funding because of it. I don't always vote straight party, I look at the individual and decide which would be best for us.

I voted early because I'll be driving a friend to a neighboring town for a dr appt on voting day and I didn't want to take the chance of missing the vote.

Did you vote already? If not, are you going to? It's true what they say, you can't complain if you don't get out and vote.



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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Zoe Pix

It's been a while since I've written anything about Zoe. She has really become part of our family. She has learned not to pee inside the house, she is learning how to tell us when she needs to go outside, she comes over, gets real close to our face and gives us a "look", I can't describe it but it's distinctive enough that we recognize what it is.

She still doesn't like car or truck rides. She does like to chew on things, and like most terriers, she is so full of energy, and smart! Given the right motivation, she will do most anything I want her to do, with the exception of "come here", she still doesn't do that yet, so anytime we go outside (not in the backyard) she has to be on a leash. I'm hoping she will get that command, then I can allow her to go off leash.

Here are some pix of her, took these today after taking a walk:










I hope no one was lurking around while I was snapping these pix, I had to make strange high pitch noises to keep her attention and make her look at me with that quizzical look, anyone hearing those sounds without seeing what was going on might have thought the aliens had landed... ;)


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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Missing Dad

You know it's almost funny, in a sad sort of way, I am doing something that I suspect many people do when they lose a loved one, I am noting to myself, each time I do some certain somethings, that the last time I did this particular thing, my dad was still alive. Last night it happened while watching a new season of a TV show I like to watch. The thought intruded in my brain while the opening credits were running, the last time I watched this show, my dad was still alive. Now if you have been paying attention, you might ask, how am I watching a TV show since I don't have TV anymore... well I admit it, there are still a few TV shows I like to watch, though not many, I watch them online. My laptop and computer have become indispensable to me, not only for writing & sharing, communication (I don't have a phone, landline or cellphone), but also a big source of entertainment.

Death seems to create a permanent line in one's life, and especially when the death is still so fresh, so new, so raw, it marks a division of befores and afters. I felt this when my mother died, many many years ago, she was taken quite suddenly in a car accident, there were no goodbyes, there was no time to prepare, just one minute she was there, and the phone call later, she was gone. I spent probably a year doing the "last time I did/saw this, she was alive" thing. Eventually that sort of thing slowed down, though I am still reminded from time to time, especially around 9-11, she was still alive then, and each year when the media reminds us once again of what happened on that tragic day, I am reminded that when that happened, she was still with us.

I was very close to my mom, we were more like sisters than mother and daughter. When she passed, it was so hard, I suspect it was because of the suddenness of her death. I was pretty close to my dad, but not nearly as much as my mom. After her passing, I will say that my dad's stock went way up, we got closer and closer over the years. I relied on him for so many things, one of those was Bible knowledge, I knew that I could call him anytime and ask about a Bible verse or subject and he would be able to find it in short order. I could also ask him about lots of other things, he was really a vast pool of knowledge.

So now, I am beginning my post-dad journey in my life, and most days I am reminded that the last time I did or saw such and such, he was still alive. I know that this will go on for at least a year, slowing as time goes by. I noted to PB last night that this was the first summer/fall that he didn't come to visit, in fact, he would just be leaving about now. I will miss his visits, our frequent phone calls, him asking me if everything is going OK. Based on what he would ask about, his biggest worry about me seemed to be if I/we were eating OK, before his yearly visits he would ask me for a list of things I wanted or needed. He would always show up with a truckload of canned goods, dry goods, other foods, toilet paper and paper towels. In fact, I haven't had to buy toilet paper or paper towels since we moved off grid, he certainly was one for stocking up. We are still using what he has supplied, though that will eventually run out.

I am quite certain of where he is now, and I have faith that he will be waiting for me when it's my turn to leave this world.




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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Trip, Now Home Again...

Just got back late last night, was gone for 2 days to Abilene with a friend who had a followup with a doctor (it was good news!)...

Got in some good shopping, did I mention I really don't like shopping? Yeah I know, I'm female, I just didn't get the shopping genes. My sister got the jewelry gene and the some of the shopping gene, I got the cooking gene and the off grid/pioneer gene. :) Although I will say that of her family, she was the one who jumped in whole heart and enjoyed herself in our primitive way when she would come out to visit.

I did go to one of my favorite stores, Drug Emporium, it's really a discount super store for vitamins and supplements as well as a fully stocked regular drug store and more. I wish they had one closer to me, even in Odessa would be nice, it's just a bit too far to go for now, but rest assured I will hit that store any time I have the opportunity to go out there.

They had moved everything around since the last time I had been in there, this time my friend and I had more time to look around, we went up and down each aisle in the vitamins and supplement sections. I had hoped to find one of those capsule machines (to make my own pill formulations) but they didn't carry those, they did have the empty capsules but I didn't buy those, probably should have but decided I'd buy some online at the same time I buy the Capsule Machine.

Those Capsule Machines are great, while I was in Ft Worth, my brother showed his Capsule Machine to me, he demonstrated it and it looked so easy to use, and the money saved by buying supplements in bulk powder form and filling your own capsules is sooooo much, it's unbelievable! And I know what is going into the capsules, no fillers or other chemicals. I'll be ordering one asap, I'll give a full review and maybe even make a video when I get it. I plan on getting Ginkgo Biloba, turmeric extract, citocholine, and a few others that I can't think of right now.

While in Abilene at the Drug Emporium, I purchased some B-12 sublingual drops, another friend of mine is about to start B-12 injections, it's amazing what can go wrong with your body if you are low on B-12. I also picked up a big bottle of castor oil for my skin. And some emu oil, mainly to use on my shoulder with DMSO. I have used it 2X now and it seems like it works pretty well, it at least takes some of the soreness and stiffness out of my shoulder. It did help me sleep better last night. The last 3-4 nights (before last night) I haven't used DMSO on my shoulder at all and I could sure tell it. I had some cream with emu oil in it, but I wanted some pure emu oil to use, I wasn't completely comfortable with the other ingredients in the cream, DMSO pulls these things right into your skin (if the molecule is small enough), so for me I wanted to get some pure emu oil so that I wouldn't have to worry about what else is in it.

That's it for now, I'll post more details on the Capsule Machine when I get it.



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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

RIP Daddy, 7/15/1928 - 7/30/ 2012

Lots of happenings since my last post... sorry I have ignored this blog for a while, at least the posting part...

I'll not go into detail right now, I need to go to bed soon, should have been there a long time ago, but I'll say that my life has been turned up side down for a bit, my dad passed away on July 30th, it was peaceful and everything after that went fairly smoothly, I was able to be with him when he passed, in fact most of the family and a few friends were present when he passed. It was not unexpected, but it was still difficult to go through. I'm now working on getting back into the rhythm of everyday life. I'll post more about it in the coming days.

RIP Daddy, 7/15/1928 - 7/30/ 2012



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Could It Be Working Already???

PB and I have been working on the sky castle, his daughter, son-in-law and their two boys are coming out for a visit, basically a long weekend. I've been faithfully taking the serrapeptase, the first 2 days I've taken 2 pills (80,000 units total) first thing in the morning, I had no side effects, so on the third day I took 2 pills in the morning and 2 pills before going to bed, I also got PB to take 2 pills last night. He will be a little more challenging because he starts drinking coffee with creamer and sugar first thing in the morning, this HAS to be taken on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything but water, or 2 hours after eating.

OK, so today, while working on the sky castle, moving furniture, stripping beds, going up and down the hill with laundry, I've been working my arms pretty hard. I checked my range of motion in my painful arm/shoulder and I noticed that I can move my arm a lot more than I could before, it still hurts, but not nearly as bad. I am not taking any other medicines, not even using DMSO on it, though I have been thinking about using it too just to speed it along. PB is really loving the DMSO and regularly asks me to apply it to him. We also sent a couple of bottles to PB's mom and brother, they love it too, PB's mom just asked for another bottle to give to a friend. Soooo, I'm thinking the serrapeptase is working, I had read that you would know by the time you finish your first bottle if it is working for you or not. I'm sure I'll be ordering more of this.

Last week, I was in Abilene TX, drove a friend to a doctor appointment, while there we took advantage of the vast number of shopping locations to get some much needed goodies. First thing I have to say is the people in the bigger towns have clearly lost their ability to smile, not all of them, but a great number of them have. I have gotten so used to living in a tiny town where everyone smiles and waves whether they know you or not. That aside, we found a store called Drug Emporium, if you are lucky enough to have one of those near where you live, you have GOT to check this place out! They carry regular drug store stuff, plus really inexpensive supplements, vitamins, health foods, it appears that much of what they have is close to the expriy date so it's marked down sooooo cheap, and the choices, they carry so much, it was like I died and went to health food vitamin store heaven (without the dying part). :) Oh and the employees there were so helpful, they seem to know their stuff and where it's located, I am impressed.

I snagged a small bottle of almond oil (for my skin), a bottle of GSE, a bottle of DMAE liquid, and some other stuff, it was really cheap, and I don't mind if it's getting close to expiring, that will give me incentive to use it quicker. I tend to want to save stuff, not to use it up, and that is just silly, I shouldn't waste it but by not using it, it's the same as wasting it too. The DMAE and GSE is good for skin (externally) as well as taking it internally. I just opened the bottle of almond oil and rubbed some on my skin, it really soaked in well, it doesn't feel greasy, I think I'm going to like this stuff :) I found a recipe on line for a natural scrub, it had sea salt as a  base, then oil and lemon and orange oils. I'm thinking I can do something similar with Epsom's salt, almond oil and orange oil, perhaps I can also put in some DMAE and GSE... I've been drinking lemon water every morning, so I have all of these lemons that I can zest and use in the scrub too. Thoughts and ideas... :)



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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Serrapeptase?

OK, I tried the selenium one more time, I really want to take this. I waited a few days for my innards to get back to normal, then tried taking one drop instead of 3. Day one was fine, day two was fine, day three was not fine, I had the same gut busting gas and other stuff, not quite as severe, but still had it. It has been suggested that I might be having a herx reaction and it is causing me to have a cleanse (the hard way)... well I'm thinking now I will try taking it once or twice a week, one drop which would be about 33mcg, that is well below the FDA recommended daily dose. If I have the same reaction, then I guess that is not for me. :(

Now to the newest supplement I'm taking... it's called serrapeptase, haven't heard of it? Neither had I. But it's not new, in fact it's been in use for 30+ years in Europe, apparently even the doctors over there prescribe it for their patients. Let me tell you what it does first, then I'll tell you what it is.

This is an enzyme, it dissolves dead organic tissue, which can be blood clots, arterial plaque, fibroids, scar tissue, just about anything that can be found inside the body that causes problems. There is a whole laundry list of diseases and disorders it helps, from arthritis, MS, neuropathy, inflammation, pain, one lady in a review said it got rid of the floaters in her eyes. I haven't even scratched the surface on what people and those in the medical field say it can do... I would consider this "too good to be true" except for all the great reviews I'm reading about it and the fact that it has been in use for so long in Europe. And for what it's worth, it is given to animals too.

Now, to what it is made of/from... it is an enzyme found in silk worms, this is how they dissolve the cocoon when its time for them to emerge. I am still trying to figure out who figured this out! Who in their right mind would think of eating something that comes from the innards of a worm is beyond me. :) But I'm glad someone discovered this.

This isn't measured in milligrams or micrograms,  it's measured in units, active units, the one I'm taking is 40,000 units per pill (not horse pills either). I am on my third day, I've been taking 2 pills first thing in the morning, this has to be taken on an empty stomach, it needs to pass through your stomach quickly and get into your small intestines to work, apparently food blocks it from working or slows it down so that it dissolves in your stomach and causes it not to work. I've been told that I should start off taking this 3X a day for a while then back off to 1-2X a day. So far I have had no negative effects from it, but after the selenium reaction, I'm being more careful about starting new things, fortunately I don't tend to have a delicate constitution, I don't generally react to things in a negative way.

The reason I'm taking this is because of pain, I'm having pain in my left, upper arm, the bicep to be exact, I am having trouble raising my arm (I feel for you Dad!), this has been going on for quite some time now, many months, I don't recall injuring myself, but apparently something is going on in there. Just normal everyday movements don't hurt, it feels fine when I'm not using it, but anything I do where I have to lift my arm above my shoulder height, with or without weight is painful, not excruciating, but enough that I know about it. Also anytime I reach backward, that hurts worse, my arm is becoming noticeably weaker, I can't allow this to continue. This feels more like the joint or tendon rather than muscle but I can't be 100% sure of that. I do know that I can't even lay on the bed and put my left arm above my head, even in a relaxed position, it hurts quite a bit, enough to make me put my arm back down.

There is one possibility of how I injured it, last year I apparently slept on that arm too long, when I woke up that arm was dead from the shoulder down, this wasn't just the pins and needles kind of dead either, it was scary dead, like it was going to turn black and fall off... the feeling did eventually come back but it has never felt the same since. I suspect I may have semi-permanently damaged it when I did that. I do my best to not sleep on one side or the other for too long... ohhhh, getting older is no picnic. :) Whine whine, grumble grumble...

I do not want to start taking aspirin, acetaminophen or other pain killers, they are either hard on your stomach, liver or kidneys, and eventually they stop working as well so you have to up the dose or go on to stronger pain killers. So I am giving serrapeptase a go. I'm also going to get PB on this, the hard part will be finding a time when he's not drinking coffee (with sugar and non-dairy creamer). He has agreed to try it though, I just have to be faster than he is in the mornings :)

Reading the reviews on Amazon. I determined that the brand everyone seems to like best is called Doctor's Best. It's fairly inexpensive too (woot!). And according to what I have read, I should know before I finish this bottle if it's going to work for me or not. Of course there are some people who aren't improved by taking this, but the vast majority have improvements and continue to take it. I'm hoping to be in that group.

What supplements do you take, why and do they work for you?

Disclaimer, I am not a medical person, I have no medical training, nothing written here is meant to be medical advice or replace medical advice, this is for entertainment purposes only, use at your own risk, if you have any questions or doubts, consult with your doctor.

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bad News, Good News...

Warning, if bodily functions bother you, offend you or otherwise make you squeemish, then you might want to skip this post... Ye have been warned!

A couple of things going on, first I am discovering that my body doesn't like 100 mcg of selenium per day, that's what is in 3 drops of a liquid form made by BodyBio, I got it because I know that selenium is one of the cancer fighting supplements. Gotta be careful with selenium, from what I have read, one can take up to 400 mcg per day safely, I figured 100 mcg would be a breeze... NOT. Apparently my body decides to have lower bowel issues when I take that dose, at least that is what happened the 2 times I did take it. The first time, I barely, and I do mean barely made it to a bathroom, I normally don't have that sort of trouble, it's usually the other way around, I have to convince it to exit my body... not this time, there was rather painful gas and shortly after, well lets just say I'm nicely cleaned out now, glad no one was within visual, aural or olfactory range.

Being who I am, I needed to know if that was a one-off, coincidence... I waited a couple of days and did another 3 drop dose first thing in the morning... same results by the afternoon, painful, extremely uncomfortable gas, and again, barely made it to the bathroom.

So, I'm sitting here looking at this full bottle of selenium, still wanting to take it, so I'll try doing one drop and see how things progress from there, if one drop does the same thing to me, I suppose I'll stop using selenium and look for another anti-cancer product.

Now that you have had the TMI from my blog, this is the good news part, I won! I won a couple of first aid books from Pete over at http://patriotsagainstthenwo.blogspot.com, if you haven't visited his site, or it's been a while, then hop on over, there is always something interesting and... hmmm what do you get when you add scary and educational? Sceducational? Pete and I shot a couple of emails back and forth and we both feel like things are getting bad here in the good ol' USA, I feel like I'm in a safe place, at least safer than in the city if/when TSHTF. I rely on my faith and my knowledge of what is written in the Bible, if you aren't familiar, you should get that way, I fully believe we are in the end times and this is going to be a bumpy ride. I'm not too worried though, I've read the "end of the Book" and I know which side wins. :)

ps
To any non or unbelievers, don't bother trying to convince me otherwise, I'm a lost cause as far as you are concerned, and quite happily so, NOTHING you can say or do will/can change that.

pss
If you would like to learn about some of the things I've been currently studying, just go to YouTube and look up Chuck Missler, you can also insert the terms "end times" or "learn the Bible in 24 hours", I am absolutely fascinated by what I've been learning.

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Health-n-up

As you can probably tell from my last few posts, I'm working on getting healthier. Most of my life, growing up, I've been a very healthy person, with the exception of 2 instances when I was a kid and ended up in the hospital, once was to remove my tonsils (something that was done to a lot of kids in my generation) and a more serious incident when I had a staph infection in my hip joint, I almost lost my leg at the hip, but that old saying is so true, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. :)

I rarely get sick, and when I do, it's typically just a shadow of what other people get, I might feel bad for a day or two, I might get a short lived cough, but as I am getting older, 46 to be exact, my body isn't what it used to be and I am starting to feel the effects of aging... I don't want to hear from the old timers who have real issues, I know these things are pretty minor, and that is the point, I'm trying to cut it off at the pass before these little issues become big issues. I want to be able to continue living my off grid life for as long as possible and to do that means I need to be as healthy and fit as possible. I am beginning to feel pain, pain from sleeping, pain from doing everyday things, it's not terrible pain, just a low lying reminder that I am not as young as I used to be.

The biggest thing I can do for myself is eating better... I love sweets, I love starches, I love fried anything, I also tend to eat once a day, these are all things that aren't good for me I know. I have been getting off the sweets over the last few years, in fact I tend to not eat sweets as much as I used to, and there is no way I'll be going to the artificial chemical sweeteners, I'll stick with the real stuff thank you very much! The only alternative sweetener I use from time to time is xylitol, and that is in major moderation. Fried foods are going away for me too, mainly because of the inconvenience of frying foods, the mess and the amount of propane it takes to get oil up to that temp., I tend to get my fried foods when I go out to eat, which isn't very often. The starches are going to be the hardest, I'll work on it. :)

Here is what I have started doing, and even though it's only been about a week since I've started this, I can already feel the difference. First off, I needed to check my PH, the more alkaline the body, the healthier, the more acidic the body, the less healthy you are. I dug out my PH test strips and sure enough, I'm on the acidic side, no surprise there. So I looked up alkalizing foods, the quickest and easiest ones for me to do are lemons and yogurt. I purchased a bag of lemons and picked up a yogurt drink. It's getting harder and harder to find things like yogurt that isn't filled with toxins like artificial sweeteners, even the ones that contain sugar are likely to also contain artificial sweeteners. I found one by Lala that is sweet but has no artificial sweeteners, so I have been drinking one or two bottles in the afternoon.

First thing in the morning, I fill a glass half full of water and squeeze half a lemon into it, I drink this straight, nothing else added. I love lemon water, it's something I often drink at restaurants instead of soft drinks or tea. The lemon water, even though it is acidic itself, it does have an alkalizing effect on the body. Yogurt is also supposed to be alkalizing, now that I know I like the yogurt drink, I'll start buying plain yogurt and making my own drink, I'll post whatever recipe I find. I suspect it will contain yogurt (of course), xylitol, agave syrup, something to flavor it, perhaps a pure juice (pineapple, orange, lemon...) or cocoa... add enough water to thin it to a drink consistency and I'll be set. Who knows, maybe I'll start making my own yogurt.

I also ordered a couple of alkalizing items from Amazon, both are liquid and easy to add to my morning lemon water. One is Body Rescue Alkalizing Booster PH Drops (1.25 oz), this is supposed to increase the alkalinity of your body, I have been looking into PH drops like this but with the many different ones available on the internet, I didn't know which one to pick, this was recommended by a lady on the DMSO Yahoo group that I frequent, with the price being as little as it is, I decided to give that one a try.

The other one I ordered is BodyBio/E-Lyte - 8 Selenium Trace Minerals 2 oz, (there is a cheaper one on Amazon, but when you add in shipping, it's no longer cheaper, this one has free shipping and is overall the least expensive), the main reason for this is it's anti-cancer, you use 3 drops a day, mixed with liquid, that will give me 200 mcg of selenium per day, it IS possible to take too much of this, but what I read it would take 400 mcg per day over a long period to become toxic. I'm probably going to add other trace minerals to my diet, but for now, this is the biggie for me.
1) It has Anti cancer properties
2) It is an immune system stimulant and has antiviral properties
3) Selenium is essential for Proper Heart Function
4) It is the precursor to the powerful antioxidant Glutathione
5) It is involved in production of thyroid hormone
6) Involved in Muscular strength
7) Required for healthy sperm function

Of course, I'm not worried about #7 LOL, but for you guys, it might be something to consider. Once I take this for a while, then I'll probably cut back to one or two drops per day, perhaps by my second bottle. There is cancer in my family, I'm trying to head that one off at the pass.

I'm still taking vitamin D3, cinnamon w/chromium, and turmeric extract every day. I'll be adding more supplements to my diet as time goes by, I do prefer adding things one or two at a time, that way I can better gauge how my body reacts. Egads, I just remembered, I must be turning into my grandparents (on my mother's side), when I was a kid, I would spend the night with them, in the mornings and in the evenings, they would both sit at the kitchen table, a plethora of bottles between them, my grandpa would divvy out the various pills between the two of them, then they would take handfuls of vitamins and supplements... I suppose I come by this naturally :)

So what do you do to stay healthy?

Disclaimer, I am not a medical person, I have no medical training, nothing written here is meant to be medical advice or replace medical advice, this is for entertainment purposes only, use at your own risk, if you have any questions or doubts, consult with your doctor.

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Wretha,

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