Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Armchair Preppers and Random Thoughts

Because of the rise of the internet, we all run into the *wanna-be's* out there.

People that *talk* a good game, but when push comes to shove, they have no idea how to prep, survive, etc.
I have been fooled by a few, I am sure most of us have...
The guy that talks about all his *tacticool* equipment...but actually only has airsoft guns and a back-pack left over from high school.
The woman that talks about prepping and sounds good, but actually lives in a condo and has less than a weeks worth of food on hand--all her money goes for cruises, vacations and *shiny things* that her husband buys her.
The guy that discusses in depth his expertise at survival, yet would actually get lost in his suburban back yard.
My personal favorite was the "prepper" I visited a few years back that had a few forums enthralled with her talk of gardening, canning, training her dogs and her constant sewing projects. Turned out she had NO garden, all the food she had on hand was pre-packaged and canned and boxed straight from the grocery store, her dogs pooped and peed all over the house (including her bed!) and her *sewing room* was a collection of dry rotted fabrics that the dogs had befouled.
The guy that has a first aid kit that would equip a small medical clinic, but no idea how to use anything in it.

Why do they do this? What motivates them?
My best guess is a need for *crowd approval* and wanting to "hear their own head roar" as an old musician friend of mine used to say about people like this.
I figure they must be very lonely in their day-to-day lives. Maybe they are detached from their families, maybe they have burned way too many bridges with family and friends.
Some of them have more money than sense, some of them have little or no money and want to conceal that.
Whatever the reason, they are sad examples of *preppers*, *survivalists*, etc.
I have met around 10 people in real life through forums and chat rooms.I have probably talked on the phone with about 30 people I met in forums and chat rooms.
Of the 10 people I met in person, only 3 were of the *arm chair* type. So, I figure 70% of the folks out there are being up-front about their skills and prepping.
That's encouraging!
As for the 30% out there that are just talking to "hear their head roar"...I just dismiss them as sad and lonely people with nothing better to do with their lives.

The blogs I link to are, as best as I can determine "The Real Deal". Because of their tone, attitude, pictures, etc, there is a *ring of authenticity* to them. I learn a lot from them!
My own skills are, as best as I can tell, minimal in a lot of areas...I know a wee bit about a whole lot of stuff, but not a lot about any one subject! Almost everything I learned, was learned the hard way...out of necessity or desperation!
I write this blog in the hope that it may motivate at least one or two people out there to prepare. Each person that *preps*, is one less person *preppers* will have to worry about if times get as rough as some of us think they will. I enjoy writing it, because it gives me a chance to sit and think, really think about my own preparations and the direction I should be heading in.
I read other blogs to learn, to be entertained (c'mon, you funny folk know who you are!) and to get motivated to do more.
My thanks to all the *for real* folks out there!

Someone tried to poison my dog a couple of days ago.
My dog is fine, due to my Darlin' Man having the immediate reaction of grinding up some charcoal so we could shove it down her throat to absorb her stomach contents (I freaked a bit and panicked and forgot that little first aid tip). The vet called a prescription in for her to *move things along* and to negate the effects of what she ingested.
We found out who the culprit was and steps were taken to insure it would not happen again. The neighbor is moving in the next 9 days.

People that would poison a dog should be horse-whipped!
Siona is feeling fine today and running around being her old self, but it was quite a scare!

The snow is mostly melted and (I think) my landlord has repaired all of the neighbors pipes. Poor guy was run ragged for several days. I had an ice rink in the back yard and another in the front yard from my neighbors pipes bursting!
You should have seen me skating across the back yard to feed the goats...in bedroom slippers! Not one fall, but some major Olympic quality twists and turns so I didn't fall. Try that Michelle Kwan!!!

I ended up a little short in the budget dept. and was unable to order my seeds for this years garden last month. However, I will be ordering them next week.
I have picked out the majority of them from Bakers Creek, all heirloom, open pollinated, non-hybrid, non-gmo seeds.
I have some extra wiggle room in my budget to buy about ten dollars more worth of seeds.
Got any suggestions?
They have to be non-hybrid and non-gmo.
I live in a desert climate and am as frugal with water as possible. I do have some shady spots.
I have very long fence lines, so if it is somethng that needs to grow up a trellis, the fence will have to do.
I mainly use raised beds, but I have a couple of places that have good soil and no raised bed.
Let me know what would be some good choices!


  1. I have met a couple people similar to the "armchairs" you are talking about. It is sad, but I take care not to get too involved once I discover the truth. For myself, I see myself as about 80% there. I've got plenty of home canning (and store bought) in the cupboards and freezer, a large garden, home grown eggs, raise a pig every year, etc. However, I am guilty of stopping at the store on the way home for a fast dinner cause I'm feeling to lazy to cook, I love my "electronic" toys and yes, I buy bottled water for drinking (I recycle). Our spring water is good, but it's either muddy from being too full or muddy from being too low and I have a hard time swallowing a glass.

    Glad you pulled your pup through. Let's poison the neighbor before he leaves and see how he likes it?

  2. Finally someone speaks the truth. We too have run into armchair preppers and many are still operating forums to educate other armchair preppers. The thing that really got me was one lady who came to me with questions( literally to our farm), I was excited to help her with what I've learned( do's and don'ts). She took the info. to her SURVIVAL webpage and made it sound as if she'd had the knowledge( portrayed herself as me) and was blessing them all by sharing it. She too brags about the animals she "supposedly" raises, the foods and how she cooks, the garden they were going to live from and canning a years worth of food( let me share with ya, I saw it and it was literally 15ft x 6 ft at best) Still from time to time she'll email me with a question, I figure she's needing info for her webpage so I ignore it.

    Sorry to hear about the neighbor trying to poison your dog. PTL for the quick action of your Dm. Horse whipping is to good, a rope and a tree is more likely. Glad she's okay :o)

    As for suggestions for seeds, I'd suggest a seed( Baker's Creek used to have it, that's where I got it from) called New Zealand Spinach. It's not truly a spinach, but it is a wonderful "taste alike" and it doesn't bolt when it gets hot like regular spinach.The leaves are smaller and thicker( more like a succulant) but the flavor is wonderful. It's good raw in salads, steamed or cooked in a casserole or soup. It also freezes well. It's also a perenial( not in our zone, but most likely in yours) and it's produces large amounts in a short row or small area. Not sure what else would grow well in a dessert. New Zealand Spinach is worth a try, especially if your like spinach. Let me know if you give it a try and it grows well for you what you think!

    Thank you for a refreshing, truthful, humble heart.

    I always say, you are NEVER to old to learn and while we've been living our prepper, sufficient life we are STILL learning.


  3. Kelle, I recently had a run in with one of the so-called "prepper" folks in a forum. I have met this person. I know what they have.Basically, the person is a *diva* type and "know it all" on prepper type forums. Her idea of *survivalist* skills is flying in coach when they run out of first class tickets! One of the type that has more money than sense.
    I avoid forums where she is, that's for sure!

    And I am ALWAYS learning. Either from reading (like on the blogs I follow or internet in general) or by finding out through experience! No one "knows it all", and I have found, anyone that acts like they know it all usually knows damn little!

  4. If you like summer squash I would order Lemon Squash from Baker Creek,it's extremely productive and tasty.
    I'm glad your dog is feeling better,and that the problem is being solved,poor dog...

  5. You make some good points but I also would like to say that we are all in different circumstances, have different prep needs and different resource levels to address those needs. To me, prepping is as much a mentality as anything ...a willingness to be resourceful and frugal with whatever goods and cash and skills you have available and a keen desire to share knowledge.

    We have a 16x16 garden which is tiny by some standards, but there are only two of us. We also have some fruit trees and berry bushes. We do have chickens for meat and eggs and are working on adding either cattle or goats or rabbits. I use my canner and dehydrator all year, whenever there is produce we've grown or a really good special at the store. My husband is very skilled in gunsmithing and reloading and is right there with me in the garden and evening during canning. You don't link to either of our blogs but I hope it's not because you think we're the 'armchair' types.

    I just think we need to be careful in setting tangible standards, in just in our own minds, for what constitutes a true prepper ...like how much of this or that you must have or this or that skill you must possess. Just my opinion, I hope I'm not stepping on any toes.

  6. Hey Lamb! I'm with you on the horse whipping, so glad she's okay now.
    I'm with ya on the bogus folks, I've met a few myself.

  7. WomanWhoRunsWithHorses...No offense taken. I guess the ones that annoy me the most are those that make claims that they cannot back up and try to pass themselves off as *uber-preppers*.

    When I started this blog, I was living in and running a rooming house in Beaumont, Texas. I lived in one room and shared the bathroom with my tenants. I had no damn money at all. High crime area in a not-so-good neighborhood.
    No money, few resources. I nickel-and-dimed my way in my prepping. I read and learned all I could from other blogs, web sites, books, other folks that were near-by and by making mistakes all on my own.
    I thought I was following your blog...but realized I follow it by clicking on a link on someone else/s blog, lol! I actually read about a doze blogs that way. Or I just click on my followers and read blogs through there.
    Guess I should rectify that!

  8. Glad you weren't offended, Lamb. I do agree with you about the annoyance factor of the legend-in-their-own-mind types ...whether in regard to prepping or any other avenue of life.

    I remember when you were in Beaumont and headed northeast from there. WAY north and east! I'm glad things worked out like they did. You seem happy and I know the Darling Man and the teens are happier and well taken care of. I enjoy your blog.

    : )

  9. No one has it all down and few understand the difficulty of doing it year after year after decade. There's always an initial enthusiasm, followed by the reality of hard work and money. For many the love of feeling "cutting edge" is like a drug. But the reality defeats them. I'm always suspicious of anyone who's excited by prepping. It can be satisfying, although it's rare that I feel even that these days, but it's hardly exciting.

  10. I agree EN. I think if you are going to be a prepper, you have to initially treat it as a hobby or maybe just an addition to your life and you have to let it *morph* into a lifestyle. I get excited when I have a new baby goat trotting around the pen...or when my chickens (for some inexplicable reason) decided to ALL lay 2 eggs on a bitterly cold day. (Seriously...what was up with THAT?!?)
    But am I excited to package up 50 pounds of rice on the same day I have to do my baking for the week?
    Not so much...Meh...
    It can be drudge work, that is for sure. But once it IS your lifestyle, it is no more drudgery than any other work you could be doing. And when it is your lifestyle, you simply view it as just another day...ssdd.

  11. uh oh... I still get excited about prepping. :D :D I'm young and easily excited though. :D

    Seriously though, Lamb, did I know you lived in Beaumont? My mother was born and raised in Beaumont. Know any of the Buckley crew that was there? I think most have died/moved by now, but 30/40 years ago there were a dozen of them in that area. :-) (Sorry if I've already asked you this.)

    Anyway, on my blog you commented about your stuffed squash recipe, what kind of sausage do you use?

  12. Lamb, regarding internet wannabe's (and I know the two that you speak of, met one of them, couldn't agree with you more) and internet relationships. It's a documentary called 'Catfish', available on Netflix. The first 20 minutes are a bit slow, but boy it takes off after that, and is really, really good. Very thought provoking about forums and facebook, and internet relationships. I posted about it over on The Gulch, but I know you don't go there anymore.

  13. Lamb - i just read your comment on MDR's blog about armchair preppers and had to come and check you out! i come to your blog and you have us listed in your blogroll - US?!?!?!?! thank you so much for that! i don't think i have seen your comments anywhere else and finding you on MDR's is the first time that i think i have seen you. i have checked out several of your posts and really like what i see. i am adding you to our blogroll now! thank you for putting us on yours...it means a lot.

    i am always glad to find other "real deal" people. i look very much forward to going through all of your old posts!


  14. Lamb, Thank you for your comment on MDR and leading me to this post. Man, it's like I read this first then wrote mine. I know I have you on my blog roll but have not gotten back this far, if so I would not have copied your idea on my post.
    I am glad Kymber has you as a reader now. You will enjoy her comments.

  15. MDR...I figure that you must be WAY more patient than I am, lol! The "armchair preppers" eventually get on everyone's nerves eventually...I just lost my patience a little earlier than you did!
    And I have been reading Kymber for several months...always enjoy her blog.


Because of a couple of rude people that left comments that included links to porn pages and such, I have been forced to start moderating comments again.