Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year...But No Resolutions

2016 starts tomorrow, but for me, there will be no resolutions. Not this time, not this year.
No "New Year, New Me!" stuff.
I have decided I like myself the way I am.
Yes, still need to lose some weight, but that is for my own health, not to fit into a smaller size.
Still need to completely stop smoking, but again, that is for my health, not so I can trumpet to the world that by my will power alone I have triumphed over evil nicotine. Wouldn't be true anyway, I use nicorette gum to ease me through the worst of my cravings.

Resolutions are usually announcements of habits we will drop or good things we will do in the coming twelve months.
More often than not, said resolutions are dropped by the end of February...if not sooner.
The coming of a new year seems to infect humans with a sense of hope and a feeling that anything is the new year. So, with those blinders on, we approach the new year with a determination that soon wavers.
I am not saying to just give up on any well-intentioned resolutions you may have, though.
Go for it! But, be resolute in your resolutions! Actually DO them, okay?

It has taken me a very long time to learn to like myself.
For so long (and I am sure this is the same for many out there), my self worth was determined by what I perceived others thought of me. How others valued me. How many clicks on my blog? How many likes on my facebook post? Is my partner happy? Are my grown kids happy and successful? And on and on and on...until I was looking at things that had absolutely nothing to do with me or my actions and using them as a milestone of my own worth and success....
Rarely thought about what *I* thought of myself.
Until this past year.
Lost my ex. (Hell, I know where he is...just that I finally discovered what a sociopath he is)
No longer on my farm.
Had a heart attack and died for a couple minutes.
I discovered who my real friends and family are. I found out people liked me for me, not for what I could do for them. Learned again to laugh at life's absurdities. Found my joy again...and that, boys and girls, was something I had not had in a very long time.
I learned to breathe again and to speak in my own voice. Discovered I had self-confidence that I had long ago figured was gone forever.
I found out I actually liked this me, this person I had not really gotten to know.

What does my future hold? I don't have a clue. But that's okay.
I DO know that I will get back to farming, some way, some how.
I love it too damn much to give it up. It makes ME happy. Maybe not anyone else, but, what the hell, it makes ME happy. And I want to be happy. Not make someone else happy.

So...have a Happy New Year, for pity's sake (and the sake of everyone else) Don't Drink and Drive.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I was going to write about getting medical dental care, but then, the rain started!
Not a little rain, but A LOT!

A train was swept off the tracks not too far from where I am:

It is a mess all over!  
Here is a nearby bridge we have to cross to get to Joplin;
Yes, there is a bridge in that picture!

So, we are a bit stuck right now. Bill can't get to work, Tina can't get to the store.
And a new storm is moving in, with ice, sleet and snow!

Tina has made some preps. Water storage. Just in case the water lines freeze.
We have plenty of dry goods (groceries) and canned goods. Even have a few treats left from Christmas!
We were lucky that no tornadoes were spawned here by the storm. Some scary micro-bursts in the area at the height of the storm, but other than some trees that lost limbs, we had no damage.

I have seen on the news that several places got the same storms that we did as they headed east and and north. I hope all are staying safe and are prepping for the next series of stores that will be coming through!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hoping all of you out there are having a great holiday season!

Have a Cool Yule!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Back to Basics...Prepping YOURSELF

Okay, now back to where I am supposed to be (mentally, anyway).
Right now I have two pressing needs:
New glasses and new dentures.
The glasses will come first.
Eye exams are NOT cheap.
I will be going to one of the "Wally World" walk-in exam places. Around here, the eye exam is about $60. Not TOO bad. More than I would like to pay, but my last eye exam was over 8 years ago, so this is something I have to get done ASAP.
Now, the places you get your eye exam also like to sell you over priced frames and lenses. The "2 for 1" deals they push frequently come with a price tag over $250.,...more than that if you require bifocals or trifocals or any special treatments to the lens.So, I will tell them to give me my prescription so I can *shop around* and get the best deal for my money.
A few years ago, a friend clued me into Zenni Optical. Their glasses start at $6.95.
That's WITH prescription lens!
Delights my frugal little heart!!!
I have talked to several people that got glasses from them and all were pleased with their purchases.
Zenni has plastic frames, wire frames, frameless...every style you can think of. Mens, womens and kids! Also, varied lens, too. And sunglasses!
So, here's the link:
Go and browse to your hearts content!
I plan on ordering 3 to 4 pair in January. ALWAYS have a back up! They sell prescription lens sport goggles, as well. Might be good to wear while in the shop or hunting, etc. I may even get a pair later on.
There are other places online, but Zenni seems to have a darn good reputation, so I will probably go with them.
Next time: Saving money on dentures and dental care

Personal Health Update:
I am doing well. Have gone from 7 prescriptions down to 3 (not counting the low dose aspirin)
Walking 2 miles a day.
Was wearing a women's size 22 back at the first of July, just put on a size 16...and they are too big for me! Have lost almost 70 pounds now.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What About Honesty?

Are you honest?
How far does your honesty go?
Not just NOT telling lies, but telling truths that may not be welcomed by those that hear them.
Would you tell a stranger; "Watch out, there's a snake around that corner?" or do you think they should figure it out for themselves?
Would you tell a friend "Hey, your spouse is cheating on you!" or do you stay silent and hope it will sort itself out....somehow?
Should our government tell us the truth? "Hey, we bombed a hospital and we screwed up and we're really sorry, but shit happens. Somebody's ass will be in a sling for this" Or should they cover it up?
Oh...speaking of hard truths...
Homeland security yesterday issued a new Terrorism Advisory.
Among other things, it states :
"DHS and the FBI are providing additional guidance to state and local partners on increased security measures.  The public should expect an increased presence of law enforcement across communities in the weeks ahead. More stringent security should also be anticipated at public places and events. This may include a heavy police presence, additional restrictions and searches on bags and the use of screening technologies."
So, if you are in someplace public...
"Expect increased security across most U.S. cities and plan ahead to anticipate delays and restricted/prohibited items.In populated places, be responsible for your personal safety. Make a mental note of emergency exits and locations of the nearest security personnel. Keep cell phones in your pockets instead of bags or on tables so you don’t lose them during an incident. Carry emergency contact details and any special needs info with you at all times."

Sounds like they want us to know there is a snake around the corner, doesn't it?
I high-lighted the *populated places* thing for a purpose.
"Be responsible for your personal safety"
Read that over a few times, folks. Say it out loud. LOUDER. Tell your kids, tell your spouse, tell your friends and family. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY.
Smartest phrase to come out of a government office in a long damn time!
Can you legally conceal or open carry where you live?
Do it.
If you can't, make sure you have some sort of defensive weapon on you.
Stay away from highly populated areas, if you can. (So glad I am in a rural area!)
Errands in town? Get and go and get back home.
With that one phrase, the government is letting you know that YOU are not going to be protected by them. YOU have to see to your own safety and to that of your family.
Someone in the government went for a little honesty and stuck that phrase in there. you warn about the snake around the corner?

That's it for today...
Tomorrow...a different kind of snake warning....

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Are You Standing Up or Sitting Down?

During this political season we are in, it seems that a lot of folks are "sitting it out" instead of "standing up and being counted" for the candidate/party/issue of their choice.
Look, I know that most folks think their vote counts for nothing.
Or that candidates are SE-lected, not E-lected.
Look, I'm right there with you.
Still, we have to let the candidates and parties and our neighbors and our communities know where we stand!
If they don't know what is important to us, then they will continue on ignoring the majority of the citizens of this country.
Look, the MAJORITY of people in this country want to keep their guns.
The MAJORITY wants to stop seeing U.S. jobs going overseas.
The MAJORITY wants to see military veterans get decent health care.
The MAJORITY wants illegal immigration stopped.
The MAJORITY wants GMO labeling.
The MAJORITY wants us to stop getting involved in wars that are only waged to keep the oil flowing into the U.S. from the Middle East.
The MAJORITY is damn sick and tired of corporate cronyism papering the halls of Congress with massive amounts of money to sway the votes of OUR elected representatives.
The MAJORITY wants to see term limits on Congressmen and Senators. Some of those bastards have been in D.C. 40+ years! They have no freakin' grasp on how tough it is to make a living these days!

I wish we could do like they do in other countries and do a vote of "No Confidence" and force immediate elections.
But, barring that, we need to do SOMETHING!
email your Congress Critter. Get their email address here:
email your Senator:
contact the White House (although I doubt they will be happy to hear from mere citizens):

Whatever state you are in MAKE SOME NOISE!!!
Support local farmers. Get your local representative to enter state bills legalizing marijuana, raw milk, whatever you think should be legal!
Write, email and call your Governor.
Bring it down to your local level, too.
Attend City Council meetings, school board meetings, GET INVOLVED!Find out where the hell they are spending your tax dollars. Join a *watch dog* committee that keeps an eye on local police or whatever else concerns you in your town.
Too damn many of us are just sitting down instead of standing up for what we believe in and what is important to us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Diet and Exercise and Medicine, Oh My!

My physical condition is pretty good, but I want and need it to be better.
So, with that in mind, I have embarked on a program to *prep* my body.
First, diet.
I already ate a fairly decent diet, mainly organic, lots of veggies, few carbs and no cakes, pies, candies, etc.
I have to make it healthier.
I still have the bad habit of grabbing a soda every few days ....though not as bad as when I swigged down a couple of 2 liters a day.
So...I am working on what will hopefully be my LAST 2 liter.
Other than that, my only sweet thing in my diet is my raw honey that I use to sweeten my herbal tea and I put a bit in my farina when I make that. And fresh fruit.
I do not bake bread now as the carb load is far too high...and fresh bread is too damn tempting! I do have a sandwich for a meal once in awhile, but I normally use a whole wheat tortilla/wrap.
My oils/fats are real butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. I do eat avocados once in awhile and I like using a nut butter that is a blend of peanut, almond, pumpkin and flax seed blended together.
I need way more protein in my diet than I am currently getting, so I will have to work on that.
Beverages are water, milk, juice, teas and that last 2 liter (sigh...).
The problem is, some of my medications put a damper on my appetite. Sometimes it seems too hard to eat.
Meals, actual meals are almost an impossibility. I sort of graze, more than anything.
One egg and a few slices of tomato is a meal for me. Maybe 3 hours later I'll have some popcorn or a handful of seedless grapes and I am good for another 3 or 4 hours. Last night I had a grilled cheese sandwich. Woke up this morning and couldn't face having a *real* breakfast, so just ate a small Slim Jim and felt full.
Grapes, Slim Jims, and beef jerky are snacks I rely on these days.
So, going to have to get my diet on track.
No gym here, so my exercise is walking. I try to walk up to a mile or two a day. Have been gradually increasing it.
Next month, I am going to try to get some weights, at least small dumbbell types. Need to increase my upper body strength.
Youtube has LOADS of yoga and other videos to help me exercise, so I am using that, too.
On to my medications.
I hate taking medications.
Right now I am on 4 medications, after initially being on 7.
So, that's an improvement.
The doctor says I will ALWAYS be on the aspirin, so I am okay with that. The others, he felt, I would be able to stop as my physical condition improved.
So...that is what I am *prepping* get into good physical shape so that I can get rid of 3 of my 4 medications.
Yes, physical conditioning is *prepping*, too.
Health is the major thing a prepper needs and I am determined to get mine back.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Music For This Morning

Gun Control Song

I couldn't post it up for some reason, but give it a listen, pretty good!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Taking Inventory

The first thing anyone should do to get into preparedness is take stock of what they already have.
In my case, not much!
I have my van.
(Everything below was in said van for my cross country trek)
Clothing. Some of it well-worn, true, but still serviceable,( if only as quilt pieces.)
A coffee can full of assorted nuts, bolts, nails and zip-ties. (Why I have that, I have NO clue!)
Around 200 to 250 books. (mostly on homesteading, livestock and gardening)
Four blankets
A couple of pillows
Assorted kitchen items, including a Dutch Oven and a half dozen water bottles.
My dog
A decent North Face back-pack (with camel-back water bladder)
A couple of pocket knives.
One artists canvas, unpainted.
One framed painting I had already done
A dozen or so unpainted slate roofing tiles I brought along
A tote full of fabric and a couple of unfinished quilts
My sewing machine
Assorted sewing needs such as thread, needles, embroidery yarn, etc.
My notebooks...full of farming plans and notes, ideas, sketches, etc
So, that's it. All my worldly goods, so to speak.
I haven't completely cleaned out the van, so there may be some surprises in there yet.
So, here is how I am starting out (again), folks!
I have had less, so it is not that depressing.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Well, That Escalated Quickly...

Forget the personal ad. Taking it down. So many fakes and scammers out there it is unbelievable!
So, on to other things..
Got my medications refilled. OUCH! Even with generics, the price was such that I decided to pass on one of the meds. Called my cardio doc in NH and he said I should be okay as it was the medication he planned on discontinuing for me after about 2 months anyway. Feeling pretty good, taking long walks every day and watching my diet.
Getting ready to rearrange my room here. I can't repaint it, but I do plan to make some curtains to brighten it up. I am going to be here for a while and Tina says I might as well get comfortable!
Now that I have a decent computer to work on, I am going to blog more, start applying for farming grants, possibly take some classes online. I found a few places I can take classes online for free, so that's a good thing!
I am also going to work on my artistic side a bit more. Maybe even sell a few paintings on here!
And on to preparedness...
It is difficult to *prep* when you live in someone else's home. I can advise Tina and Bill on prepping, but, like me, they live on a limited budget. We also live in a very remote area and it is approximately 40 miles from anyplace where you can buy in bulk, etc. I did have the bliss the other day of going into Joplin and going by Fox Farms grocery...they have organic and non-GMO foods and plenty of health foods I am used to having, so I was absolutely delighted...and spent too much! But, I got my raw organic honey, my flax seed and my farina. Plus a few other goodies. Cold pressed coconut oil, black currant juice, himalayan pink salt....all the stuff that was basics in my pantry back in New Hampshire. And some teas...I love my tea in the morning!

So...trying to figure out how to *prep* when I have very little budget to prep and even less room.
I already have a *bug out bag*, so I guess that will be the first thing I do. It is currently empty, so I guess I have to buy and/or find all the supplies I need to put in it.
What's in YOUR bug out bag?
Any suggestions on what to put in mine (other than my medications)?