Tuesday, July 31, 2012

6 Reasons a Rural Retreat May Not Be the Safe Refuge You Might Think.

Thanks to Lisa @thesurvivalmom.com for another great update!

Way back in 2007, when I first became aware of the need to prepare for an increasingly uncertain future, I was convinced that our family needed to move from the city to a hidey-hole, commonly referred to as a, "survival retreat." Preferably in Idaho.
Our retreat would be located at least 25 miles from the nearest interstate and 10 miles from the nearest town, which would have no more than 1000 residents. We would be safe from zombie biker gangs and hoards of desperate people leaving the big cities en masse.
Since then, I've given a lot of thought to survival retreats and have come to realize they aren't the be all, end all when it comes to preparedness and survival. Here's why.

1. Rural areas are hot spots that attract the self-reliant and libertarian learning citizens.
In case you haven't noticed, self-reliance isn't exactly a lifestyle encouraged by a federal government and many state governments intent on increasing the level of dependency of citizens. Incredibly, top politicians boast of the number of Americans on food stamps and are actively working toincrease those numbers!
Citizens wishing to decrease their level of government dependence areviewed with suspicion. Without a doubt, those living in rural areas will come under increasing scrutiny as their activities are viewed as oppositional to those of the federal government. You will be in their bullseye.
2.  In a word, drones.
Recently it was reported that the federal government had some 30,000 spy drones it was willing to bequeath to law enforcement agencies across the country. Has your local police or sheriff's department requested one of these? Is there any reason to believe it won't be used to spy on the activities of innocent civilians, especially those who may show signs of uppity self-reliance activities?
It has been reported that these drones have been used by the EPA to keep track of the activities of independent farmers and ranchers. I can't think of a single reason why they won't be used to check out "suspicious activities" of those living off the radar.
3.  Google knows where you live!
Do you really think your survival retreat hasn't been mapped by Google? Activate a drone, and a survival retreat is less of a retreat, with survival questionable. And, Google has a very cozy relationship with the federal government.
4. Government entities with limitless money and power but no accountability are almost impossible to fight.
Here is just a sampling of stories that illustrate all too well how powerless a rural family is against the force of government.
How many rural families have the time and resources to fight unjust charges and policies? Not many, and I haven't even started on the I.R.S.!
5. The drought could spell big trouble for rural retreats.
I've noticed that every crisis seems to cause some in government to react with reactionary speeches and, often, unnecessary policies. The current droughthas me worried because I can easily see it used as an excuse for government interference with the use of well water. How hard would it be for an agency to declare that one person or another was, "using more than their 'fair share' of water," and regulating well water usage for everyone? 
6.  Leave it to the United Nations to harass rural Americans.
Has your local news media been covering Agenda 21? No? Thought not. Americans don't even realize that the policies of this oppressive document are already being implemented in many states. The goals of Agenda 21 areshocking. You can read all the official documentation here 
I haven't written this to discourage anyone from establishing a retreat somewhere away from big cities, but I think it's important to not over-estimate the level of security such a retreat might bring. 
No, I don't think cities are safer! They come with their own challenges and dangers, but at least city-dwellers are aware of their vulnerabilities. Too often, survival pros sell the concept of a "survival retreat" as a cloak of immunity from coming troubles.

Would you be prepared?

Yet another power outage in India.  Yes, they're used to it, but the last ones have been way worse and it raises the question... Would you be prepared in a similar situation?

I also saw this one on the Wall Street Journal site and it raises the same question....

I  imagine most farmers have some form of insurance, but this drought is only getting worse and what do you think all of this is going to do to food prices?  I'm not saying any of this to scare anyone or to get you to buy your preparedness items from me.  Obviously, I'd love it if you did, but it's bad enough now that it doesn't matter to me where you get it from, just do some research and get the best you can, while you can.  Do you really want to risk your family's well being & just hope things get better?  It'd be great if it really did work like that, but let's face it... life just doesn't work like that at all.

Monday, July 30, 2012

August Q-Pon now available!

Check out the savings!  And the pantry cans and pouches are even more affordable!  The Thrive Express packages are great too!  I highly recommend the loaded scalloped potatoes!  SO yummy!

Check out my consultant site for these and more awesome savings and don't forget to check out the emergency supplies!  :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hey everyone!  Check this link out!  I had no idea that you could grow some of these  plants from scraps!  Now I want to go try it!  LOL!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Survival Enterprises sale almost over!

Survival Enterprises sale almost over!

Head over to Survival Enterprises to check out Kurt Wilson's great site and the amazing products he has there for you.  :-)

Survival Enterprises - Sale ends July 31!

Thanks so much to Kurt & his family for working so hard to make sure that we're as prepared as possible.  :-)

How Hot is too Hot for Food Storage?

Yay!  Another update from Lisa at thesurvivalmom.com!  Thanks to Lisa for letting me post this.  :-)

Fall is just around the corner...

I know that with it being so amazingly hot & much of the USA being in a drought, it's hard to think that fall will ever arrive, but I found this great checklist on Organized home.com and thought I'd share it.  :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hootenannies! :-)

My family would think they'd died & gone to heaven if I made these yummy breakfast items for them! Lol!

Monday, July 23, 2012

7 Reasons to Start Preparing Today

I found this over at the survivalmom.com and even though it's from 2010, I think that it bears repeating and has a lot of points that are very much still applicable today

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shelf Reliance: Sweet Pepper Dip

Looks so yummy!  Can't wait to try it!  :-)

A great and easy home workout!

I know  that I don't normally post workout type things on here, but this one sounds really easy (provided you can get down to and off of the floor without help of course)!  :-)

I am so going to try this!  :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best Rocket Stove Design Ever - UPDATE

A good improvement on a great design.  :-)

Build A Rocket Stove, Step-By-Step

I have so got to try this at some point!  Finally, a good purpose for old soup cans and those #10 cans!  :-)  Thanks to LDS Prepper for this great video!

Mountain House to increase prices August 1, Take advantage of 25% off sale NOW!

I found this link on, yep, you guessed it, Lisa Bedford's site, thesurvivalmom.com.

I wouldn't want to be accused of being partial to Shelf Reliance's THRIVE foods (though they are pretty awesome and Shelf Reliance sells way more than just food items) and not ever mentioning other options, so here you go  :-)  ... 

How to Plant Strawberry Runners in Containers

If only the heat wave hadn't killed most of my plants.  :-(

The most for the host!

Big host rewards are about To EXPIRE for July! Don't Miss It!
                                         Thanks to Becky Meyers Powell for the info!  
                                         Read more at:  http://www.thetexastrainer.com


All in #10 Cans
10 Grain Pancake Mix: $10.19
Banana Slices (FD) $24.09
Blueberries (FD):$38.29
Instant Milk: $18.19 – the absolute best
Scrambled Egg Mix: $34.89 (our BEST scramblers)
Egg Whites: $25.89 (for scrambling or baking)
Whole Eggs: $19.19 (for scrambling or baking)
Sausage Crumbles (FD):$36.59

Thrive Express: Soups, Sides, Entrees in Mylar Sealed 5-packs
Creamy Garden Vegetable Chowder (5 pack): $28.89
Baked Potato Cheese Soup (5 pack): $28.89
Southwestern-Style Chicken and Rice (5 pack): $36.99

Shelving and Emergency Supplies
Kid X Sleeping Bag: $44.99
Bucket Shelf: $109.99
Portable Outdoor Stove: $28.59

 THRIVE Express Variety Pack (1 of each of our NEW Thrive Express Pouches/ 12 total): $70.59 – call for details

THRIVE™ Smart Start Pack :$150.00 Each month for 3 months – call for details
Kick-start your Q with 3 preselected THRIVE shipments complete with recipes for each month!

SAMPLE REWARDS ITEMS – Check price list for ALL available items. Items without a retail price listed will not be eligible for this reward. Email me for full copy of price list!

Item #
Retail Price
50% off Reward Price
Solar Sun Oven
Shelf Reliance Power Center 200
Volcano Collapsible Propane Cooking Kit
Kitchen Mill Electric Wheat Grinder
Goal Zero Escape Adventure Plus Kit
Basic 6 Month Freeze Dried Fruit  (1200 calories)
Standard 6 Month Freeze Dried Fruit Package (1600 calories)
Supreme 3 Month Freeze Dried Fruits (2000 calories)
One Year Breakfast Supply
Quick Fire 5 gallon

$0 - $70.00 = $6.99
$70.01 - $130.00 = $9.99
$130.01 – $190 = $12.99
$190.01 - $399.99 = $19.99
$400 + = 5% of sale price before tax

Try it in a pouch!

Try Thrive in a pouch!  A more convenient and cheap way to get your food stores built up.  :-)  I love them and so does my 5 year old, especially the fruit!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A great giveaway! :-)

Here's a great giveaway going at Lisa Bedford's site, The Survival Mom!  I totally love the huge amount of resources Lisa has available and I am so thankful to her for all of her hard work.  :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A non-traditional take on the bug out bag - Parts 1 & 2

I just found the link to the first part of http://thesurvivalmom.com's article about the non-traditional take on the bug out bad!  :-)  I'll re-post part two after this so you don't have to go digging.  Thanks so much to Lisa Bedford!   :-)

And, of course, a lot of great survival tools can always be found at:  

I know that you have limitless choices on where to get your supplies and to be honest, I don't even care if you get them from me (though I will admit that I'd love it if you did ... LOL!).  Just get them and get your family, whatever sort or size it may be, as prepared as possible as soon as possible.  Because, like Lisa said in a previous post, it's very easy to become someone's slave because you didn't plan ahead and people will do literally ANYTHING for food (and general survival supplies).

July's skill of the month from The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford!

I love these skills of the month that my friend, Lisa Bedford has on her blog.  Always very useful articles and information.  :-)

Here's how you can tomatoes.....
(If for some reason this link doesn't work, just try the first link and Lisa has a video at the bottom)

Monday, July 16, 2012

What is Shelf Reliance?

This video answers a lot of questions that people may have about Shelf Reliance and the Thrive products.  And you don't have to go all out from the start, you can try most items in pouches or small "pantry cans" for really cheap prices!  And it's not just food.  There's also lots of emergency supplies and general preparedness items too and you can never be too prepared.  :-)

Shelf Reliance: THRIVE Live July intro

Don't forget to catch Thrive Live on July 18!  I know I'll be checking it out to see what yummy things Chef Todd Leonard whips up this time!  :-)

What's in your Faraday cage?

Thanks once again to the awesome Lisa Bedford for this great article on her blog.....

I really didn't think of it like that before... I'll definitely be thinking of it now, that's for sure.  I mean, I figure that we send tons of money on our smart phones, computers, tablets... etc...  Might as well have a plan for them too.  :-)
If you needed a reason to get going on your preparations....

If pictures do indeed speak 1000 words, well......Enough said....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"From Food Storage to Slavery"

She's got a really good point that I hadn't thought of before.  Makes me wonder why I didn't pick up on it before.  Thanks Lisa!  :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Upcoming Thrive Live

Be sure to catch this Thrive Live with Chef Todd Leonard! He always does such yummy, awesome shows! :-)

GMO foods effecting us?

I was listening to Coast to Coast AM & they were talking about GMO (genetically modified organism) foods and how they may be at least partially to blame for much of the medical issues effecting us as a society these days. Very interesting information!


Great Depression meals

Lisa Bedford has such a wealth of information and since she's said that I can share it here, well here's a gem from last December.  :-)  I have to say, some of the options listed sound totally gross, but others don't seem so bad.  :-)

Could you stomach these Great Depression foods, because you might have to someday.

Look familiar?

A Non-Traditional Take on the Bug-Out Bag

I didn't manage to find Part 1 to this post yet, but here's the link to s still very useful & informative Part 2!  :-) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

And now for a little fun with cookies!

I know this is just silly kids stuff, but it was just too funny not to share and we all have to tighten up and live a little sometimes!  I promise to get back to the grown up stuff after this.  LOL!  :-)

Why you should store food?

I hear this question a lot and to me, the real question is can you really afford not to have at least some form of food storage?  I found this post on one of my favorite blogs, foodstoragemadeeasy.net and thought it was just too important of a topic not to address.

There are many reasons why people decide to build a Food Storage. There are also a lot of different ways people go about building their food storage based on those reasons why.


What is Food Storage?

Food Storage is the concept of “storing” food for a number of “what if” situations. After having an emergency preparedness plan in place including a 72 hour kit, the governing principles in which we have built our Food Storage can be found on our post: “Why Food Storage, A 5 Part Series”.

There's a wealth of useful information on Jodi & Julie's site and I go there pretty regularly.  When I can afford it, in intend to download their Food Storage Baby Steps E-Book.  :-)

Yummy Dutch Oven Cooking!

I found this yummy post on http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net and it's totally got me craving the peach cobbler that they have included in this post!  :-)

Here's some information that Jodie & Julie were able to compile based on the handouts they are given when they had a Dutch Oven cooking event at church.  :-)

Cooking tips:

  • Protect your dutch oven from wind and rain, or add extra coals to compensate.
  • Remember, it’s not an exact science, be ready to add or take away coals as needed (usually add).
  • Cooking meat? Move coals to the bottom.
  • Baking bread or desserts? Move coals to the top
  • Meals that require more than 30-45 minutes to cook may need new coals added during cooking. If so, light new coals soon enough to allow them to get going before you need them.
  • Keep the lid closed! Avoid peaking more than needed.
Cleaning Instructions:

Never use soap!  Different people have different methods for cleaning their dutch oven. The goal is not to get down to bare metal. Use a spatula or scraper to remove all leftover food and sauces. Use a clean rag to wipe out as much residue as you can. Then add about a cup of salt, and use another couple of clean rags to scrub the bottom and sides smooth. Then remove the salt, wipe down with oil, and place it back on the remaining coals for 5-10 minutes. Then give it a final wipe down and it’s ready for the next time. Most quality dutch ovens come with cleaning and seasoning instructions.

Easy Cobbler Recipe:

1 large can of sliced peaches
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can soda (lemon lime or ginger ale)
About 1/4 cup butter
Cinnamon to taste

Directions:Heat enough coals to cook at 350 degrees F. Dump peaches with juice into dutch oven. Spread cake mix over the peaches evenly. Pour 1 can of soda evenly over the cake mix. Place a few thin slices of butter on top. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cook until firm. Serve hot with cold ice cream!

Container Gardening Season 3 - Week 10: Holy Heatwave Batman!

Another update from the Container Gardeners.... my plants haven't sone too well with the heat either really.... the tomatoes did pretty well, but I'm only getting 2 at a time & the peas are sort of dying back.  :-(  Hopefully they'll come back soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How Will Shelf Reliance Ensure Food in the Future?

Thanks so much to Becky Myers Powell for this great information!  :-)  I know I've been asked many times about if Shelf reliance's Thrive foods are organic & if not, when are they planning to making it organic?  Well, here you go!  :-)

The goal of the Shelf Reliance Company is to have a supply of food at the new warehouse for each Q customers to fill 3 months of orders at the customer's budgets. The reason for this is to ensure against inflation of the dollar, supply and demand, and pure concern for our customers. They take a risk attempting to store this product just like we all do when we order Thrive and store it in our homes. But what they are doing is protecting against any eventuality just as we are doing at home.

 One way to ensure our production is to source our foods from US producers. Depending on the growing season, we also attain great quality of food in Europe and South America. SR has over 30 different distributors under legal contract to provide food sources far into the future.  We will also be going organic in the future!

"THRIVE uses only U.S. based suppliers that are regulated by and conform to FDA and USDA requirements. We have spent significant time, effort and money in carefully choosing our manufacturing partners to ensure the best quality and value in all our products. We keep our supplier list confidential in order to protect this valuable competitive advantage " HP Admin

Read more: http://www.thetexastrainer.com/2011/07/how-will-shelf-reliance-ensure-food-in.html#ixzz20SDgkeUr

Nature with science -Healthy options for your furry family members!

Check out my Aunt Kitty Sweet's site!  Pretty awesome!  Got to think of your pets when you're trying to get prepared and make sure that your family has the best & healthiest options available to them.  :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How much does it save me to be on the "Q"?

I often get asked this question (well I would if I had more than a handful of customers anyway... LOL!) and I thought that my friend Becky answered it the best.... 

How to find farm fresh foods in all 50 states!

Thanks again to Becky for posting such awesome links and articles!  Well worth checking out (both Becky's awesome blog - The Texas Trainer -   and the link blow)! 

 Here's a handy link from thekitchn.com that will point you in the right direction for the best farm fresh food around in all 50 states!  :-)

A very handy approach to food storage! :-)

Thanks to Becky Myers Powell for pointing out this great blog!  :-)

Some retty useful information.  :-) A lot of these items are THRIVE foods (anything on the left hand side at least), but I figured it was generally pretty useful anyway!  

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to make Homemade Laundry Detergent

One of many ways to make your own laundry soap/detergent.  Another way is....

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap
In a container with a lid, combine all three ingredients and mix well.  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. I keep a small chunk of the Fels Naptha soap to pre-treat stains.  It works great.  If you don’t have or can’t find Fels Naptha, any bar soap that doesn’t contain added oils, moisturizers, or perfumes will work.

As always, tanks to Lisa Bedford at thesurvivalmom.com for the Fels Naptha soap recipe.  :-)

3 Ways to Prep on a Very (Tight) Budget

Wow!  Lisa must be very busy today!  :-)  She's really cranking them out!  
Here's her latest E-Mail update that I wanted to share with you.

Our family knows what it's like to live on a shrinking budget. Trying to prepare for an uncertain future on limited funds is challenging and sometimes, even disheartening. Over the years I've picked up a few strategies that have helped us get more bang for our buck. Hope these help you, too!

1. Never leave home without your 3 lists!
If you've read my book, you know that on p. 3 (I don't waste any time with this piece of advice), I suggest making three lists: To Learn, To Do, and To Buy.
For most of us, it's that To Buy list that can be most daunting, especially as we see the enormous amounts of money some preppers spend, thanks to episodes of Doomsday Preppers. 
2.  Know the retail cost of each item on your To Buy list.
A few months ago I found what I was sure would be an awesome bargain at an estate sale, a large water bath canner. Our of curiosity I checked the price on Amazon and found that it would be cheaper to buy it new. I never would have guessed!
As you add items to your To Buy list, spend a few minutes tracking down the retail prices. This will help you identify true bargains, which can pop up anywhere, from garage sales to the discount bin at your grocery store. 
3. Refuse to pay retail for anything!
Instead, try finding what you need here:
  • Craigslist - The advantage of Craigslist is that not only will you be paying less, but you'll also avoid shipping charges and sales tax.
  • Backpage - I've received mixed reviews on this site, but in some parts of the country, it's a great alternative to Craigslist because it allows the sale of firearms.
  • Woot - I've picked up headlamps, large packages of batteries, and items for my Vehicle Emergency Kit from Woot. I love their Woot Offs, which are unannounced marathons, featuring bargain after bargain. Check out Overstock as well.
  • Steep and Cheap - This website features mostly items for the outdoors. You'll find good prices on things like tents, rugged outdoor wear, and sleeping bags. Keep an eye on the timer, though, since each item is featured for just a few minutes.
  • Freecycle - Honestly? Sometimes a garage sale is more trouble than it's worth. That's why people are very often willing to just give their stuff away to someone who needs it. Sign up for Freecycle alerts in your area and be willing to return the favor by offering items of your own.
  • Groupon and Groupon copycats - Yes, I'm a sucker for deals on frozen yogurt and Smashburger, but it's also possible to get deals on items that might be on your To Buy list. I get emails from Groupon but also Living Social, Doozy of a Deal, and Deal Chicken.
  • Oldies, but goodies: yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores (Goodwill stores are BOOMING in my area.)
The secret to budget prepping is knowing what you need, the retail price, and then being able and willing to spend time shopping around. Doing a bit of pre-planning will help you avoid buying things you don't really need.

Lisa Bedford,
The Survival Mom