thoughts

trikeHave had a busy month or so.

Had also joined a Facebook prepper forum to get more information and learn more about all the things we want to learn about.

and, as is to be expected I guess, despite the rhetoric of inclusiveness, they are pretty demeaning of those who are newbies.  People scared because of all the recent hurricane damage and want to get prepared.    Scared of the North Korea posturing, and what can they do to protect their families.   Scared of raging wildfires putting homes and families in harms way.  So they come asking those real newbie questions and get shot down.

Even those of us who have some knowledge, when sharing our experiences, can get ridiculed because they, in their experience and knowledge, disagree with what we are doing.  That is without knowledge on their part of what our economic, health, and needs and limitations might be.  Disappointing to say the least.

Meanwhile, am working on things like a bug out bag for us that will include some just in cases, but is mostly with the idea that if we have to bug out it is likely to be to a hotel / motel because where we are is subject to things like wildfires, or damage to the house because of falling tree limbs.  We are not in an area of blizzards, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, or even Haboobs.  Power outages are rare.  BUT, if we are experiencing a need to get out, so likely will others, and with the dog, we might find ourselves camping for a few days and am planning accordingly with freeze dried meals, cook stove, water filter, etc., etc., etc.

Meanwhile, because there is always the possibility that the S will HTF, have finally gotten my electric Trike from Pedego.  Was not expecting to like their trike because it is underpowered and small for someone of my size and weight.  But since having it, have learned a lot about WHY that’s better.  since I do want to use it for running errands in town, over 2 miles away and all uphill, am also learning that it will require a lot more pedaling on my part than I originally intended, so have been working the neighborhood streets with as little power assist as I can.   added a rear view mirror for before hitting the busy main street, and am just about ready to venture beyond the immediate streets for more mileage.

recharged it today using my Yeti 1000 to get a feel for what kind of drain that will be, which is not much.

and if the battery goes dead dead, there are always legs to make it go.

 

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keeping fit

Now I’m down to the one GP100 revolver for my handguns, being accurate with it and learning to reload it quickly are a must.

After a year of neglect, have gotten back to a habit of regular exercise.  Having arthritis makes that imperative, to keep the muscles that support the joints strong.  It also helps keep the pain levels tolerable.

Shooting at the range yesterday, can see that the work on strengthening my hands, wrist and arms has paid off as my groupings were tighter and stayed that way through the entire 1/2 hour session.

Earth Abides

This is a title of a book by George Steward published in 1949.  I read it about 1963 at around 14 years of age.  It is the book that made me aware of how tenuous our civilization is.  How fragile our existence. It is the book that made me a prepper.

It was such a profound experience that I spent years looking for a copy for myself.  And I do mean YEARS!  Now, its probably on its fifth printing!  and my copy is on my Kindle Fire!

This is one of the first EOTWAWKI books written around real events, in real time.   And by 1963, there hadn’t been much change in technology or society, which increased the realism and my awareness.

Re-reading it now, we can see the technological strides we have made (good and bad), and the advantages modern preppers have.  At the same time, some of the challenges these folks faced were not as grave as what we would face now as they were dealing with more mechanically driven forces – like gravity fed water from the reservoirs instead of electronically monitored discharge and release.  some of the philosophical challenges have changed, others have not.

The hero is an academic, the survivors really know nothing about survival, yet they manage to start a new civilization.

It seems “quaint”, but it is still a powerful message, and highly recommended.

shoe laces

nothing worse than having your shoe / boot laces break.  and how many of us have a stash of laces?  Maybe you’ve replaced your laces with paracord laces.  maybe you’ve gone for the Kevlar reinforced laces.  But do you have extra? what a bargaining tool?

Who ever talks about needing shoe / boot laces?!?!

yesterday picked up a pair of Sorel canvas boots at the thrift.  The soles look barely worn, while the canvas tops say a different story.  Or maybe that’s why they ended up at the thrift.  54″ (yes, I measured) laces and they aren’t long enough to stay laced while you are struggling into the shoes.  Something about their construction makes them tough to get on.  Nothing that a shoe horn or a boot hook and some better laces won’t cure.

Since we’re not at end of times, am getting some elastic laces for these boots, so I don’t have to loosen the laces all the way down and then retighten all the way back up.

But that’s when it occurred to me, despite having some extra laces around, there should definitely be some in my preps!

age and the prepping dream

Almost everyone has a dream for when they no longer have to work, or for when they have enough money, or , or, or.  They’re dreams right? for the future.

A lot of people step forward and begin living their dreams when they retire.  For those who have managed well, they get to retire in their 50’s.  Most don’t retire until their 60’s, mid to late.

For preppers, the dreams are things like bunkers full of food, a source of water, good soil for gardening, lots of ammo, etc.

Know someone who has just purchased his dream acreage in the high desert.  The only development to the land has been putting in a well, and electric to run the well.  The lots around him are so far undeveloped.  and he is 62.

Know he has plans for solar, greenhouse, chicken, some other livestock, barn, house of some sort, etc.

and I admit to some envy  -mostly because of his isolation.  People are really rubbing me wrong lately.

But began thinking of his plans.  How long will it take to get all this set up for full homesteading?  he’s 62.  If we works fast and throws a lot of money at it, less than 5 years to get a garden in, barns, chickens, livestock, manure piles, compost, root cellar, cisterns,  solar panels, batteries, wiring, some sort of grey water and composting toilet set up.  Then he’ll be 67.  He’s single right now, and while know he is looking for a partner on the land, he’s unlikely to find a hard working 40 year old  – unless its someone thinking the old man will croak and they’ll have this fine homestead . . . . . the preppers version of a sugar daddy . . . .

anyway, at 67, presuming he threw out a lot of money to get it done, how hard can he work this acreage? managing that livestock, turning those manure piles, moving the compost into his garden beds, harvesting, preserving, managing, etc.  And if he’s doing this mostly by his own sweat, rather than with beacoup $$$, really how hard can he keep going?

Five more years, how strong is he now?  how hard can he work?

and notice I’m not considering any health issues, presuming that fresh air, good food, and hard work will keep him healthy!

So my envy of his fulfilling his dream is countered by my being 68.  I’ve got arthritis and am losing strength in my hands.  Eye sight is going, cataracts are common for those living in the desert.  Husband is a year younger but he has stenosis of the spine, and his eyesight is also going.  hopefully, he’ll get his cataracts operated on this year.   both of us have noticed a loss of hearing (too much rock n roll!!)   We do not have beacoup $$ to spend on land and its development, even if we sold off what we do have now.  Even if we decided to go that way, I’d be at least 70 before we closed and moved on (it took mr. 62 about 2 years to sell his old property and then time to find the perfect new place).  70 years old to be starting to learn how to homestead, deal with livestock, plant and harvest and preserve.  Kill and skin and preserve.

What kind of strength will have? what kind of skills would be able to develop to counter our lack of strength and knowledge?  How long and far could we push our soft citified bodies?

So the dream is changed, reality sets limitations, and we move on in a different direction.   And lets be honest, with what’s going on in the world now, prepping does seem like it was a really good idea!

Think its time to check the inventory and see what holes I have in my stores . . .

keeping in shape

Having reached the milestone of 68 years, am continuing to try to find balance with my preps and my age.

Today, realized how out of condition I’ve become over the last year as I struggled to add 4 x 5 gal water containers to my inventory.

there is a certain amount of the aging process we can’t stop, but if we work hard enough, can hold it at bay for a while . . .