short story as prepping tool

Have always wanted to be writer.  Specifically, wanted to be THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVELIST.

But as Mike Rowe points out, following your passion doesn’t work if you aren’t good at it, and I’m not.

Which doesn’t stop me from trying to write. At least I get out what ever frustration is rising to the surface and I write until its gone and that’s been good enough for the last 50 years.

My latest is attempt is a post apocalyptic novel.

Write what you know the experts say, so my characters are drawn from real life, the story takes place in my hometown.  This is a land of pollyannas; Reiki practitioners, Yoga instructors, Massage therapists, crystal healers.  Ex-hippies who did well in their in between lives have now retired, showing up at the Whole Foods store in town in their tie dye, birkenstocks,  and long grey hair. They buy organic foods, organic wine in great quantities and they belong to groups that seek to bring rainbow leaping unicorns into reality.

On the other hand, we have young idealists who live in campers, drive cars that say Save Mother Earth while belching out black oily smoke, and beg on the street corners or set up shop selling hemp macramé jewelry.

We also have a lot of homes that belong to rather wealthy people who are intent on saving the Earth and therefore are solar powered with giant arrays, and driving their Prius and Teslas if they really have boatloads of $$$$.  Town code prohibits Earth Ships like you see outside of Taos, sadly.

We even have a couple of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes.

Average age of the population is 54. Lots of older retired folks in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Not actually the folks who are going to survive a great SHTF event.  Need to much medical care and on going prescription refills.

So it is within this setting that I’ve written about a woman and the loss of the national power grid on her 70th birthday.  and this is written looking back from her 75th birthday.

Amazingly, it has allowed me to go through a scenario with how well prepared am I?

There is a certain amount of Pollyanna in my story as I expect the capable in town, the solar power installers particularly, to come together to keep the water pumps going. That the local ranchers will work out a way to bring meat to the table. That the local farmers will also help supply food.  But distribution of the same is part of the story. Those who feel they deserve to have it because they are starving, but have no skills and no wish to even be a laboring body in exchange.  And those who are older and do not have the physical means to help. How do we cut out our neighbors?

But it does all fall back on what WE do at home.  We don’t live right in town, so some of the angst and chaos isn’t happening here.  We have to figure out how to heat our home (it takes place in January), how to get the garden up and running earlier,  how to cook, how to dispose of our waste – human and just plain old garbage, how to hunt and fish.  And how to do collect and bring home enough wood for all the above when it is our SOLE heating and cooking supply and we’re 70 years old!!

It turned out to be quite the eye opener and think I will do this again using different SHTF scenerios . . but first, am cooking up some beans and ham to can and dehydrate . . .

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practice practice practice

As expensive as ammunition is, adding a laser pistol to your arsenal will set you back a pretty penny.  But this year, bit the bullet as they say, and added a Laserlyte with a couple of laser reactive targets to my routine.  Haven’t had a chance to get to the range for several months now, but even if I could, it is just static practice.

Santa brought me a couple of gong targets, but even they only do so much.

There was a choice between a Laserlyte and a SIRT laser gun.  both are weighted plastic guns that shoot laser light when the trigger is pulled.  The SIRT has more options, but are all pistol.  The Laserlyte also came as a revolver and since I’m a wheel gun woman, that’s what I wanted to work with.

The nice thing about these training guns is the ability to use them at home.  Practice draw and shoot. practice moving and shooting. practice in low light conditions. practice getting up from bed with your flashlight in the dark. practice from the hip shots, single hand shots, stop and aim shots.

They still lack certain aspects of live ammo – like noise, kick, and even the weight is a little light.  BUT, they are useful to develop muscle memory, stance, and just practice, practice, practice in places where you are most likely to need your self-defense skills.

2018

Find it hard to believe how fast time seems to pass as we get older.  Find it hard, sometimes, to comprehend how I got to be 68 years old and its already 2018!

Over the years, have seen the world dance close to the ‘edge’, and then dance back.  Right now we seem to be dancing closer than ever and as one problem gets solved, we’re facing so many more.  And so prepping continues as well as concerns for our personal health and well being.  The better we are individually, the better we can cope with what ever gets thrown at us.

Unfortunately, starting in 2016, began having some fairly serious arthritis flairs, and admit let that get to me.  And in doing that, let my exercise and diet guidelines go.  Now I face the future overweight and uncomfortable.  So one of my goals for this coming year is to bring that somewhat under control.  Am not crippled by my arthritis, but if I don’t lose 80 lbs, I might find that to be the case in the very near future!

The arthritis and my weight have also cramped my shooting; from how I can carry to how well I can hold and trigger my guns.  My practice has been using a laserlyte revolver – more on that in another post.

I wish you all an achievement of your goals in the coming year.  Health and happiness be yours.

merry and happy y’all!!

having been caught up in the end of the year push, haven’t been doing much posting at all.  So while I’m wishing you all a joyous holiday season, am using this opportunity to get something off my chest.

Had  joined a Prepping group on FB to try and pick up some ideas and tips on stuff.  After a few weeks, have realized I’m better off sort of talking to myself here.

It was a nice mix of folks, from all over the world, who had in common prepping. They purported to be strictly about SHTF scenerios, not disaster, EOTWAWKI scenerios.   Unfortunately, there was too much about BOBs, Get home bags (yes, important if you have to commute to work) and Inch (I’m never coming home) bags.  Lots of discussion about what makes up a good first aid bag – read full trauma set up.

Now, from my personal POV, a bug out bag is for leaving your house in an emergency, like fire, or to move from place to place.  Most of us do not have a remote, fully set up, bug out location, right?  So unless you are just going for short term or have a place to go, that BOB is setting you up for 3 days until you suffer badly.  Of course, in a SHTF scenario, the worst of the emergency should be over in 3 days and the authorities have either moved in or you are back at home.

Most of the contents of those BOB’s also had nothing to do with things like clothing and toiletries, it was things like fire starters, water purifiers, axes and knives, paracord, tents, etc.

Yes, I have a BOB set up because we live in an area that could see disasterous fire!  So have enough packed up to gives us clothing and such for three days, including some food for the dog.  Yes, there is a small camp stove, propane bottle, water filter and dehydrated food in there in case we have to camp because hotels are full or it will take awhile to get to one.  But its about temporary needs.  If we have to leave our house, we lose our preps, so then what?

When women began talking about stuff like birth control the guys got rude and crude.  In other words, not their problem and they didn’t like the alternatives that the women were coming up with.  Sorry dudes, but do you really think the condom makers will be in business if it gets that bad?

and we weren’t really allowed to talk about self-defense or guns.

and they really put down people who bought things like solar powered battery “generators” rather than build their own.

Now while I get that a lot of people (me included) like their gizmos and gadgets, this is not a case of who has the most toys wins, right?!  Its about making personal decisions and hoping you have all the right preps to support that life style.  If you are preparing for a major EOTWAWKI event, you will be fine through a temporary SHTF scenario.  and if the worst happens, you will hopefully be adequately prepared to make the transition from comfortable lifestyle to self-sufficient living.

But what really pushed me out was when the guy who ran the forum said that there hadn’t been a SHTF situation yet and it was unlikely to happen.  WHAT!!!  I’m sure that for the people who suffered from the record forest fires in the North West and CA this year would disagree with that. As would the hurricane survivors in Texas, LA, FL and Puerto Rico!  If the thinks the only SHTF situation that counts is one that is nation wide, then we quickly move from SHTF to EOTWAWKI.  Just a little breakdown in food delivery to the cities will see those cities burn to the ground!

All in all, it HAS made me aware that as I’ve gotten older, my choices and preps have to change.  We continue, as a race of people, to dance to the edge of the abyss and, fortunately have so far, then danced back.  Sadly, see we are now dancing at the edge with some madmen who really don’t see a danger of falling off that edge.  Or maybe they think that edge is stronger than it looks.   What ever, it makes me hope that we can hold off the events for a few decades longer, cause I’m not looking forward to having to spend my senior years living like a pioneer in the western wilderness!

 

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.

 

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.