home prepping

when I began the prepping journey – which was as much as anything, about saving money and being sure of where our food came from – bought an American Canner.  They are great, heavy duty, no gasket, canners, machined out of solid aluminum.  BUT to be able to do more than 8 or 9 pints at a time, you have to do multiple rounds.

Was able to pick up a hardly used Presto canner at the thrift not long after that.  Besides being much lighter, when it comes to pints and 1/2 pints, its tall enough to stack the jars!  not only does that save time, but also energy as adding 1/2 an hour to the canning time is a lot less energy than doing 2 x 70 minute batches!

My husband has enjoyed the results of having home made soups and chili and such available, although he’s looked at my preps as more of a humoring me thing, not with any real long term seriousness.

Until recently.

Be that as it may, am working up pints of soup this summer instead of quarts as I’ve had the big DUH moment that I’m not always wanting what he wants and why do I have to open a quart for us both instead of a pint each of what we want?  Just, am making bigger batches so some goes into long term preps, while some goes into the pantry.

Made 11 pints of lentil soup a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday made chicken soup.  Last night Husband had chicken with wild rice (his favorite), and canned two quarts of chicken with rice for him to take on a camping trip with his nephew this weekend.  Filled the rest of the canner with quarts of water; a good way to keep good water on hand, keep the jars useful instead of storing empty, and keep the canner full for a good canning experience.

Today, have 15 pints going: 4 plain soup with brown rice, 3 plain soup, added tomatoes to the rest in the pot with more veg and did more pints with rice, and 4 without.

While they’re gone will do some pea soup and some mixed bean soup.  Since I’m gluten free can’t add any pastas; the gf pastas tend to completely dissolve in liquid over time.  But will make sure there is enough liquid that I can add a handful when I heat up the soup.


Normalcy bias

This came up in reading my LDS preparedness manual last night.  Have read this before, but the term didn’t register as it has this time.  Guess because we are seeing so much of it going on now.

Basically, its just the psychological behavior of the brain not processing what’s going on; this terrible thing isn’t happening, or, it can’t happen, or, it won’t happen to me, or, that’s too dreadful a scenario for me to conceptualize.  The most common time we all experience it, is the death, or imminent death,  of a loved one.  The denial is the first stage and sometimes its where we get stuck.

Or the destruction of our home in a fire or tornado or hurricane or flood.  I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will all be a bad dream.

At some point, we have to cope and go through the stages of grief and come out the other side – and sometimes, people don’t.

So what has that to do with preparedness?  If you can’t bend your mind around the idea that something terrible could happen and it could happen to you, how can you ‘prepare’ for it?  To begin doing so, even on the smallest scale, is to admit that it could be true!  Keeping a few gallons of water and some canned food if you live in an area prone to power outages is one thing.  You’ve experienced them, you know they are temporary.  But to imagine that it won’t be temporary?  That someone won’t be around to fix it and make it better in a few days?  That’s like being faced with opening the door behind which might be the hungry tiger!

Its true, the likelihood that we will truly be faced with a for-ever situation is slight.  It is far more likely, we will be faced with something temporary. But temporary could be months or even years!  Why do you think the people of the U.S., the least effected country in the world, had to scramble with victory gardens and rationing during WWII?  If there had been stores in the basement to augment the shortages, and a lot of people did have them as it was a more rural society then, it wasn’t much more than an inconvenience.  But for some people, WWII rationing WAS a hardship!

Now, we are hooked on technology. at the same time we have solar and wind power turbines available for the common man.  We have portable battery storage. enough so that some people will notice little difference in terms of having lights on, refrigerators working, maybe even air conditioning.  If they have a well, they will still have running hot and cold water!  They can watch DVD’s, use their DVR’s, read stored books on their electronic devices.

For most of us, cutting the power will be true future shock.  Know my food stores are not up to even months of shortages and my water supplies are probably only good for a week.  Need more water filters so we can make use of creek, ponds, puddles, pools, or standing water from the bathtub.

Yes, I suffer from Normalcy Bias too, augmented by husband’s more severe form.  But current events are changing his way of thinking, and he has more faith in what I’ve been storing than I have – but then, I know the inventory!  And I’ve long known that to give in to REALLY storing up food and water, I’m admitting that the worst can probably happen – and like most people, don’t want to!



Live too close to the West Coast for comfort.  Am not afraid of earthquakes, but of Mr. “I’ve got Nukes and I’m not afraid to use them”.   Cannot afford to put duplicates of everything we own into Faraday cages.  Nor can we use the things we need if they are in Faraday cages.  But guess I’ve got to put something together for the things not being used at any given moment.

Stupid way to have to live . . .

now the election is over

Please don’t get too comfortable with a Republican in office as to attacks on the constitution, especially the second amendment

We have seen a weakening of our rights on many levels over the years, with some of the most grievous being under Bush after 9/11/01.  So please, don’t get fooled by the ruckus raised about guns while the other rights are being hacked away.


Watch for action at the local levels. Even with the GOP sitting in 33 out of 50 state legislatures, there will still be moves, like Bloomberg’s Universal Background Check bill which is slowly making its way across the country.  Have heard that Nevada passed that this most recent election (11/8/17).  It is presented in a way that seems innocent – we want to keep guns out of the hands of the undesirables, so even private sales should have background checks.  And who can argue with that thought?


what it really says is “no transfer” of guns without background checks, which means I can’t let my uncle George take my .357 down to the range for some target shooting when he visits from NY!  I can’t give my lever action 22 Henry to my 25 year old nephew to help introduce him to the sport.   I can’t even sell it to him without a background check.  You can’t give your son or daughter their first gun for duck hunting, plinking, or target shooting.

And there will be other ways they will try to get regulations through. Rules about where or when you can be armed even with your CCW.  Gun Free Zones will be your church, your mall, your movie theatre, the concert you wanted to attend with your favorite golden oldies band.  And while those might seem to be places where you can agree to being gun free, if they don’t provide secure storage for your weapon while you are there you will either have to lock it in your car or leave it at home.

Watch for attempts to weaken stand your ground laws like changing them to Run Hide Fight.  Your last option is to defend yourself, not your first?

So be aware and be careful out there.

further comments

on belly bands.

As an overweight woman who carries a full size gun, usually a 4″ barrel .357 revolver, am a fan of the belly band.  Of course, I usually push it so it is more of a hip band than around the belly.  They are really nice as they easily sit under those elastic waist skirts and pants, even yoga pants and leggings!  they can also be positioned to hold the gun in what ever position is best for the user accommodating all our various rolls and excesses.


do not like the Velcro adjustable bands.  There’s a long list of reasons why and though I suggest getting a cheap one to practice with and trial, you will soon figure out why I don’t like them for regular wear.

That is what led to the CanCan concealment holster with its hook and eye closure.

Have now found the Hidden Heat Wrap from Miss Concealed Carry on ETSY.  It is deeper than the CanCan so the end of the gun isn’t sitting out into your leg.  The pocket of the holster has an inner band to give a secure grip to the barrel, the elastic is an open material so it has more breathe-ability, PLUS it has a zipper PLUS the hook and eye, so once its fitted, you don’t have to play with those hooks and eyes anymore.

Yes, pushing it down onto my hip, the bottom sits low but it doesn’t cut into my thighs when I sit like some of the others and not having the gun barrel jamming into my leg or the bare metal rubbing on my skin is a whole level up in comfort!nov-holster

still at it

Have finally accepted that I’ll never be able to go through my life with one all purpose holster, because, unlike men, will never go through life wearing just variations of pants and shirts.

So have moved to narrowing my choices to one draw position for all different carry choices.

CanCan concealment holster: this is a belly band but sitting further down on the hips. Much better for woman’s carry.  Cross draw position has worked best for coping with the various bodily parts that are in the way, like belly and boobs.  Only complaint is, if I bend way over, despite what their product description says, my full size gun falls out. This holster works with elastic waist, yoga pants, skirts, etc. The can comes in different widths (I’ve got the full size 6″, but they have narrower). with its fancy stitching, depending on what you are carrying, you might get away with wearing this OVER your clothing like a fancy belt and adding a jacket, sweater, or vest.

OWB holster: for when wearing jeans, or jean like pants.  Sturdy belt, cross draw position.  This works even with high waisted mom jeans. Just requires a long cover up of some sort (why I took up knitting)

Carry purse: Since I carry on my left side, even when on body carrying, this helps obscure any printing from the butt of the gun.  BUT when I have to use the purse to carry because of wearing a dress, this puts the gun in pretty much the same position of cross draw.

So that’s what I’ve come to FINALLY.  hate to think of how much I’ve spent on holsters and miscellaneous as I tried different guns and different methods of carry to get here.

wonder why

Discovered this became a ramble, but there is a point at the end 🙂

Back before PREPPER was a common term, guess I was one.  Not a survivalist, which is what some think became preppers, but aware that there could be an EOTWAWKI.  Guess anyone who was born in the nuclear age had to have that somewhere in their consciousness, after all we grew up with the early Sci Fi movies of beings from out of space (my two favorites – Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds), nuclear annihilation (Dr. Strangelove), duck and cover drills in grade school (actually all the way through at least 8th grade), Strontium 90 tainted milk and cookies, Cuban Missile Crisis, the cold war and bomb shelters.

But do remember always keeping plenty of food on hand along with extra water from my first apartment on.  Back in the 70’s, living in NYC, learning to can, dehydrate, baking, and other skills.  Unusual behavior at the time.  Oh, we could get stuck in a black out for a few days (lived through the first two NYC black outs without difficulty), blizzard making it difficult to get to the store, or at least for the store to get deliveries (even in NYC).  Will never forget one Sunday heading out on cross Country skies in manhattan and being upset because the Times wasn’t available!

Later that day, my boyfriend and I went downtown intending to see Ghandi, which had just opened, presuming we’d miss the crowds, NOT! Not much keeps New Yorkers down!

So what brought this all on? today as I was reading something came across a reference to On The Beach.  My mom was a Neville Shute fan and had most of his books and so read them early on.  Mom was from England and was amazed at how accurate his descriptions of war torn Britain were in books written before the war had really begun.  Of course, now I understand that he was intelligent, and engineer, and had lived through WWI, so it was probably relatively easy to understand and imagine what the destruction would and could be, as well as be aware of where technology stood at the time and what that meant to war fare.

On the Beach affected me deeply, as it probably did everyone who either read the book or saw the movie.

Was only about 16 when I read Earth Abides.  Another post Apocalyptic novel, that I see mentioned more and more often.  Written in 1949, it saw the end of the world through pandemic and at that place in my life, that triggered something in me.  An awareness of how fragile our entire planet is, not just from war, but from many other things.

From that point on, despite my circumstances, was always conscious of Something Could Happen any time.

It was only moving out here to AZ from the Metropolitan area that I was able to expand my ideas of preparing.  Of course, there is more information readily available, more ideas, more technology making things happen – both for the prepper and to push us closer to the brink!

Guess, getting older has made a difference too.  Do not see either my sweetie or I just sitting back in a chair and waiting to die no matter how old we are or what happens.  At the same time we have to consider what we can do at 70, at 80, to keep going!

and speaking of partners, He has not always understood what I’ve been about with this.  Fortunately, my shopping habit has extended to the matter of supplies and tools rather than clothing and shoes and handbags.  Not that I’m not woman enough to want those things, but have become quite adept at thrifting and making, keeping my $$ available for my prepping.

But this election cycle has him suddenly aware.  Its like he’s been hit in the head with a cosmic 2 x 4. Suddenly he’s conscious of how easily our electric and water and food supplies could be disrupted.  How quickly things could go wrong.  Of course, watching the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, the floods in Louisiana, the forest fires in California  – forget the fires, we’ve been out there a couple of times on business the past year and have been awed at the effects of the drought!  Add to that terrorists attacks, living in the southwest and the awareness of how vulnerable we are on our border (watching the original Red Dawn today, early infiltration coming in over the Mexican border).  Its all adding up.

Then you go to the grocery store and find California fruits and veggies being discounted, plenty of meat and poultry on the shelves, Nestle still selling bottled water from CA (arrowhead if you don’t know), and its hard to keep on high alert. Its hard to bend your brain around the idea that all this could come to a screeching halt instantly.

Because there isn’t anything in the back of the grocery store, its all on the shelves.  When its gone, its gone.  The same for the hardware stores, the clothing stores, the drug store. So even in a small city like here, it wouldn’t take long for the shelves to empty and people to panic.

To be honest, expect that a lot of people would immediately leave town and head for the cities.  Either to reach family or because they think government help will come to cities first.  We were deserted in the days immediately following 9/11/01.  It was very eerie.

So all this brings me back to the question of why? Why did it trigger ideas and thoughts and awareness in me and not in other people?  Why didn’t everyone who saw those sci fi movies, read those books, start advocating change?  Why did I learn skills that others thought were outdated and old fashioned? Why did it take so long for my sweetie to wake up?

More and more people are waking up to the fact that we are really close to that edge, but so many more or still asleep when we need to be developing community and plans and skills.

And no, I’m not meant to be a leader. Teacher maybe, but even that will be hard as I can’t stand people and if the SHTF, I’m going to be more of a hunker down and keep a low profile kind of person.

Still, wonder why?