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 . . .

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working out at the range

Having recently gotten off my duff and joined (and am using) our local range, am having the opportunity to really shoot my hand guns, as well as my rifles.

And in doing so, am winnowing out some of my earlier choices.

Take for example my beloved side ported, compact 45 Springfield purchased some 20 years ago.  At the time, LOVED that gun.  Its still a great gun, but arthritis has made it not so user friendly anymore, so sold that about 5 years ago.

A couple of years ago had purchased a wonderful Ruger 1911 TALO edition.  LOVED it,  but again, arthritis made racking that slide tough.  The larger size gun and heavier weight made it easier to use than the Springfield because the weight countered the recoil.  But not being able to rack the slide with any consistency, especially when it hung up on the slide lock and I couldn’t reach round with my thumb to release it.  So sold the gun.

Just put new grips on my 40 year old Colt Cobra.  Makes it easier to hold on to, but that recoil on that small gun is tough to overcome, especially when shooting single handed.  The same is true for the original Ruger LCR I bought some 10 years ago.  So one is probably going to go.

And that leads to another thought; shoot the largest gun you can handle.  Some of you have small hands.  Some of you are buying for concealibility.  Well, you can camouflage a pretty big gun if necessary.  BUT the real reason I say this, is the larger and heavier the gun, the easier it will be to control recoil and get back on target.

This is not the old bigger is better argument, I don’t care if you’re shooting a .380!  I’ve seen those and they are barely bigger than my hand.  like the .38’s, they are tough to hold onto and control!  Ruger is making one almost the size of a compact 9mm and was really tempted!  But if I’m going to go that big, will just go for the compact 9mm!

Now THAT is the bigger is better argument!! 😉

But even those with smaller hands can go comfortably into the compact 9mm size without trouble, instead of playing it safe with one of those teeny .38’s that’s hardly bigger than a sneeze.

Because honestly, it will definitely have to be TEOTWAWKI before we will find ourselves in a running gun battle with multiple targets from 100 yards.  Any self defense situation we might encounter will be very up close and personal.  and pretty much anything is effective at close range if you are in a fight for your life.

So get what you will be physically comfortable with and practice, practice, practice.  Join a range where you can rent different guns and let your mental level come to the same level as your physical ability.  Try and then buy.

Wish I’d taken my own advice, I’d have saved thousands.  cause you don’t sell them used for anything near what you paid for them new.

another DUH moment

have finally given in and joined the local indoor range.  Don’t need to worry about the weather or the time of day or who else might be there.  Its a bit further to drive than our unofficial outdoor site, but don’t have to carry targets and other stuff, and can then go on to other errands like groceries.  Its also a guaranteed break in my week – I’m doing this one day a week, period.

So as I’m seeing my abilities improve, am also having the big DUH moments about upgrading my guns; improving my sights, changing out my grips.  This came about when the simple sights on the GP100 broke – again – and the same cheap blade sights are what are available UNLESS they are completely upgraded to either fiber optic or tritium night sights.  and???  So trying out the fiber optic ones, as I’ve enjoyed them in the past – and the are half the price of the others.

Then there is my old Colt Cobra.  The thing is amazing accurate, but the grips are horrid and it is not fun to shoot!  Again, DUH!!! change out the grips.  Its not an original collector gun having been refinished, so why not use it and enjoy it?   Looked it up, it was made in 1976.  found three different Pachmayar grips offered and went with the one that was considered TOO big.  Am not looking to conceal, but to comfortably use.

 

just plain old DUH!!

 

 

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 . . .

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.