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jerry

Be honest here, who really has prepared

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We have always tried to have several months to a years supply of food, clothing, cash, whatever we feel we might need to have on hand for our family. It has come in handy through PERSONAL emergencies more often than regional or large disasters. I like eating regularly and spent far too much time as a child "hungry"(for various reasons not appropriate to go into here) to ever want to see my children and now grand children suffer needlessly or because of my selfish desires to NOT be prepared.

Yeah, I am weird that way and have no plans to change at all, I sleep most of the time fairly well too. This morning, wasn't concerned at all abotu the wild stock market volatility. My wife opined at seeing the immediate 1089. point drop at the market open, this IS the stock market's way of telling the Federal Reserve and the White House that their economic policies are not working at all.

I completely agree. We do not invest in anything we do not physically control ourselves. Faith, not fear, make the illegitmi FEAR YOU!

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Prepping is new for us. We were blessed to hear about it in July 2012 at a family member's home - a discussion about a book called Aftershock. Basically, the market/economy are not sustainable. Doing our own reading and watching, we thought that was pretty accurate.

 

We felt a sense of urgency, so we did a lot of prepping in August/September of 2012. We have a fresh water source. And, we have about 6 months of food. We have made preps for BOBs and a BOV. We also have a significant store of heirloom seeds as well as other physical valuables.

 

Neither husband nor I have weapons experience. We don't have any practical experience either homesteading, gardening, or raising anything except kids. But, we are open to trying and reading. I realize that reading about something is very different than implementing it, but we haven't had a lot of time to develop ALL of these skill sets. We are trying to build a wide base of knowledge that we could draw upon if needed. It's been a very slow process, and I admit to getting down about it sometimes, wishing I knew more and could have had more time to learn valuable life skills versus how to do an awesome PowerPoint presentation.

 

Husband is very handy and good with tools, building things, and doing repairs on the house or cars. We are a good team and our kids are coming along with us. We will do the best we can with whatever we have at the time the poop goes crazy and the rest is up to the Lord.

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In all honesty... 

 

I guess I am an odd sort of guy these days. I'm an old school Jack of all trades. I've done concrete slab work both first pour and repairs, I've built houses from the slab up, I've roofed for a living, Diesel Mechanic work, Gas engine work from tune ups to rebuilding and even did a balance and blueprint once, I'm a draftsman, A Master Machinist, a Gunsmith, Licensed AC tech, Plumbing, Electrician both new construction and repair work. I have made holsters and custom leather work, Indian Bead work, Wood carving and can and have dug a water well, pulled and repaired them and worked on the pumps and electrics that make them work, I make knives for a hobby and do a little tinkering and black smith type stuff. I do better with machines than people in a lot of ways.

 

In some ways my life has been a little like that old Chinese curse and lived an interesting life. Lots of tough years and always learning a new trade to put food on the table. I spent 15 years in a ship yard and oil field machine shops. For the last 25 or so years I've worked doing maintenance and repairs for ANYTHING that you might find in a home, restaurant, motel or factory. We did it all. I've owned my own company for the last 15 or so years and was a self-employed subcontractor before that.

 

In the early 70s I was an active member of a militia and did most of their gunsmithing and “creative” manufacturing. I was Merlin and if you told me what you wanted to do I could design and make something that would do that for you. This was per-survivalist days. I CAN be a bit of a chemist if that is needed. Being a farm boy type we made a lot of what we needed. I learned from old time folks that built stills, made their own gunpowder, Lye and any other chemicals that they needed. Man I loved blowing stumps with our BIG homemade “firecrackers”. They were like between a quarter and a half stick of dynamite. My Godfather was a pro blaster and did it during WW2 in the pacific theaters. The home made stuff was just cheaper and he liked to keep his fingers in it.

 

I learned early not to ask my Dad how you did something or how something was made. We made lye rendered the hog, smoked the hams and then made soap. There really isn't any part of t he pig that goes unused except that last squeal. We made cheese, stuffed sausage in pig guts, canned a lot of what we ate and I've killed and butchered all of the normal farm animals and molst of the local game critters from frogs up to deer. I actually froggged for money when I was a kid. Restraunts would give me 50 cents a pair and that was big money for a kid back then. I was getting $1.50 a week for mowing our yard and the neighbors yard for "allowance". I WAS getting 50 cents a week and asked for a raise so Dad found me a job mowing the neighbors yard and gave me a buck and a half everyother week. Joe gave me a buck fifty on the other week.

 

When I was younger I spent a lot of time alone in the woods. I feel at home there and fit in a way that I just don't in a daytime city. People get on my nerves if I can't get away from them so the woods and the night were my favorite times. I have lived in a swamp for a couple of weeks and wasn't ever hungry. I guess to some extent my entire life has been an odd sort of struggle for survival. I have always felt like I was born out of time. I need more room than most folks. I don't suffer a fool well at all and need a lot of alone time. The night is my friend; it is easier to go unnoticed and the places that are just FULL of people during the day are mine from midnight until dawn. I went to the big parks during those hours. I went to the woods in the night.

 

To tell y'all the truth I struggle more with what most call civilized places and civilized life than I ever have out in the woods in the night or out deep in the woods alone for a week or two. If the lights go out tomorrow and never come on again I won't miss them at all.

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Yeah that will take some getting used to again but I was raised without it so it wouldn't be new to me. I also remember when people sweated in public and people smelled different back then. The different sort of people smelled different and it was just something that you were aware of. This was mostly due to dietary differences. A friend of mine was special forces in Vietnam and wouldn't eat anything much but fish pork and rice because he said that Charlie could smell an American a mile off because of the difference in our diet versus theirs. He ate like them so he would smell more like them in the bush when he was hot and sweating.

 

My Dad always wore a sweat shirt under his dress shirts...I think that t hey call them wife beaters now. Let's face it the various forms of cooling and refrigeration have totally changed our culture here and not all of the changes are for the better.

When I was a kid, after supper we always went out into the front yard while the house cooled off. My Mom would spread out a blanket and other parents would come over for coffee almost every evening during the summer. The kids would play and they would visit. I have to admit, I'm still a porch monkey .

 

We spend a lot of time on the porch with the kids. We build a just huge back porch. It is 60' long and 12' or 16' wide. I installed a jacuzzi on one end, an outdoor kitchen on the other and a bump out in the middle with a cast iron boxwood stove. There is a teak dinning table and 4 couches that we salveged from a restaurant that was remodeling. The front has a straight 12' by 60' porch. If hard times come those porches will be where we live during the summer. When I was little I always loved sleeping on my Grandmother’s sleeping porch in the summer. Most of the older houses of my kiddie years had screened in sleeping porches where I napped.

 

I think that those of us that are older will adapt quicker because we at least have some good memories associated with a less artificial environment.

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Didn't y'all have Sears and Rowbuks catalogs????  Abox of cobs for the rough work and then finish off with a page from the catalog wasn't bad at all. Just cobs would fix hemorids right up.... Or at least make you so tender that you weren't worried about that anymore.

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