Welcome to this week’s roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.
This week I planted some tomatoes, more greens (which do well in my area) and snap peas. Since the island critters keep tearing apart my pea trellis, I am experimenting this year by using tomato cages to hold up my pea crop. Wish me luck.
I also finished reading a couple of books describing the sorry state of our farming industry – and when I say sorry state, I am talking about farmers being forced to use chemicals, pesticides and other nasties on their crops. That plus the pressure from the marketplace to produce more at the expense of the humane treatment of farm animals. Expect to hear more – a lot more – from me on this subject in the near future.
Enough about me and my missives. Let’s get on to the Sunday Buzz.
10 Brainteasers to Test Your Mental Sharpness
Have you had your morning coffee yet? There is a lot of value to working puzzles in order to keep the brain cells clicking. Sudoku is great for that. If you work Sudoku a lot, you can quickly advance to the extreme versions (extra difficult) but put it aside for a couple weeks and you are back to struggling through the “very easy” grids.
If you are not quite up for a challenging round of Sudoku (be sure to have a good eraser handy), test your mental acuity with these questions that were posted by Holly Green at Forbes.com:
1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?
2. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?
3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?
5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
6. Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?
7. In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
8. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?
9. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”
10. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?
For the answers, visit 10 Brainteasers to Test Your Mental Sharpness
Seattle Building Massive Edible Forest Filled with Free Food
As you may know, I grew up in Seattle. The often-gloomy weather notwithstanding, while young I didn’t know that this was any different from other locales. One unique part of growing up in this area was a general acceptance of the concept of “Seattle nice”. Neighbors helped neighbors, people were friendly to strangers, and communities and local government did what they could be responsible to their citizens.
Alas, times have changed in cities all over the country (and all over the globe for that matter). So it delighted me to read that Seattle has broken ground on a remarkable garden that will produce free food for the city’s residents and visitors, human or otherwise.
According to the Beacon Food Forest’s website, the project’s mission is “to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.”
Initial funding was provided by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the plan is to use volunteers from around the city to to join together to build and grow a food forest. This perennial permaculture forest is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. and the hope is that it will eventually be self-sustaining, much like the way a forest in nature works.Pretty cool I think.
Did you Fall for This One?
A few years back, the rage was “tone-up” shoes. The basic idea is that you would don a pair of athletic shoes (typically $100 a pair or more) and while simply walking around, you would tone your legs, burn calories, and lose weight. So what if the rounded bottom shoes looked a bit goofy?
Well I fell for it to the tune of 4 pairs. The mind is a funny thing and given the cost, I convinced myself they actually worked. Guess what? Skechers must now pay $40 million in refunds for misleading and false advertising. The settlement was announced on Wednesday (May 16) and the web site where you can file for a refund has been swamped. You can check out the info and even file for a refund at the FTC’s site for the settlement.
And just so you don’t think that Skechers is the only bad boy in this regard, last September the FTC told Reebok to refund $25 million over toner shoe claims.
The Average American Diet
I have grown quite fond of infographics. The following has been around since late 2010 but the message is clear once you start looking closely.
“Do you know what the average American eats? If there is one thing the media has made us well aware of, it is the fact that American diets are among the worst in the world. But do you know exactly what Americans are eating? Dairy products non-cheese are among the most common foods eaten in America weighing in at 181 pounds per year.
Corn, of course, makes the list being one of the most subsidized foods that our farmers grow. Unlike many other nations Americans have no limit as to what we can eat. We are provided with cheap food, that was even cheaper to make, allowing almost anyone to have access to food. However these cheap foods carry none of the nutrients we need, and are ever present with all the ones we do not.
For the most part these statistics do not seem so bad, at least not until you look at the bottom. Here is where those cheaply made foods come into play. Americans cash-in the least number of sick days and have some of the longest working hours when compared to the rest of world, meaning, our lives are always on the move. With always being on the go, Americans have very little time to cook and go shopping, allowing for fast food places to thrive; providing quick food at a cheap price. However if somehow you can make time to cook for yourself and do your own shopping, you will find that you have better control of what you take in. Making your diet healthier and consisting more of what you want, as opposed to being restricted to a menu.”
Source: Daily Infographic
When Survival Husband told me he was paying a buck a target at the shooting range, I scolded him. After all, shooting targets are free and available for immediate download at Lucky Gunner. Just be sure you print out a target that is not overly graphic-intensive or the cost of the ink or toner will exceed the purchase cost at the range.
This Week on Wake Up World
Wake Up World has just celebrated their one year anniversary. As a frequent guest writer, I am thrilled at their success. If you have not paid them a visit recently, you might enjoy the article Twelve Healthy Superfoods You Eat for $1 or Less.
Switch to Full Feed
I did not get a single bit of feedback after switching my email notifications to the full whoopee version. Do you like it? Hate it? Don’t care? From a personal perspective, I would prefer you clicked through and came to my site but for many, email simply works better.
Today on Strategic Living
Be sure to read the article 10 Ways to Harness Boomerang Kids for some create ideas for actually enjoying having your adult kids move back home to the empty nest. Hint: chores, pet-sitting, home improvement and did I mention chores?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
The To Do List: Starting next month I will be offering some give-aways as well as special news flashes via email. Want to be the first to know? I am still working out the details but in the meantime, please take a moment to join the new Backdoor Survival mail list. Click here to sign up for the new Backdoor Survival mail list!
From the Bargain Bin: Want to get your brain cells to click along a bit faster? Try Will Shortz Presents Ultimate Sudoku: 1000 Wordless Crossword Puzzles. Ten bucks well spent and a lot of fun to boot.
And how about some cast iron goodies? My 12 inch skillet is now nice and dark – almost black – due to daily use. Do I fry a lot? Not really. I use the skillet for baking, sautéing, stir fry’s, grilling sandwiches and heck, almost everything. Not bad for a $20 investment. Need some pointers? Check out 7 Tips for Cast Iron Mavens or Soon-To-Be Mavens.
Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I se my cast iron cookware for everything from salmon, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, a must have for cleaning those food bits from your cast iron cookware.
Lodge Dutch Oven/Camp Stove: I originally purchased this Dutch oven because it was so darn cute. But over time, I have learned to love it for its versatility. Remember, a camp stove is designed so that you can bake with it by arranging charcoal on top of the lid as well as underneath the Dutch Oven itself.
Ove’ Gloves Hot Surface Handler: I cannot say enough about these hand and arm protectors. I have permanent scars from hitting my arm on the rack of my oven. I can only imagine what I would look like if I did not use these with my cast iron cookware. Forget the colorful silicon hot pads. These are 1000 times better!
Four Silicone Brushes: I call these”mop thingies”. Great for layering a nice thin coat of oil on your cast iron pans.
Lodge 5-Quart Double Dutch Oven and Casserole with Skillet Cover: This is another cool piece. This Dutch Oven does not have legs and is designed for indoor use – but it can be used outdoors too. Just don’t forget the Ove Gloves.
Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 15 Inch Cast-Iron Skillet: Similar to the 12” skillet only bigger. Definitely on my bucket list.
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