Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.
As much as we try to anticipate emergencies and plan for them in advance, sometimes stuff just happens. Case in point. After being away for three weeks, I arrived home to find my refrigerator was on the fritz. I always keep a thermometer inside and when I opened the door, the temperature read a nice cozy 50 degrees. Cozy for me, that is, but not for my food. Ouch.
Everything inside had to be dumped. Luckily, there was no icky smell but still, this was not a happy situation since I was faced with dumping about $150 worth of food and a huge repair bill. On the positive side of things, the dead space in my garage freezer was filled with juice jugs full of frozen water. I was able to use these to turn my refrigerator into a giant ice chest so at least I could store my fruit and veggies safely.
Dinner that night and meals throughout the week have consisted of freeze-dried meals, including some of those Mountain House products I purchased last month as well as some spaghetti and canned sauce from my pantry. What I have learned is that living without a refrigerator is not so bad so long as you have access to your food storage!
Mountain House to the Rescue!
And what about that refrigerator? The choices are a $900 repair bill or $1,800 for a new refrigerator. I chose the repair (a new compressor plus labor). By the way, the refrigerator is only seven years old, and is a US made Amana. What can I say? They just don’t make them like they used to.
While I was away, a number of boxes and cartons containing prepping supplies arrived including more FD food plus a bucket and toilet seat combo. Even while I was gone, the prepping continued.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB
Military Waste and Fraud Continue In the Middle of the Government Shutdown: There is no question in my mind that our government woes are caused by bad policies supported by both parties. Or, more succinctly, politics as usual.
Regular readers know that the government shutdown is caused by bad policies supported by both parties, including out-of-control military boondoggles.
We wouldn’t be in this crisis of hitting the debt ceiling in the first place if we hadn’t spent so much money on unnecessary wars … which are horrible for the economy.
But it goes far beyond actual fighting. We could easily slash the military and security budget without reducing our national security.
For example, homeland security agencies wasted money on seminars like “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?” and training for a “zombie apocalypse” instead of actually focusing on anti-terror efforts.
21 Of The Best Comments Posted By Frustrated Americans On The Official Obamacare Facebook Page: Grab a cup of coffee then sit back and read this one. It would be funny if it were not so utterly pathetic.
Of Goats And Gardens: Making Sense Of Urban Agriculture In LA: More and more I am seeing articles such as this one that address the issue of urban farming. Let us be optimistic that this is a step in the right direction.
Fake Service Animals Hurt Real Disabled People: I share this article because I know it is true. Heck, I was once “offered” a service dog vest for Tucker so that he could travel with me. Needless to say, I no longer have a relationship with that person. (And Tucker the Dog goes to doggie-camp when I travel). But beyond the service dog issue, there are innumerable ways that self-centered individuals and greedy businesses attempt to take advantage of the disabled. I do not condone it but of course, complaining these days could get you shot.
Death Panels 101? Chilling High School Assignment Makes Students Decide Who Lives and Who Dies: This sent chills down my spine. As rumors of “old people” being denied treatment under Medicare surface, this type of lesson being taught in our high schools makes me wonder what country we are living in. And what era.
Protect Yourself from Salmonella and E Coli Naturally: Salmonella and E-Coli can be killers, especially to those with a compromised immune system. Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading is a great resource for all things natural. I trust what she writes and this article is no exception.
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
From Dave via Facebook:
“One thing to remember with cast iron, don’t use metal utensils. You can scrape the seasoning off with them. I use wood mostly, but plastic types are okay too.”
Please heed this advice. A couple of months ago I read that metal spatulas are best for cast iron so I gave it a try. Bad advice. I ended up ruining the seasoning and had to take my skillet down to bare metal and re-season from scratch.
More advice on cast iron, this time from Mark via Facebook:
“Use REAL lard to season with (render your own not the stuff you get in the store). It may take a couple of coats. Bake at 500 for an hour. I started the oven then coated the pan. Put the pan in the oven upside down and propped up a little before it was up to temp. After an hour I just turned it off. HINT – Have your windows OPEN!!!
After I inspected the pan I did it again to get some spots that didn’t quite take. Pans are a nice glossy black now. Once seasoned NEVER was with soap again. Your best bet for iron is old Wagner or Griswold but watch your prices! I understand that Lodge Logic is good and “pre-seasoned” but try and go with Wagner or Griswold if you can.”
An absolutely fabulous cough syrup I make for my family (except those under 1 year) is with honey & onions:
-Slice an onion (yellow or white) fairly thin (like you would for burgers) and place in a shallow bowl, rounds are lying flat but can overlap.
-Cover COMPLETELY with honey & tightly cover. (Preferably sealed with a tight lid, but saran wrap will do.)
-Let concoction sit for 1-4 days, in a cool dark place.
-Gently strain resulting liquid into a dark (preferably glass) bottle. (A standard metal sieve works best. Do not use cheesecloth, as the honey will absorb into it!!!) **This will take some time, to ensure that ALL the honey has drained off of the onion pieces!!**
-Administer 1-2 Tbsp. as needed!
I asked about the onion “taste” but apparently the honey does a good job of masking any lingering onion flavor. Sweet onions work the best for just that reason.
Thanks, everyone, for the tips. Keep them coming to gaye at backdoorsurvival dot com.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSORS
This week I would like to welcome Golden Eagle Coins as our newest sponsor. If you are in the market for gold coins such as the American Gold Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, or South African Gold Krugerrand, this is the place to shop. These coins are only a small sampling of what they have to offer – I encourage you to take a peak.
This week we also welcome back the Seed of the Month Club, your source for quality heirloom seeds that a regionalized for your area and growing season.
And last but not least, Mother Earth Products is celebrating the launch of their new owners and new website with a sale. You can take 30% off every order places through the end of October by using the coupon code REOPENING SALE during checkout.
As always, I encourage you to support the sponsors here and on the left side of each page. It is through their support that Backdoor Survival remains free for everyone – now and always.
AND THE WINNER IS
Remember the How to Live on 10K eBook giveaway? There were lots of entries as well as a lively dialog going on among readers in the comments section of the article. Interestingly enough, the question I asked was taken out of context so many of the answers consisted of suggestions for articles rather than suggestions for giveaway topics.
No worries – it was all very useful. The three winners are John R, Catherine, and Kathy. I have send an email out to each of you with instructions for claiming your eBook.
The next Backdoor Survival Book Festival will start on October 19th. I have some fabulous authors and their books lined up so be sure to check back or better yet, sign up for email updates and never miss another post.
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THE FINAL WORD
Yes, I was really on vacation and here are a couple of pictures to prove it. That really is me relaxing for a change!
With the government shutdown and a planned, nationwide EMP drill for November, there is much speculation as to what is really going on in our country. All I can say is this: keep up the preps, practice your self-reliance skills and stay aware. You can bet that there will be some unexpected events showing up on our doorsteps whether we like it or not.
Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: The Backdoor Survival article on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In case you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.
Blocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claims that these work great. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10.
Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.
NOW Solutions Glycerin Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.
NOW Foods Peppermint Oil: I favor peppermint essential oil (okay, I like lavender too) so this is what I get. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.
Microfiber “Magic” Rags: No list of cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using green for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.
The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
This month, the Tote-able Toilet with 2 Enzyme Packets is on sale for $14.95. I priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit. I am planning to fill the bucket with other sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.
In the food department, the best sale item this month is the Freeze Dried Chicken Breast Dices with Rib Meat. The price for a #10 can is $24.99 which represents and amazing discount of 42%.
These are just two of the items on sale this month at Emergency Essentials. Click on the link below for more great deals from Emergency Essentials.
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