The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 88

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.

Organization was the keyword again this week.  Having a small home, clutter accumulates like crazy as boxes from Amazon, Emergency Essentials and Thrive Life arrive with new preps.  This week’s haul included some lemon essential oil and beeswax that will be used to make a healing salve, as well as some food grade lubricant for my hand mixer and manual can opener.  There was also box of freeze-dried veggies (for the soup I am making for dinner tonight).

The most exciting item, however, is the Mora 511 utility knife that I purchased for testing purposes.  From what I have been able to determine so far, this little beauty is a find.  I have been using it the kitchen for a few days and am impressed with how well balanced and sharp it is given how cheap it was.  Some times I don’t know what I like best: flashlights, whistles or knives.  I seem to accumulate a lot of them.

mora 510_0

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Elderly patients sick over losing doctors under ObamaCare:  If you are currently on Medicare, take heed and check to see if the doctors you use are on the “list”.

Americans Racking Up Debt Faster Than We Save For Retirement:  The good news is that Americans who are close to retirement are paying down their debts. The bad news is that many households are treading water on old debts or accumulating new ones, which takes even more money out of retirement accounts and means they’ll be paying accounts off well into retirement.  Wait a minute.  Who can afford to retire these days?  See the next article.

Survey: Third of Americans expect to work until they drop: And then there is this.

Victory! Washington State Sues GMA For Money Laundering: Money is being spent big-time in offensives against GMO labeling bills introduced in various states. One humongous battle—over $7.2 million worth and counting—is currently going on my home state, Washington, regarding Initiative 522.  My mailbox overflows daily with propaganda and to be honest, it is disgusting to see the who’s who of the opponents.

28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima:  I still can’t believe there are so many naysayers when it comes to the long term affect of Fukushima on our health and the health of our children.  I am not moving but if I were younger and of child-bearing age, I would think seriously about packing it in and moving away from the coast.

Obviously Your Urban Chickens Need $20 Reflective Safety Vests:  Yep, this is for real.

Cryptolocker Ransomware: What You Need To Know:  This ugly piece of malware is for real and may not be detected by your anti-malware and anti-virus programs.  I happen to use the “pro” version of Malwarebytes but even the free version is better than nothing. The best thing, of course, is to make a regular backup of your important documents and photos.

Amazon Quietly Ups The Free Shipping Minimum Purchase To $35:  Just in case you had not heard about this pre-holiday increase.  You might want to consider Amazon Prime – there is no minimum purchase and video steaming is free.  (Full disclosure: I earn a $2.00 bounty if you sign up using a link from this website.)

Rendering Tallow in a Crock Pot: We are currently considering partnering in the purchase of a cow that will be raised locally using non-GMO feed. If it comes to pass, I am going to want to render the tallow.  This is an instructive article, with lots of pictures, for someone who wants use up every bit of their butchered animal.


This came in from “Wandakate”.  Does anyone have some insight as to where she can go to seek others wishing to form a community? Or where she can find a forum for discussing this topic?  If so, please leave a comment and I will forward it on to her.

I do believe that a lot of folks out there need survival communities where they are prepping and preparing for the perilous times ahead.  People in cities won’t survive, most will unfortunately die when the SHTF. People in big towns, middle sized towns, and even small towns will have a very difficult time surviving.

The people in hamlets, villages and such will have a much better chance but then even they may run into more problems than they will be able to handle. Only (in my opinion) will the people who are in survival communities survive. They will most likely have the greatest chance because they are smart. They have prepared for the hard times when the SHTF and they have what they need, including guns and ammunition.

They also will have men who are on watch as security. They will be hard to get to, hard to locate when all the cities and towns are under Martial Law and are being hunted down, they will be far out  and have what they need to make it a while longer.

Would you find us some of those communities or at least find “serious” minded people who are looking for them and are willing to start them up as soon as possible. THAT IS WHAT WE NEED, more than anything else, a safe haven (safe as possible that is) and be there knowing that there is power in numbers.

Many like myself, another man and a family of 4 are looking and I’m sure there are many more who are ready to leave where they are and go out and organize one of these communities, whey they will have freedom of worship, freedom to live off the land, freedom to be free and not taken and forced to go to some awful F.E.M.A. camp and be killed if they aren’t as productive as they need to be and then they are laid in a cheap wooden coffin and taken to a mass grave and dumped. That is not what we worked and lived for all these years. That is no way to go.

Those of us here are hoping for something such as this. The timing couldn’t be more real, the time is now. Waiting and prolonging all the chaos will do nothing except make our situation worse. Thank you for any help that you might be able to offer. If you can write an article about this, and let people know that this is an option for them, I would guess that you will have a healthy response. I think many would like to live way out and feel safer but just don’t know how to go about it, or don’t know what to do to get going. HELP!

In response to the article 10 Facts About the Great Depression, “willwehavefortitude?” wrote this.  I could not have said it better.

The Depression that we are currently in will develop much differently than the Depression my parents lived through. My parents grew up in two different, but well known cities in the northeast.

1. They were not constantly tracked electronically and could make decisions that were the best for them.

2. The dependency upon the grid was more moderate than today. For example, they had an icebox and not a refrigerator.

3. There were still vestiges of a moral compass. Most people practiced their religion and went to their place of worship. This was even true of some of the “bad boys” of the neighborhood.

4. Most people understood thrift and economy with their own finances. Not everyone had a telephone, but most had a radio, but usually only listened to their programs in the evenings. They were able to walk to most places. Limited wardrobe and “less than new” attire was the norm. Games, especially cards, were popular as well as street games such as “stoop ball.”

5. Whether they used their skill base or not (my mother’s family did not), the vast majority of men and women had one.

6. It was considered shameful to rely on government aid.

7. Most did what they could for themselves rather than waiting for someone else to do it.


Reminder: if you are interested in finding a past article on a specific topic, you can use the Search box on the right hand side or select SEARCH from the menu bar.


Reminder:  Nat Geo’s American Blackout premiers tonight (October 27) at 9PM.  According to my contacts at Nat Geo, they are not planning to stream this important docudrama.  If you can, be sure to see it and to recommend it to your non-prepper friends.

Check out Doomsday Preppers – the free app for iPhones and iPads.  A hat tip to Ken for this one.


I really do not know what happed but somehow the article on DIY Biscuit Mix lost its paragraph formatting between the time I wrote it and the time it posted.  It was not until a few days later that I figured this out – mostly because it appeared as though the article was only viewed by a handful of readers.

The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage is really a great article so if you passed over it because it was difficult to read, I urge you to take another peek. This formatting goof was my blooper of the week!


I was pretty excited about the launch of the latest book festival yesterday because that was another tick off of the to-do list.  That said, my eBook is still languishing in proof-reading heaven and I may need to stall the launch by a couple of weeks.  By doing so, I taking my own advice and am spending time outdoors enjoying the beautiful Fall weather and the red and gold leaves that miraculously, are still on the trees.

2012 Fall Color at RH  2012 Afterglow hike 403

What about you – what did you do to prep this week?  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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In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: For your discernment, here are the some of the items mentioned in today’s Buzz plus the top five items in the current Amazon Top 10.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife.  It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.  I paid $12 for this knife last week and today it is $8.95 so I ordered another one.  It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95!

Now Foods Essential Oil, Lemon:  I can’t seem to get enough when it comes to essential oils.  Although I am working on developing a relationship with a company that sells essential oils (high quality at a moderate price), the NOW essential oils have served me well, especially in DIY concoctions.  I love the citrus oils – both lemon and orange – for both their smell and antibacterial properties.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Magnesium Fire StarterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival: This Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter is about $4.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor SurvivalUCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers:  The UCO Stormproof Match Kit is waterproof and holds 25 matches as well as spare strikers. The matches burn for around 15 seconds and are windproof, waterproof, and even continue burning underwater. An integrated striker is attached on the side of the match kit, and can be replaced when worn out.

2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 ModelThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  These can openers makes great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking, or camping pack. They are lightweight and robust and they just work.

Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon ParacordThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven-strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States.  Note that some colors may be more expensive than others.  Need ideas?  See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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 PacketsThe Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage   Backdoor Survival 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.

The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage   Backdoor Survival   The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage   Backdoor Survival

Also on sale this month is the Mobile Washer. This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is that it is on sale this month for $12.95

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.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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  1. I really love the Mora knives. I have 2 of the type you purchased, and the larger all around multi-purpose knife with the stainless steel 5.8 blade. I purchased the larger knife for tasks around the kitchen. All three retain an edge nicely and are sturdy, solid knives. And the price is great. I really prefer the carbon steel blades, but both are worth the money.

  2. My take on the letter from “Wandakate”. I have rubbed shoulders with 3 survival groups. The first called themselves the “Alabama Militia”. I personally don’t believe any Army is more prepared than this group. When I saw their preps, it was mind boggling. A few of the things I learned was that there are a very few 500 or 1000 gallon propane tanks, that set in people’s back yards, that have a valve on the bottom of the tank. These can be used to fill 20 lb propane tanks (like the one on your bar-b-que grill) with out having to have a pump. They had many of these and enough full 20 lb tanks stored all over Alabama to blow up the whole state, I think. They had plenty of guns, but very little ammo. They all had guns that used 223 Nato rounds. They didn’t use their limited resources to buy ammo, as they had enough members that were still on active duty, that worked in the supply rooms at various Military Bases, that would provide all the ammo they needed. This is one reason about all the weapons I buy use Nato rounds, which will be stored at all military bases. AR-15, Ruger mini 14, Ruger mini 30, and I just came back from our gun show yesterday with an AK-47, (YEA) which uses Russian Nato rounds. The Army’s pistols use to use 9 mm, but DHS is now buying millions of rounds of 40 cal, so I buy pistols in 9mm or 40 cal. This ammo should be plentiful.
    I met a group of about 50 people that were sitting up a bug out location on some mountain top in the middle of nowhere. These were mostly Vietnam era vets. I’m sorry to say that most of these men, along with their families, were old and decrepit, like me, so I don’t think this is where I want to spend a few years until things get back to normal.
    Through this group, I met another group that had about 150 members. Young men back from Afghanistan and Iraq. To be a member of this organization, you had to be ex-military. That is not the kind of group I wanted to join. I’m not physically fit enough to join them.
    I guess what I am saying is that I am prepping for my children and grandchildren. I’m not going anywhere. It would be great to have neighbors with like mindness, BUT, there is always a but, there would have to be at least one butt hole in the group that would cause trouble. So because of this, I keep a low profile. I do live in a community of farmers with a general store where our 2 county roads cross. This would be an excellent location if all were preppers, BUT, I know my next door neighbor is one of those butt holes. They threaten to call the president if one of my chickens poop on their land again. I know the time will come that they will want one of my chickens on their land.
    If you plan on joining a group, think long and hard on who they are and what they expect of you. I’ve seen plenty of “so called preppers” that advertise that they want to join a group, BUT all they have are themselves and want the others in the group to take care of them.
    “Wandakate”. If you want to move to rural Ky, give me a shout. You can join my group of 4 children, 9 grandchildren, 4 pigs, 5 goats, 5 rabbits, a dozen chickens, and one sourpuss neighbor.

    1. I agree John. I’m not sure looking for a group which fits our personal needs and goals are attainable. Like you I an older. My sense is much of what is to come, we’ll be doing ad lib. Something most people don’t like to do *I sure don’t.* Nonetheless, we need to begin to seek out those likeminded. For sure, observing and asking questions is most necessary. A key for me is, what are the people doing for themselves? Do their words match their actions? Will religion, or other viewpoints be accepted or tolerated OR as you pointed out in the one group….will it be too militaristic, too many oldsters….yes even what will be expected from you as a member of that group. Often our expectations don’t match, will or are people willing to bend or will they break under pressure? Is there a balance of warriors, healers, and others experienced/knowledgeable in many different aspects of society?
      Like Wandakate, I am searching too, but traveling across country from one coast to another….not sure that’s the answer though it might be for some.
      O and thanks for the info about ammo…I have no weapons most would recognize as such. That’s one of my hopes, I’ll be ‘hiding’ in open sight but living to be available as life begins to normalize again……even though I don’t consider myself normal. 😉 lol I AM learning how so many others survive during war and devastation…..these are the survivors and have much to teach those of us who are in the learning curve.

      1. Dee, I see you and I are on the same page. I thought long and hard on joining the group of 50 older folks in the hills. I have never seen their encampment, but from the sounds of it, they have prepared quite nicely. They offered me a membership because of my experience growing with aquaponics in a greenhouse. They needed someone to grow their poppies. They know how to make pain killers out of them, and they knew they are old and some are already on strong pain killers, and they will need lots in the coming years.
        I figured if I went with them, I am looking out for John. If I stay where I am, I am looking out for my children. So I am staying put.
        You speak of learning from someone that has “been there, done that”, then try this web site. Selco seems to be on top of things.

        1. John, same page different method it seems. First, that radiation coming from Japan? It’s like it’s coming back home. Not sure how many know the material for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki came from Camp Hanford *now known as the Hanford Atomic Works. The connection with me? My dad worked at Hanford after WWII. Many may not be aware that even then Hanford was releasing low emissions. Yes, I am one of those who is now known as a downwinder. I have lost my mother, 2 brothers and a sister to cancer which the government still says it has no responsibility for. Distrust the government? No, I have learned to listen and read between the lines though.
          Just as with Katrina and now Sandy, by now we must know even if the government can step in, we will still be on our own for longer and just a few weeks or months. My personal method has been ongoing for a few decades but it’s more intense now. When, not if, people come for food in my home, they will be delighted because I will give them what’s in sight. I learned this from my dad who worked security for awhile. What they get will be a token of what I have stored, but it will be what’s in plain sight.
          As someone has mentioned, I, too, am learning what’s available around me naturally…so yes, I will be foraging. Not just for food, but I have been learning how to use plants for medicinal purposes and how to make oils so my diesel machines can run. I will also be employing ‘plain sight’ My method? I’m falling back on what i have learned growing up among native americans and going to mountain man rendezvous. O yes, I do primitive camping even though I am using a wheelchair now. Gotta keep those skills sharpened. I am now teaching youngers how to do some of what has been taught me. I know i cannot defend by weapons most people think of, mine are knowledge, skills and knowing how to live in plain sight yet be hidden. I’m not a doom and gloom, I am optimistic. I do believe in preparing for the worst and if/when it doesn’t happen, wow what a celebration will be had. 🙂 O and thanks for the website. 🙂

          1. My oh my Dee. In common again. I have visited the Y 12 labs in Oak Ridge Tenn many times. They have an old train that travels through there, and it is enough to excite this ole boy. This is where the uranium was built, put together, or what ever you do with it, I guess to send to your neck of the woods to make a bomb. There is one building that is very high security that no one goes into. The locals say that the building kind of glows after dark. Radiation, I guess.

          2. “I’m not a doom and gloom, I am optimistic. I do believe in preparing for the worst and if/when it doesn’t happen, wow what a celebration will be had.”

            Amen to that!

  3. I’m giving some canned butter a try, so I ordered a few cans just to see how it tastes. I feel better knowing I have eggs, butter and milk in my preps. Also got some life water filter straws.

  4. A word about backing up your files (Cryptolocker article). Many people have an external hard drive set up to back their files up. The problem with this is most people leave it connected or turned on all the time. This is completely useless for the purpose of protecting your files. If your back-up drive is actively hooked up to your computer when you get a virus of any kind, the back-up drive is also infected. You should turn on/hook up your back-up drive only to do your back ups. And be sure to run your antivirus before backing up anything. If you back up an infected file, you have gained nothing and lost everything.
    Another point to consider. Some people use a partition on their only hard drive (that “appears” to be a separate hard drive) for a back-up location. Again, in the case of viruses, this is useless. The drive is actually just a part of your single hard drive, and is open to infection any time the computer is active.
    These are things that many people do not know. And those people are under the false impression that they don’t need to worry.

  5. I have been avidly watching a BBC program on youtube called Wartime Farm, about how farmers and others coped with extreme rationing plus the gov’t breathing down everybody’s neck just to make sure England would not be starved into surrender. Very, very inspiring – though, like “willwehavethefortitude” observed, our situation here and now is very different.
    For prepping activity the last few weeks I have resurrected an old interest of mine – foraging. Have tried acorns (a lot, lot, lot of work), sumac (lot of work also just to make a drink but the vit. C might be worth it) and tea from Yaupon Holly – the only wild tea in the region with caffeine and my greatest success so far!

    1. I just finished watching the entire episodes of Wartime Farm. Yes those farmers had it better than the townies or city dwellers. I learned a lot which can help when needed. I also thought how much people complain about how government gets into our personal business, but during WWII, the British government REALLY did. It was accepted because everyone knew the enemy, which might not be the case when collapse comes here.

  6. Hi, I’ve written you before. I am also a grandma, and very new to this prepping. I have learned to shoot at a range. Never thought I would do that.
    Okay, I’m going to embarrass myself now and say that I have not given a minutes thought to Survival Sunday Buzz Volume 88. I have heard about the Tsunami/Earthquake what ever in Japan.
    And I heard we as a country; (I live in Washington State) will have to deal with junk, coming to our coastline, but I never heard about Nuclear Radiation, hitting our coasts.
    That is just freaking me out. I have little tiny grandchildren to worry about. I know my e-mail might sound trite to many, however it’s true. I cannot just up and move 12 people somewhere. I guess it’s good that I know of about it but it sure is going to make sleeping a bit harder tonite.

    1. First of all, there is nothing to apologize about when it comes to saying you can not just pick up and move. Shelly and I talked about that very thing this morning. He mentioned inland but other than the radiation problem, we would be trading one disaster for another.

      As I said in today’s article, if I were younger and planning to have children, I would definitely move to someplace with less risk. That said, I think the best thing we can do not is to build up our immune systems. I am going to learn how to do that – that is my mission for 2014. It may take some changes in the way I do things including more herbs and minerals and essential oils. There is a lot to learn and I am going to seek some expert advice.

      Other than running away, I can not think of anything else to do. I hope that in some small way this will help you sleep better. You are not alone with your worry and your concern.

      — Gaye

      1. Another slightly comforting thought about radiation exposure. There was a man in Japan during WWII who survived being at ground zero, twice. He lived to a ripe old age.

        1. On that note, I had a very good friend that married a lady from Japan that survived the bomb. I had met her and she still had visible scars from the burns. There was a write up in the local paper about her experiences, and it did say that she still runs in the house anytime an airplane flies over. She died last year.

    2. Cheryl, I understand the freaking out. As a grandmother, you know it’s not good for your children or grans to see you doing this…so how do you handle other times when you want to freak out? Gather your wits about you and use that energy you’d use for that emotion and use that to make you determined. I’m am your neighbor to the south but have lived in WA as a military wife. There are many places there to be safe and make preparations for you and your family. And no need to be embarrassed, Gaye has provided us with a place to learn what we don’t know. Gain comfort from knowing we are all at different levels of prepping but we are moving positively to a goal. There are precautions to take but as a survivor, I can tell you, it’s staying alive for your family if not for yourself which will carry you through. Being prepared will give you the peace your fear is working to disturb. Be at peace and push forward. 🙂

  7. Gaye, you seem to have great insight. I guess that is why you are where you are today. As far as herbs and minerals and essential oils, I have been reading all day on cancer preventing and using ginger root. I know, someone has a remedy for anything you can come up with, BUT, I am going to try it. I just had my first cup of tea, and ate the ginger in the bottom. WOW, my tongue still tingles. I agree about moving across the country to escape the radiation. I don’t think the good Lord would do that to his people.
    Cheryl, as far as sleeping, I find Jim Beam helps. I jjoke Cheryl. I think our country is in for some rough times ahead, but it appears you are starting to pay attention. That is your first step. If you read Gaye’s blogs, she will take you from a beginner to being prepared to face anything coming down the pike.

    1. Wow Gaye. It is now 3 days after I tried ginger root. I had been on Nexium until my money ran out ($400 a month), and now I have been on Prilosec for over 2 years. Sometimes I have to take 2 a day, my stomach is so bad. I have drank 2 cups of ginger tea a day, and I haven’t had one stomach problem in 2 days.

      Next, are you ready for this. We discussed somewhere about leg cramps. I spoke of magnesium crystals. My order of the crystals came in last week, but I had not mixed them with water. Today I worked all day on the fence to try to keep those dxxx goats in. When I am on my feet all day is when I get the leg cramps. They started tonight and I walked in pain to the kitchen to heat the water to put in the crystals. As soon as they dissolved, I took a teaspoon of the hot oil, they call it when mixed, and rubbed it on my upper leg. Instantly, the pain was gone.

      Gaye, our all knowing leader, please keep up with your herbal medicines and potents reporting. I am starting to believe in this holistic stuff.

  8. I bought a wooden box at an estate sale (for $7.50! It would cost me much more to build it myself)) to keep my generator in while I run it, to protect it from the elements and to keep it from easily walking off.

    I have yet to drill, saw and add vents.

    Are there any plans online for such, or photos of working ones?

    I think I should add soundproofing to it, even though it has vents, it might help?
    What’s a good material to use?
    The last time I looked at automotive soundproofing I seem to recall it was kind of pricey.

    Also, that Mobile Washer looks like it might work better than a toilet plunger, and last longer too?
    I’ve been looking for a used mop bucket wringer for awhile now, so far, nothing.
    I may have to buy a new one (for wringing out clothes so they dry faster) any recommendations?

    I keep thinking that political views would make it very hard for preppers to hook up with each other.

  9. This post is in response to John regarding the use of ginger. John, I am studying herbalism as a way to heal/stay healthy when SHTF. I can tell you that some herbs/remedies take a while to be effective. Fortunately, ginger is one that is generally immediate. It is a warming herb as well as a calming herb. Not only is ginger great for your stomach issue but in the long run can be of benefit to other areas of health.

    Gaye, you mentioned receiving an order including beeswax and lemon essential oil for making a salve. I have been making my own herbal healing salve for quite some time and am always on the lookout for other things I can make myself out of natural ingredients. I was reading a past Prevention (Sept or Oct 2013) magazine and found a natural hand sanitizer. It is great as it does not dry out your hands like the alcohol based stuff does. So simple and easy to make and smells great.

    Natural Hand Sanitizer
    1/2 cup aloe vera gell
    1 1/2 teaspoons witch hazel
    15 drops tea tree oil
    5 drops lavender essential oil
    Mix all together and pour into pump bottle. Use as you would any hand sanitizer.

    1. Leanne, do you have an alternative to tea tree oil? *allergic* I agree about the ginger and it’s also good for pain…about 3 slices through the day for chronic pain. Thanks for the recipe. Do you know the shelf life of it? When things collapse, knowing how long will be most useful unless I run out. 😉 LOL

    2. Oh Leanne. I wish you and Gaye lived next door. The ginger immediately helped my acidic tummy. After using it a few days, I developed a dry hacking cough. I also developed an upper chest pain. After 3 days of this pain and coughing, I decided I needed to get back on my Prilosec or I had lung cancer. Last night I went back on the Prilosec. I still had the cough and pain this morning. I took another Prilosec with my regular morning poison. It is 4 in the afternoon and no more cough, and no more pain. Any ideas?
      Also, I have all the goodies to make the hand sanitizer with the exception of lavender oil. Don’t tell Gaye, because that’s all I hear out of her. Lavender oil this, lavender oil that. Is lavender oil essential in your mix?
      Thanks…John R

      1. John and Dee, Sorry the ginger did not help long term, John. Perhaps instead of tea, you could use dried ginger pieces. I saw some at Albertsons yesterday afternoon when I was searching for Turmeric for my chronic pain. Gonna make yellow rice this afternoon. As for the hand sanitizer, I will do a bit more research but the aloe vera and witch hazel have some sanitizing properties. Aloe is antifungal as well. The lavender is antibacterial as well as antiseptic. As for a substitutes for tea tree oil- I would perhaps use more lavender (I like the scent) as well as oregano, cinnamon and thyme oils – all antibacterial. I used the recipe as given as I use a lot of tea tree oil and love all of its properties but if you cannot use it, a recipe is something to guide you!! Just do a search on Google or antibacterial herbs. John, it is funny about the lavender oil – I was getting my “stuff” out to make the sanitizer and found that I have 3 bottles of lavender oil, 4 bottles of eucalyptus oil as well – guess I need to stop purchasing just because it is a good price!! Where do you live? we might be neighbors, ha ha. I live in Olympia WA. Dee, you also asked about the shelf life of the sanitizer. I will be using a lot this winter to prevent all the “****” that goes around work. I did initially cut down on the recipe (made approx. 1/2) and it was a very small amount. I use about 2 pumps from my tiny pump bottle so I should not have to worry about shelf life. If you have the ingredients but don’t make it until you need it, no worries. Took me about 5 seconds to put together as there is no “cooking” involved. One good website I found is: //
        Check it out and see what you find.

        1. Thanks Leanne,
          It appears you are almost right in the middle between Gaye and me. 🙂 I’m south of Portland Oregon.
          I will be trying the sanitizer…will let you know what I substitute. I’m really looking to local herbs and plants so if things go south for a long spell, I’ll be able to harvest what’s local.
          John, if ginger doesn’t help, you might try mint tea and/or some parley/cilantro—all of which not only help the breath but the digestion too.

          1. Leanne. I am regularly taking my Prilosec and no more upper chest pain, but the cough is still with me. It is not as dry as it use to be. I may just have a bug or something. I have mint gong wild just outside my back door and I often gather a quart mason jar of it, fill with water and lay in the sun 4 to 6 hours. It taste great, but I don’t feel like running a marathon afterwards. You think I should drink the mint tea daily and try to get back off the Prilosec? I started finely chopping my ginger root and using it in my soups. Who knows, I may live to be 100.

      2. John – Yes you should get some lavender oil. It is my go-to EO. Another good one that I will be writing about soon (maybe for Tuesday) is Rosemary. I think rosemary essential oil is often overlooked but it has many of the same properties as tea tree and lavender.

        Leanne also lives in Washington State. We are not quite neighbors since I live up north on an island but still, close enough.

        Sorry the ginger caused problems. We need to make up an essential oil salve that you can rub on your acidic tummy. I will look into it.

        — Gaye

        1. Gaye, I have lots of rosemary drying. Want to infuse it in olive oil for salves. Could also use it in cooking!

          If any of you out there want to learn more about herbs, the web is crawling with sites. I started my herbal journey with (I am only affiliated because I use the site for herbal questions – don’t get anything out of telling you about it!). Learning Herbs has a great Medicine Making kit for about $100 (includes almost everything to make the recipes-herbs, beeswax, jars, labels. You supply the olive oil for the salve and the bottle for the syrup. You also need normal kitchen pots/pans, sieve, spoons, etc.). It teaches you how to make salves, tinctures, syrups and infusions. I loved it. I had made lip balm prior to getting the kit but now – I have really gone to town using herbs for healing. A good beginner’s book is Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar. Love this book as it is not as overwhelming as a couple others that I have purchased.

  10. John, you say you are taking Prilosec. That tells me your digestion problem is an acid problem. I’m not a professional but I do have experience with this. My father in law taught me 30 years ago there are times when indigestion isn’t because you’re producing too much acid, but too little. The symptoms can be the same. So the solution is easy and simple. When you get that indigestion, drink a small glass of orange juice or a taller glass of lemonade. If it eases off, then it’s because you aren’t producing enough. If it doesn’t then you take your Prilosec. Some things like this can have the same symptoms. I have inflammation and at one point high blood pressure, so it was assumed too much salt. Fortunately, they did blood labs because when those came back, it was found I was dangerously low in sodium but the symptoms were the same as high sodium. Both instances I have seen many times since and share what I have shared with you. Though I am not a doctor, I just share what my experiences and others have taught me. Happy Trails.

  11. I started with Nexium, but it was just to expensive. I went to Prilosec and sometimes I have to take 2 a day. See if you can follow this. I had a pain in my kidney area. The VA sent me in for a scan. Yes, a kidney stone. Oh, by the way, we also found ‘growths’ on your kidney. OK, what are we going to do? VA, nothing, they may have been there all your life. We will wait a year and take another scan and see if they have grown. Me, crap. Wait a year, take another scan. No larger. VA, oh by the way, we found growths on your pancreas. OK, what are we going to do? Take an ultrasound. OK, run something down into my tummy to run the ultrasound on the pancreas that is so close to the tummy. Yes, its there. Now a biopsy. Why didn’t you take one when you were in there? Spend more money this way. Oh by the way, it seems your esophagus is very irritated from stomach acid. Start taking 2 Prilosec. Take one biopsy, not conclusive. Take second biopsy, inconclusive. This time travel to St Louis to Jewish hospital to take third biopsy. They say I am OK with the exception of a very irritated esophagus.
    With health care like this, why do we need Obumacare?
    OK, I think by my irritated esophagus, I am producing to much acid. Also, do you think Prilosec maybe numbing my stomach and esophagus, because when I got off the meds and started the ginger, the pain I felt was about the loction of my esophagus where I have the irritation? Any ideas?

  12. Wish I couldn’t say this, but having heard other stories about health within the VA, I’m ashamed of it. This shouldn’t be happening to our vets! An irritated esophagus doesn’t just mean too much acid, sometimes the valve may not be functioning right. Sad to say, the first thing medicos think of is too much acid which has caused we laypeople to do the same. Something you might consider is buying fresh cranberries so you can have them all year long. Cranberries and ginger go well together and it will help your kidneys and perhaps your esophagus too. Add a little blueberries and you have a strong combo for fighting off those growths perhaps. “They say” it’s the antioxidants in the berries which help do that and the ginger gives flavor. 😉

    1. Dee, the first 2 biopsies they did on my pancreas was performed at St Mary’s hospital in Evansville In. The VA coughed up the money to send me to the local regular people hospital. They are the ones that screwed up the first 2. Then the VA sent me to St Louis Mo to Jewish hospital to try to get it right. I don’t know if they did or not, but they say I am OK. Erica if you are reading, I am F.I.N.E.
      Leanne, it may have been the apple cider vinegar that I take daily that stopped the use of Allopurinol. I forget.

  13. John – I have only one possible solution – if the irritation in your esophagus is due to acid reflux, you may want to try propping yourself up when you sleep so the acid cannot come back up into your esophagus.

    You may also want to consider seeing a naturopath as any “advise” we may give is strictly from our own experience.

    Kidney stones – the year was 2012 – the year of the stones!!! I had procedures done on both of my kidneys to break up stones and have tubes put in. Appears I have too much uric acid in my bloodstream and high blood calcium. Since I am a vegetarian and don’t drink beer (two big causes of high uric acid is heavy meat eating and beer drinking), cannot figure out why I have such high uric acid. So – what I am doing for that is conventional medication (Allapurinol) and drinking a greens solution to detox and lower my overall acidity. Not sure how I will know this is working but the greens solution (oh – this is purchased thru It Works) is good for you in general. As for the high blood calcium, one urologist told me to cut back on calcium supplements and another urologist told me to continue with the high calcium supplements as at my age, we can deal with stones easier than we can deal with bone loss.

    As for waiting a year for another scan – I would push it and get one done sooner – say 6 months MAX. If it is nothing – thank God; but if it something serious, why let it grow to the point that nothing can be done. My PT told me to go to my doctor and cry – that is the way to get things done!!

    Take care of you. You are in charge of your health. If a doctor tells you 1 year, as for 6 months!!

    1. Leanne, you sweet thing. All that has happened to me is in the past. I waited the year. The kidney stone, they said it was to large to pass. 4cm and 3 cm is all that can be passed. I just wake up ever so often with a pain in my kidney area. As far as the calcium is concerned, I learned the hard way. With all my stomach problems, I chewed tums like candy. I was informed there are 2 forms of calcium. Carbonate and Citrate. Carbonate will defiantly cause kidney stones, and the Citrate will not. Please don t take anything but Citrates. I started on tums (carbonate) and within 2 months I had the first kidney stone of my life.
      It’s awful to be old and forgetful, but I also had Gout and had to take Allopurinol. When I had a painful outbreak there is one pain killer that will take care of it, but I have forgotten it’s name, but as far as what I did to get off the Allopurinol, I have completely forgotten, but I have been off it for 3 years.
      Sleeping propped up? I have a hard time sleeping on my back. Just about always on my side. I would think by taking 2 Prilosec a day, I wouldn’t have stomach acid. Wouldn’t it be great to have the knowledge of a good doctor.
      Leanne. I hear of taking things like cinnamon, ginger powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and other herbs. How do you take them? On your food? Put them in a capsule? Take it by the spoonful? Mix it with water. Gaye tells of the uses of various oils, but she doesn’t say how to use them. I have tea tree oil, and coconut oil, as per her instructions, but I don’t know what to do with them.
      Please help this old imbacil.

  14. John – I just wrote a really long reply – computer shut down. I will have to start over.

    On Kidney stones – you DO NOT WANT TO TRY TO PASS A STONE THAT IS TOO LARGE. Take my word for this. It was THE single most painful think I have ever experienced.

    I have never had gout so do not know what that is like. From my research on kidney stones/formation, it is not something I want to experience either.

    With my back issues (current) I have to sleep propped up or I cannot get up in the mornings. I really just want to lie down to sleep, get up with no pain. Well, I have 18 more medical appointments this month to see what can be done to alleviate some of my pain.

    Tea Tree Oil is my favorite essential oil. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral. You can use it for minor cuts and scrapes, minor skin irritations, bug bites, etc. Use it full strength using a q-tip or a cotton ball or gauze pad. You can also combine it with melted coconut oil for dry skin issues. I melt about 1/2 cup of coconut oil, add 20-30 drops of tea tree oil; pour into a jar with a lid (one that is safe in the bathroom); let it solidify and you have quick and easy healing cream.

    Coconut oil can be used for cooking, moisturizing and other applications. I took care of my dandruff by rubbing in the above combination of coconut oil and tea tree oil; then shampooing as normal. I keep a bottle of coconut oil (one with a lotion type lid) in the shower. When I am dried off but skin is still a bit damp, I rub coconut oil into my skin. It takes a few minutes for the skin to absorb the oil but when it does, the skin feels amazing.

    As for other herbs, I try to cook with herbs whenever possible. I do take supplements in tablet or capsule form for some of them like turmeric (I want to get a lot in my body as quickly as possible for pain). I mix cinnamon and powdered stevia leaf and use on toast; use ginger in tea with lemon, cook with turmeric, curry powder and cayenne when appropriate. I make yellow rice by cooking my rice in the rice cooker with turmeric and curry. Served with steamed or stir fried veggies – yum.

    Other oils that Gaye may have mentioned: olive oil. This can be used for cooking, salad dressings, skin, furniture (like a wax but use a soft cloth). Many applications for olive oil.
    Coconut and Olive oil are the 2 I use most in my household. I do have almond oil and apricot kernel oil for some “beauty” applications – too much to get into in this location. Stick with coconut and olive oils and you are good.

    I better get to bed so I can get thru church tomorrow without falling asleep!!

    1. On the kidney stone, they said they would have to send me to Mempis to get it broken up so as to be able to pass. I think I will pass, as long as the only trouble I have is a little pain in the morning that quickly goes away with movement.
      My coconut oil is fractionated. Is that bad? It is a liquid, not solid. I use magnesium oil to rub on my body when I get out of the shower. I think it helps. I take bunches of supplements, but I think the vitamin B does the most good. I also use lots of hydrogen peroxide for the things you use the tea tree oil for. I drink a little of the peroxide each morning. (as much crap that I drink, you would think I wouldn’t have any pipes left) I drink the H2O2, colloidal silver, vinegar with honey (honegar), and some smelly horrible tasting stuff that is suppose to make me jump faster and run higher.
      So you take turmeric in a capsule and most of the other herbs, you just use lots in cooking? I do that.
      Thanks for your patience with me.

      1. John – the fractionated coconut oil is in a stable liquid form so that it can be mixed with other ingredients (essential oils). The problem with using the solid coconut oil is that if you mix up your EOs, it will turn hard as a rock when the weather cools. (I keep my hope at 65 degrees so it is never very warm; that is why you always see me wearing down vests.)

        For the most part, I use regular (solid) coconut oil. I use it extensively in cooking and making salves.

        More on the salves to follow. I have been using my muscle relief salve on my feet at night (no more cramps!) as well as in my beauty routine (washing and moisturizing). I even used it on some itchy spots on Tucker’s belly (although he does not like the peppermint).

        I am pretty sure I posted my muscle relief formula with the Rosemary article. If I were you would mix some up with your fractionated coconut oil. Start by rubbing it on your feet a couple of times a day and see if it resolves some of your woes. Sounds crazy I know.

        Internet is up and down but I have been reading all of the comments. Shelly has similar digestive problems and takes a lot of med plus over the counter items. I am going to work on him t wean him off using my new Spark Naturals EOs which are wonderful. I believe the kit I have includes a digestive blend. I will check.

        As with everything, there are not enough hours in the day. It may be a couple of weeks before I can post the salve instructions.

        — Gaye

        1. Thank you so much for your concern for all your readers. I will be standing my for your next words of wisdom. I hope you get your internet back up before you pull your hair out, if you have any left.

  15. I know the solid coconut oil does get very hard. I just use a teaspoon to take out what I want and put it in my hand. It melts quickly and is then easy to use. As for the liquid – I have never used it but seems that it would work well to take some of that and mix in the EO that you desire. I would then just put it in a type of bottle/lid that would dispense what I needed. I use a LOT of travel sized lotion bottles!!! I use a lot of these because people are always wanting some of what I make! I do not want to have to give them really large amounts – would rather they ask me for more so I can make fresh batches each time. For home use, however, I use larger bottles for myself. I think I will look for the liquid coconut oil soon.

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