Notes for Saturday – August 30, 2014

August 30, 2014 is the 95th birthday of Joachim Rønneberg, a hero of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. His exploits earned him the War Cross With Sword, Norway’s highest military honor. In April 2013, Rønneberg was presented with a Union Jack during a ceremony at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) monument in London to mark 70 years since the successful Gunnerside heavy water plant sabotage mission.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Fishing For Survival, by M.K.

I have spent a decent amount of time fishing with my two sons (ages 7 and 9) recently. Watching them learn to go after a stringer of fish has been a real joy. You have all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” That thought came to my mind as I was talking my boys through our plan of attack on the little lake near our house. As they continued to cast and reel without bringing anything in, I began to wonder what would happen if we really were dependent on these fish for our survival. Would we really be able to be fed for a lifetime?

I have read many articles on fishing for survival. I’ve seen a lot of good advice, as well as a lot that should be passed by without a thought. I’ve seen survival kits that include fishing tackle. I’ve heard from survivalists and enthusiasts alike about what should be included in a survival fishing kit. I’ve seen enough survival “experts” catch fish in the wild and eat it raw or over an open fire. All of these examples of fishing for survival are all well and good, but each person lives under different circumstances, and no one mode of methodology is the same.

So, I began to think about myself in a survival situation. I began to wonder how my boys and I would do, given the requirement of fishing for our daily sustenance. I grew up as a hunter and fisherman. I was taught by a father and grandfather, who knew the woods and water like no others. I didn’t learn from reading articles or watching youtube clips. Bear Grylls wasn’t my teacher, and I didn’t need to have any ex-Navy Seal show me how to find my own food. I have the foundation of knowledge within me to allow me to survive, but could I really put together a decent plan to continually bring food in for the table?

Thinking about the main points of fishing for survival, I came up with some categories of fishing preparedness that I needed to focus on with my boys. There are obviously various scenarios that could change the plan, including bugging out or bugging in, the location of bodies of water that are safe for eating fish from, and safety of travel just to name a few. So, I had to create categories that fit my current plan of hunkering down in my location. The categories I decided were of most importance were:

  1. Equipment Needed
  2. Proximity of Water
  3. Techniques for Catching Fish
  4. Cleaning the Fish
  5. Cooking the Fish

Of course, I understand others may have different categories that they may find helpful, but I felt that in the limited resources of a survival situation, I would keep things as simple as possible. Here is how I began to work out these categories in my fishing plan.

Equipment Needed

First of all, I understand that each situation calls for different equipment. Yes, a small fishing kit, consisting of line (go for a decent strength of 10lbs or more; I recommend braided), hooks, sinkers, and floats, is a helpful tool for your bug out bag, but your chances of success wandering through the woods finding streams and lakes are going to be fairly slim to begin with. This is definitely not your ideal fishing situation, but using what you have at hand you may be successful enough. I recommend, in addition to your bug out fishing kit, you include a small box of artificial lures as well. Some jigs and grubs and minnows or frogs would be a nice addition, if you can manage to squeeze them into your kit.

My plan, however, is to stay home as long as possible. This, of course, gives me access to all of my current fishing tackle and supplies. Yet moving out of the house in safety may require a more mobile setup. I most likely would avoid taking my large, seven-tray tackle box and multiple rods, and I’d outfit myself with a bit more mobile setup. Going on foot to a fishing spot, especially with my two sons, I would take the following:

  • Lightweight, over the shoulder fishing bag or backpack.
  • Small tackle boxes, including hooks, jigs, grubs, rubber worms, a spinner bait or two, and some surface lures, such as poppers, floating minnows, or frogs.
  • Fillet knife and something to fillet fish on, such as a board.
  • One rod of my choosing. I have a number to choose from, but I would most likely go with one that could be broken down into two or three parts for easier carry. My favorite rod (Fenwick Elitetech Smallmouth) is a one piece. While it is a great rod, it would be difficult to easily carry it through the wilds to a fishing spot.
  • A lot of people are concerned about the weight of line that should be used in this situation. Honestly, you know what you are fishing for, if you are in an area that you are familiar with. Here in the great State of Michigan, I’m not overly concerned with using a massive line. I’m not typically fishing for anything that 8 to 12lb line can’t handle easily enough.
  • A multitool with pliers.
  • Sturdy shoes/boots and outerwear for appropriate weather.
  • While I love fly fishing, I’m going for practicality in this situation, and I don’t have the greatest places here to cast a fly. So my fly gear will sadly be put away.

One item of note that you may notice, I did not include is a float or bobber. I wouldn’t want to alert a passerby of my presence without them having to look closely. If they see a red and white ball floating on top of the water, it’s pretty obvious that someone is there. Learn techniques to fish without them and you won’t have to worry about such things.

Some of you may be blessed with a boat that could be used. A lightweight canoe would be great for a situation like this. It could be carried to various locations or even hidden near a lake or stream. Larger boats that must be pulled with your vehicle may not be the most suitable for all situations in a post-SHTF scenario. Personally, I own an inflatable 12-foot boat with a small electric trolling motor. While it weighs upwards of 50lbs, it could still be transported easier than a hard-sided boat of the same size. I will add that I have had to patch it in various spots over the years, so some vinyl patches are a must!

If I were to have a bug out retreat of some kind (I haven’t been blessed with such a place or the finances to acquire one yet), I would make sure to stock it with at least two rods and reels per person and the tackle for each.

Proximity of Water

My family is blessed that we live outside of the city. We are in a very small country neighborhood with no other neighborhoods around us. Across my street is a hay farm that boasts 185 acres. We are also blessed that we live in Michigan, where as they say, you are never more than six miles from fresh water.

It is so important to know your surroundings. You may have already planned out where your sources of fresh water are but have you looked for places to fish? A tiny stream might be a good source of drinking water, but it may not be large enough to house food as well. Make sure you scout out the area now for good fishing spots. We are one mile from a lake to the north, and about ¾ of a mile from gravel pits (full of fish) to our south. There are streams running to our southeast, and a pond in the farmland across the street to our west.

Thinking about each one of these bodies of water, I have to decide upon two things: safety and ease of getting a decent catch.

The best place to catch a decent number of fish would be the gravel pits. They are rarely fished (as you have to have permission to fish there), and rarely does one fish there without catching a decent amount. However, this is also the least safe. There is no cover, and a number of people know about the fishing there.

The farmer’s pond would give the best cover. Almost nobody knows it’s back there; it is easy to get to, and there is a lot of cover. However, while I have not fished there, it does not appear to be a great source of fish. It is shallow and weedy, which would be good cover for fish but would create a difficult time of bringing them out.

The stream to the southeast would be a decent hike and may have a fair amount of people nearby, since it goes through a neighborhood at one point.

This leaves the lake to the north. While I have not had a lot of success fishing there, it offers excellent cover; it’s close by, and it does have fish in it. In all likelihood, I would hike or bike down to the lake with my family as my main source of fish. If I felt it was safe enough, I could pull my boat behind my bike in a trailer or even carry it, if need be.

Techniques for Catching Fish

Now that I’ve nailed down my fishing location and have the equipment needed, I still have to catch the fish. This is the part that so many seem to take for granted. There is this general assumption that if I have the right kit or equipment, I will have no problem catching what I need. “Just give me some hooks and the strands from my paracord and I will be a fishing wizard out in the wilderness.” I’m sorry, but it’s just not that easy.

There are many methods for catching fish. I’ve already mentioned my love for fly fishing, which seems a bit impractical in a survival situation in my location. I’ve seen how-to videos on making fish traps, which may work extremely well in a small river or stream (and earn you super cool survival status points). Big lakes require a different approach than small lakes, and rivers are an entirely different animal altogether. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to fishing technique.

I will tell you this, though. Here in my neck of the woods, the easiest fish to catch are bluegill and bass. Both of them love worms. Real ones or fake ones, it doesn’t really matter, though I would suggest real bait, especially for the bluegill.

My plan would be to fish the edge of the lake with live worms initially. I have had a lot of success catching bluegill with live worms on hooks. I will put a lead sinker about a foot or two above the worm, and let the worm swing back toward me as it hits the water. This gives it kind of a natural dive action as it sinks. The occasional bass will hit this as well, but bass may require a bit more of a strategic plan. Bluegill are nice because you can often catch a lot of them, and they are easy to fillet. While fishing for food, these would be my first targets.

If the bluegill aren’t biting, or I would like something bigger to feed my family, I would search for the bass. Bass like decent cover so it’s a good thing my lake has a decent amount of lily pads. I will often rig a rubber night crawler with a weedless harness or a Texas-rig, and let the worm sink between some of the clumps of vegetation. Then as I begin to move the worm around and retrieve it, the hope is a hungry bass will come on out to play.

Now, many of you are fisherman, and have been at it a lot longer than I have. I do not need to write an article for you about the various techniques of fishing. These are just two of the methods I have found to be successful at the specific lake where I will be doing most of my survival fishing. Survival fishing isn’t the time to try out new techniques. It’s the time to catch your dinner. You may have your tried and true methods, and you can skip right over other people’s techniques.

Cleaning the Fish

So you’ve caught a stringer full of fish. Congratulations! Now what do you do with it? I recently had a friend tell me that he only fishes catch and release, because cleaning a fish is just too much work. It’s really not, but you would be surprised how many people have never done it. I would prefer to clean the fish right out by the lake, as to avoid having to bury fish parts near my home. If it becomes part of your regular fishing routine, then it doesn’t become a chore. Any meat you eat has to go through a similar process. Be thankful it’s fish we are dealing with and not something larger!

There are two ways to do this. You can either fillet the fish (giving you nice, clean pieces of meat) or you can gut the fish and cook it basically whole. In most cases, I would fillet the fish. It just makes the cooking process easier on so many levels.

To Fillet the Fish:

  • Start with the fish on its side, with the spine facing you,
  • Line up your fillet knife behind the pectoral fin (the side fin), and
  • Cut in at a 45-degree angle toward the head, tilting the knife toward the spine until it stops on the spine.
  • Turn your blade so it is facing the tail of the fish, and slice all the way through to the tail. You want to avoid going too deep toward the belly of the fish, as to avoid the innards.
  • Pull away the cut meat, and finish the cut near the belly, if needed.
  • Flip the fish and repeat. This side will be backwards, so it’s always easiest if you can fillet right and left handed. If not, oh well. You’ll get it.
  • To cut off the skin, if desired, place your fillet skin side down, then start at the tail and run your knife horizontally as close to the skin as possible. (Note: If you plan to cook with the skin on, scale the fish first. See instructions below.)
  • Rinse your fillet, and get ready to cook.

To Clean or Gut the Fish:

If the fish has scales, use a dull knife, or the back of a blade to run along the fish from the tail upward toward the head. With the right pressure, this will send scales flying off of the fish. Once they are all removed, rinse the fish to make sure the body is clean.

Next, insert your fillet knife on the underside of the fish into the anus near the tail. Draw the knife along the underside toward the head. Pull apart the opening, and remove all of the innards of the fish. If you would like to remove the head, simply cut it off on the head side of the pectoral fin.

If you plan on keeping your fish to fillet later, cleaning it before freezing or storing it in a refrigerator is a must. You can always go back to filleting your fish a little bit later.

Cooking the Fish

This all seems like a whole lot of work and preparation, and I’m still not done yet! It would sure be a letdown if I were to go through all of this only to cook a boring, tasteless fish. Obviously, if you are in a bug-out situation, sticking your cleaned fish onto a stick and cooking it over a fire might be your only option. While I enjoy that taste, there are many who would find it boring.

I love to cook fish, so here are a couple of the ways I cook fish, including two simple recipes. First, I love fried fish. You know, just about anything is better when cooked in oil. It may not always be the healthiest option, but if you’re in a survival situation, adding fats to your diet in the form of oil may be a good thing. While cooking in oil is easy enough, it took me years to find a good breading recipe. I’ve cooked this over a fire, on a stove, and in a pan on my grill. It’s good every time.

  1. Soak fish fillets in buttermilk (in the fridge) for at least an hour. If no buttermilk is available, put a teaspoon of lemon juice into a cup of milk and let it sit for five minutes before stirring it.
  2. Mix these dry ingredients together-
    • 2 Cups Flour
    • 2 Tablespoons Salt
    • 2 Tablespoons Pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons Paprika (or chili powder)
    • 1-Teaspoon Garlic Salt
    • 1-Tablespoon Dried Mustard
    • 1-Teaspoon Oregano
    • 1-Tablespoon Ginger
  3. Pull fish out of buttermilk and place in a bag. Dump dry contents into the bag; seal and shake up, until all the fish are coated.
  4. Heat oil until bubbles start to form. Drop fish in until crispy and brown. (Unfortunately, I can’t give you a time or temperature for this, as I have cooked using fire, grill, and stove. I do not have an exact measurement for you.)

Second, if frying is a little too unhealthy for you, I have a baked or grilled method you may enjoy (and it’s a lot easier).

Marinade:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped, minced, or crushed; it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

Let fish soak in marinade for at least an hour, then grill or bake until flaky.

I hope that you have taken some time to really consider what it will take for you to fish for survival in a post-SHTF scenario. Don’t rely on books or television to teach you what you will need to pull your food out of a lake or stream. Get out and do it. Go through all of the steps in order to make sure you are capable. Most of all, right now is the time to fish for enjoyment. It just so happens that it will also prepare you for a time to come where you may be required to fish.

Four Letters Re: How to Survive Without Glasses

Hugh,

In response to Wednesday’s response: There are much better options out there for new or backup glasses than waiting for a “two pairs for $99″ coupon or local deal. Online providers like Coastal.com and WarbyParker.com have good quality frames (many name brand) and their standard polycarbonate lenses are light years ahead of the basic plastic lenses in terms of durability. Both offer the option to “try before you buy”. Recently I was able to get a new pair of glasses from Coastal for less than $45, shipped (no tax in my state) by using an online code. Their standard deal is 1 for $49 or 2 for $99, shipped. You will need to provide your current prescription details of course. – J.S

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Mention to your readers to research the Bates Method. This guy in the 1800’s suggested that eyes can be re-taught to work correctly. One of his followers, Quackenbush, also has a book on Bates with the whole gamut of eye correction methods. – C.V.

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For those of us that wear glasses, having at least one pair of Adlens glasses in your kit is, in my opinion, essential. – E.G.

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These adjustable glasses are supposedly available in third-world countries. They refuse to sell them in the U.S. It couldn’t be too hard to make them.

Google saline-filled adjustable glasses, or something like that. This will bring lots of hits and news stories about how great they are, and they only cost $1 each, but I’ve made lots of calls and emails, as these would be hugely valuable in a survival situation. They’d be a barter item literally worth their weight in silver, maybe even in gold.

http://www.ted.com/talks/josh_silver_demos_adjustable_liquid_filled_eyeglasses

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/health/27glasses.html?_r=0

Economics and Investing:

A day of reckoning has arrived to retiring Americans: 63 percent of Americans that start working by the age of 25 will be dependent on Social Security, relatives, or charity by the time they hit 65.

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Real stock correction going to blindside us: Pro. M.V.

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Are We Heading For Another Stock Bubble?. – CDV

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A Fraud By Any Other Name Is Still A Fraud

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Butter Prices Reach All-Time High Amid Smaller Stockpiles. – G.G.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Ammunition now plentiful one year after mass shortages . – H.L.

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The movie Atlas Shrugged Part 3: Who Is John Galt? will be released on September 12, 2014. There are 223 confirmed theater locations that can be be found here.

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Swatting continues to be a real issue as more and more people engage in the practice, while police are over anxious to use their SWAT teams. Vice news has an interesting video on the swatting issue. You can also see an example where one online gamer, who was streaming video of himself (a common practice with video gamers), caught a swatting live. The practice is reprehensible, but why did the police have an issue with the live feed? We see this over and over where police will go to extreme lengths to keep themselves from being recorded. – N.L.

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Video: Police search for men who slammed woman to ground, snatched purse at Ocoee Publix. – T.P.

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FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment omits Islamic terrorism. – B.B.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” – Deuteronomy 18:18 (KJV)

Notes for Friday – August 29, 2014

August 29th is a mournful day, as we remember the anniversary of the death of “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” – Isaiah 40:3. John, the Baptist, who heralded the first coming of our Lord and stood true to his belief in the face of death, was beheaded on this day in 29AD.

In 1862, the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia began, along with the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Why I Believe A World-Wide Pandemic Will Bring About Civil War and Ethnic Cleansing in the United States, by S.T.

A world-wide pandemic is my worst nightmare. I fear a pandemic more than I fear a nuclear war. We have scientists who have already weaponized the flu virus. http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/421-national-security/8630-scientist-weaponizes-flu-strain-in-bioterrorism-experiment

The majority of the American population is just nine meals away from anarchy.

The government lawmakers– those who are elected to act in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that they represent and to act upon the citizen’s requests and desires– have, for the last 40 odd years, only acted in ways that would:

  1. Get themselves elected or re-elected,
  2. Get themselves additional campaign contributions,
  3. Get themselves time on the airwaves to stroke their over-inflated egos,
  4. Make themselves rich, or
  5. Make laws that continue to erode the Constitution and take away our civil liberties.

Some Background Facts

The United States elected officials have refused over and over to listen to the requests of the public and stop the flood of illegal aliens, who cross our boarders and bring disease, crime, and drugs or to crackdown on the crime and criminals. Instead, these lawmakers have spent their time spying on the American public and writing laws the could result in the seizure of your food supplies “for the greater good of the people”.

We have illegal aliens, with cases of tuberculosis (TB), running around the streets of California and other states, refusing to stay in isolation, and potentially infecting others. These illegal aliens are not only not being deported but the tax dollars of hardworking Americans are being spent to provide them with medical care or medical care in a jail cell.

Every day, we have illegal alien gang members arrested for murder and selling drugs who are given just a slap on the wrist for their crimes and who are not deported but are then allowed out of jail to commit more crimes.

The illegal alien “children” and “those that are claiming to be children” that we are housing are carrying a vast amount of communicable diseases and infecting the border patrol and others who are providing them care.

The parents who send their children to public schools in areas with a high percentage of illegal alien children are upset that their children are not receiving the proper amount of education because the teachers have to spend most of their time with the children who can not or will not speak English.

Liberia has now put in place severe travel quarantines, and those in the quarantine areas now are facing food shortages and starvation. If we had an all out pandemic in the United States, I know that the murders, rapists, gangbangers, and other criminals would not abide by any travel restrictions; they would spread the pandemic even further and to more of the population.

We have states granting a medical license to a doctor, who was convicted of rape with a gun, served only a fraction of the sentence the judge imposed, and is now accused of assaulting another patient in a new state. The State of Maryland did not perform background checks on potential doctors and relied only on “self reporting”. I can not think of a doctor “self reporting” that they are a rapist. Do you think that this doctor, who is accused of locking the exam room and attacking the female patient said, “ Wait here, while I put on a mask and gloves before I assault you.”

Our government does not have the balls to tell China that we will no longer accept their contaminated products, like toothpaste and food.

The Pandemic Dilemma

I could fill up 100′s of pages but you get my point. I believe that portion (however small) of these victims, if they survive, will be out looking for revenge, if and when there is a pandemic.

The 1918-1919 Spanish Flu lasted two years and came in three separate waves (without the benefit of widespread international air travel that we have today). Using this as a model for any future pandemic, we would need to store a minimum of two years of food and the seeds to grow an additional food until the supply lines were back up and running which could take another full two years.

Depending on the virus that creates the pandemic, it could jump species and spread to farm animals and wild animals that are used for food. This could further decimate our food supply for years to come and increase the number of persons who die, not from the pandemic but from starvation.

While writing this, I had to go to my local County Health Department. While there I picked up the booklet “The Flu Prevention and Treatment” published by the “Channing Bete Company”. Page 18 lists steps to prepare for a “Flu Pandemic” and includes “Stock at least a two-week emergency supply of food and water”. It appears that these so-called experts never did any study on the 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic and therefore are providing dangerous information to the public.

What percentage of the the American population has two or more years of food and the necessary items, skills, and property needed to grow more? Again, the majority of the American population is just nine meals away from anarchy. I think that less than 3% of the American population has the necessary amount of food and other supplies and skills that will be needed to sustain themselves during any type of pandemic. The other 97% will starve or become raiders and killers to obtain food and water.

Some Future Predictions.

Now consider if some persons who were infected with Ebola come into the United States via international air travel and start a pandemic here. What will happen is:

  1. The politicians will run and hide in their well-stocked bunkers.
  2. When there are no politicians to approve an increase to the debt ceiling, the welfare checks and food stamps will stop.
  3. When there are no federal paychecks, all of the federal employees will abandon their jobs.
  4. Then the individual states will stop the WIC program.
  5. Then the individual states will stop the Section 8 housing program.
  6. When there are no government welfare or pay checks, the water, sewer, electricity, and other infrastructure services will stop because at least 1/2 of the employees are at home in isolation and there is no money coming in to pay the other 1/2 employees. And the snow ball effect takes place.

Ebola has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days, and a person who had contracted Ebola still has semen and breast milk for 60 days after a patient recovers. So what happens if a patient survives, then goes out to celebrate with a hooker or two? There is more spreading of the pandemic disease.

Just two days after the welfare checks and food stamps stop, I believe that there will be widespread looting and riots in the shopping districts. All of the grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and gun stores will also be not only emptied but destroyed.

Just two additional days will bring the looting and riots to the urban homes.

Just two additional days and looting and riots will move to the suburbs.

Just two additional days will bring killing, just for the sake of killing.

Most homesteaders, hunters, preppers, and survivalists will be able to lock down for the two years, but what about the sheeple that will be rioting and protesting in the streets and spreading the pandemic further?

I know how the homesteaders, hunters, preppers, and survivalists will react to gangbangers and welfare mothers with their eight children showing up at their door (who could be infected with whatever the pandemic virus is) and demanding food and supplies; those gangbangers will be met with the end of a gun. Consider if the gangbangers and welfare mothers leave but then come back for a midnight raid or two.

If the midnight raid was successful, the family was injured or killed, and their pantry raided, what will the other families in the area do when their home is approached? There will be no warning to leave; there will be no warning not to come back; there will only be shots fired in an all-out effort to protect their family members. With each and every successful and unsuccessful raid, the homesteaders, hunters, preppers, and survivalists will become that much more hardened and resolved to protect their family, which will result in more and more deaths.

In the urban areas, with each successful and unsuccessful raid, more and more families will start pulling out their grandpa’s WWII and Vietnam guns. Once just a few families, that were successful in repelling a raid, have succumbed to the pandemic that infected them via the gangbangers and welfare mothers, I believe it will become an all out ethnic cleansing war.

The “white” families with farms and supplies will shoot first and ask questions later. Every person, who is Hispanic and could be a potential gangbanger or a person who is potentially infected, will be shot. Every person, who is black/African-American and could be a potential gangbanger or a person who is infected, will be shot.

The “black” families with farms and supplies will shoot first and ask questions later. Every person who is Hispanic and could be a potential gangbanger or a person who is potentially infected will be shot. Every person who is white and could be a potential gangbanger or a person who is potentially infected will be shot.

There will also be additional deaths due to plain old revenge. For example:

  1. The Judge who found you guilty of a felony for setting off fireworks on the 4th of July. (Yes, this is a true case.)
  2. The neighbor who is a pedophile and only received six months in jail for an attack on a three year old.
  3. The rapist teacher who only received probation.
  4. Then we move into the mentally ill. After all of the anti-psychotic drugs are now gone, there will be some banging on your door claiming to be God.
  5. The recreational drugs are gone, so the drug addicts are out and about looking for drugs or food to steal to trade for drugs, and they will show up at your home.
  6. The unqualified neighbor who received the job promotion because of affirmative action.

Again, I could fill up 100′s of pages, but you get my point. I believe that portion of these persons and victims will be out looking for revenge, if there is a pandemic.

If the above does not scare someone into action, consider the we have an estimated 2.4 million persons currently incarcerated in our jails and prisons. What will happen to this prison population? Will they be left to die of starvation in the prison, or will they be released into the general public, or will they break out? The thought of 2.4 million rapists, pedophiles, murderers, and drug dealers being released or breaking out after there are no more law enforcement, correctional officers, or guards just sends shudders down my back.

I know that everything I have written is a very sobering read, and some will call me a kook or a racist or an alarmist. However, what I am is a realist. I believe it is not only possible but very probable as to what will take place if a severe pandemic, such as Ebola, hits the United States.

Be Prepared

In closing, we are on our own in a pandemic, so please go over your food and supplies, and fill in any holes while there is time. If you do not have the necessary special medical supplies for a pandemic, such a the tyvec suites, rubber gloves, goggles, and lots of duct tape, order it now.

Put into place a “Pandemic Isolation Plan” with your family. If your “Pandemic Isolation Plan” is to bug out, consider moving your equipment and supplies into totes now, so that you will just need to load the totes and everyone there by reducing the time to put your “Pandemic Isolation Plan” into effect or to move most of your supplies to your bugout location.

If your “Pandemic Isolation Plan” is to bug in, look at the security of your home to see if there are additional items or work that could be done to improve the safety and security of your family.

Look at your neighbors and note which ones will be a help and which ones will be a hindrance during a pandemic.

I do not want to end this on a note of just gloom and doom. Yes, a global pandemic will wipe out a very large amount of the population, and only a small percentage of the population who think they should receive welfare and food stamps and never work will survive. However, the majority of the survivors will be of a hardy stock who know that in order to survive hard work and a lot of common sense is required. They will pass this, plus a strong work ethic, on to the future generations.

For me, when a single case is reported in the United States east of the Rockies, we will go shelter in place and lock down.

Letter Re: Quarantine Procedures for Ebola and Other Diseases at Your Bugout Location

Hi HJL.

The article about quarantine procedures is timely and thoughtful. It points out scenarios that have a human element that I bet many have not considered. As a clinician, I would like to add a few points to consider. Quarantine is only necessary for the maximum of the illness’s incubation period. For Ebola, this is 21 days. There is no need to quarantine longer than that. If it is your child, or your sister, it will be much easier to enforce compliance with the quarantine if it is fact-based and not fear-based. It removes all question of bias. The WHO (World Health Org) and CDC have good info on incubation topics.

Another thought to consider is government mandated quarantine. Most governments implement quarantines as a means to protect the population as a whole from the smaller population at risk. Just look at what is happening in Liberia. Massive mandatory quarantines have been implemented. Some of the effects of this, along with widespread fear, has led to an interruption to trade and trucks stocking the markets. There is actually a food crisis for those who are not already self-sufficient, because they cannot attain food and goods from markets. The UN warned of this today.

In the U.S., it is not hard for a similar picture to erupt. The CDC website says of the U.S.: “States have the authority to declare and enforce quarantine and isolation within their borders. This authority varies widely, depending on state laws. It derives from the authority of state governments granted by the U.S. Constitution to enact laws and promote regulations to safeguard the health and welfare of people within state borders.” Sometimes mandatory quarantines are an inconvenient necessity (think smallpox on a ship at port, for example), but the effects of such a quarantine go far beyond just protection from contagion.

PA Jes

Economics and Investing:

Video: Two experts warn correction could total 60%. – B.B.

o o o

An Autumn storm brewing?  The stock market is now looking precariously over-valued; there are rumblings that the Federal Reserve may finally be ending ZIRP, and there are persistent rumors of potential “bail ins” of private bank accounts in the United States.  If you have been dawdling, then it is high time to get your financial ducks in a row, folks!  With spot silver presently below $19.60 per ounce, I consider it a strong BUY, but be sure to buy physical silver and keep it in your personal possession, well-hidden at home. (Don’t depend on ETFs, warehouse receipts, or otherwise be dependent on the honesty and dutifulness of others.  When the Crunch comes, you don’t want to be at the mercy of anyone (inside or outside of government) doing the right thing.  Odds are, they won’t.) – JWR

o o o

Russia Sanctions Hit German Consumers, “Economic Expectations Completely Collapse”

Notes for Thursday – August 28, 2014

August 28, 1883 is the anniversary of the abolishment of slavery throughout the British Empire.

o o o

Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenthttp://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/search.asp?cat=7582&catDesc=Racks%20%26%20Enclosures&keywords=19%22%20rack&mnf=&lowprice=0&highprice=0y Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

The Disabled Prepper, by CJ

Unfortunately, two years ago, I suffered a wretched illness– the worst form of West Nile virus, with accompanying encephalitis and spinal meningitis. I went from being a perfectly able person to an imperfectly disabled person overnight. I thought it might be helpful to others who want to be prepared, and yet are suffering from many inabilities, if I shared my experiences in trying to overcome the challenges. As I started to write to you, I found that there was so much to share, it made sense to break this up into sections. This first section is a little history on what happened to me, though your situation may be vastly different, and then I focus on how I took up organic gardening again. If inspiration truly hits me, I’ll continue the series. I hope this is helpful.

My Disability Story

The good news is that I lived through West Nile viral neuroinvasive disease, even though there were several touch and go moments where I felt as if I was an observer in the hospital room, in between moments where everything was black, gone, void. I am sure the prayers of my wonderful, Christian family flooded heaven with requests for mercy. God heard, and I was given more time on this earth. I tried to go back to my former life once released from the hospital, but stuff just wasn’t working right. My body ached from head to toe, my mind remained in a fog, and my short-term and long-term memory were shot. I couldn’t remember what I had done and what I hadn’t done. I could not keep things straight. I couldn’t organize my thoughts. I felt in a constant state of panic. Oh, and the exhaustion… please let me sleep, please. Sometimes when I awakened out of a dead sleep, I couldn’t remember where I was, who I was, or what day it was. My heart would beat really hard, I would reach deeply into my memory banks, and I’d remember to breathe slowly to calm down and wait until I could remember. The additional problem was that my husband was disabled from a stroke years before. He could not take care of me. He was in a constant state of panic, watching me suffer and wanting the old me back. His stress manifested in frustration, which translated into anger, then avoidance, and finally neglect. He could not process what had happened in a normal, adult way. His heart was good, but his actions were not. But wait! There’s more. Two months after I was released from the hospital, our youngest son came home from the military disabled. He needed help. I recall one evening when his pain level was unbearable, asking him to lean his body onto my back as I grasped his arms over my shoulders and helped him walk to the car while my husband started the engine in order to take him to the VA hospital. While they were in the emergency room, I crept back into the car and slept as if I had just run a marathon. We were a family in crisis, and prepping was the last thing on my mind.

My body and my brain have not fully recovered, and my autoimmune system was destroyed. While I have not “filed for disability” and will not, God willing, ever need, God willing again, to rely on a government program to sustain my family or me, I remain a shadow of my former self. While a miracle may occur, and I’m not barring God’s timing, I have had a hard time accepting that I cannot do what I used to do. Simple things, like washing and drying my hair, housekeeping, grocery shopping, gardening, doing the laundry, walking the dog, baking, canning, and organizing the pantry are all painful and exhausting. In the last two years, I can say that I have learned to cope with the after effects of West Nile that led to a number of auto-immune deficiencies, including a blood disorder and several muscular skeletal disorders. I can say that my husband has learned to accept and cope much better, even though some days and weeks are a real trial for us both. Our son has managed to become fairly self-sufficient, with excellent care– both physical and psychological– from the local VA hospital. My wonderful and large family visits often, in order to help with those things we just can’t do and to comfort and cheer us on. What would we do without them!?! I have spent a great deal of time and energy on being angry. I am finally getting over that hump of disappointment and have been able to encourage both my husband and our son. By some miracle of God, I have been able to keep my job through all of the disarray, which I can only attribute to God’s mercy and protection. I have a work-from-home technical management job, so I am able to avoid the physical demands of commuting and showing up in an office. I can work early or late and on weekends, if I need to do so to catch up on my work. I can schedule in a nap when I need one. I make copious notes so I don’t forget things. I am slow to respond and slow to get things done, but I’m doing it. The joke in my family is that I had so many brain cells prior to becoming ill– more than any normal person needs– that my reduced professional output is still above average. I pray that’s true. In any case, I see God’s hand of protection upon us.

I only share this small snippet of our lives in order to discuss the changes I had to make as a now “disabled prepper”. I hope, in sharing my experiences, that if you are disabled, this will encourage you to do some things you thought you could not do. Remember, you can only do one or two things at a time, take your time, and rest a lot in between tasks. If there is someone in your life, a family member, or a friend, who would enjoy participating in the task, by all means invite them over for the fun.

Organic Gardening

Let’s start with this year’s organic garden. We have a third of an acre, but the most I could do this year was plant seeds in a dozen or so containers that I could easily reach to water on the back porch. Our property is on the side of a gently sloping hill, so I could not make it, without a lot of difficulty, up to the gardening area. I started the garden early, indoors, by ordering peat moss trays and a large supply of organic heirloom seeds through Amazon and SeedSavers. (Note: It’s worth it to become an Amazon Prime member if online shopping becomes a way of life. You get free two-day shipping to anywhere in the continental United States.) It was a simple matter to plant seeds in the trays, which I kept on a table in the sun room, for easy watering. I had to sit while doing it, and it took a number of days to plant seeds in four trays of peat moss pellets. When it was time to transplant the plants outside, I chose to shop at Lowe’s for additional supplies, but Home Depot would have worked as well, or any store that offers an excellent variety of gardening supplies with either no shipping cost, a reasonable cost, or “pick up at store” options. There is a Lowe’s near my home, so I chose to “pick up at store”. I purchased large, plastic, pots that were light enough that I could easily move them when they were filled with soil. I could push them where I wanted them with my feet. I purchased organic potting soil and tomato stakes. Once I made the online purchase, I received an email notification that my purchase was ready to pick up at the Customer Service desk. I printed my online receipt and drove to the store. The transaction only consisted of verifying who I was, and then the Lowe’s employee loaded my car. When I got home, my husband was able to assist me, along with a dolly, in moving my supplies to the backyard patio. If I had not had someone to help me unload my car, I would have opted for home delivery and a friend’s help to set up the potting area. I sat in a chair on the patio, with one pot at a time between my knees and a bag of soil at my side. I slowly filled the pots with soil, one scoop at a time, until the bag of soil was light enough for me to lift and pour the rest in. I slowly transplanted seedlings for kale, spinach, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cantaloupe, two varieties of lettuce, and a small herb garden of oregano, sweet basil, and arugula. I chose the organic Square Foot Gardening soil, because it is densely rich in organic nutrients, which allowed me to sow more seeds into a smaller area. It took me all day long to do this, and I was completely exhausted when finished. I think it would have taken a non-disabled person, or the former me, just a couple of hours. My small garden has yielded plenty for my small family this summer. Picking a few vegetables at a time is very easy, and I have to say, the kale was the sweetest kale I’ve ever tasted. I have been seed saving as well for next year’s garden. My husband discovered that the food grade, 5-gallon buckets at Lowe’s are a fraction of the cost of pots and are easy to move. It is just an idea to keep in mind. He drilled a few holes in the bottom of each bucket for drainage. When the tomatoes fully ripen, I am going to attempt to can. I will call one or two of my daughters to help me, when that day comes. Anyone who has done a canning marathon, as I did in the past, knows how much time is spent on your feet at the sink in preparation. I won’t be able to do that by myself. Now that I know I CAN DO THIS, and surprisingly enough my husband is much more interested in gardening now that he helped me do this, I am going to expand next year’s garden. I won’t be able to hoe and sow, but I can pot!

I can also sprout! I purchased a sprouting kit through Amazon and was able to start a healthy and delicious sprout garden on the kitchen table. I quickly learned that the plastic trays that came with the kit were completely impractical and took up a lot of space. It’s better to sprout using glass jars that have been thoroughly washed and sanitized. Sprouts do not need lots of sunlight– a common misconception. They need filtered light, and some sprouts like being in the dark. They need fresh water daily (rinsed and drained) and air (a mesh or cheesecloth covering on each glass jar). Search “sprouting” online, and you will find a myriad of resources about sprouting. You can also purchase an e-book about sprouting from Amazon. My favorite sprouts are: alfalfa sprouts, mung beans (great for Chinese stir fry), and garbanzo beans. Sprouting is easy and fun; when you are feeling hum-dummy about not being able to get out and do things, turn to your garden or sprouts. Sprouts are delicious on sandwiches and on salads or just eat them plain. One of the things I noticed when I became unable to do the things I used to do, is I stopped eating healthy because I was in pain and exhausted. I turned to eating crackers as a mainstay. As a result of the inactivity, I put on 30 pounds in a year and a half. Ouch. Sprouting and growing a vegetable garden is a wonderful way to maintain a healthy diet, and you would be surprised how delicious the fruit of your labor is!

In summary:

  1. Make use of online purchases and home delivery when needed.
  2. Have someone help you set up a gardening area close to the home with a table, chair, and shade.
  3. Use rich organic potting soil for denser planting and higher yield.
  4. Use organic heirloom seeds, and learn to save seeds.
  5. Purchase food grade buckets without lids, as an inexpensive and light weight alternative to pots.
  6. Make sure the hose is easy to use; a nice nozzle or shower-type head is a must, if you can’t lift a watering can.
  7. Harvest vegetables daily, as much as you can eat, or blanch and freeze for later.
  8. Ask for help, when the harvest requires canning; exchange free food for assistance.
  9. Start sprouting for fun and health.
  10. Plan ahead, take each task slow, don’t overdo it, and enjoy yourself!

Letter Re: U.S. Recon Team Assaults Taliban Position Under Fire

James,

Good afternoon from somewhere near Fortress Bragg. Regarding the video you posted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq1wqs1oY8M of the U.S. recon element combat engagement, I viewed the video and come away a bit disheartened.

I was especially troubled to see the soldiers not responding to the patrol leader, most using very poor fire and maneuver, IMT (individual movement techniques), and generally a mundane approach to combat. While there is some “cool gear”, there is nothing exceptional in the kit that I was able to spot.

What the video tells me, as a regular army officer of 27 years of service (and as a believer in the Redoubt principles), is that our regular military forces (National Guard in the case of the video) has lost a tremendous amount of tactical proficiency and competency. I speak with some experience (171 combat patrols in contact), and this video serves to highlight serious problems that are being candidly discussed by the senior leaders within the Army.

From a force on force perspective, I for one would not be worried about the guys (or the guys represented) in the video. As a leader, I am greatly worried though, as the video clearly shows an unwillingness to achieve local overmatch, local fire superiority, nor tactical dominance.

The comments posted on the youtube page portray this as an awesome react to contact, driving an enemy out of position. In reality, the call for indirect fire early in the video and the resultant fire is most likely why the enemy left the position hastily. Certainly it was not the overwhelming rush into the structures, even with the leader trying to “convince” several soldiers to carry out his orders.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it reflects a growing awareness in the military that what we are doing over there is not worth a bullet. Give a soldier a cause, and he will generally kick some a** every time; but we have lost faith in our elected leaders and are tired of seeing our brothers dies for a lost cause.

There was cool gear, and IDF doesn’t always carry the day, unfortunately.

GJS