Here are the current top-most items on my perpetual bedside pile:
- I recently watched a series of DVDs produced by The West Ladies. These amazing ladies have a great wealth of practical knowledge. They really know what works for self-sufficiency. I watched Homestead Blessings: The Art of Gardening  and Homestead Blessings: The Art of Herbs . I have another titled Homestead Blessings: The Art of Canning that I still need to watch. (There are many others in their DVD series.) From the outset, I was impressed by the years of collected knowledge and wisdom that these DVDs impart. I was also impressed by the genteel dress and bearing of the West Ladies. They were natural, down to Earth with their easy to understand presentations of gardening methods and Herbal gardening and uses. They wore beautiful skirts and blouses that I’m sure they made themselves. The videos themselves were full of bright colors displaying their beautiful home and gardens. In my opinion, these videos are geared more toward a female audience. The young women in our household were very excited about the herbal video. They soon mixed up some of the teas that were presented. The West Ladies are excellent role models for up-and-coming young ladies. I highly recommend their DVDs.
- I just received a review copy of the near-future novel “American Apocalypse: The Collapse Begins “, written under the pen name “Nova”. The novel is an outgrowth of a series of posts on the Calculated Risk blog –a blog which you’ve surely seen linked from SurvivalBlog. It is published by Ulysses Press–one of Jim’s three publishers. My initial quick skim of the book shows that it has some foul language, so this is definitely not one for the kids. I’ll post a review after I’ve read it.
- I really love reading Enola Gay’s Paratus Familia  blog. I read it regularly. I’ve been very interested in following Maid Elizabeth’s progress in preparing to become a midwife. I’m very impressed with the skills she has learned. It was fascinating reading her recent description of her foray into phlebotomy : her own father consented to be her Guinea Pig. The level of medical planning and acquisition of instruments, bandages and medicines that her family has accomplished is admirable. If you need some help in getting started in stocking up on medical supplies , then check out Enola Gay’s blog posts.