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My Preparedness Evolution, by Melody Channel

I was six, and there was very little food in the house that night. I rummaged around in a cupboard and pulled out a nearly empty peanut butter jar, and using a table knife and my finger, I scraped out every bit of it and went to bed early. Being young, I don’t remember if this time lasted days or weeks, but the gnawing feeling of hunger made a profound impact, and from the roots of that childhood experience came the mindset for preparedness and survival.

Everyone has a story, and this is mine. It is hoped that by sharing the stages of the preparedness evolution that I went through it will resonate with those that are beginning their journey as well as those already on their way. All of us, no matter where we fall on the continuum, must constantly be evaluating and reevaluating our prepper status. We are all works in progress. My personal convictions rely on two principles: 1) reducing dependency and 2) minimizing waste, which anyone can learn to live by, in whatever stage they are. For me, these two principles represent freedom and being the best steward possible for the gifts and blessings we were given by our Creator.

Because of the food insecurity issue, I had long watched grocery store sales like a hawk and started small stockpiles of food and supplies early on when my children were young. My first actual effort at prepping beyond food was shortly before Y2K. I bought a kerosene heater and fuel, and in the upstairs bathroom closet I tucked away other items, including bottled water. Those provisions were meager compared to what I have accumulated today, and I didn’t end up needing them, but they gave me a sense of some security and I was glad I had them. As a beginning prepper, it can seem intimidating and overwhelming trying to figure out how to begin, but like many things in life, the best advice is to start where you are.

What are your fears? Where do they come from? Use this information to guide your self-improvement in areas that are uncomfortable for you, and build up your tolerance, albeit slowly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, my mom liked to declare, and it does apply to a lot of life experiences. Start where you are. What can you start to accumulate, and what can you start to give up? Give priority to health and well-being, and your actions and activities will flow from there, in whatever stage you are at this moment in time. Live more sustainably, and responsibly, in the situation you find yourself now.

A few years after the Y2K event, work on these very ideas began in earnest for me. I was newly single and earning $7.75 per hour at a job I loved but did not allow me to save much. The poorly insulated upstairs apartment I lived in had the typical story – hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I kept the furnace thermostat set on 50 degrees because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the heating bill otherwise.

My Early Steps

Fearful of not being able to provide and survive, I found two part-time jobs to help supplement my income. One of the first self-preservation and dependency-reducing purchases I made was a garage sale find – a five-dollar water filtration container for the refrigerator. I was on my way – in a small way – but wasn’t reliant on dosing myself daily with chlorinated city water. Several years later, the next step was to buy a big canister-type water filtration system for treating larger quantities of non-potable water in the event of an infrastructure breakdown. It was around that time that I started going through my change each week, sorting out copper pennies and pre-1965 silver dimes and quarters, since I couldn’t afford to buy any tangible precious metals.

Minimizing waste also started small – with regular recycling and trying to buy and store things in bulk. After the apartment, I lived in a house in town that backed up to a bluff, and it was at the edge of my yard at the base of that bluff that I started my first compost pile. The yard at a later rental house I lived in had no place for composting, so I did the next best thing – I moved it indoors. For several years, through two rental houses and my current home, I have kept a colony of red wiggler worms in a tub in the garage or basement, happily munching on my vegetable scraps and peelings. The castings make great fertilizer, and I trade them from time to time for fresh vegetables from someone I know who has a hoop house garden.

After beginning composting, I had also begun to observe the tremendous amount of plastic involved in packaging and wrapping our food and other household products. I grew to detest most plastic and all the wasteful packaging that accompanies our lives of convenience and our “microwave society.” We expect the things we need to be at our fingertips, and we expect to get them fast. There is a great disconnection for many of us from the raw and true sources of the items we use, with many of the items processed and packaged, and stacked in abundance at the ubiquitous local big-box store. Back away from the microwave (which is literally an item I no longer own, by the way) and focus on making your life into a slow oven. What raw products and materials can you start to accumulate that will help you over the long haul, not the short run?

Making My Own

When I started looking to replace some of the household cleaning products I had been using on a regular basis, a coworker gave me the recipe for a multipurpose cleaner. The ingredients are simple – 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid detergent. It not only worked as a cleaner, but also as an after-shower spray for the shower and tub, to help reduce hard water buildup and soap residue. It was another small victory in the journey – I no longer was dependent on prepackaged products of questionable safety, and was reducing waste since I reused the same spray bottle each time I made a new batch. I still use the same spray today.

Since I was then using a lot of vinegar, making my own seemed like the next logical step. Family members with apple trees and a hydraulic cider press helped get me the juice. I had managed to secure several gallon-size glass pickle jars from a local restaurant. With the addition of cheesecloth, rubber bands, and patience for the weeks-long fermentation process, I was soon on my way with several gallons of homemade apple cider vinegar. Homemade air freshener, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm and hairspray gradually came next, from recipes I found online and experimented with. There is some discomfort involved, to be sure, when stepping away from the convenience and ease of ready-made items, but this dissipated when freedom and self-reliance took over. Again, start where you are.

As a tenant, I chafed under landlords’ restrictions and nosiness. I yearned for a place of my own, but I wasn’t there yet. Instead, I planted small gardens in corners of the yards and grew tomatoes and peppers in food grade buckets. I was able to get a heat-treated wooden pallet (marked HT on its logo) from a friend’s place of work. I stapled landscape fabric to the back and sides, filled it full of potting soil, and leaned it up against the house for a vertical herb garden. Learning of the health benefits of young greens, I sprouted broccoli in a small dishpan by my kitchen window. Back-up cooking options included an old charcoal grill and an in-ground fire pit.

Readying for Self-Defense

Self-defense was a weak area for me. Growing up, I was nervous around guns and didn’t like them. I was never anti-gun, just not comfortable with them. I developed a friendship with a coworker who owned and enjoyed them, and in our discussions he gave me great advice about self-defense options. He pointed out that the only good weapon is one that you have on you or at very least, within reach. I started accumulating a variety of items, including bear spray that I now always carry with me. He took me to a shooting range where I got to fire a Ruger revolver, a Glock pistol and a semiautomatic rifle…. and loved the whole experience. As I continued to save money, I later purchased my own firearm. Quite an evolution for someone that didn’t even like being in the same room with a gun, and several steps in the direction of increasing independence in both self-defense and food security.

I continued my search for a house to buy and found one in a dream spot on top of a bluff, just minutes from the beloved river that I have lived near for a good part of my adult life. It checked off a lot of boxes – a well, a dry basement, and areas to grow food. It was exciting when my offer was accepted, and as I packed I looked forward to finally having the freedom of my own property. Just days before closing, however, it turned out that there was a lack of a current survey and driveway easement with the adjacent property owner, and I was advised not to proceed. Because I had given notice at the rental house, it had already been leased to someone else and I still needed to move.

Though friends offered to have me stay with them, the experience was unnerving and demoralizing, and shook me to my core. I went from living in a house with all my belongings around me to having most of my possessions kept in a storage unit and another friend’s garage, without a place to truly call home. Fortunately, my children were grown by that time, living on their own and at college, but it was so hard to admit to them what had happened.

It was a test of strength and survival, both mentally and emotionally, and it forced me to look again, in a deeper and unique way, at how to gain my independence back. Perhaps even more importantly, it also was a lesson in gratitude for the many blessings I still had.

A few months later, I managed to secure another rental house. Still feeling somewhat defeated, I was nonetheless appreciative of a roof over my head and not having to depend or impose on my friends anymore. I resumed stockpiling necessities and container gardening.

A Place of My Own

Three years after that, I found my home, and this time the sale went through without a hitch. I now have my own well, but the old water filter sets on a shelf in the basement – a reminder of the journey I took and ready for use again if need be. I rely on electricity to power the well pump and have a backup generator, but in the event of a generator failure, the trusty brand-name larger filtering system along with wood- and propane-powered options to boil the water are available.

I don’t have many acres of land, but a few feet away from my door is an abundance of wild black raspberry bushes. I planted rhubarb, horseradish and a few tomato and pepper plants, and keep a large garden plot at a friend’s place, all from which I preserve a multitude of produce. I have been able to purchase some precious metals in an effort to diversify away from fiat currency, but I still sort through my change. When my last bottle of shampoo runs out, I will be making my own. This is where I am, and the next step is where I am going.

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#1 Comment By Ole Granny On October 18, 2020 @ 8:17 am

Your two points are well taken
1) reducing dependency and 2) minimizing waste
However I didn’t see mention of a husband. That’s not dependency but a must in Gods creation story. Men need women and vice versa. Just saying. It also helps a woman as aprepper.

#2 Comment By Carrie Ann On October 18, 2020 @ 12:03 pm

Unfortunately not all of us are fortunate enough to have a husband. That was something I longed for and never came about. (As a retiree, I doubt that it ever will. )

I agree that it would be very nice to have a husband given today’s world and the need to prep.

#3 Comment By Ani On October 18, 2020 @ 12:44 pm

@ Ole Granny

There are a number of reasons why a woman (or man) might be on their own as a single parent including being widowed young or divorced. It’s hard enough being in this situation without being judged for it. Just sayin……. So having been there done that myself (single parenthood, not being judgmental), I can appreciate the effort and hard work that the author put in to keep her family housed and fed as well as getting on the road to preparedness. I’m sure it’s a lot easier as a 2-parent family and yes, that’s optimal. There isn’t always a person ready to step in to marry who is willing and able to raise another’s children either. Sometimes we have no control over what happens to us and have to learn to make the best of it.

#4 Comment By Mama Bear On October 18, 2020 @ 1:21 pm

Also better to be single than to be unequally yoked. Or to marry an alcoholic, addict or abuser. There are not enough good men available, especially when older so many of us older ladies must deal with all of this on our own and your judgment and/or condemnation does not help.

#5 Comment By Bear On October 18, 2020 @ 2:02 pm

“Also better to be single than to be unequally yoked. Or to marry an alcoholic, addict or abuser.”

Absolutely this!!!

I’m so grateful I escaped.

#6 Comment By Les On October 18, 2020 @ 4:55 pm

Ani, CarrieAnn, Great responses. I smiled at the OP’s message re a husband…:) Sure, that would be nice!!! and really helpful, especially these days. But, it ain’t always in the cards.
I’m a 66 year old single female who’s looking to find a place to live (in an apartment now) and my choices are often determined by how much work will there be, with no one to help me!!! So I may get a condo or townhome as some maintenance will be handled. I’d love to have a garden but not very big…maybe the place will need a garage or carport and that will cost $, without a ‘honey-do’ around. How about splitting wood?! sheesh I’m a forager and can haul and carry things from the woods but cutting up logs in beyond my ken.
And the list goes on. -sigh-
Anyway, my house hunt has me learning lots, and along with reading this blog daily, sending me in directions I’d not thought about. Thanks to all, who share! you are appreciated!!!

#7 Comment By JW On October 20, 2020 @ 3:48 am

The phrase “single parent” has almost totally replaced the words “widow” and “divorcee.” And since the vast majority of single parents had children outside of marriage, it is assumed that anyone described as such is in that category.

If you don’t want to be seen as having produced children out of wedlock, do not use the term “single parent” to describe yourself.

The culture has made it a universal term for a reason, and the reason is not good.

#8 Comment By jima On October 18, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

From a man’s perspective, I can tell you it goes both ways. Giving trust, having it destroyed and $100’s of thousands lost in 2 divorces. Then being single for 20 years and meeting scammer after scammer, money grubbing gold diggers, cheaters, users and social climbers looking for the next vine to grab. Sometimes it’s better to go your own way and forego the evil mindedness and schemers out there in the world. I will let God do the sorting out for me, because it is obvious that I am completely incapable of it. However, all that yields is a degree of loneliness and biterness, but it does not change how I want to live my own life: healthy, creative, busy with my career and most of all FREE>

#9 Comment By Burt Gummer Too! On October 18, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

Yes, I agree that it goes both ways. It is hard for me to believe that I have absolutely nothing to offer the opposite sex, but it must be true. Granted I don’t look as hard as I once did. I guess maybe someday it will happen … but I’m not going to hold my breath.

We have Survivalblog.com and Survivalrealty.com. So where is Survivaldating.com? Hey JWR, in all your spare time, why not whip that one up? Ha, ha!!! Here’s your catch phrase: “Survival dating, because no one should have to face the end of the world alone!”

#10 Comment By KB On October 18, 2020 @ 8:36 pm

Survivaldating.com would be a true blessing! My son needs a wife and can’t find anyone with suitable interests. So many of the girls are into
a fancy city house, endless world travel, frivolity, and hating men.

#11 Comment By SETX On October 19, 2020 @ 4:27 am

And my beautiful daughter would love a husband. Perhaps your son and my daughter need to meet. HaHa! And she doesn’t hate men. 🙂

#12 Comment By SETX On October 19, 2020 @ 4:29 am

Burt, I love that slogan about no one having to face the end of the world alone. You cracked me up!

#13 Comment By St. Funogas On October 18, 2020 @ 4:16 pm

Lots of good points Jima. My dad said, “The next time instead of getting married I’m going to just find a woman I don’t like and buy her a house!”

#14 Comment By Wolf Alaska On October 18, 2020 @ 10:12 pm

The first time I heard that it was Johnny Carson to Ed McMahon on “The Johnny Carson Show” in 1969.

Ed was consoling Johnny on the break up and divorce if his latest marriage (added to a long list).

Johnny said, “Right, Ed. Next time I think it will be easier to just find a woman I hate and buy her a house!”

#15 Comment By Les On October 18, 2020 @ 4:59 pm

Jima, I send my warmest regards and apologize for the messes you’ve endured from the ‘fairer gender’.
May I make a suggestion? Let Father take those hurts, wounds and bitterness and put His healing balm on them. God is sooooo still in the healing business!!! and waits for us to surrender them.
And here’s a hug, to you!

#16 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 7:25 pm

Ole Granny, Please join me in asking the Lord to provide godly spouses for SB readers that desire them. Blessings on your week, Krissy

#17 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 18, 2020 @ 7:57 pm

Wow Krissy!

A blessed woman you are. I will add this to some of my prayers for our community.

#18 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 18, 2020 @ 10:39 pm

Krissy did you ever see this:


#19 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 11:28 pm

Avalanche Lily, Yes, I have seen that before. It makes me cry sweet tears reading it again. I’m so happy for how the Lord has blessed you both with love and joy two times. Similar to Job…

May our Father continue to fill your cup overflowing with His blessings, Krissy

#20 Comment By Bear On October 19, 2020 @ 2:10 am

Wow, I even remember exactly where I was when I read that the first time– which cubicle/department/shift. I was glad it was the overnight shift so no one could see my streaming tears. Emailed The Memsahib to tell her how much her faith and grace was absolutely shining. Prayed so much for her, and Jim, and the boys, and the as-yet-unknown lady who turned out to be you! God’s plans are absolutely amazing……

#21 Comment By Bear On October 19, 2020 @ 2:43 am

I’m sorry! was typing and my husband told me something about our own kids and I got distracted and mistyped. I meant to say, prayed for the Memsahib and Jim and all the children and you. 🙂

#22 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 19, 2020 @ 3:17 am

Wow, Thank You Bear for all of your prayers. You helped us break through, me especially, some intense warfare leading up to the day that Jim contacted me some months later. The enemy didn’t want this union. Someday, Lord willing, we will tell all. There were miracles. Jim is an amazing and very Godly man! I am so blessed to be his wife.

#23 Comment By SETX On October 19, 2020 @ 4:35 am

Lily, Yes, I remember reading this the first time and crying then too. Memsahib was an amazing woman, as I imagine you are too. :). I’m so glad that you two found each other. You are each as blessed as the other.

#24 Comment By cf On October 19, 2020 @ 1:09 am

“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isa. 54:5.

#25 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 2:25 am

@ Ol Granny: meaning dependency only on material things. I do believe in life partners/helpmates/spouses, and that they can accomplish much together with a common vision and goal. It just hasn’t been the case for me.

#26 Comment By LargeMarge On October 19, 2020 @ 12:30 pm

Ole Granny,

I have a question.
But first…

One of the elderly shut-ins on my route is an immigrant to Oregon… from Berkeley California.
She retired after thirty years at the university.

And ‘yes’, she is a stark raving marxist.
My grandparents might politely describe her as ‘teched’.
She demands high taxes… while whining about her taxes.
She demands more laws… while frustrated screaming about the bureaucracy in her 55-n-older manufactured-home park.
She ‘exists in unrealistic expectations’ is an understatement.

A life-long renter with the force of the entire California GovernmentAgents at her beck-n-call, she has zero-zero-zero comprehension of the realities of owning a decades-old trailer.

One example:
The park requires her to maintain her tiny yard.
She rarely moves from laying in her recliner in front of televisionprogramming, so naturally her yard devolved to weeds and dirt.
The park owners are gently nudging her to hire a landscape company… but “a landscaper should be provided!”.
Her roof leaks… but it came with a lifetime warranty from a fly-by-night nincompoop she hired to avoid paying full-price to a licensed bonded contractor.
All this for only us$955 rent monthly for her lot in the park.
She purchased the trailer for cash, its lot rent almost equals my monthly income!

An aside:
The park advertises a long list of amenities and activities… but this phase of this Economic Lock-Down put the ixnay on all that.
The park residents pay for niceties they cannot access but must pay to maintain!

The kicker for our immigrant from Berkeley:
On the bookshelf next to her sixty-inch flatscreen television set — YouTube televisionprogramming of Noam Choamsky constantly playing — she has a prominent portrait of the two Obama adults dancing close.
Every time I see it, I nearly hork.

Did I mention the psychic abilities of my dogs?
I was visiting the individual with one of my service dogs, when, lo and behold, that old dog wagged her tail perfectly to knock the dancing Obamas down a peg.
I quickly swept the shattered glass, but the damage to the ex-bureaucrat and his ‘wife’ is permanent.

My question:
Do you think this is a good time to get that ‘tummy-tuck’ I always wanted?

#27 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 19, 2020 @ 6:46 pm

Dear Ole Granny,

I have been thinking a lot about the supposed mandate that all women should be married. I feel that some people are not even paying attention to the Word of God concerning this matter.

At the risk of all who would take offense at me, don’t, because I am going to remind you of what Jesus said about divorce and remarrying.

Not all are to marry. There are reasons not to marry. Divorced people/believers should not remarry, if they believe in the Word of God, because they will commit adultery, and break the Seventh Commandment of the Ten commandments: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Jesus’ Words can be found in Matthew 19:3-12

“The Pharisees also came unto him, (Jesus) tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

Furthermore Paul states in:

1Corinthians 7:1-16

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
For I would that all men were even as I myself (single). But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

Therefore, Young men and Young women, choose wisely who you choose for your spouse, if you take the Words of the Lord God seriously for marriage is for life, until death do you part.

#28 Comment By cook On October 18, 2020 @ 11:12 am

Not being critical,just a different viewpoint.
Like your water filter,I bought a very small microwave for 5$ at a garage sale.
I’ve been thru hurricanes,tornadoes,and unexplained power outages.I “think” its 750 watts.It runs off my car invertor,modest solar battery bank,and generator.
I have back ups for cooking,but there is something to be said for having a quick hot meal in 2 minutes vs. firing up the grill,wasting time when there are things to do,standing in the rain,heating up a house in the summer…etc.
Just another tool in the tool box.

#29 Comment By DanielQ On October 18, 2020 @ 6:25 pm

Also makes a great Farraday cage to protect electronics!

#30 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 7:35 pm

Could you list in specific detail your items, so I could go buy them? I would love to have that set up. Thanks, Krissy

Things to run micro off of car battery:

#31 Comment By St. Funogas On October 18, 2020 @ 11:39 pm

Hey Krissy, in case Cook doesn’t answer back, here’s a link to a variety of inverters on Amazon. Scroll down the page and you can see all prices and wattages. Some plug right into you car cigarette lighter, others have clamps to hook to a battery like jumper cables, some have both. Using a solar trickle charger like in the second link, you can charge a battery that is either in your car or sitting on your back deck.

On the inverters, the higher that wattage, the higher the price. The majority of small kitchen appliances run on less than 750 watts so this is a great option for emergency electricity. Every electrical item has the watts on the bottom or the back, so you can see what your appliances run and buy an inverter accordingly. Lights use almost nothing if you have LED bulbs. Chargers (cell phone, etc) use virtually nothing. Here’s some others: Blender, 600 watts. Rice cooker, 350. Toaster 750, coffee grinder 130, hair clippers 9 watts, food processor, 450 watts. A “750-watt” microwave actually uses something like 1,100 watts. Check the back of yours to be sure.

Using a worn-out car battery that I should have returned for the core charge when I bought a new one, plus a trickle charger like this one in the link, I was able to run a floor lamp (7 watt LED bulb) continuously for 41 hours. Imagine what you could do with a new marine battery and one of these trickle chargers.

If I live to be 100 I’ll never understand why more preppers don’t have this very cheap stuff at least for lights. Time to write an article? 🙂



#32 Comment By Krissy On October 19, 2020 @ 9:43 pm

Saint, Thank you very much! Krissy

#33 Comment By Wheatley Fisher On October 19, 2020 @ 12:07 am


this is what you want to get in order to use any motor vehicle (yours,, neighbors, etc.) or it’s battery for power. It is durable, has fuses that can be replaced and has the needed wattage capability to run a standard microwave of 1000 Watts. It has a peak capability of 2000 watts but you don’t want to be using a car battery that hard.


It has an on-off switch, 2 USB ports, and two grounded 3-prong outlets, as well as it’s own fan to cool it off.

When you get it, set it up and run your refrigerator or freezer with it while your vehicle is running to test it out.

You can also find heaters with a 750watt or less setting on them to use this inverter safely.

Keep your inverter with your vehicle.

You’ll probably want an extension cord to connect appliances to the inverter.

While your car is running the connected inverter push electricity to your appliance, but quite often the car alternator will not make as much electricity as your car is using, thus your battery power will be depleting.

I suggest a KillaWatt, which is what I use to see how much juice an appliance is drawing. Plug it into your running inverter, then plug appliance or it’s extension cord into the Killawatt and read how much juice is flowing.


With a 1000 watt model inverter, you may be able to run a 750 watt item and several others, such as charging your laptops, phones, battery chargers, some 5 watt LED light bulbs for you house, etc.

Winter storms are here. Power is nice, especially if your neighbors need cell phones charged.

BTW I have three inverters.

What he was describing was a combination solar charger and batteries hooked up to the whole thing.

I get the $200 dollar AGM battery from Costco to hook up to stuff in the house, for power outages. Getting ready to buy another one or two before November 3d.

God Bless

#34 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 2:43 am

@ cook, st. fun & wheatley:

thank you very much for the tips


#35 Comment By Krissy On October 19, 2020 @ 9:44 pm

Wheatley Fisher, Thank you so much! Krissy

#36 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 2:37 am

@ cook
Yes, I agree that a microwave could be a backup. It was metaphorically used in the story. I own a toaster oven….personal preference. 🙂


#37 Comment By Rick Harris On October 18, 2020 @ 11:56 am

Great story!! Good luck to you on your continued journey!! I it always good to be reminded that security/independence doesn’t happen overnight. Every step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.

#38 Comment By Terry Brewer On October 18, 2020 @ 12:36 pm

I like your story.

Remember– preparedness is not a destination, it is a journey

#39 Comment By BWL On October 18, 2020 @ 1:39 pm

Great story! I understand where you’re coming from, growing up we were very poor and on occasion there was a lack of food. Thankfully my parents my parents gardened and canned/froze lots of food. What made it worse for me was i was a skinny little kid with a voracious appetite. My parents actually took me to the doctor to see if I had worms. At age 14, weighing 90-100 pounds I could eat as much or more than my father who weighed 100 lb more and worked construction all day. I guess our stories are very similar.

Would love to see more of your story, maybe expanded. Maybe how to on some of the items you make from scratch.

#40 Comment By St. Funogas On October 18, 2020 @ 4:12 pm

Hey Melody, very nice article, lots to think about and implement.

“What are your fears? Where do they come from?” I would add one more about fears, “Are they rational?” Excellent book: The Science of Fear.

“Back away from the microwave (which is literally an item I no longer own, by the way) and focus on making your life into a slow oven. What raw products and materials can you start to accumulate that will help you over the long haul, not the short run?”

I assumed you were being metaphorical with the microwave comment. Many of us concentrate on the short term as you mentioned and not enough on the long haul. Lots of “gadgets,” especially electronic and electric, won’t last long in a TEOTWAWKI situation. IMO better to depend on manual items instead. Non-metaphorically about microwaves, they are the cheapest way to heat up water for small batches of dishes, coffee, tea, and cooking home-made mixes like cornbread. It would be a crime to use propane for heating water after the SHTF when the propane man is a distant memory. A microwave, as someone mentioned, can be run off a car battery or solar panels and two should last a long time after the grid goes down.

Burt made a great comment, “…where is Survivaldating.com? Here’s your catch phrase: “Survival dating, because no one should have to face the end of the world alone!”

Second option for catch phrase, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.” (Great movie if you missed it!)

“I was newly single and earning $7.75 per hour at a job I loved but did not allow me to save much. The poorly insulated upstairs apartment I lived in had the typical story – hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I kept the furnace thermostat set on 50 degrees because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the heating bill otherwise.”

This would be a great topic for an article. Congrats at pulling it off. When I finally got out of school, I had 4 kids, stay-at-home mom and income of $800/month. No food stamps, no welfare, no charity, no free lunch for the kids in school. Yes, we kept the thermostat very low and wore sweaters in the winter. No summer cooling. Yes, we still had the ancient pickup we had when we got hitched and all six of us had to ride in the cab sharing seat belts. Yes, we ate a lot of rice and beans, PBJ’s, and hot dogs on bread because buns were too expensive. Yes, we canned a lot from our families’ gardens. Yes, we had a garden planted in the interstate right-of-way that was just over the fence from our home. Yes, we did all our home and car repairs. Yes, we paid the $1,000 out of our pockets when one of the kids had an emergency. It can be done and we were economically self-reliant. To those who say they can’t afford kids, I say, “Hogwash!”

“My personal convictions rely on two principles: 1) reducing dependency and 2) minimizing waste, which anyone can learn to live by.” Amen, amen and amen.

Good luck in your continued journey and many of us would love to see a more detailed follow-up article.

#41 Comment By oldhomesteader On October 18, 2020 @ 6:36 pm

Ladies: As I told my daughter when she asked my where were all the good men , I asked her what pond are you fishing in , if the pond is full of carp ,your probably going to catch a carp ,,,,second thing I said was how are you investing your time ? How is he investing his time ?and what is the payoff of that investment ,cost me millions of dollars and three disasters to learn that ,met DW a hundred plus miles from town in the Alaska bush ,,,what now 35 years ago
Told a friend to go work in a local feed store ,she did. He was a regular customer living alone except for his cows and horses,

Magic can still happen ,you just got to let it ,

Tea and chocolate

#42 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 7:54 pm

OldHomesteader, You had me laughing at the “pond full of carp,” story. Loved it.

Also loved you found DW a hundred miles out in the Alaska bush!

The feed store story was practically biblical. When Boaz found Ruth, she was working. Smile…

I think your best piece of wisdom was:

“Magic can still happen, you just got to let it.”

And there’s the rub.
Many of us are walking wounded, and won’t let it happen. With that said, it is a very good thing that God is greater than us, and can turn our hearts whatever way He wills. May we be willing to surrender to His call.
Blessings to you and DW, Krissy

#43 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 18, 2020 @ 8:01 pm

I was waiting upon the Lord and praying and reading SurvivalBlog, when my husband showed up! 😉

#44 Comment By Krissy On October 20, 2020 @ 5:41 am

Avalanche Lily, the vision of you waiting on the Lord is truly beautiful. Krissy

#45 Comment By oldhomesteader On October 18, 2020 @ 8:35 pm

Krissy ,,,,,,,,,oh yes ,walking wounded,,, best cure for that is the right partner. That one that leaves you sleepless at night ,when there not there , that person in crowded room is the only person you see ,remember the magic? I do ,time will help to pick the scab off the sore of loss
I lost my first love 3months after we were married ,i was 22 at the time ,i use to think we’re is the good woman? Made some mistakes and payed the price
Walking wounded ? Yep but still in the fight

Some really good Tea and chocolate. ,,,,,,,,

#46 Comment By Krissy On October 20, 2020 @ 5:48 am

OldHomesteader, Lost first love at 3 months?
What pain and agony… I am so sorry.
I love your happy ending with DW. smile.

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments,

Oh, and some really good tea and chocolate!

#47 Comment By Bear On October 18, 2020 @ 11:25 pm

“Many of us are walking wounded, and won’t let it happen. With that said, it is a very good thing that God is greater than us, and can turn our hearts whatever way He wills. May we be willing to surrender to His call.”

You hit the nail on the head. I swore I was done, ain’t no way, ain’t no how I was gonna be stupid enough to fall for that marriage business again, nope nope, I was feral and I was going to stay ALONE thank you very much, be the crazy cat lady and throw myself into my church, and students, and my music.

So God sent him into the band I led at church. *Grin*

Some couples have sweet first date stories or romantic engagement stories. We had nine months of friendship (everyone around us knew he wanted more) followed by a conversation that went something like: “All right, shall we just put our cards on the table then? I’ll tell you why I haven’t gone OUT with you yet, if you tell me why you haven’t GONE AWAY yet??” yuuuup, I’m SUPER romantic. Sarcasm is my love language 😀 (but we were married five months after that)

#48 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 18, 2020 @ 11:36 pm

Big grin! 😉

#49 Comment By Paul D On October 19, 2020 @ 1:18 pm

There’s a story here, just waiting to be written, that I would love to read!

#50 Comment By Krissy On October 20, 2020 @ 5:50 am

Bear, Love your story. Thank you for sharing. Krissy

#51 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 3:24 am

@ Krissy, Old Homesteader, Bear & Avalanche Lily –

Thank you for your wise and faith-filled words, and prayers. Difficult to still have hope in many of our circumstances.


#52 Comment By Seymour Liberty On October 18, 2020 @ 6:39 pm

We had a first hand example of why Two is one, and One is None (and three could be none) this week. Nine years ago we purchased a year supply of food from Augason Farms as a base of storage and then started adding regularly from there at Sams/Walmart/Grocery/garden/canning etc.

It’s been 3 weeks since last Food run, and was going to be another week till the next and we were running low on milk, etc, so headed to cool dry food storage as usual. As always, all good there. Opened a nine year old #10 can of Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk from Augason Farms, and no oxygen absorber. Opened a second nine year old can, also no Oxygen Absorber. Same with the third can!

It was a weekend, so no customer service, and Augason Farms is out of stock anyway. Left an online message, but as their online message infers, we don’t expect an answer anytime soon to deal with this problem. It’s inconceivable that a company that provides safe emergency food storage products, would package them in an unsafe, and potentially dangerous manner. Botulism is a horrific thing if you know someone who has ever experienced it’s effects, like one of our in-laws did just this summer back east.

Long story short, have back-up plans. Luckily, we had several newer mylar pouches from the nearest LDS home center on the shelf (with oxygen absorber present), and will stock up on our next town run at the closest LDS Home Storage Center when we hit the big box store, and do other errands.

Has anyone else experienced improperly packaged food storage products from Augason Farms, or any other food storage company?

As always,
Seymour Liberty

#53 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 7:58 pm

Thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience. When I go home, I will start checking my inventory. Blessings, Krissy

#54 Comment By St. Funogas On October 18, 2020 @ 11:49 pm

We never heard of oxygen absorbers and mylar back in the olden days. Those are about freshness, not about safety.

Perhaps they weren’t in common usage when you bought your Augason Farms foods 9 years ago. It would be interesting to hear their response, please let us know what they say.

#55 Comment By Seymour Liberty On October 19, 2020 @ 12:46 am

Appreciate the feedback. All the other items in the one year kit have oxygen absorbers in each can, and the labels of the Instant Nonfat Dry Milk say they contain oxygen absorbers. We’re hanging onto the cans to see what Augason says…and we’ll definitely report back on their response.

As always, hoping you…
Seymour Liberty

#56 Comment By Wheatley Fisher On October 19, 2020 @ 1:32 am

Seymore, I laughed when I read about your Augason Farms milk, because I had just taken down a new bag of LDS milk from our shelf to mix it.

When I took hold, white powder puffed out the top edge!!!! What the heck! It had an air leak and we are in very high humidity climate so I was concerned. But I used this one and it’s still good. So even LDS sources aren’t foolproof.

God Bless

#57 Comment By Pete the Pickled Prepper On October 19, 2020 @ 2:36 am

Is it possible the cans are nitrogen packed? Some companies used to advertise this and I have cans that are “nitro-packed.” Instead of adding an O2 absorber, they flood the canning chamber with nitrogen to flush out any oxygen before they seal the can.

I don’t think botulism would be a concern for powdered milk. The spores need moisture to grow and produce the toxin, and it is not commonly associated with dried foods.

Still, better safe than sorry. If you are not comfortable, don’t drink it.

#58 Comment By John On October 18, 2020 @ 7:04 pm


#59 Comment By Krissy On October 18, 2020 @ 7:18 pm

Melody, I truly enjoyed your story and lessons. Blessings, Krissy

#60 Comment By Seymour Liberty On October 18, 2020 @ 7:19 pm

By the way, here’s a tip: Since most gallon jugs of milk have a 2 week shelf life, when you buy one or more gallons of milk, also buy a couple of quarts of half and half. They have a much longer shelf life, usually 4 weeks. When you run out of milk, mix the quart of half and half with 3-4 quarts water (based on your taste). You can even use the milk jug if you wash it out well and use 3 quarts of water. That will help keep more of your shelf stable instant dry non-fat milk on your shelf till really needed and delay the need to “run to the store for a gallon of milk”.

As always,
Seymour Liberty

#61 Comment By Avalanche Lily On October 18, 2020 @ 8:09 pm


Is a Palestinian who believes in Jesus. He is a pastor from Hawaii.

He is a great researcher. He has every Sunday a prophetic update. Today he discusses Conspiracy theories, gnosticism, Predictive programming, and the Mark of the Beast. It is powerful. The only issue, I have with him, and it’s not an issue that would cause the loss of salvation, is his timing of the rapture. Most everything else I agree with him.


#62 Comment By Wheatley Fisher On October 19, 2020 @ 2:22 am

Seymore, I laughed when I read about your Augeson Farms milk, because I had just taken down a new bag of LDS milk from our shelf to mix it.

When I took hold, white powder puffed out the top edge!!!! What the heck! It had an air leak and we are in very high humidity climate so I was concerned. But I used this one and it’s still good. So even LDS sources aren’t foolproof.

God Bless

#63 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 2:30 am

Thank you to everyone with their encouraging comments – it was good to read of the experiences that some of you posted as well.

#64 Comment By Seymour Liberty On October 19, 2020 @ 2:47 am

Too funny! How long has it been since the milk was packaged?

#65 Comment By Wheatley Fisher On October 20, 2020 @ 3:19 am

3 years. Oh well. That’s prepping!

#66 Comment By Bear On October 19, 2020 @ 2:22 am

Thank you for sharing your story, Melody! I appreciated the reminders to start where we are, take small steps, not give up when we face discouragements, and the practical things too.

You’ve reminded me I used to make deodorant, but the recipe I used had a coconut oil base, which stays liquid in this climate, so I always felt like too much was wasted trying to actually apply it. Maybe I should try it again…

#67 Comment By Telesilla of Argos On October 19, 2020 @ 5:01 am

Melody Channel! Thank you for sharing the personal story of your preparedness journey. You are in our prayers for your continued success… I loved the way you closed your article: “This is where I am, and the next step is where I am going.” There is tremendous wisdom and perspective in this — for everyone among us!

#68 Comment By M.C. On October 19, 2020 @ 11:29 am

@ Telesilla of Argos…thank you for your kind words.