Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Computer Woes and Strawberries

Well, hubby was bored last week, and decided to help me out by cleaning my computer for me.  He took it apart, used compressed air to blow out the dust, and then got distracted and it was still open and lying in pieces when I got home from work.  I started to put it back together, but he insisted on doing seeing that he took it apart.

Long story short, it's back together, but some of the functions have suddenly gone missing.  For example, my front mounted usb hub/card reader is not working.  Next time he goes fishing, I'll have to take it back apart and check all the connections. 

Then my ancient router finally decided that it just wasn't going to connect anymore, so I purchased a replacement.  Hubby insisted on hooking everything up, but we weren't able to get connected to the internet.  So I called for technical support, and lo and behold, the router was not hooked up to the modem.  Sigh!~  Apparently, it must have "fallen out".

Anyhow, I wasn't able to load in the pictures I took of my beautiful dehydrated strawberries and baby carrots.  The strawberries are delicious dehydrated, and hubby suddenly thinks that dehydrating stuff is really cool!  So he actually started a couple of trays of strawberries all on his own!  Be still, O my heart!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Knowledge Storage

A lot of prepper blogs out there talk about storing information in such a fashion that you can access it easily during an emergency.  One aspect of this is by printing out information from websites, blogs, etc. and keeping it in a binder.  I have been doing that myself, and I discovered a wonderful browser application that helps me save the meat of a website, and eliminate the useless chaff (advertising).

Check out PrintFriendly.  I find that it works for about 95% of the pages I want to be able to save.  It creates a printable PDF of the page with the option to remove items.  The one thing I don't care for is that on blog pages, it doesn't capture comments.

In any case, with this app I have PDF's on my computer.  When I have enough articles on a particular topic to be worth printing out, I collate information into a Word document so that I can eliminate duplication, and reduce the size of the print to save space.  Two sided printing also helps me save space.

My topics?

1.  Clothing, and textiles (including laundry)
2.  Communications
3.  Food: Finding Food (foraging, hunting), Growing Food, Preserving Food, Storing Food, Preparing Food
4.  Hazards, and security (include defense)
5.  Health (including sanitation)
6.  Heat, Fuel, Power
7.  Income, Skills and Home Industry
8.  Shelter (including bugging in)
9.  Travel, Transportation (including bugging out)
10.  Water

Where do I draw information from?  Aside from the many blogs and information sites available out there, I also use the Internet Archive's Text Section to find information on how it used to be done.  Currently, the archive houses digital copies of books published up to the early 50s. Another source of info is Scribd.  There are a few uploaders who have collated a lot of useful information and posted it there, as well as posting the cream of the crop from the Internet Archive. I also visit thrift stores, and second-hand book stores and find treasures in print, and have scanned many of my own books so that if I can't take the paper copy with me, I still can have my library with me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Woman's Perspective on Prepping

I just read the guest post by Terrylynn over at the Survivalist Blog, entitled "Survival - Princess Style", and I found it very thought provoking.  I have wandered around the periphery of the survivalist/prepper movement since I was in my teens.  At one time back in the 70s, I took a "Survivalist" course.  I even talked my mom into taking the course.  I subscribed to "Mother Earth News", "Harrowsmith", assorted other more hardcore magazines, bought the Foxfire books, took archery lessons, learned to forage,... well, I could go on, but the interesting thing is that not one of those objects really prepared for things going to heck in a hand-basket. 

It was trying things, learning how to do things, and realizing that I had useful skills.  And when I went  through a decade of really trying times, those acquired skills helped me.  I shopped at the thrift stores because I couldn't afford to shop anywhere else.  I regularly remade items of clothing to fit my son and I.  I had a garden in the yard of the house I rented an apartment in.  I learned to make bread (very fine bread, in fact).  I learned how to make jams, and pickles and to can garden produce.  It wasn't a lifestyle choice.  It was necessity.  I learned how to make do.  I picked apples and pears from the cemetery near my place.  I gathered acorns in my neighbourhood, prepared them and ate them.  It's doing the prepares you. 

Terrylynn is right about one thing.  No matter how hard things are, the little comforts make the sacrifices easier to make.  Having a pleasant looking home, a comfortable place to sit, these make it easier to handle still being hungry when you finish eating your meal.  Reading a well-loved book yet again still helps to take you away from the worry.  Playing a lively game of cards by candle-light and having a good laugh gives you a reason to get up the next day and keep on struggling.  And even though I'm not a girly-girl, I do have a few dresses, and make-up for those special occasions.  We want to do more than survive, we want to thrive.  And thriving means we need to live, not merely exist.  It's those civilized touches that help us thrive.

And yes, chocolate is a food group, and ought to be part of any woman's preps.

Anyhow, there's my two cent's worth...

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Love 'em or hate 'em, squirrels are remarkable critters with a knack for survival.  I recently read a couple of articles about squirrels on Psychology Today's website that I thought I would share.  In the article "Learning About Survival from the Squirrel", it talked about the importance of community, and learning from others, as survival characteristics.

Another terrific article is "What Can you Learn from Squirrels About Motivation, Procrastination and Intent".  I think everyone will agree that procrastination is something that we all have to struggle with.  Sometimes we get bogged down in the details; sometimes we are frightened by the effort that we will need to make to get something done; sometimes we just don't want to do what we have decided we need to do.  Squirrels are not burdened with the human "ability" to worry about consequences or how much work it's going to take to get a job done.  They just do it.  Sometimes, you need to forget all that human complexity and just do what you need to do.

So, the next time someone gives you a hard time about "storing nuts" for the winter (hard times), and being a bit squirrelly, take it as a compliment.