Butterfly Fund

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Building your own survival library

I found this article and made a few changes to it. I am sorry, I do not remember where I found it.

Knowledge is power and this power will bring you up when everything around you crumbles. We stockpile food and water, we hoard the things we might need during a disaster and we equip our armory so that we could fend off a small army. What are you doing about hoarding knowledge? You’ve started learning about first aid, about gardening, about wood crafting and other skills you might need, but one cannot learn everything. This is why you need to build your own Survival library.

Today, we have all sorts of books that have gathered the hard-learned lessons of the previous generations, you can learn about gardening, about off-grid living and about anything you desire. And the best part is that this knowledge is available to you for literally pennies.

Every prepper should put some effort into developing his own how-to library, including how to books with things that you never thought of doing. You don’t have to go for the survival books or the newest field guides, since most of these books are either too specific or are just re-cycled old books in new clothes and with “updated” prices.

You should pick up books on gardening, building a root cellar, composting, gunsmithing, etc. – actual skills that can be used regardless of the area you live in. You never know what the future will bring and you might have to bug-out at a certain point. If that will be the case, you need to bring with you a set of skills or proper knowledge that can help you survive and thrive with what can be found in your new environment. Knowing how to fix a flat tire will help you regardless if you are in the desert or in the mountains. A good Survival library will help you survive and thrive in the end.

You can MANY books at used book stores for a fraction of the new cost!

You should concentrate on collecting the following types of books:

First aid books

When it comes to first aid books there are a lot of choices and you have training manuals for anything, from disaster preparedness to how to deliver a baby. You need to get the books that cover most of the medical emergencies, you may encounter and the books that provide solutions to the illnesses you or your loved ones are suffering from. In my collection, amongst other books, I have The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook, which can be purchased from Amazon, for a few pennies. Once you’ve got your first aid books, don’t put them on the shelf like most people who get them. You should read them and try to become familiar with their content and every time you have the occasion, you should practice! You should try to treat your wounds every time you can, unless of course, it’s a medical emergency that you can’t handle. You should also try to attend to as many first aid classes as possible, because besides gaining useful knowledge you will also get the reading material offered during these courses.

Cooking books

Cooking is art and cooking with scraps is survival. But who says you can’t have both? There are thousands of books available out there, that will teach you how to cook new dishes from the same old stuff. You should get books that are general, that do not cover cooking with a stove or a microwave since those facilities will not always be around. Get the books that offer a large variety of recipes. You should look at the ingredients from your pantry, at your family habits and then you can select some books that cover all your needs. You should try cooking more at home and gain experience when it comes to mixing ingredients. You don’t need to become a chef, you just need to be sure you know enough so that cooking will not be a problem.

Canning and Food preservation books

This is a hot topic for preppers and being able to preserve food in good conditions and enjoying it during a time of need is something everyone wants. Safety should be a priority when it comes to canning as you don’t want to get sick from eating spoiled food. One or two general canning books should be a must for every prepper. Besides teaching you the techniques, these books will also provide you with a wish list containing all the items needed for canning. You should also get some books that cover specific topics such as making jellies, curing meat, preserving dairy and so on. The American diet varies from region to region and it’s best to know how to prepare and preserve foods that are grown locally. Supermarkets will not always be there and you will have to make use of what you grow or trade with your neighbors.

Crafts books

The future may bring back the doings of the old days and handiwork will play a major part in the life of every prepper. You will need to learn how to craft a chicken coop, or learn basic camping crafts. Here everything goes and it’s better to pick the books you think may come in handy one day. Maybe you’re not into woodworking, but once you read a book about this skill, your perception will change and you could find a use for this skill in the future. If you will have to barter and when you will be running low on supplies, putting your skills at work will be your only chance of doing business.
Nature books

Books about wild plants and animals will be of great help for you and your family when foraging and hunting will be the main food procurement method. It doesn’t hurt to know which are the wild edible plants, where to find these plants and when to harvest them. Knowing the difference between an edible mushroom and a poisonous one will save you a lot of trouble. The same goes for hunting and fishing, you are never too old to learn a thing or two about how can you hunt or fish.

Homesteaders’ encyclopedias

You need some good books that can provide you with information regarding livestock and gardening. When it comes to homesteading, you want your books to cover as many subjects as possible since you will be taking decisions based on the learning it provided. There are also a lot of homesteading communities on the internet that provide good reading materials, that you should print and store for later use. The more information you have about homesteading the easier it will be for you to face an unknown scenario.

Gardening books

Your homesteading books should cover all the basic steps of gardening and you should be able to work with those books. However, after some time you should change your perspective and get some specialty books that can help you get a better crop. Try to get some books on composting, soil management, seed harvesting, natural pest control and companion planting. If gardening will be your main source of food you want to gather as much knowledge as possible regarding gardening, otherwise you will starve.

Specialty books on small livestock

If you grew up on a farm you know how difficult is to raise cattle and horses, and you probably have a good idea of what it implies. If a farm is a totally new environment for you, then jumping into raising large farm animals might not be for you. Large farm animals can prove to be a disaster if not handled correctly, so you should save yourself the trouble and start with something else. You should try your luck with chickens and ducks, rabbits and even goats as they are a good starter livestock. You can find books about animal care, shelter, diseases, meat processing, etc. Think it through and start with something small, something that you can handle.
Home repair books

Things will break down as nothing lasts forever. And when it does happen, you will need to know how to repair it or learn to live without it. I remember that my grandparents used to repair anything that needed repairing and they didn’t need any help to do it. Compared to them, I have to look up on the internet if something needs fixing and try my luck with the information I can get. Books on plumbing, wiring and carpentry will become valuable resources when things break down and it will help you become a better handyman. Any book that can help you maintain what you own will be a great addition to your Survival library.

Kids – Fiction books

When there will be no electricity, your PlayStation will be just a shiny box and you and your kids will have to find other ways of entertainment. And since survival is not only about eating beans at candlelight you will have to stockpile something to help you pass the time, especially for the kids. Some good fiction books will do wonders for your family during down times. Reading a good book helps you relax, it stimulates your imagination and can provide you with good ideas that you could use in real life. When it comes to good books you have to keep in mind and chose the ones that have lasted over time, the good stuff always lasts in time.

Some useful tips for your Survival library:

    Do not go digital all the way, your IPad filled with valuable books might someday break and you will lose all your precious books. It’s better to go with paper as it will last longer.
    If you insist on keeping your books in digital format, make sure you have a backup plan. Put your books on a USB stick so you can always have a copy of your books.
    Get as many free books as possible; the internet is full of them. All you need to have is time and patience, to search for the books you need.
    SHARE THIS ARTICLE with your friends and people who are into preparedness and ask them if they have some of the books listed above. They can help you increase your book collection.
    Always buy during sales, go on Amazon and add the books you like to your wish list. Keep an eye on it and be ready for any sale periods.
    Get yourself a sturdy printer so that you can print the books and articles you find on the Internet. Getting one during sales it’s a good idea, I got mine during Black Friday with a 70% discount.
    Your library doesn’t have to be fancy, it has to be useful. Don’t put too much time and money into folders, elaborate notebooks and other items.
    Make sure your Survival library is light and portable as you might need to carry it in your bug out bag.

If you don’t have a Survival library, don’t worry! It’s never too late to build one and with the information provided in this article you should be able to start without any difficulties. Remember that good knowledge is everything when it comes to survival. You should start building your Survival library today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Things you should never buy new

Spring and summer means you'll be seeing lots of yard sales, which also means you can find a lot of great deals, but as much as we all love a bargain, it can be tough to decide which items are worth buying from someone else. Here are a few things that you should avoid buying new.

First, let's start with tools. Not only are they durable, they're also easy to find at yard sales. instead of spending $10 on a new hammer, you could find a used one for a buck. Just be sure to stick to the simple stuff. Anything with a motor can wear out quickly, so only buy power tools from someone you trust.

Next, if you or your children are trying a sport for the first time, check out a garage sale before springing for a new pair of skis or a tennis racquet that you might not use a lot. The same goes for weights and other basic exercise equipment. Most of these items are sturdy and built to last. Just be careful with electronic gym equipment, like treadmills. They can be great bargains, but you should inspect them very closely before deciding to buy one that's used.

When it comes to furniture, wood is definitely the way to go. It's easy to clean, plus you can sand it, paint it and decorate it to give it your own unique look. Not only will you be saving money, but there's a good chance that an older piece of wooden furniture is built better than what you'll find in a store. Stay away from mattresses and anything with upholstery, though. Not only are they tough to clean, they might carry bed bugs as well.

Musical instruments.. Your child is entering the musical part of their schooling. You need a trumpet, trombone, flute, etc.. look for them used or to rent first. But, do NOT get tied into a contract when renting. Your child may decide that this instrument is NOT for them.

Finally, if you or your kids love to read, buying new books all the time can add up. Unless you're planning on building a library, save money by buying used books at yard sales. You can also go online and find lots of websites that sell secondhand books in good condition for cheap. When you're finished reading, you can list them yourself to recoup some of your expenses.

Before you buy something brand new, remember these tips to avoid overspending. If you know what to look for, you can find hand-me-downs that are just as good as new and cost just a fraction of the price.

Diet, Is DIE with a "T"

Diet, is DIE with a "T"

The following is my PERSONAL OPINION!
This is NOT a proven theory, but what works for me personally!

I see many people "dieting". I see these people starving themselves literally, starving their bodies of precious nutrients, and basically killing themselves.

At one time, I weighed 285. Yes, I was very large. Now, I weigh about 160. I am NOT a "skinny-Minnie", but I am at least healthy again!

Too many people start diets that send them down an avenue of deprivation, starvation, and plain idiocy!

If you remove ALL the fun foods, good foods, and yes, just food, you are NOT going to maintain that diet!

You must feed your body, as well as your mind and soul, in the process of losing weight!
You MUST do some type of exercise. This does NOT mean you have to get out and run 50 miles a day, or lift 500 pounds a week to do this. Get up and actually MOVE! Find a way to increase your heart rate for a bit!
For me, this is gardening, dancing through my housework, and actually just going to work. I play fetch with my dogs, I enjoy walking, and for a while I studied Tae Kwon Do. You have to find what works for you. I have bad knees and arthritis, so impact anything, hurts! Where I live now, I do not have access to swimming, so I walk. 

Learn to EAT! Eat REAL food! Cut back on the processed foods. Yes, they are treats, and yes you can have them, but limit their quantities and what time of day you do eat them.

You MUST have fats in your diet. Get away from margarine. Learn to use REAL butter again. Learn how to cook with olive and coconut oils.

You MUST have protein in your diet. LOTS of protein! And try to ALWAYS eat lots of protein when you are eating carbohydrates. More protein then the carbs!  The protein will fill you up and keep you full LONGER!!! Also, protein builds and maintains muscle!!!

Yes, have your treats! I adore ice cream! I now purchase or make REAL ice cream. get away from the FAKE FOODS!!! Your bod knows how to process real food, but gets confused when trying to process fake foods.

Learn how to cook!! Eat vegetables! Green leafy veggies are the best, but I adore corn and potatoes also. The biggest difference, is that I eat REAL foods again!

Learn how to cut back on your portions. Yes, I believe that the portions that the nutritionists say you are supposed to have are way too small, but I have cut way back. Look at your plates. Can you get one size smaller? too many of us have absolutely HUGE dinner plates. Make the plates smaller, and the serving size looks larger.

And the biggest advice I have for you? DRINK WATER!!!! LOTS OF WATER!!! At least 2 gallons a day if you are able to do so. You will rehydrate your system, flush out the toxins, and if you drink 1-2 cups before each meal, you will cut back on your portions!

Again, these are my personal opinions.

Have a blessed day!

No Churn Peach Sorbet

No Churn Peach Sorbet


  • 6 large, ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Peel and slice peaches, then freeze until firm.
  2. Stir sugar into 3/4 cup water and blend with frozen peaches, along with lemon juice and salt, until creamy and smooth. Eat immediately soft-serve-style, or freeze in a loaf pan up to 3 days.

No Churn Cookie Monster Ice Cream

No Churn Cookie Monster Ice Cream

This super simple kid friendly No Churn Cookie Monster Ice cream is loaded with Oreo cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Super simple recipe with NO Ice Cream Maker needed. The bright blue color is a HUGE hit with the kiddos. Parents, the blue color might be a bit bright for you but this ice cream is super delish.

2 cup Heavy Cream
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Blue Food Coloring
20 Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (like Oreos)
15 Chocolate Chip Cookies

Break up 15 sandwich cookies and 10 chocolate chip cookies and set aside.
Whip heavy cream, food coloring and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Beat in condensed milk until color is uniform. Add additional food coloring if needed.
Fold in broken cookies and transfer to loaf pan.
Break up all remaining cookies and use to decorate top of pan.
Place in freezer for at least 5 hours.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Homemade Fertilizers for your Plants

Homemade Fertilizers for your Plants

Fish-Emulsion Fertilizer

Why: Fish guts, bones, and heads are good sources of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and amino acids.

How: During the year, collect and freeze fish parts, leftover tuna, and sardines so you’ll have enough to make gallons of fish emulsion in spring.

Add 1 part fish to 2 parts water in an airtight container, and place it a sunny spot far from your house (because it’ll stink). Stir every two days as the soup cooks; in about two weeks, apply to your garden soil at 3 gal./100 sq. ft. Leafy greens, beets, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli love it.

Peeing On Your Veggies

Why: Sounds gross, but human urine is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate, a well-balanced meal for plants. Rose gardeners know their flowers love it. Fresh urine from a healthy person is sterile, so you can feed it to veggies, too.

How: Pee straight from the source is highly concentrated and can burn plants, much the way dog pee turns grass brown. Make sure you dilute it 1 part pee/10 parts water. Then soak plant roots. Good for leafy greens, cabbages, cucumbers, and roses.

Soak Your Plants in Epsom Salts

Why: Epsom salts consist of magnesium — critical for seed germination and chlorophyll production — and sulfur — key for protein production and plant growth. A dose of an Epsom salts solution increases fruit and flower production in roses, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and houseplants.

How: Combine 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts to 1 gallon of water. Spray foliage with the solution for best results.

Save Your Wood Ash

Why: Wood ash not only adds calcium (good for root growth) and potassium (promotes seed and fruit formation) to soil, but it also raises the pH of highly acidic soil, making it friendlier to neutral pH-loving plants, such as most vegetables. (Don’t use it in blueberry gardens, which like acidic soil.)

How: Apply wood ash straight from the fireplace to your garden: Dig in 5 lbs./100 sq. ft.

Adding Crumbled Eggshells

Why: Eggshells are rich in calcium. A calcium deficiency in tomatoes will cause blossom rot, that ugly brown patch on the bottom of the fruit.

How: Place crumbled eggshells in the bottom of your planting hole, or dig them into the soil around the base of your tomato plant.

Bonus: If slugs plague your garden, place crumbled eggshells around the bottom of plants. The shards will cut the slimy pests.

Cow Pattie Tea for your plants

Cow Pattie Tea

  • Collect 5-10 patties. 

  • Soak in 5gallons of rain water for best results about 5 days.

  • Pour thru cheesecloth.

  • Do not drink.

  • Use to water your plants.