Monday, May 21, 2018

Why I Hate Preppers

Why I Hate Preppers, by Allen C.

I may as well go ahead and apologize to anyone who is already offended by my title without apologizing for offending you.  I do not actually hate preppers.  I’m just fed up with them.  While I’m at it I may as well apologize for generalizing.  I don’t like putting labels on anyone any more than I like being labeled, but it is necessary to generalize in this case so if you consider yourself in one group, but the other better describes you then I accept that in advance.  If it sounds like I apologize a lot it is because I do.  Survivalists being antisocial in nature, I sometimes say things that are inappropriately blunt and get criticism for doing so.  You may disagree that I distinguish between the two, so let’s defer to an objective third party on the differences.  Popular Mechanics magazine did a fair job of explaining it:
Preppers call themselves Preppers, in part, to distinguish themselves from survivalists, a term that conjures up images of a paranoid loner hiding out in a cabin.  The Preppers focus on reaching out to other people, and they are avid social networkers. They share tips on things like canning, Port-a-Potties, and other useful skills to have for natural disasters. And they say the effort does not stem from fear. “It’s encouraging, uplifting,” insists Janet Liebsch, a dedicated prepper, who, along with her husband, publishes guides like It’s a Disaster. “Once you start learning, you get addicted.”
If you are a survivalist you may have already asked yourself why in the world anyone would want a Port-a-Potty.  You may also be thinking “I wouldn’t be so paranoid if everyone wasn’t out to get me.” I know I am.  I’m that paranoid loner hanging out in the woods.  At least I was before I got married in my forties and started a family.  I was first labeled a survivalist by local authorities in the 1980s and it was a pretty lonely twenty years so I was originally excited about the blossoming of the prepper movement, but after meeting hundreds of them I must admit I am disappointed.  Here are some reasons why.  
Preppers Are Presumptuous      
The prepper movement has boomed in the last few years and I must admit I resent being lumped in with the suburban grandma who goes online in the morning and orders some MREs, a can of bear spray, and a Gold Eagle coin.  In the afternoon she plants a container garden and fills some soda bottles with water. Viola, she’s a prepper and despite the fact that I have done none of those things apparently I am too because prepper equals survivalist.  If it says so on Wikipedia it must be true.  At least that is apparently the mantra.  The fact that I am willing to have an online discussion with her does not make us the same.  To a lessor extent preppers are also attempting to also envelop homesteaders. But that’s a discussion for another day. 
It has been said that to a man with a hammer every problem is a nail.  I found this to be especially true in Prepperdom.  First they assume that because they “woke up” and “saw the writing” on the wall they are now supernaturally endowed to survive what is coming.  They also think those who do not possess that one piece of prepper gear they hold most dear will be beating on the doors of the ark while they sit smugly inside watching the water rise.  The truth is there are a lot of people who do not own a gun, a bug-out-bug, or have anywhere to go who are going to feed on preppers like piranha.  For example, my home state recently rewrote laws to allow early release of nonviolent offenders.  These are felons who either did not get caught committing violent crimes or was not charged for them as part of a plea agreement.  Whether they committed them is a question of debate, but I know for sure they have mingled with those who have for years.  I visit one such person with whom I attended high school, but is now in prison and he tells me about post-release crime plans he did not have before he went in.  Although felony convictions prevent them from legally owning a firearm, it will not keep them from dispatching a prepper on the way to the Port-a-Potty and taking theirs.  The motivated ones have already downloaded a list of suspected preppers in their area from    
Preppers Are Know-It-Alls
Later the same evening suburban grandma is in a user group regurgitating a half digested piece of prepper knowledge she picked up on another web site without ever having to actually fight anyone, kill anything, or spend a week in the woods.  Since most of those repeating these tidbits have not actually tried them, the knowledge usually changes a little like the party game where you whisper a secret in someone’s ear who passes it down the line until the last person says it out loud to see how much it changed.  Sometimes it changes a lot.  As I will show later the belief the average grocery store carries only three days worth of food is one example.  It is a corruption of the valid opinion that store shelves would empty within three days of a trigger event.   
A recent volley with a prepper is the one that pushed me over the edge. I’ve met hundreds of preppers online, individually, and at conferences, but this short exchange was the straw that broke the camel’s back prompting me to blow off three preppers in the anonymous “let’s meet for coffee” pipeline and stop developing lopsided relationships with people I would not want to help me build a shed.  As with most tipping points, it was about something small.  It was about not being online on the weekend because I am at the retreat.  I agreed to move to town when I got married and since I get to keep all my stuff the price of having a great wife and family is worth the hour drive from the national forest.  It went  something like this:
(Me) High speed Internet is unavailable at my retreat location. I can’t even get cell phone service unless I hike to the top of the mountain and then only digital roam text messaging.
(Them) {Immediately} Satellite works everywhere.
(Another Guy) Sometimes terrain or trees get in the way.
(Them) {Immediately} #^@#snet works ANYWHERE. Their web site says so. 
(Me) I’m in the North side of a mountain covered with trees.
(Them) {Immediately} Cut down some trees.
(Me) I’m not in some subdivision where my homeowner’s association can force the rancher that owns the top of the mountain to cut a swath of fifty foot trees so #^@#snet can site in my dish at an 80 degree elevation because there would still be a mountain in the way.
This is a harmless example, but he could have just as easily been giving advice on food storage, how to treat a gunshot wound, or any number of possible life-and-death circumstances.  If there is only one ill consequence of the prepper movement it is the avalanche of inexperienced people giving advice in users groups when their only qualification is that they read something similar elsewhere on the net. 
Preppers Are Gullible
No where have I seen this more prevalent than in predicting the timing of total collapse.  Many preppers are disciples of nationally known doomsayers who have been predicting since at least 1999 that we are six months away from anarchy.  When confronted with the obvious they sometimes revert to the argument that collapse has already come.  I wish that were true because having hit rock bottom we could start rebuilding.  The economy may be held up like a horizontal mine shaft about to collapse, but when we run out of bread and circuses these preppers will see what total collapse really looks like.  The different federal agencies who are stocking up on ammunition are going to need it.
I have lost count of how many preppers I’ve heard from over the last three years who knew someone who knew someone in some branch of intelligence that had inside knowledge of pending collapse.  In one particular case I replied to the email several months later pointing out they had been worrying for nothing.  The sender immediately shot back that the original message only said SOON.  Apparently SOON is not necessarily within the same year.  She wants to meet with me personally. I told her we will get together SOON.       
Preppers Lack Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is a type of reasonable, reflective thinking that is aimed at deciding what to believe or what to do.  Preppers want to believe the worst to justify expenditures of time and money.  Since this diagnosis in not one preppers will accept without proof, check for yourself to see if you blindly accepted a couple of the more popular prepper myths currently circulating:
Government Study on EMP: 90% Would Be Dead
Grocery Stores Only Carry 3 Days Worth of Food
Neither of those are true and despite the fact that I can prove it preppers with whom I discussed these myths were so adamant about believing the worst that they completely lost their critical thinking skills. My experience was similar to when I worked with shock victims at accident scenes.  It took several repetitions of the evidence before it finally sunk in.  Keep an open mind and see how you do.
Government Study on EMP: 90% Would Be Dead
Several Internet sites have recently been repeating a quote from The United West that in the event of an EMP our population would decrease by 90% within 12-18 months. ”Forstchen cited a 2004 study on the impact of such an assault on America. ‘Testimony in that study said 90 percent, let me repeat that, 90 percent of all Americans would die within 12-18 months of an EMP attack,’ he said.”
I’ve scoured the 2004 report and testimony he mentions documented as THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO ASSESS THE THREAT TO THE U.S. FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE ATTACK by the COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and found only a question by Representative Roscoe Bartlett in the hearing asking if our population might shrink by two-thirds following an EMP and a noncommittal response by Dr. Wood that the population in the late 1800s was one-tenth the size it is today.
The earliest published document I have found containing the “90% fatality rate” is page 338 of the hardcover edition of Forstchen’s novel One Second After.  This same author was a speaker at the seminar the aforementioned article was written to promote.  Could it be preppers are relying on a retrospective discussion between two fictional people?  I posed that question to United West directly via email and using the contact page on their web site, but received no reply.  Since no one can provide the source data for the 90% fatality rate, the reasonable conclusion is that it does not exist.  Certainly an EMP event would be disastrous, but to simply pick an arbitrary survival rate and declare ourselves in the fortunate minority sounds equally so. 
Those on airplanes, or in hospitals, hospice, and nursing homes and others like outpatient dialysis patients would be immediate casualties, but even if we include those over 85 and everyone living in communities with populations of 2,500 or greater the rate would still only be about 82%. Since there exists no historical data on EMP deaths, we can debate indefinitely what the death toll might be.  We can only say for sure that the 90% rate attributed to the congressional hearing is not supported by the actual testimony
Grocery Stores Only Carry 3 Days Worth of Food
The second example is even more concrete than the first because it relies entirely on basic math and accounting principles.  You do have to learn one accounting term – Inventory turnover or inventory turns for short.  Inventory turnover is the number of times during the year that a retailer sells an amount equal to its average inventory.  A simple example that assumed beginning and ending inventory is the same would be this:
If a grocery store carried $10 Million worth (at retail) of inventory and they sell $100 Million worth a year, their inventory turnover rate is 10 (100/10) because they sold ten times their average inventory.  According the the Food Marketing Institute, the largest grocery store trade association, the averagestore level turn rate for grocery stores in 2010 was 14.4. This excludes any inventory at company owned distribution centers, wholesalers, and producers.  It averages beginning inventory and ending inventory at retail, and sales at individual stores.  Average days of inventory carried is easily calculated by dividing the number of days in a year by the inventory turn number (365/14.4 =  25.35).  This means the “average” store has a little over twenty-five days of inventory [with normal demand].  Stores where retail space rents are high tend to have less variety and faster turns while those in rural states like mine with few distribution centers usually carry more inventory.   
I understand why people might think there are only three days of inventory because high-profile items like produce (56.4), dairy (36.0), and meat (35.3) have higher than average inventory turnover rates. Dry goods, the kinds of foods people should be buying in an emergency, are the bulk of inventory and have a lower inventory turnover rate.  This is where those who have drank the Kool-Aid start attacking the data by mentioning nonfood items, but toilet paper flies off the shelf and even pharmacy has a turn rate of 12 so nonfood items being in the minority and not turning at significantly different rates than food items have little effect on the turn rate. 
Those trapped by prepper bias often respond by stating an obvious truth that has nothing to do with the topic, but appears to contradict the revelator.  Someone may say, for example, that WTSHTF stores will be cleaned out immediately.  That is another discussion on the effectiveness of martial law.  In no way am I advocating waiting until the last minute to stock up.  The data supports an alternate response.  It shows that contrary to the opinions of other authors, we are not going to emerge from our cocoons two-months after an event to scour the country for other survivors.  The fact there is nearly ten times as much inventory in stores as preppers want to believe is one more reason to expect the violent transition to a third world country will be a long one.  Forty years ago 16 plane crash victims survived 72 days in the desolate Andes Mountains.  They did not have all the food we have in our system.  They did not have nearly one deer for every citizen as my state does.  All they had was each other – whom they ate.
Desperation will make people who did not “wake up” and “see the writing on the wall” a lot more resourceful than preppers want to believe.         
Does living in a prepper free world mean I am going to go it alone?  Certainly not.  Community is important to long-term survival, but instead of meeting up with the local prepper group who has no bug out location when the city becomes uninhabitable, we will be leaving early and alone for our secluded retreat community whose location I did not disclose to any of them.  I am using the time I redeemed from migraine inducing discussions with preppers to build stronger relationships with my retreat neighbors for whom heating with wood, gardening, hunting, and animal husbandry is not something they are preparing to do, but already a part of their every day lives.   
Much more than most survivalists I know who just want to be left alone, I have found the vast majority of preppers to be well intended and it is for this reason that I wrote this critical essay.  Those who think they are ready because they are stockpiling provisions and having Internet discussions really need to “wake up” and “see the writing on the wall” that these things alone will not save them.  Survival is more about skills than stuff.  We are on the cusp of a violent transition to a third-world country which will include an equally violent redistribution of hard assets.  I little humility and critical thinking will be worth far more than that single can of beans that preppers have been telling me they will one day trade for an ounce of gold.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Ads on these pages

Ads on these pages

If you would be so kind, please click on an ad each time you visit.

It does NOT cost you anything, but a couple of moments of your time, and it will help to add to my wallet. :)

The few pennies that I earn with click throughs help to pay for my time, and I use these monies to help fund a small non profit that I run.

I teach people how to garden, cook what they grow, and how to can and preserve what they grow also.
I also teach people how to make their own soap.

Take care, and have a wonderful day!

How to grow Garlic

How to Grow Garlic 


Garlic BulbsGarlic is a member of the allium family. It is an ancient bulbous vegetable. Garlic is easy to grow and requires very little space in the garden. Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb. Each clove will multiply in the ground, forming a new bulb that consists of 5-10 cloves. Garlic tastes great roasted or used as a flavoring in many recipes.

Where to Plant Garlic

Garlic should be planted in a spot not recently used for garlic or other plants from the onion family. Do not plant garlic in areas where water can collect around the roots, causing them to rot or become diseased.

Soil Preparation for Garlic

Garlic should be planted in a fertile, well-drained soil. A raised bed works very well. Remove stones from the top 6 inches of soil. Work several inches of compost or well-rotted manure into the bed, along with 10-10-10 fertilizer.

How to Plant Garlic

Planting garlic is relatively simple. Separate cloves. Space the cloves 4-6" apart. Rows should be spaced one foot apart. The cloves should be planted with the pointed end up and the blunt end down. Push each clove 1-2" into the ground, firm the soil around it, and water the bed if it is dry.

When to Plant Garlic

Fall Planting

Plant cloves in mid-autumn in a sunny location with rich, well-drained soil. Set cloves root side down 4-6" apart in rows 1-1/2 to 2' apart, and cover with 1-2" of fine soil. In the North, put down 6" of mulch for winter protection. Garlic may begin growth late in fall or early in spring.

Spring Planting

Plant cloves as early in spring as soil can be worked, about the same time as onion sets. Spring planted garlic should be put in the ground in the same manner as in the fall.


After planting, lay down a protective mulch of straw, chopped leaves or grass clippings. In cold-winter regions the mulch should be approximately 4 inches thick. Mulch will help to prevent the garlic roots from being heaved out of the ground by alternate freezing and thawing. A light application of mulch is useful in milder climates to control the growth of winter weeds.

Spring Care

When the leaves begin to grow, it is important to feed the garlic plants to encourage good growth. A teaspoon or two of a high-nitrogen fertilizer that decomposes slowly, such as blood meal or Osmocote should be gently worked into the soil near each plant. If the mulch has decomposed, add a layer to help retain moisture and keep weeds under control. In late spring some garlic varieties produce flower stalks that have small bulbils. Cut these stalks off. This will insure that all of the food the plant produces will go into the garlic bulb itself and not the clusters of bulbils. In the month of June the garlic plants stop producing new leaves and begin to form bulbs. At this time you will remove any remaining mulch and stop watering. The garlic will store better if you allow the soil around the bulbs to dry out.

When to Harvest Garlic and Proper Storage Methods:

You will know when to harvest garlic when most of the leaves have turned brown. This usually occurs in mid-July to early August, depending on your climate. At this time you may dig the bulbs up, being careful not to bruise them. If the bulbs are left in the ground too long, they may separate and will not store well. Lay the garlic plants out to dry for 2 or 3 weeks in a shady area with good air circulation. Be sure to bring the garlic plants in if rain is forecasted for your area. When the roots feel brittle and dry, rub them off, along with any loose dirt. Do not get the bulbs wet or break them apart, or the plants won't last as long.
Either tie the garlic in bunches, braid the leaves, or cut the stem a few inches above the bulb. Hang the braids and bunches or store the loose bulbs on screens or slatted shelves in a cool, airy location. You may want to set aside some of the largest bulbs for replanting in the fall.
During the winter months you should check your stored garlic bulbs often, and promptly use any that show signs of sprouting.
Each set (bulb) is made up of several sections called cloves, held together by a thin, papery covering. Before planting, break cloves apart.

Garlic Harvesting and Storage

In late summer, bend over tops to hasten yellowing and drying of tops. Then pull up the garlic plants and allow them to dry in sun a few hours. Spread out in a well-ventilated place until tops are thoroughly dry (2-3 weeks). Cut tops off 1-2" above garlic bulbs, or braid tops together into strings. Store loose bulbs in a dry, cool, airy place in baskets; hang garlic strings.

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.