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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doomsday Fear Mongers Get It Right Again

By now, you’ve likely come across the recent 60 Minutes segment titled State Budgets: Day of Reckoning.

Millions of Americans who have been told that our economy is now in a period of recovery may be surprised to learn that most states are so broke that they are left with no other choice but to cut spending on literally everything. Governor Christie of New Jersey is, according to 60 Minutes, the canary in the mine: To continue this story please follow this link:


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sing the health praises of parsley and sage

Those of us who go back a few years likely remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the huge Simon and Garfunkel hit song about two ill-fated lovers, "Are You Going to Scarborough Fair". Many have speculated that the reference to the four popular herbs was due to their use in Medieval Europe to help cleanse the air and ward off the infamous black plague. Others have thought that the reference to the four herbs was because the combination may have been used as a love potion. Whatever the reason for their inclusion in the popular song, the many health benefits of parsley and sage are worth loving and singing praises about in their own rights.


Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb with a world of health benefits. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Among the many benefits reported for parsley are:

*It is a diuretic which helps the body produce more urine to keep the urinary system operating smoothly and which helps prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections.

*It is wonderful for removing toxins from the body, such as heavy metals.

*It is an effective breath freshener. It is believed that the practice of including parsley on a dinner plate began due to its breath freshening abilities and not merely for its decorative effect.

*The root and leaves are good for the liver and spleen.

*It helps relieve bloating during menstruation.

*It provides relief for edema, often helping when other remedies have failed

*Parsley root and seeds help relax stiff joints, often making stiff and unmanageable fingers work again.

*It helps remove gallstones when used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily.

*It is beneficial for the adrenal glands.

*It is a powerful therapeutic aid for the optic nerves, brain and sympathetic nervous system.

*Parsley juice is an excellent tonic for the blood vessels.

Note: It is best to avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, especially the use of the volatile essential oil.


Like rosemary, its sister herb in the mint (Labiatae) family, sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including rosmarinic acid. The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, helping it fight infections.

Besides the antioxidant and other properties shared with Rosemary, sage`s other health benefits include:

*It is effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes because of its estrogenic action and because its tannins help dry up perspiration.

*Sage helps provide better brain function and has been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over a thousand years. It helps provide better recall and research has suggested that it may be an effective option to help treat Alzheimer`s.

*There`s also compelling evidence that sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may boost insulin`s action.

* The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive for cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity.

In an upcoming article, we will also sing the praises of the other two herbs mentioned in the popular song - rosemary and thyme.

Sources included:


About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near San Antonio and Austin to give lectures in health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".

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Terrorist may poison the food supply (but the food companies already have)

Always on the terror streak, the mainstream media is now warning Americans that terrorists may strike the food supply by dumping poison into restaurant salad bars and buffets, for example. CBS News broke the story, quoting anonymous "intelligence" sources who insist that terrorists might use ricin or cyanide to poison foods in salad bars.

I have news for CBS, the federal government, and the terrorists: If you really want to poison the U.S. food supply, just use aspartame. It causes neurological disorders and yet remains perfectly legal to dump into foods such as diet sodas and children's medicines. You don't even have to dump it into the food supply in secret, either: You can do it right out in full view of the public. Heck, you can even list this chemical right on the ingredients label!

Or get into the MSG business. MSG, which is often hidden on "natural" foods under an ingredient called yeast extract, is a potent neurotoxin that promotes obesity and even cancer, according to some experts. Feed people enough MSG and they'll probably die of cancer sooner or later, and that counts toward the goal of terrorism too, doesn't it?

If you really want to get nasty and up the body count, start a hot dog company and dump sodium nitrite into your processed meat like all the other hot dog companies do. Sodium nitrite promotes aggressive cancers -- even in children -- and yet the USDA and FDA allow its use in the food supply (http://www.naturalnews.com/007133.html).

Better yet, feed the population genetically modified corn and then wait for the mutations to kick in. GMOs might actually be called a biological weapon because they cause so much harm to humans and the environment. (http://www.naturalnews.com/GMO.html)

Why be a terrorist when you can do so much more damage as a processed food company?

If you're a terrorist looking to poison the U.S. food supply, get in line, buddy! The food companies have beat you to it!

In the U.S. food supply right now, you can find toxic mercury, BPA, acrylamides, petrochemicals, dangerous preservatives, synthetic chemicals like aspartame, pesticide residues and artificial colors that alter brain function. The FDA doesn't seem to care about any of this, of course: All these poisons in the food supply are legal!

So here's a message to Al-Qaeda and all the other terrorists trying to kill Americans: Don't bother with bombs and missiles... just get into the processed food business!

Or, heck, if you really want to kill Americans with poison, get into the cancer industry! The "Al-Qaeda Cancer Clinic" could really rack up some body bags by doing what all the other cancer clinics do: Inject patients with chemotherapy and watch them die (http://www.naturalnews.com/029996_c...).

Seriously, if you want to kill Americans, all you really need to do is keep supporting conventional medicine and the FDA with its do-nothing position on dangerous chemicals that threaten the health of Americans right now. FDA-approved drugs kill well over 100,000 Americans each year -- a statistic that dwarfs the body count of any terrorist group.

Come to think of it, how do we know the FDA isn't already being run by terrorists? Their actions, which blatantly endanger American lives, are entirely consistent with the aims of a terrorist organization. (http://www.naturalnews.com/001894.html)

By the way, this is all depicted in a CounterThink cartoon I created in 2006 called The Food Terrorists: http://www.counterthink.com/The_Foo...

This cartoon anticipated today's terror news alerts by four years. That's because when it comes to the U.S. government's rhetoric on terrorism, it's not that difficult to see where they're taking it.

Want to know what the next four years will bring us? I'll soon be publishing a list of predictions for 2011 and beyond. Watch NaturalNews.com for that announcement.

In the mean time, you might want to steer clear of FDA-approved foods and drugs, because you just never know what's really in them.

Sources for this story include:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Response to Castle Doctrine Laws by State

Original post "Castle Doctrine Laws by State" was written by Seeker2012

This is only one response by member okie B to an original post. I highly recommend that after reading this reply you follow the link below and read the entire string. It is very informative in what you can and can not do in protecting your home against intruders.

Posted by: okie B

Almost every state goes one of those two directions -- duty to retreat, or right to stand your ground. Here in Oklahoma, they recognized the right to stand your ground in your own house quite a while ago with the Make-My-Day law, but they have since expanded it to include your place of business and vehicle as well.

It never hurts to remind people though -- just because your state's castle laws include a right to stand your ground, that does not mean you have the right to shoot just anyone on your property. Even if that particular statute for your state says that there is a presumption that you are acting in self-defense (like Oklahoma's law does), presumptions can be overcome or negated by a stronger presumption. And the word presumption does not mean quite the same thing in law that it means in everyday usage. It has specific legal connatations and implications, but the overall meaning is similar to regular use. As a general rule, even if your state has pro-homeowner castle laws, you must believe that you are in immediate danger in your home from an intruder who is not legally supposed to be there. That is a very loaded sentence, and if all of those factors are not in place, you run the risk of a murder charge or a manslaughter charge instead of protection under the castle laws. If you shoot a government agent who is allowed to come on your property, you're in trouble. If you shoot a police officer serving a warrant, you're in trouble. If someone breaks in, you tell him to halt, he does, and you ask him questions before you shoot him, you're in trouble. If a four-year old is crawling in your window and you shoot him, you're most likely in trouble (although not for certain). If someone breaks into your shed, and you go out and confront him and shoot him, you're in trouble. If someone climbs your fence and crosses your yard, but does not try to break into your house, and you shoot him, you're in trouble. If you set up a booby trap to kill or injure someone who tries to break into your house while you are gone, you're in trouble.

These laws are meant for self-defense protection only. They are not meant to protect property. They are not meant to be self-help solutions in any instance except a him-or-me situation brought on by someone else's wrongdoing. PLEASE do not think these laws are a permission to start shooting people.

Please follow the link below to read and respond to original post and all of the replies:

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oklahoma Preppers Roll Call

The Oklahoma Preppers Network is conducting a Roll Call on our forum.  If you are a prepper please check in.

* Here is a link to the Roll Call:

You have to be registered to check in.  If you aren't registered please join here:

* If you are a HAM Radio Operator check in here:

* If you are an A.N.T.S. member please check in here:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Welcome New Members

Welcome our new members:

lostand confused

hi, my name is tom and i hope to learn and share alot here. thanks.

welcome our new member by following the link below:



I'm completely new to this sort of thing. I found out about preppers through Glenn Beck's links. I don't know the first thing about prepping, but I rented a self-storage space and bought some stuff from Aldi to put into it.

Is there a real meeting I can attend here in Tulsa with other people who can guide me in the right/simplest direction?

Thanks in advance,


welcome our new member by following the link below:


Hello to all, I'm an Okie prepper for about 3 years now. Still working on it, ex-army and avid hunter/rancher. I'm in the northwest part of Oklahoma near the panhandle and I'm interested in communicating and networking with all in the area. I absolutely believe that there is strength in numbers and feel that all should have their own gear/supplies and pull their own weight, as me and mine will definitely pull ours. Again, I would like to get to know some like minded preppers in my area, from I-40 in the western part of Ok, up to the panhandle, look forward to hearin' from ya.

welcome our new member by following the link below:


Been casually working on prepping for some time. Live on a farm and have been picking up stuff we might need at farm auctions etc. but think it is time to get really serious. I garden, can, raise goats and chickens.


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hello all i am a retired marine slash soldier yes i have been i both services and i am looking to get aquainted with fellow oklahomans in the event of SHTF
would be nice to have fellow preppers to contact if things do not go well preferably in our local regions i personally reside in the lawton Ft. SIll area and am looking for like minded individuals to talk fellowship with and perhaps work on contingency plans with for our neck of the woods if any body is of like mind i will watch the forum for you and perhaps we can say a word or two and see how we can help each other

welcome our new member by following the link below:


New here, but not new to prepping :)

Would love to add to my lists - I LOVE LISTS.

I love my pantry,

I love my farm.

I love my family.

And I cry EVERYTIME they play the national anthem.

Nice to meet you - Pearls

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New to the site and hoping to learn from those out there who have been preparing for much longer than I have. It's not always about the supplies you have accumulated and surviving but, learning to live a completely different life style.

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I have been into the lifestyle and out of it for many years , many things make it possible and many interferences keep you away! A little about me: U.S.Marine 3 years, Federal Law Enforcement 20 years , hunter all my life , although living in the urban hell keeps hunting down to a minimum, anything else you'll just have to ask! I live in Oklahoma !

welcome our new member by following the link below:

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How To Join The Oklahoma Preppers Network

Come learn survival, preparedness and sustainable living with us!

The Preppers networks are all about volunteering our knowledge and skills with each other. We share ideas, tips and basically network with each other to survive any type of disaster whether natural, man made, or economic. Information that you learn and share with others will help everyone learn how to find "Freedom Through Teaching Others Self Reliance."

Joining the Oklahoma Preppers Network is simple, and most of all, it's Free! To join, just follow these few steps.

1) Register to become a member of the American Preppers Network www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net The registration page is here: http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/ucp.php?mode=register

2) Once you have your account, go to the index page of the forum and do your first post by introducing yourself in the new members area. http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/index.php

3) Once you know how to do posts, visit the Oklahoma forum and introduce yourself. The Oklahoma forum can be found by scrolling to the lower section of the index page where you will find a list of states, or you can go directly by following this URL: www.OklahomaPreppersNetwork.net

4) After you've visited the Oklahoma forum, follow this link to learn how to join the Oklahoma Preppers Network group:

APN's success depends on your contributions. If you would like to donate to our organization by becoming a Gold Member you can join the APN Gold Members club by following this link:
Gold Membership is only $5 per month. For a list of Gold Member benefits go here

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Personal Protection Should Be Part of Your Prepping Plans

Woman 2, thugs 0 after home invasion
Oklahoma break-in turns deadly when 'victim' pulls gun and fires
Posted: July 24, 2010
11:00 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

One gun isn't enough.

That was what Linda Smith (a pseudonym) was thinking after two thugs broke into her Oklahoma apartment. One was holding a weapon (she initially thought it was a knife but it turned out to be a screwdriver) at her throat, and the other was pacing back and forth while holding her purse and demanding her money and valuables. She screamed, and was told if she screamed again, she'd be dead.

She was doing as police recommend in robberies – comply with a robber's demands. But her Lady Smith & Wesson .38 special, which she carries by permit, was hidden in her purse – and the purse was being held by one of the attackers.

Then the situation, suddenly, got much, much worse: One of the robbers demanded that she take off her clothes.

"Come on, what are you waiting for," he told her as he started to yank on her sweatpants, trying to take them off.

Here's everything you need to know about firearms and ammunition

Smith pleaded for her safety and distracted the attackers by telling them she would get her money, which was "in my purse."

The robbers inexplicably allowed her to drop to her knees and crawl across the floor to her purse, which the second attacker had dropped.

She reached inside, and the first shot was clear of the muzzle and into the torso of one of the attackers before she even pulled the weapon clear of the purse. Four more shots followed shortly and, in the end, one of the attackers was dead and the second was hospitalized facing a murder rap for having participated in a felony in which someone died.

Smith, in an exclusive interview with WND, explained she comes from a family that believes in self-reliance and courage.

"I choose to carry a concealed firearm, because even though I am immensely grateful for the protection from our police departments, I realize they're not God, so they can't be everywhere at once.

"Deadly situations can happen in the blink of an eye," she said. "If you are not proactive … you are a vulnerable target."

Smith, an Endowment member of the National Rifle Association, said she's carried a gun for almost half a decade, but never dreamed she'd be in a situation where she'd have to use it to defend her life. But she's glad the training she's had over the years kicked in at a time when it saved her from injury, or possibly much worse.

"Ironically, I thought I was really prepared," she told WND. "I remember that night and saw my life flash before my eyes. Darreon Carter, the man who was attempting to rape me, had me pinned down to my couch, with a knife at my throat. I knew I didn't have access to my gun. I thought to myself, I really need to have a firearm for my home, and directly on my person."

Mess left by two attackers shot when they invaded Oklahoma woman's apartment and she shot them. One died. (Photo by Steven Conrad of Conrad Images)

Rachel Parsons, an official for the NRA, said, while Smith's case is among the more dramatic, there are similar scenarios that have been reported. But even more, there are many crimes that simply are not carried out because of the possibility that a "victim" is fully armed, she said.

"We see every day in newspapers across this country times when law-abiding people are able to protect themselves because they have concealed-carry permits," she said.

"Numerous studies [show] having a concealed-carry permit, having a firearm and the ability to use one, has thwarted crime without the firearm ever having been fired," she said.

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

All the gun laws, regulations, rules, restrictions, plans and advisories in the world are not going to change the fact that criminals have guns, she pointed out.

"By definition, criminals break the law. All of these regulations do absolutely nothing [to stop] criminals," she said.

Jason Willingham, a public-information officer with the Tulsa Police Department, told WND that officers encourage people to cooperate with robbers if they find themselves in the situation of losing a wallet or cash.

"However, if it's a situation where a rape is going to take place, or a kidnapping, we definitely encourage people to fight," he said. "You do not want to go willing. Scream. Make people wonder what's going on."

"Obviously, in this situation she did exactly … the right thing," he said.

While the prosecutor had not yet made a formal decision regarding her case, Willingham told WND that Oklahoma not only has a "make my day" law allowing residents to use deadly force inside their homes, but also a "stand your ground" law allowing force to be used against an attack outside the home.

He said the surviving attacker probably will face a murder charge under a state law allowing that charge when a person embarks on a felony and someone dies.

He said the two perpetrators are "well-known" to the Tulsa police "for criminal activities."

He said he had reviewed the 911 tapes made of Smith's call to police after the shooting.

"It's amazing. She's calm and collected. You always wonder what would happen in such a situation," he said.

According to records, the attack happened early on the morning of July 15, and one of the intruders, Darreon Carter, 18, died hours later in a hospital in Tulsa. The other, Daniel Holman, 23, was facing charges while still in critical condition.

Capt. Travis Yates of the Tulsa Police Department told the Tulsa newspaper it seemed to be an "opportunity crime."

"Somebody saw a woman walking up to an apartment, and they decided to commit a crime, and here we are," he said.

The attack developed only about 24 hours after another home invasion was reported in the area – and that one left a resident dead. Willingham, however, told WND it was unrelated to theSmith ordeal.

On the Tulsa World forum page, Smith came in for virtually unchallenged praise:

* "The scumbags got what they deserved and I hope it is a lesson for the rest of them out there."

* "God bless this shooter."

* "Pay attention to this one. This is what is going to have to start happening to let all these no good punks [know] that you won't stand for it and are taking your freedom back. … You come to take whats [sic] mine 'I will shoot you.'"


* "Buy a gun. Learn how to use it. Kill intruders. Any questions?"

* "A perfect example of why we need the concealed carry! this is my kind of woman! fight crime! shoot back!"

* "Lock and load people, it's a different world out there."

* "I love the great equalizer."

* "This story makes me feel all warm and fuzzy."

Smith told WND she had come into her apartment after a late-night run for errands – she keeps unusual hours because of shift work at a hospital. She had one more item to fetch from outside but never got the chance because, within 20 seconds of her entering, the suspects followed.

She recalled with clarity the five shots, including those in which she picked out the attackers even though her boyfriend, black like the attackers, was struggling with them. He had been visiting and came in from the next room after the shots rang out.

He reported to Smith later that one of the attackers actually had a headlock on him when she fired, knocking the assailant off of him.

He had jumped into Smith's defense as both attackers were beating Smith's face and head, trying to knock her out to break her "death grip" on the weapon.

"We need to stand up and we don't have to be victims," Smith told WND. "We don't have to passively stand by and allow criminals to overtake us."

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trash Can Smoker

I found this over on the APN Forums and thought it was a great idea.  Thanks SwampRat!  To see the pictures go here.http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=196&t=2815#p27688

[quote="SwampRat"]So I built a Trash Can Smoker today.  I read a couple of websites on this beforehand.  But something you'll learn about me is that I pretty much gotta do my own thing.  So I used basic concepts and then added a whole new twist to the Trash Can Smoker idea.

The basic idea behind it is first of all I cut the bottom off the 32 gallon galvanized trashcan.  I have a 10 inch terracotta pot sitting directly on the ground to hold coals.  I set three bricks around the pot to set the trash can on to allow a little airflow.  I was unable to find a grating that would fit.  So I got a piece of 24 by 24 inch expanded metal, and cut it to fit.  This is wedged in very tightly and makes up for the support lost by cutting off the bottom.  I don't think this is necessary, but it's little touches like that, that make it a Tactical Smoker, instead of a Trash Can Smoker. ;) I drilled  2 holes on either side by the handles 9 and 1/2 inches below the rim and 5 inches on either side of the seam. I ran a 15 inch piece of 5/16 threaded rod between holes on opposing sides and secured it with lock washers and nuts.  The expanded metal grating fits firmly against these and the sides of the can.  OK now for what you don't see.  I have a water pan that balances above the terracotta pot to steam and catch drippings.  Also you may notice 4 studs sticking from around the rim about 4 inches down, these support another slightly smaller rack that's not in these pictures.  Today was just a test run and "burn off".  With just that small amount of charcoal (enough to fill an old fashioned charcoal starter), and 2 small chunks of hickory the Tactical Smoker maintained 230 to 200 degrees for just over 6 hours!!!, I lifted the lid a few times to glance inside, but other than that I did not mess with it.  One advantage to my Tactical smoker is that if you need to adjust the fire you simply lift the entire can (not the lid) a few inches and set aside while you add wood chips, this causes the heat to stay in the smoker instead of rushing out the top when you remove the lid, or out the side when you open a side hatch.  I estimate that I can fit 6 average size racks of baby backs in this, or about 3 racks of baby backs and 3 whole chickens or 2 racks 2 split hens and a bunch of veggies like squash and corn.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this.

For those of you with a sharp eye, yes that is a 1965 Chevy c10 with a Honda 3 wheeler rear end sticking up out of the bed pushed back in the tree line :-)[/quote]
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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Wonderful FoodSaver

I love my FoodSaver. My hubby bought me mine as a Christmas gift. (I know, he's romantic like that! ) Truth be told though we both really wanted one and they were having a sweet deal thru the survivalblog last year. (And free shipping)
There are tons of ways to use one of these wonderful tools! The one most people are familiar with is the use of bags to freeze meats, veggies, fruits, anything you want to keep air out of.
I had to flip my freezer recently and found several packages of different meats I had put up last year around this time. Still as good as the day it was sealed!
Our FoodSaver came with two rolls of bags, a vacuum hose, a wide mouth jar sealer, and a large and small canister. Well it wasn't long before I discovered how expensive the bags can get. I'm pretty particular now about what I use my bags for. But the use of jars really started getting my attention. If the lid's are good and you get a good seal you can put up all sorts of stuff. I use my old canning lids for this and they work just fine. It also recycles those old lids.
Just think, you can open a fresh can of coffee, pour it in a jar, seal it up and it will retain its freshness. We don't drink alot of coffee ( I know....weird ) so vacuuming it makes good sense.
If you looked in your fridge right now....do you have an onion or peppers or some veggie in a plastic ziplock? You know you do. I use jars to seal up all those type things up in jars and set them in the fridge. They last at least twice as long stored in jars. I hate tossing out fresh veggies because I didn't use them fast enough.
Another wonderful thing to store with the FoodSaver is cheese. I hate it when my cheese starts to mold. Put your bulk cheese in jars and vacuum seal them after each use. You would be amazed at how long cheese will keep like that. With no mold either! I even put up my leftovers in jars and seal them. Again, they keep longer.
I use jars to help with food rotation as well. I have buckets of things stored and when I need to get into some them, I don't really need the whole bucket. So I will fill a jar with dry milk,yeast, or sugar, or salt or "fill in the blank" and reseal the bucket. Then I vacuum the jars after each use.
Eventually you run short on jars!
So here I was using all my widemouth canning jars for storing dry goods. I didn't have (and still don't) a small mouth jar adapter. It set me to thinking. I went surfing the net and finally found a solution. And not just ANY solution. I found a way to not only seal my smallmouth jars, but almost any jar that has a rubber gasket for a lid. Like your spaghetti sauce jars, jelly jars, peanut butter jars. Anything with the rubber seal on the lids. It doesn't matter what weird size lid it is. Even Pace picante jars with their weird shape can be used. The secret is......the large canister that came with my "package" deal. You can buy these separately at their site. You fill your recycled jar, put the lid on it, place it in the large canister and vacuum the air out of the canister. Release the vacuum and take the jar out. The lid should be concave and sealed. It works great and I don't have to forfeit my canning jars. Just be sure to check your jars for a good seal while doing your pantry check. I have found that sometimes,even when using regular canning jars, they sometimes loose their seal. Therefore, I recommend using bands on your vacuumed jars. You don't want a surprise when you go looking for that jar of dried carots!
There are tons of other uses for the FoodSaver, but I will save that for another time!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act Passed in House and Senate

"Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act" Passed in House and Senate
The “Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act", sponsored by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Charles Keys, recently cleared the State Senate with a 39-3 vote. It now heads to Democratic Gov. Brad Henry for his signature.
The Oklahoma House voted 81-14 on Tuesday for the “Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act,” sponsored by state Rep. Charles Key and Sen. Randy Brogdon, an Owasso Republican and gubernatorial candidate.
The bill says firearms, gun accessories or ammunition produced in Oklahoma would not be subject to interstate commerce laws and federal regulations if the items remain in the state. The bill does not apply to certain large firearms and exploding ammunition.
Read more at http://adaeveningnews.com/local/x993513987/House-OKs-bill-to-exempt-fire...

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Before You Go Horse Shopping

Today I am pleased to share with you an excellent primer on things to consider before buying a horse.  My friend WomanWhoRunsWithHorses ( we call her Hoss Boss for short )  over at Hoof n' Barrel is a wonderful source for all things "Horse".  Check out her blog and say hello!

Before You Go Horse Shopping

I ran across an unusually written ad on Craigslist last week. As a long time horse owner myself, I found it humorous and enlightening at the same time. Read it below and then I'll point out some things.

For Sale-1000 lb breakfast sausage (10 yr old bay mare) - $300 (southeast Nebraska) I have for sale a nice bay mare. She is 10 years old and is half Arab and half paint. She is easy to catch and gentle to work with. Lifts all feet for cleaning. Very pretty perky ears. Tame and leads and loads easily. No biting or nipping. Teeth in good shape. Recently wormed. Bucks like a rodeo bronc. Nice disposition. Good with other horses. Bucked off my daughter and will be turned into sausage if she is not sold. I will not sell her to someone who is not an experienced horse person. Would consider selling her to someone with a bad mother in law. She does not just give a couple bunny hops, she gets good height and leg extension. If you know a good rodeo contractor, let me know. Would make a nice pasture pet like a lot of other horses are, just not in my pasture. She might make someone a nice brood mare. Very gentle to handle. Just bucks like a banshee. Get some PETA buddies together and save this horse from the sausage grinder!

The author of that ad sounds like he might know a thing or two about horses, but it's clear that his purchase of that particular horse was a mistake from the get go. His frustration, however humorously he expresses it, is very apparent and scenario he describes is a good illustration of how much can go wrong when the right person buys the wrong horse.

Being human, most of us get stuck on that passage in Genesis that says God gave us dominion over all the beasts of the field. Trouble is, most of the beasts have never read Genesis. That's where our innate intelligence comes in. We are (most of us) smarter than the average beast, but we also lean toward being egotistical and self-impressed. We forget that God's other creatures (in this case, the horse) don't automatically know we are smarter and therefore expect us to prove it.

Learning to ride and handle a horse is not like learning to drive a stick shift or a motorcycle. Horses are living, thinking beings with personalities and dispositions as varied as the people who choose to own them. Since the average full-grown horses weighs around 1000 pounds, it's really important that the horse and the horse owner are a good match on all levels ...riding ability, skills and yes, even personality.

If you have never owned a horse before, there are some things you should know going in. Horses need more than food and water to remain physically healthy. We keep all our horses barefoot (no shoes) but their feet still need to be trimmed by a qualified farrier every 6 to 8 weeks. The cost ranges from $20 to $40 per horse for a trim, depending on where you live. If you put shoes on the horse, $60 and up. But shoes only last 6 to 8 weeks too and they will have to be pulled or reset. There's a old saying, very simple but very true, "No feet, no horse." What good is a lame horse ...to anyone? So plan on taking good care of your horse's feet.

Some people have their horse's teeth tended to by a vet or even an equine dentist once or twice a year. There are several schools of thought on taking care of a horse's teeth. I've known people that think it's down right neglect not to have a horse's teeth tended to at least once a year at a cost of around $100. They argue that we have our own teeth tended to, why shouldn't our horse? I am at the other end of the spectrum. I adhere to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' philosophy. I don't have my dogs and cats teeth cleaned either. If any of my animals have a tooth problem, I get it taken care of. But unless and until there is a problem, I don't see the point.

Just like your cats and dogs, horses need annual vaccinations. Rabies is required in some states and advisable (in my opinion) in every state. It's a $10 shot, but in most places it is required to be administered by a licensed veterinarian so if all you got was Rabies, it would end up about $75 including the barn/office call. We also give our horses VEWT (Venezualan East-West Encephalitis plus Tetanus) and West Nile which cost a total of approximately $35 and can be administered by anyone. So if you order the vaccinations in single-dose syringes, you will have invested approximately $50 including overnight shipping ...which is about half what the vet will charge you. There are other vaccinations out there but you will have to weigh the risks and make your own decisions. As far as I know, all 50 states require an annual Coggins test. Blood is drawn and sent off to a lab to determine if a horse is infected with what the old-timers used to call 'Swamp Fever' ...more properly known as Equine Infectious Anemia. There is no vaccine and no cure for this mosquito-borne disease. Once a horse tests positive, they are allowed to be retested ONE TIME and if there is a second positive, the choices are euthanasia or permanent quarantine. The cost of the Coggins is about $20.

Other than that, a horse's basic needs are simple. Water, food, forage (hay or pasture) and room to move around. A run-in shelter, usually a two-sided or three-sided shelter where the horse(s) can come and go at will is nice. If you have woods in your pasture, you really don't have to have a man-made shelter . A horse just needs a place to get out of the more extreme elements. Our place now consists of an 8-acre pasture that is approximately 1/3 wooded. The woods provide a wind break, relief from a hard driving rain in the winter, and shade in the summer. There is a catch pond (not spring-fed, but collects rain water) that they prefer over the troughs for drinking water and open sandy areas where they can enjoy a good roll. We have a smaller (approximately 1 acre) paddock in the front of the house that we use when we want to school a horse or if we have rookies over to ride. It has a few trees, a tiny pond (spring fed because it has water in it even now) and a round pen set up in it. Between those two areas is what we refer to as the side yard. It's a sacrifice area meaning the horses have eaten it down to nothing because it's only about half an acre in size. But it is where we keep the horses at night in order to give the pasture grass a rest. We keep a round bale in there for them at night and one round bale lasts our six horses two weeks. These are big rounds, 5 x 5, approximately 1100 pounds each. Horses are not called hay burners for no reason. A horse quality round bale is running about $85 these days because of the ongoing drought. In addition to providing forage and round bales, we feed our horses a pelleted feed twice a day. The amount we feed them varies according to their individual needs. But we spend about $100/month feeding six horses.

Now, in summary, you can expect to spend approximately $1000 caring for and maintaining one horse for one year. It's pretty obvious that owning a horse is an expensive undertaking and the term 'horse poor' might have some basis in truth! But even with the expenses and the physical labor involved in their care, the rewards of horse ownership are indescribable. Take the time to work out all the details so you can provide proper care for a horse and arrange your schedule so you will have time to invest in a true relationship with a horse. Then, and only then, should you start shopping for a horse.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just Do It

What with the  rising cost of food, gas, utilities and more taxes on the horizon what are you doing to prepare for your future?  I'm not even talking about your long term future but the near future.   If you aren't already preparing isn't it time that you started?  For some, just the thought of trying to prepare for the future can be a bit overwhelming. It doesn't have to be.  You don't have to have a year's worth of  MRE's put back.  You don't have to order # 10 cans of food from a mail order store.You don't have to have all the "really cool" stuff you see on websites proclaiming that you simply HAVE to have this product to survive.  All these things do have a place in prepping but it is absolutely NOT necessary to start with these type supplies.  And it doesn't have to be expensive.
With prices going up in the stores everyday I decided to begin my preps by investing in food.  My reason was and is simple. Food prices are going up and they won't be going down. What you invest in your food storage today will save you money in the future.  For example, last year a can of tuna was around $0.59 a can around here.  Today it is around $0.79 a can. Who knows  what it will be next year. You are already ahead of the game if you start now because it WILL be more expensive next year.
You don't have to break the bank either.  If you are going to have tuna this week just pick up an extra can.  One extra "item" at a time may not seem like much at first but it does add up. When I started working on my food storage I approached it in little steps. 

Make a list of meals your family eat regularly and what ingredients it takes to prepare those meals.  This is a great place to start. You really want to remember the motto " Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store".  For example, if your family doesn't or won't eat Spam why would you want a case of the  stuff when there are other things that they will eat instead?  We happen to like pinto beans and rice.  It's a regular meal for us.  So when I pick up a bag of beans or rice I will pick up an extra one for later. This is just an example but I'm sure you understand how this will build up your food storage.  These days, if something is not on sale or I don't have a coupon for it I will rarely buy it. 

Take an inventory of what you have in your pantry. Could you make it 3 days? 5?   If a natural disaster happened and you couldn't get to the store how many days would your food's last?  This is a good place to start.  Let's say you have 3 days stored.  Set your goal at one weeks worth.  If you are at 2 weeks strive for 4. It always helps to have some sort of goal.

Prepping doesn't have to be expensive and it definitely doesn't have to be overwhelming.  You just have to start..... and what better time than now?

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Oklahoma Militia

From the website of  Randy Brogdon for Oklahoma Govenor  (thanks for the h/t Carrie)

There Already is an Oklahoma Militia Recent statements of mine regarding an Oklahoma militia have been misrepresented, taken out of context and are badly misunderstood. I have stated that the formation of and participation in, an Oklahoma militia is legal based on both federal and state law.
However, remarks I made in historical context were inaccurately reported as my personal opinion. Specifically, historical speculation about the frame of mind of the Founding Fathers as they wrote the Constitution was reported as if it were my deeply held belief. Then these misrepresentations were used to distort my true beliefs, while implying that I have violent intentions.
So let me set the facts straight about my beliefs on dealing with the federal government, the role of a militia in Oklahoma, and how best to effect change in government.
Both the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution protect individual participation in a militia. Membership in such a group is a form of self-expression, so our right to free speech comes into focus. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Our Founding Fathers were suspicious of big, centralized government. However, nobody can mistake this statement as some sort of right to insurrection.
The fact is that Oklahoma state law already establishes and provides for, an “unorganized militia” as an officially recognized part of Oklahoma military forces.
           §44-41.  Composition of Militia - Classes.
The Militia of the State of Oklahoma shall be divided into three (3) classes:  The National Guard, the Oklahoma State Guard, and the Unorganized Militia.
   23.  “State military forces” means the National Guard of the state, as defined in Title 32, United States Code, the organized naval militia of the state, and any other military force organized under the Constitution and laws of the state to include the unorganized militia (the state defense force when not in a status subjecting them to exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter 47 of Title 10, United States Code).
These statutes are not part of overlooked or arcane law. The legislature has rewritten this section numerous times over decades, most recently in 2007.
So undeniably, a militia in Oklahoma is not only legal – it already exists as a matter of fact.
No, Oklahoma does not need to activate the unorganized militia. If we ever do, it certainly won’t be to invade Washington, D.C. In fact, Oklahoma’s unorganized militia is prohibited from operating outside the state.
I do plan to fight what I consider to be an over-reaching federal government, but I will do it with the Constitutional tools provided by the framers. For years, I have advocated adherence to the 10th Amendment as a weapon against big government.
As a legislator for much of the last decade I have routinely proposed new law. When enough of my Senate colleagues agree with me laws are changed or enacted, peacefully. Yet, this week, some people seem convinced that I would abandon the democratic process to wage actual war on the federal government which is simply bizarre.
I was saddened that some in the anti-militia crowd can be as irrational and violent as those they condemn. As this story developed over the week, I received as many as a half-dozen death threats, not only directed at me but at my family as well. One unpleasant person said they would only be satisfied when I am swinging from a tree. Hopefully, the thought was fleeting. The threats were forwarded to the OSBI for investigation.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Behind the 8 Ball- Prepping against the clock and on a budget

I would like to thank Catman  of Catmans's Litterbox for this great guest post. Check out his site for tons of great information and some super down loadable files as well.  He has a great download section for DIY on lots and lots of subjects. He has put together some great information.  It's never to late to start prepping so lets get to it! 

Behind the 8 Ball: Prepping against the clock and on a budget.

If you're new to the whole "prepper" movement, welcome! I'm glad you decided to take charge of your life and have made the commitment to provide for yourself and your loved ones.

By now, you have been blasted with information, and I'm sure it seems daunting. Everyone has an opinion of what is most needed, most important, and what is a must have for your provisions.

As you watch the world spin out of control, you feel even more pressed for time, and in this economy pressed for money. It can simply be overwhelming.

Before you sit down and throw your hands in the air in frustration, stop and think for a few minutes.

Take a look around you. Take stock of what you have. Take stock of what is easily accessible to you.

Primarily, people will need three things if something goes wrong with society: water, food, shelter.

If you have access to a reliable naturally occurring water source (spring, artesian well, lake, river, stream, etc.) you can move stored water down in priority. Don't forget setting aside a method to purify (if needed) the water you have access to.

If you already are producing food for yourself, you may, depending on what you are growing move food down a few notches.

Most people reading this will already have some form of shelter.

Do you see where I am going with this? Good!

Evaluate what you have at hand before you start trying to fill in the blanks on the lists of "must haves". What you want to do is prioritize items that you will not have easy access to.

One such example is medications. If someone needs a specific medication, lay in an extra supply. "Losing" your prescription and calling your doctor for a refill is always a method, but also looking to reputable mail order foreign sources for medicines is a possibility as well. You should also look to natural plant based alternatives should your supply run out and resupply is impossible. Do the research now and set several copies of the information you find aside just in case. Make sure you have the ability to identify, collect, and prepare for use the correct plant should the need arise. If the plants you need to treat a specific condition are not native to the area in which you live, make provisions to raise your own.

James Duke - Medicinal Plants Of The Bible
Ahmad, Aquil, Owais - Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants Into Drugs
Cristophe Wiart - Ethnopharmacology Of Medicinal Plants

Other items that you may not have ready access to are certain "comfort foods" such as chocolate. Having foods that make you feel good, and can lend some sense of normalcy during a crisis, especially to young children, is always a good thing. It will go a long way in maintaining your sanity. Easy to prepare foods, such as canned ravioli, that require a minimum of cooking are also excellent for contending with the early stage of a crisis. Canned ravioli and similar foods can be heated with a small alcohol stove or eaten cold as one prefers or situations dictate.

Alcohol Jet Stove

Look for local replacements for comfort foods. Did you know Carob trees have been planted in many urban and suburban locations as landscaping? Carob is an excellent replacement for chocolate.

Carob or Saint John’s Bread
Maximize your investment by looking for products that have multiple uses which enhance their value. Denatured alcohol is one such item. It can be used as a cleaning solvent, a fuel, and an antiseptic. Don't run down to the local drug store and buy it by the pint. Go down to the local hardware, home improvement, or paint store and buy it in one gallon or five gallon containers. Alcohol is extremely flammable, so make sure you have the ability to store and transfer it to smaller containers in a safe manner. Always have a properly rated fire extinguisher on hand when working with alcohol. Properly ground metal containers when working with alcohol to prevent static discharge. Static discharge can ignite alcohol vapors. If possible, perform your transfers outside away from other flammables.

An improvised grounding system can be made by driving a piece of rebar, un-galvanized steel pipe, or copper rod at least 2 feet into the ground. Four feet is preferred. Pour a cup of table salt around the rod and water into the ground with at least one gallon of water. You can then use a set of jumper cables to connect between the grounding rod and each of the metal vessels containing alcohol.

Plain chlorine bleach is another example. It is a must have laundry aid (even when the world ends, you will still need to do laundry) antimicrobial surface cleaner, and a method of water purification. If you have access to ample water, you may choose to buy granulated pool chlorine (sodium hydrochlorite), which is easier to store than liquid bleach. You can make your own liquid bleach as it as needed. Most plain laundry bleaches are 3-6% sodium hydrochlorite, so to make one gallon of bleach, you would need one gallon of water and about 226 mL (7.5 oz or 3/4 of a cup plus 3/4 teaspoon) of granulated pool chlorine.

Warm the water by simply leaving it in the sun (80-90 degrees F) and dissolve the sodium hydrochlorite in the water. Add the requisite amount of pool chlorine, and GENTLY STIR with a wood or plastic spoon or rod. Don't use metal to stir, and do not cap and shake the container to dissolve the sodium hydrochloride! Wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, and an apron to protect yourself from splashes.

So, you've never owned a gun, but are now wondering if you should? Think of a pump action shotgun from a reputable manufacturer such as Remington or Mossberg. It is a good self defense weapon and can also be used for hunting. Again, maximize the value for your dollar. Don't forget a cleaning kit, and lubricants. If you have never owned or used a firearm, PLEASE take a basic hunter safety course that includes range time. You can find information about these courses at nearly any gun store.

We've all been spoiled by the ready availability of paper towels and toilet paper. What are you going to do when it isn't available anymore?

Many people are saving old phone books and similar as a stop gap measure, but even then, those will run out as well. There are recipes for making one's own toilet paper on the web, but you may not have the time.

In the paint section of hardware stores, and home improvement centers are products often going by names like "Bag O' Rags" or something similar. They contain the leftover material that was used in the production of clothing, or cut up clothing that did not pass quality control. Most frequently, it is plain white cotton material like that found in t-shirts.

These can be washed out and reused many times. These rags can replace paper towels that were used to clean up minor spills. They can also be used for bandages, compresses and even toilet paper.These may also replace certain feminine products that may become unavailable.

As you can see, with some thought, you can make your prepping a bit easier. As time and finances permit, you can expand on your preparations beyond just the basics, but always keep an eye to things that have multiple uses in order to save time and money.


Medicinal Plants Of The Bible link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/uj8e38

Modern Phytomedicine link:http://www.sendspace.com/file/5g4tfo

Ethnopharmacology Of Medicinal Plants link:http://www.sendspace.com/file/vktk43

Alcohol Jet Stove link: http://www.homemadealcoholstoves.co.nr/

Carob or Saint John’s Bread link:http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/carob.html

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fires and DIY Soulitions - Guest Post

I have a great guest post for you today!  I would like to thank Dan Wolfe for sharing this with us.  Some great information here that we can all use. Check out his site at Wolfe's Blog.

We had a house fire a few years ago,
and as I continue to pack for the move to the farm, I am amazed at
the amount of junk we have managed to gather since then. Prepping is
all about being prepared for disaster, that includes personal
disasters such as a house fire. Making sure you have fire alarms, and
fire extinguishing equipment that meets safety standards is vital to
being prepared. But, if your like me, there are two things that occur
to me in being prepared against a house fire. First, knowing how to
make your stuff, and second, fire proof the hell out of everything.

So, the most common form of fighting a
fire is either water and/or baking soda. It is important to remember,
and to teach your children, that you never put water on a grease or
oil fire, it will make it worse! Baking Soda should be placed beside
the stove in the kitchen at all times, enough to not only put out a
fire, but also more then is needed on top of that for baking, because
you know that someone is going to use it for that.

Fire can be put out by removing one of
three things. Either the fuel the fire is using to spread, Oxygen it
is using for combustion, or heat it uses to maintain the reaction.
Mason Sand mixed with Sodium Bicarbonate (ratio 3:1) will remove
oxygen and cover any fuel, good for the horses' stables.

Did you know that you can fire proof
paper? It's a simple recipe. Take one cup of Ammonium Sulfate
(Mascagnite for you rock hounds out there), six tablespoons of Boric
Acid (the same stuff you use to kill insects), 4 tablespoons of Borax
(that's your grandmothers laundry soap), and three cups of water. Mix
the ingredients, and then either dip the paper into the mix, or brush
it on. It needs several coats, so let each layer dry out first.

If your thinking of doing the same to
your raincoat or something else made out of synthetic fabrics all you
need is Boric Acid. By the way, for you preppers down in Nevada,
Boric Acid can be found in it's natural state (colemanite), and might
be something to stock up on for long distance bartering. For the rest
of us, we'll have to figure out a way of distilling it from fruit. As
for fire proofing synthetic fabrics just mix one cup of Boric Acid (1
US cup = 236.588238 ml) into one gallon of water
(1 gallon = 3.785 liters). Soak the fabric, and wring out,
then hang up to dry. Redo after washing. If you know how many gallons
is in your washing machine during the rinse cycle this might work as

I'm a total classic camper, I use the
old fashion Coleman lamps and stoves, and still have one of those old
canvass tents, something I am likely not going to be packing for the
farm. But I will likely keep my eye out for another one, or better
yet, make one myself. The cotton canvass is a classic textile, it's
been used for almost a hundred years for those world famous 1950's
tents. Sleeping in a tent made of that thick fabric is better then
staying at a holiday inn in my book. If you want to fire proof
classic textiles like this you should get your hands on some Ammonium
Phosphate (phosphoric acid with ammonia, do not try to make at home)
and Ammonium Chloride (KEEP AWAY FROM ZINC!). Get a plastic bucket,
not a zinc coated one, and put in 48 fluid ounces of water, and mix
in half a cup of Ammonium Phosphate, and one cup of Ammonium
Chloride. Soak your tent in the buck for at least ten minutes, then
wring it out and hang up to dry. Retreat after it rains.

Every year, houses burn down during the
Christmas season. Part of the tradition of Christmas in our family is
getting a real Christmas Tree, part of the hazard of that is the risk
of a house fire from the tree. Non-LED lights get hot, to many lights
on the same circuit can cause the electrical wires to over heat, and
then there is the fireplace giving off sparks, and maybe you have to
use a candle or two if the power goes out during an snow storm. You
give yourself a little more safety by fire proofing your Christmas
tree with some basic mixing in the water you use to keep it green.
Get your hands on some Ammonium Sulfate, more of your grandmother's
laundry soap (Borax), and Boric Acid. Mix up a batch in four liters
of water (about a jug of milk), two tablespoons of Borax, half cup of
Boric Acid, and a full cup of Ammonium Sulfate. Mix, and then spray
the tree down with the mix, and the rest to the water reservoir under
the tree in the stand.

If your looking for land like my
family, there is always the option to build your own home. No home is
100% protected from all things that can happen, not even your dream
fallout or bomb shelter, but a little extra added protection is
always welcome. You can add some fire proofing qualities to the beams
of your house yourself by mixing up a batch of chemicals you can get
at any industrial supply. What you will need is Zinc Cloride (same
stuff we used to make smoke bombs as kids), Ferric Cholride (check
electronic supply stores, it's used for etching circuit boards),
Boric Acid (can be bought at some home improvement stores), Borax
(check your local grocery store). Mix in these chemicals directly
into 2 quarts of water, about half a cup of Zinc Cholride, a quarter
cup of Ferris Chloride, 3 tablespoons of Boric Acid, and 3
tablespoons of Ammonium Phosphate. Use the mix like you are painting
the beams, do four coats for best results. Be careful with the Ferris
Cholride, it's slightly toxic so use rubber gloves.

Lastly what would a post about DIY fire
proofing be without home made fire extinguishing liquid? Your going
to need Sodium Carbonate (try to get 'washing soda' rather then
'baking soda' if you can there exactly the same, but the washing soda
is cheaper), Alum (Yes the same stuff your wife gets for cooking that
you steal to trap bugs in), Borax, Potassium Carbonate (commanly
known as Potash), Sodium Silicate (also known as waterglass, you can
make this by baking soda ash and sand in a kiln if your a ceramic
artist). It is important to start with the Sodium Silicate
(waterglass), mix two cups of sodium carbonate into the waterglass,
then add one cup of Alum, three quarter of a cup of Borax, and one
quarter of potash. Mix it evenly, then three cups of the result into
one gallon of water. Pour this into a hand sprayer, like the ones
used for spraying crops with insecticides. It needs a coarse nozzle.
WARNING: Potash is toxic (internally). Waterglass is an irritant,
avoid skin contact.

If you liked this post on DIY Fire
Proofing, you'd love the book I used to discover all these and more.

The Formula Manual by Norman H. Stark [ Third Edition ] Stark Research Company

- Wolfe

Thanks again for some great information!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dehydrating Basics (Lets Talk Taters!)

I was asked if I could explain the drying and rehydrating process.  This is my attempt to do so. The question was about potato's but most vegetables use the same process.  Blanching times will vary with different vegetables.         

When dehydrating potato's, there are several ways to do them.  You can slice them for uses like scalloped potato's.  You can dice them in small pieces and use them in many different things.  You can cut them into french fries as well. You can shred them and use them for hashbrowns. This part is up to you.  Peeling your potato's is optional- there are lots of vitamins and minerals in the skins . They look nicer peeled but, again, its up to you.
I will explain the sliced potato's here, but they are all done the same way.
Slice your potato's approximately 1/4" thick. Your pieces should be as uniform as you can make them. This is where a food processor or a slicer comes in handy.  I do mine by hand but that's because I don't have either of them!   While you are cutting your potato's, put on a big pot of lightly salted water and heat to boiling. 

Put your potato slices in a vegetable basket or a French fry basket and drop them in the boiling water. When they start to boil again, let them blanch for for 5-8 minutes.  Have a large bowl ready with ice water. Plunge them in the ice water and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Then spread the potato slices out on paper towels and daub dry.
Another method you can use (I would suggest doing this with things like hashbrowns) is to steam blanch them.

Spray your racks with some vegetable spray and place the potato's as close as you can get them without having them touch.  They need air circulation around them.  Dry them until the potato's are translucent and brittle.  You should not be able to "bend" them.  Let the potato's cool down, remove them from the racks and store them in jars or baggies.  Try to keep as much air out as you can.  This is where my FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer comes in handy.  I like to put them in jars and vacuum out the air.

To rehydrate them,  place the dried potato's in a bowl or pan and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let them sit for about 20 minutes or until re-hydrated completely.  Drain excess water and they are ready to use.

 You can dry just about anything.  Carrots, peas, sweet corn, green beans, cabbage, spinach, swiss chard etc. I also dry tomato's for use in soups and stews.  I like drying  green peppers, hot peppers, and onions for use later in the year when these things are out of season.
I have had problems with rehydrating green beans in the past and asked a true drying guru for some help.  She suggests blanching and then freezing the green beans before drying.  The freezing breaks down the cells so they will rehydrate better  otherwise, they will take a couple of hours to rehydrate.

Here are a few ideas for using some of your dehydrated vegetables. 

I like to do mixed veggies to use as soup starter.  Diced carrots and peas are good together. You can use dried sweet corn (ground up) and add it to flour when making cornbread.  Scalloped potato's or au gratin ones. Dried diced potato's make a great hash when mixed with leftover beef and dried onions.  Cabbage dices  and fried diced bacon and onions or leeks with bow tie noodles is good.  Sometimes I add dried tomato's as well.  How about cabbage soup with potato slices, carrots, and fried bacon?  Hmm, lets see.... pickled beet slices, gingered diced carrots, green pea and boiled egg salad.
Make white bread and roll it thin. Add rehydrated hamburger, carrots, peas, onions and line the bread and make a pinwheel. Let the bread rise and bake. Slice and cover with gravy made from  the rehydrating water.

The possibilities are endless.  So what are you waiting for? 

(thanks to Gen-IL Homesteader from the Illinois Prepers Network for asking about this- I hope I helped a little bit)

Monday, April 5, 2010


I was blogging about wanting to try dehydrating foods last summer. I am a frugal shopper.( ok I 'm cheap!) I had been looking for a dehydrator at a thrift store and just never found one ( still haven't) Well, my mom apparently reads my blog. I got a package out of the blue last summer. A Nesco American Harvestor Pro. I love my mom!!

I began drying everything I could think of. I made a few mistakes along the way, but that's how you learn! Imagine my surprise this Christmas when the package arrived and there were 8 more trays and 5 more each of fruit roll up trays and mesh net!

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve food for long term storage. And if you have a vacuum sealer they will store even longer, as moisture is the main reason for spoilage. I vacuum my dried food in canning jars.

One of the first mistakes I made was with drying potato's. I now know that they should be cooked first. Most veggies need to be blanched before drying. Dehydrating isn't exact science. Its easy, but you might have to play around a bit to see if you need to dry foods longer. Sometimes you might just need to make thinner slices. Oh, and the higher the water content of your fruits or veggies the larger you can cut them as they will shrink more during the process.

Lots of fruits can be dried easily. With some like apples or bananas they should be "treated" first. Rinsing them in a lemon water mix will help keep them from turning brown. Dried fruit is a nice addition to oatmeal and works well in store bought cereals as well. My niece gives dried apple rings to her baby to help with his teething. Kids LOVE fruit roll-ups and they are easy easy to make.
For those of you lucky enough to have strawberries,raspberries, blue berries and such- they dry well too!

Did you know you can dehydrate spaghetti sauce? And tomato sauce? Just think of the possibilities! Its alot easier to store spaghetti in a small baggie that that big bulky can and it rehydrates just fine.

The easiest fruits and vegetables to dry are apples, bananas, berries, cherries, peaches, apricots, pears, peas, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, potatoes, mushrooms, green beans and carrots.

Dehydrating is a great way to save money too! I caught a deal on ten pound bags of potato's for $1.89 a bag. That's half price in my neck of the woods! Well, it is really difficult for the two of us to eat that many potato's before they start to go bad. But with my dehydrator I was able to take advantage of the sale and increase my food preps.
We use alot of onions around here so when I caught them on sale for $0.49 lb I jumped all over it. That week I dried 10 pounds of onions. If you have ever seen the sticker price on a jar of chopped dried onions you know why this one makes sense! For $2.00 I ended up with 3 of the larger size containers they come in. You know, the ones that cost about $4.00 each?
One tip about drying onions ( and hot Peppers) DO IT OUTSIDE! The smell is overpowering. As a matter of fact, onions and peppers are the reason I am still looking for a second dehydrator.

One last thing ... this is one of the best sites I have found on dehydrating. http://www.dehydrate2store.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seed Starter Methods

There are lots of different methods to start your plants from seed. I wanted to share a few here with you. All of them work, and the choice is yours as to which method you like best. 

The first method I'd like to show you is the "Baggie" method. MMpaints @ Self Sustained Living shared this one with us on the forums last year.  This is my second year using this method and it works out well for me.
I like using peat pellets to start seed in.  You can pick these up at most any garden center.  They are relatively inexpensive and work quite well. You will need 5 items- 1. peat pellets 2. a shallow pan 3. ziplock baggies (the ones with pleated bottoms work best) 4. warm water 5. Seeds
Place your pellets in a shallow dish with warm water and let them soak for a few minutes until they expand fully.  Take them out of the dish and plant your seed in them. (one plant per pellet)  Place them in a zip-lock baggie and set them in a warm sunny window.  I have found that if you will put four pellets per bag they will stand more easily. 

You should see results within a few days.  This creates a mini-greenhouse and eliminates the need for watering for awhile.
You can also make your own peat pots using paper towel or TP rolls.  Just cut them into sections and fold the bottoms up.  Then just fill with soil.  These are great because you are recycling and free! These will work with the baggie method as well.

Another easy way to start your plants is by using empty 2 liter soda bottles.  Cut the top half of the bottle off.  Poke holes in the bottom with section and fill with your soil mix.  Sew your seeds and cover with the  top of the bottle.  You may need to make a couple of cuts in the top half to get it to fit back on.
Now here is one that has me intrigued. I really want to try this one at home folks!  Ever considered using your egg shells to start seeds in?  This seems great on several levels to me. And talk about recycling and being bio-degradable!!!  Crack your egg from the top and save the shell.  Rinse it out and poke two or three holes in the bottom.
Fill with soil and sow your seed. You can place three in a 2 liter soda bottle or just set them back in the egg carton until they are ready to plant.

Ok, there you have it.  Some simple and effective ways to start your plants from "scratch"!  Let's get to sprouting!!!

(Cross-Posted @ Bacon and Eggs )

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Challenge

It's springtime Folks! And springtime means it's time to garden!!  More and more people are thinking about putting in a garden this year and there is no better time than NOW.  If you have never tried growing anything before then let this be the year you got your hands in a little dirt.  You will be surprised at how easy it really is. 

I can hear people say..... but I just don't have the room to plant a garden.  I am willing to bet you do and might not even realize it.  Container gardening is easy and takes very little room. With three or four 5 gallon buckets and a window sill planter on your patio, you can be eating fresh salad by June.  There is nothing so good as a salad you grew yourself.  Here's my challenge to you.  Grow yourself a salad garden!  Tomato's, peppers, and cucumber all grow quite well in containers.  Lettuce is easy too.  I personally like using spinach instead of lettuce but that's a personal preference.  

If you are worried about starting plants from seed there are other options out there.  Your local nursery can be a great place to begin.  You can find everything you need to get started there. I have found that people who work there are most always quite helpful and willing to answer whatever questions you might have. Take advantage of their knowledge, that's what they are there for.  This time of year the nurseries are full of starter plants.
When you choose your plants- look for healthy plants with well developed stems. If they look at all "run-down" or "stressed" pass them by.   There are several choices with your tomato's as well as your peppers.  Cherry tomato's are easy to do but then any tomato will work.  This part is totally up to you.  So you now have picked some nice plants.  While you are there pick up some decent soil as well.

Ok, now you have the basics... lets get started.  If you are going to be using 5 gallon buckets you will need to drill several holes in the bottom of them.  This is where I toss some smallish rocks in the bottom to help with drainage.  Fill your bucket almost completely with the dirt. This is were the fun starts! Take your tomato plant out of the little container gently and loosen the roots just a little.  Make a hole in the dirt and stick that baby in up to its first set of leaves.  I know it sounds like it might be too deep but trust me here.  This will make for a stronger plant.  Do the same with your peppers. Cucumbers are another plant that does just fine in a container.  Once you have your plants in their new home give them a good watering and sit back and watch them grow!  Ok admit it... it wasn't all that hard after all was it?
So what are you waiting for??  It's a beautiful spring day and there is no better time to get started!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ready Store Review

Ready Store Review by: Pioneer Living Survival Magazine

Our latest product review is “The Ultimate Ready Evac Kit for 1 Person” brought to you by “The Ready Store (http://www.thereadystore.com)”

We will have to say that we were impressed with the contents of this “grab and go” kit. We think it would be a perfect kit that you might want to keep in your vehicle. It has everything for one person to survive for 7 days.

We tested one of the MRE meals, so simple to make and it even tasted good!

We also tested the backpack fully loaded with the contents on our 9 year old daughter to show that she could carry her own supplies in a time of an emergency.

Although there is a collapsible water container included, we would recommend that you add a plastic drinking bottle for mixing your flavored drink that comes with the MRE.

Reasonably priced, good quality products in the kit, would recommend you have one for each member of your family. Something you should add to your preparedness supplies.

We would give this product 5 stars.

Here is a short video showing the contents and testing some of the products included in the 1 person Ultimate Ready Evac Kit.

Product Features
Free Shipping: No
Supply Type: Grab-n-Go
Supply Duration: 1-Week
Enclosure Type: Backpack
Needs Supplied: Warmth & Shelter, Water & Hydration, Food & Nutrition, Sanitation & Hygiene, First Aid & Medical, Light & Communication, Cooking & Fuel, Tools & Supplies
Situational Usage: Auto, Biological, Earthquake, Electrical, Fire, Flood, Hurricane, Medical, Nuclear, Storm, Tornado
Shelf Life: 5-10 Years
Brand: The Ready Store
Dimensions: 15" x 15" x 15"
Kit Supplies: Food/Water/Equipment
Age Group: Adult
Persons: 1-Person
Product Contents
Enclosure (1 Piece):

(1) Large Internal Frame Camping Backpack
Food & Water (24 Pieces):

(1) 2400 Calorie Food Bars
(6) MRE Deluxe Full Meals with Heaters
(15) 4.227 ounce Datrex Water Pouches
(1) 2.5-Gallon Collapsible Water Container
(1) Potable Aqua - Water Purification Tablets
Warmth & Shelter (8 Pieces):

(1) 2-Person Tube Tent
(1) Emergency Blanket
(1) Emergency Sleeping Bag
(1) Emergency Adult Poncho
(3) 8 Hour Body Warmers
(1) Flat-Fold Stove with 24 Fuel Tablets
Light & Communication (10 Pieces):

(1) Boxes of 50 Waterproof Matches
(3) Emergency Candles
(1) 115 Hour Ready Candle
(3) 12-Hour Light-stick
(1) Heavy Duty Flashlights with 2 'D' Batteries
(1) Solar Hand-crank Radio/Flashlight
Emergency Tools (11 Pieces):

(1) 5-in-1 Survival Aid with Compass
(1) Ready Guide
(1) 50' Nylon Rope
(1) 12-Function Swiss Style Knife
(1) Can Opener
(1) 9' x 12' Plastic Sheeting
(1) Duct Tape - 10 YARDS
(1) Protective Leather Gloves (Pair)
(1) Folding Shovel
(1) Gas Shutoff Wrench
(1) Multi-Function Leatherman Tool
First Aid (4 Pieces):

(1) 81pc First-Aid Kit with First-Aid Booklet
(3) 3M N95 Particlulate Respirator
Sanitation & Hygeine (13 Pieces):

(1) Toothbrush
(1) Toothpaste
(1) Bar of soap
(1) Hand Sanitizer
(1) Comb
(1) Razor
(3) Sanitary Napkins
(2) Tissue Packs
(1) Nesting Camp Cup

(1) Garbage Bag
Oklahoma Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Oklahoma Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.