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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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Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Can't Go Home, Or I can't.

I will do the clothing post at another time.  My heart isn't in it right now and I don't think anyone was hanging on the edge waiting for it lol.
I am optimistic at the start of every new year and am usually happy to see the old one go, but this year I will be very happy to see this year retire.  I got a call from my father's doctor telling me he was in the hospital, and that I need to be there.  The short story is my father is home now recovering after six weeks, thankfully.
I haven't been back to Queens, NY in a long time.   It felt like the population quadrupled since I left and a trip from the airport to the hospital which would have taken 30 to 45 minutes years ago took an hour and a half and it wasn't rush hour yet.  During the car ride, I thought about how many more people there were, how can they evacuate in case of an emergency,  and that I could walk faster than how fast we were driving with all the traffic.  My father stabilized that night and was able to move out of ICU.  He lives in a neighborhood I have never been to and I was staying at his apartment.  It was late and a neighbor of his came and picked me up, another neighbor cleaned Dad's apartment, and even though it was very late, another neighbor offered to cook me dinner.  I was glad my Dad had so many wonderful friends and after hearing about them,  finally was able to place faces with names.   My Dad's place isn't that different from thousands of others on a fixed income.  He has a three room apartment in a basement.  He is actually friends with his landlord, which is wonderful because he looks out for him also and considers Dad a part of his family.  Every dime is watched down to the penny.  The neighbor that offered to cook for me, she and her husband have been unemployed for a while. They all look after each other. 
Walking into my Dad's house without him being there was odd.  He is neat, always was.  Pictures of me and my children were all over and all his cabinets and freezers were full.  Dad has a nebulizer so there is a small generator available.  I had to smile, Dad always felt rich when his cabinets and freezers were full, guess that is where I get it from.  Since he has been ill, he has a scooter with a basket to get around because he doesn't want to rely on anyone, he hasn't been able to drive a car in years.  His new scooter was due to arrive and he was angry because he was in the hospital.  I joked with him that I was going to put a bumper sticker on it that said "It has a Hemi".  
My old accent kicked in a little but an Uncle had commented " Miss Aggie, you sound like a southern belle"  lol.  I was also asked by a nurse's aid if I ate squirrel....I told her no I preferred possum lol.  A lot of people were just curious as to what life was like living in the south which I got a kick out of, you would think I lived on Mars for crying out loud.  Do you miss living in NY?  No.  I think that was the biggest shocker for people.  What I do miss about living close together is that I would most likely have been living by my Dad and helping him.  Where we lived most of our family had been a short distance away but that has all changed now.  I do miss being able to walk to a store or a bunch of neighbors sitting out on a stoop.  I did not miss the traffic, living with people so close to me, the garbage police, pollution, having to be mugger proof and almost stepping in dog crap on the sidewalk.  I did not miss not having the right to defend myself, my home and my family.  I did not miss the cost of living.  It was great spending time with my Dad and my oldest son, though I wish the circumstances had been different.  I visited my old neighborhood and could not believe how much it changed, and not for the better, it was a nice place to grow up.   I was a little sad knowing I would never live there again but I was happy to go home. 
Mississippi, we may be ranked the dumbest, fattest, poorest state in the nation, with the highest rate in teen pregnancy, but we were ranked the happiest, and this Mississippian was damn grateful to be home. 
God bless.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome New Member

Welcome our Newest Member to Mississippi:


Hi. My name is Belle and I live in NW Mississippi across the stateline from Memphis, TN. I have been prepping on and off since last year. By next week, I will buy a solar oven because if the SHTF, I need to be able to cook for my family. There are a couple of things that I am afraid of though; that I will run out of storage room (almost there since my house is only 1286 sqft), or worse that I will not have stored enough items. It is nice to be here and I will be combing through all of the posts for info.

Please welcome our new member by following the link below:

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mississippi Preppers Roll Call

The Mississippi 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:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Covering Your Rear......Literally

It's time for a new series on Mississippi Prepper.  As I look back on past topics I realized we can shoot it, we can stockpile it, we can prepare for it but can we cover it?  If the SHTF and we are not prepared for this aspect of our survival...well folks things could get ugly quick lol.  This will cover how to store clothing for people who can't grow or raise their own source, to those who can.  What animals can do double duty as both fiber and meat source.  Also how to prepare for more delicate matters of hygiene.  More to come!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Katrina and 9/11

No I didn't forget. I don't think anyone has. I didn't post a memorial post because I quite frankly I was disgusted with the political agendas that attached themselves to both. To the victims and survivers of both events God Bless You. We will always remember.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to Join The Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi forum and introduce yourself. The Mississippi 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.MississippiPreppersNetwork.net

4) After you've visited the Mississippi forum, follow this link to learn how to join the Mississippi 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!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What We Didn't Do This Weekend So Far.....

We didn't hire a mechanic to find out we needed a new radiator cap on my van.
We didn't hire a contractor to replace a beam in the porch that carpenter ants inhabited.
We didn't eat at five star restaurants.
We didn't go away for an expensive Labor Day vacation.
We didn't have to go buy meat to grill since we are stocked up.
We didn't pay the electric company for using the dryer thanks to a beautiful weekend.
We didn't hire someone to mow the lawn.

What didn't you do?
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Ready For Fall

Sorry it's been so long between posts. It's been very wet on the coast here lately and I think we are growing webbed feet. I have seedlings up and will be ready to go into the garden first or second week in September. I read an article in the the Wall Street Journal yesterday that stocks of manufacturers of canned goods, generators and survival gear are going up.
Also be on the look out for rising prices in beef, wheat, corn, rice, coffee and sugar. If you see a decent sale stock up.
Gun show was on the coast this past weekend. While I didn't attend, the
opinion of those who did said everything was $200 too expensive.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bleak Outlook

All week I have been reading about high unemployment rates and an unrecovering economy. I heard a story a little while back on how a company was denied by the government to contract with India to make some kind of generator which would have provided jobs and generate millions because it wasn't green. Demand for our wheat is going up because Russia is holding on to theirs. Which is fine I guess, but if more wheat is sold overseas, how much will our prices go up to buy wheat? Big manufacturers are already expecting to increase prices of their goods because the price of purchasing commodities is going up. Economists are predicting less jobs than originally thought and don't see an increase until mid 2011....
Have we hit rock bottom yet? I don't think so. But it might rush up to meet us soon. But, we will be just fine, we know how long Lindsay Lohan was in jail, and the problems with the latest phone from Apple and how much Chelsea Clinton's wedding cost.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

What Kind of Food Should You Store??

There is the main rule, store what you eat and eat what you store. So you have a list of what you and your family eat. Which route do you take? Freeze dried? Dehydrated? Regular canned food? What seeds should I have on hand?
There is a growing trend of families living off their #10 cans of freeze dried food. Which is good, right? Store what you eat, eat what you store. There are recipe books devoted to cooking with large cans of food, which I think is great. My concern is the higher sodium content of freeze dried/dehydrated foods and long term health effect. For natural disasters, or shorter term needs these options are fine and should be included in your food storage preps. If you are thinking of a "oh no, the shtf" outcome, I think that being lucky to come out on the other side of it, you should think of a way to survive it without added health risk specially if you are there all ready. You can store your own preps. Large bags of grain can be frozen for a day and packed in critter proof containers or vacuum packed. I have a food sealer that works great for this, you can grow and can your own produce, and you can rotate regular store stock cans of food. This is mostly what I do. I don't think that just going one route is the answer and you should consider all options before investing heavily in your food preps.
Now seeds. Should I store seeds? Yep. Same thing grow what you eat, eat what you grow. More so with seeds if you have a limited garden area or container garden. Do your homework, know what grows best in your region and when. Over to the left I have a link floating around there somewhere for the Mississippi Extension Service website and they are an excellent resource. I have a link for succession planting here! When buying freeze dried seeds look for one that has mostly what you eat, but when you can eat it. You would want to look for a combination of 30 day and 60 day crops for a smaller plot and 30,60,90(120) days for large plots. Apartment dwellers need to look up best seeds for container gardens, so many things can grow in containers and, in a big shtf scenario, seeds can be used for trade and currency.
What if we get nuked?? Well, stock up on your #10 cans. Rotate often. If we make it through, I'll be looking for you, probably with less teeth and hair and an unnatural glow but we'll all start over together.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean

From what I gathered this morning Tropical Storm Bonnie will barely be a tropical storm. It will be enough to cause BP a lot of trouble since they are evacuating and Lousianna is preparing for a category 1 hurricane. Now is the perfect time to beef up your hurricane supplies if you have not done so already. I am hoping this falls apart early and is nothing but a nusiance because it will really look like the shtf down here.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot enough to boil oil

After a huge bout of rain, the heat returns! World-wide press announces the oil well may be capped by the 27th of July. The local newspaper states it could be as early as Monday and never fear we could be enjoying "happy, fat shrimp" in three to six months. I don't know about that, just stop the damn thing from flowing. The U.S. Attorney General has sent notice to BP's lawyer to notify them 30 days in advance of transfer of assets. Why? From what I read on the web, BP would do well to declare bankruptcy and voluntarily break up the company into smaller pieces. Do they have to comply with the U.S. request? No. They received permission from our Government to drill, they aren't going to take all the blame in this no matter what is said with lawsuits looming.
If we have a hurricane, evacuation will be mandatory. The government is trying to set a new guideline in motion now that we have oil. I'm not sure how far inland would be effected since saltwater brought onshore from Katrina had damaged and killed trees 100 miles inland.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Oil in Mississippi

In the paper the other day it was stated that if you go out to fish and your boat has oil on it, it will not be allowed back into the harbor. The back bay is going to get pretty crowded as well as the lakes. With the oil in the gulf, it has given a little spin to our hurricane weather forecasts. Usually we would be told to watch, wait and we just don't know for sure if it will go toward us or away from us. This time around they let us know early it wasn't going to be a threat. Clark Howard, a millionaire tightwad who has a show on the weekend told viewers if they wanted a cheap vacation to go to the gulf. Sure Clark, if they don't care about beaches and boats and possibly getting stuck in a tropical storm or hurricane that's going to make this oil spill an even greater hazmat nightmare. I don't want our economy to go down the tubes...again, but did the state really think the oil was never going to show up? Everyone is so busy with their CYA tactics that I am just disgusted with the whole thing. If you haven't thought of it already, I'd add a few bottles of Dawn dish washing detergent to your hurricane preps for the aftermath and that is not just for the coastline, if we get a tropical storm or hurricane it's going to carry this oil far and wide.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hot enough for you?

My garden looks like a jungle between combating weeds and my plants getting taller. Someone send some rain down! With our temps in the 90s and our heat index over 100 be careful out there! Some quick tips:

1) Stay inside during the hotest parts of the day.
2) Wear light loose fitting clothing and a sun hat.
3) Carry around and drink from the water bottle frequently.
4) Add a little more salt to your diet.

If I am not out weeding before 9 a.m. it's a bust for me, too hot. Some people are more sensitive to the heat than others so you need to be aware of how your body reacts. My neighbor yelled over "Hot enough for you?" I had to let him know it isn't this hot in hell lol. But oddly enough in the heat if you work with yarn, crochet, knit, weave, this is the time you want to work on things for the winter. I can crochet but am patiently trying to knit. It makes me crazy to think I can't do something and this is the umpteenth time I have started to knit.
Anyway, becareful and stay cool!
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catching up

I apologize for my lack of posting, I can't believe it's been so long!
As the state officials cry "the Coast is Clear", a friend of mine came in off his boat the other day to say there is oil in Pascagoula. The start of hurricane season has quite a few folks uneasy to say the least. A hurricane now would make the whole coastal area a toxic dump. The weather channel has been on the coast all week for "Hurricane Week" and has a lot of info on their site. Previous articles from Mississippi Preppers are to the right of this page under hurricanes. Sometimes though, you forget the simple things. One thing I forgot to suggest is to turn off your mains when you leave or when the storm hits. Turn off you main gas, water and electric. One home I know of didn't do this and didn't flood from the hurricane but the ice maker damaged everything.
As for the garden, things are coming in. Potatoes have been dug up, okra, eggplant, peppers, cherry tomatoes and squash have been filling the counter top here. Some of my varieties of smaller tomatoes got wilt but the rest are doing fine. Stink bugs have arrived and I've been diligent in spraying. I love this time of year, not just for the growing but for the sharing. Someone is always growing something someone else didn't and I've received cucumbers from one neighbor,and my fisherman neighbor brought me some beautiful trout the other day despite the oil spill.
We recently went on a trip to Missouri and the weather was wonderful. They have had a lot of rain before and after but on the way home we got to see a lot of tornado damage from a few weeks ago. I know we have hurricanes, but with tornadoes there is very little to no warning and a lot of destruction in a short time. It seem the oil spill has overshadowed out counties to the north and I hope they recover quickly.
On the plus side I finally got my deer meat lol.
I will post again soon and thank you for being patient! As always we are looking for writers and please leave your comments.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

From Near the Murky Waters

Our neighbors over at Bay St.Louis, now have visible, detectable oil. Some people are doubting we will get any on our beach, but maybe that is just being hopeful. So far our waters here will be open 20 miles out for another week. Lawyer ads are just flooding the television and air waves. BP is juggling the situation as fast as they can. A friend attended the four hour training, and I quote "that trains you for nothing." There is a sense of - we have to do something, when all we can do is wait. I think for the most part we are used to disasters that come quick, inflict damage, then go. We are resilient in our efforts to clean up and rebuild but a slow moving disaster well, I think some are ready to jump out of their skins.
On a non-related note, who has a garden in? How's it going? All this rain has made the garden spring up, fill in and produce. I have already been pulling peppers and tomatoes, squash and eggplants look very promising.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

More Oil Slick News

Rumor has it that with all the wind that we are having most of the damage will be west of us. Another rumor is that BP has a gag order on the press because it would prejudice future lawsuits so the pictures you see in the paper will be limited. I wouldn't breath a sigh of relief because that sucker is still pumping out oil and well, the wind could change.
Aside from that, with all the disasters going on, I never made a huge the "garden is in" post. It has been in for a while now. We have the new bed we share with a neighbor and I have two beds going here. I'll have to take a picture of the new bed to show you.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Volunteer Info

Volunteer training:
•Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus – Gymnasium
2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday
•Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jefferson Davis Campus – Room U202
2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday... See More
•Pearl River Community College, Hancock County Center in Waveland
2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday to Friday
This response training is hosted by local elected officials, BP personnel, community organizations and MGCCC. These training sessions will qualify volunteers to participate in pre-landfall beach cleaning to minimize impact to the beaches. Federal, state, and private entities are asking any volunteers to attend training to ensure their personal safety and well-being.

After completion of training, volunteers will be assigned to a beach location in the same county as their training. Those who attend the 2 p.m. training will be provided with a 4 p.m. meeting point, the 4 p.m. sessions will be given a 6 p.m. meeting point, and the 6 p.m. sessions will be given a 9 a.m. meeting point for the following day.

Here's a list of the beach clean up locations and times:

Hancock County

•2pm: Bay St. Louis
•4pm: Waveland
•6pm: Buccaneer State Park
Harrison County

•2pm: Pass Christian Central
•2pm: Pass Christian East
•2pm: Long Beach
•2pm: Biloxi Central
•4pm: Gulfport West
•4pm: Gulfport Harbor
•4pm: Gulfport West Central
•4pm: Biloxi East
•6pm: Courthouse Rd.
•6pm: Gulfport East
•6pm: Edgewater
Jackson County

•2pm: Ocean Springs Front Beach
•2pm: Shearwater
•4pm: Gulf Park Estates
•4pm: St. Andrews
•6pm: Pascagoula Beach West
•6pm: Pascagoula Beach East

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BP Oil Spill

Here is the latest oil spill picture. I haven't been vocal about this because I'm watching to see what happens like everyone else. What I know is that the equivalent of 60,000 barrels of oil is coming out a day and when it hits us it's going to be have an outstanding long term affect on our ecosystem and seafood industry. Never mind Washington and BP making sure BP is to blame, it's still going to do major damage to the gulf coast and beyond. We can only do what we can. Thanks to a life long resident and activist here on the coast I have the following information:
To volunteer: 1-866-448-5816. If you have a boat: 425-745-8017. To report oiled wildlife: 1-866-577-1401. Spill-related damages: 1-800-440-0858. If you can"t come help, PRAY!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Please Pray

Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Yazoo, Holmes and Choctaw counties and also to the other 15 counties who were afflicted with tornadoes yesterday. The National Guard made a fast appearance thankfully and I pray that they can recover quickly and heal with time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home Improvements and Hurricanes

The weather has been sunny and windy. The wind has not helped us in our quest to finish painting the house but the temperature is just right for other things. It's helpful to make a check list of the things that need to be done. I had been lucky in the past, for example, in my old house I went through hurricane George in 98, it took down a tree but I had minimal roof damage. Fast forward to June of 01 and along comes tropical storm Alicia. She caused way more damage and as I was having a new roof put on the roofer explained to me that I was a damn fool for staying in the house for any storm. It seems that when new plywood went on the house only every other board was nailed down! Then we had some rot in the corner soffits of the house. I had a bad feeling and had it fixed right before Katrina came calling. It was a good thing because if I hadn't, the roof on half the house probably would have blown off instead of just damage as it was the side that was hit the hardest. Also if my ceilings would have been screwed in instead of nailed in it probably wouldn't have had it come down. The subdivision I lived in and the one I live in now was built right after Camille. There are some things that were more up to code, like hurricane trusses and steel framed windows but corners were cut in other areas, like nailing sheet rock and only nailing every other board on the roof! After getting hit with Katrina, most home owners who still had homes pretty much knew where their weaknesses were. And please don't assume if you buy a new home, post Katrina, that your house was built with that in mind. There are some new subdivisions being put up with spit and glue, and right next to and around canals and water retention ponds. Doesn't make much sense to me.
Try to replace damaged wood, secure gutters, think about hurricane shutters and yard drainage. Make sure out buildings can be secured. Decluttering is a good idea also not just to get rid of stuff but to make room for things you have to put away in case of a hurricane. Not just for things outside but if you are in danger of flooding you will need clear spaces to put things up higher. An effort put in now can save you heartache, frustration and loss later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Licensed Carry in Parks

Starting July 1st, licensed gun owners can carry in parks in Mississippi. Here is the article in the Clarion Ledger and another from the NRAILA.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bare Bones

What should you start out with? What is the very least you should have? I make sure that my supplies do not go below bare bones, though they have on occasion. Bare bones for me is a month supply of food, and that is a month supply of food that I do not have to rely on electricity to keep. Also a way to cook it. I have a grill (charcoal), I also have a propane burner, all you boilers and deep fryers know what I'm talking about, and I have two portable burners that have two elements each. Water. Cast iron, you want something more heavy duty to cook on. First aid supplies and medication. I went through Katrina with more food than what I have mentioned above and no generator. In all honesty, where I lived at the time, I would have had to stay up day and night to guard it although no matter where you lived during that time it would have been the same issue. The only thing I wished I had to be more safe as a single mother at that time would have been a gun.
I know some of you are reading this with your mind screaming you forgot this or that but this is just a stripped down version. It's also to show that you might be prepared a little more than you think and to build on it weekly. There is an excellent post on The Survivalist Blog that has links to resources to help aid in your preps. The post is entitled The Ultimate Collection of Survival Links and I am also going to add it to our sidebar. It's a lot to go through.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Looking back and looking forward...

I am amazed at how much information has been shared in over a years time. I was thinking about that this morning as I looked over the garden beds and had to smile. Squirrels have been curious, their tracks are evident around the garden plants. How far have you come in being more self-reliant? I am a far cry from that kid from Queens who used coupons to stock up and made end tables out of bulk boxes of toilet paper. I have lost my taste for store bought produce and processed foods. Neighbors seeing us prepare our new bed and tilling up our old ones had them curious at first, but mostly now think we are crazy for putting so much work into our garden. Looking ahead, I don't see the work that had to go into it as much as I see my freezer and pantry full of food for my family. Not having unsecure debt and keeping up my house provides me with some piece of mind.
Being on APN has also given me piece of mind. What little experience I have at being more self-sufficient shared with those more knowledgeable than I has been great! Help is just a post or phone call away. To everyone who comments, keep it up! You are what keeps us going!
After this long, cold winter both moderators and readers alike, had their share of challenges not just because of the weather but in our personal lives as well. On the main APN board one of our New York moderators needs help, swing over and take a look and if you are able to, lend a hand.
I think the mission here is still the same, we are still uncertain economically. We don't know what taxes will come, only that they will come. Hurricane season still starts in June, and jobs....well you all know how that can or can't go.
I promise more informative posts will come I think I am so thrilled to be out in the warm sun that I have hit a bout of reflection lol. I know I have hit a bout of sun burn and have already been eaten alive by gnats...at Walmart none the less!
As I walked back to the house this morning I looked over my lemon tree. A lot of you heard me whine all winter that I was going to lose it. Well...new leaves are coming and I have blossoms already. We preppers are a tough lot, don't think for a moment we are down and out..we are just waiting for spring lol.
Before I forget, I swung by the opening of the Biloxi Farmers Market. There were some vendors with the promise of more and I did buy some tomatoes, zucchini and I splurged (it was a big splurge) on some local honey and butter. Everyone there was pleasant and it was a pleasure to be there. They also had a huge assortment or bushes, plants, herbs and vegetable plants. It's every Tuesday and Thursday starting at 6 a.m. go early for the best selection.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Second Till

The new bed needed a second till after it was fed a couple of things so that is going on right now thanks to my soon to be bone rattled husband lol. Tilling isn't easy that's for sure. So far between my neighbor and I, this bed will have corn, green beans, okra and potatoes. I don't think it will be too late for potatoes but if it is, heck I'll plant more in the fall. Tomatoes will also go in soon. I'm just trying to keep up with all I want to do and what has to get done. I like this part of the growing season, it's like life, young and full of hope.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Bed

The new garden bed in the neighbors yard has been tilled up and will be re tilled soon. My beds are part of the way tilled. Seed potatoes have to go in...soon. I didn't get to go to the farm supply this time around and I think that it was on purpose. I love the farm supply store and wander around there for a while. Plus I have been threatening everyone with baby chicks so no one was going to take a chance on me going lol. Seedlings are doing well and by the end of the week I will have plants to put in the ground. Usually by now I worry that things will sell out fast but I think as anxious as everyone is to get going with their gardens they are taking their time and letting things heal after the cold winter. The weather has been nice during the day and cool at night. It has been perfect weather for the clothesline we put in last year and I smile every time I take a load of laundry off the line knowing Didn't have to pay the electric company for it. I am still decluttering the house..I think things breed in the house when no one is looking. I am optimistic about this years garden and that it will yield enough to give me an excuse to buy a pressure canner. Maybe a dehydrator.
Looking at current events, the President thinks the Tea Party people are wrapped around a core group looking to take him down. I don't think ever before has a President so outwardly ridiculed, not congress, but actual Americans who did not agree with him and to try to tie it in as a conspiracy theory is an insult. He did it during his campaign and he has continued to do that throughout his time in office. We have a bailout that is not straightened out, we have health care issues, a war and this is what he is worried about. I've been to one tea party meeting..all races, all ages, children playing, no racial slurs, no violence and no death threats. I think Haley Barbour doing a great job calling out the media for giving the Obama administration the longest wet sloppy kiss in regards to health care.
There will be some parts of this you are going to scratch your head about with this post and I have to apologize. Blogger is not being very helpful today.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It just comes in small doses

I was just thinking about the past couple of nights of dinners we have had. One night I made a stir fry with five different vegetables, the other night spaghetti, pork chops with squash and cabbage, and tonight roasted chicken with sweet corn and salad. The majority of all my meals were made from the things I grew. Of course, not the meat, dang zoning laws but it made me smile. Happiness comes in small doses my friends, enjoy it when it happens.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two different views on the same problem

From Tim... [this was a work in progress when his last post was added here]

It has been a while since I have written a post. I started this post over a month ago after a conversation with an extended family member who had lost his cooperate job. He had been out of work for about six months when we had our conversation and now it looks like he has taken our talk to heart and it has helped his family.

Let me first give some background. The reason that he came to me was because I, too, had gone through a lifestyle change a couple of years back where my income had been cut to less than half. This is when my family truly started living a PREPPERS lifestyle. This family member had seen us pack up and move to a small piece of land in the country, living in our travel trailer while we built a small house. He had thought I jumped off the deep end. It wasn’t until he had been without work and was slowly watching his life crumble around him, and my family only thrive, that he started thinking that there might be something to what I was doing.

When he came to me he still wasn’t ready to take the big plunge into a prepper’s lifestyle, but he was looking for a way to get off the downhill slide. Both he and his wife had corporate jobs. They were the stereotypical American family living in the big house in the suburbs, commuting into the city, three children in private school involved in what ever activity the Jones’s kids were, all the newest things. You know them. This family had been blessed financially. They had been able to build up a good nest egg over the years and they’d been using it to replace his income since he had lost his job.

When we had our talk he was down to his last few thousand in the bank, and there was no hope on the horizon for new employment that matched his former income. What I am about to relay in this post is close to what he and I had talked about. Let me say that I am by no means a financial guru. The things that I bring up here are for the most part common sense. I believe that it is good for every one to take a look at what he or she has going on in his life and to see what he or she can do to make things in life better. For those that are just getting started down this road of preparedness, or for someone that is in the thick of the financial crises and needs encouragement, I hope this helps.

The thing that we looked at first was his expenses and what he could cut. The first thing on the list was the credit cards. He and his wife had cards at every store you could think of. Most of them had no balance but they were being eaten alive by fees. To their benefit they had stopped using them for the most part when he had lost his job. They had less than one thousand dollars on credit but when you added up what interest they were paying and the fees it was coming out to over $345.00 per month.

Next thing that we looked at was the food budget. I have eaten at their house many a times, and it always amazed me what was on the table and in the fridge. This family was always on the go like so many people today, the majority of their meals either came out of a box or a bag and the only cooking was the heating except when it was time to have friends over and cook something that made the TV chefs proud. They were spending over four hundred a week on food. After explaining to him that with some planning and actual grocery shopping he could easily cut the food bill down to four hundred for the month saving another $1200.00.

We then looked at were the extras that so many today think are necessities: the cable, the high speed internet, the fancy cell phone, and on and on. When we were able to get all this on paper and see what he could live without this came up to another $300.00 a month saved.

If I hadn’t made him bleed enough, I pointedly asked him why the kids were still in the after school program with him not working and it looking as if he wasn’t going back any time soon. His answer was that the kids got a lot of good out of it. What I said next will let some of my personal views through, but it is the way I feel. I asked if he thought that some underpaid person at a day care was better suited to give his children what they needed or was he. This brought a tear to his eye when he truly thought it through. Needless to say that the kids are now at home every day getting his attempt at home cooked meals. This cut another $900.00.

As we kept talking and I was on a roll, because it is always easier to help others than your self, we looked even harder into what he could do to cut back. The next thing that I asked about was his cars. He had three cars, they were making payment on two and had way more insurance than they needed. I talked him into selling they paid off extra and using that money to pay off the family car. He also cut the insurance down to the lowest that he could in his situation. This saved $560.00. We also looked into other areas that they could cut and found $275.00 more in monthly expenses to cut out.

Just the basic number that I have shown here come out to $3580.00. The amount that we cut out is more than many people make in a month.

I know that some are thinking about how there is still much more that can be cut, and others that think that these things are easy and why he hadn’t come up with this on his own. Just think how many times you have been frustrated trying to find your keys, you have looked everywhere to no avail, then your spouse comes in and walks right to the table next to where you are sitting and says are these the ones you are looking for. It is easy for people in the middle of a situation to not see the things around them. People have things in their lives that they know what the best choice of action is; it just helps to have another’s view to make it clear. Personal finances are a big part of being prepared, it is wise to always look at what you have coming in and going out. There might be things that need to be re-prioritized to get you to your goals.

P.S. in the early eighties there was a key ring that when you whistled it beeped back at you. Does any one know where to get one of those today I sure could use one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Symposium Postponed

Due to work overload on the farm, the APN Symposium is indefinitely postponed. Our apologies to everyone and as soon as we get things up and going again there will be futher announcements.
Plenty of things to do though! Talked with the neighbor and we hope to make plans to break ground on another, larger garden plot soon! I'm trying hard not to be so anxious to get started with the rainy week we have ahead.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't knock old fashioned

From our buddy Tim, who's had some computer issues of late but is back.

I try to make all my posts here to the preppers network be as related as possible. I also try to write posts that are things that have happened in my life that I think someone else might read and walk away from with a new skill or another outlook that helps them be a little more prepared than they were before they read it. This leads me to something that happened to me around the first. Any of you that live down by the MS coast might remember the weather. It was raining hard with a cold stiff wind. On my way to work someone had ran off the road and taken out a neighbors cattle fence. We suspect it was teenagers, because they had been pulled out and were gone before any one was there.

Any one that knows cattle knows that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so when this car from heaven showed up and left this gaping hole it meant that they all had to go out and explore. I wish that you could see the site as I came around the corner. The first person that had arrived on the mass exodus was a businessman dressed for work. He was standing in front of the cows and calves jumping up and down trying to get them to go back. I brought the truck to a stop and jumped out. This person was afraid that one of the cows might get hurt. For me it was just second nature to reach in the back seat of my truck and grab my full length duster, the green wool hat, that used to be brown, and a pair of gloves.

As I started to get around the cattle the gentleman that had stopped first thanked me for the help and said he needed to get his coat out of the car. What I saw next kind of surprised me. He walked over to his care and pulled out what looked like a B.O.B. He reach in and pulled out one of the newest fanciest rain suits you can buy from the best backing store you can think of. He slipped it on and got right back into the round up.

Just about when we would have them headed in the right direction a calf would shoot past him and knock him down. I was impressed, it was apparent that this gentleman had never been around cattle before, but he wasn’t backing down. After about forty minutes we had all the cattle back in the pasture securely. I asked him to stand in the gap while I went to my truck to get some wire to patch up the fence. This gentleman helped me straighten up two T posts and get four strand of wire back up.

After we were all done he asked me where I had purchased my duster. It was at this time that I took a good look at him. I felt terrible. He was a mess, here he was just being a Good Samaritan, and his rain-suit was torn, his clothes, and shoes were ruined. I know that just the rain coat probably cost over three hundred dollars. He was soaked from head two toe.

It was about this time that the owner of the cattle came around the corner and in an upset voice asked what we were doing messing with his fence. After a few minutes of explaining he settled down and thanked us. We all shook hands and were headed in our separate ways, myself of to work, the business man headed home and change before heading into work. I actually spent most of the rest of that day in the rain at work and never gave much thought to the morning events until later that evening when I was looking at a sportsmen’s catalog and saw one of the rain-suits like the gentleman, and all that it advertised to be. In less than an hour of actual work his had been torn to shreds. It was at this time that I truly started to think of what I had on that morning and how it had protected me from the elements and where my clothes backgrounds were.

All the clothes that I had on that day had been designed over a hundred years ago, and for the most part had been unchanged in the last hundred years. Let’s look at it from top to bottom. My hat is a crushable wool brimmed hat, not a cowboy hat but more along the shape of Indiana Jones. It has just enough brim to keep the sun and rain out of your eyes. And it keeps your head worm in the coldest rain. My coat was a full length oil skin duster. I was wearing a long sleeved wool flannel shirt over a long sleeve t-shirt. I had on a good old pair of wrangler jeans, and some leather boots. This is about as old fashion as it gets, but here I was dry, warm, and unscathed by the events of the morning.

I know all the arguments against these old fashioned materials and people talk about buying high end mill speck clothing for there prepps, I have been in the military and have torn through many a pair to BDU’s doing things that would have glanced off a pair of old canvas pants. There is a reason that some designs don’t change. They stay the way they are because they work. For the clothes that I am going to take into a survival situation in the elements, I would take something that holds heat better, but for most of the things that we are getting prepared for we hopefully aren’t going to be living out of a backpack hiding from zombies in the woods. If this is the situation I land in, than I have done something wrong in my preparing. I agree that there is a place for these new materials in our lives but as you are purchasing things for the future don’t get caught up in there hype. Most of what we will be doing after the ball drops is old fashioned hard work, everything that is so easily available today will take hours of work to either make, grow, or repair. It is important to have the clothing that will last through the longest hours of hard work. In these times it is good to have the clothing that has proven itself over the last couple centuries.

P.S. I feel really bad, I didn’t fully catch the gentleman’s name, I think it was Dave, I have past him on the road a couple of times and we both wave. If that was a B.O.B in his car, than maybe he is reading this and we can get together for a cup of coffee at the donut hole.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Goodbye Winter Blahs

This was a beautiful weekend on the coast. My trees are budding and today I got my rear in gear and got some things accomplished. I pulled up some old dead plants out of the garden beds from the winter garden, cabbage and Jerusalem artichokes still going, and then I entered the greenhouse. Depressing. Two of my non-variegated spider plants lived, that's the bright side. After disposing of the bodies, I set out to work. I planted in pots more avocado pits, my two gorgeous avocado plants froze, and set out to pot the blueberry bushes to establish a stronger root base. I have four, a Rabbit Eye Tifblue, a Rabbit Eye Climax, a Highbush Jubilee and a Highbush Misty. They are 2 year plants. This week I hope to start seeds, I'm a little late on that and maybe snag some tomato plants. I also evicted a two year old oak out of the greenhouse that I had been growing thanks to the squirrel family in my live oak, and am thrilled it made it through the winter. It will be a gift to a friend of ours who wants more trees surrounding the house on his homestead. I had taken pictures to share but today my computer does not feel like reading my camera card. I wonder how well a computer tower would work as a planter hmmmm.....

Friday, March 5, 2010

One Year Anniversary

I was looking through old posts I had written, I try not to be redundant most of the time, and that's when I found I had been writing for Mississippi Prepper for a year! It has been a great experience for me and I have met so many wonderful people. Thank you for sharing your lives and experiences with me. This has already been a great year with blog posting. Marica has new land to break in and you have already met Tim through his great posts. Marica is also heading up the Symposium later on this month!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Some Helpful Articles for Budget Gardening and Living

I read a lot. That is what helped me learn all the things I didn't know how to do. I was browsing through my magazines and marked the articles I hoped would help with this subject then went to the sites to find the ones you can read for free. Countryside Magazine has an article on How to Survive on Half of Your Income. They also have another article on there called
How we went from $42,000 to $6,500 and lived to tell about it! And last but not least there is a short article there on the $2 Garden. But wait! Not to be out done, Backwoods Home Magazine has an article titled the $1 Garden. Gosh, you didn't think I would post article links without including my favorite magazine, did you? And last but not least, Mother Earth News has an article on how to Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Debt and Preparedness

I think I have a pretty firm handle on spending and debt and maybe that is why I don't bring it up too often, but the other day I received a phone call; "Good afternoon, I am wondering if you know a neighbor of yours Mr. So and So?". The caller then explains how they have been trying to get in touch with them and could I give them a message or can I give supply current contact information. After I ask what it pertains to I am told it is a personal nature. My response varies when I hang up to the mood I am in and no I do not give out information on my neighbors. This burns me up for two reasons, one is if it's personal why are you embarrassing them by calling their neighbors and two, why are my neighbors living the high life and I have collection agencies calling my house for them? I'm not sure if I have written about this before but it is becoming a common occurrence.
Outside of utilities and mortgage I have no debt. I went down that road with an ex-spouse who could shop you into oblivion and refuse to go back. Part of being prepared is also getting rid of unsecured debt(credit cards), and paying down or off your secured debt(mortgage). I don't know about you, but I don't think being prepared is about sustaining and providing for your unsecured debt. Are there emergencies? Sure! What do you consider an emergency though? You need your car, you need your house, medical, but how much of it is habit?
You need to budget. What you pay first is roof over your head, food in your stomach and utilities. By utilities I mean gas, electric and water, and by food I don't mean NY strip and lobster. Then pay yourself, I don't care if it's only $10 a month. Credit cards, should you work to pay off the one with the lowest total balance first? Only if it has the highest interest rate. The new credit card law is in effect and you can read this on an appropriately named site Creditcard.com. There is no cap to the interest rate and I was talking to a friend the other day, they carry a high balance on all cards, that she already received notice that her interest rates will go up and she wishes for a 35% interest rate now.
What if I cannot pay the minimum balance after mortgage and utilities? They have companies that can negotiate your payments for you, I have never used them but you can negotiate them for yourself. You can call or contact in writing the credit card company and tell them what you can afford to pay. Again, not having done this myself I don't know if it will keep creditors from calling the house.
If credit cards are a habit then the first step is to stop using them for anything but emergencies. A deal you can't pass up? I have yet to see that, okay except for one thing and that was land I should have bought, but I'm young enough yet and there will still be opportunities for that and as much as I would have loved the land I would have not loved the stress the added expense would have cost at the time.
Shop debit or cash for your groceries, entertainment and necessities. Plan ahead if you can. Know the car will need a new battery soon? House needs new windows? Kids need summer clothes (this is mine lol)? Start to put a little aside every payday.
If you shop solely with cash you will better keep track of your expenses.
Need to know how to prep on the cheap? There is more to come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whirlwind of a Month

I apologize for lack of posting. This month has been flying by with multitudes of activities and problems. One of which was my computer. I sit around sometimes and imagine it air born from the window.
This weekend we had a little bit of a teaser of warmer weather only to go back to wet and cold. I have the garden planned out for the most part and finally broke down and bought four blueberry bushes to go along the north fence in the bed I hate to garden in. I can't say that the winter hasn't been useful. It made me realize the holes I have in being prepared, we learned how to make cheese and let me tell you only a prepper would be making cheese on New Years Eve lol. It has also reinforced my resolve to prep on and double my efforts. Why more now? Taxes. Hope you have all been watching the news. I would be doing it any way considering taxes have been going up, my house for instance, over the last three or more years you would think my slab was paved with gold, but I will digress. I don't want to pay taxes for anything that I can provide for my home and family and that comes mostly in the way of food. We may or may not use a neighbors plot for additional garden space, still weighing the pros and cons on that one, but I think with succession planting I can double my efforts. I also hope to use planters and such to add even more. A pressure canner would help with more canned food variety and I hope to have one right after everything gets put into the ground. So, what are your plans? Even though it doesn't seem like it right now, spring will be here before you know it!
Good things to come:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Waiting For Spring

This past Friday the powers that be closed down the schools for "in climate" weather. I guess they didn't want to use the S word but it was a snow day. Probably the first snow day in my 13 years living in the south. We had sleet mixed with rain and some fat snow flakes mixed with rain. Enough to flood the yard. As I trudged through the yard and cleared the back drains it hit me, normally this would have been the time of year I get excited. Time to plant soon! I would have normally scoured the seed catalogues which at this time come once or twice a week, seeds would have been ordered in January and I would have had seedlings in trays. Too many, of course, and I would be giving plants away the first week of March to neighbors. Talk about letting winter get the best of me! Poor Will's Almanac said something about the 15th being the last worry of frost for most of the region.... we'll see, it sure is cold out there. My cabbage is still growing strong and today would be the perfect day to plan out what I will plant, when will be another matter but maybe I will have a hand at succession planting. I did that with the peppers last year. Soon this long, cold, record breaking winter will be behind us so for the next few days I will have this image dancing in my head:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A conversation with a new prepper

An excellent post from Tim for new & 'old' preppers alike. Tim was on James T. Stevens Family Preparedness Guide Blog Talk Radio with Tom Martin (founder of the American Preppers Network) and I last evening. You can listen to the podcast here.

Sorry it has taken so long to write this post, the reserves and life have kept me running.  I recently had to travel to South Carolina do my reserve duty.  While waiting for a briefing to begin I overheard one of the people in my squadron talking about a new hand gun he had purchased.  I then heard him talking about long term storage food which really got my ears up.  I joined the conversation and realized that this person had started prepping and was trying to get his long time friend on board.  I let him know that I too was a prepper and inquired how long he had been prepping.  

This article is some of my observations and thoughts on what transpired.  For this article I will refer to the person that I had the conversation with as Joe.  Joe is a highly educated officer in the USAF reserves; he is also an airline pilot.  He has been through the basic military survival school, and is an avid outdoorsman.  He lives in a major southeastern city in a subdivision.  I learned that he had been “prepping” for about nine months.   I asked him what he had done so far to get his family prepared.  What he told me next I have heard before.  It seems that I have had many conversations like this over the past couple of years and they always seem to go the same way.

The first thing that Joe told me about was his primary battle rifle that he had bought, and the ammo that he had to go with it.  Next he rattled down the list of the other fire arms he had purchased, it read like he used one of the postings from a survival website as a shopping list.  All of the guns that Joe purchased were the top of the line best that money can buy loaded with the fanciest gadgets that can be attached to them.  I hope that the guy at the dealer had a good Christmas, because Joe spent more money than I make in a month.  I to have guns and believe in keeping them, but you need the skills to go with them. 

The next thing that he talked about is the cases and cases of survival food he had purchased.  He had all the best MRE’s and freeze dried food you can think of.  He had spent another small fortune on these. Now some will say I am just jealous that he had the money to do this and I don’t, I’m not.  I am glad that there is one more person out there that I don’t have to feed if things go bad.  Where the conversation went from here is what I want to get out to as many preppers as possible.

Right now there are hundreds of thousand of people that are waking up to the fact that there is freedom and power in being able to take care of yourself and family.  I went through it myself.  There is almost a pattern to the process. It usually goes like this.  First is the realization that our society is fragile.  This brings fear and anxiety knowing that you aren’t prepared.   In this phase most people go out and spend money.  In this phase people don’t have a direction; they just know that they need to do something.  Most people go to the web looking for information.  There are many great sites out there, like this one, but there are three times as many that are either trying to get attention through scare tactics or sell the latest survival gadget.  Joe stumbled across one of these sites and thought that he wouldn’t be prepared until he had the money to buy all the cool stuff.

I then started leading the conversation in a way that I thought would help Joe relieve some of his stress.  I wanted him to realize that it wasn’t just the things that he bought, but his skills to work through a problem.  I started asking some questions that I hope would make him think.  The first question I asked was what he was preparing for, now I know this is a simple question but it is one that we all need to ask ourselves.  If you are getting ready for the end of the world as we know it than the things that you do are different than if you are just trying to be ready for the next winter storm.  If you are getting ready for civil unrest you do some things different than if you are preparing for bad economic times.  It is up to each person as to what they believe.

After realizing that Joe was like most of us and wanted to be ready for just about all events that might come, it was time to change his thinking.  I feel that prepping is not just what you have at your bunker; it’s a mindset that you have to enter into.  It should change the way that you look at every day situations.  The next question I asked was what his plans were if something was to happen right where we were, he was three hundred and fifty miles from his family.  I asked him how long it would take him to walk home if there was no gas.  His answer was pretty typical; he said that he could do it in three or four days.  Most people that are in shape can walk about thirty miles a day if conditions are good.  He hadn’t thought about this.  Next I asked what equipment he had with him to make a ten to twelve day trek on foot.  He had nothing.  I asked him if he had thought about a bug out bag to keep with him when he traveled, he informed me that he had planned to buy one that he had seen on the net for sale, he even showed it to me on his smart phone.  This BOB was being offered by one of the online retailers for $625.  It had the neatest gismos and gadgets; it had 72 hours of food for four people, it was quite slick.  I then asked if he trusted the stuff in that bag.  He told me that he did because it was offered by this great survival guru.  I asked if he had added up the cost of the things in that bag and compared getting everything separate.  Later that day I added it up, and could have bought it all plus some for just under $325.  This also brings me to another point.  Those of us that have been doing this for a while have a responsibility to help the new preppers.  We have been through these trials and errors and know the best deals on the things that we need.

Next I asked Joe what his plans were if the situation that he prepared for lasted longer than his food or if his extended family showed up on his door step.  Our conversation lasted about three hours and we talked the gambit of prepping topics.  It appeared that Joe walked away with a little better outlook on where he was, and where he needed to go.

For most that read this site this stuff is old hat, but there are many out there that are just realizing that they are not prepared.  For those people I would like to give this advice.  There is so much info on the web and in great books that it can be daunting.  Just realize that there are many people that make their living selling survival products, look at what there motives are, if they have found that people will through money at there fears than they are probably not the person that you want to deal with, but if they are someone that has a heart to help then they probably are offering a great resource.

For the Prepper that has been doing this I charge you to step up to the plate and teach.  Teach what you know to people that are just getting started.  Let people know about your mistakes so that they might not repeat them.  If you find a great deal let people know about it.  For every person that we get just a little bit better prepared that is one more person that might not be a burden on the rest of us. 


Signs of Spring


Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I am noticing the throats of the male goldfinches are getting more yellow (getting pumped up for dating season), and that there's a faint redish & brownish tinge to the trees.

In other news


Monday, February 8, 2010

This week: 2-4" snow possible

I would dearly like to think the folks at National Weather have made a mistake, wouldn't you?

550 AM CST MON FEB 8 2010

550 AM CST MON FEB 8 2010







Sunday, February 7, 2010


Just taking the time to ask...Who dat? Geaux Saints!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spam and Comments

If you have tried to post lately, you might notice I have the keyword box up. Now that the Network has grown in popularity we have become a spam magnet. This is going to be addressed on the main APN board as well and if you respond to posts older than 14 days it will be moderated so it's not going to show right away. I am sorry for this because I don't like having to type in the decipher for those wavy words any more than you do, but unfortunately it is a necessary evil now. Please don't let that discourage you from commenting. I love hearing from you.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Keep an eye on government

Who contributes to candidates running for office in your county?

How do candidates you contribute to spend your contribution?

As citizens and patriots, it is our responsibility to keep an eye on government and candidagtes for political office. Open Secrets is a

nonpartisan guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy. Whether you’re a voter, journalist, activist, student or interested citizen, use our free site to shine light on your government. Count cash and make change.

One of my favorite features of the web site is "Get Local" (under quick links). There I learned, for example, that during his 2008 campaign Congressman Childers (MS 1st) paid $22,000 to a polling service... in Alabama. Have we no polling services in Mississippi? Apparently there are not consulting services in Mississippi, either. $37,000 to a Maryland firm. I am of a mind that candidates, especially in states with serious unemployment, ought to keep as much money at home as possible.

Perhaps these expenditures are legitimate, maybe there are no consulting services in our state. This is not:

Expenditure data is only available for members of the House. The Senate has exempted itself from reporting expenditures.

Keep an eye on government. If we don't do it, who will?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Emergency Communications

Tim just keeps cranking away!

This topic has been hit on so many times that to some it is considered over kill; whenever I’m asked to look at a person’s preps they are usually lacking reliable communications. Recently while having a conversation with a friend that is the example of “prepared” he was asking me why I thought he needed better communications. The reasons are simple, all the technologies that we have today are due to more effective and reliable communications. By being able to transmit and store info quickly and reliably we are able to learn more, build on that knowledge, and pass it on so that others can add even more. Our communications network today is one of the most important aspects of our lives, it is how we learn the important information that makes our lives better, it is how we stay connected to the ones we love, it is how we get help in the event of an emergency, it is how we get the news of what is going on around us so that we can make better informed decisions.

Our communications network is fragile. A perfect example of this happened to me on Sunday night. I live in Picayune and am currently in South Carolina performing my Air force Reserves duty, after the Saints game there were so many people using their cell phones that I couldn’t get through to my wife for over three hours, there was no emergency, just too many people on the phone at once. It has been proven time and time again that in the event of any kind of emergency communications go down fast. The only reliable form of communications after any kind of disaster has always been amateur radio. When the twin towers went down it was ham operators that stepped up to the plate. In many areas after hurricane Katrina the only way to get in touch with the outside world was through an amateur radio operator. For months after the tsunamis in Asia the only link to the outside was with a ham radio. The reason that ham radio is so much more reliable isn’t that the equipment is any better, it is because every ham is familiar with his equipment and has the basic skills to overcome adversity and adapt to the current situation.

I know that every person that is a prepper isn’t going to go out and get the amateur radio license so I am going to give a list of what types of equipment are best to have, and what they are used for.

The first and most prolific is the good old CB (citizens band). A CB is good for local communications and most people have access to them. There are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming, if you have the money for the top of the line than go for it, but in my opinion you can get one that will do the job just fine used from a garage sale. I have one that I picked up for $10.00 with a magnet mount antenna. The CB is good to talk to the local surroundings, and listen to things going on around you.

Next is FRS or GRMS. These little radios are perfect for keeping in touch with people in close proximity; they are good for portable communications. Think about the after math of a hurricane, with a set of these, part of the family can stay at the house while other parts of the family can go out and help the neighbor down the road, the whole time being able to talk to the folks back home. These are also perfect when going out as a group, like going to a fair; you can break up to smaller groups and still be in communications. I like to use these when driving with more than one car; you can coordinate potty stops much easier.

Simple AM/FM should not be overlooked. All families should have multiple radios so they can get any info and news on the changing situation. There are many cheep options on the market; I have one that I picked up for $14.00 at wally world, its wind up with a flashlight and radio.

All of these options are good for right around the local area, but how do we get information on what is going on across county, or even around the world? The only way to do this in a situation where the grid is down is to use HF radio. HF radio waves can travel long distances by bouncing of the atmosphere and then back down to earth. HF transceiver with what is called a general coverage receiver will let you listen to all radio communications from around the globe, it will also let you talk on the ham frequencies. It requires a license to transmit on this radio in normal times, but the law says anyone can transmit in an emergency. To go with this radio you need a good antenna, I recommend a general coverage vertical. There are better antennas out there, but this is simple, easy to use, and hard to break. Most of these radios today work off a car battery, so as long as you have a way to charge them they work well off grid. A good HF setup is not cheap, to get a basic setup new with all that you need can run around $1000.00, you can buy them online from stores like Ham Radio Outlet. If money is a problem, and you are ready to do a little research and put some sweat equity into it you can beat the price. I recently purchased an older used radio online for $175.00 and built an antenna with parts from radio shack.

I know that I have played up amateur radio in this post, but it is one of the skills that I think are paramount to being prepared, it is as important as knowing how to make fire in the rain. Today getting your amateur radio license is easier than ever, all it takes is a little online study, or there are classes offered all over the country. In Pearl River County we offer classes throughout the year. The main thing to think about is how will you get the information that you need in a disaster situation? If the grid goes down how will you get in touch with the local doctor to get the help that is needed? In the past when there was a medical emergency Pa had to saddle the horse, ride to town, fetch the doctor, and bring him out to the farm. Most people died not because of their injuries, but because of the time to get to help. With basic communication skills you could radio into town and get the doc headed your way.

I know that this is not an in-depth how to on the subject, but like many of my posts it is to get some basic info out to help people get started on the right track. I hope that I have given you enough info for you to start in the right direction. I hope that you will take the initiative and learn the skills that you need. The most important tool in the situations that we prep for is the skills and knowledge that we have between our ears. With good knowledge people can scrounge the things they need to survive. With cool tools and no knowledge you can die with really cool toys!

P.S. If you have your amateur radio license look for me on the lower end of 20 meters voice.

Thanks, Tim

State of the Union

The State of the Union Address will be upon us soon. The events of the last week or two just leads me to ask myself, how stupid does Washington think we are? First the bailout money, then health care and all the garbage in between. Brown wins the Mass. election and all of a sudden, Washington isn't in a rush to ram things down our throat? Hurry, lets march our Middle Class Task Force out to the public to let them know that we are serious about their needs? Are you kidding me? I don't need a special task force, I along with all of you are the voice of the American People! I am not main street, I am We The People. So how much stock would I give the State of the Union? Not much I can tell you that. It will be enough pomp and circumstance to try to get his ratings up. With Brown's win he didn't just suddenly hear the people, the people have been shouting all along. Sorry for the rant...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Keeping Records and Being Prepared

After the heavy rain this morning, I walked around to view the damage the hard freeze inflicted on the garden. Many of the tropical plants are brown, shriveled messes, I lost the lettuce and kale but the broccoli is in and pulled. The cabbage is still wonderful and going strong. Almost everything in the greenhouse is dead and the lemon tree is hanging on by a thread. Notes were made as to the weather and how much I was not prepared for 16 degree temperatures. If you remember last year, Christmas was the time we had the warm weather we had now and the freeze came in late February early March.
Two things I learned, because I live in the south does not insure me decent winters, and garbage bags are not the best thing to wrap your plants in. Canvas or sheeting would have been better because the only thing trash bags did was to speed up the dying process.
Was I lax? You bet I was! Did I learn more about being prepared? Oh yeah. I slacked off towards the end of the season where I should have doubled my efforts and if we had been in dire straights we would have had a hard time getting by.
So, this is one for my record book, lessons learned the hard way.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheap land clearing

Another guest post by Tim. This one's gonna make you smile. Thanks, Tim!


When we first bought our little farm our family income was about three times the current level. We had great plans of what we wanted to do with the place. Then the bottom fell out of the economy and we were barely able to keep it.

Let me explain the land and give a little history, it is 5.4 acres that when we bought it was mature pines and the thick Mississippi jungle with only a small area cleared for a house. We first moved our travel trailer here and lived in it for a year and a half while we built the house.

After logging the pines we were left with supper thick brush and lots of stumps. We didn’t have the money to get it professionally cleared and didn’t have any heavy equipment; the task of clearing was daunting. I tried to go at it once or twice with a chain saw but this was an exercise in futility, the brush was so thick you couldn’t reach the trunks to cut them down.

About this time I started getting into prepping and started thinking outside the box, we purchased two nanny goats and were given a billy that someone had bought as a pet and didn’t want any more. We didn’t have the money to fence the whole farm so we bought four 16 foot cattle panels and some small clips to hold them together. This gave us a sturdy pen to hold them in. I started by hacking a circle in the brush and dragging the panels through it. We put the goats in and let them at it. The area was so thick that the goats could go into the middle and you couldn’t see them. After about two weeks they had eaten everything they could reach and were balling for more. They had stripped everything green up two about four feet high.

The next step is not the fastest or easiest way to do things but I did it this way as an experiment. Thinking of what life would be like after TEOTWAWKI I didn’t want to use any oil products or commercial power. I bought a good pair of loppers and a good hand pruning saw. I would go into the goat pen and cut down enough brush to feed them for a day, since the goats had cleared the under brush it was easy to cut things off at ground level. It took about ten minutes a night to do this. In about three weeks I had an area that was completely cleared except for the large stumps and the goats were out of food. We then hacked another circle and moved the pen over to start again. We piled the sticks and branches on the stumps and burnt them to ground level.

After the first section was cleared we added a third nanny goat to the group so we now had four goats. This sped the process up so that it only took about a week and a half to clear a 16’ square.

The next step was to get a garden started. Since all the stumps were still in the ground and we couldn’t afford a tiller, we decided to go with raised beds. I built the beds by screwing together 30” 4x4 cutoffs I had got for free from a jobsite. Stacking them 2 high gave us raised beds that were 37” wide, 72” long, and 7” deep. We filled the beds with rabbit manure and top soil that was dug up from our place. I got the manure by offering to clean out under the cages of someone that raised rabbits.

I know that this is not the most efficient way to get to the end goal but let me break it down for you and let you be the judge of the outcome.

Three nanny goats @ $30ea
Four cattle panels @ $20ea
One pair loppers $45
One pruning saw $16
one box of screws $19
twelve clips to hold fence together $18
one half hour a night working with my two children in the garden PRICELESS

Total cost $268

Over the last year there has been some money come into our family from this project. Our goats had babies so we sold five @ $45, the person that I shoveled the rabbit manure from gave me $50 and two butchered rabbits since he didn’t have to do it, I rented out my goats to someone that had an island in their pond that had over grown. He paid me $240 because that’s what it would have cost him to hire laborers for the job. The other thing that I don’t have a value for is all the vegetables that we have enjoyed.

$515 income
$268 costs

$247 is the total money made on this project.

I know that there are people that have been prepping for years and have awesome stores laid up for the bad times, and there are people that have the money to get this project done in a week, but that isn’t the point I am trying to make here. The main point is the paradigms shift of thinking out side the box is the best skill that we Preppers have. For very little money I have added a sustainable meat source for my family, and a productive vegetable garden. I have taught my children that if there is something that needs to get done you can work on it and make your goal.

P.S. Make sure the neighbor kids can’t open the gate to the goat pen, four goats can level a garden in about ten minutes, Trust me.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Target practice, etc.

As with things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to firearms. Here are a few of my thoughts about target practice, and other things.

If you are a new gun owner (read: new. gun owner; not new gun. owner!) start off by going to the range with an experienced person, one who takes his/her responsibilities as a gun owner & shooter seriously. Go with him/her more than once. And take it a step further-- ask him to come back to your house after you go shooting to clean your guns. Feed him supper in return.

An aside about cleaning. You just spent real money on a mechanical devise that one day could save your life. (Praying you'll never have to use it for that, but.) Keep it clean and in good working order. We clean our weapons after each use. That may be a bit excessive, but we like shiny things.

Commit to going to the range at least once a month. Make it an outing. Bring along a friend or two. An added benefit of this is that you'll shoot eachother's weapons, and learn about other makes & models.

I prefer outdoor ranges over indoor for a number of reasons. My experience has been that for the most part gun handling safety is practiced to a greater degree by folks who frequent outdoor ranges. Indoor ranges are crowded and loud. The one problem with some outdoor ranges is that the lanes somethings are not short enough for handgun use. So check before you go first.

When you're starting out, set realistic goals. You're going to be learning a lot and trying to co-ordinate each individual aspect of shooting. Unless you are a natural born marksman, don't expect to hit the dead on bullseye first time out. Ain't gonna happen. Begin by becoming comfortable with your gun, and by developing perfect safety habits.

REPEAT: Begin by developing perfect safety habits.

At some point, you will achieve those first two goals, comfort and perfect habits. Precision will come with practice.

Remember, too, that in a situation where you need to use your gun, you aren't going to be target shooting. You may be making your way down the staircase into a pitch black living room. You may be walking across a dark parking lot. Practice these scenarios. (O.k., not cool to take out your gun in the parking lot, but you get the point.)

One thing folks do is an unloaded drill. Unload your weapon(s). Put it in the nightstand drawer. Lay down. Now what if you were awakened, and you had to act? Practice what you & your partner would do. Be sure the weapons are unloaded! And be sure you walk down those stairs side-by-side. In real life, you do not want someone with a loaded gun behind you.

We have been collecting the Personal Firearms Defense series of DVDs. I recommend these, but you can probably find other information & videos online.

One final thought. If you are a newbie, your strategy for training & practice should be one step at a time. You'll develop confidence and more importantly, good habits.

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Mississippi Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Mississippi 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.