March 25, 2014 at 7:48 pm #3010
Welcome! Please introduce yourself? (Name, age, gender, location for example)
Hello everyone. I’m a female, mid-50’s living 80 miles from the US capitol. A family member and I finally realized a goal a few years ago of purchasing a rural property that met the requirements we had set, to take the next step towards being more self-reliant. And, re-learning/practicing again skills learned in youth.
When very young my parents were the first I ever knew of to become divorced. My family and my life was literally, overnight, torn apart .Living in a fairly affluent ‘suburb’, I awoke to being handed 3 boxes and told to only take what was ‘necessary’ for ‘a couple of weeks’ – the movers were coming in an hour. 15 years of hard,’ poverty’-level living ensued in South Florida where we were moved to (to my complete horror) during the Haitian/Nicaraguan boat refugee, riots, interstate-sniper, ‘Miami Vice’ type, cocaine-war era. Thank goodness our mother was a very strong, ethical woman that taught her four kids what was right and what was wrong; and fostered a ‘family first’, and ‘do what is best for everyone/the family – not yourself” attitude. My mother never accepted any form of welfare, although with 4 kids and $40/month in child support back then I think she would have qualified.
A sibling and I finally managed to leave the hell-hole that is South Florida and return to our northern roots.As soon as possible we arranged life such that it was possible for our mother to join us. Money scrapped together over a few long months provided a lifeline/last chance to a sibling gone astray into the world of crack cocaine…in the form of a non-cashable, one way ticket north with, of course, conditions. (Sibling is long-married, strong, productive member of society for years now).
While each working full-time (closest sibling having a young child) we ‘accidentally’ started our own business which has supported us both (including our mother, until her passing) for the last 25 years. It was a very tough, all-consuming life for the first 7 years. It is only because of its success, helped my our many loyal customers, that we were able to purchase this place. Large barn, outbuildings, large pond fed by four springs, good soil, enclosed garden, woods, shelter for the family and enough others to have quite a ‘tribe’. We raise chickens, rabbits, a pair of nubian goats, cattle and have a recently acquired a draft horse I’m training to pull a wagon etc. The garden and fruit trees are productive, thankfully.
Since when are you into survival and preparedness and what made you get into it?
Since I was 15 years old I feel like I have been in ‘survival’ mode. When you don’t know where your next meal will come from, have younger family members unable due to their age able to help/that need to grow and thrive, you live in a very dangerous neighborhood, and have one of the only white faces that makes it hard to blend in; have people crawl in your window when you are sleeping and try to rape you (thank God for a Rottweiler I got from the animal shelter – we saved each other many times), held up at knife point? You simply do not forget that survival mindset…at least I have not yet all these years later.
Why is survival and preparedness important or interesting for you? What scenario are you preparing for?
I hesitate to say this but what the heck. Aside from the above, 20 years ago our mother was diagnosed with cancer. Our business was 5 years old and we were still scrambling. We took care of her for two years before she passed. I had been reading a book by Edgar Cayce someone gave me as I sat with my mother in her bed keeping her company. She was medicated on heavy painkillers. She awoke for a brief few minutes and told me to read Ruth Montgomery next. (I had not discussed what I was reading with her – she was never awake that long at that point). A few weeks later I happened to remember what she had said when passing a bookstore, ducked inside and found yes, there was such an author (a former Washington Post writer) and bought the first book. One day, despite being almost paralyzed as the cancer spread, my mother asked for a paper/pencil be left on her bed.?? Best I can describe/have figured out, what happened was ‘automatic writing’/messages? that somehow she was able to write down from ‘guides’. Sounded like something very freaky/strange to me. It stopped about 4 days before she died when she was barely breathing. Basically, the ‘messages’ were that yes, indeed, the world was going to go to hell in my lifetime…and Mother Nature would definitely have her say. Stay on very high ground – huge floods and yes a pole shift were highly likely. Sounds bizarre….but I was there/I know who I am and who I am not and can not entirely write that period/events off…but have never forgotten that very eery/sad time and those ‘messages’. I reread them periodically and it only reinforces what my ‘gut’ has long been telling me. I enjoy re- reading Joel Skousen’s books periodically.
I would enjoy ‘prepping’ (although the term itself I don’t care for) if I had more darn time. Being self-reliant is a full time job in and of itself. It is hard to keep a foot in both worlds right now – and balanced.
How would you describe your prepping / survival philosophy? What matters for you?
Food and water – and my shotguns first. I love to garden anyway and I love to practice on sporting clay courses or even with my target throwers. From years of being some form of hungry, I don’t think much about food now/am not a ‘foodie’. I ALWAYS am growing potatoes everywhere – all types – and planting them at all different times…and greens. Inside and outside. If I have a potato I am happy; some greens – perhaps an onion – I am rich Everything else is just a gift I am still more than grateful for.! My stomach/body tells me when to eat not the clock. I don’t think of food otherwise. Everything else I have time to do/learn/practice/acquire at this point is ‘gravy’.
Do you have some favorite quotes or words of wisdom you like?
Mind is the builder.
You create your own reality. (caveat….however, the creating often takes some time!)
You are dying and have 30 seconds left, what do you do or say?
What’s next? is what I would probably think – but who knows
At that point, having witnessed death first hand…if I could say anything…I can’t speculate what it would be at this point.March 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm #3021
I love your simple menu (potatoes, greens, onion) for a satisfied stomach. Potatoes are pretty amazing, too, in that they’ll even grow in straw, so definitely good to have around for SHTF! I’ve seen/heard things from family members that seemed impossible at the time, too, so I guess there will be mysteries, and one would do well not to discount them. Welcome to the forums!March 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm #3032
Cool story. I relate completely ( tho I had a charmed life compared to you). Read Casey and Ruth Montgomery. Did the self sufficiency thing, and still live on the farm. We don’t bother now as it is SO MUCH WORK….:-).. I could get a cow again and milk her if I had to… a skill few have. Cheers, and thanks for the story.. some people today.. don’t appreciate how lucky they are… and are going to get a hell of a shock if/when it changes.March 25, 2014 at 8:37 pm #3048
Kiwi25 – yes it IS so much work. And, I am very aware I am getting older…my body let’s me know in short order that though the mind is willing, and may have used to be willing…it is not any longer; i.e. go get some darn help woman!
So…through classes I have been having/got going and my business (yakking at customers) ha! I have discovered there are a lot of much younger, eager to learn folks out there that will actually come ‘help’ to learn. I have been getting a lot of things accomplished here this way…and for sure my body is grateful! Plus it’s fun. Youth brings an energy and enthusiasm with it that now takes me a lot of caffeine to reconnect with! My hands could no longer milk a cow. The miniature goat is about what my hands can handle without protest.
Glad you liked my story. That part of my life was useful for many things I can see now…at the time..not so much!March 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm #3068
Gypsy Wanderer HuskySurvivalist
Thank you so much for your story Tweva!. I know the meaning of living off greens and potatoes.
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonMarch 25, 2014 at 9:04 pm #3074
Thank you for sharing this with us Tweva, and welcome here.March 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm #3076
Thanks anika. I love potatoes, can I say that enough? I grow potatoes: in black, heavy mil garbage bags, in stacked tires, in raised beds where they sort of self-perpetuate and in hay bales in my unheated greenhouse in winter basically, (I cut out a section of the bale with a machete, dump in aged rabbit/horse manure, some potato eyes, wet it all down and let it do it’s thing, adding back the hay I took out as needed, till I need to stack another bale on top. This keeps it neat and orderly through the winter when space is at a premium). I plant them around the edges, in the sand of the riding ring – they love it there.
Of course, I live in an area surrounded by wineries…and have winery owner friends..so I do of course take advantage of their hospitality and gifts with my potatoes!March 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm #3139
Grape leftovers (skin, seed and such) and a little manure (ok, throw in some straw) will make a great “feeding tower.” Take some chicken wire and make a 5ft tall x 2ft wide tower. Now around that make a planting bed for stuff (potatoes, onions, beans, gourds and such).
Wet down your “tower” and let the run-off water your planting bed. You will need a large basket to pick your veggies!
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