Winter happenings

Frozen greetings!

What a busy winter! With all of the year end stuff  for Ted’s business to get through ( and I am glad it is done!) and just trying to keep warm it has been fairly busy.  We had to have the furnace fixed, something went wrong in the circuit board. But until we could afford that we heated the house with the kitchen stove and some other methods. The boys had a propane heater for the basement. That worked really well. We shut off all of the bedrooms and other rooms that we were not using upstairs. This was not a real problem since I keep them shut off anyway, I like a cold bedroom. I used oil lamps and candles to take the chill off in the living room. You would be surprised at how much heat they generate.

While we were trying to keep warm I also knitted a sweater( I covered up with it while knitting to keep warm hehe!) I finished it last week and started another one. It may take the rest of the winter to finish.

We are getting ready for another blast of snow and wind here. The current temp is 9F. It is supposed to get up to about 20F today, dump 6″ of snow, go back to single digits and the wind blow at about 20-30 mph for a few days. Brrr.

While  all of that is happening I think that I am going to be updating my house book, I have been wanting to  for some time since the cover is coming off of the current one. There are some updates that I want to incorporate into the new one also, like an evacuation plan and some other things.  I will post how I am making  my new book as I do it. It will have several sections and I may make a small one for my emergency kit to update it too.

Very Frugal Winterizing

I was looking at some pictures of a house that we lived in when Ted and I were first married. That house was something, it was hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. I remember having to put plastic on the front door and a note in the window to go around to the back door if you wanted in. There were winter blasts that came in through every crack. As I was reminiscing about that place I started to remember some of the tricks that I used to winterize that house. We were very poor and had to be very resourceful.

The first thing that I did was to take old rags and t-shirts and tear them into strips. I would tuck these into every crack that I could find around doors and windows. I would stuff them between the storm windows and the sill. I am still amazed at how much wind that they stopped from whipping in.

I have always hung my laundry, I still do to this day, I don’t care for driers. In the winter I would hang my laundry indoors when the weather was snowy or rainy. It kept the humidity up in the house and made it feel warmer. We used to burn wood then too so the humidity was much needed. A teakettle on the stove or just a pan of water simmering will do the same thing. (sometimes I would put some orange peels and a clove or two to make it smell nice.)

Another thing that I would do is put plastic over the windows (and the front door!) This would keep out the blasting cold wind. I would roll up a rug or towel and stick in front of the door to keep the floors a bit warmer. I would also keep the doors to the rooms that we did not use during the day shut off. I like to sleep in a cold room so there was not much point to heating the bed rooms and keeping the periferal rooms cut off kept the core of the house warmer.

We live in a very well insulated house now, but to remember how to keep warm still comes in handy. We had our furnace go out last year for a while, and had to use some of the methods above to keep the core of the house warm for a few days until we could get the furnace fixed. I hope that this will help to remind people that it does not have to be expensive to help yourself keep warm.
Until next time,
Be blessed, be safe and be prepared!
Theresa

Keeping records straight

When a person is preparing for an emergency, sometimes the paperwork doesn’t get the attention that it needs to have. By paperwork, I am talking about records, birth certificates, insurance policies, medical records (allergies, medications ) and the  like. It is always a good idea to have the originals of any documentation in a safe place away from your house, like in a safe deposit box.  But in case of an emergency, you may not be able to get to the bank.

A friend of mine scans the originals of all of his documents and puts them onto a USB drive, and puts one  into his preparedness kit, and one in his car. That way, if he is in an accident, or an emergency situation, he has any records that he might need nearby.  I have another friend who keeps hers on a chain around her neck at all times.

I am not saying that we need to have our paperwork with us at all times, but it might not be a bad idea to have things in order, even a copy in a notebook with other things such as an escape route from your house and where everyone should meet up at, emergency phone numbers, ICE (in case of emergency )numbers, that everyone in your household knows where it is at.

It might be a good idea to have a copy of all passwords for bill paying, account numbers etc. in a place where they can be easily found by family members if you are the one paying the bills.

I have just been thinking on these things, perhaps I will organize more thoughts on this. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas about this, feel free to comment.

Until next time,

Theresa

A freebie!!

Get signed up now for the Rescue Me Right Get Prepared Giveaway!

That’s right,  www.rescuemeright.com is having a giveaway. Just sign up for the newsletter in November and you will be entered  for a great prize.  They are giving away an Emergency Necessities Kit.  It is really nice. Here is what it has in it:

  • Flashlight
  • AA batteries (2)
  • AM/FM Radio
  • AAA batteries (2)
  • Waterproof matches (box of 50)
  • Emergency blanket
  • Emergency poncho
  • 2400 calorie food bar
  • Water pouches (4)
  • 43 piece first aid kit
  • Tissue (10 pack)
  • Wet naps (6)

Quite a nice pack, would make a really nice gift for the holidays coming up. The drawing is going to be December 4. Tell all of your friends about it, and sign up, it would be a great prize.

Until next time,

Theresa

Rainy days

Ah, yet another rainy day here. I was watching the weather report last evening and the weatherman said that we have had over 10 inches of rain in the month of October, with more to come this week.

It has been so gray and dark, it is hard to keep from getting depressed.

Speaking of weather, I have added another book to the website. This one  is called “The Shepherd of Banbury’s Rules to Judge of the Changes of the Weather, Grounded on Forty Years’ Experience”

It is a pretty cool book on weather forecasting and weather folklore, written by a man who was a shepherd in the English countryside. He was out in it all day every day so he studied the weather. Interesting.  He uses a lot of quotations from English writers and others  so it is really a good read, not just boring observations.  Here is a sample from the first chapter:

I.

SUN. _If the Sun rise red and firey._ } Wind and Rain.

THE Reason of this Appearance is, because the Sun shines through a
large Mass of Vapours, which occasions that red Colour that has been
always esteemed a Sign of Rain, especially if the Face of the Sun
appear bigger than it ought, for then in a few Hours the Clouds will
grow black, and be condensed into Rain, sudden and sharp, if in the
Summer, but settled and moderate if in Winter.

THE old _English_ Rule published in our first Almanacks agrees exactly
with our Author's Observation.

    If red the Sun begins his Race,
    Be sure that Rain will fall apace.

IF the Reader would see this elegantly described, the Master of Poets
hath it thus.[_a_]

    Above the Rest, the Sun, who never lies,
    Foretels the Change of Weather in the Skies;
    For if he rise unwilling to his Race,
    Clouds on his Brow, and Spots upon his Face,
    Or if thro' Mists he shoots his sullen Beams,
    Frugal of light, in loose and straggling Streams,
    Suspect a drizzling Day and southern Rain,
    Fatal to Fruits and Flocks, and promis'd Grain.

      [Footnote _a_:

      Sol quoque & exoriens, & cum se condit in undas,
      _Signa_ dabit: _Solem_ certissima signa sequuntur,
      Et quæ Mane refert, & quæ surgentibus _Astris_,
      Ille ubi nascentem _maculis_ variaverit Ortum
      Concavus in Nubem, medioque refugerit Orbe;
      Suspecti tibi sint _Imbres_. Namque urget ab alto
      Arboribusque satisque Notus Pecorique sinister.

                              Virgil. Georgic. lib. i. v. 438.]
I hope that you take the time to check this little gem out. 
It is a project Gutenberg book that has no copyright in the United States.
 You can get the download link Here

Great book on Australian Bushcraft

Hey everyone,
I am so excited about a new feature to my website  www.rescuemeright.com. It is a downloads page, and I encourage everyone to check it out at http://www.rescuemeright.com/downloads/.

I have already got an awesome e-book there called Australian Bushcraft : A Serious Guide to Survival and Camping
By: Richard Graves, Illustrated by Richard Gregory.

Quote:

Synopsis: First published 1950. This revised and updated edition of
Australian Bushcraft covers all aspects of survival and camping
activity: making ropes and cords building huts: camp craft: finding
food and water, maps knots – virtually every technique required to
stay alive in the bush. Australian Bushcraft explains how to make use
of natural materials for both survival and pleasure. It describes
many of the skills used by primitive man, and adds to these the
skills necessary for survival today. Richard Graves, who died in
1971, realised that a knowledge of bushcraft could save lives in the
Second World War He initiated and led the Australian Jungle Rescue
Detachment, which was assigned to the Far East American Air Force.
This detachment of sixty specially selected AIF soldiers successfully
carried out more than three hundred rescue missions, most of which
were in enemy territory, without failure of a mission or loss of a
man. The material in this book was originally written at that time.
It was later revised and published as The Ten Bushcraft Books. It has
now been further revised and updated to include techniques and
equipment that were not

In his sadly now out-of-print Bushcraft books, the late bushman
Richard Graves (of the Graves Irish literary clan), shared his love
of the Australian outdoors. He wrote:

“The practice of bushcraft shows many unexpected results. The five
senses are sharpened, and consequently the joy of being alive is
greater.

“The individual’s ability to adapt and improvise is developed to a
remarkable degree. This in turn leads to increased self-confidence.

“Self-confidence, and the ability to adapt to a changing environment
and to overcome difficulties, is followed by a rapid improvement in
the individual’s daily work. This in turn leads to advancement and
promotion.

“Bushcraft, by developing adaptability, provides a broadening
influence, a necessary counter to offset the narrowing influence of
modern specialisation.

“For this work of bushcraft all that is needed is a sharp cutting
implement: knife, axe or machete. The last is the most useful. For
the work, dead materials are most suitable. The practice of bushcraft
conserves, and does not destroy, wildlife.

end quote

As always, if you have any e-books, articles, videos or pictures that are about emergency preparedness, survival skills, survival training, emergency training etc., please contact me with a comment and let me know what you have. If it is good, I will share it with everyone I can.

Until next time,
Be blessed, be safe, and be prepared!
Theresa

Zucchini caserole

I have found the ultimate zucchini casserole.  It is a meal in its self, and it is really easy to do. So, without further ado……

My Favorite Zucchini Casserole (It makes a lot, so invite all of your zucchini lovin’ friends over.)

Cut 2 medium or 1 large zucchini into chunks, put it in a bowl and sprinkle some salt over it while you fix the sauce.

For the sauce:  cut up 1 onion, some pepper( green sweet or hot depending on how spicy you like it) and  a few cloves of garlic. Saute these in some butter or olive oil till tender. Add a can of diced tomatoes (or canned spaghetti sauce) to the onions and peppers and garlic and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to get thickened.  If you did not use canned sauce, you mnight want to add some Italian seasonings to give it some zing.While that is thickening, drain the water off of the zucchini and put it in a casserole dish, sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce is thickened a bit pour it over the zucchini and then put some grated cheese (mozzerella, or cheddar either one will work) . Place the casserole in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool a bit so it won’t burn off the roof of your mouth and then enjoy!

Hope you like it! I made the sauce today out of fresh tomatoes and peppers from the garden, Yummy!

Have something for the hands to do

Last night I was sitting on the sofa and working on a baby afghan and half watching tv. My mind was wandering and I was thinking about what my next post was going to be about, when my husband comes in and says, “It’s cold in here, I don’t think the furnace has kicked on.”

Well, it turns out that the furnace had not kicked on and once I got out from under the afghan, it was cold! We had blown a fuse, and had to turn off the power to the basement where the furnace is to fix it.  I got the flashlight out of the desk drawer where I keep it (I keep flashlights and lighters in several places around the house so that I can always find one) and went downstairs to hold it while Ted changed out the fuse.

This got me thinking, what would we do if the power went off for an extended period of time? During the day it would not be too bad, but after dark, in the light of a candle or a lantern, what could you do?  I personally like to knit and crochet, and I think that would be something to do, reading and board games are good too. String games, like cat’s cradle are fun for the kids, and paper crafts could be fun. Cards and dice are always good to have around when there is nothing to do. Coloring books, and stationary for writing letters is nice too.

I think that we are too dependant on electronics for our entertainment, and to have some non electric alternatives is a good thing for when the power goes out or just to do instead of the tv or gaming system to simplify your life.  Just think how much electricity could be saved if we turned off all of the televisions and computers and gaming systems and sterios for just one night a week. It would be amazing!

Something to think about.

I’m going BANANAS!

Hey all,

Sorry I haven’t posted lately but I was blessed with two cases of bananas that were ripe and ready to go!  I have been drying bananas, freezing bananas, making banana bread, making banana pudding, making banana muffins, and eating bananas!! My son (who hates bananas) has been staying in his room and not talking to me too much with all of the banana smell permeating the house.

Since I have banana on the brain right now, here are some of my best banana recipes.

Dried Bananas

If you have a dehydrator, this is the best  way to store bananas. They don’t require much space and they will keep for a good long time. I always spray my trays with cooking spray before I start to keep the bananas from sticking.  Slice the bananas and put them on the tray, ( you can dip them in lemon juice and water if you want them to retain their color better) follow your dehydrator’s instructions and you will have dried bananas. These are a great survival food and are good in trail mix, and can be put into oatmeal while it is cooking for a breakfast treat!

Frozen Banana’s

This is my favorite way to do bananas. If I want to put some up for breads and such I will just peel them and put the required amount into a quart freezer bag and freeze. (usually 4 per bag) That way they are pre-measured and ready to use.

For smoothies and such I will put the peeled bananas on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually, then put them in a freezer bag so that they can be taken out individually.

If you cut the bananas in half and put a Popsicle stick in them before you freeze them, then you can have banana pops. Dip them in melted chocolate or magic shell and oh my, heavenly! and healthy too, can’t get better than that.

Banana Bread

2/3 cup salad oil

1 cup mashed bananas (3 or 4)

4 Tablespoons sour milk or buttermilk

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients. Grease and flour loaf pans (1 large or 2 small). Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Banana bread is one of my favorite foods, I personally love it for peanut butter sandwiches, or just plain for a snack or desert.

Bananas are so good for us, and can be used in so many ways.  Have one today and smile and be happy!

Basic Camper’s Mix

This is a great recipe that I make when we go on camping trips. It will make about 2 breakfasts for our crew (there are six of us when we are all together).  I got this recipe a long time ago from some ancient cookbook that my mom had. The mix makes a heavy, hearty pancake that will stay with you for a long while. So without further ado, here is the recipe and the pancake recipe that goes with it.

Basic Campers’ Mix (makes 7 1/2 cups)

4 1/2 cups sifted flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup shortening, soft

1-11/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats. Store in airtight container in cool dry place until ready to use.  (A gallon freezer bag in the freezer works for me)

Oatmeal Flapjacks (makes 12-18)

3 cups basic campers mix

3 tablespoons sugar (or honey, or leave out, I do)

2 cups milk

2 eggs

Combine Basic Campers’ Mix and sugar. Add milk and eggs; stir until just blended. Pour batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges are dry. Serve with butter and syrup. These also make an awesome peanut butter and jelly sandwich when there are leftovers.

It is really nice to have a hearty breakfast when camping.  Substitutions can b e made to make this recipe even more convenient by adding about 2 cups  of powdered milk and the equivalent of 4 powdered eggs. That way all you have to add to the basic mix is water, making it handy for back packing, and also a good survival food. Just break out the folding stove and sierra cup and you can have a hot meal anywhere.

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