Prepare Anywhere: Morale Boosters

As you may recall, I am currently working on a nonfiction book entitled Prepare Anywhere. The anticipated release is September of this year, with the hope that it will be available during National Preparedness Month here in the USA. This project came about because of my passion for helping people get more prepared no matter what their season of life or their ZIP code. While I enjoy reading fiction where folks have rural compounds and pantries the size of my bedroom, and I’ve gotten a kick out of watching reality shows where the family is building a castle, the truth is that’s just not attainable for me – or for a lot of folks.

Due to the military lifestyle, I’ve lived in areas where preparedness was a necessity; both when I was a child and now as a wife and mother. It can be overwhelming to look at some preparedness checklists and feel like you have to do it all, all at once, or it just isn’t going to be “right”. I really enjoy helping folks break those checklists down into more accessible chunks, and this morning I got a reminder on social media of one fun way of doing just that: storing morale boosting foods. Continue reading

Mid-ish Week Wrap-Up

I had a lot of fun writing up my “wonderful Wednesday” post last week; so much so that I thought it would be nice to do a midweek round up again. I can’t guarantee I’ll do one every week, but I’ll try. (On that note, what day do you consider to be the “middle” of the week? I usually think of it as Wednesday, since that’s the middle of the traditional work week – but I haven’t got a traditional work week. Even when I worked outside the home, I was in retail management, then property management, so my schedule wasn’t a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday gig. But I digress….)

Here’s some stuff that will hopefully give you a smile or something to ponder from my week thus far:

First of all, who can resist cute puppy and kitty pictures – especially when there’s so much negativity on ye olde interwebs these days? I give you – Courtesy Cute Dog Photo:


She looks a little downtrodden, doesn’t she? In her defense, we had just gotten back from the vet’s office. I’d share what she had done, but trust me, you don’t want to think those things. Don’t worry, though – it’s a routine procedure and she’s not ill. Feeling violated, yes, but not ill. (And for those dog people out there, she’s a five-year-old Lab and Fox Hound mix, adopted from a shelter a little over four years back. She has the lab “woodle”, not the hound bay. As she will tell you quite passionately, she is a goooo oooo oood girl who likes to goooo in the Subaru ru ru.) 😀

What are you reading and crafting this week? I’m about halfway through Give Your Child the World now (just started the North America section) on Kindle, and I’m a very few pages into Heat & Light. That one seems like something that I’ll need to really dedicate quiet time to; I just don’t feel like I’d be able to read it in earnest at the kids’ activities so it’s been waiting patiently in the book basket for a calmer time of the week.

If you haven’t already noticed the Blogroll tab here on my site, I’d like to encourage you to go check it out. The blogosphere is chock full of amazing people – I bet you’ll stumble across a few that you’ll enjoy reading as much as I do. I’m adding to it whenever I find blogs that I enjoy, so keep refreshing when you head to that page. For online reading this week, I’d recommend:

  • The 40 Bags in 40 Days decluttering challenge at White House Black Shutters – As some of you may know, this is an annual decluttering challenge that has been going on for quite a while now. This year the challenge begins in March; seems to me that it’s the perfect time to pick back up when one’s new year inspiration might be petering out a bit. I particularly liked the list of non-stuff things to declutter, as that’s what I’m personally working on these days.
  • A friend liked an interesting article on Aleteia today, making it pop up on my Facebook feed. It’s entitled Why a pro-choice woman joined a group of religious sisters for the “Walk for Life”. I enjoyed it because it speaks of friendship, love, unity, dialogue, and the ability to compassionately agree to disagree. I hope to see more folks coming together like this in the coming weeks and months, drawing on what we have in common, rather than continuing to allow ourselves to be divided over our differences. We can still be on our respective sides – whatever they may be – and be kind and respectful, as the women in this article showed about each other.
  • Speaking of love and respect, here’s another one – this time over at Literary Mama. It’s a piece called The Fall which shares a mother’s trepidation as she explains to one passionate youngster how things didn’t go their family’s way during the election. Beautifully handled, Mama.
  • Lastly, when it comes to stories, we’ve all got them to tell. I’ve been reading Gregory Patrick’s Mad Man Knitting blog for a while, and I’d love for you to head over and visit him as well. Even if you’re not a knitter, you’re in luck – he’s got a fine way with words for those who aren’t crafty, and a husband who crochets, for those “hookers” amongst my readers. He’s also got a new book coming out that promises some stories that really get into the background KNITTY-gritty  of how he got where he is today. (I’m sorry – I couldn’t resist that one.)

One last thing before you go: a friend and I have been discussing locavores and what kind of things one could source locally – and what ONE item we could individually commit to buying from local sources. Some folks are in spaces where they can grow larger gardens and raise livestock; others, like me, are in situations where livestock isn’t authorized but container gardens are. If you’re not already hyperlocal, can you think of something that you could source locally, and will you commit to doing so – maybe for one month, maybe for a season or a year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments on this, as I’ll be sharing some of our efforts in the coming months on just this matter. First I’ll bring some posts in from my old blog so you can see what we’ve done in our current area, but once we get moved and settled, I’ll share what we can come up with in our new region. I must say that the technology of today makes PCS’s (Permanent Changes of Station) exponentially easier for military families; I’ve already connected with the local homeschool group, figured out where the farmers market meets, and gotten info on a town food co-op that sources as much as they can locally. It’s going to be interesting how our garden changes as well, since we’ll be reversing our climate type completely for the fourth time since 2008!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Embracing Austerity

A few years ago (and a few blog locations ago), I really enjoyed joining in the collective attempts of the blogosphere in the “Riot for Austerity”. As soon as I saw Wendy’s recent post about it, I knew I’d have to join in. Over the fall of 2016, I backed off on a few frugal and homestead habits, but have been feeling the need to get back to them. The new “riot” is a welcome reminder to help get on track while we are still in our current home, and to find resources that will help us continue to stay on our path in our new one. I’m quite happy to join in and to have found the new-to-me blog of the new riot’s hostess.

The first thing I’ll be tackling in our utility usage. In our case, living in military housing means we don’t receive any information about our water usage, whatever it may be – my family simply uses good water conservation practices and assumes the best. We do, however, receive a monthly statement of our electric and natural gas usage, and with an electric water heater, our hot water usage does affect our electricity bill. In our case, the statement often comes with a rebate check; our monthly rent prepays for the house and utilities, which are figured into a neighborhood average. Those under the baseline amount receive a refund while those over the baseline are charged for the extra they use.

Since I happen to have recently received our electric & gas statement, Continue reading