December 2017 Goals

How did November go for you? Did you accomplish some of what you hoped to? You can see my November list here, with updates. Now, on to December! I’ve decided to shorten my list this month, so I’ve only put a couple of items in each category. It can be a bit discouraging to have a long list of things and only get a portion of them done; I’d much rather look back on each week and have the potential to ADD things that I did instead.

PANTRY & PREPAREDNESS:
Sprout seeds
Sort & scan vital documents to USB drive
Write preparedness curriculum for kids’ 2nd semester (This started as a social studies unit study, because Continue reading

October 2017 Goals

Pantry & Preparedness:
Purchase two cases of bottled water for our emergency supplies (DONE 18 Oct 2017)
Scan vital documents to a USB drive for evacuation bag
Walk 1x weekly with evacuation bag & with dog wearing her panniers (thanks to this little lesson learned!)

Handcrafts:
Finish knitting donation hat (Frogged this project & gave away the yarn. It is just way too hard on my hands.)
Re-start my Tesla shawl (Cast on [again!] 11 Oct 2017)

Education & Personal Enrichment:
Finish first quarter of kids’ homeschooling (DONE 13 Oct 2017)
Read a book from my fall/winter reading list (DONE: Finished reading Ghost Fleet 8 Oct 2017; finished John Adams 10/26; finished The Water Knife 10/30)
Finish the “Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature” lecture series I am watching on The Great Courses Plus (This is on hold for me; reading John Adams took up most of my free time in October!)
Complete at least one FEMA Independent Study course

Writing & Professional Development:
Catch up on my LinkedIn messages/connection requests (DONE 15 Oct 2017)
Transfer clips list to this site
Type up final draft of the article I’m working on, and submitted to planned site
Work on my non-fiction book, Prepare Anywhere

Genealogy:
Index at least 10 batches/100 image files (DONE 8 Oct 2017)
Participate in Worldwide Indexing Event sponsored by FamilySearch.org (DONE 21 Oct 2017)
Scan irreplaceable family photos to USB drive

Health & Wellness:
Dental exam/cleaning appointments for children (EDIT: Now in November)
Make appointments with specialists for myself & one child per primary doctors’ referrals
Walk at least twice weekly (without evacuation pack)

What are your goals for October? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! If you’d like to see what I was able to mark off my September goal list, click here.

What I Wish Everyone Knew About Food Storage

“Keeping a pantry.”
“Provident living.”
“Building a stockpile.”
“Food storage.”
“Putting by.”

No matter what you call it, there are folks out there who are into having a supply on hand and those who just aren’t sold on the concept. These days we see magazines all over the newsstand marketing MREs (meals ready-to-eat) and buckets of freeze dried food to “preppers” and survivalists of every stripe. We can look back at shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and watch the crazy unfold, happy to know that we aren’t like those weirdos. Thanks to all the sensational gear marketing tactics out there encouraging us to “BUY ALL THE THINGS!!!”, it is really easy to fall into the idea that having a pantry is for paramilitary anarchists, old people who were children of the Great Depression, or coupon queens gone mad.

Here’s a little tip: it’s not true.

Popping by the grocery store on the way home from work every few days seems convenient, until it isn’t. When isn’t it, when the store is on the way anyway? It isn’t convenient when Continue reading

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!