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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AN INTERESTING PROGRAM

I hope you all had a nice Christmas and are doing well.

As I was channel surfing the other night, I came upon an advertisement on the History International channel. They are doing a special two hour presentation on "The Crumbling of America." This program appears to be about America's infrastructure regarding roads, bridges,and pipelines carrying water and/or gas. The program will look at the history and condition and the effects of deterioration of our infrastructure. For anyone that is interested in watching this program, it will be on Wednesday December 30 at 10p.m. It is channel 116 on Time Warner Cable. I am not sure about other cable networks, though.

Do you live near a large body of water or a bridge that could be deteriorated? And do you have an escape route if the integrity of a dam or bridge were compromised? These are things to think about if an evacuation were necessary in your area.

Also it looks like the preppers movement is now going mainstream. An interview with Newsweek titled, "Rise of the Preppers: America's New Survivalists," is available for all to read over at www.americanpreppers.com or : http://www.newsweek.com/id/228428/page/1. The survival mom did a great job on this interview.

God Bless,

Shelly

Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS




An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:9-11

As you are opening gifts this holiday season, I hope you all take the time to reflect on the most precious gift that Our Father gave us. We will soon be tinkering around with some goals for the New Year, and it is my prayer for you, that one of your goals will be to grow closer to the Lord through prayer, scripture and continuing his work to help others see the glorious gift of salvation.

Merry Christmas,

Shelly

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A FEW CHRISTMAS IDEAS

I apologize for not posting in a while. This is a busy time of year for us as I am sure it is for you too.


For any of you that are interested, Utah Preppers has a great post on sanitation preps.


The post is about disposable toilets, properly called, "Gotta Go Toilets." They were able to do a group buy for all preppers for Christmas and the company is offering 25% off all their products. If you think you may need sanitation preps or looking for that perfect gift for a prepper, this would be something to check out.


Kentucky Preppers is also do an ongoing post called, "The 12 Days of Prepper Christmas." There are great ideas for gift giving for that prepper in your life or maybe a request or two for the spouse.


If any of you are like me this Christmas, and want to sneak in prepping gifts to non preppers, here a a couple of ideas: Homemade gift baskets.


For The Gardener (or non gardener, just play dumb)

If you have non hybrid seeds to spare and able to acquire some small gardening tools, these could be put into a small basket (dollar store has some) along with some planting directions and seed harvesting tips.


A Candle Basket


The candle basket can be comprised with different kinds of candles along with long wooden matches and/or with a long lighter. The basket, matches, and lighter can be found at the dollar store along with some cheaper grade candles and maybe a candle or two from Yankee Candle or Home Interiors.


I hope you all are enjoying your holidays and remember to keep prepping. NOW is not the time to slack as things may very well change in 2010. Stock up on baking goods, as this is the time of year to find the sales for these items and remember to use your coupons.


God Bless,


Shelly

Sunday, December 6, 2009

ACORN in Ohio

So my practice as moderator of OHPN was to be non-political, except when I came across information that was relevant to Ohioans. No longer moderator, but still have posting privileges, therefore:


What Is ACORN Up To In Ohio?

As a Swing State with a few important races in 2010, Ohio will be an even more important state than usual. An Ohio blogger has been tracking ACORN and what they're up to and doesn't like everything he sees. Check it out.
Back in October, US House Representative Darrell Issa (R, CA-49) released news that his office had, in its possession a document from Ohio ACORN offices which documented the byzantine progressive "community organizing" group's plan to influence Ohio state and national elections.  Issa is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The document, entitled "OHIO 2007-08 Political Plan" was written by Katy Gall, Mari Engelhardt, and Jeremy Mitchell.  Gall has served as the "Ohio ACORN Head Organizer" since 2005, according to LinkedIn.

From Riehl World View.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Being frugally minded was not in my vocabulary a year ago. Yes I liked cheap, but did not actively pursue deals. My frugal lifestyle started after months of research in early 2009, and had an epiphany that the world was falling apart, while I was out enjoying my life. I discovered the Utah Preppers Network and realized there was one for every state. I was hooked! These blogs have helped me in my new lifestyle, giving me a wealth of knowledge, all in one network.

After reading blogs about food storage, and realizing that the world is changing fast, I began to panic. How would I ever get the money to start a food storage, let alone keeping up with weekly grocery bills? I was forced to learn the coupon game. I call it a game, because the the winner is the one who ends up with cheap to free groceries. Many of you preppers may already be avid coupon users, but many are just starting on this journey, and may not have money to start a food storage. I frequent many blogs and I am going to share some with you to check out, so you will see how easy this is. They do all the work for you. All you need to do is collect your coupons and go shop.

Most of these websites are Ohio based. In my six months of couponing, I have noticed the sales and prices generally run the same everywhere statewide. I have hustled these deals and have successfully built up a food storage by couponing and canning. You can do it too, if you take the time to do your homework. I feed a family of six on $35.00-40.00 per week and spend 20.00 per week on food storage for a total 55.00-60.00 per week. The only toiletry I pay for is toilet paper, everything else I get for free. Razors, shampoo, band-aids, etc...

The websites are:

Stretching a Buck- Columbus area
www.strechingabuckblog.com

Money Saving Mom-This site is great for drugstore deals
www.moneysavingmom.com

Little Miss Know it All-Cincinnati area
http://littlemissknowitall.net

Saving Money in Toledo-Toledo area
http://savingmoneyintoledo.blogspot.com

Recipes, Money Saving Tips...And A Little Bit Of Jesus-Toledo and Perrysburg area
http://www.shellyspost.blogspot.com
(No this is not me! Just a great site!)

Saving in Akron-Akron area
http://savinginakron.blogspot.com


If you do not get a Sunday paper, start getting them or call your local dollar store. Many sell them for a dollar on Sundays. You can buy more than one paper and get multiple savings and you will build up your food storage quicker.

God Bless,

Shelly

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

HONEY: IT'S NOT JUST FOR BISCUITS


After mulling around as to what types of things to post, I decided I will do a little research on things I've been wondering about. With all the talk of the economy and health care, I feel it is beneficial to at least be familiar with natural remedies, should a doctor not be in the house. The benefits of natural medicine may outweigh the side effects of traditional medicine. I have not tried any of these natural remedies for honey, but if the grid goes down, and there is no medical professional around for basic ailments or first aid, you can bet I will try these remedies with prayer and hope they work.



The use of honey has been around for thousands of years. Honey is used as a sweetener in foods and also is used in alternative medicine. The storage of honey takes no effort and has an indefinite shelf life. Honey can be stored in glass, plastic or metal and can be stored in your pantry or root cellar. The best temperature to store honey is less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Over time, honey may crystallize. To reliquify honey heat the entire contents and get what you need. You will need to do this every time you need honey as it will recrystallize when cooled. You may lose some of the nutrients over time, by heating and reheating.


NOTE: I am not a medical professional and this should not take the place of doctors advice. Consult with your doctor before trying natural medicine.


TOOTHACHE:

Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied 3 times a day till the tooth stops aching.


CHOLESTEROL:

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. As per information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of cholesterol.


COLDS:

Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.


GAS:

According to the studies done in India & Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.


IMMUNE SYSTEM:

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.


INDIGESTION:

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.


INFLUENZA:

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient, which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.


LONGEVITY:

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. Take 4 spoons of honey, 1 spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increases and even a 100 years old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old.


PIMPLES:

Three tablespoons of Honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.


SKIN INFECTIONS:

Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.


WEIGHT LOSS:

Daily in the morning 1/2hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one-cup water. If taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.


FATIGUE:

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton who has done research says that half tablespoon honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3.00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.


BAD BREATH:

People of South America, first thing in the morning gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. So their breath stays fresh throughout the day.



Info for this post can be found at: The Encyclopedia of Country Living and at

1stholistic.com/Reading/health/health-honey-and-cinnamon.htm



I will be helping out here at Ohio Preppers and If there is anything you would like researched or talked about on this website, please do not hesitate to say so. Also, I would urge everyone to pay attention to the news, as things are changing fast globally, nationally, and statewide. Research and gather all the information you can and print it out and put it in a notebook, folder, etc…


God Bless,

Shelly

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Carcass

Dear Lord, Thank you for this turkey and the carcass it is about to be. Amen.

(No blasphemy intended, seriously.)

The meat you will consume tomorrow is muscle tissue surrounding a skeletal system of a once living critter. I'm no vegan-greenpeace-animal rights activist sort of gal, but I think it is right, especially at Thanksgiving, to take a moment to reflect on the fact that we humans are part of the food-chain network. To be thankful for it. And to recognize our place in it. Just a thought.

On Friday, Sinky Day (the day people eat lunch over the sink), you will probably have turkey sandwiches, no doubt on homemade bread, with homemade mayonnaise... . Pardon me while I prepare for a food comma.

On Saturday, you may have a turkey casserole. Depending on the number of folks picking on this carcass, you may have enough meat to freeze. But at some point... .

When you are finished picking every last bit of muscle tissue worth picking off that carcass... you've made it to the really good part, the skeleton-- the bones. This means the best turkey gumbo you've ever had in your life is just as hop & a skip away. (Lord, thank you for Thanksgiving.)

Basic chicken stock recipe, adjust at will for the turkey carcass. The key is to fully immerse the carcass in water, to have the same proportions of seasonings (celery, carrots, etc.), and to boil it slowly to get the marrow from the bones. (So if it takes more than 5 qts water to immerse the carcass, adjust the quantity of celery, etc., accordingly.) From John's Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide:


CHICKEN STOCK

Makes 4 quarts, but freezes well

5-6 lb hen
1 medium onion, chopped coarse
3 ribs celery, chopped coarse
2 carrots, scraped and chopped coarse
2 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
5 quarts water

Put all ingredients into a large (2 gallon) stock pot. Simmer slowly until hen is tender, about 2 ½ hours. Let stock cool with hen in it. Remove hen and strain.


LEFTOVER TURKEY GUMBO


2 quarts turkey stock, made from leftover turkey carcass
½ C flour
½ C oil (can use bacon fat for real Cajun flavor and calories)
Leftover turkey meat, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ lb andouille sausage (preferably homemade—see recipes in Meats section)
1 lb shrimp, optional
1 lb ckra, sliced (can use frozen—1 ½ boxes)
1 big onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped (mostly white parts)
1 bell pepper, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
3 (or more) cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ bunch parsley, chopped
Creole seasoning, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Steaming long-grain rice
File powder

Remove meat from the turkey carcass. Cut up and set aside. Boil the carcass in water to make the turkey stock. Remove carcass from stock and skim stock. Measure out two quarts stock in a large stockpot and have stock simmering slowly, covered. Chop onions, green onions, bell pepper, and celery and have ready in a big bowl while you make your roux.

Make a roux: blend flour and fat, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the roux—if black flecks appear, it has been burned and must be thrown away. Keep stirring until the roux gets darker and darker. You can stop at chocolate brown if you wish, but I try for the color of coffee. (The darker you get the roux, the darker will be the shade of your gumbo.) As soon as you reach the desired color, turn off the fire and add the chopped veggies immediately. (This stops the roux from cooking further.)

Stir the veggies into the roux thoroughly and keep stirring until the mixture begins to cool a bit. Add the roux to the turkey stock. Chunk the andouille and fry off. Drain fat and add andouille to stock. Add bay leaf and Creole seasoning and stir.

Bring stock to a boil then immediately reduce to simmer. Let stock simmer about 30 minutes uncovered. Taste occasionally and adjust seasonings. Add okra and cook another 30 minutes uncovered (long enough to make sure that the “sliminess” is gone from the gumbo). Add parsley and reserved turkey meat. Simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Add shrimp if used. Cook for 5-6 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink. Taste. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco. (This gumbo should not be too spicy hot.)

Let gumbo sit, covered, until ready to serve. If any fat accumulates on gumbo surface, skim it off. To serve, press ½ cup rice into measuring cup and place in a mound in center of gumbo bowl. Ladle gumbo around the rice mound. Sprinkle with file powder (1/4 – ½ tsp.)

Eat hearty—there’s plenty!


Dear Lord, Thank you for bringing John, who knows how to make the best turkey gumbo ever, into my life. Amen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Prepper-inspired, diy, Christmas gifts

Stay tuned for a post on prepper-inspired, do-it-yourself (or on the real cheap) Christmas gifts for teachers, co-workers, the mailman (really?), and anyone else you can't afford to buy for, but would like to give something to. Kids can be involved. Gathering ideas as I type. (Actually, I posted to APN forum asking for ideas. They're coming in.)

[See-- you can post about nothing at all! You can ask others for ideas. It ain't hard. Shelly, got way-layed today. Will email soon. Remember-- a site can have more than one contributor!]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ohioans for Concealed Carry News

Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC) is THE gun-rights organization in Ohio. OFCC is more than a bunch of yackity-yack gun guys. It is the organization that affects real change at all levels-- legislative, community, and personal, in the state.

OFCC is having its regional Holiday Meet & Greets at the beginning of December.








We'd like to invite you to participate in the Ohioans For Concealed Carry Holiday Meet & Greets! 


Last year, we had five Holiday Meet & Greets across the state in Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Columbus, and Cincinnati/Dayton area. They were so popular that we’re going to do them again this year!


These informal get togethers are being held in restaurants in Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Columbus, and the Cincinnati/Dayton area on two weekends as noted below. They are held at local restaurants, and attendees are responsible for purchasing their own meals. Restaurants to be announced, mark your calendars and watch this site for details!


Join your fellow OFCC members in a little holiday fun, including an optional gift exchange (limit $10), and door prizes!


Dates
Cincinnati/Dayton: December 12 at Golden Corral (8870 Kingsridge Dr Dayton, OH 45458)
Cleveland: December 12 at Cracker Barrel (5100 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, OH 44144-2306)
Columbus: December 12 at Hometown Buffet (3670 Soldano Blvd. Columbus, OH 43228)
Toledo: December 5 (location TBA)
Youngstown: December 5 at Perkins Family Restaurant (1953 Niles-Cortland Road SE Warren, OH 44484)

Last year we went to the one in Cincinnati. It was at a Bob Evans. There were about 16 people there. A nice friendly group. Check out the OFCC web site. There's a link to the OFCC forum (lots and lots of discussions-- they're nice to newbies!), to current Ohio legislation (concealed carry in class D establishments, those that serve alcohol), and much much more.

[This took no time at all to write & post.]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

holiday baking goods sales & strategy for getting started

Cross posted to Mississippi Preppers. (See how easy this is?)

Herbalpagen (Emily) has a nice post up at on American Preppers about taking advantage of holiday sales on baking goods, and comfort foods like chocolate, cocoa, and so on. She also shares her strategy for food storage decisions:

--can I live without it?
--do I want to live without it?
--could I get it if the trucks stopped bringing it to the shelves?
... IF a big emergency came a long, would that item be available locally or would it be hard to get. Sugar can't be grown locally for me, neither can exotic spices and many other baking ingredients. ...
[I like that Emily doesn’t want to live without chocolate! When big stuff happens it’s important to keep things as “normal” as possible. (Aggie has posted about this.)]

Grocery stores are putting baking goods and things like dried fruits on sale, so now is the time to stock up. But if you’re just getting started, you may be wondering how much/many of these items you should be buying and storing? Here’s my strategy. It will take about an hour or so of your time. (Yikes! Not to read it, to do it!) Note that it will work for any category of thing you want to stock up on; I’ll stick to baking goods here.

First, go to the cupboard where you keep your baking supplies and take a peek inside. What’s there? What do you have? Make a list including the item, the size of the container, and amount you have. EX:

flour: 1 1/2 5-lb. bags (one opened, one in reserve)
crisco: 3 1-cup sticks

(This is also a good time to do a little purging of really old stuff.)

Record everything you have, get a cup of coffee, and have a seat at the kitchen table.

Organize your list by making categories: FLOURS (white, whole wheat), SUGARS (cane, brown, kayro), MIXES/MEALS (corn meal, jiffy mix). I do this by transferring the list to a spreadsheet, but you can do it in pencil & paper. At this point, you may see that you’re completely out of somethings. These would be things you’d usually buy just when you need them for a recipe, or things you threw away when you were purging the old stuff. Be sure to add these to the list. They have a quantity = 0.

An added benefit to organizing is that you’re able to see substitutions. Next time you’re baking cookies, substitute dark for light brown sugar if you found an extra box of dark. You may also see that you’re “overstocked” in raisins that are getting stale. Surprise the kiddies with some oatmeal raisin cookies!

Once you have the list in order, you’re going to start evaluating what you need, setting some goals, and making your prepper shopping list. Your first goal is to replace those things that you purged. Bear in mind that not every item on the list is equally important. If you threw away a five-year old plastic container of dried cherries... take dried cherries off the list. Using Emily’s strategy, if you lived without them for this long... . This means that even if you see dried cherries on sale for 20 cents, unless you are planning on making a lot of fruit cake, don’t waste 20 cents. If, on the other hand, you realized you were completely out of yeast... . You get the idea.

My strategy now is to say, “I need at least two of everything, even things we only use occasionally.” That’s my first goal. Remember that there are two overall goals: saving some money by taking advantage of the sales on baking goods, and building up your stores. Anything you have one or fewer (i.e., open packages) goes on the shopping list. It doesn’t mean you’re going to buy it right away-- not every item is equally important-- but it does go on the list, with either “1” or “2” (have one, need one; have none need two) next to it.

If your finances only allow you to achieve this first goal, you’re farther along than you might have been. Just be sure to always have “one on hand, and one in stock” (one back-up, like in your “stock room”). As you use one, replace it with one from stock in your own store, and put one of whatever it is on your normal grocery list. Ideally, buy it on sale.

The next step is to set another goal-- a time goal. One or two months is a good place to start. Go through the list, item by item, and ask, “How much of this do I use in two months?” Here it is critically important to think of some what-if scenarios, based on why you're prepping, and what you are preparing for. “What if I lost my job, had no income, couldn’t go to the store to buy bread, and had to bake my own. THEN how much flour would I use in two months?” That’s your two month set point. Do the calculations-- what do you have? what do you need for two months?-- and add/adjust your prepper shopping list.

Notice I said, "based on why you're prepping, and what you are preparing for." Job loss might be one thing, unstable economy (inflation?) another, hurricanes... . Just remember that you may not know what may come down the pike. If you are reading this is Ohio, where the threat of hurricanes is low... remember good old Duke Energy & Hurricane Ike.

About that shopping list... . Use discretion. It just isn’t smart to go out and buy everything on the list at one time. You may find better sales. More importantly, you may find you need to tweek your set-point. You may not really need/use 16 boxes of jiffy corn bread mix, even if it is on sale for 50 cents. (Although I admit, I’d find that pretty hard to pass up.) Unless you have unlimited CASH, use discretion. Not all items are equally important. And be flexible. If your set point on flour is 4 5-lb bags, and you are down to 3, and it’s not on sale... do NOT buy one at full price. Flour goes on sale all the time. You know your stores and what things are advertised regularly vs. only occasionally. Use discretion.

About shopping... . This may not work for everyone, but here’s what we're doing now-- in large part because we are seeing a lot of sales on basics and staples. We typically spend about $100-125/week on groceries, including preps. And we go to the store once a week with a list of what we need for this week’s menu, and for staples. We have our set point, we “shop” first in our own “store” to rotate our stock, and then (with discretion) replace those items. This amount includes stuff I’m stocking up on, too, because it’s on sale, because the move wiped out a lot of our preps, and because we have just established a new set point. Things were getting really confusing, especially when we unpacked the groceries: Do we need this this week? Am I replacing this? Is this extra?

To eliminate the confusion-- two shopping trips. One morning we go to the stores (ours and the grocery) to get what we need for the week’s menu. I make note of what’s on sale. John notes what’s on sale in the meat department. We spend far less than $100. Another morning I take our prepper shopping list, and we budget the difference between what we spent and $125 or so, and that’s what we spend on preps (including meat for the deep freezer).

We are odd in that John does the meal planning and most of the cooking, we have his and hers grocery lists, and shop together. So John is totally into prepping. (He keeps his own records of what meat is in the deep freezer, and he uses that to plan the menu.) But this two-part grocery shopping might be a way for those of you with... shall we say... less than enthusiastic spouses to illustrate the value of prepping. Once you’ve gotten your lists together, spend every extra buck you can find on prepper shopping-- only sale items! It won’t be too long before you see a reduction in your regular grocery bill, because you're first shopping from your bargain basement store. Point this out! “Hey honey, I only spent $75 at the store! Want to know why?”

Links of interest


Here are 1/2 dozen links of interest (I hope). They're all from Popular Mechanics, and I think are relevant to prepping in one way or another.


[Please read the sidebar. See how easy this is?]

Some good advise about leaf-raking, which pertains to your garden.


Using an emergency generator is both a balancing act and a guessing game: It's tempting to try to pull as many watts from the machine as possible, but plug in too many appliances and you'll trip the circuit breaker. The Generac Power Systems XG8000E Generator features a unique power meter called the PowerBar that indicates when the unit is approaching its limit. 

Window Theory: Seal Windows for a More Efficient Home

A window can be, basically, a hole in the wall. Or it can look great while cutting heating and cooling losses. Your choice. A PM primer on how windows work.

How Your Heating System Works: A Primer Anyone who has ever spent a night tossing and turning in a cold houseas a result of a busted heating system will never look at that particular equipment the same way again. It’s as unpleasant as being stranded on a dark and lonely road when a car quits. But it may not take outright failure to make homeowners examine how their home is heated. It might be the system’s noise or the fact that it simply doesn’t work all that well. Being uncomfortable and annoyed all winter is a pretty compelling reason to consider the options for fixing or replacing it. 


Then there’s a fuel bill that lays waste to household 
finances. Let’s say you have a boiler or furnace with 80 percent efficiency that produces a monthly gas bill of $279. About $56 of that has fueled nothing more than wasted heat that has gone up the chimney. Regardless of what prompts you to take a second look at your house’s heating system, or perhaps the first look, you do need to be conversant with what makes it tick. Here are the basics. 






Roof Repair Basics



How Your House Works: Insulation

More than anything else, our homes need to keep us dry and comfortable. While handling rain is straightforward--the roof leaks or it doesn't--keeping heat in its place is a slippery issue. Air leaks account for up to 15 percent of the heating and cooling budget in many homes, and more heat seeps through the walls. Insulation and sealing options are getting better, however. Some of these improvements make good DIY projects; others are best left to the pros. Either way, the first tool you need is knowledge.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

From a Mississippi Prepper

Here are a 1/2 doz links you may find interesting:

Perfect prepper muffin (batter lasts for 6 weeks in the fridge!)

Prepping for the long haul (where to get 10 trees for $10 and how trees save $$ on energy)

Declutter then you might have room (prepping in small spaces by 'wornout' in Mississippi)

$100 food storage list (a real list of items, amount, serving, cost; from Kentucky Preppers)

Prepping for college students (first of a 4-part post; from Kentucky)

Getting your finances in order (excellent, practical advise; from Kentucky)

[Please read the sidebar. See how easy this is? ;-)

Oh! About the pic. For those of you who followed our moving saga this summer... that's part of our 6 acre lake. For those who didn't, it's still part of our lake, but it represents a serious move on our part to become much more self-reliant than we could have been in Cincinnati (WhoDey!! by the way). We were at a point in our lives, and thankfully in the position, to take our preps to the next level: a 60 acre farm in rural Mississippi (there are few parts that aren't rural). Just moved in. Enough work to last a lifetime, literally. But it's ours.

Prep on!


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Be ready for the worst: What to do when laid off

Hey all-- I'm not really back, but I stumbled across this today and thought it might be useful. But before you read it, here's what Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) had to say:


Of course, prudent planning starts when you’re not laid off yet, with building up savings, paying down debt, etc. I’m always amazed on these financial call-in shows when people have all kinds of credit lines but no actual money in the bank. Credit is not a substitute for cash.


I couldn't agree more with Glenn. You? It begins (link to full article at Knoxvillbiz.com below):




Here are important things to do if you get a pink slip:




1. TAP YOUR (EX-) EMPLOYER FOR ASSISTANCE.
Getting laid off can be so stunning that the tendency is to walk away and say you’ll figure things out on your own. But many companies offer help beyond the basic severance package, such as access to legal counsel or clients and outplacement resources.
Human resources departments sometimes even will negotiate the terms, such as payouts for vacation time, or work with you on legitimate ways to extend your benefits, according to Heather Hammitt of the Illinois State Council of the Society of Human Resource Management.
For example, if you’re dismissed toward the end of the month, you might be allowed to stay on the payroll until the beginning of the next one so you’re covered under the group insurance plan for another month.
“Most organizations know that downsizing isn’t the greatest public relations move,” says Hammitt, who also is head of human resources at a bank in Ottawa, Ill. “So they know that if they help their (laid-off) employees, word will get out in the community.”
2. REGISTER FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.
Even if you don’t expect to be out of work for long, file for unemployment insurance benefits promptly. The sooner you do so, the sooner you’ll have that extra check to slow the drain on your savings.
To find your local unemployment insurance agency, call the U.S. Labor Department at (877) US2-JOBS or visit the following link: www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp.
In order to qualify, you must have been laid off, not fired, and have worked for a stipulated minimum amount of time — typically a year and a half. Once you’ve registered, you must show you’re looking for work in order to receive your weekly benefit.
3. SECURE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ohio Alert: Issue 2 voting

Back for just a minute to post this. I haven't looked into the issue-- I won't be voting in Ohio!!-- but I thought I should pass it along.

Hope everyone's doing well!


OHIO ALERT!

Stop the Corporate Power Grab! Vote No on Issue 2!

In an ambitious power grab, corporate agribusiness is trying to write itself into the Ohio constitution. Small farmers and other concerned citizens across the state are trying to prevent that threat from becoming a reality on Election Day on November 3rd.
While masquerading as an attempt to improve food safety and animal welfare, Issue 2 would give a board of political appointees unchecked power to decide any and all regulations related to animal agriculture. The board could make decisions that radically shift policy in any direction on issues like the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, genetically engineered animals, cloned animals, animal ID and traceability, and factory farm zoning reguations.
Please volunteer to contact voters and hang door hangers: info[at]ohioact.org
Ohio Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Ohio 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.