Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are you a 'Doomsday Prepper?'

Photo courtesy of NatGeo!

There's a new series on NatGeo TV called 'Doomsday Preppers,' which show people who are preparing for the worst.  We may think the worst would be if a spouse couldn't work or lost their job, a fire or flood, tornado, that sort of thing.  These people think in BIG polar shifts, devastating nuclear attacks, national Marshal Law, and many other types of scenarios.  I've think I've seen every episode so far (it just started a couple of weeks ago, and they show repeats often).  Some of these folks, I think their ideas of what they're prepping for, are a bit kooky...I'm not saying that THEY are kooky, just some of the ideas I've heard.  Even if one of their ideas never comes to fruition (we pray it doesn't), they'll still be prepared for almost any other disaster, natural or man made.  They're called 'Preppers.'  What's a prepper? Well, just like I mentioned, they're prepping for a global issues, and when I say 'prepping,' I mean, so much more than my stockpile of food from doing my coupons.  Some of these folks have moved to an 'inward' state just to get away from the coasts in case the coastline fell in during one of these events.

Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.

Some are having their kids (toddlers on up) prep with them, and teaching them how to sleep overnight ALONE in the woods, learning to survive! (sorry, I draw the line of having my 12 yr old get dropped off in the woods at midday so they can build a structure, hunt for food, and sleep under a pile of dried leaves in 'no mans land' over night ALONE, and come back the next day to see if they 'survived.'!) But, anyhoo...I digress.  My point is, I've actually learned a few things by watching this show!

This guy turned his in-ground pool into a below ground green house in the shallow end, and a pond in the deeper end, where they literally fish for their dinner! They grow tilapia...they have chickens that they keep OVER the pond, and the chicken's poo drops into the pond to feed the alga and fish! so, basically, when they eat their tilapia, they're eating chicken poo! hmm

One lady believes that the world will see a huge pandemic, and she's prepping for it.  Believe it or not, the specialists on the show agree with WILL happen, to what extreme (globally, locally, or nationally), they can't calculate.  She passes out these buckets to her neighbors and community filled with medical supplies to prepare them for when it happens (that can NOT be cheap)!  This got me thinking.  Where I may not believe we're going down a road like the movie 'Pandemic' (which was good, btw, lol), it can happen, you never know.

Another farms, and she saves her seeds for when they believe a cataclysmic event may disrupt the food cycle, delivery, growing, and such.  That way, she can share her seeds with her community and neighbors, family and friends, to help grow their own food and begin the cycle again.  Now...this one makes a bit of sense, and would be super easy for us gardeners to do...just harvest your garden plant's seeds and save them.  Most of us already do that (I know that I do), just step it up!

I actually watched this particular episode with interest...they have SO MUCH FOOD STORED (for quite a few people)! But they are SO well planned, right down to 'bugging out' and taking all of their food (which means animals, as well), with them, with no one (or animal) left behind!  You just gotta see how prepared these folks are, and they're very well structured, disciplined to it, and organized!

Are you a prepper of large or even small proportion?  You may be and not even know it.  Ok, so you may not believe the polar ends will shift locations, but you probably do agree that you like to be prepared for a few 'just in case' situations...your vehicle, for instance.  Most of us have a set of jumper cables in it somewhere...why? just in case!  Jumper cables aren't considered a maintenance item for a vehicle, they're for starting your vehicle in case your battery is dead.  I've ensured that each of our vehicles have the following (including the hub's company car): a rubbermaid tub with jumper cables and other car-type emergency things, a blanket, and a medical kit (most people have these in there cars to some degree or another).  Why not do a 'just in case' for your home, too?  we do...what do we do? we have smoke alarms for early warnings, and we have fire extinguishers 'just in case' there's a fire.  Everyone knows that I'm a couponer, I do have a stockpile (nothing HUGE by any means, just enough to last us a couple of months, and we use from it, replenish, etc.).  I've decided to make a bucket of medical supplies, as well, thanks to the 'pandemic' episode, and keep it in my basement.  I already keep a radio and batteries, water, and easy to grab/eat food down there (next to the stockpile shelves), in case of tornado, or whatever reason we may need to go/stay in the basement.

What would you do?  are you convinced 'something is coming?' or do you believe that the government will be there to help (uh...Hurricane Katrina ring any bells?)?  or do you believe it is, what it is, and why prepare for something that no man can ever predict to actually occur?

Disclaimer:  All photos and links contained within this post are that from NatGeo.  I claim no ownership or originality for them in any way.  Source credit belongs to NatGeo in its entirety.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

A TON of FREE seed, plant, and garden catalogs!

This is a copy of a post that I posted on my Frugal Living site, but thought it was definitely worth the share on LC.

*If you want to print these seed packets above, you can access them (and others) and do so 
for FREE at The Graphics Fairy!

If you're a gardener, then you've probably already started getting your seed and plant catalogs delivered to you in the mail.  If not, or if you're a beginner or just want some FREE seed and plant catalogs, then now's the time to order them, because Spring planting is LITERALLY right around the corner!  I've got my window greenhouse all set up, trays are there (need to wash them tho, ugh).  I'm going through my seeds, seeing what I need to order, have checked WinterSown's tomato list to see what ones I want to order (you can get 6 varieties of rare, hard to find, tomato sees for FREE or more for a small donation).  I ordered from WinterSown last year and LOVE them, they're are GREAT seed traders!  Which reminds me that I have some bell pepper seeds I need to send them.   Anyhoo...I've been doing some checking, and there's actually a 2012 updated list of about 48 different seed/plant catalogs in this post, all for FREE!  Including the popular ones like Burpee, down to some more obscure catalogs that you've probably never heard about (and THOSE are the ones I LOVE to look at and dream of ordering from...ahhhhhh, sigh!).  Some are perennials, some are heirloom only (my fave!), some are trees and bushes, some are a huge mix of things.  NOTE:  There's a few on that list (which was NOT compiled by myself) that include NOT free catalogs, or they include downloadable catalogs...but just a few.  Make sure you look before submitting your form, but it's usually pretty obvious.  I know I requested at least 20 new catalogs from companies I've never heard of...I'm so hoping I'll find something AWESOME and new for me to grow!!  I LOVE growing rare veggies, hard to find seeds, and such!

Of course, always remember, if it asks where you heard about them, don't say a freebie site, they may not send your catalog, so just say a friend or Google, or something.

*UPDATE:  Since I done this post on T&F a couple of weeks ago, I've received catalogs from no less than 13 NEW companies that I've not heard of before, and I'm having a blast looking through them all.  Some have some great new things that I'm so DYING to try growing!!

Trying to get rid of this blasted GHOST that's in my HOUSE!

Oh, boy, if ya'll only KNEW all the crap that this entity, spirit, ghost, shadow figure, whatever, has caused over the past few months, more so over the past month!  It's touched me (nothing harmful, but a bit perverted in a way, lol), it's lain next to me in my bed, it's hidden our car keys in places we'd NEVER put our keys (like the floor of my daughter's clothes closet), it's knocked on our 2nd story windows while we're by them (4 knocks in succession, on the window, right by our about freaky!), and just today, it knocked a stack of stuff off of a box in the upstairs hallway (no cats were around), which caused my golden retriever to jump up and bark at the pile like it she was waiting for it to move again, lol (a couple items on that box was a Catholic Youth Bible, which is heavy, and a dvd case to Paranormal Activity 2 (how about THAT irony, lol), but there were a few other things) takes a LOT to get a golden retriever to drop it's chew knot and bark, lol; plus a week or so ago, it actually manifested itself into a tall (about 6 ft) dark shadow figure standing in the corner of my bedroom by my closet.  It should be noted that about 6 months ago, before most of what I've mentioned happened, for some strange reason, I began to develop an aversion to my big walk-in closet.  I wasn't afraid of it, or of going into it to get my clothes, but it began to make me anxious and leery, to the point that when the door is closed, I put 2-3 throw pillows on the floor against's like I expect the door to open.  My golden retriever use to sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed (between the bed and the closet), but for the past 2 months or so, she won't, choosing to sleep between the bed and the hall doorway instead (about 3-5 feet away).

I can say, however, that I don't think that whatever is in our home is malevolent, but not so sure it's super friendly either.  The animals appear to be fine with it, although I think it tends to annoy them.  We've got a multitude of cleansed and charged crystals in our pockets, on tables, windowsills, and such setting around the house (for positive energy), and today, I tried to do the 'you need to go toward the light, you're dead, blah blah blah' trick that they all say to do...then 3 hours later the box thing happened, so I'm taking that as a 'I'm not going anywhere' answer.' *sigh*  The next thing I have to do is a smudge, which is a house cleansing with a dried sage bundle. It's just so time consuming, and can actually backfire, which is why I've been leery of doing it (that's all the hell I need to do, piss it off worse, ugh, lol).  Which is also why I've yet to do an EVP session...kind of afraid what I might hear, knowing that I may not be able to get it to leave and then knowing it's here with me at all times, as well as my kids, while we sleep, are alone, shower, and such???? see??? when you think about all of that and take it all into consideration, you'd probably stop to think before doing it too.

Now, why and who?  I don't know.  We live in a non-smoking home (it's almost 10 yrs old and no one has ever smoked in it), and both of my daughters have said that on occasion they smell cigarette smoke, and even dill pickles.  My father has passed, over 25 yrs ago, and use to smoke, as well as my grandparents, who passed over a handful of years ago, but if it was one of them, why now?  Plus, ya'll know me, I buy, find, and bring in a lot of vintage and antique items...could it be someone that's attached to one of those items?  Seriously, I wish I knew.  The entity is freaking my kids out, as well as myself, it's never done anything to or around my husband, only us, but I've always been a bit sensitive to these kinds of things and my kids probably just inherited that.  When it did manifest, it did so when the dogs were at a dog sitter prior to my picking them up after our trip last week.  Did it do that only because the dogs weren't here?  because it's not done it any other time...that we've SEEN, that is.  Our animals will OFTEN just stare at something, we look, and nothing's there...and I mean stare INTENTLY, like something's either interacting with it, talking to it, moving or something, and they watch it.  Do we have more than one spirit or entity, maybe?  I don't know, that's a possibility, I guess.

There's been many other things that it's done, I've just not listed them all, a few things like shake my youngest's bed to the point that she and her cat wakes up, walk around downstairs during the night, knock on the iron support beams in the basement (just one knock), things like that.  It all makes me wonder.  What do you all think?  any other suggestions??  And please do not suggest a Oujia board, because we will not have one of those in our home.

Oh, it should be noted that we did live in one other haunted house, around 2002-2003, and at times there would be knocking on the windows at that house, as well.  But I've read that knocking on walls, doors, windows, etc, is just how they all tend to get your attention.  Plus, the ghost that was at that house, had lived there, I don't think it would leave a house that it had lived and died at just to follow piddly ole us, lol.  I use to read tarot cards, and did so in that house...after one reading, the encounters at that house tripled, and I've not read tarot cards since, lol (although my daughter has her own deck that she got for Christmas, but all this started before Christmas).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wow, winter's upon us, which means ONE thing...GARDEN/SEED CATALOGS!

Yep, it's that time of year again.  If you're a gardener, then you're probably getting your seed, flower, and other garden catalogs in the mail already...I know I have been.  I've probably gotten at least 7 seed catalogs since mid December, some I don't even remember signing up for (but I imagine that I did).  I've had my garden journal out, updating things from the fall and winter, I STILL have brussels sprout plants growing and producing healthy, green brussels sprouts, they're the only thing pretty and green down in the garden (I need to take a pic and post it for ya'll).

What this means is it's time for me to start my planning.  A true gardener learns from their previous season and adjusts some of those lessons for the next season.  I've gone through my seeds, have started sharing some with a couple of friends, even in other states.  If you're going to share, then try to get started now, especially if you'll be mailing them, so they'll have them for when it's time to start them indoors.  And while I was doing this, it dawned on me, I need to check out Wintersown to see if they have any new types/varieties of heirloom tomatoes.  Last year, out of 12 tomato plants, only ONE of those plants weren't heirloom...yummm!  Once you have an heirloom tomato, you'll never want to grow another hybrid ever again, lol.  They're SO much more flavorful, and also have more acid in them (which I 'spose some people don't like).  But the high acidity in heirlooms are GREAT for canning, it means you don't have to worry about adding citric acid like you sometimes have to think about when canning with hybrid or store-bought tomatoes (some aren't very high in acid at all, which can increase your chances of poisoning all those canned tomatoes that you worked so hard on).  Anyway, you may remember me talking about Wintersown last year.  I learned about it from my gardener blogger pal, Mimi, from Gardening in the Boroughs of NYC.  And boy, I still can't thank her enough for turning me on to this great organization.  Check it out for yourself, they offer FREE seeds for wintersowing (or winter starting, I spose...I don't winter sow, but I request seeds from them), donation is not required but they really can use the funds to help to continue what they do...I always donate.  AND they take your seed donations, as well.  So if you collect and save your seeds and wish to share with them, they'd love to receive them.  Check on their site to see how you go about donating them.

So, what are your garden plans?  Have you started?  If you're a gardener, believe me, I have no doubt that you're already itching to get out there, lol  Where's Spring when you're ready for her? lol  I fear that since we've had a very lite winter (here in STL anyway) that it will have a negative effect for our gardening this year...bugs galore, snakes galore, maybe even some fungus and plant disease issues that we wouldn't normally deal with even...ugh!

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