Sorry to be so long updating this. I am waiting for the re-launch of the books by the publisher, which should be any time now. I will update again when they go live.
Many of you have commented on the valuable information of the medicinal herbs in Book 2. I’ve compiled a list of those and a few others. This is by no means all-inclusive in either the relevant plants or their properties. I strongly encourage you to do an internet search for “medicinal herbs”, or go to Amazon and search “medicinal herbs free” for some free or cheap ebooks. Knowledge is power, and this knowledge could be worth its weight in gold if the SHTF. Got an empty window sill that gets good sun year around? You can plant your own farmacy!
Aloe Vera: scar removal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, repair damaged skin and promote the growth of healthy skin
Arrowroot: antiseptic, digestion, irregularity
Basil: low blood sugar, lack of appetite, antioxidant
Bay Laurel: dandruff, arthritis pain, inflammation
Burdock: skin diseases, antibacterial, antifungal, inflammation, mild laxative
Catnip: not just for cats! Relaxation, diuretic, laxative
Chamomile: calming sleep aid, tooth and earaches in a poultice, muscle relaxation, anxiety and tension, indigestion and colic, skin irritations
Chervil: relieves soreness and swelling
Chives: reduces inflammation, repels insects, beta carotene and Vitamin C
Cilantro/Coriander: antioxidants, stomach upset, cholesterol
Cloves: kills harmful bacteria, fights inflammation, relieves stomach and tooth issues
Comfrey: bruises, sprains, skin ulcers, wounds, broken bones, menstrual, diarrhea, cough, sore throat
Dill: assists in digestion, combats bad breath, lessens swelling, boils, and cramps
Echinacea: improved immune system, treats symptoms of cold and flu
Fennel: breath freshener, pesticide, upset stomach
Feverfew: used in the treatment of fevers, colds, ease pain of arthritis, skin conditions
Jasmine: antioxidants, fever, urinary inflammation, stress, heat stroke, sedative, antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic
Lamb’s Ear: bandage, absorbent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, menstrual flow
Lavender: relaxation, promotes healthy sleep patterns, helps with headaches, including migraines, antiseptic
Lemon Balm: bug repellent, treat colds, fever, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, wounds, bites, upset stomach, helps heal cold sores
Marigold: sunburn, acne, soothes ulcers and digestive problems
Parsley: Vitamins A and C, helps stabilize blood pressure, breath freshener
Peppermint/Spearmint: digestion, fever, headache. Can be brewed into a tea. Peppermint has Vitamin B, calcium, and potassium
Pot Marigold (Calendula): insect bites, sprains, fever, infections
Rosemary: antioxidants, breath freshener
Sage: internally, stomach and nerve issues; externally, skin infections, mouth infections, bug bites, cuts, inflammation
Thyme: disinfectant, antiseptic, digestive aid, infections, coughs, congestion
Wheatgrass: improved blood flow, antioxidants, over 100 nutrients
Prepping for Pennies…OK, Dollars
I hear people say it all the time: “I can’t afford to buy anything extra for prepping. I’m on a budget. I just don’t have the money right now.” While I can understand this to a point, my response would be: “How can you afford NOT to?”
The people on the East Coast have been devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Some people will go days, even weeks without power. The grocery stores are empty. The roads are impassable in some places. Does any of this sound familiar, you know, like you read it in a book of fiction? Prepping isn’t just about TEOTWAWKI. It’s about being ready for any event that could disrupt your day-to-day life. So, what can you do if you don’t have the money to invest in a year’s supply of food for a family of four in one fell swoop? The answer – buy cheap. Here’s a few suggestions.
The Dollar Store
The dollar store is a gold mine of items you can prep cheap. Emergency candles, matches, zip bags, garbage bags, bleach, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, socks, aluminum foil, even some canned and dried food – the list is endless of the SHTF appropriate items you can find for a dollar each. Spend five dollars a week there, which is less than the price of lunch out, and you’ll start to build a nice stash of items you could use in an emergency situation.
The Grocery Store
Every trip to the store finds me in the Manager’s Specials. Truthfully, I make a beeline for that section. I have gotten so many useful items from those shelves. The suggested sell by date is getting close, so the store throws the items into a clearance bin. There’s nothing wrong with them, and many are shelf stable for years. I once found a 20-pound bag of rice for five dollars. If you have the means to can meat, I have found it as cheap as fifty cents a pound. Large packs of Jello for 49 cents. Wait, I can hear you saying it: if my power is out, I can’t make Jello. No, but you can drink it. Jello only needs water. A large pack has over 150 grams of carbs in it. You know what carbs are, right? Energy. Don’t discount store or generic brands either. A one-pound box of saltines for less than a dollar is a really good deal, and we like them better than the brand name. A can of tuna and a pack of Ramen noodles makes a great high protein, high carb meal, for about a buck fifty. A case of bottled water will carry you almost a week in an emergency situation, and you can get them about three dollars. If you buy one or two extra items a week, or set a goal of spending an extra five dollars a week at the grocery store, it will add up faster than you think.
I know it’s hard to change your buying and spending habits. Been there, done that. However, if your budget includes you eating lunch out every day, or buying an expensive coffee once a week, it’s so much better for your family and yourself to take your lunch at least two days a week, and stay out of that drive-thru lane. Chances are something you’d bring from home would be a whole lot healthier for you anyway.
Little changes can make a big difference in your ability to prepare for the unforeseen catastrophe. I can tell you from experience, it feels really good to not be one of those people who rushes to the store to buy stuff when a snowstorm is forecast anymore. Here’s hoping you can find a way to not be one, too.
Where Will You Be When SHTF?
We took a week’s vacation on the Florida Gulf coast. It was absolutely wonderful…and exhausting. This is our third trip there in the past 15 years, and this one was really taxing for us. Getting old ain’t for sissies, folks. What should be a 7 ½ to 8-hour trip turns into 9 to 10 hours for folks who have to pee a lot. That pretty much means you set aside a day to get there and a day to get back, and at least half a day to recoup for said travel days. Whew, I’m still trying to catch up on my rest.
This trip did make us think hard about what would happen if SHTF while we were away. We carry GHBs, along with side arms, ammo, extra cash, silver rounds, as well as clothes and food for our trip. If it was anything but an EMP, we’d have a chance to get home. Granted, it would probably take a lot longer than 9 or 10 hours – and even then, we aren’t assured to make it. There was a “gas shortage” in Tennessee while we were gone. I used quotes because I’m not entirely convinced there was one, but just the hint of one and everyone goes crazy and rushes out to fill up every vehicle and gas can they have, which in turn actually results in a gas shortage. Fortunately, we had filled up the day before we left, which was also the day before the news reported the issue. If that had been country-wide, we might have had a hard time finding enough gas to get us home, no matter how much money we had with us.
In the case of an EMP, we’d never get home. We know that. We’re just too old and soft to be able to walk hundreds of miles, and we’d never be able to carry enough food and water to make it. As a prepper, you look at your preps and feel like you could sustain your family for a specific amount of time with what you have stored, but what if you were hundreds of miles away from home when an event happened? Even if you could get back home, what are the chances your preps would still be there, and not taken by scavengers or confiscated by an overreaching government “for the greater good”?
So, what’s the answer? Never leave home? Never go on vacation? Is that any way to live your life? What if nothing happens – nothing that we’ve prepped for anyway – and you die with a house full of preps, but you didn’t experience anything life has to offer? Those are tough questions, and we all need to decide for ourselves how much life we are willing to live outside of preparing for whatever said life might throw at us.
As I unpack from the trip, and shake more sand out of another pair of shoes, I’m good with this choice. We needed to get away. I’m also very glad to be back in my cocoon with all my preps in the next room.
There’s Bugs in Them Thar Hills!
Hubby and I went camping over the long weekend. We came home a day early because we were both covered in chigger and tick bites. As I was researching alternative treatments for the bites, it got me to thinking about how that situation would play out in a SHTF scenario.
Ticks and chiggers love tall grass and wooded areas. In any kind of collapse situation, nobody is going to be worrying about mowing and weed eating – unless they are actually going to be eating the weeds. When not held at bay, Mother Nature will quickly take back her territories that we have occupied, starting with the woods and pastures. Guess where the wild game is you might be hunting for food? The longer the situation goes on, the more she will take, and the more her creatures will inhabit. Unmolested by chemical agents, bugs will quickly become a huge problem. Not only are they annoying, but both mosquitos and ticks carry life threatening diseases, which would be even more dangerous if there were no doctors or medicine to treat them.
I found a recipe for homemade bug spray that looks like it might be a good alternative to store bought versions, which you wouldn’t be able to get if things went to hell. The recipe is below, and here’s a link to the page. https://draxe.com/homemade-bug-spray/ Everything in the recipe I have in my preps, as they can be used in multiple ways. For not a lot of money (the essential oils are the costliest item, but they last a while) you can make something you were buying before. When you can’t buy it, and you need it, being able to make it is an essential skill.
Homemade Bug Spray
• 1/2 cup witch hazel
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
• 40 drops essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree, or rosemary)
• Glass spray bottle
1. Mix all ingredients in 8oz spray bottle
2. Spray over all portions of the body but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth
When Cash is Trash
I know, I know – everyone thinks preppers are crazy people. We have food and water, medical supplies and toiletries, and toilet paper (HAHAHAHAHA! – wait, that’s not funny) piled up in every available spot in our home, that will hopefully get us through any kind of meltdown. And it’s possible – not probable, but possible – that nothing will happen in our lifetime that would necessitate the need for these things. My current books are based are an EMP event. This is my least favorite scenario, because to lose all our electronics in one moment would be devastating. But honestly, isn’t economic collapse a more realistic scenario for us to have to face in our lifetime?
Our government is spending money we don’t have daily. This country is so far in debt, that if they stopped spending right now (which will never happen), our grandchildren would still be trying to pay off the debt. How do they do that? How do they spend money we don’t have? They borrow it from other countries. If I spend money I don’t have, and I have overdraft protection, I can write the check and I get charged for it. So does our country. The interest alone on the debt this country owes makes it impossible to ever pay anything on the principal.
For now, we go along like everything is great. We keep borrowing, they keep lending. But what if they stop lending? What happens to us? Inflation is what happens. Inflation of never before seen proportions. Interest rates sky rocket. Small business can’t pay their loans, so they default, and close their doors in bankruptcy. Medium sized businesses are next. While this is going on, goods slowly stop being delivered to stores. Goods includes food. The store shelves don’t get restocked, because they can’t get deliveries, because the produce guy went out of business, or the trucking company that made the deliveries. You can have $10,000 in the bank, but it means nothing if you can’t buy anything with it, because there is nothing to buy. Don’t think this can happen? Check out Venezuela.
Barter now becomes the way you get food. If you decide to part with any of your supplies, trade for silver, gold, diamonds, or guns and ammo. Those things never lose their value.
This is why we prep. When cash is worthless, preps are priceless.
The Price We’ll Pay for Comfort
Yesterday our air conditioning unit quit working. Literally, hubby touched a wire outside and everything went down. No power to the unit, no lights on the controller, nothing. In light of the way things are nowadays, when something like this happens, you immediately check to make sure the power is still on to the rest of the house. While an EMP is highly unlikely (at least, I hope it is), it isn’t impossible.
Thankfully, it was just the A/C unit. Of course, things like this always happen on the weekend, or at night, when service call prices can double or triple, so we toughed it out in 90-degree Tennessee summer weather. We decided to deal with the heat until this morning. We are fortunate enough to have a portable A/C unit that we moved downstairs and hooked up which made the evening bearable until we could get the service company called this morning. Shout out to Temp Control in Nashville for a quick fix – we are basking in our 72-degree home as I write this post.
It did make us think about what life would be like if there was no power. Our society is so accustomed to the luxury of heat and air conditioning that we take them for granted until they’re gone. How did people deal with the heat before air conditioning, or even fans? I guess they were just used to it. Most people, including me, are not. I don’t know how my overweight, 50-something-year-old body would deal with it if I didn’t have them. Probably not very well. I do know that today I am extremely thankful for the guys who got us going again. A little less than $300 was the price I paid for my comfort. I probably would have paid twice that.
I truly hope we never have to find out what it’s like to live without the luxuries electricity provide us. As Anne said in Book 1: it would really suck.
Work on the next book is moving along. As I’m writing it, I find myself doing searches on the internet to try to describe items accurately, as well as laying out a situation that could actually happen in this scenario. When I do this, I think about the irony that, if the events the books are based on truly happened, that would no longer be an option for information. We live in an age almost completely dependent on electricity and technology. We don’t have to go to the library to do research. It’s at our fingertips on the worldwide web, on devices we can fit in our pockets. Do they even make encyclopedias anymore?
So, we go along in our daily lives, with all this technology around us. We don’t pause to think about it until we lose it. What do you do when your power goes out? You grab your phone to see what’s going on, because the power company has an app that reports outages to you. A power outage doesn’t affect your phone, after all. But what if it did? What if, in the space of a second, you lost every electronic device you have?
Where would you get water if you turned the faucet on and nothing came out? Water is the number one, most important thing you need to survive. How much food do you have in your house, right now? Could you cook without a microwave or an oven? Do you carry cash with you, just in case? If you do have these things, how would you keep other people from taking them from you if said people didn’t have them? If you don’t do anything else for you and your family, keep at least a week’s worth of non-perishable food in your home. Don’t forget your pets. Keep enough water for each person to have a gallon per day for at least two weeks.
If you don’t think anything can happen in this country to disrupt your daily life, look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Oh, you don’t live on the coast? You live in the middle of the country? Guess what, you live on an active fault line. An earthquake can do a lot more damage than a hurricane, over a much wider area, that could cut you off from everything for weeks, if not months. You would have no services and possibly no help.
It would cost you a few extra bucks a week to build up a cache of food. If you ever have to use it, it would be priceless.
We’re giving away a signed copy of the debut novel, When the Power is Gone! For a chance to win, go to our Facebook page and like the pinned post. For another chance to win, share the post on your wall so your friends can like it, too. Winner will be announced Sunday evening. Don’t miss out on this free book, personally signed by P.A. Glaspy!