Tag Archives: Preparedness

Deciding on a Grain Mill

We are in the market for a grain mill.  We can’t wait to join the thousands hundreds dozens of other folks who spent countless hours preparing their own flour.  Now you know us, we don’t want just any ol’  electric mill that you can buy at Walmart and that will grind your flour in mere seconds.  We want one that you have to crank yourself.  And we want one that won’t break.  That appears to be a tall order.

So we’ve done some internet searching and consulted our favorite bloggers.  At least those who like to do things the slow way old fashioned way.  I think we have settled on a Country Living Grain Mill.  Everywhere we look, we only find satisfied customers.  We were also considering the Wonder Junior Deluxe mill, but the reviews were mixed.  One reviewer said it took her 1 1/2 hours to grind wheat fine enough to use for bread, which required double grinding.  That seems like a really long time to me.  The cost is about half that of the Country Living mill so we are tempted to try it.

And talk about getting the horse before the wagon, we’ve already purchased a supply of wheat, corn and oatmeal.

Thanks, Courtney.

Internet Down

As you may know, I’m blessed in that I have a great job that I can do from home.  This job required 24/7 connectivity with the internet, however.  100% of my job is done on the local server at my employer’s office in California.

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but Courtney and I rely on the internet for almost everything.  Mapquest, online phone directories, communication via email and facebook are just a few.

The first few days here in Colorado were without internet.  We deliberately had our service set up the week before we got here so that there was no excuse for delays because I had to get back to work quickly.  As it turned out, the internet provider had lines crossed in their local service box and it took about a day of “the run around” before they sent someone to fix it.  All told, we were in the dark for three days including the weekend.  Don’t worry, I don’t mean dark in the literal sense.  Electricity was on, but we had no contact with the outside world other than our cell phones which are dumb phones and not smart phones.  It seemed like an eternity.

Thankfully I had the foresight to do some planning, but there were plenty of gaps too.  I downloaded the DirecTv satellite installation guide so I could get to work on that right away.  I’m kind of a nut in that I absolutely love maps, so we had that covered already.  We did not have a phone book for the local area.

The “To Do” list contains the following:

1. Obtain local phone book

2. Obtain old telephone which doesn’t require electricity.  I found one on Craigslist for two dollars and just need to make arrangements to pick it up.   Sometimes a power outage doesn’t mean phone lines are down.  But if your phone requires electricity, then you’re outta luck.  Older phones just plug in and can make and receive calls.

3. Begin gathering key references material.  This includes downloaded information on your computer but also a three ring binder for things I may need to know but can’t research. In here I keep things such as dosage information for medicines/herbal remedies, table for measurement (english/metric) conversions, operator/repair manuals for important tools like your chainsaw or generator, etc.

4. Get a generator and convert it with a tri fuel carburetor kit.

5. Get a weather radio that will sound an alert for local warnings since we’ve relocated to an area with a tornado risk.  This is especially on my mind after the 45 deaths across the country in the second week of April due to storms that also passed through our area.  The storms weren’t yet that bad as they passed through our area, but it was windy nonetheless.

Thanks, Robert.

The Prepardeness Challenge

I just came across this article from a blog I follow called Homestead Revival.  There are all kinds of neat do it yourself things on her blog and I just like to poke around and see what’s new.  She had a blog post a few weeks ago (I missed it, sometimes having a toddler means I am several weeks behind on some things but always up to date Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) that is a great challenge.  Being prepared was definitely a topic of discussion in our house a month ago due to the disaster in Japan.  More specifically the fallout that potentially could have reached the west coast.  Which is where were.  With an unborn baby to protect this occupied my thoughts.  Luckily we were spared but it brought up a useful theme, be prepared.

So take a look at this post.  I think it will be inspiring to you.  I plan on taking part in the challenge.  To me this challenge doesn’t mean buying something every week but also researching how to do things for yourself, teaching your children about emergency situations, collecting, sorting, cleaning and in general being alert and ready.  I remind myself that I am not doing this because I concerned that the end of the world is near but because we as a family are trying to get back to a simpler lifestyle, one that is a little more self sufficient.  Why?  Because we enjoy living this way.

Homestead Revival: A Call to Be Prepared

Thanks, Courtney

Whats in your car?

I keep a bunch of “what if” things in our vehicles.  Maybe it started way back when I was in Boy Scouts, where the motto is “Be Prepared” but who knows, it could have started before that.  Anyways, I like to be ready to take on any challenge.

In each of our two vehicles, I have always kept several bottles of water, a pen and paper, a flashlight, a pocket knife, small tool kit, duct tape, one quart motor oil, a wool blanket,  some toilet paper and some spare change.  Recently I’ve beefed up the stash.

One box is a first aid kit which contains a multitude of bandaids.  Courtney got this a three pack of these plastic containers from Costco a year or so ago.  I stuffed in a bunch of extra things, to include butterfly closures, neosporin, a lighter, one really large bandaid patch, a bunch of Q-Tips, some dental floss and a zip lock baggie with some Benedryl tablets. Most of those are self explanatory, but I want to add that there has been some negative press about Benedryl especially used in younger children.  We won’t be using it for your typical seasonal allergies, but rather emergency bee sting induced anaphylactic shock, etc.  [Disclaimer: I’m no doctor, so this is not medical advice.]

The top of the picture shows one of each box sealed.  The bottom has one of each opened to show the contents.  I put a label on the front so we can quickly determine if we need to open the box or not.

A second box contains a deck of cards, another lighter, a few more quarters (I don’t know why I threw those in) and an old deactivated cell phone with the DC car charger.  The cards are for passing time if you are stranded somewhere and plan to wait for help.  The old phone is for making a 911 call.  The FCC has a rule that requires all 911 calls to be put through even if it is from a deactivated cell phone.  But, you need some battery power, hence the charger.  I’ve never done it, but have received this information from multiple sources online.  Spare chargers can be found on eBay for $3.00 with free shipping.

Each of these compact boxes are sealed up with packing tape to keep moisture out.  They can be opened with the pocket knife that is kept in the drivers side door pocket.

As you may have read on our blog recently, we’re moving to Colorado soon.  A set of tire chains for each vehicle have been found for a bargain at garage sales over the last few months, so we should be ready for the snow.

My truck has a flatbed with toolboxes under the bed, so I also keep a few extra things. The list includes a foldable military surplus shovel, a spare glowplug relay, spare fuel filter, power steering fluid (its a Ford, prone to bad P/S pumps), ropes and straps,along with a few other tools.

I’d hate to think that Courtney could get two flat tires  or hit an ice patch and end up in a ditch and be stranded somewhere.  I’ve reviewed all of this with her so that she knows that she can be prepared to hunker down and wait it out until help arrives.

So, what am I missing?  I know its not perfect and this is a work in progress.  Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you guys think.

Thanks, Robert.