September 2, 2014

The Art of Silence and a Look to Go With It

The Art of Silence and a Look to Go With It

Today I am going to share two tips with you that I have used many, many times. I have used them to stop arguments, to win arguments, to stop pushy sales people, to shut down “alpha male” loudmouths, to frustrate frustrating people, to stop myself from saying things I would regret and to keep from embarrassing myself. The list of ways that silence and “the look” have worked goes on and on.

I don’t say a word.

This sounds much easier than it really is. A good salesperson knows that after they make their pitch and ask you to buy, to shut their mouths. Often times, the first person to speak loses. Here is a tip on dealing with salespeople; if you’re not interested, don’t give any reasons or excuses, just say “no”. If you don’t shut them down with a “no”, you’ve given them more time to try and convince you.

This isn’t just true in sales; I have won arguments with people in different areas of my life by saying my piece and shutting my mouth. My goal here is to give my perception and not enter into the “tit-for-tat” type of argument that often occurs.

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” ~ Proverbs 29:11

I try to live by this verse. I don’t always succeed, but thank God for His grace. Here is my theory on arguing; if your stance is correct and your argument is logical, make your point and be quiet. If two people are in an argument, odds are that emotions are heightened. You will, most often, not sway someone in an emotionally irritated state by a logical argument, even if it is the correct and right stance. Continuing to argue often leads to even higher emotional volatility, which can lead one to sin against the person they’re arguing with.

Trudee and I are blessed with having fewer heated arguments than I can count on one hand in the almost ten years we’ve been married. When one has happened, I say my piece and try to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes that has led to each of us feeling like we got to say what we felt needed to be said. Sometimes it has led to me vacating the same space so I can keep my mouth shut.

“It is better to be thought a fool, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. For those of you who don’t know, Asperger’s is a high functioning form of Autism. My social skills are pretty good for someone with Asperger’s, but I learned early in life that I don’t know how to respond in many social situations. If I don’t know how to respond and do anyway, many times it comes out awkward and forced. If I keep my yap shut, I might come off as quiet, stand-offish, or in some cases rude. I’ll take any of those instead of looking and feeling like a fool.

Where not saying a word works extremely well is with pushy people who aren’t taking “no” for an answer. Don’t keep saying “no”. Just say it and then stare at them in the manner I’ll describe below.

Women, please learn this! If you have a man who is making you uncomfortable, you do not need to explain yourself or worry about hurting his feelings or his opinion of you! He might call you the big bad “B” word! So what!? Your safety, self-respect and general well-being are far more important than him expressing his opinion of you!
 
 
The Look of Looks

Part of my Asperger’s Syndrome is a difficulty picking up on social queues; especially matching facial expressions with emotions. Because of this, I have spent hundreds of hours throughout my life studying and analyzing facial expressions. There is one look I have seen that is particularly effective that I have used countless times to great effect.

This expression is really a total lack of any expression. Your face is totally void of any emotion. Relax all of the muscles in your face; no clenched jaw, no grimace, no flared nostrils; just nothing.

To me, this expression conveys a sense of meaning business. I have seen it used by women to shut down pushy men, parents to stop a nagging child, men use it instead of posturing to let another man know they’ll not be taking any more crap and it’s time for them to back down.

I have actually used it in all of those situations (except I shut down a pushy woman) very effectively. Probably the funniest use of it was recently; I have an account rep at work who thinks his problems are the most important thing going on. He is a “hoverer” on top of it. He frequently shows up at people’s cubes and expects them to stop what they are working on to address his issue. I let him know I didn’t have time at that moment but would be able to help him in 30 minutes and then gave him the look. He didn’t know what to do! He just walked away! He hasn’t been back to my cube since.

To use silence and this look effectively, you have to be comfortable with the awkward silence that will follow. If you smile when you’re nervous, if you clench your jaw when angered, if you feel the need to power up to intimidate, or countless other things, you’ll need to train it out of you!
 
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Preparedness Club

3 Tips to Fix Blossom End Rot

Todays article is written by Mike the gardener from the Seed of the Month Club.
 
backet_of_veggies

 

Blossom end rot is one of the easier vegetable plant diseases to spot and the most asked about as well.  A few times each week someone will post a picture on our vegetable gardening Facebook page asking “Why are my tomatoes doing this?”

 

When your tomatoes have blossom end rot, they look great at the top, but on the bottom of the fruit, is a dark, mushy spot, that makes the tomato look inedible.  Blossom end rot typically looks like the picture below.  Along with tomatoes, blossom end rot also affects peppers, squash, cucumbers, and melons.

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 

THE CAUSE OF BLOSSOM END ROT

In short, blossom end rot occurs when your plant is not getting enough calcium.  However, it could be because your plants are not getting enough water either.   While your soil may have ample amounts of calcium in it for your plants, there still needs to be sufficient water in order for the plant to carry the calcium to where it needs to go.

 

Before you start heavy watering your plants though, it would be best to check the type of soil that you have and take a reading of your soil to see if it has the nutrients, in this case calcium and pH level that your plants need to avoid this disease.

 

Typically, soils that are acidic, sandy, or coarse often contain less calcium.  Also, overusing fertilizers can cause calcium deficiency as well.   Overusing fertilizers can increase your phosphorous levels which creates an environment where the calcium that is present is unusable by your plants.

 

FIXING BLOSSOM END ROT

Now that you know what blossom end rot looks like, what it is and what can cause it, the next logical step would be to understand how to fix this issue.  Your first step with blossom end rot, and just about any plant disease, is to mix in plenty of organic material, i.e., compost.  By mixing in plenty of compost, you are keeping your soil healthy and that creates a well suited environment for your plants.

 

The next step would be to check your soil’s pH level.  If your soil is too acidic you can add some lime to it to bring the pH level up.  The pH level of your soil will depend upon what you are growing, but you are shooting for 6.0 to 6.5 which is an ideal range for most plants in the home vegetable garden that are susceptible to blossom end rot.

 

Unfortunately, once your fruit has blossom end rot, that particular fruit cannot be reversed back to a healthy fruit.  Therefore you have to take steps to ensure that future fruit on that plant do not meet the same fate.  An immediate solution, so as to not lose your harvest for the season, is to use a liquid fertilizer that is enhanced with calcium.  There are plenty of organic options on the market.    Also, be sure to water daily so that your plants can actually move that calcium throughout the plant.

 

Again, blossom end rot cannot be reversed on particular fruits.  Once the fruit has it, it has it.  That does not make the fruit inedible though.  Just cut off the end that is dark and mushy.  To me, the fruit tastes the same.

 

mypicAbout the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the bookVegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of theSeeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on theVegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

Simple and Straightforward Tips For Keeping Food Fresh

Today’s article was written by Lee Flynn


Simple and Straightforward Tips For Keeping Food Fresh

If you’re sick of noticing your food go bad in what seems like the blink of an eye, you don’t have to sit back helplessly. A few handy tips can go a long way in keeping your food fresh for a longer period of time.





Fresh Onions and Pantyhose





If you’re a big onion household, then you might want to consider stashing these veggies away inside of pantyhose, oddly enough. If you do so, they’ll be able to stay good for upward of 8 months. Make sure all of the onions are apart by tying knots in the middle of them.





Routine Refrigerator Cleaning





Regular, thorough fridge cleaning can be beneficial for keeping your food fresh. If you allow any rotten food items to linger inside of your refrigerator, they’ll rapidly get to all of your other food. Always throw rotten food away immediately. Keep all of your food in top-notch condition by routinely disinfecting your refrigerator.





Berries and Vinegar Solutions





As soon as you purchase berries from the supermarket, cleanse them using a vinegar solution. After you do this, you can store them. Make your solution using 10 parts H20 and a single part vinegar. Whirl them around in the blend, drain them, clean then off and finally place them inside of the refrigerator. Thanks to the dilution, you don’t have to fret about an unpleasant vinegar flavor taking over your delicious berries. If you love strawberries and raspberries, this easy-peasy technique can be extremely useful.





Freezing Bread





It’s common for people to purchase loaves of bread only to notice much of it going to waste in the end. Bread goes stale extremely quickly, after all. If you’re tired of squandering perfectly good food, start freezing your bread. As soon as you bring home a loaf of bread, cut it in half and place the rest inside of the freezer. Once you’re ready to eat the frozen bread, thaw it. Say goodbye to hard, moldy bread for good.





Crispy Lettuce





If you enjoy nothing more than the taste of a salad full of crispy, fresh lettuce, then you can accomplish that quite easily. When you store lettuce, wrap it up inside of tinfoil. Doing this will ensure that it remains crisp and delicious for a longer time.





Mushroom Storage Etiquette





Refrain from stashing mushrooms away inside of plastic. When you do this, you confine moisture which then leads to spoiling. Instead of using plastic for mushrooms, opt for a paper bag. Put your mushrooms in a paper bag in an environment that is both dry and cool. If you put your mushrooms in a paper bag, you can also keep them in the refrigerator.





Suitable Potato Storage





Maintain the freshness of your potatoes by never storing them alongside onions. If you store potatoes and onions together, your potatoes will go bad markedly quicker. If you store potatoes alongside apples, on the other hand, you’ll stop sprouting from occurring.





Prompt Fruit Storage





Fruits such as cherries, pineapples, citrus, watermelons, raspberries, grapes and strawberries never become riper post-picking. Because of that, leaving them outside is a pointless effort. If you leave them out, they’ll simply spoil. If you want to keep these fruits fresh for as long as can be, store them inside of your refrigerator as soon as possible.





No Cheese in Plastic Wrap





Refrain from storing your cheese by wrapping it up in plastic wrap. Instead of going for plastic wrap, opt for either wax paper or cheese paper. Wax paper and cheese paper will both keep your cheese good for a longer time. After you wrap it in wax or cheese paper, insert it inside of a plastic bag.





Meat and Produce Belong Apart

As far as freshness goes, keeping meat and produce in one drawer together can be a bad idea. If you do so, that can bring upon frustrating cross-contamination. If you want to refrain from practically throwing food out the window, store your meats and produce separately all of the time.





These easy and straightforward food storage tips can be extremely beneficial for ensuring that valuable food doesn’t go to waste quickly. Start using them today.

Willingness to Use Force and the Permission to do so

Willingness to Use Force and the Permission to do so

It is my belief that there is a small percentage of people who are freely willing to use force at a moment’s notice. There is a larger percentage who, because it is not something in their normal routine, have to grant themselves permission so to speak and still another group of people who resist the use of violence, even at their own peril.

If I asked you if you were willing to use force to protect yourself or a loved one, I believe the majority of you would say “yes”, but the speed at which we give ourselves permission could vary greatly and can have a drastic impact on the outcome of the altercation.
 

Willingness

I am not a violent man; I personally see it as something that should be used as a last possible option, but it must be an option. To those people who say that violence doesn’t solve anything, I would say “it absolutely does.” Violence, in the form of war, ended the Holocaust and slavery, to name just two horrible things. Violence or the threat of violence in the form of self-defense has stopped violent crimes of every type. The police use violence and the threat of violence to stop crimes of all kinds.


“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

It is my belief that we have an obligation to confront evil. If we see evil being visited on someone and do not attempt to stop it, we incur some of the guilt that is being inflicted. We could personally intervene or call the police to do so.

I also believe we have a moral obligation to use violence to stop violence being visited upon us. If we do not, I believe we incur guilt for any future evil this person inflicts. We also bare guilt for preventing any future good the victim may have done.

I have heard the argument from Christians in the past that they don’t want to use lethal force because they don’t know the condition of the person’s soul. Their soul is not your personal responsibility in that moment. Being there for your family, providing for them, and living the life God has called you to is your responsibility.
 

Permission

The word “permission,” used in this context, feels a little clunky to me but is actually a good fit. As I stated earlier, violence is not something most of us use often. Because of this, when we must use it, we often have to grant ourselves permission. Depending on our background, our self-talk could be a very short “do it” or we might have to convince ourselves that while we may not like it, this person/situation is forcing us to do this and that if we do not, we may be severely hurt or even killed.

To me, the use of force of any kind is a two part equation; one part moral and the other part legal. If standing before God or a judge, I could explain why I felt justified in using force; for fear of bodily harm or worse. I then have all the permission I need.

In the heat of the moment, you might not have time to consider an explanation to God or a judge. For this reason, it is important to give yourself permission to use force under certain conditions. The amount of force used should also scale with the threat. Here are a few of my personal thresholds.

I don’t think anyone should participate in the posturing that often takes place in street fights; the pushing and chest bumping, insulting and cursing at each other and so on. To me, this is the same as a warning shot. De-escalation here is the prudent thing to do; walk away but remain alert. If your safety is truly in danger, don’t flex, just act. If your safety is not in danger and you take part in the posturing, using force as things escalate, your actions will not be viewed as “self-defense” in court.

That being said, if someone is yelling and threatening me, I will get ready to use force, both mentally and possibly physically, by getting in a fighting stance, for instance, if, for example, walking away isn’t an option because of being backed physically into a corner. Now, if the person threatening has a weapon and is making threats, the use of force is more than likely called for.

Once someone places their hands on someone else in a violent manner, from a slap, push, punch or choke, the attacker has given the victim permission to use enough force to stop the aggression.
 

Preemptive Strike

I think preemptive use of force can often prevent a more violent outbreak. For example; you’re out to dinner with your children or grandchildren and someone who has had too much to drink is being verbally abusive to everyone around them. You get up to leave, which draws attention to you, and the man starts cursing you and threatening you as he blocks your exit to the door. Knocking him on his backside could very well stop him from escalating even more and physically attacking you or your loved ones.

Here is another example; a woman is walking by herself in a parking garage. She is approached by a man she doesn’t know. He grabs her by the arm and tells her not to scream. If she either used a combative, aka a punch or kick to cause enough damage to stop the aggression, or pulled a firearm and demanded he leave, she could very well prevent herself being kidnapped, raped and killed.

In neither of these examples did the attacker have a visible weapon, but because of their actions, I believe the victim has a very viable case of using force in self-defense.

 
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Run, Hide, Fight

Run, Hide, Fight

Imagine if the rules in games like dodge ball changed so that when someone was going to throw at you, you had to stand still, or in tag, when you were being chased you had to stop and wait to be tagged; in football, when you caught the ball you had to wait to be tackled by the opposing team.

Any hunter will tell you it is easier to shoot at game that is standing still versus game that is flying or running. Any decent self-defense firearms instructor will tell you to “Get off the X” before you engage in combat.

These are all pretty easy to understand concepts, are they not? Then why is it that we have schools whose only plan for an active shooter is to lock down? This is the case at the schools my kids have attended. We always told them that if anyone started shooting to run, even if the teachers said no. We also gave them a place to run to. This way they didn’t have to try and figure out what to do at the most terrifying moment in their lives; they just needed to react.

I don’t think any single self-defense plan will fit every situation. If someone comes into my company and starts shooting, what I will do is going to depend on what is happening. If the shots are coming from the lobby, I am in no immediate danger, so the option of running makes the most sense. If the best escape route is cut off, then hiding and hoping an opportunity to run opens up might make more sense. No matter what happens, I’ll be gauging the necessity of fighting.

Here is a video that teaches a concept I really wish every school would implement. Not only should your kids know it, you should too!

Pretty simple concept and one I think every adult should incorporate into their personal protection plan. I also think parents should sit down and explain it to their kids. Some parents might be concerned that the conversation might scare their kids and this might keep them from talking to them about this. Yes, it could cause some momentary fear in them. As a parent, I would rather cause some momentary fear, and know that if, God forbid, shots are ever fired at their school, they won’t be hiding in their classroom unless they think that is the safest option. If you’re concerned that you might scare your kids, use the examples listed at the beginning of this article. Kids know that if they want to win at dodge ball, they need to, well, DODGE, and that if they want to win at tag they need to run and not be tagged. Explaining that if someone starts shooting they need to run as fast as they can, just like they would in any of those games. Also, give them a place to run to; we told our kids to run to a church parking lot that is out of harm’s way.

As a last resort, I also showed my kids how to fight…no, I taught them how to fight dirty. I also told them that they only use the things I showed them if someone is trying to kill them, not just if they’re mad and not if someone is trying to steal from them. I taught them that they should only use dirty fighting if their life is in danger. Most kids are not prone to violence. In fact, many are afraid of using it. So we need to explain to them that it is ok and even a good thing in certain situations.

Summary

I think every one of us should implement this in our personal protection plans and teach it to our kids. If a shooting happens near us, there is no one surefire plan. Most of the time running is preferable; hide only when running is not an option and be ready to fight viciously at any moment.

 
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Food and Money Preservation for the College Student

This article was written by Lee Flynn
 
Food and Money Preservation for the College Student

 
We typically associate the term “college student” with words like “poor” and “broke.” Students usually have to work part-time and go to school full-time, simultaneously juggling two different realities and still having to manage finding the amount of time needed to study for tests and having a social life. The life of a student shouldn’t be harder than necessary; finding a way to eat healthy and preserve food can drastically benefit a student’s overall health, performance and stamina during the school week!
 


Most college students deem properly storing food as a thing their parents do; however, learning how to master this art is crucially important to learning how to live independently. There are many things we can learn to live without, such as saying “no” to that new pair of shoes, limiting the amount of eating out we do each week and limiting the amount of junk food we inhale on a daily basis. When you’re a college student, however, learning to incorporate the things we should be living with is so important! Eating healthy while maintaining a budget is simpler than you might think – and a supply of food storage is essential to this practice!
 
Planning

 Forget all the images that might be running through your mind right now: food preservation doesn’t require storing giant bins of food for an end of the world scenario! Think of it more as ensuring that your limited financial resources receive the maximum amount of return for the trips you take to the grocery store. And if you’re the typical college kid and pizza is you main course on a daily basis, even that can be preserved. Each small amount of money that is wasted can easily add up – imaging how much more socializing you could do on the weekend if your money wasn’t being wasted weekly!
 

Think about the type of foods you love to eat and begin to plan on ways you can easily preserve leftovers. If you’re the type that needs assistance in planning food preservation there are a number of online sites that can help you determine factors such as budget and food preferences to create a custom storage plan for you! It will require very little time and effort!
 

Building
 

Building a supply of food can be a little intimidating at first, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Starting small is the best approach to building up your personal inventory. Begin purchasing food that you’re familiar with and would want to eat if necessary. Keep track of the typical types of foods you eat weekly and start by picking up just one or two of those items every time you go to the store. If you’re a macaroni and cheese junkie and notice a sale at the store take advantage of it and purchase a few extra boxes for your pantry!
 

Storing
 
In a temporary housing situation there is a limited amount of storage available and having roommates can complicate things even more! There’s always a solution, however! Purchase some bed raisers and begin to store your items underneath; use an extra dresser drawer for a couple items; utilize that hard-to-reach high shelf in your closet that you can never reach for extra storage. Remember that when there’s a will there’s always a way!
 
Here’s an easy way to begin the process:

  1. Week One – Begin to cut out eating out for just one day a week; set that money aside.
  2. Week Two – Use the extra money you saved last week to purchase two inexpensive items from the store to set aside in your pantry.
  3. Week Three – Begin to search for sale ads at the grocery store. If you don’t have the extra time to incorporate this habit simply glance at the store’s weekly flyer next time you shop! Purchase a few items for your pantry.
  4. Week Four – For items that can’t be preserved such as pizza, purchase a few storage containers and begin to save your leftovers. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save by simply doing this!

Redundancy and the Five Basic Human

I have covered the five basic human needs before, but today I’m going to take another approach. Before I go further, I need to say that every time I write about the five basic human needs, there is a comment or an email about Maslo’s hierarchy of needs. Maslo’s list is a bit touchy-feely for me. He lists things like self-actualization and self-esteem, which doesn’t really apply to survival. It might be great for a “How to Feel Complete in Life”, but I’m talking about the needs to keep you breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. I am also going to give some tips on adding redundancy on each of the needs.


What are the five basic human needs?

 
Water

Water is probably the most important of the five basic needs. That is until it’s not (more on that later). The rules of three say that the average human can last three days without water. This is a very general statement, and not very accurate. I don’t tolerate the heat very well…at all. When I was in the Navy, doing fairly hard labor, often in the direct sun on the Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf, it was easily 115 degrees. I was drinking probably 2+ gallons of water a day, easily. We had a squadron wide meeting in a very hot room and I had not been able to get a drink beforehand. Half-way through the meeting, I passed out due to dehydration. I was sweating more than I was taking in. My point in this little story is that a gallon a day might be fine on a cooler day, with less intense labor going on. If the temperatures are warmer and there are moderate to high levels of activity, one gallon might not be enough.
 
Water Redundancy

A rule of thumb I have heard on water storage is that you should store one gallon of water per person per day. The average family of four who wanted to have enough water stored to last them one week would need to store 28 gallons of water. That is either one big drum or a lot of water bottles. That’s only for one week! That’s why I believe one of the more important preps is a good water filter and knowledge of nearby water sources; natural bodies of water, swimming pools, hot tubs, marshes, anything with cattails has some moisture to support it. This would be one of my last options, but it is there.

For even more redundancy, have multiple ways of filtering and purifying water; boiling, purification tablets, iodine, bleach, UV purifiers and on and on.

 
Food

The rule of three says we can go without eating for three weeks. We’re told Jesus went 40 days, but then we’re told that He was attended to by angels, so I’m not sure if He would recommend trying 40 days without food.

Most of us eat three meals a day with snacks in between. For now, let’s drop the snacks. The family of four consumes 84 meals in one week. That is a lot of planning and expense! I think that’s one of the reasons beans and rice are a popular staple in various prepper pantries.
 

Food Redundancy

By this I do not mean just how much food you have stored away. I also mean the types of food you have stocked. I think having a mix of commercially canned, home canned, frozen, dehydrated and freeze dried food is a good idea. Heck, even MRE’s have a place! You don’t know how things will unfold. Having a variety of ways to eat and cook food is a good idea.

I also mean the knowledge of how to grow it, raise it, hunt it, clean it and how to process and store it. What happens when your food stores are empty? Knowing how to replace them is a very good idea.
 

Shelter

This is an easy one! For most of us, this is our home. Sure, I think knowing how to make a primitive shelter is a good idea, but it seems much more practical to know how to secure your home inside and out. Have you thought about what you would do if a severe storm broke out many of your windows? What about if things really fall apart and you need to fortify your home against intruders? Have a means to defend it! More on this later.
 

Shelter Redundancy

The obvious redundancy plan is bugging out. For those newer to the site, I think that in 95% of situations, staying home and battening down is a far better plan than bugging out. However, that five percent could be very dangerous if you do not bug out. For that reason, have a bug out plan. I give some tips on building multiple bug out plans, even if you do not own a bug out location, in an article called Challenging Bug Out Myths.

Your shelter redundancy could mean a tent, an RV or a relative, etc. Just have a plan, or a few of them!
 

Energy

By “energy”, I not only mean electrical power, but any type of power source that provides us the energy to cook, warm or light our shelter.

 
Energy Redundancy

I think this is another aspect where we need to have as much redundancy as possible. If the grid went down, how many ways do you have to cook or boil water?

Redundancy can come in the form of a variety of fuel sources, including propane, gasoline, diesel fuel, wood, kerosene, flashlights, batteries, crank lights and radios.
 

Security

I usually put security on the bottom of this list because the other needs are fact. They WILL be necessary. You will need to drink. You will need to eat. You will need shelter from the weather. You will need a means to see and to cook. Earlier, I said that water is the most important of the needs, “until it’s not”. A violent or potentially violent encounter is, in that moment in time, the most important human need.

It is my firm belief that no one has the right to put their hands on you in a violent manner, or with the intent or threat of violence. When they do, they have lost their right to avoid a trip to the ER or worse.

I am not a violent man. I can count the number of violent altercations I’ve encountered on one hand and have fingers to spare. However, If Joe Dirtbag attempts to use violence, I will be a threat to my enemy and will use as much force as necessary to stop the threat. I hope you will do the same.
 

Redundancy in Security

I know people who only carry a gun for their self-defense and don’t see a need for anything else. Here is the fault with that logic; their solution to every possible encounter is to answer it with deadly force. For this reason, I have trained in martial arts, will frequently carry concealed and during those times, carry a knife and pepper spray as well. I have an asp (baton) that I carry sometimes as well.

Some might ask if I expecting confrontation and the answer to that is “no”. I’ll wager that, if asked, the vast majority of victims of violent crime would say “no” as well. Because there is always a chance that I could be the victim of violent crime and because all threats are not equal, I have redundancy in my self-defense plan.

Someone shooting in a public place is not the same threat as a large snarling dog is. An obviously drunk, 100 pound person, screaming angrily and making threats is not the same threat as an ex-boyfriend of a co-worker who comes to the office and starts beating her.

Could they all escalate to deadly force? Sure, but there is a very good chance that all but one could be stopped with pepper spray or some form of physical combative.
 

Closing

One of the prepper mottos is, “Two is one. One is none”. I think that applies to the basic human needs too. Meeting those needs on one front will see you prepared, but not nearly as much if you approach things from many fronts and add in redundancy as often as possible.

 
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Favorite Posts From Are We Crazy or What?

I’ll be honest, food storage isn’t one of my strong points. Sure, I know how to put up food in Mylar with O2 absorbers, but putting up fresh food is another thing. That’s why I like sites like Are We Crazy or What? Jennifer shares a wide variety of information, but some of my favorite posts of hers are on growing and preserving food.

These are skills I think every prepper should at least understand, and Jennifer has some great ideas. Here are some of them; posted with her permission.
 

How To Sprout Seeds: Storing Seeds To Sprout Means Fresh Food Is Only Days Away!

Sprouting seeds is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your health. Seeds that sprout are also some of the best food items to store for preparedness.

 

Food Storage: Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage

Herbs and spices are an important part of food storage. Many of the food items that store well in long term storage are a bit bland in taste. Although, beans, rice, and grains might be enough to sustain life they definitely need a little something to make them taste good. Considering a lot of preppers have picky eaters in their hoard, making food taste good can allow you to turn your attention to other aspects of survival. Picky eating is not such a big problem when there are a lot of choices but in a survival situation it can become a big problem really fast. I know there are those who are of the “if they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it,” school of thought. But there are individuals who will compromise their health before eating something they don’t perceive as tasting good. Also consider your family: do you have kids and elderly you’d like to keep well feed because they are the ones who are at high risk of disease or other hunger related issues? Making your food taste as good as you possibly can is important for health as well as morale.

 

How To Dehydrate Garlic — Plus Making Garlic Powder

Dehydrating garlic is simple and completely straight forward. All you need to do is peel the garlic, chop it and then place it in the dehydrator. Let me show you how to dehydrate garlic step by step, give you a few tips and then show you how to make garlic powder, which is also super simple.

 

Dehydrating Potatoes – Plus a Secret Revealed!

Dehydrating potatoes is fun and easy! If you let the dehydrator run all night you wake up to the smell of potatoes in the morning. My husband says it reminds him of hash-browns cooking… I still prefer waking up to the smell of bread baking but the smell of dehydrating potatoes comes in a close second. The practical side of dehydrating potatoes is that you can almost make a meal out of potatoes so to have them on hand to cook up at a moments notice is super convenient. Dehydrated potatoes also make a great addition to your food storage as they will last for years if stored properly. We usually buy the huge bag of potatoes from our local big box store, eat half and dehydrate the other half.

 

Infidel Body Armor

Infidel Body Armor

I’m excited to introduce Infidel Body Armor, one of the newest Prepared Christian sponsors! Body armor is one of those preps that I think is a very good idea, but is something I have put on the back burner, until I came across Infidel Body Armor’s FAQ page and saw this:

“What does “Infidel” mean anyways?

• Over in the Middle East, our soldiers are called Infidels every day. The Koran says that Christians are infidels: Koran 5:17, “Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, son of Mary.” Our company is Christian-owned and we wear that definition of “Infidel” with pride. We claim the privilege of worshiping God according to our conscious and allow others to believe as they would- just don’t try taking away our right to worship how we want to.”

Ok, their being vocal about their faith isn’t the only thing that sold me. I was also swayed by the quality of the product and its features. I’m not going to get into specs. I’ll save that for an upcoming review. I do want to take a minute to tell you about two very cool things happening at Infidel Body Armor!

First:
They are having a Memorial Day sale; 10% off with code: 1776

Second:
They are giving away an AR-15, a to be exact. All you have to do is follow that link and sign up for their newsletter! This will run until the end of June. This is what Infidel Body Armor had to say about the contest:

“I’m a smaller company and the there’s a much bigger chance of winning a gun with me than with some of the other bigger companies due to the number of people that enter the contest.”

Some of you might be thinking, “Why would I ever need body armor?” Do you carry a firearm for self-defense? If you do, then you must believe that you might need to use it against someone with a gun trying to kill you or a loved on. Now, do you believe that if society begins to crumble, if even for a short time, that we could see increased violence?

I answered yes to both questions. If things fall apart I will feel much more protected with body armor, than without.

Stay tuned for a review!

What to Do When You Have 50 Pounds of Potato Pearls That Expire This Year

Today’s article was guest written by Lee Flynn
 

What to Do When You Have 50 Pounds of Potato Pearls That Expire This Year

Knowing that you have emergency supplies on hand is reassuring. When faced with potentially long periods without adequate power or access to outside help, having a fully stocked pantry and ample water supplies, along with a power source, is calming. Whether you’re preparing for a prolonged winter power outage or economic breakdowns, emergency food storage is something you want to build up and maintain properly.

The drawback to having lots of stored food on hand is the eventual expiration date for everything. You will have to use up all that food before it goes to waste, and when you have something like 50 pounds of potato pearls sitting in a cabinet, the task can seem daunting. But over the course of a year, you can use up much of what you have and temporarily freeze the rest. Depending on the size of your family and the sizes of food servings that you eat, polishing off 50 pounds of mashed potatoes and other stored goods isn’t that difficult.

Get perspective, first. While 50 pounds seems like a lot of food, when you divide it up by serving size and number of people, it suddenly isn’t that insurmountable. 50 pounds of potato pearls, for example, equal over 1,030 half-cup servings. Assuming a family of four is eating these, that’s enough for almost 260 meals. If you and your family tend to eat a cup of mashed potatoes instead of 1/2 cup with a meal, that’s 130 meals you’re looking at. So depending on serving size, you’d have to eat mashed potatoes with dinner for about 10 to 21 days per month. 10 days a month is easy. 21 days is doable, but it could get a little boring after a while. Luckily, there are several options for you.

If you don’t already plan menus, start now, and include either mashed potatoes or something like shepherd’s pie, which has a mashed potato topping, with two or three meals each week. Mashed potato recipes can be plain or fancy, so your meals won’t lack flavoring. Also start setting aside baking time and making recipes like potato rolls and pasty or empanada dough, all of which can use mashed potatoes in place of part of the flour. In fact, research World War II rationing recipes, especially from Great Britain. Several recipes for pasties—not pastries, but pasties, which are like hand pies—use mashed potatoes in the dough. The recipes are easy to double. These can be frozen for future lunches. Potato rolls and potato bread can also be frozen, saving you some money on lunch bread and dinner rolls for the next few months.

While frozen food eventually has to be eaten, lest the quality start to go downhill because of freezer burn, the food will remain safe if you have it in temperatures close to zero Fahrenheit. So you will have to eat those rolls and pasties, but you can keep them for several months.

As you get closer to the end of the year, ramp up bread-product production and freeze. Remember that the potatoes won’t automatically expire at midnight on their last day if you have them frozen properly. Also start looking at recipes like potato candy and potato fudge. As strange as those sound, they can taste incredibly good. Online searches will reveal several recipes.

If you reach the end of the year and still have potato pearls or other food left over—a possibility if you haven’t had time to bake, or if you’re the only one trying to eat all this—separate what’s left into smaller bags and freeze the pearls. Or, schedule one or two specific days to go nuts with baking and use up the rest. You can use a similar strategy with almost any food that has an expiration date if you give yourself enough time.

 

 
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