Monday, March 22, 2010

Slim Pickins'...

around here lately...not that there isn't anything to blog about, but let's be honest...what can I say about current events that hasn't yet been said in one blog or another on the web.

Besides, I'm a bit on the busy side here. Packing is finito as of tomorrow, plane is a callin' as of next week and Germany will be home for a bit. Good or bad.

Naturally, with all things owned in boxes and making way across the ocean I will find myself with a bit o' time on my hands. Mayhap to blog, mayhap to explore...either way, I'll be trying (note that...trying) to keep up with the blog when I've got a connection. No promises...I'll try.

As it stands, there will be nada in the way of connection after the end of the week and likely less inspiration as I spend the next week doing the mad rush of those that only have a week left until there is a cross world move.

So I bid a short farewell (at least a week and a half, lol) until we are landed, slightly settled and ready to reconnect with the blogosphere.

Keep your heads up and eyes never ever know when the perfect opportunity will present.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


the boys, the Spouse and myself indulged last night in a pleasure we so rarely get to experience...we hit the Barnes & Noble in E-town for a little hands on book shopping.

It was fun, we all found something we wanted and the screamers played at the train table whilst Mommy shopped around for some books to add to our "learning to read" list. Mommy was quite happy thumbing along until she ran up on this monstrousity: D is for Democracy

Yes, ladies and gentlemen...the ugly you can't guess what T is of in that book. You got it! Taxation and according to that particular book (paraphrasing here but it's damn close to what it says) "no longer the fees of kings, they help us pay for many things." Yak, gag, gross...okay, so even the Spouse curled his nose when I said something about it and said he'd rather read the screamers "Too Purply"...which means you know it's bad.

I'm not really surprised...honestly. When Sid the Science Kid starts rambling on about the importance of vaccines and flu shots, it's hard to be surprised about the level to which "they" will stoop in order to reign in young minds.

On a side note, Missouri just changed their homeschooling laws. Parents are now required to keep a log, use the same school year AND hours (1000 w/ 650 being IN HOME)...gone are the send a letter to the school saying you're homeschooling days. Hello control. It's all politics, of course. But then, it pops up just as this happens...interesting, no?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It has been asked....

how I got started on this prep/survival trip. I haven't really shared that here but figured "what the hey"...may as well.

Back in 2006, shortly after the youngest screamer was born, the Spouse and myself decided it was time to put down some roots and buy a house. Being incredibly unversed in the process, we got screwed with some shady lending practices (oh, shock and disbelief) and ended up being reemed by a surprise tax and insurance bill the following year. We were under the impression that said taxes and insurance were escrowed into the mortgage...they were not...we were actually told by the lawyer rep'ing the mortgage company AT THE SIGNING that they were...they were not...the ORIGINAL loan docs said they were....the company that bought the loan chose not to honor that particular point in the contract and did not inform us of the change. Said taxes did eventually get escrowed into the mortgage BUT doubled the mortgage payment (nice, eh?). What would have been a non-issue the previous year was a serious issue. You see, about 5 months after purchasing, the Spouse lost his job on a technicality (which the same company used to release several of its long time, higher paid employees and hire lower paid temps...nice, eh?). The Spouse was making less than half of what he had been making at home purchase time and we were on a less than shoestring budget when the tax bomb dropped.

We fell behind...a lot. Long story short, the house went into forclosure and we jingle mailed the mortgage company. No way we were going to pay what would end up being 3x's the actual value of a house that was killing our youngest child without us knowing (different story, another time). We were essentially homeless. Everything went into a Uhaul and we moved from KY to MO, staying with my parents for 3 months before the Spouse became gainfully employed and we got our own place. Sounds like current events doesn't it? Only way it a foretelling of the future, lol. In the end the mortgage company got their money via short sell and then, we did not see the extra because they loopholed (wow, another shocker) by selling the house BACK to themselves then selling it to someone else. Just shows on the credit report as a closed account with late payments in 2008...go figure.

At any rate, that particular snafu in our lives led me to finding a way to pad our meager means. It became a slight obsession at first, the quest to keep us fed, clothed and no longer living paycheck to paycheck (not easy to do on $8hr for a family of four). To be honest, it took a very long me at least. We're darn near longer relying on the system to supplement our food needs, no debt other than fairly minor student loans and no longer living paycheck to paycheck. We have enough foodstuffs put by to last us quite a while if needed (though they will soon enough be on a boat to Germany) and I know that if I have to I can make the clothing we need in addition to other household stuff.

It's a nice place to be, this small comfort zone. But it's not complete, meaning I haven't relaxed. There is always something else that can be done to further the comfort, something else that can increase the self-reliance. This is a journey, a quest per can X be done in a better way for example?

So there you have it...the story of how one "things" obsessed family became drawn to this lifestyle...or at least a part of it. The biggest part of it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Preaching to the Choir...

in hopes that a non-Choir member may stumble here and find something sorta worthwhile.

Many (many, many, many) Americans are just now waking up. Many are still sleeping but I have to say I've given up on them. There are only so many times a person can try to make a difference to those that refuse to see any other way. We'll ignore them for now...though they will become "the problem" later when things start getting really rough. Right now the focus is on the newly awakened (I'm pretty sure that's not the proper bit o' English but don't particularly care).

Welcome. Sucks to see all that hard earned cash/junk/wanted stuff slowly disappear, don't it? Be honest. Now, you want more gut punches? What could you have gotten instead of that 46" flat screen LCD TV that would actually help you in the event of a full systemic crash or even local emergency? Ouch...yeah, it hurts.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Flour Mill
Dehydrated Foods
Water Filter
Emergency Shelter

I could really go on and on. But I won't because I know...I am preaching to the choir. If you've recently joined the choir you still have a little time left to get yourself fixed up with goods before it gets too awful bad. TEOTWAWKI doesn't always mean huge, massive upheaval in a global sense ya know. It means "as we know it"...and what my generation knows is time of plenty where one could buy what they want/need when they wanted/needed for the most part. Times are a changin' my fellow X and Y'ers if you haven't noticed. The dollar isn't worth much and frankly the good ol' USA is following the dollar's path in the rest of the world's view. Do you honestly think that the (s)elected officals in your city/county/state/federal governments are going to have your back? Um, not likely.

The time has come (the Walrus said) grow up. Seriously. We are a spoiled country for the most part. Take responsibility and grow the heck up. Do something to provide for yourself and your loved ones in time of need/crisis. In other words, don't stand there scratching your rearend in the middle of the train track while the 5:30 Express comes barreling in your direction.

Put aside something tangible AND useful, learn a skill that you thought only "poor" people needed to know, plant something that you can eat eventually and learn to NOT run to the store when you run out of X,Y or Z...figure out a substitute or do without. You'll be amazed at how much money you save (that's the green stuff that you find less and less of in your wallet nowadays, btw) and how much better you feel about yourself. Take a little pride in getting your hands dirty with manual labor (heaven forbid) and providing something you made/raised/grew to your family. Get your rear in gear folks...or be prepared to relive the standing in soup lines stories you heard from older relatives in a firsthand version.

***The above rant was brought to you by entirely too much coffee while working on getting things organized so that the movers coming on the 16th do NOT pack up a bag of trash/potatoes/or anything else that I wouldn't want sitting on a boat for 6+ weeks***

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


First Haiti, then Chile (or Chill-ay, if you are so trying to go native) Missouri....well, kinda but not really. No damage lives lost. Has to make you wonder though if we aren't ignoring a "sleeping giant" in our own backyard. Wait, I know they are. Have you seen Sikeston? Sprawled out all over and not really earthquake friendly.

Did I feel it being that they felt it in Lexington, KY which is way further away? Nope. I peacefully napping away at 1:37 p.m. Hey, I get to nap too if I want. Stay-at-home mom privilage. Besides, we're fighting some sort of stealth bug that is playing ninja strike. Coming and going as it dang well pleases. No fevers, so no real worries other than the damn thing has been around a few days and I'm so tired of it already.

Now, I'm off to figure out what's for dinner...not that anyone is really hungry.
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke