June 2010

This last week my brother Randy spent some time with us after a two week trip to Europe. It was soooo nice to spend some time with my brother and he was a great sport even though I know he must have been exhausted. Randy brought back some treats for the boys, including these shields and flails from a French castle:

We’ve been watching some flail and shield battles on YouTube for early weapons training 😉 My parents arrive this weekend and we’ll have the pleasure of their company as they too adjust back to our time zone.

I really enjoyed this time with my middle brother, and every time I make an expresso since his departure I lament that I am only pouring one cup.

(an interesting note: the flail was apparently originally an agricultural tool used for threshing grain which was later employed by peasants-turned-military men during the middle ages)

Note: this summary was first posted in June of last year. I’ve been encouraged by revisiting these topics, and I hope you have been too.

Well, I’m FINALLY ready to wrap up the Emergency Preparedness series! Summaries and action steps from this series:

Food Storage

  1. Identify your food storage goals. What kind of time frame would you like to stock up for? A week? A month? Three months? Our goal is to have three months of good food plus 3 months of beans and rice. **We’re now trying to up our storage to 1 year. Because we cook with long-storing ingredients every day, it’s not too hard to extend this goal
  2. What types of food do you want to stock? Beans, rice, and wheat are popular choices. To this short list we personally add powdered milk **we’ve switched from powdered milk to Swiss Whey, available from Wholy Living, this stuff is waaaay better than powdered milk** and canned tomatoes.
  3. Work your food storage into your meal plans so that you know how to cook with these items.

Helpful links from this post:

  • Safely Gathered In – Food storage tips, stocking schedules, and recipes, plus how to prepare an emergency car kit and 72-hour kit
  • Wolf Lake Wellness – A local food coop that makes monthly group purchases of organic produce and Azure Standard food items. They updated their site and database method and it is awesome…
  • Wholy Living – A local grainary that sells miscellaneous food items ideal for storage.
  • Organic Alaska – An Anchorage area coop that sells Azure Standard food items.

Water for Emergencies

  1. Know how much water you need (One gallon per day per person is recommended)
  2. Know your water sources (supply of bottled water at home, unconventional reservoirs in the house, nearby lakes  and streams)
  3. Get ‘er done! Buy gallons of water, water purification tablets, pumps, etc. (according to your need).

Helpful links from this post:

Warmth During Emergencies

During an emergency, two good options exist for staying warm:

  1. Ditch your house in favor of somewhere that has an alternate heat source. If this is your chosen option, take steps to protect your house from freezing temps.
  2. Install a wood stove or gather a generator and electric heaters for a temporary home heating solution.

Helpful links from this post:

At Maxwell House we’ve completed our food storage goals. We still aren’t storing much water, and we’d like to eventually get a nice hand filter, maybe at REI’s fall sale? This is the area that we’ll need to focus on the most. With regards to heating, we’ve got our chimney in! **The entire stove is in and kept us toasty last winter, we are sooooo glad we bit the bullet and made that purchase** Yay! Hopefully within a month we’ll have the hearth built and the wood stove in place.

A final word on emergency preparedness: perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for an emergency is to MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE. A verse stored in your noggin’ and remembered in times of distress is more valuable than any food or water storage. I’ve admittedly gotten lax in my practice of memorization (the monthly kid’s verse notwithsdanding), I want to make it a priority again. **Right now I’m working through Romans 3. Anyone interested in memorizing this chunk with me?

Any guesses what I’m talking about here? I’ll give you two clues: it resembles fluffy falling snow and provides hours of weeding enjoyment in the garden beds. Have you figured it out yet? Yes, it’s that time of the year when the cottonwood trees shed their fluffy cotton-like seeds. Come to think of it, the King Salmon must be running soon. I remember one year (pre-kids) midnight fishing for Kings on the bank of the Little Su with gorgeous cottonwood fiber falling gently all around. Someday I aim to repeat that experience, even if I have to wait a decade.

Have you ever wondered if cottonwood fiber could be spun and turned into something grand? Apparently it can. I’m going to have to add this to my list of “things to try someday”. Sans the cat hair of course. I find that part a wee bit icky.