Aug 312021

Forty plus years of camping, ten plus years of scout campouts, and five plus years of research into off grid homesteading are paying off right now.  Hurricane Ida left a lot of friends and family in unstable situations and it could take weeks or months to get reliable power and water restored.  More than 10% of the world population lives without it, but they already know how.

Here are some ideas and resources.  This is a quick list, not organized, and you are responsible for safety.  I am just trying to give you quick solutions and speed up your research.  I am trying to get you to think about what you have in your junk pile.  I will update it as I think of things, and suggestions are welcomed.



Even coming from the tap, it may be contaminated.  If a sewer line breaks and contaminates the soil, and a water line cracks and lets that in, you get sick.  If a water line breaks upstream, it lets germs into the pipes.  You cannot trust that every pipe between you and the pumping station is intact and not cracked by the flood waters.  They have not had time to check the whole system.

If you have a well, consider your proximity to the buried sewer lines.  A broken sewer line can contaminate your well if it is close enough.

Rolling boil for at least 5 minutes!  (See the Rocket Stove)



Car Engine

I have cooked frozen burritos, egg rolls, sandwiches and frozen dinners on top of my engine while driving to the next stop.  Never tried anything fancy, but engines can hit 225 degrees.  Wrap the food well in aluminum foil to keep out fumes, and you have a functional oven in a pinch.

Solar Cardboard Box Oven

I have seen cakes and biscuits cooked with these on scout campouts.  All you need is a cardboard box, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap, and it concentrates the sunshine.  No fire.  This link has several designs.  Find one that uses what you have on hand.

Rocket Stove

Not hard to build, uses very little wood for a lot of heat, and you can use it as easily as the eye on your stove with the right stack of bricks or blocks. Easiest one I have seen just uses three cinder blocks.  Again, look for the one that uses what you have, and use it outside.

Open Fire

Pressure Treated Lumber is TOXIC!  Do not ever cook on pressure treated lumber.

Painted wood is also not a good idea.  You don’t know what kind of fumes you will get.

No open fire inside.


Even if you have a generator, you can do some of this to cut down on the amps and save fuel.  

Try to get a spare car battery.  You can charge it with a vehicle and jumper cables outside when needed, and put it in a safe spot inside to use.  You are responsible for safe handling.  It is full of acid.  Treat it that way. I would recommend keeping it in a plastic tote of some kind when inside.


  • The little solar path lights – charge outside in the day, bring it in at night.
  • Most landscape lighting runs on 12V, even if it plugs into the wall.  That is usually a transformer down to 12V.  Look at the label on the actual light.  You may be able to run it with a car battery.

Air Flow

Stale, stagnant, humid air is dangerous.  You need to keep it moving to cut down on mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and all kinds of other nasty stuff.

  • Open the windows
  • Computer Fans run on 12V.  They don’t move much air, but if you have busted computers those can help in cabinets, closets, maybe a bathroom.
  • USB Fans are available at most department stores.  They do a fair job of moving air.  A cell phone charger will run them, either the wall version with a generator or the car version with the battery.  Low amp draw.

Will post more as time and ideas allow.  Share it with anyone needing down and dirty real world solutions right now.

Aug 292021

Just making my position clear. I am not a doctor, but I have been researching the actual scientific data since this thing showed up because I visit a lot of retail places and the information has always been contradictory. The narrative has never agreed with the data. I created my own protocol to minimize exposure based on the real data, not the spin put out by social media, mass media, and the governments.

Do I know more than the experts? Choose your experts. I see “experts” virtually every day who are either ignorant of the underlying science, or lying to you. I tried to find information that was not specific to COVID, but instead about controlling infection. Much of what I hear in public about COVID ignores or contradicts decades of formerly accepted research. The CDC and WHO both have contradictory information on their websites. Which page on their own site do you trust? You have to choose who to believe.

This is my information. Take it or leave it.

My personal protocol:

I don’t care if it is COVID, influenza, or rhinovirus (common cold), this will help.

  • Wash your hands. Don’t rinse them off quickly and move on. Warm water, soap everything up past the wrist, elbows are better, rub for 30 seconds at least before rinsing. Anything less is a waste of time. Soap takes that long to work.
  • Don’t touch the door handle. Open it with a paper towel or your elbow.
  • Don’t touch your face. Eyes, nose, mouth, ears are all primary infection points. Sanitize them regularly with a medically safe disinfectant. I have been using benzalkonium (Bactine), but have recently added colloidal silver for additional protection and side benefits. Eyelids, lips, inside nostrils and ears. (The benzalkonium tastes bad, colloidal silver does not.) It is OK to stick your finger in your nose. Get it inside
  • Don’t directly breathe in what they are breathing out, and don’t stand over their shoulder. Personal space. Just stand back. If there is not sufficient air flow, stand back farther.

These three things will do more to prevent infection than anything else you can do. Everything else is extra.

Aug 172014

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he’s lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, “Oh, oh! I’m in trouble now!”

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, “Boy, that was one delicious panther!  I wonder, if there are any more around here?”

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

“Whew!,” says the panther, “That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!”

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, “Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!”

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, “What am I going to do now?”

But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says,

“Where’s that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!”

Moral of this story…

Don’t mess with the old dogs…

Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!

BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.

Nov 022012

Email from a friend…

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel , “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land.”

Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced) Roosevelt said, “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this is the Promised Land.”

Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, lost of equity in my home, the wars, lost jobs, savings, lost homes, Social Security, retirement funds, etc …. I called a Suicide Hotline.

I had to press 1 for English.
I was connected to a call center in Pakistan . I told them I was suicidal.
They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck……

Folks, we’re screwed…..

Oct 122011

I have created a CaringBridge site to help us keep everyone updated on Mama’s status. Please understand that it is not that we do not want to talk to everyone, it is just that Mama has a huge number of people who love her as much as we do, and we simply cannot get to everyone in a reasonable amount of time.

So, please visit for updates on her status and condition.



Jan 142011

Another of those emails making the rounds for years, but with a profound message.

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now..go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?
Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift…..Thrown away…
Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Jan 142011

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore because the word ‘God’ is mentioned, a Kid in Arizona wrote the following:

New School Prayer

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks..
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such ‘judgments’ do not belong..

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!