Monday, August 29, 2011

How we started thinking "survival"

Mary said she grew up in a family with a survivor mentality.  She's right.  But so did I.  I joke that we were so poor that we were the charity for the store called "Cheap Food for Poor People" and got their leftovers.  Instead of giving me an envy of the wealthy, I developed a challenge to see how well I could do on as little as possible.  By the middle sixties I had five children and was a stay at home mom.  As my husband got raises, I would add only two extra "luxuries" to our lifestyle.  The first raise we switched from margarine to butter and the second we got shirts professionally laundered.  Otherwise the raises went in the bank.

We raised rabbits, had a big garden and one peak year canned 1500 quarts of vegetables - corn, beans, beets, pickles and tomatoes.  Another year I found a very sad fruit vendor whose employee had left a truck full of peaches in the sun all day.  I bought the entire truckload for $10.00, called a friend and we had an all night canning party - 1200 quarts. 

As the sixties eroded into the later sixties we became disturbed about living and working in a large metropolis and made plans to build and live on a boat.  We had bought an old house, remodeled it, and built another on the lot next door.  We sold the old house, moved in the new house and started building the boat in the garage and moving it to the back yard when it got too big.  We built a 41' Trimaran- big enough for our large family, moved the boat to water, sold our new home, loaded the boat and motored down the Illinois River, Mississippi to the Gulf, the Bahamas and back to Florida for a wonderful year long trip.  We have a great slide story of building the boat and the trip if anyone knows how to put slides on the computer.

I'll save how we loaded the boat and what we learned for future blogs.  We learned so much from that trip it changed the direction of our lives.  When you're out away from shore with just the water, sky and you with no protection except the boat you realize what is really important for your life.  Seven people in a space the size of a dining room table makes you very aware of the effect you have on others and forces you to be polite and respectful of the space around yourself and everyone else.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Simple organizers

Inexpensive plastic door hanging shoe racks make great organizers at the campsight.

Emergency kit to leave in car

This is an e-mail that my mom sent me as a list of emergency items that can pack into a 5-gallon bucket - most items can be bought at a dollar store or Walmart.
Mostly small stuff or compact - to be used when you have your car - not for wilderness backpacking.  Food and clothing is separate.  This is designed to be kept in the car as emergency get out.  Nothing perishable. 
Just a brief outline of stuff I thought of

5 gallon bucket
Potty lid and seat
Stainless mirror
Fishing supplies
telescopic pole (for multi purpose uses)
Multi purpose tools
     Spoon fork
     gerber multi
     coleman multi
     Pocket knife with filet
     flashlight. radio, compass, charger, etc crank
     6 in one - shovel, saw, ax, hammer pry
space blankets
2 gallon water bags
fire starter kit (magnifying glass, flint, cotton and vaseline
Wire, screws, nails, bolts pins hooks
Sewing kit
flares and alarm
chammois cloth
2 quart and smaller stacking pots
Frypan lid and plate
turning fork and spatula
green scouring pad
5 home made metal rods with point for tent stakes, cooking frame length of bucket
boy scout or army mess kit
cutting board
small grill
personal hygiene
colloidal silver
poop bags with bunge cord
twist ties
rope, nylon
First aid kit
plastic bag asst
playing cards and rules
blow-up air pillow
Permanent marker
pens, pencils, paper, sharpener sticky notes
kindle with many books
ear plugs and eye patches
pepper spray
super glue
patch kit
dust masks
wet wipes
toilet paper
plastic storage boxes
sticky back velcro  for car windows
misquito net
fanny pack or day pack
magnesium stone - what is it?
manuals and how tos survival book

Mostly small stuff or compact - to be used when you have your car - not for wilderness backpacking.  Food and clothing is separate.  This is designed to be kept in the car as emergency get out.  Nothing perishable. 

My first blog

This is a blog that my mother, Ruth, and I are going to work on together.
I was raised with a survivalist mentality. We lived on a sail boat 2 separate times when I was growing up. Each trip we were living very frugally for a year. My mom and dad spent a lot of time planning what food and products to bring on the boat trips that would stay relatively fresh for the entire year. I am sure my mother will write a post regarding this.