Self-Sufficiency and You

You know, Deb and I started Ridin Out the Recession in Feb. of this year. Miz Judi, the owner/editor of the Canada Free Press threw this idea out to us, after learning we garden, we can our own vegetables, stews, etc., and were attempting to become more self-sufficient in our lifestyle.

First off let me thank Judi and Brian both. Those two have supplied us with the positivity that yes, in fact Deb and I can do this. They believed in us despite the fact that Deb and my extent of writing was sending “love notes” back in forth in school while we were supposed to be doing school work, this taking place way back there in 9th grade.

Going back that far, again 9th grade, we really didn’t realize just how important our school work was to us. But, being young, and in love, school wasn’t too high on our list of priorities.

I mean, stop and look at it from a different perspective…we were in our early twenties for God’s sake. I believe that without a doubt, if I had stayed in school, I’d have graduated by the time I was 30! I’m not so sure about Deb though…school was a struggle for her! LOL!!

So thanks Judi and Brian once again. Your help has been plenty, and I’m sure above and beyond the “call of duty.” We appreciate it.

On today’s topic, when the economy went South, deep, deep South in 2008, we did see it coming in advance, and had started taking precautions even prior to this. By being in the paving business we saw firsthand the number of builders that were falling by the wayside, due to the housing bubble and its demise.

Too many homes, and not anywhere near enough “qualified borrowers.” The end result, a fiasco. Every American deserves a home, our elected leaders cried. Loosen the requirements, make more loans available to more people, regardless of their ability to pay back these loans. Next thing we knew…can you say Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

So, one of the main reasons of our Country’s economic demise was caused by the simple fact of our elected leaders attempt to put every American in a home, regardless of the consequences! So here we are today, the strongest, and most economically productive Country in the world, brought to its knees by inept politicians, most of which today have no idea what it takes to run a company…much less a Country!

Anyway, this set the bells to ringing in our heads, and we knew, for the continued security of our entire family, we’d better start becoming less dependent on the luxury and convenience of “running down to the grocery store,” and instead, we started becoming much more dependent on ourselves.

Our reasoning was pretty elementary…NO WORK, NO EAT! It was very simple to understand that our Country was going down the wrong road from being the “breadbasket of the world,” to all of a sudden, were we as a Country going to survive economically?

Our biggest problem? Power and greed becoming the “order of the day” in D.C. Their power, and their greed, milking us dry as taxpayers. No oversight by anyone, no accountability, no morals, no concern towards “we the people,” and the tearing down of our Constitution.

If you even remotely think the US is business friendly today…you better think again. If we’re not business friendly, how can anyone expect our economy to “kick off again? It can’t, and if you believe it is, you’re living on another planet.

For the life of me I can’t figure out why the haters of our Country, oh yes there are many, many of them living right here among us, don’t just…LEAVE? Or better yet in my opinion…get shipped out. It wasn’t too awful long ago that this type of sentiment shown by the “America haters,” was considered, forget about political correctness, was TREASONOUS!

How bout us taking a break and listenin to a little music? The song is song by a great American…Johnny Cashless!

The first thing Deb and I did was to start buying extra of any type of foods our family ate. We only bought extra while it was on sale…good sales. The holidays we’ve found to be the best time for this.

This brings up another question. Our government has the power to come to your home, confiscate your vehicle, or vehicles, take over your home, and then, take whatever you have. The reasoning…the betterment of the masses.

My question is very simple, and one which to me is a no brainer. WHY, can the government confiscate from the citizens of the US, who have taken the time, the money, made the sacrifice to help insure their own families survival, and put forth the effort to see that their own families were self-sufficient in times like we’re going through today?

Once more, this, like so many other things our government does today is simply wrong! Wrong morally, wrong from the standpoint that it is indeed exactly this, wrong, and what gives anyone the right to take from someone else and give it to others?

The people that have and are trying to become more self-sufficient in their own rights, having their food or whatever taken from them, when they were intelligent enough to see the writing on the wall, to try and safeguard their own families? This my friends, is stealing.

The second thing Deb and I did was to start gardening once more. First the vegetables and fruit all taste so much better than store bought. Secondly, fruits and vegetables have become pretty costly. This was an attempt, through gardening, to cut our grocery cost, and have much fresher produce than we could get from town.

We do love peas, and they do supply the garden area with nitrogen. So peas work well for us and the garden too!
Deb and I had never composted before, even though we had many of the needs for a compost pile right here on the place. But since starting this site, through the input of our readers, we were convinced to start a compost pile. It worked really well, and the benefits it would provide became obvious. We became believers in this practice.

Deb and I then started getting on the Church of Latter Day Saints website, and lookin around. Those people are “on the ball” when it comes to preparedness, and food storage. We picked up a ton of good info from their site.

We found on their site something that amazed us. It was a food calculator. You put in the info regarding your family, how many and what ages, and it calculates a year’s worth of food supply needed to feed your family.

It is a very good tool or guideline to use. Check it out this morning. Put in the info in regards to your own family, and instantly it will tell you the amount of supplies needed! Again, give it a whirl. If one year is too much, then divide by either a month, or by the quarter year.

So, we learned how to store our food properly, with the least risk of loss.

Then it dawned on us that we needed a fresh water supply, and one that wouldn’t require the need for electricity…

What we did was to install two hand pitcher pumps. One we installed on a shallow well we put in, and the other on our main well. One for drinking, and one for other water needs.

The one on our deep well, I didn’t think would work as the well is 280 feet deep. I figured no way could we ever find a hand pitcher pump, at a reasonable price to bring water up from that deep in the ground. BUT, our well-man answered that for me…yes we could have fresh water from a pitcher pump.

The reasoning…although the well is 280 feet down, the water table itself here in Florida is normally 10-20, or up to 40 feet deep. With this being the case, then the pitcher pump would work, and work well. We went ahead and installed it on our main well, and the dern thing works like a champ!

If you live in an area with this type of water availability, then I think you need to take a look at one of these. We’re very proud of how well ours works, and our only wish is that we’d done it sooner. This too is a good lesson in itself.

Even though I didn’t think it would work, I still asked around, and by doing so, we now have a good supply of good, fresh, drinking water that requires no electricity! Never be too shy to ask a question!

Here’s a video of our pitcher pump in action…

We researched, read about, and talked to friends and family members on the “how to,” of home canning, and we started this practice. Since then, we’ve come to realize there aren’t a whole lot of things that can’t be canned.

The only point to remember about this is to be very careful, and make sure you are using the proper canning techniques.

We also began using our food saver extensively. You want a way to keep your meats and vegetables in your freezer and keep them fresh…with no freezer burn? This is it.

We also saw that by cooking our meals in larger portions, this allowed us to food saver full meals for use at a later time. Individual meals that you only need to defrost and warm. Working late, or just plain tired? This puts good nutritious meals on the table in a fraction of the time it takes to prep, cook, and clean up from making your meal.

This convenience we find very appealing!

Our next step was the building of a small food storage room in our backyard. It started out a 12’x12, that we’ve just expanded by another 10’x12’. These are kept cool by two 110 air conditioners…one is used, while the other is a backup.

This is so advantageous in our regard since the inside our home was becoming crowded… from the store bought food we’d purchased over an amount of time during sales, plus the gardens producing so well too, providing us with the fresh vegetables we love canning so well.

You can see a video of our food storage room at the bottom of this article supplied by this link…

We’ve also been putting up other supplies we find useful in becoming more self-sufficient. Things like TP, paper towels, hand tools, medicines, and bandages. We have stocked extra eyeglasses and their repair kits, dental products and oral-gel, even temporary filling kits in case of cavities.

We’ve stocked fence materials, PVC and fittings, cast iron cookware, firewood, flashlights and batteries, weather radios, and much more. We’ve put up gasoline and diesel. We have lanterns that run on oil, Coleman fuel, or even unleaded gas.

We consider this simply trying to prepare for the worst, but hoping for the best. IF nothing happens…we eat our food, and use our other stock here on the place. All at a pretty decent savings versus today’s pricing, I guarantee you.

If at all possible, and if you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you putting some thought into some of the things Deb and our family have done. It surely can’t hurt, and remember…you can’t buy tomorrow cheaper than what you can get it for today. Groceries for sure aren’t going down in the near future is my guess. Today, food…is an investment!

We hope this helps you in some way, and if you have any questions, please just ask. If we can’t supply you with an answer, many of our readers can!

Let’s close out today with a little Southern humor. This was supplied to us by one of our readers and friend, Edith, in Washington State! Thank you Edith, Deb and I both got a kick out of your e-mail! Well, here it is…

The owner of a golf course in Georgia was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. 

He called her into his office and said, “Y’all graduated from the University of Georgia and I need some help.  If I wuz to give yew $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?” 

The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, “Everthang but my earrings.”

One more…

A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65.  The trooper asked, “Got any ID?
The driver replied, “Bout whut?”

You guys have a great day, and God Bless you and yours. Deb says to tell you to keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!

Dub and Deb

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