Photos show a normal, though elderly, little house. But Annie Dodds quickly discovered why she was able to lease the place sight-unseen for just $500 per year. It had no electrical service, no plumbing (not even an outhouse), rats in the attic, a tree staving in one wall, and a host of other cold, hot, wet, dry, dirty, inconvenient problems.
It was the kind of place where, on a bad day, you might open your sock drawer, briefly think, “I don’t have any socks that color,” then realize you were looking at a rattlesnake coiled atop your footwear.
But Annie loved it.
A Widow’s Walk tells the story of how she — recently widowed, emotionally devastated, dead broke, middle-aged, and equipped only with her own resourcefulness — followed her Backwoods Home-inspired dream of living independently and off-grid.
I’ve told you before that a longtime friend of this blog is dying. Cancer. And the disease is taking its own long, harrowing time. When I’ve etalked with him, he’s seemed in good spirits, though tired. It’s much harder on his wife, he says. And in my few contacts with her, I see.
Yesterday she sent me the following and gave permission to post it. The following words are hers:
I have been introspective for the past few days. I am rambling here so please forgive me. F. and I have spent a good part of our youth preparing for the future. We worked hard and saved money to insure financial security, we learned how to hunt, grow food, defend ourselves, basic first aid, make wine, soap, and many other necessary skills to be able to survive if our world as we knew it, should come crashing down.
Illness and death of a partner was one skill too hard to imagine, so we had no plan. And here we are. Over the course of two years now, I have watched a healthy, strong man grow old. I have had my heart broken a few times in my life when I thought my world was ending. Watching my life partner die is the worst pain I have ever had. My plan had always been to die first, and I did all the wrong things healthwise to ensure that. Well, the universe had other plans and here we are.
I love how my friends and family tell me to be strong. “YOU can do this” “You are a strong women.” Well I don’t want to be strong. I just want to curl up next to my man and have him hold me. One more time. That’s not going to happen.
So here’s my message. NEVER take someone you love for granted. ALWAYS tell them you love them. And show it.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t describe where the political world stands (no surprise). But it does describe a cool new website and a beautifully laid-out and informative digital magazine.
Brink of Freedom is a great place. It combines a freedomista attitude, high energy, and useful self-sufficiency how-tos.
Michael W. Dean of Freedom Feens turned me on to the site and introduced me to its founder, Josiah Wallingford. (Don’t you love that name?)
Go check it out for yourself. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours. But while you’re here, here’s a little background Q&A with Josiah, as well as links to pdfs of BoF’s January and February editions:
Oh yeah. Absolutely nothing could go wrong with this “smart” gun. And I’m sure there’s just lots and lots of consumer bureaucrat demand. (H/T PT)
Question finally answered: Is Ted Nugent an interestingly loud-mouthed a**hole? Or just a loud-mouthed a**hole? (Hey, Ted. That’s how genocides get justified.)
But it would have been perfectly okay — and the truth, too! — to call Obama and his minions lying creepazoid tyrant wannabes who, among other things are getting even creepazoidier in their cravings to control speech and the press. Yep, that would be just a-okay and probably even a service to the nation, the world, and every individual on the planet.
Free firestarter samples. Get ‘em while they last (if you don’t mind ending up on the company’s mailing list, of course). (Tip o’ hat to H)
AmericanMercenary’s pantry test with Augason Farms foods has concluded. Results mixed. Worthwhile report. (H/T JB)
Augason Farms is the company that’s helped turn my local Walmart into a prepper haven. They definitely make a good quality product that’s still selling strongly here two years after I discovered it disappearing healthily from Mr. Walton’s shelves. (Walmart, however, still seems unable to decide whether #10 cans of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods belong in the grocery section, the outdoor area, or someplace else altogether. It’s a hunt every time.)
Also from Amazon: Just what every survival shelter and humble hermit home should have. (Tks, A.) (Yeah, and I put one of my Amazon links on it, even though you’ll buy one shortly after you open that ice cream stand in Hades. But hey, it does have free shipping!) (P.S. Don’t miss the reviews on this one, either!)
Rand Paul: If there was a war on women … women won it. Rand may not be Ron, but he’s a pretty sharp politician. (Which may be a good or a bad thing, depending.)
Erin Palette has a new blog, Blue Collar Prepping. Being of blue collar (rather than blue blood or silver spoon) heritage myself, I look forward to learning how our prepping differs from anybody else’s. Presumably it doesn’t involve flying to our private bunkers in our private jets as our private army fends off blue-collar zombie hordes. (H/T jed from comments)
The language seems horrible. The process of inventing a language and falling in among those who traffic in such stuff — fascinating. Leave it to one of the Foer brothers to track down this interestingly obscure intellectual tale.
No survival pantry could possibly be complete without this! (H/T to A for those last two.)
Speaking of languages, here’s a cool, fun way to learn a few. There’s a phone app for this, too. First time I’ve ever regretted not having a smartphone.
I took the dogs for a walk downtown yesterday afternoon. Passing a vacant house, I noticed an awful lot of water on its patio. Normally, that’s not unusual, this being the NorthWET, but it hasn’t done more than sprinkle the last couple of days.
I poked around and sure enough, not only was the house sitting in a lake; I could hear ominous gushing noises inside the walls. I went up on the back porch to knock just in case. Water rushed under the door and over the dogs’ toes.
City Hall is just a few blocks away, so I hustled over and told the water lady what was up. They’re good around here. Before I could even make it back to the lake-house, two water department trucks and the head of the building department roared up the street ahead of me (though they’re not so good that they actually went to the correct address). Once we got to the right place and they verified the problem, they shut the water off at the street.
Chances are the water’s been running since last weeks’ beastly freeze unfroze. It’s a wonder none of the neighbors caught it earlier. So the poor folks who own the place (out-of-towners, the building inspector told me) will face major mess. The guys said they’d contact them right away.
Here’s the thing that made me wonder, though. Before they even shut off the meter, one of the water department guys started fishing around, obviously looking for a hidden housekey. He felt over the top of the electrical box, looked under the mat, and did all those things you do to find a key. (Which, as far as I know, he didn’t. But I didn’t stick around to find out.)
If that were your house, would you or would you not want water department employees — and possibly the local building inspector — letting themselves in to check for damage? Do you think they had a legitimate purpose for doing that? Even if they did, should they have notified you first?
And let’s say it happened to you. And they got inside, whether by key or other means. Would the interior of your house look otherwise innocuous to “officials,” beyond burst pipes, swollen drywall, and delaminated floors?
Before anybody asks why I didn’t just go home, get my meter key, and shut the water off without notifying “the authorities” — aside from the fact I didn’t think of it, the homeowners clearly needed to be notified ASAP to forestall even worse damage (e.g mold). That’s something I didn’t have the information to do.