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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for the ‘Preparedness’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Looking back: Project 31

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.

Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it

Very Joel-ish. Without the curmudgeonliness.

Claire Wolfe

Today is fall — prep time, too

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Today is fall. Tomorrow, summer comes creeping back and by Friday it’s expected to be mid-July again. But today is fall — mild, gray, and showery — and I feel ready for it.

We’ve had a glorious summer. A rare treat for this part of the world. And I’ve been dreading the end of long, warm days and the inevitable closing-in of winter.

But no more. After the JPFO debacle and months of hard work (both work-work and house projects), I’m ready to hibernate. Ready to draw within, be idle, read books, eat soups and stews, do little, and be beholden to nobody.


Fall is history’s time for preparedness. And just in time, the fedgov (without which we could, of course, do nothing) decrees preparedness upon us. Yes, we now have National Preparedness Month.

The irony is strong with this one. Do we prepare and be good, responsible citizens as Our Glorious Leader urges? Or do we prepare and become terrorist suspects as the FBI sees us? Decisions, decisions …


But prepare we do.

Part of my preparedness this fall (thanks to you!) is preparing a solid roof overhead. Another part is adding alternative, non-electric heat — nothing fancy, just useful. Another is laying in extra food for the critters.

Yet another involves stocking a couple of treats. Because in the darkest, coldest of winter, treats make the difference between mere Stygian gloom and Stygian gloom to the point of wanting to put your head in an oven.

Some friends and I went to a presentation on the Thrive brand of freeze-dried foods early last week and while we all agreed that multi-level marketing (the main way Thrive foods are sold) is a tool of the devil, we also agreed that was some of the finest storage food we’d ever tasted. So my friends set up a Thrive “Q” for monthly orders. In August, blackberries, pineapple chunks, and real sausage bits were all on sale. So using their “Q” and without getting on anybody’s damnable List, I indulged.

I’ve never had actual meat in my long-term storage larder before. If it’s good, I expect the small can of sausage I bought won’t turn out to be so long term. :-)

My friends, lucky them, have a super-dooper packaging machine (a chamber sealer) that can not only do regular vacuum packs of food, but also easily make last-not-quite-forever retort pouches. Since they fish, hunt, garden, gather, and scout, that machine gets a lot of use. I have a standing invitation to try it. Haven’t yet, but it’s a good answer to the question, “What’s a single woman with a small appetite supposed to do with an opened #10 can o’ stuff?”


So … you’re already prepared. I know it. But are you upping your preps this fall? And if so, are you doing it just because it’s fall and that’s a good time? Or are you doing it because this year seems more ominous, more dangerous, than most?

What are your best prep ideas for this year and this season?

Here, BTW, is Survival Mom’s list of lists for preppers. Some useful, some less so. Decent read in any case.

Now I’m going to go don my furry slippers and have a nice, hot cup of tea.

Claire Wolfe

A good cry and an update on Robbie

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

You need a good cry? Here’s your good cry for the day: “Bye, Sweetheart.” (Via the great Borepatch)

I know a lot of you have said your own goodbyes to dogs and cats. I still miss my heart-dog Jasmine after nine years. I can’t imagine how it tore Commentariat member Karen up to lose three in the first half of this year.

They break your heart. Every damn time. But life without them feels … heartless.


Robbie went to furrydoc today to see if she could find a physical cause for his nighttime panic attacks.

Short version: nope. Everything normal. He’s in great shape for an old guy. The only thing she discovered is that he has a urinary tract infection. (And who knows how long he’s had that? He never gave a sign.) So he’s on antibiotics.

That’s good news. Looks like no goodbyes to Robbie for a while. Still, I almost wish she’d found something … something that could be treated. Or at least understood.

She recommended melatonin and fish oil to improve his sleep, but I sure wish there was a way to get into that little bully head of his and find out what’s going on in there that has him so suddenly scared in the dark.

Robbie-Bobbie, what are you thinking? What are you feeling, my old baby boy?


That picture is three years old. He’s so much more gray now. Sigh.


It was an interesting trip down memory lane to visit the archives of the old blog (2003 to 2007) looking for Jasmine’s obituary. Once again I have reason to thank Bill St. Clair for being the archive maven.

And odd how the seventeenth century keeps popping up, lately. In the archives, just a few days from Jasmine’s story, I found lessons for gulchers from that century.

I had partner bloggers back in those days. Not everything in those archives is mine. Ian’s post on tactical hand signals was pretty good, too. :-) So glad that first link still works.

Now I’ll go and pet the pooches and mourn the lost ones, including so many, so loved that I never knew but who warmed — and broke — somebody else’s heart. And even more, the ones who could have lived and loved but never got the chance.

Claire Wolfe

A new look at Earthineer

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

If you haven’t visited Earthineer in a while, you might want to take a new look.

Dan Adams has recently added the long-awaited marketplace and barter sections where members can trade with each other. Though they’re still new and smallish, he’s got something quite promising there both for “rural engineers” and for foodies. Earthineer is a labor of love for Dan and it shows in the quality of the presentation.

Among other things, he’s planning to build privacy into the trades, so only the parties involved will have long-term records of their transactions.

Also, Dave Duffy has assigned me an article on Earthineer and I’d love to hear some opinions and questions other than my own.

Claire Wolfe

Hoarding building materials?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Carl-Bear observes what he thinks may be a new trend: stockpiling building materials. He’s not sure whether this is a real thing (your opinions requested). But if it is, he’s pretty sure it’s an ominous one.

I was just about to write one of my long, rambly posts about having too much freaking stuff! Among other things, I’m tripping over the boxes of flooring sitting next to the kitchen table. And there’s an old door rescued from a Craftsman house lying smack across the center of the storeroom. The shed in my yard does contain several rolls of tarpaper. Not hoarding, though. I have Actual Uses for these things as soon as I can pull together the time and money. I expect others hereabouts could say the same

But if others are stocking up on 2x4s, insulation, and nails with no near-future plans for such, what do you think’s going on?

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
  • If you held out some tiny hope that Obama might not be as complete an economic moron as you thought him to be, read this and Lasciate ogni speranza. Yes, a raft of new federal controls will make energy cheaper!
  • Speaking of economic moronism: Under the inspiration of a Socialist city council member and waves and waves of trendy blueness, Seattle gone went and done it — raised the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour. For a while they may be saved by all the ifs, ands, and butts they included.
  • And on the other side of governmental asininity: Court official in Virginia refuses to perform a marriage because the couple aren’t Christians and therefore have no right to get married.
  • But wait! Governments have no monopoly on idiocy. Seems that hurricanes with female names kill more people, and it may be because people don’t think “girly” hurricanes are as dangerous, and therefore don’t flee or take as many precautions against them. (Oh, human beings, you are so very strange!)
  • Oh man. I didn’t realize that the latest baby-burning cops were also the preacher-killing cops from a few years back. I just love how the sheriff dismisses all this with, “Bad things can happen. That’s just the world we live in.” A fine statement from the guy who’s making the bad things happen. Tear ‘em a new one, Mr. Grigg.
  • “Things I Learned from My Father.” A moving tribute (and good gun talk) from Jerry the Geek. (And Jerry, with a dad like that, I think you might be exaggerating slightly about your lack of DIY skills.)
  • This one’s already gotten around a lot, but what the heck. It deserves all the attention. Bloomberg’s “Moms” demand action at a Tulsa Chipotle — and they get it. :-)
Claire Wolfe

America’s 10 most terrible (historic) natural disasters

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

What people suffered and what we learned.

(But there’s been worse than these — far worse — when nobody was around to record the history.)

Article is from 2006, but timeless.

Claire Wolfe

One tough way to go off-grid (book review)

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

A Widow’s Walk Off-Grid to Self-Reliance:
An inspiring, true story of courage and determination

Mason Marshall Press, 2014
$12.95 paperback
$8.95 Kindle


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.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

From a dying man’s wife

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

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.

Claire Wolfe

Brink of Freedom

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Lovely subject line, isn’t 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:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, February 21st, 2014
  • 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)
  • Calling all Girl Scouts! Want to break cookie-selling records? Well what better place could there be to set up shop? It’s a natural.
Claire Wolfe

“No one is going Donner Party …”

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Speaking of “To Serve Man” …

Americanmercenary and his family test their food preparations using Augason Farms survival packs and the regular contents of their pantry. So far not bad.

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.)

(H/T jb)



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