Do I LOVE the Way I Live My Life?

“the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Emerson.

This country was founded on the concept of individual liberty. It seems we always focus so much more on the liberty part of that statement to the exclusion of the individual part. To achieve true liberty means we must each be an individual; and therefore we must be true to ourselves. To expect the government or corporations to give us jobs pretty much circumvents that concept for many, many people. The jobs they offer provide security, not freedom. I’ve said many times that security and freedom are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The more of one you have, the less of the other you have. “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. So True! In all things, we must not operate from a base of fear. “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

I was reading Mark’s Daily Apple and he mentioned a blog he had written last August which peaked my curiosity so I went and checked it out. I have only read the first couple of paragraphs but it has given me an “aha!” moment; it has given me some clarity on something I need in my life – more playing. My current gig does not allow me to play enough. It doesn’t pay me enough money to even do the things the average schmo does for fun, and I want to do more than what the average schmo does. My job also demands too much of my time – specifically my day time – to allow me to play in the ways I want to, like exploring, hiking, etc. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers, and divines. With consistency a great soul has nothing to do.” – Emerson. I love to explore; I love the joy of discovery. “When we embrace play, we claim a better quality of life for ourselves. We decrease stress.” – http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-lost-art-of-play-reclaiming-a-primal-tradition/ That concept has been gnawing at me for a good part of my adult life, and it is what inspired my intense dislike of working for the man. It is yet one more motivation to break free from the systems upon which we are so dependent.

“The life of white men is slavery. They are prisoners in towns or farms. The life my people want is a life of freedom. I have seen nothing that a white man has, houses or railways or clothing or food that is as good as the right to move in the open country, and live in our own fashion (Sitting Bull).”

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OT and Prepping

I’ll tell you what, I may be extremely overworked but that OT pay sure does come in handy. I took a little of my extra pay today and spent $11 on a box of 00 buck shot for my 12 gauge and $15 on a box of ammo for my 30-06. I have had them both for 6 months and had no ammo for them. They are no longer clubs, they are now guns! Woohoo!

Why didn’t I buy ammo when I bought the guns you ask? Well, two reason: first is because I bought them at the same time at a pawn shop on my lunch break and didn’t have the time to go somewhere else to buy more; and second because I spent a little more than I had budgeted for the guns and couldn’t afford any ammo. Like my tag line says, no time and no money. That’s more than a catch phrase, that’s the reality I live.

I wish I could have bought more because I have a serious concern about ammo “becoming” scarce in the not too distant future. I think that would be a very good – albeit shady – way to sneak in gun control when so many are opposed to it. Plus, you never know if and when the economy is going to implode, and it would be nice to have plenty of ammo for protection as well as barter should the need arise. After seeing last week’s news about Spain outlawing transaction in cash that exceed 2500 euros, it makes me think that kind of action is getting closer and closer to home. I can see what is happening in Greece (if I look somewhere other than our major news outlets), and have read what Ferfal has said about the collapse in Argentina (in fact they just nationalized a foreign owned company last week). I already have enough invested in silver, so I won’t be buying more until I get more of my cash invested in ammo, medicine and food. Vman has told me that during the UN sanctions on Yugoslavia, gold and silver were almost useless, but if you had gas or ammo you could buy just about anything. The flip side to that is, if it takes another 10 years (or whatever) to end up in that scenario, silver could double in value and you could simply sell some of it and pocket the 100% return or purchase more resilience preps with it while still maintaining some of your silver investment. Just some food for thought.

Actions taken toward resilience 4/25/12:

  • Sent resume to Heather (a contact with our onsite staffing company) yesterday [prepping for personal crisis resilience – the most likely kind according to the threat probability matrix]
  • Bought ammo for 30-06 and 12 gauge today [obvious how this is prepping]
  • Bought 60 quart igloo cooler with high efficiency rating for a great price – excellent for bug out; keep in trunk in case the store by work has a sale on meat. [cutting grocery costs means more money for preps; investing in food – a commodity]

Should I Be Concerned?

Spain is banning cash transactions that exceed 2500 Euros. http://www.thedailybell.com/3814/Spain-Bans-Cash

Keeping in mind that In a cashless economy where all transaction are conducted using digital currency, all transactions can (and will) be tracked. All transactions would have to run through some financial institution. This means no longer doing business as a private citizen. That puts a whole lot of control into the hands of…somebody. That doesn’t sound like liberty here in the land of the free. Jack at TSP was just talking about this at the end of his podcast from yesterday (4/23/12) http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/feedback-for-4-23-12

This is one of the scenarios preppers are prepping for. But prepping by stockpiling isn’t the answer to this. If this happens here you can’t stockpile enough to ride this one out, you need to be getting yourself resilient. You need self sufficiency that is sustainable when something permanent shows up on the horizon.

Hunger Game

My family and I were watching “Hungry in America” (or something like that) the other night, and it really brought home the importance of my blog. We need to have our act together before we actually need to. There was a family that lives in my neighborhood that was struggling to get food on the table. What if I had started prepping to be resilient 2 years ago? I could be helping to feed them fresh veggies and blackberries right now. What if I had started my blog two years ago and he had started taking the steps I’m taking two years ago? He wouldn’t be struggling to eat right now, at least not struggling as much. Planting a garden after I lose my job and my family is hungry isn’t going to help much.

There was another family in which the mom was obese. Her story wasn’t that she couldn’t feed her kids (obviously), she was saying that she couldn’t afford to feed them proper nutrition because it was cost prohibitive on food stamps. Because of this her kids were always sick. One had been sick nonstop for some extended period of time. I personally think that eating less food that is nutrient dense is better for you than keeping your belly full of non-nutritious food. I also think someone that is obese should eat less so that there is more to spend on nutritious food for the kids. I also couldn’t help but be angry that it never occurred to her to do some foraging research to find out if there were any nutritious plants growing wild that she could eat, like dandelions. Hello lady! Dandelions grow everywhere and they are a vegetable!

I stayed po’d pretty much the whole time I watched the show because the premise was that the government has the resources and should be feeding the kids of this country. No kid should be going hungry, I agree. Not in the richest nation in the world. But the problem isn’t that kids are going hungry, it’s that as a society we are helpless without money. The “Permaculture Prime Directive” states (and rightly so) that we are to take responsibility for our own existence, and that of our children. Take care of the Earth, take care of people, and return the surplus – recycle the waste. Unfortunately everyone believes the only way to do that is to have a good job. We have been programmed to believe that the only resource is money – that everything we need we have to buy. There was a time when the purpose of money was to fill in the gaps, to provide us with the things we couldn’t provide for ourselves. Food is not one of those things.
That program really drove home the need to not only stay vigilant about getting my garden going successfully, but also to get others educated as well. You have to be able to feed yourself if you ever want to be free and have liberty. If someone else feeds you, or you depend on someone else in order to provide food for yourself and your family, you are their servant. You can not do things they disapprove of or they will take away the means by which you attain your food. That is not liberty, and that is not freedom; that is slavery (bondage).

I have used this quote before, but it is extremely appropriate here:
“If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.” – Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement.

In no way, shape, or form do I have the time I need to dedicate to my garden, but I refuse to sit back and do nothing and just hope I will always have the finances I need to survive. I am prepping for my independence no matter how slow the progress or how small the steps. And I’m doing it in a way that is sustainable. This is my attempt at hugelkultur. I also have a soaker hose running through my garden to hopefully mitigate the effects of this summers drought. (cause you know it’s comin!)

THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF RESILIENCE

I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION that the most important aspect of resilience is health, and it should go without saying that fitness is a component of health. Think about this, water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon, so a five gallon bucket or jug of water weighs almost 42 pounds. That’s a single day’s requirement for my family. How far could I carry that if I needed to transport it back to the house on foot? What about ten gallons? I’ll list some other ways that fitness leads to resilience and independence:

  • Recover faster from physical labor
  • Self defense
  • Lessen dependence on sick care system – saves money, less need for meds
  • Hike farther and faster if you break down somewhere
  • Better chance at getting out of a burning house or building, or surviving a tornado or earthquake
  • Body can endure injury better

Another thing about health is, the road to good health where nutrition is concerned is not found in the things we have been educated on for our entire lives. Just like everything else fed to us (ha! Get it??) by our gubment, there has been a money trail behind the information being disseminated.

My wife and I watched “Fat Head” over the weekend and it was yet another “aha” moment. I don’t think I mentioned it, but a couple of weeks ago I re-evaluated what I thought I knew about nutrition based on several things I have been reading and a couple of interviews that I heard. I came to the conclusion that we were not designed to eat so much grain (which is basically grass), but to eat the animals that eat the grass. I initially heard it from the Paleo diet perspective, but I am not going Paleo. Then I heard more about it from the Primal Blueprint perspective, which is more in line with my thinking than Paleo, but I am still not sold completely on it either. I am convinced, however, that certain fat is healthy for us and we are starving our bodies and brains without it, while other “healthy” fats are not. Corn oil was not even used for human consumption at the beginning of the 1900s, it was used for making paint!

After watching “Fat Head” on Sunday, I understand a bit more about the benefits of fat, particularly saturated fat. For instance, coconut oil is loaded with MCTs which feed the brain. So yesterday I bought some to use for frying and to put it in my coffee instead of cream. It is different, but I could get used to it. It is a good substitute for cream as it removes the bitterness of the coffee like cream does, but I still like some sweetness in my coffee, so I’ll need to figure that part out.

Since I have started restricting grain products, my insulin requirements have fallen significantly. I am still concerned with the amount of meat I take in though. Without grain based products, that pretty much leaves meat, fat, fruit and veggies. Most fat (which is now going to be my primary source of energy) has tied to protein, and I still think Dr Kelley (who cured himself of Pancreatic cancer) made some good points about our bodies response to an overload of protein. He said that our pancreas produces hormones and enzymes to deal with the food we eat, one is insulin which is for dealing with glucose (all carbs break down into glucose) and the other is an enzyme called pancreatin which breaks down protein. Pancreatin also breaks down cells that try to become cancerous so they can be removed them from the body. When we overload our body with too much protein, we don’t produce enough of the pancreatin to deal with mutating cells. So I am looking for snacks that aren’t loaded with protein but are more exciting and filling than veggies. Bring on the fat!

What I Did Yesterday to get Closer To My Goal:

  • Worked on resume, updated format. [resilience: getting closer to being ready if something in my current income situation changes. Liberty: getting closer to a job that pays more with less time/possibly work from home and more control over how I spend
    my time]
  • Replaced hose in backyard so my “soaker hose solution” will work. [Less time watering, more consistent watering so my tree and garden don’t die.]
  • Watered and turned compost bin [Improve soil quality and sustainability]
  • Bought coconut oil to Improve health