domestic duties · health · herbs · preparedness · religion · self-reliance

Doctoring During the Depression Era

Plants are people too!

 

One of my favorite jobs over the years has been that of an in-home-care-giver. In-home-care-givers are trained and certified, then sent to homes of people who need help but are not ready, for whatever reason to move to a nursing home. Some folks would be described as having different degrees of mental and physical handicaps, some were just old or infirm. Most often I was sent to the home of an extremely old person who was able to be at home but who couldn’t do all the daily living tasks without help. That’s where I came in.  Most ya’all know what it takes to care for others. Lots of dishes, laundry, helping with personal hygiene, you know. My favorite part was when the oldster cracked open the stories of their youth. Damn! What a worlds worth of information!

I loved my clients, but of course, you can end up with your favorites. One of my favorites was a 98 year old lady who loved to look over her high school year book. 1920’s year book! Even back then the football jock got the girl. Sometimes the girl had to leave high school or there was what she described as a “shotgun” wedding. In this area, she whispered that there are lot of Italian folks and German folks they hate each other. I remember a girl who was Italian and a boy who was German, she told me one day. They were in love and wanted to marry, but their fathers forbade it.

I took care of 90 year old Jewish dear. OMG, I loved Louie. He lived in a senior apartment complex, he was on the 3rd floor. Dear Louie would sometimes wait until I was busy making the bed or doing dishes. He would silently put on his hat and coat and sneak out the apartment door. I would find him shuffling for the elevator at a top speed of escargot.

“Where ya going, Louie?”

“I’m am going to take my Cadillac for a drive.”

“No, not today, sweetheart.” I said as I turned him around and headed him back to the apartment.

Louie owned a Newspaper in a fairly large city during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He and I talked for hours about the history as he saw it through his paper. Also, he talked a lot about his Jewish faith. Fascinating! If people would only listen to each other, we would discover that we are all really quite alike. I learned so much from Louie.

Most recently, there was Mr. D who is a 90 year old senior with a really cool sense of humor and an excellent story telling skills. One day he wanted to make some cookies, so while we were busy making cookies for his freezer, Mr. D and I were discussing what life was like when he was a kid. As old people love to talk about “life in the old days,” he told me a story of an incident that could have turned out very tragically if not for an observant old time country Doctor.

As a youngster of the 1930s Mr. D was left pretty much on his own after his assigned daily chores had been completed. At 12 years of age his mother had no worries about Mr. D and his buddies playing down by the pond several blocks past the old feed mill most every day. She knew basically where they were and when they became hungry, she was sure the boys would miraculously appear at the kitchen table.
Today Mr. D and several neighborhood boys had been fishing down at the pond when Mr. D suddenly found a fish hook lodged in his wrist. One of the boys whipped his pole to send his line with wormed hook out to the center of the pond. The flying hook didn’t make it far before piercing the skin of Mr. Ds wrist, the barb of the fish hook securely embedded into the muscle.
He worked for quite some time to dislodge the fish hook, using his jack knife to help with the task. The boys all gathered around to watch with fascination as blood dripped from his wrist. Finally, he got the nasty fish hook out of his wrist and cleaned up the blood with a little pond water and the boys resumed fishing until almost dark.

A few days later, Mr. D had walked several blocks to the towns only mercantile/ general store to purchase some things for his mother. With his arms loaded he was waiting at the corner to allow a car to pass before he could cross the street when it stopped directly in front of him. The driver was the village Doctor on his way to check on a patient. (In those days the Doctor drove to his patients homes for their care. I still remember as a child of the 1950’s a Doctor visiting our house to check on my sister who had recently had her tonsils removed.) The good doctor rolled down his window and asked Mr. D if he and his load would like a lift home since the doctor was headed in his direction and would drive right by his house.
Mr. D climbed into the front seat next to the doctor and set his packages on the floor in front of him. It was about then the good doctor noticed the green line running up the inside of Mr. Ds arm. He asked what had happened to create such a nasty infection?
Mr. D had the doctors undivided attention so he spilled his story on him. After which, the good doctor told Mr. D to have his mother make a poultice of ground flax seed and warm water and wrap it around his wrist until the infection and gangrene was gone. The Doctor pulled up to the curb, stopped the car and dropped the boy off in front of his house. Waving good bye, he drove off to his next appointment.

Mr. D showed his arm to his mother and told her what the doctor had said. She immediately went to work. She made a paste from the ground flax seed using a little warm water as instructed. Next she placed it directly on Mr. Ds infected arm, then wrapped it securely with a clean linen cloth. It was changed again before bed and the again the next day. Within three days the infection and the green line running up Mr. Ds arm had been healed by the flax seed meal. And so, Mr. D is still with us today.

Why whole plant Material heals?horehound

Plants are chemically complex. The chemical elements of which plants are constructed—principally carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, etc.—are the same as for all other life forms animals, fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Only the details of the molecules into which they are assembled differs. This underlying similarity, plants produce a vast array of chemical compounds with unique properties which they use to cope with their environment. Pigments are used by plants to absorb or detect light. Perhaps the most celebrated compounds from plants are those with pharmacological activity, such as salicylic acid from which aspirin is made, morphine, and digoxin. Drug companies spend billions of dollars each year researching plant compounds for potential medicinal benefits.
When pharmaceutical drug makers isolate and concentrated an element from a plant they strip away all the complimenting molecules. All the plants chemicals work in synergy. When you take away one element and concentrate it, it is now possible to become a dangerous drug, poisonous. It is why pharmaceutical drugs are monitored and controlled.

So. . . .

Active compounds found in the plant such as chlorophyll are close to human blood. (Chlorophyll~~Chlorophyll is a chlorin pigment, which is structurally similar to and produced through the same metabolic pathway as other porphyrin pigments such as heme. At the center of the chlorin ring is a magnesium ion. This was discovered in 1906, and was the first time that magnesium had been detected in living tissue.)
The correct structure of hemin (heme) is part of the hemoglobin. ( hemoglobin is the red coloring of blood, the pigment, when combined with protein forms hemoglobin) Chlorophyll molecules closely resemble hemin. One of the major differences between chlorophyll and hemin is that chlorophyll contains magnesium while hemin molecule contains iron for the central atom. Owing to the close molecule resemblance between chlorophyll and hemoglobin is that chlorophyll and its derivatives is nature’s blood-building element for all plant eaters and humans.
Magnesium in plant chlorophyll picks up the blue light from the sun, add in plant carbs and proteins, which all contribute to turn the plant blood green. Iron plus proteins makes human and animal blood red. That’s why I say;

Plants are people too!!

At the ripe old age of 84, my own Dad lived in one of those secured senior complexes too. But one day he took a swan dive out of the tub while taking a shower and laid on the cold tile floor for a 4 hours because he couldn’t get himself up alone. Someone finally came along to check on him and called an ambulance, then called me. During my 3 week stay with Dad while he recovered, I got to know some of the other seniors on his floor.

One 90+ year old lady had a number tattooed on her forearm. She had been in a Nazi camp as a child. Some of the stories she told me would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Some of her stories she actually lived, some stories she heard from other survivors. old women playing cards 1(Her story and that of others who lived before or without electricity can be found in my book, How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out.) 

Plants and plant medicine would have been pivotal in their survival, as it was during the last great economic depression. You know? Plants and old people, uh. Who would have ever thought?

camping · domestic duties · homesteading · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

6 Properties Of Bushcraft Knives To Choose The Right One

Guest post from the makers of Perkins Knives, UK.
 https://perkinknives.com/product-category/bushcraft-knives/

 

Are you a knife enthusiast?

Are you searching for the right bushcraft knife for yourself?

It is not just necessary to own a bushcraft knife, but it is important to own the right one for yourself. Every bushcraft knife is unique in its own way. It is built to last long and for hard use. All the properties should help it to perform a range of functions above the standards of a regular EDC knife.

Buying the right knife for you depends on a lot of factors other than the knife itself like if you are going to use it in humid or damp region, you need to buy a stainless steel blade to avoid corrosion and if in dry regions then it should be made of carbon steel. Folding knives are considered to be harder to use and are less strong as compared with fixed blade knives.

Properties to Consider

The following are some of the major properties that you need to look for in the perfect knife for you:

1. Blade Size
The temptation to pick the biggest blade available is known as the Crocodile Dundee temptation. There are pros and cons to even the biggest blade, when you consider it for bushcraft activities. If you are buying it to chop trees, then go for an axe or a machete. Similarly, small blades also have pros and cons i.e. if you wish to use it to chop trees, it would not do any good to you. Always go for 8-15 cm in length of blade size, as per your comfort and work.

2.  Design and shape
Ideally, you wish to have the thickest blade possible because it will be the strongest, but a good bushcraft knife should have a long, flat cutting edge that turns up to meet a tip. It should have a distinctive tip i.e. not every thin or pointed. Don’t go for a needle tip as well. Bushcraft knife tips are heavily used & abused, which requires it to remain functional for a long time. Something which is sharp and strong enough to withstand hard use. It also shouldn’t have a bulging underbelly either. The two best designs for bushcraft knife blades are drop point and spear point.

3.  Grind
It refers to how the blade is shaped above the cutting edge. The primary grind basically thins down the blade from its initial width. The best grinds versatile and strong because if the edge is too thing, the strength is severely compromised. Grinds like chisel grind, flat grind, convex grind and scandinavian grind are some of the popular ones. You need to avoid bushcraft knives with hollow grind because it is only good for EDC knives as it makes the blade too thin and ineffective.

4.  Cutting edge
It is a very tricky part of the knife because if you take a bigger angle, the edge will become very strong, but will lose its cutting power and if you choose a smaller angle, the edge will become very sharp, but will reduce in strength. Thin cutting edge is good for softer targets like in food production while thick cutting edges are completely the opposite. One of the other factors you need to look for is the ability of the blade to be resharpened because the edge wears out if used regularly and resharpening is required every once a while.

5.  Blade material
It is one of the most difficult aspect of a knife because there isn’t a best one; rather a right one, depending upon the work you wish to accomplish with your bushcraft knife. Blade materials range from stainless steel to alloy mixed steel to element-mixed steel like carbon, chromium, vanadium and molybdenum etcetera to make it corrosion and wear resistant, to improve its strength, hardenability, strength, toughness, and light-weighted.

6.  Handle material
Handles are chosen for their looks, durability, grip and shock & absorption. The material totally depends on the task that needs to be accomplished, environment in which it will be used and frequency of usage to get an idea of the wear & tear.

Choose The Right One

After reading the above properties, you must be having a clear understanding of what needs to be considered while purchasing a bushcraft knife as per your suitability and use. There are many places where you can get customised bushcraft knives in UK (https://perkinknives.com/product-category/bushcraft-knives/), USA and other parts of the world, you just need to look harder.

Choose Wisely! Choose What’s Right For You!

Author Bio: Having been on the Perkin Knives team for several years as a marketing executive, Billy has been part of a great many top-of-the-line projects. Not only has he personally contributed to the service in every way, but he also happens to be one of the most revered members of Perkin Knives.

 

 

health · herbs · homesteading · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Planning Your Medicinal Herb Garden

When the Catalogs begin to arrive. . .

 

They start showing up in the mailbox right after Thanksgiving, sometimes even earlier. Those tempting little paper beasts that draw you in and bewitch you into spending your designated Christmas dollars with them. Dreary winter dreaming, you sit down at the kitchen table with your favorite cup of warmth and plan your artful garden for sunny springtime.

Blessed are those that have the will to resist the colorful pictures full of sunshine fields with pink, red and yellow flowers and the enticing, crisp, fresh, moist, mouth-watering vegetables expertly laid out for the camera. They evoke memories and the smell of freshly turned soil, moist, rich,  soft between your toes, comes flooding into your brain. This my dear friends is a gardeners high. Promises of a clean canvas in which to begin a new spring time painting. This is my art!

Oh, I’m sorry, back to reality. I kind of lost myself in this dreamy state. It happens this time of year. The holidays are over now and there is a lull between the beginning of the new year and the first shoots of green in spring. This is the perfect time to plan, arrange and perfect your new medicinal herbal garden.

The first question you should ask yourself; What are my familys’ health needs?  What culinary herbs would I like to have in my backyard grocery store/pharmacy? What does my location have to offer my chosen herbs?

What is in my garden from last year and why? (zone 4, 100+ miles north of the 45th parallel)

The soil base at our place is mostly acidic, dry, and gravely. There are pockets of loamy acidic, moist, piney places and if you really get lucky, you might stumble across a loamy neutral Ph soil patch but they are rare.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)  TP  The medicinal parts are the oil extracted by distillation. The whole plant can be used. Harvested before flowering, the taste and smelllemon balm is lemon-like, later becoming astringent to balm-like and warming.

Using lemon balm at home; gather early in the day when the sun has dried the dew from the leaves, wash and dry quickly in a just barely warm oven. Lemon balm is one of my favorites for tea, it imparts a wonderful lemon flavor and aroma in any preparation. As an herbal medicine it has mild sedative and carminative properties. Can be used in antibacterial and antiviral herbal medicinal preparations, most often however, it is used for nervous complaints, womans’ issues and headaches. Lemon balm imparts a cheerful therapy.

Be sure to plant this one close to walk ways. When you brush up against lemon balm a  lemony aroma waifs to gladden the senses.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) P  The root is used from this herb. It’s flowers are fragrant, the plant usually reaches 5 feet tall. The root/ rhizome smells bad when dried, sort of like dirty socks. Hydrolysis of the components in the root from isovaleric acid is what is responsible for the offensivevalerian-root- oder.

Valerian likes low-lying, sandy, humus soil that is well supplied with lime in a damp area. (The valerian I planted several years ago made a daring escape from the patch I had carefully designated for it and it now growing wild in dry places that it shouldn’t be growing. It truly has a mind of its own and has proven very adaptable.) The root is harvested in September and are carefully dug, washed, chopped and dried.

The biochemical components of valerian root reduces the time it takes to drift off to sleep. Improvements in sleep quality were demonstrated in a well constructed, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-centered study involving 121 patients.

Valerian is used for restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions, mental strain, lack of concentration, and states of anxiety. Caution; Valerian has an additive effect when used in combination with barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Otherwise, there are no known hazards using valerian.

Your choice of administration; works well as a tea with other herbs, tincture, extracts, external use in baths, powdered and used in capsules for a sleep aid 30 minutes before bedtime.

Hops (Humulus lupulus) TP   Hops are green viney crawling plants that can reach 30 feet long. Usually they are grown on a string straight up a pole or trellis. Hops are the ingredient that gives beer that slightly bitter after taste and calm, sleeping feeling.

AT harvest time, the entire plant is cut at about ground level. The flowers are plucked off andhops-cone quickly dried, packaged and popped into the freezer to preserve their potency.

Hops work best with other herbs in preparations of extract, tincture or tea to promote a restful sleep. Also, used in folk medicine to treat nervous tension headache, nerve pain and inflammation.

Rose (Rosaceae supp.) P  Rose by any other name is still a rose. Only we are looking for the variety that produces rosehips. Some hybrids have been bred out to not produce the hips. Know which one you are growing. Roses and their hips are a wonderful addition to any herb garden. Roses in the wild, those growing at the forests edge, also produce beautiful orange to red hips loaded with vitamin C.

Roses are the work horse of the garden attracting  bees, butterflies and other bugs to help with pollination. They are wonderful and are simply delightful for the senses, producing a healthful potent fruit. Petals are gathered in full bloom and dried at a low temperature or in the shade. You definitely will be dodging bees and other bugs for your petals.

Rose hips appear when the petals begin to fall off later in the season. They are gathered after they turn red, however, I like to gather them after the first light frost. Rose hips seem easier to work with and a touch sweeter after the frost, in my humble opinion.

Rose petals generally, are used in skin preparations, but will make a wonderfully fragrant tea too. My favorite use for them is in wild rose and red clover jelly. I sell this at craft fairs with rave reviews and many return customers.

Here’s a great article on rose hips–  https://www.thespruce.com/what-are-rose-hips-and-what-do-they-do-1403046

Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) P  These tiny gems are one of my favorite plants. Domestic grown plants are readily available from seed catalogs and the berries are slightly larger than wild grown plants. I find elderberries occasionally growing wild along roadsides in damp areas. The domestic variety seems to like regular garden soil and will spread and take over the area in just a few short years if left unchecked.elderberries

The berries can give you a tummy ache if you eat too many, so they should be cooked before ingestion. The flowers are great in tea for colds and flu due to the fact that they promote sweating. The flowers are great in preparations for coughs and bronchitis too.

Elderberries make a delicious syrup for use during or just before the onset of colds and flu. They can be used in jams, jellies and pies, also. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/elderberries.html

Echinacea (Echinacea species) P Some people call these beautiful immune enhancers, coneflowers. They take two years to produce a flower head and it is best to wait that long to harvest the roots. Echinacea activity is directed towards the nonspecific cellular immune system. The herb exerts anti-inflammatory immunostimulating, antibacterial, and wound healing actions. Most often this herb is used for colds, flu and upper echinacearespiratory infections.

Other uses; Fevers, urinary infections, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, wounds and burns. Native Americans used this herb for headaches, measles, coughs, stomach aches, gonorrhea and snake bits.

Dried roots can be ground and put into capsules or used with other herbs as a tea.

Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) P This is one of those plants equal to your kittys’ catnip only for humans. You just feel like rolling around in it. Bees and butterflies love it too. They will swarm your garden where hyssop is growing, which is great for other plant dependent on pollinators.

The fresh and dried leaves and flower tips are used to make herbal medicines. Extracts of the leaves are antimicrobial, antiviral (herpes simplex) and the herb is mildly hyssopspasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscles). Preparations of hyssop herb are used for gentle circulation, for diseases of the respiratory tract, colds, chest and lung ailments.

Tincture extract preparations are used most often as well a tea, however, hyssop has been found effective when ground and put into capsules also.

Caution; Hyssop is another one of those plants that will take over your garden if left unchecked.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Aggressive Perennial Peppermint is so versatile and delightful. It is hard to kill out once established so be careful where you plant this guy. He loves cool moist garden soil and will take over an area in a matter of a few years with over and underground runners. (Spearmint, too. If it has a square stem, it most likely is related to the Lamiaceae, belonging to the mint and balm family.) https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-plants-in-the-family-Lamiaceae-2035853

Peppermint leaves for our purposes, are gathered just before flowering, washed andpeppermint hung in a warm, shaded room to dry. It can be harvested a couple of times during the growing season.

Peppermint is generally used in a tea for upset stomach and digestion issues, however, it has been used for thousands of years as an anti spasm for the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Other benefits from peppermint include a carminative, antibacterial, insecticidal and a secretolytic agent (breaks up secretions); it also has a cooling effect on the skin and works well in ointments.

In folk medicine, peppermint is utilized for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, respiratory infections, dysmenorrhea (pain caused during menstruation) and colds.

Other uses for peppermint; cough and bronchitis, fevers and cold symptoms, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and a general tendency toward infections.

White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) TP The medicinal parts of this plant are the above ground leaves and flowers. Gathered and dried quickly in June to August, it has a slightly bitter, hot taste.

The bitter effects act as a gastric juice stimulant which can help to reverse loss of appetite in cases of chronic illness. In horehoundfolk medicine horehound is used internally for acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping-cough, asthma, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and jaundice. Also, it has been used for painful menstruation and as a laxative in higher doses. You may find horehound candy around town, it is useful for throat problems and upper respiratory infections.

Other herbs that have earned their  place in my herbal medicine garden are;

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) TP Mostly known for its culinary uses, thyme earns a reward for being a bronchial antispasmodic, an expectorant and an antibacterial agent. Thyme is one of the ingredients in products such as Listerine.

Garden Sage and  Ceremonial White Sage (Salvia supp.) TP You will find garden sage  in your poultry seasonings but it also makes a wonderful tea. Used for internal gastric disorders such as loss of appetite, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and often used as a gargle for bleeding gums and laryngitis. White Sage is normally found in the southwestern U.S. and does not grow naturally up here in Michigans Upper Peninsula so it is grown in pots and brought into the house in the fall.

Basil (Ocimum basillicum) A People are often surprised to learn this culinary has antimicrobial properties, particularly found in oil of basil. This guy deserves a special place in the home herbal medical garden, especially if you get a bee sting. Simply crush a few basil leaves and place on the sting for pain relief. In Chinese medicine basil herb is used for disturbances of renal function, gum ulcers and as a hemostyptic both before and after birth.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) A Pot marigold- Delightfully bright yellow, orange and orange-red flowers harvested in about July. Calendula flowers are antimicrobial and  shown to have potent anti-HIV activity. Surprisingly, these beauties have been also shown in studies to be anti-inflammatory and have significant wound healing powers when used as an ointment. Best used for frost-bite, burns to the skin and poorly healing wounds.

Around our homestead we find a pharmacopeia of wild healing wonders. Red clover, red and black raspberry leaves, ginseng, goldenseal, golden rod, Astragalus, mullein, plantain and many more.

Having listed last years garden herbs and herbs found nearby, we can now decide what we would like to grow in the new season. This will become your home herbal medicine cupboard to help keep your family and neighbors healthy and treat their injuries.

On a walk-about you will find other herbs growing wild, such as;

Red Clover– coughs, whooping-cough, upper respiratory and skin healing, wounds.

Raspberry leaves– help facilitate child-birth, gastrointestinal tract and blood purifying.

Common plantain– for wounds, to draw tissue together, help stop bleeding.

Coltsfoot- best used in smoking preparations to help cure smoking addiction.

Horsetail– Urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, silicic acid.

Stinging Nettle– diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nutritive, prostate complaints

St. John’s wort– wounds, depression, tuberculosis, anti inflammatory

Marshmallow, Mullein, Willow, Birch, Burdock, and many, many more. . .

To find your special plants and seeds,        https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/

I love these guys.

Stay tuned for this coming years additions. I am so excited about trying these new herbs! Here’s a hint; Meadowsweet- Heather- Uva Ursi- Skullcap and a several more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Changes · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Things that Disappear First After a Disaster

This bears repeating over and over. If you don’t own it before the disaster, you’ll pay hell getting it after the disaster.

I’ve told this story before but it is the way too many people see things yet today that warrants repeating.

***

Dearest daughter marries her college sweetheart. They put up a mobile home on our back forty. If you have followed my blog posts, you will remember that we live in the woods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Cold, dark, icy, wind-swept, winters, followed by mildly warm, breezy summers.

They moved in during the early summer months when the bad spring storms had given way to bug season. All went well for the newlyweds that first summer but when fall approached I knew that a sudden very wet, heavy snowfall was not out of the ordinary and it usually took out the power for a day or so when it hit.

“So,” I asked dearest son-in-law, “you kids got water and an auxiliary heat source set aside for winter incase the power goes out?”

Dearest son-in-law looks me square in the eye and says, “Yep, we’ll be ok, we have an electric blanket. And I think we have a bottle of water in the frige. Oh, wait, I think I drank that. Eeeh, we’ll be ok.”

Well, as luck would have it, we had one of those heavy, wet snow storms that took out the power that cold, dark, fall. The power had been out for about 3 hours when dearest son-in-law and daughter showed up at our place asking to use our landline telephone and warm themselves by the woodstove.

“I am goin to call the power company and demand that they turn our power back on.” He said adamantly, thinking the power company must have done this dastardly deed. And by now he was in a panic, “what about all the old people? Someone needs to do something about all the old people that don’t have heat too.”

Of course, I had to ask about the electric blankets. “How they workin’ for ya?” My bad!

It was the first crisis these kids had faced on their own. Up until their marriage someone else had taken care of their welfare. Dearest son-in-law had lived with his parents before attending college as well as our dearest daughter.

They now have a copy of my book, How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out. I wonder sometimes if I was  ever that slow on the uptake? Naaaaaa

The point here is if you know some people like this, young or old, make a copy of the following list, look them square in the eye and hand it to them.

Things that disappear first after a disaster. (Non-looted items.) Not in any particular order.

Food- bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter, tuna fish, Speghetti O’s, etc.

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, instant coffee, soda and bottled water

Candles, flashlights, oil lamps, matches and lighters

Toilet paper and feminine products and condoms

Hand can opener

Sugar and Kool-Aid, kids juices

Coleman camp stove, propane cylinders and white gas

Baby supplies, diapers, wipes and formula

Charcoal and lighter- grills

Generators

Water hauling containers

Paper plates, cups, bowls and silverware

Trash bags

Water purifiers and filters

Insulated ice chests and bags of ice

Sleeping bags and blankets

Thermos

Candy, popcorn, hot chocolate, tang etc.

Kids games, coloring books, crayons, reading books and card games

Radio, shortwave, walkie-talkies

Dish soap, bath soap, shampoo

First aid kit

And, you know, if a guy were smart, he’d have a few of these on hand ahead of time.

Believe it or not, the best survival item is your own brain. A few hard copy how-to books in a library wouldn’t hurt either, I’d say.

Excellent videos from 2013 is as important today as then. Brad and Kelly and their two young boys put these out. Like their videos to see more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Herbs, oils and the Plague

What is the plague and why should I be concerned?

Urgent update:

This video released late Saturday 11-4-2017  by Dave Hodges The Common Sense Show

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IhvonLNGxc

Unless you have been out in your wilderness yurt or living in a cave somewhere with no internet access, you have been hearing people talk about the plague. I’m sorry if you hadn’t heard, I don’t mean to be the one to give you one more thing to worry yourself into sleepless nights about.  I do understand your frustration. But listen up. . .

Knowledge is the key here. Knowing what you are dealing with and how to protect yourself is paramount.

Copied from WHO website;

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria, usually found in small mammals and their fleas. It is transmitted between animals through fleas. Humans can be infected through:
*the bite of infected vector fleas
*unprotected contact with infectious bodily fluids or contaminated materials
*the inhalation of respiratory droplets/small particles from a patient with pneumonic plague.
Plague is a very severe disease in people, particularly in its septicaemic (systemic infection caused by circulating bacteria in bloodstream) and pneumonic forms, with a case-fatality ratio of 30% to 100% if left untreated. The pneumonic form is invariably fatal unless treated early. It is especially contagious and can trigger severe epidemics through person-to-person contact via droplets in the air.
From 2010 to 2015, there were 3248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths.

Historically, plague was responsible for widespread pandemics with high mortality. It was known as the “Black Death” during the fourteenth century, causing more than 50 million deaths in Europe. Nowadays, plague is easily treated with antibiotics and the use of standard precautions to prevent acquiring infection.

https://prepforthat.com/pneumonic-plague-warning-in-nine-countries/

According to the link above, it is the pneumonic form of plague now circulating in nine countries with a weeks worth of incubation time. Yes, it’s over there, but what if a nice young  guy is infected from over there, he doesn’t yet have symptoms and this nice guy climbs on that proverbial plane and lands in New York, or LAX or any other highly populated airport? Well, I guess you know it won’t take long before it wanders up your alley. I’m 100% sure you would not want your child, your wife or your neighbor inadvertently coming in contact with Americas ground zero. Also, do you remember recently, a couple of western states in the U.S. had several cases of Bubonic plague from contaminated critters who came in contact with youngsters and hikers?

So, what’s this pneumonic plague look like?

Again, from the WHO website;

People infected with plague usually develop acute febrile disease with other non-specific systemic symptoms after an incubation period of one to seven days, such as sudden onset of fever, chills, head and body aches, and weakness, vomiting and nausea.

Pneumonic plague, or lung-based plague, is the most virulent form of plague. Incubation can be as short as 24 hours. Any person with pneumonic plague may transmit the disease via droplets to other humans. Untreated pneumonic plague, if not diagnosed and treated early, can be fatal. However, recovery rates are high if detected and treated in time (within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.)

Transmission

From the CDC;

Flea bites. Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. During plague epizootics, many rodents die, causing hungry fleas to seek other sources of blood. People and animals that visit places where rodents have recently died from plague are at risk of being infected from flea bites. Dogs and cats may also bring plague-infected fleas into the home. Flea bite exposure may result in primary bubonic plague or septicemic plague.
Contact with contaminated fluid or tissue. Humans can become infected when handling tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal. For example, a hunter skinning a rabbit or other infected animal without using proper precautions could become infected with plague bacteria. This form of exposure most commonly results in bubonic plague or septicemic plague.
Infectious droplets. When a person has plague pneumonia, they may cough droplets containing the plague bacteria into air. If these bacteria-containing droplets are breathed in by another person they can cause pneumonic plague. Typically this requires direct and close contact with the person with pneumonic plague. Transmission of these droplets is the only way that plague can spread between people. This type of spread has not been documented in the United States since  1924, but still occurs with some frequency in developing countries. Cats are particularly susceptible to plague, and can be infected by eating infected rodents. Sick cats pose a risk of transmitting infectious plague droplets to their owners or to veterinarians. Several cases of human plague have occurred in the United States in recent decades as a result of contact with infected cats.

What can we do to protect our families and pets?

Starting with your pets, they are closer to the ground and their warm fur attract fleas;

A good homemade recipe;

Diatomaceous earth, dried NEEM and dried yarrow in equal portions, mix together in a mason jar, shake vigorously. Sprinkle about the yard and entrances to help keep fleas at bay. Remember squirrels, chipmunks and mice all are harbingers of fleas too. Make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth, however, as Fido and Kitty may lay where you sprinkled. Fleas, snails, ants etc. generally won’t venture into anything diatomaceous earth related because Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled protest (a group of unicellular critters). They are rock like and powder easily but are extremely sharp to bugs, ripping open their hide.

Also, I read on a veterinarian website, you can give your dog a teaspoonful of quality coconut oil daily to keep fleas off your furry family member. They like it too.

For cats try equal parts of vinegar and catnip tea. Put into a spray bottle and spray your cat generously. A few drops of Cedarwood essential oil added to the spray bottle helps too.

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Vacuum everything pet related.

http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/pest-repellents/

Protecting your family

I’m sure you have heard this story by now, but if not, stay tuned.

Black Death, pandemic that ravaged Europe between 1347 and 1351, taking a proportionately greater toll of life than any other known epidemic or war up to that time.

There were recurrences of the plague in 1361–63, 1369–71, 1374–75, 1390, and 1400. Modern research has suggested that, over that period of time, plague was introduced into Europe multiple times, coming along trade routes in waves from Central Asia as a result of climate fluctuations that affected populations of rodents infested with plague-carrying fleas.

During one of the major infestations in Europe,  a group of thieves and grave robbers were apprehended by the constables while the thieves were busy robbing a dying victim. It seems the robbers were entering homes of the dead and dying, stealing anything and everything of value. As evidenced from their stash back at their hideout, they had been at it for quite some time.

“Such an immoral crime!” the Honorable Judge screams.  “However, we are willing to make a concession for a more lenient punishment in this case, if you confess your secret to resisting illness to your person while committing these heinous crimes.”

And so they did. These fellows had developed an essential oil formula that stayed off the plague along with many other bacterial and viral human diseases. By rubbing this mixture of essential oils on their hands, feet and stomach the disease couldn’t/ wouldn’t  infect them.

The recipe has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation because it works.

To make this fantastic formula at home;

Put all the oils in a small brown glass bottle and shake to mix.

Clove essential oil (syzgium aromaticum)                                        200 drops or 1/2 ounce

Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)                                                     175 drops

Cinnamon Bark essential oil (cinnamoomun verum)                    100 drops

Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus radiate)                                    75 drops

Rosemary essential oil (Rosimarinus officinalis)                              50 drops

The blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils called Thieves oil for obvious reasons, was tested at Weber State University for its potent antimicrobial properties. This particular combination of essential oils was found to have a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. The oils are highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti infectious which helps protect the body against flu, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and more.

Just apply a few drops of this mixture to the bottom of your feet or stomach and rub into the skin. Modern day diffuser jewelry offer day-to-day protection in a fashionable way. The aroma of thieves oils is quite pleasing, almost like a cinnamon bun.

Other options would be to put a few drops into a small spray bottle with a little water and alcohol and mist the air in your home and car. Thieves oil works great in an electric essential oil diffuser for a whole room disinfectant.

The potency of this oil, when sprayed around the ankles keeps most ticks and fleas from going near your legs. Of course, you could attract someone looking for that delicious smelling cinnamon bun.

The internet is awash with Thieves oil for sale. Look for one that has no extra fillers or dilution. Amazon, Do Terra and Young living are good sources too.

Hopes this eases your mind a little, when these things or when the SHTF happens you are not helpless. Now you know. Survival favors the prepared.

 

health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

The Incredible, Edible, Goldenrod

When It finally happens;

For post-disaster radiation damage or severe case of UV sun exposure, this yellow darling can’t be beat. Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) was one of the first plants to make a come back around the devastated grounds near Chernobyl in the late 80’s, early 1990’s. In my area Goldenrod thrives in sandy or dry soils, along thicket borders, in open wooded areas or running wild in open fields on sunny rolling hillsides. Most everyone I know sees only an invasive weed, but we know better.

There are some 125 species of Goldenrods that grow in this country. All are native, most are found in the East.  A few Goldenrods have adapted to marshes, sandy beaches, deserts, and mountain areas. Most of this family of daisies are between 2 and 4 feet tall.100_2904

Now, let me set the record straight right off the bat. Goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Their pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind.  A lighter colored, (greenish) Ragweed which blooms at the same time is the culprit for running noses and itchy eyes.

September is prime gathering time here in the Upper Peninsula when the blooms are beautifully yellow, fragrant and loaded with bees, butterflies, and bugs. To harvest, cut it about 18 inches long and bring to the house. Hang it upside down in a well ventilated room to dry or if you are in a hurry, place clean goldenrod on a cookie sheet and put in a gas oven and let the pilot light do the work. It is ready for storage or tincture when the leaves are dry and crispy.  Read more;  https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-dry- herbs/

This beautiful golden plant is so misunderstood by the general public and often ignored in the herbal community because it is just so abundant.  Here at Handy Granny’s place, we use the leaves and flowers for teas, tinctures, or alcohol extract. Warm sweet goldenrod tea helps the body rid itself of mucus troubles such as Rhinitis and Sinusitis and slows or relieves  Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding.) Oh, did I mention, it makes a warm golden color when used for died fabrics and wools too.

Goldenrod, leaves and flowers make an aromatic beverage on it’s own but it also helps improve the flavor of nasty tasting remedies and other medicinal preparations. Chop the dried goldenrod flower, stem and leaves into pretty small pieces, place 1 tsp. into your tea strainer and put into your favorite cup. Pour boiled water into the cup over the herb and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the herb and drink. You can take 1 or 2 cups a day until any of the above mentioned symptoms are relieved, or just because you like it mixed with other herbs.

This is a very good herb to use for UTI’s, edema, acute anuria and kidney-related skin disorders. It works well in formulas for all sorts of kidney and bladder conditions.

I will tell you for sure, that goldenrod will be in my post disaster first aid kit as a tincture and for use as a tea.

Read more;  

https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/goldenrod

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Glorious-Goldenrod.htm

http://www.pixiespocket.com/2013/10/lets-talk-about-goldenrod.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

homesteading · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

Getting your fat on during SHTF

You may remember from your high school history class the story of Lewis and Clark and their expedition into the north west. We are introduced to a young Indian girl, Sacajawea, who leads the unlikely troop of misfits into Indian territories.

Fourteen year old Sacajawea endeared herself to the men of this historic adventure, often being called “little sister”. She patched their jackets and tanned hides to make many pairs of moccasins, she cooked delicious meals and treated their wounds with herbs and earth. However, even this young Indian girl was not aware that although there was plenty of antelope and mountain sheep available to hunt and feed themselves, the expedition was slowly dying.

During one particular meet and greet at an Indian village the expedition picked up an old Indian grandfather. Grandfather Indian was curious about the mission and the men welcomed him to travel along. Several days of traveling with his new found friends, Grandfather Indian noticed many of the men becoming ill and unable to continue the nightly chores.

Grandfather Indian recognized this groups problem as a depleted nutritional condition and quickly gathered up all the troops tallow candles and melted them in a large cooking pot. Next he scooped out a cupful of the melted tallow and had the men drink it down quickly. One by one, each person drank down a their share. Not one of them gaged or choked on the greasy beverage due to the fact the body knew what it needed to survive. By morning everyone was up and ready to hit the trail.

The moral of the story is that fat is required for many bodily functions. Your body cannot make certain fatty acids and needs to get it from outside sources. If dietary fats are not supplemented the body cannot process vitamins A,D,E, and K, creating a host of health problems. Also, fat is so very important for proper brain functions and are crucial for maintaining good eye health.

Besides fat add a lot of flavor to food, fat if a ready source of energy contributing 4,000 calories per pound of fat. Fats other jobs are that it provides a blanket around vital organs thus shielding them from trauma and cold.

During SHTF

You can stockpile beans, rice, pasta and oatmeal for the really hard times, but the more important fat products are seldom thought of. And of course, fats and oils have a short shelf life because they go rancid easily at room temperature. However;

Store purchased lard and beef tallow can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Coconut oil can be frozen up to 6 months–Although, I have had some in the freezer for more than a year and it is still good if kept in a tightly sealed plastic jar.

Butter can be frozen up to a year. Some industrious folks have learned how to can butter, but that craft has escaped me.

Cold water fish are quite fatty, providing the body with many needed nutrients. Cod liver oil will keep in the refrigerator for several months and is an excellent source of vitamin D.

Learn more about collecting and using fat for your survival prep

https://www.youtube.com/watch? Rendering fat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeZHrcI2BNU Schmaltz chicken fat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q75AkXgVpFo Goose fat for bush craft maintenance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-fN2XjC6Qc How to collect fatwood