Saturday, April 5, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Holy fricken Cow it's been a hard Winter for hubby and I this year!! It's been hard, but at the same time I've learned a few more things about how to be self sufficient, which is awesome.
For starters, because of some plumbing issues we've had due to freezing temperatures, I've learned a TINY bit about basic plumbing. Which by the way, because of frequent trips to the hardware store, I've learned that hardware stores suck! How hubby can go into a hardware store and eagerly find this and that, and come out of the store as happy as a Bird with a French fry is beyond me. Just 5 minutes in the store and I was practically bored to tears. What is it about hardware stores that's so fascinating for men?? I...don't...get...it. Lol.
My hubby has Diabetes, as well as Neuropathy in his feet. Because of the Neuropathy in particular, as well as knee problems, it was hard for him to get down on the ground each time we had a plumbing issue to either turn the water on or off from under the trailer. So, I at least learned how to take the skirting off of the trailer (which I had never done before by myself), as well as learned where the shut off valve for the water was at. (Which unfortunately, by having to crawl under the trailer to get to the water valve to turn it back on for him, I found out the hard way that I'm claustrophobic. Hubby had to actually pull me out from under the trailer by my feet. Let me tell you, finding out your claustrophobic that way, and being drug out by your feet is not a pleasant feeling, BUT the huge teddy bear hug he gave me afterwards was worth it as I sobbed into his shoulder. :o) )
To some people, learning how to take the skirting off of a trailer and put it back on, learning where the water valve was at under the trailer, as well as learning very simple basic plumbing may be no big deal. For me on the other hand, with a hubby that over time is becoming more and more disabled, the things I've been learning are VERY important.
My biggest fear these days is of hubby either becoming fully disabled, or I become a Widow. For years I've been dependent on him to do all of these things around the house for me. But now that things are changing for our possible future, I've realized that in order to survive, I may NEED to learn to do things that in the past I would of never dreamed of doing. Even learning basic Plumbing.
What about you, what skills have you learned lately? Or more importantly, what skills have you HAD to learn, out of necessity? Do you have a favorite skill?
~The Self Sufficient Chick
Friday, January 24, 2014
Omg! Ugh!*Slaps forehead* As Self Sufficient folks, and Preppers, hubby and I had a major Water Storage Fail the other night.
I'm actually a bit...ok ok...I'm a LOT embarrassed to even admit what I'm about to tell you, but I'm going to tell you so that others might HOPEFULLY learn from my/our mistake. Heck, I hope I learn from my own mistake even!! Lol
Thanks to this lil mistake though, I learned EXACTLY how valuable & necessary water is. What's the fraze...You don't miss what you have till its gone? Oh yea, I sure believe that now!
Ok, let me back track for half a second. Until this fail, we had plenty of jugs of water on our shelves for a 72 hour emergency. Then...then...we got a lovely busted water pipe (well, the same pipe has busted four freakin times this Winter actually, and hopefully *Crosses finger and eyeballs* its fixed this time.) In the course of a few days our water supply dwindled to almost nothing. The reason being is because I hadn't been keeping track of our preps like I should of been, but also because I didn't realize that my hubby, who is a Diabetic, drinks anywhere from two to four GALLONS of water a day (where as I can barely get threw a 64 oz. bottle. Lol.) Most 72 hour emergency pages suggest one gallon per person per day, so that was what I was going by. I had been thinking he was only drinking a gallon a day, but I'd been so busy with work and other stuff that I hadn't actually checked our supplies. Then, because of this busted pipe, we talked about our dwindling water storage and I found out how much he actually drinks per day, and my jaw dropped in shock.
Now that I know and realize that my diabetic hubby is drinking that much water a day, I've added a Prepper Phone App on my phone (Which I'll go over what phone app's I use on a regular basis in a different post) so that I can attempt to keep track of our Preps better, and up our water storage.
So...how do you keep track of your Water Storage Preps (as well as other Preps)? Do you keep a print out, a notebook, use a Phone App, etc? Have you ever had a Water Storage Fail? If so, what happened and how did you handle it?
~ The Self Sufficient Chick
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year & I hope ya'll have an awesome 2014!! I have a feeling this is going to be a great year! *Smiles*
I don't know about you guys, but 2013 was a rough year for me as a Self Sufficient Chick, particularly financially. But, things are finally slowly turning around for the better. Plus I've made an extensive goal list (Posted down at the bottom) to give me plenty to work on threw-out the year. Yeaaa!! So excited to pluck away lil by lil at my very long goal list. *Grins*
This is my year in review, both financial & non financial, good & bad:
- My garden failed COMPLETELY, but I learned a lot from the failure & will try again this year & hope for better success.
- I had to finally admit that I needed help on getting my car re licenced & insurance renewed on it, by asking my parents for a small loan. Asking for help is something that is VERY hard for me, but there are times, even when you are trying to be self sufficient, when you have to ask for help.
- I fell off of a friends horse 3 months ago when the horse got spooked & I went one way & she went another. I hurt my back in multiple places as well as cracked a rib, so I'm STILL recovering from that. But that hasn't stopped me from loving horses non the less.
- I had my first horse (Had a Welch Pony when I was 7 yrs old) for a whole whopping month, & I loved him for the time that I had him. He was a Mustang named Rebel. He needed more training then I was able to give him at the time because of work & my injuries, plus he had medical conditions that I couldn't afford to get treated at the time, so I found him a very nice home. I miss him. I loved him.
- My Chicky's have grown up, are beautiful & spoiled, & now give us a steady supply of eggs. I used to HATE eggs that we'd gotten from the store, cuz I would get such bad eggy burps. It was disgusting!! But since we've been eating eggs from our girls, I've not had a single eggy burp after Breakfast.
- Two of my three cat's died & it about broke my heart. We don't have children, so losing those two feels like I have lost two of my children.
- I got a much needed $1 per hour raise at work, which helps a LOT. I'm the only income right now, so things have been super tight, but having that lil bit extra has helped us slowly get caught back up on bills, get some of our Preps replenished, as well as a lil bit put back in savings here & there.
- I've been reusing & recycling more then ever in 2013, & hope to do even more of it in 2014. I'm working on being as frugal & pinch my pennies as much as I can until they can't scream any more. Lol
There are other things that have happened, but I'm tired & can't think of them at the moment. This is a new year, & I'm hoping to have a MUCH better, more prosperous & positive year this year. I wish all of you a better, more prosperous, & positive year as well. *Big hugs* (Below is my 2014 Goal list. What are some of YOUR 2014 Goals??)
~The Self Sufficient Chick
My Goal List has turned into a Monster & keeps growing. I may not accomplish everything in 2014, but its a work in progress at least.
- Stay away from Drama Feeders & Negative People. For now on, if people don't say or do something that benefits me in a positive way, then they need to remove themselves from my presence before I verbally Buckshot them. I'm NOT taking anyone's bullcrap in 2014! Period! :o)
- Search &/or study for a better job, or stay at home job (even if it takes some time to do).
- Renew Drivers License.
- Learn to say EXACTLY what I mean.
- Stop being a people pleaser.
- Find ways to earn extra money.
- Revamp my Emergency Bug Out Bag (for encase I have to quickly take hubby to hospital, or him take me, Tornado, something happen to my folks, Car break down on way home, etc, etc).
- Practice Evacuation Timing.
- Build a better First Aid Kit, with Essential Oils added.
- Live beneath my financial means.
- Realistically deal with life, death, & failure.
- Plan my Will.
- Draw up plans to be a Living Cadaver upon my death
- Plan my Parents Funerals (No, not being morbid. I want their funeral's planned the way THEY want them to be, before they pass on.).
- Know when to ask for help.
- Know when it is more economical to buy something ready-made or when to make it myself.
- Make a Quilt.
- Make a Rag Rug.
- De-clutter my house.
- Make my own deodorant, lip balm, lotion, toothpaste, perfume & hair cleaner.
- Make & use herbal tinctures, infusions & other herbal remedies.
- Do Meal Planning & Depression Era style cooking to save moola.
- Lose weight (down to 150 lbs AT LEAST, if not more).
- Cut sugar out of my diet (Ugh! This will be hard for me!).
- Exercise more.
- Drink more water/cut out Soda (Liquid Candy) COMPLETELY.
- Use, ReUse, & Recycle anything I can.
- Learn more Survival Skills.
- Save for Property to put a Tiny House or Camping Trailer on by 2019.
- Plan, Plant & Grow a Raised Garden Bed.
- Build a small Aquaponics Greenhouse.
- Choose a location for said garden.
- Save open pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds.
- Make & use a hot bed or cold frame.
- Frost protection.
- Learn to identify & use Wild Herbs.
- Grow everyday kitchen herbs to use for culinary & medicinal use.
- Start my own seedlings.
- Plant Blueberries.
- Build a compost pile.
- Grow a Worm Hive.
- Know how to cook 10 basic meals from scratch.
- Make Chicken Broth.
- Bake Bread.
- Make more Crockpot Meals.
- Buy a Meat Slicer.
- Buy a Meat Grinder.
- Buy a Grain Grinder.
- Grind wheat into flour.
- Grind Corn into Cornmeal.
- Basic home canning & food preservation.
- Make butter.
- Make soft or hard cheeses.
- Make sausage.
- Cook on an open fire.
- Make vinegar.
- Purify water.
- Make a Rain Catchment.
- Gather edible wild greens & prepare them.
- Catch & care for wild yeast for bread making.
- Ferment foods. (Such as Kimchee & Sauerkraut, etc).
- Make noodles.
- Know & gather wild mushrooms.
- Store food in a Mini Sized Cellar.
- Food dehydration.
- Acquire dairy kefir grains and begin incorporating kefir into our diet to increase our consumption of pro biotic foods.
- Acquire water kefir grains and experiment with different flavors and techniques.
- Learn how to Sprout Seeds.
- Buy &/or make more Quilts.
- Learn to make a Camp Fire.
- Learn how to make a Camp Fire WITHOUT Matches or Lighters.
- Put Bubble Wrap on all the Window's during Winter.
- Make my own Wicks for Candles.
- Make homemade 50 hour Candles.
- Plan for Power Outtages, especially in Winter.
- Hang clothes on a Clothesline (But make sure its Bird Shit Proof first).
- Use a wash tub, hand-wringer, & washboard.
- Learn Crochet.
- Buy a Sewing Machine.
- Learn Basic Sewing Skills.
- Make Laundry Detergent.
- Make soap.
- Patch pants.
- Use a treadle sewing machine.
- Learn to Spin wool, cotton, or flax into thread or yarn on a spinning wheel or with a drop spindle.
- Buy another Horse.
- Buy Horse Tack that I have yet to get.
- Save for Horse Cogins, Shoes, Pasture Fee's, etc.
- Catch a fish without expensive fishing gear.
- Fillet & clean a fish.
- Raise a chicken.
- Buy an Egg Incubator.
- Hatch out chicken eggs.
- Set & bait traps for unwanted vermin & predators.
- Butcher Chickens. (I'm NOT thrilled, but want/NEED to learn).
- Get a Fishing License.
- Get a Hunting License.
- Learn to dress Wild Game.
- Learn to use Traps & Snares.
- Learn to Track.
- Drive a standard transmission vehicle.
- Learn to Charge a battery.
- Learn to Change a car tire.
- Learn to Check Oil.
- Learn to change my own Oil in my car.
- Learn how to Hot Wire a car (just for encase).
- Make an Emergency Car Kit.
- Learn to use various Off Grid Tools, in the kitchen & out.
- Use a handsaw, hammer & nails, screw driver, wire cutters, & measuring tape.
- Sharpen a tool – knife, axe, hoe, chisel etc.
- Jury-rig anything with duct tape, baling twine, & whatever is on hand.
- Buy a Gun & learn Basic Firearm Safety.
- Buy a Crossbow.
- Build Chicken Tractor for the girls.
- Build Patio Privacy Fence.
- Generate electricity for home use.
- Make a candle. (Simple method without expensive equipment).
- Build a Mini Sized Cellar.
- Thaw out frozen pipes without busting them.
- Know basic plumbing.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Yes, poor some sugar on me please ! *Grins* The Sugar Scrub I made the other night that is. I made some Homemade Vanilla Sugar Scrub for the very first time. Ohhhh my gosh! Can we say Heaven in a jar?? Pure awesomeness!
I've been wanting to buy some Sugar Scrub from the store for quit a while to give my skin a sweet treat, but cuz of lack of funds, I hadn't been able to do it. Then the other night I swear it was like a light bulb went off in my head as I thought "Duh? Learn to make it Homemade silly!"
So...that's exactly what I did too, was made it a DIY project. I looked up a recipe on Pinterest, but I'll admit I didn't follow it very well. I guess maybe I SHOULD follow recipes better after the Lilac Perfume fiasco though, huh? Lol. But in this case my project turned out awesome non the less. It was DEFINATLY a Pinterest success!
Basically what I did was used equal parts of Olive Oil & White Sugar, & then mixed in cooking Vanilla (I don't/wont use artificial Vanilla personally). Ohhh my gosh! It smelled so yummy as I used it in the bathtub. My skin was buffed when done cuz of the Sugar, but very moisturized as well as because of the Olive Oil. I seriously will NEVER buy Sugar or Salt Scrubs again. And it only took maybe what?? 5 or so minutes to make. Much cheaper then store bought, as well as this way you KNOW what ingredients are in it. How awesome is that?! Now I can't wait to make more & try other scents/flavors. You should try it. Your skin will thank you!! Lol Mine did, & cuz of it I am one happy Self Sufficient Chick. :o)
~The Self Sufficient Chick
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Well, despite hubby and I having some difficulties financially, we are still attempting to eat healthy but filling meals. So last night I made one of my favorite, inexpensive, but filling Summer dishes...Pasta Salad that's chucked full of veggies. I love fixing frugal meals like this.
With things being tight financially, like super tight, we've had to cut a lot of corners in order to dig ourselves up and out of this financial grave. But its not all been bad to a point, because we are learning to be even more resourceful, as well as plan our food budget better. We've also started looking up and learning how to make some Depression Era recipes, which I hope to make and post our experiences on them in the next few weeks, so I'm pretty excited about that.
I know Pasta Salad may not be a traditional Depression Era recipe, but for us it is a frugal, yummy and filling food that I can enjoy to take for my work lunches for the entire week. Personally I'd almost consider it a Modern Depression Era type food, partly because I feel that's kinda what hubby and I are going threw is a Modern Depression.
For the Pasta Salad we cooked one box of the tri-colored spiral noodles, then added one bottle of Italian Salad Dressing. From there I chopped up one large Cucumber, two Tomatoes, one Onion, and two cans of whole Black Olives.
What we are trying to do is spend less on food at the moment and get more creative with what we have, while taking the savings of what we've not spent on food and putting all that we can towards bills. Not only are we spending less on food, but we are also eating less and starting to lose weight while at it. Granted, part of the weight loss is because of drinking TONS of water while at work because of working in a 99 degree kitchen. Lol
~The Self Sufficient Chick
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Sometimes lately I kinda feel like I'm living out the "Living on a Prayer" song by Bon Jovi. Especially the part in the song that says "We've got to hold on to what we've got, 'Cause it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not. We've got each other and that's a lot for love. We'll give it a shot". (http://www.metrolyrics.com/living-on-a-prayer-lyrics-bon-jovi.html)...
*Sigh* I didn't want to keep putting negative stuff in this blog about all the negative crap that is happening in my life as we are trying to be more self sufficient...but what can I say? I'm keeping things real so that folks see that not everyone that is a Prepper and learning to be self sufficient has a Rosy life. I read other peoples blogs of how they are doing this or that, or buying this item or that item to add to their prepper list, etc. But my hubby and I are on the opposite spectrum of that Rosy picture as we struggle on a daily basis lately to make ends meet financially and still attempt to stock our preps.
I haven't told you some of the story. I've told you most of it, but not all. To give you the back story and get you caught up on what I'm dealing with is a bit difficult, but here goes if your ready. For starters, my hubby is unemployed currently, and my full time job is the ONLY income we have at the moment (well, except for a few apps I doodle with on my phone that literally pay pennies, but those pennies eventually turn into dollars). He quit a nice paying job to start doing his dream of being a Day Trader (stock market at home). He was able to do it for 9 months, but things happened and eventually he ran out of money to do it with. I feel bad for my hubby cuz that was his dream job, and he tried so hard to keep it going. But non the less, I'm so proud of him for quitting his job and daring to take the chance of following his dream. Unfortunately, from there is when SHTF hit for us on a personal level. From there, my drivers license expired without my knowledge until just recently. Not to mention my car insurance has expired, and because I'd gotten behind on a few utility bills cuz of having to get my car worked on, I've not had the money to get it re-insured. See the spiraling trend I'm dealing with? PLUS I still need to pay my property taxes so that I can get a car inspection just so I can get it re-licenced. My container garden has literally completely died EXCEPT for my tomatoes, which makes it kind of hard when your trying to plant stuff in hopes of being more self sufficient food wise. My hubby's Dodge Durango was repoed a few weeks ago, and now since then, I've started having issues with my transmission wanting to go out on my car. Thankfully my car is fully paid for, but I seriously can not afford a new transmission if it goes out right now. So for now I'm dogging the poor thing along by keeping transmission fluid in it every few days. It has a leak in the hose some where, which I can afford to get fixed at the moment. Also this week my phone completely died on me and I had to call and argue with the company about it until they finally said they would send me a new phone to replace the one that had died, so hopefully I'll be getting that in a few days. And last but not least, I've been having issues at work because of new and very miss managed management that doesn't know what the heck they are doing. Long story short on that, they let their favorites get by without doing their work, where as me and a few other co workers that DO try to do our work get screwed over. But...on the bright side despite those complications, I am thankful to still have a job at least.
Somehow...some way...hubby and I will get threw all of this humongous SHTF sorta situation, wash the crap off and be stronger for it. If we can ever get threw things, then we have plans of attempting to start a home aquaponics garden in our back room on a small scale so that we can have veggies and fish. I was hoping to start that in the next few weeks, but...that's on the back burner for the moment. But in the mean time we are doing a lot of research on how to get one started, trying to figure out costs, where to get the fish, etc.
But...the bad part of things is that cuz of the stress of every thing, my night terrors have gotten even worse. On some nights I now wake up every HALF HOUR. Oh my goodness...it makes for a VERY tired Self Sufficient Chick waking up like that all the time. But from what I've been reading of other people that have night terrors, mine don't sound like the average night terrors where people wake up screaming or sleep walking, etc. Mine are like I've woken up from a paralyzing fear of something, with heart trying to pound out of my chest, but I can't remember a single thing of what I had dreamt. And I always wake up every half hour to hour...over and over and over. I'll be so glad when we get things a lil more financially sound so that I can sleep better, cuz I really want...no, NEED to see things go in a more positive and more self sufficient direction with things. Its hard to prep or be self sufficient when your so busy treading water. It gets exhausting after a while. But I am glad my hubby's with me and I'm not going at things alone. I've done the alone thing when we were separated for 6 months, and that was just as rough.
Sorry for such somber posts, but I figured hey... I'm not going to sugar coat things. Life is tough, but as Self Sufficient Preppers we eventually figure out ways to fight back, right? *Grins* Better days are ahead, and even if not, I'll be a tougher chick for it.
~The Self Sufficient Chick
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I think I'm missing my lil Bak Bak even more because of the fact that hubby and I have been having a hard time with things financially and stuff. I loved coming home from work and seeing how eager he was to see me and would do the lil happy dance until I took him out of his cage to let him lay on a towel on my lap. He was a good destresser for me and helped me calm down when I'd had a hard night at work, or when worrying about money issues, etc.
Since he's been gone, and the truck getting repoed, the garden not going so great cuz things not growing and/or dieing, or having issues with work, my nightmares and night terrors have increased a lot. Its more night terrors lately then nightmares it seems. I absolutely hate waking up with my heart pounding so hard that its like I've ran a marathon and not being able to remember a single thing of what I had even dreamed about. I think they've increased because of being so stressed.
But on the bright side I am glad he's at a farm where he can be happier and crow a lot, as well as I'm still plugging away and trying to still work on prepping and being self sufficient, and hubby is still looking for employment. Its not easy, but I/we are working on it. One thing we are working on (which I'll write more about later when I have more time) is we are in the process of getting things together to start a aquaponics garden, so I'm super excited about that. But...more on that later.
~The Self Sufficient Chick
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Ugh!!! Trying to be self sufficient has been a difficult challenge for hubby and I lately. It feels like we constantly get one step forward, and then have to take two steps back. The other day our Dodge Derango truck was repossessed. In one way I'm bummed out about that. Yet, at the same time, its a great relief that its finally gone.
Hubby is currently unemployed. Until recently he had been doing Day Trading (the Stock Market), which he was able to do for 9 month, but that eventually fizzled when he ran out of money. Non the less, I am still so proud of my hubby for even daring to take the chance of quitting his full time job at a factory in order to attempt to pursue his dream of doing Day Trading. It may of only lasted 9 months, but he never would of known if he could do it or not had he not taken his chances and tried it. Plus, he is so much less stressed since and a totally different man since out of the factory job, that even that part was well worth him trying the Day Trading. But now he is trying to find a new job, even though the truck being repo'd throws a monkey wrench in the situation.
So because of things, I am the sole income provider in our home. I have a full time job as a pizza cook, and until recently I also did some baby setting on the side for extra money. I was able to do the baby setting as a second job until recently, when my pizza making job forced me to change my schedule. I say forced because I was threatened to be bumped back to part time if I didn't comply with the schedule change. But because I was forced to do the schedule change, it cut me out of the baby setting job. I'm not entirely sure if my main job can even legally threaten to bump me back to part time like that or not, but until I can get more info on if its legal or not, I didn't want to find out the hard way.
We're having a hard enough time financially without the payments of hubby's gas guzzling truck, so in some ways it being gone is a huge blessing. Things are and still will be hard, but at least that is one less worry on our plate. On the other hand though, with only having one vehicle, it will be even harder for hubby to find a job. Don't you just love it when life throws those lil catch 22's at you some times? Ugh! But no matter what, hubby and I are resilient and we will survive this lil complication much like we've survived others. If nothing else with all of these complications and challenges that we've been having, its making us live simpler, more resourceful and more creative lives. I'm hoping *Crosses fingers and eyeballs* that if my work doesn't threw me any more curve balls by trying to force me to do any thing else, that slowly I can save for a used vehicle for hubby.
Thankfully, even though we are having difficulties, I'm glad that hubby and I are Homesteading Preppers, and have at least some preps stored back to help carry us threw food wise as we work on getting things situated. I'm not as prepared as I WANT to be, because of all the two step dancing we've been doing, but it will be enough to help sustain us for a lil while. Plus we are still working on getting our garden stuff going (which half of it died already.. hence, more two step dancing), and still raising our lil chickens (Pullets, I think is what they are called before actual egg laying Hens?? I'm still learning a lot about chickens.) So I'm just hoping for less two step dancing and more prepping if things go as planned. *Crosses fingers and eyeballs*
~The Self Sufficient Chick