Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Mailbox~ A Survivalist with Disabilities

I had a couple of interesting emails this week. They both concerned my book Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper? The gist of the emails were this...How am I a survivalist/prepper if I'm disabled too? This book just got its first 5-star review on Amazon! I'm excited.

Interesting question, but I am still both just slower at it now. I guess the easiest answer is that I started the ball rolling before my stroke. I had all the building blocks in place. If I hadn't I would have to hire a handyman or specialists to do the conversions for me.

But now for the longer answer. Being proactive for any eventuality is a lifestyle. I learned and practiced this lifestyle since I became responsible for my children. The world of responsibility changes once you have another mouth or five to feed, clothe, or be responsible for instead of just your own. You start thinking in terms of future instead of the pleasures of the moment. You are the custodians of the future.

Growing up with parents and grandparent, who survived war shortages and the Great Depression doesn't hurt either. Like all elder relatives they have an impact on your life and how you grow up. By the time I was born most of that strife was history, but not forgotten history. It missed me by that <holding thumb an index finger a half inch apart> much. I was too young to remember the hardships.

I never forgot the stories. I knew history had a way of repeating itself in various forms. The World Wars were dubbed the war that would end all wars was not true. Did wars end, no, but we don't feel the impact as a society as we once did.Years spent hiding under a desk in mock atomic blast drills are still in my memory. Not that a desk would stop annihilation from a nuclear bomb, but it might protect us from some falling debris. Money would never be as tight as the Great Depression, or will it? Where are we now? Very close.

So when I became the parent, I wanted my children to know a life of ease, but not forget the past. While I passed on the stories from their grands and great-grand, I began implementing my own strategy of what I would do if it happened again. My Momma always told me never to forget there would be an again. I started researching ways to put food up for long storage, making friends with people who knew these things, and studied hard because now the future was in my hands. I've devote my whole adult life to this concept of again.

Not that the errors of the past have repeated themselves in my life, but maybe in my adult children or grandchildren's lives. They will be armed for that eventuality. My stores are not for some future calamity, but comfort for daily living the smart way. But if there were ever a crisis on a global scale, we would survived.

Now that I've covered the background information into my current mindset let's get on to my present condition. My stores that I have been collecting and rotating for years has come in pretty handy in the past nine months to the day of my stroke.  Imagine you have a grocery store, albeit small, in your home. How often do you need to go shopping? How much do you really have to cook from scratch or chop vegetables? Especially, if you have them pre-chopped and frozen or dehydrated already? My stores are my life line. It saves me money and it's practical. Yes, my stores will eventually run low and I'll have to replace them.

That's why I still coupon and weekly grocery shop. Granted I'm not hitting ten stores to get the best price even free anymore, but still I'm replenishing what we are using. My garden died last year, but I had enough in stores to handle that. In my book, I talked about putting up my stores with twenty mouths to feed for six months to a year, how much do you think two mouths would have depleted the supplies? That's right, not much. My storeroom still looks like this and that's with my children pulling for their families too. By the way, this is two shelves out of ten.

But Jo, you are a hemiplegic. No, I can't shop by myself anymore, but my children are beside me learning as I go. Then they are  leading by example for their children by practicing the same preparedness behavior.  I don't object to spending good money for something I need or want, but I'll squeeze a penny until it screams for mercy. If I need a new computer, I'll buy a new computer as good or better than I want for a great price. I have valuable knowledge to impart on the future generations.

After my stroke I bought one of those slice-o-matic things that you see on TV. I couldn't justify the price before when I had a knife and skills to use it. But now, it's about convenience. I can pop vegetables in it and slice away to my heart's content for my dehydrator.  Perfect uniformed slices every time and with one hand. So I can continue taking advantage of BOGO (buy one get one free) sales.

While I finally had to fork out the cash for a new stove, my solar oven and twig stove are dismantled for future use. Yes, it is an added drain on electricity from my solar panels but that's why I didn't totally go off of my regular electricity server. I'd planned for total off-the-grid living for our property. It may be a few years for that move. At least until I can get one of my children's family to move out there with us. That doesn't stop my son-in-law from building the trailer homes for the property though.

My stroke was a bump in the road. Eventually, I'll figure out a way to do all the things before or regain the use of limbs that don't work like gardening on a large scale instead of in raised pots. Until then, I'll keep plugging away at my new book, have the knowledge I do, and do what I can.

Are you prepared?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


  1. Not being able to do things makes us even more grateful for what we CAN do.

    Have you considered having someone build you garden boxes, so you can garden standing up?

    Lauren (my survival lessons :)

    (For some reason, every time I see your title I read it "Pepper" and I couldn't figure out what that was supposed to mean.)

  2. Hello Lauren,
    Garden boxes, I have a couple although I usually sit bags of Jungle mix on a stack of discarded milk crates for lettuce and herbs. I can even do peas this way. The problem with that is they are big and heavy, and hard to lift one handed.

    Personally, I dislike the term Prepper, but it's the new term for what I do. Even when I type it, the spell checker goes wild and most times I type pepper.

  3. My husband and I both have mental illnesses and physical disabilities - he has MS and I have Sjogrens disorder,fibromyaliga, and chronic fatigue. We have prepped in was that will make us am asset to.those around us. We will be moving soon and hope to find a big enough home to stockpile items people will need / toilet paper. - diapers women's products wet wipes. . . also going to find old pallets and an old shopping cart plant in. PINTREST has had a number of.great shared ideas.

    1. Dawnellen,
      Welcome to my site. For pallets, check with your local newspaper office or industrial park. They often have pallets which are free for the taking.

      Old shopping carts are a toughie although I've seen some great ideas on Pintrest. Stores tend to recycle these, unless you are lucky enough to find some at a going out of business sale.


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