Monday, June 21, 2010


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


As most of you know, our family feels called to be prepared, whether it be for a natural disaster, a personal disaster or an economic/governmental disaster.  At first glance, being prepared seemed a small thing .... a little extra food, some drinking water, a gun or two, a generator and a few gallons of gas and you're good to go.  Not so fast!  After putting much thought into being prepared, I realized how short-sighted my initial, naive preparations truly were.  Had any true emergency befallen us, we would have been left sorely in need.

After 14 years of thinking, planning, living (eating, sleeping, breathing) a preparedness lifestyle, we have a better grasp of what to expect, what works and what doesn't and in what areas we need more training and/or supplies.  The first and foremost tool that we have in our preparedness arsenal is our faith.  We believe that God has called us to be prepared, and it is in obedience to Him that we have chosen this lifestyle.  We know that He is sovereign, and His will WILL be done, and we want to be ready and available for what He would have us do.  We know that the wise man sees the signs of the time and makes ready.

As far as I am concerned, my wood cookstove is the ultimate survival tool.  I can't imagine life without it!  It is heat, hot water, and hot food all wrapped in one beautiful black package.  I can't tell you how many times we have run out of propane and I've had to cook our meals and heat our water on the cookstove.  I rejoice in the fact that regardless of anything, we can cook,  heat water and have a warm, cozy home.  As a woman, I find a great sense of security in our stove.   It is the heart of our home.

 Far from the days of picking up a couple of extra cans of tomatoes and packages of top ramen, we now have a plan for long term food storage.  Years ago a friend of mine introduced us to Azure Standard, a bulk food supplier out of Oregon, and we started stocking up.  At first we started buying things we thought we "should" have, but eventually refined our food stores to things we would actually use.  I started making lists (I am a crazy list lady, so for me this was fun!) so that we wouldn't miss anything.  We started with 4 gallon pails from bakeries and graduated to 55 gallon food grade drums.    I started experimenting with dried beans (I didn't know you had to soak them!) and whole grains (who knew you couldn't make break from soft white wheat?!).  I started learning everything I could about food storage and started using and rotating my stock.  Our garage began to look like a regular grocery store!  I purchased cookbooks that specialized in simple fare made with whole grains and stored foods and tried tons of recipes.  My family learned what we liked and what we didn't.  It was those early experiments that drove our food storage plan.




My husband has always been a shooter and reloader, but he began to think about "unit standard" weapons and equipment.  He stocked up on reloading supplies and ammo.  He tirelessly trains myself and our children on our chosen weapons.  He has organized shooting classes for likeminded families in our area.  He even put a 275 yard shooting range in our front yard!  My husband also heads up equipment.  Batteries, field phones, force multipliers - those are all his forte.  He has educated himself on alternative energy (by living it!) and knows what components will fail in a long term emergency and has ways to bypass those components.  He waters batteries, changes oil, maintains equipment and generally knows everything about everything.




Our oldest daughter has taken on the responsibility of Unit Medic.  She is an EMT and runs with our local ambulance group.  She takes advantage of every continuing education opportunity that comes her way.  She is the "go to" person in our neighborhood for any medical emergency.  The neighbors don't call the ambulance, they call eldest daughter.  She also trained for about 3 years with a local midwife.  She acted as assistant midwife for our youngest daughter's birth (she is now 4) and as primary midwife for our youngest son's birth (now 2).  She is also our communications expert.  She became a licensed Ham radio operator about 2 years ago.  Ham radio is still pretty intimidating to her, but she has a radio and continues to gain knowledge.  Eldest daughter is also our head beekeeper.  We have 5 hives and she is in charge of feeding and everything else!

Eldest son our 14 year old works with his dad on everything.  He is learning to run the chainsaw, change oil (on everything), work on cars, service generators, all of that guy stuff.  He has some friends that are accomplished trappers, and they have been teaching him about trapping.  That is a skill that he would like to hone.

Middle daughter is 11 and will be our animal husbandry girl.  She loves the animals and is always by my side when milking the cow, feeding the horses, collecting the eggs (we have no animals now - but that is another blog).  She cans, makes soap, candles and lotion with me.  She also, has a desire to acquire medical skills.

Youngest daughter (4) and youngest son (2) are really too young to do much on their own, but they are learning right along side their older brothers and sisters.



 Preparedness is ongoing, learning lifestyle.  We have holes in our skill sets and have a lot to learn about preparedness and self-reliance.  I would love to hear from those of you who are likeminded.  I would love to hear how you do it, and what you have found to be essential.


  1. Mighty inspirational. I am very impressed by your dedication an hugely appreciative you take the time to share it with us.

  2. I am where you were in the begining. I am lusting after you 5-gallon buckets. I have a long way to go. I am making lists! Everything you are doing is the path that I have started before I found your blog. You are very inspiring. Holly

  3. Enola,
    You and your family are inspirational. My family and I live on a small place in Arizona we are learning as many survival and traditional skills as we can. We are pouring over blogs such as yours and to learn from others. That's why I'm posting on such an old post as this. We look at the experience, both good and bad and gain knowledge from those who have been there first. Then we go experience it for ourselves together with our family... Thank you and your family for your blog and God Bless.
    Ps. My wife and son made your survival bars... we love them...