Monday Musings 10/23/2013

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Monday Musings 12232013Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.

First the blog updates…

This is the last edition of Monday Musings for this year, as Apartment Prepper is taking a small break for the next few days.  I’ll still post regularly and read all comments but responses may be sporadic.  I’ll be doing some blog maintenance and planning the next couple of months’ posts and projects.

Who won the The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage by Gaye Levy?  Tim won the drawing and has been notified.

Now for the links…

First it was Called a Mystery Illness   Now it’s been identified as H1N1, formerly known as swine flu.

H1N1 kills 6 people, leaves 14 critically ill in Greater Houston area

Soon They won’t have a Choice   If finalized the flu vaccine would be required for New York City children who go to day care or pre-school as of December 31, 2014.

New York City Board of Health approves mandatory flu shots for kids

If Your Life will Depend on it, Choose Quality  This article can be applied when choosing prepping gear.  For items you really depend on for survival, such as water filters, knives sleeping bags, tents etc, choose wisely – not necessarily the most expensive, but the best quality you can afford.

When to Skimp and When to Spend More for Quality

Watch your Webcam – it can Spy on You  I actually saw this story in a science fiction show:  stalker watches the victim’s every move through her computer’s webcam that he activated without her knowledge.  The next link shows it’s not science fiction but can actually happen.  Now it’s another way to lose your privacy.  See

Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning

Good Reminders for Everyone   Your state of mind greatly affects survival…

Life is What We Make of It

So Simple to Make  Another one for the project list:

Homemade Gift Idea: Make a Paracord Lantern

We all have Them.   See these practical and funny uses:

22 Uses for Dead Gift Cards

 Take care and have a great week everyone!

Looking for a last minute gift?   Consider The Prepper’s Pocket Guide!  Great for beginners, and lots of great tips for everyone:

Bernie’s Book is Available in Amazon


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Criminals are Targeting You

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While everyone is busy trying to make a bright Christmas, criminals are targeting people, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting.

  • At a time of year when people are ordering and sending a lot of gifts, thieves are stealing delivery boxes sitting in front porches.
  • Women are being victimized as they are putting gas in their cars by “sliders.”  The thieves park in the next space, quickly open the unlocked front door, grab the purse and drive away.  
  • Even large stores are not safe:  a Walmart at a large intersection was robbed during busy daytime hours, as the pair peppersprayed a cashier and grabbed the cash out of her cash register.

Don’t let your joy be stolen by taking a few precautions:

  • Many apartment buildings have leasing offices that will accept deliveries; let them know you are expecting a package and pick up your items as soon as you get home.  If that is not possible, use “Signature delivery” for orders or gifts that are being sent for delivery.
  • Always lock all your packages in the trunk.  Thieves walk around parking lots looking for cars with packages that are left on the seats in plain view.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and don’t be walking around texting or with a cell phone stuck to your ear.
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry or carry a large expensive purse when you are out and about – this will just attract unwanted attention.
  • If you are paying cash, be discreet about it and keep your cash in your front pocket.
  • Don’t announce to social media such as Facebook or Twitter that you are planning big purchases, going out shopping or leaving for the holidays.
  • When you park your car anywhere look around to see who is hanging around the area
  • Pay attention to the ATM machine that you are using.  There have been several cases of ATMs being altered to capture passwords and account numbers.  In all the cases, the ATM machine is described as slightly off or different from others.
  • When arriving home, shut your garage door quickly before unloading any packages.  You are still vulnerable in your driveway, as you start to let your guard down.
  • Lock your car at all times, even if you are just running in to pay for gas, or even if you are standing next to your car filling up the tank.
  • Tear up all boxes especially big ticket items such as TVs and computers.  Don’t just leave these boxes in the curb during trash pickup; this is advertising to thieves that you just unpacked some fresh loot.

Some people may say this is paranoia but I say it’s not being paranoid you if you really are being targeted.  Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, but it is not the time to drop your guard.  Pay attention to safety and security at all times.

 © Apartment Prepper 2013

Looking for a last minute gift?   Consider The Prepper’s Pocket Guide!  Great for beginners, and lots of great tips for everyone:Bernie’s Book is Available in Amazon

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What NOT to Do with Essential Oils

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Peppermint oil

As long time readers know, I always try things out before recommending them.  Most of the time they turn out well, such as the expiration date experiment, powdered milk experiment; I even know what expired coffee tastes like.  Sometimes I had mixed results as when I tried shampoo substitutes.  

This time around, I had headache but thought I should try something different before I took a pain reliever.  I decided to try a home remedy for headache relief that I had read about:  rubbing peppermint oil on the temples.

Here is what happened

I dabbed peppermint essential oil on my left and right forefingers, and started rubbing my temples with it.

I started to smell the minty aroma and thought, “Hmmm that smells good!”

Thinking maybe I should add a bit more, I repeated the process.  Now I felt the area getting warmer due to the minty effects.

Next thing you know, the minty oil started traveling toward the corner of my eyes and boy did that burn!

I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands then rinse my eyes.  Sure I forgot about my pounding head – my eyes were burning too much!

After rinsing everything off the burning subsided after about five minutes.

After this little incident, I happened to see a Tweet from Gaye of Backdoor Survival mentioning an e-book that was just released: Aromatherapy Made Easy: The Ultimate Guide to Healing with Aromatherapy

I ordered it and read it in record time.  It is written for beginners which suited me just fine.  After reading the book, I now know essential oils must be used with a “carrier” oil (a plain base oil such as grape seed oil, almond oil, fractionated coconut oil) before they can be applied to the skin.  The carrier oil helps dilute the potent essential oil.

I had to share this story, so you know “what not to do.” and learn from my mistake.

Lesson learned:

  • Never apply essential oils directly to skin.  Always use a carrier oil.

I’m not giving up on trying out essential oils.  In fact, I’ve added Almond Oil and various other essential oils to my Amazon wish list.  I’ll let you know how my next experiment turns out!

 

 

 

For easy ways to become more prepared, read my book:

For low-cost ways to prep:

 

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The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage – E-Book Review and Giveaway

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Preppers-Guide-to-Food-Storage-268-x-403The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage by Gaye Levy just came out on Amazon Kindle.

Getting started with food storage can be intimidating, and one of the more difficult steps is figuring out what to buy.  This won’t be an issue if you get this book.  The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage covers everything you need to know to get started in your own food storage plan:  it not only posts an actual list that you can take with you to the grocery store, but also offers helpful tips and reminders.  We all live busy lives, and many of us don’t want to have to deal with complicated charts and calculations on what to store.  At the same time, many don’t even have the space in which to store everything.   The book makes it easy for anyone to get started.

I wish I had this book when I first got started my own food storage plan.  There is a whole section on how to store food for long term storage as well as pitfalls to avoid.  What you won’t find is a lot of fluff – the book is concise, but jam packed with information.

As you may know, Gaye writes Backdoor Survival.  The book is written in the same no-nonsense, up front style that we’ve all come to expect from her writings.  At $3.99, the book will save you a lot more in terms of wasted food and effort.  Whether you’re just starting out, or looking to supplement your current food storage, go get The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

Now for the Giveaway!

One winner will be chosen to win a copy of The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

Just add your comment below:

What is your biggest challenge regarding food storage?

OR

What are your favorite food storage items?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, December 21st at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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Monday Musings 12/16/2013

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SneezingWelcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps. 

First the blog updates…

It’s been a slow week in terms or blogging or prepping, as our family was struggling with miserable colds this week.  Thankfully, we’re feeling better now, but have some catching up to do.

Now for the links…

Survival Mindset  This family survived 48 hours in freezing temperatures.  They knew just what to do:

Lost Nevada family warmed rocks by fire to survive snow for 2 days

Improve your Chances  No doubt about it- being prepared pays off.  Here’s how to pack your trunk

Next Level Travel Kit: Packing Survival Junk in Your Trunk

If you Lack Space for Pads and Tampons  I don’t know anyone who has tried this, but it sure would help with the space issues of storing pads and tampons for the long term.   Some may say “TMI” but it’s good info to know

Are You Still Using Pads and Tampons?

This Trick Actually Works   I didn’t think I could thread a needle without a needle threader but this trick actually works.  Of course I tried it before I posted the link!  See

The Easiest Way to Thread a Needle

Make the Most out of your Shopping Dollar   This is the most comprehensive article I’ve seen regarding how to get cash back while shopping.

Ultimate Guide to Cash Back Shopping

Take care and have a great week everyone!

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Spreading the Joy of Being Prepared

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We all have family and friends who are not really into prepping, or who mean to but never get around to it.  We worry they are not doing anything to prepare.  Since it’s Christmas, we have a great opportunity to give them something to help them prepare and ease our own worries about their situation.   Here are a few ideas for various budgets:

Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger

Priced around $30

Fold’n Go 2-Burner Stove

Priced around $80

Red Pepper Spray with Dye


Priced around $8

Good Grip Can Opener


Priced around $14

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Priced around $33

AA and AAA Solar Battery Charger

Priced around $20

Door Stop Alarm

Priced around $9

16 GB Flash Drive

Priced around $13

Or you can assemble a portable potty bucket like this clever reader shared with us last year.

Krapper-inside

Portable Potty Bucket courtesy of Ginger

As you can see, there are preparedness gift for every budget level.  Some useful items like my favorite, the can opener, can be essential in an emergency.

The gift of time and skills

If you prefer, you don’t even to spend any cash – it’s not all about giving “stuff.”  Give the gift of preparedness by helping someone prepare for a disaster or learn to be a bit more self-sufficient.

  • Backing up documents and photos for a close relative
  • Giving a friend free lessons on skills that you already have such as knitting, canning, breadmaking or even a free cooking lesson.
  • Printing up PDF files for an emergency binder
  • Making firestarter with household items such as cotton balls and petroleum jelly and packaging a handful in a jar labeled Emergency Fire Starter, with instructions.

Sharing your knowledge and time is just as valuable as giving an item.  We all want to help our loved ones prepare and Christmas is a great time to spread the “joy of preparedness” in subtle ways.

 

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Vital Protection Often Neglected by Preppers

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Protect Your Eyes

I was watching an episode of Doomsday Preppers a couple of weeks ago, I think it was the one about the underwater cache.  The teen daughter was in the machine shop and suddenly got an eye injury from some flying debris. 

Just a couple of days later, I got splattered by hot bacon grease as I was frying bacon.  Luckily, it only got me in the corner of my eye.  I should have been wearing my eyeglasses.

This got me to thinking that in a major disaster, having an eye injury would reallymake life even more difficult.

 How to reduce the risk of eye injuries while doing common prepping activities

  •  Wear safety goggles when cutting wood with a chainsaw or an ax.  A flying piece of bark or wood shard can easily puncture your eyes.
  • When engaging in building projects or even just painting indoors, were glasses for protection
  • Whether clearing land or just mowing the lawn, find and pick up rubble before running the mower, to avoid flying debris. 
  • Wear shooting goggles for shooting or target practice.  There some that offer protection over prescription glasses.  However, if you don’t want goggles, eyeglasses or sunglasses are better than no eye protection.
  • When cooking or canning, keep your face at a safe distance from the steam when you open or lift any lids.  This sounds may seem so basic and common sense advice, but something that is often forgotten.
  • Keep toddlers away from stoves that have pots containing boiling liquids or frying oils.  This is another one that seems like it’s not worth mentioning, but I actually know a couple whose toddler pulled a pot of boiling water from the stove and got severely burned.  They were both in the kitchen getting ready for Thanksgiving, but it happened in seconds.  The little boy had third degree burns; fortunately he has since recovered.
  • On the same note, keep young kids away from toys or tools that have sharp points or edges, until they are old enough to teach the dangers of “running with scissors.”
  • Protect your eyes from the sun when doing work outdoors – wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Keep a backup pair of eyeglasses and/or contact lenses in your first aid kit.

Not convinced?  Watch the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last

Our eyes are fragile, yet we don’t think about them much, until something happens.  They weren’t lying in Christmas Story when the adults told Ralphie “You’ll shoot an eye out!”   Wearing eye protection will help prevent that from happening.

© Apartment Prepper 2013

 

 

For easy ways to become more prepared, read my book:

For low-cost ways to prep:

 

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Gift Ideas from Preparewise

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Our friends at PrepareWise wanted to give you some great ideas for products to consider when thinking of some unique and meaningful gifts.  Check out these items and see what interests you:

Backup Stove   With a fuel pack that can be used both indoors and outdoors, your recipient will have a way to cook food should there be a power outage when electric stoves won’t work.  Fuel

Single bucket gift of freeze dried/dehydrated food  This will last on the shelf for 25 years. Legacy Premium is known for the largest serving size, GMO free, and gluten free selections! This means more for your money, and high quality food.  Larger sizes also available.

Legacy Food Storage

For the person who is gluten sensitive, check out the gluten free selections

Gluten free

Family Survival Kit  This is a great kit to have in emergencies, either at home or on the go.  You can keep as is or incorporate more items to customize just for you and yours.    

Advanced Kit

Survival gift bottle  This kit is jam packed with preparedness goodies – it would make thoughtful stocking stuffer

Bottle Emergency Kit

Sample Pack  This package comes with one of everything, making for a great variety backup to have on the shelf.

Sample pack

Long Term Storage Pet Food  Don’t forget about a backup food supply for our furry friends.

LongTermPetFood

Consider buying some preparedness items for family, friends, and even those who can’t afford to buy it themselves. Providing items for some backups, should any emergency situation occur, provides both you and them peace of mind! http://www.preparewise.com/best-value-food-storage.html

 

 

 

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Monday Musings 12/9/2013

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MC900432590[1]Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps. 

I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so this post is going to be shorter than normal.  Trying to head off a cold, I’ve done my old standby remedy and hoping I caught it early enough.

First the blog updates…

Who won the Going Home book series?  Reader Alicia R. won the drawing.  She had the following comment:

Wipes are the things I use most in my EDC bag. I actually keep both sanitizing wipes and baby wipes. I have used them for anything from actual cleaning purposes to cooling down an overheated child.

Now for the links…

This is one to watch:

Hong Kong Reports Second Case of Deadly Bird Flu

It’s only Hong Kong’s second case, but this was the interesting part:  “The H7N9 influenza virus normally circulates among birds and has only recently begun to affect humans. So far it has infected 136 people across 12 Chinese provinces, killing 45 of them, according to an October report by the World Health Organization, the most recent one available on the organization’s website.”

I am surprised there’s not a lot of coverage about this.  I just hope it doesn’t mutate and start getting transmitted human to human.

Didn’t Hear Much in the Network News about this  I wonder why…

Icelanders Overthrow Government and Rewrite Constitution After Banking Fraud-No Word From US Media

More Power Grid Vulnerabilities

Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that’s not ready

Always Keep Backup Cash Just in Case  Nothing like going to a cash register and being told “Our power is out, cash only transactions.” after you’ve already shopped what you needed.  This actually happened to me-now I carry a hidden $20 in my wallet.

Big Banks Are Being Hit With Cyberattacks “Every Minute Of Every Day”

More Bang for the Food Storage Buck  It was interesting to note that most of these foods are great for long term food storage.   I’ve added dehydrated bananas recently.  You might as well get the most nutrition from your emergency foods.

8 Ridiculously Cheap Superfoods Less Than $1 Per Serving

This is going in the project list   Making your own butter would be a good skill to have.  I don’t have a Kitchen Aide so it’s going to have to be manual labor.  But I still can’t wait to try it.

Make your own homemade butter

Take care and have a great week everyone!

Water is one of the biggest needs when it comes to survival.  Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

DebtProof Living

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