Back to Basic Skills

Interestingly enough with all the conveniences of our modern day, we have still managed to fill the extra time with things that really don’t matter.  So many people are feeling to tug to learn skills that our ancestors had as they used them to enjoy a life of simplicity.

I hope you’ll consider joining us in Western NC for a class or signing up to get updates on the new online classes!  You can learn skills such as the ones below.   Click here and see what classes are already on the schedule at Millers Grain House.

Upcoming classes include:

  • Canning Meats & Cheese
  • Whole Grain Tortillas
  • Home-milling 101 (REPEAT CLASS)
  • Making Cheese
  • Wilderness First Aide
  • Making Yogurt
  • Solar Cooking (REPEAT CLASS)
  • More to come….

Have no fear, zombies are already here.

Admittedly, if there is one thing in the Preparedness circles that really chaps my hide it’s the topic of  zombies.  Other than spouting off how many guns and how much ammo we have on hand, should have on hand or need to stash somewhere (can you say: “Just put a  David Coresh shaped target on your head?”) or the actual act of wearing tin foil hats, the topic of zombies really makes Preppers look like a group that NO ONE want’s to take seriously.

I know that the term ‘zombie’ is meant to describe the after-math effect of a degenerative pandemic disease.   The term is loosely used to tag those who may become infected and violent or act uncharacteristically odd due to the illness and thus threaten the lives of normal, every-day law abiding citizens like you and I.  But…let’s get real people, the real zombies are already here.

Each day they trade their time for dollars.  Each day they follow the masses.  Each day they consume the news that’s fed them by the mainstream media.  Each day they go through passionless, lifeless and meaningless habits and call it existing.  These are the folks that will be acting (and currently ARE acting) as if they don’t need to think of  any ‘what if’ scenarios.

If we live a prepared lifestyle, but don’t realize that we can act in manners that will help to wake up (rather than ostracize or scare) the current zombies around us -then we will have less of them when and if a cataclysmic pandemic does hit.  Let’s wake up the zombies among us now!

Seeds of change and sustainability.

It seems that with all the talk of preparedness and food storage, there is an area that many people tend to forget:  Seeds for Sustainability.  It’s not surprising that this area is often over looked in the mad dash to stock food,  since most people are not used to growing their own food any more.

Our family has seen first-hand what a disaster, scare or riot can do to the limited supplies at the local super market.  The scene is a constant striking reminder to keep not only the tools on hand to grow our own food, but always practice the skills no matter where we find ourselves living.

Since the early 1900’s and with much thanks to the industrial revolution, our increased urban and suburban society left much of that up to the farmer and relaxed into patronizing a local grocery store.  But with the ever looming questions of stability on the horizon, seeds and growing food at home has become a widely agreeable topic.  The change in the air is now toward people who never knew these skills to now practice them and begin to first grow then use future seeds at home, much like the ‘Victory Gardens’ of World War II.

The problem is, seeds have changed a lot since the ‘Victory Garden’ days of old.  With these changes more types of seeds became readily available in the early 1970’s, with disease and pest resistant varieties, hybrids and other options supposed to give us greater yield.  However, as years have passed, we are finding these to not be very sustainable seed options.

In the days ahead, we will be focusing on many of the terms associated with seeds.  We will discuss these types of seeds with the focus being on sustainability and perpetuated growth.  It is my hope remove some of the confusion and clarify the terms that may stump the average budding home or container gardener and take away some of the guess work when planning to plant and grow a sustainable garden.

We will discuss: [wpgfxm_bullets bullet=”green-arrow”]

  • Heirloom Seeds
  • Hybrid Seeds
  • Organic Seeds
  • Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Seeds
  • Saving Seeds
  • More…


For now, if you have questions or things that have thwarted your venture into the sustainability of seeds, please comment below.
survival seed vault

Bug Out Locations

Our Bug Out LocationEveryone who is new to the preparedness journey eventually encounters a variety of terms.  The term “Bug Out Location” is usually among some of the first new vocabulary words one learns upon exploring the world of Prepping.  Since there is no real dictionary description for a Bug Out Location it took a little bit of looking to see what others would define this term to mean.


Below is a generality of what someone may refer to as a Bug Out Location:

[wpgfxm_contentbox width=”80%” bg_color=”#FBC9C9″ b_color=”#0E0F0F” style=”solid” top=”1px” right=”none” bottom=”1px” left=”none” radius=”0px”]A retreat or of refuge for someone in the survivalist subculture or movement.  They  are locations intended to be self-sufficient, easily defended, and are generally located in lightly populated rural areas.  They can be deemed for long-term change of life scenarios or short term escape from urban chaos with intent to return. [/wpgfxm_contentbox]

Often there is a pressure on many people to have a Bug Out Location.  They are told that if they don’t have one that is fully self-sufficient and fortified to fight off marauders, then they will never survive any pending doom.  However, an alternate location to which to Bug Out to is not always vital.

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  • If one can have a neighborhood or area prepared enough to bind together and ward off any unwanted infiltrators while protecting each other, just bug in.
  • If  one already lives rural enough that the population is sparse where we are, then fortifies the rural surroundings and rural neighbors and just bug in.
  • If a family lacks the funds to secure an alternate location, do not give up on preparing and assume all is lost because there is no Bug Out Location.  Learn what to do and deal with how you will bug in.


Having a Bug Out Location is not paramount to most preparedness plans.  Having a Bug Out Bag or Bug Out Plan is…. but no location (property owned, stocked and available ) is required.  So don’t let the lack of that stop you from preparing!


Age Appropriate Family Preparedness

Age appropriate family preparedness is often a topic left off the table due to the wide variety of family approaches to preparedness planning.   However we have seen some key elements that need addressing when discussing this wide and varied topic.

At what age is it reasonable to begin teaching our children about preparedness planning?  Do we deny them a ‘normal’ childhood by drills, gas masks and fear?  Do we allow them to live in oblivion thinking life as they know it will always be lollypops and fluffy clouds?

Parenting is difficult enough as it is in our current time, but throw in the prepping mind-set, some young children, a tight budget and the signs of the times ahead and a family could be headed for a disaster greater than the collapse of our economy.  That disaster would be:  resentful children, bitter parents and a disassembled or at least disconnected family unit.

At this point we will refrain from giving a LIST of things to do or accumulate for Family Preparedness.  Although that is often what people are looking for to prepare their families for emergencies and we WILL get to that.  Look for lists, steps and ideas in the upcoming June 2012 issue of PREPARE Magazine.  For now, this short article will focus on just a few of the intangibles that Prepare your Family.

Parental Attitude must be Peaceful and not Anxious.   Kids (from infant to teen) are thermometers.  If you are prepping in a fearful or dogmatic fashion, they will react based on that attitude.  Either they will become overly anxious and easily triggered to react poorly or they will simply rebel.  After all, aren’t we as parents supposed to protect them?  How much faith do they have in us if we act like people possessed by fear and anxiety.

Include, educate and involve kids.  Explaining why you prepare and want them to be a part of it is more bonding than showing them all you’ve done for them (and expecting the accolades for it).  Make it a fun, Family affair to learn new skills or build bug out bags.  Keep fear at by by your attitude and enjoyment of doing this.  Isn’t it a joy to provide for and protect your family? Yes. Show that.

Respect each teen and adult family member’s’ right to opt out.  As painful and worrisome as it may be, forcing someone to ‘buy into prepping’ is usually the most counter productive thing we can do.   If you’ve fostered  the other two above traits and a loved one decides not to live as you do, relax.  By shear raising, when the time comes – he or she will know what to do or at least they will feel welcome enough of where to come (to you) in an emergency.  By then, they will have understood the need and will be willing to contribute.

If you shove Preparedness in the face of loved ones, if you Prepare out of fear like a control freak, or if you become the Martyr of your Family’s Preparedness Plan (you know, the mentality that “you have to do everything”)  then your family is more likely to suffer a casualty of dismemberment than if you foster the ideals listed above.  That casualty is likly to occur far sooner than an event of cataclysmic proportion that proves you need to have been prepared.  You’ll want your Family Unit in that situation.  Lay the groundwork NOW to keep that most precious commodity.

Preparedness Operational Security (OPSEC)

Within the Preparedness movement, there are varying degrees of Operational Security (OPSEC).  There are two things we must always keep in mind about Preparedness Operational Security:  Differing definitions and Respect.

Preparedness OPSEC can be defined  mostly by two very differing views.   It is my belief that the two are not in opposition but rather work in tandem, provided respect is also considered.  The two types of OPSEC for preppers fall into the categories of  spreading the word or laying low.

One OPSEC view is to share the message, skills, encouragement and enthusiasm for preparing to all who have ears, eyes and the mind/heart to receive it.   To rally the troupes to work together and build toward a foreseeable solution.  The other OPSEC view is to quietly and solely prepare in secret to avoid prying eyes and the local snitch from pointing out prepping to those who view it as a ‘traitorous’ act.  Preparedness OPSEC can be managed either way and both approaches can be used simultaneously.  My opinion is that a healthy combination of both approaches will make for the best OPSEC approach.  Encouraging and sharing verbally with others what you do can create a more prepared (thus less panicked) community.  Being selective on exactly what ALL you share (location, amount of food, etc) can keep you protected.

The second thing to keep in the forefront of our minds when it comes to Preparedness Operational Security is the value of Respect.  Respect the rights of the privacy of others in your preparedness relationships.  Never blab about someone else’s prepping, local or even lack of being prepared in an area.   Respect the rights of other preppers to share (or not share) their own journey by whatever means they feel appropriate.

In short, when it comes to Preparedness OPSEC, you ARE your brother’s keeper.

PREPARE Magazine offers FREE subscriptions!

A new, one of a kind magazine is about to hit your inbox!  That is if you’ve gone to get your complimentary year’s subscription while it is in the pre-launch phase.

The creators of PREPARE Magazine are so delighted to bring this to the preparedness community that offering it to you for FREE during the pre- launch will only help the publication become that much better!

Within the publication you’ll find encouragement to walk the preparedness journey, skills to equip you along the way and insight to enrich your life as you prepare for the future.  PREPARE Magazine will help people from all walks of life.  Whether you live in the suburbs and urban areas or in rural, there will be something for you as the complimentary year progresses. Whether you are new and  feel overwhelmed or uncertain of where to begin or if you consider yourself a veteran of preparedness living, PREPARE Magazine will give you that booster shot of encouragement to keep you on the right path.

What you won’t find in PREPARE Magazine are: conspiracy theories, zombies or scare tactics to cause you to react irrationally.

What you will find in PREPARE Magazine are:  urban and suburban ideas for preparedness, rural ideas for preparedness,  preparedness community happenings so you can connect, skill building tips and articles to inspire you in your journey.

YOU can help us build the magazine as we approach the official launch of the print publication to suit the needs of the preparedness community all over the globe!  Place your own classified ad , or submit an article to be contributing columnist or by add events to the community happenings board. This magazine, both the pre-launch digital version and the upcoming official launch printed publication will truly be for those of us that see the need to PREPARE.

Find out more – but don’t neglect your own free year!

Register now!

Is Prepping Hoarding?

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to visit with a new prepping friend who had come to one of our Ladie’s Weekend Retreats.  She and I chatted and enjoyed talking about all the self-sustaining lessons we had learned and sharing ideas to help each other prepare in peace.  We were loading her small four-wheel drive with her bulk order and just enjoying the beginning of spring.

She shared with me that she had recently been able to secure a location to move to that was a bit further out of town.  At this delight, she made preparations to make the move.  Being a single mother, she was offered help from some of her co-workers.  A very nice gesture.  She accepted.   This lead to one face to face encounter with a question that is often asked/implied about prepping.

While moving, she was confronted by a fellow work peer about her food and having to move all of it.  To hear her talk, she felt she barely had a couple month’s of the basics on hand for she and her elementary age child, so it was not an exorbitant amount of food.  But after seeing a few bags of grain and other staples, she was faced with the question: “Why all this food?  Are you HOARDING?” She had to come up with a viable answer on the spot and felt like she had been accused of taking food out of the mouths of others.

The truth is, the definition of hoarding does not have a negative connotation at all.   The verb “hoard” makes no differentiation about the use of items stored.  Dictionary dot com simply defines the verb as this:  ” HOARD verb (used with object) –   to accumulate for preservation, future use, etc., in a hidden or carefully guarded place.  (ie: to hoard food during a shortage). ”  No where in the definition of hoarding does it denote the intended USE of the items preserved for the future.

Preppers are not taking food out of the mouths of people now nor are they creating a shortage of toilet paper or gasoline.  To be maligned with a negative connotation in the word ‘hoarding’ is completely uncalled for.

So if someone uses that word with you while you are trying to encourage others to live a preparedness lifestyle or they get wind that you are prepping, do not despair.  They obviously don’t really know that hoarding is not negative by definition.  On the contrary, your ‘hoarding’ may be what saves them in the future!

If you get called ‘stingy’, well, now there may be the need for a heart-check before you settle with that label.

Stingy  (adjective). – reluctant to give or spend; not generous; ; penurious.

Prepare by getting hens and chickens.

  Our newest members of the Miller preparedness plan: Four Buff Orpington Chicks (hens)!

We originally wanted 3 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Black Austroloups.  But we are going to have to wait on the Black ones a few weeks.

We have had the breed of Buff Orpingtons before and find it to be a prolific brown egg layer with a great temperament and fun nature. They have thick feathers which helps them weather the winter cold better than most chickens and are a docile and person-friendly breed.

Most places in America will allow even a home in the suburbs to have a chicken, or more than one.  Roosters are usually not allowed in the suburbs due to noise.  The number of hens may be limited, but even if you just get one egg a day from one hen – you’ve saved almost $1.50 a week! Check with your local ordinances to find out if you can have a hen or several in your back yard!

Next comes the chicken coup!

Executive Order: Martial Law.

What is Martial Law?

Martial law is defined as: military rule or authority imposed on a civilian population when the civil authorities cannot maintain law and order, as in a time of war or during an emergency.

Martial law can be used by a Government to enforce governmental power over it’s country’s citizens.  Examples of incidents are:  when threatened by popular protest (such as China’s  Tiananmen Square protests of 1989);  to suppress political opposition (such as in Poland 1981); to stabilize  perceived and/or actual insurrections (as in Canada’s  “October Crisis” of 1970).

The Recent Executive Order further clarifies the plans to use Martial Law:

On March 16th, 2012 in the midst of a common political practice of finalizing government documents late on a Friday afternoon, right after the news cycle for the week  wraps up – a move critics say allows the administration to avoid widespread coverage of embarrassing actions – the White House released an executive order on “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” This timing and stealthy move is much like what was done  on the holiday of New Years Eve, signing of 2012 NDAA . This update to Martial Law creates the imposition of Martial Law without Congressional oversight , only Congressional briefings.

In this most recent signing on March 16, 2012 the powers over the US Citizen’s property and rights are clearly segregated into who is in control of you and what you have if/when  Martial Law is declared by Commander In Chief.  In the new Executive Order, not only does the president have the authority to invalidate legitimate freedoms of U.S. citizens, but also the secretaries that run the Government are now empowered to revoke certain rights of the citizens of the USA as well.

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  • The Secretary of Defense has control of all water resources
  • The Secretary of Transportation has control of all forms of civilian transportation, both private and public
  • The Secretary of Energy has control of all forms of energy
  • The Secretary of Commerce has control of  all material services and facilities, including private construction materials
  • The Secretary of Agriculture has control of all food resources and facilities, livestock,  plant health and crops, and the domestic distribution of any farming and agricultural equipment
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services has control of all forms of health resources


Surely we’ve used Martial Law before?

Federal Martial Law is believed to have been ordered in ‘pockets’ of our society during emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina and September 11, 2001.  However; after insight and scrutiny, these were most likely simple individual states declaring a state of emergency or state-wide martial law and the deployment of the National Guard and FEMA  rather than Federal Martial Law.

The last time the Federal Government enacted Martial Law it was still on a specified are. It was in Hawaii during World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Even this was not a Nation wide mandated use of Martial Law.

The only time in the History of the USA that Federal Martial Law has been declared (the Federal Government, President or Entities having control of all forms of…) was during our Nations most tumultuous time of civil unrest and division:  The Civil War.

Why all the focus to update, clarify and structure Martial Law?

This gives pause for concern wondering why all the recent focus on the re-structuring of Martial Law.  Within five months of the quietly signed NDAA (New Year’s Eve Martial Law signing) we see yet another Executive order restructuring the use of power within the US Government.   While I see the very deliberate structured layout, control and federalizing of power as ground work for plans to invoke Martial Law on a Nation wide organized scale, the White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the idea that this recent Executive Order issued was even called ‘martial law’, and calls it ‘standard and routine’. 

What do you think?