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FLU, EBOLA, ENTERO, AND OTHER VIRUSES


Between regular seasonal flu/influenza, the ebola virus, the entero virus and others, it’s even more important now to get your immune system up and running at maximum speed.

Here are a few things you can do:

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EXERCISE: Your body needs to be working as efficiently as possible.  Make an effort to exercise at least 15 minutes a day, twice a day. Get your heart rate up.

WASH YOUR HANDS: Don’t be obsessive about it, but be sure to wash your hands with soap (NOT antibacterial) and water several times a day. As you wash, sing the happy birthday song … THAT’s how long you need to wash. Be sure to use a clean towel to dry your hands. Don’t use the hand sanitizer because that’s just creating super-bacteria.

CLEAN YOUR HOUSE AND WORKSPACE: WORK: As soon as you get into work, put on gloves and get out the chlorox wipes (or use vinegar). Wipe down your phone (ALL parts of it), your desk, writing utensils, computer keyboard , and everything else you touch.  Do it all again if someone uses your desk at lunch, or borrows something. Don’t be paranoid but do be smart. HOUSE: Keep your house clean. Wipe down all doorknobs, toilet flusher handles, sink and faucets, and every surface you can. Change the furnace or a/c filters often. Use Hepa filters if you can. Open windows for fresh air.

VISITORS: Ban ALL visitors to your home during this critical time, except those absolutely necessary. When someone, even your children, enter the house, have them wash up, keep outdoor clothing at the door, and maybe even use a mask and gloves while they are there. Be very aware of people with sniffles, headaches, sore throats, etc.

OUTINGS: You don’t really need to meet the girls for lunch out, do you?  Stock up on groceries now so you won’t need to do it later. If you absolutely want to keep some of these viruses from spreading, and IF you know there are people in your area that have tested positive for it, stay home!

IN-HOME SECLUSION: Assume that a lot of people in your area get sick. People will stop going out, not even to work. No one to repair telephone or electric lines. No one to make sure the water/sewer treatment works correctly. Water and toilets stop working. Electricity goes out so there also goes your means of heating the house, keeping food in your freezer/fridge, and cooking. Find alternatives for these situations, and make sure you have at least one to three months’ supply of these items:
-toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, baby wipes for instant baths
-chlorox wipes, bleach, other cleaners
-F95 respiration masks, nitrile gloves, flu medicine, ibuprofen
-candles, matches, liters
-2 ml heavy-duty plastic and duct tape to seal up house or a sick room
-trash bags for human waste
-flashlights, batteries (for flashlights AND games, toys, DVD player, etc)
-vitamins, supplements, herbs, essential oils, probiotics
-water (to drink, add to soups, clean home and body, and do laundry)
-soups, stews, canned fruit, canned veggies (shelf-stable)
-instant and bottled tea and coffee, juice boxes, V8
-canned ham/turkey/chicken/tuna, Vienna sausages, spam, peanut butter
-seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, chia) and nuts (almonds, brazil, pecan, walnut, hazelnut)
-candies, crackers, snacks, yogurt-covered fruit, dried berries, dark chocolate and more.
-cards, games, books, and other ways to alleviate boredom

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YOGURT: Get your digestive tract in place with real yogurt with natural ingredients and sweeteners and Kefir. Most illnesses start with problems in your GI, so help it out with probiotics.

OATS/BARLEY: People who eat these regularly have fewer infections. Eat at least one serving of one of these per day.

GARLIC: Garlic has been proven to boost immunity and all around, take out the bad guys in our bodies. Take 1-2 raw cloves (or capsules) each day, and add garlic, crushed, to as many of your meals as possible. I prefer the capsules with my evening pills so I won’t be tasting it all day!

SELENIUM: This nutrient helps to clear infections from our bodies. Eat as many as possible each day. Here are a few good sources: brazil nuts, fish, poultry, sunflower seeds, shellfish, beef, lamb, goat, eggs, mushrooms, whole grains, onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, yogurt, milk, fortified cereals.

Make a yummy chicken noodle soup with whole grain noodles, organic chicken, garlic, onion, broccoli and mushrooms. Sounds tasty, doesn’t it!  Or an omelet with farm fresh eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli.

BLACK TEA: Several cups daily will get lots of antioxidants into your body.

ZINC: This enhances your T-cells and helps enhance other actions of your immune system. Sources: oysters, wheat germ, liver, seeds like pumpkin, winter squash (like pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti), summer squash (like zucchini), watermelon, beef, dark chocolate/cocoa powder, lamb, peanuts, garlic, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, mushrooms, ginger root, broccoli/cauliflower/brussells sprouts, red bell pepper (I prefer red!) and use lots of oregano.

BERRIES: Most berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. We make sure that we get a daily dose! Suggestions: elderberries, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.

HONEY: While not on most people’s list, we need to take a closer look at honey. It is one of the few foods that will NEVER spoil (unless it’s not pure honey) and is good at killing bacteria.  Great for rubbing into cuts to speed healing, so it stands to reason that having it working in your digestive system would be a good idea too! Best way to take it is in a cup of hot tea (black or green or herbal), with lemon or lime juice, and honey.

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I like going to Vitamin Cottage / Natural Grocers to stock up on bulk dried vegetables, herbs, tea-fixings, and fruit. Get lots of freeze-dried berries (I get them from www.justtomatoes.com).

Don't wait to stock up / prep until these viruses actually hit your town or nearby. Do it NOW so you will be ready to shut your doors and ride it out.

Stealth Animals

As you know, we need to move closer to town (doctors, physical therapy, etc), which  means we have to follow city rules. Limited chickens, no roosters, no turkeys or ducks, and certainly no goats.

At first, I rebelled. I can’t imagine buying milk again. Not with how much my son goes through! And I prefer goat milk, raw, from our own antibiotic- and hormone-free goats. And goat baby meat.  Turkeys and chickens producing delicious orange-yolk eggs and free-range meat.

I just can’t imagine doing without these.

But I’m getting the feeling, as I speak with zoning and planning commissions, that unless we suddenly get rich, we will not be able to have farm animals of any kind, in town.

There might be a way around it. Well, for poultry.

Quail. Maybe we can buy a big enough house with a super-large garage where we can have 50 or so quail to produce eggs and meat.  We can sell the extra eggs (just got a call last week from a customer asking about buying quail eggs) and if we hatch out eggs once every couple of months, we will have lots of replacements.

But chickens … they walk around and poop, are more personable, and keep weeds and bugs down.

Quail … have to be kept confined so no weed or bug control, and poop needs to be cleaned more often. Not much personality.

Chickens … larger eggs.  Larger meat. Processor charges $3.00 per bird to butcher.

Quail … smaller eggs so we need to have 3-5 to equal one chicken egg.  We could butcher inside our home. Meat on one quail is just enough for one person.

Chickens … outside with fresh air.

Quail … inside a garage with hopefully air from a window.

What a conundrum.

How can you stealthily raise meat / eggs for your family?

Pets vs Survival

What would happen if you need to bug out, or if you don't have enough food to feed your pet? Would you find a way to provide for them? Would you eat them?

I know, this isn't a favorite topic for anybody, but it's something you need to think about.

Dogs:
As much as I love my dogs, I wouldn't keep both of them. The chihuahua is too noisy and loves to dig.  The lab is my son's autism service dog-in-training, and would help to mitigate his meltdowns, so I'd keep K-Dog.  I have already begun to feed them home-grown food: chicken, veggies, and store-bought rice or oats. They don't get a lot of treats so it won't be a big deal to eliminate them. Plus, any extra animals we kill that I wouldn't be able to force my family to eat (squirrel, prairie dog, etc), I'd give to him!

Cats:
We don't have any. Yet. But if we did and the cat was a good mouser, we'd keep it at home. Traveling would be a different story. Can't see myself carrying a travel-kennel with a yowling cat inside. Not when I could be carrying more food, clothing and water.

Chickens/Turkeys/Quail:
Chickens can be noisy, especially the roosters, so I'd have to slit his throat if I wanted stealth. I'd keep as many hens as possible, both of chickens and turkeys.  Turkey toms (boys) aren't noisy at all so if I can hide them, I will.  As far as quail goes, while they can be very noisy, I could hide them in a sound-proofed bedroom or garage. They are rapid producers of eggs and the fast gestation period means edible poultry in just a few weeks.  Not sure I'd want to carry a cage of quail and their feed if I need to bug out.

Rabbits:
Generally quiet, this animals reproduces rapidly and is a great source of lean protein. Great for hiding in the house. Again, not so great for carrying around breeding stock and their feed.

Goats/Sheep/Cattle:
These are very very hard to hide!  Not good for a stealthy source of protein or milk.


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What are your pets? Would you kill them before bugging out? Depends on the situation, huh? Yeah, us too. But as callous as this sounds, animals/pets can be replaced. People can't.

Fruit Trees on your Property

If you have a spot of land, you really should have planted a fruit tree or 20 by now! Why?

  • Long term food source
  • Food for the bees to keep them around
  • Apple trees, once they die or are no longer producing, are great for firewood
There are even miniature fruit trees that you can grow inside. Look for colonnade trees at the Starks Brothers Nursery. Several different kinds of apples, and one peach that I know of.  Grow in a pot, and have it on your deck or balcony in good weather, or start an inside garden where the tree is prominently featured!

If you have even .25 of an acre, what fruit trees have you planted? What fruit tree can you just not live without?

  • Apples: so versatile, from fresh eating, long-term storing, dehydrating, juicing, canning for apple butter or pie filling, and even making vinegar for pickling, digestion and cleaning.
  • Pears: delicious fresh, dehydrating or canned. Have you tried pear raisin pies?
  • Cherries: very expensive in the store so try growing either pie/sour cherries or sweet. We love the Ranier cherries (yellow and red). If you don't want a tree, Nanking cherries grow on a bush.
  • Plums: very healthy but highly sprayed from the stores. Great to eat fresh, dehydrated or canned. I make an amazing spiced plum jam that I use for Winter holidays.
You get the idea. What fruit tree do you absolutely need on your property? And why?

Halloween...now and future

Halloween is coming soon.  Sure you  might be almost ready for this year, with house decorations, candy and costumes, but what if the SHTF? What will you do?

No matter the situation, most children will expect trick-or-treating, or at least donning costumes for a party. They will miss the candy and treats, and have a hard time accepting that their traditional Halloween won't happen at least that year.

First, take advantage of dollar stores to stock up on hard candies NOW. Store out of reach of children, roaches and rodents. Use only for super-special occasions, which will make it last a long time.  Then start new traditions that don't rely on spending money money money!

Have you considered what to do? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Keep old costumes and face paint. Dress up!
  • Instead of loads of candy, have them search for a few pieces of hard candies (non-perishable, like dum-dum suckers or hard mints) around the house. We hide them like Easter eggs!
  • Have a few close friends over for a meal with easy-to-make dishes and a costume contest.
  • Observe the real meaning of "All Hallows' Eve" and remember those who have died ... friends, family and saints (hallows). Have the kids draw pictures of these people, gather natural items like sticks, rocks and leaves, and create a special altar with all of this in remembrance of them.
  • Make this day your harvest festival! Gather neighbors and family to harvest. Start the preserving whether by canning or dehydrating. Having many hands to slice makes quick work! The kids can bob for apples after collecting them for storage.
What do you think your family could do to celebrate Halloween if there are no sources for costumes or candy, and trick-or-treating is not safe?