A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth


Showing posts with label Recommended products. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recommended products. Show all posts

September 7, 2015

Movie Recommendation: "War Room"

     I saw the box office numbers and they were impressive.  And the critics reluctantly applauded its strong ranking among the release of summer's last movies.  But that's not why, over the weekend, I wanted to see the movie, War Room, the latest movie by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, producers of a new genre of movies for people of faith.  Like many Christians, I have lamented the lack of good, wholesome movies that represent my values.  If one happens to prefer violence combined with soft porn; or want to be entertained by futuristic predictions of the collapse of mankind; then today's movies are made for you.  The Kendrick brothers decided to change that dynamic, and have produced a series of movies for the faith-based audience; movies such as Flywheel, Facing The Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous.
    So, if you've been waiting for a movie to feed your spirit and which you know will truthfully and accurately reflect your faith, then go see War Room.  The word of mouth about this movie has been phenomenal and it did not disappoint.  The story is a familiar one:  a marriage in trouble as two people are caught up in lives centered on this world and what it can give us.  Then enters the character of Miss Clara, who mentors the wife in creating a prayer life that transforms her and her family.  It's a simple plot, but with a clear strong message.
     I expect that this movie will touch Christians in different ways; providing them with encouragement in the exact areas in which they find themselves.  The obvious message is that of influencing and convincing the audience in the power of an active prayer life.  For me, the heart of the movie was the subtle, but powerful, message it conveyed on the delivering power of prayer  -- specifically regarding how we have been given the power and authority to deliver ourselves and others from the grip of Satan and his temptations.  Sadly, I doubt that very many Christians recognized the undertone of the character Elizabeth's verbal attack on the devil.  During an emotional and passionate scene, she follows the mandate of Scripture ... resist the devil, and he will flee.
     But it was her tactics that spoke loud and clear to me.  She was practicing Deliverance!  She shouted Scripture; she invoked her authority (from Jesus) to do battle with the Enemy; she demanded that the devil break his hold on her husband; she verbally cast him out of her home and their lives in the name of Jesus (an essential condition in Deliverance); and she declared victory over him by the power of God.  And, if you are schooled in Deliverance, you will recognize the effect of that deliverance on her husband.  What happens to him while at dinner with a temptress is one of the manifestations that the devil and his demons are leaving you.
     How many people in the audience recognized that this scene was more than the result of some creative writing by the movie's producers, but actually portraying the method of deliverance from demons?  Perhaps this important area of our Christian walk, which has been all but ignored and forgotten by the Church, will become a greater theme in the next movie by the Kendrick brothers.
     Concerning another aspect of the movie, I must be honest in telling you that if you are going to see the movie expecting the big cinematography and production qualities that the major studios brought to such Christian-themed movies as Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings, then you will be disappointed.  This movie is quieter in action and dialogue, but delivers a purer message of the power of God than those blockbuster productions.  But that is exactly the intention of the Kendrick brothers.  They are not making movies for the general public.  They are making movies specifically for the Christian audience.  "For people of faith, much of the entertainment that's out there is dishonoring to that faith, but we all want to see engaging, enriching, entertaining stories as well. So we long for that. We just want to tell it from a positive vantage point," Alex Kendrick said.  Priscilla Shirer, (a Christian speaker and author), who plays Elizabeth, expressed the hope of the movie:  "I don't think it's by chance that God's going to use this movie to call people to their knees," said Shirer. "(Nor do) we really believe prayer works, because if we really did, we would actually pray and pray more. Prayer is what invites the power of heaven into the circumstances of earth."
     Miss Clara's powerful monologue at the end of the movie is a call to all Christians to rise and invite that very power from heaven into this fallen world.  Her passionate speech re-emphasizes the message and point of the movie which is directed at Christians and their lukewarm prayer lives.  Although it was not produced with a goal of winning souls in a secular audience, it remains to be seen if this movie's powerful message crosses over to the mainstream culture.  We know that God can use all things for His Glory.
     In my final analysis, War Room will not disappoint its Christian audience.  It is a powerful message to Christians to re-engage in prayer with God; to trust Him to work in our lives; and to use the Authority from Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit to resist the devil .... because we can make him flee!
     Whether it will draw unbelievers to the theater, remains to be seen.  However, the influence of movies like this -- those designed specifically for Christians -- has been to make Hollywood sit up and take notice.  It is obvious that they recognize the importance of the Christian dollar, and that's why such movies as Noah, Exodus and the 2016 release of Risen, continue to be made.  (Risen is the story of a powerful Roman Centurion, who is charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the rumors of a risen Jewish messiah and to locate the missing body of Jesus of Nazareth in order to quell an imminent uprising in Jerusalem during the first 40 days following Christ's resurrection.) But until they present an accurate picture of our Lord and Savior, the millions they spend on these blockbusters will not result in profit.  But the Kendrick  brothers have shown the Hollywood establishment, and the culture at large, that Christians are a powerful segment of the theater-going public.  We are making an impact! Give us what we want -- true, accurate Biblical portrayals of our faith -- and we will come!

Philippians 4:8    "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

      
   

August 3, 2015

Recommended Product: Kinesiology Tape & How-To Book

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor and do not claim to offer professional advice.  I am simply relating my personal experience and suggesting that this product is something you might want to consider.  Obviously, you should contact your doctor if you have a serious injury, and for advice before using this product.       

     You've probably noticed this product if you've watched any serious sporting event in the last few years.  It can be seen as those long black pieces of tape applied to the athletes in various formations, depending on which muscle groups they are targeting.  It is known as kinesiology taping, and although many medical professionals may approach it with skepticism, I can tell you that it has been a long time since I have been this excited about a product, or felt I had found something that was essential to share with you.  I am very blessed to be in good health, and I try to do some form of exercise or physical activity every day so that I do not get too sedentary or incapable of moving quickly should some kind of emergency arise.
     But I'm sure most of you can sympathize when I say that the aches and pains are more frequent and take longer to rehab with each passing birthday.  A few years ago, I hyper-extended my knee and it has taken a long time for it to heal naturally.  (An orthopedic surgeon whom I visited told me that my meniscus was probably torn -- although X-rays did not show it -- and I would get tired of the pain and would return shortly, opting for surgery as the fix).  But I wanted to try to rehab it first instead of immediately going under the knife.
     The surgeon was correct; I did get tired of the pain, but I found that through the help and advice of a good friend who is a physical therapist, and my own persistence in doing the recommended exercises faithfully, my knee has recovered and getting stronger every day.  But I will tell you that it has taken at least two years to get back to a normal state.
     That has been the only real injury that I've encountered .... until several months ago.  I began feeling some discomfort in my deltoid muscle, but couldn't recall any strain from working out with weights, or any reason for the tenderness or occasional twinges of pain.  I felt strongly that I did not have a tear in the rotator cuff, and so opted to do some stretching exercises that would relieve the stiffness in the deltoid.  When the pain began to be a real inconvenience I asked my PT friend about it, and through the process of elimination figured out that the injury was likely due to the several hours a day I sit in my chair working at my laptop -- working on this blog, typing out my notes on the Bible class I teach, and the routine maintenance of my husband's business.  It seems that the source of the problem started in the trapezius/deltoid/latissimus dorsi muscle area across the back of my shoulder.  Apparently, as I'm sitting typing, I am not providing support to my arm, so there is a "pulling down" in this muscle group, which is inflaming my supraspinatus muscle and causing pain in my deltoid.
     I bought a computer tray to bring my laptop to the correct height, added pillows to the chair arms to rest my elbows on, and did everything I could think of to take the strain off my back and neck.  But nothing seemed to work, and it was beginning to affect my sleep; I would wake up in the morning after sleeping on that shoulder and it would be stiff and painful.  Finally, I decided to ask my PT friend what he thought of kinesiology tape, and he texted me back that they had had some success using it on their physical therapy patients.
     So I bought a roll of tape, watched a YouTube video on how to apply it for the supraspinatus muscle, and within just a couple of hours, I felt relief.  The real test came with sleeping with the tape on, and the good range of motion and lack of pain that I experienced the next morning.  I then decided to test it at a pistol shooting match over the weekend, where I spent two hours competing in the hot sun ... I was able to complete the match with no pain or disruption in my performance.  That's when I knew that this was something that could come in handy in the case of an emergency and needed to be a part of my long-term storage items.
     Think about it .... we are in the middle of hurricane season here in the South, and should the worst-case scenario happen, there will most likely be lots of minor injuries and sprains and strains as people deal with the aftermath.  For that matter, any type of crisis or emergency can result in unforeseen injuries.  If this product can temporarily relieve some physical impediment and allow you to take care of yourself and family, it will be a necessary item to have on hand.  I then took that situation a step further, and thought "what if we have no electricity and internet?"  There will be no YouTube video to watch on how to tape to provide support for a sprained ankle, wrist, or knee.  So, with the help of my husband, I found Kinesiology Taping: The Essential Step-by-Step Guidewhat I think is the best book to illustrate the proper techniques for a wide variety of incidents, and I promptly ordered it.
     As you can see by the following editorial review on Amazon, this product can transcend sports injuries to be a useful tool for emergency situations; especially when no doctor is available:  This book focuses on the use of taping as a treatment for reducing pain, muscle tension, sprains, strains and many more injuries. It provides information on how you yourself can apply tape on your body for sports, exercise and daily activities. Some examples are support upright position, bruised ribs, pain in muscle movement, carpal tunnel syndrome, sore back, help with breathing, promote better healing of scars, headaches and menstrual cramps. Provided in the book are step-by-step diagrams, written instructions and width/amount of tape required for each condition. As well, there is a full body diagram of the individual muscles in the human body at the beginning of the book. This book contains considerable information for relieving pain and tension during exercise, sports and daily life. 
     The authors of the book are trained in physiotherapy and are strong advocates for self-taping to treat a variety of conditions and ailments.  I also ordered several rolls of the tape, and feel a sense of relief in that I have given our household one more advantage in dealing with emergency situations.  In the final analysis, I am all for any product that can be a positive and useful addition to our personal storehouse of resources.  And having tried it myself, I know it works, and have no hesitation in recommending it to you.  After all, anytime we can find a simple solution to the aches and pains of life, it is worth sharing.

3 John 1:2   "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul."

April 8, 2015

Recommendation: Growing Your Food Supply When Times Are Tough

   
      If you've been paying attention, then you've seen the headlines regarding the worst drought in California in 500 years.  It doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that this will have a severe impact on the food supply in this nation.  Since California produces approximately 3/4 of all vegetables, nuts and fruits grown in the US, you can imagine that many products will be either extremely expensive, or even unavailable.
     We can expect to see a shortage of many food items that we take for granted:  celery, olives, apricots, lettuce, tomatoes, plums, prunes, figs, cantaloupe, strawberries and spinach.  And let's not forget what the California drought will do to the vineyards and the wine industry.  And did you know that California is the largest producer of dairy in our nation, with 1.75 million dairy cows? The lack of water will devastate these industries and most certainly effect the cost of food, as well as the supply, in our own country and the world for years to come.
     But it's not only crops that are feeling the lack of water -- you may have seen the scattered reporting of hundreds of California residents waiting in extremely long lines for hours, just to get a gallon or two of drinking water.  When the situation is that bad, we better sit up and take notice.
     But it is not only California that is feeling the effects of drought.  Parts of Texas and Oklahoma are feeling the drought as if they were reliving the Dust Bowl era during the 1930s.  All of this is taking a toll on the nation's agriculture and economy.  And, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that we can expect the government to step in and try to regulate water sources on private property and control the consumption of water.  Like the Gold Rush in our past history, there is now a rush to buy up water rights ... which makes the purchase of the following book all that more important.
     The Resilient Gardener:  Food Production and Self-Reliance In Uncertain Times is a must-have for your resource library.  The author, Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe, offers a book beyond your garden-variety cookbook (sorry for the pun!), and offers principles regarding sustainable agriculture, health, nutrition, along with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.
     I think we all realize that our climate is changing and weird weather patterns appear to be in our future.  I don't need a book that gives me pretty pictures of organic recipes -- I need to know how to grow necessary foods in order to survive in the midst of unfavorable seasons and adverse growing conditions.  Among the corresponding topics, this book teaches you how to:
•  Garden in an era of unpredictable weather and climate change.
•  Grow, store, and cook different varieties of potatoes and save your own potato seed,
•  Make whole-grain, corn-based breads and cakes using the author’s original gluten-free recipes involving no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products.
•  Keep a home laying flock of ducks or chickens; integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed.
     The marketing for this book describes it's impact this way:  "Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their vegetable gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way."  Sounds like it is a gardening book written specifically for these times.
     Some of the critics of the book have noted that it is written with a bent towards homesteading, sustainable living, and basic nutrition.  But if times continue to get tougher, this is exactly the book you will want.  Remember, when faced with difficult times, one of the keys to survival will be your resiliency ... your ability to be strong, flexible, hardy, and able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  The Resilient Gardener helps you grow the crops that will provide the calories you need to stay alive.
     DISCLAIMER:  Don't think that everything she writes will pertain to you, or your climate, or your growing conditions.  The author lives in the Pacific Northwest, and what works for her, may not work for you.  You should buy this book for the tips and techniques, and use it to create a blue print for your own self reliant food system.  It's time to get creative, use your brain, and get out ahead of the curve on your food supply.  Don't wait until you're in panic mode due to the extended drought, unexpected weather conditions in your area, or social upheaval.  Prepare now!

Ezekiel 4:17   "I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment."

August 14, 2014

Recommended Book: Survive The Coming Storm - Ebola Crisis

     It still dominates the headlines ... EBOLA.  Breitbart.com reports that a Spanish missionary priest died of the disease in Madrid this last Tuesday.  They are also reporting that China has quarantined 8 medical workers who had direct contact with ebola patients in Sierra Leone while helping to treat victims of the deadly virus.
     Breitbart is also reporting that there is grave concern in China over the spread of the virus, as it is estimated that 20,000 Chinese citizens are living and working in the three African countries most directly affected by Ebola.  If any of these health workers return to China carrying the virus, the potential spread of the disease among the crowded urban communities of China could potentially result in the deaths of thousands, if not millions.
     Then you have the changing position of the Center for Disease Control, who initially claimed that you had to come in contact with an Ebola patient to contract the disease.  Now, they have amended their statement to "being within 3 feet" of an infected person or "being in the same room" with an infected person can allow for transmission of the disease! They also admit a person who is infected, but not yet showing symptoms, is contagious!
     And finally, Bloomberg News is telling us that "The Ebola drug given to two Americans and a Spanish priest has been sent to treat infected doctors in two West African countries, and the supply of the medicine is now gone, its manufacturer said."  Which raises the serious ethical question ... with a shortage of any kind of medicine to combat the disease, who will receive the few available doses of life-saving drugs?  Will the poor Africans, or will it be dispensed to those with the resources and the money to demand it?
     That brings me to my recommendation .... Ray Gano, the Publisher and Executive Director of the web ministry  Prophezine, which provides a wide variety of spiritual and physical preparedness articles, has published a new book that offers some valuable information and advice on how to protect your family during an Ebola pandemic.
     None of  us wants to think about this happening, but if you are paying close attention, the indications are it is a very real possibility.
     Ray's book, titled Survive The Coming Storm - EBOLA CRISIS (Preparing Now... Before It Is Too Late) is a book you want to have in your possession, if the worst case scenario materializes.
     As Ray points out, the Ebola virus appears to be spreading faster than the efforts to contain it.  Therefore, we would be wise to develop a quarantine plan now, and stock up on the supplies you will need to prevent and/or treat the virus.  And he gives you a concise strategy for accomplishing this for your family.
     He gives you the products and the methods for sterilizing your home, and how to set up a quarantined patient room, if necessary.  He offers advice on how to keep the virus from spreading in your home, and how to safely handle the sanitation issues when caring for an Ebola patient.
     His book also offers valuable advice on supplements and over-the-counter products to boost your immune system and prepare your body to fight off the virus.  He tells you how to prevent, identify and treat dehydration, the primary cause of death in Ebola victims.  And, because it is necessary, there is even a chapter on how to deal with the death of a loved one.
     This book is not designed to frighten you or to cause you to panic ... it is written to help you be prepared to deal with a worldwide pandemic before it happens.  There have already been over 1000 Ebola deaths in Africa, and nearly 2,000 suspected cases, in just over a few short months.  Until this year, the world had recorded 1,640 deaths TOTAL from Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976... you can see the potential for this to turn into a global disaster.
     That's why the time to add Ray Gano's book to your preparedness collection is NOW!  Don't wait until the epidemic spreads like wildfire to try to gain this information or gather together your supplies.  It will be too late!  You can listen to scientists and doctors, who tell you it is too early; there's no need to panic.  Maybe they're right.  Or you can rest easy at night, knowing that you have given your family a chance, should the worst happen.  This is a valuable resource to have.  Click on the provided link and check it out ... I highly recommend it!

Revelation 11:6    "They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire."

   

November 16, 2013

Recommended Product: Liquid Eyes

     I don't make it a habit to endorse a product unless I've tried it and think it is something you should know about.  I feel so strongly about this product that I'm happy to give it a mention.  The maker and owner of Liquid Eyes is a new friend of mine, and these shooting glasses are definitely the best I've ever owned.
They are worth this recommendation because the reality of good eye protection is that you get only one chance.  If you shoot without eye pro or ear pro, you are tempting fate.  It's the dust, burning powder, flying brass, and bullet splash from shooting on steel that all pose a threat to your eyes.
     Liquid Eyes meets the highest standard which is designated as an ANSI Z87.1 standard.  What does this designation mean?  It is essentially a safety standard established by the private non-profit American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which ensures that a specific product meets a safety standard and is certified.  This allows you to know the safety standard for shooting or combat use has been met.
     The foundation of this test is that a specific lens can pass a "high mass" and "high velocity" test.  I won't go into all the technical jargon associated with this test, but suffice it to say, that Liquid Eyes meets this exacting standard.
     I just spent three days and 900 rounds behind a pair of Liquid Eyes called T-Flex and I want to sing the praises of these glasses!  The frames are available as a one-piece design (called Gaskets), or in the traditional folding design called T-Flex, which I wouldn't exactly call "traditional".  In fact, Liquid Eyes has jumped outside the box with their design and the one-piece, snap-in hard rubber hinges on the T-Flex model.  But don't let this fool you.  The T-Flex design is tough and will hold up to some serious activity.  They are excellent for tactical or combat use, motorcycling, skydiving and biking.
     The T-Flex design has eliminated the inherent weakness of screws and rivets, which is perfect for PLW.  He has shot competitively for years, and has marked significant time behind the likes of Oakley, Gargoyles, De-Cot Hy-Wyds, Smiths and Wiley X.  He is like a wrecking ball when it comes to fine shooting eyewear; they all eventually go to die in the random holsters and gear boxes in his man cave.
     The reason he really likes the Liquid Eyes, is because he prefers active sunwear that can serve as a shooting shield and multi-function as his sunglasses.  Dedicating eyewear as "shooting only" has never fit his profile; but others may prefer to commit Liquid Eyes as part of their range gear.
     Liquid's interchangeability is a plus for hard-end users like PLW.  If he trashes a lens, or wears out a hinge or nose piece, we can replace a component instead of replacing the entire unit.  Now, that suits me just fine!  The Anodized Aluminum frames are tough and will take a pounding, but make sure if these glasses are for tactical use, they are the UV models, which meet the ANSI safety standard.  Some of the polarized lenses aren't ANSI-rated.
Travis Haley rockin' his Gaskets.
     Another important feature of Liquid Eyes is the wrap-around design.  All light should be blocked by the wrap design.  If its blocking and protecting your eyes from light, then it is blocking and protecting them from flying foreign materials, like bullet jackets that come careening off steel.
     We both selected Tanzonite lenses because of the harsh Texas sun.  But lens selection runs the gamut and Liquid Eyes has something for everyone.  They can even meet your prescription requirements.  The truth is you get what you pay for, and these glasses are a double investment; they're a quality product and when you ask yourself, "What are my eyes worth"? then you know they are a sound product.
     All eye pro isn't the same --- so take a hard look at what Liquid Eyes offers.  They will give you years of service, unless you are like PLW and lose them in bulk quantities.  Maybe I should talk to Liquid Eyes about an internal GPS receiver?  Take a moment and check them out at www.liquidpolarized.com.

Psalm 101:3    "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless." 

November 4, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: When Will The Heaven Begin?

     It is very rarely that I write a book review with tears streaming down my face.  But this one is personal.  In late 2011, I wrote a blog post about a young man that I was so blessed to have in my life.   PLW and I were present when Ben Breedlove left this troublesome earth for the phenomenal peace he had experienced in heaven.
    You might have heard his story .... he lived for 18 years, struggling with the effects of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a debilitating heart condition that was destined to cut short his promising life.  When he suddenly died on Christmas night, 2011, he left behind a touching video that told of his struggles and of a recent "vision" in which he had visited the "waiting room", so to speak, of heaven during a traumatic incident in which his heart failed.  Call it a "life during death" experience, if you will.  That video, which ends with Ben's question, "Do you believe in Angels or God?  I DO", immediately went viral, and has been seen by millions around the world.
     And now, his older sister, Ally Breedlove, has written a book about her brother, called When Will The Heaven Begin?, in which she details the incredible influence Ben had on others.  The book is so much more than another in the series of "near death experience books" that our culture clings to and is pre-occupied with.
     Ally has written honestly and poignantly about the effects Ben's condition had on him and the family.  Yet, she represents Ben's life as full and vibrant; there is no feeling sorry for themselves or asking "Why?".  And although Ben's life was punctuated with several near-death health scares, the family's faith in God and their wish that Ben live a life as free and uninhibited as he could took precedence.
     As Ally recounts the ups and down, and the hopes and fears of the family concerning Ben's health and his future, one cannot escape the realization that this book is not only a tribute to Ben and his amazing kindness, generosity and courage; but it is a book that is meant to inspire us all through any difficulties that we may be facing.
     As both the author, and his sister, Ally is successful in showing us how her brother and her family were able to live one day at a time, thanking God for his grace, and accepting that He was in control of Ben's life.  They came to understand that each life, no matter how short, is to be lived with purpose and not to be wasted.  Ally shows us how Ben did just that.
     She gives us a full picture of her brother: you will melt at the sight of Ben's irrepressible smile; laugh at his pranks and ever-present mischievous personality; be impressed with his talent and ingenuity; and you will grieve at what might have been from this talented and compassionate young man.   It is quite apparent that Ben lived more in his 18 years than do many in a lifetime.  I feel like I have lived so much of this story, but Ally brings such insightful and perceptive analysis of God's presence through life's joys, as well as difficulties, that I found myself receiving new revelations of what life is all about.  This is more than a "feel good" book.  You can bask in the reflection of God's love for each of us that the life of Ben Breedlove represented.
     I would imagine, that like Ben, many of you feel that your future is uncertain (and who doesn't in today's world?).  Let this book show you that we must go on living; that our lives have purpose; that there is peace in the face of trouble; and there is a promise of an eternal home.
    In the end, Ally Breedlove carries on her brother's legacy.  In the video that moved the world to re-examine their relationship with God, Ben shared his hope of heaven.  Now, in her book, Ally lays down her own challenge: she has written Ben's story.  How will you write yours?

 Proverbs 13:12     "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."    

February 21, 2013

Product Recommendation: Sun Oven

     I've been wanting to share my latest piece of sustainable living equipment that PLW and I purchased last Thanksgiving.  I've waited to experiment with it, and the last little cold snap of our Texas winter gave me the perfect opportunity.  It was the ideal time for a pot of chili in my new Sun Oven.
     This convenient and easy-to-use solar oven answers all my concerns about a grid-down scenario and the capabilities of cooking.  Used in conjunction with my Deadwood Stove (for grilling or frying), I can accomplish all my baking, boiling and steaming with the Sun Oven.  Reaching temperatures of 360º - 400º, this oven is versatile and efficient.
     Because temperatures rise slowly and evenly, you get more subtle and natural flavors from cooking with the sun.  You never have to worry about your food burning; it's nearly impossible to overcook food and it keeps your food moist and flavorful.  You don't have to worry about lighting a fire.  You can even put frozen food in the Sun Oven in the morning, place it where the sun should be half way through the day, and you will  have a cooked meal by dinnertime.
     It's as easy as unfolding the reflectors, aiming the Sun Oven towards the sun, placing your food in the provided enamel cook pot on the interior shelf, closing the glass lid and latching it down.  It will cook anything that a conventional oven can cook (except fried food), and reaches temperatures comparable to that of your electric or gas stove.  There is a CD with recipes that accompanied my Sun Oven, but after a cursory glance at them, you can just follow your normal recipes; there is no special preparation.
     There are actually two ways to cook in a Sun Oven. If you refocus the oven to follow the sun every 25 to 30 minutes, cooking times and methods will be similar to cooking with a conventional stove or oven. Or a Sun Oven can be used for slow cooking, much like a crock-pot.  And that's what I did with my Chili.  You can see the steps below:
I fried my hamburger meat on my Deadwood Stove
and transferred it to the enamel pot .
I added 8 ounces of tomato sauce, 16 ounces of water,
and a can of drained pinto beans.  I then added onions,
garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder and
some diced jalapenos -- all to taste.  Because PLW likes
his Chili "meaty", I also add one of my canned jars
of roast beef to the mix.  It adds a richer taste and
a nice texture to the Chili.

I put the lid on the enamel pot, close and latch the glass lid,
and let the sun do its business!  The oven slowly climbs in
temperature (you can see the temperature gauge in the upper
left of the glass lid).  The Chili will eventually come to boiling
and you can then refocus the Sun Oven to receive less rays
and leave the Chili simmering.  It will never burn!
     Furthermore, the Sun Oven has been designed to cook multiple items at the same time.  It can accommodate baking two loaves of bread at a time, or several flat pans can be cross stacked to bake separate layers for items like granola or cookies. Two small stackable pots can be used on the leveling tray. The leveling tray can be removed to increase the usable area inside the Sun Oven and allow larger pots or pans to be used. (It is important to note that if the leveling tray is removed, pots and pans should be placed on a trivet, not on the floor of the oven. To cook evenly, there must be air flow all the way around the pot. A trivet will allow air to pass under the pot and ensure even heating).  
     But I can't overemphasize how easy it is to use and to store this oven!  The reflectors fold up to lay evenly on top of the oven, and latch in place.  There is even a convenient handle to carry the oven, which measures 19 x 19 x 11 and weighs only 21 pounds.  I will tell you that it is a little pricey.  Ours cost $375.  But because of its versatility and efficiency, I know I will think it is worth every penny in a crisis situation. I highly recommend this product and think you will find it a worthy addition to your emergency preparedness.

Ecclesiastes 5:18     "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him—for this is his [allotted] part." 




     

November 27, 2012

Paracord: The Paragon of Prepper Paraphernalia

     Now, you might think this will be a boring and mundane post, but I would like to ask you to reconsider.  If there were one or two items that would be a "must" in my prepper repertoire, one would definitely be paracord.  And let me give you some important reasons why this versatile item could be important to your survival:

•  Paracord is available in so many colors, and can be tied to duffel bags, backpacks, tools, weapons, etc. to identify multiple-items by color code.
•  Paracord can be used as a friction saw;  simply saw it back and forth and it can cut through another length of paracord, nylon strips or other materials.
•  Paracord can be braided into rope, and has a weight limit of 550 pounds, making it a valuable tool in your kit.
•  If you need to climb, but have no climbing gear, paracord can be used to rappel, using a traditional body rappel technique.  Warning:  You need to get professional training if you're planning on rappelling.
•  Light sticks can be tied to a length of paracord and swung around at night, to signal an emergency.
•  The inner strands of paracord can be used to make improvised snares, fishing lines, sewing thread, dental floss, emergency sutures, or any other use you might have for strong string.
•  If you have a good amount of paracord, you can make a strong hammock.
•  Paracord can be used to make a firewood carrier, or for any other camp hauler or transporter.
•  Paracord becomes useful when making a fire bow; it is an excellent thong
•  A small weight and a length of paracord can be used to create a throwing line for use in hoisting food into trees to keep away from animals.
•  Or add a grappling hook to make a throwing or retrieval tool.
•  Improvised snowshoes can be made with sticks and using paracord for the webbing.
•  A single length of paracord can make an effective sling
•  Booby traps, snares, net traps, deadfalls and perimeter alarms can be created with paracord.
•  Paracord is essential in making bows and fletching for arrows
•  Paracord can be looped through two carabiners to create an improvised hoist.
•  Paracord is strong enough to make a simple rope ladder, using sticks or lengths of dowel.  Braid three cords together, if you need a stronger ladder.
•  Nunchucks are easily made by joining two sticks, or pipes, with a short length of paracord.
•  If you are feeling non-lethal, it can also be used to make improvised restraints.
•  Paracord makes good replacement boot laces, and can also be used to make sandal straps.
•  Paracord can be used to compress ponchos or sleeping bags, so that they take up less room in your pack.
•  Another good use for paracord is to suspend a tarp over your hammock, while camping.
•  Paracord is strong enough to lash together an emergency stretcher, for medical evacuations.
•  You can make an improvised sling for your rifle, using paracord.
•  Paracord can also be used to secure your sling to your rifle.
•  You can even use paracord to make an improvised magazine pouch.
•  Paracord bracelets can be used to tie splints in place on a broken limb, and can also be used as a tourniquet.
•  It can be used as a guideline for moving in dark caves, blizzard conditions, or other low visibility scenarios.
•  Paracord can be used as a line for a dog run, or tied between two trees to make a horse hitching. line.Paracord can be used as a knotted measuring line, or a plumb lin be unraveled, to supply you with a bit of cordage when needed.

     By now you're getting the picture, and I'm sure you can come up with a few other ideas on your own.  But if you want the definitive list, (from which these examples derive), visit the website, 101 Uses For Paracord.  If they haven't thought of it, it doesn't exist.
     So, if Paracord isn't at the top of your list of survival gear, it should be!  Buy it in quantity because, as you can see, you will never run out of uses for it.

Colossians 3:13-14       "....  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. "
   

September 22, 2012

Prepper Tip: Powdered Peanut Butter

     Sorry!  But after yesterday's post, I guess I just have Peanut Butter on the brain!  A good friend recently gave me a can of Provident Pantry's Peanut Butter Powder (try to say that real fast three times!) and I figured now was as good a time as any to try it.


     I was definitely skeptical because I knew I was going to have to please the biggest Peanut Butter lover in the world .... my husband, Peace-Loving Warrior.  But he was a good sport and agreed to be the Official Taste-Tester.  
     Right off the bat, I was pleased to see that the only ingredient was peanuts --- no fillers or additives.  And it smelled good; like roasted peanuts!  I followed the directions and added 2 Tsp of water per 2 Tbsp of powder.  That wasn't near enough liquid!  I kept adding small amounts of water until I got the consistency I wanted.  Then we tasted it.  Too bland and chalky.
     The instructions on the can suggest adding a small amount of sugar for taste.  PLW wanted honey, so that helped by adding both sweetness and smoothness to the mixture.  But it still didn't satisfy us.  Next we added just a pinch of salt, and that brought it still closer to pleasing our palate.  Almost there!  The last suggestion on the can was to add vegetable oil to compliment the texture and the taste.  That did it!  It was as close to store-bought peanut butter as we could get.


     I can't say that it tastes the same as the sugar-laden grocery store variety.  But it doesn't have all the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that come with the latter either; and that's a good thing.  By controlling the amount of salt and sugar you add, along with the ability to choose healthy oils, you actually end up with a product that is not only satisfying but more nutritious.  When you compare the 200 calorie count of Peter Pan with the 70 calories of Provident Pantry, it's a better choice all the way around.
     It's a well-known fact that when the SHTF, peanut butter will be a great source of protein.  Plus we're all going to be craving a good PB&J every now and then.  As fast as the price on this staple is rising at the grocery store, you are better off buying it at BePrepared.com.  At the current price of $6.25/can, it will be a bargain when the store shelves are bare.  
     So, as far as rating the taste, texture and overall experience, I would give it an A minus.  With a little more experimentation with the honey and vegetable oil, I know I could perfect it to meet PLW's standards.  I also think it is a matter of simply getting used to a slightly different taste; after several servings I'm sure I wouldn't even notice the difference.  This is a must for every prepper's pantry!

Psalm 34:8     "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."

     

September 20, 2012

Book Review: Brushfire Plague

     I take it as an extreme compliment when I am asked to review a book.  And being a writer myself, I approach each book with a critical eye.  I know the discipline it takes to finish a novel (having done so myself) and the heart and passion that each author puts into their work.
     So it is my pleasure to recommend Brushfire Plague by R.P. Ruggiero.  Frankly, this book is a refreshing departure from the spate of "survivalist" books on the market.  Don't get me wrong, I applaud and encourage all the new novelists who have taken up the cause of Liberty and the protection of American values.  We need all the books we can get to spread the word among our uninformed countrymen.  Authors such as James Rawles, Matthew Bracken and William Forstchen have set the bar high.  Through their exceptional books we have explored what will happen to our country in the event of a breakdown of our republican-style government, foreign troops on U.S. soil, and the devastation of an EMP attack.  With Brushfire Plague, we examine what would happen when a deadly virus sweeps the land.
     The book is written in a very engaging style, drawing us into the relationship between our hero Cooper Adams and his young son, Jake.  A devastating plague has swept the globe and Cooper swings into action, determined to save his family, his neighborhood and his country.   The plot is conceivable, and the characters are credible.  Mr. Ruggiero captures both the flaws and perfection of our human nature.  Just imagine a plague sweeping the globe and how it would quickly reveal the best and the worst of society.  While reading the story, I could easily see how this scenario would play out in my own community and among my connections.
     You will recognize those who become the natural leaders, and those whose egos must be stroked to maintain harmony.  You will identify the skills that will be necessary and those who are capable of implementing them.  There will be "takers" and there will be "givers".  The interplay between characters is natural and logical; neither false nor forced.  In short, it is a well-written story.
     But it is more than that.  I believe it is a plausible situation.  The whole time I was reading it, I couldn't help thinking, "This is going to happen."  So I am especially appreciative of the preparations and instruction that the author so deftly works into his plot.  Hidden in the midst of the gripping story of survival amid fast-spreading illness, societal decay, and violence are many suggestions for how to prepare and protect your family and your neighborhood.  If you have friends and family that need a wake-up call, this book will open their eyes.
     It's all there --- how to organize your neighbors; how to defend against looters and organized gangs; how to combat a government who exploits the situation; and how to just survive day-to-day.  If you are a dedicated survivalist, you know all the steps to take.  But this book presents a well-reasoned timeline with which you can compare your plans.
     And we even get a look at how the Bill Gates/Eugenisist movement might instigate their plan to de-populate the world.  Believe it or not, it is in their plans and what better way than to develop a virus?  Brushfire Plague examines how, and if, the world could recover from such a diabolical plot. 
     The book is available through Amazon or PrepperPress.   It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, although I must admit, as a writer, that the occasional typo, or words left out, make me flinch.  But in this new genre of "survival" and "prepper" books, it is a foible that I can overlook.  These books are providing a valuable service to those who are willing to take advantage of what they have to offer.  And what better way to take our medicine than in an absorbing, riveting story?  I can't wait for the sequel!

P.S.  The book is available both in Paperback and on Nook at Barnes & Noble.  Get it anyway you can!

Psalm 107:2       "Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe ...." 
      

August 13, 2012

These Boots Are Made For Walking!

     I know, I know --- the title is overused and corny, but I just couldn't help myself.  But it's something I want every woman out there to give considerable thought to.  How many of you have a good hiking boot?  And by "good", I mean comfortable, broken in, durable?  In a true SHTF scenario, you're going to want something more substantial than your lightweight tennis shoes.
     Just consider this ..... depending on where you live, if you had to hike out of your present location and spend days on the road, or in the backcountry, you're going to need a pretty dependable boot that can take the wear and tear and, most importantly, not give you blisters.  Believe me, if you've made the wrong choice, all 26 bones in each foot will be shouting your mistake!
     So, the first thing you need to do is assess your situation.  Is it wet and marshy where you live?  How about dry and desert-like?  Do you live in a mountainous or rugged area?  Each of these locations might call for a different style of boot.  I'm going to discuss a couple types of boots that are available and you can decide which would best suit your needs.  And it's quite possible that you need more than one boot type for different scenarios.
     Leather lace-up boots.  This includes everything from combat, to hiking, to hunting, and finally, to a work boot.  They come in different styled toes, and can be insulated or non-insulated -- it all depends on the weather where you live.  Gore-tex and other similar membrane-type materials also help keep feet dry.  The most important aspect is the fit and quality of the boot.  Cost is often a misleading factor when it comes to the best boot.  An inexpensive boot that fits great trumps an ill-fitting pair of expensive boots every time!
     Pull-on boots.  This category encompasses cowboy boots, firefighter boots, rubber boots, and waders.  Obviously, there are clear disadvantages to some of these boots if you have to start hiking across country.  First of all, rubber boots don't fit as well as lace-ups, and I'm not sure you would want to hike long distances in cowboy boots.  Put if you need to get in the action quick in stormy weather, a good sturdy pair of rubber pull-ons are your best bet.  I bought a pair of tall, thick rubber boots at Wal-Mart and they serve a variety of purposes if I'm sticking close to home.
     I'm going to give you a couple of examples of hiking boots that I recommend.  The first is the Timberland Women's Chocura Trail boot, which is a durable boot, made for rugged hiking.  It has a Gore-Tex membrane which keeps your feet dry and good traction for when you need it on slippery terrain.  The reviews on this boot are excellent ... breathes well, comfortable, durable, good cushioning, stable, warm .... all the things you want in a dependable boot.  Buyers seem to wear these boots for many years, and then buy the same style when the time comes to replace them.  You can't ask for a better recommendation!
     I have a good pair of Merrill cross-trainers, which are kind of a tennis/hiking shoe that is durable and lightweight as well as water proof.  They will be perfect if my car breaks down and I have to hoof it home.  And they are even suitable for taking long walks across rough pastureland.  But for those "extreme" situations, I have a pair of Altama Military Boots.  They are comfortable and durable, and I have no fear that they will get the job done when, and if, I need something for TEOTWAWKI.
     But the bottom line, and the purpose of this post, is to ask you to not neglect this area of preparation.  I would like to think that we will all be able to remain safe and sound and warm and comfy in our homes.  I would like to imagine that nothing will force us to hike long distances for any reason, be it weather-related or man-made.  But I can't tell you how much comfort I derive from knowing that my Altama's are safely tucked away on the top shelf of my closet.   I figure if our military men and women can live in theirs, they are good enough for me.  And they're made in the USA!  These boots are made for survival!
   
1 Samuel 2:9       "He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness."      

August 9, 2012

Montie Gear Slingshot For Women

     I have crossed over into a new frontier!  I have gained some level of competence in my survival and firearms training, and I've learned more about red dot sights, one-point slings, and concealed carry holsters than I ever thought possible.  But now I've added a very important skill to my repertoire.  I have mastered the operation of the slingshot!
     Once the exclusive domain of Huck Finn and generations of boys with pockets full of marbles, I can honestly say that I believe women can master this many-faceted tool as well as any man.
     While surfing the net, I came across the ultimate in slingshot design.  It is called the Slingshot, Y-Fork, and is available at www.montiegear.com.  Being a female, I have to admit that I was drawn to the design, colors, and individual elements of the slingshot.  The aluminum frame looked modern and high tech; the flat band looked more substantial than the ones I remember my brothers using; and I especially liked the aspect of paracord that wraps around the handle -- both for comfort of holding the slingshot, and as a very versatile tool for emergencies.
     In addition, these guys know how to appeal to women of all ages.  You  know we like choices, right?  Well you can choose between black, desert camo, woodland camo, digital, green or pink for your paracord.  If that doesn't tell you that slingshots are not just for guys, I don't know what does!
     I was so excited to receive my slingshot and couldn't wait to put it to the test.  Having never shot a slingshot before, I figured I would need several practice runs.  Wrong!  The construction of the frame and the comfort of the paracord make it a natural fit for your hand.  And I shoot a bow, so the action of pulling back the band was familiar.  I lined up several water-filled Solo cups and started aiming.  After a couple of adjustments to my aim, I was able to consistently hit my target, and I started thinking about what a great addition it will be to my self-defense options.  It may not be the most destructive course of action, but it worked for King David, didn't it?  Believe me, this simple weapon is no pushover!
     And it could very easily be used for small game hunting.  Rabbits, squirrels and game birds are all targets for hunting with a slingshot.  
     You can also order the slingshot with an additional component; an arrow rest.  That substantially opens up your choices for hunting.  Ammo (ball bearings) can be ordered in 1/2" or 3/8"diameters, and believe me, when you hit your target, they do the job.
     In the light of full disclosure, I must tell you that this is not your Dollar Store variety of slingshot.  At $99.95, it may be more than you're looking to spend.  But I would not let the price keep you from experiencing its power, durability and versatility!  It will last for many years of fun and self-defense purposes.  The only thing that will keep you from continued use will be the fact that you just can't stop shooting it, resulting in a serious lack of ammo.  Stock up!
     So guys, if you're reading this and your wife is a sincere prepper, here's a unique one-of-a-kind gift.  And get ready ..... for the fiercest slingshot contest of your life!  Go to my youtube channel to see a video of this slingshot in action.



1 Samuel 17:50     "So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him."

August 6, 2012

DVD Recommendation: "Behold A Pale Horse"

     Rarely do I come across a presentation of any kind that I recommend as highly as this DVD.  Behold A Pale Horse: America's Last Chance unveils the stealth with which the sovereignty of this country has been eroded, and it does it in a bold, captivating manner.  This movie/documentary is the first of a planned three-part series, and it combines historical perspective, Biblical principles, and an outspoken disclosure of the forces aligning themselves against America; the last stronghold of individual freedom and liberty.
     You will hear the voices of retired military experts, noted economists, political commentators, Privacy experts, best-selling authors, medical experts, grassroots activists and one plain-spoken country western performer named Charlie Daniels ---- all sounding the alarm against the organized and intentional takeover of America.
     What you hear goes beyond the watered down warnings we've received from other news outlets.  These people know what they are talking about, know what is at risk, and know that the wolf is at the door.
     You will learn that what has occurred in our country over the last couple of decades has been a systematic eradication of the American Constitution, and that it has followed the classic pattern of Marxism.  The steps toward Marxism are clearly delineated:  1)  The Leadership nationalizes major sectors of the economy (they accomplished that with the 2008 Bailouts of the auto and banking industries)  2)  Redistribution of Wealth (accomplished through multiple - and as yet unrevealed to the public - segments of Obamacare legislation)  3)  Discredit the Opposition - they can't let the Tea Party gain any traction; only the elites know what is best for the common man  4)  Censor the Pastors -  Keep the pastors from talking about moral and social issues through threats of pulling their 501(c)3 status and the passing of Hate Crimes legislation  5)  UN Small Arms Treaty is just one of the backdoor methods to erode our Second Amendment rights.  We are the last nation on earth who has not surrendered our arms.  Do you really trust our government not to try to take away that right by means of the UN?  And last but not least, 6)  The Leadership establishes a constabulary force, designed to control the people.  Does anyone remember our President stating that he is establishing a "civilian national security force" that reports directly to him during times of national emergency?  Can you honestly look at these hallmarks of Marxism and not see the writing on the wall?
     This DVD goes on to bring expert after expert to educate us about the disastrous effects of "Sustainable Development", the chief goal of the UN and its Agenda 21 program.  Bottom line?  It is a program to restructure the world .... countries and boundaries will be abolished, private property confiscated, and the population of the world will be dramatically limited.  Did you know that it is part of the Agenda 21 plan to restrict the world's population by 85%!?!?  And how will they do that?  It would be easy through war, diseases and famine.  Just read Revelation 6:8 .... it's all there.
     But this DVD doesn't just point a spotlight on all the underhanded schemes of the forces against America.  It also calls on each and every American to return to our heritage.  The movie showcases a credible and heartfelt performance by Mark Collins as General George Washington, who exhorts us to defend the country he gave us.  He tells us to put on "the full armor of God" as we fight this spiritual battle for the the soul of America.
     How did we go from a nation of craftsmen, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and inventors to a country of clerks, cashiers and home health aid workers?  I agree wholeheartedly with Charlie Daniels, who challenges all Patriots .... "Let's ride, boys!.... We need a thousand Paul Reveres."  Spread the word about this DVD! And it won't just be this country that will be saved.  It will be the world!  Because you see, the rest of the world needs America to stand up against this Evil.   Our freedom depends on it.... and so does the world's.  We are the last chance.
     I have given you just a small portion of the valuable information that is within this presentation.  I consider myself pretty informed on what the country is up against, but I have never seen such a scholarly, knowledgeable and significant production.  So I would urge not only Americans, but freedom lovers throughout the world to buy this DVD.  The curtain has been pulled back and you will clearly see what is at hand.  And if Parts 2 and 3 of this series are as good as Part 1, this film series should sweep the land!

Ephesians 6:13     "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

August 3, 2012

Product Recommendation: The Honeycomb!

     How often have you thought, Now, why didn't I think of that?  Well, that's exactly what my brain is screaming today!  A couple of days ago, PLW and I had lunch with J, one of our favorite gun training instructors, and he let it be known that he had a gift for me.  For the life of me, I couldn't imagine what it could be.  As we greeted each other, he asked me if I used a hairbrush.  And I'm thinking, That's an odd question, coming from a man who has taught me how to view a deadly weapon as my friend.  But I answered, "No, I don't have one with me."  And he responded, "Well, now you do", and handed me what appeared to be your normal, run-of-the-mill, black nylon hairbrush.
     "Gee, thanks", I responded, taking the hairbrush out of its plastic bag.  I held it in my hand, and it felt lightweight and sturdy --- just like the nylon hairbrush that it was.  Then J reached for it and with a simple pull, separated the bristles from the handle and ....... I'm sure I had the most stunned look on my face!  This innocent, harmless hairbrush instantly turned into a most potent self-defense weapon; one that any woman could carry and handle effectively.
      You see, when the handle is separated from the nylon bristles, you are left with a stiletto dagger!  The 3 1/2 inch dagger is precision injection molded from Zy-Ex, a tough, stiff nylon and fiberglass composite that contains no metal and is not subject to rust or wear and tear.  The bristles act as a sheath, so when assembled, it really is a hairbrush!  But the needle-like point is perfect for applying to a myriad of soft-tissue areas, and thus disabling an attacker.  The handle of the dagger can be gripped in a variety of ways, and there are virtually no drawbacks to this product.
     And just what is the name of this useful little self-defense weapon?  It is called the Honeycomb, and is distributed by Cold Steel, a company known for being a leader in the manufacture of knives.  They have expanded into specialty self-defense items and the Honeycomb is just one of their innovative products.
     What I like about this nifty little item is that, first of all, it is a real brush, and it weighs next to nothing, so I won't be weighing down my purse with unnecessary clutter.  It is also easy to pull apart and reassemble, and won't be picked up by metal detectors.  You can store it in your luggage, go-bag, or gym bag, and virtually take it anywhere you go.  It is very safe to carry, and at the same time, it is very effective; easily stabbing through several layers of cardboard --- imagine what it would feel like if it is applied to your attacker's shoulder or collar bone area?   What's more, the price is right; it is currently on sale for $9.99!  So it really is a nice addition to your self-defense stockpile.
     So I don't know what manly designer at Cold Steel developed this product, but he was definitely tapping in to his feminine side.   Thanks guys, for thinking of us ladies!

Hebrews 4:12-13     "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

June 27, 2012

Product Recommendation: SunDanzer Solar Refrigerator

     Ever since I read the book, One Second After, by William Forstchen, I have been haunted by one particular scenario.  Without spoiling the book, it's a tale of what society will be like after an EMP, and the different situations we will face.
     If this country is ever targeted with an EMP (Elecromagnetic Pulse), the results could be catastrophic.  Because an EMP is an oversized outburst of atmospheric electricity, the resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across the country.  At risk are the more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines that cross North America, supplying 1,800 utilities that power TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners.  Let's not forget that support systems like hospitals and police stations will also be affected.
     But among the most seriously affected will be those people who rely on life-saving medications; Diabetics being impacted the most.  Insulin cannot be exposed to direct heat or light.  And unopened, not-in-use insulin should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature of 36-46˚ F; opened, in-use insulin stored at room temperature below 86˚ F.  Without refrigeration, the insulin will be ineffective!
     So, even if you don't buy into the possibility of an EMP, you can easily see that any kind of pro-longed catastrophe is a life-and-death-situation for a Diabetic.


     But here is a product that could solve that problem!  It's called the SunDanzer Solar Refrigerator.  It is a battery-free solar refrigerator that connects directly to a solar panel without other controls or batteries.  This solar refrigerator will maintain temperatures safe for refrigerated perishables for four to five days of cloudy weather without the need for a battery.  It contains a built-in ice bank that freezes when the sun shines. It acts like a battery, but will never wear out.  It cannot be damaged by overcharging or undercharging like a normal lead acid battery.
     The cost of this refrigerator  (at $1450 plus $400 for a Solar Kit) may seem a bit pricey, but the higher initial cost replaces what you’d spend on your first battery and charge controller. After that, there is no scheduled maintenance for the life of the refrigerator other than normal cleaning.
     And if you're a Diabetic, I would venture to guess that the cost will seem insignificant if it provides you with a chance to survive.  If you know someone with this disease, please let them know about this product.  That is the first thing I thought of when I received notice of it in my Inbox.  And of course, it has great importance for the rest of us, too.  The more information we have about these kinds of products, the better we can prepare.

1 Samuel 25:6      "Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!"



June 11, 2012

So Simple and So Rewarding

     As I told you last week, my friend Terri and I were going to a canning class.  I had some experience with steam canning spaghetti sauce from my garden vegetables, but I wanted to know more.  I can't tell you how excited Terri and I were, and we probably embarrassed ourselves by repeating it exuberantly and often during the class.  Along with seven other enthusiastic ladies, our small group were the recipients of time-honored knowledge on canning and preserving.
     Our class was led by a woman and her two daughters, and daughter-in-law.  They live in a homestead community and canning is a way of life for them.  They have the good fortune of gathering produce from the bountiful harvest of their community gardens, and they can it every day.  I was jealous!
     And I was thrilled to learn that we would get a taste of canning several different types of food, and today, I'm going to share with you the one that I was most interested in learning about.
     My husband made me promise that I would ask them about canning meat, since a grid-down scenario would render our refrigerators and freezers full of meat useless.  So guess what the first thing we canned was?  Steak!  I was so thrilled and couldn't wait to tell him that it was not as mysterious or difficult as I had imagined.
     We started with a nice, hunk of red meat -- chuck steak is what we canned, but any piece of meat will do (more about that later).  We simply cut the excess fat off the edges and cut the meat into approximately 1 inch x 1 inch cubes.  Then we spread out the meat on our cutting board, and added salt and pepper.  That's all!  You can add other herbs and spices if you desire, but I figured the simpler, the better.  I can flavor the meat when I cook my recipes in the future.
     Then we packed the meat into our pint jars, as tightly as we could, leaving about an inch of space at the top.  Then the lid was added and screwed down with the ring.  Our jars were positioned in the canner and cooked at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.  And the result were beautiful jars of cooked beef, afloat in their own juices.  The cooking process produced the liquid in the jar, without adding any extra.
     I was amazed that it was that simple!  The following pictures give you an idea of just how uncomplicated and effortless it was.

Cut meat into small squares

After seasoning, pack meat into jar as tightly as possible. 
Can for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure
Meat is fully cooked in its own juices
     Now for the REALLY interesting pieces of information.  We were told that you could take any tough piece of meat, and by canning it, you will get a piece of meat so tender, it will fall apart on your fork!  Our instructors said you could take the toughest old rooster and can it, and you would think you were eating gourmet food.  Also, canning venison eliminates the game-y taste.  Plus you can quarter a chicken, and a quart jar will hold the breasts and legs/thighs.  Just think - a tender, juicy chicken in a jar! So my plan is to take the less choice meats in my freezer, thaw them and can them.  Otherwise, I know they would stay in the bottom of my freezer until they were burned, and would then be thrown away.  And I cannot stand the thought of wasting food when I know what we are facing!
     Needless to say, I invested in an All-American canner, which is the only brand I would consider.  I really couldn't afford it, but after realizing that I could provide organic, healthy, and superior food --- and know EXACTLY what was in the jar --- it just seemed a no-brainer.  No more wondering what additives have been thrown into the mix, or where the food came from.  But the best thing about learning this skill is that I can just imagine my grandmothers smiling down from heaven!

Psalm 63:5      "I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."
      


        

June 5, 2012

Light Up The Night!

     This past weekend, my friend Terri (who, like me, has jumped fully onboard the "crazy train") and I went to a class on canning and preserving.  I will be featuring a post on our class later this week, but that is not the point of today's message.
     Terri and I live two hours apart, and our destination for this class was another two hours beyond her home.  So, naturally, we made our plans to be prepared in case we had some kind of emergency while on the road.  We had our BOBs, plenty of water, some food, comfortable walking shoes; and being CHL holders, a means to defend ourselves.   (In fact, this is becoming a bigger part of my consciousness these days.  Even six months ago, I would have thought that the necessity to carry all these items with me every time I left the house was still a couple of years away.  But not anymore.  It is becoming an everyday ritual.  But I digress -- back to our trip.)
     Before we left, my husband determined that we were missing one item that might come in handy.  Our class ended at 5 pm, and with a two-hour trip back home, if we encountered any kind of car trouble (or other emergency), we very well could find ourselves walking in the dark.  The less we had to carry in our hands, the easier it would be to travel and defend ourselves, if necessary.  So while carrying a flashlight was an option, it wasn't the best choice.
     So now I am a happy owner of a Petzl Tactikka XP Headlamp!  It's lightweight and compact, fitting on your ball cap; perfect for backcountry hiking and hunting --- or in our case, walking at night if we suddenly found ourselves afoot.  My husband graciously agreed to model it for you, so you can see how effective the light is.  In fact, I really love this headlamp!  It has a powerful single LED bulb, with three different light levels, plus a "boost mode", if you really need an extra blast of light to find something in the dark (casting a 164 foot beam for 20 seconds!)
     For all you techies, the 1-Watt LED bulb produces a maximum brightness of 40 Lumens.  You can regulate the length of the beam from 59 feet to a maximum of 114.8 feet, which allows you to maximize efficiency, increasing burn time from 60 hours to 120 hours.  The Petzl headlamp also has an additional setting that offers a strobe light for emergency signaling.
     The versatility of this light is amazing!  There's a hinge on the housing of the Tikka XP that enables you to aim the beam where you need it the most.  Whether you need a flood beam or a spot beam, you have it at your fingertips with the Petzl.  Besides the standard clear lens, you also get red, green and blue filtering lenses, although the red lens is best for night walking -- it's not as harsh, and it limits your visibility by others.
     The elastic headband is comfortable and adjustable, and the entire apparatus is water-resistant (Note: not "waterproof" - there is a difference).  If you get caught out in the rain, be sure to open the unit and empty the batteries to let it dry thoroughly and avoid corrosion, which is not covered by the warranty.  
     The Petzl Tactikka XP only weighs 3.35 ounces, including three AAA batteries, so it's a no-brainer to add this item to your BOB.  It's a little pricey, at around $60, but when I envisioned Terri and I fumbling with a flashlight, and even dropping one in the dark, I figured the Petzl was worth its price in convenience, portability, and user-friendliness.  It's just one more item that gives me a sense of security and peace of mind; and that is priceless!

2 Samuel 22:29     "You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light."