Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Other Types of Envenomation Injuries

            In a prior post we examined the envenomation injury most of us fear most.......snakebite.
Should you need to refer to this post, it can be found at:


The same "Extractor" from the prior post, which can be so helpful in snakebites, can also be invaluable for insect and arachnid bites, whenever gentle and steady venom extraction would be helpful. Again, the larger amount of venom you can extract from your patient, without creating furthur injury, the better off your patient will be.

              Wasp, hornet and beestings are common injuries, but can occasionally be very dangerous particularly to those who are sensitive to the venom of these insects.  Anyone who is known to be beesting or insect sting allergic, needs to have their primary physician or allergist issue them a prescription for an Epi-Pen or Epi-Pen Jr.   An Epi-Pen is an automatic injector of epinephrine which can save a life of a person who is allergic to certain stings.  Even a child can use one.   Sometimes an allergist will dispense an epinephrine vial and tuberculin syringe for emergency epinephrine treatment for some families or individuals.

            It IS possible for anyone, even those who were never allergic to a certain sting before to develop an anaphylactic reaction to one if stung at a future time.

This information comes from:    http://www.medicinenet.com/insect_sting_allergies/article.htm

Systemic (or body-wide) reactions are allergic responses and occur in people who have developed antibodies against the insect venom from a prior exposure. It is estimated that between 0.3%-3% of stings trigger a systemic allergic reaction. The allergic reaction to an insect sting varies from person to person. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, flushing of the skin, tingling or itching inside the mouth, and nausea or vomiting. The most serious allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Difficulty breathing, swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and fainting are signs of a severe allergic reaction. These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting but have been known to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Prompt treatment is essential, and emergency help is often needed.

Although you must treat wasp, hornet or beestings, if there is difficulty breathing or signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction as outlined above, by either immediately epinephrine injection, and then transport to a hospital, most stings are painful annoyances and can be treated at home.

          Following a beesting, wasp or hornet sting, the possibility exists that a stinger will remain in the wound. Remove it least traumatically, as soon as possible by using a credit card to snag it, and pull it out and away from the wound.        People with milder reactions can apply baking soda as a paste initially, and take a diphenhydramine capsule,  tradename Benadryl, (as per package direction for age and weight, and please use the liquid or chewables for a child, with the correct dose for weight as stated on the specific box you are using.)
          I don't usually need to take a Benadryl, and I usually keep and apply a Diphenhydramine clear liquid, with a cotton ball, after initially using a baking soda paste, and a number of times that first day I repeat the Benadryl liquid via cottonball to help to limit swelling and redness and to promote comfort.

          Although they do not normally, any wasp, hornet or beesting can become infected.  If this appears to have happened, please see your doctor.     Signs of an infected sting site would be painful redness, a yellow purulent head,  fever or even red lines traveling toward the heart from the initial sting itself.  Pay close attention to each wasp, hornet or beesting because we never know when a person who was never allergic in the past, may become allergic to the sting, for the first time.

American dog tick  (Photo: hyg.ipm.illinois.edu )

Ticks and tick bite treatment and concerns are covered in our  prior posts :




The brown recluse spider  (Photo: brown-recluse.com )

Information with detail on spider bites as envenomation injuries are found at:




 Photo: http://www.prlog.org )

Mosquito bites:

        Mosquito bites are not simply an annoyance, or even just a source of secondary infection following itching afterward.  They too can be a hazard.    Malaria, West Nile Virus , Dengue Fever and likely other illnesses can be contracted through mosquito bites.   Experts tell us that HIV-AIDS cannot be contracted through mosquitoes.

This flash presentation discusses why HIV-AIDS  transmission through mosquitoes is highly unlikely if not nearly impossible.


       However, we should do all we can to avoid mosquito bites to avoid contracting any number of other diseases.  The first thing we should do is avoid standing water on our properties, by emptying any containers we can. We can use integrated pest management or chemical means to decrease the possibility of mosquitoes breeding on our properties.  We can also use mosquito repellants when needed.  We can use mosquito netting especially when sleeping in the great outdoors. 
         If we know we are bitten by a mosquito, we can also use the extractor, but the problem often becomes not knowing that we were bitten until some time later when we have the obvious bite.  Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) gel with a cotton call applied multiple times daily in the acute phase of mosquito bites can promote comfort and help to prevent scratching.  Also, the use of your favorite antiseptic is a good idea, as infection is always a potential, if not a likelihood here.

         If you were to develop a high fever or a severe headache within 12 hours or more following a mosquito bite, you need to see a physician.



        Try to stay safe out there !

Friday, July 27, 2012

Important Preparedness Updates

   My friend Jim has written a fabulous article, The link is below:


 He has been working on a wonderful series called "Countdown to Preparedness".   You might wish to check out other articles following this important one.

    This is Jim's book, available in the Autumn.  It promises to be really interesting reading and helpful to other nations as well as the US, as many home protection strategies are the same.

This book will be available on October 16, 2012  
  • ISBN-13: 9781612431154
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press

          You may order this book from Amazon at the following link:


    Available from Barnes and Noble at this link:


     No, I don't get any profits or kick-backs from this particular product either.  I just know the quality, seriousness and clarity of Jim's prior work on other projects.

People Buckling Under the Pressures of Modern Life


   The signs are everywhere.  Drivers are irrationally passing one another, taking chances at having accidents, simply to be, perhaps, a second ahead of the person they passed.  Domestic violence is up, men against women, women against men, and worst of all, parents against children.  Some violence, on the part of the truly insane, is resulting in attacks such as the Colorado Theater Shooting.  More banks are getting armed security officers, not just to be a deterrent to robberies, but for protection against customers who are angry.  Parents at games played by their young children, are getting into heated arguments which have erupted into fist fights or worse.  More and more videos are surfacing of police in some places acting irrationally or inappropriately given the actions of the citizens around them.   Certainly, some human beings have always been irrational or angry in their dealings with the world, or with people they don't really know, but modern life seems to have enhanced the overreactions of many people.  Here on Earth, people are going to offend, and occasionally disrespect or even insult one another. When this happens, it says more about the unhappy times or poor upbringing of the person who is doing the offending, than it does about the person they disrespect.  It isn't necessary to overreact.  Most of the time, we can use our words, just as we teach our children, to let the person know that we think they should have behaved better.  I hold doors for anyone, male or female who has a package, a stroller, a cane or who or might have more trouble than I would opening an entry door to a store or something, than I would.  Most say" thank you", but the occasional one who does not, hears my "You're welcome", and realizes that I am commenting on their own lack of manners.   When it's a dangerous situation, such as road rage, we are told that avoiding eye contact and letting the irrational driver get away from you is best.  Unless of course, you are inclined to report their plate number along with the incident itself.
             Recently, the Fox affiliate in Richmond Virginia announced that we have a serial butt stabber here in Virginia.  A stocky Hispanic looking man has been slashing the buttocks of women at shopping malls with a box cutter since February.  As funny as that might, at first sound, and the female anchor in Richmond had a lot of trouble keeping her composure, this is quite serious, as it could cause anything from profuse bleeding to HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis.  Experts fear that this man's acting out could accelerate or expand.  This particular perversion has certainly heightened anxiety and fear among people in Virginia.

I am sure this was difficult to report with a straight face, but it's certainly serious.

            In many places there is much more racial tension than there used to be. The presidency of Barack Hussein Obama has been a far more divisive occurrance than I believe he ever intended.Some people have made the mistake that race is a part of the present president's ineptitude, when I don't believe his race has much to do with it, just as criticism of his policies has nothing to do with his race. Still, we are left with racial issues which were less obvious than they are presently, in many places.

( Photo: wespeaknews.com )


            I am not sure of all of the sociological reasons for all of this.  Most people feel more financially pressured than they did in perhaps the 1960s.  Electronic devices haven't really made lives simpler, they have enhanced our stress. The bombardment of news from media which is not accurate, and is highly spun can also be a stressor.   It's been thirty years since mothers were told they could work full time, give their children fabulous vacations and college educations, and be fulfilled mothers as well.  The results haven't been quite so stellar.  The day care raising of the generations since has not benefitted the parenting skills, decency, educations, politeness or much else of many of the children, and now adults who were raised there.   In church, they say that much of the public walks around thinking that God is not watching, and that this is one of the reasons people behave badly now.  Some of my friends think that allowing abortions also adversely impacted Americans reverence for life in general.  I don't know if this is true, or not.  I can tell you that other industrialized countries are noticing the same lack of regard for one another, at least to some degree. I know that on our last trip to London, we found people to be far more rude than we had ever noted before.
          As an individual and as families, about all we can do is see to it that we have adequate recreational and down time. We can see that we don't overextend ourselves and our families financially, and this alone can help avoid a lot of stress and outbursts.  We can't get help if our anger or rage exceeds our own management of it.  One thing is sure, the deterioration of American culture has begun and is well established. About all we can do, is hold ourselves separately and compassionately as others deconstruct.  There is only so much we can do to lend a helping hand.  Stay safe and try to enjoy your family life as best you can. Life is about to get a lot more like a science fiction film.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making the Transition to Practical Gifts

It needn't cost a great deal to wrap gifts well.

    I have never been a big fan of what I consider to be frivolous gifts.  There are only so many pairs of shoes, bags, and dresses a woman needs.  Bric-a-brak and dust catchers are exactly that.  We need enough "stuff" to make our homes workable, comfortable looking, and effective at the task of being our home, but then beyond that, it's just "stuff".   I remember laughing when our youngest son watched Veggie Tales and they alluded to Wal-Mart by calling it "Stuff-Mart".   Fairly early in our process of raising kids, I began to gravitate toward practical gifts.  This doesn't mean I didn't give cash sometimes to allow the kid to pick out his or her favorite item, if in fact cash would be appreciated by them.  It does mean that I told them that money is always short and that they should select things that don't simply please them for 4-6 months, but will be used or cherished for years to come.  I-pods gave way to expensive books.  CDs gave way to garden tools, and kitchen supplies as they grew.

              At Christmas, we gave one son a new computer we bought from a super seller on E-bay.  It has turned out to be a fabulous buy, and great help with college.  (He has another computer also)   One son wasn't sure what he wanted last year, and we gave him historical  silver coinage.  He is now not only collecting coins, and investigating a small safe, but he has developed an interest in history as a consequence of collecting these American silver coins.  He also watches the silver spot prices now.   One son wanted more specialized welding supplies and another large air compressor, and we were lucky enough to find these items on sale, and be able to get them for Christmas.

               Our daughter has been fortunate enough to receive a number of practical and reasonable "house warming" gifts from friends at work.  I don't think most people would be thrilled with the gift we gave her.  We gave her emergency supplies....  a package of regular telephones which will work during power outages, a NOAA radio, good LED flashlights, emergency freeze dried food, packaged water, and a number of other things for her emergency cabinet.    I would like to have been able to pay for the installation of a Simple Pump so that in a protracted power outage, she could still pump water to the house, but I am afraid I had to save to get my own, and I would have to do the same for her, if we chose to.

               Money is tight for everyone.  No one can afford to get gifts which will not be used, or will not be appreciated.  We all need to carefully assess what these need to be, even if sometimes we need to ask.
The other strategy to good gift practicality concerns wrapping gifts.  I buy all our gift wrap of one variety or another from "The Dollar Tree" or similar store about once annually.  They have great choices. I often use unusual yarns in the place of ribbon, which I also buy either from a dollar store or from Big Lots.

Books are always a great gift, and books on preparedness can be educational as well as enlightening.

             In order to stretch our money and think differently about gift giving, I have an idea.  Get a folder from Wal-Mart, which has bright colors and keep it near your bills.  When you see something which would make a great practical gift for someone, either print out its information on your computer and place it in the folder, or place the brochure or information on it, in the folder. This is also a good place to keep that Emergency Essentials catalog you received by mail.  When it's time to consider a gift for someone, and a handmade gift is not appropriate, then go through the file to get ideas for the best and most practical gift.   This year I gave someone a great book on survival, and they ARE reading it.   We gave someone else an Augason Farms breakfast food set, which they plan to use for camping, but my plan is that they receive an introduction to Augason's food for emergencies, and consider stocking some for that also.

Many times, the investment of a silver coin or set opens a new world for a teen or young adult. They now have an investment in something and will follow the prices of silver and gold, the economy and the markets as well. You may even begin a livelong love of coins or numismatics which may help to make history relevant for some of them, when it wasn't prior.

            There will always be relatives who thought you should have bought them something "frivolous" that they would not have bought for themselves.  Still, if a gift you believe in starts them thinking or moving in a positive direction, isn't that really the best course or intention ?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why We Stock Freeze Dried Foods

              In gathering oatmeal, white sugar, brown sugar, white rice, brown rice, cornmeal, flour, beans etc. for our large family, we initially bought them in bags from our local Sam's Club.   These were cheap, and we could buy large bags for relatively little money. Even our larger home which we custom built for the purpose of adding extra storage,  cannot accomodate  so many things, and then, when the kitchen had a brief infestation of pantry moths, we were left reconsidering how we stock extra food.

              Now, within the kitchen itself and within the pantry, we store only what we will use within six months. Anything beyond that, we are storing in  a disaster supply room in industrial sized #10 cans which are freeze dried.   The  #10 cans which are freeze dried are a more expensive way of buying things than in the sacks, but many of them last 20-30 years, and once opened, have plastic lids which will keep them consumable for a year.  So now, we gather more expensively than we did, but we have more confidence about our supplies lasting longer. They also require much less storage space than was required by all those sacks. With two family members moving out now, we also have a needs shift, which is allowing us to think a little differently also.

             Each family is different.  Special family needs dictate that certain supplies will be needed, and some families won't benefit or enjoy things I like to stock.  Each family must therefore take a serious look at what they are willing to give floor and closet space to, and what would be a waste.
             As I mentioned in a prior post, our favorite emergency food source is Augason Farms.


        Our daughter is a juvenile diabetic since age 9, when a virus (Coxsackie B4 variety)  wiped out her beta cells, and her ability to make any insulin at all.  Therefore, I can't stock up exclusively on rice, peanut butter, and some of the starchier foods that many of us tend to buy when stocking up like squirrels.  I do wish to call your attention to the fact that once these foods are properly reconstituted, that they are very helpful in the diets of diabetics, of wither Type I or Type II diabetes melliitus varieties.   She especially likes the fruits and the vegetables when reconstituted.  We also make a chili soup which she can have, which involves reconstituting Augason Farms chili, and then taking a half a reconstituted cup and adding it to our daughter's favorite low salt tomato soup.  It makes a great and easy soup which she enjoys with a salad.  (Don't forget to stock up with lots of cans of chick peas, also called garbanzo beans. These also come low salt and can be a wonderful source of protein on a salad, especially with a creamy salad dressing you make yourself.)

This is an Augason Farms link on their foods found in large #10 cans:


Sam's Club in different parts of the country carries a limited number of the Augason Farms line.
You might wish to check   www.samsclub.com  to see if the items you like might be available, as sometimes, it is less expensive to have these items shipped to you from Sam's than it might be from Augason, depending upon your location.  Some Sam's Clubs in the midwest and west actually sell the large #10 cans on their shelves too.

      Augason Farms  also sells a large range of gluten free foods for the gluten intolerant.

          Of course, those who need a fair number of daily carbohydrates and calories will find plenty of food at Augason Farms that they can eat.

( Photo: leahkillian.com )

(  Photo also:  leahkillian.com  )



Another source of canned freeze dried food is Nitro-Pak.   I have also purchased from them on occasion.


    They also have their website structured for those who are looking for certain prices, special food needs such as specific allergens, and for reduced or controlled calories.


Another company my family has used is Emergency Essentials.   This is a link which will take you directly to the #10 cans of freeze dried foods.


Their very own brand, Provident Pantry has some unusual things you may wish to add to your food stores.
I like the freeze dried Monterey Jack cheese, sharp cheddar and the Mozzarella cheese also. I have not yet tried the Colby cheese. They also sell sausage crumbles.

                   To meet the food needs of our families in the future it is likely to take more careful planning and buying, and some reliance on our emergency food supply.  It will take combining foods you can obtain freshly, along with foods you bought recently with some of these items from long term storage.  These are simply some alternatives to consider.     

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Corn Crop is Toasted

(Photo: melonacres.com)

     My broker called today.  It seems when I was disgusted with paying much higher rates for animal feed which is corn based, I bought a a "corn certificate".  I have apparently made the maximum I am allowed and he was calling to urge me to sell it and buy some other type of certificate where the gain is ahead of us rather than complete.  It sounded like a reasonable thing to do, so I told him to go ahead.
                 This raises some concerning questions though.  Our animal feed costs have jumped by 40% in just a few months, and this is making it harder to keep 100 chickens.  This will also translate into an increase in the price of eggs, which won't bother us too much, but it will bother everyone else we know who doesn't have chickens.   Corn is a major ingredient for many types of animal feeds ranging from chicken to some types of dog foods. Corn syrup is used as a sweetener in many types of foods.  Cornmeal is used in food for human beings, chips and many other things.  We also use corn to make additives to stretch gasoline etc.  Fuel ethanol depends upon corn for its production, and this is part of why corn chip and corn prices have jumped in the US, even BEFORE we had this years drought wiped out almost all the corn.  This is the simple beginning of our noticing that the corn crop and other grains have been decimated by this years drought in the US.  This loss of corn could last quite a time, and become a significant disruption in both the animal and human food supply.  I am just so glad the government says we don't have any inflation !

             The writing is not just on the wall.  It is spray painted on it in fluorescent colors !  Food will become more expensive in the coming months and years, and it makes sense to gather reasonably priced recipes, reasonably priced foods which will store safely, and perhaps even freeze dried foods for emergencies.  Rice, pastas, wheat, if you are not gluten intolerant,oatmeal, nuts, barley, dried peas and beans, spices you like,  are all wise things to store.  It may also be time to explore other types of foods you don't normally use, and explore what types of meals you could make with them.  If you haven't started stocking food for your family, now is the time to start storing or to expand what you stock.

(Photo:  healthytimesblog.com )

This is one of the places I buy emergency food:


Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Foreclosures following the Quake and Aftershocks of Virginia

This is not the house we looked at with our son today, but whomever built the house we looked at was clearly very inspired by Frank Lloyrd Wright architecture and design.  There were raised steps and platforms, shaded gardens and many mature oaks.  Unfortunately, there is a structural defect so significant in the home we looked at, that I don't think we can even consider it for even a day longer.

        With our daughter safely loading things into her house, and awaiting her new security system, my husband and I began the process of looking for houses with our eldest son.   Our eldest son is one year younger than his sister, but as a professional sculptor, he does not have the good job or regular income that she does. Normally getting a house would have to wait, but with so many foreclosures and home going for much less than they normally would, we feel that now is the time to either pick up a relatively new home in need of refurbishment he could do, or to pick up a nice piece of land on which to build.   And so, the process begins.  The first house we looked at was a four bedroom fairly new home which turned out to be a doublewide on three acres.  We were attempting to assess the neighborhood and do a drive by when the tenant screamed at us and chased us.  Apparently, he is not too thrilled with the concept of the owners selling and his apparent impending eviction and he made that pretty clear.   He really should simply have let us look so we could rule it out.   Still, although the price was right, a doublewide is not our son's heart's desire.  Like most artists, he likes architecture, basements and lots of masonry.   The next house is fairly near his sister's new home, and has an exquisite lot with landscaping. The house itself is quite lovely.  However, it is at the beginning of its process of repossession, and does have pretty serious structural defects which were caused by the 5.7 earthquake which occurred in the region almost a year ago. There is now black mold in the house from leakage from damage.  We notified the bank of this, and could not believe they did not know.
                  The third house we looked at this week is priced at more than the doublewide, but less than the small estate with the leaking chimney.   This particular house is completely ready to be under contract as soon as the correct buyer emerges.   We made a trip up to the house this afternoon.  The house is in a very expensive rural area, and some of the homes in the region are in the million dollar range.  It's a great place to pick up something in the starter range. It would have to be pretty bad for us not to want it, in this neighborhood, we thought. We pulled up to the end of the cul-de-sac to a home with a canopy of lovely mature oaks.  We drove around the circular driveway before decided where to park the car.  There was a gorgeous shade garden with steps to the home, which kind of whispered, "a sculptor-gardener should live here !"    Then we neared the house.  The house was built in the nineteen sixties of brick and is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I loved it !  I could simply imagine garden and other sculptures by my son gracing the meandering walkways.   Then, we dodged poison ivy around the house in order to do a better assessment of the structure itself.  We were devastated, and I wanted to cry when I saw it.  The home has been seriously damaged by the earthquake.  There is very significant damage to it's foundation, despite attempts to patch it, most likely by the bank who has repossessed it.  Inside, where earthquake damage ruptured part of this homes central chimney, there has been water leakage through the chimney into the home.  The sheetrock ceiling has collapsed and there is black mold within the home. This home has more damage than our son should take on.  We must pass on what I will call the "Frank Lloyd Wright" house.

This is a picture of "Taliesin", Frank Lloyd Wright's actual home.   The home we looked at today reminded me of Taliesin, damaged in a quake.  (Photo: Wisconsin Historical Society)
               We will simply have to continue to have faith in God.   Our son will find the right thing, with, or without us, when the time is right.

Identifying Those At Risk for Lone Shooter Syndrome

It's often easy to see the insanity in the faces of those who have committed these terrible mass murders, but how can be pre-emptively identify the insane who would act to kill others with guns, knives, tainted water, what-have-you, in advance of such an act ?

   I have a fair number of opinions on a great many matters, but I don't have a solution for this one.   Last evening, experts, mostly psychiatrists, who work for the FBI and other agencies, were talking about the syndrome of the "Lone Male Shooter".     Apparently, people like the man in Norway, who killed some people and teen-agers on an island at a recreational camp, and yesterdays assailant in Colorado and the others have a profile with a good deal in common. The same can be said for the man who acted alone at the Virginia Tech shooting, and the physician who shot people at a US base, and the man who shot people at the event where Gabrielle Giffords was shot.    Many of them are fairly intelligent, but have not been able to formulate strong friendships or deal with groups when they were in school or work situations.  Many of them have low abilities to understand the perspectives of others or to have empathy for them. They have adapted to lives of relative isolation, and ultimately furthur depersonalized human beings. They are highly intelligent, but have no perspective by which to deal with challenges or their own momentary failures.  When I fail to secure a job I wanted, I tell myself that someone more qualified must have applied, or perhaps that I didn't stay as focused as I should have during the interview. I might drift down the path of self deception later by saying to myself.....  "He probably hired someone he knew,or  who was related to him", but I understand that is speculation, and that I will likely never know why I wasn't selected."   I have the self esteem to know that although I am good at what I do, that I am not right for all circumstances, and situations, and that when my services for something are rejected that although I am disappointed, it does not alter my perspectives of myself or of the world.    Apparently, this is not what happens in "Lone Male Shooter Syndrome".  They develop rage as a consequence of disappointments, when not selected for something, for example.  The Colorado shooter is said to have been possibly angry over having been a Phd student who was unable to get the job he wanted as a lab technician for the summer. He had to accept a position at McDonalds instead.  Lets examine this for a moment.  If you and I were getting our Phds this year, and the economy coupled with our social skills were such that the only way we could get through the summer before returning to complete that Phd in the Autumn were a position at McDonalds, then I would be disappointed.  I like working independently, and McDonalds emphasizes teamwork, which is a different skillset. This would not be my first pick. However, I would understand that God is leading me, and perhaps humbling me to be more open minded about others, to learn how to work cooperatively and perhaps more gracefully with others. I also would know that from prior experiences in my life that many times, great learning can come from the positions in our lives which might appear to offer the least to us at the outset.  These men also cultivate rage. They blame human beings for their own lack of success or progress.  Over time, they put great effort and passion into a plan for revenge which includes the violent destruction of human beings, their lives, and the lives of their families or children.    Another feature of this syndrome as described, is that these individuals derive great satisfaction from going from unnoticed and total obscurity to famous and infamous mass murderers. They are said to find the aftermath of these occurrances both joyous, exhilarating, fulfilling and satisfying.  Of course, a normal person would be mortified to realize that we had overreacted in any manner whatsoever, and hurt someone in any circumstance, but these are not normal people.  This is one reason that I don't list them by name.  One should not be able to obtain fame and in some circles some adulation or even curiosity in media, by committing a heinous act.  In a very real way, these people, following conviction of such heinous acts, need to disappear into prison obscurity, without interviews, letters from the public at large, or weddings to the equally nutty, etc.

( Painting by:   scorpio3991.deviantart.com )

           Without getting into the labels for these people, such as paranoid schizophrenic, schizoid personality, psychotic or profound psychosis with narcissism, it would be beneficial for us to identify at which point they departed from normal behavioral parameters, prior to destroying lives.    It can be normal to be a "loner:"   Lots of people enjoy their own company.  They shop alone, spend time at home alone, read, etc.  Some of us simply require less time with our friends than do others, and this is ok.   We don't have to have scads of friends, as a few really good ones are worth much more than many acquaintances.   Most of us also have some ability for self assessment and self correction.   If I am filled with rage about something, I might express my anger in writing, in a phone call to a friend, or by taking a run despite a sore knee.  If I notice that my rage has not diminished or given way to a more constructive set of actions, then I would get help, as it would ultimately be destructive to me, and to my family, if I went around nurturing rage to a boiling point, on anything approaching a regular basis.   Without becoming a Nanny-state, how do we encourage our citizenry to monitor themselves and those close to them for unresolved rage and for loss of the perception of reality ?  Before the Obama administration starts sending assessment officials out to anyone with an IQ over 160 on a monthly basis, is there anything we can do, to help those especially the young, who are drifting into mental health issues, to get mental health help ?   If we decide that we, or a friend or a child or young adult male acquaintance need mental health help, is it available ?   In my lifetime, I have helped several friends seek help for suicidal ideas, and I have to tell you, even with insurance it can be very hard to get rapid entry mental health help in many locations.  When mental health help is obtained,  the quality varies widely.   Some practitioners are very competent within some areas, and are marginally competent within others.  As I said earlier, I don't have the answers to the identification of those at risk for violent outbursts.  I would love to hear what others think on this.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What is Going on in Colorado ?

( Photo: dailycaller.com )

          I have a number of close friends in Colorado, oddly all centered in about the same region.  Most of us remember when in September of 1999, a shooting at Columbine High School there took the lives of 15 people including the perpetrators. Twenty one people were injured, some of them permanently.  Some time afterward, there was the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs.   Now, there has been a horrible shooting at a midnight matinee of the latest Batman film, by of all things, a University of Colorado Phd student of neuroscience, who has recently withdrawn from the program in which he was enrolled.  Fifty people are said to have been injured, and 12 are comfirmed dead.  Despite the late hour, many of the victims are children,
              An old friend of mine who lives in Colorado would say that since many of these cities are a mile high, (Denver and environs are 5,280 feet above sea level) that the oxygen level being provided to the brains of some people, is so minimal that it causes them to act up.  Of course, she was kidding.    I don't really think that Colorado has too many more events of this type than the rest of us do.  The Virginia Tech Massacre in which a lone insane gunman shot professors and students, producing a death toll of 33 with 27 injured, occurred in April, 2007.  Please note that I have deliberately excluded the names of any of the perpetrators of these crimes. I think that by making the gunmen famous, that in the minds of these mentally ill individuals, that we immortalize or glorify their actions, and therefore I omit them from the discussion whenever possible.
               I think before we decide that guns are dangerous devices, we need to realize that many more people are protected by guns each years than are killed by them.   The next step after guns would be to impound all steak knives in the event that hungry people waiting for dinner feel compelled to stab the cook.  What I think we could use in the US, is a revisitation of our laws regarding mental illness. In some states, forcing a person to get mental health help, is almost impossible.   Of COURSE, it should not be too easy to commit a family member for inpatient treatment, or people in dysfunctional families would do it more often than is rational.  However, I know MANY families where a mentally ill person has developed a pattern of avoidance of their family in order to sidestep mental health assessment, treatment and regular medication.  A few of these people may wind up killing someone someday.
               Many years ago, when I was a child, my mother had a friend who was a schoolteacher.  Unknown to us was the fact that her husband, and the father of her two children, was being treated with medication for schizophrenia.   One day, before leaving for work, she asked him if he had taken his pills, and this made him angry.  He then strangled her in front of their two children.   Although we cannot hope to prevent all of the actions that people experiencing mental illness might take, many people who are killed by relatives, have complained to law enforcement and to psychiatrists and friends that they feared being killed by the mentally ill person, and police were powerless to intervene BEFORE someone was injured or killed.  I would venture to guess that there is a mother or a parent out there who fears that her son, brother, husband, uncle or father who she think could, under the right set of circumstances, plan and execute a mass killing.  The problem is, she would likely not be believed until AFTER such an attack.
            So, Colorado is probably no more dangerous than it ever was.  Anything can happen anywhere, at any time.  My family and I send sincere prayers and good wishes to those in Colorado who have been impacted by todays occurrances at the theater shooting.  May God bless those who are impacted.
              Let's make the focus of this mental health, not guns.   I need my gun to defend myself and my family against nuts who would do such a thing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Retirees from Alphabet Agencies are Saying

                I had visions of keeping this blog about practical preparedness and family health issues. However, the people running the country not only have dropped the ball, they have squashed it, molested it, and then lost it, which leaves me, and many others, doing at least some degree of political postings with concern or commentary, in our  blogs.
                My own rural area in Virginia is a good place to be, if simply because when FBI and CIA agents and others of the alphabet agencies retire, they seek a rural place in which to hide, and this is often it.  They usually are good citizens, especially since the friendships and alliances they kept while working, are often kept afterward. They also all still carry weapons, and are often happy to teach those like me, who have only been carrying a concealed weapon for a few years.  I have a lot of alphabet agency friends, and some of my friends are current or former DEA agents.  These people tend to retire early, and then they are almost always interested in preparedness.  We chat about a lot of things, have very interesting perspectives, and they are great allies.
                 It seems that our fearless leader Mr. Obama,  saw fit to close nine border stations or facilities, and that this actions has encouraged Mexican drug cartels, which are not only flourishing in Mexico, to be enabled in terms of seeding to many areas within the United States.

            This is as large as this chart will post here.   This is where you may find the original, which may be able to be enlarged


              Make no mistake, while our federal government is talking "wealth distribution" and ideology tantamount to fascism, the Mexican drug cartels are making grand US inroads.  The Russian mafia is also said to be making inroads particularly into the finance industry.   Obama probably doesn't care as he was probably planning to give the country to them anyway, with a big red white and blue bow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Memory Impairing Illnesses



    Those of you who read this blog with any regularity know that my concerns for dementia are pretty well confined to canines.  One of my dogs is exceedingly ancient and regularly tears up his kennel room at night, upsetting his "spouse", looking for imagined animals.  He does seem to re-orient each morning, and to be functioning and enjoy his life during the day.

           As you all know, we live in an intensely rural area, and in order to get diesel fuel, regular gasoline for a reserve vehicle, bread, milk or anything else, we have to drive a long way, twenty miles long, each way. Anything that we need beyond those mentioned, we must go even farther.   It's practical because we lump all out trips into one or two, and do everything at the same time.  In the extreme heat, this not only takes some planning, but can be a long day.  My husband runs most errands after work, and some days we are simply here all day.

           In the last few months at around the nine mile mark from our farm, there is an elderly woman who is an avid walker. Literally every time, we drive past, she is walking in and around the road near her home in a pretty rural area.   At first, I mentally commended her diligence toward her fitness program.  As the weather got hotter, I thought she must be in pretty good shape to walk every single day in extreme heat and humidity. Eventually, since she was ALWAYS walking on the road when I drove past, I wondered if she did anything else.  Still, as is the custom in these parts, I waved, as did she, and I would drive on.   A few weeks ago, I noticed that she did not seem to be able to detect from which direction a car was coming.  Then, I noticed that as I waved, she not only didn't wave back, but had a blank "no one home" stare.  It looked as if our fitness oriented acquaintance has some type of dementia.  I resolved to keep an eye out when I drove past, and I wondered what else I could do.  I knew that she lived alone.

          A lot of the general public is quick to assume that acute confusion in the aging and elderly is Alzheimer's disease.  This is not always true.   There are a variety of types of dementia, some of which are fairly easily reversible. when a proper diagnosis is made.  Heat exhaustion can cause sudden confusion and inappropriate behavior.   Normal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH for example may occur in a mature or elderly person rather rapidly.   Once diagnosed, usually by a neurologist, the patient can receive a surgically implanted shunt, and signs and symptoms of their dementia will subside, often completely.   Disorders of fluid and electrolyte imbalance can also produce dementia-like symptoms.  I remember an older woman who descended into pretty striking madness who had dangerously low sodium levels. Following slow correction in the ICU with multiple bags of intravenous fluids, we became clearer than I was that particular day.   Longer term hypothyroidism can produce a dementia which is also called myxedema madness. I once had a patient who was admitted to the ICU with a rapid onset change in her level of awareness. Her problem was eventually found to be a very severe sinus infection which moved on to her meninges. She was cured of her confusional state following two doses of intravenous antibiotics.    Don't expect all hypothyroidism patients to be obese or even overweight. Although their total metabolism is working at a snail's pace, many of them sense the speed at which their colon is working and adjust their total intakes downward. I have therefore had hypothyroidism and myxedema madness patients who have actually lost weight prior to the diagnosis being made, although normally we would expect the opposite.  Thus far, all of the causes I have mentioned for overt dementia, are rapidly curable ones.   Tuberculosis can also travel to the meninges, and produce a rather striking dementia.  This should be considered especially in patients from foreign lands where tuberculosis was more common than here.  This neurological manifestation of TB and presentation of dementia is also curable.   There are many other causes of dementia. Alcoholism, psychiatric disorders which are improperly diagnosed or treated, and drug treatment for other disorders can also cause some rather striking lunges off the beam.  Space occupying lesions within the brain can often be removed, and can also cause some interesting behavior.  Something called vascular dementia can also occur. An elderly patient can experience arteriosclerotic changes within their brains and the carotid arteries within their necks, and this too can produce dementia.  This can be treatable, but generally without the striking improvements seen with the aforementioned diagnoses.   Metabolic disorders which accompany liver, kidney and other disorders, as well as blood sugar excursions can also cause some interesting behaviors which can initially be thought of, at least by families, as Alzheimer's related, when they are not.  Heart rhythm disturbances and heart anomalies can also impact memory in some people.  There are also many other potential causes of memory issues which exceed the scope of a blog post.  (Potential in neurologic disorders and in porphyrias, also)

           If the final result IS the presumptive diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, make sure that the diagnosis is made by a board certified neurologist, and that your loved one is treated by a major university center which is on the cutting edge of Alzheimer's treatment. Many exciting new treatments and drugs are emerging which may slow the disorder or stop it in its tracks.

          The family of our road wandering friend came suddenly this week and removed her from her home.  One of them is cleaning out her home now, and removing tons of books, bookcases and a lifetime of her treasures.  I presume the woman doing the cleaning is her daughter, because she looks just like the woman, only appears to be about thirty years younger.  I will have to stop and ask her how her relative is doing,
         This is also important to mention on a preparedness forum.  Make sure that you have a physician who in a local emergency situation could treat infections before they evolve into a meningeal one causing you to give away your food or make another disastrous strategic error. Make sure you have trusted people around you to advise you, and get you help when you need it. Give some thought to what you would do in order to protect a family member who is even temporarily mentally incompetent secondary to a disease process.  Think about how you might limit their access to their weapons temporarily.  Make sure your family has all of the information in this blog post.  Forewarned is forearmed.


Monday, July 16, 2012

How Rural Foreclosures in the US Might Be Purchased



     At long last, our daughters purchase of a repossessed home, is finally complete.  I wanted to pass along some general information about how the process may go, for those of you who might want to try also. I would urge anyone interested, to not only pick up a home, but to try to pick up acreage sufficient to grow some vegetables or fruit trees, etc.  Properties with acreage do exist, but also you should check and find out whether chickens, rabbits, goats, etc. would be permitted there, as zoning could prevent this.  While you are checking out areas in advance of looking at houses, find out what their restrictions toward dogs are.
                  When one takes on a mortgage, technically the bank or the government agency who holds the lien on that house can foreclose on it, when you are 3 months and 15 days passed having made a mortgage payment. In better economic times, banks and government agencies used to work with people, and often a forbearance arrangement could be reached.   This means that although you can't pay the whole payment for some reason, and although they are not excusing you, they might cut you enough slack to take two months off from paying, and then add those as two more payments on the back end of the loan later, or some such similar arrangement for good reason.    However, with the economy in the US in many places, being so bad, banks and government agencies who hold mortgages, aren't nearly as flexible or as seemingly kind as they were in years past.   I learned this week that they are unable to foreclose on an active duty military person who is in default. They also need to follow a lawful course which includes notices to the person in default, newspaper listing of the default, etc.   Eventually, people turn up,  with a local sheriff, and they take everything out of the house, and leave it there for the owner to remove and either take to storage or elsewhere. They change the locks, take over the house, and try to sell it to, often some other shmuck !
                  There is risk in buying a foreclosure.  You have no idea whether someone operated a methamphetamine lab in your kitchen, and that those chemicals are in and on the areas in the room in which you prepare your food.  You have no idea whether they are drug dealers, and if their partner heads back to look for something hidden in the home, while you are sleeping.   You don't know whether relatives of the person who was foreclosed on, will wait until you move in, and then, use his knowledge of how to get into a particular window, and then rob you.
                  The first and most important thing, is that after you take occupancy and receive the keys to your home and garage, that you change those locks immediately.  Some government agencies who repossess houses, use just a couple of keys for all their houses.  Have a friend teach you to replace your own door locks.  This is not difficult and Lowes and Home Depot sell some very good locks, which you can change yourself simply by reading the directions.  I recommend a keyed exterior knob AND a deadbolt keyed lock above it. I can replace locks with a couple or screwdrivers, and this means that you can too.    Having an inexpensive security system doesn't hurt either and might be a fabulous idea.   
                   A lot of home break-ins occur in and around the time you have taken possession of a new home. Criminals know that often security is something families consider AFTER they have moved in all their stuff.   A robbery could occur between moving and your beefing up security or getting around to calling ADT or someone else.

                 Locks are great, but locks will only work if your door frames are secure.   Hardware stores have a number of things which can be added to beef up the security of doors, locks and particularly the door frames themselves.  You don't want to live in a place where the front door can be knocked down with a jump and a blow from an adults foot, yet many front doors can be opened in exactly this way.
                 Once you are sure that you are up to dealing with this much grief in purchasing this way, in the US and Canada, you need a realtor who likes to work as a buyer's agent.  A buyer's agent really works for you.  Their job is not just to sell a house, but to find you the right thing. They should send you to a mortgage banker whom they feel is reputable, and after you provide a lot of rather personal financial information, they should qualify you for a certain price house.  Then, your realtor can send you via internet (they all love the internet) pictures and particulars of available homes.  Some with be regular people selling them.  Other listings will be foreclosures owned by banks, and a few will be foreclosures owned by government agencies.  You should look at a number of homes to get an idea of exactly what is available in your area, and at what price.  This is time consuming and sometimes frustrating work.   Eventually, you may find a house in your target area, which meets your needs.  Chances are, there will be cosmetic defects.   People who are being foreclosed upon are not happy people. Most of them (but of course, not all)  are angry, and some of them do everything from sell the stove, to selling the copper in the air conditioning system.  A few go as far as genuine damage and broken windows.    If you do find a house you want, then you should have your realtor write a contract immediately, contingent on your receiving the financing and contingent upon a whole house inspection.   With contracts being written, signed and sent over the internet, the process is much faster than it was just a couple of years ago. Good homes which come up as foreclosures may often be gone at the end of the first weekend showing day or even after the first day it was available.    After you offer a Contract, which is often a full price offer on an already reduced property, the bank or agency takes a bit of time to accept it, or counter offer.  You will also need to offer a thousand dollars in check (downpayment deposit), and the paper which proves your mortgage company considers you mortgageable.

(Photo: theappraisaliq.com)

              Once the seller accepts your offer, you begin the paper chase process of proving everything except perhaps your beanie size (for a new hat) to a mortgage company.   Mortgages ARE being written, but the federal government has odd new restrictions and paperwork requirements.  Our daughter actually had to sign a paper, at both loan application and at closing which said that she understood that no government agency would make her mortgage payments for her, and that she would have to make them herself.  Being a person who has not yet received anything from the government, she laughed out loud. I am afraid that all she really expects from them is annoyance and trouble. An inspection of your septic tank, including a pumping out of same, an inspection of your well, and a termite inspection of your house may be done.  A radon level is determined in some states by law. An inspection of the general structure and operating systems is also customary and likely necessary.  If something is wrong, the seller may need to pay for certain repairs, or you terminate your contract and get your downpayment deposit back.  Finally, you go to a closing, either at an attorneys office, or at a closing agents, and the house becomes yours.  (Of course contingent upon your making monthly payments.)
              At the closing, there are a number of things which must be paid.  You must pay attorneys fees for this process.  Our daughter's home appraisal and home inspection was paid by her independently of closing.   She also needed to pay for two types of title insurance.  This covered both the lender and our daughter should someone pop up who says they are owed some money with regard to this property or they have a claim of some kind.  She also paid for a survey and plat,  a home warranty, and a variety of county taxes, and recording fees.    She also paid to have her property taxes and homeowners insurance saved in an escrow account so that her mortgage company could pay taxes and insurance each time they are due.

These are potential fees.   Some of these were not charged to our daughter, but are charged in other areas, or depend upon other factors, like which mortgage company you used.
(Graphic and Photo:  activerain.com)

              In a nutshell, this is the process.  There are some variations state to state and province to province,  and all transactions and acquisitions are somewhat unique, these are the highlights.   Despite all of this, the purchasing of a foreclosure can be an excellent way of purchasing a viable home in a good neighborhood for much less than it's appraised value.  Our daughter says that after all the headaches, she would do it again.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

To Update Interesting Products and Items

           Periodically,  I pass along information on products or services  I have learned about which may be interesting to some of you.  This is the latest list of interesting items which are worth mentioning.

        This is the Joseph Joseph adjustable and calibrated rolling pin.   I don't do a lot of baking or pastries, but if things get worse in our country, and we need to make more of our food at home, we all will need one of these.  This terrific device allows us to change the rings on the end of the rolling pin in order to adjust the size of the item we are rolling.  It is also calibrated, and made of beech.  This is available at a lot of stores online, run a quick internet search for best price.  It's also at any specialty kitchen store, if you wish to see one.

    I make a fair number of stews here, which make use of a lesser cut of beef which can be tenderized by crockpot cooking.  I add onions, some spices, and ultimately potatoes, carrots, some tomatoes, celery, and peas. When the whole thing solidifies in the frij. as leftovers later, I have been unhappy about the amount of obvious fat, even after I had tried to drain it off conventionally. Without the fat, the meal should be healthy and with a reasonable calorie and carb load.  The fat was making it less than healthy.    For $14.95 US on Ebay, I found this "Fat Magnet".    (No, it does not take extra fat off human beings !)     Just keep your Fat Magnet in the freezer  (I keep mine in a freezer bag in the freezer to keep it clean) and then during cooking of your meal, then skim the surface of your stew or other entree, and the fat is soaked up.   This is an important tool to have in the task of avoiding too much animal fat in our diets.  The directions come with the device, as well as a stand, which doubles as a way to scrape the fat off the metallic portion.  You should move quickly to remove the fat, because the the device becomes less effective as it heats to the temperature of the stew.
This is many times more effective than the paper towel I normally use.   I do suspect that a stainless steel ladle kept in the freezer would do something similar, but you could do both.   I use it by skimming the fat as I normally would do, and then using this device to get the fat I normally would leave.   I think it's worth having.

      This is a demonstration:      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmpDjPPt_00


                  The Dolphin water pump allows us to pump water quickly and easily from a 5 or 6 gallon bottle.

From time to time, during outages or outdoor projects, we use one of these, and they really ARE easier than lifting and tilting a 5 or 6 gallon bottle.   The Dolphin brand is available on the internet, and truly is a hand pump with no batteries required.    There are many imitators.  I bought a knock off on Amazon which I cannot recommend.    Having one or two of the genuine Dolphin pumps as shown above is worth having.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our Experience with The Simple Pump



    In a prior post, I had asked all of you what plans you have made, if you have your own well, to continue to pump water during a protracted power outage.  In my own home, our diesel generator can pump our water, but it does produce noise, which could alert someone at quite a distance that we have power and water, and this could be dangerous depending upon who hears it. The noise from he diesel generator also angers the swarms of bees during the hot summer months, which is something I would just as soon avoid.    In addition, in a really protracted outage, we may not have enough diesel fuel to continue to pump water from the well indefinitely.  We needed a way to pump water silently and easily in the event of a protracted power outage.

A diagram of "The Simple Pump"


              This began my search through some excellent companies for a solution which suited our needs. My efforts were stymied, at first,  by my husband, an engineer, who really felt that we already have a generator, and that nothing would ever happen that would impede our ability to use it in order to pump water.
              I think my husband's view may have softened in my favor a bit this week, when in 105 degree Farenheit heat, and during power outages when he saw how much water we need just for livestock, in order to keep them cool enough to stay alive.

             So,  some time ago I began research on what available pump system would suit our farm best from a standpoint of providing water should the electricity be out for a truly extended period.   We considered Flo-Jak but did not like the temporary well cover, as shigella is such a problem here.   One of our friends has recently installed a Bison pump, which works on a well of up to 200 feet.   http://www.bisonpumps.com/           When I wrote the original posts here, we also heard from an Australian company, Brumby Pump,
  (  www.brumbypumps.com/bikecompressor) which produces a pump which is especially effective in places with high iron, salt and sand in the water. Their pump also can be run in a variety of ways, solar, wind, etc.

             We selected "The Simple Pump" for our home for a number of reasons.  First, one of our friends installed one a few years ago, and uses his rather frequently, and pronounces his far and away one of  "the best investment he ever made on his large farm."   Our well driller had installed it in our friends home, and thought it was a quality set up, and was also comfortable that it would not damage the submersible pump that we have installed below it.  Since the well driller is going to be the person to remove the simple pump when the submersible pump gets replaced periodically in the future, his comfort was important to us.  I was not sold completely on "The Simple Pump" until I spoke on the phone at length with its inventor Gary Wittig.  Once Gary and his staff receive specific and complete information regarding the statistics of your well, they are able to suggest certain models which will work with your system. Every system is a custom quote and a custom project.  In addition, you have some decisions to make yourself.   "The Simple Pump" not only can hand pump your water from as deep as a 350' water level, but modules can be added at the time of installation, or afterward, that can run your pump using a 12 volt motorized system,  solar power,  or even bicycle powered.  There is another choice to make too. "The Simple Pump" can either be used to bring water to the spigot above  itself, or to pressurize the water tank in your house during an outage, and then to your indoor faucets !  When we learned that during an outage, we could easily hand pump sufficient water to pressurize our basement tank and then have water from all the faucets in the house, and the spigots ON the house, then that was our choice. Our system cost about $1800. to purchase and sent to us, in two boxes, one a long round package which had to come home on a truck, and a heavier square package, which I could easily carry.  Both packages weighed about 90 lbs collectively.   Although it is possible for a handy person to install the "Simple Pump" down a pre-existing well with a submersible pump below it,  we decided that since it involved a tie-in to our house, because of the manner in which we had decided to use it, that we would hire the well contractor to install it.  This turned out to be a good plan because with the heat alone, we found it was hard to think straight during the installation.  We kept our adult son available to the contractor for assistance in holding things during the installation.  A second set of hands was indeed helpful.  Pretty much everything needed for the installation was sent within the boxes with the exception of some teflon tape which we bought in advance at Lowes.

              When I last spoke to Mr. Wittig he told us that we could install this ourselves but the essential task was removing everything from its packaging and mentally examining each item and mentally installing it, prior to actually getting to work.  Our contractor did not do this, and I think this would have made his task easier.  Because ours needed to be tied into our house in order to pressurize it and provide water there, there was some digging necessary.  We do have TWO pitless adaptors now which will allow water to enter the house through the sump pump, and also through the Simple Pump.   The installation took several hours impeded I think by two things: One, the extreme high heat and humidity, and two, the contractor thinking that this would install just as our friends did, when ours is somewhat different by both configuration and by virtue of what we are asking of it. (Using it to pressurize and provide water directly to the house during power outages)  Several hours into the project, it was complete, and the well contractor added a spigot to it so that I can receive water both at the well, and then when I shut that off, also inside the house as was our intent.

"The Simple Pump"  exploded view     (found at: http://www.earthwaveliving.com/pages/Simple_Pump_Exploded_View.html  ) 


               I cannot tell you how much better I feel about being able to pump water at our farm without power!  .  In all circumstances I can easily and freely pump quite large amounts of water, almost silently.  I will no longer need to stoke up a diesel generator just to pump some water during an outage.
               There are some final things I should tell you.  First of all, the pump and virtually everything needed to install the model we needed,  was a total of $1800. including postage.   This could be less depending upon the system you have, or conceivably a little bit more.   I paid an additional $500. to have my normal well driller install it.     Next, when you review all the materials sent by "The Simple Pump", you will be struck by the incredible quality of everything sent. Much of the pump is aircraft grade machined aluminum, or stainless steel, depending upon the item, right down to the custom selected well cap.  Everything in the pump is drinking water safe and compliant.


              Prior to ordering such a pump, there are a number of things you need to know about your well.  You can certainly ask your builder these questions if you have a new home. If you do not, many counties keep records of the information on the wells associated with properties, and they know these items.   Lastly, a well contractor can come out and assess these things if you literally have no clue.

In order to correctly order "The Simple Pump", or really any other type, for that matter, you need to know:

Depth of your well

It's yield    (how many gallons per minute it can deliver)

It's static water level     (where the water is in the well)

The depth of a submersible pump which is already in the well

You will also need to know:

The size of your well cap

  Information as to how to make some of these determinations will also be provided by the company itself.

This is The Simple Pump well cap
               The staff of the "Simple Pump" is not only completely well versed in it's installation and function, but you may call them during installation. They want this device to work and work well. This is not only a business to them, but a calling as well.

  This is a chart of required downforce.  The reality is that pumping is easy, even for a tired mom who just finished taking care of animals, like me.

           The product has a five year parts replacement on pump system and a one year warranty on the 12 v motor should you elect to purchase that module separately.   There are people who use this pump alone to pump all their water without a submersible pump.  You should expect no difficulties post installation, for five years.  At the end of every five years you will need to replace certain seals which are inexpensively purchased from the company and whose replacement is well described in the installation and maintenance booklet which arrives with the pump.  (Depending on use and probably climate, the paperwork says, I think 3-7 years before maintenance in the form of seal replacement is done.)

            I am so pleased that I have begun saving in order to place one of these identical units in our daughter's new house.  This is not just a question of post outage safety and survival, but an incredible selling point to a home as well.
            It is also possible that one can buy and install the hand pump and add the 12 volt module later to power the well during outages.

 I receive no discount, no reimbursement, or any type of special consideration whatsoever for my comments here, so I have no axe to grind, but I can recommend The Simple Pump unconditionally to anyone Mr. Wittig and his staff says can use one.
    These particular pumps are in use all over the world, by missionaries and remote villages,  and are significantly less expensive than many of the other similar pumps made in other nations


Prior posts on this subject:



Update:  May , 2013:   We have now had the Simple Pump installed for ten months.  This item is the most significantly important item we added to our own preparations.  It was well worth the advance learning, the money paid, and the money we chose to pay for installation.  We remain extremely pleased, and have used it during power outages when they were not long enough for us to decide to start our generator system.