Sunday, March 31, 2013

Update on NJ Housewife Charged With "Making Terroristical Threats"

Eileen Hart and her young daughter


     I have promised to provide updates on the situation with the NJ housewife who went to a meeting concerning tax assessments in NJ, and when she read the Constitution, angered the company contracted to assess homes in NJ, who promptly had her charged with making terroristical threats that apparently no one heard.
              I normally paraphrase newspaper articles, but the updated article which follows is so clear, that I am including it here.

The material within the two sets of undulating lines is the word product of  and has been written by: Andy Polhamus of the South Jersey Times.


Franklin woman's charges reduced after alleged gun threats at tax meeting

By Andy Polhamus/South Jersey Times

Andy Polhamus/South Jersey Times

on March 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM, updated March 29, 2013 at 5:37 PM

A Franklin Township woman who was arrested after a tax meeting in Clayton March 9 has had her charges downgraded from making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment to a petty disorderly persons offense, a misdemeanor.

The new charge means that Eileen Hart, 47, will now only face a maximum of 30 days in jail if she is convicted.

“That’s the lowest order of criminal offense,” said Hart’s defense attorney, Evan Nappen, whose work focuses on firearms law. “It’s still a charge that we’re going to vigorously fight, but the downgrade, I think, speaks volumes.”

Hart was arrested after she attended a tax revaluation meeting to dispute the assessed value of her home. She was reading from the Constitution to support her arguments.

Employees of Appraisal Systems, Inc., the firm hired by Gloucester County to conduct home inspections to determine their market value, told Clayton police Hart threatened to return to the meeting with a gun. Hart, on the other hand, said that she was aggressively approached by an ASI employee who was trying to silence her.

After leaving the meeting with her husband and daughter, Hart was arrested at her home, later turning two handguns over to the police in order to obtain a lower bail and avoid having the guns seized by way of a search warrant.

Hart maintains her innocence, saying she never made any threats.

“There was a small crowd of people listening to what I was saying,” she said. “I challenged the constitutionality of an issue that is not constitutional,” she said of having her home assessed after she would not let a man in to inspect her house because her husband was not home. “And I got arrested for it.”

Although Hart’s charges have been downgraded, she has not gotten her guns back. Nappen said that it was standard procedure for defendants out on bond to have their guns confiscated until their cases have been resolved.

“She still hasn’t gotten her guns back because her matter is still pending,” said Nappen. “A standard condition of bail is no firearm possession, so we’re waiting until she’s been adjudicated.”

Nappen said that although he expected Hart’s guns to be returned as a matter of course, they would consider legal action against the county.

“It could require a full-fledged lawsuit, but hopefully it can be done in a cordial way,” he said.

Hart’s court date is April 11 at 9:30 a.m. at Elk Township Municipal Court, 667 Whig Lane Rd., Monroeville. 


© All rights reserved.



You may refer to the original article at:

If you would like to contribute to the Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund

the contact information is:




My other posts on this matter can be found at:

 I have had some contact with Mrs. Hart since she was charged and I can assure you that she is a reasonable and cautious parent, homeschooling mom, and citizen.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Is This a New Pattern of Intimidation ?

        According to a number of mainstream US media outlets, the home of FPS Russia, Kyle Myers, 26,  was raided on Tuesday, March 26th 2013, by 40 (FORTY) agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and in tandem with agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.   One foreign news outlet says that the FBI was also in attendance. 

Kyle was out of town while this happened.


 This was placed on You Tube about a week ago. You would think they would be happy that he is showing how well the Secret Service is prepared.

           Most of you know Myers as a young man who demonstrates weapons and accessories in his rural area using a Russian accent, for You-Tube. He basically plays a character, Sergei, who competently explores and demonstrates weapons.  Kyle's channels is one of the most popular channels on You-Tube.  With a half a billion views, Myers makes a living from the well produced videos.    Myers also occasionally uses tannerite on videos for demonstration purposes. The possession and safe use of tannerite in the US, is in fact, legal.   Myers is said to make a living through his excellent and entertaining videos.  Kyle's father's Georgia farm was also raided during this action.

        Myer's business partner, Kitty Walden states that their business is always careful about obeying the law.

As many of you may remember, Keith Ratliff, 32,  Myer's friend and  business partner, was murdered in his place of business in January.   The gun community has a number of conspiracy theories as to why Ratliff was murdered execution style. It certainly seems a dangerous time in our history to be a prominent proponent of weaponry.  Some members of the gun community feel that Ratliff was executed as a part of a clandestine anti-gun movement.

        ATF has indicated that this raid is occurring in tandem with the continued investigation of Keith Ratliff's murder.  Is this true or is this simply a continued effort of this administration to harass or embarrass anyone who is prominent gun user, gun teacher, or who makes his living through providing comprehensive information concerning firearms.

According to Russia Today, not only was the murder weapon for Keith Ratliff not located, but no weapons of any kind were seized from either location.  No one was arrested from either location. The ATF had the sense not to remove any legal weapons from either location.

This is my prior post concerning  Keith Ratliff's passing:


   With all of the world's news outlets stating the location of his and his father's farm, this has me concerned for Kyle's safety as well, in a climate in which other gun proponents have recently met an unexpected end.


Take good care, Kyle.


Other articles on this and related topics:


  Is this how you want your tax dollars spent ?   I wonder how much the dollar cost of forty agents from the ATF, GBI, and FBI really is, for a fishing expedition such as this to rural Georgia ?




Thursday, March 28, 2013


. (Photo by Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press)

                    This week, a significant landslide has been in the news. Whidbey Island sits in Puget Sound, about fifty miles North of Seattle, Washington.  It's an absolutely idyllic place where the families who live there make use of the recreational opportunities for their families.  Normally the families whose homes overlook Puget Sound are very lucky indeed, but not this week.  Landslides do occur in the area.  On March 27th, a terrible noise which locals said sounded like an explosion left one house down the hill, and  seventeen others isolated from the road, electricity and other services.  One man was removed from his home via ATV.  It's actually very lucky that no lives were lost. Later, additional homes were evacuated.  A section of a roadway, "Driftwood Rd." has been completely lost.  Engineers have not yet decided whether it will be safe for the evacuated families to return to homes to get their possessions.  They also do not yet know if other homes are at risk for landslide.
                    This section of Washington State and Whidbey Island in particular were shaped and created by the Vashon Glacier which advanced and then retreated 18,000 years ago, according to geologists. The remaining glacial till has unusual geology. Some of it may look like concrete and other portions silt, sand, and then clay.  As beautiful as it is most of the time, there are occasional collapses.

           Just like earthquake, landslide is not a standard feature in a Homeowners Insurance Policy.  Clients who want this type of coverage need to speak to their agents and specifically have such a rider added to their policy.  This is possible in some locations and not in others at the discretion of each homeowner's insurer in the US and Canada.

(Photo: Mike Siegel, Seattle Times)

This is the view from above the landslide. (Photo: Ted  S. Warren, The Associated Press)

The area from 2006 ( Photo:Ted S. Warren, The Associated Press)

After the landslide on March 27, 2013 (Photo: Ted S. Warren, The Associated Press)

Many areas other that Whidbey Island are prone to landslides:

  Some of the general signs of potential landslides are:    From USGS

  • New Springs,, or  wet swampy areas that  have not typically been wet before.
  • New cracks or unusual bulges in the ground, street pavements or sidewalks.
  • Soil moving away from foundations.
  • Ancillary structures such as decks and patios tilting and/or moving relative to the main house.
  • Tilting or cracking of concrete floors and foundations.
  • Broken water lines and other underground utilities.
  • Leaning telephone poles, trees, retaining walls or fences.
  • Offset fence lines.
  • Sunken or down-dropped road beds.
  • Rapid increase in creek water levels, possibly accompanied by increased turbidity (soil content).
  • Sudden decrease in creek water levels though rain is still falling or just recently stopped.
  • Sticking doors and windows, and visible open spaces indicating jambs and frames out of plumb.
  • A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume is noticeable as the landslide nears.
  • Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, might indicate moving debris.

Areas for which you should have landslide concerns:
  • On existing old landslides.
  • On or at the base of slopes.
  • In or at the base of minor drainage hollows.
  • At the base or top of an old fill slope.
  • At the base or top of a steep cut slope.
  • Developed hillsides where leach field septic systems are used.     (Don't park your car or truck on your septic field, even when delivering mulch)
Usually safe from landslides:
  • On hard, non-jointed bedrock that has not moved in the past.
  • On relatively flat-lying areas away from sudden changes in slope angle.
  • At the top or along the nose of ridges, set back from the tops of slopes.
Remember always to have a "Go-bag" or Family Evacuation Kit packed and ready to go.

More information about landslides in general comes from the US Geological Survey:

Some of this information was obtained by:

More information from:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Anecdotal Evidence and Atrial Fibrillation

Important caution: Do not take more than 500 mg. a day of LCarnitine without a specific physician's order.  The patients who deplete L-carnitine are those who are vegetarians, those who take valproic acid, and those who are on dialysis. All others should supplement L-Carnitine with the knowledge and consent of their physicians. We know that too much L-Carnitine for those who are not deficient can cause coronary artery disease.

This post is so important, that I have enlarged the font and style of this writing so that everyone may read it with less effort.

 Do you know the difference between scientific proof and anecdotal evidence ?   In medicine, scientific proof isn't really proof, but evidence that a particular process, procedure, or drug is beneficial to the patient who is diagnosed with a particular condition.  Physicians, researchers and often now nurse researchers perform a study in which a physician selects patients for a particular study who have a particular disorder in common.   The physician running the study, for example,  will study patient responses to a procedure or a drug which the physician hypothesizes will be beneficial   For example, a physician may wish to study a new drug for Multiple Sclerosis. This would require that he and his researchers design a study, and recruit patients who have been diagnosed with MS. Then for a time, a double-blind study occurs. This means that a percentage of the patients receive the new drug. A percentage of them do not. The patients don't know whether they are receiving the new drug, or the placebo. The patients are followed over time by the researchers, and exams and bloodwork may be done to assess both the safety and the effectiveness of this drug.  Then the physician writes his conclusions in a paper and it is published for other physicians.  If four major centers in the world all study the same drug for MS and they all publish very similar results, then we have scientific evidence that this drug has some benefit in some patients who have been diagnosed with MS. Often studies have results that indicate that a particular drug or treatment is of benefit to a percentage of the patients who received the drug but not all. For example, a new MS drug might help people who are in the early stages of the disease, but might not perceptibly help those who have had it a long time.    Anecdotal evidence is when your sister tells you that she took D-Mannose for an early bladder infection. You buy some on Amazon and your chronic interstitial cystitis is much better.  Both you and your sister have anecdotal information as to the effectiveness of D-Mannose.  It may work, or it may work only due to placebo effect.  Some drugs are never studied because it doesn't make sense to spend $150,000 to $ 2,000,000 in order to study a compound which is fairly inexpensive anyway, and can be used fairly safely by individuals following package directions.  For this reason, a lot of strategies that may actually work, will never really be studied.  A few will actually be studied by nurses taking a research course in a Bachelors, Masters or Ph D program.
         This preface was important not only because I teach people things about medicine, but because in order to give you the information which comes next, I need you to understand what anecdotal evidence really is, before I pass my information on to you.

        As many of you who are regular readers know, in February a year ago, I laughed and my heart rhythm slipped into an irregular rhythm.  My belief that this was a rhythm called atrial fibrillation was confirmed at the hospital. I saw a cardiologist and had a work up and found that I have no abnormalities of my heart or coronary artery disease, but I do have a very strong family history for heart rhythm disturbances, especially atrial fibrillation.   The immediate solution was to adjust the dose of thyroid supplementation I was taking, and increase my prescription potassium. They provided a low dose beta blocker and provided me with a drug that I could take by mouth should I fall into the abnormal rhythm. (I carry that drug and only take it, if I fall into a-fib.)  Many times in the year which followed, I "fell into" a-fib.  Books say that no two atrial fibrillation patients are alike.  Some are tripped into atrial fib. from sympathetic stimulation, and some from parasympathetic stimulation.  For practical purposes, this means that some of us slip into a-fib when we are upset or highly stressed or after a physical stressor.  Others fall into a-fib while sleeping and are awoken from a sound sleep with a clearly abnormally beating heart.  I am not sure which category to which I fit.  I seem to have asthma as a predisposing factor, and I seem to wake up with a-fib.  I don't seem to get it when I am very active.  The meds are stop gap measures.  If a-fib ceases, then I will simply see my electrophysiology cardiologist annually.
       The eventual treatment of many of the people who have atrial fibrillation is a cardiac ablation.   Ablation is considered a minimally invasive procedure where an electrophysiologist-cardiologist threads multiple catheters through several arteries in the body. The cardiac conduction system is mapped, and when the group of nerves which comprise the focus or origin of the abnormal competing rhythm, it is ablated, which means, in essence, cauterized sufficiently to produce scar tissue, and no longer compete with the nerve system which generates the correct rhythm.  Women who have recurrent a-fib have higher rates in the long term of dementia and of stroke, than do men, who might be able to get along for years without the ablation.   In my own case, my doctor wanted to wait a year or so in order to correct endocrine reasons he thought might be causing the abnormal rhythm. I know that the likelihood is that sooner or later, I will need an ablation.  Statistically, at some point, I should have one.

       Of course, I would like to put off such a procedure for awhile.  One of my sons had one of these and one of my sons died at 12 1/2 of a heart rhythm disturbance, as did my Dad and my father-in-law.  I want to make sure that the best procedure is contemplated with the most information available, particularly about my own case.
        Not surprizingly, I do a lot of reading on heart rhythm disturbances, in part because they will likely someday kill me, but most of all to understand for my sons, the one who is here and is similarly afflicted, and the one who has passed. (I have two sons and a daughter who are apparently not afflicted.)  About two months ago I found something interesting.   A pharmacist was saying that she wished that before people went right to scheduling ablations that their physicians did a couple of things.

    1. Test RBC Magnesium
  (Low magnesium is a cause of arrhythmia and mine is always low. RBC magnesium tells you what is going on INSIDE the cells, in the intra-cellular space) Your doctor can order this. If it's low, your magnesium     should be supplemented. Your physician will order the correct dose which may be prescription.

   2. A trial of L-Taurine 
         (An organic acid broadly distributed in cells. Is in infant formula and is felt to be helpful to eye and nerves.) It also does much more. This is usually referred to as just Taurine.

 3. A trial of L-Carnitine       Many uses, please see link.

I also added one my doctor thought I might try:

4. A trial of Coenzyme-Q-10 
     As we age, the amount of Co-Q-10, an enzyme, decreases in our bodies. This is helpful in providing cellular energy production and has been used in heart failure patients. This is a prescription drug in Japan.
We know that atrial fib. is a rhythm disturbance which tends to occur as we age. Why not replace an enzyme which diminishes with age also ?  We know that certain drugs, even those given for hypertension may diminish cellular Coenzyme-Q-10 levels. Statins, for example, can decrease Co-enzyme Q levels as much as 40%.

   I have been using Taurine 500 mg., L-carnitine 500 mg., and Co-enzyme Q-10, 400 mg per day for two months.  Despite some asthma which should have thrown me into a-fib, I haven't had atrial fib.   I haven't even had the occasional fluttering I get sometimes prior to an episode. This may be placebo effect, because I would like to put off having an ablation.    What kind of information is this ?  Yes, it's purely anecdotal information.  Someone you know has tried this and it appears to be helping.  My energy level is up, and I am sleeping better.   It has not fixed my asthma. I am still allergic to cats, and I still have medical bills !   I think it may have helped to contribute to a more stable heart rhythm though, at least for me.
    The next time I see my cardiologist, I am going to ask to wean the low dose beta blocker, and then we will actually have a much better test as to whether these supplements have really helped me in avoiding a-fib or not.
      Before you purchase these from the internet at relatively reasonable prices, write these down and ask your physician if he/she have any objection to your trying these for a month or two.  If you do decide to try, then tell your pharmacist what you are taking because supplements of all kinds interact with OTC and prescription medications.
        Remember that every person on the Earth is unique and that even those who are considered to have the same diagnosis, have different co-factors and issues which makes them different from the "run of the mill patient".  Case in point, a person with atrial fib. and asthma will be treated slightly differently than someone with atrial fib. and an enlarged heart, or differently from someone with atrial fib. and anemia.  Always discuss supplements you are considering with your doctor.  Write your questions down before you see him/her.
         I am not foolish enough to think that I have dodged a cardiac ablation forever.  Perhaps my goal should be to be in better shape from a cardiac cellular standpoint, when I do eventually have one.
        I chose to bring this to your attention because it may help someone, despite being anecdotal information. You might wish to do some internet research on it before bringing questions to your physician.  Make sure you discuss with your physician before trying any supplements whatsoever.

Other posts on this blog which concern atrial fibrillation can be found at:

The best book I know of written for those with atrial fibrillation or their physicians and nurses is:

Beat Your A-Fib     by Steve S, Ryan Phd

The East Coast Meteor

           My husband made a run to the store last evening on an uncharacteristically cold night for this time of year.  He was shocked as he noted a white fireball in the sky which lit the area around him brighter than a full moon, and in a manner reminiscent of the recent Russian meteor.

       This is our post and links from another one of our blogs:




Friday, March 22, 2013

Courtesy of Toby Toons


 Barack Obama's approval rating is so low, that it is rumored that the Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the US. I watched Euronews this morning showing Palestinians on the Gaza Strip burning him in effigy. It was an interesting thing to watch in that he is not their leader, but ours.

The Liebster Blog Awards

  Honestly, I had seen the Liebster Blog on a few of the blogs I read, but speaking English, French and some Russian, I don't speak German.  I did not know that Liebster means favorite in German.  First, I would like to thank Mamma Bear at Challenged Survival  for nominating me.  This particular blog award is limited to those with members of less than 300 followers.

      Now I will do my best to answer those questions !

My own nominations for Liebster Bloggers with fewer than 300 members are:

       (Kymber and Jambaloney)




         (Mr. Rat)

I find something inspiring in the work of all of you. There is truth and courage in all of your blogs.

Your own five new questions:

1.   What motivated you to have an interest in preparedness ?

2.   Are you a cat or dog person ?

3.  What do you wish I would ask you ?

4.  If you were to write a book spurred on by your blog, what might it be called ?

5.  Would you say that blogging really helps to extend and to hone writing skill ?


I had others that I would also have nominated, but Mamma Bear nominating them already, along with myself..

Now for my own answers to the questions I was asked:

My Five Random Facts:

1. My kids, husband, and family are more important than any job I have ever held anywhere.

2.   In college, in my late teens, I worked in New York City as a recording artist.  In the late seventies, I did not like the prevalence of drugs in the music business. Although I was doing well, I disliked the business end of the business and I chose a couple of other paths in college. This was easy to do because I was interested in many different things.
3. I am an abysmal cook.  Fortunately, everyone else in my family isn't.

4. Other than my family, animals, particularly my dogs, alpacas, and some selected others (cats, horses etc.) from different species, are my favorite "people".

5.  I have fantasies of time travel where I hope to go back and save my youngest son who died in 2008.

My Answers to Five Questions:

1. Favorite Color?   Was different when I was younger, now it's blue, the color of the skies and the oceans.

2. What Started You Into Blogging ?    My youngest son died suddenly in 2008.  He loved the computer, and was often on it. I had so much to tell him after he passed and about his friends and the funeral,  that I honestly believed he could see my blog.   I started What I Learned from Daniel, just weeks after his passing, and it continues to this day.   Later, I started two other blogs, Rational Preparedness,  and Jane Becomes an Author.

3. What is the velocity of an unladen swallow ?     Decided faster than a fully laden swallow. 

4. What is your favorite disaster movie ?    I don't actually have a favorite. Living here at what I have come to regard as Calamity Farm doesn't leave me much time to watch them.  If I were being held for ransom until I gave you one, then The Day After Tomorrow comes to mind, even though the science in it is weak.

.5.  If you had only three plugs for electricity (no powerstrips) what would you have plugged in ?  
   In truth, I would plug in a large inverter which has several other plugs, but since you stipulated that I could not add more, I would plug in a charger for small appliances, like cell phones, etc., a computer, and leave one remaining to alternate for microwave, electric kettle, nebulizer, television and radio.  I did this for a week, about two weeks ago when there was a protracted storm outage.

My Answers to Five New Questions:    (The questions provided to me)

1. If you could invent a vaccine that would not hurt anyone, what would it be ?       I am tempted to say a vaccine for all cancers, which btw is being worked on, as we speak,  at the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA.  I will leave the immunization against cancer to the professionals, and I will work on a vaccine against wanton low information liberalism

2. What is the most favorite object inside your home ?   The people and pets are most important here. Although I am a great lover of beautiful things, for the sake of beauty, I am not materialistic in that I might love something which is ostensibly worthless, while being comfortable selling something quite valuable.

3. What is your favorite food ?      Caesar chicken salad .    My favorite dessert is Cadbury's chocolate.
                                                       My favorite drink is cool fresh deep well water.

4.  Will we be able to grow all our own food if we cannot go shopping  ?       Yes, and no.
     Although we would be able to provide our own food here, it would not be in the style to which we are accustomed.   I have rice, cornmeal, sugar, flour, and cooking supplies in freeze dried containers which may last 25-30 years.  We can provide a certain amount of fruit and vegetables here in summer. We have chickens, ducks and eggs.  We can raise cattle.  However, the variety of fruits like bananas, coconuts, lettuces, would not be available to us.   Also, if we had to provide all our own food, there would be time for little else.

5.    What is your best talent ?        I have come to believe that very best talent is recognizing the talents and potentials of others, and then helping them to get where they should go.

When I finished all of this, I learned that Kristin, at Hammock Haven Farm  ( )  also nominated me for Liebster Blog and that I have some questions from her to answer as well.
Thank you, Kristin !

1. What are your passions in life ?   My passions in life are my children,  my animals, writing music, and honestly, carving out some solitude.  The best thing is watching my children write and create music.

2. What experiences helped shape you into who you are ?     I don't enjoy saying this, but the good things in my life have not made me grow or made me particularly appreciative.  I have grown the most from the terrible things which have happened in my life, the loss of my youngest son, at 12 1/2, the passings of my in-laws and my parents.  Through all of that I have an appreciation for how short the journey, and how important, gentleness, understanding, mercy, and consideration is while we are still here, in body. I try not to waste daylight.

3. What got you into farming or homesteading ?     I have lived in the country from the time I was about four. I always wanted lots of animals, and I always knew that my idea of Heaven on Earth was a home with children, and animals.  We didn't get a farm until I was in my thirties, and then, I realized it had to be run in a manner which helped it pay for itself, not as a petting zoo.  You can imagine my shock !   This farm operates by periodically selling five acre increments of its woods, which in this climate, are ready for harvest again within fifteen years.  We sell alpaca fiber, though we do not sell alpacas any longer.  We also raise and rescue dogs, We also raise chicken and ducks and eggs.  We also used to have classes for homeschoolers with regard to principles of ornithology and birdwatching.    Inadvertently, we raise black bears, who live out near an old collapsed cabin quite a distance from the main house.

4.  If you could live anywhere and do anything, what would it be ?     I have done a fair measure of most of the things I have wanted to do in this life.  The two remaining things might be to go to medical school, get an MD.  Take the residency I am offered, which I hope would be internal medicine, and then afterward apply for a fellowship in endocrinology.  I have always been interested in internal medicine and endocrinology. Then, I would like to treat people with various endocrine issues at close to no charge.   Since I am fifty, and this is unlikely at this juncture, then my second dream is to retire in the coast of Nova Scotia.  This is only possible six months a year, because I am American, and emigrating to Canada is nearly impossible. I know, because I spend all the time I can there now. LOL.

5. What do you find stressful and how do you manage it ?    I find the illnesses of my children very difficult. I do what I must, but it takes a great deal of psychological energy from me.  In general, I find it hard to be a witness to human suffering of any kind.  I know that seems counter-intuitive for a registered nurse, but I think nurses and physicians should be mindful of, and concerned about the level of suffering their patients endure. I think that without that level of empathy, that it's hard to make the best decisions for them.  We need to treat the people, not simply the disorders.    I manage stress by doing what I must, and by having as much down time for reading, peace, animals, and nature as possible.  I suppose I work hard and then play hard.  I play a lot of music which also helps set my mood, and sometimes, facilitate my tears.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Concert is Tonight !

     This is just a last minute reminder that the Hurricane Sandy Benefit in New York City is Tonight !


 Buy Tickets Here

 This is a rare chance to see artists of this caliber, especially for such a low cost.   Tickets to see Sarah are often double this amount, and she does not come to the US often.   This is going to be an unusual concert in that it will also include a discussion on songwriting and include some stories. This is a rare chance to see another side of these artists.
   As most Americans know, Hurricane Sandy occurred four months ago and left many residents of New York and New Jersey without homes. The damage was significant.  Although New York City has promised aid and has collected a great deal, they seem to be busying themselves with things like trying to restrict the size of the soda its citizens and visitors can drink, rather than cutting through the red tape which would allow those made homeless from Superstorm Sandy, to move out of the basements of friends and relatives.
   These Canadian artists will donate the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity.  Thank you all for your efforts.

Please let me know if you have a chance to go.   Thank you.

My prior post on this subject:

This is Sarah Slean  singing  "California"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Calling New York

           If you are in the New York City area this Thursday evening, you need to see my-sister-from-a- prior-life,  Sarah Slean.    Sarah is on tour in Atlantic Canada, and has graciously agreed to come and perform Thursday, with the Canadian Songwriter's Circle.  This is a benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief. Marc Jordan and Sam Roberts will also be performing.

            Sarah is an amazing songwriter, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist, and this is just on a Tuesday for her. Later in a given week she might add poetess, activist, and painter.   I suspect she would have been a pretty terrific cardiologist too had she eventually chosen that path, which was originally also a consideration for her.
            I can't leave the farm this week or I would be there myself.  For those of you who can, please do.

Buy Tickets Here

      Sarah Slean "Out in the Park"

Sarah has an amazing double album out which is simply some of the best music you will find anywhere. It's called "Land and Sea" and you can buy a copy on or at

You can get this in CD form or in vinyl.  "Land and Sea" is a double album. "Land" reflects the more popular original music, and "Sea" are more orchestral, ethereal arrangements.  Again, this may be one of the best albums out there, anywhere.

What is IPM or Integrated Pest Management ?

Spring and these considerations are coming soon.

  I owe my dislike of insecticides and chemicals to my father.  I was scarcely two when he discussed the dangers to a growing neurological system and the neurotoxins in bug spray.  I know this, because he continued all of my life, and it was a bit of a joke in our family.  Apparently, as I recall from the lengthier lecture I received from him when I was four, that almost no pesticide which has lethal effects to insects has absolutely no effects to human beings, especially those who are continuing to grow.
               By the time I grew up and had children, I not only shunned bug spray, but I made my own furniture polish, cleaners etc.  My daughter won her elementary school science fair with a demonstration of all household cleaners which could effectively and safely be made at home. She set up a variety of demonstration centers and she already knew what we used at home.
              By the time we moved to a farm, I thought I might have to rethink my no pesticide angle.  Termites were a terrible problem in heavily wooded Virginia.  Ticks were abundant and carried disease. Wasps set up rather impressive nests within a weekend inside barns in just a weekend.   Our builder did use a chemical to sterilize the area around our house several months before we eventually moved in, especially after his non salt treated "built by" sign was handily eaten by termites within a couple of weeks.   European hornets also had to be dealt with by a licensed exterminator.
               However, the biggest challenge to us were the ticks.  Ticks carry a bevy of really serious diseases, and we wanted to find a non-chemical way of managing them here.   We tried the Integrated Pest Management method or IPM.

               By strictest of definitions, IPM or Integrated Pest Management uses a variety of reasoned techniques in order to keep undesirable pest populations down. The goals of IPM are to minimize risks to human beings, control pests in an economic fashion, and to use the interventions which are best for the environment. This might sound as if these are opposing goals, but many times, they are possible.  IPM can be applied to both undesirable insects or to undesirable plants as well.  Since so many products are shipped all over the world, undesirable or "thug" plants or insects often enter an environment in which they should not exist.  (Remember kudzu in the US, and Gypsy moths, for example. Both of them existed in other environments in balance, but were disastrous when they came to certain regions of the US.) IPM is about facilitating natural balance whenever possible.
               With this in mind, what works as Integrated Pest Management in Florida won't work here. What works in New Jersey won't work here, and what works here for certain pests or issues won't work in Alaska.  Different states and different regions of states have their own ecosystems. In fact, my farm may be a different ecosystem than my friend Jan's farm which is in the same zip code.
                Since coming to this farm I can think of at least two ways in which we have used IPM techniques. When we built our first farm we had a terrible problem with ticks. To help abate this problem we applied the IPM technique of using ladybugs.  The local guidelines were to use one package of 10,000 ladybugs purchased from a local vendor for each acre for which you wished to diminish ticks.  We decided to decrease the tick problem on the three acres which we used most often and so we purchased three packages of ten thousand each. We liberated these as per the directions, from their gauze bags, one evening, by hosing down the gauze bag with water.  The lady bugs flew away. The intent is that the ladybugs will eat the tick eggs and dramatically decrease their population.  The following year, we were amazed that our dogs, and all of us, didn't have ticks at all.  This was invaluable in a place where Lyme Disease is a very big problem, and where one of my dogs was treated for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever one year.  This does increase the population of ladybugs in your house in Fall. If you wish to relocate them, put a raisin on a plate and when they collect there, relocate the plate.
               Another technique is using an organism which is relatively harmless to us, but rids us of a serious pest.  In the last few years we have had an increasing problem with Gypsy Moth caterpillars in our trees in Spring. These can be a serious problem.  Again, as per the directions of our local extension agent, we bought
something called bacillus thurigiensis.   This bacillus is an organism which is employed as an insecticide.  Bt was discovered in 1911, but not available for us as an insecticide until the 1950s. There are a number of varieties of Bt. The one we use can be placed on leaves, and then when Gypsy Moth caterpillars eat the leaves. It reacts with their intestinal systems killing them by starvation.  It is not a nerve poison and so it is not a hazard to other animals, or to human beings.
                If you wish to see if IPM methods could be helpful in your yard, or farm, contact your local extension agent. They are very willing to show people who will listen, how they can avoid the use of pesticides which wind up in our own water.

Look at the lovely Wisteria hanging on this building.

Other posts that may be of interest

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eileen Hart to be Interviewed on Glenn Beck Program

Eileen Hart and her daughter in happier times.

  This is an update to my prior post which concerns Eileen Hart.  Eileen is a New Jersey  housewife who attended a meeting with her husband and young child concerning the sharp reassessment and methods of reassessment of her house by a private company which has been hired by the State of New Jersey.  During the meeting she remained calm, but he Tax Assessor's office representative and employees of the company hired did not.  Mrs. Hart read to them from the Constitution.  She was ejected from the meeting, and one of them followed to her her license plate information.  In brief, when she got home, she was arrested in front of her child by local police. She was also handcuffed to a chair at the police station.  She has been charged with making "terroristic threats" at the meeting.  Local police also collected the guns she had in her home, which are registered under N.J. law.

                In this post I wish to notify everyone that Eileen Hart will be interviewed by Glenn Beck on an interview planned for Glenn Beck's 5 pm show on Tuesday on GBTV.

Also, those who wish to contribute to:

       The Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund can do so by clicking this link.


Please see my prior post with complete information on what happened to Mrs. Hart in NJ at:


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

America Didn't Win Any Hearts and Minds Around the World Today

     Please Note:  New Information on contributing to The Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund is found at  the bottom of this page.  Thank you.


This summons was obtained from

      I lived in New Jersey as a young adult, and I do certainly remember the exorbitant property taxes on our teeny first house. (Thousands of dollars a year on an eight hundred square foot home.)  After four years, we sold and moved out of state.

           Today, many news sources are telling the story of Mrs. Eileen Hart, a Newfield (Franklin Township) resident, an Orthodox Jew, and homeschooling mother of a seven year old little girl.  Mrs. Hart has no history of a mental illness and no prior brushes with the law of any kind.  She and her husband attended a meeting this week in the Gloucester Community Center which had been designed to question and complain regarding the new tax assessments leveled in her community by Appraisal Systems, Inc., a company that had been hired to reassess property values.   During the meeting, Mrs. Hart read from the Constitution, and complained that in a completely flat or deteriorating local real estate market, that her home property assessment should not double.   Additionally, representatives of the Appraisal Systems Co. had tried to enter her home, and that as an Orthodox Jew, she is required to have her husband present prior to any inspections, and so she asked them to reschedule.  The County Assessor did not like the direction in which Mrs. Hart's statement was going, and she was interrupted and not allowed to continue. The County Assessor said that she had the "right to enforce the law".
                Residents of the area complained the assessment program violates the Fourth Amendment. In order to make revaluation assessments and determine the tax value of a property, company inspectors must enter homes and inspect them. If not allowed to do so, the company has historically assessed much higher values on homes, leading to increased taxes. Mrs. Hart said she did not allow the Assessment and Appraisal Systems to inspect her home because her husband was not present at the time. She also cited religious reasons. Because it was denied access, the company revalued her property at a higher rate. Hart attended the meeting last weekend to complain about the revaluation and the arbitrary move by the county to assess the value of her property.

“I didn’t scream, I didn’t yell,” she told the Examiner. “I have the right to air my grievances against the government in a public setting. I’ve never threatened anyone a day in my life.”
“She also wouldn’t let me speak and told me to sit down and shut up and listen as well,” she explained. “That’s when the young man came toward me. I knew he was going to put his hands on me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. I said to him ‘Don’t you dare touch me.’ Then they threw us out of the auditorium. The young man from Appraisal Systems, Inc. was the one going postal, and I believe if he had a gun, he would have shot me (and my family) on the spot. I was calm the entire time.”  People at the meeting say that Mrs. Hart did not swear at any time, and that her arguments were rational and getting traction.

Mrs. Hart was arrested in front of her young daughter. She was handcuffed to a chair at the police station.  She has been charged with making "terroristic threats".   Apparently, it's a threat if you question the accuracy and fairness of your property tax assessment.

 Interestingly, no one at the meeting heard anything  even remotely threatening from Mrs. Hart as she sat with her husband and young child.
A spokeswoman for Gloucester County said the assessor “has never experienced this type of extreme behavior from a taxpayer” and the police were notified, apparently because reading the Constitution is considered extremist and a threat.

Although Hart exercised her Fourth Amendment right by not allowing an inspection by government without a court-issued warrant, it did manage to violate her Second Amendment right by confiscating her firearms.
After police arrested her, they demanded she hand over her two guns, a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and a .40-caliber Glock for “safekeeping.” If she had refused, a judge would have set bail too high for her family to pay.

“I have permits for each of them. I applied legally, I got them legally,” she said. “Now I can’t defend myself. I never said the word ‘gun’ at the meeting. None of those people would have even known I was a gun owner.”

     As she left the meeting, an employee of Assessment Appraisal Systems is alleged to have said, "See if you can pay any of your property taxes now !"

Seized property list from

Portions of my post, particularly the quotes from Mrs. Hart are taken verbatim from:

Eileen Hart and her daughter during a recent trip to Israel

References to this post:

You might want to let some of these people know what you think, if in fact you don't have to traverse the State of New Jersey anytime soon.

Assessment Appraisal Systems, Inc.   

      They have been making changes to their website today, so here are two of their four addresses and
phone numbers...

266 Harristown Rd.  Glen Rock, NJ    201-493-8530

110 S Jefferson Rd.  Whippany, NJ       973-386-1111

Tax Assessor Robin Glockner-Hammond
Woolwich Township Robyn Glockner-Hammond (856) 467-2666

age Green Dr.

Elk Joint Municipal Court,  667, Whig Lane Rd.,  Monroeville, NJ,    (856) 881-6631

          If people who go to meetings to question their property taxes or the actions of their local government can be arrested, charged in front of their children, simply because they question the actions of the persons who are working for all of us, then America is already lost.     I tried to call all of the people involved today to ask them what happpened, and to imply that the world is watching.  No one would answer the phone.

        Please contact any and all of the people above as your conscience permits, and let them know that all over the world, people are watching.  Local governments in the US should not intimidate, attack or threaten their citizens.    I wonder if Russia Today and Al Jazeera are covering this ?   We certainly didn't win any hearts and minds around the world today.

People who are interested in contributing to help to pay for Eileen Hart's legal fees, can show their support, with any amount, $5.00. $10.00, or much more, whatever you can spare by contributing to the Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund       

One can use paypal or other means at the link above.

An additional place to contribute to The Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund using Fundly

Thank you all for standing with Mrs. Hart and her family.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Living in the Disconnect

         We are living in the United States in a strange time.  For example, if one happens to watch morning or daytime television in the United States, then you are soaked with a bevy of fashion, expensive bags, cosmetics, and plans for your vacation.  Statistics tell us that the middle class in the US is shrinking or crashing badly.  As food, insurance costs and other things rise, families find they have less and less disposable income.  And yet, The Today Show continues with precious Easter outfits for only $200. each per precious tot.  There is a definite disconnect between genuine US life and life as portrayed on the news, and on television in general.  For example, I know people in all walks of life.  I know wealthy people who have sold expensive homes in the last couple of years because they fear they can't carry them in the long term.  I know middle class people who have gone from an annual international vacation annually to stopping at a food bank once a month, because one of them saw a crash in salary, and the other lost a job.  I do know a number of people who were very low income prior to the recession, and have stayed that way. Those who were poor to begin with, seem to be adapting best, although they are worried too, as they see more competition from others in the ways in which they had compensated for their low incomes.   I live somewhere within that disconnect.  I have always been frugal. I however, have spending patterns which differ from those of most people.  I shopped at good consignment shops long before it was fashionable. I buy clothes at the end of season from Lands End, when the really good specials are on.  However, I am generous with a couple of things.  I buy a fair number of books for our family and I have always spent freely on disaster supplies and emergency food, thinking that it's cheaper to get these things when demand is down.
Last year, I spent more on items which would allow us to grow more fruits and vegetables.  I also spend a fair bit on animal care, because I still believe that animals kept in a clean environment and fed properly simply won't need expensive veterinary care.  I presently have a nice car, because it is a diesel and gets 57 mpg. However, other than my present car, I have owned only one new car in my lifetime, and that too had exceptional gas mileage. All my other vehicles have been used and sometimes, they have been downright old. This doesn't mean that I haven't been reliable to work, because an old car can still be maintained exceptionally well.  My daughter and sons are also following that example.  In fact, my daughter kept her old car from college and bought a house. She can always buy a new car, and may not always be able to get in on the housing market.  I have always found a way to contribute, time, treasure and talent to charities which I care about. I have become more discerning over the years, but I still do this.
             This also means that we need to define our own luxuries. When I took a bone china tea cup when I was admitted to the hospital, it got second looks. However, having tea after a meal in a bone china cup is a relatively inexpensive luxury I enjoy, and it allows me to take a comfort from home there.  I don't need boxes of chocolates or lots of flowers. I enjoyed tea in a cup.  My sons luxury is rainex on his windshield.  Find the small luxuries you enjoy.


            Regardless of the drivel media feeds to us on what to buy and where to get it, we must live within the disconnect. We must listen to our own finances, our own family's needs, not necessarily wants. We must allocate as we see fit and not as the culture might have us do. Is there something you do that allows you to live within the disconnect ?


Monday, March 11, 2013

Gluten, Celiac Disease, and Celiac Sprue


    There are a lot of products and hype just now where gluten-free food products are being pushed.  What is gluten ?  Why should we eat things without it ?   Gluten is a protein found in grains, barley and rye.I always think of it as the thing which "glues" bread together and provides elasticity to bread doughs and pizza crust. Gluten is a major source of food protein throughout the world, and in the broadest of terms is a beneficial thing for most people.
            However, a percentage of people** in the world, especially those of British Isles ancestry and many from Europe, may be gluten intolerant.  Mildly gluten intolerant people may have mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, gas or diarrhea.  However, a subgroup of people are not simply mildly gluten intolerant, but they have Celiac Disease, which used to be known as Celiac Sprue.  In Celiac Disease, the patient is not simply intolerant to gluten, but they experience a serious autoimmune reaction when gluten products are ingested.   Those with Celiac Disease may experience weight gain, or weight loss, and in addition to mild, moderate or severe gastrointestinal symptoms, may also have anemia.  They may also have fat in their stools (which may be foamy and poorly digested.). They may have eczema, aching joints, headaches, migraines, exhaustion, poor stamina, menstrual irregularities, rapid heart rate, dental health and gum issues, and irritability.  Of course, these are a very wide range of symptoms which can be attributed rightly and wrongly to other disorders as well. Many celiac patients actually have a couple of disorders by the time they are actually diagnosed.
              The only real way for the body to recover, is to exclude all manner and type of gluten from the diet. This is a great deal tougher than it sounds. Conventional breads and eating out must be immediately excluded, at least at fast food locations.)  Special gluten free versions of pasta must be purchased.  In addition, a celiac diet, when purchased at your ordinary grocers is quite expensive. In addition, gluten is often an additive in foods you might not suspect, such a soy sauce, and ice cream.  The family of a celiac patient must read EVERYTHING, and even then, mistakes will be made. Gluten cannot simply be reduced in the diet, it must be eliminated completely, otherwise the symptoms will return, and the healing the body is doing without gluten will cease. Sometimes, an entire family must adopt a celiac diet.
           True celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose and is probably best done by a gastroenterologist. Even then, laboratory exams can be falsely negative.  Sometimes, a biopsy is the best way to make such a diagnosis.


          More than ten years ago, when one of our sons developed what eventually was determined to be Crohn's Disease as it evolved, we suspected Celiac Disease.  My best friend at the time, had Celiac Disease, and was a big proponent of a trial of gluten free diet, rather than a biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract. The gastroenterologist thought a gluten free trial might be a good idea. I spent several hundred dollars and over a couple of weeks transitioned my son to a gluten free diet.  Back ten years ago, gluten free products were more expensive than they are now, and are harder to locate.  Gluten free products were less common then than they are now.  It was hard work, and at first we thought my son might be a little better.  Unfortunately, we kept the gluten free diet for nine months. It was not the cause of his issue, and he deteriorated and lost a dangerous amount of weight on it.  However, I have seen people for whom it is an issue, return to excellent health when gluten was an issue for them.

          Today, Celiac Disease is being diagnosed more competently than it was then, and most stores are selling truly gluten free foods in a special section.  Augason Farms also sells an entire line of preparedness foods, some of which is freeze dried for those who must not have gluten.  For this reason, and others, a gluten free diet is less expensive than it used to be.  In my county, there is a bakery which is exclusively gluten free breads, cookies, rolls, birthday cakes and cupcakes. To me, their wares look delicious but lack texture and taste, but I am sure to someone on a gluten free diet, this is a wonderful change. The bakery has flourished during the recession and almost never has parking places !
         Unless you are a patient with Celiac Disease, excluding gluten from your diet is unwise.  When gluten is unnecessarily extracted from the diet, the absence of grains may cause severe constipation. It is also my opinion than most things taste better with gluten in it, although you may disagree.
        If you are a person who eats a gluten free diet, then I am hearing that it is much easier today than it once was, and that eating in some restaurants is even possible now. The rest of us need to be aware of this issue and when people on a gluten free diet visit our home, we need to be sensitive enough not to serve them wheat bread thinking that the switch from white bread to wheat alone will solve their problem !  When my friend with Celiac Disease came to visit, we actually let her cook her own food, and on the first day, she immediately went grocery shopping here. This is certainly a challenge for the person on the gluten free diet, but something the rest of us need to accept as absolutely essential for those who are afflicted with this issue


More information:

What is allowed, and what is not, on a gluten free diet

More information, and cross contamination issues.

Scholarly articles for physicians, nurses, and anyone else:
Continuing education articles for nurses and physicians are often taken down rather quickly. If these are of interest to you, please read them and download the articles in advance of the links expiring.

Gluten sensitive enteropathy

Diagnosing Wheat Allergy: For Clinicians

What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity ?

Simple Gluten Sensitivity

Non-celiac enteropathies

The Genetics of Celiac Disease

Food Allergies

Pediatric Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease Linked to Infections in Infancy

** I have avoided stating a percentage of those on Earth who are gluten intolerant. When I was first an RN, we were taught that the percentage was on the order of 1-2%.  Now, some quote a 15% worldwide rate of celiac issues.  Like many disorders (thyroid, the autoimmune, etc.), I suspect a much higher incidence will be noted when the medical profession becomes more aware of this and better at making an earlier diagnosis.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm: Important Information on Preparations

From the second story deck.  I do not recall a March storm this bad in the twenty five years I have lived in this state.

     We tend to be better prepared than most families.  Not to be, when you have a book out called Rational Preparedness would be just plain embarrassing.  As you all know, a late season blizzard hit our region of Virginia on Wednesday bringing a foot of very heavy wet snow.  Cedar trees snapped,  arborvitae snapped, and even my large bushes from Arizona which don't require much water are badly damaged.  Here in Virginia, some of the pines grow as much as one foot a year, and this is why this is such an attractive area for selectively harvesting timber. The recovery here can be so quick, that the wood is truly a renewable resource in a demonstrable time. I realized this week that one of the reasons so many families for so many miles are without power, are the trees. Pines especially grow very quickly here, and as the tree grows taller and very quickly heavier, it puts a great deal of pressure on the root system. The last couple of years here have brought drought, and this drought means that none of these tall and heavy trees have the root system they should. The result are tons of trees in this storm that are lying across the powerlines which lead up and down the roads.  Once power is led to a subdivision or a private home, most often it is buried, but first it must get here on powerlines which stretch up and down the mountainous roads.  When I finally got out of the farm today I had to stop counting the trees which were lying on powerlines.  There were Virginia pines, white pines, royal paulonias, and even a downed oak, and tons of gumball trees all swirled in power lines as a result of the snow and of the high winds.  No one is going to begin to work on restoring power until someone works on all these trees !   My plan in getting out today was to check our daughter's house, to get the mail, and then check the house of a friend.  After a couple of days without power, our daughter headed to a hotel for a shower, and heat as she has the flu. I found everything at her house to be in order, although her forest will need some tree work once the ground is dry and more stable.  I got the mail at the teeny rural post office, and headed to my friend's house.  She is out of town, which is a good thing, because her house still does not have power. I called her via cell and gave her the report.
              In my book, and as part of this blog I have said many times, that utility companies are not maintaining infrastructure as they once did.  Our extremely rural area only received electricity in the 1930s, and when it did, it did so through two electric cooperatives, and a larger company which serves more urban areas as well.  When we built both of our farms here, we were told that the larger more urban company would be serving us.  Today, as I drove back to the farm, I noticed that one "cherry picker" truck for one of the electric cooperatives had broken down and parked across all the sand parking spaces at the tiny rural post office.  It seems that they are not only not maintaining their infrastructure, but not maintaining their trucks either !  I headed for home. I had wanted to fill my car with diesel, but both of the gas stations in the village are out of power, and so the one with diesel won't be able to pump anything.  I decided to go straight home and not waste any more fuel. About six miles from the farm, I noticed another large truck from the other electrical cooperative. It was broken down in a deep water filled ditch at the side of the road.  Conspicuously absent is my own power company, which has not been out to our area yet and we have been without power since Wednesday morning.  The original projection for restoration came and went, and now they will no longer venture a guess.  The internet and the landline phone went out Wednesday also, but returned on Thursday.  The cellular service was patchy and slow all through the storm, but we were happy to have it.  We have survived without having to head fifty to seventy miles elsewhere, because we have the Simple Pump which will allow us to pump water, and use water in the house.  We also have a village generator which we purchased through a government auction. What we did not have was adequate diesel to run it for days because we had believed that it was late enough in the storm season that we could use the diesel in our vehicles in order to rotate it, and replace it. The generator runs and in addition to powering the house and outbuildings charges marine batteries which will power large inverters (Outback and Xantrex)  These are beneficial because your generator can operate for an hour or two during the day, and then be turned off. This will allow your marine battery fed inverters to operate noiselessly, making your family less of a target for those who have not prepared. Suffice it to say, in future, we will wait until April 15, to use and replace our diesel, and we will have better supply levels of it.   We also have a gas stove that will operate without power, and we have gas logs which will heat the entire main floor when necessary. The gas logs will operate in the absence of electrical power.  This allows us to survive. The entire house will not run at once, but we can cook, maintain refrigerators and freezers, heat or air condition, and provide water to family or animals. During Winter, without power, we cannot really heat water, (through our conventional water heater) and so we cannot easily shower, wash hair, or run a giant laundry load, however we are working on a way to do that too. We are able to heat water on a kettle on the gas stove, and pour that into the sink with cold water to do dishes.) We also have a security system and farm gate entry system which operates on solar with battery back-up.  At this time, we have no idea when our primary power will be restored.  I am relating this because it's important to see that it is very likely that restoration times will be later and later in the future as infrastructure continues to fail.

   Also there are two important products I wish to tell you about that have been invaluable to us this week.  (Once again, these are just my personal recommendations and I have no financial interest in either of these products. )   One of them is the Motorola Talkabout  2-way radios MJ27OR  FRS GMRS Radios.  These come with 22 channels, 121 privacy codes, 2862 combinations.  These NOAA approved walkies are available at Wal-Mart and were recommended to me by a neighbor at a farm nearby. These boast a 27 mile range. Our neighbor thought that we should have an agreed upon code in order to talk to one another in emergencies.  These devices were very valuable this week when our landlines were down, our cells were patchy, and we wanted an additional way to talk to our daughter whose house is a few miles away.  The only downside to these devices is that they need to live in a charger and be used, and then returned to said charger.  These are well worth having.
                  The second product I want to tell you about is the Eton Microlink FR160.   This is an amazing small device which can be charged using 90 seconds of winding. Then it provides AM and FM radio as well as all seven NOAA stations.  It also has an intermittent LED light, and a USB charging device which can be used to charge many cellular phones for an emergency call. They come in black, red and a fluorescent green. The only downside to this is that although the radio will run a huge amount of time on relatively little winding, you likely are restricted to only emergency calls, as it's a fair amount of winding in order to charge a cellular phone or similar device..  It also charges using solar energy.  During the day, I just placed it on the windowsill.
               Both products were extremely helpful this week during this emergency, and identical units will become gifts to my kids later in the year also.  (I hope they don't read this blog !)

                I want to leave you with a funny story.  One of our sons went to college yesterday and returned later this evening. One of his friends there lives in Charlottesville and commutes and lives at home. They have also been out of power since Wednesday with an open ended restoration date.  They have a generator and were using it yesterday evening, when all at once it cut out.  They looked outside to see that a man they didn't know had cut off the generator and was attempting to siphon the fuel out of their generator's tank.  His father grabbed the shotgun and our son's friend grabbed his closest weapon, an airsoft gun which shoots pellets. When they confronted the thief, rather than running, the man tried to retrieve his siphon, and then he ran. They chased him, and our son's friend shot the man in the back of the head with a plastic pellet.  The man kept running probably wondering if someone was going to shoot him with a shotgun next !   The attempted robbery was not all bad as they were left with the thief's excellent high quality gas can which they have put away.
                There are important lessons in both of these stories.  One of them is that each of us needs to be as well prepared as is possible. Many of us believe that US infrastructure will continue to deteriorate and that we will spent more and more time waiting for service restorations. Make a plan, and consider using your tax return for something which ensures your family's survival in an emergency.  Secondly, our son's friend in Charlottesville was only out of power for two days before someone brazenly turned off his generator and attempted to steal fuel.  How long do you think it would be before armed people came to take fuel or the generator itself ?

Please see our original post on this weather event and our coping with power outages:

UPDATE:  As of Saturday afternoon,  March 9th, the electricity here has still not returned, and we still have a fair amount of snow, although driveways, farm roads, mountain trails, and secondary roads here are passable.

Power returned in the early evening of March 9th.  Thanks to everyone who checked on us !