Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Important News Concerning "The Bourbon Virus"

Would you like to bet that Bourbon Virus isn't just in Kansas anymore ?

                  I remember when Lyme Disease was new.  I remember when HIV-AIDS was newly described.  Now, we have all lived long enough to hear of a new virus.  The Bourbon Virus is a tick borne virus so named because it afflicted its first known victim in Bourbon County, Kansas.   The first known victim, a male farmer, died of this illness, despite being in good health prior to this. For those of you who have an interest in epidemiology, this is one of the thogotoviruses which is a member of the orthomyxoviridae viruses, which is an RNA virus.  This is the first disease causing virus of this type which has been identified and located in the Western Hemisphere.   It is similar to some of the viruses in Africa, Asia and Europe.

                  The description of this virus and what the implications of its presence here are in its infancy.  We have no idea, as yet, whether this will afflict people annually, or whether only a few cases will occur, and most of them will be deaths attributed to something else, and not identified as "Bourbon virus".  We also don't know whether some people will recover from the illness, or whether everyone clinically afflicted will die.    So far, what we know is that the one person afflicted suffered a loss of appetite, body and muscle aches, headache, fever, and ultimately cascading multiple organ failure. (Primarily lung and kidney failure with elevated AST and ALT, which are liver enzymes.)   I am reminded of erlichiosis which is an increasing problem in both human beings and animals where I am.

                 There are many tick borne illnesses in both the United States and the world.  You may wish to read the following links to prior posts here as a refresher for next season.






Other references:



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Interesting Products in Freeze Dried Food of Which You Might Not Be Aware


       Many of us who have a long term interest in preparedness, have an interest particularly in the #10 industrial sized cans of freeze dried foods.   One of the questions I am asked quite often is the difference between freeze dried food and dehydrated food for long term storage.    Dehydrated foods are heated and water is removed.  However 20-50% of the water remains. As a result, the food can only be stored for between 1-8 years depending upon the product. In addition, as a result of the water which remains in the product, either salt, sugar or a preservative mist be added to permit the 1-8 year shelf life. Dehydrated foods are generally cheaper than freeze dried.

                  Whenever I can I try to stock the industrial sized cans of freeze dried food.  Freeze dried food is produced by a different process entirely. The product is frozen and then placed in a vacuum, and then about 98% of the water is removed. This is a more expensive process and requires specialized equipment, but as a result the food itself can be freeze dried without added sugar, salt, or chemical preservatives. This makes it much more desirable for diabetics, or those on special diets. The most significant reason I prefer freeze dried is that generally depending upon product, the can will remain edible for 25-30 years.  Also, a number of references indicate that freeze dried food will retain all the vitamins whereas dehydrated foods may not because they have been superheated.  Of course, many of you have noticed that freeze dried cans are much more expensive than the dehydrated variety.

                  There are also some important things to note.  My own preferences toward #10 industrial sized cans of freeze dried food are motivated by the fact that I have a very large family and a lot of hungry young adult sons.  I also have a daughter who is a Type I diabetic (since early childhood) and so the "no sugar added" feature is very important to us..  In an emergency I would likely need to feed a number of my kids despite the fact that some of them might no longer live here..  Lots of vegetables and fruits would be necessary as well as rice, pasta, potatoes and other carbohydrates, . Since I don't know when such an emergency would occur the long shelf life would be desirable to me.  Of course, if you are one person or perhaps three, you might wish to invest in smaller or "everyday" cans of freeze dried food.  Once opened, the #10 cans of freeze dried food need to be consumed within a year. This could be hard for two or three people.as some of the #10 industrial cans contain as many as 42 servings.   There are plenty of families who stock both dehydrated foods and freeze dried food and then just pay attention to food reserve supply rotation.

                 How do we afford #10 cans of freeze dried food when they have increased in price so sharply in the past year ?   I never buy anything when I need it.  A number of great supplier sells #10 industrial cans of freeze dried emergency food.  I only buy during sales and then I stock up on the items with a good price. We do open and consume some products so that we can learn to use them properly, however the bulk of them remain for emergency storage in a cool dry heated enclosure.  When one of our kids bought a home, our house warming gift was an emergency food supply of #10 freeze dried food cans They established emergency supplies before the furniture entered !.

                 Many people have no idea how many different types of food are available between the different brands. There are also companies who offer an entirely gluten free line.  Probably the smartest prepping strategy is to buy some dehydrated canned foods and some freeze dried canned foods and to know which is which.  Today I wanted to introduce some of you to some of the more unusual products you might not know are available.


Gourmet Reserves Blueberry Honey Granola With Milk

This is a nice change if you and your family had been eating cooked rolled oats with brown sugar for a time.
It's about eighteen dollars and well worth having in the supplies.

Rocky Mountain Instant Pudding in Banana

Most of us know that we can buy this in chocolate and vanilla, but banana could be a boost and a welcome change for many of our family members. It's a bit more than thirty dollars but for a year, you and your family could have banana pudding when you want it.

Gourmet Reserves Split Pea Soup

This is a hearty and unusual soup which is only about $21.00
For those of you who are allergic to cottonseed oil, it does contain this.

Many other great tasting freeze dried and dehydrated foods for families can be found at:


Over the years the largest supply of #10 canned foods our family has purchased has been through Augason Farms.

Dried eggs

These are seventy-one eggs, dried for future use and great in cooking.

Non-Fat Dry Milk
This is not your mother's putrid non-fat dry milk.  First of all, it doesn't sour or spoil the way hers did in a year to twenty-four months.  When reconstituted in warm water, whipped with an ordinary mixer, and then chilled, many of the freeze dried milks taste as good as conventional milks.   They also sell freeze dried chocolate milks which are quite good and can boost the caloric intake of children.

Cheese Blend Powder
There is no end as to how this can be used.    Make your own fondue, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, or make a bubbling rice and spinach dish with cheese. Reconstitute what you need and save the rest for another time.

The Perishables Starter Kit
Great to have at home if there is any possibility of being snowed in.

Note:   Although Augason Farms themselves have the far broader selection, Sam's Club does sell the more common items via their online store.  Take a look as sometimes the postage is cheaper.    Also, in some localities, particularly in the West and Midwestern US, Wal-Mart sells some of the #10 cans of Augason Farms staples, in their Super Wal-Mart grocery stores.  Check what is available in your own community.

The items below come from Emergency Essentials

Quick Oats

These quick oats will last 25-30 years in their can. When you do open them, you can add anything from honey or brown sugar to fruit, or even the freeze dried or dehydrated types.  These are inexpensive. We keep some of these in our RV also. They are also a great gift for someone going to college. Oatmeal is an underrated, nutritious and filling breakfast.

Pilot Crackers

Most suppliers sell freeze dried pilot crackers.  These are very helpful when serving soups or used crumbled as a chief ingredient as a crust for either meat or fruit pie, or a pie with an instant pudding inside.   Conventional crackers won't keep for more than six to nine months.  These are fine after 20 years or more.

Freeze Dried Orange Pieces

This is a wonderful way of supplementing Vitamin C and roughage while your family thinks they are enjoying a treat in an emergency.  Buy extra, because your children could fight over these !

Freeze Dried Banana Slices

Many companies sell freeze dried bananas, but many of them are additionally sweetened or "honey dipped".  This brand is simply bananas which makes it especially helpful for those with Type I or Type II diabetes or for those with gastrointestinal issues.    They are an excellent source of potassium and should be stocked for anyone on diuretics or other blood pressure medications which could cause potassium levels to drop. You may reconstitute them and add them to oatmeal or cereals, or chew them as freeze dried.

Sour Cream Powder

An excellent addition to baking, casseroles, or soups. This is available in a smaller can, or a large one if you use a fair amount of sour cream or have a large family.

                   There are many companies who sell freeze dried food, either as individual items as I have chosen to show here, or in entree form.  These are the three companies that I buy from predominantly.  Please take a look at all the freeze dried foods which are available and make a decision as to whether the small cans or the #10 cans suit your family best.  Then, it isn't necessary to drop thousands of dollars at one time. Simply discipline yourself to buy a few less expensive items and find a cool, dry heated place in which to store them. A regular contribution to your freeze dried stockpile will yield an important emergency collection in no time.  Certainly, pay attention to, and make use of the frequent regular sales offered by these, and other companies.   This is an absolutely excellent time of year to make use of all of these stores special reductions.  There are many other freeze dried surprises !

(Photo: www.preparedplanet.com )

             I receive absolutely no benefits whatsoever in recommending these brands.  These are simply brands and items I have used and stored and companies from which  I have purchased      Many other companies do exist.   Readers are encouraged to do their own research and to pay careful attention to postage costs.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014


        We live in challenging times and for many of us, the holidays don't have the meaning they once did.  This is evidenced by many things.  The lack of Christmas parties and gatherings this year coupled with the few Christmas cards sent are just a couple of them.    Perhaps this is a good thing.  Perhaps we should be focused on more Christmas truth and fewer Christmas trappings anyway.

                   I send Merry Christmas wishes and blessings to everyone who reads this blog.   Whether you are in Finland, Russia, Ecuador, Hawaii, or Tristan da Cunha, I send you wishes for a comfortable and safe Christmas and a positive and safe New Year.

                    Please remember that for all the differences we perceive we have from one another over the Earth, our faiths, our differences in how we believe we should practice even the same faith, or where we live or what our challenges are, and our economic challenges, that we all have more in common than we have differences.

                   Stay safe and be blessed on this day when we remember the birth of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Greetings to the People of France

Yes, this is France.   (Photo: www.francehomestyle.com )

                There are many consequences, both good and bad, to agreeing to have your blog translated into various languages, and therefore available to many of the world's people.  First of all, the automatic translation of such is not exact and many times the intent is unclear or perhaps even slightly offensive to those who don't completely understand the post.   Imagine my posts on the importance of gun rights and women being read by a housewife who speaks Urdu.   Apparently, the automatic translation for French is better than most and this has resulted in a slow and steady climb in the number of regular visitors to this blog from France.   The increase in French readers is also likely to an increase in world tensions and concerns for French citizens both domestically and abroad. For some reason, French people are very interested in the topics we discuss here, such as family preparedness, disaster preparedness, civil unrest, economy,  and self sufficiency. The French are also subject to a deteriorating health car system in some sectors.  I am happy to have these new readers.
                       I have visited both La Havre and Cherbourg in France.  I was to have made it to Paris when I attended school in England. It was our school trip, but I returned to the US before the trip.  I remember the British school contacting my mother and asking if I could return with my class simply for the trip to Paris, but by then it would have caused upheaval with my American school schedule, if it didn't generate truancy problems with my American school !    So, as an adult, I have never been to Paris.   My mother's closest friend while in the US was a frenchwoman who was an artist.  Much of what I learned about France and of Paris came from her and her recollections of her days at the Sorbonne.

                      I learned to speak French in both British school and then took four years of French in American school.  Of course, my experience and immersion in French was in Quebec and Montreal and so the accent Quebecois and specific words used there are more comfortable to me.

                       Since French laws with regard to firearms are considerably different than in the state in which I reside, my comments on firearms and self defense with firearms will not apply to our French readers.  However, a lot of the medical posts, those which apply to self defense mindset, and posts on moving toward self sufficiency, certainly will.   I welcome our French readers and invite you to indicate which topics are of concern to you just now.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We are all on the pretty blue ball together !


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Please See A Tribute to "Noche Buena"



       We become very close to the animals who accompany us in this life, most especially when they are animals who joined us even before our present farm was built.  Animals are not simply pets and many of them on a farm actually help to ensure the survival of the human inhabitants.   This is the victorious story of our Noche Buena as posted on another one of my blogs.

 A Tribute to Noche Buena

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wisdom from "Mausers and Muffins"

Of course, this photo is from the Sig Sauer website at http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p220-x-six.aspx

       If I had to write a post on the Second Amendment, or if my very life depended upon it, I am afraid I could not even approach the clarity or eloquence found in my dear friend's post.   Please take a look at this and while you're there, take a look around her incredible longstanding blog.