Monday, July 8, 2013

We've moved!

Hi all!  We've moved to a new location on the internet.  You can now find us   Please just follow the link and hang on.  It'll be fun.

Brandy~The Prepping Princess.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Video with questions

Gardening Update-Video

Update on my Square Foot garden.  I have some serious issues and would love some feedback.  Let me know if you have some great advice for me.  Heck, I would even take some mediocre advise.  :D


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gardening Fun

I have everything just about ready for my garden this year.  The first thing I had to do is get permission from out landlord.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to live my homesteading and self sufficient life when I rent?? Someday...a little plot of land to call my own will be here.  :)

Once we had her permission to put some raised beds in the back yard I got busy.  Well, hubby and the teen boys got busy hehe.  I supervised.  We already had one bed built using Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening method.  We made 5 more beds 4ftx4ft for a total of 6 beds and a total of 96 square feet of growing room.  It's not a lot but with this type of gardening you plant much closer than in row gardens.

I don't know if you remember but the one bed we had we planted an experimental winter garden as our area rarely sees more than 1 or 2 frosts a year.  Nothing really made it except the two hybrid tomatoes I planted.  We had a few tomatoes over the winter but nothing to write home about.  Right now though, they both have quite a few fruits growing on them and it's just now April!  Nice to have such an early start and harvest.  

I started most of my seeds in Feb and have them in the greenhouse growing their little hearts out.  I started more than what I would need in case some didn't make, thank goodness I did that because of the 'Greenhouse Fiasco of 2013' in which the wind picked up and blew the greenhouse over and destroyed about 3/4 of my seedlings.  I still have more than I will use but I was going to sell the rest of those buggers.

Anyway, here is my video of my second tour.  I was playing with some editing software and had fun with that but I definitely need more practice.  Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get updates.  Also, please like us at

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My first video. A tour of my lovely garden.

I've never made a video before so enjoy.  Please like and subscribe so you can get updates when I make new ones.  It'll be fun.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'm Coming Back!

Hi everyone!  I slacked off.  I chickened out.  I let one day become another and then become another.  It's been too long that I've I let this blog go.

During my absence I still thought about it, I still wanted it but I just wasn't feeling it.  I didn't feel that I knew enough to 'teach' others what to do.  Basically, what I did was; think of a topic, Google the heck out of it and write it up in my own words.  I did that because I had no real world experience in most of those situations.  Soooo, rather than 'teach' I decided to chronicle.  I will basically be sharing what I am doing and why I am doing it. Instead of giving you a list of items you can put in your bug out bag (you can Google search just as well as I can) I will show you what items I have chosen for my own bag and why.

I really wasn't feeling the end of the world doomsdayesque way I started taking this blog either.  While I am a big believer if storing food and water for emergencies, I don't like the focusing on end of the world scenarios.  I still firmly believe in learning to grow your own food, preserve it and save the seeds to keep it a renewable resource (in fact you can follow my fun little blog at, I will be sharing my gardening fun there.) but I also think you should be smart in your preps.

Anyway, I hope my regulars will come back and I can get some new folks in to watch my fun as well.  I'm not ready for regular blogging but I will be back from time to time the next few weeks until I get myself more organized and situated.  Looking forward to some good times.

It'll be fun. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I often think what the world would be like in a TEOWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) scenario. Whether it's a pandemic that takes out a good portion of the world’s population, an economic collapse or an EMP type event that turns the lights out, there are certain skills that will be needed that can be bartered with in order to get things you may need for your families survival. There are too many to go through but I will spotlight a few that I think would be most helpful. Divide them up with your family members according to skill sets after all if you kill everything you try to grow you don't want to be in charge of the garden.

Imagine power grids have failed, the trucks have stopped bringing food to your neighborhood grocery, the dollar is not worth the paper it's written on and the big cities are being torn apart by rioting.  You have managed to protect yourself and your family at your bug out location or prepper community or even managed to stay in your home in the city and avoid the looting.  Soon society will put itself back together although nothing will be the same.  What skills do you have that you can offer or trade for needed supplies or work?  Are you a carpenter?  Maybe you know how to whip up an herbal tonic that will bring down a fever?  What ever it is you need to make sure you can do it and that you can do it well.

Preserving Food:

Maybe you already grow your own vegetables during the summer for your family, friends and neighbors to enjoy but do you know if you can your tomatoes with a water bath or do you need a pressure cooker?  What about green beans, peppers or strawberries?  And how long do they need to process before they will be considered safe to eat down the road.  Does it jar well or would it be better dehydrated?  How long do they last after they have been preserved?  How can you tell if it’s still good to eat or if it should be thrown away?

If you can put away your food you have the one thing everyone will need in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.  Have you ever seen Little House on the Prairie?  Did you notice that when people went to the doctor in town that he often got paid in eggs, chickens and jarred vegetables from his patients?  A busy man like that doesn’t have time to grow his own food and there weren’t restaurants or grocery stores to buy it from, to be able to exchange his service for food was a logical plan of action for him and being able to trade food for services will be a logical plan of action for you.
By preserving your harvests you not only ensure that your family does not go hungry but you also ensure that your family will have other things they need to get through.  Maybe a neighbor knows how to repair clothing or make shoes from deer hide.  Trading a few jars of vegetables and a side of salted meat may get your families feet covered for winter.

Seed Saving:

You teach a man to grow a garden and he eats for a season, if you teach him to preserve his food then he eats through the winter but if you teach a man to save his seeds he will eat forever. Saving seed goes with the preserving food skill but I am highlighting it alone because of the importance of it. 

Monsanto and other companies are destroying our food by genetically modifying with other species’ DNA.  By doing this they make saving seeds impossible because the next generation of these seeds do not grow true.  When you garden be sure to buy heirloom seeds.  These are seeds that come from original fruits before they were hybridized or modified genetically.  These seeds will grow true year after year.

By learning to save seeds you have set yourself up to keep a full tummy for a very long time.  These seeds can also be traded.  Maybe you have some great squash seeds but your carrots didn’t do so well this year, find another seed saver and trade.  You don’t even have to wait until the world ends to do that.  There are tons of seed exchange groups you can get involved with.  Saved and stored properly they can last a year or two.

A great resource to save and learn from.  I have gotten a lot out of it myself. A Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship & Seed Sovereignty
Free download: 

Soap Making:

They say cleanliness is next to Godliness.  I don’t know about that but I do know that clean people are healthy people and I enjoy my good health.  I personally have about 50 bars of soap and jars of shampoo stored in my closets to make sure I have germ free body parts but I also know I will run out eventually either by using it or trading it for other supplies.

Making and using lye for soap would be the easiest to learn.  Lye is very very caustic so make sure you are safe while you are using it.  It is as easy as putting wood ash (hard wood, not like pine or fir) in a barrel and covering it with rain water and waiting. There are a ton of sites on the web that will tell you how to make lye and lye soap so I am not going to go over it in this article but it is something you should learn to do.  It’s also another one of those things you don’t even have to wait until the end to do.  It would make a great hobby and even possibly something you could sell for a few extra bucks now.

Bicycle Repair:

In an SHTF future there may be a shortage on gas, maybe there just isn’t any gas left or maybe it was an EMP and cars in general won’t run.  How will you get around?  A lot of people will turn to bicycles.  They will be hooked up to carts to allow for carrying large amounts of supplies and used as main forms of transportation probably in the cities or larger towns.  Do you know how to repair a broken chain or a flat tire?

One of the things I made sure when I bought my boys bikes is that they knew how to do basic repairs on them.  They are both now very good at it and even help friends fix theirs. This will probably be a more useful skill if you are still part of a city or a town than if you were bugged out in you undisclosed location.  In any of those places it would still be a highly barterable skill.  Keep a list of things you need, want or be willing to trade for and do a good job with the repairs and you could have yourself a very lucrative career.

Herbal Knowledge:

Back in the day there was always someone close by who was knowledgeable in the healing arts.  An old lady who’s  always searching the forests or river banks for the perfect root or the tribal elder who knew the right combination of herbs, bark and moss to apply to a wound to draw out the infection.  These people were highly sought after for their knowledge and were cared for by the other members of the community.  In today’s time it has been making a comeback as more and more people are searching for alternative ways to stay healthy besides popping pills that offer some relief but some very unwanted side effects.

Classes are found everywhere.  A simple Google search will find you some in your area.  Books on the subject can be found in any bookstore and are available for downloading on your ereader. Having a basic understanding of herbs and their medicinal uses can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing whether the herb works better in a tonic, tincture or compress is a skill that will be sure to keep you healthy and busy helping others.

There are of course a lot more skills that would be handy to have such as carpentry, actually being a medical doctor or dentist, solar knowledge, engineering, electrician etc, but since my blog is mainly aimed at women I wanted to focus on skills that we could learn by taking classes or from books in our spare time.  If you have a medical degree then you are already going in with a skill, but for those of us whose main talent is being able to pick out a Jimmy Choo shoe from a crowd, it gives us a place to start.

Google is your friend.  Nobody is there to help you 24/7 like Google is.  Set aside some time each day or on the weekends if you are busy to browse the internet and pick the brains of the people who already have the information you want to learn. Knowledge will never go out of style.

As always feel free to comment and please go check out my Facebook page and give it a like at 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prepping: Where To Begin

At the request of a reader who is ready to prep, wants to prep and is excited about prepping but doesn't know where to start I decided to write a bit on what I consider the 4 main places to start are.  There are a lot more things that you can do to in your prepping but these are the 4 that I consider the place to start.  There is a ton of information out there on the web and it can get a bit discouraging.  Most of the websites you find online are owned by experienced preppers and you should definitely be reading what they have to say but it can be confusing trying to figure out where to begin when there is so much to do.  Well, grab your self a cup of coffee and a pen and paper and let's get started shall we?

  1. Grow and preserve your own food:   I can not stress the importance of this first step.  Growing your own food is the final answer to the self sufficiency question.  A hundred years ago everyone knew this.  There was no grocery store. You could maybe find a market on the weekends where you could go trade for or buy goods.  But there weren't any stores where you could go buy bags of food that somebody else prepared and packaged up for you.  There was just your garden where in early spring the ground would be prepared for the transplants you started from the seeds you saved from your garden last year.  It's the ultimate circle of life.  If you can grow, harvest and preserve what you grow you know you won't go hungry. 
  2. Store extra food and water:   One can not always depend on the grocery store to be open or that some government helper will bring you water and food so it's best to have your own . You never know what  the future will bring.  What ever reason you are prepping whether it's an act of nature that knocks power and services out for a few days or an act of man that breaks down society you need food.  It seems daunting when you see pictures of stores of food some people have.  It's best to remember that they have been doing this a lot longer.  I started by picking up extra when I went grocery shopping.  If pasta and spaghetti sauce were on sale I bought what I needed for the week and then bought for 1 extra meal.  I do the same thing with bottled water as it is always on sale somewhere.  Every time I go shopping I pick up an extra gallon.  Don't go buy something you or your family don't usually eat.  No reason to be having to live off your stockpile for some reason and then having to eat something you don't like.  I use the 'store what you eat and eat what you store' philosophy.  Which means I only buy things I know my family and I will eat and incorporate it into my day to day life.  Meaning that before the food in my stockpile expires we will use it up and purchase more of it.  There are also places online that you can purchase buckets of food supplies.  I don't because I am fussy about my food, I like to know where it started out from.
  3. Get fit:  Yep, you heard me.  You know those 5lbs that you've been meaning to get rid of?  Do it now!  The last thing you want to worry about in any survival situation is your health.  If  you can't walk a mile without gasping for breath then what are you going to do if you have to run with a heavy backpack on?  Getting fit is probably the least expensive thing you can do as a prepper.  You don't have to go all Sara Conner or anything, this is not Terminator but you don't want to worry about a heart failure in the middle of hiking up a mountain either.  Eating fresh and in season food, a daily dose of honey (stayed tuned for an article on honey), quitting the cigarettes (hey I did it, so can you!) and getting plenty of exercise will help tremendously. 
  4. Get out of debt:  But, you say, it's the end of the world as we know it who cares if I owe back taxes on my property?  Well, what if it's just an economic depression and in a year or two life gets better do you want to chance the government taking away your house because you didn't pay the property taxes on it?  If you can and when you can pay at least up to 3 months ahead on your mortgage and at least a year on your property taxes.  If for some reason you lose your job well at least you know you have food and water stocked up and you don't have to worry about getting behind on your bills.  This is the hardest part of prepping I think.  Money is such an issue for everyone right now and it's scary to let it out of your sight if you don't have to but let me tell you that money is nothing compared to knowing you won't lose your house and property in an economic depression.  
 There is so much more to do but if you start here you will be fine.  While you are getting your stockpile started and rearranging your budget while you go for a walk you can be thinking about a few other things to add to your list. 

Purchasing pre 1964 silver dimes and quarters- during a depression this will be worth more than paper money. Prior to 1964 dimes and quarters were made mostly of silver.  In 1964 a gallon of gas cost 1 quarter today that same silver quarter is worth around 4 or 5 dollars.  Silver keeps it's value so start stocking up on that now.

Purchasing a gun and ammo- you want to be able to protect yourself and your family.  Learn how to use it.  It doesn't do any good to have it sitting around and you don't even know how to load it.  

Learning to hunt, trap or fish-veggies are fine but without a significant source of protein you won't have the strength to take care of yourself or your family.

Start putting together an emergency back pack for everyone in your family.  It should have at least 3 days worth of food in it, water, water purification tables, 1st aid kit, flashlight, batteries and an emergency radio.  You should also keep a tent and some emergency blankets.  I also recommend keeping emergency kits in each of your vehicles.

While you are building your stockpile be sure to store things that you could use for barter if you need to.  Coffee, alcohol, ladies products, shampoos, toothbrushes etc are luxuries that you can bet will become barter items.

Like I said there is a lot out there that you can do to prepare yourself for whatever comes but these are the few basics everyone should have.