Almost every relationship goes through stages. Relationships with friends, colleagues, family, and spouses. I especially think of people in Christianity talking in terms of their “walk” with Christ. All of these have stages along the way. Prepping and Homesteading and Survival are no different. So here I offer to you a re-working of the five stages in relationships, viewed through the lens of the prepper. Here are The Five Stages of the Prepper Journey.
1. Courtship and Infatuation.
Love at first sight. Infatuation. Interest. Not sure. These all describe this initial stage. You’ve been awakened to the need to be more self-sufficient/self-reliant lifestyle. You take tentative steps. You read a little. You check out some blogs. You may even listen to a podcast or two (may I suggest Homestead Dividends on itunes?). Your relationship is far from mature, but you’ve taken the first step and the hardest one. You did something.
- One of the most important things to do in this phase is to get your finances in control. Being debt free probably isn’t realistic. Getting a hold on you finances and formulating a plan IS realistic and downright essential.
- You should find a way to spend less than you earn and begin the difficult process of digging out.
- This is where you have to decide…is this crazy or do I want to learn more?
- You look into prepper lists and see what may lie ahead.
- Consider buying one prepping item at the store each week or pay. Even if it’s a buck at the dollar store. Think essentials. Food, clothing and things for an emergency, like flashlights and back-up heat are to be considered.
- If you camp/hunt, you’re off to a good start. Since camping is cool, having a sleeping bag and some candles doesn’t seem weird.
2. The Power Struggle
As your infatuation with prepping grows inside you, you reach out. Some people think you’re nuts. You hear about militias, wackos and other fringey groups. Are you heading there? Can you still be accepted by friends/colleagues/family and do this? I want to be seen as normal, and external forces say I’m not. (I have to add that these feelings are perfectly normal…and so are you.) FEMA itself asks all people to have an emergency bag to be able to run out the door with in case of a disaster. You’ve seen hurricane, earthquakes, and fires, civil wars and riots on tv…being prepared isn’t crazy. Create your EEB–emergency evacuatiuon bag (or bugout bag)…one for you and every member of the family. See my website for packing lists for your EEB.
3. Re-evaluation and identity formation
This stage begins with a fork in the road, when the prepper/homesteader/survivalist begins to evaluate whether he or she wants to continue to prep. You reflect and re-evaluate
- You miss being in love with the idea of prepping.
- Paying off debt is less fun because the wasteful spending and irresponsibility stop. What’s fun about being responsible?
- Keep your eyes on the prize. The debt-free, independent prepper life is on the other side of the mountain, and you’re half-way up the side… and the summit, still far off…is now within view.
- You’re closer than you think and you’re also feeling more distant than ever before. The people who used to enjoy wasting money with you notice your absence on shopping trips or wasteful, expensive dinners out. Your not mr. moneybags anymore…you’re more serious and you worry about the future because you have woken up.
- What’s worse, you still have many people in your life living the same old way: clueless, in debt, and ill-prepared for the emergencies of life.
4. Awareness, Transformation, Synergy
If you have survived until this point, there is an interest in reconnecting.You begin to change INSIDE. You feel different. You’re more confident and secure about the choices you’ve made. This lifestyle does make sense. Preparing for emergencies, getting out of debt, planning for your (and your family’s) future all makes perfect sense. You have a garden, an orchard and notice you are more self-reliant. You’ve developed skills you never thought you’d have. You see problems as things to be solved, not obstacles to ignore or hide from.
5. Reconciliation, Acceptance
This final stage–completion. You take responsibility for your life. You prep, you save, you live deliberately, and you love who you’ve become.
There is an acceptance of you are: YOU ARE A PREPPER/HOMESTEADER/SURVIVASLIST/D-I-Yer
Time to start Working, Homesteading, Planting, Chopping, Cutting, Planting, Prepping, Gardening, Home Improving…get the job done.
Spring starts today.
Football season is over.
Turn off the tube and improve your life!!!
Categories: homesteading Tags:
Today I tackle a listener’s email about starting out.
Here’s his email:
Hey it greats to listen to you every week now. I found your show on the preppers podcast network (yes it was the show doomsday that got me interested but I have grown past that) and it is the one I enjoy the most. I find that most of the thoughts you express are similar to my own thoughts and feelings. So I want to say thank you! I myself am looking to get out of town and move into the country and slowly start a farming lifestyle. By day I am an entomologist so I hope to start by growing an orchard and raising bees. Would you have any suggestions/pitfalls to be aware of while looking and purchasing property? It seems daunting at the moment but at least my lady is fully on board and not only supportive but enthusiastic. Thank you again for your show and information.
- Size–don’t raise bees on less than an acre
- Southern Exposure is best (usually)
- Are you thinking in phases or are you jumping-in and want the whole hog (giant piece of land upfront)
- Consider a practice property of a few acres before you buy 200 acres.
- What are you going to do with all that fruit/honey?
- Are you going into business?
- Are you going to be retired or are you going to continue to work?
- What varieties will work in your area?
- Is the land good for an orchard?
- Is the land good in ALL 4 seasons–check and see
- Are you okay with learning on the job and accepting failures?
- Are you patient enough to wait YEARS for really seeing ANY results?
- In-between your trees you can fill-in with berry bushes (in case you think you’re out of room to add to your property’s permafood
My subscriptions to various magazines often yield mountains of helpful info. Here’s a stack of articles you may want to explore. Some will make it into future podcasts.
Almost all of this is from Mother Earth News. I HIGHLY recommend a subscription. A few articles are from Backpacker. I have about a dozen magazines I link to heavily. Enjoy:
Today I discuss the twelve essential questions of people considering a homesteading lifestyle. This survey will save you time and suffering and help you determine if homesteading is right for you.
For those of you new to homesteading, new to my site, or just interested in what it takes to be a homesteader, before you start, ask yourself a few questions. Those questions will go a long way to determining if you’re homesteading material or simply passing through a phase.
Answer these questions to help you determine if homesteading is right for you:
In my podcast, you’ll hear the WHOLE story behind these questions. Be sure to listen to see the big picture.
- What does homesteading mean to you?
- Full-time or Part-time?
- Where do you plan on living? Land? Can it produce? Urban homesteading?
- Do you have the resources to do it?
- Community/social life?
- How is your health?
- How hard do you like to work?
- Can you forego some luxuries?
- What’s your experience level?
It’s been about a hundred days since I last talked to you…
- Since then, the government spent an additional 300 billion dollars (conservatively) with no end in sight.
- They broke all the laws in passing the Obamacare plan into law, and the Supreme Court let them get away with it.
- Unemployment is much worse than the 8.2 % they say it is in Washington (It’s more like 12 percent and even that is probably low)
- Every month, the government is taking more freedoms away from me.
- Sixty years ago, the government worked for us; today, we work for the government (IRS)
- I hope you realize that 16 TRILLION dollars is impossible to pay back.
- Worse, with spending full steam ahead, the government has NO intention of paying it back.
- By the way, there are more than 100 cities in the US that are deeply in debt and in danger of default/bankruptcy.
- What are you going to do about it?
- I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it: I’m getting prepared for the collapse.
- Since the last time I talked with you, I’ve bought silver, stocked up (more) on my food supply, kept my big garden up, put in a giant propane gas tank for heating (I don’t need electricity to run it), and added more fruit trees and berry bushes. We had a warm spell in March that brought out the blossoms too early. A subsequent frost hurt this year’s crop. I will still be able to get apples and pears in the fall. Even with planting, you MUST DIVERSIFY.
- I tell my children all the time: “Who can you trust?”
- The answer : no one.
- I live about 23 miles south of Pittsburgh. They (the city) cut 272 teachers and are shutting down schools. Why? People with money and brains are moving out of the cities. That’s NOT a new trend. Are you moving in the right direction?
- So, my advice to you is to prepare for the fall.
- Get out of the cities. Move out. WAY OUT.
- Stockpile food–at least a six-month supply of food. Go to Costco, Sam’s Club, Aldi’s or any place that sells food on the cheap. They sell in bulk, and you should buy products there that will last for years.
- Have cash on-hand–Emergencies happen. Save coins. They will be worth more than paper and some are still mixed with silver or are are copper. If you owed me ten dollars, do you think I’d want it in paper or coins? You’d better believe I’d want coins.
- Coins are also a good medium of exchange for bartering. Silver purifies water. Copper has many uses, as does nickel. Did you know it costs the government more money to make a penny than it’s worth? The same is true for a nickel. Guess what? I save pennies and nickels.
- I get a lot of mail from people who sell silver, gold, and bulk food. One representative told me they’re SIX WEEKS BEHIND in production. They simply can’t keep up.
- That tells me that people are seeing the light…that we aren’t crazy…and there’s a silent majority of us out there that see the handwriting on the wall, no matter how much the news media wants to ignore the truth.
- Last but not least, the ultimate survival tool is God. You know him?
No, this isn’t an assignment I want you to write about. It’s a theme I will write and talk about.
Yes, I got a TON done on the vacation/bugout home
From the July 23rd post:
Just wanted to give you an update on the Vacation/Bugout House. Wow…what a summer. Full of ups…and downs. I can’t believe all I’ve gotten done on the vacation house, but it hasn’t been without its setbacks.
Since last I left you, I was filling dumpsters with trash and finishing-up the master bath. Well, The master bath looks great but there’s one enormous problem left: The old drain is stuck in and the special tool I bought called a “drain key” broke and is now stuck in the drain. I am in the process of drilling it out, but it’s a time-consuming and frustrating proposition.
On the brighter side, I installed the downstairs bathroom can light housings, vanity, single-surface sink to (very modern) and am in the process of installing the trap/drain. I’ll connect the faucet and the trap tomorrow and the downstairs bath will temporarily done. We’ll temporarily install a shower curtain in the shower. A glass door and panel will be installed eventually, but we like to be here when work is done, so we’ll schedule that work for another trip/visit.
I added two coats of paint to several rooms’ walls and ceilings and am putting in the trim pieces in the can lighting (also called “high hats” or “recessed” lighting. I was painting ’til midnight last night after assembling a table and four chairs for the breakfast nook and replacing the halogens in the security lighting system.
Did I mention I spent every morning last week teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Vacation Bible School? I t was great and my wife got to see me teach. My wife no longer thinks our daughter is weird after a week with today’s kids and being introduced to the “new normal.” I am exhausted because we’d come home every day and work until 11 or midnight. We’ve been doing this for weeks, but it’s coming to an end now.
With just a short time before our return, we HAVE to devote a little of our vaction to a vacation. Our daughter’s birthday is this Sat so we’re planning her party. We’ll add a few mandatory trips to the old favorites and it’s back to our regular work.
I know it doesn’t seem like a vacation to many, but the equity we’re building is worth the effort, especially when I see those just standing still and getting farther behind. Work usually yields success/progress. We’re still grinding away at the house and sweating equity into the building. I won’t be in my 40s or 50s forever, and i’d rather work hard now than in my 70s because I’m broke. The sense of accomplishment we feel is a great feeling and we’re still sneaking in some time with family and friends.
In a little while we’ll pull the plug and then I’ll get to do what I’ve been dreaming about all year:
Rent a canoe and hunt walleye and trout
go to Kennywood or Idlewild amusement parks
Catch crayfish in a nearby stream with my daughter
Take my daughter on a hike to the waterfall behind my childhood home
Take a few hikes in the woods
Explore a cave
Walk around the university district and visit the museums, libraries, and universities of my past.
Watch squirrels gather nuts
Plant some trees (I know, work)
Make lists (one of my favorite things to do)
Visit Steeler training camp
…and that’s about it. There will be other things thrown-in, but if I do half of the things on my list, I’ll call it a good summer.
Already scheduling work on the Vegas home and will be there in no time.
I’ll also probably need to schedule a hernia surgery and train for a half marathon this fall. The neighbor called to tell me the fruit trees back home are gorgeous and the lemon blossoms are heavenly. He said the tomatoes are delicious from my vines, too.
I’ve stopped thinking about vacations as “ultimate getaways” pumped into our heads by the Travel channel, and truly begun enjoying the “repurposed” vacation. Vacations are an opportunity to build sweat equity, work on preps and build for the future. I don’t want to leave my family homeless and penniless. My work for my wife and daughter is joyous labor. God has given me a strong back (after 2 surgeries) and a healthy body. I use it to HIS glory and for my family’s benefit.
Have you stopped spending all of your money on empty vacations that are great for bragging, but bad for your finances and future?
Another truth I’ve come to and realized for a while now is that there will be people who will always make bad decisions and are destined to be without success. I know someone who keeps making bad decisions despite money being thrown his way. If he made a million, he’d spend two. And nobody can help him…and he comes from a family of people who also make the same bad decisions despite people helping them immeasurably. Sad, just sad. Where do you draw the line between helping and enabling? Something to consider…
Well, that’s my report for the day…I have so many wonderful things planned for blogs and podcasts this fall. but the lack of internet access is killing me. This dispatch cost me a 2 dollar coffee at Starbucks–ouch! Should have internet/cable next summer, but not having a tv all summer has been great. TV isn’t and shouldn’t be my life–although with football season coming up, I see a few hours each weekend vanishing into a tv and couch.
Best wishes to all. Thinking of you. Have to admit that with fewer podcasts I’ve gotten fewer emails. Now’s a great time to have a problem or request answered. Tell me what shows you want. Tell me how I can help.
August 13, 2012
No, I didn’t podcast very much this summer. I apologize for neglecting you, but I tweeted my little tail off for you instead. I just didn’t have the time to do much podcasting. I literally had about five days off in two months, and that means i did HARD labor every other day…and put in days until 2 AM on occasion. Well. no pity party for me–just telling you I WAS busy.
I shot some videos and I realized that they are a great way of documenting the improvements you make to your house for the insurance man. I feel better knowing that there’s a record (and a public one in my case) of what I’ve been doing on the house. You need to record your house and its contents for private records as well.
I’m totally bummed that I didn’t spend much time on gardening and permafood. When I got back to Vegas, though, man was I happy to see that my fruit trees were relatively happy and all of the plants were alive. Last summer’s return from vacation was depressing due to a water leak and the shutoff of all water to my plants and trees. It was bad. Fixing up the old cape cod took up the whole summer. What do you want? I’m a prepper. You have to figure I’d spend the summer on some combination of food, clothing and shelter. It so happened I’ve spent TWO summers exclusively on shelter. Oy vay!!
So what great truths have I come away with? What pearls of wisdom shall I cast to my followers…
Get real…I’m a regular guy and that’s why you listen. I worked on making my family’s situation better. Period. That’s it. Sure, I learned some things along the way. I’ll sprinkle them in as I go, but the essence of the matter hasn’t changed one iota:
Keep grinding/keep hustling/keep working/keep prepping/keep on keeping on.
Oh, I will throw out one zen-like pearl of wisdom while I’m thinking about it:
Don’t wait forever to do what you want to do.
I’m 43 and cashed in my old job’s retirement to make our vacation house happen. I didn’t wait. I’m living MY dream.
BUT I had on my to do list another walk behind my dad’s house to the waterfall deep in the woods that I played at with my friend Scotty a million times as a kid. We hid underneath it, caught crayfish, and chased water bugs. I planned on taking a hike back to see it this summer with my daughter. The farmer who owned the property and several neighbors sold all of the mineral rights to the properties. The lad is being strip-mined and after the coal is extracted, gas wells will be dug using the fracking method (fracture drilling). The land is destroyed and the waterfall is lost. I was/am devastated.
Don’t put off your dreams too long. See things and people before they’re gone.(okay, I guess that’s kind of deep)
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being lied to by the investment services industry. Expect another show on it in the near future. Most advisers assume a 7% annual return on your money when you invest it/put it in the market. You averaging 7% ANNUAL returns over the last five or ten years? Didn’t think so. It’s NOT a given, but it’s used to show how inferior other investments are. Guarantee me 7% annually and I’ll start believing what you’re saying
There are some amazing categories of apples out there. Today’s episode discusses some of the most prominent ones.
Additionally, I discuss vanishing heirloom apple varieties and the seed exchange which is dedicated to the preservation of these vanishing heirloom varieties.
This book review pays homage to old-school prepping, homesteading and survival. All three of those components can be found within the pages of this book.
You see, Eliot was a northeastern yankee who moved to Georgia to teach English. Thinking he knew it all, he soon realized there was a lot to learn about the south and the people around him. He became interested in tho old ways and traditions of Appalachia and began to write down what he saw and learned. The Foxfire book is the culmination of his years of research and study. It’s a prepper’s guide and how-to book all-in-one.
Some of the wonderful skills recorded and discussed in his book are:
- wood: types and identification of
- tools and skills:
- building a log cabin
- chimney building
- White Oak splits
- making chairs
- rope, straw and feathers (sleeping)
- quilt making
- mountain recipes
- preserving vegetables
- preserving fruit
- churning your own butter
- slaughtering hogs
- curing and smoking a hog
- weather signs: how to read the weather
- planting by the signs
- home remedies
- dressing and cooking wild game
- hunting lore
- snake stories
- moonshine as an art form
- faith healing
- and many others revolving around personalities more than specific skills
Warning; Audio Degraded due to Interference. Sorry the audio quality is poor. Next time will be perfect.
“Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity” –William Shakespeare
The Year 2000 (Y2K) crisis or glitch taught me a few things about prepping and life in general.
- If everybody’s talking about the crisis and preparing for it, it’s probably not going to happen or its effects are minimized
- Preppers preparing for a single event ALWAYS fail. ( Okay, ALMOST always fail)
- The homesteader/self-sufficiency model is better than the prepper model. Seriously. Why, you ask?
- BECAUSE prepping is a way of getting through a crisis. Homesteading is a PARADIGM SHIFT (what’s a paradigm?…A paradigm is a fundamental change in the thought or how the game is played) .
- The homesteading paradigm shift is turning your back on simply trying to wait out the crisis until systems of support come back on line, and instead look to find alternative methods of living by bypassing the traditional methods preppers are hoping will come back on-line.
- Focus onSelf-Reliance or Independence instead of self-suffiency for a short period of time.
- Ep 110_Lessons Learned From Y2k
This is Monday’s show, but I’m releasing it a day early as a Mother’s day treat. It’s an episode about staying positive and pulling your head out of the doom and gloom.
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…
Can we just stop the hysteria, please?
The chance of a large-scale disaster worthy of discussing ad nauseum is just insignificant. Yes, fires, floods and job losses happen. Yes bad things happen to people every day. That does NOT mean we obsess about it every day. Worse, some bloggers and podcasters seem to be sitting around HOPING for something bad to happen so that they can use all these cool preps and skills.
Hoping for something bad to happen? Really?
Me…I don’t expect something bad to happen. I really don’t. So why do I prep? Because something bad MAY happen. Big difference. Just like the difference between the person who buys life and auto insurance in case something goes wrong as opposed to the person who buys insurance knowing they are going to get in a wreck or die of cancer.
Prepping is one facet of me and my well-adjusted life. I do not dwell on disaster, I do not lie awake at night contemplating disaster. I think about my family, my faith, and my life. Prepping is just a small part of my life.
Let me repeat myself: I do not plan on something bad happening. I plan on the idea that something bad may happen.
I’m sick of doom and gloom prepping talk that leads to paranoia and depression.
The world isn’t going to end. TEOTWAWKI isn’t here. The financial markets aren’t going to collapse. Probably.
Don’t Fear Eating Your Own Food. We are so programmed buying food from other sources that we become fearful of eating food NOT bought in a store. It’s crazy but nonetheless true for many of us who’ve been brainwashed by modern society to think homemade is inferior or even dangerous.
Your food is SAFER than what’s in the grocery store. Did YOU put chemicals and pesticides in your food? Of course not.
Did the grocery store? Yes they did!
Further, you know who picked your food. Have you heard the horror stories about people passing on hepatitis through green onions, lettuces and tomatoes?
Guys, don’t you REALIZE how much safer your food is you grow for yourself? Get over the hang-ups and eat your delicious food!
Today is a video podcast. I walk around the house and point out the major upgrade in the front little “secret garden” area. I added irrigation, flowers, bushes, structure, and heaven knows what else.
Sorry, folks, there’s a problem with the YouTube Embedding today. Please click on the links, instead.
We celebrate 100 episodes of Homestead Dividends. I put everything into perspective: it’s about you.
Thank you so much for listening, reading and following me. You guys make it all worthwhile. I wouldn’t do it if it isn’t for you.
ALSO…please get involved. Comment in a blog, join the forum, get active. You won’t get as much out of this site unless you get connected and reach out. Don’t feel isolated, don’t feel alone…become a part of a family…and we ARE a family. Send me an email. I will read it and will respond. We aren’t tooooo big over here: we listen, we respond, we care.
The Core Beliefs of HD: Homestead Dividends
The basic principles of Homestead Dividends…This is an organic, living document that may change a bit over the years, but is a good basic statement of what I believe and why I believe it.
These Principles Include:
The Homestead Dividends model is for all people for all walks of life.
A person’s home is their castle.
Live as self-sufficiently/reliably as possible.
Assume food grown elsewhere is inferior.
Family always comes first.
Be a good neighbor.
Always live within the law.
Assume a disaster will happen and prepare accordingly.
Act in terms of what grandmother/father would do.
Improve the utility of your house. (Always be improving your house/homestead)
Make your house beautiful
Avoid “paying into the system” as much as possible–DIY, Barter, etc.
Keep a low profile.
There is no one right way to live
Homestead Dividends is about taking homesteading and home/life improvement into the 21st century.
Here’s to the next 100 episodes. Keep listening and keep spreading the word.
Today is a video podcast.
Please don’t expect the hanging gardens of Babylon. We’re just starting out on our Vegas Home. Nonetheless, we are PROUD of digging out the rock and planting our fruit trees and garden. We’re getting after it and making something happen. Join us on our journey.
Stop planning for a specific event. You never know what emergency lies in your future. Stop worrying about earthquakes or fires, per se.
Instead, prepare GENERALLY for life’s misfortunes and challenges. Being prepared for general emergencies is best.
Remember, a lost job is more likely than an earthquake or a hurricane directly hitting you.
IF…you get out of debt, store food, create a homestead, store water, have supplies and contingencies and a good head on your shoulders.
And always remember, you’ll NEVER be completely prepared. Preparedness is a journey, not a destination. Accept that.
Pardon the abrupt ending today. Traffic started going crazy, so I cut out the horns, etc and cut things off about 15 seconds early due to the noise. Thanks for listening.
I will be making a big announcement about a big interview later this week. I’m hoping everything turns out well.
Keep prepping and keep working towards your own independence.
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Fruit Trees. In one place. Now. Wow.
Today’s show notes are in the forum
Mother Earth News has a two-part series on novice soap making this month. Definitely subscribe to their mag if you can. They have SO much good info.