Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stevia Extract

On a whim, I'd ordered some stevia seeds back in January or February - whenever it was that I'd ordered the spring's seeds.  Actually, it was because I had read that artificial sweetener companies had attempted to get stevia deemed illegal.

Come to read later, stevia is actually fairly difficult to grow.  I'd only planted two, and one did very well with minor tending.

I've read that stevia extract is far easier to use than dried, and dried stevia tends to leave an aftertaste.

Thursday, I harvested my stevia plant.  I soaked and rinsed it well to remove dirt and bugs... there was a big stink bug hiding among the leaves.  Yikes!

Then, I chopped up the leaves and the less woody parts of the stems and shoved it all into a clean mason jar.  

I added Everclear - about twice the amount of it than there was stevia, and let it sit for about 24 hours or so, shaking it up whenever I happened to walk by.

After it steeped, I strained it.  Yes, it really DOES look like lime Kool-Aid.

Then, I heated the liquid at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol, let it cool, then used a syringe to put them in dropper bottles.  I can't wait to use this for coffee and tea!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oft Overlooked Preps

I think that occasionally some preppers/survivalists overlook a few essentials.  I am no exception.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of going to the dentist, but it's something I need to make a habit of.  It had been a year since my last visit, and upon a visit to a new dentist, it turns out I need some extensive dental work.  Some fillings were decaying, and I was let known that the work was a bit shoddy.

Despite my hatred for getting dental work done, I'd rather take care of it now when it's not causing me problems, than to wait two years down the road when it would be much more difficult and expensive to take care of.  Worse, if the S has already HTF, I'd be kind of out of luck.

Once all this dental work is out of the way, I'll be visiting an eye doctor for what I think is only the second time in my life.  I know I've never had my pupils dilated, and I can't say I'm looking forward to that, either.

But again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.


As an update, the dogs are doing splendidly now that they are getting 5 or more raw meals per week.  Logan has probably shed two years off of his age already.  He has a marked spring in his step again, and his attitude has lightened.  He's noticeably more affectionate.

...and Logan totally loves the new bed I got him...

I'm doing as best I can with it.  One of the items suggested in the book "Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet" is sardines for Omega fatty acids.  This is not very appetizing to me, and I tend to enjoy eating fish in general.

Another food the dogs have never had is broccoli, which I cut up and put into ground beef.  Thankfully, it has not caused the gastric upset that I anticipated.  I wonder if it's because I'm gradually adding new foods at one item a week.  Next week is spinach.  After that, I'm going to begin adding organ meats.


The Architect and I went and purchased a knife sharpening kit last night.  I look forward to practicing with it.  I figure since our cheap set of steak knives cannot possibly get any duller, there's nothing to lose with using them as practice.


I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doomsday warnings of US apocalypse gain ground

When The Architect sent me this article, I responded via text, "Hey... mind if we go shooting on Saturday? I need to brush up, especially now that I'm beginning to feel paranoid about this stuff."

He replied with, "Paranoia is an illogical feeling.  What you are feeling is FEAR."

And he's right.  I really like my lifestyle.  I like not having to fight for my food or my life every day.  If this country plunges into financial collapse, I don't think that everyone is going to take it well with flowers and teddy bears and love and whatnot.

I'm not looking forward to this.  I at least hope that the financial collapse can be delayed long enough for us to move out of a major metro area...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Get Home Bags and Bug Out Bags...

The Architect's BOB and my GHB on top of it.
Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone is having a safe, lovely weekend.

The Architect had placed an order last week, and it arrived on Friday. 

We received a pair of MOLLE packs and a shoulder pack for me, as a MOLLE pack will not fit in my tiny 2-seater convertible (yes, a big ol' pick-up truck will be my next vehicle purchase ASAP).

I work 18 miles from my home, the Architect twice that.  If something happens while we're at work (an EMP, for example), it's not going to be a peachy walk in the park getting home.

First of all, I carry no less than $20 in cash with me at all times.  If the CVS next door to my work cannot run a credit card, I can at least throw cash at them for as much water and food as I can carry.

One of my next purchases needs to be a holster for my pistol - I'd prefer a shoulder rig.

Anyway- I've looked over Google Earth, and there really aren't any shortcuts by foot on my way home.

So my Get-Home-Bag has been populated by energy bars, water, an extra magazine for my pistol, a poncho, an emergency blanket, some glow sticks, waterproof matches, and a magnesium fire starter.  I doubt I can fit much more into it, and I need to figure out how to fit some socks and toilet paper in it.

As for the big MOLLE bags, those will be saved for if we have to get out of here in a hurry (Bug Out Bag/Get Out of Dodge bag).

The Architect has already put his sleeping bag (another purchase I need to make) and other survival gear into his, and has already begun looking for modifications for the bags themselves.  He's already talking about a hydration pack for them.  Ha.

Does anyone else keep a Get Home bag with them?