Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Survival Year At A Glance.

I decided my birthday would be a great day to sit down and update The Survival List. I pared it down from the global Holy-Crap-I-Have-A-Ton-To-Do List to an easier to manage What-Needs-To-Get-Done-This-Year List.

I tripped over this amazing calculator last week to figure out my current impact. It's a great resource to dial in what gets to happen in the next 12 months.

In case you missed it, I'm no greenie.

I'm interested in lowering my impact to know I can power everything in my world with alternative power sources. If I can dial it down, it will take fewer solar panels to run my life (read: cheaper). I'm willing to switch lightbulbs so I can still run the dishwasher after the EOWAWKI

Seriously, if The End Of the World As We Know It means I have to do dishes....I'm out. Oh, dear, and hanging clothes on the line...See, that's why we have to figure this stuff out NOW.

I digress. (That's what happens when I think about hand-washing dishes.) 

I have a little of everything on there, like: 

  • Change out the rest of the lighbulbs.
  • Double the efficiency of the garden.
  • Install solar panels on the trailer.
  • Complete food storage (that's a big one - for a family of four, for a year!). I did manage to organize the pantries over the weekend and moved the food storage downstairs, catalogued the meager items I have, and made a specific list of what's left. 

Going forward through the year, I'm going to track my progress (why, yes, here, on this Survival Blog) and see how it goes. 

Wanna come with, or are you willing to hand wash your dishes?

51 Weeks left, wow there's a lot to do...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Unplugging to Survive.

Above my back door I have one of those silly cottage quotes. Most days I pass under it without reading it…some days it makes me pause.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Life is speeding up to a dangerous pace. Twitter and facebook are cracking open our brains and we vomit our thoughts on a moment by moment basis. Where do we go from here? Our children live in a world of instant gratification, what will they look like as teens, as adults?

I have no idea what will happen in 2012, but if ever we needed a reset button, it's now. We're so wired in, the thought of taking a 5 day escape from technology is beyond comprehension for most of us. Here's an article about a team that took on the challenge and what scientists found.

Could you do it? Could you leave technology behind for a weekend? Are you prepared to leave it behind for good?

Survive Unplugged.              

Survival Monday

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.-- C.S.Lewis


Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's My Birthday...YOU Get Circus Tickets!!

Since I'm not getting any older :) I thought it would be fun to GIVE a gift this year for my birthday.

Let's give away this last set of CIRCUS TICKETS!!!!
(Check out the CURRENT event ticket GIVEAWAY HERE)

I'm going to make it super easy, because that's how gifts should work. And I'm having a fantastical day!

I'll do one random drawing Wednesday, September 15 for a FOUR-PACK of tickets (and, of course, RED NOSES) for the circus. (I don't think it's a requirement to wear the noses TO the circus, but everyone else is doing it)


1.   Leave a comment on this post about:

a.   The #1 Item on your Survival Mama To-Do Survival List. (making a Survival Mama To-Do Survival List counts, but I'm making a frowny face at you for not having it started)

2.   Link or tweet this post on your facebook, twitter, or blog.

3.  Follow The Survival Mama Blog.

I'll track all the entries, and on the 15th will pick a random winner. 

In the meantime...
Check out these other awesome Mama blogs for more chances to win!! (a few of the contests have ended...but the blogs are still well worth repeated visits)

Bargain Divas
The Savin' Queen
Savvy Sister Shops
My SLC Mommies

You can also go to the Ringling site to buy tickets. Enter the code BLOG for a discount.

Good LUCK! (even though there's no such thing as "luck" in survival)

The Survival Mama

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Final Circus Ticket Giveaway!

I'm waiting until tomorrow (My Birthday) to give you all the details for this final giveaway.

I have one final four-pack of tickets to the circus (and their accompanying red noses).

Easy-peasy contest....I promise you won't have to survive the wilderness for a week or anything too tough :)

See you tomorrow!!

In the meantime...
Check out these other awesome Mama blogs for more chances to win!!

Keep Surviving!
The Survival Mama

PS - Did any of you local mamas check out the Park City Parade of Homes?  One third of the homes are sustainable and one of them has a Platinum LEED certification! We're checking them out for my birthday tomorrow. I'm pretty excited.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Media Room = Food Storage

In Utah, we have the luxury of wicked resources in The LDS Church (a WHOLE lot of them). My favorite is the cannery. They let you play with all the big machines and can your own dry storage for super cheap.

Fortunately, there's probably one right by you, and tanks to the internet, there are tons of other options if you don't happen to live close to a cannery. (I'm living proof you don't have to be a member to use the cannery, but you might have to go with a member).

Here are a few of my favorite links for food storage stuff: (I don't recommend Emergency Essentials - SUPER expensive)

Shelf Reliance

Food Storage Calculator

Major, major tip I read somewhere (and can't remember the source, sorry)
Keep it in your regular rotation.

Do not put it in your basement with the intent of eating it 20 years from now when you need it. What if it goes moldy? What if you get a wicked infestation of creepy-crawlies? If you're keeping this stuff in your regular rotation and you find a bad box of pasta, you can toss one box instead of twenty. MOST important, if it happens this Wednesday you also have an option to replace it. If you have stuff going bad after the apocalypse, you're in deep shit.

Keeping it in your regular rotation is also a GREAT way to get started. Buy an extra box of spaghetti, one extra can of tomato sauce, one 10# tin of dehydrated carrots every time you hit the grocery store. Little by little, you'll "grow" a food storage.

Do not wait until you have extra cash to start on your food storage. There's no such thing as extra money for this SurvivalMama. Your house may be different, but something comes up every month around here...and not always bad stuff, but there's always an unscheduled expense. Some months it's an extra camping trip, little boys who grow too fast and need new clothes, or *cough* a speeding ticket, but SOMETHING taps my food-storage-budget. I can always squeeze in $1.34 for a box of spaghetti, and the occasional $11 tin of dehydrated corn.

Do not buy stuff you don't eat right now! I can't stress this enough. If your family hates beans, don't buy a 50# bag. Life after a disaster is going to suck, don't add terrible food to the mix. Buy stuff you eat now, now how to cook now, and have the recipes memorized.

Do not forget the spices!! I cook with a lot of spices, and if the SHTF for a long period of time and I run out it's going to be a bummer around here. The tricky thing about spices is the terrible shelf life. I don't have any suggestions on how to keep thyme around and effective for any length of time, just don't buy a massive tin and expect them to have any flavor Year 5.

Shopping anyone?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Surviving Government.

I've hit my breaking point.

This is why I don't watch the news. It pisses me off. I storm around talking to myself. I blog about it.

I've had enough.

This is the straw that broke me.

Three judges in the Appeals court wasted time, money, and effort to decide a public tribute to fallen Utah State Troopers is Too Christian For Utah. 

Are you effing kidding me?

I won't go in to all the reasons Utah is a Christian state.... I'm livid because we're allowing others to decide what can make us happy.

Taking away someone's ability to mourn at a cross because it gives them a little bit of joy in a bullshit knock-us-around-enough world is the beginning of the end.

We have to stop with this Wrong/Right crap.

If someone wants to put a cross up it doesn't mean you have to genuflect, cross yourself or say a prayer every time you pass it. It just makes them happy.

McDonald's arches makes me happy. Is that next?!!

Seriously folks, this has to stop. We have to stop using the courts to strip each other of happiness. We have to stop allowing the government to tell us who's "Wrong." If we keep it up, that only leaves the government as "Right." Is that what you want? I don't.

Until we can coexist on a level that doesn't require one of us to be wrong, we'll never get along. Ever.

You being right doesn't automatically make me wrong. You can be right. I can be right. The guy next door with an upside down cross on his porch can be right. The two guys living together can be right. WE CAN ALL BE RIGHT. Stop fighting over being right. Waste your energy on something else!!!!!!

And stop pissing me off.

The last thing anyone wants is a cranky Survival Mama.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Circus Ticket Winner!

Congrats to all the winners of the circus ticket 4-pack!!
 (hop over HERE for the current contest)


all won tickets to the circus!!

I still have one more 4-pack to give away.  Any suggestions on a great contest??!

Handyman v. Princess

I'll admit it:
I'm a Card Carrying Princess.

I had my card laminated last year because it was starting to fray at the edges and some of the glitter was wearing off.

My husband is a rock-star handy man. ROCKSTAR. He should have a award....wait, I've just handled his next Father's Day present....

I tend to rely on his expertise when it comes to stuff around the house that requires a tool belt. Oddly enough, when we got married, I came with 6 boxes of tools, 2 air compressors and my own tool belt (that wasn't pink BTW). Somewhere over the last couple years, I've "forgotten" how to use them (unless he's not around).

In Case of Emergency - - would I remember how to jump a car, start a fire, hook up propane?

Because I'm committed to being a SurvivalMama, I'm turning in my Princess Card. There better be a ceremony...I'm just sayin.

And I'm getting a Pink Toolbelt.

Who says Survival has to be Ugly?

The Circus is Coming!!

....we interrupt your regularly scheduled programing...
(Check out the CURRENT event ticket GIVEAWAY HERE)

I have Circus tickets to give away!

And a discount code!

And silly red noses!!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win.

I'll be picking the winners later today, so stay tuned!

To purchase additional tickets, click HERE and enter the discount code: BLOG

$10 for kid tickets.  1 adult ticket for every 4 kid tickets needs to be purchased.  Offer is good August 16 – September 26.  Offer is valid for every performance except opening night, tickets can be purchased via phone, internet, the Energy Solutions Arena Box Office and all SmithTix outlets.  Kid tickets are valid for children 2-11 years of age.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Clown College = Surviving the Weekend

Finally! A place where my kids can get some kudos for their mad food-throwing skills!

Clown College for Kids

Saturday, August 14th from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. 
Discovery Gateway, Salt Lake City

The pie-throwing class will fill up fast, but If they're not good with the hand/eye coordination, there will also be introductory Ringmaster classes, an entire circus band, hoops to spin, ribbons with which to dance about :) and lots, lots more silly stuff.

Sounds like a good time....and I'm pretty sure enough events to exhaust the kids for some wicked afternoon napping.

Party on, Mama

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Survival List.

I got a little ribbing this weekend about my camping set-up.

We don't camp green.


Never have, never will. My husband has no idea how to start a fire without gasoline. In fact, he was kicked out of The Boy Scouts because he filled a Visine bottle with gasoline the day they tested him for the firestarter badge. AND he makes a mean fire!!

We camp with generators, we run our air conditioner, I cook with a microwave.

Earlier, I blogged about living off the grid and doing it in style. I'm not interested in living without some serious creature comforts. Most of the men I've encountered during my life are minimalists. They need beer, meat, a tree to pee on.

Mamas are a whole different deal. We prepare. We plan. We make lists. We think of everything. We expect hiccups and come with a contingency plan. We also make communities. We lean on each other. Thank goodness for Mamas.

Which leads me to The Camping List. This is what we pack for camping. We have a Mama, Papa, Toddler and Baby, so this list may not apply to all your campers. Use and abuse this list - make it yours.

Camp on, Mama. (and use the damn microwave!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Surviving Yahoo.

I can't get my news from Yahoo.com anymore. Can. Not. Do. It.

I don't care about Lindsey Lohan's panties. I do not want to read about Kanye West's latest escapade. I want to learn. I want to be inspired.

A couple months ago I started checking out the news on the Christian Science Monitor. Informative, engaging, intelligent, panty free. I stumbled across a great article there today, about a family who is living "off the grid" and have managed to do it in style.

Survival, Mama-style is not about how to eat a twig. It's about being prepared and finding a way to survive with comfort and food and a first aid kit.

Mamas can make fires with sticks and flint, but we can also make a list.

Gasoline? Check.
Firewood? Check.
Bandaids? Check.
Clean Underwear? Check.
Food? Check.

Go, Mama, Go.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Harvest Time.

During the summer we don't make it downtown to the amazing Farmer's Market. It's always on my wishlist, but since we camp nearly every Saturday, I've never made it.

Today I learned they've expanded and now have a Harvest Market (slang for "at night").

It's every Tuesday, from 4PM to dusk and the vegetable list is delightful. I plan to have some of these in my garden next year, but for now, I'm excited to go check it out.

Anyone know how to harvest lettuce? It's kicking my trash....

And I could really use some blackberry recipes. Lots and lots and lots.  (PS, you're all getting blackberry jam for Christmas).


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