Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving to a big girl .com

Come see me over at The New Site

I think all the follower info transfered over, but if you want to double check when you get there, I'd sure love it - and owe you chocolate!!

See you on the dark side.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbor (Part 2)

How important is having (being) good neighbors?

Yesterday, I told you about my neighbors. Thanks for humoring what seemed like a pointless ramble about religion, but I really did have a survival point, too.

Some days I let my thoughts wander to a 40 acre plot high in the mountain somewhere, outfitted with a cabin, mountain stream, and solar power. A secluded place I could be a hermit, write my stories and never have to speak to a soul beyond my family, other than my agent and editor. But the reality of that existence is lonely. Especially on the other side of TEOTWAWKI or a disaster like Japan is currently experiencing.

Even if I can get my food storage stacked to the ceiling, my water bottles filled to capacity, my greenhouse built, I'm missing a lot of pieces critical to my family's survival:

A mechanic
Lumber for my stove
A doctor
A teacher for my little kids
A baker without my yeast issues
A seamstress

All those people don't live in my circle, but I'm making the effort to find out where they do live in my neighborhood, introduce myself, and be a good neighbor now, before I need them. The neighbors who do live next door will become family as I rely on them for help, encouragement, entertainment, and when they need to borrow a cup of sugar.

I got lucky.

With all the survival planning going on in my house of late, I'd seriously consider moving if I had lousy neighbors ~ especially if I thought it was someone who wasn't in to preparation, or willing to help out in an emergency, or big on bunkers and weapons (the kind who thinks the only food storage you need is a .45 and bullets).

I'd like to think everyone's best rises to the top when disaster strikes, but we're not really famous for that in this country...we're better at looting and shooting.

What's your neighborhood like? Do you have good neighbors? Are you a good neighbor?

I hope I am...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbors (Part 1)

I live on a cul-de-sac. Our house sits dead-center. My backyard neighbors 6 yards, I can see 14 houses. It's impossible for me to be a hermit.
Though we spend the majority of our time in the backyard, it's the neighbors in the circle we have relationships with. We have nothing in common. Their kids are older than ours. We don't go to their church. They're younger. We camp every weekend. We snowmobile. They have bigger families. I work.

There's no where I'd rather live.

We're friends because we're accepting of our differences. Not tolerant. Tolerant is: I allow you to exist, but I don't agree with you. I'm still right, you're wrong. We agree to disagree.
Acceptance is: I honor our differences. We can't all be the same. I value the perspective you bring to situations because of your uniqueness. You being right doesn't make me wrong.

I'm the first to admit it was a tough paradigm shift. I'm a big lover of being right. I got to unload a lot of stress when I realized we can all be right. Especially when it comes to religion. There is no wrong. Can't be. We all get to be right when it comes to religion.

Why does all this matter? Stick around for Part 2, coming up tomorrow....
(Part 2) 40 acres v. 40 Neighbors

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'm struggling to find anything chipper and upbeat to say today...

My heart continues to break for Japan, and logistics are making it very difficult to get food and supplies to the survivors.

We are 103 hours into the disaster. Five days displaced, relying on a bug-out kit, if they had time to grab them, or what they put in their food storage, if they are sheltering at home.
Countries are donating money, help is coming, but it's a nightmare to get there.

Stuff to think about.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March -Blogfest

In honor of the dramatic soothsayer who warned Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March!" today is also the day of the Delusional Doom Blogfest hosted by Hart Johnson of the blog Confessions of a Watery Tart. Here's the idea:

Gardening Again...

I know...another gardening post.
It's not my fault, Mother Nature keeps teasing me with all this amazing weather.

The Salt Lake Valley is a crazy place to try and plant stuff, it ranges from a desert, to a lake bed, to a mountain, so trying to pick a hardiness zone is like trying to get my toddler to sit quietly in a restaurant.


PlantMaps is an interactive site that generates a hardiness map based on the zipcode you enter.

Amazing. Genius. Brilliant.

In case you missed my tweets yesterday, I'm donating all the proceeds from my 20 minute evacuation magnet to relief efforts in Japan. Save your Family. Save Japan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tuesday Train

Take a Ride on the Train!
Tuesday Train is a weekly link-up hosted by My Mad Mind and The Survival Mama and The House on the Corner and With "Faith, Family, and Friends!". Here’s how it works:
  • Follow the hostess and co-hostesses (first through fourth spot on the linky)
  • Leave a comment if you're a new follower with your web address and I will follow back.
  • Include the link-up button in your post to help spread the word.
  • Link up your blog post for “Tuesday Train”. The more people that know, the more that will join in, the more fun it will be!! 
  • Have fun!
While you're at it, be sure to swing over and see Boobies and the Follow Me Back Tuesday hop.

Warning: Praise, Accolades, and Gushing Ahead

An embarrassingly serious drill.

This weekend, my city conducted its semi-annual disaster drill. This year we drilled for a flood, and I'm incredibly proud about how they did. I worked at Incident Command at the City level, and continue to be impressed at how serious Herriman takes these drills. From the bottom up, everyone stepped into their role with pride and passion, whether Block Leader or Area Leader, from accident victim to CERT-trained first responder.

I felt a little queasy going into the drill, as news reports about Japan continued to roll through my twitter feed, but I tried to remember Japan will keep the mortality rate low, and will rise above this tragedy because they drilled. Everyone knew where they were supposed to be, and how they were supposed to react and on the 4th day of this disaster, they are still handling it with poise and preparation.

I would love if our skills from Saturday never get tested in a real disaster, but they will, and we will prevail, and find ways to improve.

Still praying for Japan.

(Txt REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will be added to your phone bill.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

8.9 Earthquake - What am I Waiting for??

In the aftershocks of Japan's earthquake today, I am done stalling about HAM radio. Too many huge earthquakes, and we sit on a massive fault line here in Utah. 
It only takes 20% usage for the phone system to be overwhelmed. The REGULAR land line phone system.

If the power goes down, my cordless, landline phone won't work.

If the cell phone towers are damaged, my cell won't work (the same 20% rule also applies)

Our house is on the wrong side of a river, power lines, and too many bridges for Rockstar to get here easily or quickly if an earthquake strikes during the work day. We won't be able to communicate. 

There are several portable HAM radios for a couple hundred bucks. has online quizzes and guides for the test. I have a local group here that gets on every Sunday night. I'm not going to wait for the Wasatch Fault to break loose before I decide to do something to fix my gaping communication hole.

I'll keep everyone posted on the type of radio I find, and where to find it.

Prayers for Japan.
(and my bestie, who lives in Okinawa)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rock the Red Pumps for AIDS/HIV awareness

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) and I'm proudly and fiercely Rocking the Red Pump with over 1,200 bloggers from around the country (and the world).
 Created by the Office of Women’s Health, NWGHAAD is recognized on March 10th of every year with the goal is of bringing women together to encourage dialogue and educate women and girls about the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic on our lives.
Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. Though much progress has been made in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, women still represent 27 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses, with African-American women making up an overwhelming 66 percent of that number. In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%. These startling statistics are the driving force behind Red Pump's message.
In addition to commemorating NWGHAAD today, we are also recognizing the 2nd Anniversary of The Red Pump Project. What started as a small idea has blossomed into a movement that has grown beyond any of our expectations. We'd like to thank all the bloggers who are "Rocking the Red Pump" on their websites today and are using their voice and influence to shine a light on this issue. We'd also like to thank the women everywhere who are rocking their favorite pair of red pumps (or flats) today. We created a video thank you all! Visit HERE to watch it!

To commemorate the day, we're having official Red Pump events around the country. Please read more about them on our events page. We will be hosting a Twitter Townhall from 1:30-3:00pm CST. Please join us as we ask people to talk about why they find it important to recognize NWGHAAD. Follow us on Twitter (@RedPumpProj). Today, we will be tracking the use of the hashtags #RocktheRedPump and #NWGHAAD on our website.

As you honor NWGHAAD, we ask that you take the time to ask a friend and/or family member when is the last time that they've been tested. Knowing your status is such an important step in the fight against HIV/AIDS. For a list of HIV testing sites, you can visit

Thank you again for all of support of The Red Pump Project and, more importantly, your commitment to the fight against AIDS. We're all making a difference one red pump (or flat) at a time. And we'll continue to do work that shows that "Awareness is Always in Style!™"

Luvvie & Karyn
The Red Pump Project Co-Founders

P.S. We're really looking forward to seeing the red pumps (or flats) you're all wearing today! Please upload pics to our Facebook Fan page or submit them to our Tumblr!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When is a Shortcut a Bad Idea?

How well do you know your shortcut?
Do you rely on street signs without knowing it? 

I was driving my usual route when it started to snow...then blizzard.

Visibility was less than 10 feet.

Street signs were covered with snow.
Everyone was driving less than 2 miles an hour.

Being the genius navigator I am, I thought I could take a short cut and stay off the main (clogged) roads. What should have taken me a few minutes, and right to my location, took me miles away from my destination, and I didn't even realize I'd taken a wrong turn because nothing looked like it was supposed to.

When street signs and man-made landmarks no longer exist, when the landscape no longer looks like it did yesterday, will you know where you're going?

I have no idea how to work a compass...but I'm about to learn, and find one that fits on my keychain.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Thanks, friends. I hope to do you proud and keep you coming back for more of my blabbing :)

The Flood is Coming

Do you have flood insurance?

Did you know it's different from landslide insurance?

After our fire scorched the entire mountain, springtime flooding is a real possibility around here. Today I did a bit of research on flood insurance, and found a few things that surprised me:
1.   Incredibly cheap.
2.   Basement not covered. Ever.
3.   Landslide insurance. Totally different creature.
Here in Utah, we're poised for some serious natural disasters....I'm not covered for any of them. 

Hello, insurance agent?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuesday Train

Take a Ride on the Train!
Tuesday Train is a weekly link-up hosted by My Mad Mind and The Survival Mama and The House on the Corner and With "Faith, Family, and Friends!". Here’s how it works:
  • Follow the hostess and co-host (first through fourth spot on the linky)
  • Leave a comment if you're a new follower with your web address and I will follow back.
  • Include the link-up button in your post to help spread the word.
  • Link up your blog post for “Tuesday Train”. The more people that know, the more that will join in, the more fun it will be!! 
  • Have fun!
While you're at it, be sure to swing over and see Boobies and the Follow Me Back Tuesday hop.

Types of Soil and Compost - podcast

Can you tell I'm dying for Spring?
I can't get off this garden topic....

My soil is rocks mixed with rocks, and a little dirt thrown in. Superb for when the earthquake hits, but kind of a bummer to garden in. Lucky for me, the house came with raised beds amended with compost and soil. Now that we've been here for 5 years, the soil is VERY depleted, even though I half-ass amend it every year. This year I need to do a major overhaul, and I found this great podcast about the differences in soil type and how to make compost. (it's a little dry for the first 6ish minutes)

What kind of dirt do you have in your yard?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Ultimate Garden Tool - Soil Cube

In keeping with the garden theme this week, I found this fantastic little tool, The Soil Cube. Now that you have your garden plan drawn, either via colored pencil, or Computer, by adding this wicked little tool, you can increase your growing time.

They're a bit expensive, at $24.95 plus $10.95 shipping...but I suppose if I get another couple weeks worth of food, it would pay for itself the first growing season.

I ordered mine here....excited to check them out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gardening for the Drawing Impaired

It's still Winter.....time to design the garden...

In case you're like me and couldn't possibly draft the garden plan I found yesterday, I found an electronic plan, thanks to the peeps over at S.O.S.

The Kitchen Garden Designer over at Gardeners Supply Company is almost as amazing as KK's design, you get to pick whatever you're planning on planting, stuff it in the design, and viola! a colored pencils needed!!

(funny story about Little Monkey and a colored pencil at school yesterday....his friend accidentally jabbed him with one, to which LM said, "No Thank You" and they hugged it out....ah, if we could all resolve conflict like that)

Hug it out...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Surviving Cabin Fever

Hey Utah mommas! If you are always looking for something to keep your kids happy and busy, check out Macaroni Kid Salt Lake-South Valley!

We are 2 Utah moms and together we publish a free weekly eNewsletter where we promise to bring you a HUGE list of family friendly events happening in and around the south-end of the Salt Lake Valley.  Each week you will find fun crafts, activities, giveaways, product reviews, movies, book reviews and more for kids of all ages.  We strive to find great toddler activities, elementary aged events, and tween\teen hangouts.

Now, go to Macaroni Kid and subscribe, put Survival Mama in the "how did you hear about us" section and we will enter you to win 6 tickets to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, hurry fast the drawing will be on March 15, 2011.

A Garden Plan on Crack

Doodling Garden Plans in Winter.

When the snow is deep and the garden is slumbering, Winter can be a great time to rearranged the garden and plan what next year's beds will look like.

I ran across this fantastic post at The KK Report and one of the fullest, (prettiest) most efficient gardens I've ever seen, and I'm pretty sure I'm stealing it for next year.

You might like these other posts:

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