Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: Survivalism

If you had seven days notice before SHTF

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Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.

One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.

I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.

The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.

Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?

Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?

Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?

My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.

Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?

Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?

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Fake People

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While I was working in one of the various welding shops in southeast Texas, one of my coworkers told me about his theory of fake people.  I would like to share that theory with all of you.

A fake person is someone who has no identity of their own.  They have no hobbies that set them apart from anyone else.  When the fake person is around other people, they adopt the attitude of the people the fake person is around.

I am going to use a certain individual that I know.  He is in his late 20s, married and has three children.  He also adopts the lifestyle of whoever he is around.

When he was living with a girlfriend a few years ago, his apartment was always spotless.  He kept his truck clean,,, just an overall clean person.

That relationship ended, and he started dating a certain woman, who I only know to describe as whitetrash.  She comes from a welfare family, house is nasty looking, trash in the yard,,, just stuff like that.

Instead of keeping a clean house, the guy adopted to living like whitetrash.  The yard is full of trash, the floors of the house are nasty, dogs chained in the front yard, just your typical whitetrash family.

How does this relate to survivalism

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What Defines a Survivalist

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Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page.  The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that.  I removed the comments and blocked the person.  Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.

There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.

Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?

I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter.  All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.

Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?

What is it like to be a survivalist?  I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.

I consider myself a survivalist.  I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains.  What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.

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Doom and gloom in the survival community

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For the past 20 years I have considered myself active in the survival community.  Whether it was listening to talk radio, buying American survival guide magazines, going to gun shows and talking to people, there always seemed to be a level of doom and gloom.

Doom and gloom seemed to be everywhere in the 1990s, in magazines, in books, on the radio,,,.  People were talking about how NAFTA was going to abolish the U.S. as a sovereign nation, how the United Nations was going to invade the U.S., how the new world order was going to use the Y2K event to usher in a new era.

There for a decade it was just one thing after another, after another, after another.

After a couple of decades of hearing the same thing over and over like a broke radio, you start to get a little numb to it.

Related ArticleDoom and Gloom in the survival community part 1

How many times will the doom and gloomers talk about the U.N. talking our guns away?  Or how the IRS is going to tax a person on how many guns they own.

Would you like to know where the real enemy resides?  The real enemy is in the voter.  The people who vote for the same two parties year after year are the real enemies of the nation.

We should not be worrying the United Nations.  What we should be worried about are the career criminals the voters keep returning to office.

What I am hearing today with the conspiracy theory people is the same thing I heard 20 years ago.  Nothing has changed, what so ever.  And the voters keep returning the same idiots to office over and over.  What good does it do to worry if the same people are in power year after year, decade after decade?

Related ArticleSurvivalism as a way of life

Burn Out

Hearing the same conspiracy theory over and over for years and decades on end causes burn-out.  It is impossible for someone to stay in a constant state of readiness.  If someone starts prepping for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, and SHTF / TEOTWAWKI does not happen within the next 3, 4 or 5 years, the person gets burned out and leaves the survivalist / prepping communities.

Lets focus on what is important.  Worrying about the same people getting into office year after year is beyond your control.  Vote every chance you get, and do not worry about the rest.

After wall street was bailed out, my Representative Kevin Brady came up for reelection.  What did the people of southeast Texas do?  They voted Brady right back into office?  If people were so mad about the bailout, why did they reelect Kevin Brady?  I was almost yelling at the election results.  If people are so mad at the government, why in the hell do they keep voting the same people into office over and over?

Watching the election results causes a type of political burnout.  Its the same crooks and robbers elected into office over and over.

Nothing is going to change. So the best thing to do is not worry about it.

Get a hobby related to survivalism

What kind of hobbies do you have that are related to survivalism? Fishing, hiking, camping, gardening, hunting,,, or something else?

I go fishing, hunting, garden from time to time and have chickens.  During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I suspect all of those skills will come in handy.

What kind of hobbies will tie in well with your long term survival plans?

Do we prepare in vain

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Stockpiling survival gear, stockpiling food, stockpiling ammunition,,, are we prepping for something that will never happen? Has our time been squandered? Has everything we have done, been done in vain?

I consider myself to be active in the survivalist / prepping community for close to 20 years. In the late 1980s I became aware that I needed to be able to protect my family during times of civil unrest, so I started reloading and stockpiling ammunition.

In the 1990s I started stockpiling basic food groups, forming bug out plans, and started buying more firearms.

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistFrom the early 1990s – 2012, what has happened in the world to warrant living a survivalist lifestyle? Have we had an outbreak of a new plague, we had the swine flu but it fizzled out, no nuclear war,,,. Overall, besides the twin towers being brought down, and the conflict in the middle east, the world has been a pretty peaceful place.

The first part of the 21st century has been a lot more peaceful then the first part of the 20th century.

100 years ago tensions where rising in Europe. Unknown at the time there was a World War just around the corner.

One thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that governments will never live in peace with each other. The people may live in peace, but the governments never will.

I feel the U.S. government is trying to pick a fight with Russia or China. But only time will tell if anything ever happens.

Is prepping worth the hundreds of hours invested? If either my wife or I lose our job, we have plenty of food stockpiled.

Besides the occasional hurricane, I rarely get to use my preps. My Berkey water filter sits at the Bug Out Location, unused for around 3 years. The last time I shot my rifle I had to wipe dust off the scope lens – that is a fact I am not very proud of.

Where do we draw the line? Survivalist spend so much time, effort and money building their stockpiles, and for what? For the fishing gear to go unused, or the rifles and shotguns to collect dust, for the ammunition to stay stored in the ammo cans,,,.

One of the questions that gets thrown around the forums quit a bit is “when is S going to HTF?”. I have been waiting for over 20 years. The only things that have happened are a few hurricanes have made landfall.

How many times can the fear mongers cry wolf before people start to lose interest?

Back in the early 1990s there were stories going around about the U.N. was getting ready to invade the U.S. 20 years later its the same story over and over and over and over. Holy crap, how many times are we going to hear the same fear mongering before we start to get bored?

I have tried to live a survivalist lifestyle that is sustainable – meaning that I am doing my best not to get burnt out. After 20+ years of the same thing, it starts to get old after awhile.

Maybe I need to go fishing? Maybe I need to do something to get away from the computer? Maybe I need to take a break for a little while, not from blogging, but from survivalism. Yea, I think my wife and I need to go fishing, maybe go to the camp, maybe go to the movies.

If there is one thing that keeps me going, it has to be my children. What kind of world are we leaving to our kids? A nation riddled with debt, a shrinking middle class, a government that spends more then it takes in, nuclear tensions rising between nations.

I worry about that the world will be like in 20 years. I am 44 years old. What are things going to be like in 20 or 30 more years? What kind of world can me children and my grandchildren look forward to?

Obsessed With Survivalism

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Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism?  They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives.  Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?

There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession.  If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession?  What about a hobby and a lifestyle?

If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession?  If so, is work an obsession?  Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession.  Other times work is something we do to live.

[Related Forum Thread – Radical Survivalist]

If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?

Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life.  Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?

There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.

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Self-Centered Preppers

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know itFor this article, the term “Self-Centered Preppers” means people who only think of themselves while preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  All they are concerned about is themselves, and “maybe” their close family.  No consideration goes into planning for friends, or anyone outside their immediate family members.

A prime example of Self-Centered Preppers might be people who plan on bugging out to the wilderness.  How is your family going to deal with the sudden isolation?  How are you going to deal with being cut off from friends and family members?  How are your friends and family members going to handle a sudden loose of contact with you and your family?

If humanity were to suffer some kind of long term SHTF situation, my family would turn to people such as my dad, and myself for guidance.  It is my resp0onsiblity to make sure my family has plenty to eat, protected and that they will be provided of.

Self-Centered Prepper does not care about anyone else.  What about your grand kids?  What about your kids that can not afford to stockpile food at this time?  What about your parents, brothers, sisters, close cousins,,,,?

Friendships are an asset

No man is an island, Rome was not built by a single person, if you want to survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, you will need friends, team members and family members.

Apply Synergy to your plans – the sum of the whole is greater then the parts combined.

There is nothing that you can do that a small team can not do better.

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Why Do People Get Into Prepping

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Kevin Felts, survivalist and bloggerWhy do people get into prepping?

I think it boils down to “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.

The question that begs to be answered is “what is the the worst?”. What is the worst case situation that we should prepare for?

For some people “the worst” might be losing their job. For others it might be a wildfire, for others it might be a hurricane or flood. Then there are the people that plan for a complete collapse of society.

Does being a survivalist mean you have to prep for a complete collapse? No, it does not.

To understand survivalism, we need to understand what drives a survivalist. One of the highest levels of human thought is to think about what we think about. Why do we do the things we do, why do we think about what we do, why do we act a certain way, why do we make certain decisions.

Nobody is born a survivalist. Joining the survival community is a conscious decision we make. As with everything else in life, our decisions are influenced by the way we were raised, culture, society, events in our life,,,.

Why do people get into coin collecting? Why do people get into stamp collecting? Why do people get into the hobbies they do? Do they find the hobbies challenging, maybe a way to occupy their free time?

Survivalism is a practical hobby. Grow your own food, preserve and store your own food, just like people used to do decades ago. Maybe survivalism should be considered as a return to basics?

There was once a time when people grew their food during the spring and summer. Then preserved the food to last the family through the winter.

Today, families keep just a few days of food on hand.

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The Survivalist Monastery Theory

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Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistWhile reading “The Civilization Of The Middle Ages” by Norman Cantor (which I do not recommend the book by the way), on pages 150, 151, 152, 153, 154,,, the author discusses how monasteries became a source of education in the middle ages.  Monasteries were not well rounded education establishments, as they were only interested in teaching Latin and scripture.  Creating literature outside of the Holy scripture was suppressed.

One thing that monasteries did do, they preserved scripture.  One of the reasons why we have certain books in our modern Holy Bible, is because some scribe copied the books during the the middle ages.

Monasteries preserved scripture.  The monks in the monasteries taught people how to read Latin, and thus how to read scripture.

How does this monk, monastery and scripture stuff tie in with survivalism?

As monks taught holy scripture, so should survivalist teach self-reliance.

As a survivalist, it is your duty to go forth and spread the knowledge of self-reliance.

When people hear the word “monk”, thoughts of living in silence, or roaming the country side preaching the gospel to peasants comes to mind. That is not how things were like. Monks lived in the monastery, some tried to isolate themselves from the outside world, they were educated, copied holy text (scribes), and tried to live a life separated from the outside world.

How is the life of a monk, and the life of a survivalist that much different?

Maybe this should be called “The Survivalist Monk Theory”?

For the sake of discussion, lets focus on the effect we have on those around us, and not what fills our head.

Where a monk may have spent a great deal of time in prayer, he also had a profound effect on society. As survivalist, what effect do we have on those around us? Opsec says we have to always consider security when dealing with others. Let us apply the idea of a monastery to our group.

Everyone inside the walls of the monastery are the people inside our group. These are the people that we can talk to, communicate with and share our plans with.

Everyone outside the walls of our monastery are the strangers. Those are the people we do not know, or fully trust.

While a monastery had walls of brick and mortar, survivalist have walls of trust and relationships.

Just as monks educated the people inside the monastery, so should survivalist train and educate the people inside their group.

Unlike monks that tried to isolate themselves from the outside world, survivalist stay knowledgeable on current events.

The monastery is part of society, but also separate. We live on the fringe of society, on the outskirts, ever visible, but in the distance, just a blink from sight.

Related Articles:

Survivalism as a lifestyle

Theory of survivalism

Prepping for the everyday person

Surviving a Long Term Disaster

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Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistAs Hank Williams Jr. said in the song “A Country Boy Can Survive”, I have a shotgun, a rifle, a 4 wheel drive and country boy can survive. I can plow a field, I can catch catfish from dusk to dawn, aint too many things these boys cant do, a country boy can survive.

To some people the lyrics of “A Country Boy Can Survive” are just that, lyrics. To others, its a way of life.

Awhile back I read a survey that said the average U.S. citizen is at least 2 – 3 generations removed from farm life.  Some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation sets in, people are forced to return to rural life, 2 – 3 generations is a lot of relearning.

How many urban dwellers have ran a trotline?

How many urban dwellers have skinned a deer?

How many urban dwellers hunt and fish from dawn to dusk?

How many urban dwellers have access to rural land where they can setup a Bug Out Location?

People that currently raise at least part of their food supply will have a unique advantage over those that are unfamiliar with raising and gathering their on food.

Hunting – Even a blind hog finds an acorn from time to time.  One of the things about hunting is being at the right place and at the right time.  With those things in mind, an urban dweller could very possibly make a trip to the woods, kill a deer, bring it back home, and then what?  Will there be a way to cook or smoke the meat?  What happens when the family eats the deer?  Where is their next meal coming from?  Sooner or later the fuel is going to run out from driving out of the city and back.

When heading to the woods to look for a place to hunt, chances are you are going to run into other people doing the exact same thing.

One of the big questions, where would you hunt?  Are you on a hunting lease, do you own land, do you have a friend that owns land?  Do you have a safe place to hunt where you are not going to be running into other people?

Then there are the safety issues.  There is a reason why you are supposed to wear blaze orange on public hunting lands.  Desperate and hungry people will shoot at anything that moves.

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Prepping for the everyday person

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Southeast Texas Whitetail DeerThere was an interesting comment posted on the survivalistboards facebook page,

You want the world to End, But subscribe to a Survival group….. I hate my VCR I wish Y2K bug was Real….

My reply was,

No, I do not want the world to end. But just in case something happens, I want to be prepared.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Some people take prepping a little too far. They prepare for the worst regardless of where they are at or what they are doing. I agree with having a get home bag. But on the other side of the coin there are people that keep a complete Bug Out Bag along with a small arsenal in their vehicle. Reading what some people post in forums, its like they are prepping for a zombie invasion to breakout at any second.  Unlike what is portrayed on TV, the majority of preppers do not live on the fringe of society.  We are everyday people living in the cities, suburbs and rural areas all across the world.

Related Articles:

Long Term Survival Plans
Hunter Gatherer or Farmer Survivalist
Shortsighted Survival Plans
Everyday Carry Gear (EDC)

When people look at prepping, they get on the forum and get a little overwhelmed by what they see. It is easy to forget that some of the members of the forum have been prepping for decades.

Prepping is not for the lazy.  Sure you can buy some rice and throw it in an airtight box, buy some canned foods and think you have a well rounded survival plan.  Just because you “think” you have a well rounded plan does not make it true.

Where do we start?  A lot of people start prepping in the wrong order.

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Prepping in the wrong order

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Kevin Felts blogger and survivalistAfter talking to a buddy of mine, we came to the realization that most preppers stockpile in the wrong order.

When people get into prepping, what is the first things they start stockpiling?  Most people lean towards stockpiling firearms and ammunition first.

Why do most people place buying a firearm at the top of their list?  Maybe its the sense of security that owning a firearm provides?  Maybe its the idea of the family being able to protect themselves?  Maybe its a primal feeling where we feel safe and secure with a spear in our hands?

Ok, lets get back to prepping.

This is the way most people prep

1.  Firearms

2.  Short term food preps

3.  Sustainable food preps

This is the way people should prep

1.  Sustainable food preps

2.  Short term food preps

3.  Firearms

Sustainable Food Preps

Most preppers / survivalist put sustainable foods at the end of the list, so lets talk about this topic first.

Question, why do preppers focus on sustainable foods “after” they focus on a lot of other stuff?

Answer, in my opinion, its because planting a garden and having livestock takes a lot of time and effort.  Its easier to buy a bunch of canned foods then it is to build a chicken coop.

My wife and I spent 3 weekends building our chicken coop, which also includes an enclosed run on the coop.

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Zombies Are Real

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Yep, you read that right, zombies are real. Not real as in wanting to eat your brains, but real as in mindless people with no sense of reason and incapable of higher thought.

To live a survivalist lifestyle, one should be open minded, open to new ideas, flexible, open to suggestions and open to change. To be closed minded, to be inflexible and not open to change sets a limit on how well we can adjust to change.

What caused the Neanderthal to go extinct?

What caused Cro-Magnon Man to go extinct?

What caused Homo-Erectus to go extinct?

Was it their inability to adjust to climate change? Was it their inability to adjust to changing food sources? Were they open to new ideas?

Sheeple zombies

Sheeple are the people that say “we have done it this way 100 years, there is no reason to change now”.   These are the people who resist any kind of change.  When sheeple are forced to change, they get angry and develop feels of resentment.  These are the people that are on a dead end road of life.

I wonder if some Neanderthal refused to change his hunting patterns with the changes in herd migration?

Did Crug the Neanderthal say to Doug the Neanderthal:

Crug: The herds have moved over there, lets move with them and get something to eat.
Doug: Why should we move? The herds have always been here, they will come back.
Crug: Doug, we are going to starve.
Doug: Na, the herds will come back.

The herds did not come back. Crug, Doug and their entire species are now part of the fossil record.

Do not be like Crug and Doug.  Be open to new ideas, be open to suggestions and be open to change.

Random youtube video and forum threadFood Storage. How to? How much? What to store

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Survivalism as an experience and not a theory

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survivalistKnowledge + training = experience.

Knowledge + experience = skill

It is only through experience that we further our knowledge.

Knowledge and experience are stepping stones that build upon each other.

One problem that survivalist face, is the lack of hands on experience. You may “think” you know how to do something, but until you actually do it, you do not know if your theory works.

Some people learn the theories of survivalism, but never take the time to test those theories. How do you test your theories? With experience. How do you get experience? Buy doing something.

Through knowledge we develop a theory of how we can survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. How do we know the theory is going to work? By testing the theory.

Related Article3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

Hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI theory

Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.

The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?

Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land?  Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?

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What preppers do on the weekend

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Wire on end of chicken coop runWhat do preppers do with their spare time? Unless you are some kind of radical survivalist, we do not live in bunkers, nor do we hide in our homes in fear of a zombie invasion. For the most part, preppers (aka survivalist) are just like everyone else.  Survivalism / Prepping is a way of life.  While some people collect stamps, we check our food stocks.  While some people collect coins for fun and profit, we collect silver and gold as a hedge against inflation.

Friday, May 18 was a day to relax after the work week.  Friday evening is when my wife and I talk about what we need to do over the weekend.

Saturday, May 19 my wife and I like to get up early and get our shopping done.  Breakfast is either a fried egg sandwich with bacon or sausage on the side, or something quick in the microwave.  Regardless of what is fixed for breakfast, I like to have either strawberries or a banana on the side.   I feel that its important to start the day off with something like yogurt, or some kind of fruit along with my main breakfast.

To wash breakfast down, I usually have a low carb energy drink, such as a rock star or monster.

After breakfast, my wife and I head to town to take care of the shopping.  We like to get to get an early start before the stores get too crowded, and before the heat of the day sets in.

Part of the shopping list was put together a week beforehand.  Over the past week I took inventory.  What did I need to buy, what did I not need to buy?  For Saturday I decided to pick up a box of Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester  150 grain.  My 30-30 stocks are just about where I want them to be.  As usual the local Wal-mart was sold out of American Eagle in 223.  the closer we get to hunting season, the more difficult it is to find ammunition.  I like to buy my hunting ammo during the summer so when hunting season arrives I am ready to go.

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