“Turn Key” Adversity

This afternoon I decided to run to the store really quick to pick up some extras for dinner. With anticipation I turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened.
What??? I turned it again and nothing. I realized then, that when I had come home from the gym a few hours before, I, in my distracted state neglected to turn the key completely and remove it from the ignition.

The battery was dead…

I felt so helpless and empty….

The lack of expectations not immediately met – had me reaching for my coloring book…

…for only a moment  ~  then it was time to act.

I contemplated my actions – Do I call someone and awkwardly admit my indiscretion? Should call roadside assistance – in my driveway – again? (Last week it was a flat tire.)
Or bother a neighbor to ask for help? As I contemplated my dilemma, wishing I had purchased a portable battery charger, I realized that I had my old beater truck in the driveway, conveniently backed in. The brakes were failing, so it was in limbo until I could fix them.

The engine on my beater is still good, so I shifted my van into neutral and pushed it up to my truck.  Blessedly the batteries were parallel!

Next – I had to remember HOW to jump the battery.  At first I confused the cables – shocking!  I then humbled myself and inquired the know-it-all internet.

Remember peeps – reds on the positive terminals (battery posts) and black on the neg – terminal on the battery that is jumping the car and the other black attached to a non-painted bit of metal not connected or near the battery (this is to ground the charge).  I found the latch for the hood to be good grounding spot.

I stood back and had my daughter start the truck – no explosions or shocks – good to go!

I started the van and kept it running as I went to the store and back  – yep I live in one of those quaint and fairy-tale type of towns that you can leave just about anything lying about or running and nobody will bother it  – actually my teen was in the car – but nobody would have bothered it even if it was empty.

Back to reality.

You know, I hadn’t even cracked the hood of my van in the 4 months I have owned it.  I was like – wow, the battery is green, that’s different!  Yep, I have upgraded to paying to have my oil changed.  Loving it – soooo worth it.

Whilst I was trying to solve my crisis, I pulled out a battery charger from my closet that I had purchased for a few dollars at an auction about a year ago.  It was then that I realized that when I bought it, I failed to snatch the power-supply to charge it.  :/

Sometimes it takes real life moments to compel a person to reconsider their ways.  One of those things will be purchasing a portable battery charger that is small enough to go where I go and can be charged at home as well as in the van because the next time I have a battery problem I may not be in my driveway or where I have a signal to reach roadside assistance.

Let me be honest – In this day and age, it is not advisable to leave yourself vulnerable, waiting for a good samaritan with unknown intentions.

Having what you need when you need it is the best kind of prepping there is.

If you want to know how much food you need to prep wisely then

Get THE BOOK today.

I found other merchants trying to sell MY book for near-twice my price!
Click the link above to get the authors price and not another markup.


May the Storage Be With You 🙂



I Blinked and Missed It Again!!!

Apocalypse Ahead Warning SignI arrived home last night to learn that all the power was out on our street, in our local neighborhood – heck, in the WHOLE city!  How strange….

There seemed to be no tell-tale fire, the sounds of rushing fire-trucks or even a sheriff slowly driving through the streets with a megaphone to announce “All is well – power will be back on shortly.”

The megaphone thing was something the sheriff did nearly 50 years ago – before the age of electronics…like cell phones, dvd’s, and even oooh….vcr’s.  We had 3 channels on the TV, plus a few static-laden channels from the UHF and VHF realms of media space.  Rabbit ears were used to bring them back into focus and if you missed a show, re-runs hadn’t been invented yet.
Yep, those were the good-ol’-days.

So did I Miss the End of the World AGAIN???

Let’s see – how many end of the world scenarios have there been in the recent years?

  • I remember Y2K – that was a doozey!  I didn’t feel it though and felt that the hype was over rated, and I was right – good thing I went to bed without a worry, because the sun got up as happy as usual.
  • 911- a very sad day for so many –  seemed more of a signs of the times and definitive shift from feeling safe and comfortable at home to terribly vulnerable and victimized.
  • Now 2012, the Mayan Calendar’s End of Days – that one was a breath holder!
    I went to bed and got up and realized – I have missed all the excitement!
    The end of the world had Left Me Behind!  Ugh!
  • The past two years we have been geared up for ‘the-end-is-near’ and the ‘end’ keeps forgetting to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention.  I really feel left out of the loop!  

I missed BOTH the asteroid striking the earth AND yesterdays End-of-Days!

What next?  Will I miss California falling into the ocean too??? Sheesh!

As the sun began to sink behind the horizon, I began searching around the house for a candle and matches – I even tossed some wood and kindling in the fire pit – in case dinner would be an ‘eating-out’ opportunity.  While searching, I realized I didn’t have any lamp oil, that maybe I should get some.  I worried that IF there was a TEOWAKI event, I didn’t have my wood stove installed yet.  What would I do IF the electricity really did quit? – Was I ready?    I knew the answer – NO – I am not ready.

I have a gravity water filter…I made my own Berkey with two 5 gallon buckets, the Berkey filters and a spigot – good girl!  But…I did not have alternative heat or cooking means for my family for the long winter ahead.

Winters in Missouri are power-outage nightmares, especially if there is an ice storm.

What about light?  Did I really want to use my precious oil as a light source? No.
Do I have enough candles?  I don’t think so….
What about space heaters in each room? You know the upside-down ceramic flower pots with tea-lights, or even blocks of soapstone to put at the base of the bed for warm toes.
Am I ready??? No.  Ugh!

There is sooooo much to consider and do to prepare for a total TEOWAKI event!

Back to my strange, kinda freaky, feelings.  Hmmm….I wondered – can they create a focused EMP that can attack only the grid that effects homes and infrastructure, and not cars or mechanical-computerized devices?  I then hopped on my tablet to search these questions and realized that if the internet was up, we probably didn’t have an EMP attack.   I later learned from a neighbor that it turns out a little bird took down a transformer in a nearby town.  The power was out for only an hour and a half.  We ate in.

Sigh of Relief!!!

(If taking down the grid is THAT easy!  We’re in real trouble!)

I am glad I slept through this apocalypse, but I must keep in mind, there are many other apocalypses to look forward to, such as:

The tidal wave that supposed to sweep the east coast,
The mega New Madrid earthquake that will split our continent in two along the Mississippi river,
The Super Volcanic eruption of Yellowstone,
The Cascadia Fault Zone,
Utah’s Wasatch Front gearing-up for “The-Big-One” and let’s not overlook…
California slipping into the ocean.

If I missed mentioning your favorite apocalypse – let me know.

So many exciting adventures are ahead of us…..don’t be like me, sleeping through ALL of them.

Be Prepared.

Get THE Book

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

May the Storage Be With You.


News Flash…White Flour is NOT Forever!

For years I  have assumed the accepted  belief that white flour has an indeterminate life cycle and that once it’s packed, it is good for life.

Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is not forever!

Boy – did I receive a tasty surprise when I discovered a couple of white flour buckets that had gotten tucked behind other items.

These flour buckets were dated 2009 and yes, it had the original flour still inside.
I thought, “Ooooh, I need to use this stuff!” and proceeded to make a double batch of biscuits.

Well, That was a BIG mistake!

During dinner, my kids and their friends – (what a way to make an impression) – seemed to turn bit white, while gagging slightly, when they took their first bite of these mirages of flaky goodness.  Even after their first  bite,they were troopers as they attempted to mask the beyond bitter taste with butter, honey and/or cinnamon sugar.

One of the neighbor kids at the table stated that my biscuits tasted like really bad play-dough.  The expressed consensus throughout the meal was that rancid play-dough doesn’t really taste very good.

The last time I had gotten a ‘compliment’ like this from a non-bias crowd was when I served some roll-out sugar cookies several years ago to the children of a good friend – the recipe for these cookies I found on the Martha Stewart website and had felt pretty confident that they were be the ‘bees-knees’.

My friends kids were kinder than my own.
The older girl in the car simply asked me if I was serving the ‘play-dough’ cookies again.
It was an awkward moment, but I took it well by incorporating generous amounts of humor.
If I can’t laugh at myself then I won’t have any fun when my friends are laughing at me.

FYI: I am very sure that it was the slightly aged flour, not the recipe,
that brought on the less-than-desirable play-dough taste.

My mistaken imaginations of forever white flour were shattered this past week as I slaughtered a double-batch of innocent biscuits.

I will say it again: Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is NOT forever!

I truly feel concern for those who have acquired their ‘food-storage’, (hunkering down for decades in grandmas basement) either by early inheritance, or by personal investment…the day will come when you will need to eat it.  Make sure it is edible today to ensure you can eat it tomorrow.

If you have those #10 cans or 5 gallon buckets of white flour that are dated beyond two years from their original packing – unless they are vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags – then your white flour probably tastes pretty nasty right now.

This past incident with my flour being 7 years old just topped my record of serving some pretty nasty food.  Believe me, starvation would definitely more flavorful that those biscuits.  I don’t think there is any amount of sugar, milk, butter or other flavor altering ingredient that can fix rancid flour.

I mean it was rancid!  Not just the “Ewe, that’s stale.” taste, it was more like the “Ugh! Get this nasty tongue stinging, stinky, nausea party out of my mouth!” kinda taste.  There was no fixing it….there IS NO FIXING IT!

Wheat and other grained flour is worse – 6 months tops for wheat flour before it goes, unless you keep it in a 45-50 degree environment, then it may have a bit longer keep.

My advise to you is to open TODAY an older #10 can or 5 gallon bucket to verify that the flour is still good.  Sometimes food in the can will also take on a tinny taste over time.

My theory is: If one can. or bucket of white flour is bad then be assured that all the cans or buckets of white flour reflecting the same date, or close to it, will be bad as well.

If your white flour is vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags, it may still be good.  You will not know unless you open it and the worst time to discover your stores are bad is when you are ready to eat them.

Remember stored food is not meant to sit in your basement, crawlspace, stairway space or closet waiting for an apocalypse.  It is supposed to be regularly consumed and replenished just like your cupboard.

Eat What Your Store Today ~ Store What You’ll Eat Tomorrow

May the Storage Be With You

Anne 🙂



Rethinking the Garden Plot

My mind is not always very organized.  I usually start out with abstract and unconnected thoughts which slowly materialize into something cohesive and tactile.

It took me 2 years, of writing and rewriting my decades-long learning curve, to complete my book.  Most of the rewriting was organization ~ reorganization ~ of how I wanted my thoughts presented.     Get the Book

Now here, like with writing, a garden is an expression of our minds.  There are gardens that are neat and orderly and gardens where just about anything grows anywhere.  My gardens often fall somewhere in the between category, leaning more toward the ‘growing anywhere’ garden than anything that would appear orderly.

This video, that originally aired on a local California news channel has inspired my mind to make better use of the new garden space I have been blessed with.  Imagine what I could do with my yard space IF I were organized!

“Ever thought of growing your own food but didn’t think it was possible? It’s more that possible! It might even be the way of the future. If the Dervaes family can do it while living in Los Angeles, I think you can to.

The Dervaes family live on 1/10th of an acre 15 minutes from downtown L.A.. In itself that’s not strange. What’s crazy is that they manage to maintain a sustainable and independent urban farm. Complete with animals!

In a year they produce around 4,300 pounds of veggies, 900 chicken eggs, 1000 duck eggs, 25 lbs honey, and pounds of seasonal fruit. There are over 400 species of plants. What?! They have everything they need to ‘live off the land.’ From beets to bees. Chickens to chickpeas.” 1.

My garden area is a self watering leach field, that does not puddle or retain excess amounts of water.  Since it is on a very gentle slope, all the water that is not absorbed is directed into a ditch along the road.  I am not sure if that ditch floods, but I imagine that if there was a major downpour, a puddle or small lake may form in the roadway behind my home.

This garden appears to be a mix of permaculture and squarefoot gardening.  I really liked how they conserved water in a drought stricken environment.  They have chickens, ducks and goats to go along with their immense garden in such a tiny space.  I mean, if chickens really smelled that bad, the neighbors next door would be up in arms with the goats and ducks too.

Here is the inspiring video:



I’m starting to get my gardening mind organized…

May the Storage Be with You!

1. Source: http://diycozyhome.com/6000-lbs-of-food/


Women’s ‘Sane’-i-tory Needs

Okay guys, spoiler alert ~ this is ‘lady’-talk, so either brace yourselves for that moment of ‘awkward’ or avert your eyes now, ’cause I learned a tough lesson this week.

~ Tough Lesson Learned ~

There is a lot of advice out there for what you need to collect regarding local or pandemic situations.
All this advice is good, but I have learned than even in a non-pandemic illness there are still items that have not been stressed for stocking among the feminine population.

I had learned hands-on the importance of stocking beyond my understanding during this last bout of illness.

The first lesson I learned was the mistaken idea of : “I have enough of that.”

If you think this way ~ you’ll find out, at the worse time,
that you are seriously mistaken, and deeply IN NEED.

Running out of sanitary needs is kinda like running out of chocolate ~ but worse!

My Story:

Recently, I began to feel under the weather.
I began having the sniffles and feeling a slight malaise.
Determined to conquer this attacking foe, I took all the natural stuff I had to battle it, but what I didn’t consider was the decrepit condition of a super important body part.

Ultimately, I won the battle, but not the war.  
I didn’t get bronchitis or pneumonia, but I did get an awful upper cough that lingered for weeks afterward.

So what could possibly be worse than running out of chocolate
and honing the potential of leaving me in desperate need?

Bladder Control

It seems that illness can enhance the effects of a biological weakness.

I confess…I experienced some serious issues…yep it is embarrassing, humiliating and downright un-discussable – which is why I am talking about it.  I am very experienced with embarrassment and humiliation, and so – sigh – why not take the opportunity to be the instigator of my own fate.
I have had seven children, so my parts have been dysfunctional for sometime.

We all know, secretly, after a few kids, little sneezes promote tiny ‘leaks’.  

Soon this graduates to wearing pantyliners – just in case.

Later, like at a child’s play area or a birthday party,  we learn – the natural way – that the trampoline is no longer our ‘friend’.

But The REAL truth comes out when the coughing starts.
Q: Which is easier to control – the coughing fit or the bladder?
A: …Niether…

It’s the, ‘Oh Crap!’, moment when holding back or giving into that little sneeze in a public venue means you’ve got to tie your cute little jacket around your waist because now theres proof that your bladder is less effective than a 3 year olds!

How to conquer this terrible twist of fate?

At this point in time, luckily, adult ‘pull-ups’ are not yet the answer.

After screaming through 3 MONTHS of overnight feminine pads in ONE WEEK, I realized that I had underestimated my supply needs.  

Since illness is a ‘sure thing’ in life, and being that the body is more susceptible to illness during stressful times, increasing the supplies would be recommended.

Yes, STRESS will increase your chances of contracting a ‘coughing-fit’.

I would advise Doubling your current supply of women’s pads would assure that you have enough for those inescapable moments of embarrassment.  

A cough is no respecter of bladders.

Doubling your panty liners may help too, for lite protection in case of wee little sneezes.

For less than the cost of a couple of 72 packs of t.p. you can substantially increase your feminine products.

Don’t use pads?
I guarantee a tampon won’t fix this problem,
so my advice is to get those pads for emergency needs.


You won’t regret it

I, personally, am going to quadruple mine.

You can learn more about how much you may need by following the chart guidelines in my book:

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going to Eat ~ Section 15 – Non-Food-Essentials.

I am going back to look at the numbers and then multiply them by 4.

May the Storage be with you.  🙂

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

Crossed International Boundaries this Month

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

How Much Wheat Am I Really Going To Eat? by Anne McFadden

Whoo Hoot!  I’ve sold a kindle book in Australia this month!

I know that may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me.
Funny, it seems to help me feel like I am a for-real author!
Since this is my first book, and my baby, as well as the possible opus of my writing career, I am happy to see my book selling on the other side of the world.

Thank you Amazon!  🙂


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