Natural Shelter

A nice, cozy, safe shelter!

I made a shelter using only leaves, wood, stones and vines.  It is warmer on the inside than it is on the outside.  I can lie in it just fine.

IMG_1346 - Edited

The leaves on the top of the shelter are the insulation, wood is used as poles, the stones are the entrance area, and the vines are used as the doorway.

It’s cozy!



I Can. Do You?

Here’s my favorite tomato sauce recipe. It’s really quite easy and you don’t need fancy equipment.

Surprise!  It’s Harvest Month and we are busy canning.  Admitted, my filled jars do not have pretty little checkered cloth covers and prettily handwritten tags decoratively dangling from their sides.  I will make sure to adorn them thus when the girls do the canning and I am sitting on the kitchen bench, responsible for the decorative parts only, in about 20 years or so.  Until then, I will pay more attention to what goes into the jars than to their pretty appearance on the pantry shelves.

But enough rambling.  I wanted to share one of my favorite canning recipes with you, for what it’s worth.  I won’t give you exact amounts because you have to eat it, so you figure out how much pepper you like in your tomato sauce, if any, and whether you like it to be more or less garlic-y.  The ratios are pretty much arbitrary.  The vinegar helps keep the sauce fresh.  I use apple-cider vinegar because it simply tastes better than the white stuff.

Oh, and one last thing:  You need no pressure canner for this one.  The jars are processed in a hot water bath, so this can be done without special equipment, apart from the actual jars you put the sauce in.  You can buy them at just about every grocery store at this time of year, usually in 12-packs, for about a buck per jar.

canning featured

Tomato Sauce

  • tomatoes, as many as you have.  For thicker sauce remove seeds/ the watery inner part (which I never do; I rather add tomato paste to the sauce when I actually use it).  If you grew the (heirloom, not hybrid) tomatoes yourself, save some seeds for next spring!
  • peppers, as many as you like.  Save seeds from them as well.
  • onions, two or so, more if they are small
  • garlic, about two cloves per 5 quarts, or more if you like
  • oregano, a good bit, either dried or fresh
  • basil, also a good bit, either dried or fresh
  • apple cider vinegar, about half a cup for 5 quarts worth of sauce


Cut all the vegetables into chunks and bring to a boil in a big pot.  When it’s boiling, turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.  Fill into hot, sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace.  Put lids on, but don’t screw them on real tight.  Just enough for them to be well in place is enough.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove from water bath and let cool for about 12 hours before labeling and storing away.

If you have a jar or so left over because you don’t want to process a lonely jar in the big canner, just use it fresh or freeze it.  Incidentally, I freeze all liquids in wide-mouth mason jars; just make sure to leave a lot more headspace than when you can because liquids expand when they freeze.

Since our girls love tomato sauce, but prefer it smooth rather than chunky, I pour the sauce into a mixer and puree it before heating, but it’s not necessary to do that if you like chunky sauce.  For us, this recipe takes care of all our surplus tomatoes, all the ones we do not turn into fresh salsa or eat straight off the plant.

Busy Busy Busy

Sit down for a minute, relax, and watch someone else being busy busy busy.

Do you get like that?  Busy busy busy and no time for anything than being busy?  Well, maybe you can sit down for a minute, literally, 58 seconds, relax, and watch someone else being busy busy busy.  Here is a short video of the honey bees who moved into one of the maple trees on the property a few months ago.  They are loaded with yellow and orange pollen:

The orange pollen is an indication that fall is coming.  Got to wonder how much honey they have stashed away in that tree by now!

Other indicators that fall is approaching can be found in the apple tree:

apple featured

We have not seen any European hornets this year, but then again, they usually wait until the apples are really nice and ripe, and then have their feast.  We posted a few pictures of them last year.

Also, we harvested a bit of this crop again, but found out later that this time, we were a bit late:  Stinging nettles are very tasty just sauteed in butter, but once they developed flowers, they are hard on the kidneys, or so they say.  So you better get to them before that.  But seriously, of all the so-called bitter greens – Swiss chard, kale, dandelion greens, nettles and the like – our absolute favorite are stinging nettles.  Once you harvested them, you blanch them in boiling water so they won’t sting anymore, and then cut them to the size you prefer and throw them in a sauce pan with some butter.  Let them get soft, and enjoy them.  We often eat soup – carrot soup, for example – and a few nettles thrown in when the soup is already in your bowl is quite delicious and adds texture.

nettle harvest featured

And here are a few pictures to enjoy, just because beauty is such a wonderful thing.

First, leaves on the apple tree im Gegenlicht:

gegenlicht featured

Two Zinnias:

zinnia featured


horse fly

And a much smaller bug on a Black-eyed Susan.  I think he was just doing his daily stoutness-exercises when I came along with the camera.

flower and bug insta

There’s that for today.  Make sure you don’t get too busy!  We all have the same amount of time, you know, 24/7, to be exact, and it is up to us to make time for the right stuff.



Survival Can-dle

Need ideas what to do with an empty tobacco can, besides storing matches, or a small sewing kit in it?  Here is one.

Pipe tobacco cans are very versatile.  They have a great size and a close-fitting lid that screws on and off.  Much too good to just throw away when empty!  Look at this fine example:


Need ideas what to do with a tobacco can, besides storing matches, or a small sewing kit in it?  Here is an idea:  Make a survival candle.  All it takes is some paraffin (the kind you can pick up at just about any general store) and a bit of leftover wick or thick cotton thread, or even an piece of pipe cleaner, and hey presto!, you have a candle that doubles as a stove if need be.


Plus, it’s fun to make.  Try it out!

Nebraska Amish in Andover OH

Along the shore of Pymatuning lake, Andover, OH.

Featured Image:  Strolling along the shore of Pymatuning lake, Andover, OH.

Interesting post at AmishAmerica linked below about the Amish of Andover, OH. We lived on the outskirts of Andover for about 5 years.  From the looks of the photos the author headed west on Rt. 6 and then north on Rt 7, through an area we refer to affectionately as Yoderville.

If you’re ever in the area make sure to check out the Barn Store in Cherry Valley.  We go there for sacks of wheat, oats, and semolina but they are really known in these parts for the Amish furniture.  Very busy place.  And yes, they have a web site.

Indicentally, when speaking about the concept of Retro-Culture, William S. Lind says the Amish are the model.  We tend to agree.

“What can individuals do to prepare for 4th generation warfare? What can my family do?”  ~The Discarded Image, 1/27/04, By William S. Lind

For more info and some good pictures of Andover Amish, check out the link below.

With Amish found in over 500 locations across North America, you have a decent chance of stumbling across a community while on the road (assuming you stay off the interstate). Don Burke had this happen on a recent road trip when he came upon an unexpected settlement in northeastern Ohio. He shares his passing visit…

via The Amish at Andover, Ohio (15 Photos) — Amish America

As above, so below

It is not that the order of the cosmos was conceived on the model of social institutions, but, on the contrary, these institutions were founded on the basis of analogy with the cosmic order.

~Rene Guenon

As above, so below.

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

My new favorite word:  Doppelschifffschraubenturbinenschnellpostdampfer 

Which beats my old favorite word:  Antidisestablishmentarianism

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

A remarkable series of several dozen European-style stone tools, dating back between 19,000 and 26,000 years, have been discovered at six locations along the US east coast. Three of the sites are on the Delmarva Peninsular in Maryland, discovered by archaeologist Dr Darrin Lowery of the University of Delaware. One is in Pennsylvania and another in Virginia. A sixth was discovered by scallop-dredging fishermen on the seabed 60 miles from the Virginian coast on what, in prehistoric times, would have been dry land.

Source: The Independent

Congress Quietly Pushing Bill to Require National Biometric ID for ‘ALL Americans’

“Under the statists’ National ID scheme, you’d be forced to carry around your National ID card, tied to this massive database, chockfull of biometric identifiers like fingerprints and retina scans,” Paul noted. “Without this ID, you won’t be able to legally hold a job — or likely even open a bank account or even board a plane!”

Source: The Liberty Beacon

We are well into a geomagnetic reversal right now.

Lessons from Solzhenitsyn: Prison Survival

The following seven-point recipe for survival was drawn from the Archipelago Gulag and presented recently in France

Prison Survival

Are you afraid of Globalists’ coming Hell?
Your inner castle, filled with God, build well.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) is one of the few truly outstanding writers of the 20th century because he is not godless but came back to God thanks to his sufferings under the totalitarian tyranny of Communist Russia, which lasted from 1917 until 1989. His major work is the Archipelago Gulag in three volumes, for which he drew extensively on his own experience, when he lived from 1945 to 1953 inside the Communist archipelago of prison camps spread all over Russia. He survived the experience, and his writings include hints or serious advice on how to survive in such modern-day totalitarian prisons. One hears that the Globalists have already built prisons across the United States in which to shut up enemies of the Globalist State, who will surely include convinced Christians. The following seven-point recipe for survival was drawn from the Archipelago Gulag and presented recently in France:—

* At the preliminary interrogation , do not try to deceive or trick the interrogators when for a week you have been given the bare minimum of food and sleep for survival. Rather play the idiot from start to finish, e.g. “I don’t know,” “I can’t remember.” In any case, do not fool yourself, it is the interrogators who write up the interrogation – the Party is their conscience, and they do not want to lose their jobs.

* Once inside the prison , lead any kind of life of the mind sufficiently intense for no kind of suffering to be able to knock your mind off balance.

* Get into your head as fast as possible that your past life is over and done with , even life itself. Once you have nothing more to lose and are convinced of it, and have made up your mind that cost what it may, you are going to stick to the line you have determined upon, then you are no longer afraid, automatically you find the right answers and how to answer, they can no longer impose on you, and if you have to die, you do so with dignity and a clear conscience. Here is the moral strength that they are afraid of and which they do all they can to break, for instance by raising false hopes of your receiving a pardon.

* Possess nothing, be detached from everything, and you will have the calm and freedom of mind to judge serenely of people and circumstances. Rely on your memory alone to call up everything you know of man and human nature.

* Give up any desire to organise your own life, in order to preserve your peace of mind.

* Believe nobody, distrust everybody: inside the gulag, nobody does anything for nothing.

* Finally, stick close to decent fellow-prisoners against the crooks and informers, taking justice into your own hands, if necessary. For indeed one of the most remarkable discoveries on your journey through this scene from Hell is that your worst enemies are not the prison guards, but . . . your fellow-prisoners. The law of this jungle is, today it’s you that kicks the bucket, tomorrow it’s my turn. All that you can do is to strike first, even if you get knifed in return . . . in brief, make yourself respected if you do not want to be exploited.

As for the use of physical force in self-defence, the Church teaches that it must be proportional to the attack threatened. But Solzhenitsyn’s main point is the renunciation of all earthly hope, the detachment from all possessions, the calm of mind, the conscience at peace, in brief that inner moral strength which transfers the fear from oneself to one’s adversaries. Here Catholics are universally recognised to be winners, who have a prayer life by which they live close to God. “This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith” (I John V, 4).

Kyrie eleison.


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Trench Cake

Trench cake is really, really delicious, and also serves as a wonderful survival food because much like lembas bread, it keeps just about indefinitely without refrigeration.

cooking mixtureRecently, I read Simon Tolkien’s No Man’s Land, and I can just imagine how this cake would have nourished the heart and soul of the soldiers in the trenches.  It’s really, really delicious, and perfect comfort food.

It also serves as a wonderful survival food because much like lembas bread, it keeps just about indefinitely without refrigeration.  We read about it on BioPrepper‘s website.

So here is the Trench Cake recipe:

Trench Cake
The original recipe, promoted by the American Red Cross, comes with a recommendation: “Cake keeps fresh for a long time and can be sent to men at the front.”

1 cup orange juice or rum for soaking raisins
8 ounces raisins (about one package), chopped, soaked in orange juice or rum, and drained before use
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons lard (butter may be substituted today, but lard helped the cake stay fresher.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
4 ounces (about 1 cup) pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour

Put sugar, hot water, lard, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and raisins, nuts, and grated zest in a large pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat (picture above), stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to low and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix flour and baking soda then add to the liquid part.  Stir well.  Take 2 small loaf pans and grease generously – if you skimp here, it will stick to the pan.  Pour your mix in the loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes.  Check with a knife when ready.  If the knife comes out clean when you poke the cake than it is ready to take out of the oven.

And as you can imagine, it’s wonderful still warm and with butter…

with butter


Pretty, but not recommended for consumption.

amanita muscaria smallThis is an Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita.  It is growing in the woods behind the house.  Pretty, and used to be used as an insecticide when sprinkled with milk (hence the common name).  Don’t eat it though, since it is classified as poisonous.

Usually with a bright red umbrella, ours seems to be the orange variety called Amanita muscaria var. guessowii, or “American fly agaric, yellow variant”.

More info on the Wiki about Amanita muscaria

Would You?

Would you do things the same way if the nearest hospital were two centuries away?

Reflect on your daily life for a moment.  Would you do things the same way if the nearest hospital were two centuries away?

Would you dare that bungee jump?

Would you drive to your friend’s house in shorts and flip flops when the snow is piled high left and right?

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