Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Art of Self Sufficiency Too

I’ll start with one of my own projects. This is the metal frame that came from inside an old box spring. We used it to make a trellis for our beans and peas last year. This year we are re-purposing it to grow clematis flowers.

I realize that this is not necessarily all that ‘artful’ but the end results are. To make up for that, I have found a few more pictures from around the internet to show you some more wonderful ideas. All they need is your own personal touch.

Remove a few boards from an old pallet and you have a nice wall hanging for the whole family.

Here’s an old bicycle wheel used as a pot and pan hanger.

A broken chair can be cut, decorated and hung on the wall.

Old muffin pans are perfect for growing herbs in the kitchen.

Reuse old teapots as flower pots.

An old dresser used for growing veggies.

Used windows can be made into a greenhouse.

Gardening on a balcony in a pallet.

Use an old ladder as a yard or garden art stand.

Mate a tabletop to an old pitchfork and you can have a level table anywhere.

Here’s one of my favorites ~ old fan blades attached to old table legs.

These are just a few more ideas. The items you reuse and decorate with, whether it’s useful, artful, or both are only limited by your imagination. You can start your search for ideas yourself using these search terms:
·         Recycle
·         Reuse
·         Repurpose
·         Up-cycle
·         Alternate uses
·         And I’m sure there are many more.

Here are a few websites to get you started:

I want you to remember a few things:
1.   Be yourself
2.   Impress yourself
3.   Ask for help
4.   Almost everything is reusable
5.   Most importantly ~ HAVE FUN!!!

As usual, you are more than welcome to join me in my Facebook group ~ Kaya Self Sufficiency.

I have also been updating my website of the same name ~ Kaya Self Sufficiency.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Art of Self Sufficiency

Obviously, self sufficiency is a way of life. For me it goes a few steps further. It’s a way to feel alive. It’s my being. It lives in my soul. And, yes, it is an art form.

As an example, if you give a garden ‘schematic’ to two different people and have them grow their own garden, the layout might be exactly the same but each garden will look completely different simply because of personal tastes. The same applies with recycling, re-purposing and reusing.

Here’s a picture of one of my favorite examples of the art of self sufficiency:
Use old rain gutters for veggie gardening out doors or even indoors for herb gardening.

And here’s a few more showing artful ingenuity:
 Rub a walnut on scratches to hide them.

 Use one pillowcase from a linen set to keep the set together.

The key to being ‘artful’ is very simple ~ be yourself, do what you like, and create how you see fit. There are very few things on the face of this planet that have only one use. It is your job to find the others besides the actual intended use.

Here’s a link to something most folks did not know you can do: Moss graffiti.

Now get out there and have some fun! Take some pictures of your ‘art’. Feel free to send them to me and I will post them in a future blog. kaya@planetmail.net

As always, you can visit my Facebook group here:

I also have a website set up for special deals I can create for you all. The current one is for emergency food ration bars to keep in your bug out bag or in your glove box in your vehicle. Here is the link: http://kayaselfsufficiency.weebly.com/

Thank you for reading and I certainly hope you enjoyed yourself and learned something!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Alternatives to Firearms

Here’s a topic I have not gone into yet because feelings on both sides of the coin run deep and strong. But, like it or not, firearms are a part of life and they will not ever go away. I’ll cover some simple aspects of firearms and then we’ll talk about alternatives. Always remember that sometimes the right tool for the job will be the only tool for the job and firearms are really just another tool, complete with dos and don’ts.

The first thing I should tell you is that I grew up with a Ruger 10/22. It was just a standard model and had none of today’s fancy trappings and such. I’ll be honest with you here. I used it for plinking and not for hunting. I did shoot a bird once and actually felt bad about it, mostly because it was an accident.

That leads me to the most important thing about ANY weapon – safety. Always, always, always learn the dangers of any weapon, even before you purchase it. Two major points right off the bat: never point a weapon at someone unless you actually intend to use it; never put your finger on a trigger until you intend to squeeze it.

I have not forgotten that the title here is “Alternatives to Firearms”. I suggest that almost every person or group should have a small caliber rifle and a shotgun. That said, I no longer own a firearm. Besides knowledge of how to trap, my primary weapon is a slingshot. It is a high quality device that will shoot just about anything from steel balls to rocks to arrows.

Slingshots are just one of the alternative options. It all depends on what you want or need to do with this particular tool. If you are using it for hunting, you could also choose a bow and you have many choices there also. There are long bows, short bows, compound bows, rifle style crossbows and pistol style crossbows. Again the type you choose depends on the intended use – varmint or rodent disposal, small game or large game.

Another option for rodents and some of the smaller game is the blowgun. I have never used one myself but they can be effective if used properly. They are certainly not intended for long range shots but rather for more ‘up close and personal’ type hunting, like my slingshot.

This brings me to throwing weapons such as knives, hatchets, spears, bolos and the like. All of these are also more for close range hunting and for personal protection but they can and are every bit as dangerous as a pistol or a rifle. So, I will reiterate – safety, safety, safety! Never allow any living thing in front of you while practicing and always pay attention to the whereabouts of everyone around you. Also, I always suggest taking a course in the use and safety of any weapon you choose.

A safety course would have prevented my bird shooting accident. I was walking through the woods and did things that I shouldn't have done. One; my gun was loaded and cocked but NOT locked. Two; I had my finger on the trigger. Three; at that moment, my gun was more important to me than those around me. Here’s the situation: I was walking through the woods with a friend looking for a place to shoot. I tripped and fell forward. I actually landed on my face with my rifle in my hands above my head pointed straight up. As I hit the ground, because I did not discard my gun and because I had my finger on the trigger, it fired and shot a bird out of the tree above me, which proceeded to land on my back. It was not a good situation.

I tell you this because I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I could have just as easily shot my friend. Accidents happen but if we follow the safety guidelines, most of them can be avoided. We’ll cover firearms – rifles, pistols and shotguns - and their safety in a future post.

Once again I would like to welcome you into my Facebook group, Kaya Self Sufficiency, and share my latest ‘group purchase’ deal, emergency food bars, at my website, also called Kaya Self Sufficiency.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alternative Natural Skin Care

There are a myriad of products out there that you can use to take care of your skin, your hair, your nails and every other part of your body. The great majority of them are not at all natural even though most have a natural substitute provided for us by our planet.

Before I get into this, I want you to remember that just because it says ‘All Natural’, it does not always mean it’s good. After all MSG is a naturally occurring substance.

Now, where to start. I suppose that I should start with a very basic recipe that can get you going. Like MSG, oil (as in black gold) is a naturally occurring substance but would you like it rubbed into your skin? I wouldn't either but petroleum jelly is not too far removed from oil. Here is a recipe you can use instead.

Unpetroleum Jelly ~ Take 1/8 cup grated beeswax and mix it with 1/2 cup olive oil in a sauce pan. Melt it over very low heat. Do NOT use a microwave. Pour it into a jar to cool. Once it’s solidified, you can check it for consistency. If you want it a bit softer, re-melt it and add a little more beeswax. Once you are satisfied, it can be used in any way store bought petroleum jelly can be used.

Something else most of us use is deodorant. Because this is something that varies for everyone, I’m going to give you one example but also urge you to look for other recipes as well. There are hundreds of deodorant recipes for all types of skin. I chose this recipe because it can be used as a sprinkle on powder or, with one added ingredient, can be used as a stick deodorant.

Take 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a bowl and add 10 to 20 drops tea tree oil or other similar oil and mix it up good. If you have sensitive skin, you can increase the cornstarch a little and decrease the baking soda by the same amount. The benefit of tea tree oil is a subject for its own blog sometime in the future. Use this mixture as is for a powdered deodorant.

For the stick version of this deodorant, add about 2 tablespoons or more of coconut oil, depending on your preference of consistency, which should be solid at room temperature. Then squish it into an empty deodorant dispenser and let it sit for a few days to harden up a little.

Use this deodorant a little lighter than you would your normal stick deodorant. If you use it right, it should be invisible and it will last for a very long time.

OK, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again ~ ALWAYS do your research. To get you started, here are a few websites with various recipes for you to ‘play with’:

And here’s one that is A LOT more than just skin care: Essential Survival

I hope this helps you in your quest to be more self sufficient. Enjoy!

As always, you are more than welcome to join my group ~ Kaya Self Sufficiency ~ on Facebook, where we cover all kinds of subjects to help you rely more on yourself and Mother Nature.

Now for a completely different topic: Emergency food. I was able to put together a sort of group deal for emergency food ration bars. I must order a whole pallet (126 cases) to get the excellent price of $65 per case of ten bars. One bar is 3600 calories, which equals three days worth of food. That means that one case equals 30 days worth of food. These bars have a light lemon-vanilla shortbread cookie flavor and can be fed to infants because they have no tropical oils in them.

The deal is that you go to this emergency food bar page that I set up and sign up for however many cases you would like. Once I get all 126 cases spoken for, I will replace the sign up form with a ‘Buy Now’ button and send out an email to all who have signed up. This button will take you to a PayPal page where you can make your actual order.

I will be on the lookout for more deals like this and as I find them, I will add them to this page once the ‘old deal’ is completed. I will let you know about each once as it becomes available. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

100 Things You Shouldn’t Worry Yourself About

I keep seeing this list of ‘100 Things That Will Disappear’ that shows up on any number of survival or readiness websites and in many similar groups on Facebook. I don’t know where it came from in the beginning but my opinion of it is that, even though it’s a very good list, it’s not in any particular order and too much thought went into it. In other words, it evokes a sense of ‘where the heck do I start?’.

Right off the bat, if you are preparing for a SHTF situation, you would need a whole separate location just to store all the things on the list. That is IF you could even afford it all. This is the main reason I advocate a self sufficient lifestyle. A person or family who is honestly self sufficient will already have most, if not all, of what’s on this list.

I will not repost the list here and we will not go over the entire thing. What we will do is go over what’s most important so that you don't have to worry yourself so much. Here’s your starter list, whether you’re preparing or living self sufficiently. I’m going to call these groups instead of items.
1.   Shelter.
a.    Safety from the elements and ‘animals’
b.    Facilities – Kitchen and restroom
c.    Storage for water, food and supplies
2.   Clean water.
3.   Food.

The first thing we have on the list is shelter. This is going to be our ‘base of operations’.

Shelter can mean a building, a tent, a cave or simply your immediate surroundings whether staying in one place or moving. Its primary purpose is safety. This means protecting you from the elements. It holds warmth if the weather is cold. It provides shade if the weather is hot. It provides cover if the weather is wet or windy.

It also means protecting you from animals, wild or domestic. In any given emergency situation there will be animals that want either you or your food and water. I’m including the criminal human element in the ‘animal’ group. All the preparations in the world will do you no good if someone or something can take them away from you.

The next thing that shelter can do is provide facilities. This means a place to cook and a place to dispose of waste, whether it is garbage or human waste. These two should be kept a good distance from each other, such as opposite sides of your sleeping of living area, due to possible contamination of your food.

That leaves storage. Storage means your food and water, your stuff and yourself. This will include all your supplies and your living/sleeping area. This is the area that needs to be well secured so that you don’t lose your stuff and to help you keep a little peace of mind.

The next group is water. I’m going to assume that you know how important water and food are. You can live longer without food than you can without water, so let’s start with water.

Water that is not clean is pretty well useless. That being the case, this will include filtration and storage. If you have good filtration, the storage is not too much of a worry as long as you know where to get water. There are a myriad of ways to clean your water so what you use is up to you. It can be anything from boiling to home-made filters to prepackaged, store bought filtration systems.

As for storage of your water, filtration notwithstanding, you should store one gallon, per day, per person for a minimum of three days. This means storage containers. Once again, there are so many options that we will not go into them all. The basic rules for water storage are simple. First, your containers should have NEVER been used to hold any poisonous chemicals. Second, glass is not a good idea since it can break very easily and it is heavy.

Lastly, we have food. This group depends entirely on your own likes and dislikes. It also depends on space and time. We’re not going to go very deep with this but you have several ways you can go about providing food.

You can purchase a certain period's worth of food, like one month or one year supply kits. You can prepare your own food storage, as in canning and packaging your own. You can purchase prepackaged cans and bags from your local supermarket. Lastly, you can hunt for food, as long as you know how to butcher and store it. As with water, the three day rule applies. Always have at least three days worth of food with you, just in case. Also, it should be light enough to carry if you need to get away from your shelter.

There is your ‘worry list’ in a nutshell. If you provide yourself with these while concentrating on each group one item at a time, it will be much easier and it will certainly look much less daunting. This includes whether you are preparing for emergency situations or just ‘living simply’.

For further information on food and water, you can look to the links over on the left side of this blog and read any that begin with the phrase “Continuity Insurance”. If you wish to purchase a food storage kit or water storage supplies, you can visit “The Ready Store”.

As always, please feel free to visit my group on Facebook ~ Kaya Self Sufficiency ~ for more information on living self sufficiently.