Saturday, October 8, 2011

About Me

I noticed that I’ve picked up a few new readers: hello and welcome! I thought this might be a good time to share a little about myself.

My dad was in the Air Force, and I was born on Shepard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. Apparently we lived in Texas and Puerto Rico before I was old enough to remember any of it. My parents divorced when I was two. I have a few fragmented memories of Nebraska, where we lived with my mom’s boyfriend for a while, before moving back to Virginia where both my mom and dad were from. My mom and I moved around a lot in Virginia, living in various apartment complexes and at least one mobile home park. My memories of all this are pretty sporadic.

When I was six or seven my mom remarried, and also my brother was born. We moved to Florida where my stepdad was from. I often wonder how different my life would be now if we had remained in Virginia,  because I was introduced to a different lifestyle in Florida. Those who aren’t familiar with Florida might believe it is all developed, overpriced, and populated with snowbirds, retirees, socialites and Cubans, but there is actually (even now) a good portion of Florida that’s very rural, and inhabited by good ole country folk. Even though my homelife growing up was not pleasant, and to this day I have a lot of misgivings about how I was treated as a child, I’m thankful that I got taken out of the city and got to grow up on dirt roads, surrounded by honest people with a good work ethic. I’m the type of person who can learn from other people’s mistakes and successes, and I learned a lot from the people who surrounded me as a child.

I was wishy-washy in my twenties and went to college forever, changing my major repeatedly and running up student loans without much accountability. I finally graduated in 1999 and took a job at Outward Bound, where I had done my internship. I worked there for several years as a wilderness instructor, leading canoeing and camping expeditions for adjudicated and at-risk teenagers that lasted anywhere from 18 to 35 days. We did courses all over Florida, including the Everglades, as well as in Georgia and Alabama. I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I took that job. I only knew someone was going to pay me to go canoeing. I learned as much as (probably more than) my students did about how to make good decisions and how to deal with disagreeable people without losing my cool. (Hmmm, I could probably use a refresher on that!)

When I wasn’t out on a course I was bartending, which was fun and paid the bills, but it’s not the kind of job you want to do for the rest of your life. The hours and the secondhand smoke kind of suck after a while.

Eventually I decided to go back to school for my master’s degree, and that’s how I came to live in Oklahoma. Always up for a new adventure, I decided to apply to schools in parts of the country where I hadn’t lived before. I moved to Stillwater in 2003. I had the idea that I would get my degree and then probably take a job somewhere else, but wound up staying in Oklahoma and eventually meeting my future husband.

I got married in 2010 at the age of 38. I think God planned it that way because I probably would have been too immature to handle marriage if I had tied the knot at a younger age (heck, I might still be). We have no kids, and no plans to have any. Even if we wanted kids, I’d have to think long and hard about it with the way things are going these days. It doesn’t seem like now would be a good time to incur that responsibility, even with the rewards it brings.

I enjoy reading, gardening, artsy-craftsy projects, photography, canoeing and hiking. The hubster enjoys watching tv, spending time with friends, Sooner football and eating the garden produce I grow. I’m a dog person and he’s a cat person. We’re both decent cooks. Together we enjoy a good campfire (whether in the back yard or somewhere out in the woods), geocaching and watching movies. We’re pretty frugal but we’re good at entertaining ourselves on a budget.

My eyes were first opened about the national economic situation a couple of years ago when the hubster (then my boyfriend) and I went to visit my grandparents. My granddad started talking about the direness of the situation, predicting that things would get to be similar to when he was a kid, growing up during the Great Depression, but worse due to population growth. He urged us to start stocking up and otherwise getting prepared. After that visit, we came home and spent around $200 on a stash of canned goods which we began rotating through everyday use, but that was all we did.

I don’t remember what the trigger was to get us to finally start taking prepping seriously. It may have been my brother-in-law, who got an earful about it from one of his Air National Guard buddies and decided to take it to heart. Whatever it was, we finally started prepping in earnest. Now hardly a day goes by that we aren’t doing some prepping, reading about prepping, researching something we want to prep, or discussing prepping with my brother-in-law and his family. Their household and ours are the only ones on board in our extended family. My mom is interested, but if I don’t stay on her, she gets busy with other stuff and forgets about it.  At times it seems like my father-in-law may be coming around, but so far I don’t think he’s made any real changes.

In short, our preparations have centered around food, water, weapons and tangible asset investments. I’m also working on learning new skills--or, well, old skills. It seems like the more we prepare, the more there is to do. It’s time-consuming, and also space-consuming. It suits me, though. I’ve always said that if I could live in any other time period, I’d like to live in the pioneering days.

We prep mostly for fear of hyperinflation or economic collapse. Patrice over at Rural Revolution posted this analogy of our government’s fiscal policies, which shows in a nutshell why I’m worried. I just don’t see how we can go on with our heads in the sand, pretending that everything will work out in the end. We’re heading down a path very similar to what Argentina went through, and it scares me.

So there you have it: a little about me. I’m glad for blogs and a chance to connect with like-minded people. Thanks for reading!


  1. Seems like you have led a very challenging life and had a lot of different experiences. I'd wager that many of them will stand you in good stead should things get as bad as many of us expect they will. More and more people are becoming preppers as the situation continues to deteriorate, so you are in very good company. Just chipping away at what you need to get done will accomplish a lot in short order. As Inspector Clouseau liked to say "every day, in every way, we're getting better and better."

  2. Thanks Arsenius. I'm a firm believer that our past experiences are a good resource to draw on for future challenges. I like your Clouseau quote :)