Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 8

June 5 2012
9 inches of rain in the last week. Much needed for the crops and animals. Our root cellars have held really well with minimal dampness. We need to work on sealing the entrances better from water. We stayed in the cellar for a few days after the shelling stopped. We ventured out in groups of two mainly during the darkness. Once we felt safe we ventured out during the daylight using that time to tend to the livestock. We were starting to get cabin fever and grind on each others nerves. So it was a welcome turn of events to get out and about.

We have plenty of livestock as the sows dropped their litters. 24 little pigs running around make for allot of commotion and humor. The ewes should birth here soon along with the cows. Separated a few laying hens to produce more chicks. So far we've not had to eat any chickens but the day is coming. So we want as much supply as we can handle. The Vet is due by this week for a check-up. I want to know when we'll be having lambs and calves so we can prepare accordingly.

I forgot to mention we planted the second round of the garden a little over 3 weeks ago. Rows of corn, beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc... Lots of canning in the months to come. After the good slow rain the garden is looking great. We even planted some herbs. I don't think we can get anymore in that 5 acre garden. The Big 12 took one of the abandoned farms and turned all the tillable land around the house into garden. Not sure the actual acreage but it looks to be around 10. We are using this to help fill others pantries and use for towns people to barter for goods.

The local clergy stopped by again yesterday. We had the usual sun tea and biscuits on the porch. News from town is disheartening as the medical supplies are drying up and food supplies are getting scarce. The National Guard did bring 2 truckloads of goods and distributed it among the needy. The medics also tended to those with injuries and poor health. About a dozen residents left in the nursing home were relocated to the Guard base. The nursing home is now a shelter for those requiring such and also a makeshift hospital. The Guard told the clergy the attempted overthrow was thwarted but allot of casualties, both civilian and the rebels. The state government is in complete chaos. Quite a few of the state leaders were either killed, kidnapped or severely wounded during the overthrow.

Anyways...we held a small service here at the house. The clergy committed to stopping by the first weekend of each month for services. I know I felt better after the services and from the looks of the Big 12 families, it did them well too. We'll have a good ole fashioned "Sunday Service Dinner" after our next meeting. Of course it'll be on a Saturday...but God doesn't follow a schedule. Looking forward to the community gathering and fun!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 7

May 25 2012
Our meeting with the neighbors was very productive. Of course the hot topic was protection since the attack on us has worried the neighbors. We have beefed up our first warning by adding a few dogs. And more weapons are available for quick response. As for the neighbors, we have devised a patrol plan that will involve everyone and rotation. There is not much we can fix about people on foot through the countryside. But we have "booby trapped" the roadways to signal us and disable a vehicle. The local authorities stopped by our meeting to lend suggestions and support. While vigilantism is discouraged, the mood has shifted to our protective rights. They assured us they'd not interfere as long as we didn't become the aggressors. This created a bug sigh of relief.

May 30 2012
Root cellars are now built, run with electricity and hidden amongst the buildings on our farm. All "bunkers" are buried 6 feet below the surface and are a minimum size of 20x20x8. We moved the deep freezers into all 3 of them and supplied most with basic necessities. Concrete 2 feet thick was used, sealed and drainage applied so they hopefully remain dry.

Some neighbors are leaving the area for family or the cities. All the Big 12 families (as we call ourselves now) are remaining and have received permission in writing, from those leaving, to pillage their properties. We gathered all that was useful and inventoried it all. The Big 12 will take the minimal amounts of what they need and the rest will be used for bartering.

Patrols have been uneventful but we are becoming more familiar with our surroundings. Most travel on foot while a few use bicycles. We are seeing wildlife while patrolling and are making maps of movement and locations. This will become useful in the fall as we gather food.

May 31 2012
SHTF literally today. We are not sure what actually triggered the events but we have seen Helos, heard tanks and artillery fire in the distance. NPR has little to no information available and TV stations have gone off-air. We have hunkered down in a root cellar and some of the neighbors are coming later. We quickly moved any evidence of using the house into the bunker. That way if anyone stops by, all they'll see is the livestock.

One neighbor came with news...our state government has gone rogue with extremist group taking control of our state capitol and attacking National Guard Armories. Hence the sounds of artillery and tank fire. Our local national guard base has counter-attacking and right now have the upper hand. Reports of troop movements north have us a little relieved as they aren't moving in our direction. No word from the federal government if they will support our state.

As long as the battle is north and doesn't come closer, we should be ok.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 6

May 15 2011
Made it home without incident from Larry's. The boys and I had a great time riding and looks like the boys are natural riders. Larry and his family stayed the night and left early the next morning.

Just to keep updated we are using the telephone landlines to call each other. Using cryptic messages for valued information. It's getting dangerous to even travel the 15 miles thru the countryside. I spent the last two days finally meeting my neighbors. Yes, we've been so busy we've not met but the closet neighbor. We met aver 20 neighbors the past couple of days and formed friendships with those who seemed trustworthy. We have begun the process of networking for supplies and needs. Of the 20 surrounding neighbors, 12 seem to be good people. I guess you can call us a farming community of around 50 people.

Bad News - Petroleum supplies have dried up around the county. We traveled to town today and met a few towns people. People already knew who we were though, so it made it a bit uncomfortable being stared and talked about. Anyways...Entire country is under martial law. Electricity is shut off in most major cities except for the government buildings. Gas supplies are mostly gone except for military and government supplies. Unemployment has sky-rocketed past numbers/percentages seen in the Great Depression.

We know use no electricity during the day or night. We go dark when the sun goes down. Right now it works well as we get much needed rest. There is still electricity available to us as most of our local power plants are coal fired. We are going dark to protect us from roaming bands of armed gangs. The neighbors closet to town were attacked last night. Everything was looted and the family is safe as they were prepared for such an event. They had escaped through a tunnel in the basement.

Meeting next week with the 12 neighbors to devise a protection plan and start pooling our resources. All machinery have been drained of the fuel and stored in a safe place. Now time to build a shelter(s) for our food supplies. We are going to be proactive and make this work.

May 20 2011
We were attacked yesterday, during the day, by 5 armed men. 4 left their bodies on our property while their souls went to meet their maker. Was first time killing a man and while its not pleasant, it was necessary for our survival. The 5th person was wounded and the local authorities were able to track him down and arrest him.

First guy made it through the front door and halfway through the house. He was met with 12 ga. 00 buckshot. Second guy behind him has the same fate. Other 3 started to flee the property but 2 were dropped with my Remington 700. The 5th one was hit 3 times with a 22 rifle from my wife. She thought she had the 270 but in all the excitement she grabbed the 22. I am thankful the nephews and son were over at a neighbors for the day. Its hard enough dealing with this emotionally AND trying to help the wife cope with it. I cannot imagine how'd we deal with this if the kids were involved. We know were firearms even in the house. I have my 40 cal and the wife has a 380. The son will be carrying a 9 mm when they return tomorrow.

I need a drink...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 5

May 9 2012
Arrived at Larry's 2 days ago. Travel was without incident. Marcia stayed behind with her kids at our place. I feel much better now and not as stressed about the family being alone. I still took the nephews with me as the other guys families have kids. So I guess you can call this a guys mini-vacation.

Lots of work the past 2 days. We have all 3 cisterns designed, inventory list of supplies needed and a rough layout with scrap wiring. Yes...scrap wiring! It's easier for some folks to see it laid out and be able to read the design on paper. Especially since I won't be around when the systems are actually built.

We are planting crops. Yes...we as in me included. A huge learning curve as we are working 100+ acre fields and not my little 5 acres. We are planting corn and soybeans right now. Did you know that 30" corn row spacings give better yields than 38" row spacings? Me see I am learning new information and hopefully next year I'll be planting my own crops for harvest. Also planting this time of year has a greater yield advantage of 99% than later dates for planting. Anything above 130 bushels per acre of corn is considered good. I'm not helping plant the soybeans so I'm not focusing on learning all those numbers. I'm running the disc and Larry is running the planter. We are making good progress as we have 500+ acres of corn to plant. We accomplished the first 100 acres after training the nOOb how to properly disc. lol

Ok...short entry! Off to plant more corn!

May 11 2012
All the corn is planted! Bad news from the Middle East. NPR states that Saudia Arabia is in military conflict. As I last reported, Iran had taken over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. This basically sealed off shipments of crude oil. It appears Iran is making a push for the capital of Riyadh. Reports are sketchy but it appears Iran is within 100 miles of the city. Israel is stretched thin and the US bases in Saudia Arabia are fighting and preparing for defense.

That news has sparked a rush to obtain all the gasoline and diesel. Prices are soaring over $10 a gallon and rising daily. Truck shipments have stopped and gas station owners/operators are now armed and defending from looting. One owner we talked too said when the gas is gone, he's leaving and letting them loot whats left. The military has been activated to guard any and all petroleum reserves nationwide. I cannot discuss yet but our gas situation is safe.

News from the bigger riots and store looting has erupted. All shipment for stores including groceries and basic needs have ceased until the military can devise a protection plan. As we expected, armed gangs are taking anything and everything. There are numerous reports of deaths and injuries. It will take weeks to get semi-accurate figures.

Heading home tomorrow and Larry is driving his truck. I am taking 4 horses saddled through the countryside. 2 of them I am keeping for now and the other 2 Larry will use to bring his family home if we run into trouble. The nephews are stoked as they get to ride horses!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 4

May 5 2012

Larry and the guys have been such a great wealth of knowledge and man-power. The wood burning stove is now installed properly and works great. We fired it up and burnt the dust off and made sure the flue was functional. Metal flashing installed around the flue where it enters the roof. Plans already laid out to provide a brick flue at a later date. More likely next year as we hit the planting season.

We fixed the tractor and it runs like a charm. Being its a 1956 Ford tractor, its not diesel so its relatively easy to maintain. Doesn't run well on unleaded fuel but the guys had a fix for that. We also repaired the fence line to the largest pasture and gridded it into mini pastures. We went to the local Co-op again and were supplied with worming medications and some antibiotics in case they are needed. We also got the name of the local veterinarian and left a written note for him on the bulletin board. The Co-op is on the outskirts of town and have to yet venture into town. Larry says the town is around 5,000 people, library, police (sheriff outpost), volunteer fire department, the regular churches, bars, etc... We made plans to go next time we were in the area.

May 7 2012

Packing light to travel to Larry's place for a few days. The wife and son will stay behind but I'm taking the nephews. At their ages its better to have kids to play with then run a muck and constantly cause a commotion. Larry's wife, Marcia, has spent her time her helping her get acquainted with canning, sewing, gardening and anything else one will need to maintain order within the house. She also showed her how to shoot a handgun, rifle and shotgun...although a shotgun is more point and fire. She taught her how to shoot for birds. I had shown her before but Marcia really fine tuned the skills.

Went over the feeding of the animals again although they say I sound like a town crier repeating everything. We also discussed defending the home of intruders although the entire time here we've not had an issue. But still...its best to stay prepared. We built a 1 acre yard by using wire fencing boxing the house in. One gate on each side rigged to purposely make noise upon opening. Also have various noisemakers tied to the fencing at irregular intervals and hidden close to the ground. This 1 acre box will give anyone inside the house plenty of time to react. It also provides a safety zone for unannounced visitors. No one in the fence!

Local clergy stopped by today and visited for close to 2 hours. Once we all felt comfortable, we invited them to sit on the porch. We served sun tea, biscuits with jam and had a nice visit. They brought news of the current events. Some of it was common sense but most of it was bad news. It seems the oil production has slipped further with a war breaking out in the Middle East. Syria attacked Lebanon with amazing accuracy and speed yet Lebanon was able to fight off an occupation. Israel seized the moment and swept through without much confrontation. Israel, out of fear possibly, counter-struck Syria with full military force. Lebanon was over-run by Israel and is now occupied as such. Syria was left crippled severely and is occupied by Israel. Jordan intervened diplomatically and the Israelis bluntly stated if Jordan wishes to interfere, they would be next. Iran now controls the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Iran invaded Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates and these countries are now occupied as such. Iraq was able to fend off the Iranian invasion, for now, but now they are land locked and cut-off from being resupplied. Israel has issued a warning to Iran...come any closer to our occupied borders and we will retaliate with nuclear force. Pakistan and India are now at a stalemate. Both sides have massed their military on the border and seems a crossed-eyed look will set off a major conflict. We fear these two will not have the restraint of not using nuclear weapons.

More to come as we leave in an hour for Larry's place!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 3

April 30 2012

News from the outside world shows things are calming down. Oil production is still at 50% and prices remain elevated. The world has calmed a bit from the stock collapses but tensions remain volatile. Death toll from the China earthquake are in the millions. Japan's economy is still suffering after the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster. Calm has been restored around the States but we will remain here. Martial law is still in effect but most of the tensions have eased and life is getting somewhat back to normal. Jobs are now plentiful as the production ramps up to try and cover what China supplied in materials and basic necessities. Frivolous items are not to be manufactured and the government has set standards and a list of what can and cannot be produced. I think its a great thing as we have become too materialistic in our everyday lives.

We've put in allot of work and are content with our progress. I have some money put back and have enough goods to now barter efficiently. I won't be leaving anytime soon, unless money and goods run out and we need the cash.

Finally obtained a tractor! It runs a bit rough but plowing and discing is so much easier. We now have a personal garden 5 acres in size. The local Co-op has supplied us with a generous variety of seeds. We are also gathering all the supplies for canning. This will be crucial to making the garden provide and get us thru the winter. We will have plenty of green beans, corn, tomatoes, pickles, etc...The green vegetables will be good for iron, vitamin C, calcium and Vitamin A.

Larry shows up tomorrow with some livestock. Pens and fenced areas are all set. We have 100 acres here with over 50 acres being tillable. We've only used 5 acres so far for a personal garden. For now, we'll just turn the rest into pasture. We've also begun the wood cutting and splitting for the winter months. Hard work...only using the chainsaw to cut into lengths as the rest is done by axe.

May 1 2012

Larry came today and boy what a surprise! He brought all the livestock he promised and then some. We know have a dozen pigs at various stages of maturity. 2 of the sows are with a litter each and should drop in a month. We now have 18 head of cattle with 4 being steers, 4 cows carrying calves, 4 heifers and 1 bull. The other 5 are Holsteins so we can have fresh milk. Chickens...oh my word...chickens everywhere! We have chicks, laying hens, roosters...cannot count them all. Letting the roosters and a few hens range the area to keep snakes and rats down. He substituted the goats for sheep. We know have 18 head of sheep at carious maturity levels. 4 dams are with lamb, 2 rams, rest are wethers and ewes. He also brought 2 mules to help protect the other animals from predators. They are only 2 years old so they can also be used for various chores around the farm. He also brought plenty of grain to get us by for a few months of winter. In the meantime, the cattle and sheep can graze fresh pasture.

He also brought a wood burning stove, a huge gas tank for the tractor, all kinds of various materials as he states he has plans for us. lol He also brought along two other guys he trusts completely. Apparently us city folk are quite the talk of the county. The guys came to check out the cistern system and are wanting to discuss getting them setup and work out some kind of pay agreement. Larry also brought his wife and 2 kids along for the ride. They plan on staying a few days helping us get settled in with the new animals.

More to follow!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Whats New?

Sooooo...whats new with everyone? I keep visiting the blogs but some of you aren't updating! And those on the mailer I've not heard from you in awhile.

I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 2

April 15 2012

We are also preparing to be self-sufficient. This is our main priority this spring/early summer. Our focus will shift towards fall as we prepare for the winter months. But our preparation now will save us valuable time and energy.

Cistern system plumbed for potable water in the house. Drinking/cooking water comes from a well through an electric pump. A hand pump will be installed soon since electricity is sporadic. Built a 55 gallon filtration system to use the potable cistern water if necessary. A jack-of-all-trades is definitely a good thing but not a reliable source of journeyman caliber of work. Filled the drum with gravel, sand and charcoal from a recent fire. Lined the bottom of the drum with old cloth to keep the sand from escaping. Nice set-up and works great...water is tasty and no side effects to date.

We have been working long hours preparing for bringing livestock to the farm. We are also preparing to be self-sufficient. The farmer I befriended, Larry, stopped by today and offered to bring us some chicks, a calf, a goat and a few hogs his next visit. This will be a welcome choice of meat as right now with spring, wildlife is allusive and scarce. Larry stayed two nights and assisted us working around the farm. Larry was really impressed with the cistern and filtration systems. He asked if I could come in two weeks to assist him in constructing one of each for his farm. He brought news of...well its not good news at all. Oil and gas reserves are depleted. Economies have collapsed and government issued money is worthless. Most people deal in the barter system and a few deal in other currencies like gold, silver and even copper. Most HAM radio operators tell of rioting and total chaos. Death tolls cannot be given as no one is really sure. People are dying from starvation and more importantly, lack of medications. Most people are being cremated or buried in mass graves. The counties are keeping record of known identities but I'd not trust them with accuracy. I worry about the medications as I have high blood pressure. I was able to obtain enough meds for 1 year. And if I stretch it out, I could probably make it 2 years. We are stocked with antibiotics and triage supplies. There is a local doctor in the next town but thats 20 miles away. Would be a 2 day trip on foot barring any encounters.

Today is the deadline to file and pay taxes. Yea right...won't be getting a dime from me this year. Larry warned of collectors would be making rounds soon. So far the county officials that have stopped by have been somewhat friendly. I hope the collectors understand as I'd hate to use force, but if necessary I will defend my home.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 1

Journal Entry - March 2 2012
Earthquake rips through China devastating the manufacturing regions of Jiangsu, Guangdong and Shandong provinces. The western portion of China is in total chaos. Taiwan suffered the brunt of the 50ft tsunami. The western shores of North and South Korea suffered major damages as well of the tsunami. Casualties are estimated at 1 million or higher. World stocks were stable but volatile.

March 3 2012
Earthquake measured at a 8.9 magnitude lasting approximately 4 minutes. Aftershocks are averaging 6.9 magnitude. Unconfirmed reports of over 50 in the last 24 hours. Taiwan is basically and quite literally wiped off the map. North and South Korea suffered heavy casualties and their economic structure seems to be collapsing. World stocks start to fall as China is the biggest exporter to the world. Especially to the USA.

March 15 2012
World economic collapse after the China earthquake and tsunami. Spent the last week packing necessities for a hasty move from the city. Have already sent the wife and kid/nephews to our new destination. Riots and utter chaos all around. Walk around armed at all times now as even venturing to the store is like D-Day. Martial law has been declared. Gas shortages and frequent power outages have us all on edge. News is providing minimal information as its state controlled now. HAM radio operators world-wide are suggesting a rebellion and uprising in the Middle East. News is sketchy at best.

March 16 2012
Last entry until I arrive at my destination. Hoping I can make it outside the city limits in my car. It's now extremely dangerous in my own neighborhood. Armed gangs of looters are foraging and killing anyone who opposes. Kept them at bay last night from my sniping positions and went undiscovered. Remington 700 did the job nicely. Those tunnels the neighbors and I dug a two weeks ago proved invaluable in keeping them guessing my location. Enough gas in the car for 300+ mile trip, water, bug out bag (B.O.B), cache of small arms weapons, map, trading goods and misc. things from the house. I'm out...wish me luck!

March 31 2012
Made it the 100+ miles to our destination. Family is safe and have a few things already operational. My journey was uneventful until I was outside the loop and major city limits. A few roadblocks safely navigated with trading goods I had brought along for just such a case. Last roadblock wasn't as fortunate as a major gunfight erupted a few car ahead of me. I was able to escape via my car on a dirt road that abruptly ended in a cornfield bordering a small cliff. My B.O.B and survival gear taken with me but ditched the car. I walked on foot the last 45 miles averaging 8 miles a day. Found a nice final bug-out location for extreme emergencies about 15 miles from our new home. Rough going as I stayed clear of roads and houses whenever possible. One farmer befriended me and took me in for the night. Slept in his barn and was the first decent nights sleep in a week. Made a good friend and ally over the next few days as we tended to my wounds. News of the world-wide conflicts aren't good. Middle East is in turmoil and all oil production/shipments have ceased. Martial law declared state wide and counties are trying to contain the chaos without much luck. County officials stopped by today to check things out. I didn't let them past the front porch as they are not welcomed to snoop around. Advised them to "Not call us we'll call you".

Cistern systems are operational for fresh water. Have the obvious one at the house but a few others scattered about the area for back-ups. Huge garden is tilled the best we could without a tractor or mule. Potatoes, cabbage, radishes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli planted and some other varieties of spices. Cool season veggies and hopefully help break the soil to make it easier to plant crops later.


Well its been a few weeks so I should probably update you all on my last post.

Wife...still unemployed. The doctor graciously renewed my scripts and postponed my check-up until I have insurance. And the BP meds weren't that expensive so I didn't cry too much when I paid for them.

My dad...will be having surgery April 20th to remove his prostrate. No news other than that just praying the cancer hasn't spread. I dunno the meanings of it all but the doctor said his cancer is a Factor 8 on the Gleason scale. I researched it but it meant little to me. Maybe my friend AD can explain it a bit better.

My, just this week he has made a dramatic improvement. He still is getting antibiotics and meds. But he's coherent when he's awake now, knows his family and has asked for visitors. He is still on the trach vent but today he went for 4 hours without it so looks promising to get it removed soon.

In other news...I am working on a series. Yes... a series of posts to hopefully entertain the masses. Haven't decided a name yet but the theme will be a futuristic view of a SHTF scenario. There...all I have to say about that!