Category Archives: Joyful Life

New shelf in the Bookcase – Prepping Shelf

My vision has always been to provide you with inspiration and encouragement to move forward with your life; whether it comes from an adventure I’ve had, sharing a book I read or just my opinion.

Well the newest topic I’ve been learning about during the last 5 month’s is prepping. It is extremely fascinating learning about off-grid living (wells, solar panels), what foods to stockpile, and skills like learning how to tie knots. Remember, we all live in an area that is affected by some type of natural disaster so you need to be prepared for them. Then there is man-made SHTF like job loss.

The best way to share this information is by adding a new page titled Prepping Shelf. It contains books and YouTube channels if you are into or are interested in learning more about being prepared for any SHTF scenario – snow, hurricane, wildfire, blackout etc.. These books and channels are designed to educate you and not to scare you into thinking the world is ending. Although, I do believe there are some interesting times we will be living through in the next 4 years. What they are, I have no idea but this I do know – God will be with us.

Prepping shelf will eventually be relocated to the Bookshelves tab which is under the Resources tab. But for now you will find it visible on the menu.

Speaking of being prepared – time change is 1 1/2 weeks away so stock up on all the sleep and caffeine you can get as we will be springing forward – UGH! Love the extra hour of daylight but losing an hour’s sleep is a nightmare. I’m not a morning person, never have been and never will be.

Enjoy the Prepping Shelf page and get ready to spring into a new season season of joy.

God bless you.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Preparing For SHTF (Snow Hitting The Fan)

Ohio, like most of the country, is in the grip of snow and bitter cold temps. We are to get at least 5 – 9 inches within 36 hours. The snow from previous storms has not melted yet, so there is a base of about 3 inches.

It is Monday night at 6:58 p.m. when I put the finishing touches on this post. In the past 2 hours the roads were blanketed in at least an inch of snow. The plows have not been down yet so that means there is not 2 inches on the streets or they are having too much trouble keeping the main roads clear to plow the side streets.

Monday February 15, 7:18 a.m.

This seems like a good time to share two article links about preparedness that landed in my inbox. They contain excellent information for everyone and not just widows.

Here are links to the two emails I recently received:

  • How to Prepare for Covid-19 Lockdown – The point of this article is to teach you how to prepare in case there is another lockdown this year. There is enough uncertainty about the jab and what the future holds for this year that preparing for another lockdown makes sense to me.
  • 60 Best Bug Out Bag Foods – It makes sense to have these foods in your pantry for a lockdown or a snowstorm as well as a bug out bag. What is a bug out bag? It is a an already packed bag you keep near a door that you grab upon suddenly needing to leave your house. When the zombies are walking down your street, you will not have time to pack. It contains items to help you survive three days if you have to evacuate.

What better source to learn about preparedness than the prepper community. Most people think of preppers as people running around preparing for surviving a nuclear war, the zombie apocalypse, or some other end of the world catastrophe. While it is a good idea to stock up on silver bullets to take out the zombies, most likely an unexpected event is going to be on a smaller scale like unemployment, power outage, or storm sewer back up.

I am not a hardcore prepper with a bug out bag filled to the brim with all the tactical stuff but have been paying more attention to some preppers on YouTube and to the emails I get in my inbox.

Do I have a bug out bag, no. I have tote bags – both thermal and non-thermal. Plus I have a duffel bag and Joe’s suitcase with wheels. These will be fine if I can leave by car but I am up a creek should I need to leave on foot.

Lack of Faith

Now before I get a lot of flack for not having faith in God to cover all my needs, please read the story in the Old Testament about Joseph (Genesis chapter 37 – 50) and the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. Also in the New Testament read about the brides waiting for the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13) with their oil lamps. The bridegroom came when 5 of the brides went to the store to get more oil – ooppss!

No More Couch Potato

Part of physical prepping is not just stocking up extra foods, toiletries, and emergency medical supplies, it is also prepping your body. You and your family have to be in good enough shape to out run the zombies as they come into your neighborhood.

This is the year we must get in better shape. Notice I said better shape. We do not have to be a lean, mean fighting machine by the end of the year. We just need to be better than what we are now. So figure out an exercise plan that works for you and your doctor and get moving. Get your kids or grandkids off the couch too. Life as a couch potato must end this year.

I’m going to start with a simple Pilates stretching routine. Walking will be added once the weather warms up.

Avoid Grief

Whether you are widowed or not, you need to prepare your house and your family for lockdowns, natural disasters or worse. Not being prepared will result in a lot of grief. All it takes to avoid this grief is to prepare little by little according to your budget.

So once this storm is over I will drive to the grocery store and stock up on peanut M&M’s, as they are one of the 60 best bug out bag foods. Even in a SHTF event, you need a treat once in awhile.

Definitions:

  • SHTF – $hit Hits The Fan or Snow Hits The Fan
  • FMHTOU – Fecal Matter Hits The Oscillating Unit (a polite way of saying $HTF). Wish I could think where I first heard this saying.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Last week I wrote about the importance of learning new skills this year. Well, I decided I needed to put my money where my mouth is, so I started learning how to tie various knots.

I got this small kit on Amazon and figured I would start here and if I did well, then pick up a book and some rope to learn more.

Bowline

This is my first attempt at a bowline – “a knot that will not jam” according to the plastic card. It was easy to tie.

Sheet Bend

This easy to tie knot is for joining two lines, including two lines of different sizes. (I tried to rotate this picture but nothing I did worked.)

This little kit is a great starting point for learning how to tie knots. Each card is plastic and some have instructions for two knots on the front and back.

Also included were two different cords and a carabiner clip you use for tying a knot. My plan was to hook the carabiner clip to the decorative post on the deck and then tie the knots on the clip. However, the weather has been too dang cold. It is a “balmy” 7 degrees as I write this post (Saturday morning).

This inexpensive kit is a great way for anyone to start and learn knot tying.

This is the new skill I am learning. When will I use this skill, I do not know but it is knowledge that can not be taken away from me. I plan on learning other skills this year and will keep you posted when I do.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

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