Tales from the Homestead

[From Rourke: This is a two part series that I have combined here….possibly more to come.]

Written by Steve in AZ

Tales from the Homestead: PART ONE

This morning I was having my coffee and reading the news paper, when my dog started to bark.  In my remote area of Arizona, that can only mean somethin’ ain’t right!   As I almost always wear a sidearm, I ventured out to the porch, to investigate.   Following the dogs line of sight, I saw a feral cat sitting on top of the hen house!

 (Now, I can’t describe the comedy of the scene with enough justice, but my dog was so worked-up she was doing 360’s as she tried to jump in a very ungraceful fashion.  Wish I had the camcorder!)

Well, I keep a pellet rifle just inside the door for this all too common sort of issue.  A quick shot to the cat’s backside had it running for the fence line and away from my hens.

A well trained dog can keep most pests of this nature away.   I have come to rely on my dog’s bark as an early warning system, and never dismiss any bark.  Most urban and suburban dwellers have become accustom to hearing dogs, and are quick to shush his/her own dog without a second thought.

In an emergency situation, your dog should become your first line of defense!   A dog will keep the unwashed masses away, and alert you to potential threats.   I suspect that someone wanting to help themselves to your property would rather avoid a dog, and look for easier pickings.

A pellet rifle (in my opinion) is almost equal to the value of .22 rifle in any emergency situation.  If I could only have one it would be the .22 of course, but the stealth of a pellet rife should make it VERY desirable.  The urban and suburban dwellers could also use one for harvesting small game – if the need ever arises, and I don’t recall ever seeing Daisy on any anti-gun list.

In closing, I hope most of you will consider adding these two items to your preps if you don’t have them already.

Tales from the Homestead: PART TWO

 Laundry…  Let’s face it, nobody LIKES to do laundry.  It’s sorta’ like paying taxes – just somthin’ ya’ gotta’ do.

As I might have mentioned before, I live on a remote off-the-grid homestead, and rely on solar and wind for power.  Most modern appliances are power hogs, so I have learned to do most things manually – things that I used to just flip a switch for.

I solved the laundry issue with the help of a Wonderwash (www.laundry-alternative.com). 

This thing works, folks!  I spend about 5-10 minutes every other day or so on laundry, and have no complaints.  I use about a half a spoon of powdered detergent per load, add hot water, screw the lid on, and tumble away.  After a few minutes, drain the soapy water, add clean water to rinse, tumble, and then hang to dry!

Now, we all have friends that are not of the “Prepper Mindset”, and a couple I have known since high school are that way.  You know the type – live in a house that it about 15 feet from the neighbors house, daily trips to the store for ready-made food items, waiting until they are out of something to replace it, and… well, you get the idea.

When they first saw my Wonderwash, they had a good laugh.  However, one particular Sunday evening, the power went out, and in typical fashion – they had waited until all the clean clothes had been worn before starting laundry.  Lucky for them, it was a short outage, and they were able to have clean work clothes for the next morning.

When we spoke about this later, I asked them what they would have done if the power outage would have lasted longer.  As I expected, she said “Oh, that will never happen.”
I then reminded them of my Wonderwash.  Then next day her husband bought one…

So, if you are assuming that you plan to wash clothes by hand during any type of prolonged power outage, check this gadget out.  If you call to order one, ask for Corey, and tell him Steve in AZ said “Howdy”!

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  1. Great post. It is a good reminder for all of us that if we pratice what we preach when the time comes that we need the skill then we will be ready and not wondering how we are going to accomplish something.

  2. I, also, have a wonder washer. You are correct in saying that it works well. Of course, it’s not going to do a 15 pound load, but in the SHTF scenario, doing up a few things at a time would really make you feel civilized. I highly recommend it.

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