Sunday, October 17, 2021

It has been my habit...

to get myself well caffeinated first thing in the morning before heading into whatever the day brings. While sloshing down coffee I will fire up the computer, check emails and move on to some of my favorite YouTube creators. This is what I found this morning:

Note:  This video wants to start towards the end and I can't fix that.  Just click on the red line at the beginning to see the entire video.

If you aren't taking preparedness seriously, you might want to start. We know that often what happens over there will show up here.

I have no doubt that some left leaning genius will think it is a grand idea to forbid those who will not comply with the jab from entering grocery stores. Why not. They have already caused untold numbers to lose their jobs because people object to being forced to take a medication they do not want. And then they whine about a shortage of workers.

Yesterday I spent some time getting my grocery order ready for this weeks delivery. The store the service uses has chicken legs and thighs on sale at 99 cents per pound and 16 oz. packages of frozen vegetables for $1 each, both excellent prices for my area. I ordered lots of each.

This morning I woke up wondering if I really needed that much chicken and veggies. After viewing the video and doing some of my own research, I decided that yes, I do need that much. And I made some additions to my order for more pasta, rice, beans and the ingredients to can a large batch of coleslaw.

This whole business of bullying people into taking a medication they do not want is beyond deplorable. To rob people of their livelihood or dictate who can enter a public venue and who can not is wrong on so many levels.

We were told that a two week lockdown would flatten the curve. Then we were told we had to mask up and stay away from our loved ones. After that we were told the jab would save humanity. If it works so well, why in the name of good common sense are they so worried about those of us who don't want it.

I'll be damned if I am going to allow some sleazy bureaucrat or politician dictate what my life should look like. I fully intend to live the rest of it on my own terms according to God's plan.

The rest of them can just go pound sand.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Onward and Upward

So Sunday I was knee deep in chicken. 24 lbs. of frozen chicken breast was thawed, cut into small pieces, packed into jars and canned. I now have 8 more pints and 32 more half pints of chicken in jars. I have no idea where to stack them. I don't care. With less food on store shelves and prices racing skyward, every bit of food we can stash now gives us that much more time to ride out whatever horror the current regime comes up with next.

Yesterday was spent cleaning up the mess I made on Sunday. My kitchen now looks more like a kitchen and less like a place where a tornado went through.

I was able to get a good price on butternut squash, so six large ones are waiting to be processed. Tomorrow they will be baked and the pulp frozen in meal size amounts. I would have liked to can them but my supply of empty jars is dwindling. However, my Prince of a grocery delivery guy promised to call me next week when he is filling my grocery order, and let me know what canning supplies are available. He will bring whatever I need, bless him!

Today is being spent doing things that make me happy. Working on my Grandson's afghan. Reading a good murder mystery. Snacking on the smoked whitefish my son brought me yesterday. And there is the possibility of a pan of brownies in my near future. :)

We spend great amounts of time and energy in preparing for whatever comes our way. Sometimes we may forget that we also have a life to live outside of all that we do to prepare. Doing the things we love is just as important. Sometimes we just need a break to avoid burn out.

So continue to prepare but also take time to smell the roses – or in my case, smell the coffee!

Those in charge seem to be working hard at sucking the joy out of our lives. Sometimes the best revenge is to be happy anyway. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Several years ago...

I started this silly little blog as a way to pass the time upon retirement and as a source of amusement for my kids and grands. As I became more involved in preparing and had the time to take a long, hard look at the world around us, the blog changed some. I'm still not sure if that was a good thing, but there it is.

To my utter amazement, people actually began reading what I had to say and to my surprise, began commenting on it.

If we take at face value all the ugliness and nastiness of the world as it stands now, especially after the past couple of years with all the insults to humanity, we can easily believe the world is full of horrible people.

But I know better.

I have never met any of you personally. Chances are pretty good I never will. But on several occasions I have asked for prayer and you have stepped up to the plate.

I don't know Gorges personally. I enjoy his blog and I have emailed a time or two. He almost always will leave a comment here. And as I do with all of you, I consider him a friend.

I have heard no more about how he is doing. I hope we will hear soon that he is on the road to recovery.

You, my friends – each and every one of you – with your willingness to pray for someone you don't know, have gone a long way to restore my faith in the human race.

May God bless you – each and every one.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Friend in Need of Prayer

 Our friend Gorges over at Gorges' Grouse has had a rough go of it.  He recently lost both his sister and his wife.  Gorges is now hospitalized.  His step-son says, to quote Gorges, "It is not fatal.  Just old age."  He has requested prayers for Gorges' recovery.

Gorges gives us so much pleasure with his stories and memes and old time photos.  There is a link to his blog in the side bar.  If you are of a mind to, please pray that our friend is back with us soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sunday Was Weird...

All day I felt strange. Normally, I am busy. If I'm not working on preparedness related things, I am crocheting on my grandson's afghan or sewing or doing those pesky housekeeping chores that always seem to need attention. But not Sunday.

I was tired. I was sort of in a fog. I would think I needed to go do something but instead just sat there and did not get up to do whatever it was.

It was late afternoon before the fog lifted enough to realize this was exactly how I felt just before I went on oxygen.

I checked my machine that produces oxygen and it was running perfectly. I checked the plastic tubing that attaches me to the machine. And found a place where there was a crack. My apartment was being well oxygenated. I was not.

What to do. It is Sunday. I expect the company that owns the machine might have sent someone out to replace the tubing. But I needed it fixed now. The solution – duct tape.

I patched the hole with duct tape. Oxygen was now freely flowing and before long I was back to what resembles a normal state for me.

Whatever did we do before duct tape?

My point to this little saga is that stuff happens. Every day the likelihood of being in need of having something fixed and being able to get it done with one phone call is fading fast.

Granted, there are jobs that require professional help. But what about the every day things that need fixing.  We need to know how to do stuff.  

We are never too old to learn. And a good, strong application of common sense doesn't hurt either.

The Cavalry is not riding in to save the day. The more we can do for ourselves, the better.

Monday, September 20, 2021

So a couple of weeks ago...

I told a friend I was going to give my pressure canner a good scrub and pack it away. I complained to anyone who would listen that I had no more room for food storage. I even went so far as to tell all of you there wasn't another inch of available storage space in my little apartment.

Silly me.

Last week I canned up two cases of assorted meats from my freezer. Last Friday I canned 21 quarts of vegetable soup. My grocery delivery order this week includes 12 lbs. of chicken breast to go with the 12 lbs. already in my freezer. That will probably be canned next week.

Where will I store it all? Haven't a clue. But here is what I do know.

Prices at the grocery and elsewhere continue to rise. Shortages are becoming more obvious. My grocery delivery guy tells me that the big box store where the service shops is showing signs of shelves being not as fully stocked any more and choices in package sizes aren't nearly as plentiful.

Whatever I buy now will cost more later, if it is even available. Whining about no storage space isn't helpful. Looks like I will just have to get more creative about storage.

Buckle up. The ride gets more bumpy every day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Sound Familiar?

I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn’t so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.

We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

She wasn’t old enough to vote in 1938 – approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.

Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.”

No so.

Hitler is welcomed to Austria

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.

My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.’

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and

everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and, like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Then we lost religious education for kids

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.”

And then things got worse.

The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.

We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy,” remembers Kitty. “When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.

I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.

It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

In 1939, the war started, and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and, if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death.

Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps,” remembers Kitty. “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.

When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.

Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.

You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.

The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..

After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.

All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.

Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands.

Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection, too

We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.

So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.

I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.

I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.

They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”

This is my eyewitness account.

It’s true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

America is truly is the greatest country in the world. “Don’t let freedom slip away.

After America, there is no place to go.”

Kitty Werthmann

* If you think it can't happen here, you aren't paying attention.