The Scam of Raising The Minimum Wage

There has been much talk in the last couple years about raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Most minimum wage workers support this idea
thinking it will give them a better standard of living and increase their buying power. Nothing could be further from the truth. They will
actually lose buying power and here is why;

Employers will have to increase their prices to consumers in order to maintain their profit margins. They are not going to sacrifice their
profit margins because that is the reason they are in business in the first place. Without that profit margin they have no incentive to be in

So, the minimum wage goes up, the prices you pay for things goes up, too. Yes, there is a time lag before the increased prices show up in your
local stores making you think you actually got ahead. This is short lived.

The real problem with all this is that the prices always go up more than the minimum wage did. For example; in 1968 the minimum wage was $2.22 an
hour. Gas was 24.9 cents a gallon. One hour of work would buy you almost 9 gallons of gas. In 2019 at a $15.00 an hour minimum wage and $2.38 a
gallon gas locally. One hour of work will buy you about 6 and 1/3 gallons of gas. You are now working 1/3 longer for the same gallon of gas. This
doesn’t just apply to gas. It applies to everything you buy. You are now working more and getting less.

In fact the only one that profits from a higher minimum wage is the government. Because everything costs more and taxes are based on a percentage
you are now also paying more for taxes which further erodes your ability to buy anything.

Minimum wage is a scam. Every time it goes up the worker loses. Yes your pay is more but so is what you have to pay for the things you need.
How is this an improvement?

The only way I know to come out ahead in this system is to produce as much as you can of what you need. If you can also manage to produce a
surplus, you will have something you can sell or trade for other things you need. There will always be things that you cannot produce such
as gas, vehicles, eye glasses, you are still going to need money but anything you can produce for yourself is something you don’t have to buy and
that will lessen your dependence on a system that is not designed in your favor.

Offgrid Winter

DSC00265 1 300x225 - Offgrid Winter

Standing By

Winter on an offgrid homestead is a time for repairs, maintenance, reflection, and planning.
The many repairs I couldn’t get to in the summer get done at this time. Handles get replaced as needed. Hoes, rakes, shovels, axes, and mauls, all can get cracked or broken handles.
Equipment needs to be maintained and repaired. Tractors, tillers, mowers, vehicles, and generators need to be tuned up, greased, and oil changed. Any worn out parts need to be changed out.
Fences are always needing constant attention. Wires get loose and need to be re-stretched, posts need replacing, and this is a time for building new fences if you need them.
Winter is a time of reflection while sitting around the fire with a cup of coffee. Time to reflect on the past season, what worked well, what didn’t work so well, and how can you improve on it for the coming year. You may want to abandon some projects as not being worthwhile or start new ones with hopes they will work out well.
It is also a time for planning. What changes do you want to make? What improvements? How are you going to lay out your garden this coming season and what are you going to plant? It is time to order your seeds so you will have them by planting time.
Much goes into having a successful season. A well thought out plan will give you a much greater chance of success than if you just blunder into the season with no plan at all. Having your equipment and tools maintained and ready to go will go a long way towards getting things done with a minimum of aggravation and delays.
Remember that dog that followed you around last summer and laid patiently waiting for your days work to be done so he could follow you back to the house at the end of the day? Now is the time to give him a scratch and throw the stick or ball for him for being such a faithful companion. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself, too.
Yes, there is work to be done in all seasons and an offgrid winter is no different.
DSC00268 1 300x225 - Offgrid Winter

Are You A Slave

There are many reasons people choose to go offgrid. Some do it because it has rapidly become a fad and suddenly it is cool to want to be offgrid. Some of us choose to live in remote areas and limit our exposure to the modern version of indentured servitude.

Be honest with yourself. Think about it for a minute. Do you work all month just to pay your bills so you can work all the next month again? Do you enjoy the fruit of your labors or do you owe it all to somebody else with just enough left so you can survive until your next payday? If the answer is yes, then you, my friend, are in fact, a slave and you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Do you have to drive that new car or pick up when an older one that is paid for will get you around just as well? Is your neighborhood upscale? Are you spending everything you make to support your lifestyle?

Do you understand that you will never get any of that money back? When you are of retirement age are you going to have anything left to pay expenses and live?

We have all been duped. Yes, myself included. We grew up in a time when it was considered normal to have good credit and buy the things we wanted on time payments. That way we could have what we wanted before we could actually afford to pay for it.That is the American way, right? Wrong!

For over 200 years if you had the cash in your pocket, you could afford it, if not you couldn’t. Simple isn’t it? Worked well. Everybody was solvent, businesses were solvent the country was in reasonably good shape.

Now, with consumer credit everybody owes the bank. We drive around in new cars, live in nice houses, and can’t pay for any of it. Yes, we make payments every month and think we are living well, but are we? The only one that profits from this is the banks.

We are slaves to the banks. Much of the money you make in payments is interest with very little applied to pay down the amount you owe. You wind up paying back much more than you borrowed before the loan is payed off. Miss a payment or two and see how much compassion they have for you. They will take everything you think you own and resell it to the highest bidder without regard for the sweat you have put into it or the payments you’ve made.

The banks make money on interest (usury). If there are no loans the banks don’t make money. Therefore; they are going to do everything in their power to encourage you to take out loans. Do not do it unless you want to enslave yourself to the banks. They will own you.

Do you wish to be a slave? If not pay off your loans and do not take out any more. Save up and buy the things you need just like the early Americans did and we can make ourselves solvent again. Do not allow yourself to be seduced by the idea of having what you cannot afford and pay your own way as you go. Only then can you free yourself from this self induced slavery to the credit institutions.

I ask again “Are you a slave”?

Fall On The Homestead

Fall is a busy season around here. It is a time for winding up summer projects and there is much to do in preparing for the coming winter months. Although the winters are fairly mild in Oklahoma there are still plenty chores to occupy my time.
There are the obvious things like harvesting, preserving, and storing the last of the summer garden produce. There is the cutting, gathering, and storing the last cutting of the grass hay, which I do by hand.Fall View 300x225 - Fall On The Homestead
Finishing up summer projects such as fence repair, building maintenance, checking insulation on water pipes to the house, and winterizing buildings needs to be done. Preparing vehicles and farm implements for winter use and storing the ones that will not be used again until spring is necessary at this time.
It is also time to service chainsaws and get in a winter’s supply of firewood. I do this by hand also, cutting, hauling to house, and stacking. I split it by hand with a 6 lb. maul as I need it.
Time to check out the wood burners and stove pipes to ensure they are in safe condition to use before they are needed.
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer I have fewer hours in a day to get all this done with the passing of each day. Yet, it all has to be done.
Fall is a beautiful time of the year with the cooler weather and the leaves turning their bright colors. The ticks, mosquitoes, gnats (we have sabre-toothed gnats here), and snakes will soon be gone for the winter.The squirrels are busy gathering hickory nuts and acorns. Soon we will see ducks and geese flying over on their way to their wintering grounds. There is much to enjoy in the fall season. To top all this off, this is time for some of the best fishing of the year.
Yet I have very little time to get out and enjoy the season as I would like because of all these things that are necessary for survival. Out here there are no back up systems in place. You do for yourself or you do without.
I have friends in town that envy my life out here in the mountains while sitting on their couch watching TV on the week ends. They don’t realize that out here there are no week ends. Things still have to be done no matter what day it is.
Homesteading is not just the idyllic dream of a cute cabin on a stream with deer and turkeys grazing in the yard. It is also a lot of work.
I would not trade my life for the world. I breath clean air and eat good food that I produced myself. Yes, it is constant work and no matter what the season or what plans you may have made there is always something that has to be done.
It is far different from life in a town or city and homesteading is not a life for everyone, but for those of us that live it we wouldn’t choose anything else.




Offgrid Container Home

250x300 1 Build a Container Home 300x250 - Offgrid Container HomeWith the popularity of used shipping containers being used as the beginning structure for building a home many people are looking for design ideas and “how to” information.

A container home is a perfect choice for an offgrid cabin or home. Unlike traditional construction it is weatherproof when it arrives on your site. The container can be used to store your tools and supplies securely right away. You will not have to worry about having your supplies and tools exposed to the weather or theft while you are building.

Used shipping containers are inexpensive. Compared to traditional building methods, they are much cheaper.

You can make it as big or small as you like. You can use one container or more to achieve any size home you desire and they are easy to add on to later if the need arises.

Containers are built to be sturdy. Valuable goods are shipped in them so they must be sturdy enough to protect their contents.

They are built in different sizes so you are not confined to a given size. Some of the more attractive homes are built using different size containers put together to have a truly unique home.

The plans in this link will tell you; where and how to get yours at the best price, what to look for before you buy, how to prepare your footings or foundation for a sturdy building, and electrical and plumbing layouts. Let your imagination run wild and build yourself a truly unique and beautiful container home.

Container Home 2 - Offgrid Container Home

Common Sense Security

When I first started this site I decided I wouldn’t do anything political. I still will not advocate any political agenda but everyone has to be aware by now that our country is in a state of political turmoil. At no point in my seventy years have I seen anything approaching the current level of civil unrest, protests that become violent, or general lack of respect for people or the law of the land.

Today’s world is constantly changing, it’s unpredictable, volatile, and seems to be more complicated every day. Know that change is constant and that security is an ongoing process. Risks to your security need to be assessed and measures taken to minimize them.

How does this situation relate to offgrid living? No matter where you live from the most remote part of this country to the largest city this will affect your ability to move about safely and get things done.

People have been accosted and injured while just going about their daily routine because they belong to a different political party, are of a different religion, or a different race, or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Property crimes and home invasions are on the rise. The Police can’t be everywhere all the time so you need to do what you can to avoid becoming a victim of these crimes.

While this kind of behavior is not entirely unheard of in the history of this country, many of the folks alive today have never had to deal with it and don’t know how to avoid being caught up in an unpleasant situation.

There are some things you can do to take some common sense precautions and limit your risk of being involved in an altercation;

  1. Situational Awareness; When you are out in public always be aware of people around you. Avoid crowds. When you are in a store or other building be aware of people moving rapidly, especially in groups of 2 or more. When walking in parking lots or sidewalks be aware of people following you, the people in your path, and on either side of your path. Be cautious of anybody that appears to be loitering near your car or near your intended path of travel. Always look around and let people know you are alert. Do not stare down at your phone, however if you sense someone watching you it might be a good idea to put the phone to your ear and talk as in a conversation, or call a friend to let anyone watching know that someone on the other end of that conversation knows where you are and what you are doing. About 90% of robberies and abductions can be avoided in this manner. Most bad guys want an easy victim and if you appear alert and aware of your surroundings they will pass you by in favor of an easier victim.
  2. If you live in a neighborhood, keep your doors and windows locked. That way nobody can get in without making enough noise to give you warning. Keep your curtains closed so no one can see inside and leave a light on in the living area or the television playing while you sleep so the bad guys will think you are awake. If you have a garage, always keep it closed unless you are in it so people can’t snatch your stuff and run.
  3. If you live in the country, keep a reliable dog. Even a small dog can make a lot of noise and give you warning if a stranger approaches. If you can’t have a dog, put a bell or other noise making device on your gate (assuming you have a fence) and doors. A fence around the yard will save you many headaches, not just from people but unwanted animals, too. Never leave equipment or tools outside where they can be seen from the road. If you are going to be gone for a while shopping or visiting, do anything you can to make your house look like someone is there. Never leave keys in 4 wheeler s, riding mowers, tractors, or other equipment.
  4. No matter where you live even if you are remote, you’ll still have the occasional hiker, hunter, fisherman, or others passing by. Most of these folks are honorable and will respect your place but an increasing number are not. Remember; it only takes one to do a lot of damage or make off with your hard earned stuff.

With a little bit of common sense and thought you can minimize your risk of becoming involved in any of this unpleasantness.

Are You Prepared?

Considering the recent developments in the news; Riots in Ferguson, Mo., Police misconduct in various places, and now, riots in Baltimore, Md. which may turn out to be worse than previous riots, more and more people are beginning to wonder what kind of measures they can reasonably take to ensure the safety of their families, property, and businesses.
There are no measures an individual can take which will guarantee they will not be affected by events in their neighborhoods. However, there are some things you can do to minimize the danger to your family and possessions;
· Avoid crowds, especially large noisy crowds. People in groups tend to act irrationally in a crises. If you have to travel route yourself around trouble spots. If you cannot avoid the known trouble spots, you may be better off staying where you are.
· Have supplies stashed in your home. You do not want to get caught out grocery shopping while the store is being looted. You also do not want to be needing supplies when the general public is panic shopping for the supplies they need as they do just before hurricanes or other natural disasters occur. This is doubly true of riots. How many supplies you need is up to you but remember, it is always better to have too much than too little.
· Keep a low profile; It is always safer to go unnoticed than to attract attention. Do not appear to have plenty when those around you have little or nothing.
· Always keep fuel in your vehicle; Your car will run just as well on the top half of the tank as the lower half. Never let your car get below half a tank of fuel. If you live somewhere where it will take more than half a tank to get somewhere you need to be then keep it full but travel only if it is absolutely necessary.
· Use common sense and keep cool; The worst thing you can do is panic yourself. Think the situation over and take carefully considered action. Only you know your abilities and you are the one that has to decide what is reasonable for you.
There are many things happening in our society that most of us have never had to deal with before. Most of us have no experience that has prepared us for dealing with the general lawlessness that is happening today. The Police have their hands full and are sometimes part of the problem. No organization is without it’s misfits and ne’er do wells and the Law Enforcement organizations are no exception. Most of the Law Enforcement Officers are good people just trying to do their jobs. Antagonizing them is not going to accomplish anything good.
In light of recent events it is only reasonable to be prepared if riots or unrest occur in your area. Consider your own situation, your abilities, and decide how best to react if such a scenario occurs in your area.

Enemy Wasp Nest

Spring, Summer, and Fall around here is a time when we have to deal with wasps of different varieties. They are pesky and always trying to build nests in places where they will be a problem. Since we do not like to use poisons they can sometimes be difficult to get rid of, however Cat has discovered a way to keep them away. It is cheap, effective, and does not involve any kind of poison. It works because most varieties of wasps are highly territorial and will fight to the death against any intruder into their territory.

We have always had wasps around. Mostly Red Wasps and the ones Jim calls “Mud Daubers” because they build mud nests. Since they have mostly hung around the garden and they do kill some garden pests, I wasn’t too worried about the occasional ones that got in the house. This year, however, they started swarming around the cabins in April and were becoming aggressive so I started researching wasp repellents on Amazon. After reading product descriptions and user reviews, this is what I came up with.

1. Wasp traps seem to work best with apple cider and a little dish soap. The dish soap breaks the water tension so the wasps can’t bounce off the surface. They do not stop the wasps from coming around though and may even attract them to the area.

2. Several products of various names are simply bags that you stuff with filler and hang up to mimic an “Enemy Nest” and the wasps will avoid the area. These bags range in price from $6 to $20 on Amazon. The best deal I have found from Amazon is Tanglefoot 300000430 Waspinator  .

Buying the ready to stuff bags from Amazon is good if you are not the DIY type but making them yourself is easy. Since we already had a roll of the generic 30 gallon trash bags, I figured to save the money and make our own Enemy Nests. Pictures below will show you how.

Enemy Wasp Nest 1

Divide a large trash bag into 4 parts and cut into 4 sections.

Enemy Wasp Nest 2

Take the 2 bottom sections and fold loose corners inside forming a triangle shaped bag.

Enemy Wasp Nest 3

Stuff the bag with old plastic bags or other filler.

Enemy Wasp Nest 4

Gather the corners and top to form cone.

Enemy Wasp Nest 5

Tie off at the top leaving enough string to tie up outside.

Enemy Wasp Nest 6

Hang in an area you want to keep free of wasps.

Keep in mind that this method will not kill wasps, just keep them away. Also, you need to clear the area of existing wasp nests as this method will not run them off if they are already established. Knock existing nests down at night before you hang your enemy wasp nest for it to be effective.


More on Bugging Out


If you have been reading my articles ( Is Bugging Out A Good Idea?) you already know that I do not recommend bugging out as an emergency plan unless you have no other options left. There seems to be a lot of controversy about the idea of bugging out so I will give some of the reasons why I arrived at this conclusion.

  • Timing; unless you have forewarning of an event, you are going to find out at the same time everybody else does. This means that you are going to be part of a herd of panicked and desperate people trying to evacuate the area. The roads will be clogged with traffic and broken down vehicles making travel difficult if not impossible. Police will be overwhelmed. Fueling stations will be closed or so clogged that it will be next to impossible to get fuel. Price gouging for fuel and other supplies (groceries, for instance) are almost a certainty. A few hours into the ensuing panic fuel and supplies will be unavailable for any price.

  • Bug Out Retreat; If you are one of the folks that have spent a lot of time and resources providing yourself with a retreat you are probably not going to get there. Unless you are already in your retreat (recommended) when the emergency occurs, you have probably wasted your time and money. Somebody will probably appreciate it, though.

  • Bug Out Vehicle; I have seen pictures of some impressive heavy duty 4WD vehicles different people have prepared with the idea that these vehicles will make it possible to travel to their bug out destinations carrying all their supplies. Good luck! These things use a lot of fuel and even if you carry enough fuel to make it to your destination, you still are not likely to get there due to clogged roads, highwaymen, and impassable terrain. Try fording a river or even a good sized ditch with one of them because the bridges are blocked.

  • Travel; As I mentioned before the roads and bridges will be blocked and impassible so travel will only be possible on foot. The average American lives a sedentary lifestyle and is overweight. How far can you travel on foot while carrying your supplies? How about your family? This will also leave you vulnerable to highwaymen and others that will want your supplies because they have none of their own. They probably are not going to ask nicely.

  • Armament; Traveling during an emergency unarmed is a fools errand. If you are not armed and skilled in the use of those arms you had better stay at home. Have an expensive assault rifle, fine pistol, or nice back pack? It will probably wind up in the hands of some 12 year old country boy who temple shot you from hiding with his single shot .22 as you trudged along the road.

I assume all of my readers are intelligent enough to realize they are not going to bug out to the woods and live off the land. Foraging, fishing, and hunting require knowledge and skills which are the result of years of training and experience which very few if any have. Those that are knowledgeable in these skills would not even try it. There will be enough dead bodies smelling up the woods without adding yours to them.

These are only some of the things you will have to deal with if you should decide to bug out. In the event of an emergency serious enough to shut things down where you are at things will get serious real quick. This is not a movie or game it is life and those that make the wrong decisions will not live long.



It seems that everywhere I look lately, I see articles and hear people talking about “bugging out”. Is it really such a good idea?

 While there are circumstances in which you would have no choice such as fire, flooding, chemical spill, leaving your home is rarely necessary nor is it a good emergency preparedness plan.

OK. So you are one of the thoughtful ones that have planned ahead and prepared a bug out location away from the city and stocked it with sufficient supplies. Are you sure you can get there? Are you sure that someone else has not arrived there before you and taken it over?

 If you have not prepared and stocked a bug out location, where are you going to go? What will you use for supplies? What will you use for shelter? Do you really expect folks that already live in the countryside to be glad to welcome you and care for you?

 Let’s face facts. By the time most people realize something serious is going on or has already happened, it will be too late to travel. During the evacuation away from New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the roads were impassable. Cars were packed bumper to bumper, accidents and cars out of fuel and broken down blocked every road. Travel was on foot and refugees were turned back at bridges at gunpoint and prevented from even fleeing on foot. Hurricane Katrina is only one example. There are many more.

 Fleeing refugees were accosted by roving gangs of armed people and robbed, molested, and otherwise harassed. Can you protect yourself? Are you in good enough shape to travel far on foot, is every member of your party or family?

 I suspect the idea of “bugging out” has been pushed beyond reasonable limits by people selling bug out supplies. Bug out bags, books to tell you how to build your own bug out bag, books telling you how to sneak out of Dodge, articles and books about the best survival gun, knife, or backpack cookware and stoves abound on the internet and media. All in the name of trying to make a buck.

 I am not saying you should not have a bug out bag in case you have to grab and run, heck I have one. I am also not saying that people should not try to make an honest living. What I am saying is that someone needs to interject a little common sense into the situation.

 Once you leave your home you become an instant refugee. The only supplies you will have are what you can carry. The only shelter is what you can find along the way unless it is already occupied by someone else that just may relieve you of the burden of your supplies before they turn you away, that is if your supplies have not been taken from you by force before you got there. Even if you do manage to make it to your bug out location safely, there is no guarantee that someone else hasn’t gotten there first and moved in.

Your best chance for survival is in most cases to stay in your home if possible. Home is where your supplies are. It is where you know your surroundings, and neighbors. Home is also where you are the safest unless it has been made unlivable due to fire or other means. Is not safety what this is all about?

Bugging out should only be considered as an extreme last resort. It means abandoning everything you own and becoming a refugee. .