Country Living Series

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Go west, young man

This is a rather long post, so please grab yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and prepare to do some hard thinking.

I was reading SurvivalBlog the other day when a rather startling piece leaped out at me. Most of SurvivalBlog's pieces are written by readers, but this piece was written by James Rawles himself, who runs SurvivalBlog.

It was the passion behind the piece that surprised me. Mr. Rawles suggests readers move - now - to the western mountain states (specifically Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington). He calls these "safe haven states." He urges people to move as part of a coordinated movement which he calls the American Redoubt.

Apparently Mr. Rawles had a straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back moment after reading an article on how Florida motorists who had the temerity to use large bills to pay their road tolls were being illegally detained. This so outraged Mr. Rawles that he wrote a piece urging his readers to get the heck out of Dodge and move somewhere less troublesome... before it's too late.

He printed a long list of suggestions (copied below) but you'll need to read the original article to understand the reasoning behind it.

Don and I spent some time discussing this piece last night. We've been faithful SurvivalBlog readers for about the past year, and this article was quite unlike anything we'd seen before.  It was, in a word, drastic.

We talked about how everyone has a breaking point. While we've been active Preppers for quite awhile, the recent article on how Louisville, Colorado is putting language into its emergency response plan which would allow the city to "commandeer" private property and seize necessary supplies, concerned us a great deal. While I wouldn't call this our "straw" moment (our backs were "broken" quite awhile ago), it does make me realize how unprepared this nation is as a whole to deal with widespread interruptions in just-in-time deliveries of food, medicines, etc. And this doesn't even begin to address the rapid erosion of our Constitutionally enumerated liberties and the overweening power the Federal, State, and local governments are grabbing.

Mr. Rawles urgent suggestion to "go west, young man" illustrates how at some point you have to decide what you’re going to do. There are places in this country that are already lost. Do you really want to be caught in Los Angeles or New York or Chicago if the dollar crashes and legions of entitlement-dependent people begin rioting for food? Do you think you can get out of Dodge if everyone else has the same idea? Or worse ideas?

By this point I'm sure everyone stuck in undesirably areas is saying something along the lines of, "Yeah right - get real. I've got a job, I have a family to support, I have a house I can't sell, I can't just up and leave."

I understand. It's hard. It's a wrenching lifestyle change. Money is tight. You might have connections - family, church, community - you don't want to sever. If you decided to take the plunge you might have to take a huge financial loss.


As my friend Enola Gay puts it, there are those who talk about Prepping, and there are those who DO it. Don't get me wrong - the "talking" part is important because it means you're beginning to think things through. "How much food, water, medical supplies, ammunition, etc., would I need to see my family through hard times? How safe or dangerous is my current location?"

But there comes a time when you have to put those thoughts into actions or the whole concept of Prepping is useless. We've moved from the "talking" stage to the "doing it" stage several years ago, and I spend a lot of time on this blog and in my WorldNetDaily columns urging others to do the same.

But many times those urgings fall on deaf ears. Skeptics doubt anything truly catastrophic could ever happen. People don't want to interrupt their comfortable lifestyle and sell the big-screen TV to buy wheat or rice.

But - especially with my readers - the more common response is, "I can't." The depressed real estate market means selling the house in the 'burbs is virtually impossible. Finances might be tight through unemployment or bankruptcy. The harsh reality of our current economy means a lot of people feel trapped and unable to change their current conditions.

Please believe me when I say I understand.  But it also means I worry about you.

No-nonsense radio talk show host Dr. Laura, when suggesting a particularly difficult course of action to a caller, often hears them say, "But I can't do that - it will be too hard." Dr. Laura always responds with a variation of, "Of course it will be hard. No one denies that. But that doesn't mean you don't do it. Where there's a will, there's a way. Your job is to find the way."

I believe one of the concerns behind Mr. Rawles' post stems from the idea that, even if you're an urban Prepper who has supplies up the whazoo, what will happen in the long-term once those supplies are used up? How will you get more supplies if there are no more supplies to be had?

It's an interesting (and frightening) thought.

Here's James Rawles' list from his article, as something to think about:

I suggest that you follow these guidelines, as you prepare and then move to the American Redoubt:

* Research geography, climate, and micro-climates very carefully.
* Develop a home-based business.
* Lighten the load. Keep the practical items but sell your junk and impractical items at a garage sale.
* Bring your guns.
* Sell your television.
* Sell your jewelry and fancy wristwatch. Buy a Stihl chainsaw instead.
* Choose your church home wisely, seeking sound doctrine, not "programs"
* Leave your Big City expectations behind. There probably won't be cell phone coverage, high speed Internet, or Pilates.
* Expect a long driving distances for work and shopping.
* Sell your bric-a-brac and collectibles. What is more important? A large collection of Hummel figurines, or having a lot of good hand tools and Mason jars?
* Switch to a practical wardrobe and "sensible shoes".
* After your buy your land, convert the rest of your Dollar-denominated wealth into practical tangibles.
* Begin homeschooling your children.
* Sell your sports car and buy a reliable crew cab pickup.
* Expect persecution and hardship. You will be despised for being true to your faith. (Just read 2 Timothy 3:1-12. and Matthew 5:10-14, and John 15:18-19.)
* Encourage your kids to XBox and Wii less and read more.
* Make a clean break by selling your house and any rental properties. You aren't coming back.
* If you buy an existing house, get one with an extra bedroom or two. Some relatives may be joining you, unexpectedly.
* Donate any older bulky furniture to the local charity store before you move.

After you move:

* Don't try to change things to be like the suburb that you left behind. You are escaping all that!
* Pitch in by joining the local Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), Ski Patrol, Sheriff's Posse, or EMT team.
* Be a good neighbor.
* Patronize the local farmer's market and craft shows.
* Respect the property rights and the traditions of your neighbors.
* Be active, politically, but use a pseudonym in letters to the editor an internet posts.
* Use VPN tunneling, RSA encryption, firewalls, and anonymous remailers.
* Support local businesses, and companies that are headquartered inside the redoubt, not Wal-Mart.
* Encourage like-minded family and friends to join you.
* Stock up heavily on storage foods for lengthy power failures, or worse.
* Do your banking locally, preferably with a credit union and/or a farm credit union.
* Be active in local home school co-ops and service organizations.
* Find and visit your local second-hand stores. Watch for useful, practical items that don't need electricity.
* Conduct as much business as possible via barter or with precious metals.
* Gradually acquire a home library that includes self-sufficiency books and classic books--history, biographies, and novels.
* Join the local ham radio club. (Affiliated with the ARRL.)
* Expect to be the subject of gossip. Live a righteous life so there won't be much to gossip about.
* Loyally support your local church with tithes and support your local food bank.
* Get used to eating venison, elk, moose, antelope, trout, and salmon.
* Attend some farm auctions in your region to gather a good collection of useful hand tools and a treadle sewing machine.
* Attend gun shows in your state. (This keeps money circulating in the state and keeps you legal, for private gun purchases.)
* Choose your fights wisely. Don't tilt at windmills, but when you feel convicted, don't back down.


Doing these things may be hard. They may call for you to lose much. And they will take time. But time, I'm truly afraid, is not on our side now. Please my dear readers - look into your hearts, talk to your family, and pray (a lot). Then act.

One of Don's favorite quotes is from the character Aragon in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: "One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters..."

Don't be fettered.


  1. Great article, I hope this is read by many. Thanks for linking SurvivalBlog as well, this is the first I have heard of that blog.

  2. g-r-e-a-t post. Thanks for sharing. I agree with you - its one thing to talk about it, and its another to do it. Fabulous post.

    and it wasn't even that long! I hardly got a couple swallows of that cup of coffee in. :)

  3. Love it. Doing pretty good myself. We do not even own an xbox or wii. My kids are 15,13,9,6 we read, homeschool and are doing fine! Love it.

  4. What do you do though if you can't sell your home? What are the suggestions?

  5. Great post! I too believe "It's" going to happen soon. And if it doesn't, well, you just end up with an interesting lifestyle. lol. I don't just prep to be prepping. I enjoy it.

  6. Those are some very good tips but what about people who feel that this is not an option, or at least not at this time...what can we do? I live in rural Missouri with my family on ten acres about 25 minutes or so from any small town. We are slowly becoming more self sustainable.I am going to start homeschooling my oldest (almost 5 yrs old) this coming year, plus we are putting up a huge garden with plans for dehydrating and canning. We already have chickens and rabbits are on the way. I think that instead of recommending everyone pick up and move we should be instructing people on how to garden ,put up food and to work together(the most important thing).

  7. I, too follow Survival Blog, and was similarly distressed to see the JWR had "pulled the trigger" so to speak. It's like Rush Limbaugh, who always says he'll tell us when to panic, then proceeds to soothe our worries away.... What happens the day Rush says "panic"? To me, that is what Rawles just said to his readership. G.O.O.D.

    Any of you who also follow the financial world are also seeing pessimistic assessments of the US's ability to get ourselves out of the debt spiral, with many very well regarded and astute financial advisors/pundits from many political perspectives (Casey, Mauldin, Williams, Mish, etc,etc and etc...) advocating precisely what Rawles, and you, Patrice, practice, ie.- the only remaining investment is tangibles.

    It seems rather obvious, to those with ears and eyes, that what is coming may be upon us.

    My only fear is we personally may have started down this road too late. We've got a plan, but it will take another year to implement, and is a bit weak logistically. We suffer as much as the next person from "normalcy bias". I don't want this glorious life we've lived so far to end in tears and blood. This bias makes me stop occasionally and question my own sanity regarding the road we are traveling.

    But I see this coming reality all too clearly now. Hopefully, all you wonderful preppers out there will take heed and join us in the Redoubt.
    We need you. Trust in God. We know how this works out in the end.

  8. This is where we are headed too, we're counting down one more year until we head off to our life in the country.

    A quick question about your comment "Don't tilt at windmills"

    Do you mean 400ft industrial turbines? Neighbours putting up those monsters aren't respecting the rights of their neighbours.

    We plan to build off grid so I'm all for producing some or even all of your own energy needs but these industrial beasts are a blight on the countryside.

  9. I read this post on Rawles blog as well. I understand him saying what he did, as I believe we are pretty much past the point of no return both politically and economically. However,the Redoubt area is HIS recommendation and prefrence, no everyone elses. We knew this was coming and gave up the big McMansion in town, the extra car, took up homesteading as far from any big town as we could get and still have hubby be able to get to work. We chose our place with protection and sustainability in mind and have prepared quite well. There will be no "golden horde" walking past my place...and many others are in similar situations. To imply that if we didn't go there, we were wrong is not correct.
    I also have in the back of my mind, that if the government decided to rid itself of those pesky Patriots and we were all stuck in one area, that's where I would put my fire power.
    jmo, but i think some of us are capable of making a decision that is safe but that doesn't agree with Mr Rawles.

  10. Anon 11:42, a very good question. I'd like to open that up for discussion with a separate post.

    Coley and Herbalpagan, I agree that the western states listed by Rawles need not be considered the "be all and end all" of acceptable places to live. There are a lot of remote/rural/less populated areas in this nation with suitable growing conditions where people might consider moving.

    Anon 12:16, I just need to make it clear the "tilting at windmills" comment (whether interpreted literally or figuratively" is Rawles' point, not mine.

  11. Husband of the BossMarch 29, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Hi Herbalpagan.

    I'm pretty sure that these aren't marching orders from Mr. Rawles. After all, he - like my family - has spent any number of years without anyone paying the slightest attention to our "kooky" prognostications. So we at least are real used to not leading a band.

    In Mr. Rawles case, I'm guessing the reason he recommends the States he does is because he's always done so and has done a fair amount of research to support his reasoning.

    Personally I agree with most (but not all) of his thoughts on the matter. But I assume he's not writing this for you or me (After all, I'm pretty much where I want to be, as apparently are you.) And I think his "concentration of the good" is a good idea. There is strength in numbers. But that's not my call for anyone else.

    Anon 11:42

    What can we say? I could suggest you walk away or sell for less than you want to, or something else entirely. But here's the thing. We own our home (mostly). But if a forest fire was heading my way, I wouldn't stay to defend it with a garden hose. That construction of wood and metal isn't worth my life or those of my family. If I'm alive, I can always start again.

    But maybe we're painting things too black. It all depends on how dire YOU think things are. And what you're willing to give up for the conditions as you see them.

  12. Tilt at windmills: Fig. to fight battles with imaginary enemies, to fight against unimportant enemies or issues (As with the fictional character, Don Quixote, who attacked windmills).

    I love this blog - I learn something new everytime I check in :)

  13. I think the world of Jim Rawles but I disagree with him on this particular topic and don't share his worldview.

    It's my belief that people in most areas of the US need to stay put.
    It is possible for many to change their lives and our Nation right where they are.

    I hate to say it and probably won't win any friends, but I think many "preppers" are prone to unreasonable fear and hysterics.
    Maybe it's because they are just beginning recognize that their lives are unsustainable and know that they lack skills and knowledge. In my lifetime there have been 3 distinct "prepper" periods. Y2K was the most recent - believe me the world didn't come to an end.

    Many of the EXACT same people that today are "doom & glooming"where dooming & glooming then too.
    I won't mention any names, but one well known person in the Libertarian & Prepper circles made his fortune off of Y2K.

    The keyword words for most households should be "Evolution" not "Revolution".
    Frankly, there is no "geographical cure" for what's ailing America or most people.

    Seems to me the notion that folks can just pack up and move west and create a new political utopia is patently ridiculous.
    It is simply unrealistic for most people.
    Not to mention the hardships and reality of a rural life is not for most American families. Why head for the hills when you can head for the backyard? I think for most folks it is easier to learn how to live without debt and grow and can tomatoes in their present homes.

    For me personally, why would I give up and abandon my church,community, friends and associations for an "if come" life? I need all of those people and they need me.My life is IS my life because of them.
    What's more, why would I give up what I have here in western Pennsylvania for a foreign climate,topography, fauna and goodness knows what else.
    I know and understand my own climate,soil, water table, local native plants, wild animals and social customs.
    I don't have another lifetime ahead of me to learn what works and what doesn't work in Idaho or Wyoming.

    The entire notion that our homes, churches, communities, vocations and friends are expendable, replaceable and not worth fighting for is simply repugnant to me.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again
    - What would have happened if everybody moved out of Boston after Lexington and Concord or "bugged out" at the Alamo?

  14. I am a avid reader of both your blog and our Survival Blog. I too was shocked at the article screaming, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling." Unfortunately, I fear that the sky IS falling this time. I have never seen JWR so passionate about advice. But numerous other alternative web sites have started saying the same message in the past couple weeks.

    Although we are not able to head for the western hills, as he suggests. I hope that our small community will weather the storm better than the next. I will be be picking up the pace with my preps and taking my kids out for more target practicing.

    If one is going to get through the coming storm, one must have family and friends that are just as prepared as they are.

    Thank you for your blog, keep up the good work. Now, if you'll excuse me. I've got a gun to clean and seedlings to get started.

  15. We came to Alaska 4 years ago to get away from what was happening down south. I am so glad I listened to my gut because we sold our house literally days before the market bit the dust. If we had stayed and waited we would be in the same boat as so many people nowadays that owe more on their homes than they can sell them for. Plus we would have had no work (we own a home repair business)

    My husband was against the move, not understanding what I knew was coming, and it took him being injured in a car wreck by someone running a stop sign to realize that we needed to get the heck out of dodge. Our truck was totaled and the company that hit him didn't have insurance on the driver. Once we got that mess sorted out and the truck was fixed we set to work figuring out how to make this move happen with 2 kids, 2 dogs and all the stuff that comes along with owning a construction company.

    It cost us thousands to move--everything had to be put on a barge or the ferry. And my husband had to fly up here beforehand to buy us a house that I wouldn't see until I got here--talk about stressful!

    It was very difficult to just sell most of our stuff and move to an entirely different area, I won't lie about that. But if I had it to do over again I would do it in a heartbeat. People thought we were nuts and didn't mind telling us over and over and over again. They just couldn't understand the urgency. Now some of those same people tell me they are amazed how LUCKY we were to move just before the market fell. A lot of them are out of work and have been for quite awhile now. We are blessed to live in an area where work is abundant and profitable.

    Where we live now I feel very good knowing that we have organic meat walking around us, millions of fish, shrimp, crab, clams and various plants free for the taking within walking distance and all the fresh water we could ever want to drink up in the lakes above town. The fish are so plentiful here that we carry 5 gallon buckets when we go fishing to hold them all.

    No we don't have Walmart or Starbucks, but we do have a community of gun owners that know how to use them and a whole lot of very rugged people that can take care of themselves and others if the SHTF. Down south I was terrified all the time by the rising crime rate and complete lack of caring that was exhibited by the crowds of people. There were so many people there that seemed to think that the most important thing in their lives was what movie was playing or what the latest Xbox game was. It seemed like madness to us!

    I don't know what it is going to take to get some people to wake up, but if you live in a place where you know it is inevitable that things are going to get really ugly in a survival scenario, wouldn't it be better to make the move when things aren't so bad?

  16. I read survivalblog but my respect for that source is diminished by the fact that Rawles doesn't allow for comments. He's either afraid of differing views or he's just a control freak, either way, IMO, he has issues. I wonder if he needs to reinforce his decision for his lifestyle by scaring others to follow his lead. Maybe there's a book or sponsor tie-in, whatever, I'm not moved.

    I believe in standing and fighting for our country through the democratic process of elections not running away in fear of anything. I would urge everyone to become involved in the election process and campaign for candidates that support strengthening this country. Educate your neighbors, improve your own preparedness and be a good example to your family, friends and co-workers.

    We're Americans ! We can (and have) overcome anything. And don't forget it.

  17. Today 3-29-11 over on the site there was a post by "The Former South Aussteyralian" titled: Strategic Relocation in Australia. This man and his family did exactly what Mr. Rawls said to do in the article under discussion here, and he gives detailed info on just how hard it was. At the end, he tells how rewarding it is to have gone through the hardships. A must read in my opinion.

  18. Contrarian that I am, I have a different viewpoint.

    SurvivalBlog is one of my regular stops each day. I read Mr. Rawles' "American Redoubt" article and wasn't sure why he was so upset about something that happens everyday in many stores and shops around the country. How many of us have gone to a store and seen a sign in the window or on the door or at the counter that say "No bills over $20."? I've seen that sign in numerous stores, the storekeeper can't keep enough change in his cash register to accommodate all the people who buy $5.00 worth of goods and want to pay with a $100.00 bill. So the State of Florida wants to do the same - limit the size of the bills their toll takers accept - and Rawles gets worked up into a hissy fit.

    It seems to me to be terribly irresponsible of him to urge people to drop everything and head for the mountains. Plus, he may soon find out that doing so is going to create the same scenario he's trying to avoid - overcrowding and limited resources.

    This isn't Afganistan. Americans are by and large NOT accustomed to living in the mountains and living a subsistence lifestyle. And the mountain states are relatively lightly populated because the land cannot sustain lots of people. So what happens when millions of people move to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the other states and parts of states he suggested and then find out they need to IMPORT most of what they need from the rest of the country?

    Look, unless Mr. Rawles wants to secede from the USA and form a landlocked separate nation, he still has to deal with American laws and American government. Changing the laws is extremely difficult, but more logical than running and burying your head in the sand.

    I think a much better call would be to stand up and speak out and push back...right from where we already are. I'm not giving up my home for the sake of joining up with people I may or may not like or agree with. Just because I don't like what's going on with our government doesn't mean a new location is going to make things better.

    My colors are Red, White, and Blue - and I always believed those colors DON'T RUN.

    James Rawles should be careful what he asks for, he may get it.

    Stand up. Speak out. Pray hard. Push back. The government doesn't own us, we own it.

    Anonymous Patriot

  19. I would like to share something just as a gentle, gentle reminder. I am not preaching at anybody, but only relating what I have found.

    We have been "preppers" for a very long time. We have always planned for every scenario and have learned to live very humbly. We have always had a large stock of everything and so the idea of planning ahead is nothing new to us. A couple of years ago, I had really been diligent about my food storage. I transferred things into vacuum sealed glass jars, had used large plastic tubs and buckets, etc and felt pretty good about my stock. I had couponed the fire out of buying groceries and I thought we were doing pretty good. One day, I opened the door to our pantry and a little moth flew out and hit me in the face. I didn't think anything about it. Then I started noticing them on the ceiling getting thicker and thicker. Hmmm. It was when I opened a rubbermaid tub of cereal and saw hundreds of the critters that I panicked. For 6 months we fought those things. The larvae ate chocolate chips, cake mixes, the paper off of cans and even crawled under the rings of jars and ate the rubber under the lids that caused jars to lose their seal, allowing passage to the goodies in the jars. It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

    As I battled these bugs, (we finally used feramone traps that worked great) the scripture in Mathew kept coming to me: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not steal and where theives do not break in and steal." Mathew 6:19

    It was an event that I realized was supposed to teach me something. I learned that if we place our faith of provision in ourselves, our abilties and our actions our plans will fail. But if we do things as God moves us, our plans will succeed. One can do the same thing with two different motives and it be right the one time and wrong the other.

    Our provision is from the Lord and He opens the doors for us to receive that provision if we are open to His direction and discerning in our decisions. While He may lead one person to the Rockies to set up camp, He may be leading another to stay put in the middle of NYC in order for Him to use that person. God's purpose is to be glorified and to demonstrate His love and provision. We are told in Proverbs 16: "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The Lord works everything out for his own ends." Remember Elijah who was fed by ravens? He didn't go hungry because God made the provision and He went where God told him to go.

    Therefore, whether to sell a house, to purchase land in the Rockies, to have one bucket of wheat or 10 or whether to own a gun, we all must go humbly to God first and seek His direction for our personal families. If we earnestly seek His guidance and wisdom, we will know what to do. After all, He promises, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you."

    I just say these things as a gentle reminder not to be afraid and not to get stressed. It is easy to be afraid when facing the unknown. Just seek God's direction for your family and do what you know He is leading you to do. Don't compare yourselves to what others are doing. Just keep on seeking God's wisdom for your particular situation. God bless all of you. :-)

  20. To the above post regarding the 3-29-11 post by "The Former South Aussteyralian" this was NOT written by an Australian, IMO, it is a hoax. I have edited many many many articles over more than 20 years written by Australians and I can say they don't use the words in that article or describe things in the manner described.... Rawles is just attempting to create an echo chamber for his earlier post.

    I believe a fair amount of the content on that post is by Rawles and not others.

    Sorry I read Survivalblog but mostly for entertainment and a few good ideas. Matter of fact, I found this wonderful blog through that site.

  21. I am fettering Don. I have been ruined physically. I keep truging on for the sake of my co-workers who happen to be my brothers who followed me out there. Here is the funny part. Hah Hah. I kid of course. The horrible leadership is taking us down a dead end road. The "boss" I thought was in on a giant scam to finish off our 100 yr. old company for real estate purposes. It turns out he is just a dupe at this point. He is incompetent and way too easy to scapegoat for problems that go clear to the top.

  22. I think Rawles has some good ideas but for average folks are not practical. Move to Idaho when our jobless rate is going up? Stuff is cheap here cause you won't make a lot of money at a job. Weather can be very extreme. I love my state and think it's a great place to live, but it ain't easy.
    I would get out of any urban area if possible, but I'm amazed by folks of Baghdad, Jerusalem that live in combat zones yet survive and even thrive.
    As you noticed it's all about relationships and community. I'd say you would be better off staying in a place that has a good sense of community than trying to move to a new spot and fitting in.
    Perhaps, my take on this idea is a bit different as I'm disabled. I know I won't survive without some help. So I've tried to be helpful and build up my network of support, preps and tools. While I may not be able to run a chain saw. I've got one and my neighbors can borrow it and then they come over and trim a few limbs on my trees. They save the cost of a chainsaw, I save the cost of hiring someone to do the work.

  23. That was a nice post Advent in Self Reiance. May God bless your work. I guess the problem for me is that there is far too many people who are not really disabled. Just lazy fat stupid disgusting slobs. My right arm was 50% disabled in 1986 and I have done some of my most outstanding work after that. I do not know you so please do not take this personally.

  24. Save the Canning JarsMarch 29, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    I live in town and 4 shocking neighborhood events have occurred in 13 days. Police with their search dog have been in my front AND backyard seeking a fugitive, a fire at the apartments across the street, complaints by a neighbor that his downstairs neighbors are using drugs (validated upon direct confrontation) and a lady outside on her cell phone letting her dog run in the 4 lanes of traffic and would not get off the phone to pick up her dead dog after it was hit by a car. (A kind man retrieved the dog from the street and handed it to her, but she would not take it and she abandoned it on the lawn.)

    I don't want to be shocked anymore. It is past time to move out of my neighborhood!

    I've had two dreams this calendar year: One deals with we don't have as much time as we thought we had and the theme of the second dream is that I'm not thinking big enough as to what will be required to weather the events to come.

    Can't you just hear God calling, "Free wisdom! Get your wisdom here!" My hand is up yelling, "Yes! Me! I want some!"

    And I hear His voice, be brave, and ACT!

  25. I've been reading Survival Blog for about 3 years now (and that's how I found out about here).....Mr. Rawles has mentioned more than a few times that we are "in the 11th hour" as fas as time running out, so I've been expecting him to say something like this anytime.....He's done more research than I have, but what I do know myself he's been pretty much on target all along....As for this particular article, I think his main point was, as Patrice so perfectly put it, DO's time to stop reading and start acting, it's time to stop procrastinating or being slow about your plans.....While you still can....While you still have some choices left.....

    This whole prepping thing has become such a fad, with people coming out of the woodwork to tell you how to....and what to stock up on....and what to learn in order to do's kinda turning into another thing to read about and the actual motion seems to get put aside.....But some people just won't get it, or want to accept it, and think that someone will come to their rescue if they are wrong - some people think someone will step in and prevent anything "bad" from happening.....For those of us who are prepared to take care of themselves, and plan to survive, we're ahead of the game already....

  26. Amen to what OPCCook said. That's exactly what I wanted to post. Our family doesn't live anywhere near the states mentioned in the article, and with eight of us on one income, there's no way we could make a move anytime soon. Even if we had the money and did move, we would be losing our support system, all of our dear friends whom we've known for years. You can't rebuild that kind of thing quickly.

    Most importantly, we have to go (or stay) where God leads us. I don't believe that God wants everyone crammed in a few states fighting off whatever's coming down the pike. How are we to be a light to the world if we're all in hiding?? First and foremost, we are to bring glory to Him. Each of our families will be safest if we are in the center of His will. I believe that God wants some of us out there in the "bad" states to be a blessing and a help to others who are suffering.

    I used to be a regular reader of, but reading it just made me more fearful and think more about myself and my family, instead of focusing on the true Provider of all things good. Please don't misunderstand me - I think Mr. Rawles' blog does have its place. He provides lots of great articles and information. It was just hard for me to keep the main thing, the main thing while reading it. If you keep your focus on all of the future gloom and doom, the worry and anticipation will swallow you alive. It did me for a couple of years, until I let go and realized my focus needed to be on Jesus and only Jesus. He is my light.

    Just my .02.

  27. Mr.Rawles call to relocate is taken from his book PATRIOTS, where like minded individuals retreat to a prearranged cabin in Idaho and tough it out in a scenario quite like what is starting to play out now. Looking at all that is going on in the world and the stark lack of leadership the feds are displaying it will not be long til we are flat broke. The turmoil in the mid east and Africa, the financial flushing in Europe as the Euro nations go belly up.I do agree with him to get the three Bs in order,beans,bullets,and bandaids. The time to make alliances, clans,militia is also prudent for one family cannot stand alone.The time to relocate though I feel is long gone,due to the collapse of the real estate market and the unemployment situation. No one can take a loss on a home to move without selling.Regardless what anyone decides start preparing and learn skills vital to survival.
    Had Enuff

  28. I can certainly respect how people simply cannot up and move, and honor their motives for not doing so. But I do believe the only defensible terrain should our government get itchy is generally a harsh and mountainous one. I also live there already, so I don't have issues with relocation. I,too, have a geographic bias.

    Y2k, mentioned in an above post, differs in significant ways from what is happening today. Y2k was an acknowledged problem, was fought with vast resources and intelligence from all quarters with a very specific goal in mind: upgrade so that a universal computer quirk didn't bring down the grid.
    There was no difference of opinion. It was solved rather immediately.

    The financial situation in this country is an entirely different matter. It is wrought with politics, power, global intrigue and can threaten everyone's livelihood in the blink of an eye. There is no consensus, as some would profit quite handsomely from near total destruction.

    History repeats itself, and America is no different, regardless of how exceptional our founding was. Empires collapse when debt levels are no longer sustainable. We are very near to that precipice, and those in power are failing to address the gravity of the situation. It is politically untenable. Reality will therefore force a reckoning.

    Hysteria and unreasonable fear are counterproductive emotions, agreed.

    But this time is different. Or rather, it isn't. Nations fail. What comes after that?
    Most prefer not to imagine.

  29. I have the utmost respect for an intelligent and wise Christian man, who knows when he has reached his limit of tolerance.

    JW, Rawles has studied under and along side some remarkably knowledgeable people who are experts in their career fields, and he has traveled afar to witness many different societal behaviors and financial governmental structures. He has also devoted quality mentorship time with some of the worlds BEST practitioners in enterprising investment fields.
    The blog, of which he is editor, is quite unique from others who espouse "to know" about self-sufficiency. It attracts thousands of submissions from protected by anonymity writers who are protected by anonymity. They are power investment gurus, working in intelligence, are survival professionals in tactics and on strategy, engineers from many represented fields, scientists, doctors, lawyers, clergy, researchers, educators, and participants of corporate and private think tanks.

    All these resources have helped him divine and "call" reliable economic forecasts for others, with precision accuracy for many years now. He has encouraged his readers to take action in sheltering their financial fiat money and stocks by conversion into self-sufficient tangibles for a VERY long time.

    It's also not like he has just, "out of the blue", called out that the balloon went up. Every word he has just advised (for free, I might add), is based on study of multi-factoral compilations of concrete evidence of the current action/s and resultant onslaught of the backsliding grabs and encroachments being made on our freedoms and rights, and, on the financial system injustices occurring on the State and Federal levels of our government.
    His advisement decisions have always been based on actual facts deduced from financial statistical trends, errant political decisions, and the so-called "legal" infringements.

    I feel sure that this "call," is based from sound practical wisdom and I would also bet it is based on a whole lot of answered prayers made to God, for his integrity to remain solid. None of what he cites in the article should be a surprise to anyone. The events are all based on true and real validations of the state of our current progression of infringements of our constitutional rights, which are occurring right before our eyes and affecting our pocketbook and the quality of our lives. The media won't point them out to you. Neither will our present political system, who are accomplices to the corruption. Most of the current corruption in our governmental financial system of Tarp funding and QE assistance, it includes that which is directly and indirectly responsible for the manipulation of our fiat dollar valuation, both here in the US and globally, and to the rising line item mandatory taxes they take from us. All of these actions have been planned, to support the protection of that corrupt system.

    So, before you jump to question Rawles' motives, know that the only motive he has ever repetitiously emphasized and practiced, is that he adamantly believes in the right and need of America to remain a FREE MARKET financial system, with a currency that is represented by precious metals to ensure a true value of exchange, and a return to the Constitutional principles written by our forefathers, who were the original PATRIOTS that fought for our rights to know Liberty and Freedom.

    It is time for intense prayer and to make your family as safe as is humanly possible, with whatever means you have to do so.


  30. Patrice -

    We escaped the big city many years ago, and did so for our kids sake. They are all out of the home now, married, and we have grandkids. Our options are not the same as other's, but that move out of the city was in 20-20 hindsight one of the best things we have done.

    "Develop a home-based business."

    I am continuing to work for my employer because as long as the job lasts it is good pay working with good folk in a job I enjoy. None the less I know nothing lasts forever and I have a number of side businesses that could help pay the bills if my day job went away.

    "practical tangibles"

    For us, much of the tangibles are equipment and inventory for the side businesses.

    "Join the local ham radio club."

    Besides the local ham clubs I also belong to the local ARES group which assists local emergency responders and law enforcement. This is just another way to connect with the community and give back.

    Pray for wisdom. "We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future."

  31. It is time for intense prayer and to make your family as safe as is humanly possible, with whatever means you have to do so.


    Well said.

    It is time to lay fear aside and do what we can for the ones we Love. And do what we must for God and the little piece of Earth we call home, as many cannot, for one reason or another, leave where we are.

  32. We are getting our ducks in a row for the move. The one big thing we must wait for is my mother in law to pass. She is almost 93 and we will not leave her and can't move her. We are waiting on the Lord's timing. In the mean time we buy supplies, save and study needed skills and research possible bug out locations. Loving Idaho!

  33. I am not afraid of new places and new things, in fact, I love it. And since becoming aware of what's going on in the world and the depths to which we have fallen as a people, and after prepping these last few years, I have an increased sense of alarm.

    I have taken many of the steps you outlined, have gotten out of debt, drastically altered my lifestyle, learned self-sufficiency, have at least a year's worth of food for my extended family of eight, and much, much more. I am even writing a book about what I did, in case others need encouragement.

    But moving is not even on the radar. I am what they call the working poor. I have no savings, no investments, a tax lien makes it impossible to sell my house. My parents are elderly, dad is terminal, and I am their primary caregiver.

    I can't move. I have to do my best right where I am.

    When I read these warnings and know in my heart that I may not survive where I am, I am torn between being resigned to a bad outcome, and being ashamed of myself for my lack of faith.

    Faith is all there is for me. I am prepping it as well. Working on my relationship, my trust, my dependence. All the preps can be gone in a heartbeat. I am stuck here I am. All I have is my God.

  34. Hi All,

    Just a reminder, God is still in charge and you should be listening to Him to see where He wants you. All else is folly. For me and my house, it is clear to us that we are to stay here even though we are not way out on the Ponderosa or wherever people seem to think it is 'safer'. I don't mean to be all preachy at you but if you are outside of God's Will for your life, you are in the wrong spot, no matter what state you run to!!! Honestly, where else is there to run to in the US where this coming all-encompassing-trouble cannot affect you? Stop and take a few deep breaths before you go charging off. You may be called to stay right where you are.
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

  35. Just for clarification, the Florida article that set Mr. Rawles off was not a "no bills larger than $20" situation. The Florida toll booths were collecting personal information (name, address, ect.) before they would give the customer their change change.

  36. Yes, the article that was the last straw for Rawles was about toll takers taking names and (unlawfully) detaining motorists who presented $100.00 FRNs for a $1.00 toll, but that is not what got Rawles lathered up. If you read his initial paragraph, you'll see that he focused on the part of the article that described the State's refusal to accept the big bills.

    Of all the things that have occurred just since the last presidential election - all the breaches of the Constitution, all the illegal actions, all the deceit and corruption - this is what gets Rawles to formulate his "American Redoubt" doctrine? Oh pleeeease!

    Obamacare wasn't the final straw? Dropping bombs in Libya wasn't the final straw? Failure to arrest the New Black Panthers who intimidated white voters in 2008 wasn't the final straw? Ending the enforcement of the "Defense of Marriage Act" wasn't enough to rattle Rawles? Communists and domestic terrorists in the administration wasn't the final straw? The big flu pandemic that never materialized and the resultant waste of money wasn't the final straw? $14 trillion in debt isn't enough of an "impetus for a paradigm shift" for Rawles? Needlessly canceling domestic drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while giving $2 billion in US money to Brazil so they can drill there wasn't the final straw? Apologizing around the world for America wasn't a red flag for Rawles? I find it odd that this Florida toll booth story was the deal breaker for Rawles. I guess we all have our breaking points, mine came 18 years ago. His is just now here and it's based on this story? Oh pleeeeeease.

    I've been reading James Wesley, Rawles' blog daily for over 2 years because he has new guest essays every day and interesting articles gleaned from online sources from around the world. But I wouldn't base my future on his predictions or on his connections or on what he chooses as the last straw. My future is mine to decide and mine to improve or destroy. I do agree that doing SOMETHING is necessary, but we each have to decide what that SOMETHING is, and I hope it's based on fact and not emotion.

    One thing is certain, though, James Rawles is well-intentioned and he's trying to provide information so people can prepare for the worst while praying for the best. I give him great credit for that.

    Anonymous Patriot

  37. Another timely and engrossing read.

    First, I was pleased to find my situation is about 80% 'there' with regards to Mr. Rawles' recommendations. That was a good feeling, although the remaining 20% is still a pretty steep climb for my current circumstances. But that being said, there's not a day I don't wake up and say "Thank you Father!" and count my blessings.

    Second, I was struck by the close similarities in my story and G-ma Tillie's. I didn't get as far as Alaska, but I am about as far north as one can get in this part of the lower 48, and I just celebrated my 4th anniversary here ten days ago in my 'new' home, which I bought virtually sight unseen a year and a half before I made it up here. I had to step out in faith, and God greatly exceeded all my expectations. My husband came up with all our critters while I remained behind, and alone under very challenging conditions which I was very fortunate to have survived. Our place was the last place that sold in our community before the bottom fell out. Nothing else sold for 6 months and prices plummeted. My real estate broker still marvels at it, saying (correctly) God's Hand was in it all. We're also in the same type of business as she and her husband, and I do some baking for barter with neighbors.

    And once again, Can-jars' story resonates so deeply in my heart I wish I could reach out to hug her. I experienced my own neighborhood turn into a nightmare of one freakish event after another, and no amount of involvement, service or activism could stem the tide. I saw my beloved, life-long home community transformed into a crime zone invaded by dangerous and aggressive people. When I finally got out and made it up here I felt like I'd come home to America.

    Above all, though, I think it's vital for each of us to start where we are, asking the Lord for His Wisdom and Guidance, because, as has been so well expressed here, without Him we're lost regardless of where we are.

    Relocation is not for everyone, just as staying put isn't for everyone. But faith, good common sense and self-reliance are pleasing to God and strengthening to our spirits and our nation, and these are the qualities that will provide stability in uncertain times.

    Regardless of where in the country we are, this is America. We overcome stuff.

    A. McSp

  38. I'm glad you posted this b/c there are folks out there(like us RIGHT NOW by the way!)who are doing things right!! We're prepared!! We're ready to move to open land and do something different, and we tried to put our house on the market!! However, it is worth(thank you economy) FORTY THOUSAND dollars less than it was!! We have no extras, we have no tv, we homeschool, we buy groceries only 1 time each 3 months, we do it ALL...we have animals, we hunt, we prepare, we save water......but there IS no extra money!! I am a SAHM to 6 kids aged 9 and under. We've been married 10 years. We don't have college degrees. My husband manages a store and the money is ok, but we are still below poverty level with our number of children! What would be a suggestion for us?? Do we just leave it all and let it go to foreclosure when we still have an income? We can't rent this place. There are 6 houses in foreclosure on my street, and 4 houses for rent.....they have been that way for TWO YEARS!!!!!! NOT ONE RENTER!!!!! :(
    I'm totally NOT yelling at you by the the situation in which we find ourselves, which is bogged down by a mortgage that isn't worth anything, and unable to do anything about it. You can only make so much extra money for savings by selling eggs, and at the rate we're going its going to be a LONG time before we can get out of here! We even have a customer base waiting on us in a different state for organic meat sales, but we can't get there b/c we can't get out from under this house!! Hard?? We're prepared to do hard. That will be nothing new. Its trying to do things the ethical way that is the hardest. :) Any suggestions?? Any ideas??? We can't make extra money where we are with our animals as we don't have the room here...hence the want to move(among all the other reasons!!) Hope you have some ideas...I think there are a LOT of people just like us out there! We always read the stories of people who had a hefty savings or they owned their home outright who sell and move to the country with no debt....but for the majority of us, this is not a reality. We don't have any debt other than a car that is about to be paid off in a year, this house, and an old college loan. However, if we can't leave a house....we can't do anything!!! Help! ;D I'm glad you posted this b/c there are so many who are asking these questions, and I hope you can come up with some great suggestions!!! :) --S Great post!! Great blog! I also read JR's blog, and the precepts for redoubt as well! :) LOVED IT!--S

  39. I very much respect the opinions and feelings of those who believe the time is now to make the move "off the grid" and head west. If you have given much prayerful consideration to such a move and you hear God's voice leading you in that direction, it would be wrong for any of us to criticize you for that.

    My oh-so-liberal sister has always joked that I am the member of the family who will make just such a move, but she's wrong. I'm not inclined to run away from the government. If government wants you, they will find you (Ruby Ridge? Waco?). I might be wrong, but I believe that it's important to stay right where we are and fight this madness with our friends and families.

    So, how do we fight this madness. First, we plant Ephesians 6:10-20 in our hearts and follow those commands. We must be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

    Second, we re-read and re-learn the principles of individual God-given liberty, equal justice under the law and limited government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We must cling to those principles and be willing to fight for them--and even die for them. They are that important.

    Third, we must proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and the American principles of God-given liberty to our families and our friends. We must lead others to these self evident truths if we are to have any chance of saving America.

    Again, I could be wrong, but I do believe that God is calling us to stand and fight from right where he has put us.

  40. To Kris Watson:
    You said, "All I have is my God."
    You spoke rightly. In reality, that's all any of us have, no matter how "safe" we *think* we are. :)

  41. Ever hear of the term "Police State"?

    Are you aware that the State Dept. Of Transportation is the entity that UNLAWFULLY and UNOFFICIALLY ordered the Fla. toll booth tellers to catalog and detain persons who were making their transactions in 100.00 bills?

    Just who in Hades gave them this power?
    Who do they think they are?

    What rights of your personal privacy info have they violated?

    What legal rights of our ability to pass US tender have they violated?

    Where was it passed that 100.00 bills have ALL been suspect?

    Shouldn't all US citizens be forewarned by the Fed. if there is a problem with the printing of the US 100.oo bill?

    Should persons be forewarned when they travel through the Fla. tollway system in advance by the state that they could be detained for passing LEGAL tender to a toll teller?

    Better yet, shouldn't the US treasury take 100.oo bills out of circulation altogether if they are no longer acceptable for US tender?

    I strongly suggest that US citizens first study their Constitutional Rights.
    Understand how they apply to your everyday life.

    Then, study the State Laws (where you hold residence) that you are expected to lawfully abide by.
    Until you truly understand and know these, you will NOT be able to recognize when your rights have been violated.

    Do you even know if you live in a state where unlawful violations are being condoned and are often occurring?
    Are you just accepting whatever a state or gov.
    employee in a uniform tells you to do?

    Please study and KNOW, before you make criticism and make false witness against
    someone who has taken it upon his burdens to attempt to warn you can secure your own
    protection and safety.

    So now you have been warned.
    There is NO excuse for not knowing any longer, unless you elect to ignore it!
    Stop expecting others to spoon feed you what you should as US citizens, should know already!
    How long have you lived here?
    And, if you don't know, then ask someone that does know.
    Just please STOP making excuses.


  42. Wow, Patrice! Look at everyone coming out of the woodwork for this one! It's the first time in a long while that I haven't been able to read through all the comments in one sitting! So much good stuff here, just the push I needed to kick things up a notch.


  43. Is there room in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington for the entire population of the USA? If not who would be left behind?

  44. I'm surprised that Arizona wasn't included in the list of "safe haven states." Here, you have the right to wear a loaded gun anywhere you go, unless a particular building has a sign that forbids loaded firearms, such as a school. Arizona's governor recently passed a law that you may also carry a concealed weapon without any special CCW license needed.

    There are LOTS of open spaces here in Arizona. My wife and I moved here ten years ago from Califorlorn, because that state was becoming too liberal and radical. It was also becoming far too expensive to live in CA, especially for retirees, although CA wants everyone to think it's a great state to retire in. That's a big lie. Everything costs more in CA than in AZ. I sold and repaired guns in CA. It was costing me hundreds of dollars EACH YEAR for licenses, fees and such. Here in AZ, a license to sell firearms FOR LIFE: $12!

    We live in a secluded area about 25 miles east of Kingman. Most everyone here has transplanted from CA. We have many skills, and we share them and watch out for each other's property. There are NO "weird militias" in this area, although our lying liberal media and the government wants everyone to think so. People here are sensible and considerate. They're also very aware of what our liberal leaders in BOTH parties are doing to our economy and our nation.

    Whether you stay where you are or decide to move, you should consider several things: Can you own guns where you live? Can you plant a garden? Can you hunt and fish? If you can own guns, can you shoot them on your property? It's very important to be familiar with your guns and know how to shoot them. Driving to a shooting range many miles away once or twice a month can be a pain and won't give you enough practice to be proficient with your weapons.

    Many of us say God wants us to do this or that. God wants us to move, God wants us to stay. I believe God wants us to THINK. He wants us to use our heads and consider ALL possibilities. At least, if we want to survive.

  45. Being exactly where the Lord Jesus has led you is the safest place.
    Preparation where you are at is wise.

  46. Save the Canning JarsMarch 30, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    To A McSpa:

    Hug received! Thanks, I needed that hug!

    By the way, you posted your chicken stock recipe for Patrice and all of the readers months back, and today I'm making it (third time to do so) and canning it. Makes the house smell delightful!

    OPCcook @ featured your stock recipe on her blogsite a few weeks ago and gave you credit. Lovely complement to you!

  47. Easy to tell that you do a lot of reading Patrice. Some of these are quite long and may test your endurance. God bless them all. Let freedom ring.

  48. Wow, all these comments...well most of them were great. I know I can come home from work, and read this blog and comments as a way to ease back into real life. I know this subject matter is difficult, not everyone can, or should move. However, I think we all need to pray for the best, but prepare for the worst. If nothing happens, well, you have a break from buying what you already have, and if the bleep hits, you'll have a fighting chance.

    As for me, I wish I could relocate, but I live in Southern California, there is little chance I could sell my home for what we owe, and I didn't buy during high prices or take out a huge amount of equity, the area just crashed. So for now, I'm stuck.

  49. I totally agree that large cities and the northeast should be avoided at all costs. I don't agree that the Pacific Northwest is the best location to relocate. The winters are too harsh and it is not agriculturally friendly. You can't just hunt meat, you need to grow a variety of food. This would suggest to me that the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas as well as Southeast Oklahoma and Northeast Texas and Northwest Louisiana would be a better area due to the climate combined with smaller less harsh hills and forests. I don't want to freeze to death if my shelter is destroyed or I'm forced into the wilderness to hide. I also want the ability to grow most all crops. Just a thought.

  50. To Quedula;

    No, the entire U.S. population would not fit in those western states. The people who would be "left behind" would be those who chose, for whatever reason, not to move.

    The latest Census figures show that there is already a huge population and demographic shift happening in the United States. Most of the liberal/Democrat-run states are losing population, while the more conservative states are gaining population. This migration is happening across the demographic spectrum.

    Whites, blacks and Asians are fleeing the California welfare state in droves. The Asian population of neighboring Nevada is skyrocketing, perhaps due to the lack of a state income tax in Nevada.

    Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois are all losing population--both black and white. Blacks are moving by the millions to the more conservative South.

    This blog has focused on some of the western states, but the truth is that population shifting due to cultural and political concerns is happening all across America. People are "voting with their feet," to quote Thomas Sowell.

  51. I certainly believe in God,but 'God will provide' isnt exactly True. In one respect he gave us a thinking brain to PLAN with,and expects us to use it.That doesnt mean do nothing and all will be well.

    If so,how come righteous people the world over starve?

    He also set Joesph out to prepare for 7 years famine,and Egypt came through the famine just fine.The early 'prepper' Joseph!

    As for 'tangibles' you cant pay the rent or your taxes with tomatoes and hand grinders.Better make some room for a solid currency as well,as in gold or silver.Those currencies worked and paid taxes and were accepted at World class Banks in Argentina during their recent collapse,they didnt take shovels.

    Finally,not everyone can move to the boonies without a life of poverty,that makes ZERO sense to set yourself up for that.However most anywhere you can make a lot of viable moves to improve your families safety and security most anywhere.

    GET OUT OF DEBT,OWN YOUR HOME(STEAD) and that alone puts you miles ahead of the crowds.

  52. I think Hank Jr. said it best, "we came from the West Virginia coal mines and the Rockie Mountains and the western skies...we're form north California and south Alabame and little towns all around this land....

  53. Like many others, I'm new to this whole "prepper" thing and I'm trying to sort out all the info I've stumbled upon (whew!). I've been following another blog for some time now (maybe a year?) and I find it quite interesting what she has to say about the states Mr Rawles is referring to. Read it here if you want
    As for my family, we'll be staying "hunkerd-down" in good old Wisconsin, but as far from Madison as we can possibly get. God's Blessings to you all!

  54. Hugs back to Can-jars and OPCook!

    Thanks for the heads up about the chicken stock recipe! I've also found a mixture of turkey and chicken bones also makes an outstanding flavored stock. YUM!

    And still looking for our Katie J in Germany....I'm starting to get a little concerned.

    And Quedula, I had to laugh when I read your post...I'd been resisting the urge to speculate that if all those folks stampeded out here to the west the continental load might become imbalanced and we might tip over!!! LOL

    A. McSp

  55. I didn't read all the comments as there are a lot to read right now. I have to say that I think I would drop dead at my state line as I could not leave my state. I live in Texas. I have a hard time thinking that Texans would take a take over laying down. We are a strong people and even with the aggression going on on the border, I think that people are prepared, at least with fire power if it comes to that. Now I don't own a gun as my spouse doesn't want one but I hope that some day soon we enter that great domain known as holders of the Second Amendment. God help us and be merciful to His children.

  56. Actually, Quedula, there probably IS room in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington for the entire population of the USA! If I remember correctly, you live in England? An island nation less than half the size of our state of Arizona.

    Many Europeans have no idea how big the United States really is until they come here and travel across the nation. Until they do this, they just can't grasp the size of the U.S. They tend to think of it as just another little country in area, like Germany, France or England. My wife's German boss was this way. He came to the U.S and traveled all over the nation. He was astounded at how big it is!

    Quedula, you need to expand your thinking and stop looking at the "colonies" as a backward bunch of hicks. We surpassed England long ago, kiddo.

  57. That was my english sense of humour Anonymous @3.03pm. I don't think we take life quite so seriously this side of the pond. ;)