Country Living Series

Friday, May 6, 2011

Next Contest Entry

Husband of the Boss communique'

Here is our next entry in the "Safecastle LLC Freedom Awards Self-sufficiency Essay and/or Video Contest" and as such in our "Rural Revolution Essay Contest"

Just a reminder:

While the prizes are certainly better over at SafeCastle LLC., we're only allowed to pass on one finalist in the essay and video catagories at the end of the year for judging.


In the Rural Revolution sub-contest, we have 10 prizes to give out to those of you who submit your original essay or video on self-suffieceny, survivalism, and prepping, specifically the coveted Rural Revolutionary Tankard.

So here's our next entry from Jake MacGregor:

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

All of us who prepare face a dilemma: how do we allocate our work, our money and our time in the face of impending economic collapse.

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

Most of us who are survivalists, 'preppers,' (whatever acronym you choose for yourself) have invested in a deep pantry, self-defense, a good how-to library, etc. None of us feels we have done enough, has enough, but we each are doing what we can.

Now that gold, silver, food and oil appear to be 'going vertical' in price, European countries fall in clusters, and the tremendous catastrophe in Japan and consequent economic ripples, all of who have prepared for TSHTF have to ask, at what point do you put all of your work, money and time into preparations?

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

Before I give you my answer I will give you my background: In 2003 I began to tell my wife, Honey, I am seeing things in the world, financially, that do not make sense to me, either I am crazy or the world is going crazy, and I pray it is me. What I saw was crazy mortgage lending practices, the general belief that the business cycle had been cured, and a financial world where risk no longer seemed to matter. I had a pretty good seat to observe that world as I was one of the country's leading financial advisers. I managed hundreds of millions of dollars and met with affluent clients every business day. I, quite literally, wrote the book on being a financial adviser.

The more I looked into macro-economic issues the worse I felt inside. I was so bothered by my 'gut' that I sold my business in the summer of 2004 and moved my family from the affluent exurbs of Washington, D.C. to the Rocky Mountain West.

That was seven years ago. Even though we made a dramatic move geographically and in lifestyle I still harbored notions that things would and could work out. I have five children who I dreamed for. I wanted them to attend a good college, struggle as I did in my twenties and learn from their own mistakes how to build a career and family. I wanted my children to experience the same opportunity for prosperity that I had struggled for and eventually obtained.

I scan multiple websites every day looking for any glimmer of positive news. I have not found any fact-based good news for some time. Glenn Beck has been shouting "prepare, prepare, prepare!" for years.

Jim Rawles recently urged folks to move to the Inland Northwest Redoubt.

Pastor Chuck Baldwin echoed that.

Chris Martenesen asks (paraphrase) "Are there any white swans?" (i.e., is there any good news out there?)

And just yesterday, a well known preparedness website touted "Collapse by July, Even a Cave Man Can See It!"

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

Yet, despite this flood of bad news and pessimism you, me, we all have concrete decisions to make, things to do, and as with most of us we have limited time and money to do them with.

For my family, a personal example of an upcoming decision looms: should my wife take a job at the hospital or start her own business. The hospital is a 90-minute drive each way but offers a certain income. The business could be very profitable but will take time to build with no guaranty of income at all. And that is the rub, do we have time? Should we even start a business in the worst economy since 1931? And for the first time in our life we have an option we have never contemplated - should we bag both of those notions and place all our efforts in preparing for collapse?

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

When I look closely at how she would make her money here is what I find. Her job at the hospital is to ensure that all the hoops are jumped through so the Hospital that employs her gets paid by Medicare and Medicaid. I do not see how either of those Government programs can continue as they have already bankrupted our country. Her job security would be great until the Federal Government can no longer pay those bills.

The business my wife could start would be consulting as a legal-nurse. She has studied for some time to earn this certification and could help malpractice law firms with cases that need medical clarification and organization. However, I do not relish the thought of trying to collect from law firms in this economy.

Ultimately, she would be paid by the Federal Government or by ambulance chasers. Both sound like buzzards of the worst kind to me!

Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

Is it time? Is it time do nothing else but prepare? In our case should my wife take this job? Should she start this business? Or should we do nothing else but prepare?

I don't know. I don't know if it is time to do nothing else but prepare. It is not knowable except in hindsight, and then it will be too late.

That, in part, is why I am writing this essay. I want your thoughts dear reader. Do YOU think: Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?

What I do know is that asking the question "Is it time to do nothing else but prepare?" begs a level of attention and alert here-to-now unknown to me. Never in my life have I even begun to think that our way of life is near collapse as I do today. That I even ask this tells me to take this very seriously, pray for guidance and become hyper vigilant.

What will we do? Will we drop the job offers, drop starting the business and do nothing else but prepare?

Yes and No. We will do an 'all-of-the-above' approach.

I will advise my wife to take the job AND start the business. I'll do all I can to help her in the business while she is working at the hospital. We'll enlist our home-schooled children into helping with the business to leverage our efforts. They can learn while working on mailing proposals, creating brochures, and keeping the filing current.

What of all the preparations we could, and probably should be doing instead? Somehow, someway, we will have to find a way to do those too. It helps that we have been actively preparing for 12 years. I still feel that we have more work than we have days. I suspect we are going to sleep less and hurt more with the severe work we need to do.

I could be wrong. Maybe we need to use every single minute between now and TSHTF for final preparations. I can't know.

But I can pray, ask for guidance, and submit this question to you faithful readers of Patrice's wonderful blog.

May God watch over us and keep our families during these trying times.

Jake MacGregor

Thanks to Jake for this entry. Now folks, please consider sending us an essay on your plans, thoughts and experiences in self-sufficiency and prepping. I know a lot of you have skills and training on these important topics. You have a real shot at some great prizes (ours and especially theirs) by simply putting on e-paper or video, things you've already considered and practiced that might be of great help to others just starting out. I've always been into helping others. (And a chance to get "paid" to do it doesn't hurt either.)


  1. this voices exactly what has been in the back of my mind ... how much longer do we have before tshtf? should we start to focus all of our energies on getting ready? scary times

    Spokane, WA

  2. My recommendation would be to continue to live your life as you would if you weren't preparing. In other words, live a parallel life. I prepare (stock the pantry, garden, learn new homemaking/self-sufficiency skills), but I also go to Little League games, arrange plays and field trips for homeschoolers,and plant flowers. I would do as you said: take the hospital job and start the business. Keep preparing in the background. A collapse (if it comes, as we anticipate) may not happen for years, or it may happen next month. In the meantime, we can't stop living and just keep waiting.... Katy

  3. Dear Jake, All i can say to you is the decision is your familys alone. The family is the ones who have to sacrifice for the lifestyle you want. We too have had to make this decision and there is no easy answer. I believe knowledge is the key to anyones survival and you seem to be a pretty smart guy. I have long believed that your gut instinct never leads you wrong. Careing for those you love and are responsible for is your greatest calling. I wish you luck my friend and the burden that is upon you.

  4. Regarding your wife's business, do what the doctors do when they deal with attorneys - get money up front (in advance) instead of sending a bill. (I've worked w/attorneys for 40 years.)

  5. I have been cursed with nightmareish dreams for the last couple of months. I can not recall a time in my life when I had such outlandish dreams. Life goes on (a bit more tired than before but, whatever.) I cannot make myself feel good about Obama. I look at him and a certain creepy feeling comes over me.

  6. We sympathize with your dilemma. Lately, we have felt VERY STRONGLY that time is shorter than we originally thought. We pray for God's guidance daily and have been led to work on a daily basis toward preparing. We have, also, been led to reduce commitments and withdraw from specific organizations.

    Our preparations have gone into almost full time, full gear these days. We are, however, in a different situation than you - we are retired. We are looking at both stocking up for self-preservation and for economics. Anything we buy now costs less than it will in the future.

    It is stressful and sad, to us, to see this wonderful nation being destroyed, but we have to focus on what we feel led to do in the present. The past, when we were growing up, was so much different than today. Even growing up during the cold war and having to do weekly "under the desk and into the bomb shelter," drills was not nearly as frightening as we see circumstances today.

    We wish you and your family the best. May God lead your direction.

  7. As a homeschooling mom of six, I say tell your wife to not go to work, but stay home and learn new skills. I have my started 7 years ago and it helps own business I fund the fence, barn, goats, projects. I personally believe many of those skills are only learned by doing and that's the reason we're doing them and teaching our kids in the process. Start with chickens and a garden and then you can move later to goats or a cow, learn to can and dry foods. These are good skills for your kids to learn regardless.

    I say start the business and do more at home to get ready. 90 minute drive and a p/t job for her would hurt your family and you (dad) would not like her to be gone that long. Her time is worth more at home regardless of anything hitting the fan or not.

    Jane in Alaska

  8. *** Update from Jake ****

    We choose to build her business from home full time. The hospital went through gut-wrenching personal losses and lost its financing for its new building. We prayed, got off our knees, and are going full speed at this business.

    I did not mention, but I am now unable to work as I am a service related disabled Veteran. We also have a son with Down Syndrome. And, we are getting three more children via emergency adoption. Everything rides on getting this decision right. I pray it is the right one.

    We are preparing like never before for two reasons: 1) we are expecting record flooding at our farm and may be cut off from civilization if the bridges are over flowed. 2) The economic flood is coming. The attack on silver & gold, the manipulation of markets all bode for QE3 and debasement of our country. We are glaciating to ruin and the middle class will be ground down.

    So, yes, we are doing nothing BUT prepare. Every business decision and major purchase is focused by preparing now for floods.

    Your feedback and thoughts and prayers have been so appreciated!


  9. My daily prayer is "God, order my steps this day." And He does.

    One year ago next month, I felt overwhelmed. Our family lives in an increasingly unsafe area and I knew God was prompting me to get the house ready to sell. He also had continually warned me since 1998 to lay up a stock of food.

    So I felt pulled in every direction. If I was in the garden working, I was missing the double coupon sale allowing me to get stuff free for the pantry. And if I was canning, I was not painting the porch. Out loud and exasperated I asked God, "Which am I supposed to be doing? Getting my house ready or stocking up?" and the answer was immediate and strong, "BOTH". Yes, God boomed that word back at me and I felt like it was shot from a cannon. I gasped. It looked like I would be expected to multitask.

    In February I had a dream where my family had been in hard times for a long time (seemed like 18 months to 2 years and we were nowhere near coming out of hard times...first clue that I would need more than 30 days food!) I was declaring in this dream that we lacked nothing and how I was so glad we had squirreled away every bit of food possible. Then I was immediately awake (no groggy transition) and I was blanketed in SERIOUSNESS and I understood that I was not thinking big enough as the the amount of food that would be needed to survive this. I believe that we will see God's signs and wonders(like bowing head to pray for provision and lifting head to see pans filled with food)...because we will NEED to see signs and wonders.

    2nd dream two weeks later: At a home improvement store looking at fruit/nut trees that were just a smidge taller than me. God said, "Do not 'mess with' these trees. Buy the biggest trees you can afford to plant." "Mess with" is hardly King James talk, but I know what I heard, and suddenly found myself awake, blanketed in seriousness, understanding that there was not enough time for these trees to mature to bear fruit. Time is short!

    I believe we have never before seen what is coming, therefore it is hard to wrap our brain around the concept of "do nothing but prepare." Also,the season of spring brings such hope, and I find myself wanting to believe everything will be fine for a while longer and that I can prep at a leisurely pace. But I trust God's warnings to me over my spring fever fantasies.

    So is it time to do nothing else but prepare? I'm convinced that as for me, the answer is yes. I would much prefer to live in a state of preparedness than a state of regret.

    Thanks for this thought provoking question.