Getting Old Is A Pain

For the last month or so I have been taking a prescription strength anti-inflammatory to help heal the damage to my achilles tendon. I took the last dose last Friday.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling out of sorts; mostly body aches and pains. My hip, my lower back, and my knees. Thinking I was possibly coming down with something I took it pretty easy and rested most of the day.  Monday morning was much, much worse. Getting out of bed took a few extra moments and it took a a fair number of minutes before I could walk properly.

It was at this point that it hit me. I wasn’t getting sick, this is was a return to normal without the meds…

<Sigh…>

It was a shock to realize how much pain I had become accustomed to as part of my daily life by taking it away for a few weeks.

I mentioned it to Wonderful Wife and, after laughing at me, she reminded me that she had been prescribed the same medication I had been taking for her arthritis several months ago and suggested I go back and get another prescription for the medication (at the lower dosage).

I may end up doing that at some point but, for now, I would prefer to avoid taking any additional medications.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

Sunday Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-2

Three crosses on a hill

Verse:

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

-Ephesians 5:1-2

Personal Meaning:

We are to reflect God’s love for us. We are to treat the world as He does.

Prayer/Thanks:

Dear Lord,

I pray for our nation; for unity, peace, and revival. I pray that we would turn back to You.

Amen

I am Thankful For:

Thank you for Wonderful Wife doing better today. Please continue to shine Your light on her and drive away the darkness.

 

***

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

Project Get Fit 2021 (Part 2): Week 1

Not me, I don’t have that much hair on my head…

Week 1 of Project Get Fit 2021 (Part 2) went pretty well. I made all three workouts this week. Because of the long layoff I had to cut the weights I was lifting down by about 20%. I also reduced the reps by 50% to start out but I was able to increase the number of reps this week and plan to increase them again next week. I am taking it slow and easy so I don’t re-injure myself.

I am keeping my walk down to half a mile until I am sure the tendon is fully healed.

In addition to getting back in the gym I am doing physical therapy twice a week. Next week will be a real test as I am finished with the prescription anti-inflamatory.

Back in the beginning of June I posted that I was taking a couple more weeks off from working out to allow the achilles tendon and my rotator cuff to heal. Here is it almost eight weeks later and I am finally ready (I think) to get back into my program.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.


Goal: Complete a Murph Challenge in 2022

Preparedness Basics: Finances

Almost every one of us will experience some sort of disaster in out lives that is either financial in nature or has a financial impact. A disaster that is financial in nature would include things like loss of income (job loss), reduced income (pay or hour reductions), or unexpected expenditures. A disaster that has a financial impact would include things like storm or flood damage to your residence. Since starting this blog our family has experienced each one of these and some more than once.

Financial disasters included both of us (at separate times, thankfully) being laid off. Both of my sons in law and my son have all experienced this as well. My daughter lost her job about a year ago. At the beginning of COVID my company cut salaries across the board for all employees. Wonderful Wife found a new job six months after being laid off but at a 15% decrease in salary. We have had unexpected major expenses including having to replace both central air conditioning units for the house at five to seven thousand dollars each.

After Hurricane Harvey our house was flooded. It cost nearly $50,000 for repairs (and a few upgrades). A disaster relief loan through FEMA helped with those costs but over half came out of pocket.

The recurring theme in all of these is that a little monetary preparation before the disaster helped make them a lot less disastrous.

Getting prepared for these types of disasters is really pretty straightforward and (for most folks) is more a matter of discipline than anything else and I covered it in detail several years ago in a post titled Thoughts On Financial Preparedness but here are the basics in a nutshell:

    • Get out of debt – especially unsecured credit card debt where the interest rates are ridiculous, 25% or more. Not being weighed down by debt payments makes the rest of these recommendations easier to attain and allows more flexibility when times get tough.
    • Build a cash buffer – save some money. We, currently,  keep 35-40% of my salary in savings and are building our investments for retirement as well as any unforeseen disasters. By cutting expenses we would live on that for almost a year with no other income source. Most statistics I have seen show that most Americans have less than $1000 in the bank…
    • Invest – Once your debt is payed down and you have some cash in the bank start investing. I suggest a mixed approach of hard assets like gold, silver, or land along with traditional stock/mutual fund accounts. Diversification of your investment help protect against catastrophic downfalls in any one area.
    • Skills – invest you time in learning useful skills that can help you earn income in a catastrophic economic crash.

Being more prepared financially is one of the most basic and most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from disaster.

You Ain’t Really Serious About…

I hear this over and over again…

You ain’t really serious about prepping (or self-defense) unless you (fill in the blank).

One of my favorite YouTube channels recently posted a video about prepping where he basically said that if you aren’t homesteading in the back country, living off the land and driving a 3/4 ton truck you’re not really serious about prepping.

It’s not just one guy, this type of attitude is prevalent in the prepping community. It is equally, if not more prevalent in the self-defense community.

I have heard self-defense instructors give a laundry list of classes and gear that are “required” if you are serious about defending yourself and your family. To listen to some of them “you’ll get kill’t in the street” if you don’t carry a full sized service pistol, three spare magazines, a backup gun, a fixed blade knife, folding knife, trauma kit, and a flashlight. Oh, don’t forget the rifle, body armor, helmet and a 200 rounds of ammo in your vehicle. Plus, you need advanced training with each along with earning a black belt in at least one martial art.

I admire and respect preppers who can live off the grid in a community of like-minded individuals. I am envious of preppers who can afford to buy and outfit a hardened missile silo for themselves and their family. I also admire people who have invested in becoming so skilled with firearms and martial arts that they are a walking incarnation of John Wick. When the fecal material hits the rotary device I hope and pray those guys are on my team.

But let’s face facts:

    1. Not everyone can afford (or even wants) to live in their very own nuclear bomb-proof bunker, off the grid.
    2. Not everyone can afford the ammo, training and time investment required reach John Wick skill levels.
    3. The vast majority of us will probably never need either one to survive.

For the vast majority of us, having some extra money in the bank for “rainy days” will handle all the disasters we will ever face. Having some extra food on hand and the ability to prepare it when the power goes out will take care of almost every other disaster.

Keeping our eyes out of our phones and being aware of our environment will keep 99% or people out of life threatening encounters. Staying away from bad places at bad times will take care of most everything else.

I choose to be a little more prepared than that and I encourage others to be as well but if you ever hear me falling into the “You Ain’t Really Serious About” mindset please call me out for being an arrogant jerk.

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

Walk With God

I finished one round of praying for my 50 closest neighbors.

I continued my study of the Gospel of Mark.

I also continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Self Defense/Hunting

Purchased ammo:

    • 140 rounds of 5.56
    • 400 rounds of 9mm
    • 20 rounds of 7.62×39

Continued my dry-fire practice with the P365 XL. I am at least as fast picking up the dot and placing a shot on target as I am with iron sights but I want some more range time with the gun before trusting my life to it. In the meantime…dry-fire, dry-fire, dry-fire…

Supplies/Gear

Nothing this month.

Security

We had security cameras in the house prior to the flood following Hurricane Harvey. Since then we have only had a doorbell camera in place. It is something I had every intention of replacing but just never seemed to remember/get around to it.

I finally did.

Amazon had a deal on a three camera system. I added one additional camera to cover all the areas I wanted covered. I was able to set it up and get it fully operational prior to leaving for the lake.

Finances

We cashed out some stock dividends and credit card point and purchased more gold.

We have also continued adding to our savings. I will be meeting with a financial advisor to see what recommendations they might have for providing a rate of return that will at least keep up with inflation while still allowing quick access to the funds should they be needed.

Fitness/Health

I had been trying to allow my shoulder and ankle to heal naturally by rest (no exercise) and over the counter and herbal anti-inflammatories for months now and it wasn’t helping. These months of inactivity also mean that I have gained back the weight I had lost. My strength and stamina are headed back to where they were before I stated exercising as well. So, I finally went to the doctor. As expected a steroid shot in my shoulder fixed it right up. For my ankle he prescribed an anti-inflammatory that has worked amazingly well and physical therapy.

Unfortunately, the anti-inflammatory medication is also a blood thinner which I discovered when I went in to have two of my kidney stones pulverized. The procedure had to be cancelled (wish they could have told me before Wonderful Wife took time off work). That actually worked out very well. The day after the procedure was scheduled an upper respiratory infection slammed me. I was in bed for three days and sick for over a week. Recovering from the procedure while dealing with the infection would have been incredibly rough and may well have put me in the hospital.

***

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this month. How about you? What did you Prep this month?

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.

Sunday Scripture: Romans 15:13

Three crosses on a hill

Verse:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

-Romans 15:13

Personal Meaning:

Joy in knowing our sins are forgiven. Peace in knowing that our futures are secure because we are members of God’s own family and will join Him in Heaven. Though joy and peace we have hope no matter how dark the world becomes.

Prayer/Thanks:

Dear Lord,

Please be with Wonderful Wife in her struggles and trials. Guide her, lead her and comfort her. Raise her up and defend her from evil and darkness.

Amen

I am Thankful For:

The good news regarding our friend’s granddaughter. The doctors were able to remove most of the tumor and the testing showed it to be benign. She can regain her strength and complete rehab before any more treatments are required.

Thank You Lord for your intervention and blessings for this young girl.

***

Stay alert, stay prepared and stay safe.

God bless.