Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

For those who really 'know' me, they know that I am somewhat fascinated in self-reliance, preparedness, long-term supply, etc. I will find myself immersed, reading article after article down an interesting tangent. (Such as uses for the common Dandelion, or how much of a certain item should I store)

Well, more recently I have tried to hone in on what is most important in all of this 'fluff and stuff' I am delving into. I still haven't came up with an astounding solution, but I am realizing that,'s VERY important to be prepared, and have things 'laid up in store'. But it is also important to seek knowledge and understanding. So maybe all my reading really isn't 'fluff and stuff'. (though I DO need to make priorities, like cleaning the house, feeding my family. LOL) Even if just a portion of what I read sticks, then just maybe I can derive a skill from the stored knowledge, when necessary. (like if i learn how to make a poultice for a sting, or a bite...when/if there isn't a doctor available, it might be a helpful tidbit of information.)

Right now I have the WWW at my fingertips. Endless information and articles that I can glen from. What happens when/if at some point in my future I won't have access to the WWW, what then?!

My sister and I are wanting to compile a comprehensive and enlightening manual/binder on some of the more functional and important things a family or individual might need to the event that civilization as we know it, isn't at our fingertips.

Anyone who has any ideas or suggestions as to what some of the more essential elements (and sub elements) would be good to include, would be wonderful.

Now where to draw the line. I want to have in my manual basic information on such things from First Aid, to canning tips, to basic farm animal knowledge, etc. But do I extend to the extent of how to make cheese (Since I plan on including basic farm animal information). Or how to make soap (since I will include items needed for hand washing clothes in the extensive list of items needed in a long-term supply.) Or how to grow an herb garden (since under First Aid I want to include basic herbal remedies)

As you can see, I could go on and on with the tangents and side roads. So, how do you make a basic and comprehensive manual without getting too overwhelming, yet still getting across the necessary and needed information?

One idea I had is to have the main manual strictly for basic categories or information. Not delving in too deeply. But then having the ability to add to or 'plug in' sub categories or pamphlets. Like the section on what items of clothing you might want to 'lay up in store' might have pamphlets that include how to 'tan a hide', or how to crochet or knit. Or if there is a section on orchards, maybe include a subsection or available pamphlet on canning, dehydration or other methods to store the fruit. I am going to do a 'hands on' experiment. Jakob has an abscess on his gum, above a tooth that has a cavity. He is going to probably need antibiotics, and to see a dentist. Which we plan to do (unfortunately we are in the middle of a 3 day weekend). What say that we didn't have access to either antibiotics OR a Dentist? Then what?

I would turn to my hypothetical manual, look under the section of 'First Aid' or 'Medical'. And then maybe I would have a subsection (or available pamphlet) that delved into the world of herbs. How to grow them, how to use them, etc. This might be what I find, to help me with Jakob's tooth (after all of the warnings to 'first see your doctor', and author holds no responsibility for results, etc):

Raw Garlic
Family: Amaryllidacae, Genus and Species : Allium sativum

Garlic has a long proven history as an effective antibiotic, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal. It was used in WWI to prevent wound infections and by Albert Schweitzer to treat dysentery in Africa. The Russians used it in WWII when their supply of penicillin was scarce. It's active compound allicin, is as useful an agent against staph and strep as some of the heaviest hitting meds, and has even been shown to kill antibiotic-resistant strains of these bacteria. It is a broad-spectrum anibiotic and has often been called a "wonder drug". Herbalists recommend eating one clove of chopped raw garlic two to three times per day (added to food). Garlic Oil can also be taken internally. Place 20-30 drops in your ear for ear infections, three times a day. Ideally a raw clove is chewed or crushed. It can also be applied directly to the skin. Try taking deodorized garlic capsules three times per day if you are worried about garlic breath. ~

Unfortunately we can't fill a cavity or do a root canal on our own, so at some point a dentist is necessary...whether one is homesteading, or not. The alternative would be to extract the tooth. Thank goodness we are not at that point. A trip to the dentist IS possible. ;)