Hoo boy . . . 2021 is not off to a good start


I hope the rest of 2021 goes better than the first month has done.  Miss D. and I just got back from Bob’s memorial service, and now I’ve learned that another friend is in dire straits and needs financial help to keep body and soul together.  That’s the tenth such friend in as many months, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown that has destroyed many small businesses;  and I daresay it won’t be the last.

How are you and your friends coping, dear readers?  We might all benefit from hearing how others are experiencing the current economic (not to mention political) mess, and steps they’re taking to survive.  Let us know your situation in Comments.

I think we’ll all have to band together with those of like mind, and help each other make it through the dark times that are currently upon us.  They may get worse before they get better, too.  It’s at times like these that one’s “tribe”, the people with whom one will choose to stand or fall if necessary, becomes a vital part of survival – mental, spiritual, and of course physical too.  As Benjamin Franklin said in another context:

I guess I’ll be selling another rifle and some ammunition at the local gun show this weekend.  Fortunately, I have one I can spare.  These are the times to use what one has stored up during the “plentiful years”, to help oneself and one’s tribe to get through the “years of famine” (cf. Genesis, chapter 41).



  1. Thanks for coming out for Bob. The far eastern plains of CO are no fun in the winter, especially after the snow melts on the dirt roads.

  2. I am blessed to work in an industry and for a company where I have been allowed to work remotely since last February. I truly feel for people in industries where that is not possible.

    I feel like in situations like this it's really only the government's place to inform us of the risk, and suggest mitigations. Not to forcibly ruin a subset of our population's livelihood. Each of us has the choice, and each of us has to live with the consequences of our choices.

    One of my children is immuno-compromised, so since we have the choice; we shelter in place.

    Prayers for healing and safety!

  3. Glad to hear you're home safe n sound. The reference to seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine is a caution we've always followed in our preps. One of the key provisions, as you've pointed out many times is to be debt free. We worked long and hard to retire that way, and I'm obsessive to the point of paranoia to remain that way.
    We were somewhat threatened the other day with having to travel, but with snow on the roads, and chains required on the mountain passes here, that's a chore we'll only undertake in direst circumstances. Fortunately for now, we can hunker down in our cozy and well equipped home.
    The issue of how much and how far we can extend charity to others in need is something we dwell on often. We have a network of neighbors, friends, and relatives that we'll do anything we can for, but as I've discussed with my wife, our stored food preps would not feed this town for much more than a day. To the question of what we say to strangers knocking on the door asking for help, I don't have a good answer beyond saying "You need to talk to pastor XYZ at the ABC church; we've taken what we can spare to him already." After that we have to rely on the grey man theory of "out of sight, out of mind" for our own self-reliance.

  4. I have two adult offspring plus a granddaughter with husband living at my place. Two part time jobs and a pension keep us afloat. No debt helps considerably! My family status has changed over the last year from 'hoarder' to 'well-prepared', something I find vastly amusing. The entertainment budget has been pared down to a data line and an ebook, but haven't had to sell anything yet.

  5. I have canned many provisions for my family. I research depression era recipes and meals on YT and internet. I live on SS and IRA and thank God that I am healthy. I cut off cable and just have WiFi. My entertainment is attending church and the aforementioned services. My library is free to local residents and I greatly enjoy their audio books. I sew and mend and make my own dog food. My bills are small and frugal living has been necessary my entire life. I purchase needs and not wants.

  6. I work in the Petrochemical/Oil/Gas industries. Cycles have been a way of things for the 25+ years I have been in them. Going to half a paycheck is hard but not 'tough' if that makes sense, but simply because we know the downturn is never more than a quarter away. We live frugal, so the short term impact is minimal. Long term, however, thing slook very bad if even half the proposals about our industry from our current admin come to pass, and the COVID depression already taking place only amplifies the danger. So stress and worry is the biggest problem right now. Have all my carefully and painfully (doing without) prepared plans and savings for early retirement been all for naught? Should I have just lived it up because I'll be in the same situaiton anyway? That is a helluva lot of stress right there… My tribe is weathering the china flu scare well otherwise.

  7. we are doing well for now. four years ago we became ex-pats on social security. now live in Northern Patagonia, Argentina. we should be ok unless social security gets gutted, or we have runaway inflation. we are in our early 70's. our area is rural, across the road from a river, with a dead end road ending at a lake. we easily live within our means from social security.
    because of our age, we pretty much shelter in place. go to town about once a week to shop for food, plus stockpiling. big garden. rent and labor is cheap. right now it is full summer. we are trying for sustainability. we are too old to buy land.
    it took us years of traveling around the world in the US winter time to find this place. we operate on the principal of "it is better to be a year too early, than a day too late".
    i feel great sadness for America. my opinion is that the communists controlling America have been gaining power over time, and now they will destroy everything in their folly.
    good luck everyone. stay warm and keep your powder dry.

  8. Ditto what Borepatch said (assuming you still remember my email). Further, would there happen to be an AR-10 (Ok, an AR pattern rifle in .308/7.62 x 51 caliber instead of the actual hideously expensive Colt product) in your contingent gun show selection?

  9. @Unknown, Borepatch, Will Brown: Thanks very much! You can Paypal me at my blog e-mail address (it's in the sidebar under "About Me & Contact Info").

    @Will Brown: Sorry, but no AR-10's or equivalents.

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