Greetings and welcome to the Patriot Express Newsletter Edition #159. Thanks for stopping by to spend a few minutes with us. We hope you enjoyed a blessed Easter and week wherever you may be. Thanks for your continued support to HFS weekly. We appreciate you much.
The temperatures are cool again with a few evenings down around freezing. I sure hope the budding fruit trees aren't hurt. This is the third time our trees are enduring freezing temps. We survived the first two freezes with minimal damage. It it certainly crazy weather, isn't it? I started planting some of my garden just before Easter and I currently have turnips and radishes breaking the surface. We should have onions popping up shortly and spaghetti squash shortly after that. Working in the garden is so peaceful, isn't it? I like to read and observe people's comments on blogs and right now it's like a farmers' market with folks bartering to trade seeds, plants, eggs, chickens and more. No cash involved.
We had a quick but enjoyable trip to central WV over the Easter weekend. We enjoyed time together at a wonderful church service including family members in the praise band and choir, and later in the day a few meals to include one around the campfire at my brother-in-law's place called Grace Acres Farm. A member of HFS, he has really expanded his sustainability efforts the past few years with backup power and water capabilities, cattle, chickens, a root cellar, and other features. He is a full-time worker who has found time and recognizes the importance of self-sustainability. My BIL told me he appreciates HFS approach to preparedness because it is a no-nonsense approach...here is what you need. We even got to see some snow flurries crossing Flat Top Mountain on our return trip to East Tennessee.
I am posting this week's PENL a few hours early because I will be meeting with a Kentucky and Crossville, TN team leaders for a meeting during the regular posting hour. We had a great HFS team leader meeting last evening to lay out some future changes coming to Hope for Survival, training, management, and time saving steps.
Okay, let us move along.
Thursday Zoom Rallies – No HFS Zoom Rally this past week. The next HFS Thursday Zoom Rally will be conducted on April 28, 2022. Hope you can make it out to join the HFS family.
Communications: You can now follow HFS social media on the following outlets:
Facebook – Hope for Survival
YouTube Channel – Hope for Survival
MeWe: - //mewe.com/p/hopeforsurvival2
Odysee - Hope for Survival (odysee.com)
Parler - Preparedness101
Check out the newest HFS YouTube video at this link. If you have not, please hit subscribe and support our efforts to get the preparedness message out. Thanks. https://youtu.be/TKayDFymR7I
Connect and give me a shout. Share with family and friends.
Guest and Newcomers
If you are a guest or newcomer to the HFS journey, please check out this link for additional
information offered through HFS. https://www.hopeforsurvival.com/post/guest-and-newcomers-information-page
Hope for Survival books and HFS Thumb Drive for Emergency Documents -: You can obtain information on the two HFS books at this link: Survival, Preparedness, Disaster Management for individuals or family (hopeforsurvival.com)
Hope for Survival - How Food, Water, Shelter, and Security Could Save Your Life (Book 1)
Hope for Survival - The Mindset (Book 2)
HFS Thumb Drive for Emergency Documents - We just restocked the HFS Thumb drive and have them available now. Follow this link and you will see the add at the top of the page. Blog | Survival (hopeforsurvival.com)
Heritage Life Skills 2022 - Waynesville, NC, May 20-22 - Class schedule and signups are posted for your review and selection. Once again, the price for a full weekend attendance or single day visit can't be beat. This is a very affordable opportunity for loads of preparedness training and information. Not to mention, you will meet some amazing people who become friends for life in many cases. Here is the link to view this year's classes, class schedules, and instructor bios. Upcoming Events | Carolina Readiness | Preparedness & Camping Store If you have questions, please call the Carolina Readiness Supply at 828-456-5310.
If you would like to sign up for classes taught by Hope for Survival at this event, here's the posted HFS dates, times, and classes being taught.
Thursday, May 19, 2022 - HFS Potluck Dinner (time to be determined)
Friday, May 20, 2022 - 830 AM to 1130 AM - Preparedness 101
Friday, May 20, 2022 - 1 PM - 230 PM - Preparedness 102
Friday, May 20, 2022 - 3 PM - 430 PM - Vetting New Members (New Class)
Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 830 AM - 1130 AM - Preparedness 101
Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 1 PM - 230 PM - Preparedness 102
Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 3 PM - 430 PM - Psychological Preparedness (New Class)
Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 830 AM - 10 AM - Vetting New Members (New Class)
Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 10:30 AM - 1200 PM - Protecting Your Five Mile Radius
Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 1 PM - 230 PM - Psychological Preparedness (New Class)
We must make this brief public announcement to protect the innocent.
Ding, Ding, Ding....Attention HFS readers..... Opinions shared in this newsletter are just that, opinions, and nothing more. Read at your own risk. The owner and author of this site is not responsible for hurt feelings or thin-skinned readers. I do my best to show restraint and respect to the best extent possible. I take as many precautions as possible and try to remain as nonpolitical as possible, however, there are times when I just can't help but point certain things out. Occasionally I use words only Patriots recognize and understand. It's not personal against any non-Patriot. It's just the truth. Sometimes we must pull up our spenders and suck it up. Just saying. Stay the course, read what you want, and avoid the rest. Avoid fear porn as much as possible and the day will be okay. When all else fails… Keep the faith and always have Hope.
Let’s move along and get to some thoughts...
Thoughts for the week -
The rat races each day seems to bring twist and turns of unexpected events. This week I met a new Christian brother who had endless stories to share with me along with lots of cool ways of growing vegetables and composting. I hope to get back to his property to hear more interesting stories about his life living off grid as a child in the Appalachia region in Kentucky. We will call my new friend Paul.
Ms. Lucy sent me to the address where Paul lives, and I went to pick up some heavy-duty tote style storage boxes to help get some of our preparedness resources more organized and labeled. I found myself driving through curves and winding roads through the East Tennessee countryside. When I pulled into Paul's driveway, I noticed mounds and piles of junk to many but awesome "stuff" through my eyes. Tanks, barrels, fencing rolls, and more. It was a treasure field of things we preparers could use.
I went to the door to let the owner know I had arrived. A few minutes later the door opened and a elderly man looking a bit like Santa walked outside using a cane. He spoke with a deep voice and moved slowly across the porch. To many the voice would have sounded a bit gruff. I knew I was in trouble because I was on a time limit to pick up the boxes and move on to my next stop. Ms. Lucy had arranged for me to pick up two 55-gallon barrels, lids, and rings.
Paul introduced himself with a handshake and the stories started. My 15-minute time frame hit 45 minutes and continued on. Paul showed me a cool way to grow onions with a very neat watering system. He used a 3-gallon bucket and cut several holes in the side of the bucket for the onions to grow out. He had a 5-gallon bucket full of water beside the 3-gallon bucket. When the onion bucket needed watering, he would pick it up and dunk it in the 5-gallon bucket and declare it watered. When he wanted to add some food to the onions, he dropped it in the 5-gallon bucket and dunked it again. Oh, the 3-gallon bucket was full of ready to eat onions.
Then on to his 55-gallon barrel used for a composting worm farm and then we toured the 150- and 250-gallon water storage tanks and hundreds of 55-gallon barrels for rain barrels. Oh, wait, did I tell you about the pressure canners for canning and the large heavy-duty plastic totes for raised bed gardening? Paul offered me a ride on his golf cart to see more stuff, however I had to decline because of time. Remember, I had 15 minutes available upon arrival and I had passed the 45-minute mark.
Then, the real stories started. Paul looked at me sideways and asked if I was a prepper. I smiled and said, "yes, sort of, but I call it preparing." Paul then asked, "have you ever lived off grid?" I said "yes, many times while in the military throughout Africa and Eastern Europe." He then started telling me a story of growing up poor living in the Kentucky Appalachia area. Paul had seven siblings and the family lived off grid with no power or water for about eight years or so before moving. This is some rough landscape with harsh winters. Paul shared how he, along with siblings, would get sent out often to hunt for a squirrel or some form of protein that would be shared amongst the family for dinner. The protein would be added to other vegetables grown in the garden or traded amongst neighbors.
Paul was silent for a minute and then looked me in the eyes to say "most Americans will not survive what is coming because they are soft and will lose out to the environment and daily circumstances they are not prepared to face. Things such as starvation, hunting amongst others hunting for a single protein source. Some will freeze to death because they lack skills to collect wood and keep a house warm without burning it down. Paul explained the need for bartering and a strong community around a family. Friends helping friends survive. Of course, I smiled and the thought of a five-mile radius went through my mind. He then laughed and explained how rough it was to go outside to the bathroom when it was zero degrees at 3 AM. Again, a serious look surfaced on Paul's face as his nonverbal expression supported his words. He said "many Americans will die because they failed to invest effort, time, and accept the reality this was for survival and not a game."
The best part of our chat was when Paul asked me, "do you know Jesus Christ?" I smiled and answered "yes, He is my Lord and Savior." Paul didn't find faith until his later years, and he shared what his life was like unsaved; a roughneck biker who enjoyed a good fight when the opportunity surfaced. Though still gruff, it was evident Paul is a changed man today and he loves talking about Jesus. He shared how his personal armor of faith was attacked daily by Satan trying to drag him back to his old life and sinful ways.
Ms. Lucy always jokes with me that older folks see me coming because my eyes and ears are wide open and more often than not, I will give them the time they want just to share a story. On this day, I met a new friend, and I will go back to visit Paul soon just to hear another story and learn from his wisdom. Someday I will be a Paul and I hope someone takes a few spare minutes to hear a story I may want to tell.
A great reinforcing lesson on this day was not to judge a junkyard by its appearance because a hidden treasure could be amongst the junk. When possible, always take time to listen because you may learn something of value. As I told Paul, as I was departing, "God crossed our path for a reason on this day." I was thankful for my time with my new friend.
During HFS Zoom Rally #87, conducted last Thursday evening, I surprised the attendees with a group exercise scenario. I provided a scenario of a national and local level failure of the economic and grid system that impacted their way of life on the local level. The event placed the attendees in a bug-out situation and provided a picture of a new location that would be their new location to survive. The situation report listed an itemized list of resources the group bugged out with and then the picture provided a new set up of facilities, water, and landscape to work with. The task was to establish a compound to survive. This included the establishment of a compound committee and to identify a leader, alternate leader, and key components such as a operations, security, food management, gardening and animals, communications, logistics, medical, water management, hunting and fishing, chaplain, intelligence, to name a few. The key areas of responsibility would set up council meeting schedules, functional plans and responsibilities, and locations the functions would work from. Then a risk assessment would occur to assist in identifying problems and shortfalls to the leader during the first council meetings. Yes, this was a big task and impossible to complete in the allotted 90 minutes. I knew this from the start and achieved my objective from a HFS perspective on what I believed would be the results.
My initial goal was to create a scenario that would cause chaos and confusion. Would the group revert back to the 87 weeks of training, building plans, and quickly establish a level of leadership to lead them through the exercise posed. They did not. It also told me virtual training is great and it offers the ability to bring numerous preparers from multiple locations to learn, however, virtual is not the same as hands-on training and group leaders setting up training days to lead, teach, exercise skills, and ensure individuals and the group can perform the task at hand.
The task was large, but I was looking for leadership and the group of 35's ability to establish a workable framework to work with. The group spent the first hour trying to appoint a leader and functional leads. It wasn't until the 45-minute point someone suggested the need to secure the property being used along with the facilities on the property. Better late than never. Then the entire group spent valuable time trying to determine how to secure the property. I could go on and my point here is to not speak negative of the effort.
You may know the people around you and maybe you have spent hundreds of hours talking preparedness, but if you have not physically worked together the odds are against you. Just like in the military, we reviewed objectives of a plan, exercised the plan, and continued to exercise the plan until leadership determined it sufficient to perform the plan for a real event. Another good example is maybe from your days in the high school band or football team. For us former band geeks, we met during the summer and learned to play the music. We then went outside and learned to march together in unison to a drum cadence. We then put music to the marching. Then we learned to put the music to a halftime show. Numerous bodies going in different directions to the beat of drums and musical entertainment. Practice, practice, practice. The football team met during the summer to lift weights, learn the plays, and give coaches time to shuffle players and positions. After a few weeks, a team was formed, and they prepared for their first game a few weeks away. A few weeks later the band and football team hit the field for the home opener before screaming parents and students. Their performance would most likely reward the weeks of effort previously.