New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mindset! What Mindset?

According to several dictionaries a mindset is:

Mindset:  a fixed frame of reference, the minds orientation or perspective. The mental grid a person uses to filter data from their environment.

Noun: a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one's behavior, outlook and mental attitude.

Mentality:  a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.

There are all kinds of ‘mindsets’ that we develop over the course of our lives and all of them are important in determining just how we act, react and move through our world during our daily lives.  As always, there are degrees to any mindset and some requirements – personal, mental and physical.

For instance, at the root of a self-reliant mindset is a conscious effort of replacing an "I need help" attitude with an "I can do it myself" attitude.  Therein lies the silver-lining of self-reliance; when you achieve even a modicum of it, you feel really good about yourself.

I found this fancy psychological study done on mindsets to determine what traits or attributes hinder or help a person with any particular mindset.  What the long, wordy study said was that basically all mindsets are either of the Fixed or Growth type. 

The more ‘growth’ mindsets you have, the more adaptive and resilient you are – the better capable you are to not only survive adverse situations, but thrive.

While a Lifestyle is:

Lifestyle:  A way of living of individuals, families (households), and societies, which they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economic environments on a day-to-day basis.  Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people's self image or self concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class. The analysis of consumer life styles (called psychographics) is an important factor in determining how consumers make their purchase decisions.

Noun: the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.

Adjective: pertaining to or catering to a certain lifestyle: unhealthy lifestyle choices; lifestyle advertising; a luxury lifestyle hotel; suggestive of a fashionable or desirable lifestyle a lifestyle café

A mindset and a life style are similar in that the mindset is how we view or ‘filter’ what we see around us and how we react to it.  While a life style is what we do to meet our fuzzy wuzzy side of wellness and how we want others to see us while doing it.

Over the years I have worked with seniors that needed to downsize because of health and or the economy.  Just about all of them felt that they were somehow losing their status in society by downsizing.   Now some of these people felt that anything under 3,000 sq ft was just right or small.  Granted that might be true if there are 6 or more of you in a home, or a household member is claustrophobic, but the reality is that that is a huge home for the majority of US households of 4 or less and in most cases that much space is not being utilized.

Up until the late 1800’s to early 1900’s closets in homes were small as most people only had a few articles of clothing and rooms were much smaller or cozy.  In the 1980’s large master bedrooms with walk-in closets and master baths was all the rage.  Remember the sales pitches or the marketing and advertizing; “Have your own master suite”, “Relax in luxury in your own private spa-like bath” and the like?   Yet just how often do these people utilize all the clothes in their closets or relax in their master bedrooms and baths?  Yet they are paying for it with their mortgages, time to clean and maintain and money to heat and cool these underutilized rooms.

Then there is the old stand-by of “Look good, feel good”, which is great for depression riddled people but has absolutely no value to people who accept life as it really is.  Reality lifestyles are people that know that how we feel and perceive ourselves to be, is rooted in our own minds and not our outward appearances.

That is not to say that the people living in reality are not happy and content with life, because I can assure you most of us are and then some!  The real difference is how we perceive ourselves and civilization.  We have become a society driven by stuff and convenience.  We have been lead to believe that the more stuff, the flashier the stuff, the more expensive the stuff we surround ourselves with equates to success, wealth and beauty.  The reality is that this is just stuff and success, wealth and beauty are not attributes that can be readily displayed.  We can project the illusion of them, but display it to achieve it – NO.  Studies around the globe have proven that people that are truly content and happy in life usually don’t have tons of stuff around them and that people who are striving to reach this state of mind do.  The realist knows the difference and still strives to fulfill their dreams in the face of it – without any illusions.

What does all this have to do with preparedness? 

In many ways being prepared, having the preparedness mindset, is a lifestyle change, however in a very real sense it is not.  Instead it is merely an extension of frugality, positive thinking, readiness, faith and common sense used to control some of the many factors in our environment.  This means that the changes to our lifestyles for preparedness are rather superficial and not bone deep.  True you have to live it to have it; however it does not require much in outward changes to our lifestyles.

When thinking of preparedness or survival in a worst case scenario, most people focus on storing food, water, medicine, fire starters and other survival gear.  We prepare ourselves in every way imaginable.  But how many of us stop long enough to prepare ourselves mentally?  To prepare our mindset to survive and thrive?

So, what is the preparedness mindset? 

It is a mental attitude you take on that breaks you from your normalcy bias, or the mentality that nothing bad can happen to a person.

With Preparedness this means having more than insurance policies, first Aid kits, bug-out bags and meeting places for our families.  It means being ready, spiritually, economically, intellectually and physically.

There really is nothing to be afraid of because we are already more capable than we can imagine.  If we are prepared spiritually, economically, intellectually and physically; then when the time comes, we will be able to tap into our inner survivor and stay focused and strong - no matter what is thrown at us in a SHTF world.

This will be much easier for us, if we prepare ourselves ahead of time.  And the sooner we start training our mind and body the better they will respond when the time comes.

Remember that 99.99% of the disasters we will encounter will NOT involve a widespread, government/world altering event.  Instead they will take the form of lost jobs, accidents, medical issues, fire, crime, etc., followed by the usual severe weather and natural planetary issues. 

Key points from the Pro’s on Preparedness/Survival Mindsets:

In all my research on a Preparedness Mindset, a few things stood out as being the most important.  Now granted these are those relatively intangible, fuzzy wuzzy things, and no matter how hard they are to describe and implement - they are vital to a healthy preparedness mindset!

  • A Positive Mental Attitude – Can Do, Will Do rather than Can’t or Won’t
  •  A Firm Grasp of Reality – Fact oriented rather than conjecture or perception, allowing calm informed action vs panic-like uninformed reaction.

These two factors appeared in article after article, book after book, study after study.  Since they were repeated so frequently this places them at the top of the Preparedness Mindset requirement list.

Read on to find out what else makes up a Preparedness Mindset @

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
Winston Churchill


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Perspective - Operation Vigilant Guard

I have received many alarming and outright threatening emails about Operation Vigilant Guard.  Now since I have no desire to run around scared out of my wits all the time and like to put things into perspective I did my usual research thing on this.

As far I can tell Operation Vigilant Guard was proposed by name in 2006 but mentioned in 'mission' in the Patriot Act of 2001.  It was first budgeted for by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2007.  Between 2007 and 2008 ten to 20 states took part in any given year. 

Since it encompasses US National Guard, standard US military branches (special teams like CERN and CBRN & MP) as well as civilian volunteer groups, like the Baptist National Relief Group and US defense contractors, it appears to be different states during different years participating, with states that tend to get more frequent 'natural disasters' participating each year since 2007. 

It is classified as a National Level Exercise (NLE). The Vigilant Guard exercise program is sponsored by US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in conjunction with the National Guard Bureau (NGB). The program provides State National Guard Headquarters and supporting units with an opportunity to improve cooperation and operational relationships with their civilian, federal and military partners in preparation for domestic emergencies and catastrophic events.

The local library didn't have much on this and when you search the web 99% of all the links to the first 50 pages of search results are for 2009-2012.  The 10 or so articles I found (outside of the national guard links, where I looked for local newspaper online presences) for 2007 & 2008 were very positive and often stressed that this was to reduce the confusion, lag-time and screw-ups that occurred during Katrina.  Anything after 2008 from the public media seems to be sensationalism and fear mongering ... because when you read the actual agendas on the national guard sites, the exercises are the same as previous years like 2007 & 2008 - when hardly anyone shouted an alarm!

When I search various state's government hazard and or preparedness websites, Operation Vigilant Guard was often referred to as the way CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Teams), MARS, RACES and a whole slew of other civilian groups (including the Civilian Air Patrol) volunteers to become involved with their states emergency plans and to be prepared.

This 'operation' does not scare me and most certainly not like Operation Garden Plot, aka The Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan (18 USC 1385 Posse Comitatus Act) which is a general U.S. Army and National Guard plan to respond to major domestic civil disturbances within the United States and are  joint military, law enforcement & civilian exercises. The plan was developed in response to the civil disorders of the 1960s and is now under the control of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Yes, this is the same group that controls Operation Vigilant Guard so it does warrant watching.  It provides Federal military and law enforcement assistance to local governments during times of major civil disturbances.  The Pentagon also activated it to restore order during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Garden Plot was last activated (as Noble Eagle under NSA & later DHS) to provide military assistance to civil authorities following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

To top it off: the concept of Garden Plot was spelled out in the Patriot Act by name:  "Oversight of these homeland security missions should be provided by the National Guard Bureau based on the long-standing Garden Plot model in which National Guard units are trained and equipped to support civil authorities in crowd control and civil disturbance missions." Testimony of Major General Richard C. Alexander, ANGUS (Ret.), Executive Director, National Guard Association of the United States, Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on Homeland Defense, April 11, 2002. 
Since the 9-11 attack DHS has used 'Garden Plot' guidelines for other continuing "operations" and "missions" including Fast & Furious.  Which is why it scares me way more than this Operation Vigilant Guard!

On top of that Operation Vigilant Guard was awarded very few funds in the 2012 NDAA budget, as it is mostly a state funded NLE operation. While the new versions of Operation Garden Plot was awarded close to 1 billion from both the NDAA budget as well as the DOJ budget (the DOJ budget bill does not receive the public scrutiny that the DOD NDAA bill does) and is a full federal level NLE JTF (joint task force) operation.

I will grant you this:  In states like say, California (among a few others) BOTH operations took place as a combined event, their newspapers even listed them as such and THAT I find alarming!

One basic reality check we should all use no matter what our beliefs, is this:

If our town were devastated by something that produced mass displacement, mass casualties and mass  mortalities - What would we expect the authorities to do?
Remember whatever this crisis is,  it will NOT just hit us God fearing, law abiding citizens - it will hit the prisons and jails too ... meaning all the people running around will be a mix of “the good, the bad and the ugly”!
We would need shelter, food, water, medical, spiritual, communication, transportation, defense, safety and security - to name a few necessities.
Mortalities will need to be addressed for humans, animals, pets and livestock to reduce the spread of bacterial diseases caused by decaying bodies (not to mention the smell); we humans will want closure on our beloved pets and loved ones; escaped criminals will need to be rounded up to protect us, we will need medical attention, shelter, food, clothing and whole slew of other things to survive let alone recover.

Next consider that exercises like rapelling are part of getting into an area when access roads are not available and have been utilized not just by the military but in Urban and wilderness S&R for decades.   
Night flying and rapelling is much more hazardous than daylight operations, especially in urban areas with all the higher buildings, electrical wires, towers and the like ... that takes practice just to be sure our 'rescuers' do not die in the attempt!  Of course that also means any military needs to practice for the same reasons too.

Now if this was you or a loved one, say; trapped on a roof with rising waters all around you – do you want to wait until daylight for rescue or to be rescued by untrained and unprepared personnel?

How on earth do we expect any entity to do this without pre-planning,  pre-budgeting,  supply storage units, predesignated housing sites (or camps) and replacement of items as they exceed their shelf life?  Remember shelf life is not just about food and drugs it’s about tires, body bags, ropes, clothing, paint, fuel and just about everything else we may need to recoup from a disaster.

Reality is that we can either have a discombobulated, unplanned and unprepared for response or we can have a pre planned, pre funded and pre practiced plan and response that coordinates civilian and governmental entities - in place before a crisis hits and actually have a chance at an effective and efficient response of help and assistance.  Of course this means that we must keep a vigilant eye out for abuse of these plans, however the plans alone are nothing but simple common sense and not tyrannical in and of themselves.

Bottom line: Since I have not and do not, trust the US government (at any level) any farther than I can spit, I would say it is always wise to keep a watchful eye out.  In this case however, the various state events so far, do not appear to warrant an alarm of Martial Law or Police State from Operation Vigilant Guard (unlike Operation Garden Plot).

Note: When one of my friends reviewed and double checked this writing they said:  “Excellent research and a great service to American citizens.  Unwarranted panic reduces our effectiveness when our alarm is really needed.  It is impossible physically, psychologically and mentally to stay on red alert all the time and often leads to missing signs that warrants our concern.  Great job! :)”
 Knowledge is Power - Be Prepared, Not Scared


This can be downloaded from:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid Eating and Produce Pesticide Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

An infographic on GMO foods to avoid and Pesticide in Produce, the 'Dirty Dozen' and 'Clean 15'

To download and or print see  (formatted for Legal Sized paper):  Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid Eating and Produce Pesticide Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday


The Revolving Door Between Gov't And Big Business Infographic

An infographic on how our government is all intertwined with big business - No wonder we can't get an honest deal!

To view this more easily see: The Revolving Door Between Gov't And Big Business Infographics

Keep On Preppin'