Tag Archives forsurvival

#iBooksGalore Giveaway!

Comment here for a code a day for the

#iBooksGalore a book a day giveaway for June 2016!


You could win either:

Dictating Death by B.R. Paulson


Broken Trails by Bonnie R. Paulson

State your preference in the comments and the winner (Every day a winner!) will be chosen randomly using Random.org. 

Also put what you’re doing for the summer in the comments, too! Curious minds want to know.


Survivor Friends


I have had the privilege of getting to know my Survivor Newsletter members. This last week I asked them to send me pictures of their pets because in Book #2, Forbidden Trails of the Montana Trails series, Jareth and Cyan have some integral moments between them concerning pets.

Here are the pictures I received – there are a LOT of great pictures in there. At the end of the posts, is the winner for the signed copy of the Forbidden Trails paperback.

All pictures were sent with permission to post. All photos rights retained by owners of pictures. The intents and purposes of this post with pictures to share the friends of Survivor Team and a contest.

Abbie-Gail (puppy) from Kim

Abbie-Gail (puppy) from Kim

Annabelle from Sam

Annabelle from Sam

Annie, Ruger, Abby, Kenzie, Colt, Deeks, Deena from Neena

Annie, Ruger, Abby, Kenzie, Colt, Deeks, Deena from Neena

Rocky the cat

Rocky, from Ginette

Bailey from Lisa

Bailey from Lisa

Barb and girls

Coco, Rosie Zoey, Pippa, Luna, and Chica with Barb

Bitsy, Itsy, Tootsie from Linda

Bitsy, Itsy, Tootsie from Linda

Buster from Kira

Buster from Kira

Candy from Linda

Candy from Linda

Buttercup and Shea from Sue

Buttercup and Shea from Sue

Chloe and Talleyrand from Sandy

Chloe and Talleyrand from Sandy

Chuckle from Erika

Chuckle from Erika

Cinnamon from Karri

Cinnamon from Karri

Cody from Jackie

Cody from Jackie

Corgi puppies from Tammy

Corgi puppies from Tammy

Eclipses from Alma

Eclipses from Alma

Evie from Tara

Evie from Tara

Golden retriever from Tammy

Golden retriever from Tammy

Ladybird from Jodi

Ladybird from Jodi

Lilly from Dianne

Lilly from Dianne

Mindy from Kristie

Mindy from Kristie

Miss Jasmine from Carolyn

Miss Jasmine from Carolyn

Misty from Linda

Misty from Linda

To be continued in the next post! I’m at my photo limit…

The Opportunity to Live #Survival #1 – Prepared

This is a series of posts to chronicle our 5 day power outage experience.

Let me preface this with my gratitude to the hardworking Lineman of the electric/power industry.

A massive storm blew through here last Tuesday night and inflicted staggering damage across the region. In upwards of 380,000 people were without power.

As of this morning, there is still a significant number who are bearing without it. The following pictures are to show just how bad some of it was. These pictures are from the Kootenai Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page. They worked tirelessly – men and women – and I wish I could hug them for all their hard work.

And it’s cold. I mean really cold. It’s so cold, the other morning we woke up and could see our breath INSIDE our house.

Let’s talk about how we were #PREPARED for this incident.

First off, we live in the Inland Northwest and inclement weather isn’t strange around here. We’ve had 60 degrees in February and snow in July. I kid you not. So up here, we can have all four seasons in one day. Mother Nature has a PMSy attitude and I like her sass.

But sometimes she throws fits, and it’s those times you want to be ready for.

Here’s how we worked all summer to get prepared for something like this.

We bought our house and land in June which already cuts out the first three and a half months of late spring and early summer to get ready for winter. If you have snow in your area, you know that preparing for winter is pretty much what you do when it’s not winter. Like ants. So what did we do?

We gathered wood because we have a wood stove (more later on what makes this a necessity up here). We cleared brush to help prevent forest fires in the area for late summer. We stocked up on our food storage – I’d been dwindling this because we’d moved so many times in the course of a few months and moving food is EXHAUSTING.

An aside:

Thing about it. When you buy the food you bring it home and pack it inside. Then you get ready to move so you pack it again and move it. To unpack cause, hello you gotta eat. We then had to pack it again and move it and unpack it again.

Oy. I’m not kidding, I was growling at that food. But it took the brunt of having to shop all the time off my shoulders and I’m super grateful for it.

Okay, so we restocked our food storage. This took all summer to do because let’s be honest, food storage isn’t cheap and sales don’t come when you want them to. So I kept an eye out all summer and fall for sales to stock up.

We also had to get ready by making sure we had the right clothes and blankets, enough candles, enough tin foil (more on this later), items to play with or for entertainment.

We bought a generator and my hubs set up a transfer switch (more details on this in a later post).

I got rid of most of my non-stick cooking pans and pulled out my stainless steel pans – which I adore and haven’t had out because… reasons.

And the chickens. We got the chickens ready for winter, even though, let’s be honest, those flippin’ freeloaders… ugh. No eggs still and they crow every time I walk outside. There’s nothing more humiliating than getting catcalled by your own roosters. Sigh.

So we got prepared for a power outage, or a surge in storm weather or snow or a fire or anything that we thought might happen.

This is important to note: We got as prepared as we could think of. We aren’t perfect and not everything was able to be accounted for because we hadn’t been in this situation before in this house. Everything would be new and would be a test run on the fly.

With 6 small children.

Oh boy.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series #2 The Incident.

#1 Prepared

#2 The Incident

#3 Taking Stock

#4 Entertainment

#5 Recipes

#6 Ways to Improvise

#7 Adjusting

#8 Preparing for next time

How to Reach Your “Can” Potential

We’re each capable of so much.

Our potential far exceeds our own understanding.

 I tried explaining this to my children yesterday when they got in trouble for something. I can see their potential – or at least a small piece of it.
I don’t think I, as their mother, can even see their true capabilities.
I don’t think anyone can.

But when they say to me, “Mom, I can’t do this or that or I just can’t.”

I want to throw my hands in the air and scream.

When you say you can’t do something, guess what?

You can’t.

You will never be able to.

You’ve already made up your mind and nothing is more powerful than your mind on what you’re going to do.

But if you say, I’ll try? Or I can learn? Anything that opens up your ladder to reaching your potential?

Watch the heights you CAN reach.

I explained to them yesterday that the best way to meet their potential is to

say Can.

Or Try.

Or believe that they’re amazing.

Because my babies are amazing.

People are amazing.

We have so much potential.


You have so much potential.


Don’t limit it with Can’t.


Let it impress you with Can.


Because you’re more amazing than even you know.

The Route to Freedom Pass – Worth of Souls EXTRA!

So I wrote this amazing series (Worth of Souls) that I crazily cross genres in while I’m in the middle of it.

Yep, big no-no.

  • Book 1 – Cost of Survival – is apocalyptic, meaning the world is falling down around this girl’s ears. She’s seventeen and trying to escape the fallout of World War III with her mom. But they run from danger into worse danger.
  • Book 2 – Exchange Rate – is set about a year and a half later and closer to a dystopic when the war is over and the communities are settling around her.
  • Book 3 – Worth of Souls – is the conclusion to that series and there’s more of a dystopic-optimism in the ending than a finality of apocalyptic fiction.
 That’s my short rundown to get you up to speed.
In Exchange Rate (book 2), Kelly learns of a rumor of a community that has electricity. She hasn’t seen artificial lighting since initially escaping the bombings. She and her companions have to travel a route that is real.
Here’s the crazy thing.

I Google Mapped it, not that Kelly would have that resource – I actually believe Google will survive the end of the world. Not sure why, but let’s be honest, Google and Amazon will still be standing while the rest of the world drops into the Dark Ages.


 Anyway, I digress. I Google Mapped the back roads route to Fourth of July Pass from Bayview, ID and got this beautiful rendering of how she would travel to get there. Then, I went to travel it with my family and tried to pull up the same route on my Maps App and they wouldn’t even acknowledge that there was a back way.
Well, thankfully, I saved the map as a jpg and printed it off. I desperately wanted to have the map and some pictures from the trail Kelly traveled, get a taste for what she and the guys would travel through. It’s beautiful, too, by the way.

Here’s her map. You can see how long it will take to travel by foot – that’s if you don’t have to worry about people chasing you and other dangers – like Kelly does.


Here’s a trail she travels between curves in the road.  You can see it just as it narrows and goes over a kelly hump. (I caught that play on words!)

Here’s a bridge and creek that she uses in Book 3.

This is a cluster of creeks and springs as they converge to make up a large small river. The area she travels is just amazing.

If you go hiking, don’t forget these important, life-saving items.

  • First Aid kit
  • Contact device – GPS, phone, etc.
  • Rain gear
  • Pocket mylar blanket

What’s your favorite place to hike or camp by? Do you have it mapped?

Stay Alive!

Life Changing Bread – Survival Style

Well, I have no other reason to fall in love with this bread than it’s delicious (not everyone loves it – probably because it’s not like a real bread per se).

But when I realized how easy it is to make and how most of the items can be easily stored in food storage, I was sold. SOLD survivors!

I’m posting some pictures. I’m not sure where this particular recipe originated.
I got it from my grandma who got it from my aunt.
And I got the ingredients from my mom who had the same recipe which she got from my grandma.

Like a bad rendition of he-said-she-said.

I’ll post the recipe picture below as well as type out the recipe so you can copy and paste it if you want.

Okay, so my mom got the ridiculous ingredients and then measured them out into baggies.
I love her.
Can you believe how much work she did for this? She’s so awesome.
Anyway, here they are. The only thing not in the bags is the water. I got that, right?

I separated the dry from the wet and placed the beautiful dry ingredients into a separate bowl, like the directions demanded.

The coconut oil and honey needed to be loose enough I could get all of the items out of the baggy – this was messy for me until I figured out that the water needed to be hot, not luke warm. Ugh. I wasn’t thinking straight today.

I mixed and then pressed the mixture into a well-greased bread pan with a spoon. The recipe states use your fingers, I gave it the finger with that one. I do NOT like to touch stuff like this. I can actually cook an entire meal with five courses and never actually get food on my hands. It’s weird, but there it is.

These are after the first 20 minutes. Smelling good and they popped right out. I just used a pan spray to grease my pans. They worked awesome.

All in all this turned out great. On the slice I ate, I used very little honey to sweeten it. I was very excited that this worked out so well. I LOVED IT!

Thanks again Mom, for all the time and effort.

So here’s the recipe.

Life Changing Bread


1/2 C sunflower seeds

1/2 C flax seeds

1/2 C unsalted crushed almonds

2 T chia seeds

4 T psyllium

2 1/2 C rolled oats

1/2 C chopped apricots (we also used prunes yum!)

1 t. sea salt

2 T pure maple syrup

3 T melted coconut oil

1 1/2 C warm water


  • Mix dry ingredients. Stir well in bowl.
  • Whisk wet ingredients together.
  • Add all ingredients together and mix well until all well coated.
  • Set up for at least 2 hours.
  • Bake 350 for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from pan.
  • Place loaf on oven rack. Bake additional 30 minutes. Bread is done when a hollow sound comes from thumping the shell.

This recipe clicked with my survival side. A person might not have some of those things in their food storage, but I had no idea you could put that small amount of items into a pan and bake it and get something so edible. I’m going to experiment with more items and see what I can do with items from my food storage.

Life Changing Bread appears in my series – Worth of Souls.

Try this recipe and then let me know if you like it. If you know where the recipe originated, please, PLEASE let me know so I can credit them.

Stay Alive!

Into the End Anti-Chili

In Into the End Rachel makes Anti-Chili while in the mountains for her kids, Joshua, and Tom.

Remember when she thinks she had poorly rationed the honey? It’s because this recipe calls for 3/4 cup of it and she doesn’t ration well. She left that to Andy.

This dish can be made with food storage items – meat from the freezer or previously canned, dried honey, and dried  peppers and onions. Fresh is the best, always, but sometimes – like in Into the End – fresh isn’t always available.

This recipe took me and my husband 8 years to get right. It’s in its simplest form but has a very rich flavor. I’d suggest dipping tortillas, rolls, french bread, or another grain in it. I don’t butter them, but the husband does. Again, it’s all about preference.

The name Anti-Chili came about because when I first made it I was striving for a real chili taste – you know, the thick, beans and meat stuff that your spoon wouldn’t dare to lie down in? Yeah, that’s the stuff. But I added a can of diced tomatoes and there went the stiffness. So this is what came out of it.

Please let me know what you think!

Into the End Anti-Chili


1 pound ground beef/venison/elk

1/2 chopped large white onion (yellow works as well)

1/2 chopped large green pepper

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 large can tomato juice

4 cans drained dark red kidney beans

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup honey

1/4 salt (or more to taste)


1 packet of chili seasoning or taco seasoning works too.


In a large soup pot brown meat and rinse/drain. Add peppers and onions and chili packet. Cook until onions and peppers are opaque.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and cover. Let simmer. Taste to make sure it’s sweet, spicy, and has enough flavor for what you’re looking for.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

This is what it should look like.