Posts tagged ‘pioneer’

5 Best Essential Oils for Your First Aid Kit

Time to get that medicine box ready!


How To Make A Small Solar Power Energy Generator


An example. Yours may look different.

Using parts easily available from the internet and your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for rolling blackouts, life outside the power grid, or the coming zombie apocalypse. Power your computer, modem, dvd, tv, cameras, lights, fans, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. This is the smallest, simplest set-up practical for daily use. It also saves the environment. (Do you know that most of the electricity coming out of your wall socket is generated by coal?) All of the parts you need can be bought from Amazon or any store online. Check out more alt. energy sources and how-to’s in our Pioneer Home section.

1. Buy yourself a small solar panel. For about $100 you should be able to get one rated at 12 volts or better (look for 16 volts) at an RV or marine supplies store. You can also look online at specialty stores.

2. Buy yourself a battery. Rechargeable batteries are recommended. Get any size deep cycle 12 volt lead/acid or gel battery. You need the deep cycle battery for continuous use. The kind in your car is a cranking battery–just for starting an engine. Look for bargains. The more amps, the more expensive. Figure out how many amps you need. Twenty amps is a good estimate of what a one-room home with a family of five would need. The cheapest ones should cost about $50-60. Schools and health care facilities would need amps in the hundreds.

3. Get a battery box to put it in for $10. (This is good for covering up the exposed terminals in case there are children around. If you going to install the system in a pump shed, cabin, or boat, skip this.)

4. Buy a 12 volt DC meter This will help you monitor the charge in your battery. Discharging it below 50% can damage it. Overcharging it can damage it. Keeping it at about 80%-90% charge will keep your battery good for a long time.

5. Buy a DC input. The triple inlet model which you can find at a car parts store in the cigarette lighter parts section for about $10 is great. This is enough to power DC appliances, and there are many commercially available, like fans, one-pint water boilers, lights, hair dryers, baby bottle warmers, and vacuum cleaners. Many cassette players, answering machines, and other electrical appliances are DC already and with the right cable will run straight off the box.

6. If you want to run AC appliances, you will have to invest in an inverter. This will convert the stored DC power in the battery into AC power for most of your household appliances. The writer of these instructions bought a 115 volt 140 watt inverter for $50 fifteen years ago–it still works. The prices have actually dropped on inverters. Count up the number of watts you’ll be using (e.g., a small color television =60 watts) with a VCR(=22 watts), you’ll need 82 watts. Cheap inverters of many sizes can be had online.

6. Use a drill to attach the meter and DC input to the top of the box.

7. Use insulated wire to attach the meter to the wingnut terminals on the battery. Connect the negative (-) pole first. Only handle one wire at a time. Connect the DC inlet to the battery in the same way. Connect the solar panel to the battery in the same way.

8. Close the lid (use a bungee cord to keep it tight). Put the solar panel in the sun. It takes 5-8 hours to charge a dead battery; 1-3 hours to top off a weak one. It will run radios, fans, and small wattage lights all night, or give you about 5 hours of continuous use at 115 volt AC, or about an hour boiling water. This system may be added on to with larger panels, inverters, and batteries.

Options: A pop-up circuit breaker may be added between the positive terminal and the volt meter. Some of you will want an ampmeter as well. The panels recommended have built-in bypass diodes, but charge controllers are recommended for people who have panels without diodes. Another option is a voltage regulator, which is not necessary for a system this small, but a larger system would require one.

For this information including illustrations, visit .

Why I Cut Television Out Of Our Lives – For Good.

It’s hardly a home without a television, am I right? One of the first things people do when they move or go out into tvthe world on their own is get their cable turned on. Small talk invariably revolves around popular tv shows. Internet memes are created about them. Characters on these shows become like family. The world mourns when a popular character is killed off on a show, or cheers when a villain is dispatched by the hero. In some ways, television is the great uniter. So why am I against it?

Well, let me explain. Aside from my very strong beliefs regarding the government and the media in general, I don’t believe television itself is intrinsically bad. It is a fascinating, brilliant concept that has succeeded beyond it’s own wildest dreams. But the television is a vacuum. It is a wasteland for the mind if it’s usage is not controlled and nobody seems able to do that. The only time the television is turned off in most homes is when people are going to sleep or they are leaving, and even then half the time it is left on. Television has become a religion. This has got to stop. There are now entire generations of people who believe that if they did not see it on television, it isn’t true or didn’t happen. This is very dangerous.

There is also the absorbing aspect of it. Families watching tv together are not spending time together. No one is talking to – or even aware of – the other person. They said once upon a time that television would turn people into zombies, In a way, that’s true. The television paved the way for the era of complete digital distraction we now live in, where people walk into telephone poles and fall into fountains because they cannot take their eyes off their damn phone. People text each other when they are sitting in the same room. Kids are unable to read body language because their main interaction with people occurs online. Kids do not even want to play outside. They must be constantly stimulated. When did it get like this?

My husband and I had iPhones for a little while. I never wanted one because electronic gadgets mean very little to me and by the time we got rid of them, I absolutely hated the damn things. I got so tired of seeing it in my husband’s hand and in front of his face that I actually threatened to break it a few times if he didn’t put it down. I was so sick of repeating things to him over and over again because what was going on in that stupid little rectangle was more important than what was going on in real life and he didn’t hear me. I got tired of calling his name just for him to raise his head but not his eyes from the phone. I saw the same things in my kids and even though I didn’t use mine very much, I still noticed that I was spending more time looking at my own phone than I was doing other things. The phones caused arguments because anyone who was asked to put it down for a minute got very angry. It reminded me of the crackheads I used to see while growing up in DC. The phones had to go. We sold them for $150 each at GameStop, so if you want to get rid of yours, go there or sell it on Craigslist.

Why would people rather interact with a little rectangle than with real people? Why is that more important than their own family, than their kids? It’s insane. This is why I became a modern pioneer. I don’t want to live without electricity. I don’t want to beat my clothing on a rock. I don’t want to carry water from the creek to cook with and I don’t want to churn butter all day but I do want to be part of the movement that is going back to basics. I want to live a simpler life. I don’t have a cellphone, I don’t have a tv, I don’t have a car and if it wasn’t for my son being home-schooled, I would not have the internet either. I cook from scratch, I don’t use the microwave and I don’t use chemical agents to clean with. There is a balance in this modern world and I intend to find it.

So the next time you are sitting in your house with your family, look around. If every single person has an electronic device, or if all they are doing is staring mindlessly at the tv instead of engaging with each other, ask yourself if that is why you had a family in the first place. Ask yourself why the television is necessary for you to spend time together. Why do you need a buffer between you and them? What are you afraid will happen if you face each other instead of facing the tv? Food for thought.

And because I can’t resist:



How To Make Homemade Garlic Powder

Found a fabulous recipe on for homemade garlic powder that I wanted to share. Buying organic spices is so expensive! Here at the better grocery stores you can buy an organic basil plant that will continue to grow (or dill, mint, etc.) but usually most people buy their driedGarlic-powder-recipe-home-made4 spices. Here is a super-easy process that eliminates that for garlic and onion powders. Visit the website linked above for other fabulous ideas.


Garlic cloves – 1 Cup [ or use as much as you like]

1. Peel garlic and dry under sun for 2 days.  [You can slice cloves if they are large]

2. Grind peeled and dried garlic in a mixer, food processor or coffee grinder and pulse for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth paste.  Don’t pulse more than 30 seconds at a time.

~ Don’t panic if you see garlic has become paste instead of powder, we have little more work to make paste into powder.

3. Take a plastic sheet or clean thin cotton cloth and spread garlic spread in very thin layer(spread garlic paste over plastic sheet or cloth evenly), dry under sun for 4-5 days.   Garlic paste will be become like thin crackers/pieces and it will come out of sheet or cloth easily.

~ If you break and crush between fingers garlic dried pieces (crackers) will become powder.  If you feel it’s still little wet or forming lumps instead of powder then you have to dry for 1-2 days again.  Repeat the test until you get powder consistency.

4. Collect all dried garlic pieces and pulse again for 1-2 minutes in a dry mixer or food processor this time not more than 15 seconds for each pulse.  You will get your very own garlic powder.

5. Spread powder on a sheet/cloth or paper and dry under sun for 1 hour; don’t dry too long or powder will start to form lumps.

~ We do this to remove any moisture from grinding.

6. Store in air tight jar/container and keep in the refrigerator.

1. Instead of sun drying you can dry peeled garlic in oven.  Preheat oven to 150 and toast garlic pieces until completely dry, stir in regular intervals.  After it cools down grind into powder and go to step 5. You could also use a dehydrator.

You can also make onion powder the exact same way. Enjoy!

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