Category Archives: MONEY / INCOME

Budgeting and finances. Gainful projects– what can you do to make ends meet. Pick up cans along the road, make things for sale – although sewing clothing ect would mostly go under that heading BUT the marketing of the product would go here. Main and side jobs would go here- as an example medical procedures would go under MEDICAL but the practice of healthcare would go here.

Lights after Christmas

I wanted to get this quick TIMELY tip out to you today.

It’s a tip that I’ve suggested for the last several years on the day after Christmas that a lot of you have taken advantage of… If you’ve got the time, head to your local Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Target, etc. and buy some LED Christmas lights on closeout.

Home Depot even has sets this year that are solar powered and come with a solar charger, Lithium Ion battery, a light sensor to turn them on automatically at dusk and a timer to turn them off 6 hours later! If you’ve got 120 volt emergency power, these are a great cheap way to keep your house lit during an emergency.

A great accompaniment is the SMALL 1 plug cigarette adapter inverters that you can buy from Wal-Mart and other stores so that you can power the lights with a 12 volt battery. And, if you want more adaptability, you can spend another $3 and get a battery harness that will hold 8 AA batteries (1.5vx8=12v) so you can run your LED strings on AA batteries.

The model I like is from Radio Shack, has a 9v type connector, and works like a charm. As you’re searching, you might want to look for these features: -strings of lights rather than “icicle” lights -a female plug at the end so you can run multiple sets in series -wired so that the set will still work if a bulb goes out -LED -can be saved for next year or used as emergency lighting OR as night security lighting :]

Now is a great time to get wrapping paper on clearance, last year my daughter stocked up for $0.25 on the dollar which made this year’s WAY cheaper. ;]

If you’ve got any other after-Christmas prepper deals that you’re finding, please share them with us.

Repurposing Prescription Bottles

Re-purposing Prescription Bottles

If you know anyone who get lots of prescriptions, usually grandparents, then they will have quite a few empty bottles around the house. Instead of putting these in the trash you can re purpose them and they come in all kind of sizes and shapes. After they are empty, take the label off, if you have trouble getting the sticky off of the bottle where the label was you can try a solution called “Goo Gone Sticker and Label Remover” or you can make your own. The 2 main ingredients are oil and a mild abrasive. Any cooking oil will do, place a small amount on the label. Then put a mild abrasive such as Borax onto the oil and make small circles on the label until the label comes completely off. Then wash and rinse as usual. You will need to make sure the bottle is really dry before putting anything into it so let it air dry upside down for about 3 to 4 days depending on how humid your house air is. When you put things into the bottles you can either leave them open or put the top back onto it whichever way you are using them.

• In the bathroom you can place a number of these in a flat bottom bowl or short box and use them to place small items like hair ties, combs, scissors, toothbrushes, cotton balls, Q-tips, makeup, etc.

• In a junk drawer you can put paper clips, rubber bands, memory sticks, pens, pencils, erasers, batteries, coins, matches, push pins, etc. Loose batteries are a BIG fire hazard when they short circuit.

• In the kitchen try putting your decorating tips, matches, birthday candles, etc.

• In your backpack try putting cotton balls with Vaseline on them, small tinder, matches, sewing kit, buttons, nails, screws, and first aid supplies, etc.

• In your tool kit you can even use them for nails, screws, small parts, wire, etc.

• In a craft room there are so many things you can put in them including beads, buttons, wire, small tools, glue sticks, paint that you are currently using, glitter, embellishments, etc.

• For a teacher use a small bottle to put painters tape around sticky side out and then put that into a larger bottle to keep it from sticking to everything else.

• If you make a salve or lip gloss you can put them in these bottles.

Pretty much anything that you would like to keep dry or together so you can find it can be placed in used prescription bottles. This can keep aggravation down when trying to find things and also cost down instead of purchasing something special for keeping these items together.

This is what I can think of. What items can you add to this?

Please email and add to this blog.

FREE books

Free books this weekend

Got this e-mail from one of my favorite authors. So this applies to August 21st through August 24th 2015. I really enjoyed the time travel books and so did my grandkids. I am SOOooo looking forward to the sequels! Janice Czaplewski also has several other books out on engineering, crafts and one on surviving divorce. If the one on divorce had been available, way back when, I would have used it will some of my counseling clients…… YES, it is that good!

### Copy of the e-mail follows.

I put the time travel books up for free on Kindle from tomorrow through Monday.

Bartering bikes

We have a guy in the neighborhood that purchases used bicycles fixes them up and then sells them. With the price of gas and with the economy not being so good he has really started having trouble keeping bikes around. He said that people who are on fixed income or that don’t have much money are starting to come to him more often to get bikes as their only mode of transportation. He lives in the lower income section of town so he is right in the middle of the people who are having the most trouble.

On the other hand we had one bike that we weren’t using any more, along with 2 bikes that the grandkids had outgrown and 1 bike that needed work on that we did not know how to do. So the question was what do we do? Try and sell our bikes in a garage sale? Put an ad in the paper? And then after we sold them, if we could, we would have to find other bikes that the grandkids could ride now. That would mean looking through the paper for used bikes their size or coming up with the money for new bikes both of which take time.

The solution we came up with was taking all of them [total of 4] over to his place and negotiated trading them in for 3 bikes that were usable for the grandkids to ride and was in workable order. Bartering is a good way to get rid of what you don’t need any more and getting what you do need. We ended up not paying anything in the process and we got what we needed and he got more bikes to sell.

So a couple of the take away on this is that you can trade for things that really do not need to be new, thus saving money and that you can take a skill such as working on bikes and turn it into money.

Earning a living AMMO

Earning a living AMMO

Manufacture and reloading ammunition, you can do either ‘standard’ loads or the loads can be very customized. There are big factory operations to smaller “Mom & Pop” concerns. Both type of set ups can turn out high quality products.
Today we will focus on the smaller Mom and Pop type groups. This last weekend I had a chance to deal with 2 such organizations. I was pleasantly impressed with both of them.

1. John and Cindy Taylor of are based in Wyoming. I have shot some of their ammo and it was a pleasure to do so. John is Retired USMC . The prices were very acceptable. I am comfortable in recommending them.

2. Bob and Laura Stahl of are based in Colorado. I have not fired any of their products yet. I did have them work up a price for an old rifle / revolver combination that a friend has. The cartridge is out of production as far as I can tell. The price quote per box of 50 down sized rounds from another caliber with soft lead cast bullets was great. They would not be on this list unless I can recommend them.

Some of the advantages that I can see for making a living doing what they do include
A. Flexible hours so they can attend shows, kids / grandkids activities or doctor’s appointments.
B. Can’t sleep at night? Not a real issue, get up and work, then sleep in the next day if you need to.
C. Ready for a vacation? Make the arrangements and go. Combine that with going to shows.
D. There is ALWAYS a demand for ammo, until it gets banned and then there will be even more demand for it.
E. Attractive tax benefits to having a business == discuss this with your accountant.

You don’t have an accountant? We can highly recommend McGee Hearne & Paiz LLP 307-634-2151 or 307-637-2617 are their Cheyenne Wyoming phone numbers according to the June 2014 phone book. Even if you don’t live in nor near Cheyenne they have contacts all over and can refer you to a good accountant.

For the hobbyist reloader check out any of the books put out by the NRA or take a class on reloading. I am sure that either of the 2 listed above can direct you to the books they use.

As with any business venture you should consult your management team [lawyer, accountant and insurance agent] for their advice on the actual nuts and bolts of things. We are only sparking discussion.

Please comment in the comment section so that everyone can learn. To start a new topic you could use the contact us form on our main page at www.PrepareSurviveThrive.US or send an e-mail to Office@PrepareSurviveThrive.US

Locked out

Recently we were at a trade show promoting our books. It was early Saturday morning while everyone was opening up for the day. Brett from the Farmer’s Daughter LLC – – had gone looking for change I believe is what he said, when he came to this one vender who had forgotten the keys to their money box. Well Brett being Brett he started going around to all the other venders to see if anyone had a key that would fit. No, we didn’t have a key that would fit.

The options discussed were that they could drive home and get the keys.. a 3 hour round trip which would been less fun than Gilligan’s Island. Destroy the box. Drive into town and hit an ATM $300 daily limit -20 miles- or just pack up and go home. None of those options were appealing to any of us.

It took about 10 minutes to get the moneybox open for them AND that included making the tools to do the job. So there was a happy ending. Oh, did I mention that we did have a locksmith at our table ;].

***Here is the take away from this. ***

They had BOTH keys to the lock box on the same keyring which is how it came from the store and had left them on the desk at home. This is normal, common behavior BTW. If you are married each of you should have a key on your key ring. If you are by yourself then you should have the backup set of keys somewhere safe that you can get to on your expedition. I carry 2 sets of car keys on me and my wife does too. Spare keys are cheaper and easier than being locked out.

When going on a trip especially out of town, fill out a load list – an example of this is in or you can write out a list and check it twice when you travel.

Skills – some skills are easy and quick to learn, others take a long time to learn, develop and maintain with constant practice. Examples of the more difficult skills include locksmithing and healthcare. This story was a good example of the locksmith being able to build the needed tools on need.

Our Store

We are opening up ‘Our Store’ on and the items will be listed under the “Categories” on the right hand side of our site toward the bottom. Subscribers will of course receive a notice as with any other posting of a new listing BUT after that people will have to actively search for the store items. We are doing it this way so as to NOT have it so much in your face merchandizing like some sites we have all seen.

As with other affiliate programs we get a small commission off of the transaction yet at the same time it will NOT cost you any more than if you had gone directly to the Amazon [or whatever] site. We believe that this creates a win – win situation for all of us.
As with everything else about our site we look forward to reading your feedback on stuff.

If you would like to order an autographed copy of any of the books that members of our group have authored feel free to contact us via the ‘contact us’ form on the main page OR e-mailing and arrangements can be made to get it to you.

Here are links to most of the books. This is book 1 the quick start guide to preparedness. This is book 2 about traveling and evacuation planning. I wish that this book had been available back in the days when we were doing general psych and counseling. Yes, you can consider that a professional endorsement of the book. Most of us have kids and grandkids, this will help with dealing with them. I think that it would be good to have on hand to keep anyone productively busy.
This is the first book in a time travel series for kids…. ;] The series is referenced in the traveling and evacuation planning book above.
This is book 2 of the time travel series. The release date of book 3 has not been announced yet.

Farmer’s Daughter

Food and water are 2 topics near and dear to my heart as it to most others as well. Low moisture food is relatively easy to store. It is so easy in some respects that you can call the Farmer’s Daughter and order it. ; ]

Recently at a show I ran into a guy that deals in long-term storage foods and Berkey water filters. I have crossed paths with him before and have found him to be helpful on topics within his business AND things in general too.

One of the food lines that he carries is certified gluten free. I have a few friends who are gluten intolerant so this would be good for them to have on hand.

For more information contact

Brett Robinson
Farmer’s Daughter LLC

Ps at the time that I decided to do this and wrote it, Brett had not a clue of my intentions to make this post.

cross ref

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant — earning a living series

You may want to review the earlier post at

We have already discussed CNA v EMT for entry level healthcare providers. There is another ‘entry level’ provider that is relatively new on the scene – new as in the last 20 years. That 3rd person is known as a ‘Medical Assistant”. A medical assistant typically has about a years worth of training in such things as office management, coding and billing, some lab and x-ray experience, phlebotomy and injections and medical records creation and maintenance. One school that I know of which trains Medical Assistants charges $30,000.00 USD per student for the year. That does not include living expenses.

Typical jobs are in doctor’s offices which would include doc in a box situations and in hospitals as a unit secretary, medical records tech, billing office and maybe the lab. There are jobs as a free standing coder / biller or as a medical transcription person.

Overall the training is good and well rounded for the intended purpose. MA is also a good job as far as it goes and it does help in your understanding of things so that you can progress up the food chain ladder if you want to.

The down side of MA school / jobs is that it takes a long time to be able to earn money going this route, a whole year [or more depending on if you go to school full time or part time] v CNA where you can start earning in as little as 3 weeks. Once again $30,000.00 is a rather high price to pay for the school.

Several friends have gone though the school and then found out that the area was over saturated with MAs and that they could not find a job in the field – one is working at a local big box store.

MA’s do not end up with a professional license in most states – they work under the MD’s license. With that situation there is no ‘governing board’ or union to ‘protect’ the public as far as their practice goes.

IF you want to go into this area that is great! I would not want to start off with it as my first exposure. I would recommend starting with CNA and then going into this, EMS or maybe nursing.

School Safety Through Firepower

reposted with Brad’s permission — Rich

School Safety Through Firepower

By Bradley Harrington

Published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on February 13, 2015.

“Any politician who won’t trust you with the weapon of your choice clearly cannot be trusted with the power he desires over your life.” – Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith, “Hope,” 2009 –

Most citizens would agree that a person’s right to life doesn’t mean much without the corollary right to self-defense that must accompany it as well.

Some local school officials and parents, however, don’t seem to have much use for either, judging from the nonsense they’re spewing regarding Wyoming House Bill 114 (which would abolish nearly all of Wyoming’s current “gun-free zones,” including in the public schools).

Regarding this bill, already passed in the House and now before the Senate, LCSD1 Superintendent John Lyttle said:

“’This needs to be balanced with safety of students and staff’… One of the first priorities for the district is to provide students with a safe environment, he said.” (“Officials: Guns not welcome in school,” WTE, Feb. 10.)

Hmmm… Let’s consider some historical facts of reality – for, unfortunately enough, the inability for a good guy to quickly gain access to a firearm didn’t do much to help the 20 kids and six staff members brutally murdered in 2012 by a disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Nor did that inability save the lives of the 32 people shot dead by another disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute back in 2007.

[Sidebar: Sadly enough in regard to this last massacre, Mr. Lyttle’s brain-brother, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker, praised the Virginia State Legislature’s scuttling of a bill just a year earlier that would have eliminated their “gun-free” zones: “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus,” he said. (“Gun bill gets shot down by panel,” Roanoke Times, Jan. 30, 2006.)]

So, Mr. Lyttle: just how, exactly, do you intend on providing a “safe” environment? By going after the next disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase who might decide to show up on one of your campuses with a pair of scissors?

Just to prove that Mr. Lyttle is not the only well-meaning fool promoting his topsy-turvy concept of “safety,” however, we can also add some parents to that mix as well:

“He [Lyttle] added that some parents already have said they will move their students to schools in Colorado if the bill is approved.”

Now there’s a great idea. Down to Columbine High School, possibly, where yet another pair of disgruntled, gun-firing nutcases slaughtered 12 students and a teacher back in 1999?

Here’s a couple of questions for both Mr. Lyttle and those parents: how “safe” do you think those Columbine students, ensconced in their “gun-free zone,” felt 30 seconds before the bullets started to fly, as compared to three minutes later?

In answer to those who claim that granting teachers, staff and other adults their right to pack weapons won’t help stop these atrocities, history says you’re wrong – for that’s exactly what happened at both Virginia’s Appalachian School of Law in 2002 and Mississippi’s Pearl High School in 1997.

But, in both of those instances, it bears mentioning, the individuals who finally subdued the shooters had to first run to their vehicles to retrieve their weapons before they could act.

So, regarding those two shootings, here’s a third question, the same question I asked of the University of Wyoming’s Faculty Senate a few months back, regarding their desire to maintain a “gun-free zone” on campus:

“What would have happened in those ‘gun-free zones’ if students and/or faculty had already been armed at the time the shootings began?” (“Call it a ‘shoot-me zone,’” WTE, Oct. 10, 2014.)

So, since true safety is obviously not a concern for Mr. Lyttle, what’s he really worried about if HB 114 passes? “Some federal money is tied to the fact that a school is a gun-free zone, and there hasn’t been any guidance given on how to manage that, he said.”

And there you have it. God forbid that Mr. Lyttle might lose his “free” federal dollars, and just what is he supposed to do when his federal masters fail to provide him with the proper “guidance”?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what passes for “administration” at LCSD1. What a tragedy, both now and in the making. The LCSD1 Board should seriously consider relieving this man of his duties and find someone who truly cares about the health and welfare of the students in his charge.

As for the Wyoming Legislature: kudos to the House members who voted for passing HB 114, and may their colleagues in the Senate have the foresight, fortitude and respect for an individual’s right to defend their lives to pass it there as well.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming; he can be reached at