Write Your Representatives | Today’s Sunday Skill

Being politically active and letting your voice be heard is an important part of preparedness. Following the news and subscribing to political grassroots organizations serves not only as an early warning system for civil, financial or political unrest but as an opportunity to have your voice matter. Believe it or not, our governmental officials ARE listening to what we have to say. If nothing more, your letters, calls and emails count in a tally on the pulse of how their constituents feel on any particular matter. It takes just a few minutes to write your representatives and let your voice be heard. 

Write your representatives - NRA banner

Voters that would not like to see any further restrictions placed on the Second Amendment can click the above banner to use the NRA website to easily contact multiple members of the government. By simply typing in my zip code I was able to get the contact information for both the President & Congress PLUS the Governor & State Legislators. I like that you can use the NRA form to email on any subjects, not just gun control issues. It’s very handy.  Next week I will probably use the form to let share my views on increasing urban homesteading freedoms. Another way to find the contact information to write your representatives is to the Directory of Representatives and write each individually.

How To Write Your Representatives:

  • Obtain their contact information as discussed above.
  • Be clear and concise about the subject you are addressing. Use specific titles or numbers of bills involved if possible.
  • State what action you would like them to take while representing you.
  • Explain how or why the action is important to you.
  • Be respectful and polite.
  • Refer to yourself as a “constituent” and clearly identify yourself and give your full contact information for credibility.

I hope that you use today’s Sunday Skill to let your voice be heard. We are coming upon such pivotal times in our political landscape and it is important to not only be paying attention to the conversations but participating in them. In addition, I suggest involving your kids in helping you create letters and help them understand the importance in standing up for what your family believes in on the larger political playing field.

Happy Sunday!

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How To Turn Off Water To Your House: Todays Sunday Skill

There are many reasons that you would need to know how to turn off water to your house: broken pipes, frozen pipes, and outside water contamination are just a few. For today’s Sunday Skill you will need to find where the water comes into your house. If you have a house with a basement, it is probably there. Mine happens to be housed in the basement next to the sump pump. If you have a single story house in a warmer climate, chances are your water shut off is in the garage or near your washer and dryer. This is what my water shut off valve looks like. Your valve may look very different than mine, it could have a lever, a screw or a hose bib.

How To Turn Off Water To Your House

As you can see in the picture, I took a sharpie and wrote on the concrete so that anyone in the house would know exactly which levers to turn and how. You could always create a nice looking direction sheet to keep near yours. Mine is in a closet so it didn’t matter.

How to Turn Off Water To Your House Video Instructions:

I’d love to have you check in by leaving a comment if you have done this simple prepping project and any hints you have for others trying to complete this weeks skill!

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How To Open a Can: Sunday Skill

Today’s Sunday skill is teaching your kids how to open a can with a mechanical can opener. This is another one of those tools where most of us are so used to popping out the electrical can opener that if we have a mechanical one, it is likely buried in the back of your drawer and your kids have no idea what it is. It won’t do much good for you to have a stocked panty if your family cannot get the cans open! Every household should have a minimum of two manual can openers (in case one breaks). I personally have 3 of the ones below and numerous bottle opener types that would just do a V-shaped puncture open. You can pick can openers up super cheap if you keep your eye out for them. IKEA is actually one of my favorite places for picking tools like this up for $1 or $2. They are also commonly found at Goodwill Stores and garage sales for 50 cents.

Manual Can Opener

how to open a can with a manual can opener

I’m going to assume here that most parents are capable of showing their kids how to use one of these but here are instructions with pictures in case you need a refresher course.

 How To Open a Can WITHOUT a Can Opener

But what if you need to open a can and you cannot find a manual can opener? This is a super neat trick I stumbled upon that is a great Sunday Skill for us adults:

 

If you don’t have a knife, rub it a bit more and you can likely get your fingernail under the lid to pry it open.

How To Open a Bottle of Wine With Your Shoe

And as an added bonus….this is a fun little video on how to open a bottle of wine with your shoe. I haven’t tried it but I can think of a few times I would have been desperate enough to!

 

 

Looking for more easy ideas? This link to prepping for kids should help! Is there another skill you would like me to cover? Let me know in the comments! Have a great week.

*I’d like to thank the folks at www.survivalistboards.com for pointing out the two videos I included here.

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Sunday Skill: Cotton Ball Fire Starters

Good morning everyone! Today’s Sunday Skill will take you more time to gather the 3 ingredients than it will to make your fire starter. Super simple but a great thing to show the kids now that they know how to light a match and you’ll have some wonderful fire starters for camping or to carry in your bug out bag in the end.

Cotton ball fire starters burn for quite a bit of time allowing you to quickly get kindling lit and a good fire going. In order to make your fire starters you need 3 things: cotton balls, petroleum jelly (vaseline) and a container to keep them in. I like to use old prescription medicine bottles as containers. If I was making this for a bug out bag I would use a smaller prescription bottle that would fit about 5 balls smashed in.

Cotton Ball Fire StartersSimply swipe each cotton ball into the petroleum jelly. I use my fingers to work it into the cotton fibers well (plus, its a good way to moisturize my hands). Then store the soaked cotton ball into your container. It will last forever like that since the petroleum is oil based.

These guys have a great video on it and show the difference in the burn times if you want more information.

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Can Your Children Light A Match? Todays Sunday Skill

How to Light a MatchLast week I wanted to light a sugar cookie candle in the living room. I reached for the disposable candle lighter and it was out of butane. No biggie, I sent the 16 year old downstairs for one of the many boxes of matches stored and asked him to do it for me while I was doing something else. Then I heard something that sent me reeling into a mom failure mode: “Mom, how do you use these things?” My child did not know how to light a match!

Have you taught your kids how to light a match? Good ideas on teaching them here.

 

WHAT? How does a 16 year old not know how to light a match? But then I thought about it. As a young kid we never let him play with matches, right? And as he did learn to light things for me I always used these candle lighters. No one around us smokes. Where would he really have come in contact with them?

Then a disturbing thought came to me: if the world as we know it ends tomorrow they will find my sons starved carcass in a stocked panty with a mechanical can opener in his hand and his iPhone in the other as he waited for a signal so he could google how to use it. Which is why I am starting off a weekly meme on the blog called Sunday Skills. Today’s lesson was how to light a match.

Different ways to teach your kids how to light a match

We started with the kitchen strike anywhere type. Both boys were impressed to learn you can, indeed, strike them just about anywhere. We had them try different different surfaces and they quickly figured out the best way to do it. Then we moved to small boxes you get from a restaurant (or used to) and then the hardest ones, a matchbook.

We did this outside around our gas fireplace. We took the log’s out and had the gas turned off and we had the kids gather dry grasses and pine needles and wet branches and try to light each of them so they knew what would burn and what won’t. They already understood how to build a fire since my husband cooks with wood quite a bit but since we aren’t a camping family, they have never had to look for things in nature to burn. We discussed how they would build a fire pit outside if they needed to.

Am I wondering how many urban and suburban kids don’t know how to do this simple skill we all grew up with. Do your kids? If not, its Sunday….time to teach them a Simple Skill!

And while you are at it put together this simple pack for your 72 emergency evacuation bags. Old prescription bottles are perfect for storing enough matches for your Bug Out Bag’s.

Keep a supply of matches in your bug out bag

 

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