Self-Reliance

How I Saved $15,000 On A New Bathroom

Enamel Piss Pot

My home was built in 1890. Like many older farm houses my home was constructed without indoor plumbing. In the early 1970s indoor plumbing was added to my house. That’s fairly late by American standards. Up until that time, water was hand carried into the house for drinking, cooking and bathing. Water was also carried…

Homemade Peppermint Tooth Powder

Homemade Peppermint Tooth Powder

I’ve got a really big toothy smile. And I keep that toothy smile bright and healthy with twice a day flossing and brushing with budget friendly homemade tooth powder. The tooth powder that I make up in my kitchen doesn’t use bentonite clay or any type of exotic spice or resin. It’s simply cheapo baking…

Hot Water Bottle

Hot Water Bottle

People tell me that hot water bottles are making a big comeback. I’m surprised really because I didn’t know that they ever went out of style. It seems that in the last 20 years or so, rubber hot water bottles have been replaced by electric heating pads. Popular too, are funny looking pads that are…

Preppers Versus Tradition

Fall Grasshopper

Just in time for “National Preparedness Month” – here’s September’s ASK GRANNY.  Granny Miller, I’ve recently been exposed to your website for the first time.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far.  I actually found a link which led me to you while I was visiting the Rawles survival blog. I’m interested to know why…

Cheap Insurance – Potassium Iodide Tablets

Potassium Iodide Tablets

I live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. And for many years I’ve kept a 10 day supply of Potassium Iodide (K1) tablets for both my husband and myself. The bright yellow box lives in the medicine basket in the bathroom, along with the aspirin, antacids and cough drops. I keep potassium iodide…

Priming A Pump On A Shallow Well

Priming A Pump On A Shallow Well

There’s an old hand dug shallow well fit with a hand pump beneath the Husband & Wife trees in my front yard. During the winter months the pump handle is set in an upright position to allow all water to drain out of it and to keep it from freezing. In the spring (or during…

6 Tips To Help You Haggle Like a Horse Trader

Haflinger Draft Horse

 Keen bartering and trading skills are fundamental to American rural life. And without a basic understanding of the skills and the attending attitudes and behaviors of trading in the boondocks, it’s often hard to make a satisfactory exchange – for either the buyer or for the seller. Sometimes new rural transplants from the city and…

101 Basic Homesteading Skills

Chick In Hand

What follows below is a partial list of homesteading skills that my husband and I share between us. I offer this list as a starting point to hopefully inspire young couples or new homesteaders to learn at least one or two new skills in the coming new year. Why not finally get rid of the…

How To Write Your Own Obituary

West Liberty Cemetery

Seven years ago a local couple were killed in a tragic auto accident as they were traveling across a bridge that my husband and I cross about once a week. Their sudden and unexpected deaths stunned our local community. I remember saying to my husband the next time we crossed the bridge together, “It could…

Survivalist, Prepper or Housewife?

December Snow

Lately my husband and I have been having an ongoing conversation about the so-called “survival” and “prepper” movement. We both are more than a little dismayed with the entire phenomena. Many people don’t understand  the concepts, skills or life choices often associated with “prepping” or survivalism by any other name. And that fact alone caused…