The Fire Drill

*Still in the Sherwood Forest……?

January in Sherwood Forest was known as ‘Wolf-Month’ for a very good reason; wolf packs driven by snow or cold to shelter in the woodlands in the same way as the outlaws would become a serious threat; the wolves natural food was scarce at that time and starving animals were known to overcome their natural fear of man and enter nearby villages in an attempt to carry off livestock and on more than a few occasions even small children – grown men and horses passing through Sherwood in the medieval period are recorded as having been attacked by wolves, a wintertime hazard that remained until the 14th Century.

In one medieval example, a wolf leaped out on a horse and rider, bit off a piece of horse-rump and fled into the forest with the reeking piece of flesh before the rider realized what had happened. A small child was carried off from Linby by a wolf in the early 12th Century.

Even an armed man on foot would become a hunted quarry and possibly have to face a desperate and terrifying foe suited to the environment and equipped with deadly weapons designed for face-to-face close-combat.

A wonderful morale-booster, fires frighten animals and give off warmth and light and you can then heat your water and cook your food using it, adding a civilized aspect to living rather than just simply surviving outdoors and is what makes most folk today remember as a comfortable camp under canvas or the stars from a past outdoor experience.

Fire can be made using natural materials and is not as hard to create this way as you think if you simply have a go and practice; an everyday task which would be as natural and easy to a medieval person as tying shoelaces or switching on an electric light would be to a modern city-dweller.

Medieval people often carried flint and steel but could also recognize the correct materials for ‘making fire by rubbing two sticks together’ at a glance. This method generally falls into two categories – the fire plough or the fire drill.

Credit: Jonathan C.

P.S. We have many survival advantages Robin Hood and his Merry Men did not have. They lived before matches and other modern fire starters.

Fortunately, we live in an age when we can start a fire whenever and wherever we want.(VIDEO LINK)

VIDEO LESSON

Fresh Bow Drill (Poplar on Hazel)

*Thanks to Survival Lilly for the vid; Good job Lilly!
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Outlaws and In-Laws

*More lessons from the days of Robin Hood

An outlaw band sheltering in woodland during Robin Hood’s day would exist almost side-by-side with local villagers and as most medieval outlaws were captured through being betrayed, it would be best to either avoid villagers altogether or at least try and stay on reasonably good terms with them.

To make the local people fear you so much that they would both provide valuable foodstuffs and not betray you to the authorities has been demonstrated enough in the past to be seen as worthless for anything beyond a few days.

The Kings deer the oft-quoted free lunch of Robin Hood and The Merry Men are of course there to be taken if you have the skills or the necessary hunting gear.

However, in addition to meat, bread is also a necessity and does not grow on trees or roam the forest glades and by eating only venison you would become sick and grow weaker on a diet of pure protein.

If you could escape or avoid the Foresters and take deer, a local villager could probably be contacted or found who would readily exchange a piece of meat for a loaf of bread, a basket of vegetables or a jug of ale.

The penalties for both if caught poaching were extremely severe in some cases amputation of fingers or hands, branding and blinding or a fine so heavy it would financially crush a man or his village for years.

Lurking outlaws themselves may have also once lived in the same village, and have relatives or friends there to help them survive and were not criminals or bad men.

The law forbade anyone to give aid, help and food to outlaws, who could be taken dead or alive by anyone for a guaranteed cash reward.

For the out-laws to move back in with the in-laws in hard times or bad weather would make good sense ; travel and news became very hard in Sherwood Forest in winter and some places would at times be simply unreachable through snow or mud, with roads and tracks simply disappearing for weeks in the rain or under snow and ice (March was known in Sherwood Forest as Mud-Month where roads and tracks became impassable for long periods ; a problem that remained in Sherwood Forest into the mid 18th Century).

If at these times you couldn’t get out of the village it meant that a threat in the form of officialdom couldn’t get in and for a time a resident outlaw amongst friends might have relative peace, a roof over his head, hot food and a welcome change of company in the form of fresh faces.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan; people are getting info and blessed. It makes sense to tell it like it is; NO MATTER WHAT!

Crayon Candle – Zombie Survival Tips #21

Thanks to my friend and brother @CRAZY RUSSIAN HACKER 

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Some More Lessons To Learn

…albeit the hard way.

In a struggle where more than 650,000 men perished over a period of a mere four years, on a fascinating stage where the last vestiges of feudalism clashed with the industrial revolution and modern representative democracy, there are bound to be lessons.

Latest estimates put the tally at around 800,000 deaths caused by the war. A staggering figure given that the US at the time -1860- had only around 31 million inhabitants all together. Percentage wise this is more than France or Germany lost during the First World War.

If so many people were willing to risk their lives in the most destructive of circumstances, for reasons which are not always clear to us today, this war must have seen some fierce characters. Some rose to the occasion and others faltered miserably.

What are some lessons we can derive from these examples?

First, we’ve learned a true leader takes the blame. One of the most inspirational leaders of the American Civil War was no doubt Robert E. Lee. He won a string of victories against opponents that often outnumbered him by two to one and had superior weaponry and logistics. He was not the most brilliant strategist however and his victories were costly. His management of the war’s biggest and most famous battle, Gettysburg, was very poor and based on deep feelings of contempt for the fighting qualities of his enemy; either that or there was some unified agreed upon collusion with the enemy.

When Lee’s last attempt to win the battle -a grand charge over an open field where his men would be exposed to unlimited fire from well-positioned, long-range Union artillery- was bloodily repulsed, he immediately took all the blame; and justly so.

From the approximately 15,000 men that were assigned to make the charge, about half were lost.

He did not make the best decisions during this battle, but it’s equally true several of his key subordinates made vital mistakes as well. Instead of putting all the blame on them, he took full responsibility for the bloody defeat; again, justly so.

This act held the army together for whatever reason, it had a paradoxical effect of maintaining the confidence of the soldiers had in him, and it inspired the army to fight another day.

Anyway, remember, if you go around blaming other people for what went wrong, they will subconsciously realize you are not really in charge and your authority will suffer. If you want to be a leader, take full responsibility for whatever happens to your cause, army, company, business, community…

Another lesson we can draw is that you decide when you are defeated.

Early in the war general Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men were being -sort of- besieged in Fort Donelson, together with about 14,000 other soldiers. His commanders quickly lost all hope, ignoring opportunities to break out and defeat their enemy. Instead they started bickering over who should take care of the details of their surrender.

Nathan Bedford Forrest understood the situation better than his superiors and took matters into his own hands. He decided to at least keep his own little command out of the enemy’s prisons. He told his men: “Boys, these people are talking about surrendering, and I am going out of this place before they do or bust hell wide open.” He took 700 men and somehow managed to slip them past the enemy’s lines, something his demoralized superiors weren’t even willing to consider. Live today, fight tomorrow scenario.

The lesson: you’re not defeated until you give up looking for opportunities to turn the tide.

Credit mostly: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!

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SHTF Bug Out Bag (Cold Environment)

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Another Chance

How many times gave we wished for another chance to make a fresh beginning.

Another chance to blot out our mistakes and change failure into winning.

It does not take a new day to make a brand new start,
it only takes a deep desire within our heart.

To live and walk in better morals and better choices, to always be forgiving and to add a little sunshine to the dark world in which we’re living.

Don’t give up in despair and think that you are through,
for there’s always a tomorrow and the hope of starting new.

Salvation is still within reach. [LINK] (At Bottom of that page- “click or tap” Make Your Reservations)

Is 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Hos 6:1 “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”

Now this is an adventure!

 

Winter Overnight At The Bug Out Camp

Many thanks to Survival Lilly. Thanks Lilly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do You See God’s Face ?

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Where do I go to see God’s face?

Is it in the reflection from the stained glass windows of the ornate church or in the rainbow after a summer evening’s shower?

Is it in the wooden cross that hangs prominently in the front of a chapel or in the hand, blistered from creating a home for one who had none?

Is it in the podium from which magnificent sermons are preached
Or in the fulfilled faces of children who won’t go to bed hungry today for the first time in their lives?

Is it in the flickering candles in the front of the church
or in a friend’s eyes as they wipes tears from your heart?

For God is not confined by adorned walls or symbols of His glory.
He cannot be described by an ancient relic or historical artifact.
His face is in all He created.

God’s face is in the fading sunset over a wintry landscape.

God’s face is the quiet meadow as the three week old fawn nurses at her mother’s breast.

God’s face is the laughter of a little boy as he wobbles on his bicycle down the sidewalk for the first time without support.

God’s face can be found when we open our hearts to His love.

Where do I go to hear God’s voice?

Is it in the pipe organ that plays a solemn hymn or in the screams of a newborn baby as she sucks her first breath?

Is it in the words of a preacher as he pounds his fist on the pulpit or in the whisper of flapping butterfly wings as a gentle breeze carries it over the rustling grass?

Is it in the chorus of a melody that is sung on the radio or in the quiet prayers of children kneeling beside their bed before sleep?

Is it in the typed text of a worn devotional book or in the quietness of falling snow under a full moon at midnight?

For God’s voice isn’t limited to man’s simple understanding,
But the awesome power of His genius.
God’s voice is in all He gave voice to.

God’s voice is heard in the whistle of wind through the willows on a country lake sheltered from civilization.

God’s voice is heard in the clap of thunder during August storm.

God’s voice is heard in the last serenade of the crickets in the cool autumn air.

God’s voice can be heard when we still our hearts to His love.

Where do I go to feel God’s touch?

Is it in the embrace of a familiar stranger sitting next to you at church or in the soft stroke of a grandmother’s weathered finger’s on her grandchild’s cheek?

Is it the hand that distributes pamphlets proclaiming God’s wrath on a street corner or in the grasp of a toddler as he wraps his tiny hand around his father’s finger to guide his first steps?

Is it in the statues and decorations that adorn a sanctuary or in the silent reward of an unseen kind act?

Is it in the lukewarm words spoken in a time of need or in the strength of another’s shoulder when yours are too weary from life’s struggles?

For God’s touch isn’t felt in the objects or things that we fill our lives with, but in the indescribable moments when His presence is near.

God’s touch is in the painted face on a purple pansy waltzing with a gentle spring breeze.

God’s touch is in the warmth of the sun shining through a frosted window in the dead of winter.

God’s touch is felt as He guides us through the deep valley that lies in front of us.

God’s touch is felt when He wraps His unconditional loving arms
Around the child in all of us that longs to call Him Daddy.

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For more on the face of the Lord CLICK HERE 

 

God’s Gift To Me

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The first snow fall’s elation has long past The gray dreary days of winter seem to last and last;…. I miss the warmth of the sun on my skin and the smell in the air when Spring begins

As I linger in bed this damp and chilly morn in my mind I pretend that spring has dawned that the weeks have gone by and Winter has ended; I dream I get up and peer out my window

The grass is so green and lush under my bare feet while birds are all in a rush to start their next fleet of minstrels who will sing away the chill rejuvenating my soul and giving my heart a thrill

A kaleidoscope of flowers to titillate my senses almost blinding my eyes with their brilliant colors filling my nose with their aromatic odors perfuming my skin as I bathe in the sunshine

The mild breeze blowing through my hair making me feel like I don’t have a care except to be pleasured by the gifts on this season The blue soft skies up above me and the sweet smelling earth below….

In between I am sandwiched, renewed and all a glow Winter is beautiful with its white and fluffy blanket of snow but I am often times changeable and I love variation like all humans I get wearied.

I love all four seasons with each one comes a reason; but now it is Spring that I need;…. impatient as always and excited indeed for nature and its miracles…God’s gift to me!

*When I read this poem (Author unknown) it felt right with me given all this snow and Ice I have seen here around my town. In many ways I can relate to the sentiment of this author. However, a nice warm and cloudy day suits me just fine. Anyway, hope you find joy in this person’s write (I believe a woman wrote this) as I did.

We were put on this earth for God’s pleasure, yet God has given us so much for our own pleasure. I believe He wishes us to enjoy His gifts, including that of creation-the nature He designed;…some say, “we have never seen God!” Oh, maybe so, but we’ve seen His work and admired His signature. Praise God! Be blessed!

Rev 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

The Best Week…!

I want to share a story from Janet “Nett” Hounsell. I know we all may have those warm and meaningful stories but this one really impacted me, especially since I’ve been to Canada and felt the cold brisk air…smelled the shops and cakes and cookies along certain avenues. I hope this inspires you to look towards the fall season when all the leaves start changing; but that we too, as a people can make better and more colorful changes, even in those around us. Live to inspire the good and it will come back to you. “…ofthestory.”

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The Best Week…!

Even as summer peaks in New Hampshire, a stay colored leaf might remind me of fall. I grew up in a town near the Canadian border, where my father’s description of the seasons was, “Spring, Summer, Fairtime and Wintar!”

My parents and I lived upstairs over my aged and infirm paternal grandparents. All of us helped make the grandparents’ day-to-day lives as comfortable as was possible. But Granny was gradually going blind and Gramps suffered from the effects of two strokes.

Granny’s mind was sharp. It was my job to help her with the daily newspaper’s crossword puzzle. It made no difference if I had studying or a date… time at the oilcloth covered kitchen table was a must.

I so often think of the fall when Granny got the chance to “be useful again,” to say nothing of earning a few sorely-needed dollars.

Her niece had leased one of those lunch stands on the fairgrounds and she and her daughter would be staying in town during the week-long fair, catering to the hungry crowds there to see the midway, gamble a bit, tour the agricultural halls, and of course, watch the horse races and admire the award-winning farm stock out back.

The good news was that though Gran’s relatives would have little time to rest, they would need a place to stay. There was no spare room; what to do?

Granny stumbled around, marshaling all the help she could get, and before long the attached woodshed had been made into comfortable sleeping quarters for the two women. Red calico was tacked to make a curtain at the one small window. Comfortable cots, topped with old quilts, were arranged carefully… throw rugs borrowed from the house would warm feet on the early morning- chilled pine floor.

Granny would take in a few dollars for “putting up” her relatives, but the best was yet to come! Within a day or two, the two women got behind at the lunch stand… finding that simple sandwiches sold like hotcakes. Since they opened early, the fair employees themselves bought their breakfasts there, keeping the two women overly occupied.

Near sightless she may have been, but Granny could do her part.

I can see her now, standing for hours with sandwich fixings and several varieties of bread neatly arranged on the clean table before her, carefully making stacks sandwiches and then painstakingly wrapping them in waxed paper and stacking them in dishtowel-lined cartons.

After this week of hustle and bustle was over, Granny stated emphatically, “That was the best week I’ve had in years!”

The lesson that memory brings back to me is that we all long for a chance to be “useful,” appreciated, and helpful as well. No matter what our circumstances, there’s usually a way to contribute and, as a reward, strengthen our self-images!