MESSAGE FROM TESS
I have had an amazing week. After returning from my trip to Dallas, the kids and I spent a few days recuperating from our travels. Then it was back to work. I was interviewed by a reporter for Phoenix magazine  and provided him some input for a feature article on preppers and survivalists that will be available in October 2011.
I also have the great opportunity to be on Greg Ericson’s radio show that is featured on Before It’s News. So don’t miss hearing me talk about preparedness tonight at 6 pm CST. If you do happen to miss the show, you can view it at www.beforeitsnews.com . This is my first time talking with Before It’s News and I am so excited.
Don’t forget to see what we’re up to on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter . I like to interact with my readers, and Facebook and Twitter are ways that I can connect with you personally. Why not extend an invitation to your extended family so they can also be prepared by reading Ready Nutrition ?
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 14 of 52: Spiritual Preparedness
We tend to play stories in our head. Whether they are truth or fiction, we live through these stories and feel them as if they are really happening. When I began Ready Nutrition two years ago, I plunged myself head first into every preparedness book and article, studied every possible disaster I may run into, and every grim scenario. Needless to say, I was playing a 24-hour TEOTWAWKI scenario in my head and became weary as a result. In my mind, I was not studying it, I was living through it. Even though, I prayed regularly and had accepted God into my heart and lived a Christian life, I found it hard to cope because there was something missing. I realized I had not put any thought into my spiritual preparedness before I began this arduous preparedness journey.
I am sharing my doomer fatigue  experience with you because I want each of you to know that the end result of not preparing your spirit for hard decisions and troubling times will effect your overall well being and make it all the more difficult for you to shake the affects of the disaster away. The longer you stay in the shock and awe of the disaster moment, the longer it takes for you move into surviving.
Choosing to prepare now is a choice you made with your spirit to survive. You are putting plans in place, purchasing basic living items, tools, and presently you are working on your spirit to be prepared. When you are spiritually prepared, the groundwork is then laid for mental preparedness  (something we will dive into next week).
As James Allen once said, “Every man thinks, lives and acts in exact accordance with the belief which is rooted in his inner most being.” Essentially, spiritual preparedness is your moral compass that guides you through the good and bad times. It is your core beliefs that make up who you are and serve you throughout your walk of life. These beliefs are what guide you, motivate you, sustain you or they will do the complete opposite. They will either become a negative or positive influence depending on what they hold as truths about the nature of yourself and your reality.
Exercising these core beliefs will help you further develop and be more aware of where your spiritual growth is at and what you need to improve on. You can develop this further by being aware of it and by utilizing these mental exercises:
1. Sit and reflect by asking yourself moral questions such as:
- Am I what I want to be?
- Do I have the courage to make the hard changes to be a better person?
- Do I have the courage to turn away from bad habits?
And going even further, asking the tough preparedness questions and really investigating why you chose to answer the way you did can help you in developing your spiritual preparedness. Here are some examples of these types of questions:
- What would I do if a neighbor needed my help? How far would I go to help my neighbor?
- If a relative needed food, would I help them? Why is it important to help others?
- Would using a gun on a home intruder be something I could do? Why would I feel bad about it?
- Would I feel responsible if I could not help someone medically and they died? Why am I taking that burden on?
Working on your spirit and further developing your moral compass will help you in finding the answers to tough situations during disasters. And, most importantly you will find peace in the midst of adversity. Possessing this spiritual preparedness will lay the groundwork for being mentally prepared for disasters.
2. Knowledge is power. Reading inspirational books and printing out inspirational passages that call to you is a tool that many use to stay spiritually awakened. In addition, reading survival books and survival fiction can help the reader look at preparedness from different perspectives and learn more about their spiritual foundation through the characters of the books. Devotional studies have helped many in developing their spiritual preparedness.
3. Acknowledgement and gratitude are other ways that you can begin laying a spiritual foundation. I have often started my prayers with how thankful I am for the family, friends and events that shaped who I am. Even the bad events played a part in who I am. I then follow the gratitude with further prayers. After I am done, I feel at peace.
4. Find passages in a book or religious reference and writing it down for you to turn to later also helps. In my preparedness manual , I have an entire section of my book that has inspirational quotes and bible passages that I have printed out or found that has touched me. In addition, I have all of the church handouts that I have received over the years to turn to.
Preps to buy for Week 14:
The best way to begin training your mind for mental preparedness is through knowledge, faith and practice. Go online and purchase some books to add to your survival library. Some books that I have read and have found helpful in this area are:
- The Holy Bible or an equivalent book on religion
- Devotional books
- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose  by Eckhart Tolle
- The Unthinkable  by Amanda Ripley
- Are You Ready for Change? Preparing for Tribulation in America  by Philip Lewis
- Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – Alive  by Les Stroud
- One Second After  by William R. Forstchen
- Last of the Breed  by Louis L’Amour
1. Find some time and think about your core beliefs. What do you believe in? What drives you to be a better person?
2. If you feel open in discussing your belief system, talk with family members and find out what they believe.
3. Set up a time daily where you can sit and meditate on your spirit.
4. Begin exploring ways to advance your core beliefs to spiritually prepare yourself.
5. Practice your spiritual beliefs daily.
6. Talk with a spiritual advisor, pastor, or priest if you reach a place where you need guidance.
In Our Home:
When life give you lemons, make lemonade. And that’s exactly what I did this week. I don’t know what happened with our grocery budget, but I had to significantly cut it down this week. With a dwindling grocery budget, I chose to see it as a way to test my homesteading skills. Since we were only able to buy the very minimum, I had to make the food that we have last and stretch the food that we had to buy. I made homemade bread , Amish noodles , fresh lemonade and even bought a brisket to make corned beef for a dinner and to use for sandwiches. I am replacing the convenience of having these items with having to make them myself. It’s a little more work, but definitely worth it.
My herb garden is finally ready to be cut back. I dried out some herbs and started collecting seeds from my garden. So far, I have dried out basil, rosemary, oregano, dill and parsley. I can’t wait to try out the Italian seasoning I made.
I re-potted the tomatoes and peppers that I planted a few weeks ago. Hopefully, the drought will go away in time for these plants to put out fruit. I also found a 8 inch cucumber that I was not aware of. All week, we have been snacking on cucumber sandwiches. My daughters even had a spa day and put some of the slices on their eyes. They thought it was weird that they were putting vegetables on their face.
I am contemplating on buying a cheese press to begin making some homemade cheeses. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but it’s a skill I have always been interested in. I have even had success with making soft cheeses like Neufchatel, cream cheese and even ricotta, but I would like to expand and learn how to make harder cheeses. I will keep you all filled in on the progress I am making. And if any of you would like to give me some advice on making harder cheeses, please email me.
The Texas coast is about see it’s first Tropical Storm of the season… and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for it to come. I am hoping that the winds will carry it to central Texas where the rain is needed the most. Thanks be to God for Tropical Storm Don!
When I found out that we get some high winds from the storm, I asked my hubby to cut back some of the trees around our home. We are guilty of letting the branches grow out way beyond where they should be. I would hate to accrue any damage as a result of these low hanging branches and such. We are also making the kids pick up there toys that they have left outside in the yard. So far, we have gotten some small amounts of rain, but I believe those that are South of us will be getting the most of the rain.
In case you missed this week’s articles, be sure to read this:
STATS AND FACTS
Did you know that July is Awareness Month?
It’s a proven fact that Americans do not get enough rest. With the stresses of daily life, the grind from work and our hectic personal lives, we tend to sacrifice our sleep in order to fit everything into one day. Taking a nap is a good way of recharging your daily energy levels. In fact, each and every one of you are entitled to a nice long nap. I do not know why we have not adopted the siestas like they have in Spain, but it makes complete sense to have one.
Research shows that the majority of people suffer from tiredness twice in every 24 hour period. We are what’s called Bi-phasic; we need two periods of sleep; a long one at night and a shorter one during the day. The early afternoon brings a drop in energy levels, not as severe as night time, but sufficient to make it difficult to concentrate and think clearly. By having a short nap we can help ourselves think more clearly by more productive and reduce the risk of heart disease. Tiredness can also be a cause of accidents. A short 10-20 minute nap is all that is needed to restore our concentration, alertness and improve productivity for the afternoon.
- More energy
- Improve productivity by over 30%
- Improve alertness by up to 100%
- Reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34%
- Better negotiation and communication
- Reduce risk of accidents at work and on the road
- Happiness and well being
LETTERS TO TESS
One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: email@example.com 
This week’s question addresses outdoor water storage
Do you store water outdoors? I have a 55 water barrel that need to be stored outside. I was wondering what to place it on. I am skeptical of placing it directly on the ground. I was thinking of a outdoor welcome mat. Any ideas?
A welcome mat is a low cost way of preventing the container from scratching and leaking on the bottom. Also, I have seen different people use cinder blocks, garden stones or even 4×4 wood planks to keep them off the ground.
Even though experts say that water can be stored indefinitely, make sure that you use the water you store within 6 months to a year to ensure that you have a rotating water supply and the water is fresh. And label all water containers as “drinking water” with a current date.