Tag Archives: water


I used to be a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but after coming to the end of each year with most of the checklist still unchecked, I have decided to try a different way–to set priorities. My top priority for this year is health–physical, mental, emotional, fiscal. For me, prep is a huge component of building, maintaining, and preserving that health. And an important part of prep is identifying our top threats.

Survival Mom has a very detailed article about doing your own threat assessment, but for today, I’m just going to keep it simple with her abbreviated quiz:

Identify your top 3 events to prepare for by answering these questions:

  1. What is the most likely natural disaster in your area?
  2. What is the most likely extreme weather event that might affect you?
  3. What is the most likely personal or man-made crisis that would affect you?  Examples: long-term unemployment, hyperinflation, civil unrest.
  4. Finally, prioritize these in the order they are most likely to happen and you will immediately have a focus for your preparedness.

For me, the three areas where I will focus my prep attention in the coming year are:

  1. Wildfire
  2. Drought
  3. Income loss due to unemployment or illness

And priority-wise:

  1. Income loss due to unemployment or illness (build an emergency fund, diversify income opportunities)
  2. Wildfire (put together bug-out bag and grab list)
  3. Drought (conserve, practice going without)

It can take less than 5 minutes to come up with your list, and having one can help you stay focused on the most pressing things to prep for so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you are into resolutions, prepping is a good one and Survival Mom has some other great prepping ideas in her How Basic Can You Get? posts #1 #2#3 (which includes the above quiz), #4, #5, and #6. Although most of these ideas are focused toward beginners, there is plenty here for the more experienced of us as well.

What are your Big 3, and how will you start preparing for them in the new year?

Envisioning the Future

One of the things that inspired me to finally start this blog was a recent episode of Project Runway titled Welcome to the Future. In it the designers were challenged to come up with fashions that could be featured in Marie Claire 20 years from now. In order to do that, they had to imagine what that future might look like. Now, granted, the fact that the challenged assumed that the magazine would still exist 20 years from now means that they weren’t focused on an apocalypse, but I still felt like most of the designers didn’t take their stories far enough. One mentioned recycling, one made a small nod toward climate, but all I could think about were the questions they didn’t answer:

  • Would the places we now inhabit become to hot or too cold and how could fashion compensate for that?
  • What if the drought currently plaguing California and the southwest continues to get worse–how would the lack of water impact what we wear?
  • Might the world be a more dangerous place requiring clothes that are also protection?
  • Would our lives be more rooted or more nomadic?

My mind was filled with books and movies related to our possible future: Dune, Mad Max, The Man in the White Suit

So imagine my excitement when I learned that there was an apocalypse-themed art show opening in my own town called End of Days.

Twenty-four artists were…asked to develop prophetic doomsday statements regarding how the end will come, and then…create clothing, accessories, and sculptural elements to address these prophecies and address issues related to human impact on the environment.

Hydration Salvation by Consuelo Pascual
Hydration Salvation by Consuelo Pascual

Which is pretty much exactly what I had been looking for. And though I would say the artists met with varying levels of success in terms of execution, each and every piece was thought-provoking–from the image of a virgin bride in her wedding dress and gas mask, to the sculptural dress of cabbage and leeks (my favorites being Sam by Thelma MathiasAt the 11th Hour Go Underground In The Old Library. Lock All The Doors Behind You. by Deborah Klezmer, and The Lineage Gown by Alicia Piller.

Envisioning the future can not only give us ideas that may help us survive,  it allows us to build mental and psychological muscles that can help us cope with the unknown–as long as you focus on how might it be, what would we need, can I prepare, instead of  we’re all gonna die.

Feature Friday: Ambition

This gorgeous collaboration between Platige Image and ESA is directed by Tomek Bagiński and stars Aidan Gillen, of Game of Thrones fame, and Aisling Franciosi. Ambition was shot on location in Iceland, and screened on October 24, 2014 during the British Film Institute’s celebration of Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, at the Southbank, London.

The future begins when we envision it. It becomes real when we create it.

Water, Water, Everywhere

I wanted to talk about water. I wanted to tell you what I remember about the last big California drought back in the 70s, about how we were only allowed to flush the toilets a couple of times a day and how my mother used to run the hose from the washing machine into the garden to water the plants–especially the hydrangea which never seemed to get enough. Funny, because of that I never liked those plants when I was a kid. Now they are one of my favorites.

The first time I came to Santa Fe , I got a letter in the mail explaining the retreat center’s policy on water usage. The told us only to flush toilets when they really needed it. They encouraged us to take military-style showers which consisted of rinsing quick, turning off the water to soap up, then turning it back on to rinse again. Even during the worst of the California drought, I’d never done that. It was eye-opening.

These days I keep a bowl in the bathroom sink to catch hand washing water for flushing the toilet or watering plants. I wear clothes longer between washes. I don’t plant hydrangeas.

Water is one of the most difficult things to do without. They say that a person can live without food for more than three weeks, but without water, only about three days. Especially in the desert when summer humidity levels can drop as low as 4%. But I’m not just talking about survival here. I’m talking about the everyday mundane tasks like washing our hands, or doing the laundry or dishes. We are so used to turning on the tap, it can be hard to resist. Would we be able to survive in a world like the one in the film? How about a world like Frank Herbert’s Dune where even the clothing is designed to recycle every bead of sweat and then some? It’s hard to say, but with California in the midst of their worst drought in history, and the southwest sweltering and dry as a bone, I hope we can.

Feature Friday: Pumzi

Recently a couple of stunning short films about the apocalypse landed on my Facebook feed. I was so impressed by their beauty, clarity, and messages, I decided to share–not just those two, but any others I may hunt down along the way. Not only do they have something to tell us about our possible futures, but I believe it’s important to support the artists that created them.

To that end, welcome to Feature Friday: short films, books, movie and TV shows, and other digital media that can help shed light on our human condition in these days of rogue weather, terror attacks, deadly viruses, and other threats to our health and sanity. I hope you enjoy our first installment: Pumzi, a short science-fiction film written and directed by Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu. The title means “breath” in Swahili.