Post apocalyptic fashion: Dr Martens.

I needed new boots. I needed new boots, badly. I’ve always been dedicated to Dr Martens, and my old pair had finally, completely died on me after 10 years of heavy wear and almost no polishing. (this might be the main reason they died) so I bit the bullet, took a lot of money from my account, and went shopping.
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Gifts for the post-apocalypse

I’m not going to comment on the sanity (or lack thereof) of the Black Friday shopping madness, and I might be a relatively new resident of the U.S., but I think it’s pretty safe to say that the holiday shopping season has begun. (Typed as I sit at my computer, switching back and forth between this document and Amazon.com’s Cyber Monday Deals Week page. See? Even my Canadian self isn’t immune to the post-American Thanksgiving shopping hype.)
What does Black Friday have to do with the apocalypse? That is, aside from possibly causing the world to collapse in on itself under the weight of a million rioting shoppers, thus causing the apocalypse? Nothing really, other than the fact that it had me wondering what gift-giving will be like in the post apocalypse.
I’ve seen a few of the gift-giving guides that pop up this time of year, and I thought to myself, “Hmm…there should be one of those for the post-apocalypse survivor!” I mean, at some point in time people are going to start celebrating birthdays, apocalypse survival holidays, the rise of the dictator days, etc. etc. It’s best to be prepared with a list of gift-giving possibilities, right?
Of course, most of these items come from apocalypse survival gear lists, but seriously, they make great gifts, too. Sure, the average survivor will probably have most of these already, but things wear out and break. Other things get lost. Other things will get stolen. So when your favorite people need replacement survival items…it’s gift-giving time! (Of course, I highly suggest stocking up on these items now, while we still have time.)
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Quick Survival Tip: Avoid Stress

English: Effects of stress on the body.
English: Effects of stress on the body. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stress can have extremely damaging effects on the body if not properly managed or avoided. Survival situations are hard enough without adding the chaos caused by stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS) some of the more dangerous symptoms include: Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, Difficulty in making decisions, Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed, Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness, Overreaction to petty annoyances, Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness, Increased anger, frustration, hostility.
If you know what causes you stress, plan for or avoid it. Some people need to feel that they are supported, in control, have something to look forward to, or just that they know what to do next.
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Pumpkin Bread in a Canning Jar

This thanksgiving I tried to bring a bit of apocalyptic flair to the baking and traveling extravaganza.
As baking in jars was something I’d never done before, I used a box of pumpkin quick bread rather than try a new recipe and a new method. I did add candied ginger to the mix just because.Pumpkin Bread in Canning Jars
I used half-pint Ball jars with a quilted pattern on the outside. They have straight sides rather than tapering at the top like most jars do. This is important so that the baked good can slide right out.
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Post-Apocalyptic Graphic Novel (Comic): Sweet Tooth Vol. 1

Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire (both art and story!), is an apocalyptic comic that benefits from being both familiar and unusual. The concepts, on the surface, allow for a easy suspension of disbelief while the details will keep readers enthralled.
Seven years ago a sickness struck the world down. If you weren’t sick, you would be eventually. The children would have been the hope of the future, since all the children are immune to the sickness. Unfortunately, every child born since the sickness was boron a human-animal hybrid.
Sweet Tooth stars Gus, a nine-year-old boy –with deer antlers growing out of his head–, who has been raised by his religious and paranoid father in a cabin in the woods ever since the whole world got sick and the only children born were part animal.
Early in the comic, Gus loses his father to either sickness or old age. Shortly after going out to burry the old man, Gus gets himself either rescued (or hoodwinked) by a badass loner named Jepperd. Jepperd promises to take Gus to “The Preserve,” where kids like Gus (human animal hybrids) are safe. Having only ever learned what his father taught him about people and the world, Gus is native but not stupid. He’s had almost no interaction with others but still manages to be kind without losing his instinct for self preservation.
Sweet Tooth manages to create a humor-violence-emotion hybrid. Each character is dimensional, reasonable, and interesting. Without saying too much, appearing too hokey, or over developed everyone is still fleshed out enough to be fresh and charming in their own, sometimes sadistic, ways.
I totally recommend this series. But, just in case my enthusiasm isn’t convincing enough, you can read this free preview of issue #1 (Volume 1 is a compilation of issue #1 through #5).

The post-apocalypse dinner party

As most of you probably know, American Thanksgiving is only a few days away. This is my first Thanksgiving in the U.S.; it’s also the first Thanksgiving where I’m required to do the cooking myself (sadly, there’s no one around to do the cooking for me, since my family–namely my mother–is still in snowy, wintry Canada).
Now that I have to think about making a slightly fancier dinner for my hubby and kids, I (of course) got to thinking about dinner parties in the apocalypse. What will those by like?
Obviously, I’m not saying that survivors will be hosting dinner parties immediately after the world ends. No, no. I don’t think people will have get togethers like these until, oh, I don’t know… Not until people are settled into survival camps and a defensive perimeter is set up, anyway.
But at some point, someone’s going to want to play with a zombie pinata (and so will other people), so you might end up with a dinner party anyway. And it might become a Thanksgiving dinner, though not because of the arrival of the first pilgrims. You’ve got something else to be thankful for now–you surivived the apocalypse!
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Quick Survival Tip: Clean Out The Trash to Make Room For Treasure

As often as I can, I wash dishes and vacuum and rub things down with disinfectant until they’re clean. But I recently realized how important it is to clean my spaces of clutter that can hinder me both mentally and physically.
I carry way too many things with me no matter the time, day, or occasion. I’ll pack 12 days’ worth of clothing and supplies for a 7-day trip. Then I win inevitable realize I’m missing some actually vital thing that didn’t even cross my mind.
My luggage will have socks suitable for the three pairs of shoes but no toothbrush. Luckily, I can usually buy whatever the thing is I left behind. However, when it comes to survival and prepping the last thing you want is to realize you have a package of markers and no food.
I’m the type of person who wrestles with sentimental and speculative value. “I could use that for something,” I tell my husband as he dangles random items with no place or purpose in our house over the trash. He shakes his head and places it back on the dining room table.
Honestly? I almost never do anything with those things that I could use for something. They take up space and confuse me when I have to organize mentally. Mentally, I need to establish where things are and why, what to do if I can’t see where I’m going, and how to make efficient use of space and time in an emergency.
When my batteries are mixed in with bottle caps and my shovel is buried behind decorating supplies, I’m in a dangerous spot when it comes time to reach blindly into that box or closet in a hurry. Great, I’ve cut my hand, dropped a box on my head, and am now in need of medical attention. This is a sign it’s time for me to clean out my trash and make room for some treasure (read: breathing room and safe passage in my home).

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Decorating With Safety (Tutorial)

A good post-apocalyptic wife will need to have safety in the forefront of her mind in all situations– even decorating.
Decorating is a great excuse for employing idle hands and filling empty walls. In the past I’ve created Space Invaders and Transformers inspired wall art, science fiction coasters, and video game themed shot glasses. This week though, I went with something even more practical: Decorative Safety Signage.
Husband is used to my projects and is really just happy when they’re finished and off the coffee table. So, when he saw me start on this project he merely nodded with approval at its simplicity and scowled at the spray paint. Apparently, some humans find toxic fumes irritating…
Another thing humans find irritating: Fire. Because of this, every home should be equipped with an easy to find fire extinguisher. Every adult in your home should also read and understand the usage directions for your fire extinguisher; not all extinguishers can be used on all fire types. But once you have the right fire extinguisher for your room is its helpful, directional signage going to clash with the rest of your hard decorating work?
Not if you make the sign yourself. (Also, the sign could go anywhere and just be a decorative misdirection.)
If you’re interested in making similar safety signage for your home, follow the tutorial below. Continue reading “Decorating With Safety (Tutorial)”

People You May Meet In Your Post-Apocalyptic Life

In life, any life, before or after an apocalypse you meet all kinds of people. The thing with people is they tend to fall into categories. They don’t do it on purpose, in fact they don’t do it themselves, our minds do it to the people we meet. We categorize and stereotype for our safety and to save space in out brains for things like the lyrics to the Ninja Rap from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In the future though, when we’ve only got a tenth of our population and don’t know who is friend and who is foe, it will help to be cautious of certain people you meet based on some well worn stereotypes.
You see them in all your study materials [1. read: books, movies, comics, etc.] but never really acknowledge what they mean to you and your survival if they land themselves in you party or in your path on your way to hide in the abandoned mental institutional.
Below is a handy reference guide to some of the people you may meet on the other side of the apocalypse and the issues that may arise from dealing with them [2. Don’t think you are without flaws here! If somehow you’ve gotten to be the leader of this ragtag group, you’re probably arrogant, stubborn and obsessive. You could also get everyone you know killed if you take too many risks — or be killed yourself if you’re too annoying. Watch out.] .

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How can playing Skyrim teach you to survive the apocalypse?

After all, wouldn’t Fallout 3, Rage, Brink, Fallout New Vegas and all the other post apocalyptic games be a better bet?
Well, yes and no.
Yes because of the obvious. Those other games are all set in apocalyptic or post apocalyptic worlds, and for that reason alone you’d think they had an advantage. And, in fact, I have used Fallout as a survival simulator, though for some reason in real life I can’t carry a mini nuke launcher. So unfair.
But there are many things Skyrim can teach you that they can’t. And it can teach it two-fold- once from the in game experiences, and once from the actual experience of playing it.
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