73, Female, Widowed, and a Prepper!

Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry was written by Judy W

Yep, I am 73, female and alone. I want to share my journey, in hopes other older women will be inspired. The world has changed and in my opinion not for the better. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can take care of myself. Now it was not always that way. You see when I was growing up, things were so different. Dad worked, mom was a stay at home mom and values like honesty, responsibility, family, independence, were taught and cherished.

The word welfare was a very dirty word. Pride in self and country were the norm. TV wasn’t invented yet. Party lines were the norm. The milk man delivered the milk to the house, as did the bread man, deliver the bread. There were no McDonalds or Wendy’s, or fast foods. There was no eating out. After dinner the radio was a big family activity. Board games and cards and Sunday drives were what we did for fun.The refrigerator was a funny looking box with a great big chunk of ice, that the ice man brought to keep things cold. Grandpa had to empty the water, cause ice melts, lol.

Those were the days.

Most people in rural areas grew their own food raised their own animals and had guns and ammunition. Responsibility was taught and self-reliance was instilled in us? I didn’t understand then why dad was so adamant about the government and hand outs. Actually I didn’t care. I understood my grades were important to my future, and that I had to earn things and not be given handouts. Even when young I got handouts would not teach responsibility. I learned self-preservation is my first responsibility.Somehow in today’s world that has become a bad thing.

From desiring to be responsible and dependable we have changed the wording to preppers and survivalist and society says people who prepare and take responsibility for themselves are weirdos and crazy. It is important not to buy into the terminology. The goal is self preservation. Positive thinking produces positive results.

In today’s world we have threats from so many sources. It is so overwhelming at times, if it were not for my faith, I do not think I could keep my sanity. I learned long ago a slogan that really helps me. It is Keep it simple.

So we have Biological and Chemical Warfare, wars, Isis, hurricanes, tornadoes, viruses, Ebola, abortion, floods, the Constitution being destroyed. Nuclear threats, terrorist threats, stock market threats financial threats, genetically modified food, earthquakes, riots, etc etc. Break ins, old people being beaten and robbed, be headings. So what do I do, walk around afraid, hide, retaliate. Absolutely Not!

Here is what I have done. I started with a few books and a few classes on how to survive in these turbulent times. I took my head out of the sand and stopped pretending the world was wonderful. I knew living in the city was not a good idea. As the robberies increased, I as an old lady am a target. After my class with the Mormons I decided I had to move to a rural area.

I looked at my money and made a budget. Several factors played a role here. I needed to be able to work yet not be in the city. So I searched. I wanted private secluded and not many neighbors. It took a while, maybe 6 months and I found it, Truly The Lord was watching out for me. My house in the city sold in a few weeks and I found people to build my new home. I researched and went solar and wood stove. I got a job I bought a cheap camper and lived in it while home was being built.

The next smart thing I did was put together a 72 hour kit for my car. I was traveling every weekend from the South to the North. If for any reason I got stuck in my car and had to live out of my car, my thought was,better to be prepared,and not use it,then never to have prepared at all. I went online an ordered one. Since my first kit 23 years ago, I have added and modified to fit my needs. This kit is for survival, in an emergency situation.

Ben Franklin said,”When the wells dry,we know the worth of water.I have read we can only live about 3 days without water.After my second husband died, I went into a convent to check out Religious life for me. What an experience.I learned that I wasted so much water and other resources.

I started to remember what a good older friend shared with me. He said someday we would be punished for how we wasted Gods gifts. Wow, I let the shower run way too long. I let the water run as I brushed my teeth, so wasteful. Was I concerned about water shortage,it never occurred to me. I thought it would last forever.I know better now.

I have put in a well with 2 pumps one solar and one electric. I have water and water filters everywhere. You cannot live without water. I have 2 ponds and a swimming pool. I have buried water, I have water stored everywhere. I urge you to store water, and set up a way to collect and purify water, in the car I have the lightweight marine packs of water. At 73, I cannot do or carry what I could 20 years ago.

For the first time in my wonderful spoiled life I made and followed a budget. That was a challenge.I learned I was an impulse buyer and that had to be curbed. I have lived through several terrible hurricanes,floods and a fire. I was not prepared for the aftermath. It is most important to keep a positive attitude and remember what is important to you. Things can be replaced! People cannot. I worked on the difference between want and need, It was a wonderful journey and the more I got self-discipline, the happier I became.

My list of things to work on after I got the homestead the house and the water was, to work on my spiritual self,then my physical self. Then came food, and oh my I made so many mistakes. I bought huge pails of food that I can’t lift and wouldn’t eat even if I could lift. I was following the books I was reading instead of using my brain. Over the years I gave a lot away to people who would use it. Such a waste of my money, yet many people were helped and grateful. It is important to put up things you like and eat. Equally important to have supplies in your car. I have 2, 72 hour kits and 2 gas masks in my car. Tools and a tent and emergency blanket.

Electric and storing food. I have several generators,and several freezers and many ways to heat and or cook.I have foods that require no cooking for those times when the smell would attract looters. I have a wonderful old wood cook stove, I have a gas grill with much propane stored. I have my chickens and my catfish pond,and oh they are so tasty. I have a stove that uses sticks to cook and heat water.The woods are all around me.

Remember the slogan……keep it simple, just do a little each day,relax and enjoy your life. Positive thinking, is key. I can if I think I can. A little at a time is all you can do and remind yourself ,you are more together today then you were yesterday. It is progress not perfection that we are seeking.

Medicine and first aid supplies. Do the best you can.I get animal anti bio tics which are the same ingredient s as humans. I think also getting things to boost your immune system. Just read and research and budget and do a little at a time. There are lots of articles on things that should be in your kit.For me, I have tea tree oil, colloidal silver, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide alcohol,Clorox, Etc.like things we old gals need to poop or to not poop,lol

Let’s discuss inside and outside.

I did a preparedness program for a local safety council for Y2K. I told them the electric went down for 3 months what would they do.A women said she would get out her canned food. I said ok how would you open it. She said with my electric can opener. Really, I reminded her electric was down. She did not have a manual can opener.Just think how many people are like her.Scary Eh?

  • Shelter inside and outside
  • Heat and cooking,inside and out.
  • Food
  • Sleeping gear
  • Clothing
  • Light
  • Tools
  • Sanitation
  • Personal items
  • First aid
  • Valuables

If my home is threatened,and I must bug out, I am prepared because I have my car packed.

Guns, and ammunition. I was fearful of them, but I know I needed them.I researched and trained and learned how to defend my self and my homestead.i got a concealed weapon permit and I carry. I put a shooting range on my property and shoot several times a week. Practice makes perfect, also I want anyone in the area to know I am armed. I hope and pray I never have to use them for anything but fun.

There are many sites and blogs and books to gather information and there is much to learn. I can’t tell you enough to keep it simple. Don’t compare, there are so many people who are canning and growing their own food and raising their own animals,and are so well-informed,that I can get depressed thinking about what I do not know.

Instead I look at what I have accomplished and for a 73-year-old I can happily say I have done well.There is much to learn but I have made it fun by making it a game an educational game.

The Lord has told us “If we are prepared we shall not fear” I have joined 2 prayer groups and am loving to be with people who love and serve The Lord. I am not afraid of what’s coming,I live one day at a time,and as I got more together I now help,others prepare and I put up things for people who will come to me for help in the difficult days.

I am 73 with a bad back problem ,arthritis everywhere,diabetics,overweight a nasty blood disorder a bad ankle and a bad wrist from a lady rear ending me. A physical mess. Got the picture????

I am going to close with a very funny story that happened to me today. One of my sons came over with his 18-year-old son and his 16-year-old daughter. I asked my son to come teach me how to use my new 12 gauge shotgun. I was concerned about the KICK it had. My grandson said well grandma you only need one shot with that gun and you will stop him and then all you have to do is get up off the floor. I could not stop laughing.

So we went out and I saw them use it but I was chicken when I saw the kick. So maybe wisdom does come with old age. I have it here in the house loaded and ready and when I look at it all I can think about is, it’s going to knock me on my rear end if I ever have to use it. I pray I never will.

I have learned I can take care of me and my neighbors because I am my brother’s keeper.

May God Bless you and May God Bless America

Prizes for this round (ends Jan 13 2015 ) in our non fiction writing contest include… Please send your articles now!

  1. First place winner will receive –  A case of Yoder’s Bacon courtesy of MRE Depot, a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a Survive2Thrive Organic Food Storage bucket courtesy of LPC Survival.
  2. Second place winner will receive –  A gift a gift certificate for $150 off of  Winchester Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo.
  3. Third Place winner will receive –  A copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of  TheSurvivalistBlog.net and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.


  1. Judy judy… judyW: I like your perspective Ma-am. Life is a crap shoot ain’t it.

    Trade that cannon in for a 20gauge………….. with a full pistol grip stock…………..

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I disagree with the pistol grip stock idea. They transmit the kick to your hand instead of your arm and body. While pistol grips look cool in movies, they make a shotgun much harder to shoot and produce pain in your hand.

      Hip-shoot the shotgun and you will not get a bruised shoulder, the recoil will be absorbed by your arm movement and make the gun much more pleasant to shoot. Hip shooting is not as accurate but with a bit of practice it’s not too hard to master. And at the distance of a in-home shootout it hip shooting is more then accurate enough to stop and kill any bad guy.

      And shotgun ammo is inexpensive and unlike handgun ammo easy to find so you can practice more.

      • Schatzie Ohio says:

        I have a 20 because of the kick and the husband said I should have gotten a 12 and just used lighter loads.

      • Rebel in Idaho says:

        I agree with the 20ga for women and would suggest considering a semi-auto instead of a pump as the semi-auto uses some of the kick to cycle the next round.

        I bought a nice remington 875 20 ga for my wife and teen daughters. They seem to like the Ruger 10/22 takedowns and the M4s a lot better though

      • Ghost Rider says:

        Chuck; I agree and disagree with you on this. A stand alone pistol grip is a bad idea however a pistol grip on a standard stock is the perfect setup (imho). My wife loves this I have on my 590. Easy to maneuver and shoot.

        I’m also not a fan of “hip shooting” for defending myself. I think you loose a measure of control by doing it. I’d rather get a weapon I can handle than resort to hip shooting.


        • Chuck Findlay says:

          I agree hip shooting is not as good as shoulder firing a gun. But a few things to think about.

          Shotguns kick hard.

          She is 73-years old and likely to bruise her shoulder BAD if she fires it this way. And this should be factored into how she shoots the gun.

          And while hip shooting is not as good as shoulder shooting one, with a bit of practice, and considering the short range in a home it’s likely going to be fired at a bad guy I don’t see much trouble hitting the bad guy.

          If a gun punishes your body when you shot it it’s a good bet you will not enjoy practicing with it, you will shoot it less and may even be afraid of what the gun will do to you. All these can cause delays in deciding to respond to a bad guy in the home and give the bad guy time to shoot first.

          • Ghost Rider says:

            I agree and the rule of thumb should always be … pick a weapon that you are comfortable and confident with.

            Something else to consider too when dealing with a defensive situation in your home is the noise. Good God, the sound a shotgun in a hallway will be deafening. Enough to the point that it can disorient you. Point being is to be mentally prepared for that as well.


            • Chuck Findlay says:

              One thing to think about is a pistol carbine instead of a shotgun. I have a Marlin 357 Mag lever action rifle. It holds 12 357 Mag rounds, it is a powerful home defense gun. But at the same time it kicks very little.

              The 357 Mag is a well known man-stopper in a handgun, and in a rifle it is even more powerful then a handgun and it kicks less then it does in a handgun. The reason is that a rifle is heaver and it absorbs the kick better. And because a rifle has a longer barrel the gunpowder has a longer burn time to push the bullet faster. this gives a 357 Mag rifle a boost of 600 feet-per-second over the same bullet in a handgun.

              The 357 Mag in a rifle is able to kill black bear, deer and smaller animals. For lower power rounds for practice it will work with 38 Spl rounds (38 Spl rounds are lower power 357 Mag rounds. They are almost the same round, the difference is they are 12-thousands of an inch shorter and have less gunpowder in them. But they are still very deadly.

              Also a lever action rifle (Think any TV western or movie like the Rifleman) is not black, it looks a lot less like a rifle that is going to upset people like an AR or AK. but at the same time it can deliver a good amount of firepower. I have seen them called “Cowboy Assault Rifles” And they can be loaded (topped off) on the fly so they never run out of rounds. Before you AR guys say this is useless, this is how a shotgun works. You can shove more shotgun rounds into a shotgun on the fly.

              Low kick, lots of stopping (killing) power make a lever-action rifle worth looking at for woman or anyone that doesn’t like or want lots of painful recoil to deal with.

              The one drawback to a lever-action rifle is that it cost 3 to 4 times what a low-end shotgun does.

              I was luck in that I bought my Marlin 357 Mag in the late 1980’s for what now seems like a give away price of only $209.00. But I would still go out and buy one at today’s prices if I did not have one. I think it with a matching handgun is the perfect survival combination.

              And when you work the lever on a lever-action it sounds just like a shotgun being racked. It doesn’t make a difference what language you speak, everyone understands what that sound means. It’s time to reassess your current course of action and think about getting out of Dodge.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                It holds 10 not 12 (will make sense when the above post gets un-moderated.)

                • Ghost Rider says:

                  I’m a big fan of the lever-action. I do not own one yet due to cost, as you mentioned.
                  But it is definitely on my wish list.


  2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. As soon as I saw the title my spirits raised Reading on, you pretty much hit each on of my concerns.

    I am soon to be sixty..fair health but not what I was 6 years ago. Need to get started on that.
    I will be printing this one.


    • mountaingypsy says:

      Terri, I agree, she is a tough lady, and one I want to inspire to! I am around your age, and my concern is energy, stamina and diet. I am healthy. We need inspiration from older ladies, that have lived awhile and are confident, in skills and preps. We really need a ladies prep ‘group’, of nearby like minded. Like online conversations, in the same state at least! OPSEC is great, but being a lone wolf, not so much! Too much secretiveness is not wise, in some ways.

      • I agree. or maube a chat line, some times I feel like the “LONE RANGER”.

      • Teresa Farrow says:

        I’m game. I taught myself to can and to use the dehydrator last year. House is full of pickled beets and green beans 🙂 This year is the CCW classes. We do need each other, we have such different world views. I posted again today but forgot my user name is Terri and used Teresa. I LOVE the values with which I was raised. Welfare was a dirty word, you did work for your assistance, etc. We traded, we shared, we did whatever. Not rosey, but life.

        • Sisterjudi says:

          I learned I am not where I would like to be,but Where I am I studied and worked hard to get here and for sure it was not all rosy.However the journey has been wonderful .From a scared 16 year old with alcoholic parents to a self sufficient happy free old gal,who is a proud to be prepared for any emergencies and very proud to be an American.I am Blessed ,and am madly in love with God.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I prepare a lot and it’s part of who I am and I would like to think I’m prepared for any emergency. But I’m not sure if I really am. Life has a way of showing you that you still have a lot to learn.

    • I am in my late 60’s. Been prepping for going on 2 years. There is nothing I can’t learn to do. I’ve only gone to one class but might I suggest that all women take a self defense class. The most important thing I learned is not to hit like a girl. That first hit should be as though you are hitting to kill.
      I am thrilled to hear from another older lady, she is my new hero.

      • Gypsy Dancer says:

        I’m 66 woman, and 20 years ago became a ‘2nd degree brown belt’ in Tae Kwan Do. I’m no where near as good as I once was (tournament competition), but I may be the surprise someone didn’t want! Learn how to punch, fist facing upward at waist, twisting the fist downward as you follow through with the punch, power coming from the shoulder. MOST importantly, picture your target as 12 inches BEHIND the person. If you’re in danger, don’t ‘punch like a girl’. I grew up with two annoying brothers, and raised two sons. I’m usually a nice person, but I don’t take crap. Self-defense, even watched online if classes aren’t available, will help you develop the mind-set you might someday need. A knowledge of self-defense gives you the surprise factor. Just remember to forcefully follow-through with any punch.

      • Sisterjudi says:

        Do you remember the Helen Ready song,I am woman.
        It is powerful and I listened to it over and over.I think everything we do should be with our whole heart and soul.How great you are learning and becoming stronger and smarter.stay focused and enjoy the journey and thanks for the awesome compliment.
        We can if we think we can.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thank you Terry so much.With all the negativiitve things going on,we must stick together and focus on the positive and seek,like minded people.

  3. Love the story about ur grandson! & he’s probably right. Get one good shot off, & then worry about picking yourself up off the ground. 🙂
    THanks for a good article.

  4. Very educational experience you have gone ( going ) through & I commend this ” person ” on the journy. I can relate to this story but there are many of us that have taken this path , but haven’t shared in text or books. We pass our experance by showing those that are interested in learning , ( less preaching to the choir ) & teach others. Those that have experienced growing up when a handshake was your word , have instilled knowledge of days gone by but not forgotten. Faith will carry a person and without it , all will be lost… with faith , knowledge will be found. Thank you for sharing your experience , blessings to you.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thank you friend.I think my parents when I was young were good role models.We were the first in out neighborhood to get a TV and the first night Milton Berle was going to be on this new fang led thing called TV dad invited all the neighbors in to watch the show.I believe in sharing,and know charity begins at home.
      Thanks for posting

  5. Babycatcher says:

    What about adding a good guard dog to your collection? German shepherds, Great Pyrenees and Maremmas come to mind…..

    • Sisterjudi says:

      I had a GP and he was awesome but ate more of my chickens then I did.I didn’t mention in the article 23 years ago I took in a developmentally delayed 28 year women and subsequently adopted NER and now her MS has caused a serious balance and falling problem .The dogs I have tried have been too much for her .My next idea is a small rescue dog,when I get home.
      I have been on a 30 day holiday road trip,and will explore that when I get home.Thanks so much for the suggestion.

  6. Judy, you are also an inspiration to middle-aged men like me!!

    God Bless You and stay safe.

    • and to seniors like me…

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Thanks Mark.I am soon winding up a 30 day road trip and am in the North Ga mountains.I stopped tonight in a small store in the boonies and as I left the woman said ,stay safe .I am so cognizant
      Of my safety and my daughters,I stepped back in the store and said ,is this not a safe neighborhood?She said oh no it is safe.Prudence and listening and observing is critical today.
      Safety is a critical issue today and we all. Eyed to be more vigilant .Thanks for your very kind words.

  7. “GO GIRL!!!!”
    You are an inspiration.

  8. patientmomma says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I am also a widow and have to do most things myself. My kids help with the hard physical work (cutting wood)when they can, but they work and have families. But let any problem crop up and my kids coming running to mamma’s homestead!

  9. Your story is inspiring. I too am a “senior” on my own – 66 years this month and have only been prepping for a couple of years. My main concern has been food – and the ability to heat my home. I live in a small town (1800 pop) about 30 miles from a larger town for shopping. We do have a small grocery but even now it is often out of basic items so in an emergency it will be empty. One of the things I’ve done is make sure I have a small high mileage car. Gas would still be a problem but less of one. It’s paid for and I look after it well so it will probably last another 10 years. I’ll buy the next one for cash too. I have a 3 month pantry of all the foods I eat on a regular basis and am working to build that to 6 months and then a year. I am not storing MRE’s, rather I am pressure canning soup broth and meals. Takes up more room but tastes way better.
    I know I am part of a very small minority of preppers who don’t have guns. For me it is an ethical boundary. I will not kill another human being for any reason. That might mean my own death but that is the way it is. I just cannot bring myself to cross that boundary.
    I do have prepping friends, one of whom lives “in the woods” although not completely off the grid and they have offered, if I needed to, to come to their home. I’m putting a trailer on my car so that if needed I could move my preps to their place albeit not very camouflaged. If it looked like it was going to end up that way, I would start transferring my preps in stages.
    Thanks for your article. It is certainly inspiring.

    • Rebel in Idaho says:

      Why wouldn’t you kill something that is pure evil? If you had the opportunity to stop a rapist, murderer, or pedophile, why would you prefer to let evil continue rather than kill it?

    • Sisterjudi says:

      I asked my Pastor a few years ago,about thou shall not kill.He said if you or someone is in danger of being killed If I can I must act,meaning Shoot.
      Ethics are a good thing.Truly I have not a clue what I will do in a crisis but for 73 years I can tell you I can and will fight,to the best of my ability if you attempt to hurt my family.
      Sending you hugs.

  10. Fenland Prepper says:

    All I can say is you are an inspiration to us all and God Bless you!

  11. Sideliner 1950 says:

    Judy W, you sound like quite a catch! Well done, and best wishes!

  12. Very inspiring!

  13. Selu Corn Mother says:

    My son bought me a stock to replace the stock on my Mossburg 500 (also .12 gauge) that takes out almost all of the recoil. For my shotgun, it is called a Blackhawk SpecOps Knoxx Gen II recoil reducing stock. It will run you around $100, but knowing you won’t have to pick yourself off the floor might make you less hesitant to use it if the need ever arises.

    • CornMom…. I put one of those on my Mossy20 and it has reduced the recoil to about 8ish lbs. mayhaps less. It has made reload a breeze and it makes it a breeze to hold shoulder, hip or otherwise………..

  14. Judy, absolutely great article. I have one year on you. Grew up the same way. Widowed 7 1/2 years. Have always put back for winters. Now, it goes beyond winters. I, too, was hit 7 months ago in the back at 50 mph. It was a life changing experience. I control the diabetes with the Dr Esselstyn program based on plant based whole foods.

    There is no reason why anyone cannot be prepared even those on food stamps. My neighbor buys dried milk, dried beans, and rice with food stamps. He raises his own meat and butchers it himself. It can be done.

    We older, not old, folks with the help of God can still kick butt!!

    • Oooooh – so impressed. I have tried the Esselstyn program so many times, but have failed. I am not diabetic and not pre-diabetic, but the plant based is SO healthy and smart. Stay lean and mean America! Your life depends on it and in a tough situation your life will depend on it even more.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Yes we can and yes I do.The difference today I am more loving while I kick Butt,lol

  15. “I will not kill another human being for any reason.” Don’t let anyone else know that. You should consider non-lethal means like pepper spray, mace, wasp spray or even a taser. These can slow down your destroyer enough for you to run away.

    • I have found that a Reminton 870 with an 18 inch barrel works very nice for me. Shooting 00 Mag loads or rifeled slugs will end any argument that I can think of. 🙂 Shooting from the hip works as good as any other…

    • Sisterjudi says:

      I kept a taser in my pocket book.I stopped into church to make a visit.I put my hand in to get my rosary and yep I tased myself,and holy wow I saw Jesus.Lesson holster your stun gun and treat ALL weapons as dangerous.
      Stay warm,thanks for posting.

      • Ghost Rider says:

        Good morning Sisterjudi;
        And I know weapon safety is always paramount and your post wasn’t meant to be funny but it made me laugh (seeing Jesus). Reminds me a of story of my friend discharging his mothers pepper spray in the drs office (because he wanted to see if the spray was clear or colored). Police, fire, emt, and hazmat showed up. Its funny now but his mother was not happy at the time.


        • To Sisterjudi and Ghost Rider, several years ago I was cleaning out my bedside table and ran across a very old mace spray container.. I walked outside to see if it would even spray…….but I am a scatterbrain. My perfume was in a spray container the same size as the mace…..so there I stood in the drive in my robe and slippers. I raised the mace and gave it a good spray. Each morning I would do the same with my perfume and then sorta walk into it so that it is spread all over me. Yea, I walked right into the mist of mace with my arms open and head up…………..it certainly didn’t smell or feel like my perfume……..

  16. Prepared Andy says:

    Being alone at any age is hard.

    • Sisterjudi says:

      Many years ago through AA that’s a whole not her story,lol
      I learned,to ask,Jesus into my heart and I would never be alone.Gosh darn it worked.

  17. I am 81 and a widow. Still garden, mow my yard(country)can and deyhrate anything that doesn’t move. You are NEVER too old to take care oof your self.So girl!

  18. grandma bear says:

    Wow! You are my hero! What you have accomplished is nothing short of amazing. I love how you put on your big girl panties and made it happen! I have no room in my life for whiners, you know the ones that “Can’t” or to lazy to get off the sofa to do anything for themselves! Keep up the good fight!
    And remember we are all in this together! God Bless!

  19. James Nelson says:

    The 20 gauge is a good idea , pistol grip not so much. Having the butt stock the proper length for you helps with recoil, many women find that a youth model pump is just right for them.
    If you want to reduce the recoil in your 12 gauge, get reduced recoil buckshot and/or slug loads. Just as effective as regular loads at normal shotgun ranges, the recoil feels closer to a 20.

  20. Christine M says:

    Judy, thanks for sharing. I hope I have your attitude, spunk, and desire to help others when I’m 73. Something to aspire to. LOL your grandson’s comment.

  21. Urbancitygirl says:

    Judy, I am in my 40’s and I absolutely adored your article. Simple living, honesty and hard work are almost dirty words. I am thankful I was taught hard work and my children all are hard working, though not as tough as I am (I sheltered them more than I should have) but, I am doing double time to awaken them to what could happen and to be prepared. It’s a slow process.

    I imagine when we just drive around and really observe, do a little people watching, it’s amazing to notice the filth, the lack of personal responsibility, respect, and broken down buildings, vacancies, etc.

    Just today a car pulled up in front of my house, waited for someone from down the street, and just prior to pulling away, they dumped the equivalent of half of a garbage bag full of trash from their car onto the grass at my curb. Literally, they kicked it all out of their vehicle! I was watching them because I needed to run an errand but since I didn’t recognize them and there were several people in the vehicle, I opted to wait til they left.

    • mountaingypsy says:

      Urban, That story reminds me of what my grandma said, about living poor during the depression, in a city. Anyone can be poor, but you don’t have to be dirty or wear dirty clothes. I despise trashy people like you observed, dumping in your yard. There are no words for people that dump stuff like that, deface property, are dirty, and disrespectful. Too make it worse, kids learn these nasty habits from parents. These things now, are a tip of what to expect from many, later.

  22. Encourager says:

    Thank you Judy for a good, uplifting article. You might want to trade in your 12 gauge shotgun for a 20 gauge. If you are short like me, buy a youth size. It is a perfect fit for me.

  23. Dixie Lee Thomas says:

    Thank you so much dear lady. We moved to the mountains and are so glad we did. Hubby and I prepare income taxes for a loving. He just turned 77 and I am 66. We are Preppers, or trying to be. We have an outside wood heater that runs the hot water into our house and fan blows it through our vents. We also had a hand pump attached to our water well… when without electric, we still can have water. We live along side a river and have raised gardens. We believe in God and being fully armed. God bless you and pray we restore America to freedom, for our kids’ sake and all the younger generations to come. Peace Be With Us All.

  24. Dixie Lee Thomas says:

    Sorry, meant to say living, not loving.
    Hubby and I prepare income taxes for a LIVING, not loving. Ha!
    (about time for us to retire, especially with the A.C.A. * obama)

    • axelsteve says:

      I have a niece who works for Covered California. I know that she hates it when I refer to it as Obamacare. I am not going to dignify it by calling it something positive though. I am not going to call a turd caviar.

  25. ladyhawthorne says:

    A superb article, thank you for sharing your story. If you can do it, so can I!

  26. Wonderful article, as you know by all the responses. You hit it on the head with the responsible and dependable for yourself and your family. It has been changed in our society as unusual if you do take care of yourself and household, there is something wrong with you. We see it in our long time friends. Their answer to a breakdown of society…”we will die”. Our answer is “Unfortunately, you will and we will miss you”.

  27. Good for you Judy…I am 67 and remember those days when a persons word and handshake were their bond. I look at the world around me and am saddened by how things are turning out. We need to keep working and striving and with the lords help we could still make it…..maybe. Thank you for your article. It is inspiring and thoughtful…

  28. Judy,
    Thank you for the article. I admire your determination and grit! I would love to have you for a neighbor! I hope that I can still have your great attitude when I grow up (you do have a few years on me… but not that many!) My wife and I just sat down yesterday to set our yearly goal budget, and to set out ways we can cut some of the unneeded things out- like you did, we have a bad habit of impulse buying, and we’re having to work hard to control it.
    Thanks for the great article, and I hope we see more from you. You are an inspiration. Good luck and God Bless.

  29. what an inspiration you are. I am 66 and live alone in an small urban apartment. I have been a prepper forever and am glad to see other strong older women doing what our grandmothers did every day to survive. although I live in a large city I am ready for what comes and enjoy teaching others whenever I can. keep up the good work.

  30. mountaingypsy says:

    There are many tough, admirable older women around. It is a gift to know one, or be taught by one. Women are great mentors and are usually happy to teach skills, like sewing, gardening, cooking, canning, etc. Women usually end up widowed, so need the confidence and know how. Women need friends, so like minded need to find each other, and not fear the OPSEC so much. A great trusted friend is one, pre prepping as well as now!

  31. Judy;
    Thanks for the great story I wish you were my Neighbor.I would love that.
    You are a great Inspiration.
    keep it up.

  32. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Sure wish more seniors were pro active like you. None of us wants the world to be crap but alas, evil lives everywhere. I recommend a canine companion. Chihuahuas make great alarms, Chinese Chow are very protective, there is a dog for everyone. A Bull Mastive will cause an intruder to go into cardiac arrest. Just saying. Great article!

  33. Forget the gun. I want her address. I want to marry this woman. She is an ole farts dream.

  34. Teresa Farrow says:

    I wanted to add…we too were taught welfare was a dirty word. It was even a shame to stand in line for commodities. When our house burnt and we lost everything, we had to get clothing from a wonderful local charity, Charity Newsies. We were instructed not to tell anyone where we got the clothing. Interesting mind set.

    When the school gave us free books and free lunch before such things existed, my mother ironed the priests’ garments in exchange. I see nothing wrong with earning your assistance.

  35. I would like to learn more from her or talk to her. I have been prepping. Money is limited to get things & do things. I’m 61 years old. I have some water collected, food, protection, sleeping bags, tents, all kinds of camping gear, & seeds. Plus some farm animals & I’m not strong enough either but always looking for ideas & ways. She is my kind of lady. I can care for me & mine.

  36. test dummy says:

    i sure wish i had neighbors like the pack! i have been lurking for 4 years. i had to comment on the shotgun as i am a grndma myself. i recently decided it was time to get rid of my long barrel 10 gauge 1) i think im done with hunting sandhill crane.(though i do love a rib eye from the sky).2)last time i fired it more than a couple of times i felt like i had been kicked by a.mule.3)most importantly it frees up money for other preps ie. quail and rabbits. and maybe a smaller caliber gun for things eazier to hunt such as squirel. hang in there and keep preppn and teaching the younger generations.

  37. Judi
    Thank you for the memories!

  38. Chuck Findlay says:

    It’s amazing (and sad) how many of us live alone. When I was younger I always thought I would be married for life, but it was not to be so. Reading how many in this post say they are alone shows how the family has been destroyed.

  39. Judy…you are my idol…it is really hard to keep motivated and you have given me a boost to keep going..with terrorist in France it seems as though it is happening sooner than later.. Our government seems to have their heads in the sand…I am like most preppers, I am doing this because I worry about seeing my children and grandchildren hungry or hurt……thanks for the message and I am keeping on keeping on…..

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