Hey everybody, it's been a while. Sorry I did not post about my intent to fall off the grid for a bit but when I did I was not in a place mentally to explain, I knew I had enough of phones, internet, TV, fax machines, and even electricity. Months back I lost my job. Actually, I had just recieved a large raise and an outstanding review. Then weeks later I got called in and was told I had to be let go. It was a completely unforseen event. A day after it happened I was told by a friend of mine who is in upper management it was because the company was way overextended and was wondering how they would meet payroll so they had to get rid of the higher earners in each area of operations. Since I just got the raise, it put me in that category. Knowing we could meet the financial obligations with my wife's job, I decided that would be a good oppertunity to completely fall off the grid and actually live a primitive lifestyle for a while so I could learn what I would need to do to ensure the continuity and safety of my family. I have a primitive camp with a 14'x18' cabin on the backside of the property. I have a single lane path that goes out to it. So, my wife continued to work while I stayed out there. When the kids needed to be watched she would bring them out and when there were family events I had to attend I would come out of seclusion for that and go right back in when they were over. While out there I did everything needed to live. I ate game and used canned goods for vegetables (ya cant grow much in upstate NY when there is snow on the ground), tanned hides, and cut firewood. When the weather started to change I made a large garden, 40'x55'. I spent quite a bit of time preparing multiple fresh water sources and purification methods. I also spent a healthy amount of time throwing hawk as I think that is a great defense tool especially for the psych aspect of it. I made a capote (blanket coat) and a set of moccasins. I made a couple meat dehydrators and fixed one up to dry fruits and veggies. I made great use of typical dry goods one would stock up on for SHTF situations (flour, rice, beans, sugar, tea, coffee). I also spent a great deal of time on defensive posturing and of course shooting. Friends would come out once in a while to check on me and they would bring a bottle of whiskey we could sip. My wife came out quite a bit and would bring the kids so I never went more than a day or two without seeing them. Of course she likes the idea that I am ensuring the safety of the family so IF something happens, we are ready. She also was quite concerned about me losing my job because I have always been of the opinion that it is a mans job to have a job and support his family, when that was taken away it was a hard hit to me. I needed to do something to feel like I was moving the family in a positive direction. At this point I can safely say we are all set. We have plenty of food on hand and can easily and readily obtain more. We have many ways to get and purify drinking water. We have many options for shelter besides our primary residence. We have a good supply of tools and materials. I even figured out a snazzy way to render down animal fats that will work in some of the larger oil lamps. Though it is a sooty flame, it still lights up and stays lit. I have many places where firewood is stored around the property and they double as protective hides with clear lanes of fire for hunting or defense. Now I am back at the ranch and answering about 800 e-mails and going into the ole computer history to reconnect with everyone. I got the resume put together and have been applying to various companies around the area. I am hoping to get a job sometime soon so life can return to something a little closer to normal and I can start restocking and beefing up supplies and ready reserves. I still go out to the camp at least 2 days a week to ensure everything keeps going (garden, water, waste management, composting, etc.). Unknown to me the wife worked the garden at the house so that is looking GREAT. If everything yields as well as it looks, we will be canning up a LOT of good stuff this year. Sorry I didnt let you folks in on what I was up to but when I said I was falling off the grid, I did so immediately and definitively. I will pop in regularly to chit chat and be my annoying self. Talk to you all soon.