Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American Pokeweed

Image result for american pokeweed
 
This time we are talking about American Pokeweed. At one time this was a heavily eaten plant. So much so that companies actually commercially canned pokeweed. The Allen company canned a lot of poke. I tried to find a photo of the old cans that I could legally share but I didn't find any.
 
Poke can be cooked as a pot herb but the most common way they are eaten is with scrambled eggs. A nutritional powerhouse. This plant must be processed correctly or it can make you quite sick.
 
 
There are also several ways it can be used as an herbal medicine. In fact, I really need to make some extract. I have promised some to friends of mine.
 
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.
 
Bringing Rural Back.
 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Direct Sow, Seed Starts, or Buying Transplants

 
Today we are going to talk about the pros and cons of direct sow, seed starts, and buying transplants. Each have their own strong points and weeknesses. They vary on cost as well as time to harvest. Which is best for you? You will have to make that decision. I hope you enjoy the video.
 

 
I have used a mix of all three. My goal for next year is to not purchase any plants. We are adding a greenhouse this fall and will be producing not only our own plants, but will have some for sale as well. This is just another step we are taking to become as sustainable as possible and serve our local community with the highest possible quality plants. Wish us luck.
 
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Passion for Teaching

 
What makes a person create content to share to the world? What energizes a person to share the stories of their life, their views and belief systems? Is it profit? Ego? I mean think about it. It takes a lot of time and effort for someone tho to edit photos, write up a post, set up a video, do a podcast, anything like that on a consistent basis. Why would anyone in their right mind put themselves through all of this and subject themselves to the trolls and spammers? I am going to tell you and I am going to fill you in on some secrets.
 
 

Why we do this.

A person doesn't spend this much time and effort on something unless they are passionate about the subject. For every video, blog post, or podcast there is normally hours of research. Think about that. A 10 minute video may entail a minimum of 45 minutes of reseach, sometimes as much as 2 hours. It has to be a passion. If it isn't, you the reader, listener, or viewer will know it and you won't pay attention.
 
A content creator has to want to teach and share what they are doing in order to stay motivated. It has to be something deep inside of them.
 

It's not for the money.

There are a few (a very small precentage), that make a living writing, on YouTube, or podcasting. Most do it simply for the joy. Most people who are content creators make the bulk of their living from other activities. Some write books, some are virtual assistants, some sell training courses, but most have a regular full time job to go along with what they are shareing.
 
I am going to let you in on a little secret, and I will be honest I am a little nervous about it. If my income from the blog stays at the current rate I will make a whopping $41 this year. That's right I said $41 total. From the YouTube channel I will make about $151 this year and that is up from last year.
 
Why did I tell you that? To let you know that in the niche of Homesteading and Preparedness content creators, they are doing it because they want to spread a message and to help others. It is as simple as that. They can supplement their income by helping you find products that you will use or by directing you to learning opportunities, but in general any money earned is a trickle.
 

When a creator wants to do more.

As I stated above, if a content creator wants to expand their teaching and possibly make more money in the process they have to move into other areas. Books and courses tend to be the primary methods for creators to increase their income. Increased income means they aren't as reliant on a traditional job, which means they can produce more and better content.
 
I myself have come to this place. I may be slower than most, but that is okay. I have set my sights on producing PDFs on wild edible and herbal plants. This will enable anyone who is interested to create their own foraging notebook. That is just step 1. Step 2 would be an eBook and step 3 is a printed workbook. In order to make this happen, I need some help. We have a Kickstarter running. The Kickstarter ends July 4, 2017. You can watch the informational video below.
 

 

 
We are over halfway to our first goal. If you can help us out with a contribution, thank you so much. If you can't help with contribution but are willing to help by sharing the campaign to help us get the word out, thank you as well. I believe in this project and would love to have your help.
 
Thank you,
 
Bringing Rural Back 


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wild Edible and Herbal Plants: Cattails

 
Cattails are awesome and have lots of uses. Tender shoots and stalks can be eaten. Seed heads can be eaten and are similar to corn. Roots can be processed and used as a flour or a flour extender.
 
Mature heads can be used as a tender, heads can be soaked in melted animal fat or kerosene and used as a torch. Leaves (blades) can be used to make baskets. Plus cattails help treat and filter water. This is a plant that is well worth knowing about.
 

 
We would love to have you join us over at YouTube. We have lots of things going on over there.
 
Bringing Rural Back
 
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Microclimates on the Homestead


Lots of things cause micro climates on the homestead. Trees, terrain, even building create little areas where the climate is a little different. In some cases the difference is a lot more than you would expect.

In this video we talk about microclimates on my little homestead, how I plant to take advantage of them and mistakes i have made because of them. I hope you enjoy.


 
I hope this has gotten you thinking about the things on your own homestead and the differences that are created by solar exposure, orientation, and terrain.
 
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters





This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

Lambs quarters is considered by many to be a noxious weed. Those poor people don't realize what they are missing. It is one of the most nutritious wild edibles there are. A hearty, fast growing annual that has almost world wide distribution. Lots to learn about this one.

It is so nutritious and hearty that many people have begun to plant it. Amazon has a seed packet that includes seeds from this useful plant. Check out the video for more information about this plant.



I really like lambsquarters as part of a salad. This plant can have oxalic acid in it so raw consumption should be in small quantities. Cooked or steamed the flavor is very similar to spinach, at least to me. 

Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.

Step by Step we are Bringing Rural Back

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Blackberry

Wild Edibles

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks


It won't be long before the berry deliciousness of blackberries will be coming in. So many memories are wrapped around picking berries. There used to be a place not far from the house that was called the bone yard. A man who owned 1000's of acres and dairy farmed hauled all of his sick, dead, and dying cattle to the bone yard. For some reason that place produced the biggest and sweetest blackberries. It also produced some of the biggest rattlesnakes I have ever seen in person, as well as billions of chiggers. My dad was more susceptible to chiggers than I. There were times he would be covered with the little parasites.

Few things are better than blackberry jam or cobbler.

Blackberries are a biannual plant meaning they produce fruit in their second year. The wild varieties have thorns that will tear you up. Some are sour, some are sweat. Wild varieties can be improved by taking a minimum amount of care. I have also seen blackberries used as a hedge and it makes a very impressive one at that.

Many people know about the berries, but few know of the uses of the other parts of the plant. Hope you enjoy and learn something.




Depending on where you are, the blackberries could be ripening now or in the near future. Cobbler is without any doubt my favorite way to eat blackberries, well besides fresh if the berries are sweet. As an added bonus. I am going to share my recipe for blackberry/peach cobbler. The combination of these two fruits makes the cobbler even more special.

          Ingredients:
  •  1 1/2 cup self rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar divided
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 cups fresh peaches sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries washed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
Preheat Oven to 375 

Crust:

Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, milk, and butter. Mix well should be thick even on the crumbley side.

Filling:

in a saucepan put peaches and 3/4 cup of sugar over medium high heat. Once sugar has melted and peaches have begun to soften add blackberries cook for approximately 2 minutes more. Remove from heat add vanilla, lemon juice and stir.

Place fruit mixture in bottom of 9X9 glass baking dish, spoon crust mixture on top. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Note: Fruit mixture will probably show through in several spots.

Best with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Many more to come. Consider subscribing to the YouTube channel and as always any shares and comments are appreciated. If you would like to support our efforts to teach some of the old ways and are planning on buying something on Amazon anyway, please use this link. We receive a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Thanks a bunch.

Step by Step we are Bringing Rural Back

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Queen Anne's Lace or Wild Carrot

Wild Edible Plants

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

This is the first of the wild edible plants that I discovered as an adult. The discovery was made by accident. I was pulling several of the plants up when I realized it smelled just like a carrot and the root looked very similar as well. As a result of that observation I was on to more research. I have always been a plant geek and had a desire to be constantly learning. The original post  that contains a full write up has been pinned more times than a hand me down dress pattern on Pinterest. Nothing else comes even close. There is so much to know about this plant. 


I guess you can tell I am starting to get comfortable recording videos and am letting my personality shine through. 

Remember this one has a toxic look a like that can kill you! Be careful. If it doesn't smell like a carrot leave it be. The correct plant have a lot of uses. I encourage you to save all of these. Start a foraging Pinterest board, I have been told you can download the videos, that is fine.

If you enjoyed this video, please consider subscribing to the YouTube channel, like the video, or share the video or this post. If you would like to support our efforts to teach country skills and you are planning on purchasing something from Amazon anyway, use this link. As you can tell, I am not a person that likes a hard sell.

Together we can Bring Rural Back

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Broadleaf Plantain

wild edible and medicinal

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

This is actually the first wild medicinal I was ever introduced to. I remember we were working with the bee hives and my gloves weren't taped up right. My grandfather only wore a hood and nothing else. I got a be up the sleeve of my shirt. Of course it stung me. My grandfather just pulled a leaf from this plant, chewed it a little and put it on the sting. The pain went away very quickly. We didn't know the real name of the plant and it took me a bit to find out what it was. We just called it the sting plant. I have since made sure that this plant is around. There are even people who have asked for seeds. This plant has so many benefits and uses it should be at the top of your list to know.

 

Two of our children actually got involved in the filming of this video. So many good times can be had outside learning about the plants that are around you all the time. I hope these videos will encourage you to do so, especially with your children. I am happy to say that all of my children know and have used this valuable plant. 

It you enjoyed this video, please consider subscribing to the YouTube channel, liking and/or sharing the video itself or this post. If you would like to help support our efforts to teach people about the beneficial  plants around us and just go old country skills, you can do so anytime you purchase anything from Amazon by using this link. If you do so we are paid a small commission and it doesn't cost you any extra. Every little bit helps and we thank you for it. 

Together we can bring back some of the old knowledge.

Step by Step we are Bringing Rural Back.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Dove's Foot Geranium





This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

Dove's Foot Geranium is another of the wild edible/medicinal plants that my grandfather introduced me to. He taught me about this one after I had gotten a little older, only he called is Crane's Bill. Luckily that is a fairly common name for this plant. I didn't realize how important this plant was to Europeans until I started doing research to record this video. Not very tasty, I have to admit, but the historic medicinal uses make it well worth knowing.

 

At this point I had learned that I had to have a disclaimer on every wild edible plant video. I guess you could say that I was getting more professional, I guess. This plant is considered by many to be invasive, but there are still people who plant it on purpose.

I hope you enjoyed the video. If you did, please consider subscribing. If you would like to help support us in teaching old timey and rural skills and you plan on purchasing something from Amazon anyway, using the link will pay us a small commission  at no additional cost to you. Every little bit helps and we greatly appreciate it.

Step by Step we are Bringing Rural Back

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wild Edible Wednesday: Woodberry or Wild Strawberry

wild strawberry

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

In this edition of of Wild Edible Wednesday we cover woodberry or wild strawberry. There is no other plant that I answer more questions about on social media posts. It is quite edible, can be used to make a drink, and many other uses. There is not much flavor, but still well worth knowing. 


I promise you will see improvement in the information and the quality of the videos as we go along. I have learned a ton while trying to teach others. Not only have I learned more about wild edible plants, I have also learned a good bit about YouTube itself. 

There are lots more to come. If you enjoyed this consider subscribing to the YouTube channel. 


If you would like to help support us in teaching old timey and rural skills and you plan on purchasing something from Amazon, using the link will pay us a small commission  at no additional cost to you. 

Step by Step together We are Bringing Rural Back

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Wood Sorrel

My favorite wild edible plant

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

I are going to try something a little different. I really haven't had a lot of time to write, even though I love it. Not only have I had a change of employment, I am also in the planning stages of a new business. As a way to keep content coming to you we are going to post some of the videos that we have made over the past couple of years. We are going to post them in order by topic.

To kick off this idea, I am going to share with you the first ever wild edible video that I recorded. You will notice the orientation of the camera stinks and the quality isn't that good, but that video is what started it all. As we go through the videos you will notice several changes. I hope most of the changes were for the better.

The plant we will be discussing is Wood Sorrel (Oxalis) aka sour grass. It has always been a favorite from childhood. Fairly wide spread plant, with lots of vitamin C. This is the first wild edible plant my grandfather introduced me to so it holds a special place for me.



I hope you enjoyed the video. If you did, please consider subscribing. If you would like to help support us in teaching old timey and rural skills and you plan on purchasing something from Amazon, using the link will pay us a small commission  at no additional cost to you. 

Step by Step we are Bringing Rural Back

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Seed for Thought #2 Marriage License





In this episode of A Seed for Thought we talk about a bill passed by the Alabama Senate that would do away with state issued marriage license. I like the idea, but I want to know what you thing. I do want you to watch the video first.



Bringing Rural Back

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Seed for Thought #1 Freedom




We have started a new video series on our YouTube channel. We have called it A Seed for Thought. Any topic can be covered. Some are just observations and some are our reactions to things in the news. I hope you enjoy and join in the conversation




Bringing Rural Back

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Death of Retail?




Bringing Rural Back Podcast
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links we will receive a small commission, but it won't cost you any extra. This is a small way you can help us continue to produce content. Thanks

Just last week JC Penny announced that it would be closing stores and offering early retirement for F6000 employees, Macy's announced they would be closing some of their stores, Family Christian Stores are closing all of their locations. Sounds rough right, well that is only the beginning. Sears/Kmart close a few more stores every single year and Lowe's is laying off full-time employees in an attempt to "restructure" their staffing model.

After all of these announcements I saw a blog article entitled "Retail Apocalypse". Now I will be honest I didn't read it, the title alone was enough for me to just smile and move along. But there is a question out there that is worth answering. Are we seeing the death of retail? Sadly this is not a new question. Just a quick internet search renders lots of people proclaiming the death of retail. I'm not just talking about fringe blogs here either. Forbes in 2014 posted an article entitled "The Death of Retail--And Perhaps a Resurrection", The very next year Forbes had an article entitled "Don't Buy the Death of Retail Story" So the same publication contradicted itself in the period of a little over a year. Which is true?



The Changing Consumer

There are really two primary types of shoppers. Those shopper types are the things that determine their method about a purchasing decision. There is the efficient shopper and the experience shopper.

The Efficient Shopper

The efficient shopper really is all that worried about the atmosphere. As long as it is safe and clean that is really all that is required. The efficient shopper does all of their research ahead of time, limits their options to only a couple and then wants to go somewhere that they will be able to compare their product finalists. For these people shopping is a chore not an adventure. Shopping really is about getting the things they need or want in a timely manner. These people hate having to spend hours out shopping. They are more of a get in, get it, and get out personality.

The efficient shopper is the least important to the retail corporations. They are typically the ones who spend just enough money to get the items they want. I am pretty solidly in this group as is my wife.

The Experience Shopper

 The experience shopper is the one retailers love. The search and discovery of an item is part of the joy of shopping. These are the people that will dedicate an entire day to getting a new outfit. For these people it is relaxing and even rewarding to spend hours looking for this or that. I have known people that spent time each week for over a month looking for a pair of shoes. There is an emotional component to their search. If they don't have an emotional reaction to the item, they won't buy it.

The experience shopper is the group for which malls and shopping centers were created. They are also the ones that sales were created for. If they want a new pair of shoes, but are unwilling to spend $100 for the ones they want, a simple sign of 15% of can be enough to sway them.The emotional part of them is convinced they got a bargain. This is true even if the price went up a week before the sale and they really didn't save very much at all. All that matters is they think they have saved money.

Division of Shoppers Within Each Type

I am going to further talk about shopping habits here and how they have an impact on the retail market. The following list of sub types of consumers that you will find in both the efficent shopper and the experience shopper.

Price Only Shopper

The price only shopper is one of the biggest problems for the retail market. If they were to look at 2 products that have the same function, say on is $3 and one is $10. The less expensive one is made of cheaper material and will honestly last about 3 years. The one that is $10 is made of much more durable materials and is likely to last say 15 years. The price only shopper will automatically go to the $3 item. Very little consideration is given to quality or longevity of the product.

The Value Shopper

This is the area that I try to be in most of the time, but I will admit that I bounce back and forward between price only and value. The value shopper is one who is willing to pay more for quality. The quality must be consistent with the increase in price. It must meat the ratio of product life expectancy to price. It must be a superior value. For example if a $5 item will last one year and a $10 item 2 years eccetera there is really not enough motivation to purchase the higher priced item because the value is the same.

T-shirts are an excellent example for this. I can go to the local big department store and purchase a t-shirt for $5. It is made of very thin material, it may have a cool design on it, but for regular use its life expectancy is at most one year. However I have t-shirts that I spent $12 dollars for has lasted me over 10 years. That is value.

The Prestige Shopper

These are the people that are logo/name brand focused. They have to have this designer or that. Some of these people even get part of their identity from the brands they buy. These are the people that are catered to by the upper end retailers and are honestly the primary target of the sales. Each group can benefit from a sale, but the prestige shopper is the primary target. These people are proud of spending large amounts of money on items because they have a designers name.


Both Types of Shoppers are Changing

With increased access and familiarity to online shopping has come a major shift of behavior for all of the customer types and sub-types listed above. The more online shopping improves the more pressure that will be placed on brick and mortar retail sellers. Online retail will continue to grow.

Convenience

There is something just really cool about being able to shop in your pjs anytime you want. No need to get up, or dressed or anything. When you add the benefits to online programs like Amazon Prime, which provided free 2 day delivery for most items, it is difficult to argue against online shopping. We personally love Amazon Prime.

Selection

The average brick and mortar retail location can have between 50,000 and 125,000 items on site. The same retailer may have in excess of 3 million items available online. Rather that driving all over the place and looking for "the item" sometimes even visiting the same store just different locations. You can fine whatever you want online with a few clicks of your mouse.

Price

In general online shopping is going to be less expensive. The reason is quite simple, OVERHEAD.
The companies that are exclusively online are always open, 24 hours a day 7  days a week. They don't have the expense of location scattered across the countryside. They don't need as many employees. Utilities costs, insurance costs, labor costs, really all of the costs of operating a business are much lower. These lower costs are what make lower prices available online.

How Does This Effect Us


Obviously if we work in retail our jobs are less secure that at any time in history. If not, we will be being pushed to online purchases. All online purchases are traceable so there will be greater data available about our purchasing habits.

There is no doubt that retail is changing, and companies that can change with the trend will do well. I do believe that we will see lots more store closures, but at the end of the day retail will not go away but it may change forms.

Bringing Rural Back

If you are having trouble finding our podcast, my favorite app for podcasts is Podcast Addict for android and iTunes for Apple products.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I'm Back Episode 56 Dealing With Adversity



You can subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher or iTunes 
 I really hate that I am having to do an I'm back post. In fact I started not to do one at all. But as I look around I realize a lot of people are or have gone through the same things we have. So I decided I would share what we went though. I hope you get something out of this.
.
The last time I posted an episode was last April. At the time I was working nights and still trying to produce content. My heart was in the right place but I couldn't stay consistent. I was making okay money, but my energy level for almost everything else was in the tank.
The Friday before Independence Day I was called into the office after my shift was over and basically told they no longer needed my services and I was being let go. Calling my wife that morning and telling her that I no longer had a job was very difficult.
If you haven't heard me say this before let me state here emphatically that my wife a awesome. She was incredibly supportive and never even appeared to doubt that I would land on my feet. With her encouragement, I looked at this time as an opportunity and that is important.

What I learned

Something that I had always heard, but really didn't believe was that the older you get the more difficult it is to fine employment. When I was dismissed from the company for which I had worked for over 5 years, I hit the ground running. I didn't sit around for a single day without looking for opportunities, submitting resumes, filling out applications. Since I had this sudden freedom I started shooting for the really good jobs that I really wanted. I was qualified, for everything that I applied, but I shot for the moon.
After a couple of weeks with no employment, a buddy of mine asked if I had thought about getting into insurance. I had not, not at all. I have had some bad experiences with insurance agents and just couldn't imagine trying to sell things to people they didn't want. He told me that stigma was really on the life insurance market, he was talking about property insurance. This is the area for automotive and home insurance, but he told me if I really wanted opportunities to open up to study and take the test for Property and Casualty. This covers business insurance, worker's compensation, automotive both private and commercial, as well as several other areas.
I did a little research and decided that maybe, just maybe I could take my outlook on the world and be one of the "good" insurance agents. I signed up for a self study course and passed the course. I scheduled and paid for the state exam and passed it as well. I learned more about the insurance industry than I really ever cared to know, but it was worth wild.
One thing that I learned was that a lot of people, especially in the poorer areas will let their insurance lapse during November and December so they can spend that money on the holidays. That means that the holidays are the time of year that many insurance agents make the least money. When you take that in addition to most insurance agents are paid on a commission based salary, my wife was not happy. There is the opportunity to make incredible money, but there is also the opportunity to make very little.
I want to state something right here. Security is an illusion. I know that, my wife knows that, we have talked about it a good bit, but she believes that somethings are more secure than others. This isn't a lack of faith in me, this is a lack of faith in an industry. After I passed the state exam I talked with a few agents about working with them and they all wanted to wait till after the new year for the reasons mentioned above. We needed me to have employment before that.
Another friend asked if I was still looking for a job and said that there was a department in the company that he worked for that needed help pretty bad. He did warn me that is was a hard job, he was right. But I took it and before long moved into a job that was much better on me physically.
So we made it through without too much difficulty. Why were we able to do that? Were we just lucky? Do we live in an area that is more economically vigorous that other places? Or is there some secret ingredient?  I would be foolish if I said the local economy didn't have some impact, but I believe the "secret ingredient is how we dealt with the challenges we faced.


Tools For Dealing With Adversity

Attitude

You have probably heard the saying that Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude. This is true to a major extent. When some challenge arises, our reaction sets the tempo for our recovery. Some people sit down and cry, others protest or picket, others just pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start off again. You can see all of these responses around you everyday.
Too many people want to say that everything that happens to them is someone else's fault. Something may be, but honestly who cares who is to blame for set backs. No one should expect someone else to rescue them. We are all responsible for our own successes and failures. Personal power is our own.

Inventory

There are some people that have a great attitude while going through difficulties that eventually give up because they really don't know what their assets are. What is the person good at? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Where are areas they can improve?
Like I said earlier, I saw the sudden job loss as an opportunity. I looked at my education, experience, interpersonal and physical skills, and I decided that it would be a good idea to enhance my education in the area of insurance.  Without an honest inventory of yourself you really don't know where you could use improvement. We should always want to improve so we should always know the areas that need the most improvement.

Outlook

You might think that attitude and outlook are the same thing. They are not. They can be related, but they are not the same. Attitude is the way you respond, think, and to some extent feel about what is going on right now. Outlook is the way you see, think, and plan for/about the future. This is where the word vision can come into play. This is as much a plan as anything. Lewis Carroll in Alice In Wonderland had a line that was said the the Cheshire cat. "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". This is so true and this is directly related to outlook.

Determination

Determination could be as the grease that keeps a person moving. Without determination a person could simply be going through the motions without any real passion or drive. It is the force that helps a person get up and keep going even when they don't feel like it. Without determination all of the other assets are worth much less. Could you imagine only trying when you feel like it? It wouldn't take long before a person like that never feels like it.

Know You Limitations

This is the one that is most difficult for me. I have always thought I could power through anything. But honestly there are some things I just cannot physically do. This is an evaluation of each of the items in your personal inventory. Sometimes you must change your goals, your process, and yes sometimes you even have to change your direction.

Never Give Up

We as a society have made it too easy to just give up. The unemployment numbers that are reported every single week do not include the people who have stopped actively seeking employment. They have given up and are no longer even counted.
Be willing to start over as many times as necessary. Always evaluate and re-evaluate all of the things I mentioned above. Be constantly improving yourself in some way. But Never Ever give up.
Bringing Rural Back

You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. We now have a YouTube channel and we cover all sorts of things. Hop on over and check them out, oh and don't forget to subscribe. I have just joined Instagram if you would like you can follow us HERE. We will be sharing several things over the next year, I hope to see you there.