First, I hope you are celebrating Memorial Day (Decoration Day) in the spirit once intended. Thank you to all who have served, and sacrificed everything for us. We remember you, even though others may have forgotten.
Second, there's been a lot going on, hence my absence. I hope to be able to share much of it with you once it is done. In the meantime, if you own your own home (or even if you're still paying a mortgage), you need to look into your state's laws regarding Homestead Declarations. You can find an easy link to your state's particulars on this page. If it is valid in your state, you can do an easy search on the web to find the forms and instructions on filing the forms. MotherEarthNews has an article explaining the concept in detail.
After reading the article, I'm sure you'll be able to see the advantages of spending a few dollars to file the form.
If you're in California, click here for forms and instructions.
Third, you need to watch this movie, Urban Danger (click here). It is available in its entirety on the web. Make time to watch it, especially if you are generations removed from people who lived through The Great Depression.
My father was born in 1921. My brother and I were constantly harangued as children about how spoiled we were (late 1960's -1970's). We'd get the speeches about having to wade through 8 ft snowbanks in a heatwave and having to walk 10 miles uphill going to and coming home from school. If they were lucky, they got a ride with Old Man Smith taking the hogs to market.
They had to ride in the back with the hogs.
But there were more serious, and ominous discussions about what it was like in the Depression, World War II and its aftermath.
My mother also would tell us stories about Japan once the bombing raids began, and the severe rationing during the late stages of the war, and after Japan's surrender. Mom, some family and friends, ran a black market operation dealing in food in post war Japan. My mother was once apprehended with about 40 lbs of rice and was being pressured by the police to reveal its source. The officer interrogating mom was called out of the room, and when he returned, he apologized and returned the rice and let my mother go. She was fourteen.
One thing I've learned from listening to these stories, if you're stuck in an urban area, is you need to keep the cops on your side. Much has been made about how Al Capone controlled the Chicago Police. What they don't tell you is that, in addition to starting the first soup kitchen and feeding an estimated three to four thousand people a week, Al was feeding the families of the average beat cop every week during the Depression.
Food is control.