As the price of gasoline at the pump rises, we are told that there really is nothing that we can do to alleviate the problem other than extracting more petroleum than we have and according to the oil producers, because they can’t just turn on the spigot to get more, we either have to pay what they say and have increased prices at an alarming rate.
However, what they are telling us doesn’t make sense. Why should the prices be going up so much? According to statistics, the United States only used four percent of Russian oil. The question becomes why is it that if the United States is the biggest producer of the world’s oil that we need to import any oil in the first place and what can we do to fight back to avoid paying those prices.
This increase in price has little to do with the manufacturing sector because our country’s manufacturing sector has been decreasing over the past several decades. Yes, we use plastics and other petroleum products, but much of it is made in China, so we can’t blame manufactured petroleum products for that. Much of what we use is based on personal energy consumption. If we want to fight back on the price of energy, let’s start in our own homes where we have at least some control.
What we can do is something that we learned two years ago. At the beginning of the pandemic, we learned a very important lesson concerning our use of petroleum products that we learned that we can utilize now. Stay home or at least close to home and decrease the demand for oil and price will come down.
But most people are tired of staying home. Are there other alternatives to not being able to travel?
Over the next several weeks, I will be addressing these issues in some very practical ways that if more people in the US does them, the demand for crude oil will go down and we’ll pay less at the pump.
There are numerous ways we can save money on energy, and they are not necessarily as painful as the American oligarchy would suggest. All we need to do is develop a few habits that decrease our need for petroleum through the decrease in energy use to make it so that we wouldn’t need to ever use that source of foreign oil. This week we’ll be discussing how you can save on home energy costs.
The Use of Energy in Our Homes
Many areas to save energy exist within our homes and this is a good place to start decreasing our dependence on petroleum. First, we must learn how we actually use energy. Here’s the breakdown of the average usage of energy in the home. Here in the United States, we use 47% of our home energy for cooling and heating, 14 percent for water heating, 13 percent for clothes washing and drying, 12% for lighting, 4 percent for running the refrigerator. The other 10 percent is used in cooking and entertainment.
Decreasing Energy Use at Home
Heating and Cooling-We can decrease our energy use at home very easily if we just start changing a few small habits. We can turn down the thermostat by a few degrees in the winter and raise it a few degrees. If you were to adjust your temperatures when you’re not there and at night, you’ll cut energy costs by one percent for every eight hours for every degree you adjust the temperature up or down.
If you have some money to invest, and you own your own home, insulation will also improve the efficiency of the energy used as will getting a high-efficiency furnace.
Living in a smaller home that has good insulation and a high-efficiency furnace is a better investment than a large home of equal efficiency.
Water heating can be improved by finding ways to use less hot water. This can be done by timing your showers to make them as short as possible, not running hot water any longer than possible. If you have some money to invest in your energy, consider insulating your pipes, getting a more energy-efficient water heater, or better yet, getting an on-demand water heater where you’re not dragging hot water down yards of pipe.
Washing and Drying Clothes-The cost of washing and drying clothes can be decreased by using cold water to wash only full loads of clothes and using a clothesline to dry your clothes.
Lighting can be decreased by turning off lights that we’re not using and using the most energy-efficient light bulbs that we can. Use a flashlight instead of a nightlight. Turn off the porchlight when you’re not expecting anyone to need it. Use solar lighting instead of on-grid power for outdoor lighting. Use motion sensing light instead of constant lighting.
The Refrigerator-though the refrigerator only uses a small 4 percent of our home energy bill, there are ways to decrease the cost of refrigeration. First, purchase an energy-efficient refrigerator and only have as big of a refrigerator as you need. Second, don’t open the refrigerator any more than you have to, and don’t keep it open longer than necessary.
The Final Ten Percent-Numerous things can be done to decrease that last ten percent of energy usage. First, decrease fantom energy usage. Unplug appliances that you’re not using. Use smaller appliances rather than using the cooking range when possible. Smaller appliances often use less than half what the range uses because the range runs on 220 current (if electric) whereas the appliances use 110 current. Use the cooktop instead of the oven, when possible, as well. If you are using the oven, do all the baking all at once.
What Suggestions Do You Have for Saving on Home Energy Costs?
I’m sure that this one article has not been all-inclusive regarding how I can save energy used in my home. What have you done to decrease the energy usage in your home?
Next week, I’ll be talking about how we can decrease energy usage regarding how we get our food. Be sure to like and follow this blog to explore how we can save energy on an individual level.
Twenty million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in the second half of 2021. This occurred because many Americans had time to get off the treadmill long enough to realize that they didn’t want to and didn’t have to work as slave labor to support someone else’s dream. They decided that they wanted to decide for themselves where they wanted to work or whether they wanted to work at all. I am a part of this great migration from working for “the man”.
I Am Part of the Great Resignation
Since March 2020, I have been away from the nine to five grind and living on our acre and half. At first, I was putting the house in order. While I lived in a travel trailer on our property, I had our trailer set up and painted it on the inside. I worked the garden area and canned what I could. I set up shelving to hold our home-canned jars and the store-bought items I bought in bulk. We picked blackberries.
In 2021, while continuing to garden, I started selling my books and several kinds of cookies at the local farmer’s market. I have also been working part-time as a substitute teacher and last September, I started collecting early social security. About the same time, I published another book about gardening and have had some decent success. In September I published my book The Survival Garden. I was surprised at how many sales I was able to make between September and December.
Coming Back from a Small Set Back
The forward motion slowed, however. This past winter, I have started cutting into my savings a little. Between the fact that I have had to spend more on our heating fuel (we heat with wood) and for groceries and gasoline, things have cost me more than I expected. In addition, my computer started falling apart. It happened first in November and then the screen fell apart again in December. I waited for the entire month of January for the repairman to let me know that it was ready, but that never happened. At the beginning of February, I decided to purchase a new computer which is what I am working on now. I probably shouldn’t have waited even that long.
Now that spring is in the air, I am hopeful about the future. We have already been getting ready for next year’s gardening season. Last fall I planted regular garlic and elephant garlic and it is up and growing. We have planted our potatoes in three different ways and have pepper and tomato plants growing nicely. Soon we’ll be planting onions, peas, and shortly after that corn.
My book sales have also started to grow again after just a few sales in January and February. I have started experimenting with marketing methods and have found some benefits to those methods. I will be giving more later as time goes on.
In March, I finished writing an eBook I call The Four-Seasons Vegetable Garden in which I tell about the various ways that I am developing a vegetable growing system in which I can grow all of my own vegetables throughout the year. Check it out! And while you’re at it, check out my other books-fiction as well as nonfiction at my Author Central Page.
Is Being Part of the Great Resignation Worth It?
It’s not like I couldn’t go back and do what I was doing before the pandemic hit. I still could, but I have decided that I don’t want to go back to the way things were. I like the fact that I don’t have to punch a time clock every day. I like the fact that I can greet the morning on my own terms. That’s not to say that I’m not working. I have probably worked harder over the past two years than any time in my life and I am happy with what I am doing. I love gardening and I love writing. I feel fulfilled and that is a great feeling.
Now It’s Your Turn!
How about you? Did the pandemic make you re-evaluate your life? If so, how has your life changed over the past two years? Feel free to comment below!
A few days ago, my husband and I were talking with a man about how inexpensive electricity is where we live. I asked him if he knew why our electricity was so inexpensive and he said he did not so I told him that it was because we had an electric cooperative rather than being run by a for-profit corporation. I knew it was true, but I didn’t know the story behind it until I looked it up.
The Birth of the Electric Cooperative
In 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order creating the Rural Electrification Administration. A year later Congress gave the agency the money and power needed to promote rural electrification by providing low-cost loans to build transmission and generation facilities.
Boone Electric Cooperative was incorporated on June 11, 1936 – the first rural electric cooperative to form in the state of Missouri. By the end of 1937, Boone Electric served just more than 140 members in rural Boone County.
Rural cooperatives formed rapidly to take advantage of the favorable financing. Farm by farm, village by village, the lights went on across rural Missouri and rural America. And as electrical needs grew, the REA continued to provide low-cost financing. Eventually, major generation facilities, built primarily during the 1960s and 1970s, were financed with help from the REA.
The Advantages Continue
Today, numerous advantages exist for homes that utilize electricity from a cooperative over for-profit utility companies.
Upon joining an electrical cooperative, I was considered a member and owner rather than a customer.
Electric cooperatives are service focused. My coop provides electricity to rural areas while commercial utility companies are looking at their bottom line for their stockholders.
My cooperative follows democratic processes, allowing each member to vote in board member elections, participate in policy making, and influence the company in sharing their ideas and concerns.
My cooperative is community focused and work to improve the sustainability and well-being of their local and surrounding communities.
My electric cooperatives returns its revenues or margins to cooperative members in the form of capital credits.
One of the biggest advantages of being a member of an electric cooperative is that my service is constantly getting better at a lower cost per kilowatt hour than it would cost me for if I were with a for profit company.
Could Cooperatives Be the Answer in Other Areas?
Other areas could benefit from utilizing cooperative power over the for-profit interests of a few people. California electric companies have already been thinking of creating electric cooperatives and in order to lower prices, other areas could do the same.
However, what if the idea of community cooperatives didn’t end with providing inexpensive renewable energy? What if cooperatives were used in other forms of utilities? What if cooperatives were created to deal with waste management? What if the waste management cooperative was also involved in recycling? What if they worked toward reselling recycled materials to other companies or even managed to create recycled products from those items. What if the members voted to have more of it done at a community level as part of the cooperative and those items could be sold or even used within the community? Imagine how everyone could benefit because they all own the company that recycles garbage into usable items.
Imagine a Different Type of Insurance Program
Imagine that same cooperative spirit being extended toward insurance where instead of stockholders benefiting from your insurance premiums, the benefits of the premiums go to the cooperative. Imagine fire insurance paying for all the damages instead of there being a deductible and at a lower cost than what you’re paying now.
When I was a kid in the 1970s there were companies that had this type of insurance that offered fire and wind insurance. This insurance was called Patrons Mutual where you paid a small membership fee and then a small insurance premium. Even with the membership fee, the cost was lower than other insurance companies were charging. However, the other insurance companies lobbied the government and demanded that these companies that demanded membership could not sell insurance and that insurance had to be a for-profit business.
Imagine, however, if we could lobby the government to change these laws and allow cooperatives to exist in insurance and not just fire insurance, but in all types of insurance. Imagine health insurance at reasonable costs to everyone. Imagine insurance companies where the recipients could decide if they wanted their insurance to include preventative measures, to include the ability to pay for experimental procedures so that others could live. They could more likely have all these things because they didn’t have to pay for dividends to stockholders and all of the money is being spent by the contributors who are also the recipients of the healthcare insurance who voted for how their insurance money would be spent through a democratic process.
So, what do you think? Do you think that cooperatives might be the answer to many financial problems we currently face? If not, what problems do you see with this idea? If yes, what do you think is our next move to make cooperatives more of a reality in our communities? Also, what other possible ways do you think that we could develop cooperatives in our communities?
If you have enjoyed this blog post, consider following this blog. If you’re into gardening and homesteading check out my other blog The Perpetual Homesteader too.
Can a Writer Find Time to Make Dessert When She’s Facing a Deadline?
I have those days when I spend the entire day just writing. Like right now. I have a self-imposed (I am an indie-author, after all) deadline for the end of this week for my book The Four Seasons Vegetable Garden. My plans are to spend as much of this week as possible so that I can get the Kindle edition published this weekend. I am also redoing research on my next novel in Book VII of the Locket Saga–Two Rivers. I wrote the first draft of this novel several years ago for NaNoWriMo, but since the demise of my old computer, I no longer have that draft, so I have decided to start over. The good news about this book is that the research is mostly straightforward, but it is taking time. Plus, spring is upon us and there are gardening chores that are coming front and center.
Therefore, over the next several weeks, my life is going to be very busy. Therefore, something must give and some of that will be time with my husband, cooking, and cleaning. However, I do want to please my husband, so I like to give him something from time to time to remind him that my writing and gardening aren’t more important to me than he is.
Despite my busy schedule, I like to give my husband something from time to time to remind him that my writing and gardening aren’t more important to me than he is.
One of the ways that I like to show him that I still love him is by making something special from time to time and nothing says special as much as dessert. A crockpot meal or a pasta or rice casserole always seems more special when there’s a decadent homemade dessert to follow. The problem with this kind of dessert is that most of them take a lot of time to prepare and I don’t have the time for that. Therefore, I have created a simple but decadent cream pie that is to live for! And the best part is that it only takes about fifteen minutes to make including clean up!
The Original Experiment
I created this dessert based on a product put out by the Tastefully Simple Company. They had (maybe they still have, I don’t know) a key lime pie mix that you add certain ingredients, and the result is a key lime type cream pie. I discovered that I could make a similar product using lime gelatin instead of their mix.
Key Lime Cream Pie
1 graham cracker pie crust
1 package cream cheese
1 4 oz package of lime gelatin (dry powder)
2 small containers of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
Jellied lime candy slices or slices of fresh limes
Mix the cream cheese and lime gelatin and add the contents of one of the containers of whipped topping. Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust. Top with whipped topping and decorate with lime candy or fresh limes. Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Store any uneaten pie in the refrigerator.
Once I knew that I produced a winning product, that led me to create other similar desserts using similar desserts. Here are a few of my successes.
1 4 oz. package of strawberry or strawberry banana gelatin (dry powder)
2 small containers of whipped topping
Fresh strawberries or fresh strawberries and fresh bananas
Make like the key lime cream pie but instead of lime gelatin, use strawberry or strawberry banana gelatin. Also, I put just half of the gelatin mixture into the graham cracker crust then add fresh strawberries or fresh strawberries and bananas, add the rest of the gelatin mixture, top with the whipped topping, and then decorate with sliced strawberries or sliced strawberries and bananas.
Raspberry Chocolate Cream Pie
1 Oreo pie crust
1 package cream cheese
1 4 oz. package of raspberry gelatin (dry powder)
2 small containers of whipped topping
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Make mixture like the strawberry pie, but instead of strawberry gelatin, use raspberry gelatin. Place half of the gelatin mixture into an Oreo rather than graham cracker crust, then add a layer of fresh raspberries then add the rest of the gelatin mixture onto the raspberries. Now, take the remaining container of whipped topping and mix into it a teaspoon of dry cocoa powder and top your pie with this. Next, drizzle chocolate syrup onto the chocolate whipped topping and decorate with fresh raspberries.
Peanut butter Chocolate Cream Pie
This is my most recent concoction and has somewhat similar ingredients but doesn’t have any gelatin at all.
One package cream cheese
¼ cup of peanut butter
½ cup vanilla yogurt (Greek or regular vanilla yogurt)
1 container whipped topping.
¼ cup of powdered cocoa
1 graham cracker crust.
Mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cocoa, and 3/4s of the container of whipped topping. Spoon into the graham cracker crust and then spoon the remaining whipped topping. Decorate by drizzling chocolate syrup onto the top of the pie. Like all these cream pies, cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Now It’s Your Turn
How about you? Are you an author? Do you have a fantastic easy quick dessert or meal recipe that makes your family feel special but still allows you the time you need to write? I would love to interview you here on my blog! Let me know in the comments below or message me on my Facebook Page and I will get back to you.
Back in November, I was writing the first draft of my latest NaNoWriMo project. My working title is Little Africa. (for more about Little Africa, check out my article about this place) I know that there will be a better name for it, but in the process of writing that story, I decided at the end that my characters would go west with a wagon train.
Even though I know I will be ending the book with them going to the west coast by wagon train, I decided that I wasn’t going to write any book about the topic, but I am putting this information in the footnotes at the back of the book as some of the added material that I include. The reason I am not writing that story is that the story of people crossing the prairie to the west coast has already been done many times. However, that doesn’t stop me from writing about it at all.
The wagon train experience began In 1834 when a merchant from New England named Nathaniel Wyeth and an Episcopalian missionary named Jason Lee led the first eighty people to take the 2170 mile trip from Missouri to Oregon on what became the Oregon Trail.
By the end of the 1860s, half a million pioneers had traveled overland to the far West in search of new land, gold, and a new life. These pioneers gave up almost everything they possessed and left behind families that they might never see again. These people walked across half a continent through prairies, high deserts, and snow-covered mountains. They passed through territories that would later become Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.
Approximately ten percent of the travelers died along the trail usually, not from Indian attacks but, from disease or accidents. The wagon train routes across the country were considered by many to be the longest cemetery in the world.
Why did they take this journey? Some were escaping frequent outbreaks of diseases like malaria and dysentery in the crowded Eastern states. Many were the children of pioneers who had homesteaded in Indiana, Illinois, and the Michigan territories. This younger generation was forced to move further west because all the best river-bottom land for farming had already been claimed, and the competition for even the less-desirable farmland was fierce due to immigration.
Seventy percent of the travelers were farmers. They knew that in order to get the best land, they had to get there first. In 1850 the U.S. Congress ceded land in the Western territories to settlers by granting a square mile of land to each married couple and their children would inherit it.
Gold discoveries in California also drew people to the West Coast. Congress gave actual settlers 640 acres in California. In 1849, many folks began the journey as “49ers,” heading for the newly discovered goldfields of the Sierra foothills of California.
Later in the 1860s, some went west to escape the looming Civil War. But no matter the reason, there was one underlying sentiment shared by nearly every pioneer. Manifest Destiny was a deep-seated belief that the growth of the United States was divinely preordained.
With a few exceptions, all the major Western trails started near the frontier town of Independence, Missouri. From Independence or at various branches further to the west, the traveler could head southwest on the Santa Fe Trail, west to Sacramento on the California Trail, or continue northwest to Oregon. The Mormon Trail, which lead to Salt Lake City, began in the town of Nauvoo, Illinois, and crossed the Missouri River north of Independence at Council Bluff, eventually joining up with the Oregon Trail near Fort Laramie, Wyoming.
They needed to leave late enough in the spring to provide grass for the livestock, so they did not leave any earlier than mid-April. However, they also didn’t want to leave in June because of the possibility of facing early snows in the mountains. They had to leave sometime between mid-April and during May. However, this meant facing swollen rivers, violent thunderstorms, and blistering mid-summer heat while crossing the deserts of southern Wyoming, Idaho, and eastern Oregon.
Preparing for the Trip
Before leaving, these pioneers acquired travel guidebooks like The Emigrant’s Guide to Oregon and California, written by Lansford Hastings. All the travel guides provided commonly known details about travel distances, river crossings, the cost of food and equipment, and what dangerous situations they might face.
Oxen were much preferred over horses or mules by experienced travelers. These animals were more easily managed, were not likely to run away or die because of the hardships, cost less than horses or mules, and were worth more in Oregon. In addition, if the situation because necessary, they could always eat the oxen. Wagons with three yoke of oxen (two oxen per yoke) were required to make a successful journey.
Most of the wagons we see in movies are not the wagons that they used. Those wagons are Conestoga wagons, but these large freight-moving vessels were far too heavy to navigate open prairie, muddy river crossings, and mountain passes.
The wagon used by most pioneers was the “prairie schooner.” This wagon was four feet wide and ten feet long. These light but strong wagons had vertical or slightly canted sides with waterproofed canvas covers supported by bent-wood ribbing. This wagon carried a maximum of 2,500 pounds of supplies. This made it necessary to walk rather than ride in a wagon.
Because of the weight limit, family members walked and guided the oxen. The only people to ride in the wagons were those too ill to walk. Some people set up their wagons so that they could sleep in them, but usually, these pioneers slept in tents or under the stars. They needed as much space as possible for storing their needed goods.
A complete wagon, three yokes of oxen, and the food needed for a five-member family cost a minimum of Six hundred dollars or equal to fifteen thousand dollars in today’s money. Poor farmers weren’t always able to come up with cash for these journeys so they did what they could like selling their land to a neighbor for what they could get or getting someone else to sponsor their trip cross country with the understanding that they would be paid back after they started making money from their new farm. Single young men and women were often hired on as “trail helpers” to wealthier individuals who were making the trip.
The food that was recommended for the trip for each adult was two hundred pounds of flour, thirty pounds of pilot bread, seventy-five pounds of bacon, ten pounds of rice, five pounds of coffee, two pounds of tea, twenty-five pounds of sugar, half a bushel of dried beans, one bushel of dried fruit, two pounds of saleratus, ten pounds of salt, half a bushel of corn meal; and a half-bushel of parched ground corn, as well as a small keg of vinegar.
Flour in the mid-1800s was not the bleached and enriched flour available today. Then, the pioneer had to choose between three types of flour: shorts, middlings, and superfine.
“Shorts” was a coarse-ground flour somewhere between wheat bran and whole wheat. It was poorly sifted and retained a high degree of impurities. Shorts flour was often the least-expensive option.“ Middlings” was a remainder product formed during the separation of bran from white flour. High in gluten, “middlings” became a waste product for many mills and were often sold as an inexpensive flour without further refinement. “Superfine” flour was as close to modern white flour but was more like unbleached flour than what we have today.
They baked bread on the trail every day. They used small sheet-iron ovens, or dutch ovens, or they fried biscuits in a skillet.
Building fires on the trip was problematic because firewood was in short supply. Instead, on the prairies, they used small piles of “dried buffalo chips” or dried buffalo manure. These chips burned steadily and had little odor. When chips were in short supply, sagebrush was used.
Commercial yeast was not available at the time. Any yeast used had a short shelf life and was delivered from breweries as a by-product of beer making therefore could not be used on these cross-country endeavors. Sourdough starters were also problematic because it required a long time to make bread rise and rising bread or pastries required a place that wasn’t moving.
The answer to the problem was saleratus, a precursor to our modern baking soda. This was discovered by chemists in the late 1700s. It was a form of bicarbonate of soda that, when added to the dough, released carbon dioxide upon heating, causing the bread to rise. A natural source was found along the Oregon Trail near Independence Rock, Wyoming.
The other staple of trail life was bacon. Bacon then was any pig meat from the sides, hams, or shoulders that received a salt cure. This bacon rarely survived the entire journey and often became rancid or suffered insect infestation because of its fat content.
This was sometimes remedied by purchasing bacon at various forts along the way but at much higher prices.
Unlike salt pork or beef (which was kept barreled in a brine solution), bacon was stored dry in bug-proof bags or boxes. In hot climates, bacon was buried in bran, supposedly this kept the fat from absorbing it.
Parched corn (corn whose kernels had been sun-dried or roasted in an oven) was very popular with the pioneers, if for no other reason than because it did not spoil easily. It was usually ground into rough flour and cooked as mush, which was served with milk from the traveler’s cows.
Dried fruits were a staple, not only amongst the pioneers but for practically everyone in 19th century America. Dried vegetables were less common with pioneers. This changed in 1859 with the publication of Randolph Marcy’s The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions in 1859. Where he suggested each traveler have desiccated vegetables, or dried vegetables, a product used extensively in the Crimean War.
Coffee was not just a staple on the trail, it was often the only thing left near the end of the journey. Trail coffee was green (unroasted) beans because roasted or ground coffee traveled poorly and quickly lost flavor. They roasted the beans in a skillet over a fire, then ground them in a coffee grinder.
Disease was the big killer on the trail. In the mid-1800s, effective medical supplies were limited. A medical kit included “a little blue mass” which was mercury-based and used for many different diseases from constipation to tuberculosis. Opium and quinine were used for pain.
They also carried a five-gallon drum of “medicinal spirits” a benign name for whiskey, brandy, or rum.
Everyone carried weapons for protection and to provide meat along the trail. Most travelers had a muzzle-loading long gun musket or rifle. Pistols were rare and expensive. Every wagon was equipped with gunpowder, shot molds, and lead for casting rifle balls.
They also took clothing, camping supplies, day-to-day tools, livestock supplies, and a few keepsakes many of the family heirlooms were discarded along the route. Seed and plow blades were brought by farmers. Skilled craftsmen often brought additional wagons with the tools of their trades. Many family Bibles made the trip across the country along as did family cows.
The Trail’s End
While on the trail, couples married, gave birth, or broke up. They suffered wagon mishaps. They developed a kinship with fellow travelers.
Many of the emigrants who arrived in Oregon or California were starving, with no provisions left. Others had some preserved food but had become sick and worn out from the journey. Many had also spent their last dollar.
The pioneers who had already made the journey were there to help the new arrivals. They helped stragglers in need. Most of the new settlers arrived in the late fall or early winter, too late to put in a crop or do more than hastily construct winter quarters. Neighbors, churches, and civic committees worked together to keep the new arrivals alive, at least long enough to help them to get in a crop and “prove-up” their homesteads. Many of them considered that having thousands of new neighbors both armed and starving was a disaster waiting to happen. Anyone who wanted to work was offered employment even if their labors were rewarded in food rather than gold.
The Locket Saga
The research above was done for a future book in the Locket Saga series. In this series, a locket is passed from generation to generation of ordinary Americans who are a part of extraordinary events as family members are born, live, marry, and as they pass the torch and the locket to the next generation.