Hey everybody -
Cat and I just got back from a superb weekend in the Shenandoah Valley with 61 incredibly talented, gifted and wonderful people at the Lowesville Seminar. Wanted to get this forum started so attendees would have a place to share and those of you who couldn't attend could ask any questions as we started posting the various things we took away from the seminar.
Will get more detailed with later posts - I'm exhausted - Saturday was a 20 1/2 hour day.
Sam - ya shoulda been there.
I enjoyed meeting you and Cat this weekend, as well as everyone else. I think the weekend helped kick me a bit and I actually broke out of my comfort zone this morning and pitched the Crash Course to a couple of coworkers. One was immediately excited and the other was reasonably interested.
The feeling is mutual Steve - I was amazed by the spectrum of people we got to spend the weekend with.
A couple of doctors, farmers, small business owners, professional musicians, attorneys, students, retirees - you name it. And every single one of them was a wealth of information and personal experience. I think we took away a lot more than the Crash Course Tool Box. I'm still sorting through my notes and will start getting some more detailed posts going.
I'm thinking a good kick off would be the discussion about extracting action items from our self assessments and converting them into the prioritized Tier I, II, III Action list. What do you think?
And I put the three empty scotch bottles in the recycle bin this morning with absolutely no regrets.
I've been thinking a lot about where I need to spend my time in the near future concerning what I picked up at the seminar. Definitely I need to spend time on my personal action list, but, as I mentioned elsewhere, I think the biggest thing I took away this weekend was the emphasis on community. I think most of my posts on the fourms have revolved around fixing areas I'm weak in. I'd really like to more contibuting than asking.
Also it would be great to organize all the bits and pieces of useful knowledge somehow. The 'definitive' threads are a step in the right direction, but I think it could be better. Someone else recently posted to this effect - creating a 'definitive' forum. I think the forum topic areas could be better organized, but I don't want to just complain - I'd like to offer a useful suggestion and I need to mull it over. I'm thinking alomg the lines of forum/sub-forum areas like growing food, storing food, security, water, finances, etc - basically it could be patterned after the self-assement topics - hmm - maybe that would be the way to do it, and it flows back to your idea.
I was a Lowesville attendee and I had a GREAT time! A special Thank you to Cat and D-I-A-P for being gracious hosts. Also to the Martensons for the thought provoking and motivating program. I got it.
For those who weren't there, I can't describe it in one or two or ten posts. If you get a chance to go to one in the near future, I recommend you GO!
I got to hang out with a group of folks who were smart, light-hearted, open, and just very cool people. I got to hang out with them for a weekend and talk about stuff that was really important to me and had been weighing on me for a while. It turns out these really cool people thought the same stuff was important to them and we shared our time discussing it at really deep levels.
To what end? I am now on a journey or evolution that cares a bit less about my 401k and the banking system and cares a bit more about the people close to me and widening that circle to a close community near me so we can thrive in any future. I'm really looking forward to it.
To all my new friends from Lowesville: It was pretty warm here in Atlanta yesterday and my wife had the house all opened up. This morning I woke up gradually, only hearing bird songs first one, then two, then more and more all very clear and loud with all the windows opened up. I thought about you all and briefly wished I was back in the cabin getting ready for a new day of discussion. But then I was just very grateful for my own cozy bed and a new day to start my journey.
Like you said, Dogs, I wish I coulda been there - then it would have been four! Sigh......................
The weekend was definitely one to remember. It was comforting to be able to sit down and have great conversations with a group of people in which most Id never met. The bonus is that it was not awkward and no one thought I was crazy....or at least not the topics which we conversed over. Its amazing how diverse the group was, and yet we had so much common ground. I would be glad to have anyone who was in attendance as my neighbor. Who knows maybe someday that will happen. After leaving the seminar Im hoping to help spread the information to as many people as possible in my area. Many Thanks to Cat, D-I-A-P, and the Martenson family.
PCars58: Im with you on "But then I was just very grateful for my own cozy bed and a new day to start my journey."
This is a mixed bag post wrt Lowesville but a few things need to be said.
In addition to meeting new people for the first time, it was also a privilege to meet the frequent posters in person. Meeting someone in cyberspace is one thing, but putting faces to names and meeting in person is far better.
Now for some lighter reflections. First off, a physical description of Crossroads is in order. Then we'll cover the "Legend of the Lowesville Seven and the Night Hike"
There are only a few ways to get to Lowesville - over the Shenandoahs from the north, over the Shenandoahs from the south, over the Shenandoahs from the west and over the Shenandoahs from the east. Directions to Lowesville were easy to follow, but when turns and directions become measured in hundreds of feet, and "dirt road" is a frequent description you know it's going to be good.
Crossroads is 5 miles west of Lowesville, up a dirt road in a beautiful and narrow little east-west valley, open to the east with mountain ridges to the north and south. The valley bottom is at around 1800-1900 feet and the mountain ridges were 2800-3100 feet. The maples were busting open along with the tulip poplars. The weather was perfect - clear blue skies all weekend, and it got up to 94 Saturday afternoon. There are numerous hiking trails on the grounds including a 2 mile trek to the top of the north ridge (Dismal Mountain). There are two rock outcroppings on the ridge that overlook the valley - we were told by the retreat center staff the view was breathtaking and that a hike to the top was well worth it. What they meant to say was the hike to the top was breathtaking.
Since the schedule was chock full, we decided to hike up at 6:00 AM Saturday morning to leave us time to get back down, shower and eat before getting started. So off we went - a small group of three (me, Mike Pilat and Mike's friend David). We stopped talking to each other about 100 yards up the trail. We covered about 900 vertical feet in the first quarter mile. It took 35 minutes to get to the first rock overlook - about 1 1/2 miles up the trail. The sun was up to the east, but the ridge still had the valley in the shadow. As we stood on the rock face taking it all in, the sun cleared the ridge and it was like turning on a switch - the whole valley exploded into various greens and reds as the new growth lit up. I think all three of us said "wow" at the same time. As we worked our way down the trail to the next ridge we ran into a couple of other hikers from the seminar. So now our intrepid group of 5 went off to the next ridge, slightly different view, just as breathtaking. We hiked back, showered and headed off to the seminar ready to go.
A few people heard us talking about the hike, so we made plans to do it again Sunday morning at 6:00.
Fast forward to the bonfire Saturday night. We were in various breakout sessions and there were several groups of people talking about a multitude of topics. It was a little after midnight and there were a handful of us sitting around the fire including the self-titled "City slickers" Jim and Will from Queens, and Paul from Toronto. Paul looks up at the stars and remarked how bright they were and that you really can't see the stars that well from downtown Toronto. A few moments of silence followed. So I said "I'll bet it's really clear from the ridge."
Dead silence for about 10 seconds as we contemplated a 2 mile hike up an unlit trail in the dark. At 12:30. To stand on a sheer rock face and look at the stars. Then from out of the darkness we hear (in a heavy Queens accent) - "I gotta flashlight" - from either Jim or Will. About a minute later, 7 of us pile into my truck to drive up to the trail head and off we go. 40 minutes later we are all standing on the ridge looking up at the stars. Talk about group think or herd mentality. We sat back on the rock ledge and took it all in. There were a few minutes of small talk and then someone said "How about a minute of silence?" For the next 30 minutes all you could hear was the wind blowing through the trees, night birds and the river splashing and tumbling in the valley below.
Until Paul started snoring........
Realizing the seminar was starting up in a few hours we roused ourselves and headed back down the trail and got back to the rooms at 2:15 or so. About halfway down, the batteries in the flashlight died so Rob (who I will forever refer to as Inspector Gadget) pulls out his cell phone - helicopter - tricorder and turns on (I am not making this up) a flashlight!!!!! All 7 of us made it down without breaking anything except a sweat. I managed to get about 3 hours of sleep before the next group met at 6:00 and we did it all over again.
That event is now forever etched in my memory and I was happy to have gone through it - in time, no doubt, it will be retold and embellished to include mountain lions, bears, snow and avalanches. Mike, David, Paul, Jim, Will, Rob - it was a pleasure.
More to follow - I'll get to more substantive seminar topics soon, but I wanted to share this lighter moment with everyone.
Thank you everyone for weighing in on the seminar. And thank you to everyone who I came. I truly enjoyed meeting all of you, hearing your stories, and having the opportunity to get to know each of you. A truly diverse crowd with respect to age, income, location, and beliefs. I tried hard all weekend to come up with a defining "box" that I could use to quickly explain "who came" but failed. An attendee named Will managed to observe that nobody smoked but that's as close as we got.
I just got back this morning and, as usual, I am tuckered out. Seminars are a huge output of energy for me but they are also extremely fulfilling, fun, and therefore more than worth it. Every time.
This time my entire family came and so everybody got to see the entire "Martenson package" in one spot. I am always proud of my kids but I especially love watching how they interact with people in public settings. They always find a way to be charming, direct people who happen to be a bit smaller and younger than other people.
This seminar was slightly different from every other one in that the people who came seemed to be far more prepared than past audiences. This crowd was all done wondering if the economy had run off the rails and if the other two Es were going to possibly give us trouble in the future.
This seminar audience wanted to jump straight to discussions of what to do. For many this was what to do next because they already had done so much.
I was deeply touched and gratified by the expressions of hope and gratitude that so many voiced to me on their way out at the end.
Is it possible to be hopeful and optimistic given the topic and the nature of our discussions? You bet it is. We proved that.
We are already working on breaking the seminar into at least two and possibly three discrete versions - one basic, one intermediate and one advanced.
Thanks again everyone, I had a great time and look forward to the next one.
Wanted to thank Cat, DIAP and the entire Martenson family for the seminar. A special thank you to the Martenson's for being so flexible on what we discussed and the information they provided. The campfire was nice and the visioning was incredible with Becca, thank you for guiding all 18 of us and sharing!
It was wonderful meeting everyone! So much knowledge there, so little time!
Thanks to all of you, Teresa
A most grateful thank you to the entire Martenson family. Becca and Chris for your endless bank of compassion and knowledge. Chris, to be taught in a live class by you is an experience that will always be treasured. Becca, what a blessing to have you there in person too. Becca brings peace of mind like no other.
Sounds like a great seminar that we missed, especially about community. We just were not able to attend this one, so hopefully there could be a future seminar that we could attend. In the meantime, looking forward to the upcoming groups section so that we might be able to find others near us in Ohio to discuss the Martenson Crash Course.
There were several people from Ohio at Lowesville. I will contact them back channel and let them know you are looking to get in touch.
Jump at the chance to go to the next seminar - wherever it is.
Let me jump in and say a few words, though we recorded a '2 Beers with Steve' Skype session last night, so look for that soon with a very good discussion about the seminar.
The seminar was great. It was everything I expected. The location, albeit completely out in the middle of nowhere, was very appropriate for the seminar. While I was a bit discouraged at first with going over the Crash Course again at the Friday night session, I realized as the weekend went on that it was the right thing for Chris to do. We are bombarded everyday with information in the media that is counter to the Crash Course. Going over some of the material in the Crash Course was sort of a positive reinforcement for me, to get my mind out of the Matrix that is the mainstream media and the political and financial establishment. I hated to leave on Sunday. I wish we could have all spent a few more days together, especially once I stepped into the urban jungle known as work on Monday morning.
I came with a lot of questions, specifically things I could and should be doing. I left with a lot of answers, a toolbox to guide me with the actions I want to take, a large shopping list, several new friends, and most importantly, I left feeling more positive than ever about my future and everyone's future.
If Chris runs another seminar this year or at some point in the future, I would highly recommend you attend. Don't even hesitate, just sign up and go.
The seminar is well worth attending in order to sort out the mumbo jumbo going on in your head and prioritizing action steps. The Martensons and the attendees assist in this process. Don't think about it, just go.
Nice meeting everyone. I feel more connected now that when I see a screen name on a forum entry I know what that person looks like. I either sat next to them, ate with them, laughed with them, had a meaningful conversation with them, slept in the same cabin as them, or snored on a rock 2800 feet above seal level with them.
Keep in touch.
All these posts are great. Thanks for the stories.
That midnight hike sounded...*epic*...reminded me of hiking up to an ancient (ruined) stone fort in Argyll (Scotland) on my ancestral clan lands. Around midnight in July. Still light out, gentle aurora borealis, and plenty of stars (esp. since we stayed up there about 2 hours)...and of course a hip flask of single malt.
That's my kind of peak experience.
Here's hoping next time I get to share it with ya'll...
VIVA -- Sager
Well, I guess it's time for my first post.
I had a wonderful time at the seminar and it was great talking to everyone. One thing I have been looking for but unable to find is a chart that CM put up I think on Saturday morning. It showed inflation versus government spending. I understand it is on the site somewhere but I have been unable to find it. Can someone provide me the link? It was during the discussion of misleading charts, where I believe it was compared with the chart of M0 versus inflation that shows no linkage.
Will second the value of the seminar as all the above have mentioned.
A few additional points...
Chris and Becca presentations were very coherent, well organized with thoughtful exercises to ponder and learn from.
Most compelling part of the course...they wisely frame the information for you to decide what's best for you. An extension of CM's view of what I describe as "thinking for yourself" based on your needs, priorities and perceptions. There is no cookie cutter answer...you have to develop whats best for you.
To those considering...I came away reassuranced our family was progressing on the right track with more tools of assessment for future actions depending how things evolve and change.
Finally, this is a nascient process to embrace as an opportunity for a better quality of life...not to dread or fear.
If I understand your question correctly, it may be the 4 year average (mean) government spending compared to inflation. What I don't recall is any link. I do recall CM's comment these have the strongest correlation of any he follows. Subjectively, I wrote in my notes the ~50+ yr record showed generally a delay of 6 to 12 months.
Hope this helps,
Wow, everyone had a good time. Do that in the midwest and we will be there.
Sheri and I want to thank you Cat and DIAP for a great job of organizing the Lowesville Seminar. And a special thanks to Chris, Becca and family for your leadership and excellent example of how one might go about "Thriving in any Future"!
Chris and Becca do a wonderful job of guiding the attendees through the issues of the day but the strength of the message lies in how we all bond and interact as an effective community. It is through this action that the true strength of the various individuals of the group are realized and appreciated. And it is how Becca and Chris deliver the seminar that brings this point home.
Arriving at the seminar from our various hometowns brought together a bunch of virtual strangers that had any number of worries, concerns and issues that needed to be solved. At first it seemed that we expected Chris to have the answer. "Surely Chris will know what to do!"
But the message of the day was consistent. TRUST YOURSELF! Look, observe, share and decide on a course of action that works for you. Help others to understand what the future may hold in store. We developed a toolbox to use on a daily basis to help focus on the real issues at hand and to differentiate between opinions, beliefs and hard facts. We reviewed our self assessments and shared ideas and concepts with others. And it is through the development of the seminar community that you really grasp the power of working together and sharing ideas and goals. The Martensons' do a great job together in getting this across and what great fun the process is!
We both came away with many new friendships and excitement about helping to create a new community in our hometown and with all of the others who visit this website and share the vision of a brighter and richer future. It was a real pleasure meeting each of you.
And as an aside, we were fortunate enough to visit the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville on our journey and that is a treat and a real eye opener. When you visit Monticello and realize that at age 33, Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence and then signed it at risk of death if the young nation failed in it's efforts, then you have some relationship to what we all face today. I suggest that reading his biography in the near future would do one well! He has an incredible intellect.
To touch on something that DIAP mentioned in Post #2: I think it would be extremely valuable to somehow post discussions of our action lists; Maybe even a place to post the "actual list". I have started my action list, but am having some trouble with it. After completing the self-assesment, I was able to see where my strengths and weaknesses are, but had trouble converting that to a prioritized list.
I think I read that Sager XX had a 167-point list! Well, mine certainly isn't 167 points, so I'm wondering what I left out. I, for one, would like to see your lists to get my brain power going.
Crazy doesn't live here,
Before finding the Crash Course, there was an inter wisdom, as well as an overwhelming commonsense feeling that things weren't right in the economy. The Crash Course explained why. I split 100 copies of the course with a friend and proceeded to tell my world of the things that were to come. That didn't go so well. My Beliefs and Opinions (most conspiracy and political) were interrupting the Facts.
After attending the Lowesville Seminar I walked away with a clear understanding of how to proceed going forward. How to approach people without " the sky is falling " thought process. And how to turn the Anger and Fear I have been experiencing into a force of energy to make changes in my community. The Martensons are proof that the sky isn't falling in their world and in fact, life can be better without all the noise. Thank you both for sharing your story and teaching us how we too can Thrive in any Future.
Thanks also Dogs and Cat for bringing the Martenson's to our Virginia Community. The people I meet in Lowesville were so refreshing and I would like to thanks them for the knowledge and energy they were able to share.
I envision a Global Community. As people are pulling their stressed heads out of the distracting sand, they look past the fog into the vibrant light to see how sweet it can truly be. Only the economy sits on a shelf reaching out as a reminder of the past, knowing it cannot hold on to us forever. Stepping into the vision, the weight of the "me" is released as "we" take control of our Thriving Future. See it, Feel it and Believe it. It is possible
Hope Sayer, R-39
I can't begin to express how fortunate I am to have attended the event and to have made friends with some of you. At first, I had cancelled but later managed to get my head straight and kind of bug Cat to get me to sign up again which I successfully did. I also managed to bring my friend Jimmy with me which is extremely new to all this but I'm glad that most of the things I've been telling him have all been confirmed as a result of the seminar.
I left the seminar feeling satisfied, confident and most importantly, in control of my future. Today, I find myself in the same situation as Chris many years ago - where should I live? where will I be accepted? where can I thrive? Being a city slicker from Queens, where I have lived all my life, it is far difficult for me as anyone would imagine to give up and just move away. However, I realize and have fully accepted that this predicament is inevitable. I have been through all 7 stages and every now and then for maybe minutes at a time when I think about it, it does come and go but I have learned to move those thoughts away from making me take action and to find new ways to thrive.
Besides that, let me tell you! I LOVED our campfire and the hike (don't tell anyone about the "four levels" of racing fuel we downed) and after graduation, we all decided (with some intimidation & persuasion from me) to take a hike in the middle of the night up a mountain to view stars and experience the sounds of trees and the eerie wind singing for us as we sit/lay there in enjoyment. This was HOT!! I mean, it's right up there with R#$#@*(*&%R (OK never mind!)
Life is good (great!)
Will - NY Boy..
I'm putting together a showing the the crash course in Toronto, anyone interested plz let me know. :)
Well folks - finally - here is some of the detailed info compiled from the Lowesville seminar. I've included info from other sources (thanks to Leroy and Robyn) as well as what was shared at Lowesville among the participants. Some of the site links are duplicated across topics because the site has a wide variety of merchandise. I didn't do any price comparison site to site, but we have ordered from several of the sites and can vouch for the product quality.
Hope this is of use.
Food Storage Planning
http://www.providentliving.org/channel/1,11677,1706-1,00.html - LDS site. Calculator for amount of food to store based on the number of people in the family and the amount of time you want to store food for.
http://beprepared.com/- Great site for bulk, freeze dried and dehydrated foods, food kits, emergency kits, water purification, camping gear and supplies.
http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/ - Great site for freeze dried and dehydrated fruit and veggies and Textured Vegetable Protein packs.
http://www.spiceplace.com/ - Good source for bulk spices
http://survivalacres.com/ - Great site for bulk food ordering, has a food storage calculator.
http://www.waltonfeed.com/ - Good site for bulk food, seeds, organics. Good resource tab for info and planning on storage, seeds, sprouting and soap making.
http://www.bulkfoods.com/default.htm - Great site, wide variety of bulk foods.
http://safecastleroyal.com/index.html - Great site for food and E prep supplies. One of the top emergency preparedness outfitters out there.
http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ - Great site for grains, flour, fruits, canned milk, canned eggs, canned food and TVP.
http://www.foodservicedirect.com/ - Good site, caters to food service industry, but has a good selection of bulk cased food and food service goods.
http://www.internet-grocer.net/ - Great site for long term storage canned meats, cheeses, butter
http://dehydrated-food.net/ - Dehydrated and canned foods, MREs. Water purification, long term storage seeds, short wave radio equipment.
http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/index.php - Great site for water purification kits, kerosene stoves, lanterns and heaters, family emergency kits and other E Prep equipment. If you use the link on the CM site a portion of the proceeds goes back to Chris to help run the site. This is where our stainless steel Doulton water purifier came from and it is a must have.
http://beprepared.com/ - Great site for bulk, freeze dried and dehydrated foods, food kits, emergency kits, water purification, camping gear and supplies.
http://dehydrated-food.net/ - Dehydrated and canned foods, MREs.
http://www.waterbob.com/Welcome.do - Large capacity emergency water storage.
I would like to know if anyone would be willing to post their "prepare list" as they move through the tiers. Is this site, or another venue appropriate for that? DIAP and I traded PM's a while back about that, and it seemed like CM needed to give his blessing on the matter.
The reason I ask is that I'm feeling un-focused right now. I'm about to complete what I would consider my tier 1 activites, but maybe I've missed something. I think it was SagerXX (Is that like the Mexican beer, Dos XX?) who said that they a 167 point list. My little list didn't have anywhere near that many items. What'd I miss? I've got my pantry beefed up; Maybe I could add a little more food to the store. My garden is started and starting to produce; I've moved $$ out of the big bank, and into a credit union; I'm about to buy some gold; As far as firearms go, I'm going to just keep my 12 ga for now, although considering a rifle; Leaning away from handguns for now, due to 3 small chir'ren; (Hunting for food, for me, probably means dove over big game) I can heat water with solar power; I think my next two projects are going to be a solar oven and a solar food dryer.
Anyway, I come home from work, and I wander around, feeling like there's 'something' I should be doing, but not sure what. I look at my garden, and pull a few weeds, but I'm at a point I need a little guidance. I need a Sherpa!
I guess I could play with my kids, huh?
Start with the Self Assessment and let me know when you are done with that. Then I will give you the next steps.
The Self Assessment is found under the Take Action tab. www.PeakProsperity.com/act
The reason I ask is that I'm feeling un-focused right now. I'm about to complete what I would consider my tier 1 activites, but maybe I've missed something. I think it was SagerXX (Is that like the Mexican beer, Dos XX?) who said that they a 167 point list. My little list didn't have anywhere near that many items. What'd I miss?
tx, man -- doesn't sound like you're missing anything in particular. My "167-point list" is not made up of major categories or items -- that's my List o'Everything: from solar oven to PMs to stored food to start the garden to stockpile antibiotics to stockpile TP.
And as for my screen name: back in my 20s I performed with a lot of bands (East Village NYC [shout out to Avenue C and 11th street!]) and SagerXX was a character that sprang into my head one day -- a guy who'd lived through the collapse of civilization and was surviving day-to-day amongst the freaks and desperadoes of a mad-max type world. And FWIW, it's a soft g like "sage"-er. I have no idea why the two X's. Somebody asked me once after a gig and I told them it used to be XXX but I traded one X for a bottle of JD. [lame, I know, but it was post-gig and I was on like my 4th beer...).
Viva -- Sager
I'm sure it's on your list, but you need to have some type of portable capacity water purification system. Katadyn has some great personal use filters and stpaulmercantile (search for him on Chris' site) has both kits and assembled high capacity water purification systems. We have the Doulton 10 quart/hr filter as well as the personal use Katadyn filters. Make sure to add replacement filters to your list.
Cat and I will help you out on the steps after the assessment - it's pretty straight forward - and the best thing (or worst thing) about building your tiered action list is that you will always have something to do.
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