Name is John, and I'm up in Maine. Married with twin sons who are now 3 1/2. I used to manage a bog box retail book store, but left to be a stay at home dad, knowing the company would be going under in a year or two. My awesome wife is an RN who works in the emergency room. We knew we wanted one of us home with the kids for at least the first few years, and given the shaky future of my job, I got to be the lucky one.
I'm sure all the parents here know this already, but being a Dad is awesome
Before moving to Maine, we were both volunteers in our local ambulance squad (over 7000 calls a year) and our volunteer fire department (much smaller call volume!). She was a Paramedic and I was an EMT-B. We were also certified (American Heart Association) CPR and First Aid instructors, but all of our certifications have lapsed... amazing how a moving to a new state and having twins can suck up your free time.
I've got more interests than you can shake a stick at. I love fishing and I build my own fly rods and tie my own flies. Last summer I took a class and built my own bamboo fly rod, which is just awesome to me. I also hunt (though not very well I guess) and have become the keeper of all the skins and feathers my friends can give me, which keep costs down. I've gotten pretty good at skinning small game and treating the hides/skins. My very tolerant wife hardly batted an eye at the tub of squirrel skins soaking in denatured alcohol on the kitchen counter... And she things the grouse skins are have lots of pretty feathers.
We also do a lot of kayaking and camping- mostly car camping these days, but once the boys get a bit older, we'll start backpacking again. X-Country skiing and snowshoeing, ice fishing, winter camping- we are up for almost anything outside, love all 4 seasons. I was in the Army Reserve, I enjoy wood working, especially with hand tools, gardening, canning, cooking,baking, the list goes on and on.
We are slowly turning our cabin into more of a homestead. We live on a pretty big pond, at the end of a private road, with one set of great, year round neighbors. I'm slowly clearing trees to make way for a garden, and then come chickens and rabbits. As a kid in 4h I raised goats, chickens, sheep, rabbits and pigs. Our goal is to be as self sufficient as we can, able to barter for what we can't provide ourselves. I'm also home brew beer and hard cider, and hoping to do some fruit wines next summer.
We are sort of natural DIYers I guess, if there is such a thing. We both love to know how stuff works, how to do it, and take great satisfaction looking at what we've done afterwards. Even if it's not perfect, we know we did as good a job as we could, and it cost us nothing but our sweat and materials. And in return, we gained knowledge and new hardwood floors, or a wood shed, or whatever the project was. And if we wanted a professional job, we would have hired a professional right?
Anyway, I guess we've always been sort of preppers... I think you have to be if you want to live in the rural northeast- you have to be ready to deal with blizzards and ice storms and the like. We both just figured we should try and be more prepared- more than a week or twos worth of supplies. And as I started looking for info, I stumbled onto this site and the podcast. I've been listening at nights after I put the boys to bed, and find it very interesting. Not only for the survival and prepping information, but also some of the political views. I'm finding my own beliefs challenged a bit and I like that. I like to think of the brain as a muscle, and if you don't exercise it, it atrophies. I'm also finding it amazing how many of my other lifestyle wishes (simplicity, natural, back to land, etc) dovetail so neatly into prepping/survival.
Well, this turned into quite the novel. I'm looking forward to learning more, and hopefully I'll be able to add some useful knowledge as well.
Thanks in advance everyone, I'm sure I'll find all sorts of good stuff here.