Tierney James, Author

Lipstick & Danger

#7 Successes & Failures

Posted on Jan 11, 2021 by   8 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

2020 was a pretty ridiculous year; murder hornets, COVID-19, new strains of COVID-19, vaccine rollout, unemployment, election drama, asteroid warnings, toilet paper shortages, civil unrest, Tiger King came to Netflix, government announces (sort of) that UFOs are real, mask-wearing controversary, and home schooling becomes a thing. That doesn’t cover the events around the world or geopolitics that could come back and bite us in the you-know-what. Were you prepared for any of this?

My first six prepper posts made suggestions on what you should be collecting. Go back and read over these if you’ve lost sight of what you need to be doing. Just a reminder; prepping is not a one and done kind of activity. It is something you need to do every time you shop. As the last year has shown us, expect the unexpected. My mentor sent me an updated list for you I want to share.


I’m in the camp that believes this is the calm before the storm and the window of opportunity is getting smaller every day. At this point I would suggest to anyone who is just starting to prep to go to the store today. If you wait until tomorrow you’ve already wasted a day. Every time you go to the store buy a case of water, package of toilet paper (100-150 rolls as the target), a case of canned veggies and fruit, package of rice, flour, sugar, pet food etc. This is in addition to your normal weekly shopping. The amount of supplies you’ll have stored will be amazing. Store it under all the beds in the house, closets, wherever you can find room.

Thanks, Rolland. I’d like to share how prepping gave me some calm during a difficult time. I did add to my grocery list each time I shopped online. I keep a magnetic pad of paper on my refrigerator to write down what I’ve used a couple of times so they can be replaced. Eggs. Soup. Condiments. Dressing. You get the idea. We don’t drink milk but sometimes you need it for recipes. I solved that by buying a case of evaporated milk. Comes in handy if needed for baking or prepackaged items. Another success for me was investing in food like instant mashed potato packages, 90 second rice packs, and even some organic canned chili, which is actually really good. I’ve also learned to buy meat when it is on sale, freeze it or make slow-cooker recipes for the freezer. Then when I’m busy writing my next thriller and hate the thought of cooking, I pull out one of those meals.

Successes that actually saves me time, like the slow-cooker recipes, I like to double the amount I cook. I do this several times a week. You never know when the power will go out or you run out of propane for the grill.  (oops! I need to get more.) If push comes to shove, you can always build a fire outside to warm it up.

Here are a few things I’m proud I invested in during this pandemic:

  1. Boosted my medical supplies
  2. Solar flashlights
  3. Solar batteries (can use for phone and computers)
  4. Two-way radios
  5. Regular batteries
  6. Solar lanterns (also pretty in the garden)
  7. Vitamins
  8. Gifts for future birthdays and Christmas (this time of year is great for that)
  9. Sales on personal items (use your imagination)
  10. Five-gallon container for water if needed
  11. Rain barrels
  12. Heritage seeds for the garden

Here are some failures I need to get better at:

  1. Where are my important papers?
  2. Create a Faraday Cage (look it up if you don’t know what this is.)
  3. I get lazy with my pantry stocking and things get messy
  4. Keeping the laundry done up (sigh)
  5. Keeping the car gassed up (oh goody Powerball cards!)
  6. Reevaluate my stay safe plan each month
  7. The picture below is not my canning shelves. I only froze a few things. Plan to do better in the future.

This is probably way more than you wanted to know early in the week. But as the news continues to give us pause and concern, there is nothing like knowing you have an edge. Don’t sweat it if you’ve done nothing. Start making a list today of what you use the most and go to places like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walmart, Sam’s and Big Lots for great deals. A little prep each week can go a long way. Oh and don’t forget booze, coffee and ammo are good trade items if civilization actually collapses.

There are a list of previous ideas on my prepper blogs to the right. Go back and read them to see what you’ve missed. In the comment section let me know what interests you and things you’d like to learn more about.

Resources: www.4patriots.com The 2021 New Year’s Catalog is out with fresh meals, battery and solar needs. I’ve liked the few things I’ve ordered.


  1. Comment by Shirley Jean McCann
    January 15, 2021 1:46 am

    With Covid concerns, I completely forgot about the early posts. I wanted to get my kids a starter prepper kit. I’ll have to go back and start collecting these things for them.

    Also, thanks for the reminder that I have clothes in the washing machine I need to put in the dryer. I’d forgotten.

    • Comment by Tierney James
      January 19, 2021 5:15 pm

      Not sure why someone doesn’t invent a dryer that also folds and hangs the clean ones!

  2. Comment by 1authorcygnetbrown
    January 19, 2021 4:06 pm

    My big preps during the past year was to grow as much of my own food as possible (on land that hasn’t been gardened in 10 years) and to save seed from as much of my garden as possible. (Wasn’t able to save very many beans, Japanese beetles and bean beetles were rampant here this year. I also did some canning and am raising chickens. I am planning a book series called The Perpetual Homesteader. The first book will be The Perpetual Vegetable Gardener.

    • Comment by Tierney James
      January 19, 2021 5:14 pm

      This sounds amazing!

  3. Comment by Martha Knox
    February 13, 2021 3:36 pm

    My entire life I’ve been a semi-prepper. As a divorced Mom of six kids I never knew what disaster lurked. They fired me one time two weeks before Christmas. After a frantic door-to-door search for a job, I found out later that the company I worked for fired everyone as company policy for the month of december and january because business was slow during that time. Needless to say I found a job the next day, worked for the newspaper for 12 years and still get a tidy pension that pays for my internet and phone lol. I had staples stocked up once a month, then bought milk, bread, cereal, and eggs every week. This practice saved me many times. I was not caught by the great toilet paper famine because I figured if I had plenty of tp and staples I was ok. I shop once a month usually buying the same things. I enjoy the farmer’s market in Webb City, I really miss it during the winter. Fresh meat at Lockwood packing company. Muncies is close. So during the covid 19 I get out of the house once a month to do everything, groceries, doctor, etc. I sincerely miss all of you the most. Zoom is fun, but there is a special bond between fellow writers in person. I miss the laughter and hugs. Please stay safe. Keep on writing. I received so much wonderful advice from all of you. Really miss our retreats.

    • Comment by Tierney James
      February 23, 2021 9:54 pm

      You are amazing.

  4. Comment by Martha Knox
    February 13, 2021 3:39 pm

    Oh yeah. My 30 year old furnace gave up the ghost this week and I had to get a new one right during the middle of the coldest weather of the year. Thank goodness for a wood stove, and a reliable honest heating guy who installed a new furnace.One of the unsung heros of essential workers who keep things running..

    • Comment by Tierney James
      February 23, 2021 9:53 pm

      What a hero!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© Tierney James, Author ~ Lipstick & Danger
%d bloggers like this: