Miss E’s Handy Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Power Napping

In this picture, Miss E demonstrates the don’ts of post-apocalyptic napping.

With all of those late nights running from zombies, worrying about cannibal attacks, and protecting your toilet paper stash from untrustworthy fellow survivors, it really is difficult to get a wink in, let alone a proper nine hours! Along with compassionate clinicians, children, and the elderly, those people who slept soundest were very early weeded out after the great panic of 2019. Call it evolution, natural selection or adaptation, the takeaway is simple: those of us who are lightest sleepers tend to avoid danger and live another day.

However, avoiding sleep is not the answer. A lack of Zzzs can lead to hallucinations, death and, perhaps worst of all, those dratted puffy under-eye circles! After all, heaven knows that the apocalypse really can do a number on one’s girlish looks. Therefore, I would strongly argue that regular beauty sleep has become a crucial tool to maintaining a Gracious Lady’s smooth skin and fashionably zaftig figure.

Here are my recommendations for how to nap safely and soundly:

  • Take small naps throughout the day – never allow yourself to indulge in more than a few hours of sleep.
  • Nap in high places to avoid detection. For example, during the earliest days of the great panic, I camped out in the Netherlands Carillon which was the perfect place to catch a snooze in between watching the capital descend into chaos. Maybe it’s gauche of me to say, but I don’t think I was ever quite so well rested than in those days!
  • Be sure to keep a weapon of choice under your pillow, for easy access. Nowadays, I can hardly nod off without cuddling with my favorite rifle.
  • Never nap when you are supposed to be on guard. These are the kinds of little mistakes that fellow survivors tend to not forgive.

And always remember, ladies: sleep with one eye open!  At the very least, you might be able to spy a potential husband before another single girl snags him.

Signing off,
Miss E

In this picture, Miss E demonstrates the don’ts of post-apocalyptic napping.

Mrs. K’s Guide to Dinner Party Etiquette

We have just returned from our first dinner party with our new survivor group. The head of the homeowner’s association, Mrs. Glenn, had us and a few of the neighbors over for dinner. It was such a lovely evening getting to know our new suburban community (even if the potatoes were a little overcooked). It also gave me a chance to use my foolproof method to being the perfect dinner party guest:

  1. Do bring a gift. It is rude to show up empty-handed when invited to someone’s home. Of course, since we’re just settling in, our options for hostess gifts were limited. Luckily we were able to scavenge some acorns that we roasted and tossed with one of Miss E’s famous spice blends.
  2. Do ask lots of questions. Nothing makes a dinner party more awkward than long lulls in conversation. That’s why I always prepare a short list of questions to ask the host when the conversation starts to lag. People do love talking about themselves!
  3. Do not drink too much. Miss Peterson was famous for this, rest her soul. We could not take her anywhere! Plus, it’s important to remain ever vigilant in case you must defend yourself from a pack of zombies or cannibals looking to have a dinner party of their own.
  4. Do compliment the food. No matter how bland Mrs. Glenn’s chicken is.

Follow these steps and you should be a hit at any party! The community block party is coming up in a few weeks. I can’t wait to show off my own party-making and chicken roasting skills!

Happy hosting!

Mrs. K

Keeping it Spicy with Miss E

I prefer to stay on the sunny side of the street most of the time, but I must say that one of the worst things about living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland – perhaps even more than zombie breath — is the distinct lack of refrigeration. Sure, if you have a generator you can get a few hours of chill, but the lack of consistency means that food goes bad much quicker. And nothing ruins a nice dinner party like the taste of moldy venison!

I take a lot of pride in my cooking, so finding ways to spruce up overly ripe or spoiled food is an everyday challenge for me. I have found that adding an inordinate amount of spices to each dish really helps mask the flavor of over-ripe meats and vegetables.

Miss E's Spice Collection

Miss E’s Spice Collection

Here are my tricks to keeping your pantry stocked with spices:

1. Toast ‘emGot old dry spices during your last raid? Toasting your spices on a skillet wakens up the flavor.

2. Grow ‘em – outside, inside or even in your basement garden!

3. Hang ‘em – Take bunches of your herbs growing your garden and hang them near the fireplace. This makes it easy to grab a handful when you need to cook. Also, it makes the room smell nice.

4. Salt ‘em – Salt your meat, poultry and fish to keep it fresher longer. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before serving!

Full of sugar, spice and everything nice,
Miss E

Have a question? Need some sage advice? Please submit your question in the question box attached to the barn… or email us at the.ladies.zombie.handbook@gmail.com

 

We’ve Missed You, Dear Readers!

Has it really been a year, gentle readers? My how the time flies when you’re being chased by a ravenous group of zeds and scavenging for food in the woods. Wherever did the time go?

When we last left you, we were fleeing our cannibal and undead aggressors, headed west to find a new home. However we had persevered and despite our dire circumstances (not least of which included a broken CD player), we were able to keep our spirits up. We even had a good old fashion Easter egg hunt. After all, you should never let a little mortal danger ruin the holidays!

We feel terrible for the abrupt way we left off. Of course it was terribly rude but I think once you know what happened, all will be forgiven. It was mid-afternoon and we had just pulled into a rundown liquor store. Miss E was gathering supplies to siphon gas and Mr. K was gathering the menfolk to raid the liquor store shelves for snacks. I was getting the junior survivors ready for a bathroom run.

Mr. K and the menfolk got off the bus first and did an initial sweep. We hadn’t seen a zed in days. This being whiskey country pre-panic, everyone had shotguns and very few zed strongholds were able to be established. Therefore, we were not as careful as we should have been and the pack of wild zeds that came at us from the woods took us completely by surprise. I won’t bore you with the details of the fight, although I was happy to have an opportunity to put my cross bow skills to the test. What is important is that by the end of the battle, we had gone from 19 survivors to just 8.

We were forced to abandon the bus and most of our supplies. It has been over a year and our group has lost two more members. Tragically, none of our junior survivors have made it. These were trying times for a lady! Roasted chicken dinners seemed to be a thing of the past; Miss E’s rat catching and roasting skills were invaluable!

There is good news however! We have reached what seems to be strong survivor group. After months of walking and scavenging, we came to a small gated community in the Carolinas (it seems we got a little turned around in the past year!). It is the kind of suburban haven that served as a status symbol for middle-management types in the pre-panic days. The heavy gates and picket fences that use to keep out the poors, now serve as a first defense against the hungry hordes.

The denizens of Windy Pines planned community have welcomed us with a somewhat guarded hospitality, as befits these new times. I’m confident we can win them over with dandelion wine and chicken pot pie. If nothing else, it feels wonderful to take a proper bath.

Much more to come!

Mrs. K

When all of the Convenience Stores have Already been Raided: How to Find Junk Food

Inviting, isn't it?

Inviting, isn’t it?

As those of you long time readers know, as a single girl looking for a husband I take my figure very seriously. In order to maintain my fashionably zaftig figure (skinny is so pre-panic!), I am on a strict 2,000+ calorie diet.  Therefore, I have to take extra care while eating on the road to ensure I get the nutrition I need to fight off both the zombies and the menfolk!

As stated previously, on our current road trip across the southwestern part of the Virginia territory, we have to halt pretty frequently to siphon gas. It’s a chore, but it gives us an opportunity to go scouting for new supplies.  As your resident expert in raiding, I thought I’d pass on a few tips to you readers.

As you all know, all of the grocery, pharmacies and convenience stores are almost completely raided with the exception of  sour cream & onion chips which are frankly gross and do not belong in the modern woman’s diet.* Therefore, you have to be more thoughtful in your approach when looking for snacks.

Here is where to look for the best junk food:

  • Liquor stores– most of the alcohol has been raided, but no one remembered to take the party snacks!
  • Break rooms in office buildings – But be sure to bring an ax to get to the goodies in vending machines!  Make sure to check the drawers of the cubicle desks too, that’s where folks stashed the snacks they really didn’t want others to steal.
  • Fast food joints – Amazingly, I have found that many of the fast food places along the road have had generators which have kept the freezers on for years. For that reason, we have been enjoying all of our old favorites lately. It’s not food per se, but it sure tastes good!
  • Big Box store backrooms and basements – Sadly for the dearly departed, most people in the early days of the panic forgot the importance of being thorough in their raiding. They took everything from the store shelves, but forgot the treasure trove of items in the back. Learn from their folly!
  • Ethnic grocery stores- This really only applies to you urban dwellers, as there is not too much diversity in moonshine country.  However, many Korean, Indian, Chinese , and other small grocery stores are STILL full of delicious and delectable prepackaged snacks simply because many people targeted the bigger groceries during the early days of the great panic.

Mr. Wade recently came across an entire crate of moonshine, which has made our trip a little more fun. Remember kids, always drink moonshine responsibly: never ever drink and drive a school bus!

Your Salty & Sweet,
Miss E

*Mrs. K would like our readers to note that she takes issue with this sour cream & onion chips are her favorite snack. A debate over this issue eventually led to us not talking for several hours.

Ask the Gracious Ladies: How to Siphon Gas like a Lady

Image by vudhikrai,

Image by Vudhikrai

Dear Gracious Ladies,

Thank you two so much for your invaluable advice to navigating the complexities of the post-apocalyptic life with poise and elegance. I have a particularly tricky question for you. How do I siphon gas like a lady? So often I get gas in my mouth, making my breath less than kissing-sweet. Can you help?

Sincerely,
Gassy Gal

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Dear Gassy Gal,

We are currently on the road so I empathize with your struggle completely. Siphoning gas is such a painful reality for a modern girl on the go.  With our current school bus, we have to fill up fairly frequently, which makes the road trip progress very slow, especially considering the occasional wrecked cars in our path that we have to move along the way.

But back to your excellent question about siphoning gas. If done incorrectly, the process can be messy, highly flammable and worst of all, highly unladylike. For those of our (amateur) readers who are not sure how to siphon gas without using your mouth,  please click here for a great demonstration by SinsinCincy.

In addition, I’d like to add a tip. While most people tend to go after the large SUVs and trucks, I have found it is nearly always better to siphon hybrid and ultra low emission vehicles. While the tanks may be smaller, they tend to be filled with more of the fuel, simply because others never think to siphon them first!

And remember the cardinal rule for siphoning: pinky up ladies!

Affectionately,

Miss E

Have a question? Need some sage wisdom? Please submit your question in the question box attached to the barn… or email us at the.ladies.zombie.handbook@gmail.com

Happy Easter from the Gracious Ladies!

Happy Easter everyone! Aside from a few difficulties caused by being on the road, we plan to celebrate as usual.  There are a few in our survivor group that adhere to the belief that celebrating Easter post-panic is in bad taste now that the dead have actually risen.  However, we will take any excuse to have a big meal and a little fun so we celebrate, but in a mostly secular way.Zombie bunny

The focus of the day is always the Easter egg hunt.  Easter egg hunts are great activity.   The kids love it and it promotes good hunting skills. Here are a few tips for a successful egg hunt:

  • Choose your spot:  This is especially important when you are on the road like we are.  Make sure to hide the eggs only in a small and fairly open area.
  • Anything can be an egg:  Do not discouraged be if you don’t have all the right materials; we have learned to improvise!  I mean, who has plastic Easter eggs these days?  This year we’ve used film canisters we found rattling around the bus but you can use almost anything from cigarette packs to empty pill bottles!
  • Use the best treats:  The kind they can really use.  Instead of candy we fill the “eggs” with survival items such as Band-Aids, buttons and sheets of toilet paper.

Easter dinner may be a little on the skimpy side this year but the hunt will go on!  And besides, we have a little dandelion wine we’ve been saving for the occasion, so the grown ups will have a good time too!

Happy hunting,

Mrs. K

The Sound of Silence

Dan guitarToday, we were hit by a terrible turn of events.  No, our bus did not break down in zed-infested territory nor were we waylaid by cannibals.

It was something so much worse: the CD player in the bus broke.  We did not have a huge collection of CDs but was better than a bus full of people all talking at once (or the silence when we all ran out of things to say).  Now all we have is ourselves for musical entertainment.  While we have some genuine talent among us, Mr. K has instituted a few ground rules to keep the peace:

  • No sing-along songs such as “The Wheels on the Bus” or “99 Bottles of Beer.”  This should always be a rule, no matter what the circumstances.
  • Mr. K says that if anyone, even jokingly, requests that he play “Freebird” on his guitar one more time, he will personally turn this bus around and deliver us all gift-wrapped to the cannibals.
  • No fiddling with the radio dial.  All there has been for the past six years is static; today will be no different.
  •  No singing unless you actually know the words, and no drumming without rhythm.  Rhythm will be determined by a group majority and all decisions are final.

We hope this will keep the peace.  But we really hope that we can fix the CD player at our next stop.

What are some of your favorite road trip songs?  We could use the suggestions!

Very truly,

Mrs. K

How to Cook on the Road (without attracting zombies!)

One of the major issues that survivor groups face when they are forced out of their shelter is how to cook nutritious, delicious meals on the open road. Campfires are rarely a good idea as the light can attract zeds and cannibals alike. (Cannibals tend to see fires as an invitation to barbecue.) We have solved this problem by building a solar oven. Instructions can be found here on how to build your own. With this easy to make contraption, no one will ever have to miss out on my famous chicken pot pie!

Very truly,

Mrs. K

Why We Had to Abandon Our Survival Shelter and Head West

Cross Stich pattern by Alicia Watkins. (Link to her etsy page is provided below. )

Cross Stich pattern by Alicia Watkins. (Link to her etsy page is provided below. )

Dearest Readers,

Last Thursday I promised you all an explanation for why we’ve been out of touch. Here is how it happened. Do you remember Mr. Young Jr.? He was my romantic interest last November before getting kicked out by Mr. K in January due to his inability to, well… contribute.

We hoped we had heard the last of him. Unfortunately, we had not.

It seems that after Mr. Young Jr. left our colony, he joined up with a roving cannibal gang. As I’ve mentioned before, cannibals are the worst sort of crowd to consort with – even viler than Miss Peterson. While it is not surprising that he would try to join that kind of disreputable group, cannibals are not usually amenable to taking on new members. I can only imagine that telling these hungry people-eaters that there were a couple dozen delicious individuals at a nearby location ingratiated him to the pack. (After all, I’ve always thought of myself as a tasty little dish!) Perhaps this was the cannibal lair we came across several weeks ago when searching for a new home.

On Wednesday last week, Mrs. K and I were on the front porch taking a break from packing when we saw a disheveled, ragged Mr. Young Jr. limping towards us. He looked different; not only was he unkempt (per usual) but he kept shaking furiously and laughing manically.

Immediately, we knew these were tell-tale symptoms of cannibalism, so we called for help. At the moment, the cannibal gang burst through the weak parts of our fences and began their attack. They must have been studying our defenses for a few days since they seemed to know all of the points of entry. There were perhaps 15 of them – they didn’t outnumber us but they had the advantage of surprise.

We had run drills for attacks (from both alive and undead aggressors), of course, but the patterns of the living are always less predictable than the zombies. Between the surprise attack and the distraction of packing, we were slow to respond. The cannibals were armed with shotguns and starting firing first. All the gunfire seemed to attract every undead being in the neighborhood! Within a half hour, in addition to the cannibals, our defenses were completely overrun by zeds.
The firefight lasted under a half an hour but we had lost four, Mr. Lehman, Mr. Wright and two junior survivors, Little Amanda Rose and Little Maddie. For those of you who are good at math, that brings our survival group down to 19.

A few of the cannibals escaped but I’m glad to say that most died grisly deaths at the hands of a group of girl scout zambini. Happily, I had the pleasure of watching Mr. Young Jr. being devoured by a zambino. I didn’t want the zombie to have all of the fun, so I shot him straight between the eyes (that’ll teach him to reject my advances!).

Between the undead hordes and the knowledge that the cannibals would quickly regroup and try again, we needed to move out quickly. Lucky for us, we had already been planning a move, so the 19 of us that remained were able to jump into our half-packed, armored school bus and hit the road.

We have started west. We do not have a destination in mind and progress is slow, but I have started working on a new cross stitch to hang wherever we next call home.

Your ever gracious,
Miss E

(Like the cross stich pattern featured? Check out Alicia Watkin’s etsy shop for more: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aliciawatkins?ref=seller_info)