Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rethinking Preps

When we think about being prepared, most will cite the upcoming collapse of our economy or the tyrannical direction our government is headed or the loss of our freedoms or the real possibility of the grid going down or a zombie apocalypse as reasons to prepare.  Well, maybe not the zombies so much.

This past week or so I have found that although I prepare for whatever is looming on the horizon, I might be a little better off to look a bit closer to home, and plan accordingly.  I give you the following as an illustration of what can happen in day to day life, never mind the zombies.

First, let me say that I tell you my little story not looking for sympathy, but to illustrate a point.  I don't feel sorry for myself and I don't want anyone else feeling sorry for me.  That isn't the point.  The point is that things beyond our control can happen and sometimes we miss the small stuff by looking only at the big picture.

I am not recovering as quickly as I had hoped for from my arthritis flare-up.  Walking at this point is painful and difficult at best.  The stairs - not gonna happen.  Although I am very slowly getting better, most everything I do at this stage is in a seated position, for standing is also not much fun.

I have had to call for help just once.  I was out of bread and unable to physically make any more myself, so my son-in-law, God love him, brought me some loaves and some lunch meat from the store.  He also hauled out my trash and brought up my mail.  I learned that it might be better to swallow a little pride and ask one of my neighbors if they would, in an emergency, help me with the trash and mail, in trade for some homemade bread or rolls when I am better.  And I learned that I not only need to store flour, yeast, etc. for baking bread, but I need to have several loaves, either in dough form or already baked, in the freezer.  The actual baking requires little walking or standing.  It's the stirring up and kneading that is difficult.

Luckily, last year I canned several varieties of soup - split pea & ham, ham & bean, turkey vegetable, vegetable beef, and chili.  These have been a life saver for me, and I need to find more ideas for meals that can be home canned.  Standing next to the stove to cook from scratch just isn't going to happen right now, so anything that I can just heat up keeps me fed with the least amount of fuss and bother.

I really need to become better organized.  For instance  I canned some homemade pork and beans.  They are really good.  At least I remember them as tasting really good.  They are on the top shelf of one of my shelving units where I store canned foods.  I can't reach them without climbing on my little step ladder.  Not gonna happen this week!  So I found that I need to have a variety of easy to heat up canned food in jars in a cupboard that is handy to my stove and microwave.  If movement is a problem, then things like jar meals need to be within easy reach.

A few years ago, one of my daughters had been involved with a group that got together and made up freezer meals.  Everything needed was assembled and put into freezer bags.  She had given me a couple of them, and they were really good.  I think it might be a very good idea to find recipes for this kind of thing and make up a couple of weeks worth of meals, so all I would have to do is take out a bag, thaw the contents, dump into a casserole dish and bake.  As long as I am spending most of my days right now sitting on my backside, I might just as well sit in front of my computer and research this for when I am well again.  I have seen blogs where people do this, and now I just need to pay attention and take notes.

I realize that there are other steps that can be taken to make life easier in a situation like mine.  But I found that feeding myself was the most wearing on me, so I am concentrating on making that aspect of life a little less trying.

The whole point of this post is to say that sometimes things happen when we least expect it.  I didn't even entertain the possibility of being sidelined for so long a time.  And I wasn't ready for it.  There may be a next time, or I may get lucky and not have to deal with this kind of thing again.  Who knows.  But if there is a next time, at least I will be more ready to take care of myself than I was this time.  And if I can help someone else who might go through a similar experience, then I have done my job.


  1. I don't think that you have to barter for a bit of assistance. I am sure your neighbors would be glad to bear a hand. Self sufficiency does require a person to think about a wide spectrum of potentiality.Fortunately most things you do are applicable across the board. I think your planning for your current situation is good.

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Harry. It wasn't until I found myself struggling with things that I normally wouldn't give a second thought to, that I realized I needed to prepare for physical problems. There is a nice couple down the hall who do some caretaking here, and I am sure if asked, they wouldn't mind helping if needed. The thought of baking bread for them is more of a thank you kind of thing and not so much a barter.

  3. what about putting together a pre packaged meal that you can toss in a small crock pot?? Freeze small dough balls for rolls vs a loaf. Take them out night before place in stove to thaw and rise, cook up in the am. make up some pocket sandwiches and freeze take from freezer to microwave. We have seen and tried a new Tony's pizza pocket & ham n cheese pocket sandwiches. Our local store has them for $1.19 Pot Pies are cheap at WM. They even have fruit pot pies for desert.

  4. Thanks Rob. All good ideas. I'm using this down time to gather ideas, recipes, etc. to put together when I'm more mobile again. I like to make as much myself as I can. The fruit pot pies idea I really like. A whole pie is too much for one person, but individual pies would be good any time.

  5. I suppose it has something to do with that fellow, Murphy, that causes whatever we least expect to happen to be the very thing that DOES happen.

  6. Yep,'s all Murphy's fault. And right now, ol' Murphy is living at my house. I have high hopes of being able to evict him shortly!

  7. That's the problem with the internet: People you would help - even if it was only to change a light bulb - are thousands of miles away and you can only offer encouragement.

    That sucks.

  8. Jess...Sometimes the encouragement means way more than having someone here to change that light bulb. That is the case at this moment. Thank you, my friend.