Thursday, September 24, 2015

Achoo and the Importance of Backups

Yep.  Head colds.  Both of us.  Son is sneezing a lot.  I've had little energy the past couple of days and thought I was just tired but woke up this morning with a stuffed up head.  Nothing serious.  Head colds come and head colds go.  We will survive.

Son is worse off than I am.  On Tuesday he was cleaning the lenses of his glasses when they fell apart.  Right where the nose piece connects with the lens frame.  Glasses are now two separate pieces.  Can't be fixed.  Optometrist didn't have a frame that the lenses would fit.  Friday is the earliest he can get in for an eye exam.  In the meantime he is home.  It is tough to run a forklift when you can't see more than six inches beyond the end of your nose.  He says he was way overdue for an eye exam anyway, but isn't happy about having to miss work.  Still has his sense of humor intact, though.  While feeling his way to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, he allowed as to how learning braille might not be a bad idea.  :)

This got me to thinking a bit more seriously about having a backup for some of the common items I use nearly every day.  We have a Mr. Coffee.  Useless without electricity.  I do have one of those coffee pots where you pour hot water in the top and it drips down over the grounds.  That pot is about 70 years old.  Got it from my Dad.  Makes great coffee.  But it might be a good idea to invest in another coffee pot that doesn't need to be plugged in.  After is the elixir of life.  I really don't know if I would want to face another day without coffee.  :)

Can openers are another thing I  would not want to do without.  I have two hand-held openers.  Because of a bit of arthritis in my hands, I need ones that are large, easy to grip and easy to operate.  Should the ones I have cease to work, I would be hard pressed to open a can.  I should have more can openers stashed away.

I have two kitchen mixers - one stand mixer and one hand held mixer.  Both have electric cords attached.  I think I need to find one of those old fashioned mixers that has two beaters that are operated by turning a crank.  One of those old beaters was a necessity in my Mother's kitchen.  She didn't have an electric mixer until I was about 15 years old.  (That was a banner year.  Got our first electric mixer, our first television set and my first and only baby brother that year!)  And although the new mixer was a time saver and labor saver, we had managed just fine without it.  Now I dearly love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer my kids gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  It makes life easier when the aches and pains of aging slow me down somewhat.  But as a backup, the old beater mixer would be a good thing to have.

Now that I can see again, I have been doing some sewing in the evenings.  I've been piecing a quilt using just needle and thread to sew the pieces together.  Just wanted to see if I could make a quilt without using my sewing machine.  So far - so good.  I like the results even though it is time consuming.  Anyway, that got me to thinking about sewing supplies.  A couple of years ago I took advantage of a sale at Joann Fabrics.  Stocked up on pins, needles, thread, etc.  I noticed lately that my supply of thread was getting low.  We live in a throw-away society.  Lose a button or get a hole in a garment, out it goes and we buy new.  Well, some of us buy new.  Others like me were raised to fix what we had.  Sewing supplies for hand sewing could be important in a grid-down situation.  That includes the kind of thread for darning holes in socks.  I know.....nobody darns socks any more.  But if your last pair has holes in the heel and you can't get any more, darning socks is a useful skill.

I think I need to go over my list (Yes.  I am one of those.  I make lists.) of items to add to my preps.  Seems I have forgotten a few things.  The world around me doesn't seem to be improving much, so I don't think it would be wise to delay.


  1. Great thought process, Vicki. We have a swing away can opener on the wall and have for years. That way I don't have to squeeze a manual can opener with my arthritis. We even have a back up in case this one gives out. But then I got to thinking. If things do go south, after the last can of store bought green beans are opened, I won't need the can opener anymore.

    Over the last few years I have taken advantage of sales to stock up on fabric, quilt batting, needles, thread, buttons, zippers, scissors, etc. Anything I thought would be useful for maintaining or creating clothing, bedding, etc. You are very right about the need to know how to mend. I've read several things lately about clothes wearing out and getting ragged in a depression of the economy.

    Coffee? I'm drinking some right now and will hate to see the day when we run out. We use a Mr. Coffee, too, but have a back up percolator that can be used on the stove or over a fire. It takes a lot longer, but makes good coffee. I planted some green tea in hopes of having a little caffeine if we ever run out of coffee, which is another thing we pick up when we have the chance.

    Great article. Thank you for the reminder to continually 'take stock' of what we have prepared. Prayers for quick recovery for the two of you. Blessings.


  2. Some advise on being sick...1000mg Vit. C, and Multi Vit. I have over 50 type. When I crushed my foot in 2003, the Dr put me on those I never got sick. Since we have been back from Fla. two years now I take them daily.

    I remember the old hand tools, wish I had the ones my dad used. I too want a back up coffee maker, old style cook on the stove. We had a hand mixer crank style, I don't know what happened to it.

    Did your son try WM optical may have some thing, unless they are that old. I have my last pair as back up, someplace, i think...LOL

  3. Thank you, Fern, for your remarks as well as prayers. Our colds are already getting better. I had a friend once who was an EMT. He told me that it doesn't really matter what a person does for a cold. It takes about 10 days for one to run its course. Over the years I have found that to be true. These are not too serious - just annoying!

    I had not thought about a wall mounted can opener until you mentioned yours. I remember having one years ago and I think I will have to see if I can find a couple of them. I am always keeping an eye out for manual kitchen gadgets that make the every day chores less painful.

    I have to wonder how many would even know how to use many of the sewing supplies. I was blessed with a mother who was a wonderful seamstress and who taught me how to make and repair clothing. My grandchildren are learning computer skills in school, but I would be happier if they were also learning the skills that used to be taught in Home Economics classes. Me...I'm looking for a good treadle sewing machine.

    It will be a sad day when I finally run out of coffee. Both Son and I love our coffee. We keep adding to our stash but I know it won't last forever. Sigh.

    I am on the downward slide toward 70 years of age. I consider that a plus because I can remember how many things were done before so many labor saving devices were common. (Remember telephone party lines? Mine had 9 families sharing one phone line.) Even though I enjoy gadgets, it is good to know that I can still do without them and manage just fine. I think those old time skills will be important in our future.

  4. Rob...I have some vitamin c but didn't even think about taking it regularly. Guess that and a good multi-vitamin are going on my list for stocking up.

    Being extremely nearsighted, Son can't see to drive without glasses so his options are limited. Our regular optometrist is only a couple of blocks away so he was able to walk there. That eye doctor does a very thorough exam which, as you know, is important for diabetics. He was told that his eyes are very healthy and show none of the signs of problems caused by diabetes. His new glasses are ordered and hopefully will be here one day next week.

    I like the old tools, too, both in regular tools and kitchen tools. They were made so much better back then. Seems like today things fall apart before they have time to wear out.

  5. have purchased a couple of eggbeaters and they are worthless.
    very poorly made.
    my mother's never seized up. it was made properly.
    cannot find them nowadays..

  6. Deb...Most everything today is made to fall apart in a short period of time so we will throw them away and buy more. I look for things like the egg beater in antique/junk shops or thrift stores. My mother's egg beater was worked hard and I don't think it ever wore out. Of course that was 60 plus years ago when there was still some pride involved in producing a good, well made product.

  7. My microwave I've had for two decades blew out tonight. Guess I got my money's worth out of it but now have to go buy a new one. There is microwave in the apartment, but it's the older, heavier style and I don't want to carry it down the stairs out there. Wish I did have a backup in the storage room.

  8. Yeah, I'd say you got your money's worth out of that one. Sad to say, but I'd bet the new one won't last nearly that long. My landlord was telling me that the new appliances he is putting into the apartments here have a life expectancy of no more than 10 years. My parents had appliances that Dad bought second hand and were still working well decades later. And it seems like the one thing we don't have a backup for is the one thing that dies!

  9. I bought a hand beater in an antique store. Even though it works, I want to get another one that is better. `I have the treadle sewing machine and lots of supplies. I have been sewing since I was four-years-old, 65 years now! Ever so often, I just buy more needles and pins. Never buy them at WM because even though it might be a brand you trust, the quality is not the same for WM specs. My friend's mother pieced quilts by hand. They held up well.

  10. Linda...Years ago I used a treadle machine and loved it. I am hoping to find one in good condition, but they are few and far between. I learned to sew at about age 8 - some 61 years ago! I've made quilts by piecing on the sewing machine, but have not pieced one by hand until starting the one I am working on now. So far, I like the way it is going together. Like you, I avoid sewing supplies from WM, but get mine at a nearby Joann Fabrics. Have had good luck with supplies and fabric purchased there.