Tuesday, January 31, 2023

As you know...

 if you have followed along here for a while, I am easily distracted.  Sort of like a dog when it spots a squirrel.  :)

While digging through some boxes and baskets, I came across a partially finished granny square afghan that I had completely forgotten about.  How a person can forget about a green and purple afghan is beyond me, yet there it is!  And because the weather here has been bitterly cold, it occurred to me that an extra blanket might be a good idea.

I have been working to finish the afghan to the exclusion of everything else.  Partly because I wanted another warm blanket and partly because I was feeling a bit of burn out concerning my food storage.  Sometimes, we just need a break.

The afghan will be finished today, for all I have left to do is to crochet one row around the edge for a border.  After that, it is back to stacking food and supplies to the rafters, starting with several quart bags of strawberries in my freezer that need to go into jars before freezer burn finds them.

So far I have not heard of empty grocery store shelves here in my neck of the woods.  But I am noticing that substitutions as far as brand names or types of some goods are becoming more frequent.  For instance, my grocery order last week included 4 rolls of parchment paper.  I got 2 rolls because that was all that was on the shelf.  I also ordered 4 large bags of shredded hash browns to dehydrate.  What I got was 4 bags of potato dices, marked 'hash browns' on the bag.  We preppers are nothing if not flexible, so the diced potatoes went into the dehydrator anyway.  I know I will find a use for them. 

Keep stacking it, my friends.  We are going to need every crumb.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Looking Back

 I don't know where to turn any more.  If I agree with the propaganda of the left, I am just as bad as they are, but I will not be harassed or 'cancelled.'  And if I continue to believe in God and the Constitution, I am labeled every nasty name in existence.

I have to wonder what happened.  How did we as a nation get to this point?  Are we so incredibly stupid that we no longer see bs for what it is?  Seems like it.

I remember a time when my kids could go outside to play without needing adult supervision.  I remember having friends of all shapes, sizes and colors and nobody thought anything about it.  I remember a time when people could have conversations about political differences without the hate and discontent we see now.  

A generation or maybe two back in time, people were vastly more prepared to fend for themselves and handle hardship than current generations.  Not only did they have the skills to do things like build stuff and care for livestock or raise their own food, they did these things as a matter of course.

During the Great Depression, money was tight for a farmer in northern Minnesota like my Grandfather.  But he would not even consider asking for help.  One of his daughters went to teaching school.  A couple of his sons went to work in logging camps.  My Dad and a brother hopped a freight train headed west.  They worked on grain thrashing crews.  They found jobs going behind the machines that dug potatoes and they picked potatoes off the ground and filled sacks.  They sent every penny they could home to help the family.  The rest of the kids stayed home and milked cows, fed hogs and cared for the chickens and the huge garden.  They all worked to take care of the family.

Now folks just get in line to sign up for food stamps and welfare benefits.  And have meltdowns if they can't get exactly what they want.

Most times I think we should be looking backward for inspiration instead of looking to see what we can get for free.  The day may come when all we have left is the knowledge gleaned from our ancestors.  Grandma and Grandpa survived because they knew stuff.  Because they relied on their own selves instead of relying on government individuals who couldn't find their own backsides with both hands and a flashlight.  

Nobody is coming to save you.  You could at some point have to depend on yourself and on the knowledge you have.  Never stop learning.  It could save your life.


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Question...

 Is anyone else but me noticing how often the F-bomb is being dropped?  Doesn't seem to matter where or under what circumstances.

I am not a prude.  I know there have been times when provoked that I have been guilty of unleashing language more becoming to a drunken sailor than to a lady.  But it is not language in the heat of the moment that I am talking about.

Many of my evenings are spent with computer videos and yarn and a crochet hook.  I watch many preparedness YouTube channels and sometimes other channels just for the etertainment value.  It is on the latter channels that I have noticed a serious uptick of ugly language.  It seems like folks have lost the ability to talk without dropping those bombs.  

Thing is, those words are no longer bombs.  They now seem to just be part of everyday conversation.  So I have to wonder if words that years back were not uttered in polite society are now just part of the program to bring the population down to the level of some crawling creature.  Like the insistance that men can be women if they wear a skirt.  Like the insistance that abortion is not really murder.  Like the insistance that white people have some sort of privilege and are automatically racist.  Like that.

When we let all those things go by without question, we are agreeing that all of it is just dandy.  I do not think these ideas are dandy.  I think they are dangerous.  And to not acknowledge them is to agree with having our lives turned backwards and upside down.

Nope.  Not gonna do it.  Not gonna agree.  Not gonna allow that kind of foolishness under my roof.  So there!  End of rant.  For now.

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

One Size Does Not Fit All

 Over the years I have watched many preparedness videos.  Many of them have really good information.  But very few fit my lifestyle.  And I am pretty sure there are many of my vintage who are in the same boat with me.

I would love to have a homestead and raise chickens and other meat animals and grow a big garden.  And I admire those who can sustain that kind of lifestyle.  But I am not one of those people.

There are all sorts of videos about what one should pack into a bug out bag.  Good information for those who plan to cut and run when things get dicey.  But many of us can not even consider leaving our homes due to age or physical problems.

I do what I do in order to make sure my family is fed should things get really bad.  I am able to defend myself should it come to that, but I can not move all of my stored food and supplies.  It does me no good at all to can, dehydrate or buy food and supplies if I can not use them as intended or if I leave them behind.

I also pay no attention to those who tell me I must have 10 specific food items or that I can not survive unless I have the gear they are selling.  Some of those 10 items are often things I don't use.  And the idea of needing 'gear' is ridiculous for me as most times they are talking about things like night vision goggles or tools to build a shelter in the woods.  Don't need much in the way of gear here in my little apartment. 

The point to all of this is that each of us has specific needs.  What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone.  In preparedness, one size doesn't fit all.  We need to take what we can use and let the rest go.  

Finding alternative ways to do what we need to do is helpful.  We can't garden or raise animals, so we visit Farmer's Markets in season and take advantage of grocery store sales.  

Keep stacking what we know will be used.  And most definitely keep on praying.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Looking Back

 Most people, at the beginning of a new year, look forward to whatever it brings.  I find myself looking back.

Some time ago, someone close to me had a look at the room in my apartment where much of my food storage is located.  Their reaction to the shelves and boxes full of food was to ask why.  Clearly they were under the assumption that nothing will ever change, that the stores will always be completely stocked and nothing bad will ever happen - at least not in their back yard.

Generations younger than mine do not seem to realize that for us, being prepared is not just some trendy thing to do.  It is a lifestyle.

Looking back, I remember the huge garden my Dad planted every year.  And how summer and fall we canned and froze as much food as possible to get our family through the long, cold Minnesota winters.  Dad didn't farm, but he did rent out our 9 acre field to the neighbor to grow corn or soy beans in exchange for beef.  That same neighbor milked cows, so we got our milk from him, and our eggs from another neighbor who raised chickens.

My grandparents raised milk cows and hogs and chickens for meat to feed their family of nine children.  Dad told me about loading a wood burning stove onto a hay wagon, along with boxes of canning jars.  The family would go to the blueberry bogs of northern Minnesota, where they would camp.  The kids would pick blueberries and Grandma would fire up the stove and can blueberries until all the jars were full. 

In addition to canning vegetables from their huge garden, Grandma made butter from the cream separated from the milk, and traded the butter in town for flour and sugar.  They dug a root cellar in the side of a hill near the house for keeping potatoes, carrots, cabbage and rutabagas over winter.  

Families then did not depend on anyone to take care of them.  My Dad consdered it shameful to accept any kind of government help.  They did as much as was humanly possible to take care of their families.

All of this was common to families older than my generation.  They were preppers but didn't know it.  Neither did I until I saw some websites about preparedness.  This is just what we did to feed or families.

Even if we can no longer raise vegetables or meat animals, we can still be prepared.  If you think some government agency is going to bring you a ham sandwich and a bottle of water, you are sadly mistaken.  Nobody is coming to help.  We need to be as self sufficient as possible.  Look to the old ways.  Those people survived without all the gadgets.

Most importantly, continue to pray.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

There comes a time...

 when perhaps it is a good idea to put everything on hold and spend time with loved ones or just doing other things.  That's where I am.  So I will be here resting, reading, sewing or whatever I decide to do until after the new year.  

Here in the Great White North, everything is frozen solid.  The temp this evening is minus 8 degrees.  Snow and wind are headed our way.  

We don't need to prepare for the end of the world.  Preparing for cold and snow and wind is just important.  While others are lining up in the grocery stores, stocking up on whatever they need to get through the storm, I will be sitting on my cozy apartment with a cup of hot chocolate, watching the storm from the comfort of my recliner.  Your neck of the woods may have different weather related difficulties, but being well prepared is the same no matter where we are.

Stay safe.  Enjoy the holidays as much as possible.  Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a better New Year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Just Checking In...

 There hasn't been much activity here in the Great White North lately.  I haven't been canning or dehydrating, but am more concentrating on basics like rice and pasta and sugar.  My groceries are delivered Thursday afternoon and there will be things to repackage and put away.  I repackage in Ziploc bags anything that comes packaged in cardboard or thick paper, like sugar bags.  I haven't had a problem with bugs here, but past experience tells me bugs like paper or cardboard - plastic, not so much.

I am nearly finished writing out the old family recipes and some of the stories associated with them, for my kids.  I still need to dive into my recipe box and find Mother's recipes for apple pie and peach pie.  

Each summer Mother would make at least a dozen apple pies using apples from our very small orchard.  Dad would bring home lugs of peaches from the grocery store and she would make about the same number of peach pies using part of the peaches and would can the rest.  She stored the raw pies in the freezer, stacking them one on top of the other, forming towers of pies.  We would bake them, one at a time, throughout the winter months.  When her hands became too crippled from arthritis to be able to continue this practice, she turned that task over to me.  To this day I love apple and peach pies.  Making them - not so much.  :) 

Here in Minnesota, for the last day or so, we have had rain, sleet, snow - rinse and repeat.  It is in times like these that I am more than happy I do not need to go outside.  That will be especially true come the weekend when temps here are supposed to drop to single digits.  Times like this I envy my friend in California who is picking oranges and grapefruit from the trees.  :)

That's all I've got for now.  Stay safe and warm.