Wednesday, October 12, 2016

About to Get Busy Again

Yesterday my grocery delivery service called to take my order.  This time in addition to the normal stuff I ordered 4 heads of cabbage, 10 lbs. of carrots, 10 lbs. of onions and 10 lbs. of potatoes.  I have another 10 lbs. of potatoes here from the previous order.  All of this is going into the dehydrators.  I have another 12 cans of diced tomatoes I found when I was moving some store bought canned goods from the closet pantry to the new shelves.  Those I will drain this evening, saving the juice to drink, and dehydrate them overnight.  The dried food takes up much less space than canned and even with the new shelves, I think I will be doing a juggling act trying to store it all.

Oldest Son Duane and his friend Lori (I don't know why I haven't used their names.  My sons names are already on several comments, so I'm not fooling anybody.) made another Sam's Club run.  This time they brought me one 25 lb. bag of sugar and the same of flour, 2 boxes of instant mashed potatoes (each weighing 3.25 lbs.) and 2 10-packs each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup.

I am also ordering cases of bottled water (24 packs).  And yes, I know it is silly to buy water.  But my apartment is on city water.  City water doesn't taste very good.  I do fill from the tap the 2 ltr. soda bottles and the empty large juice bottles from when the store has had apple juice on sale.  I moved my sofa out about 12 inches from the wall so I can get two rows of water bottles hidden away there.  I have water stashed all over.  I think I can fit 5 cases of bottled water on the bottom shelf of the new shelving unit.  Water is important.  Three days is considered the amount of time person can survive without water, although there have been cases where some have lived 8 - 10 days or longer.  From what I have read, much of that depends on climate, conditions, etc.  Water is the chink in my prepping armour.  I have no place to store the big blue barrels of water, so I do the best I can with what I have to work with.

I don't think I am the only one who feels like time is running out.  I have felt that way for a while now.  I have worked hard to put away some cash each month so I can take advantage of Sam's prices and sale prices to fill in my preps where I am low on some things.  I don't know what will happen.  I don't know if anything will happen.  But no matter what, my family will not go hungry.


  1. My wife and I drink bottled water because tap water tears up our stomachs. Contrary to what some folks say, it is NOT the same as tap water, IF you read the label and make taste comparisons.

  2. My kids don't drink tap water in the city they are in. They always drink bottled spring water. Even though I have lots of water sources here, I keep about 300 gallons stored in containers. I use them to fill the animals troughs so the water gets completely cycled in a four month period.

    I do have the same unhappy premonition that big changes are coming.

  3. Gorges...The city water here isn't all that bad, but it just doesn't taste good to me. I use it for cooking, coffee and most everything else. But for drinking I would rather have bottled water.

  4. Harry...City water just doesn't taste all that good. Maybe my preferences come from so many years of drinking well water that tasted like water should. Once a year I change out the tap water in the bottles. I no longer have animals to give it to, but will probably just dump it into my little washing machine. Hate to waste it. I can get the cases of spring water with my grocery order. Those are easy to store on a shelf.

    Thought it might be the upcoming election that has me thinking about making sure I have as much done as possible before the new president is sworn in, but that is only part of it. World wide, sabers are being rattled. Here at home things are getting totally out of control. Best to get it done while I still can.

  5. I'm on city water having switched from the well when our co-op made it available out here and it definitely doesn't taste as good as the well water did. I decided to invest in a Big Berkey water filter rather than buy bottled. It does a really good job and leaves the water tasting much better. My tea is tasting like it should again.
    With the filter I don't have a storage problem having enough for my family, it sits on the counter next to the sink and I just refill it from the sink hose as I take some out. The filters will do enough water for a family for a year.
    It was expensive, but I think worth it with what I've saved in bottled water, storage, and it will provide at least a year and a half of clean, safe water for even a large family if truly needed to do so. Empty, it's lightweight and easy to move and can be dipped in a river or brook to fill it should that ever be necessary. (I buy a new set of filters as soon as I replace one and so I usually have two spares as I've added extra when I could afford it.)

  6. Spikessib...I have been checking into water filters and the Berkey seems to be the best around. Being a retiree on a fixed income, I need to be careful about where my money goes. Right now I just can't justify spending that kind of money when there are other things I need more. I am glad to hear your take on the Berkey. It reinforces what I have learned. Thank you.

  7. What great timing! Today, I refilled my water storage. Also in former juice bottles or soda bottles. I had a few minutes to wait for the laundry running in the apt. laundry room and thought 'what chore needs doing' in these few minutes I'm waiting. (as an aside - I just bought a new washer but it is small. So I'm washing the bulky items like my dog's bedding in the apt laundry room).
    Would love to buy a Berkey water set-up like your one reader suggested but it hasn't risen to the top of my to buy list yet. I did, however, buy a Brita filter that attaches to my kitchen faucet. It doesn't filter out everything the Berkey filters but it helps. I also have a small capacity filter sold to hikers. It would take a while to filter a gallon of water but it's there just in case it's needed. And if the power should go out at some point, I'd have the time!
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  8. We are so far behind that I basically gave up trying to prep for a total melt down. I have some stuff, mostly for heavy snow. If we lose power around here we will all freeze to death all around MN. A fact I have accepted. If I die its in my sleep...

  9. SJ...I just can't afford a Berkey right now, as much as I would like to have one. I am looking to get something less expensive but haven't decided which one to buy. So for now, the bottle system will have to do. When it came to items that cost more than I like to spend, I figured a propane space heater and a propane camp stove were a higher priority. Both of those and several of the smaller bottles of propane cost less than a Berkey. We live in a cold climate. Sub-zero temps are the norm in winter. Water filters will do me no good if I freeze to death!

    Isn't it nice to have a washer in your apartment? I am loving mine. It is small, too, but still washes nearly everything except heavy blankets. It is great not to have to haul laundry up and down stairs to the laundry room. First time in years I am staying caught up with laundry. :)

  10. I agree; time is running out.
    I want to thank you for your blog and the wonderful posts.

  11. Rob...You don't have to prep for a total melt down. Just try to have enough food put back for a few weeks. Buy ingredients like pasta and rice. If your family likes spaghetti, buy a few extra cans of spaghetti sauce. If they like tuna noodle hot dish, buy what you need for making that once or twice month. When you go to Walmart, pick up a couple of items for your pantry. Even if you have just enough for a few extra meals, you are miles ahead of those who refuse to prep at all. You already have taken steps to be able to bake bread more easily, what with your bread machine and the ingredients.

    I'm going to yell at you a lot if you go and freeze to death! Fleet Farm, Walmart and several other stores carry portable propane space heaters designed for indoor use. Mine cost under $80. It runs on those little 1 lb. propane tanks that cost about $4 each. It won't heat your whole house, but you and your family will not freeze to death either.

    Don't you dare give up! If you compare your efforts to those of others, it can be discouraging. Harry has tons more stuff put back than I do. But he has been doing this for many years. I have more set back than you do. But I have been working on this longer than you have. And basically the only person I have to worry about is me. You have a family to feed. Makes a huge difference. I am very lucky to have Duane and Lori living so close. They help me do what I can not do for myself. And I hate to think about the number of times Duane has brought me food to can or dehydrate or canning jars and hasn't let me pay for them. All of these things make it possible for me to prep. I wouldn't be able to do near as much without help.

    A little bit at time. One day at a time. It all adds up.

  12. Glenda...It is like those of us who pay attention are sort of holding our collective breath, waiting. Don't know for sure what we are waiting for, but it seems as though it is right around the corner and it is not pretty. Thank you for your kind words. It is reassuring to know there are others who feel the same. And it is nice to know that if I live in Crazyland, as some who believe all is well and the government will take care of us have said, then I am in good company. :)

  13. Since we heat with wood (only use heating oil for hot water), Hubby has made sure we have enough ready to burn for at least three more years. I, too feel the winds of war in the air. There is nothing we can do except prepare as best as we can. We don't buy what is not absolutely essential. It's hard to do, but necessary.

  14. Chickenmom...Time was I heated with wood, too. I sure do miss my rocking chair next to the pot-bellied stove. Wood heat is the best kind.

    "The winds of war" is an apt description. Don't know if it is coming from outside our borders or from within. Whatever happens, you are right. We need to be as ready as we can be. I don't buy anything that is not necessary, either. We eat from my food storage all the time, which means that every so often I need to replenish. That's what I am doing now. The drumbeats seem to be getting louder and I just don't think it wise to wait.

  15. I've been stocking up as and when I could afford it as well. I just added one thing extra every time I went until I had a supply.

    Living in the south the cold isn't such a worry, though we do get some winter. I hadn't thought about propane as most of my planning has been to do with lack of electricity. I do have natural gas available and have a heater that will heat most of the house hooked up to it for when the electric is out. And my stove has a gas cooktop. I've also stuck with a gas water heater because I've been thinking that the gas is less likely than any other utility to be knocked out, but we do have camping gear and the barbecue is propane. Guess I'd better stock that up, too, when I can.

    As for the Berkey filter, it did take some saving to be able to do it, but I really have found it worthwhile already and in case of emergency I think I will be really grateful for it.

    We are also fortunate enough to have garden space and since we've lived here I've been planting fruit and nut trees and berry bushes as well as learning how to grow food (It's not as easy as it looks!). I don't have many flowers that are not edible (and those that are not strictly edible can be used medicinally. I'm a nurse and have been studying herbal medicine for a while as a just in case measure) and I grow my own herbs and some spices. It's the preserving of the produce and seed saving I'm having some trouble with, though I am still reading and practicing and praying I have time. I've had a fairly steep learning curve, having been a city mouse until recently and growing up where if you wanted to see some weather you had to go visit it, because it didn't come to you. All we had was climate.

    My sister is a still city mouse and has a very small front yard with a pool taking up most of the back, but in the foot of space around her back yard between the fence and the pool surround she plants tomatoes and other veg that can fit (pole beans, etc.) and in the front all of her landscaping except the small patch of grass is edible,too.

    We do this because we too feel there is some bad history coming.Most of our neighbors are like-minded and that is something I find both frightening and comforting. They are confirming my fears, but it's nice to know they are there.

    Sorry to be so long-winded, but the subject fascinates me and I learn so much from you and your commenters.

  16. Spikessib...You never need to apologize for being long winded here. We need more conversations about these things. We learn from each other.

    Living in Minnesota, the winter cold is my biggest worry. Every year there are a few people who die from exposure to the cold. My apartment building is heated with gas. I have a gas kitchen range, but in a crisis the city could easily shut off the gas, which is why I bought a camp stove and a space heater. After doing some research and talking with folks who know about these things, I found that the propane canisters are much more safe to store than any other fuel, so both are propane fueled. The space heater is small, but should heat at least one room in my apartment. It wasn't all that expensive so I may get another for backup.

    It is great that you can have a garden and fruit trees. Years ago before I got old, nearly everyone had a garden. Even in the residential parts of town, every back yard had space for at least a few vegetables. Today I know of only one elderly gentleman in my town who grows vegetables in his yard, besides the Russian ladies who have their little garden space. My apartment is in the downtown area and there is no place to grow anything. The Farmer's Market has been a godsend for me, along with learning to can and dehydrate foods from the grocery. We work with what is available to us.

    I was lucky to have mostly grown up living in the country. My parents had lived through the Great Depression and had, from necessity, learned from their parents how to preserve food. They passed that knowledge on to me. It was just a way of life. Still is. I know little about seed saving, but have been canning since childhood. It isn't all that hard. Some are afraid pressure canners will blow up. I have never known that to happen. It is just a matter of using trusted sources for your information and following instructions to the letter. There are many who have blogs or YouTube channels where they publish canning and dehydrating tutorials. Some are good but many are clueless. Here are some of my go to websites. They are about those places where you can pick your own fruits and veggies for a price, but include very good instructions on food preservation. National Center for Home Food Preservation - a wealth of information.

    "Ask Jackie" is listed in my sidebar. She knows more about canning than I will ever know. Her blog is searchable.

    I am just starting to learn about herbal remedies. I am not pleased with taking several prescription drugs for various conditions that likely could be treated in other ways. Doctors seem to want to write prescriptions rather than discuss alternatives.

    I am glad to hear that you have like-minded people around you. Aside from my sons, I know of none in my area who are the least bit interested in what is going on around them. I guess they must believe that if bad things are not happening in their back yards, everything is fine. I even had one person tell me that she didn't need to prepare because the government had to supply food and water if things got bad. Good grief. The very last thing I ever want to hear is, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." That scares me more than anything else. I have given up on trying to get people interested in food storage. Mostly because I was hearing several of them say they would just come to my house. I don't think so. Now I stay pretty quiet about what I do, except for immediate family and my blog.

    I also hope that we have time, but more and more I am thinking time is short. I wish I had started preparing many years ago rather than the few I have been. I guess all we can do is just keep after it as long as possible. And pray.

  17. Your experience of people commenting that they would come to your house for help struck a cord. I,too, have had that comment one too many times. I don't talk about my preps with my neighbors.
    And I have actively stretched the truth a bit about my preps. For instance, one neighbor came to borrow a cup of sugar recently. I took the small canister I keep handy and poured the sugar into her cup. I emptied my canister in sharing and just said I was going to buy some more anyway.
    In all truth, I was buying more that week because of a great sale. But, in reality, I had two unopened 10kg bags in my long term storage area. I let my neighbor believe that what she saw (a little two-cup canister) was the extent of my supply. And, really, I'm very good with that.
    I am happy to share as I can but I don't want to be viewed as the local grocery store when times get tough. I've worked hard at building my pantry and made hard financial choices to accomplish that.
    As I've often said here, I have few people locally who share my interest. I try to find a community by putting out feelers to see if others are interested. But so far, my attempts have failed to land any new friends. Great post - will close here. SJ in Vancouver BC

  18. SJ...I have gotten to where the only ones who can get away with saying they will just come to my house are my kids, their spouses and special friends, and my grands, even though only a couple of them are on board with being prepared. Anyone else will be told, "No, you won't." Like you, I have worked too long and too hard to get to this point. I will gladly help someone in genuine need, but if they can afford to be vacationing in the Bahamas, driving a new car every other year, eating out several times a week or can't live without the latest electronic gadget, then they don't need to be taking food out of the mouths of my family. I know that sounds cold, but family comes first. Someone shows up here, they had better bring with them more than a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread.

    I tried for quite a while to find others locally who have the same interests, but have given up on that. I would guess that like me, you have heard every excuse under the sun for not preparing. They are too busy or they don't have room to store extra food or they think we are crazy for doing this or nothing will ever happen or the government will take care of us or they can't afford an extra bag of rice. Phooey. This is not a game we are playing. This is not something we work hard at and sacrifice for just for the fun of it. We know that our way of life here in the States is in the process of falling apart. I'll bet that there in Canada things aren't all unicorns and butterflies either. We can't do much to change the direction things are going. But we sure can do all we can to survive it.

    My dear SJ, I do believe I have just gone off on another rant. I am just so fed up with those who aren't willing to put forth a little effort to take care of themselves, but who are more than happy to have us take care of them. I never let anyone but family know what I have stored. I do talk about it here on this blog, but I do so to have these conversations and exchange of ideas with others with the same interests. I'm pretty sure my neighbors never read blogs like mine or the others who write on similar subjects.

    I have a deep and abiding faith in God. I believe in the power of prayer. But I also believe that we can not just sit on our hands and wait for God to send angels with bread and jam. If I am not doing everything I can to take care of me and mine, then the fault is entirely on me.

    Kicking my soapbox back into a corner now. :)

  19. Thanks, Vicki, for the information. I've added some of your sidebar to my daily reading list.

    If you don't read him already, Peter Grant has a good blog as well. Here is a link to the lessons he learned after Katrina that is very interesting. It helped my prepping (I really wish I could think of another word for that, preppers have such a wild-eyed crazy reputation) focus somewhat by pointing out some errors he or his friends had made.

    On the right side of his blog toward the bottom is a listing of emergency preparedness posts that you may find interesting.

    I had long ago decided there would be no one welcomed who said they rather just come to my house than take care of themselves. That lack of responsibility is part of the reason we are in this mess. Apparently they were not taught Kipling, but The Gods of the Copybook Headings really seems to be accurate.

  20. Last year, my apartment complex lost power for a few days and one of my neighbors was in a near panic. She didn't even have a can of soup to open and heat up. And, nothing to heat it with to say the least.

    Fast forward a year, and we're having our first windstorm as I type. Power outages have already started - 13,000 without power last night and the BIG winds aren't even forecast until Saturday. I'm pretty sure my neighbor still has nothing in place for this storm.

    I used to run into a young woman who would walk into a meeting hall with Starbuck's in hand and having just put out a smoke and then whine that she had no money. Really? what a mooch. She was just baffled when none of us 'old ladies' would cough up some money for her. And believe me, we would all be watching her as the donation basket went around so that she didn't just help herself.

    So, today, with the big storm coming, I stopped by for just a few more batteries after all. And some other essentials. Probably should have topped off my gas tank (3/4 full but not totally full) but didn't. I guess there's always something to do.

    My only regret in moving here to Canada, now that I'm divorced, is that I'm far away from family. They say hindsight is 20/20. It was the right thing at the time to move but now it's a long long drive or an flight to see my loved ones.

    Glad to have found the community here on your blog. Stay warm and safe. If you don't hear from me for a few days, no worries. Probably means the power is out. SJ in Vancouver BC

  21. Spikessib...I have been reading Peter Grant for some time now. I have been meaning to add him to my sidebar. Thanks for the reminder. He has some really good stuff on his blog.

    I wish I could think of another word for preppers, too. Since that Doomsday Prepper TV show, the word conjures up a vision of some nut living in an underground bunker full of buckets of rice and beans along with enough guns and ammo to outfit a small army. While those things are good to have in storage, most of us are more inclined to garden and preserve food and stock up on medical emergency supplies, etc. It is more of a lifestyle taught us by parents and grandparents. It has more to do with working hard in the warmer months of the year in order to survive the bitter winters and less to do with fighting off zombies. The other picture of a prepper is that of those who say they will just head for the hills and live off the land and feed their families venison. I'm thinking these folks don't have a very good grasp of reality.

    Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for themselves or for their actions any more. Too many think that their only responsibility is to stand in line with their hands out, waiting for some government agency to give them what they want. While I know there are cases where people need help through no fault of their own, the idea that I should do the work and spend the money to accumulate whatever I need for my family, only to have some layabout try to take that from me is unacceptable. My Dad always told me, "Honey, if you want it, work for it." He was right.

    I have to admit that I am not well schooled in Kipling. I had to look up that poem you mentioned and, after reading it s couple of times, came to the conclusion that it is spot on.

  22. SJ...I am always amazed by those who have lost the ability to think ahead. When I was still taking the bus to do my grocery shopping, I would have conversations with older ladies who live in a nearby apartment complex. They shopped each and every week and bought only enough to last that week. They thought I was foolish for shopping just the sales and for stocking up on food and other necessities. One of them told me that she didn't need to stock up. She could just go to the store when she ran out of something. Sounds like they would have gotten along just fine with your neighbor.

    I realize that most folks don't do food storage to the extent that you and I do. Several of those ladies I talked with knew all about canning and preserving, but they just didn't want to be bothered with it all. They were retired and they just wanted to watch their stories on TV or meet with their friends for coffee and cake. They were completely clueless about current events. Didn't care. These weren't your run of the mill bottom feeders, but were very nice ladies who obviously had had some education and were well spoken. I find it sad, knowing that if we wind up in a crisis situation where they are unable to do their weekly shopping, they are going to be in a world of hurt. Or worse.

    I have known people like the young woman you mentioned. They have no problem spending money on the latest trend in designer clothes or that cute little pair of shoes or on restaurant meals a couple of times a week or on the latest in electronic gadgets. I don't care, really, what people spend their money on. Some would question my sanity at the amount of fabric I buy for making quilts. The difference is that I don't expect anyone else to pay for it should I go over budget. I wonder where we went wrong to have raised generations of those who have the expectation of others to pay for their lack of judgement.

    It is not easy being far away from those we love, is it. But at the same time, I believe that we wind up where we are for a reason. You seem to be very successful at creating a new life for yourself. Many people can't say that, but continue to stay in a place that is not all that good for them. I admire you for all you do, even when the going is tough.

    I am keeping you in my prayers concerning the storm headed your way. I don't worry too much for I know you are prepared for whatever happens. But please let me know how you are, when you can. I, too, am grateful for this little community of like-minded folks. I have learned so much from so many here. But the best part is learning that it is possible to make friends even though we may never meet face to face. Yep, that's the best part. :)

  23. Our parents used that poem and Aesop's Fables as warnings and lessons for us on a regular basis. Dad always said those wise old sayings didn't have such sticking power because they were wrong and Mom had a quote for every occasion. They lived through the depression too and I think our attitudes about saving and planning ahead were learned from them.

    I am regularly astounded by the sheer number of people I know personally who do no planning or saving. And they all seem to have the expectation not only that someone else will take care of them, but that it is their responsibility. How is it that so many think they are entitled to the results of others hard work?

    The other day I was reading something, can't remember what exactly, but one of the lines in it said, "I always wondered what the twenties and thirties was really like, but I never expected to actually live them. Much less from the German perspective." Or something to that effect. I find it a very sad statement.

    I too am really appreciative of this community. Prayers and good wishes to SJ and others having storms this weekend.

  24. Spikessib...My parents used fables once in a great while. Mother was deeply religious and had a Bible verse for every occasion. Dad leaned more toward instilling in his children a good work ethic. I remember him telling me that it didn't matter what a person's job was. If you dug ditches for a living, don't dig that ditch for the boss. Dig the very best ditch you can for the satisfaction of knowing you did that job to the best of your ability. My parents were big on making do with what we had rather than running out to buy new. We never went out to eat except for maybe an ice cream cone treat in the summer. We canned and preserved food. Mother sewed our clothes. I don't think I had a store bought dress until I was a Senior in High School. I'm sure their attitudes had something to do with the depression. But mostly it was because we were fairly poor, although I never felt poor. I am forever grateful that they taught me to do so much for myself, although I likely wasn't so happy about canning and sewing and gardening as a child. :)

    I don't know of anyone around me, with the exception of my sons, who has the least bit of interest in planning ahead or preparing for whatever comes along. For me, preparing isn't just about a fad. It is a lifestyle learned from my parents. I, too, have no understanding of why so many feel they are entitled to what I have worked hard for all of my life. My Dad would have been ashamed to ask for a handout. Now days they seem to expect it. We need to get back to some of the old ways and old values.

    I am so glad you stop by here and that you comment. I am amazed that there are those who are interested enough to read this silly little blog. I read that there were huge power outages where SJ lives. Still praying she will be alright, even though I know she is well prepared. We still worry about friends, even those we have never met in person.

  25. Mama read to us all the time, fables and stories. I remember well The Little Red Hen.

    I commented on one woman's site and was on topic. If I wrote ten lines, she made fun of my hijacking her blog and told me to not to write so much on hers, to write on my blog. She said blogger limited her comment space. I never heard of that. That sort of turned me off. I rarely visit.

    The Big Berkey had caught my attention. Then, I realized there are smaller versions. It is just me here, so a smaller one would do. A smaller one would work for even a household of several people. Plus, there is another brand of filters that work just as well for the Berkey and are cheaper. They come highly recommended from people who use them all the time.

    A woman who was 31 with 6 children (17 years old to 4) told me she did not need to keep food for hard times because the church would help her. She threw a $250 party for four-year-old but told me later that they were three months behind on all bills. She said she spent that much on the party at the skating rink because she could not afford to buy the child gifts and was depending on the invited guests to give the child gifts.

    I had school supplies gotten on deep sales and gave her enough for all 8 of them to use as husband and wife and all children were in school. She elatedly told me she had enough to share with everyone on the street. I was cold in my response. I told her I gave her enough to last for a semester for all of them. Offhandedly, she remarked there would be other school supplies. God would provide. In my head I thought "there will never be more from me." She knew I gave her only a small part of my stash. She lives in public housing and few people work on her street. Most work for cigarettes and disposable diapers and gas and insurance for a car bought at one of the buy here pay here places.

    She thinks too much food is a burden. She told me this after I gave her many cans of food, boxes of mac and cheese. She said she just wanted enough for dinner that night. This was when I first knew her. But, I caught on and quit giving her anything.

  26. Linda...In my family it was my Dad who read to me as a child. He was a voracious reader all his life and I think he enjoyed reading to us. He really got into it, using different voices for the characters in a story. I remember The Little Red Hen as well as many of the children's fables. Dad really shined when he read the Uncle Remus stories which I'm sure are now considered politically incorrect. We didn't think of those stories in those terms. We loved them for the way Dad read them and for the stories themselves.

    Blogger puts no limits on comments, as far as I know. You will never be accused of hijacking this blog. I enjoy reading what others have to say and lots of times I learn something new from the comments. I don't get out much these days so reading the blogs of others and especially reading the comments here are sort of my window to the outside world. The only time I will limit or delete a comment is when someone gets vulgar or nasty. And that has happened only a couple of times.

    I have been researching the Berkey filters and will likely wind up with one of the smaller ones. I can't just go buy one now as there are other things I need to spend the money on at present, but I am putting back a little cash each month toward that goal. Should we wind up in a crisis mode, my only source of water other than from the tap is the river that runs about a city block from my apartment. And the river isn't very clean at all, so a good water filtering system is a must have.

    I just don't understand people like the woman you described. Why on earth would anyone spend that much money on a party for a four year old. Kids that age are happy with a present to open and a cake with candles to blow out and make a wish on. Maybe a couple of other kids to play with in the back yard. But $250 on a child's party when there are back bills that are unpaid - that's just nuts.

    I don't blame you at all for putting an end to helping this woman. I am happy to help anyone, but at the same time if that person isn't willing to put forth a little effort to help themselves, then I see no reason to contribute. I don't understand the mentality of those who expect others to take care of them. How on earth would she feed her children if the church didn't pitch in. Or if good-hearted people like you didn't try to help someone in need. The sad part of this is that those children are being taught by example that the way to get on in life is to stand with a hand stretched out, waiting for someone else to provide. I guess common sense has left the building these days.

    I'm glad you stopped by today, Linda. I enjoy your blog and it is always nice to hear from you here at my little corner of the world. :)