My husband pointed out, not long ago, that he's pretty sure certain of my relatives think I'm insane for suddenly wanting to be better prepared for emergencies. So, I thought I'd briefly talk about it. Maybe I can convince the doubters that I'm not completely crazy. Yet. :) (To be fair to them, I think a certain amount of crazy does tend to run in my family. And the baby hormones certainly made me feel like I was crazy for a goodly amount of that nine months.) Here we go.
Here are the most important (and adorable) reasons in the world for wanting to be prepared for the unexpected:
First, we have Baby Girl.
And here we have Little Miss.
To further clarify: I am not now, nor have I ever (except possibly during a brief period in which baby hormones were flooding through my entire system and screwing up everything), wanted or planned to be a "doomsday" prepper preparing for any zombie apocalypse. Mostly because zombies suck. ;) (I'm sorry, I know some people adore that kind of movie monster. More power to you. They just don't do anything for me. Good zombie stories are very, very rare, in my opinion. I can actually only name two that I liked.)
The emergencies I'm much more concerned about are the more common ones: my husband being out of work for an extended period (it happens, usually when we can least afford it), the power going out (for more than the usual hour or two- happened not long ago to a lot of my family back home. No power for over a week!), heavy snow that keeps me from getting to the store, etc... You know, "normal", much more common than anyone wants to think about sort of emergencies. Also, with this area we're in now, for the first time in my life, I truly, seriously, have to worry about tornadoes. Apparently weather patterns are changing everywhere, and they're much more common, even back home, than they used to be. (I hate that. Tornadoes freak me out.)
So, I've been working on trying to acquire basic supplies to have on hand for these types of things. At one point last year, I had a pretty good pantry going. And then my husband wasn't making as much money as normal, which lasted for a couple of months. We ended up eating a lot of my stored up food, and were grateful for it. It helped a lot. Of course, as a result of that, my little stash is greatly depleted now, and I'm having to try to squirrel away an extra can or two every time I go to the store. I think I read a while back that the government recommends you have a minimum of three days worth of supplies on hand, and they suggested that three weeks was even better. (I can't find that page now.) I don't have near enough now for that recommended three weeks, and what is left is very disorganized. I think we could manage two to three days, but that's about it. (This is one of the reasons I cheated and ran to the grocery store on Sunday.)
What this mostly means is: 1) I'm trying to keep an eye out for sales on things we use most often. When I find a good price on something (even, occasionally, when it isn't as good as a sale price might be) that I'm shopping for, I might grab an extra to put back. 2)We enlarged our garden space this year, and hopefully, we will get a good amount of (cheapish, but healthy and nutritious) veggies from it, in spite of my "black thumb". The radishes and microgreens are already doing great, and the lettuce looks nearly ready, so I'm hopeful even though none of the rest of it seems to be doing much yet. I attempted canning for the first time last year and I want to do more. 3)We finally broke down and got the chickens he wanted to get last year. For reasons. (I'm on the lookout for lots of new egg recipes that we will hopefully need in a couple of months or so.)
4)I'm trying to get cleaned out and organized downstairs. (Truthfully, I've been trying to do that for nearly a year. Somehow it just seems to be getting worse...) I want everything in one space (and preferably labeled clearly) so I can find it all quickly when it's required. Also, so I can tell what I already have, what I need to buy, and which ones we need to use first. I used to have a system, but then I got quite a bit of "help", so it needs sorting out again.
Anyway. That's really as far as I've gotten. I'll do a tiny bit more every day until I feel like I can take care of my girls, no matter what. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll be so well prepared that I could handle a sudden influx of zombies. But, if it's all the same to you, I think I'm happy keeping the zombies in books and movies. ;)
I suppose for most of my life, I've been one of those who just took for granted that things would be the same as they were yesterday. I never worried about where our food would come from, or if the electricity would stay on. I thought the panic over Y2K was ridiculous and rolled my eyes at some of the more outrageous things some people were doing. (I still think some of those things were just too extreme, truthfully.) But then, all at once, I had helpless little people depending on me for everything. And suddenly, things were different. Lately, I've realized just how many people don't know how/aren't prepared to take care of themselves if anything happens that might be out of the ordinary. That's scary. And I don't want to be one of that group. Not when others are counting on me to take care of them.
I think what we'll end up with when my husband and I get through with this path (or at least, farther along it) is very similar to what everyone used to do. We will be more responsible for our food, where it comes from, how it got there. We will be thinking ahead, rather than just going day by day. (So, I guess, to put it simply, we'll be farmers. And I'm surprisingly okay with that. Plus, I've always suspected that that might be my husband's life goal.)
Once upon a time, everyone had a little garden, or a few chickens. Everyone canned or put up food in some way for the winter. Food wasn't shipped in from the other side of the world every day, and everyone had to plan ahead. I grew up watching my grandparents plant a garden every year, and occasionally helping. I watched my grandmother can the fruits of their labor. (The pressure canner was creepy, but I loved the sound of the jar lids popping.) I'm not sure either of them really thought much about it until they got to where they just couldn't do it anymore. It was just how they were raised. Sometimes (especially lately, because I've been reading way too many books), I wonder if the way we do things now is actually an improvement... Anyway! I'll quit rambling. It's past my bedtime. ;)
I like this first challenge because I think it's perfectly designed to make us stop and think about what we use everyday- things that we would normally take for granted and never notice until it was gone. Already, I've noticed that my stash of toilet paper is dangerously low, for instance. ;) I'm looking forward to the rest of the week, and to the rest of the challenges.
I guess that brings us back around to the original point of this post. Judy's prepping challenge, day two.
Today was good. For me, anyway. I managed to resist temptation. Even though I really, really wanted to cheat a little bit. Michael packed up the girls and went to visit his grandparents on the farm. I stayed home to take care of things around the house. I had cookies to bake for the end of year preschool picnic tomorrow, and a few errands to run. Those errands took me super close to a favorite restaurant of mine. But I resisted. Barely.
My husband reports that they did pretty well today, too. They did eat while they were up at the farm, of course, but no drinks or fast food or anything was purchased on the trip to and from. In spite of a certain Little Miss trying to beg for it. She seems to be okay with our "game". So far. I sort of expect she'll demand a happy meal or something by Sunday, though. :( As a prize for winning the game... (Yuck.)
Overall, we've done alright so far. I guess our grade for today is about a B+ (because I was super tempted. But I resisted, anyway).
Tomorrow is the preschool picnic. They'll be serving us carryout pizza. But we're taking cookies to share. Maybe that will even things out? :)