To Those Who Serve

To those who serve by working at WalMart, the local grocery stores, the restaurants where you can get take-out, the postal workers, the garbage men, the street cleaners, the doctors and nurses and all who work in hospitals, the teachers and the post office workers, the farmers, the police, and mothers and fathers who are keeping their kids accountable for school work and so on: you are appreciated more than you know.

Recently there was a post on Facebook from a Walmart worker who wrote that people should not be browsing or chatting or ‘pretending that this is normal.’ I wanted to post it here, but by the time I went back to see it, it had been taken off Facebook. I can only imagine what it is like to be working there or anywhere where people congregate. This has got to be a scary time for these folks. We ALL are scared these days.

The latest change today is that everyone should be wearing a mask when they go out, especially where people gather, such as the grocery stores, etc. This isn’t a hardship; this is necessary. All we can do is to soldier through this, be careful of ourselves and others and have faith that this will eventually pass.

To anyone who is working in grocery stores, Walmarts, pharmacies, police, ambulance drivers, postal workers, doctors and nurses, teachers, farmers, moms and dads now reading this, please know that you are greatly appreciated; you are the heroes who help us all. And as I’ve said many times before, this too will pass.

 

 

The New Normal

Isn’t it strange (and rather wonderful) how we humans can adapt to most any situation? While doing all the right things so as not to get the corona virus, it is an opportunity to enjoy less of the “hurry-hurry” that we usually do when things are “normal.” These days when we are home most of the time, we find ourselves doing things that, prior to the pandemic, we used to do or just wanted the time to do things.

Well, now we have the time. The Crankee Yankee and I have found some new TV shows to enjoy, he is going through his massive pile of magazines, and I am finally delving into the gynormous hat box that is filled with photographs. It’s fun to see them again, and I am slowly but surely organizing them.

The Crankee Yankee and I switch for grocery runs, and we are back to making the kind of meals we used to; shepherd’s pie, tomato soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, mini pizzas, salads and so on. This has become a time to reflect as well as doing cleaning and sorting stuff we always meant to get to; it’s sort of a productive time.

As we always do this time of year, we will soon set up our “free table,” full of books, magazines, doo-dads and other stuff we don’t use or need. People (including us) take leisurely walks on our streets, and we chat with at least six feet between us. We listen to the news to see how things are going, but we are not watchingevery single second. Most of all we are not afraid; just careful.

Well before my mother was dying of metastatic breast cancer, she and my dad decided to teach each other the chores and duties that each one did. Mom was the one who handled the money and the checkbook, and Dad was the one who knew who to call for snowplowing and so on. As of course they didn’t know which of them would die first, so they did this as a “just in case.”

It was such a good idea that the Crankee Yankee and I decided to do the same. It makes sense; he manages our accounts, the garden and the work around the house, and I manage the laundry, the dishes, the cats, what to give the grandgirls for their birthdays and Christmas, and so on. So over all, it’s a win-win.

So, as scary (and downright irritating) as these times may be, we can make the most of our “sheltering in place time”. We can have more time with our families, we can call or email our friends, and cuddle up with our pets. This is a good time to read a good book we’ve been putting aside when we have more time; we have time NOW.

How to Make Your Own Food Storage

As I mentioned in a past post, the Crankee Yankee and I have always had a “food storage” downstairs in our basement. I realize that not everyone has a basement or cellar, but there is still a way to get your food storage together in other ways. More on that later.

The whole reason for food storage is to have available food should some kind of event (such as the corona virus) happen where we might not be able to go out and buy food. Perishables such as cans of soup, beans, juices, bread mixes, rice, condiments, jars of Parmesan cheese, pasta and so on.

From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there is this information:

“There are three main components of food storage:

  • Food supply (three-month and long-term)

  • Water supply

  • Financial reserve (keep a stash for “just in case”)

Store foods that are a part of your normal diet in your three-month supply. As you develop a longer-term storage, focus on food staples such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more. Of course, keep a can opener handy as well!

How much food storage do I need?

Take the amount of food you would need to purchase to feed your family for a day and multiply that by seven. That is how much food you would need for a one-week supply. Once you have a week’s supply, you can gradually expand it to a month, and eventually three months. Don’t forget your pets and their food as well.

For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply.

Where should I store my food storage?

Make sure your food storage is properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place.

If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices or soda. Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.”

So there you go: by keeping a food storage and some extra “grab it and go” cash just in case, you will feel better and more safe knowing that you are prepared. As I always like to say, “Be prepared; not scared!”

 

 

For the Impatient Ones

Speaking just for me, a certified impatient person, I know how annoying we can be to those around us. I’m a “do it, and do it NOW” person, and even in my ’60s (when you’d think I’d be more grown-up about this), I haven’t changed a damn bit. I’d like to blame my late mother for my hurry-up attitude, but I’m afraid that this is all me.

Especially now when our world is turned upside-down with the corona virus and all the change that goes with it, we could all use a bit of kindness and gratitude, not to mention just calming down. Our world as we know it has changed dramatically and it’s a strange time for us all. For us impatient people, this is a wake-up call to just go with the flow, relax and calm down.

For the most part, I think that everyone has enough toilet paper, paper towels, food, water, pet food and so on. We get the reason for keeping our distance from people (except of course those of us who think that nothing bad will EVER happen to them), for washing our hands, not touching our face, and so on. True, it’s a real change in our lives, but we can look to changing what used to be our “normal” to adapt and over come.

On our little street, I am seeing kids’ drawings in the windows, and it really cheers me up. Our neighbors across the way have two boys who are brilliant baseball players, and they daily burn off steam by playing baseball. It makes me both happy and comforted to hear them playing.

As had said by many people a lot wiser than myself, this too will pass. Hopefully we will learn from it and make some positive changes in our lives. Those of us who have never thought of dedicating a space in their homes for food storage may decide that it might be a good idea to have one just in case. Those of us who have never been through a disaster will learn what to do in such an event, and be prepared. It’s a tough lesson for us all, but we can adapt and overcome.

Let’s make this time a time of learning, growing, changing and being flexable about many things. It’s a time to re-connect with our loved ones and learning to enjoy each others’ time in a different and more loving way. Bad things happen, but happily lots more good things happen, too.

And if you are an impatient person like me, let’s decide to go with the flow and calm down. Things are changing, and we can change as well. Who knows; once this virus is over with, we may become pleasantly surprised at what we have learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Parade of Laughter

Yesterday when the Crankee Yankee was working out on the porch, I was inside the house feeding the cats. All of a sudden I heard what seemed an endless parade of honking vehicles. I walked outside on the porch and saw several cars driving down our street, honking, smiling and waving. Some cars had streamers and balloons on them, but my favorite was the car that had a huge stuffed toy giraffe on top of it.

We couldn’t help but laugh; it truly was a parade of belly laughs and it made our day. In fact, it made us feel as though things will be all right. I wish I could have hugged every single person in that parade. It’s amazing what something like this can do to lift our spirits. So I decided to lift a few spirits myself; I made and put up a big pink and purple sign that read “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life! (yup, right from Monty Python and the Holy Grail).”

After all the days we have sheltered in place, worried about our friends and loved ones, this was a wonderful way to remember these truths:

  1. We are not alone.
  2. We can still laugh.
  3. We can choose gratitude.
  4. We can help ourselves and others to remember that this, too, will pass.

While this is an uncertain (and scary) time, we are not alone. As long as we can laugh and be grateful, we are ok. When I start worrying, I will remember that silly stuffed giraffe and I will laugh that worry away.

Remember, there is ALWAYS a bright side of life.

 

Little Miracles

In spite of all the strum and drang of these days, there are little miracles everywhere; sort of like finding a quarter on the ground. When I lived in Texas, I actually found a $20 bill on the ground! Of course finding free money is nice, but there are other kinds of little miracles as well.

Here’s one that happened last night: I had googled up how to make your own eye cream (as most eye creams can be pretty pricey). I found all the ingredients except for primrose oil, which I ordered on Amazon. As I was washing my face last night, I reached for the wash cloth and behold and lo—there was a brand new tube of eye cream underneath it!

The funny thing is that there are little miracles everywhere; you just have to keep your eyes open. I have found that I usually find a little miracle when times are especially tough. These days when we are sheltering in place, worrying about what will happen next, a little miracle can change worry to gratitude.

I have an enormous hat box filled with pictures; this is one of my stay-at-home projects to organize. Funny how it is when you are looking for something, you find something else that you realize you had wanted to find. For once I have the time to do things I’ve been saving for a “rainy day.” So in a strange sort of way, this imposed stay at home time is a blessing and a challenge.

These days I find myself humming or singing the song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Even though things are scary right now, there always is a bright side somewhere. Mine is being at home with the Crankee Yankee and the cats, phone calls from our loved ones in Maine, emails from friends, and actually getting caught up on things we kept putting aside for a rainy day.

Keep your eyes open for those little miracles.