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.


Keep Calm and DRINK!

Well, our governor has just asked us to stay home until further notice. Of course, if we need to get out to get groceries, meds, etc. that’s ok. This is for the good of all, and I think that everyone can agree that this is what we need to do for now. There are many things we can do to amuse ourselves (or simply to stop worrying). Here are some we are using:

  1. Take a walk together (well, until the stay at home directive is over).
  2. Play games; you pick.
  3. Watch something good on TV.
  4. Cuddle up with your pets.
  5. Read.
  6. Write.
  7. Pray for those who are ill.
  8. Sort out your closet; you will be amazed at the stuff you haven’t worn in five years (or more!)
  9. Got a huge box of pictures (I sure do!)? Start going through them and decide if you want to make a photo album, send some to relatives and friends, or just amuse yourself looking at days gone by.
  10. Exercise; put on some good music and DANCE!
  11. Bake something. Not only will you enjoy a treat, but it makes the whole house smell heavenly.
  12. Take some courses online.
  13. Clean house; amazingly it is very rewarding to see how much better you feel when everything is clean.
  14. Do you play an instrument? If so, blow the dust off it and play. I’m saying this for myself as well as you; I have a beautiful ukulele and a Didgeridoo and I am going to start playing again.
  15. Drink. I highly recommend a vodka tonic or glass of wine.

We will get through this current situation. In the meantime, pour yourself a drink and watch some TV. I highly recommend reruns of “MASH.”


Don’t Let Paranoia Destroy Ya

The Chinese have a curse that fits what we are all going through these days: “may you live in interesting times.” Although I wouldn’t call the corona virus ‘interesting,’ it certainly is different. Not only that, but it is affecting not just us in America, but the entire planet.

Now we have two choices about this situation: 1) we can all go nuts thinking that the world is coming to an end, or 2) we can have faith in those who are working day and night to find ways to kill off the virus. As for me, I’m going for #2.

If there is a light at the end of this particular tunnel it is this: we are absolutely one people all over the world who are experiencing this. No one is excluded, and we have the choice to run around screaming that the world is coming to an end, or we can choose to have faith in those who are diligently working hard for a cure. Most of all, there is this: as we are all in this together.

Just speaking for myself, I am constantly seeing acts of kindness, generosity and hope. For the most part, people are keeping their distance as we have been asked to do, we are careful to wash our hands and be kind about not emptying the shelves in the grocery stores. Every single country is doing their best to help and do the right things. In our country we are doing what we can to stay safe and yet be kind.

We recently talked with Doug’s daughter, Adria, who lives in Maine with her husband and our two granddaughters. They have a huge farm with yaks, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, and guinea hens. The girls are at home, doing their homework as well as attending to their own chores on the farm.

This is a certainly an “interesting time” in our lives. But we are all getting used to how we need to do the right things and show kindness as best we can. Like any other crisis this planet has faced, we can get through this by doing the right things. I have noticed little acts of kindness and hope here and there. Once this is over, I hope with all my heart that we will not forget how quickly things can change for the worst, but especially remember how we all pulled together during a crisis and came out victorious.

Climbing Trees

Didn’t most of us climb trees when we were kids? I spent a lot of time in trees; sometimes I would even take a book up with me and read while the wind gently rocked the branch I was sitting on. When it was time for dinner, Mom knew to look to the trees to see where I was and call me in.

It’s been more years than I can count that I climbed a tree. But to this day I enjoy looking at trees and seeing how easy it would be to climb up. At my age I wouldn’t risk it, but I still remember how lovely it was to perch on a branch for hours on end.

It makes me happy knowing that our granddaughters are tree climbers as well. Of course, like anything else, there is a risk factor, but I still remember how thrilling it was to climb as high as I could, knowing that I could fall at any time (I never did). I’m happy that our grand girls love climbing trees as much as I did.

Of course, back when I was a child, it seemed that kids were outdoors all the time. Of course, when it was time for dinner, I had to climb down quickly so as not to 1) make my mom worry, and 2) risk my dinner being cold.

Those were wonderful days, and to this day I remember being rocked into near sleep while day-dreaming in a tree.


Finding the Good in a Tough Situation

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been noticing that the people I see and interact with at the grocery store seem more friendly these days. I usually don’t chat with the gal behind the counter when I check out or the bag boy who bags up my stuff (oh, and did you know that they are not allowing “store bags” anymore? We have been told to use paper or plastic bags as the store bags can be germy; yikes!), but now I do.

When someone is day-dreaming while blocking the isle I don’t grump anymore; they are having a “moment” and they are probably just as scared as I am. Everyone is doing their level best to wash their hands, clean up surfaces and so on. We all are nervous about this, and we all are scared. But it’s amazing what a smile can do.

Of course it is scary to see empty shelves. This is a complete turn-around from our usual “normal.” Everything we have taken for granted has been radically changed. We worry about our seniors, our kids, our neighbors, our pets (and sadly, they too can get the virus) and the stores we depend on for the things we need.

But yet—-there is hope in the air. And it seems to start when we interact with people. I am a prime example of a ‘don’t talk to me; I’m busy!’ person when I go grocery shopping. I usually grump to myself, thinking ‘hey, I’m hear to shop, not to listen to your blah-blah!” How childish and how rude I have been. I don’t think I will ever forget this time in our country, and I pray to God that I hope I am becoming a better and kinder person than I have been.

Again, we are all in this together and I for one am changing my attitude. Fear is one thing, but being snotty and dismissive is a choice; a choice I can easily drop. Of course this situation is a wake-up call to us all; something we won’t forget any time soon. I remember my grandmother telling me how things were during the Great Depression. As a child I thought how terrifying that must have been to everyone in the nation. This current crisis is sort of our Great Depression; however, our grandparents managed to get through it. Hopefully we can do the same.

This is what I think of when I worry about our current situation; but we learning from this. We are realizing that it is not just other countries who are suffering from this; we all are. Perhaps this is the time to change our tune so to speak, and it starts with each one of us. Speaking as a former cranky person, I’m changing my ways. Everyone around us is scared and worried. We can at least lift each other us with something as simple as a smile.

Where Grace and Kindness Abide

During these uncertain (and pretty scary) times, a friendly face or a kind word means a lot. I am at times worried and fearful about this unwelcome guest on our planet; the corona virus. We are all stressed and nervous, and even when we stand six feet apart from each other, we are still scared. We are all trying to keep our heads, get the things we need (without being grabby about it) and trying most of all not to worry.

When I can’t find all the things I need at the grocery store, I often go to our local Walgreens to find it. Luckily they usually always have what I couldn’t find anywhere else. At the checkout is a sweet-faced young man who sits in a chair behind the counter.  He has some kind of issue where he has to sit, but he is always kind and pleasant to everyone.

He is the kind of person who looks you straight in the eyes, and asks if you are having a good day. We had a small chat yesterday about the current conditions we are living in right now. He told me that he enjoys his job and likes talking with people. I’m sure that he doesn’t realize how much he lifts the spirits of his customers; I’ve never seen anyone leave the store without a smile on their faces.

Considering what our nation is going through right now, a smile and a few kind words are as rare as gold. I’ll admit that I am often cranky, snarky and dismissive; not a pretty resume. But it is people like the Walgreen’s guy who makes a sweet difference each day.

I hope that during these scary times that I can remember to smile and be positive. And if I can’t, I can remember the kindness of that good man behind the counter at Walgreen’s. He is just one more beacon of hope; may there be many more.