Friday, October 16, 2009

Still Sick; Still Surviving

I’m still sick, which is really ticking me off. It appears that I have a nasty chest cold, which is making it insanely difficult to breathe or move very far without running short of breath.

Lately, my family and I have been preparing for the coming winter. We’re doing things like pulling out electric blankets and winter clothes; checking the wood-burning stoves to make sure they’re clean and in good working order; and making sure that we have plenty of winter-related gear (firewood, for example).

We’re also, of course, still stocking up on as much food as we can buy. There’s a few months’ worth of food stashed here at The Homestead now, but prices are still going up. We want to get more as quickly as we can, if only because we don’t know when price increases will stop…if they ever do.

Mom’s trying to find a local source for powdered, whole milk because she’s tired of wasting valuable refrigerator space on the two gallons that we consume just about every week. Nobody in this family likes skim or nonfat milk, so we aren’t buying those in powdered form. That’s the only stuff that the local Walmart carries, but we’re looking at different stores to see what else is available. If we can’t find anything locally, we can shop online: we do that often anyway because, in this tiny community, lots of much-wanted things just aren’t available.

I’m still looking for cast-iron cookware, but am not willing to pay full retail prices. Like I’m really going to cough up thirty-plus bucks for a skillet at Walmart when I can find a perfectly good one at a flea market or garage sale for a lot less than that. My philosophy is that, if you can find something that’s used but still in good condition, you should probably go with that in order to save money. I buy used clothes, used books, used cookware, used cars…and I haunt thrift stores and flea markets, along with garage sales, just to see what neat things I can find.

However, I do buy some things new. I decided, recently, to start knitting some wash cloths. I didn’t have any cotton yarn, so I went to Walmart and found some on sale. I grabbed all four skeins and will start knitting sometime soon – probably next week or the week after, because I might have some extra down time after mid-terms are officially over. is running another pretty good sale on various vitamins and other supplements, so you might want to check out that site if you’re looking for that kind of thing. Mom’s placed three or four orders with that company so far and has been very pleased with the service and the products every time. I’m not officially affiliated with the Web site, but I’m happy to tell you all when we find something that we like.

This week, Mom also decided to reformat her computer – finally. Make sure, folks, that you back up your data on a regular basis. That way, if something goes wrong, you don’t lose everything. You can find CD-Rs for almost nothing now, so burn CDs if that’s what you have to do. You can also buy a converter cable that turns an inexpensive, internal hard drive into an external model. I paid roughly thirty bucks for the cable, and have been backing up all of my important files to that “external” drive ever since. Another option is to burn to DVD. You can use thumb/USB drives, too, or an online-backup company. Heck, e-mail the vital stuff to your own Web-based e-mail account if that’s the only thing that you can do. Any backup method is better than nothing at all, especially if your collection of survival-related information is important to you.

Anyway: I’m out of here because I just took yet another dose of cold medicine and will probably crash in bed pretty quickly. I hate being sick, especially when it’s drawn out like this chest cold has been. Take care, folks, and don’t forget to enjoy the present while you’re preparing for the future. Survival isn’t supposed to be a grim, doom-filled lifestyle: we can still have a great time, and laugh, and enjoy being alive, while we make sure that we’re prepared to survive whatever happens next.


  1. Check your local Marshalls for cast iron. We recently found a LODGE cast-iron skillet, super - large, for only $14.99. Normally runs nearly $40 - $50!

    Good luck

  2. I'm hoping that you have not become too ill to post. Looking forward to seeing you back online.

    Susan from Michigan


“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George OrwellAnimal Farm