Saturday, May 02, 2009

Planting and Pandemics

Scene from my porch last summer...

I'm taking a break from getting some planting finished. We won't be building the raised bed garden for over a week but I am getting a few flowers planted in the front yard and tomatoes in the area of the former compost pile. The rhubarb is planted on the other side, possible as our original compost pile was long and close to a fence (also in one of the few sunny areas of our backyard).

We were going to plant something else there but realized it would be a good idea to have the tomatoes growing now. Wal Mart has two heirloom tomato plants! I bought one of each heirloom plant and one Better Boy. I'll plant some Sweet 100's later, since they won't be hurt by planting late (or so she says...).

I've been buying a few perennials each year since we moved here. Last year I planted two peony bushes by the fence line. They were just sticks, purchased for a couple dollars on clearance. Both "sticks" have "taken" and I am anxious to see what the peony bushes look like. I have another in the back yard that was here already.

I bought a blue Phlox plant for the area in front of my porch. I'm hoping one big plant is all I need since I have a couple other perennials there and I plant annuals there, too. We'll see... I will eventually add a couple geranium plants and a hanging planter of some kind on the porch. I like various colors on the deck but I've decided my porch this year is going to be very peaceful... reds and blue for color and lots of greenery.

I'll plant the deck containers later... the porch and the raised bed garden must take preference for the gardening budget this year. Although, I love how it looked last year (my header for the blog is a picture of the deck from last summer).

While I'm new to most veggie gardening, I've often grown tomatoes and herbs. I've been "visiting" a few blogs where they have pictures of their raised bed gardens. I had three tabs up next to each other last night, all on Manuela's blog. :)

As for the pandemic part of this blog, I thought I should clarify a little after reading a few comments. I truly believe God is in control and I am not stocking up out of fear. I've been writing for years now that living the "pantry lifestyle" is how I was raised as well as the most frugal way we've found of living. If you haven't read Rhonda's (down-to-earth) post, it pretty much saying the same thing... it can be found on the sidebar and here. She always has the best and most practical information.

I guess I can understand why the government is reacting like it is, especially after doing even more reading. As I understand, it is the first time they've come across a flu that is a combination of swine, avian, and human viruses. I listened to a researcher being interviewed on a PBS show who admitted they don't know if it will remain mild or eventually get much worse.

Hubby and I take it seriously, having heard horror stories from both sets of parents (just as someone else had commented) about the 1918 pandemic. Of course, we have so many more opportunities now to receive information and health care. The only thing different we're doing is to wash our hands more when we're "out and about", which is not a bad idea given all the colds around us!

I'm reminded of a Weather Channel documentary about California earthquakes. They reminded viewers that warnings were given about the possibility of planes being used by terrorists and no one thought it would happen. Then they said scientists warned that New Orleans could be flooded by a hurricane and people "in power" disregarded those warnings. They went on to say Californians know the probability of a big earthquake is there and many still don't take time to prepare.

We've been told for years that a world wide pandemic is not only possible but probable. I don't know that this is it. It could stay mild or come back worse this fall. Only God knows and He is in control. I tend to be more concerned about the economy and even then I'm not worried. I am being cautious about any expenditures and not going into debt in case the economy gets worse... practical and sensible decisions.

Having lived through over a year (twice) with no income, I know God is faithful and provides. Living now as we do on one Social Security check (having lost all of our savings, in every form, when my husband was not able to work for long periods of time)... we have seen amazing provision.

I'll balance my morning quiet time (which I've missed for a week now!) with deepening my pantry. Our decision to plant a raised bed garden was made a couple months ago, to add fresh veggies to our diet... long before the flu made the news. I enjoy this lifestyle and if it helps us be a little more self sufficient... that's a wonderful byproduct.

I'm not worried about the future. He already knows everything that is coming. He's been there through wars, and disease, and famine, and political unrest, and earthquakes, and terrorism... through it all.... always Faithful.


scrappy quilter said...

Through it all, always very, very true. I once read a book that said 90% of what we worry about doesn't happen and the other 10% takes care of itself. We can choose to worry or we can choose to work at planting a garden, building our pantries up and believing in Him who knows it all.

Great post Brenda.

We were finally able to get some yard work done today. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon we can get our garden tilled. Can't wait to get started.

Berndeen's Tea Time Blog said...

Brenda: You are the winner of my Garden Lover's Giveaway...please e-mail me your address so I can get a box out this week!

jAne said...

Through it all, always Faithful. I am in complete agreement, Brenda. :o)

You said **Californians know the probability of a big earthquake is there and many still don't take time to prepare**.

That's SO true! People look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my head when they learn I have a full pantry and emergency backpacks and bottled water. I remind them that they should prepare for emergencies, not relying on government to spoon-feed them (gack!) while they moan and groan about being in need. Goodness people!

LOVE your posts, especially lately. :o)


Vee said...

Oh boy! Congrats on your win!

Though you are talking about some pretty stressful issues, you always come across as reasonable and measured. My family has lots of horror stories about 1918 and so I can tend to become fearful. Still, I think the media hypes and even the tone of their voices is harried. I wish that their approach was more "rational."

the pleasures of homemaking said...

Brenda, I just wanted to let you know that I've had great success using those 1/2 whiskey barrels that you can get at Home Depot/Lowes in case you decided not to do raised beds.

I grew potatoes in them last year and corn and they both did really well. I have a few potatoes that I didn't have room for in my raised bed this year, so I'm planting them in the whiskey barrel again. Also, I grow lettuce every year in a window box outside my kitchen. Lots of things can be grown in pots - they really are easier to take care of - less weeding, more watering though.

I wish it would stop pouring rain and storming so I can get outside! I have a ton of things to do!


Beth said...

God is faithful and will provide for us. But sometimes He gives us the means to store up provision in advance...perhaps to be able to help others in need.

My husband works for the medical school at Wake Forest University. Thursday he had to stay late at work to videotape and do a closed-circuit broadcast of the medical center's "Town Hall meeting" for employees. The focus of the meeting was the H1N1 flu and what plans the med center and med school have in place to deal with this or any other pandemic.

One topic they spent a lot of time on was employee *personal* preparedness. If the flu hit our area very hard there could be government-mandated "social distancing"...schools and other gathering places closed temporarily. They stressed the need for staff to make plans NOW for how they would deal with child care and similar issues.

They also strongly suggested stocking up on grocery basics and home medical supplies. They recommended following the list that the CDC has on its website.

None of this was stated in a panicky or sensational manner. These men and women are scientists and they are aware of how little they can predict at this point as to how this virus will play out.

But they are responsible for patient care for a large metro area and if the worst should happen they need to have as many healthy employees as possible available to care for patients.

Another point that I heard this weekend was that one reason we in US can sit back and say that this has been overblown and sensationalized is because the citizens of Mexico did their part to help slow down the spread of the virus. They will suffer economic repercussions from having to shut down tourism and so many businesses, but if they had not reported the flu cases honestly and had not gone to "extremes" in dealing with it, there might have been many more sick people in the USA.

Anonymous said...

I once saw a Ziggy cartoon that showed Ziggy rocking. It said worry like rocking gives you so something to do but gets you nowhere. Like in Calif. and other places ..we need to prepare for the possible then since we get and keep ready we can sit back and relax and know we are as ready as we can. I just relax knowing I have a pantry. Just worrying about it or putting our heads in the sand gets us no where! We set priorities for our $ when we first married. We had Very little $ {and only a bit more now} it had to go a long way. Paying all bills and eating good yet simply were 2 of them. Keeping a pantry from the start was a good step. We slowly built up our pantry supplies and only at the best price. {couldn't aford to pay more! :) } Now we have gardened for years. But there is always more to learn and do but we try to keep our life simple and our priorities straight. As always Brenda you give us guidance and thought. Jody