Saturday, January 19, 2019
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Lots of pantry related stuff going on!
We are in the midst of our second weekend of snowstorms. Our local weather guy warned us that nature has a way of balancing itself and after long stretch of above normal temperatures, the snow and cold have settled in.
This storm is different than we had last week because of the high winds which will be developing. They will bring blizzard like conditions and power outages we didn't have last week. So I did some preparations last night and I will continue this morning before the winds pick up.
We had an unexpected power outage from a windstorm last fall and I realized then we were totally unprepared. We did have a battery operated radio and some candles but otherwise, we were (literally) left in the dark.
That was our first fairly long time without power and along with that came surprises, such as how boring it is when one sits around at dark with just candles. Now, I expect larger families would be less likely to be bored since there are people to talk to but here it is just the two of us and since we are together almost 24/7... said that already!
I remembered at the time that I had a couple episodes of a cooking show and an episode of Vera downloaded to the Amazon Fire tablet and they honestly were like a special Christmas gift to myself. It was enjoyable to watch them by the light of the candle. I also appreciated my Kindle Paperwhite that has its' own light and many downloaded books.
My only wish was that I had some hot beverage to sip and as human nature tends to be... what we cannot have at all we can start craving. Honestly, I felt like I HAD TO HAVE a cup of hot coffee or tea.
So what does that have to do with my preparedness this time? Well, along with getting out the battery operated radio, the flash lights, candles (regular and battery operated), etc., I took the time to download TV programs and a movie to the Amazon Fire (my kids gave me for my birthday when my iPad died).
Very soon, I will pour hot water into one thermos (not boiling water, I did that once and had to get another thermos) and coffee in another. I already have food on hand that does not need to be cooked.
This is to be a short lived storm so preparations didn't have to be for days, just the weekend. I have enough stored water for short term use. Should this have been a possible long term event without power... and the well does not run without electricity... I would have done more water preparation.
I don't know if we will lose power here but there are parts of the County that have already. Even if we don't, it doesn't take long to put everything away and the coffee will be enjoyed, the hot water used, and the downloaded media will be played. If not this weekend, then soon.
As for my other pantry preps, I finally finished cleaning and organizing two of the three sets of shelves that are my responsibility in the garage. The third is the set of shelves on which Christmas and other holiday boxes are kept and they were organized long ago. They had very little mouse infestation being all Rubbermaid style containers. They just had to have the lids washed.
This has been a very long effort when done a little at a time. I couldn't do very much until the woman who cleaned the siding on our porch was hired to give the shelves a washing with bleach water. It didn't cost much and protected my health from the mouse droppings. She didn't even wear a mask!
Once that was done, I could begin the process of cleaning what we didn't have to throw away. That has taken a year since I wanted to clean the things that were on my shelves to decide what still needed to be tossed. The set of shelves where I keep things like my Crock-pot and salad spinner along with extra canned goods was finished a couple months ago.
I wanted to get all of this completed before the frigid winter temperatures set in, which are to start this weekend. It took a lot of work and rest and work and rest (not to mention ignoring other household chores so this could be finished) but it was accomplished. From now on, only tweaking and the usual upkeep will be needed.
I'm still amazed what can be accomplished a little at a time. Before developing a chronic illness, I was a big project person. I mean... really big household projects. They were scheduled for one or more consecutive days. It took awhile to have my eyes opened to how much these big projects... broken down into teeny tiny projects... can still be accomplished.
Each time I work in the garage, I am reminded how quickly it seems this mouse infestation happened. We learned so much in the process. Now if we see even small signs of mice, we get out the mouse traps. Living in the country, we were used to having one or two mice in the garage so we "lived and let live"... no more.
I think the lesson we most learned was to never keep food that would attract mice in unopened containers. That was what really drew them in. I am convinced they go out and tell all the other field mice where they can find food for the easy taking.
Now I am off for a second cup of coffee and to enjoy a lemon scone. I made them this morning to keep as a reward for when I get the final weather preps made and the blog post written. :)
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Vera (thank you for the recommendations, it has become my favorite BBC mystery program), info on the Season One DVD... here.
All seasons (except for Season 9) and individual episodes are also available on Amazon Video. I love how Vera portrays an average looking rather disheveled older woman who is a brilliant police inspector.
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.
Image: American Homestead Winter
(Please forgive any typos. The sight in my right eye is still fuzzy enough that I don't always see clearly.)