It has been unseasonably warm here for another week but the forecast is showing a glimpse of true Fall. I mean sweater weather, soup simmering, and something baking in the oven weather! I can't wait...
I decorated the porch with a couple mum plants of autumnal colors, they sit on either side of the one summer porch plant still remaining alive and that has a mixture of various types of coleus. They look good together.
The small Rubbermaid style container with the Fall decorations sat on the Living Room coffee table awhile as I slowly decided where to place them. I don't have a lot anymore but what I do have, I like a lot. Everything now has a place to call home and the colors of Fall fit in nicely with my usual decorating.
I arrived home from what was supposed to be a quick trip to the grocery store recently, tired and frustrated with rude shoppers and just as rude drivers. The store had a new checkout machine that was entirely different than what I had used before and while I am usually quite a quick learner, this one was frustrating.
When I arrived home, I told my husband that home has never seemed more of a respite from the world as it has been these past couple of years. Sometimes it seems lots of people are in a bad mood. I so appreciate those who smile and say hello these days.
I have only been to a couple of stores this week and even then, just for a few items, but there are definitely shortages here and there. Aldi was out of not only cream but much of their dairy section was empty. When I went back on my way home from a doctor's appointment two days later, there was milk and cream available but not very much. It is rare to find Aldi not fully stocked.
Meijer had almost no organic produce on stock-up day, only stalks of celery were available. I bought a couple pre-mixed packages of Taylor Farms chopped salads instead. When I went back for a few items, the organic vegetable area was full but now there were empty spaces in the pre-mixed salad packages.
Various shortages are being noticed more and more but I was still shocked when the largest school district in the area made the television news because they could not guarantee the month's menu that they send home with kids anymore due to food shortages. It is now hard to plan ahead because they do not know what will be available.
What I am still noticing is the steady increase in prices on many food items. The CEO of Kroger, the nation's largest grocery store chain, has warned that inflation has been higher than they expected for food products and they will be increasing their prices by the end of the year.
The timing doesn't surprise me because the actual amount of damage done by fires, drought, floods, etc. on the 2021 crops will be known by then. Already, the damage has been significant for many foods grown in the Plains states and California.
Those who have wisdom are also noticing the higher than anticipated (by the government) rise in prices in our non-food products. Which, when combined with the problems in the supply chain and the shortage of necessary items such as computer chips, have increased the cost of many products. If you can even get them right away.
Our best way to hedge against inflation if one does not have the ability to purchase gold and silver, which I don't, is to purchase whenever possible today what you know you will need tomorrow. If it is available, you have the budget to buy it (whatever "it" is), and if necessary the room to store it... it is better to be in your house than a warehouse who knows where and for who knows how long.
I am a believer that God is nudging a lot of His people about what is coming... and what is now here... and He promises to give wisdom when we pray about what to do. We are not to fear but to learn and to trust Him... while doing what we know He is telling us to do and has given us the means to do.
Some will have just enough money to stock a couple months of basic food items for themselves and that is okay. That is where I am and I know God is taking care of us. All He asks of us to do is what we honestly can do with what He has given. Although, if we use the grocery money to take a vacation to Aruba, we may have to do some repenting. Just saying...
Others whom God has given the budget and the room will feel led to purchase extra not only for themselves but at least for their children... and possibly their friends, too. My dear friend surprised me with instant Blonde Roast Starbucks last week, the kind that my grocery store has been out of for months. I felt so blessed!
So, what have I done for my pantry this week? Not much, I admit. I was silly and tried to pick up a box that was too heavy early in the week and since then, have depended on prayer and ibuprofen to get around. It seems I have to relearn my limitations every once in awhile. However, I had already started some Holiday pantry planning.
I have mentioned before that I think about it all year and the one area I have not been prepared for each year is in doing the Christmas crafts I enjoy. By the time I think of purchasing what is needed, Christmas is almost over! The last few years, all I was able to do was to dry thinly sliced oranges in the oven at the lowest setting. They do make beautiful decorations.
So, early this year I was looking on the clearance rack of one of the grocery stores and saw clearance price herbs and spices. One of them was whole cloves and any whole spice lasts a very long time. I've been wanting to make orange pomanders, even though they only are fresh three or four days. By having the cloves already (purchased at a clearance price), I can make one, two, or even three very cheap.
I also bought the ingredients already to make cinnamon dough hearts again. I have made them a few different times but the past few years, when I thought of making them, I didn't have the applesauce or inexpensive cinnamon on hand. I will not use my favorite Vietnamese cinnamon on a craft! The needed items are now sitting and waiting in the yellow chimney pantry.
That is all I can think of this week, I know there will be more pondering before next Saturday.
My one "cookbook" recommendation this week is my favorite Susan Branch book called Autumn. I get it out each year to display and peruse with joy. It is one of my favorite books in the "always makes me happy" category.
More information about Autumn can be found... here. (How in the world did this become so expensive?)
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.
Image: This photo was taken a few years ago, I have since moved the wire basket to another table in the Kitchen but the book is once again in the front, acknowledging the season.