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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Comfort Food (for Thought)

I am sitting here after jury duty, home and safe, eating the last of Saturday night’s tuna roll and counting my blessings, not the least of which are my friends.

I am one of those rare people who doesn’t have the tape playing in her head. You know the one. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not whatever enough. I must have been standing in the collect cool stuff that your kids don’t understand line when the self-deprecating tape was being handed out.

Not that I am complaining, mind you. And not that I don’t have moments when I have to look myself in the eye and say, “That didn’t go well. Back up, apologize, and try again.” But on those days when my eternal goals seem very far away, and when I am frustrated with the glacial slowness of the sanctification process, it is oh so comforting to look around at the people I’m traveling with and recognize their essential goodness and feel Eternal fingers push the “refresh” button on the window marked COURAGE.

Thanks, y’all. Let’s please keep doing that for one another.

OK, this next is for my new friend Michele. Here is the link to the official Church info on personal and family preparedness, frequently referred to as provident living. [And not to be confused with the privately owned commercial site, Provident Living, where you may buy commodities to begin or round out your family’s preparedness program once you have designed it to suit your needs.]

As you will see, there are a number of useful links on the right side of that page. I suggest that you click on each in turn. One is a form that you can take to your local Home Storage Center (if you have one). We have one in Carrollton, a building that houses the Bishops Storehouse (where food orders ~ lists ~ prepared by RS presidents like me, under the direction of the bishop and signed by him, are filled at no cost to indigent members of the church), LDS Family Services, the Employment Center, the Home Storage Center, etc. I don’t know if there is one near you, or if you would have to drive to San Antonio or Austin or Houston. I know that ours serves an area roughly down to Waco and probably up into Oklahoma, and out into East Texas. I don’t know how many there are in Texas, but if there is one near you, members of the Church can make an appointment to do dry-pack canning of things like wheat, flour, sugar, beans, etc. I don’t know if non-LDS folks could do the same, but maybe you could combine efforts with some of your cousins who are members?

The idea is to store a year’s worth of stuff that would keep you alive and reasonably healthy. In recent years, they have emphasized the 72-hour kits and acquiring a three-month supply of stuff you might actually be enthusiastic about eating, in time of emergency.

I can promise you from my own experience that if you are stressed out and having to dip into your food storage, you want it to be something that tastes good to you. Otherwise, you will just gradually stop eating. I lost 21 lbs in three weeks, about 20 years ago, because we were living on past-its-prime oatmeal for two meals a day, sometimes three. Most of my kids cannot stand oatmeal, to this day. I cannot eat boiled wheat berries, because even though it’s a very healthy food; to me it smells like poverty and tastes like despair, and my taste buds revolt.

Also, if you do store the basic stuff, make sure you rotate it regularly and incorporate it into your diet; otherwise when you are suddenly eating cracked wheat cereal or whole-wheat bread after developing a taste for deadbread, your izzards and gizzards will do a convincing job of telling you that you are going to die, slowly and painfully and explosively.

I don’t remember if I have shared the $5 a week food storage plan, which these days is more like $8 a week but is still a fairly painless way to accumulate a year’s supply of the basics by spending a small amount extra each week, and at the year being able to call yourself obedient. Even I can spend an extra $5-8 a week on groceries without having to wonder if the lights will get cut off.

Which reminds me of something that Orson Scott Card wrote [loosely paraphrased here], that if you get the chance, move in next door to somebody who has a *two* years’ supply and then both families would, on average, be obedient.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

Very good summarization of Food Storage. I have been a wheat-eater in all its glorious forms for about 40 years!

Jenni said...

I do better than I used to bu tam inspired by you to try even harder to be MORE obedient.

mtwalty said...

Ms. Ravelled,

Thank you so very much for the link to the Family Home Storage site. It looks like there is a lot of good information that I can find quite useful. Also, thank you for the information about the Home Storage Center; however, I have been blessed and would rather have those less fortunate than I get the goods. Quite honestly, I can afford the extra $5-$8/week to purchase additional can goods. I even keep meaning to do that each time I go to the grocery store, but, for some reason my mind keeps saying, "Oh, you can do that next time you shop." Guess it's time to stop procrastinating.

Another interesting note about how our lives have paralleled. I started my office career about 20 years ago as a part-time typist in a law firm. I was able to work my way up through the ranks, get an Associate's Degree in paralegal studies and eventually ended up working for a Fortune 500 insurance firm back east as a "legal auditor." That's a fancy way of saying I travelled to various third-party law firms around the nation and audited their cases and bills to make sure they were complying with our billing contracts.

I say all this to you as an "atta girl." Keep up the hard work at your office and I am sure you will be rewarded.

Again, thank you for your helpful advice. It has been truly appreciated.

Michele