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Zoethe

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In case of crisis, cook [Feb. 2nd, 2008|11:55 am]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

So what do you get when you cross a Mormon with a kleptomaniac?

....

You get a basement full of stolen groceries.

Ferrett just posted about his reaction to going to the estate sale across the street. The departed resident left behind a large store of bulk supply food, the kind you only eat in emergencies. I know nothing about this former neighbor of ours, whether the impetus came from a religious fervor or a leftover from 1960s nuclear fear, but whatever it is there was definitely emergency planning going on in that household. And it affected both of us.

For Ferrett, it motivated him to start looking up canned food supplies on the internet.

For me, it was a matter of surveying that house's much larger, very sunny back yard, the quarter acre beyond the garage, and thinking, "Hmm, if we could talk Ferrett's folks [who are getting ready to move, but not to Cleveland] into buying this house, we could start a huge vegetable garden back there...."

Both of us are looking at the way of the world and thinking, things are getting kinda scary.

Part of me rolls my eyes at myself (a rather painful gesture). After all, everyone was sure that Reagan was going to get us nuked, and before that that oil would run out and we'd freeze to death. The world tends to be more resilient than our fears.

But maybe this time we'll push it too far. And then what?

So we both work through our fears. Ferrett isn't going to order $2000 worth of groceries. My impulse to plant the back 40 of that house certainly won't be fulfilled. But maybe we'll beef up our emergency supplies. And maybe I'll put in some vegetable beds on the one side of the house next summer. It won't actually feed us, but it might give us some peace of mind.

All that canned food was a security blanket for our now-deceased neighbor; a security blanket that outlived the person it secured. We're considering something that will probably have the same result.

It's silly and paranoid.

Probably.
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[User Picture]From: norda
2008-02-02 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely a kid of the Sixties, raised by parents who grew up in the Great Depression, who in there turn had parents who grew up in "The War To End All Wars". [So my granddad called it.] Being frugal so one never has to do without completely is ingrained.

I even lived on a suburban property in a development that had bomb shelters in the backyard. It was shared by us and our next-door neighbors... the property line went smack down the middle. We were never allowed to play there. I wonder what the new residents think, and what's still stockpiled in there.

Michael and I have always done stockpile shopping, until this last layoff in April, because we haven't had the car this time 'round to aid us in the transportation of our bulking up. You can imagine my absolute terror a few weeks ago when I used our last box of rice, purchased some eight months before. Even though we had pasta and barley, somehow the symbolism of running out of something, when we'd never run out of something before, gave me an anxiety attack of stark proportions.

We all have our security blankets.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 05:36 pm (UTC)
Good to know we're not alone.
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[User Picture]From: mommeeof9
2008-02-02 05:52 pm (UTC)
I don't know where we would store extra food. Though I can see where having enough food and water for a week would be a handy thing for those occasional snow/ice storms. I refuse to drive on bad roads. The DC area drivers are suicidal, homicidal or just crazy on good roads. When the weather is iffy, they are down right scary. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 05:57 pm (UTC)
Extra food for your gang would be a serious challenge! But after the power outage of 2005, I do think about it when we get low on stuff.
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[User Picture]From: celebestel
2008-02-02 06:47 pm (UTC)
You get a basement full of stolen groceries.

It's so true. XD I'm a Mormon, and my family loves to stockpile food. Even barring apocalyptic catastrophe, food storage is very good to have in case of unemployment or other personal circumstances. We've had to use it that way.

(Our church puts out a pamphlet about building emergency supplies, just in case you're interested)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:21 pm (UTC)
Very true. And much more economical than buying in small quantities.
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[User Picture]From: thejunebug
2008-02-02 06:48 pm (UTC)
ROFL. That joke made me come thisclose to snorting my tea up my nose! (Obviously, am no longer Mormon.) I'm totally going to tell that one to my mom/brother (who are still Mormon).

And, related: I still have urges to bulk up on food supplies, especially now that we have a garage. It must be inherited.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:25 pm (UTC)
The joke made me howl, but at first I was a little worried about putting it on here. But it was so appropriate, and truth is a defense!

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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2008-02-02 06:53 pm (UTC)
Eek. Estate sales with food are weird.

My family went through a huge MREs (meals ready to eat) and bottled water phase.... but eventually my mom kept insisting on leaving the gallon jugs of distilled water in the car "in case we broke down" which by January had turned into giant exploding ice blocks, and the MREs became after-school snacks for my brother and me... So if the nuclear winter comes we'll probably be stuck with stale graham crackers and the occasional can of corn.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:27 pm (UTC)
LOL! Yes, you have to be consistent with these things. I don't carry water in the car for that very reason. Most places I might break down aren't going to be dehydration distance from help.
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[User Picture]From: raylenetaskoski
2008-02-02 06:55 pm (UTC)
More likely from the Y2K hysteria. My parents had a ton of it, but they'e eaten it all now. we had powered and canned and preserved every damned thing when we went over their house to eat for a LONG time. They still have a little that they're working through.

...raylene
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:27 pm (UTC)
Amusingly enough, Y2K didn't worry me at all. Maybe it's just old age.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2008-02-02 07:16 pm (UTC)
I think the point of having security blankets is that they outlast you. You won't benefit from them that way, which could be seen as a waste, but what if you used it? You would absolutely have to get another because of how useful the first one was (presuming it lasted long enough). Too large of a security blanket is inefficient, but supplies to last a few weeks, a number of small bills in case the banks close, and the like seem reasonable to me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:29 pm (UTC)
True. It's like life insurance - a continual bet with your own mortality.
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[User Picture]From: jfargo
2008-02-02 07:29 pm (UTC)
The house we're buying at the end of this month has a really large backyard, and one of the reasons I like that is so that I can plant a few basic necessities. I talk a lot about zombie survival, but fact of the moment is that I don't have the necessary supplies. I'm going to be stocking up once we move.

Because you never know. And like you said, "silly and paranoid. Probably."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yup. I love our garden, but it is not practical in any sense. The one whole side of the house, though, has continual sun and a narrow strip of grass that is utterly useless....
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[User Picture]From: mysteri
2008-02-02 08:27 pm (UTC)
I am big on the having food enough to get us through bad spots. Our best friends who used to be our neighbors when we lived on base used to come shopping at "Teri's Store" when their military pay got screwed. It has saved us a few times, the military is very good at taking any money they discover you owe them in one chunk without warning but oh so slow at getting money they owe you back to you. Hence always wanting to have at least 2 months of basic food supplies on hand.

This has caused problems though, every time we moved a large chunk of my supply could not be shipped either due to weight restrictions or what it was. I was a basket case until I got my supply up again.

Now I have my "Forever Home" meaning I never have to move again and I'm working to a six to twelve month supply so that if the worst happened and we both lost our jobs things would still be covered as his retirement pay covers our mortgage with money leftover. Of course if his retirement pay ever gets cut off it means the government has gone insane and it's time to move way up north and find a good cave to hide in. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-02 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's kinda nice to know that our instincts are shared by others.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2008-02-02 08:51 pm (UTC)
See, for me my security blanket is having enough yarn on hand that if I suddenly had to stop buying yarn (the yarn store closed, I didn't have enough money, all the sheep in the world spontaneously combusted) I have enough to keep me knitting for a while. As far as food goes, I don't really care as much. Possibly because of the "poor college student" thing. I mean, my roommate has shelves full of canned foods because she just keeps buying more canned food without eating much of what she already has, so if something bad happened here at least I know I could mooch off of her for a couple weeks. XD
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-03 05:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, my fabric stash is way too depleted. Something should be done about that.
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2008-02-02 09:54 pm (UTC)
A security blanket, or evidence of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, too. I don't think there are any special tricks to making it through bad times. Personally I can't conceive of anything worse than Katrina - it's a landmark/scar that will persist - but such events are truly rare. And there were a lot of people in Chalmette who ended up drowned with a cellarfull of food. Bonds with other people, now that can carry you through a disaster, that's what's important if you ax me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-03 06:14 am (UTC)
You do have a point. Flooding, however, is not going to be our problem, at least not if we're at home.

Speaking of NOLA, we are planning on being down there at the end of May/beginning of June, celebrating my 50th birthday with a band of friends. We should try to get together!
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[User Picture]From: moropus
2008-02-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
I always have at least a month's worth of extra food around and 40 lbs of rice. This has saved my butt a few times when I had to spend my whole check on getting the car fixed, etc. I've done this ever since we were newly wed and at the in-laws and the car broke in a craptacular expensive way. Mom in law gave us her extra groceries and we weathered the next few weeks quite smugly without taking out a loan, even though the cost of fixing the car was right up there with the national debt.

I ended up washing clothes in the bathtub and riding my bike to work, but we didn't borrow any money. And the ex wife had given my DH bills out the wazoo. Nobody would have given us a loan. If they had we couldn't had made the payments.
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[User Picture]From: moropus
2008-02-02 10:54 pm (UTC)
When we bought this house, his family gave us an old chest freezer. We have 3 5 gallon jugs of ice in there for ice water. We are also kitted out to manually extract water from our well and through the window into the bath tub. This means we can flush and take sponge baths.

Since we bought the house shortly before Y2K, we only looked at houses with working fireplaces and we have an acre of trees. We lost power for 3 days following an ice storm and we were pretty happy about the whole set up then. We lugged in ice covered wood and let it thaw in the kitchen, mopping frequently. That was annoying but doable.
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[User Picture]From: sunfell
2008-02-02 11:49 pm (UTC)
I have definite specifications for my 'forever home'- if I can ever make enough money to buy it. But it will need to have a big, sunny back yard for a garden, lots of storage space, and, if possible- a cellar or basement. In my part of the country, basements are not common because we have heavy quartz-clay soil, and only older homes in the city have them.

But I will definitely have a good stock of food, alternative ways of powering the home, emergency cooking supplies, and other things that make me feel secure- like a large library. I was talking to a friend about my 'dream' home today- a modest cozy cottage or bungalow, surrounded with edible landscaping, and a lovely, raised-bed garden in the back, full of cole and brassica, tomatoes and peppers, onions, beans, climbing spinach and all the weird looking squash I can find.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-03 06:19 am (UTC)
Sounds awesome.
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[User Picture]From: axejudge
2008-02-03 08:18 am (UTC)
I don't go out of my way to stockpile food, but I like to have a well-stocked pantry - not just in food and drink, but also in spices. My weekly shopping run mostly consists of buying whatever produce I need for the week, and restocking anything I'm running short on. I don't think there's anything wrong with having 6 different types of rice, 3 types of lentils, various flours, etc. handy. I do keep an eye out for the moths; I've had an infestation before - very annoying.

With the up and down weather we've been having, I did consider how well prepared I'd be if I was snowed in for a while, and I realized that it wouldn't be a big hardship. I might need a few more frozen veggies, but otherwise I could last quite a while.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-03 02:33 pm (UTC)
The irony, of course, is that just now we are very low on pretty much everything. Must start the stocking up process.
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From: williaej
2008-02-03 05:44 pm (UTC)
I've lived in Charleston for almost five years now, so I'm big on keeping an emergency stockpile--food, water, battery operated TV/radio/flashlight combo, a case each of AA, AAA, C, and D batteries, etc. Especially post-Katrina, updating the stockpile became an annual ritual.

Of course, now that I'm moving, not only to I have to use all this crap up (because I'm not hauling it to Charlotte), I have to break the habit. They don't have hurricanes in Charlotte.

(They have traffic. /rimshot)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2008-02-03 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, there could always be zombie outbreaks....

;-)
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