This blog will not be adding more posts but will remain open for you to access the information that will remain here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You never think it will get you

Posted by: Paul Gardener
A posse ad esse (From possibility to reality)

A lot of times we go through life watching the news, talking with friends and thinking about "all those poor people" that are being affected by the happenings of the world. Be it economic, natural disaster or accident there's a lot of things that can happen that will take us off course. Luckily, more often not, we are barely affected in that we are in the majority that watches from the sidelines. That, however, is not always the case.

I spent last week with fever, chills, dizziness and respiratory problems.
I spent last week with Swine Flu.

I lived, obviously, but it was not a pleasurable experience by any means. My son was sick the week prior. He was tested for influenza and it appeared negative, but our doctor advised that he had already had 60 cases in June and that was on the 15th. We also had a young man in my age group (35-40)die just the week prior. H1N1 is in our neighborhood and it is spreading.

I don't say that at all to panic anyone but rather as a statement of fact. It IS here and it IS spreading. The thing I realized last week was that at the rate that it has the potential to spread and if it were more virulent, as is the concern for this fall, that we don't have the kind of preparations that I think we'd like to have in place. Simple things like Acetaminophen that we generally always keep a supply of were hard to find because we don't use them a lot. And we aren't restricted from shopping or going out at all. That is a real concern though for the future if this or some other pandemic necessitates that people are shut into their homes.

I think my wife and I are probably better prepared than many of our neighbors or friends would be if we were to have to go to those lengths, but honestly I take this as a wake up call to myself and I encourage you too as well. Not to panic and not to hoard, but take a look at what your week or two weeks might look like if you were required to stay at home for just that period of time. There are a wealth of great ideas here on this blog. Use us, the writers of this community to help you take stock and identify what you need to do. Have specific questions? Ask them. Need suggestions on how to store things or what kind of stuff you may need for a starter emergency kit? I for one don't have all the answers to the questions that I come up with, but over time I've built a great bunch of resources through others like my fellow writers here.

Please forgive me, but I'm not going to go on for too long tonight. I'm still tired and trying to get back into sorts with myself, I just thought I could take this opportunity to remind all that just because we never think it will get us...sometimes it does.

Peace to you all


Jennifer Dee said...

Thank you for this reminder not to become complacement about Swine Flu. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and I have Asthma; I think it would be dangerous for me to catch Swine Flue. I am taking your comments seriously and I'm now going to check on my store cupboard and make sure that I'm well stocked up.

Kate said...

Wow. Sorry you've been ill, but glad to hear you're on the mend. I'm going to take what you say to heart as well. Generally we can go for weeks without needing to grocery shop. That's especially true right now with the garden vegetables. But the one thing that will eventually drive us to the store is lack of milk. So I'll keep a few extra half gallons in our chest freezer for the rest of the year (rotating though).

Probably a good idea to look to our herbal medicine chest as well.

renee @ FIMBY said...

Ok, so this begs the question: what should we have in our medicine cabinets to be prepared. We're never sick and I don't remember the last time one of us took any kind of pain relief either. Help!

Tree Hugging Mama said...

You can Freeze MILK? Does it effect the milk in any way? How long can it be frozen? I have never thought to freeze it, I guess I just assumed you couldn't. Personally I know I have powdered milk (and in a pinch we could survive two weeks without milk). I don't keep an emergency kit because the components go bad (and to me that's just a waste) I do however have a well stocked house and basement. I am putting in a cold pantry this summer so I can store my veggies without the fridge, and then I would like to add a canning pantry (but in order to stock it I have to do some research). I grew up canning, beens, beets, sourkraut,etc. The issue I had then and still have now is I don't care for mushy, cooked veges (and neither does my family) so I am going to have to see if I can better preserve the texture of the foods I can. Tomato sauce, not an issue, apple sauce not an issue, but how to save all those extra pickles and zuchini's? Maybe some form of relish - I like relish and salsa.
Sorry for the ramble. Hope to find more info on canning and preserving.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Paul, thanks for the reminder that swine flu is still around despite the fact that it isn't in the news of the day in the mainstream media. A wake-up call for all of us.

Tree Hugging Mama, we freeze milk when our cow is dry, the cream should be separated, as the texture is somewhat chunky after freezing. But if you are buying homogenized milk that wouldn't be a problem.

As for mushy veggies, have you tried lacto-fermentation? Plus sauerkraut doesn't need to be canned anyway it is already "pickled" after it ferments.

We have been making lots of O Shinko with our extra lettuce and greens. Just basically fermented leaves, and a great break from continuous salads this time of year.

Annette said...

Swine flu, eh? Your right - I never thought I would know someone who has/had it. =( Glad to hear you are feeling somewhat better. Renee asks a good question - what types of items should we have in the medicine cabinet. Members in our household are rarely ill *knocks on wood* so I would be ill prepared with tylenol or ibuprofen (something to correct right away). What else? And Tree Hugging, we freeze milk often - haven't noticed a change in taste, it can take a few days to fully thaw.
Throwback, I have never heard of O Shinko before - something to learn today! =)

Anonymous said...

Back to the milk: We buy organic milk in half-gallon cartons. Can I just stick one in the freezer? (I know it's a silly question, but for some reason it seems odd to me.)

Kate said...

THM and anon, yes, I freeze milk in half-gallon cartons. It does take a while to thaw, but I haven't noticed any difference in taste or texture. The stuff is, after all, pasteurized, which removes about 90% of the flavor anyway.

Raw milk on the other hand does change texture as the Throwback mentioned. I don't mind slightly clumpy cream in the milk. It's just little nuggets of deliciousness. So long as I consume raw milk within three days of thawing, I don't notice any difference in taste. After that, there is some slight difference. It rarely lasts that long. But be sure to leave plenty of extra room if you freeze raw milk in containers. The cardboard cartons can handle outward expansion. Glass, not so much.

Jenn said...

I learned this lesson when I had Norwalk a few years back. Happily, there was enough food in the house to not go out for a good while, but it made me realise where the gaps were, and I try to keep them filled as much as possible now, although I suspect it might be time to take a good hard look at the medicine chest and see what needs doing in there.

Compostwoman said...

A LARGE bottle of essential oil of Lavender would be a good thing to have in store...pain relief, antiseptic, sedetive, decongestant, etc etc .
And another of Eucalyptus, perhaps? ( Anti viral etc etc .....)

These would help with clean ups, prevention as well, and just smell good!

Paul , sorry you have been poorly, and hope you feel better soonest
Cw x

claudia said...

Thanks for the reminder. We all get complacent at times and forget. Well, at least I do.
I am glad that you have survived and are on the mend.

Katherine said...

My mom freezes milk. I never do because I find that it does affect the taste and I don't like it. Perhaps I should freeze a little for baking, but I can taste the difference even on cereal.

So, if you plan on freezing milk, perhaps you should do a test on a small amount before freezing multiple cartons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the replies on the milk :) I will start with one carton and see how it goes!

Joanne said...

Swine flu is still building momentum here in Australia. There have been 9 deaths as per yesterday, almost all are people with pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer, that lower immunity. The first person I know is a girl from our congregation who was at our meeting on Sunday and now is quarantined at home.
I'm not fearful for us as we are all relatively well but my brother's daughter is 6 and has no immunity due to leukemia treatments. We are not going near her if we have even the slightest sniffle.
Food-wise, we could easily last a week. Medication, maybe not. I don't think I would have any trouble getting a friend or relative to deliver something to the letterbox.

Christy said...

chris30523.We are currently in our home taking antibiotics because we were exposed to Whooping cough. I thought this had gone the way of polio. The young man who has it is 16 and his immunization has worn off.Evidently it is coming back around. I know his mom has called 911 twice for the poor boy cause he can't breathe.When we started to remember everyone who he had been in contact with in the last 21 days it was a large number. I think we should all be very aware of where we are and where we have been. Sorry you were sick.

Robbyn said...

So glad you came out of it ok, P!