A few of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted on the solar oven project in a while. It’s merely been paused while I work on some other things, and I will resume work on it shortly after New Year’s.
So what are the other things?
Well, for starters, Christmas is coming. We don’t go crazy for Christmas, preferring to keep it a bit more low-key and respectful, but there are still things to be done. One BIG thing is the family calendar. Every year, we take copious amounts of pictures, and in November and December I select the best and put together a family calendar. Each month has a collage of five or six pictures (mainly of the kids), and most of the pictures have captions. I print them myself (about 24 calendars) because I haven’t found an office store yet that can print them as well as I can. I put a lot of effort and time into it, and it gets rave reviews from family.
We’ve also had some medical issues lately. My mom developed shingles, and I wouldn’t wish this very painful resurgence of the chickenpox virus on my worst enemy. My son, Bunny-Wan Kenobi, got a couple of eczema patches on his hands, which I fought and fought. Finally, I had to take him to the doctor, and it turned out the eczema had gotten infected. So he got an antibiotic, as well as a topical steroid that’s stronger than OTC hydrocortizone. Then he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic after a week of being on it, which prompted a prescription for a strong antihistamine to fight the hives. I also ended up pulling out some long-unused Nystatin to treat a yeast outbreak in the eczema. He’s also been having to have Aquaphor (I got the generic!) put on his hands and up his arms, and he’s wearing long socks on his arms to bed.
Poor child! He was delighted to finish the antihistamine today (apparently it tasted pretty vile — “imagine that it tastes like grape, but then make it very, very sour…”), and he’s counting the days until he can stop the topical steroid and the Aquaphor up his arms and the socks. I’ll continue the Nystatin on him, and start him on Benadryl since the rash isn’t completely gone yet. He’s also supposed to apply a small amount of Aquaphor to his hands every few times he washes them. It’s like being back with him as a baby, when his skin would just go haywire and I’d have to use a prescription eczema cream, Nystatin, and Bactroban all together to get it back to normal.
But another thing that has been taking my attention is something that has to do with preparing for the future.
With the way things are going currently, and the legislation that has been passed and is still coming down the pike, we believe that the hard times in this country have only begun. The numbers that show there is a recovery going on are the result of a big shell game.
With that in mind, it is only wise to prepare. This is why we raise meat rabbits. But another thing we are working toward is starting a vegetable garden. That takes money, especially in our case. The yard regularly is wetter than it ought to be, because we live at the bottom of a hill and our yard was engineered (why?!?) as an overflow for heavy rains. This means that any vegetable gardens I have will need to be in raised beds.
Okay, so where to get the money? Well, when we moved in here with my uncle, this house was already packed to the gills with stuff. My grandmother and grandfather bought this house. My great-grandmother lived here for years. My uncle moved back in to help care for my grandfather, then my great-grandmother, and finally my grandmother.
So there are many things around the house that are no longer in use. Clothes, shoes, etc. Most of the sizes are smaller than any of the three girls (myself, my mom, and my daughter) that live here now, so there is no one to wear them. My uncle is graciously allowing me to sell a good bit of it on eBay to raise money for garden plots. I’ve been at it for a couple of months now. Shay has also sold some of his model trains to help out, and we’re doing pretty well so far. It is going to take a while to go through everything and have it all posted and sold.
In whatever situation you find yourself, please do what you can yourself to prepare. Any food you can produce on your own is a step toward immunity from hard times. In the Great Depression, the people who were least affected were the farm families and others who had large gardens and kept chickens and such. Even if you live in an apartment, there are things you can do… just do some searches, and you’ll find there are others who have figured out ways to grow vegetables at their apartments. Even if you end up not needing everything you produce, you will be in a position to help others.