Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Getting Prepared" Project

During the week prior to Thanksgiving and following Thanksgiving, I felt impressed to update our preparedness supplies after hearing what Glenn Beck on the Fox News program had to say.  He predicted significant price rises on food and other commodities in the coming months and urged us to get prepared for this by laying by food storage and getting out of debt.  We're OK on debt, but we needed to replace some food items in our existing supply.  So guess what!  I bought all the great meat specials I saw that we could use and pressure canned them in pint bottles.  I did up some beef, turkey, chicken, ham, and white beans with ham.  I also did beef stew and turkey ala king.  Now we can make up main courses using up our staples like rice, pasta, and potato flakes combined with the meats I put up.  Now, if I can just learn how to use my cast iron dutch oven properly and be able to cook without gas or electricity, I will feel well prepared to do meals in an emergency or shortage situation.  I went to the local preparedness market and looked at a sun oven and hand wheat grinder.  I need a hand wheat grinder now in order to make cracked wheat.  My electric mill only does fine flour, not cereal, and we like hot cereal.  The sun oven looked really good because we have lots of sunny days down here in Southern Utah, but it cost over $200.  I can buy lots of charcoal briquettes with that.  This may sound a little "over the top" to many of you, but it was actually fun for me, and I feel more secure doing all I reasonably can to be prepared for hard times ahead.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Reflections

Today was a quiet Thanksgiving Day for me.  I didn't have a dinner to prepare or company to host.  Instead, Chuck, David, and I went to our neighbor's home for the feast.  These are the same people who went with us to the Death Valley Roundup a couple of weeks ago.  They are very good friends--Hal and Dee Jones.   Dee is my Visiting Teaching companion, and we have enjoyed this calling in our church to tend to the needs of and visit and share Gospel centered messages with three women assigned to us.  One of the single women we visit was also invited to come to the Thanksgiving feast today.  She came and we all enjoyed it.  David enjoyed the meal and promptly fell asleep afterward.  Dee's granddaughter and her friend came down from BYU to visit during their break also.  I made three pumpkin pies for it.  We had turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, bean casserole, fruit salad, rolls, and appetizers.

Right now in this stage of our life, we find ourselves more and more on the outside looking in during holidays as our children and their children gather for their own holiday observances as families.  This is partly due to the great distances involved during the difficult and frequently hazardous driving conditions at this time of the year, and part is due to each family's need to have their own time and space to enjoy.  We understand this, and now look back upon those times we have enjoyed being part of these gatherings with deep nostalgia.  It goes without saying that we need to always be mindful of the blessings we enjoy and sometimes take for granted as we go thru life.  Those moments often pass, never to return, without our even realizing it.  We are deeply thankful for the many years we enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.  We have been blessed with wonderful memories and a heritage of family values which are now being passed on to our descendents.

49er Roundup at Death Valley

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Our trailer is the tiny one in the middle.  Our Minivan pulls it just fine. It has all we need.

Old Western Costume Contest
A pampered pet

Country Western Singers, the Kuddabin BrothersAdd caption
We took our trailer out on its second voyage.   The Honda Mini Van was our towing vehicle.   This time we went with friends, Dee and Hal Jones to Death Valley, California to participate in the annual gathering of RVers to observe the country western traditions of days gone by and enjoy the performances of western country performing groups, art festival, and other activities.  We had a lot of fun.  The Furnace Creek Sunset campground was the site where we camped.  The weather was pleasant, although windy at times, and we enjoyed being with our friends sharing the events.  I enjoyed the "Pampered Pet Parade".  Most of the old people we saw had small dogs in their motor homes and trailers; hence the opportunity for participation in this event.  I enjoyed seeing the little dogs all dressed up for the parade.  Our little camping trailer was dwarfed next to the gigantic motor homes most of the people had, but we did just fine in this self-contained setting with no hookups for five nights and six days.  We will plan to return next year.