We are using more of the cinder blocks and going to set up a couple compost sections in the garden spaces. I'm going to do them just like the raised beds, but as we build, we'll add another course of block, holes outward to help with airflow and such. I think it will work. Maybe. Hopefully. I don't have any fencing, not even scraps, leftover around here, and I'm down to Dewey's 4x4's...and they are 12 ft and 16 ft...I'm just guessing he'd be a little less than happy, garden or not, if I tore into his stash and cut them to something more usable. No, for the sake of a contented marriage I'll just steal his cinder block stash. Besides, I can man-handle those...a 16 ft 4x4 with my carpal tunnel...not so much!
I read this bit on a blog and it pretty much sums up what we think around here:
"I would like for all of us to be more self sufficient. Be prepared. There are disasters around every corner. Flooding? ask the folks in Tn.
Ice storms in Kentucky two winters ago, people died.
Tornadoes and earth quakes every year somewhere.
I am not saying be paranoid and in fear every moment, but be prepared. I do believe if its your time, there's nothing you can do about it. But if it's not your time you can improve your situation greatly."
That is the main point. Used to be folks just did their daily running here and there, spent without a thought or a plan...afterall, the credit cards would cover them, and there'd be another paycheck next week. And storms like floods, tornadoes, etc were a big deal, but most folks have never dealt with them with any regularity really.
I'm sure those folks staying at OpryLand weren't thinking they'd be trapped in the hotel, or their car would be gone under several feet of rushing water. It's Nashville, a concrete urban center for crying out loud, not a beach front hotel in Florida.
Things happen. Not every tornado hits ground in the country in some farmer's field. Not every flood happens near a large body of water. And winter storms of major proportion can stop any city on a dime. You don't have to be in the mountains...you could just be in the South. Ice storms don't take much to put a stop to regular life. Around here, back in 1994 they tell me the ice storm left people...in Mississippi...without power, water, and supplies for well into 3 weeks. Mississippi...where the heat level is fairly decent 5 days a week, including in winter. I'd expect something like that in the north, but here? Just doesn't seem likely. But we've had odd swings in weather for many years now. You just never know.
And that paycheck being there next week? You're just a deluded fool if you put any belief in that as truth these days. Jobs are more fickle than the weather anymore. No one, I don't care what you do, who you are, what your education/skill level is...you have no more 'job security' than a fly. Banker or Janitor or McDonald's Fry Boy...
Prepping isn't going around God for your survival. Prepping isn't about burying beans, bandaids and bullets in the backyard...necessarily. And it's not just anti-government, cult group, militia folks. It's common families, country and city, just putting a few cans of tuna and some powdered milk in their pantry...or a tub under the bed, back of the closet, or basement. It's regular folks thinking we have way too many food recalls these days, so they are planting gardens, hanging tomato plants from their trees and balconies, setting a few pretty containers along their driveway edge.
I'm not saying God won't, or can't supply your needs...not to be confused with your wants...but He has also given you the tools and skills you need to be able to do quite a bit for yourself. Adam didn't leave the garden and wait on God's handout. He was told his living would come by the sweat of his brow and his labor...not one mention of a paycheck from McDonald's.
If stocking up brings images of gloom for you, take it in baby steps. Even Dave Ramsey followers take baby steps to debt-free life. Alcoholics quit their pattern cold-turkey, but it's baby steps every minute of every day that keep them moving forward.
Start this week by adding 2 extra things to your shopping list. Maybe it's a can of tuna, maybe it's a second package of hamburger. Maybe you buy a couple bags of rice or beans. Just DO SOMETHING extra this week.
If you have a couple weeks to the next paycheck, start taking an inventory of what you already have on hand. Take a good look at your eating habits and plan a menu, meal by meal, ingredient by ingredient. Start with just a week of main meals. It's not overwhelming. After you have that, look at the next week's menu, and so on until you have at least 21 days...you can build in new meals, take-outs, even left-overs for the last week of the month.
There's no excuses aside from laziness not to have a menu plan of at least a week. Everyone, even a college dorm kid, has room for a decent week of good foods. Not all glow-in-the-dark foods...solid nutrition stuff. And don't whine about having no time or skill at cooking. Poo! Get a crockpot and use a cookbook...or hit allrecipes.com and use it. All you have to do then is load the crock the night before and pop it in, turn it on and out the door the next morning. It's a no-brainer. Maybe takes 20 mins of your time prep-wise. Turn off the TV, close the computer down...your family is worth a mere 20 mins. Unless you're completely self-absorbed, a diva, or just trying to raise the next generation of entitled, lazy adult-children.
All I'm saying is put some *thought* into your daily life. If you get rained in...say your road washes out... and you are stuck at home for a week...do you have everything you'd need? I'm not talking wants...just plain needs.
If it floods like we had around here, which pales compared to Nashville, but still...and your water system is compromised for a while...what are you going to drink? Unless you've got a ton of soda(ugh...tell me you don't have that!), you're gonna need water...and then there's septic, bathing, dish or clothes washing on top of plain drinking.
What if you are just stuck at home because gas prices are well over $3.00 a gallon and it's not in the already stretched-tight finances? Are you going to limit food spending just to drive around because you're suffering cabin-fever?
Heaven forbid you have an illness or job loss and today's paycheck is the end of the line for your family. How far will your kitchen cupboards take you? What will you do when they get lean?
These are just everyday things in our world anymore. Not sci-fi stuff that rarely happens. I'm just saying give them as much thought as you put into surfing the internet, blogs and FaceBook. The 'web is a good thing, but it's not going to feed your family unless you're Bill Gates.