Six Common Concerns about Emergency Preparedness

Just because there are one or two of you does not mean it’s wise to skip storing food. A variety of events can make it a challenge to get food. In an emergency, your most reliable source for help is you. Why leave your care entirely to others when a time of difficulty arises?

Hikingware.com can help you build an emergency kit that includes both food and hardware you’ll need to survive any type of emergency — whether you live by yourself, with a room mate, or as a large nuclear family.

Some singles have found a great advantage in having a supply of food on hand.

Shannon Johnson of Texas, a single young woman who broke her foot, was very grateful for a supply of food, which allowed her to make fewer trips to the store requiring the help of others during her two-month recovery.

In an extended time of bad weather, an apartment of singles appreciated having a supply of food when stores with empty shelves were crowded with stressed people trying to buy supplies.

Even though Emily Jensen of Utah had not been caught in an emergency, she said that she liked the security of knowing she could care for herself should one arise.

One young married couple was counseled by their church leader to buy two cans of food on sale each week when they went grocery shopping. Ron and Lorene Snelling were amused as they followed his advice only to find it not a laughing matter when Ron lost his job six months later and they had no money for food. How thankful they were for the suggestion they had received!

At other times, young couples finishing school have needed extra food to sustain them after graduation when it took months to find a job. Older couples have appreciated the security of having stored food when they are no longer working and expenses become unpredictable.

Questions often arise when storing food for just one or two people. Here are six common concerns and some simple solutions.

What to store?

Buy foods you like on sale. From there, plan what you store around the recipes you would like to eat. If you are on a budget, consider recipes you like to eat using the basics, grains and beans, which are inexpensive, space efficient and nutritious. Canned beans provide very fast meals.

The containers of dried foods seem too large.

Keep in mind that dried foods will last at least a year after opening, which makes using food in No. 10 cans not so daunting. Because the plastic lid on a can is not air tight, in humid climates, contents of an opened can should be transferred to a zip seal bag and returned to the can for protection from moisture and light.

Several companies now sell dried foods in smaller size 2.5 cans, which hold about three cups. Food purchased this way will be a little more expensive but may be more practical.

I don’t like to cook.

Using canned and dried foods makes very fast meals. Vegetables are already peeled and cut up. Most of us use dried onions. Why not include a few other dried vegetables in meal preparation? They are very convenient and flavorful. Many food storage meals can be assembled in just two to three minutes and cook in 15-30 minutes.

Food storage recipes are too large.

Recipes can always be halved; however, a full recipe will provide leftovers, making one less meal to cook. It’s always possible to freeze half a recipe and enjoy it later.

I don’t have space for stored food in my apartment.

Designate some closet or under-the-bed spaces for storing food. If you are committed to storing food, it’s surprising how many places can be found to store it.

What about storing water?

Bottled water is very easy to store and rotate. Fourteen gallons of water, less than five cases of 24 17-ounce bottles, is a two-week supply for one person. Another option is to buy bottled water from companies, like Culligan, which will deliver it.

Everyone, including singles and couples, benefits from storing food. Solutions to concerns singles or couples may have about buying, storing and using food storage do not have to be complicated. Whether you purchase in bulk or a little at a time, you are building a reservoir of security for times of trouble.

That’s a good feeling everyone should have.

hikingware

Online Shopping Tops Stores on Black Friday Weekend

Why should I fight traffic on Black Friday roads so slick

when I can make my purchases with just one simple click?

Lounging in my pj’s I can order what I please

while slurping Mountain Dew and feeding well on mac and cheese.

In fact I did so well with getting ev’rything by mouse

that I may lock the door and never leave my little house!

 

I may get in trouble for this . . .

Writing about religion and people’s faith is a minefield, from which most authors emerge with bruises, blemishes, and crippling career injuries. Sometimes they don’t make it out of the minefield at all.

I would just like to say at the outset that I totally respect another person’s belief system, or non-belief system. Religion has been a consolation and help to many people throughout the ages.

That being said . . . let’s get snarky.

We start, of course, with the venerable New York Times, and their headline:

“Mormon Resignations Put Support for Gays Over Fealty to Faith”.

The story goes on, in a touchy-feely sort of way, to detail the trials and tribulations of LDS members who tearfully say they have had enough of their church’s monolithic intransigence when it comes to same-sex marriage:

“I’ve shed some tears,” said Kathy Franson, who said she had drifted from the church in large part because her son was gay. “It felt like a death of someone close to me. I compare it to a death, going through that mourning.”

Like Ms. Franson, the vast majority of those leaving now, based on responses at the protest group’s Facebook page, said they had already stopped going to services or participating in the faith.” 

Can I just say, right here, for the record . . . huh?

Most of those who resigned didn’t go to church or participate in their faith anyway? So what’s to resign from? You’ve already voted by totally absenting yourself.

I used to be a card-carrying Republican, attending caucuses and the whole schmear. But when the party started inundating me with junk mail pleading for more contributions, I stopped attending meetings or voting the party line. But I didn’t send anybody a letter of resignation. Why bother? Who cares?

I was happy at least to get some more information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak — that is, from the Salt Lake Tribune, which began their article:

“More than 1,000 inactive and active Mormons — along with their backers — rallied in City Creek Park on Saturday to protest the LDS Church’s recent policy decisions involving same-sex couples and their children.

Many who attended the Salt Lake City event brought rainbow flags in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. They also hoisted signs with slogans such as “LDS: Love Doesn’t Separate.”

 Now at long last I know what LDS stands for. That’s a good thing, right?

Well, far be it from me to refrain from jumping on the anti-Mormon bandwagon. I love surging along with the mob . . .

O, those nasty, nasty Mormons, so intolerant and sly;

they preach a peaceful gospel, but it’s really just a lie.

 When no one is observing they will kick a gay guy hard,

and say it was an accident while spreading more canard.

They are massing all their forces to tear down the rainbow’s hope,

and if you do oppose them they will knot for you a rope.

They ought to be expelled for being way behind the times;

twas done before in Illinois for lots of vicious crimes! 

Pope Francis Calls for Harmony in Central African Republic

Blessed are the peacemakers, as mentioned long ago

in a Book that very few today take time to know.

Goodwill is in such short supply that when a man of God

suggests it to the world he is considered rather odd.

Squabbling like children, can we ever hope to be

mature enough to emulate the Man from Galilee?

Robert Sloan of the Wall Street Journal commented:

“You know the answer to that is no, Tim.  We’re more  like the Man From Laramie.  The pope would have more credibility around the world if he stayed out of politics.  But that would be impossible because he isn’t like the Man From Galilee either, more like the Man From Marxee.”

Barren Ground

The frozen ground is barren; all upon it cold and sere.

It cannot nourish or supply, or offer any cheer.

But should the Master of the vineyard stir it tenderly,

the sterile soil grows rich again with verdant filigree.

Make of me thy seedsman, bud and twig help me restore;

whether in my own backyard or on some distant shore!

Bernie Sanders’ Refreshingly Sane Foreign Policy

In his speech last week, Sanders said what every presidential candidate ought to say about ISIS and the Middle East.

Photo Credit: Senate.gov

Bernie Sanders’ economic populism and domestic agenda receive a lot of attention, and they should – he’s a unique and important voice on these fronts. But Bernie’s refreshing sanity on foreign policy gets overlooked far too often. This is especially problematic given the most recent Paris attacks and the renewed emphasis on national security.

Sanders gave a major speech last week at Georgetown University, the central theme of which was democratic socialism. Understandably, much of the coverage focused on Sanders’s efforts to situate his brand of socialism in the broader American tradition. However, Sanders also used his speech to talk about our foreign policy dilemma in the Middle East.

His remarks were what we’ve come to expect from Sanders: honest. Because he doesn’t spin the way other politicians do, Sanders brings a kind of clarity to this conversation, a clarity that’s desperately needed in our current climate. Conservatives will likely dismiss Sanders as a dovish liberal who doesn’t understand foreign policy, but that’s because they don’t want to hear what he has to say.

In the speech, Sanders makes clear that he understands both the crisis and the complicated political realities on the ground. “The United States must pursue policies to destroy the brutal and barbaric ISIS regime,” Sanders said, and we must “create conditions that prevent fanatical extremist ideologies from flourishing. But we cannot – and should not – do it alone.” [Emphasis mine].

The part about not doing it alone is critical. To begin with, unlike most candidates, Sanders concedes that we’ve being going it alone for decades now, with disastrous results.

Our response must begin with an understanding of past mistakes and missteps in our previous approaches to foreign policy. It begins with the acknowledgement that unilateral military action should be a last resort…and that ill-conceived military decisions, such as the invasion of Iraq, can wreak far-reaching devastation and destabilize entire regions for decades. It begins with the reflection that the failed policy decisions of the past – rushing to war, regime change in Iraq, or toppling Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, or Guatemalan President Arbenz in 1954, Brazilian President Goulart in 1964, Chilean President Allende in 1973. These are the sort of policies that do not work, do not make us safer, and must not be repeated.

It’s astonishing how many candidates on the Right in particular simply refuse to acknowledge that our previous encroachments around the world have done more harm than good (For example, our invasion of Iraq created the vacuum into which ISIS inserted itself).

Reminding Americans of our history is necessary, however. It’s a good way to avoid repeating mistakes. This has to be part of the conversation about ISIS. Everyone agrees that ISIS is a threat, and that something has to be done about it. But this isn’t a problem that America can or should solve on its own.

Sanders explains why:

But let’s be very clear. While the U.S. and other western nations have the strength of our militaries and political systems, the fight against ISIS is a struggle for the soul of Islam, and countering violent extremism and destroying ISIS must be done primarily by Muslim nations – with the strong support of their global partners…What does this mean? Well, it means that, in many cases, we must ask more from those in the region. While Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon have accepted their responsibilities for taking in Syrian refugees, other countries in the region have nothing or very little.

We’ve wasted too much money and spilled too much blood fighting a war on terror that clearly isn’t working. We’re in a war, and we have to fight it, but we can’t win it alone. “Muslims must lead the fight,” Sanders declared, because “it is incumbent on Muslim nations and communities to confront those who seek to hijack their societies and generations with intolerance and violent ideology.”

Countries in the region have arguably a much bigger stake in this fight than we do. As Sanders points out, Saudi Arabia (our chief ally in the region and a prolific fount of extremist ideology), Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and others are “countries of enormous wealth and resources” who “have contributed far too little in the fight against ISIS. That must change.”

For too long these countries have sat idle while America has done the heavy lifting – this isn’t sustainable and it’s not working in any case. And yet Republicans insist that America has to play a larger role, that we have to shoulder more of the burden, and that we have to fight the tactic of terrorism without addressing its ideological fountainhead.

Indeed, the majority of Republicans – not all, to be fair, but most – refuse to see the connection between the Iraq War and the present destabilization of the region, without which ISIS would not exist. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, for instance, are calling for more troops on the ground without any discernible plan to deal with the more fundamental causes of terrorism. Worse still, they want America to “lead the way” which means allowing the countries closest to and most invested in this fight to allow us to counterproductively wage it on their behalf.

We’ve tried this strategy. It failed. It’s time to let the region police itself. That doesn’t mean America doesn’t have a role to play – surely we do. But unless we accept that this isn’t merely an American fight, we’ll continue to create more problems than we solve.

(a tip of the hat to Sean at Salon.com)

Bernie Sanders Hearkens Back to Old-Time Socialist Presidential Candidate Eugene Debs

A socialist for president? O do not tell me true

that someone with such principles will have our overview!

America must hang apart, each sep’rate person must

be self-reliant — in our bootstraps we do always trust!

The old folks should forget their pains and get a job right now;

the youngsters don’t need college free — it makes me have a cow!

I only want a president who leaves us well alone.

In other words a rootin’ tootin’ Calvin Coolidge clone!

Trouble in the Checkout Line: Which Way to Pay?

Do you dip or do you swipe when paying the cashier?

Or do you hand them cold hard cash and watch it disappear?

Don’t try to pay by check, my friend; that boat done sailed away.

Your own mother won’t accept one now or any day.

Tap your watch or tap your phone for instant reparation;

never mind the in’trest rate or threat of full inflation.

What is money good for if you do not spend it quick?

Hiding money in the bank will only make you sick!

O bury me with all my plastic when my credit score

has hit the bottom and I’m banned from Walmart evermore . . .

 

I read the Wall Street Journal

I read the Wall Street Journal; I find it clear as mud.

When understanding’s imminent, it’s nipped right in the bud.

All those facts and figures, those graphs and pie charts, too . . .

they’d make a Rockefeller wince and turn poor Einstein blue.

There ain’t no crossword puzzles; no comic strips to read.

There’s just dry exposition; it makes my eyeballs bleed.

I wish I had a dollar for all the yawns and groans

this newspaper has garnered — a scion of Dow Jones . . .