Word on the street is we might get some snow this week. Worse, it might get down to twelve degrees. Twelve degrees. Which is probably fine if you live in a place that’s supposed to be twelve degrees, because then you would have bear skins in your cave, and wolf and fox carcasses hanging up and extra Sinew and Sinew Skills, plus the secret of fire. We don’t have any of those.
Here in our cave we can’t get anything to stay lit and there’s nothing but damp squirrels to stitch up.
The newspaper helpfully offered advice of what to have on hand for the coming cold snap. It wasn’t a big list. I don’t think they’re even trying anymore. (They did make a joke about the stores running out of kale like last time, but that’s not funny–that really happened.) It was pretty much peanut butter, toilet paper, and extra flashlight batteries. They need to add more items because putting the peanut butter right up next to the toilet paper like that is a little too vivid. And really, who needs to run to the store to stock up on toilet paper? If you don’t have enough toilet paper on hand, it’s its own emergency.
We’re not going to the store to stock up on peanut butter because we are old-school and still have survival skills leftover from yesteryear. By that I don’t mean anything as fancy as whatever my mom and her family did on the farm, where they had to drill through snowdrifts to get to the outhouse and shovel coal into the stove and whack random edible critters for dinner. North Dakota winters required a level of stamina we don’t much see anymore. When my Uncle Cliff finally sold off his cows, I, a city girl, wondered aloud if he didn’t kind of miss them. They were cute. He was a mild-mannered and pleasant man and his response was both louder and more vehement than I’d ever expected from him. The upshot was no, he did not kind of miss his cows. Sixty years of walloping their butts into the barn for milking every single, uh, blessed day, twice a day, in all kinds of weather was quite–as it turned out–enough. Thank you.
No, our skills are not of that caliber, and neither are we. However, if we’re hungry, we will walk to the grocery store. This is because we are very good at walking and willing to do it, and also we live within three miles of several grocery stores. We live in a walkable place on purpose. We walk to the bigger store with backpacks and if it were not for the occasional kitty litter run or a sale on canned goods, we wouldn’t drive at all.
Also, we’ll be okay if the store’s card readers are on the fritz. We have cash. On hand. Because we’re boomers.
If the grocery store runs out of food we could be in a bit of trouble after a while, but it’s nothing we anticipate. What we are supposed to do is be prepared with at least three weeks of provisions in case of the massive catastrophic earthquake they’ve been promising us, and no, we don’t seem to have done anything about that. But we do live next to a person who is prepared and we’ve been very very nice to her over the years.
It’s a plan.
WHAT??!! They don't even have liquor on the list for emergency preparedness?? That should be right up there with toilet paper.
People who run out of toilet paper just cannot see the big picture. WHY do people buy TP in single rolls? Even if you're a single person, buy the gargantuan pack! You KNOW you'll need it. And if civilization crashes before you use most of it, it will be better than money — which will be worthless — and you can trade it for actual food.
I'm investing in TP futures right now.
That's what your fabric stash is for – in the event the apocalypse outlasts your TP.
Ten to 15 years ago, when I was an active volunteer in disaster response work, I was told that one of the things that Wally World stocked up on was Cherry Pop Tarts. Evidently, that is something without which people don't want to do.
Fifty years ago, I recall pulling on my boots and feather-stuffed gear to hike the couple of miles to a grocery store through hip-deep snow and ice. As I recall, my emergency was that we had run out of paper napkins and were running low on milk. I still stock up on milk. If I can't make snow ice cream, what's the point of having snow?
I've never heard of snow ice cream! AND we didn't get any snow. And it has barely gotten to freezing. And now I want a cherry Pop Tart.
Running out of paper napkins is an emergency?? whatever happened to using cloth napkins, the ones you can wash and reuse over and over, like restaurants do.
Extra points for reusing your cloth napkins for a week or more. Which we don't do. We use cloth napkins when we have company and our sleeves otherwise.
I always want a cherry pop tart.
River–Ah, I was just looking for an excuse to go for a walk! Like Murr, we use cloth napkins (of which we have dozens!) when we have company; but, we do use paper, daily. When I say "daily", that's the frequency of use. Until my paper napkin is actually soiled, no matter how I fold it, I keep the same one at my place at the table.
P.S. I've never eaten a cherry pop tart. It doesn't appeal to me.
I haven't had a Pop Tart since they came out, somewhere around 1966? They seemed like God's Food, but then again we had marshmallow salads and Jell-O with carrots.
You have a much higher regard for the intelligence (and basic math skills) of the person TO WHOM you'll be handing your cash than I. I suspect the store clerks would be just a functional as the card readers.
I think I pay cash just to watch those kids make change.
Just the other day I handed over a $20 note and checked my change purse to come up with the "shrapnel." Watching her work out the change was painful. At last, she gave me back my proffered coins and topped it off with the balance from her till…
When's the last time someone made your change and put the coins in your palm, counting up, then the bills in ascending order?
Murr–My memory isn't that good.
I remember the year that Uncle Cliff thought he was going to have me milk the cows for the couple of weeks we were back in ND! And that was in the summer! No such luck, first cow I sat down to mike must have thought my hands were to cold and "Kicked" me across the barn. Still don't drink milk after that!
Oh man. You mean you didn't perfect the Uncle Cliff squirt into the barn cat's mouth?
No, but I did land on the cat when I was kicked!
That's twelve degrees ABOVE zero, right? All you really need is an extra blanket. Everything else you should already have, but when that possum starts looking tasty make sure you have plenty of kale to go with it.
Yeah. We don't do below zero here. That's what zero means. It's the end of the line.
I used to stock up on stuff, just because I had the space and it meant I didn't have to shop so often, not a single calamity thought entered my head. I don't think I'm in a calamity prone area anyway, I'm too far into the city for a bushfire to catch me unawares, and we don't get buried in snow either. So if something Big and Bad did happen I'd be panicking right along with everyone else.
Come on. You must have a local calamity!
We have our heatwaves, but we're used to them, they happen several times each summer.
I have just throwed another big ole log on the fyar, because the last time I looked – shoot I will just go look again – it is now sitting at -31 C which is actually 5 degrees warmer than this time last night, saints be praised! But we have a severe weather alert because the windy chill ranges from -45 to -50. I'd never lit this fireplace before but it was getting sort of nippy in here. Now I have to tromp out to the woodshed and bring in some frozen logs if I want to keep up with the fire. This stuff is poplar and it burns as fast as that TP you have been warned to keep on hand. Come to think of it, we have a bidet, who needs TP? I just bought the ginormous 64 pack of Royale. I don't want to get bundled up to go to the woodshed. I'll just throw TP on the fyar. Shame I don't have any of Anne Coulter's books. Bet they'd burn a treat.
Bet you're right. This is why houses in Maine start to stumble toward the woodshed winter by winter and eventually hook up. Don't have to go outside at all then.
Here in Australia in what we laughingly call winter, we used to have a slow combustion heater and we'd put in a big old "mallee stump" which would take forever to burn through, we'd put another one on when going to bed at night and the lounge room would be warm as toast in the mornings with the kettle on the back of the heater ready for tea or coffee.
We do that with our wood stove. We set aside the really big, dense logs (which we cleverly call "long-burners") to use overnight. They slowly burn all night, and our oil burner only fires up around 4am — the coldest point of the day. They leave plenty of burning coals from which to start the next day's fire.
We got rid of our wood stove a few years back. I don't heat the house at night. We don't get below freezing all that often so the house only gets to about fifty. It does make getting out of bed a big decision, but I always overcome eventually.
That is one darn cute possum!
We've had a mild winter and it's supposed to continue that way. Unfortunately, the trade off with mildness when you live on the Atlantic is that it snows every other day. I've already cleared my car of enough snow to cover a football field and shovelled quite a lot too, and it's only mid-January. Only three more months until we are reasonably assured that any snowfall will melt without having to be moved first.
You didn't get hold of any of that Boston-area 74 degrees? That IS a cute possum. I have a different picture of it that didn't have as much snow in it (and I was looking for snow pics–these are not current) and that possum has the pinkest toes ever.
Never thought I would miss winter…but with climate change I no longer feel that luxury.
I have not owned a house in a wintry climate. But as a renter, I loved the heck out of cold winters. It speaks to my soul more than summer does. I like the changes. I would not like the changes to all happen in January, as it is happening now in places. It's just wrong.
When we moved out of range of The Big One 20yrs. ago, we forgot to check out global warming, and are now sitting way out in the Sonoran desert, well in range of the "brushfires" coming our way- what w. the rains this year greening everything up nicely, they look to be spectacular here once it warms up. There's no getting away from it now, even if we'da gone to Australia…as it turns out.
You have my sympathy and vicarious dread.
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