We all know about storing food and water and keeping some cash on hand, just in case. We keep our cars gassed up and some extra medication because things happen and we don’t want to be caught short. But what about things that are not so obvious? Are there some important holes that you should be plugging now?

Footwear: I have shoes.As the mother of a teenaged girl I find myself tripping over shoes all the time. But somehow, I suspect that the blue sequined dancing shoes will not be very helpful should there be heavy work or a lot of walking to do. What does your shoe supply look like? You need shoes to walk in and shoes to work in. You also need boots that will keep your feet dry and warm boots too. You should also have moleskin, waterproofing and shoe goo. Extra laces are a must as are ice grippers if you live where you get that kind of weather. Add a good pedicure kit to your stocks and learn how to use it. An ingrown nail could be a lot more than inconvenient. As you can afford it, have back-ups to all footwear. It can be second-hand if it’s in good shape and fits well. I’m a big fan of muck boots and Sorrels. You can buy extra liners for them. Add socks. Cheap socks are the pits. Learn to darn.

Spices: I hear all the time about the shelf-life of spices. Ignore most of the numbers. Spices kept dry and away from too much light and heat last a very long time. All that stored rice and beans and the cellar full of potatoes will thank you. I get big bottles of spices from BJ’s and keep them sealed.

Wind up watches and clocks and timers. Time can matter and if the power is out is a real pain not to be able to time something. It’s dangerous not to be able to time your canning kettle.

Hard copies of phone numbers: My kids are all children of the new age and not one of them has an address book. Why would they when all that important information is in their smart phones? Not so smart really.

A hard-wired phone. It doesn’t need electricity and it doesn’t have a battery to go dead and it will make a call with no satellite input.

Non-electric fun: Get some puzzles and some good books.

I’m a sucker for lists. Feel free to add to this one.

I had such a good time with my 4-H kids this week. We made self-watering containers out of old soda bottles. The only hard part was finding the bottles as we don’t drink soda. Just cut the bottle in half, fill the part with the neck with soil and a plant and insert it in the bottom half. When it need water, put enough in the bottom to reach a bit past the bottle top. The plant will get water from the water reservoir with no danger of over-watering. They aren’t pretty but they work really well. I’m always on the look-out for ideas on how to grow food in small places. The container potatoes are doing very well although how anything is growing in this sunless weather is beyond me.

Things are going very well with the new household members. There’s always a comfort curve but my DIL is a truly thoughtful and considerate person. She works so darned hard at her paying job and still manages to pull more than her fair share of household tasks too. I wish this place were just a bit bigger so they had more room to spread out. I feel guilty even thinking that as so many live with so much less.

Interesting news out there. It’s a real education to read about how people in Europe are handling austerity. I have always enjoyed reading about real families living during the depression. There is much to learn and the time is growing short to learn it.

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