A week ago, I entered the hospital for some necessary surgery. It was something I could have put off but, given what’s going on out there, I decided to get it out of the way before garden season and before our economy melts down completely. I had some vague notion that the doctor was wrong about recovery time. I certainly didn’t expect to use the pains meds. I never take anything usually but this time, I was popping percocets like tic tacs. The result was that I couldn’t read, couldn’t write, couldn’t do much but watch TV. Even in my fragile state, I didn’t stoop so low as game shows or daytime dramas.  I watched as much CNBC as I could stand then I switched to HGTV. It was amazing! There is a whole different world out there, one where pretty matters a whole lot more than it does around here. I happen to think my home is beautiful but we do lean toward edible landscaping and I really don’t mind having the guest room decorated with #10 cans of dehydrated food and superpails of wheat, rice, sugar, salt and oats. My basement will never have a rec room or media center. It is far to full of case lots of fruits and vegetables, food processing equipment, Bruce’s bee keeping supplies and his wood working shop. Here’s the truth; my house looks like a before picture.

What surprised me, was that after only a couple of days of watching couples weep with delight over the installation of their granite counters and spa bathrooms, I got cought up in it. In my drug induced stupor, I was asking Bruce if maybe we should consider redoing the stove area with decorative ceramic tiles. Fortunately, he was smart enough not to argue with me. He just smiled and asked if there was anything he could get for me. A book maybe? Another Percocet?

I am feeling better today. I won’t be running a marathon in the next few weeks but at least I can catch up here and I even managed to read a week’s worth of the blogs I follow. Here is what I think. Ceramic tiles and spa baths that we couldn’t afford are what got a lot of folks in trouble in the first place. Watching people live pretend lives on the tube rather than making our own real life work got us into trouble. Putting pretty ahead of practical got us int trouble. None of us has a great deal of control over what governments and investment firms do but we are each responsible for our own choices. I hope you take this opportunity to chose wisely. Today, order a sack of oats and cook with it every day. Today, order your garden seeds and some dwarf fruit trees. Don’t plan on Uncle Sam to rescue you.

I think today I will cook for the first time in a week. I am going to make salmon cakes. I bought the salmon when it when it was buy 1, get 2 free. I have 50 cans put away. The recipe is on the can. It is too wet if you follow it exactly. I add more bread crumbs and cut down on the milk. This is one of those emergency meals for my families. Everybody likes it. I can throw it together in a couple of minutes. I always have the ingredients on hand. In an emergency (or in a post collapse world) I can substitute any cooked fish for the salmon.