In my post about Webb Fits and my OCD need to clean and organize I got a response that talked about the relationship between feeling out of control in one part of one’s life leading to the need to gain control in another. That really clicked for me. I suspect it is the sense of the world being out of control that is leading so many of us back to our homes, our land and our food supply to find some control. I know that I went from reading the economic gloom and doom blogs every day to gravitating toward the homesteading blogs. I am a daily reader of LATOC (Life After The OilCrash), Mike Savinar’s excellent web site that brings together all of the latest news and information about peak oil and economic collaspse. Over the past several months though, rather than heading straight to breaking news, I go first to the gardening forum where people are discussing my favorite subject, homegrown food. I can’t control the state of the world but I can control the state of my pantry.

Today, I find myself with an entire day of no obligations. I am using it to do exactly as I please and I please to go through my clothes and clean out my bedroom. I am going to be the only one home. I am making a big pot of tea, putting on some old 60’s music on the CD player and working all day. I want to make a complete clothing inventory for everyone in the family. I know we have plenty of clothes for dress up and school but I want to check out how we are fixed for things like socks, underwear and pajamas. I also want to check my supply of woolen socks and sweaters and look over the glove and mitten stash.

I harp on this a lot. Things may well be different in the coming years. But different doesn’t mean worse. We are so used to pushing up the thermostat when we feel a chill. Different just means we will put on a heavy sweater. I am thinking about getting my youngest a little night cap and more slipper socks. If your head and feet are warm you can sleep in a pretty chilly bedroom with flannel sheets and a down comforter and be very comfortable. Not worse, different. Last night we ate some beef stew that had been lost in the back of the freezer. With a mushroom and onion gravy, served over mashed new potatoes with sides of corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes from our garden (we actually have some that are ripening without signs of blight) the beef was really tasty. Two years ago I would have tossed it out. Different, not worse. Karen wanted a snack last night. She settled for a bowl of home canned peaches and didn’t bother to ask for the chips or soda or store bough goodie that is never there. Not worse, different. We have not been to a mall movie with kids for years. A couple of days ago we took them hiking on our 4 acre woodlot, looking for mushrooms and checking for storm damage. We had a really nice time and returned home for some hot chocolate and a viewing of one of the Planet DVD’s that we got for Christmas a few years ago. Not worse, different.

I am planning Christmas already. The girls are getting down comforters. There will be a few other things like jig saw puzzles and The Settlers of (?) Cattaror Cattan , a game that we played in Virginia this summer and really liked. We need some new Yatzee cards. That will about do it. The years of wall to wall gifts are over. Not worse, different.

I can’t control what horrible thing happened in the world today but I can control whether or not I let into my home via the TV. I can’t contol how much money the government spends but I can control how much I spend. I can’t control what contaminants are being found in our food supply but I can control what I put in my own garden. I can’t contol the mess we have made of our planet but I can control the mess in my closet.