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Sitting and knitting and reading and organizing

Oh, that felt gooooooood.

After a quick hop online yesterday morning to approve a few blog comments awaiting moderation, I shut down the computer and spent my Sunday in the pleasant combination of relaxing and being productive.


All that relaxing took discipline at first.

It still shocks me, how seductive the computer is. Never mind the (apparently even more powerful) lure of checking FB likes or seeing how friends are responding to a new Instagram post. Merely knowing that useful information awaits at a click is addictive enough.

My task for the last few days has been cleaning up after construction and organizing the new pantry. Organizing the pantry means decisions about what to do about overaged goods: eat or toss or feed to the dog or …?

So the first hour offline had me itching to return to the screen to ask, “How do I tell if brown rice has gone bad? Or, “What’s a Daniel Fast?” (in relation to forgotten artisanal soup kits, some of whose labels said they were suitable for same). Or “How long does canned coconut milk keep?” (Not long enough, apparently.)

Then there came bigger questions that arose as I performed relatively mindless tasks. Questions like, “What’s the life expectancy for a dog with 35% kidney function?”

I made myself write those thoughts down for later, ignore the instant-gratification machine, and go on.


I cooked up one of the “Daniel Fast” soups despite it containing both brown rice I knew was way past any conceivable best-by date and a flavoring packet congealed into a greasy, indivisible lump.

It smelled great. It was tasty. I ate only a small portion to make sure it didn’t kill me. If it’s going to kill me, it’s taking its own good time. I’ll enjoy a bigger helping tomorrow. Assuming I don’t suddenly die of brown-rice poisoning in the middle of the night.

I decided to keep all the soup kits and throw out only any flavoring packets containing animal fats. I’m not risking my guts on overage meat byproducts, and I have plenty of veggie and meat broths around that I can add to soups in full confidence of living to see the following morning.


I sorted through several hundred books that formerly resided next to the food in the former un-pantry space. How-to tomes, mostly.

Keepers: Painting, beading, calligraphy, knitting, learning Spanish, landscape gardening (with emphasis on water gardens and native plants), construction, homesteading, foraging, household repair, some SHTF skills.

A few dozen others will go to the Friends of the Library. And I set aside 15 prepper/survival/homesteading titles to give to some lucky blog reader, just as soon as I can figure out what might make an interesting contest. (Any ideas?)

Here they are, subject to substitution until I finalize the selection:

None are the latest Stunning! New! Bestsellers! from the SHTF community, but they include titles by FERFAL, Lisa Bedford (Survival Mom), M.D. Creekmore, and various Skousens. There’s also a military sniper manual and maybe one or two books that are just for adventurous fun.


Then in the evening I came back online to schedule this post and found … Christmas presents.

I already received a bonus from from regular contributor D3 earlier. Followed by an unexpected and very generous gift from RW. My Sunday end-of-day emails announced yet more Christmas cheer — another surprise act of Christmas-spiritedness from JS. And a message from GL that knocked me off my feet (something GL makes a habit of doing).

Guys. After last summer’s successful fundraiser, I was not expecting anything from any of you for Christmas. This is too much. But of course in a really, really GOOD sense of too-muchness.

This will help a lot with the prescription diet and extra vet care Ava is going to need from here on until the end. Thank you.


More soon.

I hope you had as pleasant, relaxing, productive, and flavorful a Sunday as I did.

One Comment

  1. larryarnold
    larryarnold December 17, 2018 10:56 am

    (Any ideas?)

    How about best link to answer, “How do I tell if brown rice has gone bad?”


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