In this Post: survival skills, depression living/cooking, and getting back to the simple life…if possible
Hello friends, I’ve been meaning to do this post since Labor Day but just got to it. The weekend before Labor Day, Michael and I enjoyed a labor day festival with my Mom and Step Dad (Kim). Petting zoo, pony rides, barbecue, and a big slide. We finished right before the big rain hit. Pics Below. Mom and I had planned to get pedicures and relax. You know what they say about the best laid plans…..more on that
Labor Day Fun
So Mom and I got caught in the big thunder storm while checking out this Labor Day book sale. I had called Walmart to see if the Nail Salon would be open and they said yes. Well, they lied. It was closed and we were sad. Our feet hurt from walking all day and we really needed some girl time. Michael was with Chris.
So I encouraged Mom that we should use the nail money on our own pedicure stuff. We both bought foot bath machines that make bubbles. I got the cheap $5 one but it worked. Then we got the nail polish, lots of junk food, and pedicure stuff (nail file etc…lotion). We locked ourselves in my room and Michael made a “girls only” sign for us. We hung out on my bed and soaked our feet while watching “Once Upon a Time” episodes. It was great. A third of the way through it began to storm real bad and the electricity went out.
Thankfully I had already bought a couple of oil lamps and matches etc in case of a hurricane or economic disaster (you never know these days). We had planned on having a Beans and Rice night Friday where we would only use candle light etc. But that night never happened. Instead we got a taste of the old days unexpectedly ahead of time.
Chris found a few candles and his flashlight hat. We had to soak the wick in oil for 15 minutes before we could use the oil lamp. The oil smelled horrible. By the end of the night we were opening windows. I remember using oil lamps as a kid.
My parents had hard times in the beginning. Sometimes our electric got cut off and we used these big oil lamps. They didn’t have handles like the cheap ones from Walmart. I don’t remember them smelling so bad either. It was kind of magical. I also remember that Mom & Granny made me keep silent during thunderstorms. We were supposed to listen and have awe at God’s work. So many beautiful memories from the simple life. I guess I got the best of both worlds from American poverty (with a single Mom) and Middle Class living on my Dad’s family. I gotta say though…I learned the most from simple things. Back then it was a celebration to have candy bars.
Board Games– While I painted Mom’s nails by candle light/lamp light, Chris and Michael played board games by lamp light. What else can you do without electricity? We do have a weather & emergency radio that has a power crank and solar panels.
I loved listening to the radio with my Dad after he became a minister. We didn’t have a tv for awhile and radio shows like Adventures in Odyssey were my favorite. Family radio time would be nice to start.
I didn’t get a pic of the guys playing games. But we did recently get a Pilgrim’s Progress board game. It’s fun. The first person to the Celestial City wins. That night we had candles everywhere and Chris and I read books by candle light. He’s reading this series by Isaac Asimov and I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy. It felt romantic to read by candle light. Also it made me sleepy and the whole next week I got up early every day.
Chris’ cat food can stove– a cat food can with holes punched around the side. Methanol fuel (Heet-yellow bottle).
Chris is so talented. He can make a stove out of little cans. The night of the storm, he made coffee on his cat food can stove. (Edit: The other night the electricity went out and we were able to make spaghetti and scrambled eggs on these stoves.)
We’ve yet to start our Beans and Rice night but I am learning what I can about Depression living…how people lived in economic hardship. We already have water and food stored. I have a big thing of powdered milk in a plastic container and other basic foods. Overall, I know God will always provide. I can’t predict the future and my preparations may be in vain. Who knows? Still it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
I found this delightful cooking show on youtube by this woman in her 90’s. The show is over now but it really makes you feel like you’re being taught by Grandma. Her channel and a good video is below. I’ve known for awhile that dandelions are edible. I just never knew HOW to eat them. I thought you could eat the flower. I’m glad I didn’t try. Clara shows us how to make Dandelion Salad.
Depression Cooking with Clara
Clara makes homemade pizza and homemade spaghetti sauce in her videos. I wanted to make sauce but never got to it. We sort of made homemade pizza. I’ll admit….we bought the dough. It was almost supper time when I realized how long homemade pizza dough would take. So yes….we took the easy way. And the sauce came from a can. We did slice up some veggies. The pizza was good but next time I think we should bake the crust before putting on the toppings. It was a bit soggy.
Herbs– when I do make my sauce I will have fresh herbs. I have basil and oregano in the kitchen window. As you can see I have some of the leaves drying on fishing line that’s hanging up.
Survival books- If we had to live in the woods we are somewhat prepared. We have back packs with survival stuff in them. We also have some neat survival books. I highly recommend these books. It’s just good stuff to know.
#1 Extreme Survival– this book gives you the basics of how to survive in any environment. It teaches you how to make so many things from scratch. If we had to live in the wilderness then this book would be 2nd to my Bible.
#2 Edible Wild Plants– this is a small book with lots of colorful pictures. It shows you what is edible in your own back yard etc. It also shows the poisonous plants.
#3 Medicinal Plants and Herbs– what if you couldn’t afford the doctor or you DID have to survive in the wild? This book shows you the medicinal benefits of plants. I know Elderberry has been real helpful when my family gets sick.
Well, hopefully we will go camping soon for Sukkot. Maybe I will finally be able to start a fire on my own. I’m just glad I have my own wilderness man 😉 lol. My hubby roasted a chicken on a spit he made when we camped a couple of years ago. Go Chris!
God bless and remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover