Perhaps it was a conspiracy, but that Saturday morning when I woke up and went through my routine, three light bulbs had burned out.  Three? Really? Was it something I said?  No problem. I can handle that. Downstairs I went to the bin in which I invested heavily in the “old” kinds of light bulbs before they are taken off the market (My personal favorite).

IndependentI then had a hankering for oatmeal—it’s been a long time. So I went to the cupboards to snag some quick oats. Somebody must have thought that leaving the remaining teaspoon in there would be meaningful someday.  Down I go to the extended pantry. Ah…oatmeal.

Brown sugar, fruit, and milk would be great with breakfast.  Naturally, Hubby ate the last of the grapes, and there’s no brown sugar in the bin. *sigh* Down I go, back to the pantry. Freeze-dried blueberries and brown sugar. Perfect. Thank goodness he left me enough raw milk.  Fortunately I made bread last night—trying my hand at rye bread, actually—and there’s plenty of toast.

There’s a knock on the door. It was a timid knock. I open the door to see the little girl from across the street crying because she scraped her knee riding a neighbor’s toy bike.  Apparently her mom was in the shower and couldn’t help her. While I have to admit I don’t think that I would have used a bandage on her knee, I knew that I did have the Disney Princess bandages downstairs. Nothing like Cinderella on your knee to brighten the day, eh?  It seemed to stop the tears at least.

Independent at Home:

As I shut the door, I didn’t think I slammed it, yet one of my favorite pictures in the front room decided to leap off of the wall, scaring the bejeebies out of me as it did so. Instinctively I reached for my right hip, ready to take action against a home invader. Sheepishly I see that it was just a large picture, but I was glad to know that my instincts were still intact, even if I was still wearing my nightgown and was otherwise helpless against that big, bad picture frame.  However, having my picture hit the floor for no apparent reason, breaking the bottom frame at the seams called for another “fix” (no wonder I was still in my PJ’s). So I went to the “fix it” closet—because I’ve got too much stuff just for a drawer—and retrieved the heavy duty glue that I got free with a coupon because I thought “it might be useful some day.”  I also snagged some hanging cable to strengthen the picture’s position on the wall, rather than relying on the tiny hooks that came with it any longer. Fifteen minutes later my tranquil Oceanside scene was returned to its place on the wall, hopefully to stay until an earthquake decides to invade my home.

IndependentChanging into my workout clothes I think of a hundred and one reasons why I simply do not have time for “this” today. After all, didn’t I get enough exercise running up and down the stairs?  But I remember my goal of becoming more physically independent and reliable so that if something serious were to ever happen I wouldn’t be a liability to my husband, whose talents lie in protecting and caring for others in tough times.  I didn’t want to feel guilty anymore that I might distract him when his sharp senses were needed most. As I pump away at the heavy steps on the elliptical, I listen to a lecture about the alternative health care still practiced by the Native American Indians today. Did I just write that?  Who knew I’d turn out so “peculiar” as an adult?  I hated it when I had to watch those Disney Nature shows on “The Wonderful World of Disney” as a kid.  And now here I was volunteering during a physical torture session to listen to the same kind of stuff.

Finished with the workout and satisfied that I pushed the duration a few minutes longer, I looked forward to a hot shower where I can mull over the implementation of alternative health I had learned.  I couldn’t help but take a little pride in the homemade exofoliant sitting on the shelf which I had just made recently for my face and skin, completely void of the typical toxins and chemicals which sell for $100 a pint. I also felt an unexplainable relief in noticing that I had finally rid the bathtub tiles of their rusted outlines thanks to another homemade concoction. As I stepped into the shower, entreated by a warm, pulsating water presser, my enthusiasm was abruptly cut short as I was greeted by a cold stream of water.  Oh how I hate cold showers. It seems that my Hubby decided to try and help me out by running a load of laundry this fine morning.  So I had a choice, suck it up, or be grateful for running water and simply take a faster shower.  I chose the latter and just like the Philippines for a year and a half, I finally got used to the water temperature by the end of the shower.

IndependentAs I got ready for the day I couldn’t help but let my mind wander over the events that played out thus far.  I mentally check off each one with just a little bit of gratitude that I didn’t have to go shop for supplies at the last minute, interrupt my husband for help, or be swayed from worthwhile goals. While I anticipated that this particular morning would be a cake walk compared to one of a much more serious desperate environment, I found myself saying “Wow. I guess this was a good day to be prepared and more independent.”  Fortunately I didn’t have cause to prove myself wrong as the day continued to play itself out.

A last minute request for a dinner to be provided for a family of 5, a torn hem on the bottom of my skirt, and a Yorkie who’s ready to deliver her litter of puppies any day now, I still felt in charge, calm, and independent as I made my way to my bed that night.



Dawn Farr · October 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

You are AWESOME! That’s why you are the Jedi Master and I am a lowly Padawan Learner!

Claudia Guertin · October 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

Just another day in Paradise, eh? Days like this is the reason why we all need to be prepared. Reading about how you overcame this multi-adversity is the reason why we’re all here. Thanks, Kellene!

Cin · October 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Usually I say something when people do something significant, or are in dire straights with no way out. I may intercede when something has gone terribly wrong and I will defend the innocent. Then there are times when I often sit back and allow some to handle their own problems, because in time I know they will be stronger, and better for doing it themselves. I don’t always have words for common place happenings such as what you described, and had to go through on this particular day, but after having read your words on a regular basis over time, and after knowing the other things you do in behalf of others, I can sit here and type away a few points many should consider when it comes to loyalty.

You have taken time from a normal life and devoted yourself to the intricate workings of preparedness, whether through your own experiences or through the learning process of an outside education. You have stepped into the internet world to be scrutinized and belittled by those without heart or understanding, and yet you plow through for the common folk anyway. It is for that time that you devote, and for the countless hours of staying up late to finish writing some article, or heading up a seminar for training strangers, that I took the time just now to say that you do a great job. Call it what it is; a great big pat on the back, a great big hug of gratitude, or a quiet singular word of thanks, but know that on days when things seem to be mounting against you, you have friends out here that appreciate every little or big thing you do for us. If that includes sharing a point about picture hanging (a slight grin here) then we learn from you. I hope that there will be many more self enlightening experiences that you will share like this. We see that you are human and not without problems, and that is what draws many to others. When a stranger can find common ground with another, it forms a bond of trust. You have done that for many, and I hope that your following continues to grow.
BTW, good job on taking the draw from the hip. Great instincts. 🙂

Tracy · October 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Hello there, you with the normal life just like the rest of us, who always seems so on top of it all, confident, and capable… thanks! Less than a year ago I was wrapped up in being a Christian stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of 4. But now, I have to tell you that your calm manner of inspiring confidence has caused me to become loyal to the brand- yours. I took your coupon class- loved it. I bought and ingest diatomaceous earth. I am looking for “spare” cash to get into essential oils. I am sitting beside my Berkey, the gorgeous silver gleaming in the sun, that I won writing an article about prepping. I am listening to the whir of the dehydrator as it turns raw potatoes into storable, dry slices. In my driveway is a file cabinet that is going to turn into a solar dehydrator. My husband is at this moment constructing a chicken coop (our first one was crushed in the flooding by Tropical Storm Hermine). And my newest attempt is also beside me on the table- a plot you would be proud of. I’m studying the book to become a hunter safety instructor. I want to get my CCL but can’t afford it. Hence my plot: for $10 I become certified to teach hunter ed. Then I teach my first class and earn money for the CCL class. Then I teach my second class and earn money for the license itself. Then I teach class number 3 and 4 to earn money to buy the .32 I’ve had my eye on. (Repeat for my hubby.)Thank you for your awe-inspiring confidence that seems to be rubbing off on me.

    Kellene · October 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    If you weren’t so far away, I’d hug and kiss ya! Way to go! And the point is that there is always a way to go but a path to get there.

Jamie · October 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm

How well you illustrate one of the greatest blessings of being prepared. I don’t think a lot of people realize how much time and energy you can save, plus the elimination of a lot of stress.

Kolleen · October 21, 2010 at 4:14 am

Just wanted to add my thanks to the others. I used to read another preparedness blog that is all about scaring the beejeebers out of people. But then I found yours. Good common sense, great advice, new things to think about, lots of ideas, all the while helping us feel that no matter where we are on this journey, we can do it! Thanks for your approach and all the good you are doing for so many of us. I, for one, appreciate the work and effort it takes to keep at it.

Jamie · October 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

Gonna be a great week, I’m doing my 2nd batch of waxing cheese. Yes I made mistakes on the 1st batch of waxing. ( I do tend screw up the first time at trying stuff) Gosh I’ll go for canning butter next…! I know I will mistakes. But it’s better to make mistakes in learning before critical times.
I have screwed up in practice and made bread that could be a replacement for concrete. Stuff happens, Persevere and keep trying.

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