08:54 – It was 66.3F (19C) when I took Colin out at 0710, partly cloudy and calm. Barbara is going to the gym this morning and has a meeting of the Friends of the Library after lunch. Otherwise, more work on science kits today.
The finished area downstairs is complete except for the flooring, which is to be installed around the 18th. It will be a relief to get the piles of furniture and other stuff back where they belong. Barbara has gotten things down there to the point where we can at least get to most of the stuff in the deep pantry room and the unfinished area where we do science kits.
My next project will be to install more shelving in the unfinished area and in the spare bedroom’s closet, what Barbara calls the water closet. That’s roughly 10 feet (3 M) deep, but only 40″ (1 M) wide, so I think we’ll mount shelves on only one of the long walls and the end wall. We’ll start those about three feet (1 M) off the floor to leave room to stack cases of bottled water and other bulky items under them.
More email from Kathy. She and Mike left on a big Sam’s Club run early Saturday morning. They filled up the back of her full-size SUV, as well as a trailer they’d borrowed from a friend. Their nearest Sam’s Clubs, one each in Virginia and Tennessee, are about equidistant from them. Either is about a three-hour round-trip drive. So they wanted to make their trip count. They did.
They returned with 400 pounds of white flour, 400 pounds of white rice, 400 pounds of assorted pasta, 300 pounds of white sugar, 120 pounds of oats, 100 pounds of assorted dry beans, 80 pounds of cornmeal, 48 pounds of iodized salt, 6 pounds of cornstarch, a couple dozen large jars of herbs and spices, 18 gallons of vegetable oil and shortening, 10 gallons of pancake/waffle syrup, several cases each of canned meats, soups, sauces, and vegetables, assorted miscellany like batteries, lanterns, etc., and a partridge in a pear tree. They bought something like a full ton of dry bulk foods and probably another ton of wet stuff. They had to make several trips in and out of Sam’s to get all this stuff, and Kathy said they’d prioritized ahead of time because they were actually concerned that they’d fill up her SUV and the trailer. Which they almost did.
When they got back they were faced with unloading all the stuff, which was worse than having to load it in the first place. They got the trailer unloaded first so they could return it to their friend, and then spent most of yesterday unloading her SUV and getting everything stacked neatly in preparation for repackaging. At least they have a basement garage, so they didn’t need to haul the stuff very far, let alone up or down stairs. During breaks from unloading/stacking yesterday, Kathy put in a bunch of orders with Walmart.com and Amazon.com for Keystone Meats, Augason Farms supplemental stuff, and so on. Not to mention an order with LDS online for foil-laminate Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
Kathy says they actually spent, or at least allocated to spend, more than the $6,000 that they’d been about to spend on the packaged 4 person/year kit from Costco, but they ended up with a lot more food and a lot better food than they’d have gotten with the package. What really, really hit her and Mike about my first email to them was that the package was something like 95% vegetable protein, and that little bit came from dried dairy and eggs. No meat whatsoever. All soy. Neither of them has eaten much TVP meat substitutes, ever. Both are whatever the opposite of a vegetarian/vegan is, and both of them are immensely relieved that they now have a lot of actual meat stored, with a lot more to arrive from Walmart once they’ve had a chance to try the sample cans they ordered and then order more, assuming they like them. Now all they have to do is repackage all the bulk food, which’ll be a job.
I don’t really have an adequate sample size to make any generalizations, but one thing that strikes me is that Kathy–like Jen, Brittany, and several other women who’ve contacted me–doesn’t mess around. I think it must be a girl thing. Guys tend to start prepping more gradually, dipping their toes in the water and then gradually building steam. Women tend to wait until they’re sure it’s what they want to do, and then dive in headfirst. I can count on the fingers of one finger the guys I’ve heard from who went from 0 to 60 in 0.1 seconds, but that seems to be almost the norm with women. Obviously, finances play a huge role, but within the limits of what they can afford, it seems that women get serious a whole lot faster than guys do.
So if you’re a guy who wants to prep but your wife objects, take heart. She may do a 180 on you. For that matter, if you’re a woman who want to prep and are facing objections from your husband, take heart. He may change his mind as well. I don’t know exactly what happens. Maybe there’s a trigger event or news story that bumps non-preppers over the edge into prepping. Or maybe it’s just the drip-drip-drip of the constant series of news stories on things that shouldn’t be happening but increasingly are. Or it may be some combination of factors. But whatever it is, don’t give up hope.