What if I have no money?

It does take some money to build or rotate a survival kit.
But, it doesn’t take any money to gather what you have.

Start with what you have. Gather it together into a plastic trash bag or pillow case. Work from there.

It doesn’t take money to plan.
Make a list of what you need.
Take the time to sort it with most critical on top. Then, when you have the opportunity to work on it, start at the top.

It doesn’t take money to store water.
Ask a friend or neighbor for their old, empty two liter bottles.
Clean them thoroughly and fill with water at the tap or a drinking fountain.
You can live without almost everything else, but you NEED water. Find a way to store water. A gallon of drinking water is usually around a dollar. If you have little or no money, buy this before you buy anything unnecessary like candy, entertainment, etc.

It doesn’t take money to volunteer.
Sometimes you can work with a church or community group to earn what you need by helping others. Volunteer to collect items from the group for those that don’t have what they need. Make sure that leaders understand your need and your willingness to help others in the same predicament. Work hard to help others obtain what they need and when it is completed, you may be welcome to a share or the surplus. Take care to have the utmost honor so that you are working out a win/win plan and not a self-centered activity. It could be someone in your group is moving and would love to trade you food they don’t want to pack for help with packing and cleaning, etc.
It could be an elderly member has plenty to spare but needs help with yard or house work, etc. If you have time and energy, find creative ways to work for what you need.

It doesn’t take money to ask for help.
Talk to church or community leaders about how to obtain assistance. Food pantries, and other group and community projects may already be in place to help you. Find out what you need to know so that you can help your family be prepared. If nothing is available, see if you could work with them to create a solution for yourself and others. (see volunteering)

It doesn’t take money to have patience.
If we have done all we can, we can pray, trust God, and watch and wait for divine assistance. Ultimately, we can not be prepared for all unknowns anyway. The goal is to do literally the best we can with the circumstances we’ve been given and then trust God. Use prayer to guide you to help improve your circumstances. Often if our finances are so tight we have nothing to prepare with, we are already in survival mode.

Remember this time of financial scarcity when next your situation is better, and prepare before you spend your money on non-necessities. When your are thriving, save money and prepare for emergencies.

The big picture: 72 hr kits in 6 time periods (months, weeks, or days)

A Summary for those that like to see it all in one shot:

1.  (March) Plan, Gather information, 1 gallon of water per person

2. (April)  Water (3 gal/person), Communication plans, means, and important documents

3.  (May) Food and prescriptions including glasses, baby items, needed eating equipment

4.  (June) Clothing and Hygiene items: include Emergency blankets, ponchos, shoes, etc. in waterproof bags or containers

5.  (July) Shelter and First AId:  Protection from rain, sun, bugs, heat and cold.  Extra bandaging for disaster type injuries.

6.  (Aug)  Equipment, Light, and Power sources:  whistle, flashlight, glowsticks, small shovel, rope, can opener, hammer, batteries, etc.

Beets Mom

This year for Mothers’ Day, my youngest son gave me a hand written, colorful note.

It says, “Happy Mothers Day. The best moms teach yoga!” I laughed and had to share it with my yoga class. Thank heavens I teach yoga or else, how could I be the best mom?

Best, Beets–They are about the same thing and this year my thoughts on Moms went straight for that vegetable. The week before Mother’s day I found in the grocery store the largest, most beautiful fresh beets I’d ever seen. They were large and had big red and green stems that were leafy, not wilted and looked very fresh.

I bought them and prepared them for dinner. I thought they were wonderful, but most of my children did not appreciate them at all. In fact, it is a good thing I like them because I’m still eating left-overs.

I think beets are the best symbol for a good mom. They might not always have the most attractive skin, but they are good for you and wonderful. All the beauty they have inside colors everything they do. My hands were red from the contact for two days. The water they cooked in was red. A gentle, unintentional influence. So, so beautiful and natural and nutritious.

So, maybe yoga is the best, but this year for me, beets beat all as the symbol for the Mom I want to be (whether the children recognize it’s beauty, it’s value, or it’s significance or not.)

Link to National Hurricane Preparedness site

Link to National Hurricane Preparedness site

This website is set up to help you go through the preparedness process especially for hurricanes.  If you are in a hurricane prone area, you especially want to be familiar with NHC–the national hurricane center and how you can check it for all hurricane related warnings, etc. 

Also, a NOAA radio is particularly helpful to receive all weather related warnings and alerts at any time of the day or night.  These can be purchased in many different places and for different prices.  Some are like alarm clocks.  These will warn you of weather conditions even if you are asleep.  Check them before you buy.  For some, they may not warn you at all if they remain unopened in your kit or if they need batteries and run out, etc.  Know what it is you are purchasing and how to keep it working. 

Homecoming

The familiar landscapes
Catch my breath
And reel me in
Toward home.

The palm-shadowed
Sky frames my way
And I taste the beauty.
Was it always this sweet?

The house is the same,
But I feel the changes
That distort my memory.
What was I expecting?

That I could come home
To a world frozen in the place
I left it, or that because I
Feel the same, I would be?

Rip Van Winkle’s shadow
Plays tricks on me as I see
That time and family
Went on without me.

Will I have a place?
What will be my role?
I left a child,
But I don’t know yet

Where I belong.
I’m back from Neverland
Impatient to be grown.
But for now, at least,
I’m home.

–2013 dsh

The battle of Bedford Falls

Drama.  Excitement. 

I am very human in the way I love to feel alive.  See the excitement in life all around me.  I love to find it for myself by trying new things, asking questions, searching for answers.

But, what I struggle with most, I think, is the very common, everyday life that is incredibly monotonous.  Wake up every morning.  Still need to make breakfast, dishes, laundry, whiney or fighting kids, dirt, sadness, meanness, decay, things that break and need to be fixed. The mundane.  The predictable.  The incomprehensibly never complete-able. 

It is one thing to be out on a horse conquering some big dragon out in the universe.  It is still another to stay home and fight ingratitude, boredom, and normal resistance to progress. 

It is like fighting gravity.  You want to be in outer space, above it all, doing something grand.

But, the fact is, life is happening on earth.  That is where it is.  Life is dirt.  It is a cycle of dirt.  It is hunger.  It is a cycle of hunger.  When you are winning, you don’t have something new and wonderful, you are just free from something distasteful. 

It takes a keen sight to find the glory is working hard to get rid of something unwanted that relentlessly comes back.  And, you know, if you quit, you will lose.  But if you work super hard you can never win.  It will always come back.

The weeds will come back, the dirt will come back, the hunger will come back, the bills will come again, the clothes will wear out, that thing will break.

Which war is harder, I wonder?  They are both necessary. 

But, it takes a very courageous person to carry on knowing it is a doomed mission.  It will never be finished.

But, perhaps that is the glory of it? 

The challenges are necessary to life, like gravity.

To win the war, we have to win the daily battle in Bedford Falls. 

(I’m just noticing how fitting that town name is.  Here is where we sleep.  Here is where we fall down.  Here is where we help each other keep getting up again.)

dsh