Mothering on the Edge

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Got fish?

We do. Two goldfish, guaranteed for 14 days unless they are deliberately fed to another pet or human being by the good people at Petsmart. We'll see how this goes...

In other news, I've got some kind of bug I can't get rid of. I think it might be strep. Strep loves me. Especially my throat. So I have the enviable options of going to the doctor and getting a swab jammed down my throat and cultured or waiting it out. Antibiotics my eye. Do you realize that the word actually means anti-living things? Great title for medicine. It sounds like mild chemotherapy (another lousy title: chemical therapy. Well, duh!)--wipe out what ails you...and any other healthy bacteria. Like Round-up for your body. Off to the doctor to get me some biocide now. *sigh* I'm ranting. It happens when I'm sick and jacked up on sudafed to boot. I think my two-year-old is sick too. He's been staring at the TV for about 3 hours straight.

I made a manual for myself this month...a gift for the hubby and an exercise in fun tech writing. I'm not going to post it here, because it's a little too personal. But I will post a template and excerpts, so that everyone of you, that's right YOU can make a manual for your own significant other. Aren't you lucky!

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 10:08 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Emergency Packs--the big list

Emergency Packs

Plan for 3 days without electricity, clean water or help. Keep the kits somewhere were you could grab them in an emergency (not in the basement or back of your closet). A little is better than nothing. Start with what you can put together now—you can always add more.

6 things go in the Pack:

  • Water
  • First Aid
  • Hygiene
  • Utility
  • Papers
  • Food
Water: The ideal is 1 gallon of water, per person, per day. That’s 24 lbs of water each, which can get heavy. Probably carrying half to 1 gallon of water and supplies to purify 2-3 gallons more is adequate. Keeping more clean water in your home is a good idea—14 gallons per person is the recommended amount. Make sure your containers are clean, sealed and sturdy. DO NOT USE MILK GALLONS. They are made to biodegrade quickly-in less than a year. Pop bottles (for some reason) are much stronger.

A note on babies and water: If you have any infants, or are expecting any in the next year, pack a 3-day supply of formula (powdered or premade) even if you are breastfeeding. Emergency situations can mean separation of mother and infant. And make sure you use only the cleanest water available to make formula or give an infant. Just because adults are tolerating the water doesn’t mean infants can. In third-world countries babies routinely die of dehydration from diarrhea from BAD WATER.

First Aid: Include supplies for treating injuries, critical illnesses and regular medications. You can get a basic kit anywhere. If it’s your family first aid kit, make sure it’s getting refilled yearly as well. If anyone in your family is fertile, include birth control (condoms, extra set of pills, etc.) Emergencies often drive even less active couples into each other’s arms for comfort. If nothing else, maybe you can trade them with other refugees for something worthwhile. Also, a good manual (Boy Scout manuals are great and easy to find) is priceless.

Hygiene: Basic supplies and a change of clothes. In an emergency, dry clothes, shoes or a coat can mean survival. I recommend putting all of these things in Ziploc or garbage bags to keep them dry.

Utility: This is basically heat and light, but may include other items as well. Again, VERY important these stay dry.

Papers: Hide these in your pack somewhere. Identification papers or copies: birth and marriage certificates, social security numbers, driver licenses and insurance information. If your house burned down, who would you call? Your homeowners insurance? What’s the number? It’s written down somewhere in your house, isn’t it? This is, by the way, an identity thief’s dream, so keep it hidden in the bottom of the pack.
Food: You want to plan for 9 meals per person. Make sure you have plenty of calories and protein, because most likely you will be burning them. Avoid foods that need something other than water to prepare and remember that canned foods are HEAVY. Be careful with dehydrated foods—remember they’re going to take some of your drinking water to rehydrate, either before or after you eat them.
Things to update/change yearly:

  • Water
  • Food
  • First aid supplies
  • Medications
  • Clothing
  • Papers
The easiest way to do updating is to have an emergency drill yearly. Have a power outage or evacuate your house (to a national park or grandma’s backyard) and use your stuff. This will help you renew what needs it, see what isn’t working or that your kids just hate jerky and dry soup mix, etc. Learn how to make cup of soup over a campfire, etc. Update medications and papers, resize clothing, and replace water and food.

First Aid Kit

4 gloves

Medical tape

Bandages—very big to small

Antibiotic cream and/or alcohol

Regular medications for your family

Aspirin

Ipecac syrup/activated charcoal

Antivenin (especially in Utah)

Boy Scout or other first aid manual

Utility Pack

Flashlight and batteries

Matches

Thermal blanket

Poncho or tarp

Pocket knife

Water purification tablets or pump

Trash bags

*Whistle

*Compass

*Radio

Hygiene Kit

Soap

Wipes

Hand towel/washcloth

Shampoo/liquid soap

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

*Chapstick

*Comb

*Mouthwash

*Razor

*Shaving gel

*Sewing kit

*Hair ties

Food

Spoon

*Mess kit

Dish towel

Day 1

Breakfast

Instant oatmeal with dried fruit

Instant cocoa

Lunch

Cup of noodles

Granola bar

Juice box or Tang

Dinner

Macaroni and cheese (it actually works without milk and butter)

Day 2

Breakfast

Granola with dried fruit

Juice box

Lunch

Crackers

Nuts

Dinner

Dry soup mix

Day 3

Breakfast

Instant oatmeal with dried fruit

Instant cocoa

Lunch

Jerky

Trail mix

Juice box or Tang

Dinner

Cup of soup or MRE

Finally, special situation packs: If someone in your family is diabetic or whatnot, plan for that. Babies need diapers and special food. They also need to be carried. If you put an old bedsheet in the bottom of your pack, you can tie the baby on your hip or back to carry him.

To add: duct tape


Posted by Sarah Jean :: 3:59 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Preparedness and skepticism

General Conference Weekend--for those of you who aren't LDS, that means a bunch of Mormons watch TV for 2 days straight. It's a real event. Just kidding. Actually, it's a conference of the church--generally, as in, all 10 million of us. So they televise it. I won't share any of my profound spiritual insights here. I'm ashamed to say I fell asleep during one of the afternoon sessions while my children re-enacted Lord of the Flies in the back yard. But my project this weekend was to renew our emergency kits, which I was fairly successful at. I'll post my notes after this entry. This was in the paper this morning:
http://sltrib.com/homeandfamily/ci_3082234
I had a good laugh, and added "duct tape" to my list of things to buy.

And speaking of faith, my six-year-old brought me some doubts this weekend.
"Mommy, I'm not sure Santa Claus is real."
Ah, I thought, first grade rumors. But no, as usual, I had underestimated my daughter. "What makes you think he might not be real?" (Mommy straight face on).
"Well, I've just been thinking about it. I mean, how could he have money to buy everyone in the world presents? And how does he get into people's houses?"
"Hmm, that's a good point."
"And what about the Easter Bunny! I mean, that doesn't make ANY sense! How could a bunny carry eggs and baskets around? Bunnies can't find people's houses! They can't even drive! And I have never ever heard any hopping around Easter time."
At this point, my sister chimed in, "Well if they aren't real, then who's doing all this stuff?"
Six-year-old furrowed brow. Wish for camera. "I'm not sure. Maybe someone rich. But how would they get in the house?"
I'm stifling laughter as she continues. "Maybe it's an inside job." My sister gets serious, wide eyes and asks her niece, "Are you doing it?"
Six-year-old eye rolling. "Of course not."

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 8:10 AM :: 1 Comments:

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