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I thought I had prepared - turns out sickness whacked my perfect world

 
pollinator
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I had prepared for every risk: climate change, drought, floods, pests... you name it.
I was even a bit smug about how clever I am.
An WHADAAM. there went my pride down the drain when I got a really severe bout of Covid. Did I pride in my ability to plan for all possible risks?

I live alone on an off grid 10 acre farm in Scandinavia. No electricity, plumbing or other modern conveniences. Wood stove heating. Fierce winters.

So the clever "had-it-all planned" me spent two months whabsmacked with high fever, alone, in a hut heated by logs I had to lug in. I will not even go into personal hygiene.

Food, yip. In all my self-righteous plans I had seen myself cooking wholesome dinners .. The only wholesome part was my hunger. OK, I have been doing my own youghurt but having that and porridge for breakfast lunch and dinner kinda gets tiresome. I did enormous (really! Like 2 gallons) portions of veggie soup. For recipies, please refer to "Root vegetables you can grow" . Oh, and some salt and pepper. Tastes equally bad heated or  unheated when eaten 6 weeks in a row.

I had some sweets but run out of them quickly. Warning to anyone planning to live without frequent visits to the shop: take the amount of chocolate you can maximally imagine consuming and multiply by ten.

No, actually twenty. Might as well add a buffer. OK, thirty.  After all, we are great at restraint, aren't we?

Glad to be back. I love this  forum and have missed you all ♥️
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master gardener
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Glad you're feeling better!
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Christopher Weeks wrote:Glad you're feeling better!



Oh yes, and veeeeery much humbled. The pride I took in planning for all possible eventualities...

Please, learn from me. There will ALWAYS be some surprises you did not account for.
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pollinator
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So glad you got through it okay, Kaarina!
 
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Kaarina Kreus wrote: I had some sweets but run out of them quickly. Warning to anyone planning to live without frequent visits to the shop: take the amount of chocolate you can maximally imagine consuming and multiply by ten.

No, actually twenty. Might as well add a buffer. OK, thirty.  After all, we are great at restraint, aren't we?

Glad to be back. I love this  forum and have missed you all ♥️



Yes, I can see that this would definitely be me. My wise mother has vacuum-sealed jars of chocolate bars just in case.

I was wondering if managing the winter weather and chores was keeping you too busy to post--I am so glad that you are better now, and have passed through that difficult time. Welcome back and here's to a fantastic 2023 for you!
 
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Glad you are ok! Illness is the worst.
 
steward
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First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.

Second off - Yeah, I get tired of telling all the people who want to live alone with no support network, that getting ill or breaking a necessary bone, or even just needing to get to a hospital when you can't drive (or bike) yourself is a problem. If your outhouse doesn't have grab bars and a very secure path to it, now might be the time to consider remedying that! It's good to have most of your firewood stored far enough from the house that it's not a fire risk to the house, but it's also ideal to have a closer supply for emergencies, although sick for that long, it still wouldn't have lasted.

I'm pretty sure you self identified as an introvert. I get that - #2 Son is one. However, this would also be a good time to figure out things you might have in common with some of the neighbors and maybe offer some "time share" exchanges. Offer to help them with a job where an extra pair of hands would either lighten the load, or simply make it more fun with company. If they know you and consider you a community resource, you would be in a better position to beg a favor like "please get me X, Y and Z when you go shopping. I'm too sick to get out myself."

Similarly, so many people are dependent on charge cards - having some good old-fashioned cash in a cubby hole that no one even knows exists so you're not worried about it disappearing if you're away, is really useful for covering costs if someone does have to drive you to a hospital or pick up groceries.

Last but not least, some people actually have to "practice" asking for help. I think it works better if it's clear and precise. "Please buy me 3 lbs each of onions, carrots and apples" as opposed to "please buy me some food" as an example.

PS - There's a reason dark chocolate is considered a good addition to an emergency hiking pack, so if the only way to guarantee it is kept for emergencies is to triple wrap it and hide it in the cellar, that's what you do!
 
master pollinator
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Glad you are feeling better. It's no joke. Covid took me out of action for 3 weeks. Nasty little bug.
 
master pollinator
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Glad you're back and I hope you're feeling decent again. Covid's not to be messed with. Son and I got it back in October and it put me out of commission for over a month, buggered up the peak of planting season, and since I don't have a "normal" job I didn't log very many billable hours. I was extremely lucky that my wife avoided it and our house is big enough that I could hole up downstairs for a couple of weeks and not expose her.

We are also extremely lucky to have a close-knit community around us in the township. Several friends called and emailed to check in on us. Jay's advice is spot on: get to know your neighbours well enough to call on them (or have them call on you) when push comes to shove. Sort out the mobility and self-care issues that might arise if you were to be on crutches or in a wheelchair for a period.

Keep an eye on your energy levels and take care not to overdo things for a while yet...there's a sting in the tail of this one. And I like your thinking on the chocolate safety margin.
 
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Welcome back, and I second all the good advice on this thread about neighbours, chocolate and continuing to rest through the next few months. If things still aren't right soon seek medical advice, there are some things that can help.
Just as well you didn't have livestock to worry about too!
Hugs!
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Jay Angler wrote:First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.
!



Jay - great points. I wish I had been more humble. The reason I posted this was to remind everyone, that even meticulous planning is not always enough.

And, I freely admit I thought I had been sooooo clever and taken into accout all risks. Arrogance, in plain english. Do not fall for it. I did, and got humbled dearly.

Let my humbling be your lesson. ♥️
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Nancy Reading wrote:Welcome back, and I second all the good advice on this thread
Hugs!



Nancy. Exactly. I explained what a self-righteous fool I have been to help others be better.

God, I am ashamed about my foolproof plans 😪
 
Jane Mulberry
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No shame, Kaarina. A learning experience. No one else here apart from you is judging you, I am sure of that!
 
Jay Angler
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Jane Mulberry wrote:No shame, Kaarina. A learning experience. No one else here apart from you is judging you, I am sure of that!

Totally this  - what I wrote are just concrete examples for people to learn from your experience and add to their repertoire! You've done fantastic things with your property in a relatively short time, and you've actively researched directions to consider developing it further. We all miss things! In my "BC" Days (Before Children) I worked in the medical field, and yes, I once had to make suggestions for adding a grab bar in an out-house! The rest of the people around the table were shocked that the guy had no indoor plumbing, but I had a friend who often stayed in her Grandmother's then 100 year old farmhouse which had no plumbing. I wasn't about to tell this old fellow that he couldn't go home to a lifestyle he'd lived all his life - but I was prepared to do a few safety upgrades!
 
Jane Mulberry
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It took a lot of guts to share this, Kaarina, and if it helps someone else think about what they might have missed preparing for, you will have been a huge blessing to them. I don't think anyone is ever 100% successfully prepared for every eventuality.

Jay, excellent suggestions.

I have bought a house that is totally unsuitable for aging in place, will need to make a lot of adjustments - including the railings to the outhouse and plenty of spare buckets for the humanure.
 
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Welcome back Kaarina. Glad you're feeling better. No need to be ashamed. Mother Nature has a way of humbling us all from time to time. The only shame would be to not learn from those times. Sounds like you learned many things that will help you in the future.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Jay Angler wrote:First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.

Second off - Yeah, I get tired of telling all the people who want to live alone with no support network
I'm pretty sure you self identified as an introvert !



Jay dear, it is not my choice to live alone. I simply have nobody to live with. I would gladly sacrifice a limb or two to be blessed with a partner. As I have been brutally honest in this thread, I might as well continue.  I am excruciatingly lonely. I try not to think about it, but sometimes loneliness just comes as a tsunami after you have succesfully avoided thinking about it for weeks.

You can successfully be busy with things you love, but when you sit down  you would love to share it with someone dear.

Whenever people ask me how are things going, my answer is "brilliant, great". It often is a blatant lie - could I tell anyone that I need friends, companionahip, affection?

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pollinator
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I suspect Covid is responsible for the symptoms I’ve been dealing with since having it. I’m no stranger to fatigue, brain fog, and digestive symptoms due to Crohn’s disease though. So it’s kind of hard to tell what is what.

These concerns of living alone are on my mind a lot since I do plan to get property in a place several hours away from any friend or family member. It’s more of a concern since I went to the ER twice last year(and never once before in 38 years). On the other hand, most of my adult life has been spent doing tasks while feeling ill. And wherever I go, my health follows. It isn’t as if living in a city means I’m going to make more connections. I think Jay’s point about the importance of making connections holds true regardless of where or how one lives.

If I were to have faced these health issues living in a temporary shelter in the countryside, how might have things gone? I’m not sure. The fatigue I had while taking a steroid was exceptionally debilitating even though I’m used to dealing with fatigue.

In India many things were easier for me.  Easy and cheap to rent an apartment. Active public transportation, so no need to drive when feeling fatigued. Food in South India agrees with my digestion better than anywhere else.  I got along with people  very well. I didn’t feel the need to be so alone in India. In fact, it’s hard to feel alone in India whether you want to or not. And as a foreigner, it’s impossible to get by without help sometimes due to restrictions, etc.

I do find myself questioning the whole American homesteading mentality. Or, at least the frequently idealized version of homesteading like in ‘Alone in the Wilderness’. Dick had distant neighbors, supplies brought in by plane, and left for winter sometimes. I’m reading Gabor Mate’s new book which talks a lot about community and reminds me of many points Chris Ryan (Sex At Dawn, Civilized To Death) has made about our need for community to survive.

Anyway, I can relate to the situation of being sick, alone, doing only chores that are necessary to survival. I’ve done it in a city. I’ve done it in first world countries and third world countries. I think it’s important to remember what the alternative is. We still would have had Covid regardless. Still would have needed food, etc. The main difference I see is how well we integrate into one community versus another. Some  “communities” being far more spread out than others, and therefore having different dynamics and social norms.
 
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Oh, no. I'm so sorry, Kaarina, that you've had such a hard struggle! And, equally pleased that you're back, and doing better!
 
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Thank you Kaarina, I really enjoy reading your posts.  Your experiences definitely help others.  I love chocolate too!  My wife always keeps some on the table. My wife, son and I go out to eat once a week, because food can get pretty boring on the homestead.  I think you have touched something that is hard to explain.  The spice of life, makes life worth living.  The little things are often the most important.  If I could have a million dollars or a great friend, I'd pick the friend.  I sure hope somebody comes along for you to share your life with.  Until then, you have us to chat with.
 
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I'm so happy that you're on the mend. And yes to chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! (I've chosen to live in a place where chocolate is local, so I can eat local and still eat chocolate.

I think this highlights the importance of community building!  It's hard, and it's something we all need to work on, I'm trying to be more open with everyone I interact with because you never know who might be a kindred spirit. And I remind myself that while some people do instantly become fast friends--it's more often that relationships get built slowly overtime.
 
pollinator
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So glad you are better.  Please don't beat yourself up.  I made a post recently about a power outage we had.  It only lasted 30-some hours, but it pointed outa huge shortcoming I had as well, and I was perfectly healthy through it.  Being sick and having to deal is far, far harder.  I would still urge you to simply use it as a learning experience rather than a look-how-arrogant-and-stupid-I-was experiment.  You got through this and you learned some valuable lessons that will help for next time.  Take it as a win, although certainly not an enjoyable one.  Again, I'm so glad you are feeling better.
 
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Never got tested, but safe to assume it was covid that kicked my ass for 3 solid weeks. Not real 'sickly', but absolutely exhausted. Spent couch time one day making a list of how to be better prepared for the next 'unplanned event'. Firewood wasn't an issue, there's backup gas heat. Food wasn't an issue, always stocked up with broth and rice, meat in the deep freeze, root veggies and canned fruit, peanut butter, chocolate... and had little to no appetite anyway. Livestock care would be a major concern. I found it took the entire day's energy just to feed and let dogs/cats in and out. VERY glad to have indoor plumbing! I was too exhausted to even laugh when someone would call and say "you sound tired".
So yeah, count me as 'thinking I am prepared' but in truth you can't be fully prepared because you just don't know what the 'event' will be, when it will occur or how long it will last. You do your best and plan for as much as possible. Being off-grid and extremely independent can be a mixed blessing. It's a great feeling until it isn't. Being too proud to ask for help (my huge flaw) is an additional burden. Sounds bad, but needing help just makes me feel stupid that I didn't plan better.
Glad you survived to tell the tale Kaarina! The worst part of any flu, I think, is not knowing how long it's gonna last.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Someone mentioned-  

It's good to have most of your firewood stored far enough from the house that it's not a fire risk to the house


Unless you have a lot of dry cedar kindling, a woodpile is not a fire risk. It simply does not burn easily, as a mass pile, so even stacked directly against a structure, it's very low on the list of things that burn quickly/make it worse. I actually saw (the day after) a garage fire last fall, where the building was destroyed and a stack of lumber 5' away was just charred. Nobody was home, and the fire dept was never even called. Remote property and neighbors that saw the smoke assumed a brush pile being burned. Luckily it was a rainy day and the garage was not close to the house.
 
Kaarina Kreus
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Sometimes, you are just too exhausted to think c4eatively.
So you just think.
HEUREKA.


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pollinator
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First off, I'm so glad you are better and doing well.  Congratulations---you survived that test!!!

AND you learned a lot, about holes in your plan.

My first thoughts were, Who is feeding the animals?...sounds like you don't have any?  That might be an option, although yes, they do involve more responsibility and planning, not less.  But they can offer companionship, warmth, affection, and entertainment, too...also protein, for some people.    

It also sounds like you might need to expand your options in the health/wellness arena.  I didn't hear you mention anything about herbs or supplements, but there are many tools that can help us.

Adequate Vitamin D levels have been linked to better outcomes with the C-virus.  I know you have no ability to get sunlight exposure to make your own Vitamin D during the winter there.  That may be something you want to look into...?

I'm just trying to let you know we here have all been blindsided by some unforeseen accident or illness, and it shocks you into reality--how quickly and dangerously things can go downhill sometimes.  And to also encourage you to maybe be more supportive of yourself.  We're human, after all, prone to fluffing our own feathers sometimes...that's what life is here for--to "challenge" us and our beliefs!  (and we're allowed to make mistakes, too, thank the gods!)

You must have been pretty scared.  But you clearly fared GREAT, considering your situation!  I probably would have frozen to death, or died of dehydration, after crying for an extended period of time.  haha.

But you did what you had to do, figured it out, and survived!  Plus you learned from it...AND you had the generosity of spirit, courage, and honesty to come here and share with us, so that others may benefit.  Thank you.

I hope you will be able to make some connections with your nearest neighbors, overcome your shame, and be more honest with them.  They may be just as lonely as you are!  I think there are more singles in the world these days than people with partners.  Besides, that doesn't guarantee you'll not be lonely, either.

And raising a couple squares to another chocolate lover!...although I've had to cut way back, after the virus hit...I learned a lot of what we have been taught (about health, history, nutrition...basically, almost everything!...has been a lie.  And so I've cut way down on the sugar, and started time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting, improving my health in the process.  Metabolic inflexibility has also been related to poorer outcomes with the virus, and I knew I was at risk.  (But yes, I'm still holding onto that dark chocolate.   haha)

I am sure that the way things are going, that increasing numbers of people will be looking to get out of the cities and become more self sufficient.  So there is always hope that your personal situation may change.  

(I've found EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, aka tapping, has helped me a LOT with my emotions.)

Virtual hug to you from a Finn half-blood, half way around the world, literally.   Onna lista utta voatta!
 
steward
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I suspect that in preparing for any crisis it is a matter of becoming more ready.   I would be very suspicious of anyone declaring themselves ready beyond doubt
 
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I'm in Ohio, U.S.A. I'm 74, lived on my farm all my life. I'm a cranky old man who tends to the plain spoken. So please excuse my cranky old American ways. I have a couple questions to ask. And one or two observations.

I'm wondering what chocolate you are eating. Here in the States, our chocolate is mostly sugar and full of various artificial "stuff". It tastes fairly good, and isn't the worst thing to eat, --except that it is terrible for your health. If you have pure organic chocolate without all the cr*p in it, have at it. But if it's similar to a Hersey's bar, not so much.

I start out with this question because unless you know lots about health and nutrition and how your body works, you aren't really "prepared". Especially for living alone. You need knowledge as much as you need firewood, maybe more. My suggestion is that you study. A lot. You need to know what supports your immune system. And what harms it. Your body wants to be healthy. But it needs the tools.

We've all just gone through 2+ years of crazy. People wore masks everywhere. They rebreathed all their own germs and co2. And there is a whole lot of science that says the masks were ineffective. Research it. People locked themselves away and avoided contact. And it made lot of folks very unhappy, which causes immune system effects. Many people ate poor diets and fast "food". Which just causes your body to weaken. ~And then they got untested, no accountability jabs. One after another after another. Research. It is there if you look beyond mainstream media and gov't broadcasts.

We here on this site are permaculturalists. That in part means we look how systems work together to grow the best most life-giving plants and trees. Why would we do any different with our own bodies? We need good nutrition. We need to avoid sugar, and chemicals, and anything artificial. None of that is good for you. We need to use herbs and natural source vitamins. Did you take any zinc before you got sick. Or during. Did you take any Vit. C & D? Do you use colloidal silver? Or herbal immune boosters? Did you fairly constantly remember to breathe very deeply to help keep your lungs clear, and to help get more oxygen into your body? Do you sleep on your back that causes the diaphragm to close. Or do you sleep more face down, which helps open your rib cage, so you breathe easier. Research. How much coffee, or soda, or Tang like drinks do we drink? And how much (un-fluoridated) water? And how much herb tea? Did you fast while you were ill, or did you keep on eating something/anything which just kept your body working and didn't let it rest.

The point of all this is to just say, if people want to really take self-responsibility, you have to really know what you are doing. Do a lot of reading. Do a lot of research. Don't assume. And for sure take a look to see if there is a money trail when you take advice from anyone.

Well, I don't know if any of this might help anyone. I don't mean it to be directed at any one person. I just thought others might read it. As for us? We decided within the first week or two of the start of the event, that we simply were not going to participate. We are the center of a very large group of friends and extended community. The whole time of lockdowns and masks, we had hundreds of people come and go here. We had large gatherings of folks for potluck meals and various Ceremonies. Nobody wore masks. I never had one on, not once. And we went wherever we wanted to. We didn't get upset. We just didn't participate. And nobody got sick. There were actually fewer colds among the people we know. Maybe because we all did spend more time using appropriate herbs and teas, and vitamins, and paid attention to our breathing, and such like. So, there you go. That's one story of how things went for one group of people. It is reported that those "in the know" are already forecasting a next pandemic. If so, research. Don't assume. Be responsible for your own health. Good luck.






 
steward
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Oh man, health issues make disasters SO. MUCH. WORSE! I think, in many ways, health issues are a lot worse than most other disasters, because you simply can't do anything!

From August 2021 until August last year my husband's health was really bad. We rely on wood heat. But, he was too weak to help with the fire wood. He got a bit better and we finally got it in....but it had already gotten soaked by the fall rains. Then he got worse again, and the logs were too giant for me to chop. Carrying for kids and him meant little time to try to hack the firewood down to a manageable size and haul it in. And it was all wet, anyway, so it took forever for me to get a fire lit when I attempted it.

Needless to say, I used out space heater A LOT that year, and I seriously wished I'd had a better back-up plan!

Also, my ankle kept going out, which made it really hard caring for all the animals as well as a sick husband and two kids. There were times I needed my 8 year old to help move the duck's trampoline-yard and to haul stuff around, and it took 3-times as long.  Two of my husband's fish died because we just didn't take care of them like we should. All in all, though, with the kids being older, we did make it through a lot better than we did the year The reality of homesteading has dissolved my "prepper"/homesteading fantasies

I think a problem with our "disaster-preparing" mindset is that we always kind of think of ourselves as the superhero-ish protagonist who's in awesome mental and physical health and able to do everything.....but that isn't always the case! Health problems happen, and they happen a lot more when we're stressed because of disasters.

I try to remember when I go through hard times like that, that things could have been much worse if I hadn't been as prepared as I was. You did as well as you did because you were prepared! Imagine how things would have been if you didn't already have wood and food stored, and the financial ability to stay home and not lose your home because you couldn't work to pay your bills! And you can learn from what didn't work to get through the next disasters even better!
 
pollinator
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Welcome back, I am glad you got through Covid.. In the future make sure to stock up on healing herbs, so you can treat yourself when you get sick.
We also got Covid here. All 5 of us, but I was prepared for it.
I am in charge of nutrition in our family. Because Covid was running rampant through the world, I had been boosting all of our bodies with good nutrition containing lots of vitamins and minerals, extra vitamin D and don’t forget zink.
We have all been drinking immune boosting teas, and I always make sure to have homemade cough syrups, elderberry juice and rescue boosters ready for the winter season. Willow bark is also good to store, since it’s a pain killer and fever reducer. Willow bark is what aspirin started as.
Mallow and slippery elm are great for loosening up the mucosa that tend to stick and harden in your lungs, if it doesn’t get coughed up. Elderberry juice is a powerful antiviral that I grow and stock. I press the juice out of the berries and freeze it raw. Don’t ever boil elderberries, for every 10 minutes you boil it, you loose 10% of the antiviral components. To use it, I add boiling water, honey, ginger, cinnamon and orange peels to the juice. I let it steep on low heat for about 10 minutes before serving.
I am also a canner. I know that you don’t do it a lot in Scandinavia, other than jams and preserves, but learning to pressure can has been amazing,  I lived in Denmark until 2002, when we immigrated to the US, so I know how you look at canning at least in Denmark.
When you get sick, it’s important that you have access to healthy nutritional foods, that are easy to prepare. I can chicken, broth, stews and so much more.  I also store soup veggies as a mix I make, in the freezer.
I also have jars, of dehydrated instant chickens soup. They are very easy to make, just look up camping meals, or meals in jars.  When we all got sick, I served chicken soup with turmeric (anti inflammatory) and eternal stews (can simmer for days, as you add to it, or eat from it, so we could fill our bellies without lots of work. Situations like this, is one of the reasons I can and do other food preservations.
Don’t forget about fermenting either. If you have a good balance of gut bacteria, your immune system gets a boost. In fact, often drinking things like pickle juice, from fermented pickles, can stop or slow down a viral infection.
In the end, my YA kids was sick for less than a week. My husband was sick for 3 weeks, but his started with diarrhea a week before the other symptoms started. I was sick for 10 days, but able to function most of the time. My husband and son had a persistent cough for another few weeks, that was easily kept under control with mallow concoctions and breathing exercises to clear their lungs. I am on supplemental oxygen, and I did need more oxygen for about 3 weeks while my lungs healed.
All in all, Covid was remarkably undramatic and I am glad we are over it. Okay, I know that most people don’t have a lot of knowledge of nutrition and herbal medicine, but I fell like it’s a must to know, if you want to live alone like you do.
As for chocolate, I couldn’t agree more. I have two 5 gallon buckets full of good quality chocolate ( it containing junk) stored in my pantry 😂, and another with cocoa mix for hot chocolate. Chocolate was actually one of my reactions to Covid, the second one, was to step up my wine and spirits making. I mean, when the world go crazy you need wine and chocolate. Though a good digestive bitter, isn’t too bad either.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote: When we all got sick, I served chicken soup with turmeric (anti inflammatory) and eternal stews (can simmer for days, as you add to it, or eat from it, so we could fill our bellies without lots of work.



When my husband had his terrible crohn's flare-up, I ended up doing eternal stews, too! I put my Instant Pot on "Slow Cook" mode and just kept adding more carrots, celery, chicken, water, and herbs. Since broth and soup was pretty much the only thing that he was able to consume, I kept that pot going for him for at least a week. This freed up a lot more time for me to take care of him and the kids (and make the kids something other than the same soup every night! They were stressed enough by Dada being sick for so long, I wanted their dinners to at least be something they liked!)

Having a supply of easy dinners is also pretty helpful in crazy times. There was a huge snowstorm coming on, in addition to my husband being sick, so I ran out and bought a bunch of gluten-free/organic corn dogs and chicken nuggets and frozen veggies that they liked. This saved a lot of time for me, and kept their spirits up. Having a stockpile of treats and easy snacks for hard times is really handy! (Healthier foods are really important, too, of course, for maintain health and mental/physical wellbeing, so if you can pre-make yummy, healthy meals ahead of time, that's awesome!)

Our main "arsenal" of medicinal herbs for sickness are:

- mint (opens up airways, and is soothing for my husband's crohn's)
- quercetin (anti-tumor, helps calm down autoimmune conditions. Anti-inflammatory Also helps calm down the cytokine storm that can cause the body to attack everything, rather than just a virus like covid)
- turmeric (anti-inflammatory) --with cayenne to help activate it
- green tea (anti-inflammatory)
- Oregon Grape Root (anti-inflammatory, helps with Crohns and psoriasis, anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral)
- licorice root (helps with respiratory issues, helps the lymphatic system to work better and is good for things like psoriasis, raises my low blood pressure)

Since we have auto-immune conditions in our family, we stay away from the things like elderberry and echinacea that boost the immune system even further. Everyone's body is different, though!
 
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Sounds like we need a really good, categorized check off list. That's what I used to do with tools and other things. Actually, it was easy for me because I liked taking notes. Heck, I might even have a few about my notes.  Anyway, every note listing things to buy or do that I lost for a while, sometimes years, when found again, was able to have some or all items marked off. For example (a start):





CONSIDERATIONS, WHEN CONTEMPLATING OUR FUTURES

* Though there may be advance signs, and everything from whispers to screaming in history books, one cannot know what is around the corner, even if our agents knew of an event in advance. For example, The East and West Germany wall came down, seemingly, overnight. Public agents are playing the role of drunken sailor and printing Federal Reserve Note Deflating new dollars like they plan it removing tomorrow, nature happens and so on.


PLANNING

* EARTHQUAKE: See “NOTE 1

* FIRE:

- See “NOTE 1"

- Stack combustibles, like firewood, away from structures.

- Ideally, wood would be stored in a shed with at least three sides and a metal roof.

- Reconsider the idea of having highly combustible bushes, like arborvitaes, near structures.

- Avoid dry grass near combustible structures.

* FLOOD: Avoid places that do or could flood in spring runoff. That includes low spots.

Consider the fact that though you may be safe from flood, you can be cut off from leaving due to block roads

* MUD SLIDES

* TSUNAMI:

* WIND:  See “NOTE 1"


NOTE 1: If living in a fire, hurricane or tornado zone, consider the danger tall trees present. When possible, clear trees back from property they would endanger.
 


BUG OUT BAG


CLEANING

□ Rubber gloves
□ Chlorine Bleach
□ Sodium percarbonate (think of it as Oxyclean)


COMMUNICATION

□ Crank radio
□ Cell
Solar charging (USB, 12 volt, . . . )
□ Two way radios, USB rechargeable two way radios

COOLING
□ Root cellar / Safe room at least half buried
□ Hats


CLOTHING

□ Rubber boots
□ Snow boots
□ Coats
□ Boots
□ Long johns
□ Snow pants



DEFENSE & HUNTING

□ Pistol(s), rifle(s), shotgun
□ Ammo
□ Secure & water proof storage, but easy access
□ Guns
□ Ammo: More than you need. It should be easily accessible, but out of sight & out of mind. For example:
□ Rare earth magnet secured panels & pillars.
□ Slide out drawers under kitchen cabinets or drawers, at the toe kicks.
□ Stair toe kicks
□ Knives



EMERGENCY ITEMS

□ Visquine and/or lighter painters plastic
□ Metal foil tape
□ Duct tape
□ Rope
□ Paracord
□ Chain


FOOD

Growing:
□ Hydroponics
□ Summer garden
□ Green house (sunken)
□ Compost

Storage
□ Freeze drying and dehydrating
□ Electric & manual vacuum sealers
□ Mylar bags and canning jars
□ Root cellar
□ Lidded tubs/bins for mouse proof storage and categorization

□ Candy

HEALTH

□ Herbs
□ Vitamins
□ Spices
□ Medicines


HEAT & WARMTH

□ Insulation - Adding insulation is, often an good investment. It can make the difference between frozen pipes and holding on to heat dumped into a structure much longer.
Rocket MASS heater - For me, I want my rocket mass heater to
□ Wood, corn, pellets
□ Dry storage: Lean-to
□ Block and tackle counter weights to run an slow RPM auger
□ Blankets (to wrap in and for walls) (wool, space, comforters)
□ Striker matches (waxed), lighters and magnesium rods/bars
□ Fire starters (sawdust or lint and wax - pick up those killer candle deals at yardsales)

HYGIENE

□ Mullen
□ Bleach disinfectant



INCOME, MONEY & BARTER

□ Silver, gold & cash


LIGHTING

□ Kerosene lamps

NOTE: My money is on that I’d be better off, if I needed to light without electricity for a long period, I’d be better off with kerosine powered lights than with propane.

□ Kerosene
□ Candles
□ Flash lights - I am especially fond of single cell AAA types. They are easy to carry and toss a lot of light. Have several, and extra batteries.
□ Propane lanterns
□ Propane tanks

You can buy adapters that allow you to use 20# tanks, versus the far more expensive small tanks. Too, you can buy adapters that allow you to fill small tanks (I haven’t used one, so don’t know how well they work).


TOILET

□ Emergency poop bucket -(sawdust and lime???.....)

Pine bedding, available at stores that focus on animal care, eliminates odor and kick starts composting, when you bury it.

Avoid using too much of the pellets, because they expand a lot when wetted (e.g., pee).

You can substitute pine bedding with leaves or pine needles from the forest floor in a pinch. If used in and around the house, go with the pine bedding.

Kitty Litter does not stop odors.

Common, fine sawdust may meet the need

Pool noodles make using the bucket more comfortable to use. In a pinch, 1" pipe foam insulation would work.

The bag should be big enough to go to the bottom and go well over the noodles/insulation, to avoid contaminating the noodles, and to make the bag easier to carry.
A lid for the bucket is a must. This can by plywood, solid wood, Corian, plastic or whatever works. Install tabs that reach down an inch inside the noodles and from the bottom, to keep the lid in place.

Adding a 6" or 8" plastic pipe filled with regular charcoal, and emptying outside, can serve as a urinal. Of course, so will a tree.  When the pipe-charcoal starts to smell, use the charcoal in the garden and fill the pipe with fresh charcoal.

□ Bidet
□ TP, towels (for bidet)
□ Non-glossy pages of catalogs, phone books, pages from newspapers.

TOOLS and EQUIPMENT

Electric
Manual
□ Ax
□ Shovel
□ Hoe
□ Rake
□ Machete (quality steel)
□ Pliers, channel locks, vice grips, needle nose

TRANSPORTATION

□ On foot:  In cold weather, those with congestive heart failure cannot tolerate breathing the cold aire well. A CPAP mask and tube running down into a coat may allow more comfortable walking.
□ Emergency fuel
□ “Stranded” equipment: Space blanket, candles, lighter


WATER:

    250 gallon totes (insulated against freezing and raised for gravity feed)
 
master steward
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Thank you for sharing and I am glad you are better.

I would like to suggest that you look into growing mushrooms or at least have some dried ones on hand.

There is a post here listing which mushrooms are best.  I am not sure this is the thread that I was thinking of:

https://permies.com/wiki/139026/kitchen/Resources-Herbal-Medicines-related-coronavirus

https://permies.com/t/171178/kitchen/Medicinal-Mushrooms-Turkey-Tail-Rieshi

https://permies.com/t/86495/kitchen/medicinal-mushrooms-cultivate

Stay safe and warm.  best wishes.
 
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When I read your initial post, my reaction was (aside from enjoying the bit about chocolate)--what that woman needs is a partner. It makes SOOOO much difference in quality of life, to have someone who shares your little ups and downs, who  cares how you feel today. I wished you a mate. Then when I saw the second post, in which you acknowledged that your solitude is not by choice, that you're as lonely as I would be in your place, it only doubled my reaction but I have to note--from my own experience, the difficulty of finding a mate when you like the country life and hate cities. The way I put it--in the year and a half after I divorced my first husband and before I got tied up with my current husband, I was so hungry I found that any time I met a man I would instantly apply what I called the demographic screen: Is he male? Is he roughly my age? Is he single? Is he heterosexual? If the answer was yes to all four, he was possible...but what percentage of the people who merely pass that screen are actually compatible enough to be your mate? One in a hundred, to be generous? And then, how many people, new people who pass the demographic screen do you meet in a year? Two or three? So on average, you're likely to find the right person in, oh, maybe 50 years.  So, you can go to a city where you can meet several possibles in a day. Trouble is, they usually want to live in a city! So I tried Match.com which let me do all kinds of searches. That led to several interesting conversations, but never an actual meeting. Then my friend hooked me up with a mutual friend, and--we've been together almost 18 years now. I got lucky. So did my neighbor, whose wife died in March 2020, horrible timing as he is a very social person and the lockdown happened just when he lost his wife. But he found someone, moved for three months to another community, then it fell apart and he moved back...only to tie up with a widowed woman in a community not that far away, which looks like it will work. So he was lucky too but I think being an extrovert is an advantage, as is being male at his age (he 80 now).
So--I hope you manage to overcome this quandary and find a mate, and next time you face something like this it will be worlds easier. And don't forget--this will not only make your life so much better but his too. Or hers--if you're gay or even if not, a companion is almost as a good as a lover.
 
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I'm glad you came through ok! My family is currently running if the utilities fail drills more or less by accident. We are having work done in our yard and every utility has been affected. It started with the excavator clipping the gas line and currently we're waiting for the power company to get back to us about fixing the 70's didn't give a fuck about burring anything properly deep. My favorite was when the water main needed to be redug seeing how long water we bought for camping would hold us for all our potable needs. I have rain barrels for no potable.
 
Aurora House
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Mary Cook wrote:
So--I hope you manage to overcome this quandary and find a mate, and next time you face something like this it will be worlds easier. And don't forget--this will not only make your life so much better but his too. Or hers--if you're gay or even if not, a companion is almost as a good as a lover.


I agree and if it were not complicated moving to another country (on a different continent) your life sounds ideal.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Nicole Alderman wrote:


Having a supply of easy dinners is also pretty helpful in crazy times. There was a huge snowstorm coming on, in addition to my husband being sick, so I ran out and bought a bunch of gluten-free/organic corn dogs and chicken nuggets and frozen veggies that they liked. This saved a lot of time for me, and kept their spirits up. Having a stockpile of treats and easy snacks for hard times is really handy! (Healthier foods are really important, too, of course, for maintain health and mental/physical wellbeing, so if you can pre-make yummy, healthy meals ahead of time, that's awesome!)

Our main "arsenal" of medicinal herbs for sickness are:

- mint (opens up airways, and is soothing for my husband's crohn's)
- quercetin (anti-tumor, helps calm down autoimmune conditions. Anti-inflammatory Also helps calm down the cytokine storm that can cause the body to attack everything, rather than just a virus like covid)
- turmeric (anti-inflammatory) --with cayenne to help activate it
- green tea (anti-inflammatory)
- Oregon Grape Root (anti-inflammatory, helps with Crohns and psoriasis, anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral)
- licorice root (helps with respiratory issues, helps the lymphatic system to work better and is good for things like psoriasis, raises my low blood pressure)

Since we have auto-immune conditions in our family, we stay away from the things like elderberry and echinacea that boost the immune system even further. Everyone's body is different, though!



Food allergies, food intolerances and autoimmune disorders are the main reason I started on this road of garden to table. It’s also why I do canning. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is, to always have plenty of home canned meals on my shelf. We buy very little processed foods. I find it too risky when it comes to food allergies, so I relay on canned meals when we can’t cook or need something fast. I am also blessed with having the room for a large walk-in pantry, where I store a years worth of food.
Even though I have that, I still relay on the eternal stew, when the world grinds to a stop for a while. There is just something comforting about the smell of stew and soup.
 
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Thanks you for your response..I agree..everything influences our health, along with avoiding man made toxins..I have been researching plant toxins.. lectins, Oxylates ..and have been HAPPY to listen to new advice and experiences including my own body telling me..it does not agree with stove top legumes..( pressure cooker fix’s that)( pain, gas) does not like green peppers,, ( again digestion). Does not like heavy  dark chocolate ( gasp) pain In unmentionables…needs more raw dairy and white rice. No pain, digestive issues. This has caused me to rethink my garden choices. And I like changing so no problem.. so..a keep learning. Unfortunately most people don’t want to admit or entertain new ideas.. but here usually better. Lander Wyoming
 
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Kaarina Kreus wrote:

Jay Angler wrote:First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.
Second off - Yeah, I get tired of telling all the people who want to live alone with no support network
I'm pretty sure you self identified as an introvert !



Jay dear, it is not my choice to live alone. I simply have nobody to live with. I would gladly sacrifice a limb or two to be blessed with a partner. As I have been brutally honest in this thread, I might as well continue.  I am excruciatingly lonely. I try not to think about it, but sometimes loneliness just comes as a tsunami after you have succesfully avoided thinking about it for weeks.
You can successfully be busy with things you love, but when you sit down  you would love to share it with someone dear.
Whenever people ask me how are things going, my answer is "brilliant, great". It often is a blatant lie - could I tell anyone that I need friends, companionahip, affection?  



Kaarina - Welcome back among the living! That must have been some awful weeks. But, when you're down and out, and you have ISP service, you have lots of friends on Permies - OR - you can jump into any of the many forums and make more friends!
Just as an aside with some advice. You probably  need to improve your health more and then build up all of those old muscles to plant a BIG garden and later on saw and chop lots of wood to keep handy for winter heat. OH! And sweets are needed just to cut the monotony of the same foods over and over.

I do much the same breakfast every day. Today I pulled out a couple of slices of bread and toasted those, buttered them, then added one kind of jam on one and another kind on the 2nd piece. That was so satisfying that I can still 'taste' those this evening. The moral of this story is to make lots of different jams this summer for storage until winter. You'll get a LOT of practice in canning for the jams by preserving all of those good veggies you're going to grow!    :-)
 
pollinator
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Kelly, add to your communication category: usb rechargeable two way radios.  and have a small solar charger for them (and your cell, rechargeable batteries etc.)

I just got a set inexpensively that are good up to 16 miles.  
 
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