Friday, February 20, 2009

Survivalist mindset

I've been noticing that collective bit of panic these days around the ol internet. The back to basics, need for stockpiling and basically getting back to frugality as a lifestlye. I feel thankful often about my personal situation and what it has taught me. Many things have brought us to our ( somewhat forced) frugal lifestyle. Having two kiddos with special needs/ special dietary concerns has been a huge force for needing to learn different ways of being and living. We simplified everything in order to live a more peaceful life. We moved away from the city so that we could afford to rent a place with a space for a garden at least... and so that we wouldnt have to share a home when we had an extremely high needs baby who cried seemingly ALL of the time! The neighbour thumping on the floor every time my son cried added a huge element of stress to an already stressful situation! The potentially negative part of living outside of the city centers can often mean that jobs are lower paying ( as costs of rent can be!) and few and far between.

When we realised the extent of our dietary limitations we very quickly had to learn how to be very resourceful. In the most dire situations we knew that we couldn't rely on the foodbank to save our arses if we got to that point. ( gluten free or allergy specific goodies are hard to come by at the food banks if you need any ideas of what would be useful for them by the way!) I quickly learned how to survive off of a 150 dollar a month budget for food and was just as quick to find everything I could in terms of wild edibles. By the time we had two super sweet and high needs boys we just knew that homelearning was just going to be the right option for us. My own guilt about not providing a paycheque to the household led me to make it worthwhile to my family... trying to even it all out in the savings I made around the house! I have had to become very very creative and resourceful. I am so thankful for this. We have had to accept and ask for help along the way though... from strangers even ( what an amazing experience that is, let me tell you!) It isn't always easy. I definitely feel like I am coming out of it all with more confidence in my own abilities, a happy and healthy family and a in an awesome community. I think that I have a lot of skill and knowledge to offer.

What was making me think of this was that, if the shit goes down in some manner, I feel inadvertantly prepared. There are a few things that I would love to have around like a grain mill say... because again, it isn't easy to get things like flour that isn't contaminated with gluten. I couldn't just take it to the local lady that grinds grain because the equipment is contaminated. I can't imagine feeding my kiddos gluten no matter how hungry we are because it just renders us pretty sick and useless.

Anyhow, I feel a little less scared and a little bit more empowed than I did 5 years ago.

My papa sent me a big bag of Chilis from the big city the other day. I can't get them easily up here as they are super expensive. Many spice mixes and ground spices have gluten contamination so I like to make my own from whole spices. I called my foodie dad to see if he had a source of ancho chilis... he gets tittilated to be sent on this sort of mission and sent me a bag with 3 different types of chilis. I will need to do some research to find out how to use them! Yumm yum. Spent a chunk of the afternoon roasting and grinding spices and it looks and smells fantastic!

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