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Monday, March 16, 2020

Be Resourceful

In these challenging weeks to come, I have realized that I'll need to be more resourceful than usual.

Here's an example. My daughters' birthday is tomorrow. As we are not going out for any sort of celebration until after this virus has lessened in my community (could be many, many weeks), I told each daughter to choose 1 meal on Tuesday, and I would prepare it. So, one daughter chose a cook-out, complete with s'mores. S'mores require marshmallows (check), chocolate (check), and graham crackers (not checked).

To ensure this daughter has her s'mores, I dug out my recipe for graham crackers and made a batch over the weekend. Here's how they turned out. 

I snatched one, you know -- for quality control. These are good! And they're part whole grain and egg-free. 

What ways are you finding to be resourceful these days?

By not going out to a store just to buy graham crackers for this cook-out, not only did I not risk exposure to a virus that could sicken me or any of my household members, but I also prevented an instance where I could become a mode of transmission for COVID-19. I am treating this as not just self-preservation, but looking out for someone whose health might be more fragile than my own. 

Great challenges produce great faith.


  1. Hi, Lili-- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the tulip photo!

    I think that the other thing you accomplished by not going out to buy graham crackers is being part of the throng of folks at the stores. Not sure if the craziness is the same anymore in Washington, since you've been under siege several weeks; but my goodness, things seem to be getting nuts in a lot of the rest of the country, now. One of the things I've always valued about keeping a well-stocked home food storage is that I don't have to be part of the problem when stores are packed for holiday, weather, or other busy times. I'm so thankful that I don't NEED to shop for a while.

    DH did pick up some fresh food from a small local independent market yesterday, after seeing a line out the door/parking lot 10 minutes before opening at our normal city grocery store. We're happy to give our business to the smaller grocer, and except for a couple of reasonable limits on quantities and a few empty shelves, they weren't in too bad shape. DS 1 and 2 have gotten some groceries within the past week, too, and the panic isn't as bad yet in their areas - but DS 1 has limited fridge/freezer/pantry room, so always has less of a buffer. We worry some about him, though he's very responsible and forward-thinking. I'm considering a care package, perhaps, just to give him more of a buffer.

    I smiled when I saw your morning's post, because my project for the day is to do a complete inventory of my stores, and come up with a semi-ration plan, like YHF's. (Hi, YHF!) I have plenty of ingredients in the house to feed me and DH, when he's home, for quite a while, thank the Lord; but I think that now is a good time to make a specific plan for rotation of dishes and best use of ingredients I have less of -- especially the fresh ones. I was saying to DH, and will remind DS 1 and 2, that now is the time to watch best-by dates carefully on fresh food. I already made the mistake of opening the gallon of milk DH bought, which is best by March 29. Milk always seems to go bad faster once you open it, and I should have waited to open it until a time he'd be home more. Maybe I'll freeze some in small amounts for him to use when he's home, or I'll make something out of it that I can freeze for later use. Maybe I'll do his favorite ice milk, so he'll have that for a treat.

    Well, anyway, as often, you and I are on the same page. :) The graham crackers look WONDERFUL. I love graham crackers, and I've heard that home-made are a hundred times better than store-bought. I hope that all the birthday festivities are great. Don't you think that, times like these, you appreciate a simple time together with family much more (not that you or I don't, normally). DH and I are definitely in "emergency mode" now, but we enjoyed spending the day together doing outdoor work on our property and sharing our simple meals.

    Take care, everybody!!! Sara

  2. I agree with Sara, the tulip picture made me smile. Are they blooming now for you?

    I did go to Meijer this morning as I had to pick up 2 prescriptions, anyway. I got my shopping done before the pharmacy opened and the store was still pretty quiet. We were pretty well stocked but I added more to top things off--flour, carrots, sugar (hey, gotta keep up our strength and spirits, right?) and so on. Toilet paper supplies are almost decimated but I'm in good shape there. My cashier (who I see weekly so I feel like she's becoming a friend) said she has had to put in a lot of extra hours the past few days. There are certain populations who are being stretched to the utmost (grocery store employees, pharmacies, etc.) and then others are grounded at home--both scenarios are stressful, in very different ways.

    New starting today, hospital workers have to complete a survey prior to each working shift. The governor has ordered all restaurants/bars to close to in-facility service--take-out and drive-through is still allowed. I'm becoming daily more grateful for our governor--she has proven herself to be very forward-thinking in keeping us safe and slowing the spread of COVID.

    Saturday my mom's assisted living starting restricting all visitors. I'm relieved about that (the staff is supposed to care for her cat, which makes me a little nervous!) as she and others in her facility are the most vulnerable to this. I'm going to call and see if they will allow my kids and me to wave at her outside her window to cheer her up. :)

    I'm not sure I'll ever be as resourceful as you are, Lili, but I'm trying to do things to keep up my family's spirits. I like your daughter's birthday request!

  3. I had forgotten that your girls birthdays are so close to mine (this Sunday)! A cook out sounds like a lot of fun. I hope the weather cooperates. The graham crackers you made look delicious. I'd love to try one. :)


    Stay well.

  4. Well here in PA the virus has hit and all restaurants, bars, and non-essential business are asked to close except for take-out. If it wasn't so unbelievable I would just stay in bed. My daughter's bridal shower was suppose to be on Sunday and the wedding on April 18. Our diocese has stopped all day and Sunday church services and since no gathering of more than 30 people the wedding is off too. My daughter is taking it well but I am heartbroken for her.

    1. I'm so sorry about your daughter's wedding Cheryl. I'm praying this is over and things are back to normal soon.


  5. Thank you for the beautiful tulips, Lili!
    Your graham crackers look terrific. Happy Birthday to your lovely daughters, and to Angie in the above comment,as well!
    If worse comes to worst, I may have to try a gluten free oat bread recipe I've found that doesn't include gum ingredients, which I can't tolerate. If that bombs, I can always make oat flour tortillas (or corn flour if I can get some).
    Our area of the state has 0 virus cases, thank God. But we need to be prepared for anything.
    I'm reminding myself of the words of Jesus: "take heart! I have overcome the world."
    Jo Ann

    1. Jo Ann, thanks! I'm trying to think of what to do to celebrate now that Ohio is closed. We were going out to eat, which we do rarely, so I was looking forward to it. Oh, well I just pray we all keep our jobs and stay healthy.


  6. Cheryl, I am so sorry about your daughter's wedding. Such a big disappointment. I'm sending you a virtual hug since I think those are still safe to give.

  7. Hi Sara,
    I think you're right on that point -- by making my own I wasn't contributing to the mess in the stores. From all local news reports, yes, our stores are still mobbed on a daily basis. Stores are hiring as they need more people to continuously restock shelves. On the down side of all of that, a local favorite food store chain announced they have an employee who tested positive. And I'm sure there will be more of that as this virus continues to permeate the communities.

    I'm doing something similar to yours and YHF's plan, thinking through how to make all of our supplies last evenly. So, I've had to mention to other family members that some items are in more limited supply than others, and to limit use. Even my homemade laundry soap is seeing changes now. I'm making it thinner/stretching with water, to preserve our hand soap supply s long as possible. So, instead we're washing in hot water more often. I'd rather have some stained clothing than not enough soap for washing hands. With some items, like eggs, I have told family members how many they are allowed each week for meals/snacks they make for themselves. This is what we'll have to do, though.

    The homemade graham crackers are delicious. They're different from homemade, but good in their own way.
    Have a great day, Sara!

  8. Angie, can you get carryout or delivery? I heard on the news that a lot of places are confining restaurants to drive-thru, carry out or delivery options.
    Jo Ann

  9. Thank you ladies. At this point she just wants to get married.

  10. I love the tulips too, such a beautiful picture!!

    We have our first known case of community spread on our island. I think the virus has been spreading for awhile, but getting tested if you did not meet testing guidelines was a barrier that is now lifted. We went through our pantry shelves and realized we probably need to buy more soon. I'm thinking about ordering online and having it shipped. I think eventually grocery stores may not be open, if the situation becomes critical and lockdowns are ordered. I wish I bought more than 2 months supply. Last night we sneaked in an order of 2 pineapples that grandson will buy for us. We have a care box for him, so we will meet him today, but take care to keep our social distance. He made a Costco run, and we advised him to buy multivitamins for himself. If there was ever a time for vitamins, I think this is it.

    And I think our war with CoVid19 will bring us closer in spirit and reunite our country as we each help our fellow citizens. We will see our humanity first, and everything else second. We will see businesses forgo profits to save lives. We will unite globally too. This is a once in a lifetime event, where the enemy is not our fellow man, but a foreign "alien" invader which this virus is. It will be over one day, and when that happens I hope we will not forget what we have learned about our common goods and be changed forever.

    Hi Sara, and everyone, stay safe,

  11. Hi Jo Ann.

    We live in a rural area, so delivery is out. We could carry-out, but things would need to be reheated once we were home. I think I'll start figuring out what to make at home. That will be the easiest.


  12. Hi Kris,
    The tulip photo is from a couple of years ago at Easter. Soon, I'm hoping.

    Your area sounds much like ours for what measures are being taken right now. All of these restrictions are to keep us safe, so I'm very glad for them. I think "visiting" your mom through a window would be very cheering for her during these times. Does she have a phone that you could use to talk with her at the same time? That's what I've seen people doing at the nursing homes in my area.

    You're right about the grocery store staffs. Ours are now hiring to keep shelves stocked and not overwork their current staff. I also worry for their safety, dealing with so many customers daily with just a 2 to 3-foot separation between themselves and the customer.

    Stay safe and well, Kris.

  13. Hi Angie,
    Oh, happy birthday in advance!!!
    We're going to do the cook-out at noon, when the sun is direct on the patio and the tea indoors in the late afternoon/early evening. It's sunny today and should be in the low 50s, so good-enough.
    Have a lovely day, Angie!

  14. Hi Cheryl,
    I'm so sorry for you and your daughter that her wedding plans had to be canceled. That must be such a disappointment. Could she plan a big reception/celebration for summer? That's such a disappointment for you both.
    Sending hugs ((( )))

    1. She will get married as soon as possible but has decided a small reception hopefully this summer. Going to save their money to buy a house. She took it better than I thought but she said you can't change things, just move on.

  15. Hi Jo Ann,
    thank you for the reminder of Jesus's promise to us.

    Can you eat eggs? When I had to go on an elimination diet, I made rice flour pancakes as my bread for a couple of months and they were pretty good. This was years ago, when rice flour was hard to find in stores and very expensive, so I made my own with brown rice in my blender. I made almond milk (since I couldn't have dairy during this time either), and mixed the coarse rice flour with almond milk, egg, baking powder, salt, oil, and a pinch of sugar. They were really pretty good and would keep for about 3 days (I made a batch twice a week). I used them just like slices of bread, spread with peanut butter for sandwiches and the like. Oat flour would also work well in a pancake, and would be easier to make, I'd think. I sometimes make oat scones, using homemade oat flour -- also good.
    Good luck with this, Jo Ann. I hope your area continues to see non or few cases.

  16. Hi YHF,
    Yes, do delivery. In our area, you can do instacart and the first delivery is free (still charge a service fee and tip, though), or shipt (Target does shipt in our area). Both are grocery shopper services. Shipt has a 4-week free trial going on, otherwise I think it's about $10 for each delivery. And there's always Amazon for many non-perishables. What I've seen, I don't think grocery stores will close altogether. If things get really, really bad, we could see limitations on days we're allowed to shop and how many people are allowed into the store at one time (already seeing that). For the most part, I think that our nations food stock is good right now. Stores are just having a hard time keeping up with demand. Eventually, every one's pantries will be saturated and there will be less demand, is what I'm guessing. Like how many packages of ramen does a family really want to have on hand? The big issue is really exposure to the virus. So, if you do take an order, have it delivered to your garage/carport, wear gloves, stand 10 feet from delivery person, and wipe down every single package with disinfectant/bleach wipe. Put perishables into refrigeration/freezer as needed, but leave the rest to just sit for a couple of days before touching again. Then, wash/rinse everything you can just before using.

    We'll get through this. Each day that passes is one day closer to the end of all of this. Stay safe and well, YHF.

  17. Thank you,Lili, for that info. I never heard of Shipt before. I was thinking of making a Target Red card free delivery order. I don't know if groceries would be sold that way. I will dedicate a day to making an order later this week.


  18. Hi Cheryl,
    your daughter has a very mature outlook on this situation. I wish her well in her new married life!


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