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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Do you use the "Notify Me" option when an item you need is out of stock?

For those of us shopping online right now, a significant frustration has erupted everywhere. You go to a website that you assume "has it all," only to find out that they did "have it all" but now no longer have any.

Many retail websites offer a notification service to their shoppers. When a desired item comes back in stock, the website will send out a quick email to alert a customer of new stock. The box to select this option is often found alongside the "out of stock" notice for the item. You fill in your email and wait to be notified. (You might want to check your spam folder every day, too, just in case.)

In addition to email notification, some websites are also posting what date they expect new stock to arrive. Savvy customers can jot this date down in their calendar, then on that date, check the website for stock of that item. 

There's a lot of competition for some items right now, so it is best to respond to an alert email or check a website on a specified restock-date as quickly as you can.

I'm using these two strategies to fill out my supplies as I run low going into month 2. I wanted you to know this in case you're encountering the same frustration of those out-of-stock necessities online.

Good luck to you as you search for those items that you are most needing right now!


  1. Thank you for the tip, I didn't know that. I've been checking Wal-Mart's app for the Great Value lentils which we use for sprouting, and it is always out of stock.

    Just my opinion, despite being reassured there should be no food shortages, I am worried there might be. There are several reasons why this may happen, and a miracle if it doesn't happen. Just like our approach to winning the war on the virus, dealing with food scarcity will take everyone to conserve. Instead of hoarding, we need to ration our consumption.

    Locally, yesterday, our Lt Governor who is a medical doctor advised everyone leaving the house to wear a homemade mask. I'm glad he made that announcement, because that encourages mask wearing. We all know a homemade mask is not virus proof, therefore must still keep 6 ft distancing, but it will reduce the spread of asymptomatic individuals and will protect ourselves from the unexpected sneeze, cough, or shouting that occurs unexpectedly. There the virus can be aerosol in my opinion. There aren't many scientific evidence for this novel virus yet, so my approach is to view the outlier, anecdotal cases seriously, and treat it as worst case facts. In a real time pandemic, we need to overreact to get ahead of the spread.

    I'm always too cautious and negative, because I don't like surprises, I like calm. Despite my best efforts, I may still succumb. Last night, I couldn't fall asleep again, making masks all day and hearing the growing toll in our state and country made me sick and very anxious. I think the gruesome reality hit home, and I made peace in my soul that I may be a victim as well. We don't know how this virus will play out. I can see the possibility of a very dark worst case, and a very good best case, as experts always say, it is probably somewhere in between. I think to fight this pandemic, we will need global cooperation and unity in order to see a best case.

    Be safe,

  2. Hi YHF,
    here's the link to types of fabric and how much is transmitted through each. I thought it was a very helpful discussion.

    I agree. I think that while the virus is so prevalent, we all should be wearing masks when/if going out. Knowing the dire toll this virus is likely to take, I think we should do everything possible to prevent transmission. We won't be able to save every life, but if everyone tried to follow all suggestions, as much as is possible, many lives could be spared. Wearing masks in an outbreak is just one of the ways we will change as a nation, I think. We're globalized and need to adapt to what that entails.

    Try to take a break from the news at the end of the day, and do something or watch something that is immersive. The news will be there the next morning. Your sleep is essential to staying well for yourself. I know, easy to say, hard to do. With myself, I can feel the heavy weight from hearing news just crush my spirit. It seems like such an impossible thing to not be able to do something to stop this oncoming train. I rely on my faith as much as I can. But also, I try to do the things that are in my control, like starting seeds for my garden or using up leftovers or making food items stretch.

    As for food shortages -- there may be blips in the supply chain, but overall, I think in the US and Canada, there is enough food for all. This may change how much food Americans waste each year and maybe we'll all be more mindful in our eating. I worry more for the less developed countries, which may not have large back-up food supplies. Keeping a vegetable garden will ensure you and I have variety in our diets, and will take stress off of the supply.

    I saw a story on the news yesterday that was uplifting. A woman was sewing lots of masks and putting them in a container on the sidewalk in front of her home for anyone to take. There are little acts of kindness coming out of this virus that will bring comfort to people in dark times.

    I hope today is a calm day for you, YHF. When you get a chance, send me a photo of one of your masks. I'd love to see how they're turning out.

  3. Thank you so much, Lili, for your kind words. It helps to hear someone say to get more sleep. I think i had to prepare not only for my physical needs, but also come to terms with my emotions. We need to care for ourselves that way too and I'm glad you have your spirituality.

    I appreciate the info on fabric permeability and will sit down later today to make some changes to my original thought process. Layering the fabrics is important. I watched a video that explained a doctor requesting homemade masks sewn with 4 layers of cotton over 2 layers. The N95 is 10 compressed layers, if I understand correctly.

    I intend to keep sewing masks with my spare time, and eventually give them to others once I'm sure it is a good mask. I don't have a way of knowing how good the protection is, so that's why I wanted to make a gusset to hold a nonwoven barrier. That's to remind them to choose their "weapon", and without it, it is less safe. But the extra layers, beyond 4, makes the mask very hot and heavy. I sent pics, I am curious to know your thoughts.


  4. Very good article, thanks!! Interesting that cotton t-shirts and pillowcases are the recommended fabrics for breathability and that factor compensates for the lower effectiveness. I heard that before too, and couldn't understand why. Maybe the tight weave in tea towels, so I thought what about twill fabric or lightweight denim? Interesting that 2 layers of tea towel did so much better than 2 layers of cotton fabrics.

    For the ties, I ran out of twill tape and didn't want to sew my own ties from bias strips. I found the perfect solution. Old polyester knit fabrics, cut 1/2 inch strips, no sewing needed. I have a lot of those from the 70s and 80s.

    Are you planning to sew masks too? I'm keeping extras in the car, just in case the need arises.


  5. Hi YHF,
    Yes, I'll be looking at different styles and my fabric stash, as it sounds like masks will be recommended if we need to go out. My husband will eventually need to return to his office and he commutes by bus/waits at bus stops, etc.
    On last night's news, they were recommending microfiber cloth as the eternal layer, as it would trap particles better than all-cotton, but an all-cotton inside for comfort.
    Thanks for sending me photos and descriptions of yours. They were very helpful to see.

  6. Yes, I've read too that the outer layer should be waterproof. That's what encouraged me to try fusible polyweb as an interfacing. I'm glad to hear that microfiber is recommended since I was thinking along that same line, and in fact, made my first prototype mask using a remnant from a microfiber sheet (leftover from sewing a pillowcase for a large body pillow). As a side note, I assume when the article says "pillowcase" they mean sheets too lol. Also from the article, I am surprised how well cotton t-shirts did. Seems to be that the fluff in knits and tea towels add a "layer" of protection. I don't know much about microfiber cloth construction, but if you examine the fabric closely, the warp and weft yarns are not twined at all, so there again is my so called fluff theory as to why it may be superior.

    Also want to add to my earlier mention about using polyester knit fabric as ties, obviously cut along the length of the fabric not across the width. Don't want the stretch in ties. Some have suggested using t-shirt yarn as ties, but that results in too much stretch and coiling IMHO, whereas the polyester knit lays flat with minimum stretch.

    Yikes, hope your husband stays safe in the bus. I think a mandatory mask order would be helpful to keep everyone safe. For one, it reminds us all to keep our distance, rather than forget by standing too close. As we drove out yesterday to our son's house to deliver their masks, I noticed the serious unfriendliness of mask wearers as opposed to the casual friendliness of non mask wearers. Like wearing a uniform, it affects perception and demeanor.



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