Testing the Survival Food

Surviving Tough Times . . .

I live in California.  

To many people that automatically translates as “earthquake” country!   

And yes, most of my life has been spent in the thick of the San Andreas Fault which cuts across California to form the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates. 

Eighteen years ago when I moved away from the Bay Area to the Central Valley where the cows and the almond trees play, I celebrated! 

You see, I remembered the horrible damage done by the Loma Prieta quake in 1989.  If it were not for God’s grace, I would most likely have been in the thick of some of that mess.  My car could have been among those traveling on the portion of the Cypress freeway which collapsed.  However, about three hours earlier I felt led to cancel the ATM training I was supposed to do later that evening in San Francisco.

Back to my celebration for sharing space with agriculture and the California Delta.  Everything was wonderful until one afternoon our house was slammed by the tail end of a quake which was much farther reaching than we ever expected.

In about the same space of time, came some fierce flooding. Summer fires in the Northern part of the state had wiped out tons of previously forested land.  Strong winter rains sloshed the naked hillsides sending debris and mud barreling into the rivers and streams.  By the time that muck reached Central Valley levees and the waterways of the Delta, the strain was too much.  Water and mire pushed through the weak levees destroying homes, businesses, roads and farmland.   Everything was affected, power and water included. Our water was obtained from an aquafor which was now contaminated.   Power and water service was interrupted and with certain highways closed, stores were unable to receive deliveries.

That made me sit up and take notice. We were not prepared …..for anything.

Little by little we began accumulating some long-term storage foods. We educated ourselves and built up an emergency pantry with personal care items and small medical supplies.  

This arsenal functioned well and I drew from it regularly to compile bags for needy moms and the homeless. 

Without warning, last Christmas, my husband suffered a work injury to his back and neck which severely affected the use of his shoulder, arm and fingers.  He could not work. Our budget went from  flexible to full on ” squeeze-mode!”  It remained that way all year.

Although we had already been experimenting with and incorporating some of these storage foods  ( so that I would know how to handle them in the event of an emergency)  my mom suggested that we go ahead and put those survival foods to good use.

Freeze dried foods seemed to have quite an edge compared with dehydrated foods.  With a much more extensive shelf life, we learned that prep times and handling were also different.

Combined with some of the veggies we grew, along with others we purchased from farmer’s markets, we have been able to keep going for the past many months!

So, while many of those types of foods may not be the absolute best in terms of nutrition or taste, I can honestly say that we welcomed the learning curve.  There were a few faux-pas, but we successfully succeeded incorporating them into a number of palatable dishes that served to feed our bodies!   I had to pat myself on the back!

During this “training” process, my take-aways were huge!  One in particular was that God often supplies for us in ways we had not initially considered.  It helps to be open and to be willing. 

An added perk was that we managed to train ourselves to have considerably less picky palates …and we can make do with and a lot less meat! 

One last thought.  As God spoke to my heart about blessings, He let me know that His kids could have a lot more in the way of blessings if they were less picky about the source or sources that He chooses to use to provide the blessing.

The Word informs us that it is the person who is willing and obedient who will eat the good of the land. 

I get it.   

While enjoying the challenges of the journey,  not only did we survive, but we thrived under God’s loving care and direction!

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”


I Woke Up Early Morning !!
“Woke up early morning,
I gotta thank my God!
I don’t know, and I can’t tell,
But today seems kinda odd.

Whatever it is that I can’t see
I trust that He will take care of me

Woke up early morning
I have GOT to say,
“Spirit, soul and body,
It’s gonna be a GOOD day!”

Wherever I go, whatever I do
I will make sure to say “Thank You!”

Woke up early morning…….

( Thank GOD I woke up! LOL!)
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

Feeling Abused?



“Watch out, here she comes!”
“Give her Decaf” someone else instructed me , forcefully.
“Why, what’s going on?”  I demanded, looking around, puzzled.
“You’ll see…” another chimed in.
“Shoot, it’s her!” – – I hear from somewhere else as I turned back to the drive-thru window

She drove to the pickup window in a shiny, new SUV sporting an expensive manicure and tons of pristine jewelry.
“That will be $2.55”, I chimed, smiling brightly.
She smacked two one-dollar bills in my palm and then pretty much threw the 55 cents at me with a smirk. The change missed my hand landed with a ‘ca-chink-chink’ on the pavement outside my window.
It was obvious that it wasn’t my fault. 
Most people apologize when something like this happens, and they open their car door to retrieve the lost coins. 
Not her!
I hadn’t given her the coffee yet, but I still needed the 55 cents, so, I asked if she would mind retrieving it. She just looked at me and said nothing.
I was a little confused.  After all, SHE did order the coffee and SHE was the ONE who threw the money at me causing it to fall on the sidewalk.  Did she want her coffee or not?
I spoke again, carefully choosing my words and tone of voice.
“Would you mind…”    Her eyes didn’t allow me to finish.
Still she said nothing, but snorted and with a nod of her head, her eyes indicating where I could get the rest of the money if I wanted it.  Of course she nodded toward the pavement.  Was it worth getting my manager involved?  I checked the long line behind her.  No, I guess not!
She would be just the type who would make a big stink – over nothing!
I sucked up my pride, thanked her, gave her the coffee and quickly closed the window and turned away before I exploded.
She tore out of the line and that was that!  I put the 55 cents in the till from my own pocket.
I had to measure and check my boiling point.  After all, I was the one they chose to open the new test store at the mall, and I didn’t want my manager to regret the recommendation.
“See what we meant?”  several team members snorted!
“Yeah,”  I sighed softly…..   “People like that really need help!”
As I was teaching my dental assisting class last week, we began reviewing Patient’s Rights.
The students were surprised to learn that no matter how a patient chooses to act, they still have a right to good dental care.  If it’s an issue of non-compliance over time, or downright hostility, those are other issues entirely!
Dealing with the public can be tricky.   We began to discuss ways to hand the patient back his or her problem. 
This is when my student relayed her story about manning the drive through at a well-known coffee place.   She knew that there was no way to force the drive-through patron to comply, so the only thing she could do was to change HER response.
We talked about our reactions to people.  After all, we do not know what may have happened to them prior to their dental appointment, or what they might be dealing with at that moment.
I related an instance where one, quite elderly female patient arrived late and proceeded to be crabby and short with the dental assistants.  They remained calm and sweet.  She ultimately broke down and revealed she was getting her dental work done so that she would look nice in her casket.  Riddled with cancer, she knew her time her was short.
She cried when an assistant took her hand and prayed with her.   You just never know……
Our response to any given moment or situation is our choice.  God has given His kids tough skin, and the bottom line is that WE certainly cannot take afford to take LIFE, or the stuff it throws at us, personally.  
So let’s go ahead and set aside the sin which so easily besets us.  That’s it.  A conscious effort.  Shove that flesh and its useless reactions aside to make way for the Spirit.  We can choose to let The Peace that passes all understanding rule our minds and hearts, in Christ Jesus.
It’s no sweat!  Just put the 55 cents in the till and trust God to more than make it up to you.  Let The Greater One who lives in you, energize you from within.
And while you’re at it?
Pray for the abusers.  They haven’t a clue…

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

The Cleverest of Kings