Guess what didn’t happen?


We stayed home.

With my concerns about the drive, my older daughter was willing to take time off from working on commissions to go with me. Her sister is my back up driver, who would be able to take my mother’s car to come get me, if it ever came to that, so she had to stay home.

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I had gone ahead to start the van and give it time to warm up. The first time I started it, it immediately stalled. It started again, and I could hear the fan and belts screaming from being so frozen, and the idle was way too high.

It’s just cold. It’s entirely possible that, if I just left it running for a few minutes, the engine would have warmed itself up and been just fine.

Memories of a rental car’s engine block cracking from the cold, many years ago, were enough to convince me not to push our luck.

My daughter barely had time to get out of the house by the time I was closing up the garage again.

At least we have a garage! It may be completely insulated, but at least the vehicles are getting hit by the winds and snow; just the temperatures. Even when we were living in the city, we just had an outdoor parking spot, and our old home has been hit with the same bitter cold we have.

Which means it will be at least a week before we can do any sort of major shopping. I should be able to take my mother’s car (which has a battery warmer and trickle charger, as well as a block heater, and that part of the garage does actually have a bit of insulation) to the post office/general store. We can at least get some basic groceries, cat food and (I think) litter, if we need to.

For now, my younger daughter and I have been doing some bread baking, and I whipped up some mayonnaise. Making mayonnaise is easy, but it takes a lot of oil. Thankfully, the last time I picked up a few groceries, I did get a large jug of basic cooking oil, so we’ve got plenty.

All this, because our van started acting up and needed repairs at a time when we should have been using it to stock up! Frustrating, but our habit of stocking up in general means that we will manage okay, even if we do run out of a few things. It’ll be inconvenient, but we’ll be okay.

The Re-Farmer

8 thoughts on “Guess what didn’t happen?

      • For us, it’s not so much that it’s hard to find good beef, but that it has become so expensive. A family pack of stew meat I used to be able to get for under $20, now typically costs over $30.

        There is no shortage of cows. The meat processing plants have either shut down, or have hardly any staff. The farmers are stuck with beef they can’t sell, because no one can process them.

        I’m hoping to find someone I can do a cow share with to buy directly from one of the local farms. I hear the small abattoirs are booked solid for months, though I don’t know about local ones. Most of the beef farmers here butcher their own meat, though, so maybe I can cut a deal of some kind.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a solid plan.

        My experience is that everyone is holding onto meat longer than they should, and using tricks like Nitrogen and food coloring to keep it superficially fresh looking longer. You’ll probably recall my blog posts about it being epidemic in California even before the epidemic. 😛 Turns out it’s common here also nowadays. We even got steaks at a high end butcher and had them turning brown the next day. >_<

        Shipping is part of the issue also BTW. My other half went to work (temp job) at the HQ of a chicken company. They had a backlog of orders to ship, but couldn't get trucks to pick them up. There was a reported shortage of truckers before the pandemic, and apparently it's only gotten worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do remember that post of yours.

        For the most part, the fake fresh thing is not an issue, here. Costco butchers the meat on sight; you can watch them through the glass. Many of the bigger grocery stores in the city have on site butchers. Their displays often include cuts you would normally not find, because of that (like whole pig heads; something you would typically find only in specialty stores), or otherwise specialize on items they can do, only because they butcher on site. It’s much appreciated. Small towns can’t match it. Ironic, that you’re more likely to find fresh meat in the city than in a small town surrounded by beef farms!

        And yeah, I remember we had a shortage of truckers before, too. Meanwhile, when the numbers go up, truckers often get blamed for it, or anyone with an out of province license plate. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    • I remember when that sort of thing was encouraged as basic emergency preparedness. Then there was this big thing about mocking “preppers” for being paranoid. I just didn’t understand why.

      Now, I guess the “preppers” have been vindicated! LOL

      Liked by 2 people

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