It Pays to be Prepared


I’d been sick all last week, so it’s a comfort that most of my posts were already prepared but some things had to change–like last week’s menu. Most lunches were soup since I had a sore throat and Greg was in charge of meals. Dinner was whatever he could muster or something I already had pre-made and could be taken out of the freezer.

The plague took me by surprise. I hadn’t felt well the Sunday before. Nothing terrible, but I felt off my game. Monday the sore throat came. Soon after I was on my back for the rest of the week.

I feel better today but I regret all the things that didn’t get done. Today was supposed to be a post about Canton Trade Days, but I was too sick to go. (Next month, I hope.) I’m behind in planting and moving dirt to the new raised bed garden boxes. I knew if I attempted anything that strenuous it would result in immediate death. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

It’s going to rain almost all week so I guess it’ll put me even further behind, but it can’t be helped. Maria must wait her turn.

baby boy, 2016
All knobby knees

The big news this week is that we have a new baby!

Pan (short for Pandora) delivered one little boy. I missed it! I’m usually aware of when birth is imminent but I’ve spent so little time outside since I’d been sick. Mom and son look good, but she’s still huge. I’ll be keeping a close eye on her to make sure she’s okay. I wish I could’ve been present for the birth just to make sure everything was normal.

This post is about being prepared though. It certainly saved my bacon last week when I was too sick to follow my usual routine.

For the blog: I’m maintaining an editorial calendar for blogging this year. My goal is to have a fair division of topics between saving money, food, and homesteading posts. I’ve kept an open document listing blog topics before but this is the first time I’ve paired them with actual dates. With posts either planned or already written it made me feel better knowing I could rest and recuperate without worrying about writing a post.

an hour old
We think he’s no more than an hour old in this photo.

The only post that had to change was this one since I couldn’t travel to Canton to do my report.

Menu planning: Even though menu planning is new for me, it’s been so useful. We don’t argue about meal choices anymore. Last week, instead of the Vietnamese noodle bowl, Greg substituted macaroni and cheese. I had lost my sense of smell during the week so there was no point in making a meal with a complicated flavor palette for someone who couldn’t taste it.

My loss of smell came in handy too. Yesterday when we went out to feed animals, Greg said he smelled skunk nearby. I smelled nothing–but I did keep my eyes open just in case he was still around.

Freezer meals: A lifesaver! With a few hours investment we can make a dozen batch meals to freeze. I take them out on days when I know I’ll be too busy to cook. It never occurred to me how useful they’d be if you got sick too.

The goats: I keep a bucket of medical supplies in case any of our critters need first aid. While I’m usually the nurse for man and beasts, I can see now I should label stuff better in case Greg has to do it in my stead.

Even though I usually prepare to make me more efficient, it was a nice bonus to have everything in place so I could cough and sneeze in peace instead of worrying about animals, husbands, or readers.

How about you? Is there anything you prepare in advance? Lunches? Blog posts? Kids?



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  1. How cute with the new arrival! Sorry to hear you were sick! Never fun to deal with illness, but glad you were a bit prepared with freezer meals, etc. I do menu planning which goes by so smoothly for the week. I just have to plan dinners due to work schedules but just getting that done and getting the things we need when out shopping is such a stress reliever.


  2. Angela Brown

    I am glad you’re feeling better.

    Congrats on the new kid. So adorable 🙂

    As for being prepared, I try to prepare a few meals on the weekend for the nigets when I come home and don’t want to cook. It helps reduce the desire to eat out as often. I also schedule my blog posts the week before at the latest so I can focus my energy during the week on edits or getting some actual new words written.

  3. Good on feeling better! And try not to be too hard on yourself – we can’t control everything. 🙂

    I usually have a few blog posts prepared in advance. I’d like to have more done, but a lot of mine are based on things I’m going through or thinking about, etc, and I can’t always/really plan that. 🙂

  4. Hope you’re on your feet soon, Maria. I get the impression you’re about as wobbly as that kid. Ref preparedness, well I have a Will made and food in the fridge. But blog posts not. And last week I came a cropper with too much to do in too little time. Never mind, I’m sure the earth didn’t tremble.

  5. What a cute little guy. Hope you’re feeling better. When the kids were little, I did more preparing ahead of time than I do now. I always have some browned hamburger and cooked chicken in the freezer to put together quick meals.

  6. JackieBCentralTexas

    Maria what a cutie and so happy to hear you are on the mend but knowing how that has worked out in the past thankful Greg is there to ease your mind and pick up the chores you would normally have to do anyway.

    When blogged every day and then only 3-4 days it was because my posts were already made out in advance and just came out on automatic schedule, some of them months of waiting before they released into the world.

    Routines are great but sometimes our best laid plans are just that, plans. 🙂

    Having a backup in place for sickness/travel/vacation day or whatever reason is good to have as it totally takes the stress off you when it needs to be for sure.

    Trade days in Canton are somewhat different now than when went way back in 90’s with my husband, hope to hear from you next month if you get the chance to go then, especially loved the animal section where they had mini-horses for petting and buying.

    • Jackie: We almost always go to “Dog Alley”. We went to the rest of Trade Days last time and you’re right. It’s changed. More crafts and less antiques and cool stuff.

      But it’s fun. Lots of people and lots of stuff to see. We always come home with sore feet.

  7. I guess it was just the week to be sick, huh? Hope you’re feeling better soon. I’m feeling TONS better, but then I didn’t have the flu (not that food poisoning is better, just quicker, I guess).

    I’m not always a good preparer. I probably should be, though.

  8. Marguerite

    I’m definitely a menu planner. With two boys and a full time job, it keeps me sane. I plan, make grocery lists, and do my best to follow. I make lots of freezer meals. Every few weeks I have what I call fill the freezer. I make large batches of our favorite foods and vacuum pack them. It’s so nice to be able to pull something out and just cook.

    • Marguerite: I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner. What a time saver it’s been. It’s a little work to get organized but it gets easier.

      You and I do a little more work than most since we grow our food as well as process it, but it’s worth it. 🙂

  9. Stacy: OMG! It let you in! It let Mike in on the first try too. Maybe it finally got tired of me approving the same people each time. I looked everywhere for someplace to permanently approve the people who were moderated, but I found zilch. Glad it finally figured it out.

  10. I’m glad you’re feeling better — I just got over a head cold and sore throat, too, and there is nothing more miserable.

    I’ve been trying to make enough when I cook something freezable for a family dinner to have at least two if not three meals for two people; this helps when I need a meal for just me and my guy. I’m hoping to build up enough freezer meals so that I can add some variety to our presently very limited two-people dinner menu.

    I usually have one or two weeks’ worth of blog posts written in advance and scheduled to automatically publish. I like having that bumper in case I need to escape the internet for a few days. 🙂

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