Life, Motherhood

Anxiety Has Many Faces

Anxiety is nothing new by far. It just lingers around waiting for its moment to shine. It hangs over my head for its chance to jump in and take hold of my life. It has many faces, none of which are the same as the other. Ironically it wears different masks hiding its true identity. Lately I like many others have experienced anxiety. Where does anxiety lurk and hide? Well it is practically invisible and attacks when least expected. For me my anxiety it sneaks up when I am trying to get to sleep and feel nothing but worry about my infant child at night especially or worry about things that are not likely to happen but what if always hangs stalling. I used to be able to just go to sleep so easily and never really had this much of an issue with insomnia until now. My anxiety is an old friend who I thought I had left behind in this race of life of what ending is unknown.

Anxiety is not discriminatory it doesn’t care who you are or where you come from it happens to everyone even if you don’t meet face to face. Anxiety has many friends that often tag along to join in on the fun that it has with all of the emotions that a person gives out into the world. Some days I feel like I am on display for all of these different types of anxiety to pick on and have at. A free for all and it tries on all of its different masks on me. Trying to find the best fit. I feel helpless and stuck.

Who are anxiety’s friends, have I met them?

I am no stranger to those groupies who follow anxiety wherever it may go. They revel in the spot light and will make sure to fill in the gaps of a person’s emotions to better fit there agendas. Anxiety often travels with depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, the feelings of feeling less than, worry, panic, anger, and sadness. Most of which I have experienced first hand and don’t wish those feeling upon anyone. If you do find yourself masked with anxiety or one of its many other masks know that you are not alone. Alone is what they intend to make you feel like they want to self isolate you so that you feel like nothing can make things better and that you will just be stuck forever. When a person is alone it makes the process of cutting that person down and making them feel less than until they actually believe it in their own minds a reality. Anxiety and it’s other masked friends brainwash you they set in worry little by little creating a fear that paralyzes a person it beats that person down to a new level where they feel a variety of feelings all meant to cause a person to feel like they are not themselves and are losing their minds little by little until they do.

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety and it’s cloaked friends live in the shadows of our minds and only come out to play with our emotions when they see fit. We all have a different way to show that we are going through anxiety or it’s other cloaked friends the infection isn’t always going to look the same for all the different types of people in the world. My anxiety, depression, worry, fear, less than feelings, & stress are different than yours. My anxiety makes it hard for me to sleep but other times I may have a hard time enjoying the stuff I want to enjoy like time for myself. Depression for me is silent usually I don’t cause a ruckus and there is no kicking and screaming it just eats away at me in silent lunges. I get beaten down in my mind and as the sadness takes over the tears pool into a puddle inside and out I feel worthless but no one would know it as I always put on that smile. A half cranked smile forced and at the ready to put on a show for the world because they don’t need to feel what I feel. I am too stubborn I don’t need any help out of this place I’m trapped in it’s not so bad once you get used to it. My feelings aren’t worth being cared about by anyone else but me they are after all my burdens to bare. They weigh me down and as I feel chained down to the ground hunching me over breaking my strength little by little I somehow must still stand tall as if nothing has changed because my pain is invisible. To the outside world it doesn’t exist. To me it exists they all exist they all wear their different masks. Stress lately has had me stretched out to the limit I can feel it’s toll that it has taken on my body. Reminds me of the medieval times the torture devices that stretch the body to its literal breaking point is how I feel sometimes with my stress. The feeling of less than will set in next as if the anxious worry and fear wasn’t enough nor was the depression induced sadness. Then put some stress on the woman… surely that’s enough right? Wrong because anxiety has many faces and so does the rest!

How can you make it better? Is it even possible to feel normal again?

Even though most days feel never ending and that the mask i am wearing the mask that has auctioned itself to me is never coming off it somehow does. Anxiety and all that follows it have that end goal of isolation to make their victims feel alone; I aim to make sure I am not alone even if most of the time I am not physically alone. I have to make sure that I talk to someone anyone who will listen. Talking helps so much more than your mind will let you think that it does. You have to push yourself to escape that box you are in even if it doesn’t seem possible. All that the cloaked box holds is sadness and loneliness. It is a lie. If you let it control you with out fighting you might end up in a real life or death type of situation that can be fatal for you or even others who try to intervene at that point. I’m not saying it is easy because it is far from easy you are literally fighting yourself. Your mind, to be more specific . You are fighting a brain that thinks and plots and twists everything in order to win then on top of that you are attempting to win using can you take a guess what you are using? Your brain! The same one you are fighting against to win what seems to be an unbeatable enemy. It’s okay to ask for help because it is hard but doable. Ask for help, talk to someone! People may not talk to you because they cannot see what is happening to you the feeling you are feeling is invisible on the outside sometimes. When I feel like I am sliding down into a place where I don’t think it is possible to get back out of I know I need to talk to someone I need to get it all out and expel those emotions. I have gotten down to my breaking point to the actual point where I break, what happened? I sank and just kept sinking down further from the surface and that’s exactly what it felt like. It felt like drowning in my mind; eating wasn’t important at that point, talking wasn’t necessary, doing anything was pointless, because why was it worth it. How did I escape my waterless prison in the depths of my mind? I made a choice that I could either die at some point what would have been a horrible way to go, I could be sent to some sort of mental institution and live what was left of my life I gave up on, or I could fight back little by little and piece myself back together. I chose to try again because I believed that there was more to my life that I needed to experience still. Now I’m here sharing it with you. I make it a point not to get to that point ever again; I push myself and reach out to someone anyone who will listen.

Don’t let those masks those cloaked downers get ahold of you forever. They will come and eventually go if you continue to fight back!

Adventure

Tell it Tuesday: No More School Lunches?

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

When I thought the title for this post up I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about exactly seeing how I do honestly find myself searching for post to write about. I wanted to start writing about things, people, or events that were actually happening around me. Whether it was thousands of miles away from me, in my own home, or around the area I live. When I saw a post come up on my Facebook newsfeed I knew I wanted to write about it on here and kind of see where this post went on to. It just seemed like a post worth sharing because I don’t see it being a great choice especially in the area where I live where it is not a bigger city area its a bunch of smaller rural towns with people who are on the lower income side and that was pre-covid to give you an idea. Anyways Let me start at the beginning.

Local School Taking Away School Lunch?

I live in a area that has a few rural schools both in my town and other towns surround my town. The school in my town has a wonderful program for breakfast and lunch through the school as I used to work there as a cafeteria worker just last year. The school in my town is not the one in this story which is very relieving to me as a parent and a person in general because that is just unfair in my opinion and sort of crappy. Anyways in a town not far from my town where I live which is in southwest Iowa somewhere…I came across a post made by this other school just about an hour ago my time. It stated in this post that this school would no longer be serving school breakfast or school lunches at all the rest of the school year with the exception of tomorrow mornings breakfast because of short notice. Yes they gave a single nights notice.
They said in a letter sent home to families 9/28/2020 that asked if all students if possible could bring sack lunches to school until further notice. The also mentioned that they would be revising the schools transportation program as well. They mentioned in the letter that they would be providing breakfast tomorrow 9/29/2020 and also extra sack lunches for those who do not have them. Which brings me to a few questions that kind of boggle the old brain…why? They said it was to make sure they have enough staff in their school so they cut lunch out but the thing that I feel is super bizarre is that they are still providing sack lunches from the sounds of it. In the United States in general there are a lot of people who depend on school for food for their kids. There are a lot of people who may work and work and never have that extra bit of money for school lunches.
This seems like a bad choice on the schools part because instead of simply just providing the students with sack lunches instead of hot lunches they are pretty much shutting the kitchen down and helping out who they can instead of fulfilling their duty as a public school to provide meals to kids in their lunch program that is government funded. Since this letter I have seen several posts from community members who are willing to help provide meals since this school system has failed to do their jobs. I feel that if they are still open as a public school and having classes why announce with a letter that seems to announce the discontinuance of school meals. I hope that they are going to continue to provide meals for students who depended on the school for their meals because going all day at a place where there are so many other things to worry about was hard enough without having to worry about not having food as well. I will link the post from the school just to give an idea of what the original “letter” said.
Post Over Schools Decision

What are your thoughts?
Do you agree or disagree?
Have you seen this happen near you?

I was super surprised to see this happening in my area and yes I know there are all sorts of factors that led to these decisions. I know that my kids do not attend this school but I know people who do. I do not agree with this decision and feel like they could come up with something else besides what they have come up with. I mean if it’s such a problem then maybe not having school would be the better thing. Feel free to comment below and share this. I am curious what other people think about this.

Thanks for reading and for checking out my blog. Drop a like below and share this post. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon. I hope you enjoyed this spur of the moment post. If you liked this True Story Tuesday post idea let me know. I am all for trying new ways to write and get content out there to share.



Adventure, gardening, Meal Time, Motherhood

Long Term Storage: Food and Everything Else

If 2020 has taught anyone anything its that being prepared is something that is very much needed. I hadn’t really gotten very far in the past when attempting to store food long term or even as a rotating pantry that was big enough to last a long time if needed. After witnessing first hand not having the food my family needed during a time when food was scarce and some even hard to find such as meats or meat products especially those that are typically used in long term food storage. During that time when stores were near empty and this unknown virus at the time was lurking everywhere it seemed I became afraid. I had never been put in a situation like that where I had to ration food for my family. There was that lurking question, What if we can’t get more? Or What if we don’t have money to buy more?

Those are not questions that I had ever had to face as it was always there. I remember more than a few times where my husband and I had to make the decision not to eat or not to eat as much during this time because our kids needed it more than we did. We would do anything for them including starve because we can take it and that is just the kind of thing you do as a parent for your kids. It was at this moment when I realized how foolish we had been in our spending over the years and would need to change them in the future that was if things ever started to feel normal again. Lucky for us it has started to feel normal again and I know that this is not a feeling that everyone is feeling I mean normal will never be the same again and the normal we feel now is different of course.

Rotating Pantry Vs. Long Term Food Storage

It is important to prepare; that is one big thing I learned just a few months ago and that is exactly what we have been doing with whatever extra funds we have. We are preparing for the winter firstly then plan to continue preparing for the future. For our pantry it is planned to be a rotating pantry that is kept well stocked with foods that we will use everyday but replenished so that we have them on hand when needed. What do I mean when I say rotating pantry? Well that is basically a pantry that is constantly being used up and replenished by using up the older stuff first. The stuff closer to expiring should be used first then so on after that. Then you would buy whatever was used up to replace it in the pantry.

On top of a rotating pantry I am creating a long term food stockpile by using Mylar bags to store items such as dry beans, rice, flour, oats, ect. I suggest that when or if you choose to store food in Mylar bags you do extensive research on what you can store and how to do it properly so that it doesn’t go bad in the Mylar bags. I am not a professional at all and am just sharing with you what I have done and will share future updates on how they all turned out. For me I used 5 mil sized Mylar 1 Gallon bags and a plain old iron to seal up the bags and 1000cc oxygen absorbers to take the oxygen out of the bags. The recommended oxygen absorber for a 1 Gallon Mylar bag is 300cc-500cc I believe I ordered the 1000cc because I had a hard time finding the others and so that’s what I got. Now even though I got a much larger absorber means it will work just fine but I would have been fine with a 500cc as well. No big deal as it will do the job it needs to do!

Above are the bags I put together recently I did several bags of various types of dry beans and some bags of Jasmine rice as well. On each of them I made sure to label what the contents of each were with a black permanent marker and then wrote the date I packaged them up. Even though it may sound a bit funny on the beans I also wrote that they will need to be checked for rocks before using as usually you will find small pebbles that look like beans in with the actual beans. It is always better to be safe rather than break a tooth or worse!

How did I do this whole process of packaging and sealing them up?

  1. Well first I took each 1 Gallon bag and set it in a pitcher like the pictures below.
  2. Next I carefully poured each type of food I was storing in this case each type of beans in the correct bag in increments of 3-4 lbs. in each bag. I stored black beans, 16 bean soup, & pinto beans. Then of course a few bags of Jasmine rice as well.
  3. I sealed each bag with a hot iron on the edge of my table. (You can use a wooden board for this as most people do this but I figured this would work for me as I did not have a spare board lying around). I made sure to leave a space big enough to put the oxygen absorbers in later for the final sealing. I set them all aside for them to patiently wait until I was ready for that very last step of final sealing them.
  4. I made up 10 bags of food in Mylar bags, this is important because this was the amount of oxygen absorbers in one pack. I would be able to use all of the absorbers in that one pack so none was wasted because I do not have a canning jar to seal them in to keep them fresh for longer.
  5. For that last step I set up each bag in a tote and made sure each had that opening meant for the oxygen absorber opened enough to quickly put it in then seal it up when I set my timer, because you have roughly about 15 minute to get them in the bags and sealed up before they are useless. Note: to make sure they are good to even use check the pack for an indicator that should still be pink as ever package of oxygen absorbers should have an indicator sealed inside with them to tell if they have been compromised or are still good to use. Pink is good white is not!
  6. Once I got them prepped I started the timer and went to town placing the oxygen absorbers in each first then grabbing each bag to finish the seal with a hot iron. I sealed the bags on both sides to make sure they were sealed and to double check I checked each seam just to be sure. The whole process to add the absorbers and to then seal each of the 10 bags only took about 6 minutes.
  7. For best results I will be storing them in a tote that is a solid color with a lid. To keep the light out in our basement which will also be great because it is naturally dark, cool, and dry.

    You want to make sure that when storing food it is sealed in some container to keep bugs out, that it is somewhere cooler to keep it from spoiling, and also that it is not somewhere that will get wet or where there is moisture even if the food is sealed in Mylar. Always take precautions because it could mean the difference between starving and not starving some day!

Setting Up a Rotating Pantry

My family has been fortunate to be able to purchase some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for longer food storage but it is not required. They are a bit expensive and a lot of places were starting to go out of stock and weren’t expected to get them in anytime soon at least the correctly thickened ones that are meant to last a long time. As there are different sizes of thickness for Mylar bags that effect the ability for the bag and product inside to last for longer and shorter time frames. The recommended thickness is at least a 5 mil or higher as they tend to give the longer storage times versus a lower thickness of a bag. They will hold up better and will keep their seal when they are thicker. I got all of my Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers from a combination of stores Pack Fresh USA and Discount Mylar Bags; I would recommend going directly through these companies rather than through Amazon because you would be in direct connection with the company selling to you rather than through another party. I find this to be the best way to do any kind of shopping for stuff like this.

I have done lots of research even before covid happened I had started this process before just never finished it well never really got going just learned about it through research. I have gotten a late start to this now and I think a lot of people have; so let me make something clear Mylar bags are not a necessity and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do food storage quick at the moment at least. Right now during this time where stores are restocking and people are calm is the time to build a food stock pile or rotating pantry nice and easy. No need to panic buy or rush.

Panic buying will only drain your bank/funds and leave you with nothing or possibly very little depending on when you do your panic buying which is usually at the very last minute possible when things have turned for the worse. Pretty much three months ago for a lot of people including myself. Instead be smart about your food purchases so by that I mean whenever you get your regular groceries grab some extra stuff that you don’t need and this should not be limited to food think about all of the things you need on top of food to make your lives easier like soaps, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, feminine products, diapers, wipes, sanitizer, cleaning products, medications, and so much more! Just when you can grab a little extra when you are shopping and over time you will be surprised on how much you can accumulate by doing this. I suggest that you shop clearance items and if you are able to freeze things grab extra dairy products or meats and freeze them. You could even learn how to can food but that is if you can find the equipment needed for canning as of lately it has been quite scarce. You should figure up how much you and your family will need for at least a 3 month span then start accumulating that amount of extra stuff and food. Then after that continue to at least 6 months.

Other Things to Think About

So now you have established a plan and possibly started accumulating your Rotating Pantry now what? Well there are some things that you should think about which kind of ties into when I previous talked about storing food in Mylar bags it is sort of the same for any form of food pantry like storage. Where and how are you going to store your pantry and household items? This place should be dark, cool, & dry and free from insects or rodents if possible. If you do have insects or are worried about items be sure to place the items that would be vulnerable to damages into airtight lidded containers that are a hard plastic. Items such as boxed pastas, instant potatoes, or anything that would sustain damage from moisture, light, heat, insects, or rodents should be placed inside such containers. And then of course store these items so that they are easy to rotate so I would recommend organizing them for sure instead of just tossing them in a tote. This will be my next thing I need accomplish in my pantry when I can get all of the storage totes that I need to get that is.

Food and household items are very important things to stock up on but there are other must haves to think about. For instance if you have pets or other animals you need to think about keeping a food source open and readily available for them long term. You should also think of how you would provide clean water not only for them but for you and your family as well. A way to sanitize and clean your water so it will be drinkable is just as important as having a food plan. Then if you have animals depending on you as well as a family you need to think about how to accomplish this whether you get a water filtering system, invest in rain barrels for water collection from rain/snow, or if you invest in some sort of purification plan from other sources. There are a lot of ways to obtain fresh clean water you just need to figure out what will work best for your family and any animals you have!

Now what if a scenario happens that forces you to utilize your food pantry & water system for purification but the power goes out. What would be your plan for a power shut down? Most people depend on electricity in there homes to survive in these modern times but it would be wise to have a back up plan if the power grid were to shut down suddenly. A generator would be something to invest in but one with enough power to power items such as freezers and refrigerators’ or AC units and other important items that run on power. With this being something that would help keep freezer running which are important for my family because it preserves some of our food I would suggest a solar powered generator. Stocking up on enough fuel to run a gas powered generator long term seems like it may not be the right choice since a power grid outage would also effect surrounding business such as gas stations and fuel is a resource that would have to be replenished once it ran out. It would be very unpredictable to assume that you would always have access to a gas station in the future if something like this scenario ever happened in real life. Unless the sun all of a sudden goes out of commission you would have the best luck with a solar generator along with proper knowledge of how one works ect.

Speaking of knowledge being able to accumulate knowledge both in your head and in a physical book will be of great value because a book will generally last longer than the internet. The more knowledge you fill your mind with now will be able to help you in times that may happen later on when that knowledge isn’t readily available to learn at that time. Maybe you print off information from the internet, buy books, or simply copy from the internet or books by long hand if you don’t have access to a printer and also cannot buy books. There are tons of ways to accumulate knowledge but definitely worth investing in it in the end.

Finally one of the last things that is important to think about in preparing for just in case scenarios in this post is that you should make yourself familiar with growing your own food some way and all of the knowledge needed to not only grow your food but to also preserve it and keep it going year after year. It would be wise to learn this skill even if you just have a few plants in containers growing on a porch or if you have a full on farm with animals and crops. Being able to grow/raise your own food will be valuable if you ever ran into future scenario where food was scarce again not only for eating but also as a way to barter for other items that you may need and don’t have. You should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to learning new skills and preparing for the future just in case something like what happened just months ago happens again or much worse! Get prepared!


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