My blog started out being mostly politics, but it’s become a lot of prepping these days. I think the food shortages, inflation, and economic turmoil are going to be the most important events for most of us in the foreseeable future.
The media right now and many of the online prepper and news sites are on Ukraine and WWIII – yada, yada, yada.
The situation in Ukraine escalated and I don’t have a prediction on what Putin will do next or how far he’ll go, but I feel confident in saying that the Biden White House will be slow to respond in an effective way to deter him. The night before last, I saw that the Biden White House was insisting that Putin moving into the two breakaway areas of Ukraine wouldn’t be an “invasion,” because it didn’t go beyond Putin’s 2014 incursion. By yesterday morning, the Germans finally agreed to sanctions on the NordStream2 pipeline with Russia, so the Biden WH changed their word game and decided that Putin’s action was an invasion. Same goes with sanctions against Russia. The Biden White House promised swift and severe sanctions, but now it’s looking more like slow and incremental sanctions.
I wish Biden would let the Keystone pipeline continue and unfreeze all the fossil fuel restrictions he put in place here. Instead, his spokespeople are playing word games, blaming what happened in Ukraine two days ago for the rising gas prices that have been hitting Americans for the past year. It’s all total bullshit coming from this White House. The Ukraine situation may well exacerbate the problems, but they didn’t cause the months of rising gas prices.
Everything in our politics and news media is idiotic word games. As an aside, I found it somehow fitting that the Twitter politics journalist and pundit class recently became obsessed with some stupid actual word game, Wordle. The developer sold the rights to the game to the NYT recently and now the Wordle crowd started complaining that the NYT is ruining the game. Yep, Wordle, sounds about right for the professional spin crowd…
And no, I don’t care what stupid comments Trump made calling Putin a genius. Trump will say whatever he thinks will fuel the right vs. left spin war in America and promote himself. Trump only cares that he is the main topic of conversation in the news. He uses the negative liberal media backlash to play the victim card for his supporters and it works. The bottom-line though is nothing Trump says will change any policy in the Biden White House. I’m just sick of all of the partisan politics and the extreme partisan politics will likely cause more turmoil. It sure won’t help make anything better in America.
None of us watching this can change any of the politics or what’s happening in Ukraine. The only people we can change or control is ourselves. I don’t have any brilliant takes on Ukraine and frankly, with so much information hitting us from so many directions, I have no idea what’s really going on in Ukraine. Lots of people online claim to have inside sources or connections, who are telling them – this, that or the other.
I don’t have any inside line, so I’m focusing on what I think matters to ordinary people. And what matters most is encouraging people to stock up as much as they can afford to each time they go to the grocery store. Stock up on other supplies too, especially necessary medical supplies. And at the same time try to put some money aside for the looming inflation that’s most likely going to get a lot worse.
Here’s a common sense video on the situation:
Nothing will return to normal anytime soon in America seems like a safe bet.
Since the Biden WH is coming under fire for their handling of the Ukraine crisis, as soon as possible, I expect they and the liberal media will flip to a new narrative – either Trump hysteria or the truckers protest that’s supposed to start. They will want to flip the narrative, so I’m not getting all worked up about Ukraine., because I suspect Putin will do what he wants in Ukraine (and possibly elsewhere) and Biden and the West will pay lip service to sanctions, but do as little to respond as possible. As quickly as they stopped talking about their Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, is how I expect them to try to deal with Ukraine.
I was a stay-at-home mom during my husband’s military career and when he decided to retire, our kids were older and I decided to get a job outside the home. I worked at Walmart a number of years and stayed as an hourly associate. During my years there I was a department manager of fabrics and crafts, department manager of the over-the-counter pharmacy, department manager of lawn and garden, department manager of hardware and also a zone merchandising supervisor, where I was responsible for the homelines area of the store and then I was asked to take over as the zone merchandising supervisor of the hardlines side of the store. I left Walmart in 2015, because my husband’s health had declined to the point it was no longer safe for him to be home alone for hours at a time.
I’m not an expert on anything – not foreign policy, not domestic policy, not politics – although I am interested in these things. However, I am very familiar with how Walmart stores operate and since Walmart is the largest retailer in America and the world, I’m going to mention some concerns with the shortage situations I’m seeing in my area. Merchandise arrives at Walmart stores in several ways – via Walmart trucks that come from Walmart warehouses, shipped from vendors directly, and some comes from vendors, who come to the store and stock their merchandise on the shelves themselves. There’s also merchandise in a few areas that was always slow coming in, that was called assembly merchandise that came from the warehouse, but took much longer to come in from suppliers than regular warehouse merchandise. Fabrics and crafts had a lot of assembly merchandise.
When I walk through my local Walmart stores in the past few months, I’ve noticed growing shortage problems, especially in vendor-stocked items – like soda, the bread aisle, the Debbie snack cake section is usually almost completely empty most of the time. When I worked at Walmart vendors always wanted more shelf space and space for displays and that they can’t even maintain stock on there regular spaces now was a red flag to me.
In a store, the end of aisle display areas (end caps is the term used in Walmart) are prime real estate and you want to keep your end caps filled up and looking nice, because that’s what people see first. I’ve noticed there are usually a whole lot of nearly empty end caps or end caps that are basically faked out – with little merchandise spread across the front of the shelves. Often feature displays of all sorts arrive in the store and when I worked there, department managers would order items that sell well for end cap displays too. What caught my notice was that there’s so many end caps that are skimpy so often, plus there are always many skimpy sections of shelves throughout the stores, yet there are always associates busy stocking.
I suspect the shortage problems are widespread and affecting all sorts of areas in our retail food supply. It’s not just a single problem that’s causing these shortages. The vendors seem to be having supply problems and the Walmart warehouse system also seems to be having problems. Other retail grocery chains are having shortage problems too.
I have already started some seeds indoors and I’ve got some cold hardy vegetables started on my patio. I plan to set up two raised beds when my son has time to come help me with that. Years ago, before my husband became ill, we had a nice size vegetable garden. My soil here is mostly sand and clay. It took a few years of constantly amending the soil before my garden produced a decent amount. Southeast GA a lot of years has drought conditions and if you’re on municipal water, then there are usually water restrictions in the summer too, which impacts gardening. Last summer was a lot of rain and my backyard was often like soup for days on end. There are also a myriad of bugs and plant diseases here that can turn your thriving vegetables into a dead zone overnight sometimes.
While I would love to grow enough fresh vegetables for myself, I’m not banking on this new gardening effort. I am continuing to stock up – especially canned goods. I also dehydrate a lot of things – especially frozen vegetables, which are still available and economical. I learned how to do that online. It works, it’s easy and I can use that freezer space for other items. The dehydrated vegetables can be stored in jars, in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, or food saver bags. I suppose you could also use ziploc bags if you didn’t have any of the other options available.
Everywhere you look more serious problems in our food chain seem looming, so I think it makes sense to stock up, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to learn more skills and try as many ways as you can to be more self-reliant.
If you’re a person who waits for the government or “experts” to tell you economic problems are worsening or it’s time to stock up, I suspect you’ll be in for a rude awakening when reality hits you. I’m not saying panic or build a bunker, I am saying put some effort into stocking up extra food and water on a regular basis. And by all means try to come up with as many options as you can for sourcing food in your area, beyond the retail grocery stores.