The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Friday 20 March 2020

Pantries and Preparedness. 2020. A new reality.

Thank you to everyone who participated last week and shared what is happening in your area and what shortages you are experiencing.   In several instances this helped me as there were items I had not anticipated and I was able to make sure we have some on hand.  And then guess what?  The next time I shopped they also were gone.
The most recent Pantries and Preparedness post is here.  This link will also take you to all the others in this series.

A week ago I felt that things happened so fast it was hard to keep up.  But this week has been even more this way.... I have had moments where I have been dumbfounded.   Speechless even!  (and that is saying something!)

During the week I did one trip away from the farm.  At this stage we are reducing our exposure to the outside world as much as possible.  I anticipate sometime soon we will not be going to town at all.

I am in country South Australia for anyone who is new here.

Things had changed a lot since last time.  There are government signs before you go into the stores...

As you go into the store you begin to see signs on limits on products.   Which is a nice way of saying rationing.

Then there were warnings to not abuse staff.... which are apparently necessary as staff are having a really hard time.

So in I went.  Some of the above limits were hypothetical only as there was no toilet paper or antibacterial towels.  

We have two stores and they were both the same. 

Bread and rolls were just an empty space.

All soaps were gone.  Antibacterial soap, regular liquid and foaming soaps and bar/solid soaps.

This interests me as I knew that in the Great Depression and the war years soap was one of the most sought after things.  If you wanted a highly tradeable and liftable item then a supply of soap was hard to beat.  Also inexpensive (in good times) small to store, long lasting and improves with age...  soap is like gold!  

Other items like gold apparently are tissues (kleenex) 

And frozen vegetables..

There was almost no meat at all.  Including pet food.

I was able to get fresh veggies, diary and I got some flour in one store.   The other was empty and both had limits.

The limits do not take into account your family size.  So if you are one person you can buy one pack of flour and if you are a family of ten you can still buy one pack.   Same with bread, rice, soap,  etc.  
Many country people shop once a month or once in three months.  That is a long drive to get one or two of everything.... and it is not going to feed larger families.   
Any notion that this is short lived was well and truly cleared up this week.  We have been told to be ready for at least six months...

The next day at home I had a comment from a reader telling me that a bus had pulled up in their small country town.  People got off this bus, went into the store and bought pretty much all they could then back on the bus and three hours back to the city!  So the pretty well already empty town shop was now in even worse shape....  
Within the next several hours I found out this is happening across the state.  Buses and cars are coming from far and wide to the small towns as they have heard we still have stuff.    When I realised this I felt the colour drain out of me.   Oh my goodness...

Next Mum confirmed this had happened in her town.   People were descending from everywhere.  And my town (which is one hour away) had people coming from interstate!  Then buses started arriving!   
Today my local Foodland has posted on social media that we will now need ID to shop there and they are limiting shoppers to a 100 kilometre radius.   They said authorities had made them aware more buses and cars were coming long distances to buy up food and leave... leaving locals with nothing. 
I am still amazed.   I can see this all getting really out of hand.  Dangerous even.

In the store there was a young woman with a little boy in a pusher. (stroller)  She was standing looking at the empty frozen vegetable freezers.  I said to her a hello and a friendly comment.  She said "I can't get anything on my list.."     I felt she had planned what to buy and what to make.  I said to her ok try doing it the other way, try seeing what you can find that your family like and work out what you could make from it.  I honestly don't think she had thought of that.  And this is what we will all have to do.

People who have kept a good pantry and even people who have saved money are now being labelled HOARDERS.   Ladies become very discreet about what you have in your home.   Someone amongst us has had death threats for having a well stocked pantry.  Yes I am serious.   Someone who has been frugal and hard working for years, bakes, grows her produce and cans her food....  she is labelled a hoarder and greedy.  Yet you get someone who has their annual Bali holiday and $5000 in tattoos saying they can't afford a pantry.  I don't have anything against either if that is what people want to do.  But leave those who want to get ahead alone!    Ironically those of us who do have gardens and chickens and full pantries are in a position to take care of our families and help others.  However these things (just like taking care of your own children) are now frowned upon. 
It is becoming harder and harder to stand up for Jesus and Christian values. If you believe things as set out in the Bible you will be labelled a bigot.  So I guess now we are bigoted hoarders! ๐Ÿ˜ณ
Don't let people calling you names stop you! 

I am not talking about people who are profiteering by buying basic goods up and selling them for huge prices online.    There are some really shifty people who are not helping at all!   But this is a whole different category!   Families who are trying to provide for their families are not in this group.

With a week or two of low stock and some items unavailable we are already seeing angry people. Abusive people.   Pushing and shoving.  Fights breaking out in supermarkets...  So it has to make you wonder if this situation goes on and we continue to see prices rising and shortages what things will be like.   Mum's town had a four kilo bag of potatoes for $20 today.   Suddenly really ordinary items are going up and up.   Thousands of people are losing their jobs every day.    I am betting everyone already knows of job losses.   Thousands of businesses are closing every day.   How many can survive closing, possibly for months?

Each day more countries are shut down. Our government has called all Australian's to come home asap.   I just saw California is having everyone shelter in place like in Italy or France.   Hundreds of thousands of businesses will not survive this.... ships are headed to New York to be set up as hospitals... every hour that passes things just escalate.  It is actually just mind blowing.  It is so mind blowing it can be hard to think straight in a time we need to think fast and clearly.  We all need a plan.  We need to review everything.  
During the week Lucy send me a list.  She said "Mum, I have done a freezer inventory.  Here is the list of meals I can make."    This was just her freezer and not her pantry.   I was so pleased!  Suddenly we need to consider everything.  If we can't go out we need everything on hand.

Pharmaceuticals are also being rationed now.   Over the counter medications are not on the shelves here anymore.

News from our capital (Adelaide) was that supermarkets had no meat or very little and that you could no long buy a freezer either!  Everyone had the same idea at once...

What can we do?  Well, I hope you have been building up your pantry and preparedness week by week.  I have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at trying to get everyone to do that.  
We need to sort ourselves out and be calm.   Assess our positions and think.
Simplify.   Be prudent with everything.   We need to keep our household calm and protected.  Children fed and tucked up in a warm bed.   They will sense if you are in a crisis.   Bedtime stories are one good medicine.   Having the TV on is not.

If you are able to buy food then  buy staples that can be used in many many ways and will last a long time. We are going to think fairly long term here. 

There are good things to think of.  The skies are clearer and the water in Venice and cleaner!   People are suddenly interested in growing their own veggies and having chickens.  Learning new skills. 
We can band together and lift each other up, help our neighbours,  deliver food to older people and plant our own Victory Garden.   When the going gets tough the tough get going!

The purpose of this post is really to show our new reality which is changing so fast.  Some people will see this as mild as we are still allowed to go out.  Some will be shocked!   Wherever you are on the timeline I hope we can help each other.  

My next posts I hope to concentrate on things we can do, things we can make... things that will help.

Proverbs 22:3 The prudent see danger and take cover, but the simple keep going and suffer the consequences.   

Yesterday I had cause to be talking to a man who is very clever and quite high up in one of the major banks in Australia.   I thought mmmm I have this brainiac on the phone I should really take the opportunity to see what he thinks of all of this....    So I went right ahead and asked what did he think of the financial situation for Australia and the world in this crisis?  Now this is just an opinion but this is what was said...  he paused.  I said "it is not going to be a recession is it?  This is 1929 and it is going to be a great depression."   There I said it and risked looking silly to him.  
 He passed some more then he said "I agree with you, this won't be a recession it will be far far worse unlike anything we have ever seen."
Within a few hours Australia then closed the borders.   And this escalated once again.

I know people who can't wait to jump on a cruise shop or a plane and I know people who are preparing their vegetable seedlings to plant out.   I am in the "get a few more chickens group."

Please share what the situation is where you are now,  what is hard to obtain and what you wish you had thought of earlier as this might help someone else.   I will begin to work on things we can do.  I think if there are things we can do we are better.  We are not helpless.  We can help our families so much.  Now is the


  1. Good post. Things surely are getting weird and a bit scary. It is as if the whole world has lost it's mind.
    I guess I too am a "bigoted hoarder". I will never stop in my Christian beliefs and I have worked for years to be prepared.
    We need to offer compassion and support to each other and not add to the stress levels everyone is feeling.
    God bless you all.

    1. Dear Cheryl, It is ironic that without faith in God and without a pantry life would be terrifying right now! So we are blessed! With love

  2. We have to stay at home and not go out because of my husband's health. We, meaning, husband and I (we are seniors), and the three grandkids that we raise. We have a large pantry, chickens, rabbits, turkeys. We are helping our elderly neighbors with mail pickup and giving them eggs. Other friends that can't find eggs in the stores text me, and I leave them some on our outside bench. Was in a store a week ago while wearing mask and gloves, and that was the last time. Out of all paper products there, which is the norm now. Time to get our vegetable starts going in the greenhouse! A couple of days, and it'll be spring!

    1. Amish Heart you sound well prepared wise. I very much like your system of the bench outside on which you can leave things and which others could leave things for you also! I think we all need this! Thank you! xxx

  3. This is a great post Annabel. Thank you for your support, we are definitely all in this together.

    I just saw on the late news (yes I am watching ABC news channel regularly) that the Chinese have arrived in Italy to help out and they said, you are doing it all wrong! You still have public transport running, you still have people moving about, and you are NOT wearing masks. There were a couple of other things that I cant remember. I hope our leaders heard and saw this!! Because this is what we should be doing!!! In China, they have drive through ditches with disinfectant in them to keep cars noninfectious. Leaders of our nation, please wake up! They tell us we don't need to wear masks, as it does nothing. No one here is wearing masks. My opinion is that surely it is a good idea to put them on.

    Here the shops are bare. I just didn't have the energy today to face the stores again. There were so many yesterday almost in tears because they cant get what they want. I have started to think I will just stay home and do what I can. I have planted more veggies today and on the weekend I will be making more room outside the veggie patch to grow more food. I am able to grow most things over winter because ours are mild here. I have not gotten to making homemade masks yet as it has been all go here to get prepared for what is to come. Whatever that is! I will get to them this weekend.

    I am worried for my daughter in Sydney, so far away but at the moment she is okay. She travels to work on the public trains. I am worried for my best friend who has last stage kidney disease and on dialysis. She is really concerned about what will happen to her should she contract the virus, and rings me often every day for support. This is a really stressful time! My youngest daughter is a single mum of three and has had to sell a lot of her things to raise money to stock up with food for her family and animals. The good news is that she has managed to do that. My eldest daughter has changed her work routine to a try and avoid catching anything. She works in a lawyers office. Her partner is self employed and work has dropped away. And then there are my parents and mother in law, my husbands work...the list goes on and on. The worries are growing daily, sometimes hourly.

    I have no idea whether I have enough. I have always stockpiled but not to the extent that I probably should have to get through the next few months. I am going to have to become very resourceful with my cooking skills to make food go around. I am so grateful for your and others blogs right now. I am collecting recipes to get us through. I have brought out my bush tucker book, just in case. At least I will know what bush foods are safe to eat.

    There were police in our stores today, so my friend told me. She goes down early to get the pensioner rations. I spoke to a WW worker yesterday and she said our trucks are being sent to the eastern states and stuff they had ordered have not turned up! The staff are starting to get abused, which is really sad. These are desperate times! The checkout lady said there has been a lot of strangers passing through the stores, these are probably the bus people. I hope they get caught, because this is so unfair to country people who are restricted to what we can get at the best of times.

    I know I am not alone with my woes as everyone in the whole world is dealing with this dilemma. I hope everyone in the bluebird community is doing okay.

    Much love,
    Tania xxx

    1. I forgot to add this link to my comment. The 1940's experiment is a great site that I have followed and referred to for years. There are 182 wartime recipes. I thought this might be helpful to others xxx

    2. Thank you for this link, Tania. Recipes like these are interesting in that they show just what can be done with so very little. MegXx

    3. Dear Tania, Our area was widely struck by the cars and buses. Since I posted and you replied so much more has happened. Now the border being closed... and it sounds like maybe the schools will close too. (to be decided tonight.) We knew to be prepared and we needed to become as self sufficient as we can. But like you I am now thinking "have I done enough? What can I do now?" So many questions... I think we have to pray and listen... I hope that we will be led the in the right direction. I think we all have family we are worried about... it is very hard. Thank you also for the link to the recipes. Very helpful! With love,

    4. Was listening to the radio and the Minister who looks after taking 'care' of these bus people. We need to take photos of the bus so that the name of the company shows and the rego plate. Then these people can be stopped and charged.
      Shop owners need to alerted when you see a bus load coming so that they can refuse to serve these folk. The store owners have the right to refuse entry to any, if they choose.
      Pat {with a good pantry, not worrying too much and praying at 7pm EST with fellow Christians}

  4. So far I haven't encountered anyone who was unkind while I have been out. The stores are pretty much the same here... no paper goods, meat, and bread. My mom, sister and I are networking and call when we go out to see what the other needs. My mom was able to find chicken for me and I was able to find bread for my sister.

    I am well stocked, at the moment, so I am avoiding the grocery store. I am going to be very quiet about the items I do have, as I do believe people could get crazy as this continues.

    I might venture out later and see if I can get some seed packets and seed potatoes. I'm thinking ahead to gardening days.

  5. What a great post, Annabel! Your stores look like mine did when I went last week (just for basic shopping). I haven't been back yet, but want to go maybe next week. We are well stocked for probably 6 months or more (even before this happened) and have shared a bit with family and friends.

    Several stores in my area put limits on things at the very beginning of the month and I believe more are doing that now.

    I am currently still working, but I'm not sure for how much longer. I heard a rumor from a very reliable source that there will be a nationwide shelter in place for the United States. I certainly have plenty to do at home.

    Something to think about. My husband was talking with a friend of his about food storage. Now, most people look at long tern food storage as rice and beans. Two good staples. However, this friends wife is diabetic and can't eat a lot of rice and beans. So DH told him he needed to can! lol! He did end up buying a pressure canner and equipment and we are going to set up a way that I can give him a virtual lesson.

    Stay safe!

  6. I am here to say thank you to you, having read your blog a year ago I started to stock up. I didn’t tell hubby because he would have disapproved. So now I have food etc for about 2 1/2 months. Here in the UK the shelves are bare, being over 70 we have been told to isolate for 12 weeks. We are not to go out but there are no delivery slots at any supermarket and we are not supposed to go and shop. I have signed up with the milkman and have regular greengrocery deliveries anyway but how long before these are cancelled is anyones guess. I am planting food crops in the flower and veggy garden.
    We have just been told on the radio today that we will probably have to isolate for a year so I will try to get more supplies next week. Thank you for all your advice. Chris

  7. I haven't been in the grocery store for 10 days. However I did go to our little health food store and our farm share store to top things off. Sometimes it is good to remember that there are other shops with food.

    My friend was at the store two days ago and said meat and eggs were quite low.

    A month ago I emailed my sons and daughters in law and encouraged them to stock up. None of them acted immediately but two weeks ago they did. One texted me a picture of about 20 full grocery bags, another told me they spent $400, another $600. I was relieved. They might think I'm crazy, but now they see I was not wrong. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Your reports are alarming! People are getting crazy. It was so kind of you to take time and help that lady in the store look at her list in a different way.

    Keep up the good work. I'm so grateful for you and your blog and this little community.

    We are set for at least 2 months, hopefully 3. I'm ready for the snow to melt so we can spend some time outside.

    The doctor's office called yesterday to reschedule hubby's post-op visit for A YEAR FROM NOW. They are trying to get all non-essential appointments off the books.

    None of us have ever seen anything like this, but with God's help and encouragement from each other, we will make it!

  8. I've only just started reading your blog, I'm from the UK and the majority of us are pulling together, we have had shortages in the supermarkets but the British supermarket giants, Tesco and Sainsbury's among them, are protecting the elderly and the vunerable by having early shopping hours for them only and at the moment this is working well.

    The fear factor is greater than the virus at the moment, I only became a born again Christian four years ago and I feel as Christians we should take advantage of all opportunities to show the love and compassion of Jesus, in the hope of leading some to the Lord. This is a fallen world and I feel God is giving it a good shake right now to wake us up and turn all back to him.

    I'm really looking forward to reading your next post......I'm an avid crafter too, and making do and mending is my favourite thing to do.

    The Lord bless you for putting yourself out there via your blog, may the Lord protect and keep your family in these troubled times.


  9. I did a big grocery shop yesterday. Yes I'm still one of those people acting normally. So my freezer is now fully stocked again including frozen veggies which I usually don't buy. I am nearly out of TP so I went early before opening. I was able to get 2 packs. Elsewhere in the store a woman said "I am shopping for 4 families and the TP is gone". I gave her 1 of my 12 packs and told her there are only 2 in my home so we'll be fine for a few weeks! Although it would have been nice to know we'd be OK for 2 months, I just couldn't keep it.

    My nephew works early and when he gets to the store, meat is gone. I bought him 10# ground beef and 9# frozen chicken breasts. He's just 23 and most definitely needs the fuel.

    I was able to get Tylenol-the last of it. We never use it but thought I should have some on hand should we get a fever. It truly is the best for breaking fever.

    Although today is 1st day of spring, I began garden prep yesterday after it got to 45F. Sadly, my preferred garden supply store closed down last night and me with no seeds yet. Silly me!

    I am a quilter and a reader so I am fine being home alone. Hubster is working as Cybersecurity is more important than ever. 80% of the office was forced into work-at-home on Wednesday so safe distance is now easy for him.

    Stay safe everyone! We're in for a bumpy ride. Check on Italy if you are still in doubt that it could happen to you.

  10. Here in rural Ohio, the bigger towns near by were selling out of tons of stuff 2 weeks ago, but now it has moved out to our little rural store as people can't get what they want at the big stores either. We have plenty here at home but I stop in once a week to top up, and the difference from week to week was astonishing! Yesterday I saw rationing for the first time and they were strictly holding the line about it. Last week there was plenty of everything! Our little town only has 4000 people, so I don't know where all the food is going. The freezers were empty, there was no milk, bread, meat, potatoes, or paper products. I never expected our little store to get wiped out like that. The cashier said there isn't shortages, it's just people buying it all up first thing in the morning after a shipment.

    I had seen on facebook about libraries in the city closing down, so I threw everyone in the car and we sped off to our little library and stocked up on movies, books and audiobooks. I am glad I did, next day, sure enough, closed. With everyone out of school here, our internet is really slow and it is hard to watch anything streaming, so I am glad that we were able to stock up on movies and show series that don't need internet.

    Some of my kids have not been anywhere but our homestead since last Thursday, so over a week, and are getting antsy. We homeschool, so that hasn't changed, but they are missing scouts, church and piano lessons and the end of the basketball season. Everyone was feeling kind of blue yesterday because it was raining for the third day in a row and every thing is a muddy mess, so I decided to thaw out one of the turkeys I bought at Thanksgiving and we are having Thanksgiving dinner tonight! Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stove top stuffing, green beans and even cranberry sauce all out of our pantry/freezer. We are going to use the fancy table cloth, candles and go around and tell what we are thankful for. Now seems like a good time to do it.

    Finding things to keep my college students (who are now required to study online at home) busy has been a challenge too. Yesterday they made cards to send to our local nursing home since they are on quarantine also, and today they are helping the youngers write a skit that we will film tonight and send to their cousins in Wisconsin.
    It's funny how there are not monumental changes in our life, unlike our public school counterparts, but I think there must be a low level of tension constantly in the background and it is wearing. It has honestly been hardest on my two that were in college I think. I hope that everyone is able to keep their spirits up and find creative ways to fill their days.

    1. Dear Sarah, Many Bluebirds are from Ohio! Ok... here the difference in a week was also incredible. The difference in the next few days incredible again. What next I dont know...
      I think if you are used to homeschooling that does keep changes more minimal. I like that you are considering the nursing homes. This would be so lonely for them. In quiet times we got started on a lot of new skills with sewing, crochet etc and we would do big room clean outs and re arranges. The girls loved this and it served a few good purposes! With love

  11. Here in the UK we can't get bread, milk, meat, veg of any description, eggs, flour, tea and coffee, tinned food, toilet paper etc, etc ,etc.
    It's been a surreal week and I expect it to get worse. My job has been designated as 'essential' so I am facing the prospect of a 7.5 mile walk each way to get there. I don't have a car and I expect public transport to be stopped fairly soon.
    I have also done a freezer audit and decided that bread is not worth the valuable space in my tiny freeze, when I have used up what's in there I shan't replace it but use the space for more precious, to me,commodities. I also usually make up a huge batch of dog food and freeze that, from now on I will cook the meat, freeze that and add the rice/ veggies whatever when I defrost it in smaller portions. I've also put a plastic storage box in the fridge so that I can use those bits for dog food, things that I 'd normally put in the compost but now can't afford to waste.
    I've also put up a makeshift curtain in my cellar as that's where my modest stockpile is and it's visible from the street. I don't want an open invitation to break into my house and the area I live in isn't the greatest. It's awful to think like this, but I have to try and keep what I have.
    On an odd note, I was talking with a colleague who had no idea how to make hummus or that you can stretch minced beef with pulses and grated carrot! This is a woman in her mid 50's! I was stunned.
    I have ordered seeds, and even they're being limited, so that at least I can grow a few salad leaves, some cress and have a few sprouting seeds (not my favourite thing, but they're green and healthy).
    I have to end on a positive, so I am grateful for the dawn chorus which you can now hear, daffodils, king cups, sunshine, the lovely kids over the back from me and finally the many people trying to help others less fortunate than themselves.

    Everyone take care and have the best week that you can. These are scary times but we are tough, strong capable women and we will get through this.

    1. Dear Su, If public transport is closed I hope you can find someone else with a car traveling to your work or one near by that you can share transport with.
      I think your list of things unavailable are worse than ours!
      I think you are wise to hide your stockpile. Good work.
      Spring there sounds lovely! I hope you too have the best week possible! With love

    2. My daughter works in a sandwich shop which is now shut for the duration (and it actually looks like she and her partner have covid 19), she left some goodies on my doorstep that were surplus, you wouldn't believe how excited I was by cress! I have 2 punnets of cress, I feel like a very wealthy woman!

  12. I tried to comment, but don’t think it went through...We have only been away from the house twice, once for a quick shop at our local natural foods store in the next town. We live in the country in Southeastern Wisconsin. The natural foods store was well stocked as they just go their truck in. They did not have bananas. My husband then went to pick up an online order at WalMart through their drive-up pick up program. It was easy and virtually no contact. No toilet paper, tissue or potatoes though. I have some stock of those, but not as much as I would like so I am going to find some old flannel sheets that I know I have. I had planned on donating them, but now they will make good family cloth! My two younger sons were a bit disgusting when I mentioned it, but then I told them that they were both cloth diapered when they were little and they actually didn’t know that!

    I am shocked by the threat someone received who was hardworking and built up a pantry. I do realize that many people were going to the stores and buying up as much as they could, but many of us have prudently built up pantries, planted gardens and cooked from scratch to plan for such a time as this. I will indeed take your advice to be discreet about what we have at home.

    I am also thinking of the many people who have suddenly lost their jobs. I am planning on donating to our local food pantry today and will work on labeling some soap that I have cured to also donate. Your comment about soap being gold was interesting as being a soapmaker, I always have so much an am constantly giving it away. I am also thinking of those in 3rd world countries. We sponsor a child through Compassion International who lives in Kenya. They were already having food insecurity as there is a locust invasion there. I will be donating what I can to help out.

    In the meantime, we are planning for the long haul and concentrating on home, family and neighborhood. I am grateful that my husband’s job can be done at home so we have not experienced a loss of income there. My husband’s career has been in corporate finance and he also has said the”D” word and believes this will not be a recession. That in mind, I will be prudent in all things. I started my vegetable starts indoors last week and will plan my garden. I made a large batch of orange marmalade, elderberry syrup, and chicken broth yesterday. I am praying and trying not to worry about my sons in Seattle, WA and Nebraska. My son in Seattle is working from home most of the time, but does have to take public transport in to work at the hospital a few days a week. My 2nd son is going to college in Nebraska and works at a grocery store, so will still be working there. I kind of wish they all would just come home! We are checking on our elderly neighbors and offering assistance. I am wondering if our food pantry will be doing any delivering to those who are vulnerable. I think there is something we can do without coming in too much contact.

    Our natural food co-op delivers once a month out of Oregon to most states. They are getting more supplies in and said that they would still keep delivering as there isn’t much contact in getting a few boxes with your name on them off the back of the truck. The name is Azure Standard ( and they are an independent natural food co-op. There are no fees. Those in the states may want to check out this food source (and other things such as supplements, gardening supplies, and vegetable and flower starts).

    Blessings and love to all the Bluebirds. Thank you for this lovely site, Annabelle. Hugs to all!

  13. I am not well stocked. We moved to this house last summer. It took all of our savings to get into the house and pay deposits on utilities etc.
    Then, our income suddenly dropped. We have been through hard times before and lived on little. I know well the phrase "use it up wear it out make it do or do without."

    I don't know how things are going to pan out, but I do know that God is with us through it all. I will continue to wash and pray and spread the love of Jesus every way I can.

    Blessings from Jesus to you,
    Laura Lane
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    Missouri, USA

  14. Great post, Annabel. What times we are living in! I am in the USA in Idaho, and most stores here are out of toilet paper, facial tissue, laundry soap, tampons, hand sanitizer, aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol (to make our own hand sanitizer), diaper wipes, canned food, pasta, eggs, potatoes (no joke! the potato capital of the world is apparently out of potatoes!), many types of meat, low on bread, many basic baking supplies like flour and corn meal, cooking oils (that surprised me), and most brands of butter.

    A small thing I have done is to sew handkerchiefs out of fabric I had on hand, for everyday use. I have been diligently using them (along with a few I bought thrift shopping a few years ago) daily instead of boxed facial tissues. In light of the severity of this pandemic, my handmade handkerchiefs are a small small victory, but still I feel independent in one more area, and facial tissues are one item I can forever cross of my shopping list.

    Bluebirds, please take care of yourselves, your children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. We will all get through this together! Stay well and safe!

    Hugs, Teresa

  15. I live in Tennessee in the US and our stores are pretty much the same. No toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels and napkins. Huge run on canned veggies and meats, fresh meats and pasta. I needed egg noodles for an upcoming planned meal and thought I would never find them. Restaurants especially closing or going to order in and pick it up systems. Just got back from the bank and all routine transactions are only thru the drive thru. Hubby has five of the nine conditions that are warned about so we stick close to home. I do send him out for an errand or two first thing in the morning for mental health reasons. Must be working since I have had the need to kill him yet. Toni in TN

  16. Dear Annabel,

    Reading this I was just horrified! It had occurred to me that some folks might come out from the city to try to shop in the rural areas, but the idea of buses coming out is astonishing! Things are changing so quickly, it seems hard to know just how "prepared" to be!! We are good for a few weeks, but would certainly need restocking after that! It definitely saddens me to hear about death threats, of all things! I did read that gun and ammo sales are at a record high, which is unsettling, too...unless it's for hunting!

    So far here everyone is in good humour and polite. I'm thinking we will have to go into town in a day or two...I'm expecting a seed order to arrive, and will then combine its pickup with a last run around for more feed and a few items that I've since realized we could stand to have more of, with a run to the bank.

    I am so glad you are no longer in Adelaide! Thank you so much for all of your positive encouragement, Annabel!

    Love to you and all Bluebirders,

    Jen in NS

  17. In my part of the world (UK, rural area), we are seeing the cities beginning to have similar scenes to what you described Annabel. Yet although we are seeing low items and restrictions, it is not dire- yet.
    I try not to go out much at the moment. To visit my parents -they managed to get a few weeks supplies ( I estimate 2-3 )and they are hoping to use this time to focus on their vegetable garden. I also try to find what they might need when I drive over to visit them, which at the moment we are still able to move around.
    Rice, pasta, paracetamol frozen veg and baked beans are things I have noticed in low supply. Have seen long queues recently for petrol/diesel.
    Thank you Annabel for this encouraging blog.
    Much love and God Bless
    Heidi xx

  18. In Ohio, after 10 days of the first confirmed illness, I am finding stores not being able to fulfill online orders of oatmeal, rice, dried beans and flour and some meat. I also cannot find children’s Tylenol. Admittedly I have not gone into the grocery stores yet, just placed an online order with curbside pick to try to avoid the possibility of exposure. I got half of what I ordered, but the things I received were thing we needed, and most of the things I did not received, I had some extra of those at home. I am trying to decide if it is better to go that route - ordering online to pick up to avoid exposure - or go into the stores, as going in would allow me to see what is there that I could substitute for things that are out of stock. Does that make sense?

    And trying to wrap my mind around what the coming weeks and months will look like. I have a good supply of food and toiletries we can stretch for several weeks, but preparing for beyond that, knowing when and where to shop, I’m praying about that. We have a family of five, two adults, two teens, and a child. One of my teens is very allergic to all dairy, eggs, and nuts. I am trying to use food more wisely, but I find my kids more hungry than they’ve been, and this feels stressful already. We have plenty of food right now, but watching news and what is going on around the world, knowing circumstances in our own state are changing daily, sometimes hourly...unbelievable.

    Love and prayers,

    1. Hi Amy,
      I used to have a childcare and I found it really helped to schedule meal and snack times and let the children know right now it is art or free play or reading or exercise time,math social studies,Chapel,ect. I had team members place an older child with a younger child.Some of my teams made snack or lunch for the others.Some did drama or music for the other Children. I made a menu for the week so we knew we would have snack at 10 am and it was almond butter and apples. It is so wonderful to see them learning life skills.You will use more food with all the Children at home. Children sometimes want to eat as a time filler. I hope this helps a little. Sometimes we did art outside in the back yard with paper glue and what we found to make a 3 D picture.
      Big Blessings to you. You are a rock star to have all the Children home.Big hugs.:)

  19. People aren't going crazy here - yet. The shelves are pretty bare in certain areas. There is no meat, milk, paper goods, canned goods, fresh vegetables are sparse, and bread is empty. We live out West where buying more than two items, at a time, is the norm.
    I do think, as time goes on, the food supply will become more and more lean. Farmer's are unable to plant now due to labor shortages. This will continue with closed borders and being told to stay home. The effect six months from now on the food supply will be very serious.
    If anyone can eat wheat it would be wise to store the wheat berries and invest in a grain grinder. For those of us who are gluten free, sorghum berries, teff grain, millet grain, buckwheat, etc all can be stored and ground as needed.
    Almond flour can be vacuum sealed and stored below 70 degrees in a dark room and it will keep for several years, also.
    My thinking is that in six months we will see more of the results of what is going on now. I, also, think we need to plan long term; more like two years.

  20. Here in northern Minnesota it is somewhat similar: stores quickly sell out of some basic supplies, such as eggs. So far, most stores are able to restock regularly, so items do come back in. We've not heard of any buses coming in from bigger cities to buy from our small towns, but then this is a very rural area so no big cities anywhere near. I am alarmed to hear of threats made against someone just for having a well stocked pantry, scary! I am only hoping that once some people get some items stocked up at home, they relax a bit & stores can catch up. In America we are told that the supply chain is okay, no real shortages, just that so many people are trying to stock up at the same time.

    Like you said, if this goes on for months & months, it could get very crazy.

    I'd like to thank you for the pantry preparing ideas you have posted, something I did to a much smaller extent in the past. I discovered your posts just shortly before this pandemic and thankfully had some time to gradually increase my store of items. You have made this whole thing a whole lot easier for us. Grateful! - Diane from Minnesota

  21. I have a small supply of canned foods, a larger supply of toilet paper, tissues and paper towel. These are all now hidden in the wardrobe, a couple of friends know I have this stock and are welcome to use it. DD#2 is manager of a retirement village and spent her birthday on Tuesday helping her panicking residents decide which communal activities could be continues and what they should do if the whole village went into lock down. Then when she got home her partner had forgotten it was her birthday. He works for the education department and was trying to source hand sanitizer in bulk, and how to get extra deep cleaning done. Normally they would visit this weekend however due to them being in high risk occupations I doubt the visit will happen.
    Yesterday we went to Bunnings for some veg seedlings, and they were sold out. I have plenty of seeds, I was just trying to get something in the ground earlier than I usually do. Aldi have raised garden beds next week, so I am hoping to get a couple of those. I have a few bags of potting mix already as I was going to repot some palms but I think the veg are more urgent.

  22. I'm here in England. Disgraceful stripping of supermarket shelves leaving nothing for the vulnerable. Young people still congregating in pubs, clubs, etc but thank goodness the government have announced that tonight they will all close. My daughter lives at home with us and wanted to go out into town tonight. We told her if she went she wasn't coming back into the house. People need to start taking this seriously for all our sakes. I started a pantry a few years ago when we were in financial difficulty due to a change in circumstances. Even though our situation has improved I have continued with it - and will continue to do do. Keep safe, everyone.

  23. I am in Alabama, USA. All of our schools are closed, our restaurants are take out only (NO dine in) and this is by Governor's orders. So far our grocery stores are having a hard time keeping meat, especially chicken and pork. And no hand sanitizer, toilet paper or baby wipes. Of course, the only bread they have are the $3.75 a loaf packs and even they are scarce. There is a lady who owns a restaurant who is making homemade bread and selling it for $5.00 a loaf. I talked with her today and she said yesterday she sold 45 loaves and has an order today for 60 more. for us who can make bread knows she is making a good profit, but I am happy for her, because her restaurant is her only income. The only mean thing I have encountered was when our schools closed down early for spring break and are not scheduled to start back for 3 weeks, there were some (rude) people using social media stating, "Where are all the holyrollers at now - why haven't the churches stepped up to open their basement for the children to stay while the parents worked, churches should be able to keep our kids, and feed them." And I was so shocked at the people who agreed with her and starting putting down Christians of today. Many defended by saying, the whole purpose of closing the schools were so the children would stay home to avoid getting the Covid-19 virus. It just showed me what desperate people would/could do in a crisis.
    I do believe I am stocked up well for three months, but I have been very quite about it, because my stockpile may even have to stretched for 6 months or more. I already have my garden 1/2 way planted with early peas already to stake.
    Stay safe ladies. Cindy Jane

    1. What a difference here in Minnesota, in the northern part we are still covered deep with snow. Envy that you can start gardening, when all I can do is start seeds indoors under lights. We just has a little dusting of snow last night but warmer weather is coming with at least a taste of spring. Planting here doesn't get started until mid May at the earliest & even later for putting out tomatoes & peppers.

      I hope you have a very productive garden this year, looks like it might make all the difference for our families. - Diane from Minnesota

    2. Just remember that God does not like ugly and these horrible people will be paying the price.

  24. It is like this here too, shelves empty and people pushing and shoving to get things. There are also bus loads from Sydney coming here to empty our shelves. Police have stopped a few. I have no idea whether I will have enough supplies to see us through this but am getting extras when I can. The thing is we don’t know how long this will go on for and if we will be quarantined for months. It is the unknown. I’ve been stretching every food item I can just in case I need to help out family and friends.
    My grandson needs to be quarantined as he is on immune suppressant drugs and can die if he gets it. It is so sad as he is only 6 and can’t go to school or play with friends, it’s heartbreaking.
    Ive planted more veggies to help and considering chooks again even though I only have a small yard. We will all get through this even though it seems scary at the moment.

  25. I live in USA, in the Midwest. After the initial panic last week things have settled down. But everything is shut down, schools, churches, all unnecessary activities. Even funerals are being postponed or being done via the internet. No gatherings of more than 10 people at a time.
    The stores seem to be keeping their shelves full for the most part. I was out on Wednesday to one grocery store and Costco. Both had a their shelves full from what I saw. The grocery store had toilet paper, Costco did not. I was glad that I thought to get a case of newborn diapers at Costco(thanks to Annabel for giving me that idea) as my younger daughter has a baby due any day. She has cloth diapers but they don't work well with a newborn.

    The grocery stores (usually open 24/7) are closing to clean and restock. Starting next week several of the local stores, by their own decision, are opening one hour early and allowing in just the elderly so they can shop in a clean store and get what they need safely. And so far people are being considerate and patient. But a friend told me today that gun sales are up, which means people are really worried about what will happen next.

    The pharmacy was out of thermometers, and one lady actually yelled at the pharmacist because they didn't have any. I didn't check to see how OTC drugs stocked. We don't use them, just natural and homeopathy so didn't need anything in that area.

    Its always been my policy to not tell others what we have, you just make yourself a target in many ways. Even here on the internet you must be careful as hackers can trace back to almost anyone.

    As for what is happening right now, I've seen this coming for the past ten years. The world was spinning too fast and far away from God. I've told my children for the past 20 years (they are both in their 30's now) that this day would come so be prepared. The comfort comes in knowing that God IS in control, He WILL watch over His children and no matter what the out come, we will be alright.

    Continue to trust God and keep calm. Blessings to all

  26. Hi all,
    This is Kim from Washington State. Things are beyond crazy here. Everything is closed including all parks and playgrounds-fenced and locked. Grocery store shelves are empty, nobody can get into a doctor for needed medical care-even elderly. They are beyond capacity. I do believe our state will go on lock down very soon.
    I too am very thankful that I have been reading your blog and following this community for the last few years. I am preparing myself mentally for a whole new way of life-grieving for the life I am leaving behind but trying to be brave for what lies ahead.

  27. MY precise words yesterday after going to Foodland "I couldn't get anything on my list"!!! Flour absoluetely gone. But yes I did buy some other things like powdered milk.

  28. I'm really wondering WHY are people hoarding food?? Is it because they fear shortages? Is it due to the length of the pandemic predicted - long term? Is it because people are scarred and at risk going to shops? Please share your thoughts everyone!

    1. Dear Robyne, I have always had a pantry, my Mum always had and Nan always... Mans parents were out on a farm and if you did not have a pantry and you did not have a harvest you would have died or your children probably would have. So like those in areas with snow... in the spring and summer you harvest and put up food for the times there is none and that is what gets you through. As for now... well I think people have seen 14 day quarantines might be needed and many have nothing like 14 days supplies. And that apart from that they are concerned they will be unable to buy something crucial when they need it. They are getting ready to ba able to stay home for quite some time. Well this is how I interpret it. I have always looked ahead. A baby is due in the family. I know things could be worse by then so I have bought formal and nappies. To me this is just wise. Overall I think we all are here alive and living due to some ancestors who prepared... as many are not here at all due to past famines, shortages, pandemics, freezing conditions etc where they just didnt make it. We all have someone to tank for being prepared for the hard times. This is my take on it anyway. With love

  29. Shelves have been stripped here in Canada as well. I am hoping even though I have a well stocked pantry and freezers I can still get what I need as time passes by. I worry that my sons won't be as lucky. So far no death threats here, but some people are being called hoarders.

    God bless.

  30. Hello Annabel and all the bluebirds,

    Firstly, thank you Annabel. So many of us made preparations over time due to your information and blog. My daughter could not get yeast and I told her to try the sourdough Annabel has. You have provided such a wealth of info on your blog and we are truly grateful to you. Xo

    I highly recommend a YouTube channel Dr John Campbell. His information is factual rather than alarmist and very practical. His explanations of fevers etc and doing self care are most helpful information.
    Here we have had the bus load raiders coming into town. They went to a rural supermarket and they shut the doors when they saw them arriving. It is despicable to country people. Especially when they are selling off overseas for huge profits. Thankfully they are stamping it out by rationing and showing local ID. The supplies have been better I am told. We are staying in apart from our greengrocers who has heaps of stock thankfully. We noticed huge pricing increases in broccoli and other greens. Apples and potatoes were in abundance and cheap. I think it depends on your area too. We bought dirty spuds as we call them $8 a 5kg bag and they had palletts of them. While I am getting fresh and freezing there are limits to freezer spaces! My mum wanted a freezer but the store laughed and said they had none for weeks now and none due until June at earliest (all China made) I told my daughter to buy up clothing ahead and shoes for her daughter as most clothing is made in China and after current inventory we are likely to see gaps. Op shops will put their prices up too I think once they see shortages. Most definitely prices have increased. Some are supply issues increased demand. (Remember the $12kg bananas anyone?) but I think many opportunists are making a quick buck too. Toilet paper is the new gold! We put a spray attachment in just in case. Found we actually like it too. There is an option of family cloth otherwise if people do not like a cold shot of water. (Takes getting used to!) Some have even installed the full on bidets. A bit too much money invested for me and I bought seeds instead. Apparently seeds are in shortage too now. You constantly have to think ahead and think outside the box too.
    We all need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and pray for wisdom knowing what the next thing to do is. Stay safe everyone.

    Love, Kaye xo

  31. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    So far, in rural Queensland, shopping is no different for me, since I have been basically living from the pantry for some time. I have, however, seen the gaps in the stores. I buy wheat (I mill some, and my chooks eat most of it); animal feed; and fuel for the car. That’s about it.
    Australia Post did send an email saying that no mail/parcels will require signatures due to the virus (records being kept only by delivery staff).

    If anyone wants paper products, I do not have any! Ha ha! I manage quite nicely without them, and am loving the opportunities to actually use basic ways (lye water from wood ash being high on the list for laundry, and lye production for soapmaking, as well as other things).
    I have just been learning more about the edible plants around me. Edible ferns are something I think I shall try, since growing vegetables is not a strength for this place as it is. Any tree crops here I shall work at protecting, too.
    I was raised to set goals, and determine priorities. What was at the top of the priority list yesterday is not so important today. I encourage everyone to work out priorities, constantly. If we should be forced to stay home for a length of time, do we have supplies for our animals? Do we have some security measures in place? Do we think of the noise that some activities generate, that could attract attention? Are there any vital repairs that need doing? Do we have contingency plans in place for family? .... Are we prepared to barter for essentials? ..... Do we have projects that we would love to carry on with after this crisis has passed?

    Mostly, do we see these difficulties as our Heavenly Father sees them? These are opportunities for us to call out to Him for help. He is the only true help for us. Then, no matter what we go through, He will be with us, and lead us in His beautiful ways!

    I am proud of you all!


  32. Hello from Pennsylvania ladies, I'm frightened and also know how good God is. Here in my tiny town we have had no toilet paper, low bread, online everything is pretty much sold out. We are fairly prepared. We also have kids and my husband and son are both type 1 diabetics. We have as much insulin as we are able to. I am praying it never comes to rationing of that. I planted my seeds indoors and plan to start my cold crops as soon as possible. I took a long break from prepping so to speak but am grateful for all I still have and am aware of. I'm capable of doing so much on my own. People are helpless it seems today. A friend of my husband's is a well known survival expert. He coaches people on how to survive hard situations. He feels the fact that we have open communication is a helpful factor at this point. We in rural areas are obviously ahead in so many ways if we choose to be. Praying for the peace of Christ to cover each and every one of us
    Love from Jess

  33. Annabel, I thought your post was right on! This thing seems to be snow-balling and one thing I have noticed here on TV that is concerning to me: NOBODY is talking about the run on grocery stores - NO mention of food shortages, etc. I'm wondering if they are afraid of causing panic or do they think there's a possibility that we might run out of food? NO one is talking about the amount of food the nation has for distribution. I'm talking about the media and the government who are our main source of information about the virus. We are in central Texas and my husband went to our one main grocery store this morning. By 9 a m they had no toilet paper or paper towels, not very much meat and the bread was going fast. Not as bad as where some of you live. We are pretty well stocked up here and are trying to get our garden planted. We are locking our gate tomorrow and staying home! We live about 16 miles from town and get very little traffic on our dead-end road. My big worry is about my children and their families who are mostly about 2 hours from us. My previous warnings fell on deaf ears unfortunately so I may be running a food express to different locations! Cindy, I hear you about Christians being persecuted. So sad. I'm praying for all of you. I'm so grateful for all of you and for Annabel for all her help and giving us the opportunity to share here!

    1. Dear Pam, Thank you! Anything regarding shortages is denied here. But hello we even have medical shortages of gowns, masks, respirators... the shortages are wide... stocks of pain killers to pasta are low. We keep getting reassuring words. No doubt to keep us calm....
      It is hard but Lucy is two hours from me and I do this trip weekly. But thankfully she at first kind of listened... then after a bout a week she saw enough to shake her up and she was stocking up and writing meal plans and inventories! Then Chloe was working on her storage and inventory. So I hope your kids see it now and I am sure they will welcome your help. This is when we are the wise Mum... and lucky we look over them and watch... very lucky! With love

  34. Here in Nevada, USA, there is very little fresh meat and the frozen is in a dish, not naked. There is no flour, sugar, cleaning supplies, soap, breads are limited, milk, eggs, TP, Kleenix, paper towels or chips (crisps). I could probably last 6-12 months on what I have in my house right now, but I would get tired of it. I started doubling my grocery list when I saw what was happening in China, so I have lots of canned goods.

    1. Dear Farm Quilter, I also started shopping extra when the virus started in China. This game me a few weeks before there was any concern here. It pays to be observant!
      Your shortages are about the same as ours. I am going to town tomorrow, probably for the last time as we have more local cases now. So it will be an interesting trip. I am glad you have great supplies. With love,

  35. I can't understand people fighting and swearing in shops and at staff. You have a right to be disappointed and think this is all nuts that by 9.00 am the shelves are bare everyday however swearing, fighting and abusing staff there to help you is beyond my comprehension. So is buses going to little towns and buying out the local supermarket..............this is not "buy from the bush" that we all rallied behind a month ago after the bush fires. This is selfish and un-Australian. There will be a lot of heartache emotionally, financially and with people's health. I think families will come together, slow down [they will be forced too in a couple of weeks here in Australia I think]. People can do the odd jobs around the house, spend time with family, grow food, play games, read books, bake bread. There will be a reassessment of peoples lives. Never before has The Barefoot Investor's 6 month "MOJO" [aka emergency fund] account become critical. I personally do not have spare money to get an emergency fund however I have just enough to pay for everything [bills, food, petrol etc] and nothing more. If you had 6 months mojo account and got laid off for 6 months the panic wouldn't be there financially. For really low income earners it's hard however big earners usually like to have fancy cars, lots of holidays and eat out [not everyone however what I mean is they are in a position to do these things]. Having an emergency fund to get through 6 months of a world event no one has ever seen before would be of great comfort. Stay safe and have a good week.

    1. Dear Kathy, I agree with you. I feel great sympathy for the staff and everyone working under pressure. I think many big earners spend it all. And maybe have debt too. It is impossible to tell but I have learned that flashy spenders are often broke. I agree everyone will be reassessing their lives and plans. Kathy just do what you can. Take every opportunity. Small things so make a big difference. Stay safe and well! With love

  36. Thanks for this wonderful site Annabel,this is really frightening iam wanting to take my elderly father up a food hamper tomorrow including hand sanitizer telling him to take it from his front door as i want him to stay safe and stay indoors stay safe everyone x

    1. Dear Melissa, I am sure your Dad really appreciated the hamper. I think we would all be worried about our Mums and Dads. Some supplies delivered to the door is a wonderful thing! With love

  37. Thank you Annabel for an enlightening post :).

    Firstly I would like to say to the person amongst us who had those threats that I and our family fully support you in what you do and have built up over a number of years to feed your family, hugs.

    On to what is going on here is that plain flour, toilet paper,tissues, hand sanitiser is really hard to get. Generally there is low stocks on most staples but we can still get them in sufficient quantities if you go to a few shops. Most people I have found have been reasonably civil when shopping with no pushing, shoving or agression except for a few customers with trolleys being extra robust with them going down aisles.

    Pharmacies are only allowing one months worth of prescription medications at a time too and have stopped us picking up multiple months worth on a R24. I have an autoimmune disorder which I need medication for.

    We are having the same purchase limits as you pictured in Woolworths, Coles,IGA and Aldi and the doors in Aldi in a large town we went to had a security guard at the door. I have heard from a friend their country stores had both police officers and security guards manning the doors.

    To be more self sufficient we have planted more vegetable seeds in the gardens for ongoing vegetables. I am shocked at the prices the shops are now charging for these in our local area and suspect price gouging.

    In my view we can only do what we can do that is best for our families with what resources we have.

    Stay safe and shop together ladies with your husband if possible, as some customers whilst grocery shopping are getting a little out of hand and aggressive.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Most of us can see the wisdom in our stockpile... now in this time we can look after ourselves and help others rather than need rescuing ourselves. You area sounds not too bad... although four days have passed since you wrote this. Each day more restrictions and press conferences may have added to the impact.
      I havent yet seen a security guard at the door! But then our town is pretty small. But wow that is a change in tone for sure.
      The prices we are seeing ... and they are rising rapidly. The garden is important. I had less success this summer than last summer.... we didnt get much heat. But the pumpkins are really good! Now to plant more autumn and winter crops. I am warned seeds and seedlings are now also hard to come by.
      Thanks for the tip... I have heard people both being harassed and followed to their car. People are going crazy. And this is early days I think we have a log way to go yet. Stay well and safe. With love,

  38. Such a great yet heavy post. Things like you are experiencing have not hit Texas yet except for the empty bread aisles. I will make bread when I need it. So glad I mastered that skill 40 years ago. I am thinking of making a batch of soap though I haven't done anything like that since my husband died a year ago, as my time has been taken up with getting things back into place.

    I live in the midst of Dallas/Ft. Worth, in a small town in between the two. My son is living with me at thew present and he is the one who does the shopping so I haven't even been in a store since this all began. I have a well stocked pantry and freezer but I pray I never see them come to their end.

    We had church last week but it is now cancelled and I am heart-sore over it as that was the only time I got out of the house.

    This year I planned to start doing house repairs as they did fracking right under my house and I now have cracks in my walls in every room in my little house. I have all of my supplies bought for this except the paint.

    I do feel isolated now but I have a DVD closet of movies from the 30's and 40's that I hope will not get old.

    There is one person though who I know I can count on and who has not left me since my world turned upside down before the rest of the world felt it a year ago, and that is my Abba Jesus. In the midst of all of this remember Who is in control. He will not forsake us.

    1. Dear TerriSue!

      Your world resonates with mine! You talk like me, in your last paragraph! My world was turned up side down last year, and there is One who looks after me as my great Shepherd! He is my keeper! ...... Yes, we who have been in this before the virus came along can encourage those around us in that, if we entrust our life to the Almighty, He will guide us and make a way where there seems to be no way!


    2. Dear Terri,
      Bread making skills are great to have. Now we have the next problem... no flour. So get ahead in supplies! I am sorry about your church and hope you can keep in touch with family and church in other ways like the phone and online.
      I cant imagine fracking under the house!! That is just terrible!
      Yes you are right. Faith is everything now! With love

  39. We are meditating daily on Psalm 91 because we do dwell in the shelter of the Most High. We are not afraid. Supplies are sufficient at the stores if you are creative. People are helping each other and being courteous in the stores. Neighbors are helping neighbors and our church is matching up those who need help with those who can help them. From our perspective this is the typical response to a crisis in our area of the USA.

    1. That is wonderful what your Church is doing Lana. I am hoping all is well with your family in Germany. Our usual biggest issue is bushfires so this is very different for us. The overloading of hospitals is one of my biggest concerns. I am seeing quite a bit of neighbours helping neighbours now which is wonderful. xxx

  40. I write about keeping a pantry and I was still shocked about what was not available. I think it will get better for awhile after the initial crisis so people need to stock up a little at a time again. But for how long, I don't know.

    I've heard a few people I trust saying they do not know how this cannot bring on a world wide depression. Can you imagine what it must be like not to be a person of faith right now? I know God is faithful!

    1. Dear Brenda,
      I am glad you are a pantry keeper. I do not know how long the stores will low on goods. Ours is in week three and this week has been much worse. Now our borders are closing on Tuesday so I think this will mean there will be less again on shelves.
      As I said the man I spoke to believes we will have a world wide depression. I agree we need a lot faith and prayer right now. With much love

  41. I'm in the midwest US. I am not as prepared as you are but we could stay in place & be fine for at least 2 or 3 months except for prescription medications. My husband has juvenile diabetes & we are not allowed to stock up on medications. His insulin only has a 28 day expiration date that is pretty scary for us. He has already had a hard time getting some supplies & has had to go back to daily injections.

    We have limits on what we can buy...usually one per family which is impossible for large families if they did not plan ahead.

    And everyone is still going out! Restaurants are drive through or carry out only but I had to go out yesterday, the first time in almost two weeks....& the parking lots were so full I couldn't find a spot to park. That scares me....people need to stay home.

    But my local friends are being very helpful on social media. We post what we need & others tell us where to find it. And we're sharing.

    I am now keeping my 2 yr old grandson 40 hours a week because his parents both work in the food industry & must go to work. My husband is still going to work as well but I'm hoping they'll let him work from home soon.

    We live on 5 acres on a we can get fish & water! Ha! I have not grown a garden in about five years. The last three years I grew a garden I did not harvest one thing....our area is overrun with wildlife & I just could not keep them out. But I am thinking of trying again this year. I know I can't grow enough to feed us. Maybe we need to hunt some of the wildlife to eat!

    1. Dear Jenny, It really concerns me about short term medical supplies and the rationing that doesnt take any consideration for families. It makes no sense and is the same here.
      I have noticed peoples reluctance to stay home. In the end they will be forced to I believe. But meanwhile they are spreading the infection.
      I hope they will allow your husband to work from home from this week... if not to wear a mask.
      Oh you live in the most beautiful place!! You are in a wonderful set up! You may need a small fenced in area to garden. But with rising and hunting this sounds very good too! I hope the new week goes well. With love,

  42. In our area, we are quite rural. Typically we drive 30 minutes to Aldi, but there is one small local store 3 miles away and then stores 15 miles from here (2). We have not shopped since Mar 12 but I noted at that time that there were no green beans. I went into one of the 2 within fifteen miles last week and walked down canned vegetables aisle on my way to another case. There were loads of cans of greens (collard, mustard, turnip, kale, spinach) but none of beans or peas or corn. I was amused as nutritionally those cans of greens are far better than the other stuff but I know that not everyone grew up eating them as I did. My daughter had been to visit my mom yesterday (I went on Tuesday) and she was sent to the grocery to pick up fresh produce. She saw four cans of green beans and bought them for our pantry, as I'd mentioned it was the one veg I wish I had restocked sooner. There was no bread, no rice or dry beans, no toilet paper etc nor chicken. She noted that beef steaks and roasts were fully stocked in the meat counters.
    I have purposely NOT gone to the stores because I do not want to participate in anxiety/panic buying. I will go in a couple of weeks when we have our next check (first of next month) and then I will go. My husband asked if I'll take a list. No, I likely won't. As an experienced cook and low income family, I know how to think on my feet and be able to use what I can find! I'll use that skill to insure we have foods we can eat on hand.
    Right now we are fine. I am watching just enough news and maps to see how this thing is exploding in size daily. I am grateful we live in a rural area and are not accustomed to being busy outside the house. I can find plenty to keep me busy right here on my place!

    1. Dear Terri,
      I can be busy and happy at home too. This is so nice. That is one part I have no problem with!
      I am trying to keep ahead, mainly with a baby arriving and small children and their needs.
      It is a good skill to be able to plan what to make with what we have! This trips a lot of people up who do things the other way around.
      I am grateful we live in a rural area too! With love

  43. I think the thing that just scared me to death was the x's marked on the floor at the grocery stores checkout lane showing social distancing. All the news has broke me heart and made me anxious so I'm not watching as much. Very scary times.
    We seem to be having a shortage on meat as well, canned soup, well just about everything.
    I can't imagine those buses coming in like that wild. Stay well and be safe.

    1. Dear Vickie, I went into the post office and they had these lines. But they just put them down and the next day had to move them all again to 4 metres. They were very unhappy as the distance from a counter to the staff was only 1 meter. I think they will be closing...
      Our state is shitting down the borders so this week is set to get more interesting.. Stay safe Vickie, with love,

  44. Hi Annabel, thanks to you, I am prepared to hunker down for a while. I'm not worrying about what will be. God is my comfort and protector. I am stocked pretty well. Since I been reading your blog for several years, I guess I prepared little by little without really thinking about it. I feel ok about all the self isolating. Plenty to do. And I'm taking one day at a time. It is easier than looking too far ahead. Considering everyone is in the same boat, we may as well relax, and take it as it comes. Main thing is, just don't panic. It will all work out. Do the best you can, and trust in the Lord with all your might.

    1. Dear Dots, I am so glad to hear this. Thank you too! Little by little makes preparedness so easy to do and so much easier than a last minute panic!
      I am taking one day at a time too. Today alone was too many things for my brain to process. I can only manage today!
      I agree with you in every way! With love

  45. I’m in Sydney. The uncertainty is what is so hard to deal with. Schools still open but will they shut? And for how long? Do we need to stock up for 2 weeks or for 6 months? Will the supermarkets restock and when will they be more back to normal? Will all of sydney ‘shutdown’? Also some people I know here in Sydney like myself are staying home as much as possible (I’m still going to work) but lots of people are just going about their lives as normal as if we are not in the middle of a pandemic out socialising etc As for the shops in sydney, most now have no sanitiser, toilet paper, tissues, pads, frozen veggies, meat, pasta, rice, flour, cleaning supplies, soap of any kind, very low canned foods but most still have canned tuna at the moment. Still lots of junk food, but I have noticed last few days that things like chips, crackers and biscuits are getting very low. Low or no bread and milk. There are still fresh fruit and veggies because I guess people are only stocking up on long life things, but no onions and potatoes. Shops aren’t getting in any hand sanitizer but apart from that are still getting daily deliveries of most things (sometimes only small amounts) but when put on the shelf they are gone within 10 minutes.
    I have read your blog for a long time but rarely comment, but like others because of you I have always kept a small amount of supplies which is better than nothing and feel I have knowledge about what I will need etc. so Thankyou for your blog!
    I have ordered some more washers (can be used for lots diff things), hankies and some ‘period undies’ - undies with built in pad. Other alternatives would be reusable/washable pads, or menstrual cup. Doesn’t seem to be shortage on these things yet. I guess people haven’t realised there are alternatives to disposable products but I wonder if they will soon. I have read Bunnings is sold out of veggie seeds but have not checked this out for myself. I am currently trying to just eat all the fresh food I have then would move on to my freezer food then would move on to the pantry long life things if we were ordered to stay home. I would like to buy more supplies but I can’t really afford more at the moment.
    Margaret in Sydney xx

    1. Hi Margaret,
      I have used washable mentrual pads for years and swear by them! I'm quite grateful for them now of course. I used washable nappies and wipes for my babies and pads just seemed like a natural transition for me. Maybe washable cloths for toileting will soon become the norm as well?

  46. Last week, I cut into a Roma tomato and inide, the seeds were already sprouting! I took them outside and put them in dirt and just a few days later, I have many, one inch tomato plants! Today, I saved seeds from my Aldi cantaloupe, seeds from a jalapeno and portions of strawberries I cleaned to make a strawberry jalapeno salsa. For you who missed the boat on buying seeds, try saving some from the foods you have already. Sprout some sweet potato vines. Plant some popcorn. Green peppers tend not to be hybrids and grow true to form. Plant some green onions instead of eating them and you'll have a continuing return of green tops plus the root, at some point. Think outside the box. You'll be amazed at what you might be able to grow! Cindy F

  47. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds
    I am now in lock down for the duration due to my medical condition. Spoke to my doctor by teleconference this morning and he said no more going out into the big wide world. I do have to get a blood test done so I need to time that right so that the waiting room isn't full or organize a home visit.

    This is why I have been busy making sure that the gaps in the pantry were filled as best as I could.

    I cannot even have the 'flu needle due to a bad reaction last year. My husband, on the other hand will have not only the 'flu needle but also the pneumonia one - he is my first line of defense. He will be the one to pick up items from the small local supermarket. If they did home delivery I would be doing that but they don't.

    Thankfully my husband is working from home until at least just after Easter. Reading about States going into lock I don't think we are too far away from it either.

    The one thing that has been on my list to do is get the garden beds done and planted - not going to happen BUT I do have a couple of pots that I am going to set up and hopefully at least have some salad vegetables growing before anything further happens.

    Of course we all know that if you cannot do or get something you really feel you want it.

    The one thing I haven't done is started a sour dough starter so I think the time is right - I don't eat bread but my husband does mind you he has quite a few different kinds of dry biscuits in the pantry to keep him going.

    All I know is that I am so glad that I have always kept a good pantry and followed my feelings with making sure that the freezer and 'fridge were well stocked too. We will not starve, may have to be inventive with some of the ingredients if things drag out too long but so will everyone.

    Lynette Qld

  48. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,
    I am in California. The hospitals here are running low and out protective gear for our health care workers. They asking the public to sew protective masks and donate masks ect.If we have any at home or business. We are on our second day of shelter in place. It is very different with no cars leaving for work in the morning.Neibor are gardening and running for exercise. You can be outside just practice social distancing. 6 feet from others. We can go to the grocery store,bank or pharmacy.Our neighborhood seem calm and quite.
    We were grateful for the sunshine today.
    They have opened the grocery stores here an hour early for the elderly.They get to shop first to try to protect there health. This way they also get first pick.
    I continue to pray Psalm 91
    Thank you for the updates.
    May God bless and keep you.
    Much love,
    Patti from SD

  49. Dearest Annabel, as of half hour ago the govt here in Australia has said within 48 hours all non essential services will close. This is dire for businesses. A man I know will have to close the doors of his restaurant of 20 years !! You're so true about having a prepared pantry and being wise about what we tell people. They just don't understand the biblical ways. I didn't until now because my place and storage is so small. Now I can confidently say I could eat comfortably for two weeks. I really feel for people with kids ay this time. Fresh vegetables have gone through the roof. A lettuce I saw for $7 today !! Tomatoes are up to $18 a k.g here !!! I have frozen veg and canned fruit . People don't realise they can't just eat pasta for two weeks !! I'm upset this has all happened. Stay safe. With love , Sonia

  50. Hi Annabel,

    I couldn't believe when I heard that people who had a stocked pantry were now being called "food hoarders". In the states it is referred to as stockpiling and a common thing for people to do, especially in rural areas. Here in Western Australia shelves are still empty and it is even like this in the early hour. A friend who lives in Victoria, told me lettuce is being sold for $7 each! I suspect things are only going to get worse especially after the Prime Minister's speech tonight. I believe tomorrow the stores will be bedlam, flooded with people buying what little is left. On another note, I made some naan bread to go with a potato curry. The yeast was expired but it turned out ok anyway. I have a recipe for Irish soda bread and will check out your sourdough recipe. Scones are also a nice bread substitute there are alternatives! Like you said we will need to go back to thinking like our grandparents did xx

  51. Everyone’s situation sounds the same. I think the stores should have limited supplies immediately to prevent the run on food. Our town of 20,000 people has 3 confirmed cases and many more undiagnosed I’m sure. We are in California so we are house bound too. I believe it will be Marshall Law soon as young people will not take this seriously. We too have been praying Psalm 91daily. My heart hurts for all the families that did not prepare ahead of time. I pray that if nothing else is learned from the horrible crisis that people will see the value of being debt free and having 6 months preparation in place. Praying for you Bluebirds and Annabel that God keeps under His wings safe and sound till this trial passes. God Bless you all!

  52. Here in New England USA no bread, pasta, canned veg. What is on the shelves is limited to two. Meat counters empty. It is all very unsettling. I am supposed to pick up baby chics soon so I hope I will be able to pick them up. Understand when you say did I do enough I have had the same thoughts. I also feel we are in for a very rough road economy wise. I have followed your blog a long time but never commented . I also listen to the whispers from above to prepare. Colleen

  53. Here in New England USA no bread, pasta, canned veg. What is on the shelves is limited to two. Meat counters empty. It is all very unsettling. I am supposed to pick up baby chics soon so I hope I will be able to pick them up. Understand when you say did I do enough I have had the same thoughts. I also feel we are in for a very rough road economy wise. I have followed your blog a long time but never commented . I also listen to the whispers from above to prepare. Colleen

  54. Hi Annabel,
    Well we are now on a level 3 lock down here in NZ, moving to level 4 on Wednesday 11.59pm. I am now off work for 4 weeks min like the rest of the country. Only essential services will be open, such as hospitals,pharmacy's, supermarkets,service stations. I will continue to be paid my full wage while off and will have a job to go back to. I am one of the fortunate ones. Having said that my partner and I have worked hard to get our savings back up, the mortgage down, and food in our pantry and freezer. I agree this is just like the depression, it is world wide. We are facing a modern day "black plague," and who is to say it will stop here and when. For us Level 4 means self isolation. So staying at home, not meeting up with family or friends or having any social contact. We can go out for walks with those we are in isolation with, to buy food or medicines etc, but that is it. Everything is too shut down in the next 48hrs. It is scary for everyone. After living through the earthquakes, and mosque shooting, this is different again. I think to see people fighting over food, treating supermarket staff and each other badly is distressing. It only makes a difficult situation more difficult.
    It's interesting isn't it. How you are seen as stingy if you save money, are frugal, live within your means and prepare for a rainy day, while others live it up. When the tables are turned and they are ill prepared they blame others for it. Sadly this will always be the way. All we need to do is to come together here and support one another, in this beautiful space you have created Annabel.
    Stay safe and well everyone.


  55. Back again all, after reading all your comments. Unlike many of you I do not identify as a Christian, however I share many of the same values with you. Common decency seems to be in short supply in many places. Fortunately here in the South Island the supermarkets have not been to bad. Our Prime Minister is constantly reassuring people that the food supply is safe and as long as people are not silly there is plenty for all. The only thing I have not been able to get is more rolled oats. Of course there are always a few people that ignore this advice. A friend of mine lives in a semi rural community and commented that she thought people from town had been out at the supermarket due to low stock. They hadn't had a chance to restock quick enough. Her little 17month old daughter is dairy and gluten free and her biggest concern is making sure she can get enough for her. Annabel I am appalled at the bus loads of people travelling from the city. It is immoral and unethical and a shocking way to behave. Good on the supermarkets for implementing their new measures to combat this.


  56. Haven't commented here for such a long time, but blogs like yours are so, so pertinent and needed these days. We just got a shelter in place from our governor here in Michigan U.S. today. So thankful we are prepared. I'm praying we will all learn from this and it will change things in a good way. But in the meantime unfortunately some will really suffer, like self-employed. Praying for all of us. thank you for writing these posts. Deborah

  57. Hello from Norway. These really are strange times. Our country has been closed down for two weeks now and the Government will assess the situation again after Easter, it could get worse. There has been hoarding tendensies here, but it seems to have stabilized for now. Very few people in the shops and all keeping their distance. Plexiglas is being put up in front of the counters to protect emploiees from the virus. Things are surprisingly peaceful, now atleast. We live in the country, in forest-covered hills with only a few neighbours. Trying to trust God,eat out of our little pantry, homeschool and stay positive. Blessings, Pam

  58. I just got a chance to read your blog and I am reporting in from a rural area in Arkansas U.S. I live in the country so far out small local grocery has managed to stay well stocked, although they do have a limit on certain items. We are very well stocked, with homecanned vegetables from our garden and spaghetti sauce, chili starter etc. We also had plenty of tp for the two of us! Our schools are all close at least till April 30. The Pastor at our church is doing his Sunday sermon on FB Live. My hours at the OB/GYN clinic I work for have been cut but we are still working seeing only OB patients and gyn emergencies. As our Pastor says we all need to have Faith over fear. I am so glad that we are prepared,


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