Some time ago I wrote an article titled Why Do We Make Ravioli From Scratch. In it, I sound a bit sassy at one point where I mention that I make homemade ravioli because I CAN. But there is MUCH more to it than that. It isn’t just because I know how, or that there is a cost savings. One day we may NEED to do it without running to the store to buy a bag of manufactured frozen ravioli, and it is a comfort to know I have it covered!
So many people believe that the grocery store will always be there for them to run to and grab the things they have come accustomed to eating. So many believe that there will not be sacrifice in the future when it comes to our family’s comfort foods. We have gotten so spoiled here in the United States and many other countries with on demand conveniences.
Yet this “thing” we have been going through these last several months - I PRAY has shown that things may not always be the same as they were before. It is hard to say what is in store with “this drama.” Will it ever go away under our current presidency? Will it make a come-back? Who knows. It may stay the same as now, go away completely, or more likely – become a strange “balance” in between two places.
I recall listening to my grandparents, great grandparents, and even my parents when I was little. They would recall stories of being young during The Great Depression and suffering/struggling with having food in the house. My grandfather talked often of how little men were paid for all their hard work – only to be able to afford ONE loaf of bread to share among the whole family for an entire week.
Recent months have brought up a lot of discussion on the Mark of the Beast which people will take just to be able to buy food. Haven’t we seen a practice version of this mentality by governments commanding citizens to place an object on their face or be denied food? We have friends and relatives who have even been denied access to medicine if they don’t follow these directives. We are in strange times.
Over the years I have watched many people take the stance that “preppers” are nutty – but we aren’t. Instead, many of us are preppers because we have “been there and done that” in life. When I was young, for example, I recall times when my dad was out of work, laid off. And we scraped by. Yet I also recall when we HAD to go on “food stamps” because we NEEDED to eat. Mom and dad had three of us girls then, our little sister hadn’t yet been born. We just needed that extra help. There was also the time in Tucson when dad and mom were both working but making minimum wage. It was tough times. What if they had some kind of food storage stocked up in their pantry or basement during those times?
Even in my own adult life, I can recall at least two times where financial issues caused me to need food storage for a time to feed my family. And now, in 2020, many people have discovered that maybe setting aside foods in the pantry isn’t such a crazy idea after all.
Still, the thoughts of many turn to prepared foods that they can stockpile in their freezers, fridges, and pantries. While my mentality has evolved into thinking of ingredients that can be used to make and create MANY things if emergency arises. In recent years, this thinking has spread from just food into other areas of our lives.
A thought came to me last year, for example, yet I never put it into practice until this week. In trying to clean out our storeroom, I decided that it would be a good day to work down the pile of “projects” I had created for myself and pushed aside. In that pile was an idea for making rags for my dry mop. Rags that can be used wet or dry – for dusting or mopping. Over the years I have been one of those wives, too, who got comfortable using disposable everything. Now, I do have to confess, I am NOT ready to use washable “toilet paper” (aka wash rags!) or reusable “paper towels” right now. But I have officially stopped using Swiffer products. Sorry, Swiffer! But you won’t be getting more $$$ from our home!
I have to make a note here, because there are some in my life who will read this article and claim I am just trying to make it sound better. Or that I just don’t want to admit we can’t afford to buy disposable wet or dry rags for the mops. They will say, “Mmmmm, Judi is just trying to make an excuse for the fact that they can’t afford to buy all those products.” Yes, our budget is tight. Yet not affording them is just NOT the case. In fact, if I want to buy disposable dust cloths, dry mop rags, and wet mop rags, I can and have! No problem. It is as easy as just tossing some into your cart at the store.
However, I have several reasons why I stopped and will not go back.
1) I no longer need to! And this is a big one. Since I now have an alternative, I just don’t need to any more!
2) I DO LOVE my environment!!! My world is so very precious and I appreciate so much of what Yahweh has given us! I will say that I am not one of those people who goes around sacrificing farms to save a slug. However, I AM one of those who tries to decrease the amount of waste we toss out each week.
If I buy disposable dust rags, floor rags, or wet mop rags, those ALL end up in a landfill SOMEWHERE. Or worse. They take up space as trash and contribute to the ruining of our environment, physically and chemically.
3) Although we COULD afford them, there are other items we would like to stock up on for our food storage that currently take precedence. One box of wet wipes for the mop handle costs us about $9.00 here. My brain works this way: $9 is equal to two weeks’ worth of chicken when it is on sale; 5 bags of frozen vegetables I can dehydrate; 5 gallons of milk; or ALL the dairy we eat in one week. Cost and effect analysis demonstrates that $9 will buy nourishment, while the other merely cleans the floors!
4) I choose not to waste my money on them when I can easily use a washable rag which may last years. It is easily tossed into my washer with the load of towels each week, too.
5) I get to choose what kinds of cleaners I use for which task at hand. The chemicals on some of the disposable rags are just not something I want in the home. Between the overwhelming fragrances and the chemicals which linger, it makes for a toxic indoor environment. There are a FEW chemical cleaners that I DO use in our house – but that is VERY limited to about three products because, no matter what I have tried, nothing works better than these three at the tasks they accomplish! Our home will be clean without risking toxic chemical sensitivity.
I can honestly say, as of this week, we will no longer need to buy those disposable rags again! I finally took the time to sew up some rags that will do both wet and dry. We had an old towel, not so old that it was falling apart. But old enough we don’t want to use it for showers. I measured, cut, stitched the edges, and set them aside for cleaning day. One day this past week, I decided it was the perfect day to try them to clean up the kitchen floor which was getting grungy from all my trapsing in and out from the garden.
I am SO HAPPY! I can honestly say that if things hit the fan again and stores are short on cleaning products, I can use these handy little mop rags to wash our vinyl floors, toss them in the washer, dry and set aside for the next time. They can also be used to dry dust the floors and are the perfect size for dusting shelves, frames, and such around the house! Additionally, they can be used to scrub the tubs AND, while on the Swiffer handle, DUSTING THE WALLS AND CEILING FANS!
I LOVE these silly things. I only whipped up two, but will be cutting more this week and sewing them up, too!
Are they perfect? Not quite – my design is flawed in that it doesn’t stay very tight on the ends of the mop head. So, there IS room for improvement – but I already have a few ideas on how to fix that problem, like adding elastic. Now it becomes a fun experiment to discover which design will work best. In the meantime, I keep adding to the list of things I can do with them and asking myself, “WHY, WHY, WHY did you put off making these for so long??????”
These beautiful rags worked wonderful getting up all the garden dirt. I only needed the two because they are reversible. Our kitchen is big - with a large open eat in area. When the rags get dirty, you can rinse them in a bucket of hot water, flip them over and use the other side. The terry cloth is nice because it makes a great scrubbing surface that gets into the nooks and crannies of our vinyl flooring. One day I pray to make some that LOOK nicer than these and will share photos - maybe even directions!
I believe, if we had hardwood floors as I did in one of my old houses, these would also be nice for dusting those and leaving them with a refreshed shine. The multipurpose nature of such a simple creation is a wonderful blessing to our home and our world.
As I develop these a bit more, maybe I can encourage you to make a change, too.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
Torah For Women
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