Here We Go!!!!

Here's our rations for this week:

(That's 5 half-breasts of chicken. Plus the pound of sausage, that's our 3#9 oz meat ration for the week. I think I'm in trouble.)
 ( I forgot to include the 12 oz bacon ration and the sugar ration in the picture, since I'm taking them out of my current stores. I'll remember next week.)
Here's the rest of what I have to work with:
(I can't get the receipt picture to rotate, so you'll have to tilt your head and squint.)
Here's the menu for the next week:
Steamed rice with milk
Pasta with eggs, bacon, and garlic
Biscuits and sausage gravy
Egg in a basket
Cheese strata

Sandwiches or leftovers

Fried Rice (to use up any leftover rice from breakfast)
Hillbilly "crabcakes" with pasta salad
Zuppa Tuscana
Leek-Potato soup
One pot Tomato-basil pasta
Teriyaki Chicken
Southwest pesto chicken with pasta

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing (my birthday is later this week)
Fruit for snacks

(I'll be posting recipes for all of the above at the rate of one per week. My super-easy, fool-proof, four-ingredient, very-little-knead bread recipe will be posted Monday. With pictures from my shiny new birthday camera/phone.)

In order to track any weight lost, for the record, my BMI is 30.7 (obese), Danny's BMI is 31.6 (obese), and daughter's BMI is 24.1 (Normal). To get my BMI into the 'Normal Weight' range, I need to get down to 150# or less. Danny needs to weigh 180# or less to get him into the 'Normal' range. Daughter is already there. I'll post changes each month.

The daily exercise requirement will be filled by Beginning Callanetics. I already own the DVD, and the next one, they're remarkably effective, and I actually like the exercises...when I can motivate myself to do them. 
WARNING!!! If anyone out there decides to do Callanetics, DO NOT do what I did the first time. I bought the DVD many years ago when I was younger and stupider, sat down to watch it, thought, "Oh, these are easy!!" and proceeded to do the maximum recommended number my first day. Took me three days to stop whimpering in pain and be able to lift my legs (without using both hands) to go up or down stairs. START SMALL and go up from there. Callanetics are like Long Island Iced Teas; they sneak up on you. Too many, too quickly and you find yourself laying in a moaning heap on the floor, wishing you could take it all back. You have been warned.
 I'm going to spend the weekend making dish soap and laundry soap (and taking pictures), baking bread (and taking pictures), and attempting to remember to exercise (NO pictures.) Hope everyone out there in Bloggerland has a wonderful weekend!


Planning Stages: Soap

One thing I've been having conniptions over has been the soap rationing...namely, dish soap, laundry soap and shampoo. To recap, we get four--just 4--soap coupons per person each month for all our soap needs. One soap coupon is worth:

4 oz bar soap  or
3 oz toilet (facial) soap   or
1/2 oz liquid soap  or
6 oz soft soap   or
3 oz soap flakes   or
6 oz powdered soap.

For arguments sake, I'm classifying dish soap as liquid soap, shampoo as soft soap, and powdered laundry soap (including Borax) as...wait for it...powdered soap (I know that last one is confusing. Just go with me here.)

Today was our last grocery shopping day before we start on September 23rd. I needed to pick up some travel bottles to hold our soap rations, because you just can't buy 1/2 oz of dish soap. We're going to have to buy the bigger sizes and decant our ration into another smaller, much smaller, bottle.

Have you seen how small 1/2 fluid oz is?! You know those hand sanitizer bottles you can buy to attach to your key chain? THAT'S a half ounce. I so cannot get through a day's dishes with that little soap, much less a whole month's worth of dishes!

So I hit the interwebz in panic. I'm not going to have enough oil ration to make my own soap, so I needed another work-around. And found this: a recipe for making your own dish soap.  I'm going to try it out (I haven't gotten my new camera yet, so I'll be borrowing daughter's smart phone for pictures) and see if it works. If it does...one bar of Ivory, costing just one soap coupon, should make about 60oz of dish soap!! That's a whole month's worth of clean dishes!! (Cue angels singing.)

I'll post how it turns out, including pictures.


Planning: Gasoline Rations

Fuel rationing is turning out to be a timely subject, what with the eastern seaboard experiencing gas shortages from the Alabama pipeline leak.

Luckily, we're not affected by that particular shortage. However, according to my best guess, we're only going to have about 45 gallons of gasoline per month (if we're careful with our electricity usage) on the ration point system. That works out to roughly 11 gallons per week. Therein lies a Yuuuuuge problem.

I've been going crazy(er) trying to figure out how we were going to survive with only 45 gallons of gasoline per month. 45 gallons won't even come close to covering Danny's commute, much less trips to town for Kung Fu lessons, grocery shopping, photography lessons, and unexpected visits to the vet/doctor/library. We live 12 miles, one way, from the nearest town. Danny drives about 50 miles, one way, to work each day. 500 miles per week, minimum. At 20mpg, that's 25 gallons just for him, for one week. We're not selling the house to move closer, can't afford a new car with better gas mileage, and he can't just quit work! 45 gallons doesn't equal 100 gallons, no matter how hard I try.

Rationing just wasn't going to work. It was beginning to look like we were going to have to quit the experiment before we even began. Then I discovered the A, B, C's.

An American HBC contributor reports: "I was a teenager during World War II and remember the rationing of food, gas and other strategic items before I was drafted into the Army. Silk stockings and nylon's for ladies was unheard of. Young ladies drew a line down the back of their legs to indicate they were wearing stockings. Gas rationing: a Class "A" sticker allowed you four gallons a week; Class "B" sticker allowed you ten gallons a week and a Class "C: sticker was unlimited, meaning your vehicle was essential for the war effort.American Rationing During WW2
Who was considered essential for the war effort?
The "C" sticker was issued primarily to professional people, physicians nurses, dentists, ministers, priests, Mail delivery, embalmers, farm workers, construction or maintenance workers, Soldiers and armed forces going to duty, and several others.   Gas Ration Stickers
Danny's jobs (Medical Instructor and Flight Paramedic) both fall under the class C designation!!!! We can do this after all!!

However, for fairness sake, since we're using the American gas rationing system, I'm going to adjust the fuel allowances. Our 7-room house will still get 140 units (1050KW) of electricity per month, but instead of the 15 extra units each for personal use, I'm going to follow the American gasoline ration system. Danny will only use his car for commuting and farm work (hauling hay/animals/fencing/etc.) The 4-gallon-per-week gas ration will be used in our other car and we will use it for everything else.

That leaves me enough gasoline for about three round trips to town each week. That's not a lot, but I think I can work with that.


Planning Stages: Clothes

As I was going over the recommended wardrobe list, packing away clothes, and sorting through sweaters, I ran into a few snags (Hah! See what I did there? That were pun-ny) (...or not.)

ANY-way, as I was saying before my immature brain so rudely interrupted, the clothing list left out such things as shorts, sandals, and swimsuits. There is also no allowance for farm living. For example, if I'm going to be mucking around in the barn, I need barn boots, not tennis shoes. I also need a few items (pants, tops) that are either capable of standing up to animals or are in such a state that I don't care if they do. I also need a dedicated barn coat so I don't smell like goat every time I go to town.

So I made an executive decision to add 2 pair of shorts, 1 pair of sandals, and 1 swimsuit to the list, as well as 2 pair of barn pants, 4 barn shirts (for layers), 1 barn coat, and 1 pair of barn boots.

Here was my closet then:

(I wasn't joking about the stuffed-to-overflowing.My clothes to the left, Danny's to the right, where you can't see them.)
Here is my closet now:

 (You can actually see Danny's clothes now. He's still working on sorting, but he's getting there.)


D DAY DATE (Say that three times fast)

I need a week or so to get set up for our 'surviving WW2 rationing' experiment, so D Day is officially going to be Friday, September 23rd. By then, I need to have the soap rationing figured out, our closets pruned down to ration(al) levels, and a handful of recipes at the ready. Oh, and sort out that whole gasoline/electricity rationing...thing (waves hand dismissively.) I'm even going to buy a computer-friendly camera!

(Don't worry, I'll keep posting M/W/F until then...)