Today I was going to post about dehydrating onions, but instead I'm going the easy route and posting an email I received from my sister who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (hurricane land). Men, if you are still reading, this letter is women specific, so unless you want to read on for the women in your lives, TURN BACK NOW. Okay, you have been warned, here's her email:
So I was thinking about your blog the other day, and I was feeling very lame because I did not do much stuff for myself. And I thought – man, we have two hurricanes a year here, and if anyone should be prepared for that crap, it’s probably me. But before I could feel too lame, I remembered that I DO have useful, frugal knowledge about some stuff, I just forgot about it. So I thought I would share it with you!
Last September when Hurricane Gustav came, I was without power for three whole weeks. The stores were closed for two weeks solid, and the city services - like garbage removal – didn’t come for two weeks either. So, something that I learned: periods are not fun in a disaster. You never think about tampons until you need them. And can’t get them. ANYWHERE.
So, you’d think it would make sense to stock up on tampons just like you do toilet paper, etc. But here’s the thing – when the garbage isn’t getting picked up for weeks, and it’s 100 degrees in your house because you have no air conditioner, having a bunch of used tampons laying around in the garbage gets really really gross. Plus you run out of tampons very quickly if you are me.
So after the hurricane mess was over, my girlfriends and I were talking and I found out that a lot of them had the same problem. So we all got what’s called “The Keeper” (cheesy, I know) www.thekeeper.com. It is VERY awesome. It’s a little rubber cup that catches all the mess. You buy it once and it lasts ten years, so it’s WAY cheaper than tampons. And you just empty it, rinse it, and use it again. (Of course – this assumes you have running water.) Anyway, you never run out of tampons and you don’t have gross tampon trash filling up your house and eventually filling up the landfills. And they’re way comfortable. They don’t look like it, but I promise they are. There’s also the Diva Cup www.divacup.com, but it’s made in Canada and the Keeper is made in the U.S.
But it gets better! We all thought – what about the last couple days of your period when the flow is really light and you don’t want a rubber cup up there for barely anything. Normally you’d just use little Carefree panty-liners or something like that. But those get gross in the trash too, and are cheaper than tampons but still pretty pricey over your lifetime. So you go back to the old times and MAKE YOUR OWN! Wahoo! There are patterns everywhere online for homemade pads, and you can make them as thick or thin as you want them, and you can make them to fit your own underwear. AND they stay put with little Velcro wings or snaps. Way cheaper and way more handy in a disaster than the disposable ones. (This also assumes you have water to wash them with.) My friends hand-sewed theirs, but I refuse to do that, so I just told mom to make me some. She thought it was gross, but I think it’s useful.
Anyway, that is my one preparedness tidbit that I learned the hard way.
Note from Angela: I have been stocking feminine hygiene supplies in my storage, but they'll only last so long, and then what? Hmmmm. Might be worth checking out. Here is a site with patterns and instructions for making your own pads (I'm not sure I'm quite there yet, but interesting nonetheless).