Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own.” (Ezra Taft Benson)

 I have mentioned before that 39 years ago or there about we lived in South Dakota and there was a truckers strike and everything came in by trucking. Back then stores stored more than they do now. If a big emergency happened now the stores only have 24 hours of food.

I know (really I do) when times are tight it is hard to work on getting in storage but even if you can pick up one thing at a time it will add up.

Building our skills help our family…

For example, my making our bread saves about seven dollars a month. Actually, that is not counting gas. I know, how many times have you said, "seven dollars, no big deal." But if you take that for the whole year you are saving roughly $84. Now I can think of a lot of storage I could get for that amount of money, but even if you could only stretch your budget that helps. Little savings add up to the ability to make do. Really, who can pass up these?

Cooking from scratch saves us money and allows us to make do. In tight times we might not be able to stick much away but it is taking what income we have and making it work. It helps smooth rough times.

Yard sales and buying used has really helped us over the years with school clothes and winter gear and clothes for us, dehydrators, food savers - yes, plural - and most are like new. One food saver was still in its package. We have gotten oil lamps, toys, blenders, mixers, popcorn poppers, crockpots, furniture, serger, sewing machines, knitting machine, sewing and knitting notions, even basket making supplies, and many other things that have made us able to make it through tough times. Was it hard to go to yard sales? Yes, physically, but it was well worth it. Was it hard with kids? Yes, but those kids are now thrifty shoppers as well, a skill passed on to them.

When I went to yard sales I was armed with a list. I also had in my mind things that would help us put up food, sew or mend, notions to be able to knit warm sweaters, scarves, etc. Here again, little by little I built up things that have helped us and yet continue to help us. For example, I got these knitting needles for a dime. Look at the very old price at the top. Can’t find them for that price new any longer.

So when you are thinking to get something new, think used and look around.

I know I push skills, especially sewing. Many times I had been asked to mend for pay. It was a blessing that helped us to stretch our funds, always paying tithing on it seemed to make it all the more helpful. - there are many great ideas in here.

Freecycle and yardsales and destashings helps with sewing fabrics and notions.

I think she has great ideas. There are lots of refashioning and re-purposing. I know of someone who makes underwear from found t-shirts. Just picture a girl's t-shirt with polka dots. How cute? Believe me when I tell you they are so easy to make. I will ever be grateful to a sewing teacher who taught me. I made my girlies panties but back then, never thought of t-shirts for the fabric. - don’t let her title throw you off, scroll down to see underwear she made from t-shirts. I love the crochet flower then go ahead and read about the zucchini flowers, identifies male and female blossoms, who knew! - I was lucky to have a landlady who showed me. - did you know cooking in cast iron helps with your iron level? Doctors recommend using them. - I know I said this before but these are items you will be looking for. - I know I keep bringing this up but every little thing adds up to bigger things, learn to patch everything. - this works great, I have got a free huge Quiesenart pan because it was slightly burned, sparkles like new now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Message

Scroll down for a GREAT recipe for waffles/pancakes.
"Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future.” (L. Tom Perry)

What is your plan??? Yesterday I was listening to the news while doing a chore and this grabbed my attention…. they were talking about what is happening in Venezuela. They were talking to a carpenter, which is a good job, he showed his rib cage then opened his refrigerator and there was very little in it. He eats two meals a day if he can and tries to space it out. He said he used to have his refrigerator full of meat and vegetables but no more. They talked to a woman holding a plantain, which I looked up is a cooking banana. She held it up and said it cost what her house did twenty years ago. They showed many many people lined up to get a loaf of bread. They showed the sellers don’t even bother to count the money instead they weigh it cause it is so much to purchase. There was a man standing in line to buy something and in just the time it took to talk to the reporter the price increased. They use their retirement to find anything to eat.

This is their reality at this time. I am sure they might at one time have said that it couldn’t happen to them. We never know what could happen. No one can know the future. I guess that is why we need to be prepared and the best time to prepare is before something happens.

Our fortunes can change in a second. Then you will need to rely on the skills you developed as well. How are you coming on your skill building?

This pic shows the tube I made and learned dying when my sister was here.

This shows what it looks like rolled up and ready to use.

I used an old Barbie knitter I bought for .75 at a yard sale.  You can see I am using the tube that I made and dyed as a sock blank I am knitting directly from the tube.

Here you can see I am knitting a heel trying to master a different kind heel.

Success in completing the heel.

Finished the sock. It is on a sock blocker I got for a dime at a yard sale.

This is what I have been working on. I also am getting faster, not only from learning the continental method but the more I do the faster I am getting.

I would love to hear what skills you are learning.

I have a new favorite waffle and pancake recipe. I got this recipe from a friend who said it originally came from a cookbook by Tasha Tudor by her grandson Winslow Tudor.  My friend made a change to it that makes it faster to fix. You can do this with one you might have as a favorite recipe. She puts all the dry ingredients in jars ahead so you have this on shelf waiting when you are ready.

Here I am making jars of this waffle/pancake mix up to have ready.

I made small waffles and cooked all the batter. I made and froze the little waffles so I could pop them in the toaster.

Waffle & Pancake Mix (this is just one pint, for larger families double this and put in a quart jar)

1 1/2c flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar

This goes into the jar. I just made up six pints this time but how handy is this?

To make…

1 ½ c milk
4 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs

Mix and drop in contents of jar.

This was very good!

I like the idea of having the jars up ahead of time. Also like having the little waffles for toaster and pancakes if one wished.

How are you coming on building your storage? We had a sale on mushrooms at our Aldi’s store for .69 per 8 oz container I picked up ten.

I put the sliced mushrooms in the dehydrator. I washed the mushrooms and used an egg slicer I had purchased at a yard sale long ago.

This shows what the mushroom looks after slicing

Ten packages filled my dehydrator totally up.

Next to the on sale mushrooms were the same but already sliced they where 1.69 for same size containers. So by slicing my own I saved ten dollars, wow that was so amazing!!  It took me less then half an hour to wash, slice, and load the dehydrator. We love mushrooms. This is a good and easy storage item costing $6.90 and by doing my own slicing it did not cost $16.90. So consider the mark up for items you purchase as a money saving option.

So many things we can add to our cutting costs and putting in storage. I would have still had to wash the already sliced kind and would still have had to spread them out on the trays. The only thing I did extra was cut them with an egg slicer which by the way was fun, any child would have loved that job.

What do I do with my dried mushrooms? I put them in pasta sauces, in gravies, and in soups. You don’t want a slice of mushroom you can blend in your blender to be a powder, they just give a richer taste and we love them. - I wanted to pass this along I love the title on the bucket luggable loo, I thought all very good ideas. - I also saw this gal who has some ideas if your budget is tight these could be helpful. - very good idea here as well for a skill building idea. - here she does a very good visual on money priorities, kind of neat.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)

I would add when it is a way of life it is a good thing, you are eating what you store and replacing what you don’t have to “get use to your storage.” And you won’t feel deprived as you stored the things you like. Also having skills you can fall back on in tight times, it is all good no matter how hard the hard times are. - part one - part two. I thought she has done a fabulous job of presenting this. I do have fibromyalgia and I know most of you do not but I feel what she talks about applies to all. And if you are gluten free you might want to watch her videos as she cooks gluten free. Life is challenging for everyone, we don’t need to feel like we need to do everything I think you will feel uplifted watching these.

I am still working on knitting socks I think I have the heel finally mastered now regular heels no problem but this new one has me cranking down to learn.

We stopped by the library when we were in town and I got a few magazines. I guess I don’t pay attention to the prices I was startled to see one was 10.99 for a magazine. Wow! I am thankful for free magazines at the library, you might check out yours.

How are you coming on building your storage? How about building a skill? Life is busy but we must always keep learning, never stop.

Are you tired of heat yet?? If you are having a hard time coming up with something to fix without heating up the house I think this will help

I do pint jar cakes too. I mix a package of a one step angel food cake mix and any flavor of regular cake mix together and store in a canning jar. To use, I do a wide mouth pint, add four tbsp. water then three tbsp. of the mix together and microwave for one minute. I like lemon also cherry chip. We put just a bit of pie filling or fruit on top, you could use whip topping on top too. I love having blueberries in the freezer to throw in muffins or pancakes, really very easy. - I think this lady has great info. - what have you got in your pantry?? - we can learn lots from the past. - one time I learned how to fix a leaky faucet in Relief Society homemaking meeting (it was homemaking for women at church, I learned so much from these meetings). It was only one method but not long after my husband and I visited my sister. She had just had her dishwasher replaced she said but her water pressure was low and she was worried about running the dishwasher. She turned on the water and there wasn't very much. I reached over and unscrewed the screen at the end of the faucet. It was full of stuff from when they replaced the dishwasher. I guess they didn’t look. I dumped it in the garbage and put it back. The water was as it should be and the look on their faces was priceless. So there, you too can amaze and stun with your knowledge. everyone needs to know how to hem pants. Yes, put the stapler away, this is easier. even if you have the best mixer in the world I think it is very important to learn to knead bread by hand. - I think you need to know this. I had to learn this on my own but I found this for you. okay, I know there are clothes out there that need this after the horrid heat we have had. armed with this you are now powerful.

I know I gave you quite a ride but all is useful information. The more you are able to do for yourself and your family, the easier you can wade through tight times.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own” (Ezra Taft Benson)

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: “Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time.” (Elaine L. Jack)

If they can do that surely we can too.

I was in a Walmart the other day walking through. I always note prices since I don’t go very often but the prices were so high it makes me think of struggling people having to come up with these higher prices and how hard it is.  

I have not seen the prices ever come down but they continue to get higher. We have so many things going on all around us. Everything competing for your time and money. It is easy to listen to the voices on tv say you have dirty dishes so go out to eat. I find myself thinking, but you will still have dirty dishes after that. They make everyone look happy when they eat out or get these boxed items at the grocery store.  

Just this morning about five I smelled one of my neighbors making pancakes. I love pancakes. I found my thoughts going to what kind then I wondered was it a mix? Hmmmm, that made me think there are pancake mixes that are complete and you just add water. I think if you store mixes those would be a good item to store then. I thought they don’t last as long as storing flour and all the ingredients to make pancakes from scratch. Just my thoughts this morning early. I wonder if many know how to make pancakes from scratch? Then my thoughts drifted to how many harmful chemicals could be in the boxed things, yikes that’s a thought. - I know people are busy but this idea of mixing ahead is great with that. - this second idea I use with my canning jars, it is fantastic however as busy as you are you have to make the jars up but having them on hand is such a helpful thing.

Did you know you could add a little water to your almost empty jam jar, heat it and you can have a syrup for your pancakes - yum!

I know it is easy to get in ruts or just have cold cereal but we have pancakes a lot for supper too. - this is good to make and very frugal. - some ideas on how to live on one income. - part 2 build your skills

I love this next quote...

"I have on occasion cited the need for many reservoirs in our lives to provide for our needs. I have said, “Some reservoirs are to store water. Some are to store food, as we do in our family welfare program and as Joseph did in the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. There should also be reservoirs of knowledge to meet the future needs; reservoirs of courage to overcome the floods of fear that put uncertainty in our lives; reservoirs of physical strength to help us meet the frequent burdens of work and illness; reservoirs of goodness; reservoirs of stamina; reservoirs of faith."

 “Yes, especially reservoirs of faith, so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong; when the temptations of a decaying world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and seek to pull us down, we need a storage of faith that can carry youth, and later adults, over the dull, the difficult, the terrifying moments; disappointments; disillusionments; and years of adversity, want, confusion, and frustration.
. . .Parents. .are expected to lay foundations for their children and to build the barns and tanks and bins and reservoirs.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Message

Actively work on getting your storage in! 

(LDS Church Handbook 2, Section 6.1.1)
“Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being.....To help care for themselves and their families, members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet. Where local laws and circumstances permit, they should gradually build a longer-term supply of basic foods that will sustain life. They should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted."

(Keith B. McMullin, April 2007)
“A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

How are you come at building your storage and working on your skills?? - how to hem pants - how to read a knitting chart - frugal kitchen tips. Very useful! - meal plan. In summer it is easy to forget to do it but our budget needs us to do it. - looks pretty easy - watch the free video. I have seen this done with the tiny ribbon that you can use over and over again.

Here is what I have done so far learning on my skill of dying yarn and working on a sock with that hank of yarn you saw on the drying rack in last week’s Monday Message.  I have made socks before but not totally doing them continental style knitting.

Here I am winding that skein of yarn from the yarn swift on the right to the ball winder on the left before I can knit.

 Here I am now able to knit from the newly made yarn cake - yep, cake with no calories! :p  See how pretty this yarn I dyed with my sister is working up.  

I am using continental style knitting and I love it much better. It doesn’t hurt as much as English throwing with my right hand. It's a skill I had been working on for a long time before podcasts - easy to say I love learning!

Just a plug for sewing skills... I am always trying to improve my sewing skills and the sock and yarn is sitting on the small reversible project bag I made a of couple years ago.

So keep plugging away on learning your skills. If an old bird like me can learn, you can too.

I am not saying you have to pick the same skills as me, you can if that is what you want but try choosing skills that can best serve your family. Make a list then number the list as to what would be most helpful. Put a number one on it, this will help you know what you will want to learn first in building skills. You can learn one at a time or as many as you wish at a time. 

I seem to have many going at one time and also skills I want to sharpen. If I get stuck on one I can move to another till I figure the first one out and go back to it. This is me, you might want to do one thing at a time and that is great too. Just be working toward learning skills. Sometimes it is pushing yourself to learn something you do not like.  

Our daughter doesn’t like to sew but she pushed on knowing it was a skill that was needed. She has sewn needed clothing items and now feels she might actually like sewing.

Share with others your successes to inspire others. That is why I share mine with you.

Since you all are on this journey with us I'll tell you how we are doing living in hard times...

We pay our tithing and feel this is the best blessing we get.

Skill - I have that rider mowing down to 45 min for the 9/10ths of an acre. I have three days of pain to deal with but I knit during that and work on the Monday Message.

I was gifted t-shirts for both my husband and myself, plus a winter coat for me and my husband was given a coat just before last winter so that is tended and a real blessing.

Living tight and using Sam’s Club is not the same when you aren’t tight and shop there. So with us being tight, here are the only items I go for - yeast, 25 pound bag of flour, rice, beans, baking nuts, dry cranberries, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese (both five pounds). We don’t get all at once, only when we need it.  

If I can get two other items it would be bacon pieces in a bag which I can spread into many meals. The other is a big package of little smokies which I break into smaller amounts. We have them with pancakes, French toast, waffles, baked beans and other meals. 

That is it for our tight-time items. The rest run higher than Aldi’s. I go in with blinders and don’t look at anything else this store has to offer. And I see how fast I can get in and out.

This month has been a bit plagued with car repair and getting tires.
My husband is battling a bulging disk in his back and fell on his hip, the blessing is that while it hurts at least nothing broke.

Blessed with a good friend who helped my husband get two pictures he painted to the fairground - we can’t thank Nat enough!

We were blessed by other friends who gave him two canvases for him to use.

Many blessings! We have had my sister and her husband give us their computer when they upgraded, plus I got a hug :)

Another friend and her daughter brought us a pint or so of blueberries when they went picking. I froze them to use in many things.

We got two free zucchini from our little market, mine aren’t yet being fruitful. And a good friend gave us canning jars so that too is a blessing.

We could not list them all but we feel blessed.

So that is the journey you are going along on with us.

Though we feel this year has been very hard on us, we still feel very blessed. So that is the update about us. It would be a lot harder if we did not follow the warning to have storage and sacrifice to get it. So on that note, I encourage you all to be actively getting yours in. Be actively learning skills.

Do the best you can!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Message

Be frugal & bake your bread products from scratch! Very versatile machine bread recipe HERE!

    “We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.
    “Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.
    “When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.” (W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)

Could you live on less than you make? Could you? Honestly?? Living on less than you make is key. You should try it for a month. You might be surprised.

Living paycheck to paycheck is risky, it leaves NO buffer, nothing for the unexpected. Believe me when I tell you there are more unexpected things than you can dream up.

I want you to play the "what if" game. What if you lost your job with no warning? I actually want you to write on paper your plan for just that. Be honest, what would you do?? Then I want you to save it and put it with your storage. So I want you to do an in-depth mindful thinking and note taking and come up with a real plan.

For example, we got rid of our cable bill and went with Roku. We also got a magic jack for phone service, just things like this help.

It is amazing what you can live without. The very thing you think you cannot live without like a certain brand or food item, cleaning supply, cable... you can do it. It might be hard at first but then you are on the search for cheaper items.

You will more thoughtfully buy your groceries. A couple of times I was going to get groceries when I found out our income was cut. I totally redid my list and got things that I could get more meals out of and got a big bag flour so I could make bread, cake, whatever, knowing it would be bad times ahead. The entire list had to last way longer.

You have to stop thinking of the loss and stretch what you have - NO time for a pity party. You need to pull up your sleeves and go to work stretching food, mending clothes, doing all you can to help make life as normal as you can for your husband and family.

Remember, no situation is so bad it cannot get worse.

This is not time to point fingers at each other, it is time to pull together.

Your husband does not need you bemoaning how awful things are. He needs you more now than ever. He will take courage if you show him you both can manage. It could be hard but we are in this together, we will make it.

Get out the cookbooks and start learning to cook from scratch if you haven’t already done so.

Remember, Heavenly Father loves you and don’t think you are being punished because you are not. And please don’t blame your spouse for the loss of a job and how you cannot have this or that.

Hopefully you listened and have food storage, what I call real everyday food storage.

You will learn lessons but not for having done bad. These lessons of making-do don’t feel great but as I look back they are a very valuable education that now helps us in any hard time. I would not ever trade them. It is hard now to see it but one day you too will not trade the knowledge. For anything. You can help others. Yes, you work harder for this education but you can’t learn it at a school. - must read for your homework! - must read homework! - worth looking at - I have the round bread pan, you could save some veggie cans to do the same thing.

If you don’t have a bread machine, do it by hand. Yard sales and Goodwill have used ones for about three dollars. Or ask for one on freecycle or your sisters at church may have one that's no longer wanted.

If you have one, it could help but it's not necessary. You can follow the recipe but stir instead and you can make this work… this can be made to make many - scroll down to see kits to make.

Just a few things to think about. Do the best you can!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Message

 "In words of revelation the Lord has said, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing" (D&C 109:8).  Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparations as will assure survival should a calamity come.  We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm.  We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day." Gordon B. Hinckley

"The greatest events that have been spoken of by all the Holy Prophets will come along so naturally as the consequences of certain causes, that unless our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of revelation rests upon us, we will fail to see that these are the events predicted by the Holy Prophets." George Q. Cannon, Nov. 2, 1879, JD 21:266-67.

Organize yourselves - this is huge as I have been trying to do some deep cleaning and organizing. Just that is huge so being prepared is best not left to the last minute. It really is best to do as you go, not so huge that way. - helpful info I found I never thought about flames taking our oxygen…I liked the kit she made as gifts too. - this is soooo good I'm running it again. - again, I stress that you all learn to cook from scratch and be getting wee ones used to scratch as well.

Even now I will have a daughter ask for homemade bread for making toast in morning. So yes, get everyone used to homemade bread. This day in age with electric knives etc. we can achieve a bread that everyone will ask the same question - homemade bread?? - pretty handy if you needed it to be, on another note did you know you can freeze mac and cheese? Yep, you can. I love mac and cheese. - I love the store this, not that. - snack mixes to make your kids this summer.

How are you coming on your skill building?

I learned several things here, the dying, yes that was one, making my own sock blanks, and I am ready to start spinning.

I am still knitting on socks. I aim to perfect the FKL heels and toes.

I am trying to get further organized around the house.

I am watching sale flyers for inexpensive things to stock up on.

Still picking raspberries in the fall, will do jam.

How are you coming on your canning skills? Keep doing the best you can!
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