Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Message

“I have paid attention to the counsel that has been given me. For years past it has been sounded in my ears, year after year, to lay up grain, so that we might have an abundance in the day of want. Perhaps the Lord would bring a partial famine on us; perhaps a famine would come upon our neighbors.” (President Brigham Young)

Hopefully you did not go into debt for the holidays.

Now you can turn your attention to building your skills. I was listening to the news and they were talking about adulting school where adults go to learn how to be adults. They said with so many adult children still living with their parents that when they finally do go out on their own they don’t know the basics. Cooking, sewing on a button, etc.

Winter days are gloomy. Learning new skills could be a good change to fight cabin fever. - she has some great info - some great ideas too

Add to these things stopping in at thrift stores. I was able to get a really nice lamp for our living room. The lamp was seven dollars and the shade was three dollars.

And this bread book was less than a dollar. It has great step by step directions. Yes, you can get info off the internet, and I am all about that, but I am all about books too. Whichever way you choose to learn let your goal constantly be learning.

I have been in my spring cleaning mode in the early winter...

I was able to get this shelf on a great sale. It was $59 down from $75. It is very heavy and taller than I am. It was ten more dollars than the flimsy ones. It has made it so much easier to spread out on my counters.

Here are a few other pictures from around the house per request and a little bit of the winter cleaning I’m working on. - while we are not homesteaders per say these have useful things to learn. Scroll down through the advertising to see what they have to show that’s worth a look

Keep working on your storage. Keep working on your skills. Keep helping others and living frugally.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Message

Reorganizing the stamp room. Scroll down for more pics!

“I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I have seen many who have suffered a reverse to their income and it is so sad. No one expects this to happen to them. We need to be prepared for such a reverse. Store some food and know how to fix it.

Also, having an "I can do" attitude not a feeling sorry for yourself attitude helps.

Whenever we had a bad turn of events because we had storage it helped us over those times. Plus, the kids did not know as we ate the same things and I always stored the ingredients to make our favorite chocolate cake. It helped the kids to feel things were okay and it helped us as the parents to feel things would be okay.

My Chocolate Cake

1 ½ c. boiling water
¾ c. butter
2 c. sugar

Stir together till butter is melted and sugar is dissolved


2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. cocoa powder

Mix well and add…

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend well, batter will be thin.

Put in a sprayed 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees till done, check after twenty minutes.

Do you have a favorite comfort food? Do you have the ingredients on hand?

Lately I have been doing organizing in the sewing/stamping room.

I am getting the Toyota all set up to make sock tubes. I will have to see how I do on that. I am learning to advance a skill.

I have this cowl all caked off and ready to start. - this has great information on becoming more frugal. She has great ideas.

Keep working on your frugal plans and building your storage and building your skills.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday Message

Our all time favorite rolls - thank you, Sister Miller! Scroll down for a link to the recipe.

“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)

I think we are seeing daily how much this is needful. We are living in a time where so many need our help, so many are hurting. Even a warm smile will help another.

Now is when we as a people start setting some goals and readjusting budgets, resolving to live more frugally and make lists of what skills we want to learn or strengthen.

Sometimes we wish we had more income without realizing we can have more by being more frugal. I know the big bad b word - budget - comes into play, if we continue to pretend it doesn’t exist we will be stuck or worse. I know it is hard to make the adjustment but it isn’t really so bad just don’t shop without knowing your balance or what yet needs to be paid.   

One thing that drives me nuts is when people just check their balance and say I am good, I have twenty dollars in the account but without consulting the true balance, the one where a bill is about to come out of the account for $19 they eagerly run out to spend it causing bigger troubles ahead. Then there are those who don’t even bother checking the balance, if the card goes through they have it, right? I call this one sticking our head in the sand. If we don’t see it coming it can’t hurt us, right? Wrong…remember one of your ends is still exposed.

It takes talking together, asking what do we need to pay and so forth.

Discipline is what we need to work on. Reminds me of one time in Aldi’s a lady saw my detailed grocery list and asked did I shop for a business? I said no, why did she think so? She pointed to my well drafted list which I had each store and what I wanted at each, sale items, then what I wanted - like flour was under the store I knew would be cheapest, etc. I explained that was how I worked out my grocery list. She said she just gets stuff then gets hollered at later. I thought how awful. Head in sand for sure. I always hope she gave it some thought what I said about how I did my list.

When we had more income I would gather all the sales flyers and start with those. If hamburger was on sale I made my menus around that. If something was on sale that would help my storage, I would plan something really frugal so I could do that. Pretty much that was how I did it.  Now with much less to spend but having storage I am first replacing it as I use it when I can and on sales. I still start with flyers, I look at those every week. Where I shop, the stores are really not far apart so I am not loyal to any of them. They have a sale, they have my attention for that item.  It would not be good on my budget to decide to get everything at that store just because of the sale of that item.  I will go to whatever stores have really good sale items, even if for just that item then go to another for a different item. This is because we don’t have much to spend. Does it mean more time? Yes. Does it mean more pain? Yes, that too I must budget.  Do I get every item on sale? Nope, only what we need and what we use. Staying in budget. I also don’t make a special trip, I wait for other errands and tie them all together. 
Am I saying you HAVE to do it my way? Nope. Do what works for you and your budget. I am sure you have more funds than I do, I have to make every dime count. Sometimes I go a whole month without shopping because I have storage that makes this possible. knowing different ways to shape rolls = skill building. P.S. I love the one around the clothespin. - two comments here, you do not need a scale just if it says twelve just try to make twelve. Close counts and they can be different. It is okay, in fact, make them all different... a variety bread basket.

Secondly, on that last shape take your rope, dip in melted butter and then in cinnamon and sugar, you mixed together then do the knot…you will thank me later! - this shows some roll shaping - this one I wanted to have you see how she forms the roll. I call it bird in a cage, gives you excellent shape. I like to put my rolls closer together though so each roll helps its neighbor to rise higher. She put them farther apart, you get a more flatter roll.

And while I spent time showing you these - DO NOT leave out the ever wonderful cinnamon roll.

Sure, you can buy rolls. You can even buy brown and serve but they don’t smell or taste like homemade. - did you know you could make your own brown and serve? Yep, you can! So when you make your rolls do half for supper and half you do brown and serve for a busier day. - here is another to try. - my all time favorite! Sister Miller shared this with us and we thank her, not only are they the best ever they make up into kits kept in your refrigerator. - and don’t forget the orange rolls.

Making rolls are frugal and best made at home. 

Keep working on your skills, your storage, and ways to be frugal.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Message

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt." President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

I have been thinking this would be good to have as a topic this week. I am still under the weather blowing my nose boooo…grateful for lotion filled kleenex.

My husband has other shoes but he has this pair that are more comfortable, more comfortable he said than any shoe ever so he kept wearing them even when they looked like this…

I picked it up one day this week and looked at it. I thought it maybe was laced with leather strip but no it was a string type fiber and I thought ok, I got this. I pulled out some black linen type thread then I got out a yarn needle, an awl a beeswax candle, a pair of pliers and scissors. I cut my string then ran it through the bottom of the beeswax candle several times. This was to strengthen the string and make it waterproof. Then I sewed up the shoe using the obvious holes. Three, though, were going through double layers of leather so I used the awl and pliers to pull the needle through. 

I tied it off and he will get more wear out of his favorite shoes - he was surprised.

I will point out I had all these things on hand...

-Beeswax candle is a decoration I had
-Fiber from my weaving basket of fiber
-The yarn needle from my knitting bag
-Awl from my basket making tools
-Pliers from tool box
-Scissors I have for many things, the pair I used was from weaving bench.
-My knowledge…from sewing I learned the beeswax thing and sewing and basket making for the actual lacing. Knitting skills for how to easily thread that yarn needle.

Even feeling rotten it was something I could do sitting down.

So see, you do things all the time from skills you have learned without thinking. It is good to have skills on which to draw, so keep working on your skills.

This was one of my frugal things I did this week. Here are some frugal ideas… - I stuck this here as a reminder to build supplies and skills

We were driving in a town where there was a homeless lady walking, her pants were ripped along her bottom part of her seat and down about eight inches. I often wish I would see her again, I would hand her a sewing kit. How many people have the most basic of sewing kits? How many people do not…?  Do you have thread, needles and scissors maybe some buttons? Can you imagine not being able to mend your family’s clothes? Even having someone else do your mending is costly. - the story in here about the oranges has stuck with me ever since I heard it. I think we don’t think it will ever be us. But if you have had to go without anything it is not hard to see that it is possible.  I think of all the people in the hurricanes and forest fires having nothing, it is very sad and it will take so long to get their lives going again. My daughter was telling me one lady is living in a tent and is about to have a baby, can you imagine how hard that is for her and all the others?  

You might say how would a sewing kit help? Having sewing supplies on hand will make it helpful to help I wish I had had one in my car for the lady we saw.  Think how much this lady would have wanted that orange and how very little there is in a travel size sewing kit.

I love this gal. Did you even know you could do this?

So if you want to learn to knit or crochet but yarn is too much this could be an option. Yarn is expensive, I have seen it in person for thirty five dollars a skein. Yes, it isn’t the Walmart kind it was several years ago now that I saw that.

The gal above shows you what kind of sweater is a good choice. You may even have one you do not like hanging in your closet or see one from the thrift store.

I know many knitters are going to thrift stores to do this very thing to get the good yarns. - here Gus is showing us unraveling a sweater.                                                                 
Keep building your supplies, building skills, living frugally and helping those in need.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Message

“Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others.”

Preparing every needful thing is a huge responsibility and it is ever important that we not put it off. It cannot be done in a day or even a week. We can work steady and within our means, it will add up and when you get to a certain point you will just be replacing what you use provided you are rotating.

Yesterday about four our internet went out and it made me think I needed to remind you that if you are totally relying on the internet for everything you really need to have hard copies of things. If you think that you are not that dependent on the internet stop using it for even one night. I found myself wanting to do a search and was almost typing it in before remembering the internet was out. My husband wanted to find a word definition, now we have dictionaries in hard copy but it turns out they're very outdated. Plus, emailing family and friends was down…

So these are just small examples. I think if you sit and ponder you can see where you might be affected but really try not using it for one night and you will see how dependent you and your family are on this…and what to do as a back up. Can you imagine if the internet went down all at once all around the world? Some of us remember life before it but some it’s all they know. 

I am still under the weather. I hope that you got your sick plan set in place. I have been pushing through what needs doing but slowly and with lots of Kleenex. I did have to do an errand and on the way I saw this stool by the highway they set out with their garbage, so I turned around for a closer look. I thought it would be perfect for when I am spinning. It is very sturdy and it was covered with heavy frost. I put it in the car and went back as they had stuff that had gone into the highway lane. I moved it off the highway as this was on a hill. I washed the stool up when I got home and put this little rug on it. As I thought, it is perfect to sit on and spin.

I took the ornaments I knitted and put them in the wooden bowl and put on the shelf underneath.

Wishing I felt better. But happy with my frugal find for the week. It made having to run the errand well worth it.

I vacuum sealed four pints of raisins. I bring this up to say I keep my vacuum sealer at the ready. It is plugged in at all times. This makes it easy to vacuum seal in minutes without having to pull it out and with fibromyalgia it saves me in less pain and energy.

Now is the time to brush up on those bread making skills. It is not too hot to bake anymore. If you are gluten free try to bake some of the gluten free breads and store what it takes to make things you can have. The same goes for people who don’t have that need, store the ingredients to make your bread.

This is showing the newer toilet paper tube which is larger around - pay more get less, seems to be an ongoing theme.

A tip about the picture at the top - I use an electric knife to slice my bread. I find that if I slice it all at once it keeps better. Even when I freeze it after slicing.

Keep working at building your storage, learning your skills, living frugally and take time to rest.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday Message

(Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001)
“As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect.”

We have some special friends that we visited in Utah before we had kids. They took us to someone’s house to show us their food storage. I was mightily impressed. We were in the military at the time and, believe me, they don’t get paid enough. So even though we did not get paid enough, I began slowly to build a storage. I just thought it was a very sensible thing to do. I still think that way. 

I thought there is no downside to having storage. I still feel that way. 

I started with a couple cans of tuna. Mostly that is all I could do but our neighbors on both sides of our apt (also in military) is mainly who I started for because they would run out of food before payday and at first I had nothing but had them eat with us. After that, I made a point to have a little extra to share with them. I kept getting a little extra every time I got groceries. I just kept it up. Even now, with very little money, when I go into a store I ask myself what could I get to add for storage…?

I heard a comment from a conversation I was not a part of where someone asked someone else if she knew someone who sewed. She laughed and said good luck with that now a days. I do not know how their conversation ended but I thought it was a sad comment. If it would not have been rude I would have joined in their conversation.

It made me think of the time I was in an Amish grocery store and there was a man in front of me, he had patches on his coveralls. They were sewn with love and care, the smallest stitches I ever saw. This is why I push so hard to build our skills. Somewhere along the way the skill of mending was lost.

I think sewing skills are as important as bread making skills.

It is all under living providently.

Living within our means...

Recently, being sick, I was watching Iowa Public Television and there was a cooking show on. The cook, a famous cook, was going over a list of ingredients for what she called "simple sandwiches." My goodness so many ingredients and nothing simple about them at all.
Sometimes we think that is what we need to make things but not so. I had made the sandwich shown for Iowa State University when I worked as a cook forty some yrs ago when some of this cook's ingredients were not even a thing. The same when I watch sewing shows. They use this and that which people never had years ago and still they made their own clothes which were just as good. Is it any wonder people think they cannot afford to learn to sew?

I took sewing in school seventh, eighth, and ninth grade. Only a third of each year. This was something of a struggle. My teacher should have retired twenty years before I had her as a teacher. She was mean and very impatient. Remember the friend I mentioned in an earlier blog post that helped me at the laundromat? She quit school in seventh grade because of this very teacher.   

We were to build a book of swatches. We had the world's worst sewing book ever as our textbook. In truth, I think I am a bit dyslexic but that's no excuse. Our mean teacher would tell us if we did not finish our swatches that we could not take sewing in high school. I wanted to take it in high school because I needed clothes. It came down to tailor tacking. Every day I would try to understand, it was my only swatch I could not get done. I studied it in the textbook every day. It gave a short paragraph under an illustration. I really tried.  

I tried but I was too scared to approach the teacher. I finally mustered all my courage and I went to ask for help. She nastily told me to look in the book. I said I could not understand it, she said she did not know and to go look in the book. So I finally gave up and never did get it done... one swatch from having sewing in high school, it was sad.

So I went to high school, was sweethearts with my now husband, I studied hard and could have graduated early but my sweetheart wasn’t graduating early. So for half a year I had one class two days a week during the last half hour of the day. I would visit my sweetie when he had free schedule and there I was the rest of the time with nothing to do. So I went nervously in to talk with the sewing teacher who was absolutely furious when I had told her what the other teacher said and that I did not need to finish that swatch to take sewing in high school. 

By then the old teacher had retired. The new teacher not only showed me how to tailor tack in just one minute. She said I could come in and she would show me how to sew things in my free time. In there she picked underwear, something she thought would be helpful as I would be getting married in a few months. She helped me to sew a dress for my sister as she was going to be my bridesmaid. It turned out very nice I wish I had been able to take it all three years.

In the picture above this was what I could not figure out from my workbook. This book is from 1947 I could have figured it out from this book but not the one we had for school. I think that was probably when some things went missing.

There were girls in high school sewing making men’s suits and shirts, oh how I watched them.

My mother-in-law is the best seamstress in all the world, she made my wedding dress which cost me $40 in materials.

This is the dress my mother-in-law made for me. I bought the materials for both dresses. I made my sister’s dress with instruction of the high school sewing teacher.

I had a helpful neighbor who sewed who helped me after we had kids. She knew I was frustrated trying to sew, she determined it was my sewing machine and I should get another so I found one used for a hundred dollars. This was a ton of money back then, still is. I got it used. The people were going to be missionaries in a country that the machine could not run on their electricity.

This is still my work horse to this day. After that I sewed my girls’ clothes and have continued to build on this skill...mind you I still probably can’t sew a man’s suit but I keep learning anyway.

So grab a skill and keep on building it and add to all your skills. Share them as you go because there may be a young person out there who needs to know how to tailor tack.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Message

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.

"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective."

As we head into this season that makes us feel so busy and can be so expensive, try to slow down a bit. Do little things that can add up and are helpful.

I often will watch a podcast where they talk about a time when they do a low or even no spending at all as they prepare for a coming expense. They cook with what they have in the pantry and save the grocery funds. Of course, one cannot do this forever and the podcasts I watch only do it once or twice a year. This would be better than going into debt.

Of course, it makes one think of the commercial where mom puts supper on the table and the kids say tuna casserole again and she said she had to pay a bill. It would work better to have more than that in storage, right? - this is a gal I watch as my roots are from Norway. The part I wanted you to see is towards the end when she goes to the family cabin. I could sit and knit with her there.

I realized that hygge must be in my blood. I decided I would go read on it as I had some books in my kindle library and since I am still sick I could do this and rest.

I bring this up as we are now getting into the busiest season. It is just the thing we need like her at the cabin with hot cocoa and surrounded with things you love, a very cozy thing indeed.

The book I picked to read about this in my library is The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg. In it she talks about the Danes. She said they are a lot less materialistic and treasure time with family and friends over accumulating lots of stuff. That and slowing down, she talked about in the book. I think we all crave slowing down. Sometimes, I feel like life drags me along behind it or that I can’t find the off button on the hamster wheel. Hygge is about enjoying the moments. I thought now that everyone is hurrying about this would be peaceful to think about.

Our oldest daughter once said the things she remembered most about Christmas were the times we had together, those she remembered not so much on what she got as gifts…food for thought as we gear up for Christmas. - I love the first thing on here.

Try to find cheaper ways to celebrate Christmas this year... - this is inspiring for making gifts. - find new traditions as a family.

Look for ways to give, there is always someone who could use a care package.

Remember to keep working on your storage and your skills and being frugal.
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