Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Message

(Ezra Taft Benson, October 1973)
“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”

(J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26)
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds.”

I think we all saw the empty shelves with hurricane Matthew, it makes so much sense to have food and any storage up in your home. this is from one of our own, Deb Hadden tells us of her preparedness, they will all follow if you keep on as she did in segments - thanks Deb! this is so inspiring to see her storage. I have had this on before and I follow her, she is a member of the church and still works actively on her storage and she works on her skills. She is teaching herself French and makes gifts for birthdays and Christmas. you can see some of her skills on the left. this is very much a great read!

I think we all too often think nothing will happen to us, but the truth is we all should be prepared.

Do you know how to can?? I think this we should all know how to do it. I can tell you we have been enjoying homemade bread toasted with peach jam from peaches from our own peach trees.

I have sourdough going and have been adding a half cup into my bread, it is sooooo wonderful.

Does it take work? I have never lied, it does take hard work, but we should never shy away from working hard.

I have been working at learning to weave and while I watched General Conference I worked on the table top loom which has four harnesses. I put it on the foot stool and I worked on it while watching then we broke for chili, stew and big homemade cinnamon rolls.

This is what I am learning and teaching myself it has been hard but worth it. And is helping me make gifts.

I have been knitting, crocheting, weaving, tatting and sewing to get these gifts tended. I like to have my gifts in the mail by November.

I have an incredibly painful tare in the tendon in my right knee so I have been going very very slow, it causes me cry baby pain. I had this a few years ago in my arm but I could rest my arm more, really hard to do when it is the knee. Vary hard, hurts horrid whether or not I hold it still, it is in bad pain. I hate having to slow down but we need to listen to our bodies. The hardest part of having fibromyalgia is I cannot feel well enough to be physically present now when there is so much need. I do pray and send names into the temple. But I hate not being able to be there in person to help, there is no shortage of people who need help.

I am not whining much, things could be far worse.

We must find joy. 

I packed my projects in a bag and has everything I need and I keep it near. This has been very helpful.

Keep working on your storage, no matter how poor we are get a jar of peanut butter or two packages of jello or a box of band-aids, very little if that is all you have like us, it will add up. Plus, we have been told if we truly will work on it we will be blessed.

I am noticing we need to build up our milk powder from the cannery. That is our goal to build that and oats and I truly believe a way will be made to acquire these.

We use both these items each day and it has been several years since we got these items and so we stocked well to go three years.

So no matter your income do what you can. Learn skills, build storage.

Cooking from scratch can do two things - one, can extend your dollars and, two, is if you have no dollars you still eat well because you used your skills.

Do the best you can… Pray for what you need.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Message

Keep Christmas this year in your budget by making homemade presents click HERE.

 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."

(J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26)
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds.”

(Ezra Taft Benson, October 1973)
“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” - What if?? - Yes, you will want to turn off outdoor water and those spray attachments that you put on end of hoses, take them off too. Water sits in those and freezes and breaks the seals inside, hmmmmm how do I know this?? - good info - have you ever given this thought? I like to have meat in jars as well as in the freezer. Also, I keep canning supplies always on hand and I have a gas stove as well as a wood burning stove so I could can my meat. Check your freezer often to make sure there is not a problem. You would catch it but if next week your freezer goes out and you are not catching it, you would have loss but if your electricity is out you don’t want to open it often, but helpful ideas there in the link. - brrrr better get started. - this would be a good starting spot so dust off your machine.

I hope you are working on Christmas. Please do not go into debt for Christmas gifts. The people you give to would feel very sad if they knew you were struggling to pay for it.

Have a homemade Christmas. I  have wisely been using the free ten dollar coupon from Khols and making the rest. some ideas here. - ideas - ideas - great ideas - ideas - great ideas

Now if you are tight, let the kids know it will be homemade gifts this season. Or you can do an old-fashioned Christmas. - good things here.

These things can be just as fun as things that are expensive. You could do old-fashioned candy or cookies, have your own fun. If traditions of the past were to costly for this time, make new ones to fit in your budget.

Are your kids beginning to act greedy? They can deliver goodie plates to those with less. We witnessed a family who had their children find someone in goodwill Christmas eve who looked like they were in need and present them with a twenty.                                                                                                  
Or if they could put boxes of food items together and deliver them to someone who could use it, if you need a name to do this you could go to any Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ask a Bishop if you could bring a box for someone in the ward who might need it, they would be all to happy to deliver it for you.

It never hurts to tell your kids you are having a hard time and we all need to pitch in to make a special Christmas.

One important last comment - don’t be judgmental of others unless you are willing to walk in their shoes because if you knew what the hardship was you truly would have felt bad for judging. Bumps in the road come to us all. We must feel bad of ourselves either, unforeseen things happen. Health issues grab many of us, so we square up our shoulders, roll up our sleeves and push on a little harder.

Keep doing the best you can.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Message

“From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free."
“We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life.”

Last month was national preparedness month!! What are you continuing to do to make sure that you are prepared?  would you be ready???

It is a good month for you to see where you are on your family's preparedness. 

Winter is on its way, do you have a car kit?? - I know these guys have a great place to start.

Do you have a weather radio?? It is a good thing to get, we have one in the living room and in our bedroom. It will sound when your county goes into a storm warning. Also, get your cell phone set to send you warnings. Our daughter has her's set to her weather alerts in Alabama and ours in Iowa.

It is very important to follow directions. If they say no travel advised, stay home that way others don’t get placed in danger because they have to save you.

I will also add if you do not have a desire to watch the news please watch the weather every day. You need to know if weather is coming I know when you are in a bigger town you might not be aware of how bad things are outside of town.

When they pull the plows off the roads you had better be all snug at home. It is not the time to go for milk and that too is why you need to know the weather forecast. So you don’t run out with the masses buying eight gallons of milk.

You try to be aware of your area. Do you have flashlights? Blankets? Just because you have never had a storm that has taken the power down for long periods of time does not mean that it doesn’t happen.

Do you have a plan? Do others in your home know the plan?

Information to tuck under your hat. Tornadoes can’t happen in winter - FALSE - just ask anyone in Woodward, Iowa. Flooding occurs in winter as well but mostly snow storms and the dreaded ice storms.

What could you do for heat for food if you needed too?

If you have not had any experiences learn from others. There are many who have told of their experiences.

Whatever you do stop telling yourself it won’t or can’t happen to you, because it can. So be prepared.  - worth reading - this too - read this to see what she has learned.

We have tried to be as prepared as we can. We have a gas fireplace that works when power is out. We have a generator that is hard to start and is good to keep our sump running.

We do have a wood burning cook stove. We have a carpet sweeper. In case of no power we can still clean the carpet. We have candle and lamp and oil. We have a phone charger in the car, food stored, water, winter kit... try to do the best you can and try to think ahead to be prepared. read read  read

It is best learning all you can and learn from others who have been through it. Same goes to learn from others who have skills. There's so many things you can do.

Keep working on your storage don’t be caught being unprepared, your family is counting on you.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Message

Using fabric from my stash I was able to make another dress.

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes...
"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." Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007) - for those cold mornings - it is canning season - keep working on your storage - get out your sewing machines, this would be a great skill and give warmth when you are done.

The frugal thing I did this week was that I made the dress at the top of this post using the template of the other dress I made. I am just like you, still in the learning more about sewing and putting my learning to work. They used to make dresses from grain bags. So this was fabric from my stash, buttons were from my button box.

I also needed to make another batch of SOS mix - it is a canned soup replacer, with the price of those soups this is the fraction of the cost.

I have what I call "using jars" and needed to fill several so that is good. I made bread and rolls as well.

With fall trying to start pumpkin muffins are a favorite of ours. I mix all the dry ingredients the night before.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins - Becky Shook 

I mix and set aside the topping: 
1/3 cup flour 
3 Tbsp brown sugar 
2 Tbsp cold butter 

In bowl, mix well: 
1/4 cup soft butter 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
2/3 cup pumpkin 
1/2 cup milk (I add tsp of vinegar to it) 
2 eggs 
1 Tbsp molasses 

Then, don’t stir again until all dry ingredients are measured in. 
2 cups flour 
1 tsp dried orange peel 
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 tsp salt 

Then, stir well and fill 12 regular muffin cups. I use liners, but it's not necessary. 

By spoon, divide topping over all evenly. Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Delicious!

I have been working on Christmas gifts which are taking time over money.

I have been reading books on weaving to teach myself.

This past week I made peach jam from our own peaches - 25 jars, yum!

What frugal things did you do this week? Email and let me know

I note that hamburger is on sale and saving up to get some by end of sale, so shop your sale ads.

Skills I have been working on is: 

          -Weaving by reading
          -Working on tatting by making gifts
          -Sewing making some gifts
          -Cooking from scratch

I bet you are working on skills without thinking about it.

What skills did you work on this week? Email me let me know -

Shopping for free on - they have free books on a daily basis cookbooks, foodstorage books, sewing and knitting books and my favorite cozy mysteries.

I even find kids books that I have sent to my daughter, Laura, and some writing books I send to my writer daughter, Sarah.

Watch your flyers and stock as you can. Even on my limited grocery budget I got 25 pounds of flour and a can of shortening. The shortening I put the year on it and flour goes in a five gallon bucket. I put in the two bay leaves and label it with the year and wrote flour. Then it gets put into the rotation

So here is a glimpse into my life this week.

Do what you can build those skills and grow your storage.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Message

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes...
"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." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)

It really does seem overwhelming, just do what you can. Try to use and replace. This week I need to bring up a bucket of flour so I put on my grocery list to pick up another #25 lb bag of flour to replace it. Believe me the temptation is there to just wait but you need to fight it or when you go to get your flour you will be out.

Last week I picked up a Snickers candy bar, it is my favorite I guess I haven’t had one for a while but it was half the size height-wise and thinner and shorter -- for twice the amount. I heard people say that groceries were going down in price well so far I haven’t seen this happen, I have seen a few things go up but not down.

So tightening your belts is still in order I say.

I think high on your list is toilet paper so you never have to do this I hope...

Here is some helpful info on kids survival kit

I have a bucket with a hole in the lid and a new plunger with holes. We drilled in the rubber part and this sits in my laundry area. If my washer goes down I can use this emergency washer till we can get it fixed. So you see the whole world doesn’t have to go to pieces to use this. It's a simple fix to get through something that would otherwise be a catastrophe.

So I want to stress we don’t always know what will come our way how you get through it is what you do or don’t in YOUR preparations.

I know it is hard with our incomes staying the same and groceries keep going and other things too. Do what you can with what you have. If you are like us and can only get a little or just even maintain your storage just remember to do the best you can it is helpful.

Also, remember to learn your skills. You can learn for free on the internet or from libraries. Check out books, read, learn, if no other thing can be done ask someone to help you learn who already know how. Most people would be happy to teach you.

Life teaches us to learn things whether or not we wanted to learn. I wish I knew how to do the things I have learned back when we were first married but I guess I had to be there to learn what I know now.

You probably wonder well she is sixty what else needs to be learned. I am here at age sixty to say very much I learned every day from something we read that morning in our scripture, reading to learning sewing better to a new way to knit something, how to do different ways with bread to quite a few other things. I love to learn. I am teaching myself more on weaving.

I have a thirst to learn. Those of you that home school you yearn to find better ways to teach.

Not all of us can or want to go to college but you can learn every bit as good doing the best we can.

I am a book person. You will find me with my nose in a book trying to learn. On birthdays what I want as a gift I to go to the used book store and I love the sale books, I want books that help me learn.

Now I already know how to spin on this matchless wheel but I do not know how to use it to its full potential -

Learning to floor loom weave

Learning the bond machine for knitting

How to tat

This is what it looks like when I want to learn:

a.       I want to learn…???
b.       Find sites or YouTube on it
c.       Gather more then  a few so you have as much as you want to teach you
d.       …get books from library on this topic as well

This is a rough look at how I set up to learn. You apply it to what you are wanting to learn. Could be how to bake a pie or cake or pot roast or how to do freezer meals, use my rough approach to learning it. Pick what you want to learn and do the best you can.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Message

President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953) –
“When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.  You can’t eat money, but you can eat your three-month supply of food – IF YOU HAVE IT AND KNOW HOW TO USE."

This always reminds me of Dick’s grandma saying “the next depression will be different. it will take a wheel barrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.”

I always think of this and wonder what could happen to cause this????  I don’t think one could guess or predict because things we see all the time seem to be crazier than the one before. 

So how do you counteract that? Well, the only thing I can think of is to be as prepared as you can.

Knowing how to make bread and having supplies to make it would put you ahead of the curve. There is a peace knowing no matter how hard times get you can always make bread, that’s pretty good. - cooking from scratch, yummy and frugal. - since we have so many new people they might like to see our Relief Society cookbook.  Fun wonderful recipes here. - so we saw people lose power lately haven’t we. do you have aluminum in storage?  I admonish everyone to watch her videos, if you have already it is time to rewatch and rewatch again!!!!  This is her handout she refers to. I have it printed and in my food storage binder.

Wendy DeWitt has a great way of breaking down a basic approach to getting in your storage I always suggest her approach to beginners and old pro’s alike. So please read and watch the videos and get busy on your food storage. What are you waiting for??

Next pay check?? Just pick up little things like jello so you are doing something.

Bigger house?? Forget it, there is always a space issue eventually so find ways to store. I guarantee if you bought a brand new couch you would find a place for it and food storage is way more important.

Time?? We are all busy even when you are sixty you are still busy but what is more important than tending to the welfare of your family?

Worried about what neighbors say? Hmmm our neighbor’s daughter once asked if we were poor I asked what made her think that, it ended up she saw the food storage too cute.

No money for it?? Then look at your budget, are you eating out???There is the money. Once we went to the church cannery afterwards several bought a sandwich at a quick food place. I asked how much was the sandwich. When she told me I said she could have gotten twenty-five more pounds of wheat. How much did you pay for that disappointing meal at fast food place? Ask yourself, does it taste better then your food? Is it as healthy as your food?? What food storage could I get instead??

Now I am not telling you not to eat out but letting you know the choices. It is always your choice but if you can’t find the money for storage that is the first place to look. On the flip side, if trouble hit what would you have wished you had gotten instead??

Sometimes you can use your storage in your decorating. My oil lamps fit nicely into my home’s decoration but when people come they like the look but actually they have a place and purpose in my storage.
Many times they were used to light our house in a power outage so that people in town wondered why our lights were on and others were off.
Basket full of emergency candles

Pitcher of knitting needles

Spinning wheel

Bread pans are on shelf and in something decorative

Laundry stuff doubles as useful items if needed

Woodburning cook stove has been useful in power outages
Cookbooks and jars of food decorate but useful items. 
Jars of mixes attractive but have stuff I use in them
Treadle sewing machine if needed
Knitting machines decorate but are used to make useful stuff

Baskets of yarn are everywhere in my home

I bet I could show you more like cookie cutters displayed in a jar
Baskets full of roving to spin
Blanket trunk full of first aid

So look around your house especially if you are having trouble finding room for storage.

Email me if you have questions till next week try to watch all videos and read thru this blogpost, do the best that you can.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday Message

“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.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001) I think this, though cute, reminds that we cannot wait till the emergency.

“The day will come when, as we have been told, we shall all see the necessity of making our own shoes and clothing and raising our own food. …” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 166) 

“There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t happen to us.’ It is not always the other fellow’s problem. It is our problem also whenever there is economic trouble afloat.
     “To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.
     “…[God] teaches us to be self-reliant and industrious, to plan ahead, to provide for possible hard times, to avoid obligations unless we are sure we can handle them, and then to serve him with such devotion that He will be pleased to augment all of our own earnest efforts.
     “…the most important storehouses in the entire welfare plan are those that are within the walls of our own homes. We must provide our own storehouses for our own families in our own homes as far as possible to meet any rainy days that may come our way.” (Mark E. Peterson, “Blessings in Self-Reliance,” Ensign, May 1981) 

     “…Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. Each of us needs to take the time to ask ourselves, What preparation should I make to care for my needs and the needs of my family?
     “We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
     “First, gain an adequate education….
     “Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day…
     “Third, avoid excessive debt…
     “Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness….
     “…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, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear” Ensign, November 1995)

We need to learn ways to be frugal, my favorite books on this:

Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn, she has three you can check out from your library.

Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, & Madeline Westover, there are three but I am most fond of the first two.

Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy by Jonni McCoy, she has fantastic info and recipes - best granola recipe, we have this a lot, turn that page and she tells you how to make granola bars - terrific :)

Baker’s Flower by Kaye Manning, this is a book based on a quick baking mix you make. I love using this. I see on amazon it is a penny but you can try to get it through your library.
If you have some favorite book that helps us be frugal write it in the comments section these two links go together, could be something for the kids to make during family night. try your hand and learn new things plus frugal! - tastes better than canned, another thing to think about is how long can you store refrigerator biscuits???

So think more on what you can do for yourself, for example - do you buy jello in cups? Do you do it for convenience? Think if you made that little box of jello, it takes three minutes to make jello.

I saw rice krispie treats for $9.99, you are paying for wrapping and preservatives. Convenience it certainly not frugal ….

Are we doing for this to save time so we can be busier? I think it makes me feel like I am on a hamster wheel!!!

So if you are feeling the pinch of everything going higher in price and your budget is not happy...stop and think, where am I falling into the trap? Look at your grocery list. You are in control, you know what your busy days are, plan for those don’t let it drag you out of control!!!

This is why having skills is important, planning your menus, planning your grocery list, planning your days…

Even if you have been blessed to do all the conveniences in life teach yourself, make do or do without. In one of these articles below the woman talks about going into the grocery store and sees tomatoes and would dearly love a tomato but she is there for just two things and can’t spend more, has this ever happened to you?  

When our daughter got divorced and child support started coming in I suggested she live her life like he wasn’t paying and if she got it that was great but if not she would still be able to manage. She did the best she could and then he up and quit his very good paying job thinking he could get one easy. Now years later he is still looking so this advice has helped her plus living frugally has helped her too as she hasn’t gotten child support for a very long time.

So if you have a wonderful income prepare like somewhere down the road you won’t have it and if you prepare and build your skills now you will be able to manage on less.

Life is really like a roller coaster sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down but it is up to us to have the skills to stretch what we do have and being able to do so helps our whole family.

Remember, life isn’t meant to be fair. If you are cranky because of what you are dealt it only makes it harder on yourself.  So roll up your sleeves and make it the best you can!

We may not have everything but we have fun and make do with what we have…keep learning skills, keep looking for frugal ways to make your life better.
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