Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Message

"Brethren, 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... I do not predict any impending disaster ... yet prudence should govern our lives ... We can begin with a one week food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. ... I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.  Begin in a small way... gradually build toward a reasonable objective." Gorden B. Hinckley, Priesthood Session, October 2002.

Now you ask where do I get the money for these things? I agree, I need them, but I'm having a hard time making ends meet. Here is how you do it: Use one or more of the following suggestions... Food Storage Christmas - Use 25-50% of money for food storage, New Clothes - Don't buy, instead make it last a few more months, use that money for food storage, Vacation/Holiday - no vacation or holiday until food storage is complete, Recreation - Cut by 50% use money for food storage, find fun, free things to make lasting memories, Snowmobiles/campers/boats - sell or trade to get a year's supply, Change Diet - eat cheaper foods and use extra money for food storage.  

"The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every LDS family to have a year's supply of food reserves ... All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment.  Miracles will take place: the way will be opened and we will have our storage areas filled.
"I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received dealing with our personal and family preparedness. ... With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying but the instability in the world today makes it imperative that we heed this  counsel and prepare for the future." L. Tom Perry, Nov. 1995.

In our lives things happen, storms come…While we got this bad storm our plants were still okay, it was quite a storm. It makes me think, how prepared are we? It could have been a lot worse.

How prepared are we??

Are you prepared to care for your family when hard times come?

As you follow us in our hard times, I hope to share with you information that can prepare or help you when you too have hard times.

As you can see my plants were spared, which is good. I cannot feel well enough yet to have a full garden but I was able to plant in these planters that I got at no cost as people had set them out for free. I also have two bags of dirt (not pictured) that I am trying to see if I can get squash to grow in. I slashed the bags open and planted in the bags as they already have drain holes in them.

We should be able to have many fresh veggies from what I have planted.

This week we had a turkey breast it was a small one but I made turkey tetrazzini with part of it.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Cook one pkg of spaghetti noodles and drain, to it add…

2 cans cream of mushroom soup, or your own soup mix
1 c. leftover turkey cut up, you can use chicken or ham if wanted
1 tbsp dried onion or 1/4 c. fresh chopped onion
1 small jar of pimentos, yes those are in my storage just for this recipe
½ c. water
I cut cubes of cheese and stir this all together in a 9 x 13 sprayed pan

Bake 350 degrees for 45 min.

I froze some of the leftovers enough for a meal for us in a vacuum sealed bag. I made turkey salad for sandwiches and froze the rest of the turkey in a vacuumed seal bag which I put bbq sauce in with the turkey.

The meals froze in these bags, which I had old seal a meal bags to use, can now be pulled out of the freezer when we need a meal fast or for when I don’t feel well. I can just take out the bag and put it in boiling water till it is done (about a half hour or so) take meal out and open the bag.

So look at your leftovers and make planned-overs.

I have fibromyalgia so there are days I feel worse than others. I have pain all the time but some days are worse pain. Weather pressure seems to make bad pain days. So I need to plan around the pain, life has to be adjusted so I can rest but while I rest I am still doing what I can and learning what I can while I rest.

I work with my energy, which seams to be better in the mornings, and try to get all prep work done then for supper.

I try to always be a week ahead on the Monday Messages just in case, often I work it up on Fridays and on Fridays our supper is pizza.

My favorite pizza dough

5 c. flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp yeast, yes one tsp - this is key
2 cups water 
2 tbsp. olive oil or veg oil
Stir together. I divide into three equal parts, two I put in sprayed freezer bags or containers and keep the one third in the bowl covered till supper.

On other Fridays I just grab a frozen bag or container of dough from the freezer and set it out on the counter. It will be ready for supper at supper time. I divide the dough into two parts, spread them on your pans while oven preheats to 500 degrees. 

I have two pizza pans the size of dinner plates that I got at a yard sale but have used pie tins when I need more for company. Yes, you can do one large pan if you wish. Just multiply the recipe to meet your family’s need. I precook the pizza for three minutes or so then, for ours, I spread it with my home-canned pizza sauce and top with cheese then with drained canned mushrooms.  

Bake till golden (five to eight minutes) and - important - slide onto a wooden cutting board and cut, this keeps your crust crispy if you use other then wooden it steams the crust making it soggy.

I made a batch of yogurt with powdered milk, which is the only way I make it.

Skill building items: I am still working on the sweater but I learned how to continental knit watching a segment on knitting when the Olympics were in Oslo Norway. So I used this week to learn how to purl the Norwegian way and so now I have that skill checked off my list.

I have several dresses given me that are too long, it was a style awhile back. My plan is to shorten the hems and maybe put a kicker pleat in rather than slits. So those are my next sewing skill building. How are you doing with your skill building?? I think pancakes in any form is a good thing with homemade jam or with homemade syrup. - homemade syrup

Making your own things saves money. Think how much difference in price one item is when you make it yourself, now think about how much that is when you do many of them - it truly adds up. And storing the basics helps you have it on hand. Saves money and the time of running to the store and buying something else costing more money.

Sometimes convenience isn’t so convenient and there comes a time when you notice the price is too high. We just need to pay attention.

For instance, take bread... I think you all mostly would agree homemade bread is fantastic but you might say, well it takes so long to make that I don’t have time. Yes, I agree. Some days it wouldn’t work out but if you plan ahead you can get it going and you wouldn’t just stand there waiting on it to bake, you would do laundry or meal prep or even read. I know I read when I babysit my canner while canning and you could make many loaves for the same time it takes to do one. I slice my bread with an electric knife (gotten at a yard sale). I keep one loaf out and freeze the rest.

This was a free find for me of late. It is a portable clothes washer, isn’t it cute? I have one I made from a five gallon bucket with a lid. You buy a new toilet plunger, drill a hole in your lid for the handle and you drill holes around in the rubber part of plunger.  Like the one here…

I know you are saying, I would just go to laundromat, but it is always inconvenient when your washer breaks down. This is great to have on hand and in our town we do not have a laundromat. And what if it would take a while to gather the funds to fix your washer? Just a thought.

Keep in mind, we cannot prepare for everything but we can prepare for lots of things. Prepare is the key word. If we all waited till things happened it would be even more of an inconvenience. 

Just like in a simple snow storm. How many people run to the store as the storm is hitting even though the weatherman said a week ago it was coming? They waited, why? If you have storage, that simple storm means a snow day with kids and chocolate chip cookies. You got this. Many times I thank my past me for getting storage so I don’t have to go out on bad roads. The only going out is to build a snowman with the kids.

Storage doesn’t look silly, now does it? It doesn’t need to be for epic things. This was just a snow storm. Whether it is two inches or twelve, the story is the same. They stick a reporter out filming people buying eight gallons of milk and loaves of bread. How many times do you see that along with pics of fender benders? And you say, I am glad it is not me and to know it rests on you to be prepared or be the person they are filming…

We need to take care of our families. Learning skills and gathering storage is what we can do. - this article will show how hard it could be… I hear you thinking it could never happen here, I bet they said that too.

If you read that article you will see why this next quote is so important, they produce next to nothing. It takes only a generation to lose skills. For example, how many people here do not know how to can??? Yes, things are readily available but I have never forgot this quote from President Kimball, it isn’t quite the answer, is it? Same goes for other skills like sewing for example.

President Spencer W. Kimball - "The little gardens and a few trees are very valuable. I remember when the sisters used to say, `well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we could put it up.' But that isn't quite the answer, is it, Sister Spafford?
Because there will become a time when there isn't a store." General Conference April 1974.

"Brethren, 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... I do not predict any impending disaster ... yet prudence should govern our lives ... We can begin with a one week food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. ... I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.  Begin in a small way... gradually build toward a reasonable objective." Gorden B. Hinckley, Priesthood Session, October 2002.

Do the best you can, even a little adds up in time.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Message

Learn to Use What You Store 

"Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency. . . . Some have said, “We have followed this counsel in the past and have never had need to use our year’s supply, so we have difficulty keeping this in mind as a major priority.” Perhaps following this counsel could be the reason why they have not needed to use their reserve. By continued rotation of the supply it can be kept usable with no waste" (James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 26; or Ensign, May 1986, 22). 

"A year's supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways: 

1. It provides peace of mind as we obey the counsel to store. 

2. It helps ensure survival in case of personal or natural disaster. 

3. It strengthens skills in preparing and using basic foods" ("Home Storage: Build on the Basics," Ensign, June 1989, 40

As I look through the quotes the years and years this goes back in time to now. How wonderful we have a Father in Heaven who loves us enough to warn us and encourage us just like when we warn our children not to cross the street without looking both ways or warning our kids about driving the speed limit. We are trying to help them in the end. We have the choice, it is up to us.

I am still battling the meds killing my good bacteria when I was sick. I am taking probiotics and eating yogurt two times a day. I pretty much hate yogurt but I am adapting. I make yogurt usually to put in other things since I haven’t got any made at the moment. Was going by a store, ran in to get a few but they pulled a milk crate full of yogurt they marked down. Seeing I might have to keep doing this a few more weeks and they had them marked for .25 each, a real blessing, I bought $7.25 all yogurt. 

I hope I will be better by then. If not I will get mine going. This was a huge blessing to us in tight times for sure. Just letting you go with us on tight times journey. food storage yumminess for sure.

Did you see how she peeled the banana? Did you know that is the correct way? It makes it so those stringies don’t happen, just an eye spy thing :p

I know a wonderful family who needed a new car but before they made that purchase they made sure to have their food storage in then made the car purchase. They are amazing and what a great example.

Where is storage on your priority list? We have sooooo many things competing for our dollars. What speaks the loudest? 

Life is like a roller coaster, we go up and down. When you are up, your job is steady, bill paying is easy. When you are on the down part, times are tight. It is hard to come up with grocery money.

When you are up, you can get complacent about things, thinking you will always be on the upside or doing better. You say you finally deserve a costly vacation and you can now afford it, nicer clothes, better or multiple cars, maybe a better house. You can add anything you want to this list. 

But I stress - when you are up, please get storage in because we have all seen that a job can go away overnight. You may never ever see it coming. We once took a job with a big steady company. They moved us and such. We had checked around about them but really they hired my husband as a last ditch effort to stay afloat. We saw no signs of it at all. We saw everyone let go but the secretary, over time it was hard on everyone.  

I can tell you the one certain thing if you are up on the roller coaster, you will have down times no matter what. Nothing is stable forever, especially these days.

So what levels that out? Speaking with very much experience, it is when you have the work, be sure to get more storage in. When you don’t have much work, get what you can in. You can do it. Just ignore those voices that would suck you into the appearance and things will never go bad. You husbands out there, help with the storage. You know you like to eat. You wives help with this. 

Ask Venezuela what they would choose? People who were saving for a new tv or stereo spent it on getting barely any food and the trip to get it was scary and dangerous. Do some searching to learn their plight. We pray for all the people struggling there and around other places in the world being hit hard with tough times.

When things go unstable you will still have hard times but not as hard if you followed the advice and stored and prepared for it.

Again, I mention to work together thru hard times. Pull together and don’t hold grudges with each other or those who have dealt you the reversal. 

Over the many years we have been dealt with several in high places not paying their bills, workers who stole from us, employers who had money but kept us working with no pay just our insurance. That is hard, you do the same work, spend gas and everything, the same bills but your income stopped. You work only for insurance. Yes, we have seen many things and much dishonesty but if you dwell on these they will change who you are. Just pick yourself up and move forward or even crawl forward. 

Everything we experience builds our character and we need to keep our eyes on the Savior. So when you think I get too pushy on storage and skill building, it is only because we have been in hard times worse than we are now and it was storage and skills that helped us to not have it as bad as it could have been.  

Everything I urge you to do is from our experiences and because I have seen what can go bad and how fast it can happen. You all probably have had friends who lost jobs and took a long time to find another. Ask them to tell you what they went through. So if you ever thought I pushed too hard, now you know why. I want you prepared as best that you can be. It is not a hobby, it is a way of life that I have learned over many many years.

Just yesterday I was listening to a few people talking and I decided we all have a page in a huge book with many life journeys on every page. No one skates through problem free. I feel like using our experiences to help others is a huge thing. We should always be helping and serving others.

I was talking to our daughter about a picture of our family I pointed out my coat. I said I made it, she said it looked nice. I said I did not have a coat but found these pieces of fabric at a yard sale and I did not have a pattern but managed to make a coat. The picture is in our student housing which was basically chicken coops on graduation day. Teach your kids to sew, to cook from scratch, the basics of needful skills teach them not to be materialistic.

When you watched the Ten Commandments when they were filling their jars with water, I think it was Moses's sister that says fill all the jars as a warning and she said do it or go thirsty from one who knows, yep.

Those who have lived tough times know. Go talk to them. There is no lack of hard times.

Do the best you can. I have spent a lot of time learning how to cook from scratch, how to make bread and I did not quit learning till it was perfect. I study from other’s hard times for things that can help us. I am always looking how to stretch the food. I am always learning how to sew better, how to basically be frugal. Learn to mend.

Learn to sew.

Learn to knit.

Sacrifice is huge. We sacrifice for our families. For Mother’s Day I could have asked for many things but I looked at our storage and decided to ask for a case of mushrooms and tomato sauce, pictured below. The cost was $19.

This will be a gift that will help us for some time. So think about what you spend. Think what could I get with that money that would be the best purchase? Learn to garden even in containers if you have to...

Now I am not telling you what to do. I am telling you what we have and still go through, so you can think about things.

I just want you to see being prepared helps a lot. Keep learning, we never out-grow that.

If you think no money, no fun, you would be wrong. Fun doesn’t have to cost money.

Live within your means. Do what you can. Learn what you can. Share what you can and remember to serve others.

Monday, May 15, 2017

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.”

(Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)
"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."

As you know it is time to plant some veggies.

I am unable to plant a garden this year so I have planted seeds in planters. Plus, I will try to plant around the outside of the house tomatoes and squash, etc. This will help us to use what money we have elsewhere to make ends meet.

I have been continuing to work on my skills. I made myself a project bag that is helping me house a sweater that I am making myself.  The pattern for the bag I had to make up myself but while doing the cut out on fabric I had I did several for gifts at the same time.

Here is a work in progress look at the sweater I am making myself. - wanted you to be working on your water storage as well.

How are you doing working on your storage and skills??

I was able to get twelve cans tomato sauce and for Mother’s Day requested that much more and canned mushrooms instead of anything else. This is by far better then flowers or etc.

How are you doing in the prudent area? Are you cooking from scratch? Are you eating out? - I love these gals. This is so simple. Yes, I have canned hamburger also in my storage which makes this easy. - this is worth watching, it might change your mind on eating out so often.

I have been working on building skills. There are so many things that you can learn on the computer for free.

For example:




Bread by hand

Water coloring


Canning dried beans  

Setting up a budget

Planting tomatoes to keep cutworms from getting to stem

So whatever skill you are wanting, even on whatever level you want, type it in and learn. Always be learning and never stop.

I just picked a few but learning this way saves money on paying for classes and you can see how to do it. For me, this has helped tremendously.

Let me know what skills you are working on in the comments below!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Finished knitting project!

I just finished my kevin KAL. I have two cats - Miss Hissy/Miss Kissy (now known as just Missy) and Gus is the other. They were strays that showed up. Missy would hiss everytime I would go out to feed them so I named her Miss Hissy then Gus would sit on my lap when I was out sitting on the steps. I had lost my cat of many years and was sad and Gus kept sitting on my lap to comfort me. He had buddied with Missy who was born under the porch. So when I realized they were buddies and that he was taking care of her, we brought them both in and they have been happy ever since. So I made each a crocheted little octopus with cat nip in the head then I knit two cats, each in their colors. There was high interest in my knitting bag on account of the catnip. Too cute and the babies loved them.

Monday Message

When will we learn these basic economic principles? However, “… when we really get into hard times,” said President Clark, “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.” (Church News, November 21, 1953, p. 4.) - I thought this was very interesting and why I keep mentioning it as a skill to learn. I know that you hardly hear people use the word homemaking anymore. It is now called homesteading or prepping but really it is just homemaking. It isn’t new, just the name they give it that has changed. Just skills we should learn. - having powdered milk in your storage is so important. She is using the kind we have in our storage. - it is good to have cake recipes from scratch in your food storage binder.

This is my food storage cookbook binder, not even very pretty but I use it all the time.

Have you ever wondered what I have in my food storage binder??Just a little curious? I decided to put this together using our regular favorite recipes. I chose recipes that I would be able to make if I had no cheese or eggs. So I sat down with my regular recipe file and pulled our favorite recipes that fit in this tight parameter. These too are things which I can make out of my food storage, so here is a look inside the binder.  

You will want to add egg replacement recipes so for those recipes that call for eggs. I keep unflavored gelatin on hand for just that and it has a forever shelf life.'s%20recipes.pdf - the yellow on this is one tsp sugar on the rolled wheat bread recipe.

So build your binders, look at your recipes, and build your storage to be able to cook your recipes whenever you want.

Remember how I said to plant things around your yard to give you food to eat? I just harvested asparagus and rhubarb. The raspberry patch has divided up to make another patch, so keep these things in mind.

While things have tightened up, we are blessed there were blossoms on the plum tree, apple tree, and peach trees. Back when they were planted we were looking to this day when they would produce.

So harvesting our rhubarb here is a family favorite - Rhubarb Cake! We top it off with cool whip when we have it. Super yummy :) this is an easy project. Yes, it's wonderful to be able to make your own.

Being able to sew is as huge as knowing how to make bread.

I am trying to build my skills right along with you. I decided to join a sweater knit along so I could better sharpen this skill but I thought on the way I would sharpen a sewing skill too.  

I wanted to sew a project bag to hold said sweater project.  I have seen many project bags but decided to make my own pattern so I set about to do just that.  

I used some tissue paper and made a pattern then went to my fabric stash and picked the fabric. It would need a zipper too so I went through my zippers and pulled one. It also would require interfacing so I went to the basket of that and pulled it. I thought, if I am going to do one I should make another as a gift.

So see the benefit of storing more than food and first aide? I would gather sewing things at yard sales and thrift stores. I used this idea centered on several skills which benefit me so much now. To purchase a project bag of this size is selling for fifty or more dollars… so you can see I was able to do it with things I had. I know you are thinking sell them. Yes, that would be a good thing if the market wasn’t already saturated with project bags.

So enjoy looking through my food storage cookbook binder above and consider making one from your file of your family favorites and try my recipes! I think you will see food storage tastes fantastic.

Work on your storage. I have a friend tell me they had no fresh fruits and veggies at their only in-town grocery and it was because their warehouse burned down. See? Things happen that we cannot possibly think will happen but we can be prepared in as many things as we can.

With summer coming, kids will be home and can help carry and organize your storage. Let them learn all they can from you as they will need that leg up.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Great book!

A Cabin Full of Food - Link HERE.

This book has very basic and great know-how recipes, good for anyone to have in your collection. It is on the free list today (May 2nd). It will be helpful in food storage as well. Like in any cookbook it will have things we don't use but is well worth it. I have been waiting for this to once again be on the free list. I hope you put it in your library. It has dome mixes in it as well. I got it last time and it has so much info, reminds me of Carla Emery's cookbook.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Message

"Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency. . . . Some have said, “We have followed this counsel in the past and have never had need to use our year’s supply, so we have difficulty keeping this in mind as a major priority.” Perhaps following this counsel could be the reason why they have not needed to use their reserve. By continued rotation of the supply it can be kept usable with no waste" (James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 26; or Ensign, May 1986, 22). 

"A year's supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways: 

1. It provides peace of mind as we obey the counsel to store. 

2. It helps ensure survival in case of personal or natural disaster. 

3. It strengthens skills in preparing and using basic foods" ("Home Storage: Build on the Basics," Ensign, June 1989, 40).

"The Lord has warned us of famines, but the righteous will have listened to prophets and stored at least a year’s supply of survival food" (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, 90; or Ensign; Jan. 1974, 80). 

"Consider the important (food storage) program which we must never forget nor put in the background. As we become more affluent and our bank accounts enlarge, there comes a feeling of security, and we feel sometimes that we do not need the supply that has been suggested by the Brethren. . . . We must remember that conditions could change and a year’s supply of basic commodities could be very much appreciated by us or others. So we would do well to listen to what we have been told and to follow it explicitly" (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 170; or Ensign, May 1976, 124).

I wanted to put several of these quotes in this week to emphasize you could be the wealthiest person or the poorest, things can change in a second. Even people who live righteously. Even us, we have a shift which will require us to once again live without replacing our storage for a time but we have done it before and can do it again, so follow along to see how we get through it.

But most of all know that whoever you are, no matter how secure you feel, it can change rapidly. Though our income is very low, I tried to get one thing at least to stick in storage and you can do it too, but hopefully you can get more.

So I have as of April 16 hit my three month mark for being sick. It has not been fun but we all push through fun or not. I have improved from the worst of it, I hope.

We followed advice from our Prophets and planted fruit trees and rhubarb and raspberries which are now a blessing.

Because having this long time with respiratory problems I cannot feel good enough to garden but I shall try some container gardening.

Remember, May 15 is the frost date in Iowa so wait to plant but it is coming, so it's time to think on what you want to plant and make a plan.

Also, if you have a yard and can plant trees, make them fruit trees.

Please don’t ignore your skill building. Encourage your kids to learn skills as well. You can do them together, do them for family night, do them during the summer.

Teach them how to make bread. I know a family that had a very very large family. She taught them all to make bread. Littler children partnered with older siblings... they all had a skill right there to take with them.

Teach them how to cook from scratch. It is to hard later if you have to learn it and make a wage. Teach them how to do laundry from start to finish. We had two sets of twins in my family when I was eight years-old. Diaper folding is the only thing I knew about laundry. When I got married I was fortunate I ran into a friend at the laundry mat and she taught me.

Teach them and teach yourself skills too. - great list on here and tips. - these people are the best with food storage.

The first thing I worked on was vacuum sealing my pantry items to have them last longer. I did cake flour that I use in Bakers Flower by Kaye Manning.

It is a book all on one mix that is a baking mix. I also mixed more of that mix up.

I did barley, you know things you add to soup dry spinach that I dried for throwing into soup. I did hot cereals, even baking chocolate, popcorn, macaroni... things you have probably in your pantry in boxes etc. So I vacuumed sealed all the things I could find. Once I vacuum seal the jars of food I leave them out on the table for twenty four hours so that if any unseal I can change the lid and do it again before putting them away.

NOTE...a reminder when vacuum sealing flours and powders - use the jar lid as a template and cut it out of a coffee filter. Place the filter inside the jar on top of the product before sealing. This keeps the fine particles from going into the vacuum sealing machine and killing it.

Vacuum sealing will extend my pantry items' shelf life and help with our tight budget.

I am still working on several skills - knitting socks without using a pattern and weaving. My sister sent me a kit to make a table runner that is like a sampler where I can learn different weaving patterns. It is a huge learning project. As I think I have made and corrected so many errors.

In prepping to learn a skill sometimes it takes time to gather tools and supplies. Haunt yard sales and thrift stores. 

I got this bobbin winder at a yard sale for 25 cents.  

The same one new is $142, impressive right? I did look on ebay. They had one for sixty dollars and the bidding isn’t over. So gather as you find supplies. If you never find them frugally then plan them into your budget as you can but collecting needed items are assets.

I cannot be well enough to do the garden from being sick so long, so I have my planters all gathered to plant things like lettuce and spinach. We shall see what I can do. I still have compost so we will see. This too will help us with fresh things. We have an apple tree, plum tree, two peach trees, and we have grapes and raspberries.

So what you do is take account of your assets, see how you can stretch what you have.

I check our local libraries for free cozy mysteries - found one of a bookmobile cat mystery so I am reading that.

I also check everyday for free books on knitting and sewing, even a weaving book, budget cookbook, and books on how to be frugal and cozy mysteries. So I have built quite a good library of free books.

We gave up cable years ago and bought Roku, one box is in our bedroom for TV and one in living room. No cable bills. We did get Netflix which covers both TV's. So we get news and shows when we want to watch. The best thing of all on the Roku is that we get BYUtv so we can watch conferences at home and can see the spoken word.

So no bill there but the Netflix. We have a cell phone, not a smart phone, that is on our daughter Sarah and her husband Daniel's line, no bill, and we have magic jack for our phone which is $35 a year.

We had already done that but if you find yourself in tight times we recommend these to you.

If you have debt, work hard to get out of debt.

Having food storage helps to get where things will hopefully get better.

Dick is a painter and sometime sells paintings and sometimes gets small jobs with old clients but it is sporadic at best. We pay our tithing which brings blessings, as they come I will let you know. You will get to go with us through this and maybe our ideas will help you.

We drink water and use powdered milk. I cook from scratch and make our bread and rolls and hamburger buns, etc.

So buckle up. Going along with us will be an experience and might get bumpy now and then but we have each other. We are blessed with a great marriage. I also, over many years, gathered things I needed like fabric and yarn and basket supplies and tatting, stuff I saved as people gave me theirs when they quit tatting and basket supplies and fabric from people thinning their stash and lots was gotten freecycle. So I have no need to purchase anything. Being content with what you have is huge and I am content. I have books to read and books to learn with.

I hope you will learn from our experiences.

Ask questions or offer ideas that we can use and share, email me at

We all just do the best we can.
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