Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Message


"Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine."
― Gordon B. Hinckley 

Well here we are with hard things going on all around the world.  We all will get through this, we will rise to the occasion. We will roll up our sleeves and do what needs doing.

Reach out to older people especially in your neighborhood. Offer to pick up meds or items from the store. If you have a pair of rubber gloves and an alcoholic wipe, put them in a baggie and send it with what is dropped off so they can wipe things coming in.

As a funny side note, I was thinking who in our neighborhood was elderly, guess what we are? The oldest in the hood. We don't need help but I found it funny to think of us as elderly.

We are staying home except going to get meds which is a drive through but I will still wear a mask and rubber gloves. As of the time I am writing this, which is two weeks from when you are reading this, we have 90 positive cases in our state of Iowa (updated count as of April 6th is 946 cases).

I am making four masks. I have them cut out. My plan is to use these over a mask when we get meds.

https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/ - this is the pattern I am using. When I come back from a med run I will take off the outer mask I made and will wash it in soapy water outside then hang it to dry, the inner mask I will spray with Lysol.

I will be wearing rubber gloves and will be wearing them while washing the sewn mask so that I can reuse them.

This will be a long lived thing for sure.

I see some podcasters telling people they should be frugal with the food they have on hand. This would be a prudent idea as for sure this will be longer than a few weeks.



So now that you are inside with your family, try to make things to look forward to, like a movie night. I find it really helps me escape from what is going on. Gus says he's ready for a movie night.



How about pick another night for game night with board games? Have an award ceremony for the winners.

A family talent night.

Draw a giant cookie, like six to ten inches wide, and have everyone color on the chocolate chips. When your cookie is done, explain that when they see the cookie around the house it means that someone did them a kindness. For example, let's say brother has the cookie. He looks around and sees sister hasn't made her bed yet, so when no one is looking he runs in there and makes her bed and lays the cookie on top. And when sister sees the cookie on her now made bed it is her turn and on it goes. See how long you can keep it going. It doesn't have to be a cookie it can anything, maybe even a house with a smile on it.

Have a camp in the living room night, sing around a pretend camp fire aka a flash light with all the lights off.

Have a build a fort day.



Get out the Lego tub and have everyone build something. If you have five in your family, divide the legos into five piles. You could have them draw pieces of paper with items they are to build, like a tree or a dog house or a goldfish. On another day, assign them a color like blue, they can only use blue ones. Be creative.

A spaghetti night. Pretend to be eating it in a fancy restaurant complete with name cards and change those cards to have everyone eat in a different spot, then normal, keep those name cards and mix them up often.

Have a yard clean up day with a treat for the one with the most gathered trash. The treat might be brownies and they get theirs first then everyone else.

Let us know how you all are doing and what fun you are coming up with.

Applesauce Salad

This is a great recipe with no exact measurements, it's up to you what you like.

I use a quart of applesauce and jello powder. Stir till it is the color you like, this can be from two tbsps or too taste. Just mix well and serve. By the way, this is also what I use for fruit leather, just spread on the leather sheet and dehydrate.



Here is what I have been doing...

I started a book
Cut out four face masks, they will be done when you read this
Made bread
I have been rearranging things in the kitchen to make it handier to work in
I have been tatting 
I have been spinning 
I have been knitting

What things are you working on?



Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Message



"There will always be more blessings than burdens...even if some days it doesn't seem so" - Jeffrey R. Holland

It feels hard right now but we will get through this.

Watch out for others as well, we all are in this and we need to help others. So think to check on other people. This can be a phone call to see if they need anything. Wipe things with wipes to protect the elderly.

At the time of this writing it is March 14 and they said we've now gone into a community spread. So since we are in that demographic to get it bad we are staying home.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has cancelled church and other church meetings till further notice so we will have church by ourselves in our home.

There's things to do other than look at the four corners or watch each other's hair grow.

Stop fear. You may have kids at your house. You know what they are studying, so find work book pages or make some. You be the teacher and then let them be the teacher and have them teach you their homework after they're done. Have a book you read to them when you're all together, get pillows to lay on while you read. Or do a snack, something you can make together. Then do the dishes together and have a snack party.

Popcorn balls is an instant favorite. Mini marshmallows and popped corn and a fourth stick of butter or margarine and food coloring. Pop your corn in a bowl and move to another bowl so the seeds stay in the first bowl. In a pan melt the butter then add the marshmallows and food coloring of choice, as light or dark as you want. When melted, pour over the popped corn and stir well. Butter your hands or spray hands and then form the balls, when they are all done stick them in baggies.

Let me first say what our plan is....  

We stay in our car when we go to pick up our senior commodities. They are in box that they just set in the car for you. Then we have to pick up a picture of my husband's. We will be wearing rubber gloves and when we get back we will Clorox wipe everything.

Things we have planed every week... I will check on the sisters I visit but we are all in a high risk demographic so we will do messaging online. I think what I have in mind they will like :)

We will keep staying home and trade off going to the mailbox for mail, once we open it we'll wash our hands.

The Monday message will continue so there is that.

We play scrabble and chess online with one of the girls and phone and message the other. Skyping would be good as I can make a fun distraction for the grandkids.

We will play games...




I will catch up on the magazines I was given.



I plan to read for fun and read to learn and read cookbooks for  recipes I have ingredients for.



I will make baskets (Gus approves of this activity).



I plan to finish this hat.



I want to tat this bookmark and more.



I want to learn more thriftiness from these books.



I plan to do some more sewing.



I plan to spin and dye fiber.




I plan to keep weaving.



I plan to take as many classes I can take from blueprint, we paid $47 and I can take any for a whole year and any I want to keep, I can have twelve, but this was great timing to learn.

My husband will draw, oil paint, and has a stain glass project to work on.

So you see this sheltering in place will be okay.

Now tell us your plans. Tell us meals you will make and how you will manage.

The kitties say to stay safe while sheltering in place!



Monday, March 23, 2020

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)

I guess we don't have to imagine when we see what is happening all around us.

We are seeing panic buying all over, it is quite sad.

Being in the demographic the virus is effecting badly, I am a bit uneasy. We already have started social distancing. I expect this will get worse for sure. Now is the time to be learning more on its prevention and safe practices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hpzLQTy-SA&feature=em-uploademailthis is the mask I decided on. 



They took me fifteen minutes to make each mask. I got the idea from doctor's wearing them over their masks to extend them. I plan on wearing this over my good mask to keep it longer. We only have four n95 masks. We are only going to the pharmacy which is a drive-thru and then at home I will take the outer mask off and wash it outside, the inside mask will get lysol. 

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/homemade-cloth-pads-tutorial-and-pattern.html - something else to think about as an alternative.

That said I will be concentrating on things we can learn and skills we can build on.

You may have to be home with your family. Do you have board games and movies to watch with them?

Do you have a craft box set up for the kiddos and perhaps puzzles and books to read?

Learn to cook from scratch....

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/11775/homemade-noodles/ - this is how I make my noodles.

Then I cook chicken in water, just cover and cook till chicken falls off the bones. Keep the water (now broth), keep chicken after boning it (aka take bones out). Then I bring it to a boil, drop in these noodles. When cooked, I add dumplings. This is a family favorite.

I also brown and drain hamburger, add water with beef cubes, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles then, when cooked, I thicken the broth. This does a wonderful beef and noodles.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/dumplings-for-stew-3051608 - this is how to make dumplings.

Notice, these are very inexpensive to make, a lot of scratch recipes are.

https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/family-favorite-macaroni-and-cheese/4533ea52-0194-4fce-b30f-9516a74c0628 - if you have these ingredients this is great.

Remember comfort foods like those listed above and don't forget pancakes, they are a very cheap meal.


Click HERE and scroll down for diner-style pancakes!

https://www.frugallivingnw.com/best-basic-pancake-recipe/ - this had great stir-in ideas. Remember jams and jellies are good on top,  butter and brown sugar is also fantastic. Even peanut butter is great on top.

https://frugalfamilyhome.com/food/homemade-pancake-syrup 

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/152002/homemade-maple-syrup/ 

Here you have two ways to make syrup for your pancakes.

Of course, I use pancake batter to make waffles, so if you have a waffle iron use that as well.


Click HERE and scroll down for a waffle mix recipe!

When we first moved here we had no stove. I would make French toast and cook it in the waffle iron and called them eggy waffles. You can make fun for the kids even if you are having hard times.




Sometimes we need to use egg replacement, this is my favorite and I keep this in my food storage binder.




It is important not to give up. We have strength we haven't yet tapped into. We are facing trying times and we need to strengthen each other.

What we are going through often affects kids more, so find old fashion fun with them...

https://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/181945/indoor_activities_kids_crafts_winter - I have built many tent forts. I made them when I was a kid, a mom, and as a grandma. So seeing these kids in the fort just makes me smile :)

So Missy says find fun!



Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Message



"Most of us cannot afford to store a year’s supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency." (James E. Faust)

I think now is the time to have on hand what you will need to stay in away from the virus.

It is hard to track back to who came in contact with who. I got a head cold and have taken every precaution. I have been using my own pen at pharmacy but there is only one clipboard they use at the drive-in and since I won't be going in now I'll have to be careful so watch what you touch and where you are. It is in the air when people are getting this near you.

Oregon has it right to close schools, be prepared for that when it gets near you.

When it does get to your area make sure you have books, board games, movies, hobby supplies...I watch a podcast where this lady has a lot of kids and she keeps crafting supplies on hand, so if you have kids at home get those things in too.

Get supplies in sooner than later but don't hoard as many are in the same boat. I know they haven't given us very exact time-frames so think stuff to make soup and canned soups...items that can stretch, be as frugal as you can.

Remember to get your over-the-counter medications.



Remember your pets.

They showed a clip of people scrambling to a Costco store in Hawaii and in this clip a man has a pallet of cases of water that he is loading into his vehicle. There was no way it would fit so don't be that guy. Snowstorm mentality people buy weird items like eight gallons of milk when clearly they could just go back to the store after the storm.

Or like when they know they are going to lose power yet buy tons of frozen items we just need to keep our heads and think of what we need.

Something helpful I saw last night is...

Wait till you have a fever of 100.4 then does it get better or worse? Do you have a dry cough and shortness of breath? If so, call the emergency room to let them know you are coming with these symptoms. Wear a mask to keep others from getting it.

So that is helpful. 

Are you prepared to stay home?

This will disrupt life for a time so while you're home you can work on your skill building.

Teach your kids to make bread. If you have littles have them make their own little dough things, they can even help you make up some bread kits.


Whether or not you have a bread machine you can make these up then you only need to add water and mix and go from there.

Cinnamon rolls fun for little ones to make and eat...


It costs very little to make cinnamon rolls and even less to eat them.

You could have a teaching time - how to sew on a button, how to mend, how to hem.

We can make games of it. Teach your kids to crochet or knit or how to use the sewing machine.

Explain to your kids what is going on in a non-scary way.

They won't be used to staying in and will need things to do.

You won't be used to staying in. I saw in one clip a man tested positive and was to stay in, he went to a bar and then I am sure everyone else had to be watched. So here I am saying stay home, I hope you do too.

If the kids are not at school have them read to you and you be the teacher to keep them up. Also read to them books like Little House on the Prairie or Harry Potter, it will be a memory.

If you don't have kids at home you need to plan on inside activities too. Have some books to read and things you like to do inside.

You can always learn things of interest.

Tell us what things in the comments below about what you're doing while staying in. Be healthy and safe!


Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Message


"Store a provision of food which will last for at least a year wherever it is legally permissible to do so. The Church has not told you what foods should be stored. This decision is left up to individual members. . .From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. ‘There is more salvation and security in wheat,’ said Orson Hyde years ago, ‘than in all the political schemes of the world’ (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207). Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

That wheat should have high priority is very interesting because sadly wheat crops have not done very well this year due to flooding and fires etc. and wheat is in an awful lot of what we eat. 

Also the locust problem is causing problems with food security in several countries.

Here in Iowa they are saying it will be a wet spring again with flooding.

With all that is going on I am sure you will agree with me we should really be building our supplies.  

At the time of this writing we have spent the most part of this week in the hospital with my husband having a hernia repair. After recovery we had to wait for hours to get a room as the hospital was full of influenza patients. It made me think of the Coronavirus and how it has overwhelmed hospitals in China and how food is flying off the shelves and also they have food rotting in shipping containers while they need food, somehow this seems wrong.

So one needs to watch and learn from others. I have said this years and years ago that we learn from our experience and that of others as well.

It will take years to get back from some of these things but we will do well to work on this and skills.

If you store wheat, have you used it? Do you know how to use it? The best way to store it?

http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2009/10/23/7-great-ways-to-use-wheat-without-a-wheat-grinder/ - just in case you have wheat and no grinder.

If you store wheat and don't have a grinder you may want to work on getting one.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-itm-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=itm&p=how+to+use+wheat#id=6&vid=7b95b3a5b64176a19db7be82c40add7d&action=click - this is helpful.


I have mentioned this before to look for old cookbooks put out by churches at your thrift store as these will help you in cooking from scratch.

http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/self-reliance/cooking-from-scratch/ - this will give you some recipes.

https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/grocery-stockpile-list-1388297 - this will give you an idea on how to start your list.

Something else I want to point out that we have talked about quite a bit is storing basic ingredients. For example - popcorn instead of microwave popcorn. Your dollar goes further plus if you have no electricity for some reason you can also cook it on the stove top, but more product for your dollar.

A can of black beans as compared to dry beans, more product for your dollar.

Ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies compared to buying a package of cookies. You see a pattern here, right?

I do get it, you are tired. We all are tired but to stretch our money we must push ourselves to cook from scratch. It is healthier and cheaper besides what people have said on the internet and elsewhere. You can do basic math and check that for yourself.

It went from totally cooking from scratch to getting packaged food to fast food, it is time we start over and go back to cooking from scratch.

Commercials show people having a great time eating out but they don't show how happy they are to get the bill do they? Commercials are trying to make you feel like you NEED their product and believe me you do not need it. 

The theme for now is to do everything quick, we don't need to do that either. Just cook your meals and make things your family will like, you can create great memories and pass on the skill of cooking from scratch.

Books like Make-A-Mix help you to take scratch cooking and make it faster to fix. It's a great book and there's also are recipes online for that as well.

You can also cook more than you need, like a big pot of soup and freeze the leftovers for fast meals for busy days. You can do this.

https://www.contrado.co.uk/blog/sewing-for-beginners-sewing-kit/ - everyone should have a sewing kit to mend, so make a list and get the cheapest and put it in a box so you know where it is.


Every home should have a sewing machine. If you can find one that works from a thrift store it would be a good thing. If you do not know how to use it then find a way to learn.

It just pays to be frugal and having the skills you need when you need them.

I ask the question again, if you had to shelter in place could you?

For how long?

I find not spending money when you don't need to is very helpful as well.

Doing things free like going for walks, going to playgrounds with kids, and popping corn and playing games is a great thing. Reading is a great thing too. I use to read the Little House on the Prairie books to our girls when they were little. You don't need to pay for fun!

Money is tight for so many we just need to do frugal things and have a mindset that it is okay and not a punishment. It is all in how we think. We don't always have to have the things that cost money and we do not need to have things that entertain us, we can do that for ourselves.

If you don't have to live frugally you need to start doing it anyway when you do not have to, this is a skill too.



Time to think about a garden and study on how to do it. Soon it will be time to plant one.  

Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday Message



"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." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin) 

Those who came before us this is what they did, it was a way of life. They practiced this 24 hours a day.

There are so many things we can improve on.

It is easy to be complacent and say I will be frugal when I need to be. But the real skill is to be frugal when you don't have to be.

What does frugal look like? It is using up things and making do.

What do you do with that small amount of veggies not quite a serving size? Start a container for your freezer adding these to this container, when full make a soup.

It is mending your clothes when they need it.

https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/how-mend-your-own-clothes/ - this will get you started. One thing I would add that I find - mend each thing when you find it, don't stack it as that is a lot harder to do for hours when most repairs take less than five minutes to fix. So I do each thing right away, I do not keep a mending pile.

https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/how-build-your-own-clothing-mending-kit/ - this is helpful.

You can do this. It will be a skill you will be able to use all the time.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/five-reasons-every-child-learn-182257884.html - we need to teach our children and their children. Yes, we need them to know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ynBWa5ej1Q - this will show you how to mend a rip by hand if you do not have a sewing machine.



I went to a yard sale quite a few years ago and got this serger. Did it work? I did not know. I approached the girls taking the money and asked if it worked, they said it had been their grandmother's but did not know. I did not know either. They said ten dollars? I thought okay but was taking a huge risk, ten dollars is always huge to me. It had thread messed around things but it wasn't threaded. I did buy it and it was fantastic.

I believe every home should have a sewing machine whether or not you like to sew. If you do not have one, start looking at thrift shops and yard sales but try it out while you're there. Plug it in and see if it runs. Take a friend who knows how to sew if you need to.

If they don't have a manual you can find one online.

There is so much out on the internet you will be sewing in no time.

Willing to learn is half the battle!



We are under threat of this Coronavirus, we do not know if it will get as bad here as in China but I notice some preparations being made here by the CDC, even government assigning air bases for quarantine spots.

We should be planning as well. We all see how fast the food went off the shelves. If you are asked to shelter in place could you do it?  Or would you have to run to the store?

It makes us think, are we prepared?



Can you make bread? If you can, do you have the stuff stored to make said bread??

Fresh vegetables is something people keep trying to get as well this is why having canned is important to have stored along with fruit.

Knowing how to sprout also gets fresh into your menu...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmEMkJOUawQ - a very easy to make your own sprouting jar lid.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-itm-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=itm&p=how+to+make+your+own+sprouts#id=60&vid=5cd8ff968c9583f77d49ca1a7609c0df&action=view - here she shows you how to sprout. Now I have some more to say that she didn't say. The seeds you need to use for sprouting are not garden seeds as they have been treated with chemicals. So get your sprouting seeds from a health food store. Another thing when she shows the green lid, as it has smaller holes, you can just use your nylons, provided they are clean. Cut them and use with a ring on the jar and do the same, rinse, repeat, etc...

My favorite is alfalfa seed with some radish mixed together. Best combination ever! So I put alfalfa in one jar and radish in another for storing as seed but when I put them in sprouting trays I toss some of each that way you can make other combinations. I vacuum seal my seed in the jars for long lasting.



I found sprouters at yard sales so I have two that you water the top tray and from there it waters the other trays then you just empty the bottom, pretty simple.

I know every time I mention yard sales you probably groan but I went to yard sales a lot when the kids were growing up and I always had a mind to prepare. I wanted you to see though that you can do it with things you have on hand.

My favorite thing to have them on is my chicken salad sandwiches on homemade bread. Yes, having skills is very helpful.



Monday, February 24, 2020

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) 

A way of life is the perfect way to do food storage as long as you store what you eat then replace what you use.

Don't buy it and set it away, use and replace.

And learn those skills even if you have a good income. You will save money by knowing how to mend or how to make bread or how to sew your clothes.

If you are watching the Coronavirus you see where everything we have learned and skills would be needed.

My heart goes out to them and I am praying for them.

How is your storage and how is your learning skills going? Could you shelter in place? For how long? If it spreads here like there are you ready..? Plus, businesses that depend on items to run their business won't be getting those and lots will have to stop and in doing so there will be people losing jobs. Are you prepared for a job loss?? When we had been down-sized it always came as a shock and yes, while I had some ahead it did not last long. So prepare for these things and also keep learning skills.

Skills to work on...

Learn to make bread.


Learn to sew and mend and make your clothes.




Learn to make jam to go with your bread.


Learn to can meat and fruit and vegetables.



Learn to cook from scratch and make your own mixes.



Learn to garden.



Learn to knit and crochet.





http://homeftw.com/61-essential-skills-for-homemakers-how-many-of-these-can-you-do/ - look through the list, what more can you learn?

And here - https://familycorner.blogspot.com/2017/08/homemaker-series-basic-homemaking.html

https://www.girlshealth.gov/disability/independent/homeskills.html How many can you check off and on that note can you cut hair? If not Google some on that so you can cut your family's hair.

https://retrohousewifegoesgreen.com/vintage-homemaking-skills/ - food for thought here.

Here is another - http://www.cranialhiccups.com/2011/02/homemaking-skills-where-do-i-start.html

I will add budgeting, learning to make do, living on less, meal planning, using planned leftovers...and more.

Can you go one month not going to any store??? Even if you don't have too?

How long could you shelter in place??
You can do it, you've got this.

And here - https://www.artfulhomemaking.com/8-useful-skills-grandmothers-knew/
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