Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Message

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N624MhSpPgo - she shows getting storage ideas.

I have been working a lot outside this week but worked on the t-shirt that I traced off of an already made t-shirt. I liked using a tracing wheel so this skill building was a win.



It fits just like the original, a great skill to learn. I learned how to make a pattern from an already made shirt with a tracing wheel.

I learned how to make t-shirts when my kids were little. I would applique fun things on the front. Back then we used ribbing for the neck. This was my first one using the same fabric the shirt was made from. I really like the look and it was a savings to boot.

I made a soap sack this week to hold the bits and pieces of soap that get leftover. I wanted to make this to stretch the soap farther for when I don't use these ends for laundry soap.


https://www.crochetwithmarybeth.com/learn-the-iris-stitch-for-charity-free-crochet-pattern/ - here is the pattern, it's free.

https://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com/homemade-liquid-laundry-detergent-plus-a-free-printable-label/ - this is the laundry soap I like. I have found just any bar soap works...so none of my soap goes to waste.

I also finished this knitted elephant girl I’ve been working on. The cats approved!





So that is what I learned and finished this week.

Gus wants to know what skills did you learn this week?

Every little thing adds up whether you are growing food storage or growing your skills.

Missy asks are you building a food storage binder with recipes and information you would need?

With prices going up on, well, everything, we will need our skills and storage now more than ever.

The more we can do for ourselves, the more we can save.

Gus says don't stick your tongue out at being safe, keep wearing your mask.

Missy agrees and adds for you to be sure to social distance and wash your paws.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Monday Message

"Included in the year’s supply of basic foods should be life-sustaining foods that store well for a long time: grains (wheat, rice, corn, or other of the cereal grains); dried milk, dried fish or protein vegetables such as beans and peas and other fresh, canned, dried, or pickled fruit or vegetables; sugar or a sugar substitute such as honey; some form of fats; salt; and water. Fresh taro or sweet potato, and live pigs, chickens, or fish might be considered as a supply in some areas of the world where it is difficult to store food. Remember that regular use of whole grains is important in building a digestive tolerance for roughage." (Barbara B. Smith)

I want to stress 72 hour kits with all that is going on. You see people don't get a lot of time to evacuate. Having one ready will help you be able to gather photos, scriptures, masks, meds, and other items. You wouldn’t have to try to think about what to put in it in the last minute as it would be ready.

This is very helpful on 72 hour kits - http://storethisnotthat.com/store-this-not-that-72-hour-kit-food/ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVFKQj3iimw - this shows a pantry.

https://www.youtube.com/c/OutsmartDinner/videos - here are her videos, I love these gals and have both their books.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhNeBYJLXKI&t=6s - helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9lAFTdJdF0 - great ideas.

I am wanting you to realize you can do great meals with food storage and have ideas on what to store.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXJbrFvOksM My tip is when you cut biscuits DO NOT twist the biscuit cutter back and forth, just straight down and up, this will give you the layer tall biscuit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wy6NgplFjE - best fudgy brownies!

https://www.erinliveswhole.com/oatmeal-blender-pancakes/ - this is oatmeal pancakes.

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/whole-wheat-blender-pancakes-my-new-favorite-breakfast/ - this is wheat pancakes, they are done in a blender and oh they are fantastic!

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/mels-kitchen-tip-buttermilk-substitutions/ - this shows how to do buttermilk.

http://preparednessnibblesandbits.blogspot.com/search/label/Dehydrated%20Apples%20Recipes - this is our favorite apple crisp made with my dehydrated apples. Look around the site, lots of good info.

http://everythingunderthesunblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/book-2.html - l think this is a very good food storage site. I keep her information in my food storage binder.

So you see this post is mostly on food storage and what to do with it. If you haven’t already, start putting together a binder with information on food storage and reserve an area for recipes in it as well.

Be getting in storage for your working pantries.

Let us know how you are doing on yours by leaving us a comment down below.

At the same time be working on your skills. A little here and there adds up.

This week I took a t-shirt I love and made a pattern from it. I turned it inside out on paper and then used a tracing wheel to go around the body of the shirt. This leaves little holes that I then use as a cutting line. After cutting, I fold the shirt sideways in half. I fix anything askew, making sure they are the same, then I cut in half and label one the back and write “cut one on fold.” 

The other piece needs to have the shirt on it again to trace the front neckline, then I cut it out and write “front” and “cut one on fold.” I draw that fold arrow on that edge you just cut on both pieces. Then I fold the sleeve in half and trace it again, labeling and drawing a fold arrow and “cut two on fold.” Those are the pieces in the picture. I haven't decided what neck treatments I want to do yet. The shirt has bias tape on it but first I just want to see how I come out once I have it. I want to make several shirts out of this, changing little things as far as the look - like different neckline ideas or adding a pocket, etc.

Lately, I've been working on the knitted elephant girl here. I just need to finish her arms and she will be done.


I am really learning a lot by doing these smaller things. One tip I’ll pass along - if you are stuck on directions, stop, mull it over in your mind about how you think it’s supposed to go and then do it. If it’s wrong, take it back out and try it different till you get it. Relax, don't stress. I am getting great at taking things out, which in itself is a great skill to learn. The more I do, the more I find shortcuts and streamlining which I can use in other projects in the future.

Missy says now is the time to be extra safe.

Gus says put extra in Missy's statement a few more times and wash your paws and don't eat off the floor.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Monday Message

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared. "(President Ezra Taft Benson)

With all that is going on, it feels like we are getting pecked to death. It is hard to keep on in it all.  We must try to find comfort and peace. We need to keep on stocking up and keep learning skills.

Our preps need to include things like needles and thread. If you have a sewing machine, learn how to use it better. If you don't, be looking at yard sales and thrift stores but be sure to try them before you buy them. Be on the lookout for dehydrators, jars and any canning supplies, look for fabric and sewing supplies, look for zippers and buttons, look for knitting and crocheting supplies, etc.

Add to that list, good books, also children's books, puzzles, board games.

Look for back-up items like blenders and toasters, things you might need. I try to do this because inevitably I will have one die at the worst time and in the winter I might not have any luck finding used and will have to pay higher prices.

Look for the old church type cookbooks where everyone put their favorites in and use the basic ingredients.

Start preparing for winter, I know it’s early but maybe it will cool you down some. Do you have ice melt? That is what I will need more of. How about ice scrapers? Shovels? Try to think ahead. But if we never get out of the heatwave, no snow will come - OK, that is a joke :p

But we need to think ahead and plan ahead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlazQtUfJ-0 - remember to build your cooking from scratch skills.

So back to these times being hard, they will paralyze us if we let them...don't let them.

Use this time to learn your skills, they can be therapeutic.

I am working on this shawl for winter. The yarn is homespun, some my sister spun and the rest I spun. I will be learning new techniques.


I also am still working on the critters. I am learning so many things by working these up. l love little cotton rabbits. She makes the cutest critters, her patterns are clearly written unlike some others I have done, bringing me back to hers. Not a commercial, just a very happy customer.

So find something that will make you smile and build a skill.

My garden is winding down. I have never had success growing watermelon. I am so so excited that these yummies came out of my garden this year!  You might remember me telling you one year that I was excited I had one a bit smaller than the size of a tennis ball, then one day it disappeared without a trace. I was so disappointed. The next day it showed up again in the same spot. A critter took it, ate on it, must not have liked it and brought it back. Too funny.

Gus said, if only he had longer legs and thumbs he would take up weaving.

Missy says, always stay safe no matter what.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Monday Message

"Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun . . . It is our sacred duty to care for our families, including our extended families." (President Thomas S. Monson- note: the italicized parts were italicized in his original talk)

We need to be ever engaged in putting in what storage we can at this time. It would be a prudent thing to do.

Just do the best you can. Remember what things were cleared out of stores, be sure you have food and things your family will need. It might be time to stop getting the extra for a bit till you have the needed items in.

For me, I noticed I needed oatmeal since we were low on it. So instead of getting other things, I chose to get the oats in. I called three different stores to find the best price, I also checked on Amazon...Aldi's won at the lowest price.

So look at what you are low on and beef that up.

I feel that we should work better at preparing than we did in the beginning when the pandemic first started.

This round of the pandemic could be longer.

We should plan for the worst and hope for the best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UjlTj4qQtg - she talks about what she is working on in her storage.

I mentioned last week things I wanted to do...

I have quite a few libraries in my house. The first picture is of the cozy mysteries. My grandma liked mysteries and I take after her. Cozy mysteries are good, clean books - no nastiness, no gore kind of things. I have fibromyalgia and can't take scary or nasty type things, just cozies.

Another area is knitting books and another has spinning and weaving, another has sewing, and I have one area with basket-making books. There are also cookbooks, canning cookbooks, and a whole shelf of bread cookbooks.

You can set up your libraries and they can be free too! I have mentioned www.freereadfeed.com, they put free books out every day.

Libraries have book sales and they also have free book stacks, they will also have free magazines as well.



Gus and Missy say these are all great ideas should we have to shelter in place.

This whole thing can bring you down. We feel we cannot fix it, but we can pray.

Missy says, keeping up your exercise helps, so do some if you are not already doing some.

I have been dehydrating produce out of the garden this year...just not a lot to can so this has been working for me this year.


The tray has parsley on it. How do you dry parsley? Well, when it's dry, I place a white paper (it is just what I grabbed) then place the tray over the paper, rub the parsley back and forth on the tray, then toss the stick parts away and use the paper to pour in a jar with a canning funnel on it.

Be sure to have your favorite treat ingredients on hand.

I like to have ingredients to make our favorite chocolate cake on hand to make when we have hard times...I feel like we are all having hard times now. (Click HERE for the recipe and scroll down part of the way till you see it).

Our hearts are sad to see things going on with all the death and turmoil and disasters going on, all while we are in a pandemic.

The CDC says we all need to wear masks, vaccinated or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6UcIDaxfqk - here you can make a cloth mask.

Find fun things you enjoy and find/make a space to put them. Here I organized a corner to spin in. Start gathering the things together you need to make yourself a space.


Gus says these are all things to show you how to prepare for this time that we find ourselves in.  Make a cozy place within your four walls.

Let us know what your plans are to cozy up your place and to keep your spirits high.

Please be safe.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population.

To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.

We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.

The First Presidency

Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, Henry B. Eyring

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021 

I thought I would lead with the info above as this is so important.

I feel like we are almost starting over with this pandemic. It is very easy to get complacent, but this isn't the time for complacency. It could mean your life or the lives of others.

I know we are getting very tired of it, but we need to stick to the path.

Life isn't always easy, we aren't owed for it to be either… we need to do our part, we need to do hard things sometimes and this pandemic isn't over yet and requires hard work.

Knowing what we have learned in this last year and a half, how can we make things better for this time?

Well I have been pondering this very thing...

I needed to have some change, so I moved some furniture around and organized the bookshelf in our bedroom (well, reorganized it) which is always hard, heavy work. I wanted to move the groups of books around so that they stayed in their groups but had the less often used books higher up and the more used lower down. I have a lot of books, I do love books!

I have some projects I put together as kits.

I plan to read more.

Knit more, plus learn new knitting skills.

I want to tat more and learn new techniques.

I want to learn more on dying fiber.

I want to spin more and learn more spinning techniques.

I want to weave more and learn more about weaving.

I want to sew more and learn more on pattern altering.

I want to play with watercolors.

I want to learn more on bobbin lace so I can make pretties like these that my sister gave me.

I want to learn more on the Toyota knitting machine. I recently watched this -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnMdRHJ5aj4 She jumped right into the hard things and so I will stop being a chicken on that. 

I want to use the sock machine.

I want to make more little sweaters.

I want to do more embroidery, especially making more masks.

I want to study more on food storage.

These are a few of the things I am wanting to do. I figure I will keep learning as long as I am alive.

Soon the garden will be done and I will have more time.

I have been dehydrating tomatoes and some zucchini that got too big. I try to get them young but some hide very well.

I have mastered the tomato slicer. I was just about to give up but then I got it.

I will soon have to be saving seed from what I grew in the garden this year, especially since where I got my plants this year didn't grow theirs this time and they did not do as well as the seeds I started. I already saved the seed from the muskmelon we grew - yum! It was so good.  I drool every time I go out to see if the watermelon is ready....soon.

I am choosing to dehydrate most of my garden this year. My garden struggled so much with this drought we are in.

What things will you plan to do to get through this next leg of the pandemic?

Missy suggest naps when you need them.

Gus said more time with catnip and toys. Missy perked up to say she agrees.

We all say be safe - wear masks, wash your paws, stay socially distant and check on others.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday Message

"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. 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 … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust)

I am starting to see prices going high, so purchases might have to be put on a no-spend time till they get better.

Having said that, we need to make do with what we have and what can be gotten frugally.

Keep haunting those sale flyers for things that can beef up your storage, go to thrift stores for items.

Work with what you have.

I have mentioned this before but I was able to get an almost new knitting machine at a yard sale.

I have a bond knitting machine I got as a gift and later found another one at Goodwill for six dollars which I put together and had learned it well. But this almost-new machine I struggled to learn. At that time, I was taking lessons and my teacher was very stern with me. She kept telling me I didn't need to write everything down but I said I needed to. I was starting with fibromyalgia and retaining info was hard but I did not know at the time that was happening.  

Back to her, she was mean but I needed the instruction. One day she was really mean and she got a call from someone that she argued with. The person on the phone wanted her to go to an auction house so she could price a knitting machine. She turned to me to ask if I could go with her, I said yes. So I drove her there. It was an auction house and they must have cleaned out a studio of sorts so she was looking at the knitting machine. They only wanted the furniture but they made them take everything, so they wanted to get rid of the things and just get the furniture.

I knew I had a hundred dollars that I could use so I told the guy I wanted all the yarn (it was all coned yarn). My teacher was still working with that machine so I went through stuff. I got fifty-two books on machine knitting, there was a plastic drawer thing with fat quarters (aka folded pieces of fabric) all sorted by color. It was a truck load. My husband sent a worker with our truck to come and get it. The man I dealt with at the auction gladly took a hundred dollars for everything I got. My teacher bought the machine she was looking at for seven hundred dollars and we got it in my car.

The worker took the truck load of stuff to our house and we went back to her shop. She was snarky all the way home, she said she did not know why I got all of that yarn since the only thing it would be good for was for a hand knitter. I turned to her and said I am a hand knitter, that stopped the snarky stuff.

I later went back and got the other two knitting machines for fifty dollars.

I tried to set up my mother-in-law with one but her husband was getting Alzheimer's and didn't want it around so it came back to me. Back then, the internet was just starting to be a thing and I was on a knitting list, so I traded one of the machines for a drum carder that I had wanted but couldn't find and a lady bought the other machine, so that money was used to purchase a wood burning cook stove.

So that was the yarn haul. Two cones of yarn still had their prices on them. If I only bought those two cones new from a store it would have cost more than what I paid for all of it.

Not long after I had put on Freecycle that I was looking for fabric and as it turned out a lady had boxes of fabric from her grandma. Our oldest daughter and I went in the truck to pick it all up. Those boxes of fabric filled the truck bed to the top. In the end, it helped the girl and I got free fabric.

So this was the great fabric haul.

This being said, I also got canning jars and lace trims, even scrapbooking supplies from Freecycle.

I tell you this to show you that you can get items for free. Once, I was putting it out there that I was looking for tatting stuff. A lady replied that she was getting out of it and I was able to get her stuff - books, thread, and a few shuttles. I was thankful for everything.

And now that I am older, I really appreciate having it. One reason is that the prices to purchase them new just aren't reasonable anymore and second, I don't have to go into a store to purchase them.

Freecycle is still a thing…so if you are looking for something it never hurts to try this way first and then haunt thrift stores.

https://www.pinterest.com/leilajh/sewing-old-new-clothing-make-over/ - this will give you ideas for old clothing.

Now is the time to be more frugal.

Also, it is time to learn new skills - https://ourinspiredroots.com/cooking-from-scratch-for-beginners/

I checked on canning supplies just to see what was there and all I found were empty shelves. So if you have produce you can freeze it...

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/how-to-freeze-fruits-and-vegetables/

https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/186047/how-to-dehydrate-food-without-a-dehydrator-dehydrate-fruit-and-vegetables-in-oven/ - when I did this before I had a dehydrator, I folded a pot holder and put it in the door to prop it open just a tad.

This week I finished the cardigan for the sheep...



I learned a lot from knitting this little stuff.

My sister and I experimented with making these rolags using a drum carder, it was a success. These will be very fun to spin up.

Gus says stop the presses!

Gus said keep wearing those masks and washing your paws and socially distancing...which he is about to do in his box cave. He says we need everyone to stay alive and be a hero to others.

Missy says she is already socially distant. She, too, encourages everyone to wear masks. She knows some don't like to wear them but wearing masks and getting vaccinated is how we care for ourselves and others.

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