Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Message

"Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable.” (Barbara B. Smith)

We need to build our skills, stretch ourselves...we need to push ourselves to learn skills we do not yet have.

"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)

"My brothers and sisters, I feel our anxieties are justified. It is the opinion of many that more difficult times lie ahead. We are deeply concerned about the welfare of our people and recognize the potential privation and suffering that will exist if each person and family does not accept the word of the Lord when he says, 'Prepare every needful thing'" (D&C 88:119)  (Victor L. Brown)

"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.” (President Wilford Woodruff)

They knew we would be in difficult times and here we are....

Pandemic, job losses, and global calamities...they saw it coming and warned us.

We were able to pack the burn pile and it burned. A good thing we did it when we did because the wind has been blowing ever since.

Canning companies have said it'll be mid March before we see canning supplies on the shelves again.

I did stock up on lids last year but had I known I would have done a lot more.

Jars can be reused. Lids cannot be used to can again but I save them and use them in vacuum sealing.  We need to think twice before throwing stuff out.

So what happens now?? If your garden has done well and you cannot get canning supplies.....,usually%206%20to%208%20hours.

You could easily make a rack of your own or look around your house, I have several of those clothes drying racks that fold flat or you can pull them and hang wet clothes to dry.

There also are foods you can dry just out on a plate...

I knew someone who strung green beans on a thread, sewing through all the ends and hung them to dry, looked like a string with green fingers hanging.

Also, do not forget about freezing...

Save your jars from items you have purchased to store your dried food in. Also, you can use them to freeze food in but remember to leave an inch or more for liquid to expand.

If you have supplies, you can of course can.

This week I made relish 14 pints, salsa 8 pints, pizza sauce 4 pints and 14 jelly jars.

It has been a busy week.

Monday, October 19, 2020

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. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

This makes me think of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The winter was very harsh. When all were getting worn out, Ma pulled out something she had set back for just when they needed it and made it stretch far giving her family a bit of protein. Plus they put up whatever food they could. This is what people did back then and they are our examples, we should follow that plan too.

As our weather is now getting that snap in the air it tells us winter is coming and reminds us that we need to button things up. I have picked all we had in the garden. We disconnected the hose from the house and are getting things ready for winter.

We have still been cleaning up after derecho. We rented a backhoe to help move the huge tree trunks to the burn pile and crush the pile to help with the burning which is what it needed today. We were finally able to burn the pile of trunks and branches.

Keep picking up extra when you get your groceries. I am feeling this virus will get worse before it gets better. - this is the type of mask I made for us and plan to make us more. I like them because it is tight all the way around. I saw Walmart workers at a town to our west, they had little aprons on their faces and while cute the top was snug but the rest was open and flapping on the other three sides.

Think of what you would need to have, let's say for the next four months. Like flour and yeast and oil and sugar and salt then at least you can make bread.

I was watching a podcast from the southwest, she stocked up on toilet paper that was on sale and said there was plenty and no limit but here in the center of the USA we do pick-up orders from Walmart and there is a limit of one. So different areas are seeing different limits, we still see lots of limits on other things too so think how severe things were in shortage at the beginning nine months ago and take count of what you have on hand and make a list of what you need and do the best you can.

Gus says we have to be extra safe and not wearing a mask is very dangerous.

A reminder that dehydrating veggies that are frozen is so easy because all the work has already been done! You just have to open and dump on the tray and dry.

Canning supplies are in short supply right now so dehydrate and put dried food in any jar you have like a jar from spaghetti sauce or jars from jam and jellies. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers saved everything and used everything over and over and we can too. - I thought you would enjoy this.

I told you last year how I saved and dried tomato skins then blended them in the blender, basically free food. - here you can find how to use tomato powder.

Missy says to be safe and to bide time and to rest as well.

Gus seconds Missy's comment and again reminds you all to be safe.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Message

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .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." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

As you get groceries just pick up a few extra each time, you will be surprised at how fast it will add up. I like to have some canned soups on hand for when I am not feeling well they will be an easy fix.

I know that Covid-19 is hard on everyone. We never saw it come and once it did we never thought it would be such a long time. The people who know have said it could still be quite a while. So we should plan on that If it isn't, we can do a happy dance but we should still be prepared.

Start winterizing! I was going to wait a week to pick everything from the garden but with the rainy and colder temps coming I decided to do it now. For having a garden flattened in the derecho there was still a lot I gathered. We also disconnected the hose. Time to button things up for winter!

If you know someone having a hard time dealing with how we now have to stay safe, winter will make it feel even more intense staying safe, so reach out by email with a positive note like “thinking of you today.” Play scrabble online or pick a free book online at and send the link to that person so you can read it together and then email back and forth about the book. Or if you know this person likes to crochet or knit or even sew send a link to a free pattern online. If this person likes to cook, send a recipe that is your favorite. - here are ideas that you might not have thought of. - some ideas here - more ideas - more ideas  - ideas

You can see if we have to be home, make it comfortable.

Missy has a huge head start as you can see.

They mentioned sitting by the fireplace and finding cozy things. If you have a fireplace you don't use or even no fireplace you can set a grouping of candles on a safe surface, it gives the feeling of the glow of a fireplace, you can even get flickering candles from dollar stores to be even safer if you have littles or curious pets.

So as we head into winter or any season, these ideas will help us to make staying home a wonderful thing.  Of course, pick out the ideas that you could safely do while we are still in pandemic. Also, share any ideas you choose with us in the comments.

Gus said be sure to wear your masks and social distance and wash your hands or paws!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Monday Message

"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)

We are moving into the time of the year here in the U.S. where sales are good so plan your budgets to be able to take advantage of sale items to put in your storage.

We are still working on derecho clean-up here, slow and steady.

That fall bite is in the air. It won't be long now where I will be needing to pick everything and bring it inside but I am pushing that off as long as I can.

This is a good time to take stock of what you have. Do you need to beef up this or that in your storage? So make a list and look for deals and work to get beefed up.

This is the time for frugal soup making. Mary Ann shared this with us...

I use powdered milk for soups and baking and making it stretches the budget.

Thank you for sharing, Mary Ann!! - I love to get frugal ideas from this gal and I love her pics of plants and I love to see ideas on gifts. - this is a great list she has. - here you can see her storage and frugality. - more of her tips.

Missy says no matter how hard the task before you, never give up.

At this time things seem to be very hard but we need to not let it get to us, put on a smile :)

Seriously, get to learning those skills! The more we can do ourselves the more we can save.

Now with temperatures cooling off get to making bread and soups and casseroles....and everything in between. Remember to keep a hard copy of your favorite recipes.

On Saturdays I have been putting together the Monday Messages while watching the sewing shows on our public television channel. Last week I just set it on the channel a bit early and there was a home improvement show on. I was not paying attention at first but when I looked up they had a small segment on toilet tanks. Our upstairs toilet had started making a running noise every now and then. I thought we needed a new flapper thing inside so I added one to a grocery pick-up which we have been doing at Walmart (we have tried other store pick-ups but I like their service the best). My husband would be able to fix the toilet when the wrap was off his arm (he had carpal tunnel surgery on his right arm) but I had noticed the noise was more often so when I looked up and this segment was on I watched it then I went and repaired it. It was not just the flapper thing but was also the tower thing which they showed and….ta-da - fixed! So learn and learn and learn!

Gus says be sure to do things that make you happy.... as happy as raggedy Ann pictured above, he loves to sit by her in the chair.

This week I am reading...

The sticker says I got it at the half price store in 2003. I have looked at it back then but thought I will look at it again so I am doing that this week.

Gus and Missy say to keep wearing masks and social distancing and washing your paws or hands!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Message

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

This year just seems to be slinging disaster after disaster at us all over the world. It is more important than ever that we store some items ahead. - I love this gal, she shows you how to do a three months supply of food storage.

There is no set rule to what is in your storage, just what your family eats. I stress you start with the basics and build from there.

We finally have fall weather!

I had some apples to use up and made a pie.

I have also made a big pot of chili using up some tomatoes that needed to be used.

So keep being safe, we are by no means over this virus.

Also, for those who pray, I think prayers are needed for the people who are suffering with the virus, and the wildfires, and the hurricane victims...the list goes on and on.

Gus says we need to keep building our skills at this time too.

Here is a brief list for you to check off:

Sew on buttons



How to darn a hole in clothes, socks, even couches, etc.

How many different seams can you sew on your machine?

Can you do maintenance on your sewing machine?

Do you know how to clean your sewing machine?

Can you bake bread?

Can you cook from scratch and do you have supplies on hand to do so?

Do you know proper ways of storing food?

Do you know basic first aid?

Can you make cookies and cakes and pies from scratch?

Can you nuke a burn pile of green branches? :p  (I am working on it, I really am)

Do you have hard copies of your recipes?

Can you knit a hat, scarf, and mittens?

Can you crochet hot pads?

This list is endless, you can probably think of lots more than what I came up with.

This year with the high risk that we both have, we cannot go out and mail things so I have been working on a skill for things that I can mail.

What are you planning to do for gifts?

Missy says make preps, winter will be here soon enough and all of you be safe.

Monday, September 21, 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)

I think it is no longer “if” something happens because 2020 has shown us it most certainly can happen.

With the virus numbers on the rise here in Iowa, I feel like we need to stick with our safety plans, review them if needed. Make more masks. Continue to teach your children good practices.

This sure has been a difficult time for so many...we need to continue to build on our skills.

No doubt you are doing things a bit differently than before the pandemic…you proved you can do it. - this site has some great ideas.

Be sure to stock up on basics, as we need the basics to build on.

Just recently I watched a podcast where this lady said not to store flour as it goes bad - this just isn't so. You can easily store flour for three years and if you have a basement five years is what I am finding.

I store twenty-five pounds in a food grade five gallon bucket that I have washed and dried and I leave the bucket to air dry overnight, the lid too. Once dry I fill the bucket with flour that I dump out of the bag. I then put two bay leaves on top, put on the lid then label and date it and put it into rotation.

Yeast is starting to get back on the shelves so when you see it, get it and store it in the freezer. The way I’ve done it for years is that I buy yeast in the one pound bags (two usually sold together at Sam's Club). This is the more frugal way for me. Then I freeze one and the other goes in a quart jar that I keep in my refrigerator - this is my using jar.

Salt, baking powder and baking soda, some sugar and oil…you saw how fast all these items flew off the shelf. Waiting till the last minute to get them is not such a good idea.

If you have a bread machine, dig it out!!!

I do not like how bread turns out baked in the bread machine but I love making dough in it.

Check out the post we did on our good friend Liza's bread recipes to see all the yummy things you can make -

If you do not have a bread machine, no problem! I can get the same results by doing it by hand as well. - how to knead by hand. - she doesn't knead.

So there you have different ways to make bread. - one of the best sewing videos and most helpful I have ever seen were on making fitting patterns easy.

Part 2 -

Gus and Missy say not to forget to practice self-care, their version is curling up for a nap!

Monday, September 14, 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)

Making it a way of life helps with rotation as well as makes it easy to have what you need when you need it.  When you have your storage up it is just a matter of use, replace, and rotate.

I think that having some storage is a good idea with all that is going on. I don't know if you are feeling like there is no time to catch a breath between catastrophes but I do. Clean-up is still ongoing at our house. I am very tired of playing lumberjack. For an old lady who hates outdoor labor this year has been only that and no fun. I loved pick-up sticks as a girl but I hate this kind of pick-up sticks.

Sometimes hard times hit and we have to work harder at things and normal chores become harder to do because you are more tired. So take that into account. In your storage have some ingredients on hand that make easy fix meals. It seemed like we had so many things collide - it was hot, we had no electricity, and having to work on clean-up. It was compounded for sure. My heart goes out to those hit by hurricane Laura, they have no water and too much water added to that list.

You can imagine the clean-up has taken most of my time so being flexible is important, don't be upset with yourself for not being able to get things done.

I have been doing little things here and there...

I organized my knitting books (pictured at the top) and my sewing books. I did not do them all at one time, it actually took three different times because of the heat we have had and dragging branches for an hour wore me out the rest of the day.

I wasn't sure I would like organizing the books by color but I love it. One night I couldn't sleep as I hurt too much and didn't feel up to sewing so I organized the sewing books and really like how calming they are to my eyes now. Then I thought do I want to even tackle my knitting books? I liked how I could find my books easier this way so I had to do it with other books I have.

I decided it was harder for me to flip through the baggies to find the right sewing foot so I changed to doing it this way and it works much better for me.

This old bread box was perfect to house the boxes of feet and in the top are the feet and tools that came with machine and my magnetic pincushion which by the way is magnetically stuck to the box, I really like that it, makes it easier to use.

I ordered this book over a month ago before the derecho but it got caught in the mail slowdown and the derecho came and hard work was going on, it took a month to get it. The sad thing is I have had it for a week now and have not yet had time to look at it, mostly too wore out from dragging branches. All the feet in those boxes are in this book with details of how to use them, so I am looking forward to curling up with Missy and Gus and reading you can see they have a head start.

With sadness, my mother-in-law passed away this last week from Covid-19. It is so very contagious, once it got into her facility 51 people got it over a very short time even though precautions were taken. She was my mentor, I learned so much from her. She was the best mother-in-law one could have. We will truly miss her.

I know I have heard so many say Covid is a hoax, I am here to say it is very real and very sad so we must try very hard to be safe.

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