Monday, November 28, 2022

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)

I feel like now more than ever it would be a good time to pick up a little extra when you get groceries.  The prices keep going up and so many are losing their jobs. It is a hard time for everyone.

What makes it harder is the holidays. We all have traditions. Maybe this year we think harder on those traditions. Can we afford them? If not, what can you do instead? Maybe it is time to make new ones that are more affordable. We all have turkey but nothing says we can't have something else. There is no shame in cutting back. Think of ways that will not stress your budget. You might even find less is more enjoyable, less may mean more time with your family than the kitchen. You may even find yourself not so done in by it all. Nothing is all good or bad as they say.

What people will remember is not the meal or gifts but that you all were together.

If you are having a hard time this year, and I am guessing that is most of us, talk things over with your family as how to have a good time together without the huge expense.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/g23601545/christmas-traditions-kids-family/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=arb_ga_ghk_d_bm_prog_org_us_g23601545&gclid=CjwKCAiAmuKbBhA2EiwAxQnt77SehlNSK82Y44cCvQykBK_JUZlmMP1X_riLreaTzos7dnrkp_BTFRoCvkYQAvD_BwE - this has some fun ideas, I love the pin the nose on Rudolf. I like the pickle idea too. We are doing an advent, mine is all things in the house already. The elf on the shelf sounds good. Make your own elf...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcNG47qGaW8 - elf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba91b7kHrUE - elf

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/292945150734215316/ - elf

You can find one to make out of what you already have on hand.

https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/holidays-celebrations/g34080491/funny-elf-on-the-shelf-ideas/ - elf ideas.

https://www.womansday.com/life/g29515335/elf-on-the-shelf-ideas/ - elf ideas

https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g22690552/funny-elf-on-the-shelf-ideas/

Pick what fits your budget.

I watch a podcast where she watches badly made Christmas movies while she works on projects and that is her tradition.

This is one of my favorites...

https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured-holidays/christmas/20-ideas-for-serving-others-as-a-family-this-christmas/ - when you are feeling down because of hard times, think what could I do for someone else? It does more good for your spirits than you know.

https://beingfierceafterforty.com/40-hygge-ideas-for-winter-wellness/ - there are great ideas here. I think it will be a long winter.

Think of ways to get through winter.

Read The Long Winter but stretch the book out a little each day and if you have littles, read aloud to them each day then do some of the activities they do in the book.

Have a puzzle going. Learn or teach each other things. Make cinnamon rolls. There's so many things you could do. Have everyone help.

Have a meeting and make a list then put it on the fridge for those darkest days that way you won't have to think up ideas.

I think with budgets tight going to the library is a great idea. Have everyone check out books for the week and keep this going all winter long. If you have littles be sure to get books to read aloud. One of our favorites this time of year was Frederick by Leo Lionni. Another was Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern.

When was the last time you played one of your board games?? Yep, this year let's dig them out!

I would encourage you to keep picking up a little extra when you get groceries. It will be nice not to go out in the cold windy snowy weather if you have meals you can fix in your house.

This week I made a turtle.

I also made a tiny mouse friend who got up to some mischief with Frog on my new yarn genie my daughter gave me. 




They all did a bit of twister which the octopus won hands down.


That is enough of doing little things for a while. I will be finishing up a few thing I have been working on.

I did however organize my double-pointed knitting needles, no easy task but soon tended.

I did do a bit of organizing this week - big stuff like moving furniture and such. I am happy with the results though I strained something in my arm, it will soon feel better.

Missy says she has more fun in this free bag from the grocery store than anything, so she is saying sometimes it isn't about the expensive flashy cardboard box, it is the simple inexpensive things that mean more.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Monday Message

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

As the prices of everything are so high let us be in a position to help others as we can. Even if a kindly smile or kind word is all we can do, let us do it and if we can do more, let us do that. Kindness will never go out of style. As we go into the holidays, kindness will be needed more than ever.

When you read this a week from now we are finally feeling a bit better. This was a tough cold thingy, hope we won't catch anything else. So still trying to rest here. Don't want it to come back on us.

This is the time of the year that stores offer some good sales. So be stocking up as you can. Shopping those sales are a great way to get a few extra items.

Winter is knocking at the door for us here in Iowa, best have things you need on hand. Our county is now in the red for flu and other germs, so if we don't have to be out around others right now that is a good thing.

It was 19 degrees this morning brrrr!

I did finish up the advent bags. I did a couple every day till I was done. That is my approach to food storage as well - just pick up a few extra items and it adds up without sticker shock.

I made a hat for my husband this week. The yarn may look familiar to you as I made this sweater with it...

So the hat was made with leftover yarn from the sweater. The hat only cost the time to make it.  Knowing how to knit or crochet helps to make warm things.

https://sarahmaker.com/easy-knitting-patterns/ - she has such cute patterns here, great for gifts.

https://www.allfreeknitting.com/Knitting-Collections/knitting-for-beginners-guide-9-free-knitting-patterns-for-beginners

https://www.sparklesofsunshine.com/crocheted-christmas-ball-ornaments-free-pattern/ - cute and fast, just in time. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this find.

https://sarahmaker.com/crochet-hat-patterns/ - I really like the waffle hat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. margarine or butter

1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. shortening

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

Mix this well and add:

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

Then I really cream this together, all of it so far, maybe three to four minutes.

Then add:

3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Mix just enough to incorporate it, stop and add:

12 oz. package chocolate chips

Half to one cup chopped nuts, either walnuts or pecans (if you have picky kids you can leave out or take out half and add nuts to the other half).

Drop then bake at 350 degrees till golden.

Finding recipes that are scratch recipes help stretch the budget funds. This is a recipe I made for our girls and their friends.

Can you see what is living in my knitting right now?? I am making the frog a mouse friend.

Missy says grab a blanket and make chocolate chip cookies and build a mouse. Sounds like a great plan, keep working at your plans.

Monday, November 14, 2022

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)

Still sick here. I know I told you I would be better but nope, this cold virus is hanging on. Hard to believe just going to church in person and wearing masks got us, so it is back to virtual church for us. The person who gave it to us probably got over it in three days, not us, it'll be two weeks ago tomorrow as I'm writing this. We caught it but did not know it till Wednesday. So again, I will remind you to have a sick plan for meals and meds etc. made up ahead of time. The doctor my husband goes to says they are stacked to the rafters with sick people. So wash your hands and stay safe. Stock up on chicken soup.

I have been reading...blowing my nose...reading...blowing my nose...

I feel like that saying, "What did you do today? I survived." Yep, it's pretty much like that.

Here is what you do when you are resting and you aren't feeling up to much...





Everyone is feeling the pinch of high prices. We have to find ways of making do. We are all in the same boat.

What I have done is look through the main dish binders that I have and on a paper I came up with thirty main dishes. From a main dish we will have enough for two suppers and a lunch type thing.

This is not something that is in concrete. It changes if I have to use something up or if I have something on hand I want to make or that's easier to make. But things on my list are made with what I have on hand as well.  

I chose soups that we like and spread them throughout that list such as chili, a busy day soup I can make with hamburger and one with chicken, cheese soup, a favorite veggie chili soup which is way different then the chili soup, and baked potato soup. Then I put our most budget type casseroles. Thanksgiving is this month and I have a turkey in the freezer from last year as when there is a sale I get a few and always make sure I have one for the next Thanksgiving. And with that comes turkey sandwiches and turkey salad and turkey tetrazzini...you get the idea. And since we store the items for our Thanksgiving meal, normally it is covered. There are just the two of us at home so it goes a long way.

Now I could have written each meal down and what I would do with it leftover-wise but if I have the thirty meals on the list it may go a week or more longer which is good. Then I save this menu to refer to at another time.

One thing that my youngest daughter and I (and most people who knit) do is watch podcasts of our favorite knitters. They all buy these yarn advents. Some have tea advents and some jam advents. These are all very costly and even if you could afford it, you have to sign up a year in advance. So my daughter said we should make our own. Great idea! Our other daughter doesn't knit but I suggested things she would like, like nail polish etc. and to do one for her kids and husband in what they would like - just little things to make a fun memory or to cheer us all in this time of year that may be harder than those in the past. 

So my daughter that knits will do for her husband and I will for mine. So we do twenty-four of them and on Christmas day will be the bigger gift. For me, I am using all things I have on hand already so no extra spending. My plan is small projects I could do each day, things I have wanted to do but have put off as things get in the way. So it will also be the gift of time to do said little projects. If I ever get well enough to do this I will take a picture of them.  

These are all very small projects and each fits in a brown lunch bag that I staple it shut. All the items it takes for the project are in the bag so not hunting for items is a gift too. Then the gift on Christmas day will be a cowl or shawl that will take longer than a day that makes it a bigger item. While that is a pretty easy thing, it will be a bit harder to do for my husband but we shall see what I come up with. The bags will be mixed up and numbered. I am about half done and I already can't remember what is in them. This is just a cost-free thing we are doing to brighten the month with ever-rising costs and so much bad news and germs running amuck, it will be a bright spot.

It is time to be thinking of more frugal things you can do.

https://crazylittleprojects.com/christmas-cookie-mix-in-a-jar/ - inexpensive gift giving ideas.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/gift-ideas/g1266/handmade-gifts/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=arb_ga_ghk_md_dsa_prog_org_usx_g1266&gclid=Cj0KCQjwk5ibBhDqARIsACzmgLT_WtZGaw_5810DPI0c40oEN6ObVu0_-OwVqrKKTEechnEIyuk5wsQaAlaXEALw_wcB - some cute inexpensive ideas here.

http://papernstamps.blogspot.com/2011/11/winter-warmer.html - this is a cute idea, could give with that cookie with jam star in it from the site above.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/325455510551523507/ - cute idea here.

https://www.the36thavenue.com/25-handmade-gifts-under-5/ - cute ideas.

https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/25-easy-homemade-christmas-gifts-can-make-15-minutes.html - I liked the soup mixes in this one.

I got this cat paw charm in memory of Gus and made it into a project marker for my knitting.


Missy says wash your paws and stay safe out there.

Monday, November 7, 2022

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) 

At the time I am writing this we caught a nasty cold. Hopefully by the time you read this in a week from now we will be better. It is so good to know I can just go to the home pantry and pull out food I need rather than getting in the car and going to the store. I sure don't think either one of us are up for it at this time.

So this is a reminder - do you have your sick meals planned or kits made? When you are under the weather you can just pull out and fix without much trouble. I think getting sick is a rude reminder we need to have a plan.

Also, it is a reminder that things are still out there. Wear your masks and take every precaution. Though what we have won't kill us I can tell you it definitely isn't fun.

This week I got out my punch needles. I was a little surprised at how many I had. Most were from yard sales and clearance. I remember that pink one was from clearance way back when Hobby Lobby had a big wooden box at the front of the store that they just dumped clearance stuff in. Do any of you remember that? Now they hang on the back wall and are just putting clearance stickers on them right where they are displayed.

I don't think anyone needs this many. I think lots came in boxes or bags of items bought together at yard sales. The wooden ones on the right side there were ones we used in seventh grade to make rugs in art class about fifty-four years ago. That explains the 45-cent price tag on the unopened package. While not the exact same punch, they make a wooden handled one for 5.99. But I have seen one that is forty dollars and has only one size so if you want a different size it is forty dollars a size. Incredible.  

The metal ones all came together with the wooden one on the left, very old it is. It was from before they put a hole in the shaft. The metal ones are interesting. The third metal one from left goes with all those to the right of it. Twelve sizes for all types of needle punching. There are directions too for how to change them and believe me they are needed. Very vintage, it says from rugs to towels to dainty things like underwear...amazing.

So I was gathering fabrics from around the house to use with the punch needles...

The one on the left was burlap. I wanted to see how that very old one on the left worked without a hole in the needle, it worked....incredible.

The center was cross stitch fabric, it worked well with the fine needle which I mostly use.

The last was linen fabric. I was shocked to see how well it worked.

This pincushion I made years ago. I saw it in a magazine that gave you the pattern to trace off. Then you punch it, wrap it around a wooden spool, and make a pincushion for the top. To me it looks like a very mini hooked rug.

The other thing I did this week is make a family of five matching hats for winter.

I used this crank machine I got long ago from our daughter and her husband for Mother's Day.

It isn't as easy as you might think but I think they turned out good.

Once I felt like I was getting sick, I made a big pot of chili so we would have that to make for when I wasn't up for fixing food.

What is your sick plan?

We have a small amount of orange juice with 7-Up mixed together. It just kind of makes us feel a bit better whether or not it actually helps. The price though is unbelievable - 7.49 plus deposit on cans for the 7-Up and 5.99 for the gallon of orange juice - good grief! If someone reads this a hundred years from now they might think those were good prices, I assure you they are very high prices.

I want to encourage you to build what you can for storage. Research all you can on very frugal ways to do things. And build your skills....sewing, baking bread, home repairs, knitting, etc.

I feel they will all be necessary to aid you and your family.

Missy says make your home a cozy place and if you are sick, curl up inside...she isn't sick and clearly no room for me, but sends her love and says be safe!

Monday, October 31, 2022

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)

I remember back to when I started food storage, my husband was in the air force and we did not make much money. The neighbors on each side were in the air force as well. They would run out of food before payday so I started getting a few cans of tuna and pasta and soup so I could share and then I would get more and kept doing that, just picking up extra item or two.

It's just a habit now. By getting one or two items each time, you'll add to your storage and won't break the bank.

Did you know you can make your own items? They cost less and taste better.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/153-grocery-staples-that-you-can-make-at-home.html - there are lots of recipes here.

https://frugalfamilyhome.com/food/recipes/make-your-own-groceries-35-recipes-to-make-at-home-and-save - making your own groceries.

If you store basic ingredients you can make your own items.

https://www.gracefullittlehoneybee.com/40-groceries-to-stop-buying-and-start-making-to-save-money/ - I love this gal.

So think about what things you purchase, can you make them cheaper?https://www.thriftyfrugalmom.com/homemade-foods-to-make-from-scratch/

This week I have been working at deep cleaning the sewing space...



The green beans are dry enough for me to pick for seed for next year's garden.


I will save these for planting next spring.

This is one way to be frugal. It isn't one thing that helps, it is a whole series of frugal things that you do and skills that you learn that all add up to a frugal lifestyle. Keep doing the best you can.

Last week our sweet Gus passed away. He was the best kitty and a wonderful little buddy. We were so blessed to have him in our lives and miss him dearly. Gus loved you all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

In Loving Memory

Today our sweet Gus passed away. Gus was such a good kitty and a wonderful little buddy, he will be sorely missed. We were so blessed to have him in our lives. Gus loved you all.

10-25-22

Monday, October 24, 2022

Monday Message

"Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

We can do these things all year long. I like the part where he said, "make your storage a part of your budget."

Even the little things will add up, so we need to see them as putting coins in a piggy bank.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/23-frugal-tips-from-the-great-depression-you-need-to-know.html - she always has great information.

We need to learn all the things we can to live more frugally. We need to stretch our dollars, especially now with the prices on everything going so very high.

Now is the time for seed saving in my part of the country. I have green beans that are drying seeds for next year.

Still working on tomatoes here...

Time to start thinking of gifts.... https://www.allfreeholidaycrafts.com/tag/Gifts-in-a-Jar

We are starting to get cold already, so time to get things winterized if you are in the north.

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/educational-materials/Documents/Winter-Survival-Brochure.pdf

It is time in the north to be putting together a winter car kit. The Farmer's Almanac says we will be in for a rough winter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TyihOEvJ8E - build a beginner's quilt to be warm, there are four classes just in time for winter and skill building.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YayeZcs3FsQ - part two

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7EdVJailUQ - part three

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPEY9VhSL6U - part four

Remember, do the best we can and that will be enough.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/wprm_print/67515 - this would be a very yummy treat for this time of year.

Missy says pick some skills to build. Secretly she wants to spin on the babe spinning wheel which looks like a white x.

Gus said build your skills. He is attempting to learn how to be a sous chef.

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