Monday, August 15, 2022

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)

Being frugal is a skill that we learn like any other and it takes practice and a bit of work.

You don't have to have a garden to put food up, it helps moneywise but this year has been hard on all gardens. You can go to your you pick places or farmer's stands or farmer's market or even a really good sale on produce. For that matter...what do you do with those grapes no one wants or mushy apples?

This week I was testing my chopper on such a mushy apple. It all went through but the core and seeds which I gave those to the wildlife and the now chopped apple went in a bowl of oatmeal before cooking but I could have thrown it in the dehydrator and dried it. Those grapes no one wants dry into raisins so don't be fast to throw out things.

This week I got some groceries which included potatoes and celery but wait...I had just a little celery left, I chopped it and put it in the dehydrator.

I also had wrinkly potatoes left so I peeled and diced and blanched (which just means to boil a few minutes and put in cold water) then put in the dehydrator to dry.

Also, this week I had an orange, I grated off the orange rind part with my smallest shredding plate.

Did you know with the orange rind you just need to dry it on a plate? I covered it with a strainer and a cotton towel because we have a fly. We keep trying to get him but he is evasive, we shall call him Henry :p So basically the orange rind is free as we ate the orange.

I have been slicing the tomatoes and putting them in the dehydrator. This is what I use to slice them...

All this to say that even if you feel your budget is tight, you can do a few things to put in your pantry. I will tell you right now that orange rind has a date with some orange rolls come winter, yum! - there are great ideas here, sewing saves so much money even if all you ever did was mend. - this gal has been one of my favorites.

Missy says take time through all the work to find joy and some down time too.

Gus says be working on building skills, like hunting for spiders.

Monday, August 8, 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)

We are certainly seeing lots of these things happening every day.

We need to keep on working on stocking up and building our skills.

We need to keep all those affected by all that is going on in our prayers. It is like we cannot get back on our feet before something else happens. We need to be strong for others and still find joy along the way.

We must keep calm and carry on as they say.

I still have been deep cleaning and rearranging things as it is so hot and no rain so I am working inside.  As I have been working, I am thinking what do I have in house to use for organizing?

For example, I have this old crock.

I have put my rolls of tracing papers and interfacings in this and it works fantastically. The cost is free when you look for containers you already have.

I got this shoe organizer from freecycle years ago and use it to organize small pieces of fabrics...

This helps me to organize by color.

I worked in the sewing area just trying to consolidate. You remember my tracing off a pattern from my favorite t-shirt and making this from it?

I plan to make another from this pattern or one I just did a test shirt from using this fabric....

In the basket under the t-shirt are the free patterns I was putting together from online I mentioned a few weeks back, I have them ready to go.

I worked hard moving some things around in the stamp area as well...

This has given me more room on my desk.

With another heat wave coming this week I have been finding recipes that will not heat up the's a good excuse to go through my recipes again.

With the cost of groceries being so high I have been researching more frugal recipes as well as the ones that won't heat up the kitchen. So if you are going through your files, pull out some more frugal ones and see if you can stretch your grocery budget despite the rising costs.

I know right now with this heat it is hard to think of cold weather but it will be here before we know it so be thinking of ways to weatherize things we could be doing now to help our budget later.

One other thing I did this week was make this chicken...

This was a free pattern I have been wanting to make for a while...

Missy wants to remind you to be working on your skill building.

Gus says watching me work so hard has worn him out! He is reminding you to rest and find joy.

Monday, August 1, 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)

It is getting that time where hopefully the gardens are producing and it's time to put all that produce up. - I love watching this lady's channel. Here she is showing how to dehydrate frozen peas, I also love to do frozen mixed veggies. - I love this gal as well. - here she shares recipes that are all shelf stable.

It has been a very busy week in the yard cutting out trees that birds and squirrels plant. I really don't think squirrels do a good job finding what they bury and well the birds eat the seeds and poop willy-nilly. We live on 9/10ths of an acre so it's lots of work.

The young men from church and their leaders came and helped us too. We are so grateful for their help.

To add to the pain of cutting those walnut trees out, I could hear walnuts dropping from the big trees - grrrr! I will be cutting those next year.

It has been so very hot with no rain. I have had to do some watering. For someone who hates outside work I have been doing entirely too much of it. And I am tired of being a T-bone for all the bugs in town.

The garden is starting to feel like late fall instead of summer.

We have had things keep going down this month, good grief. I hope we are done with that cause we don't need any more of that!

I have managed to keep up with a little spinning each day. The purple is upstairs, it is a babe wheel that my sister gave me with a motor that operates it by foot pedal. It is a learning thing for me to get the speed just right. I am getting there though. You will recognize the wool from my dying it in the crockpot...

The colored spinning is on the matchless wheel downstairs, also a gift from my sister. The fiber is from a yarn shop that is no longer in business sadly.

I also finished an octopus pattern from same shop. Here are some pictures of it with the frog I just finished.

If you have hard work to do it is nice to have fun work as well. I think you will notice they did not lift one finger or tentacle to help with the outside work.

Missy says so many we know are getting Covid, the numbers are going up here in Iowa.

Gus says build your skills and storage, nothing is over.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Monday Message

"The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands. Such food may not be tasty, but it will be nourishing if it has to be used." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Yes, we have to take our family's welfare very seriously.

While we see shortages now, it is what is ahead of us we need to be concerned with. There is severe drought in the south and crops are not growing but are dying instead.

We need to take this seriously for sure. Not only do we need to put in storage but we need to be building those skills. Like...

Seed saving


How to compost



Cooking from scratch

Bread making


Adjusting patterns to fit you




How to use tools

How to fix a broken window

How to clean and oil your sewing machine

Do plumbing


How to make yogurt

How to make cheese

Build your shelf stable recipe binder

How to make pasta

This list can go on and on.

If you know how to do things already then build on it. With internet you can look for free classes and info on skills.

I think to do things to beautify your home is a good skill as well. Share some things you would add to the list in the comments!

Take time to do fun things this week. I did just that - I made a frog.

These videos are so cute and inspired me to make my own froggy.

You can find the pattern here -

I have been spinning each day.

I have still been shifting things about to make things easier on me.

Mending -

Sewing -

Canning -

So here are some things to get you started.

The main thing is to get going quickly on building your skills and getting in storage.

Missy says get in your storage and load your box with skills.

Gus says you still need to be safe Covid numbers rising so think to get in things for the next wave and be safe.

Monday, July 18, 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)

As I was just out weeding in the garden I thought physically there is no way I could grow enough to live on for a year. That is why it is important to store extra. Does this mean why try to grow? Nope, as it benefits us the money I would have spent on produce can now be spent on things I cannot grow. It is a frugal thing even though I personally do not like it, I still very much appreciate having the fresh produce. It is also exercise though I like the treadmill better. It all goes into assisting us and helping our budget.

I usually cannot grow cucumbers very well but for some reason they are growing this year. I kept looking at the little ones from the flowers on top and thought well, I guess it is too early for them yet, but today in there weeding I found all these goodies. There must be a parable in there somewhere.

We have been having such hot weather that the weeds seem to be running amuck. Japanese Beatles have found their way here, so many on the peach tree. I was dusting it with seven dust when I noticed about five peaches. I thought there would be none this year because we had a very late freeze, not frost but a freeze.

Now to distract Neanderthal while I get them when the time comes to pick them. Who is Neanderthal?  Well he is really a chipmunk but bigger than all I ever see and he has the shaggiest of coat, much like a caveman. He lives out front by the peach tree. I was hand watering my little bleeding heart, trying to keep it alive last year and I saw him by my bleeding heart and watched him. He looked up and made his arms going up and down like (  ) going from top to bottom following the lines of the parenthesis, over and over. I thought, well, we are in dry conditions and he has seen me come out and water this plant - I could only think he was saying oh fat one, come bring water...the little peach nabber...that year he kept setting off the door sensor as he would go into the tree and nab a peach over and over again.

I have been doing a bit of spinning each day.

Thankfully raspberry picking season is over, I am so glad to not get poked and scratched and eaten by bugs.

I did make two batches of jam and froze a lot more if I would like to make more jam in the future when it is cooler.

Remember, a couple of years ago I suggested to put together a binder of food storage info and go through your recipe, file finding things that you could make that if for some reason we had no refrigeration...

I continue to urge you to do this and to store the foods required to make the recipes.

Like if you make chicken and rice casserole. If you don't can chicken, then buy canned chicken from the store. Put it in your storage with rice and canned soup or whatever else your recipe has in it that can be shelf stable. I store powdered milk that opens up to being able to make things with milk in it.

I know it sounds like yucky recipes would be only shelf stable, so I took a pic of the table of contents of this binder.

You can see they are a lot of great tasting meals. Do I have more? Yes, I do. In other binders I have more that could be included in this one but it would get a lot heavier.

So again I say go through your favorite recipes and find the ones that could be made of all shelf stable ingredients that with just a bit of switching ingredients could still be made - like powdered milk for milk in the gallon or chicken for canned chicken.

You will notice beef recipes in mine, that is because I can meat so I can add those to my binder easily.

There are some who have gotten together to contribute shelf stable recipes... - here is one, I like what she is showing under it, click show more and you will see the recipe but under that you will see others in the shelf stable collaboration.

Missy says keep working on your skills and your storage, both are very important.

Gus says keep being safe, the virus is not over yet and looks to be increasing a bit.

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