Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Needle felting

I tried my hand at needle felting. One of these bearded fellows is a Swedish tomte and the others are Norwegian nisses (basically wee folk from Scandinavian folklore). I also tried a little leprechaun. Overall, they were fun projects and made for some really cute Christmas gifts.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Message

Me in the apron my dear friend Liza made for me.

"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" (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 73).

This message comes out after Christmas hoping that you were able to have quality family time and that you got to have time to reflect on Jesus.

In a few days it will be a new year. Have you taken a few minutes to think about what you want to accomplish this year??

If not, grab a pen and paper and sit down with me. Get a cup of hot cocoa and go through this Monday Message.

 Make a list of your skills…

See, you have lots you don’t think about! Pat yourself on the back, you are doing great!

I am not one who makes an impossible to-do list without a plan B. My plan B is that what I don’t get done just remains on my list. I think life has stress enough without my causing impossibly tight deadlines then feel rotten about myself for not getting it done.

So set goals work towards them but don’t beat yourself with them!

I have been asked to sew a pretty white dress for my granddaughter’s baptism… this will be in March. Up to this point I have collected the items together to accomplish this.

I have Fibromyalgia which is very painful and causes much fatigue as well. Before I got this I was energetic, could do things in one hour with what now takes me three days. How I explain this to those who just get this diagnoses is… you have a bowl with ten marbles in it, you cannot save the ten marbles. When your ten marbles are gone your done, you cannot borrow from tomorrow's ten marbles. The marbles represent your energy - so getting up, showered and dressed, fixing breakfast, takes three marbles. Now you have seven left. Think about a regular day of laundry, cleaning, cooking, doctor appointments, errands, etc. You have seven marbles to ration for the rest of the day…how do you do that?? 

Break down the tasks into steps. Someone without fibro will say, "I have to run and get groceries"… and they might even want to have them done by a certain time. A fibro person has to think of the marbles… I have to get in the car -ouch- I have to drive to store -ouch- get out of car -ouch- walk through the really big store -ouch- then there are heavy things like a bag of flour or sugar or gallon of milk or laundry soap. If you are wise you went to a store that unloads from the cart then bags and carries and puts them in your car. Then drive again but this time you are huge ouch, get out of car -ouch worse- then carry in groceries, even with help it hurts, then to put things away. By this time all my marbles are gone but I press on and fix supper.

How do you do this? For me, if I can I try to plan and only go once a month, I plan an easy supper and usually easy meals the next day since I will pay with pain for the overdoing or big projects. I used to do things fast and many things I can hardly remember but I helped build the addition. I know more than I wanted to about construction. I helped shingles. I remember going to sleep at night and waking up ready to go get big projects done… Now part of this is not sleeping all night and waking more tired than when I went to bed. Big projects like helping clean the church is four days of big pain. I have to plan for these events, rest before and have meals ready for those days. Planting a garden is way worse... we are talking weeks.

I am only telling this to you so that you think about when you write down your goals, break them into steps. Nothing is that huge when you break it down into steps, it is more likely to get accomplished.

I was a busy lady for sure before getting this, overdoing did not play a part. I was healthy, was walking miles every day. Things just happen and we can fight and be angry or just adapt so you can live with it but do so with joy.

So look over your list.

On my ongoing list I have that I want to learn more on weaving, so I have to be realistic. I cannot learn in a month, in fact, not a year…so I break it down.
Classes cost too much and not in my budget, if that was not an issue the fibro would be, sooooo my plan is…

Read all I can in my books and on the internet.

Break it down. I would need to refresh how to warp a jack floor loom, I will need to refresh using warping board. I need to learn how to set up for different weaves. Suffice it there is a long list. But I think you see what I am saying.

A huge deal is to be FLEXIBLE. Life is happening always, we get sick, our kids get sick, things come up, service is needed to help others, new family additions, job loss,... things get in the way of our goals, we need to accept that and not let our goals stress us out.

Mind you probably no one reading this has weaving as a goal but whatever your goal is, break it down.

Back to the white dress, everything is gathered. Step two, cut it out. Step three, is sew when I can. I have allowed a couple months so if I get sick I can accomplish this. So with fibro my immune system is bad so when I get sick it is awhile to climb out.

So write your goal then break it into steps just like I told you I have to do to get groceries. Don’t make this a race, make it fun.

Budgets are this way as well. Set your goals for your budget and steps you will take to stay in it.

I remember long ago I read how a family planned on getting out of debt. They made a dark cloud out of paper and wrote a debt like car or master card on the cloud. Then they made a cloud for each debt. They cut out a house and put this house up to represent them and put the clouds above the house each time they got rid of a debt they threw out the cloud this was a helpful tool. I like to think now there are no clouds over that house.

Things we can do to help stay within our budgets…

Eat in and not out. This is easy for me. I have gotten food poisoning twice from eating out so I would much rather eat in where I am in charge of my own safety, but I do understand being tired. But when you're trying to cut bills this can add up fast.

If your food budget is not very much look for ways to stretch your food dollars. Go through your recipe file and get out your most frugal recipes. If they are in your file you probably like them.

A huge $ stretcher is cooking from scratch. Yes, it is easier to buy ready made but with prices as high as they are cooking from scratch should be everyone's goal.

Here again, break it down. I find mixing the dry ingredients together when doing supper clean up helps me. In the morning just add wet ingredients and bake like muffins. If you buy a muffin mix you still have to add wet ingredients and by breaking it down helps. Okay, finding your muffin recipe might be challenging. I have to break down things so I have my breakfast recipes like muffins, pancakes, scones and such on recipe cards and hooked together with book rings. You could use yarn if you don’t have the rings. I have them on a nail by the stove. I have another with one-pot meals like homemade hamburger helper all done in one pot. I also have my go-to binder which has my favorite English muffin bread, my favorite hot cocoa mix, recipe for white sauce... things I do all the time. So break it down, even setting those up to help me I broke them down.

A great place to get from scratch recipes is our Relief Society cookbook -

I know you are thinking well she has to break it down and yes, I do, but slow and steady wins the race, right? Just think how better you could do it without fibro…lucky you are.

They don’t have to be pinterest award winning if you don’t have the time but better than a snicker bar for saving time and money.

Okay, I would still like the snicker bar as well... :p

These are just a few things and ideas to get you started. I know you can do it.

Probably more than you wanted to know about me but now you know how to break things down.

Food storage is the same, break it down. You might not be able to do a lot but what you can do adds up fast.

For us, I noticed that we will need to make a purchase in January for powdered milk from the storehouse. For us it has to be a planned purchase of fifty lbs or as close to that as we can get, and will have to plan on going to Omaha to pick up.

We use powdered milk for everything, so you see this is a big purchase and has to be planned.

So break down and get as you can.

This is a different blog just us vising over a hot cocoa. :)

The picture on top is me in the Christmas apron my friend liza made me.

Lets plan for a great new year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Message

(Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2001)
“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.”

This will be the last message before Christmas so a reminder to find time for yourself, to find time to rest, find time to rejuvenate.

These last few days usually are the most stressful. 

Don’t forget the reason we celebrate!

Remember to look around you... is there someone who needs a kind word or to be remembered or lifted? This is the hardest time of year for so many people.

Mix up some cookie dough, roll in a log, wrap in plastic wrap or tinfoil, write the recipe and baking directions and wrap around and tie ribbons on both ends - a great gift last minute!

As we use lots of ingredients for our holiday baking we need to be reminded to restock what we use. This is a good list of what to store in our storage for seasonal baking - fun with the kids

Family fun and traditions -

Here is a food storage room...

I think she has done a great job.

Just some storage pictures to get you excited to organize it this new year or to get started if you haven’t.

Each family will have their own needs, wants, likes in what they store or how they store.

I really enjoy when someone tells me about their storage or what skills they are working on.

I want you and your family to have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Message

Put your skills to work and do homemade presents this Christmas like the knitted rib warmer I made my granddaughter.

“We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.

“Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.

“When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.” (W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)

Being grateful is huge. We are being blessed every day. Are we grateful when times are great? Are we also grateful when life is hard?

We can choose to be happy or not.

If all you have is four potatoes for Christmas, make those four potatoes an event!!!

Things won’t always be good and this is the time of year that unmet expectations can seem larger than life. Having hard times seem much harder, I am not sure exactly why that is. But try to be aware of those around you, help lift their spirits.

Back to the four potatoes… If this is what you have been dealt, you can make it worse or better. It is up to you. Don’t pout and think you are owed or deserve more, it is just life’s up and downs. Now I just pulled the four potatoes out of the air to use as an example. I think there are wonderful ways to make those potatoes an event to make something special.

When times are going along pretty well you just do what you do... you pay your bills, go to the grocery store, just normal everyday things. And when you are there it is hard to think - what if we lost income or were dealt a reversal??

I can think plenty of times I thought how would I ever do without ____ you can put anything in the blank. But then it would be a hard time and I found I could actually manage okay.

Life can be very stressful. I think having storage on hand helps me not be as stressed. It helps smooth out the rough times.

I think building skills is just like that or has been for me.

Not everyone will have the same struggles, so the skills we have talked about may not be for everyone and those who have steady jobs may opt for other skills, but knowing how to use those skills to make up the difference in loss of income is a wonderful thing and even if you have steady work that can change in a second…

So preparing for unseen things is huge.

If you are used to eating out a lot then suddenly you have no money for that, then what? Will you have wished that you had learned to cook more from scratch and had built up a book with the recipes to do that? Also wishing you had built your storage so that you could fix the recipes? I know that this sounds pretty elementary but there are some who just eat out and don’t even own pans. Yep, then it would really be hard with nothing to cook on or in, let alone food to put in said pans.

Knowing how to manage on less is really huge.

Sometimes we can be lured into a sense of security - don’t be! Have yourself ready to help by knowing how to…

Make your own bread
Cut up chicken
Make your own noodles
Spend your budgeted amount for groceries wisely - this is huge too.
Make your own pizza
Make pancakes or waffles…from scratch
Have a date in because funds are tight and make it an event
Not waste anything
Mend anything
Make laundry soap if needed
Have a garden
Can or dry your garden
Make hot cocoa mix
Darn socks to get them to last longer
Make blankets or quilts
Make mittens
Make socks
Make slippers
Make scarves
Beef stroganoff from scratch
Make rolls from scratch
Make cookies from scratch
Bake anything from scratch
Make your own syrup
Make it do, use it up, wear it out
Sew anything
Fix as much as you can
Learn as much as you can

I don’t think learning these and other things would put someone out too much but to be able to use your skills could be so helpful.

It seems the bread winners have to work much harder and more hours for less money so lets do our part to live as frugally as you can.

Better to learn when you are not under pressure - you will thank me later for this statement.

Life is learning and we must never stop.

Joseph Smith’s mother stepped in to paint oil cloths to help supplement their families income during a set back. this is just to show you that even when you are a grammy it is good to know skills

The new year will soon be here, let me know of what skills you plan to work on.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Message

“It is . . . necessary that each home and family do what they can to assume the responsibility for their own hour of need. If we do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply then we can strive to begin with having one month’s supply.” (James E. Faust, April 1986 General Conference)

I know it is hard to think of buying storage items in December but that is when sales are going on, so keep an eye on your sale flyers!

Also a reminder to not go in debt for the holidays. It is hard with commercials and sales and commotion all about decorations, your own decorations to do, many things distracting you from your lists, plus the notion to try to give your kids more than you had. Instead, stick to your budget and your kids have good parents, that is the best gift.

Remember, try to be frugal...  great gift ideas for gifts for toddlers building traditions - helps to stay in your budget - ideas for stocking stuffers

Now is a good time to get large items needed like grain mills. I keep getting sale notices. And look for dehydrators, pressure cookers, food savers, sewing machine... I know they are not glamorous gifts but items that can help us with being frugal down the road. - inexpensive advent ideas

Fun giving ideas... - great idea for a gift to give your family. I always did a puzzle or such so we would have family fun…

I always liked giving "to do" things like a drawing set I would put together or a sewing kit or something along their interests - a gift put together by you!

We loved picking someone who needed some Christmas love…we picked food things to go with the twelve days of Christmas then each day we secretly dropped them off, the last day we made ourselves known with the gift but I have seen it too where they are never known, either way it is a blessing to all. 

Here are some ideas… - I like the ring and run but the one doing nativity set as an advent is good too... - boy wouldn’t it be wonderful to get that one at the end? What a blessing.

I remembered giving five cans pineapple rings for the golden rings, two bottles of dove dish soap, hens a laying... we took eggs, we just thought hard on each section then we would get those items - fun was had by all! You can have this fun and brighten someone’s Christmas and if using food items it helps them as well.

Get your kids into it, they have great fun and learn to be giving as well.

There are so many people who are in need and need lifting.

Keep working on your skills and your storage.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Message

Be frugal this year and make your own Christmas presents! Click HERE to find out how you can make these cute Hello Kitties or these fun Angry Bird toys.

“Regardless of where we live or our financial situation, the path to preparation will open before us as we comply with the counsel of the prophets and go forward as means and circumstances permit.” Gordon K. Bischoff, The Ensign, Sept. 1997, p. 67)

Why should we have food storage? I think I covered many reasons why over this last year: tight times, lost jobs, helping others... the list can go on for quite awhile.

The term "shelter in place" came up this last week in the news and I wonder if we were told to shelter in place, how long could you hold up?

I feel a lot of people misunderstand that we should store food for the end of the world situation….hmmmm. I would have to say things happen every day. I notice people losing their jobs (that is a huge deal), unexpected medical bills, car dies, refrigerator or washer and dryer die... you can see there are many things and many more I could write time permitting. We cannot foresee what bumps lie ahead on our road of life? If something like this were to happen to you would you feel like your storage would make you feel better or worse??

I like to think if something big happens it takes time for help to arrive, are you in a position to help with your storage? Think about many who have storage dotted all over the map, who would be there first? Neighbor and friends. Try to be in the position to be of help. Sometimes we might be the ones in need and we will be glad that someone else heeded warnings to store what was needed.

Most people cannot run to the store and get all the storage, first off couldn’t get it in the car… most of us cannot do big purchases. How then do we do it? You can do it a little at a time. You would be really surprised how fast it builds up. Remember what I always say... at every store you go in pick one item for storage like, one package of toilet paper or even a box of jello. What if on the normal week you go to five different stores and one is just clothing? Pick up a pair of socks. At the drug store get a first aid item at the end of the week you would have at least five items to add to your storage… it just makes sense.

By the time you get this message Thanksgiving will be over and our thoughts are turned to Christmas.

Remember, watch your spending. Live within your means. I know you don’t want to look past to later down the road. Do you really want to put yourself in a bad situation? Wouldn’t you like to not be taking on huge payments??

I will give some ideas for frugal Christmas... okay, I love the chalkboard mug, how cute is that? Tie a few pieces of chalk and put packets of hot cocoa mix. For that matter write a holiday message on it for who you give it to. - this looks yummy and very inexpensive to make.

Keep working on your goals and skills, you're doing a great job.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Message

A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints [in the last days], and the results will be financial bondage. Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit." Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, May 23, 1931.

I recently taught a class on grinding wheat - it is a good thing to know. Wheat stores much longer than flour. I do store both, rotation is most important with the flour. I find my five gallon buckets at bakeries as they get supplies in them. Sometimes they are free, sometimes they charge a few dollars. I wash them out and dry with a towel then I let them further dry over night. Then I place the lid on and set aside till I get flour or whatever I plan to use it for. And if it's flour or grains, I put two bay leaves in on the flour (or other) then put the lid on and label and date it.

Wheat - once you grind it you must use or freeze it. So I grind it only when I use it.

I use every tool I have to my advantage. In the picture you see an electric wheat grinder but you also see a manual grinder that I can use if I have no power. I also have a bread machine that I only use to mix the dough then I shape and rise and bake in my own pan and bake in my oven. 

Now I can make just as good bread by hand, and could at any time, but I also have a Bosch that I can do up to four loaves. After kneading I let it rise in the bowl but I unscrew the top lid as when I get ready to shape it that lid is four inches higher. The reasons I let it rise in bowl are two... first, it is easier one bowl to wash and second, the heat from the motor helps the bread dough rise even on a cold winter day. Where do you put all the food storage? There are ideas in these clips.

It is easy to get one thing for storage each time you go to the store - make this a habit.

Once your storage is up you can watch for sales... use, replenish and rotate.

If there were a wide spread emergency problem in your area the grocery stores have 24 hrs of supplies. Wouldn’t it be better to have storage in your home than have to go in search of it? I personally cannot rest till my people are all safely in, the mother hen in me I guess. - even if you have not yet got your wheat grinder you can make these wonderful pancakes.

Again do you have a winter kit in your car? What does your gas gauge read? E does not mean eternity in this case! You need to start keeping your tank full. Many times we have seen people stuck on the interstate because something happened in front to block them. Some have had to wait for eight hours. If you were on E you would be very cold. Again if they say "stay off the roads" they mean it! If they say a towing ban that means no.. none.. zilch towing will not happen. It means the tow trucks stay off the roads and you will have to wait for help. Most likely you were not listening to them tell you to stay OFF the roads. If you find yourself waiting for help then you will be glad to have your winter kit in your car, if not you will be wishing you had while you are hungry and cold.

Grinding wheat: this is helpful on wheat

You can make flour out of almonds

You can use rice and oats and coconut... many things so if you cannot eat wheat there are other options.

I took this recipe for oatmeal cookies, did one plate as recipe and one batch, same recipe without the egg but using the gelatin egg replacer.

Keep working on your goal of actively building your storage.

Remember to work on being frugal, live with in your means - you can do it… I know you can!

What could you do if you had no funds??

You could be creative, don’t forget you can start new traditions.

Read the Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They moved to town as they were warned that it was to be a bad winter. They thought being in town would be better and that they could get supplies but the winter was so bad the trains did not make it through. They got a package of church magazines from a minister friend who had sent a Christmas barrel which did not come due to the trains. They got the magazines just before Christmas so they decided to put them away for Christmas as they could not do gifts for everything was expensive or gone. They got a toy for the youngest but Laura had things she has made and pulls them out for gifts. They had a very poor Christmas but it turned out great. Throughout the book they are served with trials but they come up with things to help the family.

I always read this book starting with the first real snow of the winter. If you keep putting off getting food storage then you need to read it now, it will light a fire under you to get going.

We would read the whole series aloud with our kids. We all loved it.

Here are some pictures to sprout inexpensive gifts….

Keep up the good work I am proud of you all.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Message

“We live in turbulent times.  Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.” President Thomas S. Monson

Cooking from scratch is so better for you and stretches our budgets - waffles, yum! Make them special. - how to survive hard times if you have kids, and even if you don’t, this is a must read, I love this. - we often learn from others, reach out.  - it’s worth it.

Reflecting on our hard times... they have made us stronger, they have made us a close family, they taught us that if you cannot buy what you need you sometimes can make it. Sometimes it taught us how to take out and replace our gas engine, our selves, we learned how to shingle the roof. I learned you don’t carry the full package of shingles up to the roof. Going to church one morning I saw a roofer cut his package and carried only half which never occurred to me. 

When times got tight I learned to make food from scratch, learned to garden, to can and dry our food. For Christmas, if it's a good year for us year we will go on a Christmas date to the used book store to pick out our own book. And I make our Christmas jerky. On a harder Christmas we just stay home and do what we enjoy and I fix a treat. These are when no one is coming home and things I made all year long have been sent. The kids will open their gifts from home while Skyping.
So I guess what I am saying is be flexible and if you are having tight times do all homemade gifts and play with your little ones. Happy memories will still be had and if you have older kids at home, talk to them, tell them it will be a tight Christmas. You just might be surprised by what ideas they can come up with. But do not put Christmas on a credit card, the whole family may suffer more as it takes so long to pay off. 

When we were first married my mother-in-law told us don’t start something you can’t keep up, I'm pretty sure this is her way of saying don’t go into debt for Christmas.

So if you have a tight Christmas have a family conference, plan to make cookies, cards and build snowmen. You can plan a pretty cheap Christmas for wonderful fun.

This is where our skills will kick in.

So if your brakes go out and you look up info on how to do it yourself, trade skills. okay, you don’t have a hundred days but this will help you stretch your budget.


I have a rump roast I have been saving just for our Christmas jerky.
Take it out of the freezer the night before this way you get thin slices. In a bowl, I use glass, put one jar of soy sauce and one jar of liquid smoke, stir then put your slices in moving around to get well covered. Then in to the dehydrator dry till done, about 24 hours, yum yum yum, then we see who will be first to snitch it.

Keep working on your storage. I put in a tub of shortening as it was on sale. So do what you can and live within your means, it brings a peace well worth the sacrifice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

English Muffin Bread

This bread is absolutely delicious!! I make it in the bread machine but you can also do it by hand.

Below is a picture of the Pyrex tube bread pan that I use to make the English Muffin Bread. I sprayed the tube on the inside and sprinkled around corn meal.

I took the dough right out of the bread machine and slid it to the center of the bread tube. I put tin foil on each end of the tube just in case it raised too much and went over the edge in the oven. I let it raise for 20 minutes and then baked it in the oven for 40 minutes on 350 degrees.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Message

“When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.  You can’t eat money, but you can eat your three-month supply of food – IF YOU HAVE IT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT." - President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie - "I stand before the Church this day and raise the warning voice. It is a prophetic voice, for I shall say only what the apostles and the prophets have spoken concerning our day. ...It is a voice calling upon the Lord's people to prepare for the troubles and desolations which are about to be poured upon the world without measure.

For the moment, we live in a day of peace and prosperity but it shall not ever be thus.

Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrows and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is yet to be. And we must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually." General Conference April 1979.

With winter fast approaching I try to think ahead. What will I need in next few months? Well I know snow and there is no way around it so I put our shovel up on the porch by the door and with that comes ice so having Ice Melt, but what else??

I try to get gifts sent early so no matter the weather that is tended and won’t have to go out on bad roads or fight crowds.

As I write this I am under the weather… so are you set with sick things like several meals in freezer for when you are under the weather?? You know you are what makes things go so have sick plans i.e. Kleenex, CHOCOLATE,... you know the drill.

I always like to reorganize the house, a sort of spring cleaning in the fall. I keep things handy in baskets and such of things I like to do. For example, I have a pair of socks I am knitting, winter days will be a great time to finish those. And working towards those things I am trying to learn. I have the looms ready and the Toyota knitting machine is ready and I reorganized my tatting basket.

Reading with a blanket on a cold winter day is good too.

Keep up your storage. Hopefully you are actively working on your storage. Having storage will make it easier for you to wait for a good day to get groceries!!!

So I am saying get ready. - helpful and is short

How many of you have leftover pumpkins? -

Here are some ideas on being frugal, if you don’t smoke and drink look at the savings, you are already ahead...

Homemade Christmas  just the title sounds great - noodle around, there are great ideas for a homemade Christmas. this has wonderful things to help you with your gift giving, you will thank me later - 114 ideas on how to live on less

Our skills will help to stretch our budget. Bread can go up in price, as long as you have everything in storage to be able to make bread items, which means you need skills and recipes. This goes for other items like cereal. You can do many things and not pay horrid price so long as you have it stored and have skills and recipes.

When one loses their income it is a shock to the whole family. You can quickly get up to speed but it adds to the stress. Wouldn’t it be better to live on less than you make and save? Also learning skills which could help now to save as well as later. I read something today that said you see something you really want to buy instead of buying it, wait thirty days and see how you feel about it. You might feel differently about it.

Truth moment… it does take time to build skills, it does take time to cook from scratch, it does take time to sew that rip but the item will set till you toss it and where is the frugality in that? It does take time and muscle to do storage and rotation but the rewards are great and we are strong, you can do it.

I love hearing what you are doing. Will life be smooth? Absolutely not. Trials and set backs, life changes, they will happen. We need to be able to adapt and make the most of life… love it no matter what comes and if you think you are the only one and are all alone you are not. Everyone has things that go wrong, just pick yourself up and keep going even if all is out of our control, we can make the most of it.

Keep going, find good everywhere and enjoy life!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Message

“From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free."

How are you doing on your storage??? I have seen prices rise so much over the last few years that it is now harder to achieve our goals but imagine in a few more years it will be harder yet. It is easier to replace as you go if you are stocked up.

So treat it like savings. Start stocking up but you use it at the same time and replace it. For example, when I use a bucket of flour, which is 25 lbs, I then write that on my list. It just made the top of my grocery list. I keep the now cleaned out and dried bucket in my way then when I get the bag of flour I fill this bucket, top it off with two bay leaves. Put on a lid, put on new date and take to basement and put it away in the new spot as I rotate. I have a metal can that I call my using can, I keep it in the kitchen. So you see how if you were tired it would just be a big temptation to get the bag and dump in my using can. It requires no stairs but if I did this I would be wasting as I would not be rotating and my flour five years from now would go rancid.

What you ask are the bay leaves for? To keep bugs out from my flour. I have had flour go rancid but never had bugs. I have always done the bay leaves and it always has worked all these many years. Once I bought a bag and opened it and it had bugs. It went straight back to the store, don’t leave it in house. Yes it would be easier to throw it away. First, if you do that throw it outside in the garbage. Second, the store will have no idea of infested bags unless you take it back so don’t dump flour before looking in your using canister, not ever. Just open gingerly one end, inspect the folds in the bag. Never store your flour in bags cause if one bag is infested so goes the rest. 

I ask for buckets at the bakery sections of your grocery store, some may even have been washed once and are free, some may charge and still have frosting inside. I like the ones that are free and at least have the frosting washed out. I then take them home and wash them. Make sure you dry and then air dry overnight. Then I set the lid on and set out of my way till I fill. Having them clean and dry and ready is half the work already done.

I knew someone who bought big bags of wheat some thirty years ago. She had quite a few bags. She put the bags where she stored upstairs. Years later she started to hear this noise she could not figure out what it was but it continued to grow. Finally she found out she had weevils in her wheat. They were eating and that was the noise. So when it got louder it meant there were many. She had them in her clothing drawers, in the carpet all over, it took pest professionals to handle this. So I probably don’t have to mention this but I store the loose wheat in buckets with two bay leaves in the top, the same thing I do with anything that can get bugs. I might just throw in that someone just got thirty year old wheat from someone who moved. They had it stored properly in buckets and the wheat is wonderful. What was the difference? The age was the same but the first wheat was stored improperly and in its bags. Same as flour, don’t store it in the bags, dump it in buckets with two bay leaves on top, date and label and store. But remember, do not store directly on concrete. Put some wood between buckets and concrete floor as the moisture from concrete will pull up into the bucket and wreck the product. So store your food properly. It cost you money, don’t waste it.

Be sure to look back to the french bread post on the blog

For that matter put your feet up and keep hitting older posts. Have hot cocoa and visit around the site there is much to see :) here is a great site for our gluten free friends this site is especially for knitters, do up swatches of different stitches. it is always nice to have a homemade cleaner


Can you...?

Make blueberry muffins from scratch
Make a turkey dinner with fixins
Make gravy from scratch
Make bread from scratch
Make a grocery list
Can you grocery shop effectively
Make a menu
Make biscuits from scratch
Make pizza from scratch
Sew on a button
Hem an item of clothing
Can you thread a sewing machine
Can you read a sewing pattern
Sew different kinds of seams
Hang a shirt properly to dry on closeline
Iron a shirt properly
Darn socks
Make an apron
Patch a hole
Can you unclog a toilet
Can you turn your water or gas off
Can you love your body at any size
Can you delegate chores to your kids
Can you shop without credit
Can you ask for help
Can you write thank you notes
Can you organize
Can you fix the world’s best omelet
Can you make a teddy bear pancake
Do you know how to knit
Do you know how to crochet
Do you know how to quilt
Do you know how to stay in budget
Do you know how to make do without and still be happy
Do you know how to live frugally
Do you know how to get more out of your wardrobe
Can you have a totally homemade Christmas

You see there are skills a-many! - this is fantastic, actually I would love to play with these toys. I think you can find gift giving ideas for your wee ones for sure. again what fun it would be, I even see some ideas for church quiet toys.

Okay, I had to insert this when I saw it - good ideas you could find helpful - who would not love this? yum!

There are some frugal ideas. I, of course, would sit with a cup of hot cocoa to make my plans.

I make our hot cocoa mix. There are great ones online but I remember when store bought boxes contained 12 packets and no, that is not in the olden days. The prices are continually going up but with less product. It went to 10 packets then 8 packets this year read the box 6 packets, don’t know if that is all brands or not, I am going by a sale flyer. Guess they don’t think we will notice just like the toilet paper being narrower or less and peanut butter less for more.

So if you find you are not going as far with your groceries you are not alone.

The hot cocoa mix we like from my friend Liza.

3c powder milk
1 ½ c hershey cocoa powder
3 c powder sugar
2 c walmart's cheapest coffee creamer - this is a must

Stir together, mix well. I store in a jar. Use a fourth cup per hot cup water.


Gingerbread cocoa mix

Use ¼ of the mix:  add …2 tbsp cinn and 2 tbsp ginger and 1/4 tsp cloves

Serve with gingerbread boys

Peppermint hot cocoa mix

Use ¼ of the mix
Add three crushed candy cane and mix together

Marshmallows hot cocoa

Just add ¼ mix and add mini marshmallows

Continue to learn and grow. Keep working at your food storage goal.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Message

One of the things I'm trying to learn and add to my skill set is my Toyota knitting machine.
“Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being.....To help care for themselves and their families, members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet. Where local laws and circumstances permit, they should gradually build a longer-term supply of basic foods that will sustain life. They should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted." (LDS Church Handbook 2, Section 6.1.1) - muffins, I am a muffin person. I love bakery style muffins. - here are a few inexpensive ideas for costumes. When my kids would be trying to decide a costume for Halloween we would go to goodwill and find what we could in the limited dollar amount. They had fun... got those creative juices flowing! - I thought this was a pretty good list of chores and ages. Are we teaching life skills? Are we learning skills?

How I teach myself…

I will use tatting as one of the things I wanted to learn.

What is needed to do this?

I went to freecycle to ask if anyone had tatting supplies as a list of things needed were not in my budget. I got one response and the supplies I now have are thanks to someone who is no longer tatting. If it is in your budget you can just get from the store.

Find someone who could show me, that someone was my wonderful mother-in-law. She got me familiar with how to start.

Research. I cannot tell you how important this is. I read everything I could get my hands on but still I needed more.

I looked at terminology on the internet.
I found free patterns on the internet too.
I found a free online class (this is still on going for me).
I found YouTube videos for just about every technique, some were not too helpful but many were extremely helpful.
Practice a lot of this.
I kept a learning journal that I can add too and can see my progress.

I am still learning. It is getting easier to understand. I can look at a picture and almost tell what is in the pattern.

I learn when I can and I try to find time when I can’t but I continue to learn.

I am just using my approach to learning by myself. I find that I can understand most of the abbreviations.

I have several things going that I am trying to learn…how to weave on a floor loom, I can tell you I am learning and can tell you it all has it’s own language!!!

I am trying to learn a Toyota knitting machine I got from a yard sale. I took a few classes but was starting to get fibromyalgia and she had me learn on a brother machine where she knew the difference but it only confused me. So I have a set of books that I got with the machine that are written for rural people who did not have access to teachers. So I am using those and more research is needed.

I am not telling you this because I think we all need to do the same but just to show you how I go about learning and to show that you can learn everyday and it does not have to be expensive this is excellent most helpful be thinking about dad's old shirts - free onsie pattern I suggest printing off the jumping car directions and put with your jumper cables and in your trunk. - while you are at it get those winter kits made and in your trunk. here are some skills and my favorite scripture. my favorite wheat is white wheat

Keep working on your goal to be actively building your food storage. Send me a list of skills you are working on or would like to build, I love hearing what you are doing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Breadmachine French bread

I use the bread machine set to French bread setting.

In the pail put…

2 1/8 c. water
6 c. flour
6 tsp wheat gluten
2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

After it rises to the top of the pail I shape as you see here using two french bread pans that fills my oven rack.

You could use a cookie sheet and you can make the long baguettes instead, but I make each loaf into toe short ones. I let them rise to my liking then bake twenty minutes at 450. Then let them cool on a rack, then I freeze four loaves to a bag. Then when I want to make one with supper I turn on the oven to 400 degrees, set the loaves right on your oven rack. When it gets to temp time for eight minutes then you have a hot crusty loaf of bread yum!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Message

I love looking through old cookbooks for the best recipes!

“Regardless of where we live or our financial situation, the path to preparation will open before us as we comply with the counsel of the prophets and go forward as means and circumstances permit.” (Gordon K. Bischoff, The Ensign, Sept. 1997, p. 67)

As I am resting as I over did yesterday I am reminded oh how painfully that we all have limitations. Learning to live within our limitations is a lot like living with a budget.

I need to do better at pacing myself and learn to better live within my limitations which is fibromyalgia. Not everyone has this limitation but there is some kind of limitation.

Learning this is sometimes painful, like for me today I forget that the pain the next day is going to be way worse. The problem is I keep forgetting.

I have the same mind set I had before I got this fifteen or so years ago when I could go go go.

Isn’t that what it is like on a budget? If your income has been cut it is hard to switch your thinking or perhaps forgetting all together. No, we must push on, pull on the resources we have. Now is the time to dust off those skills and put them to use and even enhance them and add to your skills. Look at this as a challenge.

For me I need to learn to break down tasks, find easier ways of doing things and when my body says stop then I need to stop and give myself permission to stop, which is the biggie for me. - this is a very good read on things she does with storage.

As I am working on this I have on music and the spoken word and on there he relayed the story of the grasshopper and the ant. The grasshopper was relaxing and playing his music and asked the ant to join him but the ant could not as he was putting in food for the winter. The grasshopper told the ant winter is so far off but the ant was diligent and had food for winter, the grass hopper had none…which camp do you fall into??

He said the only thing certain about the future is it is uncertain.

Wouldn’t you want to be prepared for as much as possible???

Try to be like the ant, continuing to gather. Do what you can, even little amounts build up big in time.

Whether you have little or no money or have much or in between, we should take joy in our lives. Don’t pine away because of what you don’t have and don’t feel bad for what you do have, make the most of everything. - this has some helpful info on it. - some helpful hints here for Christmas gifting this is good reading and scroll down to see their shelves for inspiration I know some of you dried apples and these recipes look yummie. it is always great to find out how to make our own for less

I make a substitute dryer sheet by taking a spray bottle, mine is small, put in three tbsp of a nice smelling hair conditioner. Fill rest with water and shake. Then when I have a load going in the dryer I take a wash cloth and spray it with the spray and toss it in with the load to dry. I love this method, just another option. - fun for the kiddos - something fun to try to enhance your bread making skills - get out your bread machine and play with these recipes - I love this gal - here are several ideas to get your juices flowing - sort through ideas on this one, pick what would work for you. I love the children’s artwork one.

Keep working on your storage. Keep building your skills. Learn ways to use your storage. I love looking through old cookbooks for the best recipes.

Keep those ideas coming! I love hearing about what you're doing. Remember, the goal is to be actively working on your storage by the end of the year then look and see how you did.
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