Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Message

Putting the dry ingredients into quart jars for bread mixes makes baking homemade bread go so much faster! 

“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) okay, I put this first. If you did not take time to watch her you should make the time. If you did watch her, get all inspired again as she has the best way to get your storage. She is a member of the church and has a really no nonsense way that is wonderful, especially about storing chocolate under your bed in a box labeled broccoli. She has a great print out to go with… I would encourage you to print when you can, it has like 26 pages? I can’t remember, but it should be in every food storage binder. Read this and watch her seminar above this link.

If you are struggling to get storage, to know where to start, this is it. Wendy DeWitt explains better than anyone else and you will come away thinking - wow, it isn’t that hard. If you already do storage this is worth the watch even if for nothing else than inspiration.  

This is my homework assignment for all of you: click on the two links above, watch all the video clips then read all the handouts and, if possible, print it for your binder. Pretty easy homework if you ask me and it is not a dry boring food storage talk she gives. Go potty before watching, she is funny :p - laundry, we can do quite a bit to limit some dollars here or there. It might not seem like much but when you add them up it is a good amount that could be used in food storage acquisitions. - good ideas - okay, toilet paper is very high on my list as it just keeps creeping up in price. - some interesting reads, just click the pictures. - this site I am partial to as I love Iowa. Having lived or visited many states, Iowa is my favorite! And there are recipes here that are the most terrific ever. If you are doing your storage right these recipes would be what you are eating. - this you should print and put in your food storage binder… why pay to have someone mix it for you and sell you a tiny bit for a lot of money?? - are you still buying the box mixes? You will see this is better on the budget. The only thing you will not get are the things no one wants like chemicals. This too I would print and put in your binder. I like being able to use a different pasta once Hamburger Helper went to the giant macaroni it doesn’t taste as good. So this gives you a cheaper option. - should read - this is a great idea for fast meals and frugal too! - this is very important to read. Which category do you find yourself in? I like the term voluntary simplifier. Yep, I like what they call a trip to the library… a person who could live this simple life gets it. We should not be running ragged for things. In later years one might look back and say what a waste it was to live a consumer driven life. I also think life has its challenges no matter where you are on the scale. Try to do the best you can with what you have. Once I went in an older couple’s house, they were content with their old furnishings. At some point in their life they figured it out stuff is not what is important.

What is important is our family. Keeping up with others is not the way to go. Sometimes Satan will make us think people with all the latest must be the happiest but if we really knew they might be very unhappy. So make life happy here and now without costing. - cleaning recipes can save you a lot of money.

I did make the bread mixes in the quart jars like the tip from my friend Liza. This is a fast way to make bread. I am always looking for frugal ways to do things and this tip was outstanding.

Keep working on your storage. Do the homework assignment that I gave you above and let me know when you have it done by zipping me an email and telling me what you think of it -

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mckenzie's Baptism Dress

I just finished sewing my granddaughter's dress for her baptism coming up this spring.

It's made of cotton fabric and the bottom has four inches of lace. I also made her a lace scrunchy, a bracelet out of white pearl beads, and gave her a white hankie from my collection.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Message

“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (Ezra Taft Benson, October 1973)

Would you have boarded the ark? Do you have food storage?
Could you shelter in place? Do you even know what is involved with that?

It could be just little inconveniences like on one Saturday evening when we lived out East the water quit running. It ended up being a frozen water main type thing but that whole section of town was affected. I got out a few bottles of water and we washed our hair and such for church the next day. Well at church you could tell who this affected by their hair as they could not shower before church… now mind you this was a little thing.  

But sometimes it is big things like the floods of '93. Des Moines and then Ankeny were out of water, it was not a quick fix and was a big part of life's interruptions. Look at Flint Michigan - that is a huge thing, are you ready for such things? 

We don’t have storage for the end of times though if you lose your job you may feel like it’s the end.

Life has its ups and its downs. If you have an incident and you had not followed the council, can you see that it is wise to follow the council that you would be better off? Then why do you put it off?? - love the hints and the pic of storage. this is a must read! - this has lots of information you will benefit from. - ideas for small spaces

There are many ways to store your storage. You can get ideas from these pics and find a way that works for you, but above all, just start getting it in… we are not in a beauty contest. I would tell you with the money we could all have great looking storage but the reality is we all don’t have the money for that so just get the storage. Mine is not pretty but when times get tough I have told my storage “you will have to get us through.”  Pretty can wait.

Are you building your arks or are you feeling you will take your chances on a tree branch?

If you don’t look at anything else in the blog watch these clips she is wonderful…

Look at your shelves, look at the faces of your family then roll up your sleeves and get busy!!! How much does it take to eat out for your family? $25.00? If you do that once a week that could have been a hundred dollars towards your storage, how does that one meal taste now hmm?

I am proud of what you are doing. Keep it up, build your ark because only you can. I found lots above to read and learn but again, store what you eat. I would rather have a case of green beans which we eat as opposed to a case of lima beans which we don’t eat, see what I am getting at?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Message

“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds.” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26)

When you both work together you can get more accomplished. this has great ideas for those number ten cans. this is a great read on tithing and preparedness. some reasons for storing food and supplies. - this is very useful. this is my favorite bread I just change it up for different breads. You can make garlic knots and hamburger buns and cinnamon rolls or regular rolls, anything you need that uses bread dough - so versatile. If you do not have a bread machine to mix don’t fret, you can stir it by hand. 

One more tip… Liza takes wide mouth quart jars, she measures dry ingredients (except the yeast) into the jars. When she is busy she only has to add water and the contents of the jar and add the yeast. This is such a frugal idea, she keeps these on hand then takes a day and fills her “bread kits.” this shows the hamburger buns and other things I used this dough for. Liza does the same kits using this recipe as well. You can make a regular loaf as she does or if you have one of these pyrex pans, this recipe works well with this pan also. Liza makes the regular bread kits and just as many English muffin bread kits too.

I like the convenience of these kits, easy to make up in a short time. I also like this pancake mix in jars.
I am not so good at the shaking so I just stir but I love the convenience.

Skills… how are you doing?

Do you have basic sewing tools? here are some so you know what to look for and a button collection.   When I was little I started a button collection. When walking if I found a button I would put it in a jar so by the time I got married I had quite a jar of buttons which have come in handy over the years. this could get you started learning knitting. this could get you started crocheting.

Let's try to learn some skills that would help our family.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Message

"Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. ... As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year's supply of necessities.  I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel.  I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over.  With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness."  L. Tom Perry, "If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," Ensign, Nov. 1995.

At the time you're reading this I have not felt well for the better part of a month, which makes me ask... what is your sick plan? If you don't have one it might be a good idea to make one as this time of year we get a lot of illnesses. We pass germs around so easily.

Some things I suggest is when you fix casseroles make two and freeze one so that if you have need of it later you could pull it out.  

Make a large pot of chicken soup and freeze.

Think on the things you want when you are sick or what you wished you had on hand like soup, crackers, etc. When you have family to take care of while you are sick it is harder to meet everyone’s needs. this has very good ideas to reduce the grocery spending. - i love this gal and follow this when my grocery plans get made. - working hard to save on getting groceries is a frugal thing. - these are good things to know in this article, cart size was interesting. We need to do a lot towards cutting the costs on groceries, it's a place we can obtain storage funds and build a skill. - this is a great read helping to better menu plan, we need to know the best way to make menu planning. this has some kitchen organizing ideas. Instead of a coffee area as they explained, how about a hot cocoa area yum. this can be a nasty thing if not controlled and trying to find a recipe if it was not put back right could take hours.  

I personally believe if you have your recipes only on computer start printing hard copies. We all have seen things get eaten or misplaced in the computer or lost somewhere in a folder. Also think tech changes... if you had your recipes on a floppy disk how would you retrieve them now? We have no idea what advances will be made.

I inherited this recipe box from my husband's grandmother who was very special to me.
I liken this to storage - have a hard copy. I feel this way about genealogy as well. Having a hard copy does not mean you stop using the computer. No, it just means at the very least if your electricity went down you could find the recipe you were planning and could continue for when lights came on or store it and make something else… it's good to have back ups.

While your at it print off for your kids too - a great Christmas gift or great for hope chests.

I use binders and a recipe file. My file is a vegetable crisper (in the pic above). I have a friend who uses an old sewing machine drawer. Be creative but do not throw them in a bag. It will never get organized and you will finally give up looking and go out to eat wasting time and money.

Long ago when our kids were little I made flannel board stories for family nites. I felt like if I made them perfect I would never get any done, so I did them as best I could with the resources I had. Some have a cut up piece of flannel shirt on the back, some had sand paper, a few were nicely printed and colored and such (those were made in homemaking meeting classes). But I figure the main thing is just to make them. It never mattered to the kids that they were not pristine, nope. So now we have a file cabinet of well used and played with flannel stories.  

Sometimes you have to choose. I had little kids and you all know how much time you have with little ones… we need to pick our priorities. TV would have you run to buy containers so that you could organize when truthfully you can organize without spending money. If you must purchase containers, check thrift stores. Sometimes using what you have is an idea for someone else, like the enamel vegetable crisper which is now a recipe file. ideas are useful, I overheard Sister Cox tell about something she does with her refrigerator shelves, we need her to tell us. I like the one bite at a time and the list sounds daunting, I know, but I think that you see you do some version of these things already. I also like the part on teaching our kids. this has a great skills list for you to learn or teach kids. The only skills I had when I got married were the few things I learned at school although I cleaned, I guess that is a skill. I was never taught to wash clothes, only to fold and put away. When I went to the laundromat the first time I had no idea. Fortunately, a friend of mine was there to help me - what a blessing. I wish I had been taught everything before I needed to know it, so please teach your kids. what a cute idea for a chore chart, too cute, looks frugal too!

I want you to work very to find funds for storage using the things talked about in this blog and stock up use the menu planning good luck.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Message

  “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) - this has great info, I think anyone watching the news saw the snow storm hit the east coast. They showed pictures of store shelves being emptied. I hope you watched and took notes on what you need to improve on in your storage. - great list, this will give you ideas.

One lady phoned into the news before the snow storm hit, she was telling people who had their own wells to remember electricity runs the pump to get the water to you. So she said just in case they should have buckets of water in the tub to use for flushing and other containers for drinking and they should have washing caught up and dishes too. Great advice.

One other guy said he was going to the store for peanut butter - a wise thing to have in your storage if you lose electricity and only have items to cook and no other way to cook. You will be hungry. If you have canned fruits, do you have a manual can opener??

We live in an area where we need to watch the weather at all times of the year. In NY they closed the businesses which was wise but people still went out expecting them to be open even though it said on TV that they were closed. Funny, I heard a reporter say they were not the snow hardened Midwest.

Part of being prepared is obeying when they say stay off the roads. We get that here, we get tow bans and as a native Iowan I can tell you that when you go to Mason City you will notice giant gates. Yep, when they close the interstates they close the gates to the entrance ramps.  

When we were young and dumb we were going to Mason City from the Marshall Town area, for those of you in this area this was before I-35 went all the way like it does now. We were stuck in traffic because they closed the interstate. We could not afford to have stayed at a motel even if there would have been one open, and I doubt that there was any room as there were a lot of stuck people. 

We were between two semi-trucks when we got word the interstate closed so we had to go forward and backward quite a few times to get out between those trucks. Once out we went ahead and got back on the interstate from another way… we were slow going when in front of us was an ambulance stuck drifted in under an overpass, they were in the center of the two lanes. We stopped and the truck behind us stopped. Remember, this was on the interstate and we got out of our vehicles and went and pushed the ambulance through and went RUNNING back to our vehicles to get through before it shut back up. 

Well, we made it but the normal two hour trip took six hours. I cringe now to think of it. Now our whole trunk is packed with the winter car kit.

How long could you manage without power? Do you have some way to keep warm? Do you have a way too cook?

A lot can be learned from watching how others deal with these things. NY learned from the last storm, we too can learn.  

I know money is tight, I am with you there, but as you can work on heat sources and a way to cook… be aware of things you should not do. Do not heat your house with oven or candles or space heaters that should not be used in house, like kerosene heaters. Do not run generators in your houses either.

I can tell you over many years we have slowly addressed these things, there is still more we need to do. We have a fireplace that is gas and the turn on switch is not dependent on electricity. We also have a wood burning cook stove that we have used to cook and heat when out of power. 

Preparing is an ongoing thing - just like the quote at the top, you don’t start when things happen, do it before.

The stores cleared out of food. I was surprised to hear frozen pizza was the first to go. I hope they kept their power to be able to cook them.

In the first link she covers some of the reasons why to store food. A trucker’s strike hit when we lived in South Dakota and lots of food is trucked in there. I went into the store to see what they had and they had vanilla and dog food. It was incredible. When things out of our control happen it is best to be prepared.

Remember to work on your skills… while most of us are not homesteaders this list is still useful. Pick things off the list you need to know to help your family because if you wait when the crisis hits you will be so busy it will not be the time to learn, you just won’t be able too.

While it might seem old fashioned to know these things but it isn't. While you might not need to know or do things now, it is an arrow in your quiver.

Okay, read the list. There are things non-homesteaders would not do but she has a lot on the list we can do.

While the limit to feeding live stock is my feeding and watering cats and policing their litter boxes…

I love this lady's blog. I can tell you there are things I do not like to do... construction work, gardening with a passion - I hate it, but they are important. For example, no one likes to clean the toilet but what if it did not get done?? Exactly.

Number 89 I really like… Learn when it is more economical to buy something ready-made or when to make it yourself. I would add to that knowing how to find cheap resources to do it more economical. 

It is huge to be able to mend your own clothes. I was sitting in my sewing room as I have been sewing Mckenzie’s baptism dress…but I looked at my supplies again it has been years and 99% of it used or free... why did I store such supplies?? Well I can tell you I was touched deeply by a story of one of our Prophets going to worn torn nations. When they went they would take suitcases of oranges to give and one by one the people would go up to get an orange. One woman noticed a sewing kit in the suitcase, she asked if she might have that instead of the orange and they gave it to her and the other women said they hoped she would share. Can you imagine clothes torn and no way to mend them? That is awful. So when I would go to yard sales I would gather sewing supplies.

The week I am typing this we had a Relief Society service project   at Meals from the Heartland. We filled pouches with a vitamin packet, a scoop of dried veggies, a cup of soy and a cup of rice. We did enough to make ten thousand meals. While I am still in pain due to fibromyalgia it is a very rewarding and humbling thing. As I made bread the next day I thought of the people who would eat that food and thought they probably had no way to make bread… I was grateful I could make bread. - When I was in 12th grade the sewing teacher showed me how to sew underwear. I had asked her to show me things that would be important to know. She chose that and when my girls were little I could make them underwear… granted this is something you could buy but what if you couldn’t??? I like this site as she uses old t-shirts. Being frugal is good, it is an easy thing to learn plus little boxers for boys are easy too. An arrow in your quiver.

I have a goal to learn to sew a bra. I know I can buy it cheap but I want to learn how. I have been collecting the items over the years, pattern and things to make it, it is a skill I want to learn. this gal shows how to make pillowcases, she has a great video. this shows how to use a treadle. It is kind of like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time but could you if you had to? I think there has been so many years since they were a staple in every home that you may not know how. The one pictured at top of blog I have been fixing it up. I only need to add the rope, it is in the drawer waiting.

Yes, I love my electric machines best, my favorite is a thirty year-old Kenmore but I like having a back up such as treadle.

Years ago I went to Utah and visited the Relief Society building and they had a display set up of food storage. They had a treadle machine and a basket of threads and notions. There were barrels of food items and then the barrels were turned into end tables and covered with a table cloth. You wouldn’t know food was under there. They had a table in front of the couch which was a day bed and inside the table was their first aide kit. They made bolsters and stuffed them with blankets, all things you would need. Clever idea.

So look through the granny miller list in that last link. Lots we don’t have to do and I can tell you I would be a vegetarian if it meant some of that like skinning and eating things. Nope, it really is an encouragement to have my meat canned. Not gonna kill or skin anything for me but it is an interesting list. Granny Miller lives on a farm….look at different things she has on her site.

Keep working on the most important skills your family would need if it were needed.  I know for me just regular living requires that my skills need to be kept up and added upon.

Keep working on your storage… you are doing great!
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