Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own” (Ezra Taft Benson)

"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)

"In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: “Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time.” (Elaine L. Jack)

If they can do that surely we can too.

I was in a Walmart the other day walking through. I always note prices since I don’t go very often but the prices were so high it makes me think of struggling people having to come up with these higher prices and how hard it is.  

I have not seen the prices ever come down but they continue to get higher. We have so many things going on all around us. Everything competing for your time and money. It is easy to listen to the voices on tv say you have dirty dishes so go out to eat. I find myself thinking, but you will still have dirty dishes after that. They make everyone look happy when they eat out or get these boxed items at the grocery store.  

Just this morning about five I smelled one of my neighbors making pancakes. I love pancakes. I found my thoughts going to what kind then I wondered was it a mix? Hmmmm, that made me think there are pancake mixes that are complete and you just add water. I think if you store mixes those would be a good item to store then. I thought they don’t last as long as storing flour and all the ingredients to make pancakes from scratch. Just my thoughts this morning early. I wonder if many know how to make pancakes from scratch? Then my thoughts drifted to how many harmful chemicals could be in the boxed things, yikes that’s a thought. - I know people are busy but this idea of mixing ahead is great with that. - this second idea I use with my canning jars, it is fantastic however as busy as you are you have to make the jars up but having them on hand is such a helpful thing.

Did you know you could add a little water to your almost empty jam jar, heat it and you can have a syrup for your pancakes - yum!

I know it is easy to get in ruts or just have cold cereal but we have pancakes a lot for supper too. - this is good to make and very frugal. - some ideas on how to live on one income. - part 2 build your skills

I love this next quote...

"I have on occasion cited the need for many reservoirs in our lives to provide for our needs. I have said, “Some reservoirs are to store water. Some are to store food, as we do in our family welfare program and as Joseph did in the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. There should also be reservoirs of knowledge to meet the future needs; reservoirs of courage to overcome the floods of fear that put uncertainty in our lives; reservoirs of physical strength to help us meet the frequent burdens of work and illness; reservoirs of goodness; reservoirs of stamina; reservoirs of faith."

 “Yes, especially reservoirs of faith, so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong; when the temptations of a decaying world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and seek to pull us down, we need a storage of faith that can carry youth, and later adults, over the dull, the difficult, the terrifying moments; disappointments; disillusionments; and years of adversity, want, confusion, and frustration.
. . .Parents. .are expected to lay foundations for their children and to build the barns and tanks and bins and reservoirs.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Message

Actively work on getting your storage in! 

(LDS Church Handbook 2, Section 6.1.1)
“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."

(Keith B. McMullin, April 2007)
“A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

How are you come at building your storage and working on your skills?? - how to hem pants - how to read a knitting chart - frugal kitchen tips. Very useful! - meal plan. In summer it is easy to forget to do it but our budget needs us to do it. - looks pretty easy - watch the free video. I have seen this done with the tiny ribbon that you can use over and over again.

Here is what I have done so far learning on my skill of dying yarn and working on a sock with that hank of yarn you saw on the drying rack in last week’s Monday Message.  I have made socks before but not totally doing them continental style knitting.

Here I am winding that skein of yarn from the yarn swift on the right to the ball winder on the left before I can knit.

 Here I am now able to knit from the newly made yarn cake - yep, cake with no calories! :p  See how pretty this yarn I dyed with my sister is working up.  

I am using continental style knitting and I love it much better. It doesn’t hurt as much as English throwing with my right hand. It's a skill I had been working on for a long time before podcasts - easy to say I love learning!

Just a plug for sewing skills... I am always trying to improve my sewing skills and the sock and yarn is sitting on the small reversible project bag I made a of couple years ago.

So keep plugging away on learning your skills. If an old bird like me can learn, you can too.

I am not saying you have to pick the same skills as me, you can if that is what you want but try choosing skills that can best serve your family. Make a list then number the list as to what would be most helpful. Put a number one on it, this will help you know what you will want to learn first in building skills. You can learn one at a time or as many as you wish at a time. 

I seem to have many going at one time and also skills I want to sharpen. If I get stuck on one I can move to another till I figure the first one out and go back to it. This is me, you might want to do one thing at a time and that is great too. Just be working toward learning skills. Sometimes it is pushing yourself to learn something you do not like.  

Our daughter doesn’t like to sew but she pushed on knowing it was a skill that was needed. She has sewn needed clothing items and now feels she might actually like sewing.

Share with others your successes to inspire others. That is why I share mine with you.

Since you all are on this journey with us I'll tell you how we are doing living in hard times...

We pay our tithing and feel this is the best blessing we get.

Skill - I have that rider mowing down to 45 min for the 9/10ths of an acre. I have three days of pain to deal with but I knit during that and work on the Monday Message.

I was gifted t-shirts for both my husband and myself, plus a winter coat for me and my husband was given a coat just before last winter so that is tended and a real blessing.

Living tight and using Sam’s Club is not the same when you aren’t tight and shop there. So with us being tight, here are the only items I go for - yeast, 25 pound bag of flour, rice, beans, baking nuts, dry cranberries, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese (both five pounds). We don’t get all at once, only when we need it.  

If I can get two other items it would be bacon pieces in a bag which I can spread into many meals. The other is a big package of little smokies which I break into smaller amounts. We have them with pancakes, French toast, waffles, baked beans and other meals. 

That is it for our tight-time items. The rest run higher than Aldi’s. I go in with blinders and don’t look at anything else this store has to offer. And I see how fast I can get in and out.

This month has been a bit plagued with car repair and getting tires.
My husband is battling a bulging disk in his back and fell on his hip, the blessing is that while it hurts at least nothing broke.

Blessed with a good friend who helped my husband get two pictures he painted to the fairground - we can’t thank Nat enough!

We were blessed by other friends who gave him two canvases for him to use.

Many blessings! We have had my sister and her husband give us their computer when they upgraded, plus I got a hug :)

Another friend and her daughter brought us a pint or so of blueberries when they went picking. I froze them to use in many things.

We got two free zucchini from our little market, mine aren’t yet being fruitful. And a good friend gave us canning jars so that too is a blessing.

We could not list them all but we feel blessed.

So that is the journey you are going along on with us.

Though we feel this year has been very hard on us, we still feel very blessed. So that is the update about us. It would be a lot harder if we did not follow the warning to have storage and sacrifice to get it. So on that note, I encourage you all to be actively getting yours in. Be actively learning skills.

Do the best you can!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Message

Be frugal & bake your bread products from scratch! Very versatile machine bread recipe HERE!

    “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)

Could you live on less than you make? Could you? Honestly?? Living on less than you make is key. You should try it for a month. You might be surprised.

Living paycheck to paycheck is risky, it leaves NO buffer, nothing for the unexpected. Believe me when I tell you there are more unexpected things than you can dream up.

I want you to play the "what if" game. What if you lost your job with no warning? I actually want you to write on paper your plan for just that. Be honest, what would you do?? Then I want you to save it and put it with your storage. So I want you to do an in-depth mindful thinking and note taking and come up with a real plan.

For example, we got rid of our cable bill and went with Roku. We also got a magic jack for phone service, just things like this help.

It is amazing what you can live without. The very thing you think you cannot live without like a certain brand or food item, cleaning supply, cable... you can do it. It might be hard at first but then you are on the search for cheaper items.

You will more thoughtfully buy your groceries. A couple of times I was going to get groceries when I found out our income was cut. I totally redid my list and got things that I could get more meals out of and got a big bag flour so I could make bread, cake, whatever, knowing it would be bad times ahead. The entire list had to last way longer.

You have to stop thinking of the loss and stretch what you have - NO time for a pity party. You need to pull up your sleeves and go to work stretching food, mending clothes, doing all you can to help make life as normal as you can for your husband and family.

Remember, no situation is so bad it cannot get worse.

This is not time to point fingers at each other, it is time to pull together.

Your husband does not need you bemoaning how awful things are. He needs you more now than ever. He will take courage if you show him you both can manage. It could be hard but we are in this together, we will make it.

Get out the cookbooks and start learning to cook from scratch if you haven’t already done so.

Remember, Heavenly Father loves you and don’t think you are being punished because you are not. And please don’t blame your spouse for the loss of a job and how you cannot have this or that.

Hopefully you listened and have food storage, what I call real everyday food storage.

You will learn lessons but not for having done bad. These lessons of making-do don’t feel great but as I look back they are a very valuable education that now helps us in any hard time. I would not ever trade them. It is hard now to see it but one day you too will not trade the knowledge. For anything. You can help others. Yes, you work harder for this education but you can’t learn it at a school. - must read for your homework! - must read homework! - worth looking at - I have the round bread pan, you could save some veggie cans to do the same thing.

If you don’t have a bread machine, do it by hand. Yard sales and Goodwill have used ones for about three dollars. Or ask for one on freecycle or your sisters at church may have one that's no longer wanted.

If you have one, it could help but it's not necessary. You can follow the recipe but stir instead and you can make this work… this can be made to make many - scroll down to see kits to make.

Just a few things to think about. Do the best you can!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Message

 "In words of revelation the Lord has said, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing" (D&C 109:8).  Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparations as will assure survival should a calamity come.  We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm.  We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day." Gordon B. Hinckley

"The greatest events that have been spoken of by all the Holy Prophets will come along so naturally as the consequences of certain causes, that unless our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of revelation rests upon us, we will fail to see that these are the events predicted by the Holy Prophets." George Q. Cannon, Nov. 2, 1879, JD 21:266-67.

Organize yourselves - this is huge as I have been trying to do some deep cleaning and organizing. Just that is huge so being prepared is best not left to the last minute. It really is best to do as you go, not so huge that way. - helpful info I found I never thought about flames taking our oxygen…I liked the kit she made as gifts too. - this is soooo good I'm running it again. - again, I stress that you all learn to cook from scratch and be getting wee ones used to scratch as well.

Even now I will have a daughter ask for homemade bread for making toast in morning. So yes, get everyone used to homemade bread. This day in age with electric knives etc. we can achieve a bread that everyone will ask the same question - homemade bread?? - pretty handy if you needed it to be, on another note did you know you can freeze mac and cheese? Yep, you can. I love mac and cheese. - I love the store this, not that. - snack mixes to make your kids this summer.

How are you coming on your skill building?

I learned several things here, the dying, yes that was one, making my own sock blanks, and I am ready to start spinning.

I am still knitting on socks. I aim to perfect the FKL heels and toes.

I am trying to get further organized around the house.

I am watching sale flyers for inexpensive things to stock up on.

Still picking raspberries in the fall, will do jam.

How are you coming on your canning skills? Keep doing the best you can!

Monday, July 3, 2017

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.

How to prepare takes thought and prayer and a family united works best. Make room for storage in your monthly budget. Let's say you can set aside fifty dollars for storage, keep it just for storage and use it only for that. Build a habit of it. This is my personal thought - don’t save it up but actively get it every month. It is much easier to pick up as you go along rather than go all at once and try to get it home and all in order. It's physically to hard to do and secondly, it is best to stagger it all as it won’t need to be replaced at once.

I still think getting it in once a month is way doable, don’t you?

Hopefully you have been following along with us on building storage in tight times. It really is best to be united in this. You saw we did food storage in place of gifts for Mother’s Day, our 43rd anniversary and Father’s Day. And the gift of the food will be very helpful as we continue on in tight times. We both have sacrificed now for later.

So if you are having hard times like us this is a great idea.

Two things I hate to do - first is having to shovel snow and second is picking raspberries and picking time is now. I pick, wash, freeze then in the fall when it cools down I make raspberry jam. Below is a picture of Raspberry Bread I make using the jam.

Get the recipe for Raspberry Bread HERE.
Remember, I hate picking them but I have this deal that if Heavenly Father sends food to us then no matter what I find a way to can it or dry it and vacuum seal it. That is what I do. My pots of spinach I harvested, dried it and filled a pint jar. I like to throw dried spinach in soups and stuff.

So whatever you can do, try to do it.

If you don’t know how to grind wheat, ask someone to show you. Same with canning and drying and so forth.

How are you coming along on your skills? My sister came to visit and we were able to help me work on one of the items on my "to-learn" list which was dying fiber. So I can spin the fleece into yarn and knit a double sock blank and knitted a tube to knit socks from it as well. What skills are you working on?

Sometimes you have no choice but to learn a skill. It has been a number of years since I mowed our nine-tenths of an acre yard. When I was younger I used a walking mower and it would take me two days all day to mow. Then came a rider mower, several about to die mowers, but in the last few years my husband mowed. Well he has a bulging disk in his back which means no mowing so I had to learn to use this mower. Yes, mowing is a skill. So I mow and I have fibromyalgia so I hurt bad for three days from mowing but it won’t further damage his back.

The more we can do for ourselves the better it will be. We help each other. I tease it takes us both now to make one person. Love grows when you work together. - this has helpful ideas - some ideas - ideas here too. - how to freeze veggies - what do you think? - I love hay stacks - cooking from scratch does not have to be hard and does not have to taste icky either. Once you find a recipe you like look at the ingredients and stock them in your storage. - great tip on freezing beans. I like to can dried beans for convenience. - I like this, it goes right along with how things don’t have to be the same as someone else. We do what is right for our family. I think that is why it is hard to have any one set of rules. We are all different. You may love a food that your friend does not like at all so do the best you can with what works for you. Be willing to try different recipes. You might find you love new ones but just keep moving along.

And with that I like this - I think there are times we crave how to slow things down.

In the first Tightwad Gazette Amy takes a lady through job income and expenses. The lady took the job to help with family finances but after she goes through and deducts expenses of working the job in the end the lady was paying a dollar or so an hour to take this job in the first place. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest through the trees. Also, we feel sometimes like we are not helping if we don’t have a job. Nay, I say! That is a wrong way to look at it because all we do is also a sacrifice and hard work and if you sat down and put it down on paper you might just find you are very valuable. 

Saving money is just as important as making money. Yes, there are hard times we go through. That is life and you are no less because you have hard times. You need to look at the big picture. So you want a special fancy house, car, computery gadget (that should really be a word)… so you want whatever, let us say fancy car. Picture yourself in twenty years, even ten years - that car will be old and out of date, rusting, etc. and you will feel bad you ever bought it new. 

I once bought the cutest little Noah’s ark set. It was $5.99 and I thought that was good. Well it cost me more in shipping than to buy it. I was not happy but I keep it out to remind me to look at the real costs of things.

We really don’t need things that we don’t NEED in the end. All the extra things we thought we needed will be in the dump or at a yard sale for very little. The bigger picture is what counts.

I one time went in a home of an older couple, I had never met them, can’t even remember why I was there. But what I do remember was that it was humbly furnished, the furniture was old and covered with bed spreads. It looked like it had never changed where the furniture was placed and the carpets were worn. It was then that I realized it was like the Velveteen Rabbit, it was loved and loved and the couple had grown old together there and loved each other there. 

The big picture is how we live our lives and the love we take with us and the love we leave behind, it's how we treat each other and help each other, nothing else matters. So live your life. Your Heavenly Father loves you. Be good to all and enjoy what you have. Whether we struggle one way or the other with money it will not matter.

Do the best that you can.
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