Monday, July 30, 2018

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)

I took a wrong turn in Ankeny earlier this week when our youngest daughter and her husband were visiting. It was the older part of town and was hit pretty bad with the flooding. Blocks and blocks of stuff from homes was piled higher than the car on both sides of the street. It was awful, rolled up carpet, sheetrock and things from their everyday lives, solid debris piles stretched out blocks on both sides of the was very sobering. Having done clean-up at my house, my heart was full of empathy.

We need to pay attention to what warnings and watches for our areas mean as part of preparation. I remember hearing several times this year flash flood watches or warnings in my area on the weather radio and I thought, what? We are not by water no river nothing I thought how silly nooooo I have a much better understanding it is coming from the sky!

Gives a whole new meaning to the sky is falling.

If you think about it, so many things can go wrong. We cannot prepare for everything but we can do as much as we can.

As if on cue, as I'm writing this a week before you'll see it, our weather radio just went off saying, we are in tornado watch till ten tonight. The first thing I did when it went off was look outside, the sun is shining and blue sky…which could make you complacent and lull you into a false sense of security. That would be most dangerous.

Putting off preparing would also be dangerous.

When our children were babies, we lived in student housing, which were like chicken coops on a cement slab. When tornado warnings sounded we had to grab the kids and run to our vehicle through rain hail and usually when the kids were sleeping. We had to drive to a building on campus that had a storm shelter in it.

While typing this, a tornado warning east of us in our county just sounded. And yet another tornado warning, this one a bit north and east of us. Just pointing out blue sky sun shining here…complacency not good.

It is easy when things are going well we always think it will be that way and preparing is the furthest from our mind. But if we stay on task, no matter what we can do, even a little will add up.

The first time we had to flee to the shelter, we arrived wet, our babies were wet and we only had a concrete floor to sit was not a good experience. So I packed a five gallon bucket with diapers, snacks, towels, coloring books, colors, toys, dry clothes for the kids, water. Things we would need and... I wish you could hear another tornado to our north as I'm typing this, wow, enhances my story.

The next time we had to flee I grabbed this bucket (yet again another warning on my radio), I grabbed the bucket, as it was kept now by the door, and we went to the shelter (yet another warning on the weather radio right now, just letting you know my real time happenings).

When we got to the shelter we dried off and dug out snacks, toys, coloring books, etc. another family was….another alarm…sitting next to us wet and miserable. We shared towels, coloring pages, crayons, and snacks. We could not speak to each other as they spoke another language but sharing is its own language and we…. yet another alarm….went another time that year and this same family was next to us again. This time they had a suitcase packed just like we had our bucket, they smiled at us and pointed to their suitcase as if to say we learned from your bucket.

It is good to set the example and it's easy to share.

Through all these alarms on the weather radio so far we have sun and blue skies for NOW. Three more make that four, it is pretty active and it is only 4 p.m. as I'm writing this and we are in tornado watch till ten tonight.

I guess I wanted to share in real time, yet another tornado, it is going to be an active night.

I just wanted to stress how bad complacency is. We need to not be complacent with the ease of life and thinking we will never have troubles so we will just do our thing - no don’t, you do it! Bad things can happen fast. Some of these tornadoes have hit houses and more storms yet tonight.

We seem to be in the crosshairs this year.

We don’t always have tornadoes so we need to be prepared for when we do. This is a tornado outbreak.

I plan not to edit so you can see just how fast things happen.

Towns are being hit, not good at all.

You need to be actively getting your family prepared. Get your storage in, get your skills learned. shows putting a 72 hour kit together from dollar store.

An update on the weather - three communities got hit Bondurant, Pella, Marshalltown had the most catastrophic damage.

Just read through this post, I wrote as it happened and you can see how fast that was.

When we got flooded on the fourth they called a flash flood emergency, when Marshalltown (27,000 people) was about to get hit, they called a tornado emergency. They rarely use those terms so it is bad when they use them and both were used in the same month, weather patterns are weird.

So you now see how quickly your life can change. 

We might think it will always be the other guy but that isn’t always so. If we get ourselves prepared we can be more able to help others. Keep learning your skills.

I am working to learn more sewing skills. I am taking the free sew along on the Crafty Gemini site. She explains so wonderfully and I am learning a lot. On that note, the supplies I need for those skills are also stored…

As I ran across sewing supplies at yard sales, if I could get them I did, often bypassing something I may have WANTED more but needed less. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves hard questions about wants and needs.

The same with knitting and crocheting supplies.

This week I made dill pickles which reminds me to mention you should add canning equipment and supplies to your storage list so that you can just be ready to can and you will always have the supplies to can on hand no matter what is going on around you.

I have a deal with Heavenly Father, if He sends me food to put up, I will can it. I was given the cucumbers and I had the jars, rings, lids, canner and the vinegar. So I was ready as I had these things on hand already…. This is the kind of thing I am talking about in your supplies.

Did it take a while? Yes. Did I get things used? Yes. The steamer canner I got to make the pickles, shown above, was still in a box for three dollars at a yard sale. They are normally thirty dollars. My pressure canner, in the picture below, was used ten dollars, new it would be $150. The jars and rings were free as I put out the word that I was looking for them.

You may not find the same prices I did but don’t rule out yard sales and thrift stores. Both food savers I have I got for ten dollars, one in its box still and the other only used one time. So look at yard sales and thrift stores. Put out the word you are looking for items it does help.

Also, look for things that are manual as well for back-ups.

I started collecting buttons from when I was a little girl. I would see a button on the ground and pick them up and save them in a jar.

So even then I was collecting supplies.

Food storage is very important but so are supplies.

Do whatever you can. Just do it! Have the "wants vs the needs" talk with yourself if you have to. It is all a part of living a more frugal life. 

Get your family prepared for hard times.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday Message

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes. . .

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. 

"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective." (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)

We all can start we just need to make sure to continue keeping it up, and then maintaining it is kind of like your automatic grocery list. If you use ketchup then add it to your list to pick up then put it to the back of your food storage shelf. I took bookkeeping in high school and it is a lot like that, keeping things balanced - use, replace, rotate. It is a lot easier to maintain than to catch up. If you say, oh, I have peanutbutter and you don’t replace it, guess what? You will run out and it is harder to get those back up than it is to use and replace and put in the back.

Well, it took me all week but the basement is done with flood clean-up. It was ground water so not as nasty as the other things but lots of work nevertheless. I did lots of preventative work so next time it won’t be as hard.

We still have lots of water in the fields.

Again, a reminder that things can change in a minute! It is not always the other guy and again, remember, bad things happen to good people too. I know some will say, well, I guess you have something to learn. NO! That is not true. Everyone has problems of one sort or another. I notice some people’s attitude towards the poor but it is easier to be friends, they need a friend. You do not know what they have and are going through. Also, how you judge is how you will be judged...kindness is what is needed all around!

Sharing and caring no matter what. Life is hard, we all must go through it.

I am still working on building sewing skills. I am going to follow another tutorial hoping to learn up or down sizing and making things to fit. - I like learning and building my skills.

Learn your cooking from scratch skills…

Do you know what to do if you have no eggs and need to substitute something? But if you are keeping up your binder of scratch recipes you could put this in it and it would be easy to find.

If you made breadmaking a skill to learn you will want to make cinnamon rolls and use this scratch recipe as the filling in it is fantastic.

I recently froze buttermilk that was about to expire. I called to know if I could freeze buttermilk, as I knew you could freeze regular milk. If you live in Iowa or Minnesota you can call 1-800-262-3804 it is a homemaking extension, a great service I call every year to get the most current canning times. You can ask any homemaking questions.

After working in the basement, when it was finished I moved up to the sewing room. I was going to reorganize it when the flood came so I did it right after. I shifted a dresser and my desk around to make it a bit more elbow room.

So another big project it was but offsetting my desk and sewing area helps with a better working space.

Keep working on your skills. Keep learning frugal things. This week I vacuum sealed some raisins, they last way longer when you do that.

Keep working on your storage do the best you can.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Message

President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953) –
“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."

We had a tough week here in central Iowa. Of course, it will be two weeks from now when you read this.

We had a storm on July 1st in the very early hours (more like all night). The news was reporting that areas to the northwest were going to get three inches of rain and about an inch in central Iowa but the rain came so hard and so fast. In Ankeny, Iowa, ten inches fell causing flooding. We are north of there and we have two sump pumps, one slightly above the other in case one fails. Both were working and the water from the rain overtook them both and we got six and a half inches of water in the basement.  

I consider us the lucky ones. Our Church set to work immediately contacting those that were affected. Those who were not affected could come to church in work clothes for a shortened service, then they divided up and went to help those who were affected. 

We had missionaries and young men here to help us. We moved some heavy buckets and then sent them on to help those who needed them more. Our basement is not finished and I had things at four inches off the ground but the water was six and a half inches. Other people had carpet that had to be cut out and all the furniture and things you would have in a living space, also gardens and fences washed away. One man in Des Moines was killed in flood waters. Some had sewage that came into their homes…needless to say a hard time.

The call went out for volunteers from our church and others who went to help those in Des Moines on the Fourth of July - a wonderful thing.

I have been working hard in the basement ever since. We have fans going and a dehumidifier. While I did not suffer the huge losses that others had there was still a lot of clean up. While doing so, I also did more preventative things. 

I had buckets of old beans that I planned to throw out, instead I put them under other buckets that were already on a platform four inches from the floor. I added 2x4's on top of the platform and now my buckets are up even higher off the ground. It has been a lot of work but next time it won’t be as bad. The buckets that had the two and a half inches up on them were fine as well as water tight - thank goodness! It could have been much much worse. 

We had clean ground water, others had rain and river water, and the worse was the homes that got sewage water.

We had water come in before that was much worse than this storm.  Buckets were toppled and took in water but not this time and that is why I had things up high and things low that water would not hurt.

Clean-up is never fun. The cardboard I used in holding my canning was all wet and got heavy - who would think, but it does.

I moved shelving which meant unloading, then moving the load back up and there were pockets of water stuck under so it was good to move. I forgot that some were eight inches high off the ground so that was good to not have to mess with.  

I still have some days and days of work ahead but I feel blessed.  My poor fibro body is hurting like crazy. Two wonderful meals were brought in that lasted us for several meals and helped tremendously.

I am bringing this up to remind you that things can change quickly. You cannot be prepared for everything but trying to be as much as you can and then help others as you can. Life isn’t always easy.  Also, I want again to say bad things do happen to good people too.  Though this was a rotten thing there was so much goodness and helping others and that is a good thing.

So with the flooding it was only right to put a pic of Noah’s Ark at the top.

I had wanted to get a t-shirt made from the sewing videos from earlier but water sports had to be done instead booo.

Just before all that happened I did finish a dress…

This method of knitting is a good method is a good one for you to learn -
ttps:// - this is a great thing to have under your belt. - how to darn a sock in 7 steps.

This week I used the darning method to fix some holes in my chair, so building skills help us in different ways.

Determine what would benefit your family then share what that is.

If you crochet make clothing items that can best serve your family.

Working in the basement as I have has taught me to never give up even with loss, don’t give up.

Being selfless is part of this kind work. Doing good for others is so needed as witnessed here in Iowa this week.

Keep watching sales flyers. Keep growing your storage, make canning a skill to work on.

Keep looking after others. Build your skills and build your storage.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Message

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.

This is an eye-opening statement and I think we need to pay attention to it.

I have been thinking a lot about more frugal living this week. I know I have spent a fair amount of time on sewing lately but next to bread baking and canning I think sewing is just as important.

I thought I would share two frugal places with you and invite you to share anything you have that is frugal with others... - this is the best prices for herbs and spices I have ever found. Very frugal. I call the number and leave a message to have them send a catalog. - zenni optical. I can’t say enough about these folks. My bifocal glasses with a new frame and clip on sunglasses were all only $66.85. Fantastical frugal.

When things are going well we are tempted to think they will always be that good and that nothing can go wrong from here on.  We think - yep, I will get on that food storage sometime soon and because things are okay we put this off.

We think why learn to sew, there will always be a Walmart…

President Spencer W. Kimball - "The little gardens and a few trees are very valuable. I remember when the sisters used to say, `well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we could put it up.' But that isn't quite the answer, is it, Sister Spafford? Because there will become a time when there isn't a store." General Conference April 1974.

 I think this gives us a lot to think about…

If you put off getting storage and your time of need hits your family what would you wish you had spent your money on? What would you wish you knew how to do?

I will never forget my husband’s grandmother telling me the next depression will be different, that it will take a wheel barrow of money to buy a loaf of bread… that makes me always want to keep up my bread making skills and to always have things on hand to make bread. I am pretty sure I will never have a wheel barrow of money and I sure would not want to pay that much for bread.

Complacency is not our friend….

One of my favorite stories in The Book of Mormon, which is an additional testimony of Jesus Christ about the people in the Americas, is the story of Samuel the Lamanite. He came to tell people to repent. The wicked people tried to kill him but the righteous people prayed and watched for the time Jesus would be born. The wicked were mean and would taunt the righteous people saying he would not come but the righteous noticed the signs that would come to pass before his coming. They knew the signs when they came and were prepared, but the wicked doubted. To me this is what complacency is as they all knew what was to happen but some stayed the course and some did not…. the nots did not come out well.

Not so many generations ago it was the way of life to put away food for time of need…..a way of life….the ease of our lives may be a gateway to complacency. - how to use a sewing machine. - how to clean your sewing machine. - these are costly to purchase but you can make your own.

I made my pattern weights shown here but you could just use large washers as well - - this is great to make those kid clothes last longer. - this is great for your solar clothes dryer, too cute.

Now here is how I came out with a new technique in knitting called the afterthought heel….

I also took all my large binders of tatting...

And I broke them down to smaller binders that I got at the thrift store for 35 and 45 cents. I organized the contents, quite a job it was but aren’t they the prettiest with fancy labels? For now the prize is that they are easier for my fibromyalgia to use and are organized…

Frugally this week I was given a bag of spinach which I washed and dried and some rhubarb that I washed and chopped and froze -three bags, those will be rhubarb cake come winter - yum!

It has been raspberry picking time. I have five one quart bags frozen so far and because we have had so much rain we have tons of mosquitoes which have been eating me alive even through Deep Woods Off spray. I think they think it is a sauce.

I have been watching the sewing videos I put in last week's Monday Message and have the top cut out of my lesser favorite fabric to use as my practice piece. It was just enough and if it is just fine it is still a good fabric for wearing.

I found this bag for free. I was intrigued by it because it had this rivet in it and a zipper bag matching inside so my brain thought it would be a good little bag for making my socks. The rivet is for yarn to go through and the zipper little bag I put my little notions in…works great for free.

Keep working on your storage and keep working on your skill building.

We all would love to hear what skills you are working on and what frugal things you have done this week as we all learn from each other. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday Message

"Concerning clothing, we should anticipate future needs, such as extra work clothes and clothes that would supply warmth during winter months when there may be shortages or lack of heating fuel. Leather and bolts of cloth could be stored, particularly for families with younger children who will outgrow and perhaps outwear their present clothes." (President Ezra Taft Benson) - this would be a good first project - part two - part three - part four - part five - part six - part seven - part eight

I know this is a lot of sites but she takes you from beginning to the end with lots of info. I got this pattern on sale so I can go along with her. - this would be a good beginner project and gift idea. - a great use of scraps - great idea, you will have to scroll down to the free tutorial

I want to give you info to further your skill building.

I know complacency is our enemy. It is very tempting to think, "why should I build skills or have storage?" I think that clearly the time is now to be working on these things more then ever. 

We see what is happening in other countries and we think that it cannot happen here... yes, it can. You just have to watch the news to see that it truly can happen here. Tariffs for instance. Someone on the news said that is what led to the great depression. Learning lessons from history is important. All you have to do is go to the grocery store and you can see the economy isn’t improving or the groceries would not keep climbing in prices. People wouldn’t lose their jobs by the hundreds and thousands plus.

Watching the news shows horrible things happening and we have no way to stop or change direction. So we need to be actively engaged in learning and building our skills. The tariffs will cause higher prices on everything affected, even items not directly affected, built with or using those items.

Get back to basics.

We might not have control to stop the bad things that happen to us but we have the ability to learn and try to soften the blows.

Learn to grow food. Learn to sew and mend. Learn to knit and crochet. Mostly learn to be frugal….live a frugal way.

A reminder to those in tornado prone areas - this is the season! The day before I started working on this post we had storms. I quit counting the tornadoes at twelve. Wherever you live, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding be sure you know what to do and have your emergency kits up to date. Make sure your first aid kits are current as well.

Your storage shouldn't just be about just food, think toilet paper, toothpaste, and hair brushes etc.

Remember sewing supplies and notions, knitting and crocheting supplies.

Do the best you can. Think what you can do.
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