Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday Message

"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) - here are some ideas on storage containers. Look around on their site - great recipes! - I was in the car listening to this on the radio and it really made me think, how exactly do we prepare for this? Does this mean more flooding next year, more tornadoes? My heart goes out to those who are being affected with all that is going on now.

When I was working on our flooded basement I did some preventative measures but is anything ever enough to really tend it permanently?

This is why it is so important to stand ready to help others. I know we really appreciated all the help we got.

How are you coming with your skills? I know Christmas is looming large and I have felt the need to kick it in high to get going on gifts…to that end, I saw this and thought of you wanting to work on your sewing skills - I thought that this might a good skill builder project and a gift to give as well.

How are you coming on building your food storage binder? It is not just enough to get your storage in, you have to know how to use it!  Here again I will stick in my reminder that having things on the computer is nice but having hard copies is wise, just take time to print them off and add to your binder. - she has wonderful information on her site for food storage. - here she talks about getting storage.

We have been so busy for so long getting my husband's art exhibit ready for show. Now that it is up I find myself wore out… do you have a worn out plan? Do you have meals that you can fix that will be easy if you are worn out so you won’t be tempted to spend the money you can be using for bills or storage items? I am so worn out I don’t even want to eat but I always have on hand some easy fix meals. I put chili in the crockpot and by supper I will be happy for having done so. But I am serious about having a plan for when you are worn out or sick.

It really is a nice show. - here she shows how to have menus for your storage. Each of us will store differently so these are just to be an example to you. Make them to fit your family’s likes. I can tell you salmon is not an item I have as I hate it, you get the idea.

In my storage you will find dried apples and canned mushrooms…so it is very individualized.

Being able to make what you want is key…

The Clear Lake Art Center is where the show is at in Iowa and they put us up in a bed and breakfast while we were hanging the art. It was called the Large Pine Inn, a wonderful place. Well one part of breakfast was cinnamon swirl bread made into French toast, it all was wonderful.

I mention this because it was wonderful and to say that having things stored to make our own is kind of great, so think about your storage and is it kind of great? Try to make it so.

No matter what comes at us, we will push on doing storage. It kind of takes some of the sting out of the trial.

Do the best you can.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Message

"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)

This quote reminds me of the children’s book Fredrick...

It is about a group of mice gathering food for the winter, all but one who seems to be resting. They would ask him why he wasn’t helping  and he would say he was gathering stories, another time he was gathering colors and yet he was gathering warmth from the sun. Winter hits and is long, their food starts to run low. One of the mice asks, what about Fredrick’s storage? So he shares the things he stored warmth of the sun helped them thru the cold winter the colors helped through the gray days and the stories helped them through the long winter too.

Everyone is important and lots can be done when we work together. 

This week I made two tops, both were from free tutorials… - this is the tutorial I used. This is the first part. It has eight so look to find the second one on the side bar or at the bottom. - this is the first of seven parts.

It was helpful to do these with the class. I plan to use these patterns again as I like how they turned out.

I have the confidence to add pockets or different accents but for now I have to work on Christmas gifts. - this is fantastic to learn about seams. - this is a great tutorial.

How are you coming on your skills?

Do you have sprouting seeds in your storage? I just want to say radish sprouts are my favorite. - some good info on sprouting. - this has some great info. I liked the decorating on a budget section. - I like number nine. - this has quite a list. It was fun to go through the list to see how many things I know how to do and how many things I will never do as well.

Building our skills is very very important. We may never ever do a lot of the things on that list but there are a lot that we do need to learn. Being frugal is essential. Not wasting what we have is huge. Find ways to reuse things.

Life is going to get interesting and the more we can learn and teach our kids these things the better off we will be.

Keep working on your skills, your storage, and supplies…do the best you can.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

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)

I saw this article the other day…

It made me think if everything goes up much higher it will really be tight.

I know with dollar stores and such you can get cheap wash cloths but really they do not last long. So before you get rid of that old towel cut it up for rags or...better yet cut into wash cloth sizes and use your sewing skills. Serge around edges and you will have cloths that out live the cheap cloths and did not cost but a little thread and fifteen minutes. Yes, I timed it :p

It might be a good time to make:

Reusable paper towels…

Cloth hankies…

Cloth napkins…

Cloth pads…

While I don’t want to have to do this ever in my life time it might useful info at some point:

Cloth toilet paper… - Renaissance Homemaker - I love this gal, she is really down to earth.

This is what I won from one of her giveaways ( she made the apron. What a wonderful job! Plus she included a signed copy of her book. this is her channel on YouTube - a big thank you to Bethany!

I was thinking about the above article before falling asleep that night, about what things I use that might go up with tariffs and bread bags popped into my head. I reuse my bags till they wear out and eventually they do wear out. Well, I was thinking I guess I have a big bowl with a lid then I fell asleep and dreamed of a plastic bread keeper. The next day when I was at the reuse it place I saw this plastic bread keeper just like in my dream. It was free so I grabbed it hmmmm. So if the prices on bread bags go higher than our very small budget can work in, I can use this.

When you run across things that could be useful try and pick them up. I look at things, turning them over in my head thinking worth it for it’s usefulness or just more junk, how can I use it?? What can it do to help me?? It has to pay for its storage.

Again the talk…want vs need….that's one of those questions here too.

You may never have to have a budget as tight as ours but you cannot know for sure and better safe than sorry I say.

How do I teach myself? Well it is a lot easier than it used to be. You can check out books from the library or see what free YouTube videos on the topic there is, This really has helped me with the tatting. I like getting books on the topic and lots can be found at yard sales and thrift stores. I have even gotten them free on There may be other places out there but this is the one I know about so I have a very big kindle library…. That being said, I am big on hard copies as well. My favorite book store is half price books. I have found many good books in their sale area for a dollar. We only go on very special days like birthdays, anniversaries etc.

So I read all I can on the topic and then try my hand at it.

I can watch YouTube and back up and watch again until I learn it.  Also, I have been gifted and occasionally have bought classes.  When there are five dollar sales, I have, if I can, gotten a class. One I got on weaving has been very helpful as the teacher was excellent and had wonderful shortcuts. It was They run those sales often and not just weaving. They also have books on those sales.  

I also have been gifted for birthdays or Mother’s Day Craftsy classes. While these are more expensive they do have sales but not as cheap as the five dollar ones, however, they do have a few free ones so check those out too.  

Our library in Ames has a room for selling books for just a few dollars and I have gotten tatting and weaving books for just a couple dollars, same with getting books that are used online…always check used first!

I already have most supplies needed as they all seem related and as I have gone yard selling over these many years.

Do not rule out thrift stores. It takes a bit of time but if you are patient do some digging, you may find things to build up your supplies. I have recently found patterns that were fifteen cents each! I have also seen fabric, sewing notions, books, knitting supplies, so use your frugal skills and keep an eye out.

This is an example of how far at yard sales your money goes...

The little red chair was a dime. I asked several times to be sure and yes, it was a dime. It had a ten cent sticker on it. Well it came to live here and the doll with her doll was a dime at another yard sale. I made the little quilt from scraps so that was free… so for twenty cents and some fabric scraps I have a cute thing to decorate my home.

These threads I got years ago for ten cents a piece and I keep them in this tin I got for 25 cents.

I just wanted you to see that you can, with a little bit of work, build up supplies. If you go back through the blog posts you will see just about everything I have gotten used for very little.

So put to use your frugal skills and see what you can learn and do.  Keep working on your storage and skills too.

Monday, August 6, 2018

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)

I love this statement. I think how obedient Noah was and what an example he was for us all. What if he had put off getting enough food knowing what was coming? We all know something is coming in our lives, we may not know exactly what it will be... illness, old age, loss of our jobs? In every life some rain shall fall. We don’t get out of this life without trials… everyone has them. It is true we cannot prepare for everything but to not prepare for anything is unwise, it will compound what the hardship of the trial shall be.

One thing is for certain - everything changes.

When we moved (and take it from me it was a lot!), we always took what food storage we had with us as moving was always so costly. This would help smooth over the bumps of moving... when we had kids this was an even higher priority.

I really cannot put enough emphasis on rotating your storage. Sometimes things spoil, it happens to us all. So prepare to have enough extra that can cover for this and learn how to store wisely.

I store grains and flours in buckets - make sure they are food grade. I got my buckets from bakeries as we could get a lot for free. I put my elbow grease into the cleaning of them. Once filled up, I put two bay leaves in at the top then date and write what is in it on the outside.

I know my home canning lasts way longer than metal cans which can get dropped or dented or the seal fails. Metal cans need to be rotated more frequently so go through your cupboards as things like to hide. NEVER eat a bloated can’s contents!!

Knowing how to properly can is essential.

Now I know people who don’t can but dehydrate their food instead, which way you choose to store your food is totally up to you.

I find that vacuum sealing saves so much money. Partially used containers of food go stale whereas vacuum sealed containers last a long time. You can use jars from spaghetti sauce or jelly to vacuum seal other things so be sure to save them after you're done with them! If you have a canister for the vacuum sealer you can use those jars and if you do canning you can reuse the lids in vacuum sealing (not in the canning though) so this is frugal too.

I have always loved learning and find it so useful in living a frugal life…

I am not sure if people wake up and say I want to live frugally, they might, but in our case it was a necessity. So I have learned how to do things all our married life. They have gotten us through big trials. Knowing how to do it myself….or how to MAKE DO…is biggest know-how ever.

Everyone needs help from time to time. We need to push on making do, if you are unwilling to do so you will be unhappy. If you want the newest, the bestest things attaining can be a very hard thing, being happy after attaining can be a miserable thing if that is your only goal in life, and when you cannot attain it you will be very bitter or you will learn the mighty lesson… If you are working all the time for things you will feel trapped and very unhappy.  

Marriage is a partnership, each doing what they can. It is not up to one or the other to work so hard to support a lifestyle of things they cannot afford. It is stressful on everyone. And if we treat our family members badly it does have a way of coming back to you… so remember the golden rule, if you do not know what that is then google it.  

We went to a wedding last week and while this couple were so in love, I have thought it hasn’t been that way for everyone. We have known over these many years they fell out of love which is sad to me. I am in the camp to fall more in love as time goes on, that is how long happy marriages work. Stay in love, treat your spouse as the best friend that they are. Never keep a mental list of their faults and just have a fun life together. It does not have to cost money at all… this is what I wished for this young couple for that is how we live. It is a happy life together. Always work together, never apart and never tear the other down, not even in jest. Always make home the best place to be.

Living frugally isn’t always glamorous and is hard work but it is always worth it.

So perhaps you need to think about what you really want.

Frugally this week I was given more cucumbers and spinach. I am drying the spinach and it will be for soups and other foods. The cucumbers I made a gallon of refrigerator pickles and we have been having cucumber slices instead of chips as I don’t buy chips. I want to put some cucumber slices in a glass of water and then afterwards eat the slices, I love cucumbers.

I am taking a blouse that was given me apart to add a side panel in a different fabric to make it a bit more comfortable, plus I got 9 buttons out of the shirt I used as panels.

Tell us what frugal things you have done this week! Look for someone to help. Life challenges are hard and there is always need.

Work on your skills, we want to hear about them!

Put up food, as you can either freeze it, dry it, or can it as this is peak season. Let us know what you are doing to share.
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