Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Monday Message

"Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future." (L. Tom Perry) 

Here in Iowa some corn is very short and tasseled. Already some fields are better than others. This is like our lives, there are some years that aren't as good as others so in good years our ancestors put up food for the lean years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VFHXFDUVMY - their weather has been flooding, then the heat was really bad.

This is the last day of this awful heat wave, hopefully... It has been a rugged go of it. We had warning of it going to happen so I prepared so that I would not have to cook using the oven which would add heat to what was already way hot, a heat index of 111 degrees. That is really hot. So it is in some small way like storing food for a time of need. The only difference was we knew what was coming.

We don't always know what is coming...

We sometimes knew when things slowed down for a company my husband worked for but more times than not we didn't see it coming. We were blessed to have a storage in.

I have been thinking about thinking outside of the box. It helps if we can think how to use things in a different way.

Such as....

In this picture you see what was probably a fruit holder. I got it for two dollars now it is a yarn holder. In front you see a blue strainer, it is heavy and would work well for a yarn bowl, it was 99 cents. Holding the blue yarn is what was once a paper towel holder, I picked it up for just 35 cents. So with little money and thinking outside the box all these things were made for other purposes.

Just like this cow held a tea light, now it will also be a yarn bowl.

My daughter gave me this cute llama ruler... 

I got this locker white board magnetic board combination to hold patterns while I knit or crochet. 

Well, thinking outside of the box, I put magnet strip on the back of the llama ruler, he or she will not only hold the pattern but I can measure as well. It can be used to take a fast note while working. I also took ribbon and glued it to a magnetic strip which can now be used under the line of direction as well. So now I have quite a useful gadget for not much money.

These crates I used for a mini book shelf.

I got a music stand at a thrift store just for the purpose of holding my bobbin lace pillow which I made out of a piece of wood, sawdust, and a child's dress that I got at a thrift store. The sawdust was ours from wood working.

You notice that wooden box at the back in the last picture it was once a sewing machine drawer.

These are pictures of metal tubs that I have re-purposed into holding supplies for my weaving:

The apple basket is also holding wearing tools.

I know this is kind of picture heavy but I re-purpose a lot of things and I wanted to give you ideas. Look around your house and see if you have something unwanted that could be used in a different way.  Keep working on your storage learn new skills that would help your family and remember look for ways to be frugal.

Look for ways to be kind and give service.

This is his thinking outside the box he decided my basket of reading materials could be used as a bed.

Monday, July 22, 2019

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 was thinking about Joseph in the Bible who was sold into slavery by his brothers and how he was able to end up being a blessing to his own family by storing wheat before a famine. He saved many from dying in the famine by storing wheat ahead of the famine. 

Can we get ahead of our personal famine? Yes, we can by having storage and rotating it. We never know what lies ahead of us. There is no job that is totally secure, there is no one that can promise we won't have another depression, there is no guarantee that we won't get sick, laid off or have a natural disaster.

So we need to learn skills, we need to learn how to make do. I know I keep pressing the basics, it is because we need to know how to do these things. Even if you only learn how to budget better to get from payday to payday, most likely you will use some of these skills.

I will say it is a lot easier to learn how to make bread before you need it.

Mending our clothes - it would be good to know how to mend before you rip your pants.

Things won't always be as easy as they are now for anyone. So while things are a bit easier lets learn the basic skills and put in storage.

So have you mastered making bread from scratch? You could live without bread but it makes life taste better. Learn how to do it by hand first then use other methods so long as you know how to do it by hand, know how it feels to work it and know all the steps and store the ingredients to make it, plus the pans.

When you have that all tended and learned, you can use a bread machine to make the dough and put homemade bread into your meals so everyone is used to it.  

Look for machine recipes given to us by Liza in the near future.

Once you have mastered a skill move on to the next one. Be a collector of skills.

https://foodrevolution.org/blog/how-to-wash-vegetables-fruits/ - this was shared with us by Mary Ann, thank you for sharing!

Look around for a used sewing machine. Every home should have a sewing machine. Then gather scissors, thread, and needles (both hand and machine).

This is part of a storage. If you ever sewed something big by hand you will be glad not to have to.

When my daughter was home we made a pattern off a shirt she had and made t-shirts using the pattern...

The first thing Gus said was you will need a pattern weight. Here you see him being the pattern weight.

The last picture here shows how to make the sleeve bigger.

Each thing you learn will add to your collection of skills...

I was visiting with a lady working at the hospital while I was knitting a sock. She said her favorite pair was homemade and they got a hole in them, she said she wished she had her mother's darning tool... I said that you can use a plastic Easter egg to put in the sock to darn it. She left so happy with that solution saying she had one of those. We have to think outside the box sometimes.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+darn+socks+by+hand&docid=608044948597573766&mid=AE7F9F49A1BF62279168AE7F9F49A1BF62279168&view=detail&FORM=VIREHT - she uses a tennis ball here so lots of things could be used.  

Socks might not cost so much right now but this is a good time to start mending them, learn this skill.

A reminder to start getting going on your Christmas gifts, do not wait till last minute. We are all about thinking ahead.

So work on these few things mentioned and add to your storage and remember to be kind and helpful to others.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Message

"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." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

Work, industry, and frugality - interesting road map, don't you think? If we study on these things and apply them to our lives it would help so much.

I watched a podcast from Wisconsin where they showed the corn plants were about eight inches tall due to all the wet weather they had. Our state has shorter corn than normal as well for the same reason. He told that a round bale of hay is currently fifty dollars but is going to go up over two hundred dollars. That will mean increased food prices so having in a storage would be helpful.

So would having your skills up.  

It used to be everyone knew how to can and cook from scratch and sew etc. but we have drifted away from that knowledge with the stores having everything we need right now.

It is easy to just go in and get what you want but what if you could not get what you wanted? How hard would it be to make it or do without it?

It is scary to think how many generations it takes to lose a skill.

It never hurts to know how to do things. But it doesn't have to be a big thing that happens. It could be as simple as a plant shut down for a month or a car repair, life throws us unexpected things we sometimes have the means to tend them but what if we don't...?

If we have a smaller income then we might already be learning ways to make things stretch. We can work together or play the blame game. Since we do not know when these hard times come we need to be prepared.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/frugal-living-tips/frugally-fit  This has fantastic tips

https://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/make-diy-tea-towels.html This shows how to make dish towels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeJjB-bdzuI When my daughter was home this week with her husband she had on her favorite t-shirt. I said we could make a pattern from it so we did something like this....look for them in the future.

Once we find something that we like we can make them using different fabrics.

That is what I do with this pattern I made another out of fabric with sailboats.

When I make socks....

I use a size one circular needle that is very long. At one point for heels and toes, I use magic loop. I have looked in my area for a long circular needle in size one. Nope, no luck. And if I did it would be costly. I know I could order one but again costly, well for my budget which is a fixed income, but when my daughter was here we stopped into a thrift store and there was the very one I needed for 39 cents! I tell you this to say keep your eyes out for things you need and use. You might have gone in to the thrift store for a pan but if you don't look around you could miss what you need as well.

I know in this day and age you can get anything online but what if your income was so low you could not? Now I know that not many knit socks but if you do it is good to have supplies. I also found two skeins of sock yarn for 99 cents at the thrift store and I grabbed it. We were in a store that has some sock yarn...the price was 7.99 for a fifty gram ball (the same size I got at thrift store but for 99 cents).  I could not get it anywhere at that price not even at Hobby Lobby with the forty percent off coupon...so keep looking is what I am saying.

I think of my tight budget and I keep an eye out. This helps to stretch the budget. I don't always have funds to purchase supplies so one day I found the yarn then down the road I found the needle, I am collecting the budget friendly supplies as I go.

I'm also working on building my spinning skill to make my own sock yarn.

Think out side the box when you can...

This cow is cute as can be! He was for holding a tea light at the thrift store when I found him but now he is a yarn bowl for me to use for yarn or thread when I need him to do so. So think to yourself how can I use something different than it was intended for? I bet you have things around your house that can serve different purposes saving them from the landfill.

You never know, you could end up starting a new trend.

The point is sometimes you will be okay, no problem. Other times you might be tight or your income may turn into no income. Are you ready for bumpy times?

Do the best you can and remember help other and be kind and look for frugal ways.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Message

"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) 

We need to be in a position to help others any way that we can.  Even a smile can help a person's day go better. Years ago I heard someone say that every time they hear a siren they pray for the person the siren is for. I adopted this so each time I hear a siren I pray and though I don't have the money to help I can do this and I can smile and be friendly to all. I try to do at least one act of service a day when my fibro let's me, but again if nothing else a smile or being kind I can always do. These are a few things I have adopted from others. There are so many who are having hard times, never a shortage of people in need of kindness.

Learning skills, having skills, teaching your skills to others is good as well.

https://yarnutopia.com/365-days-of-granny-squares/ - for learning to crochet the simple granny square is a good place to start.

https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tutorials/13-Basic-Crochet-Stitches - this is very helpful in learning crochet.

https://www.google.com/search?q=knitting+basics+getting+started&rlz=1C1ZKTG_enUS834US834&oq=knitting+basics&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.19364j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=1 - this shows very beginner knitting skills to get you started.

https://www.allfreeknitting.com/Knitting-Collections/knitting-for-beginners-guide-9-free-knitting-patterns-for-beginners - this will be helpful as well.

https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2086/2014/09/Sewing-Skills-Checklist.pdf - this checklist can help to know what to learn, check it off as you go.

https://sewing.com/basic-sewing-skills/ - this has helpful info, though you have to go around the ads. 

https://www.uidaho.edu/-/media/UIdaho-Responsive/Files/Extension/4-H/Projects/Sewing-For-Fun-Skills-Checklist-pdf.pdf - this is another checklist.

https://www.sewmamasew.com/2011/09/seven-essential-sewing-skills/ - this is helpful steps.

I was watching a grocery haul video that was recommended to me from another as frugal haul...it was not frugal. I suppose it was compared to eating out but it was expensive prepackaged things. We need to back up how doing for yourself things that are pre-cut or pre-made saves so much money. I could not help thinking how much more she could have gotten. There was a bag of already popped popcorn for same price as unpopped, only you would get way more with unpopped. Small containers of ice cream, each costing the same as a large container. Bar cookie mix which is way cheaper from scratch. I understand when life gets busy sometimes it is easier to just grab these items but when it keeps being busy it starts costing way more on a tight budget. Sometimes we need to analyze things by stepping back to see where you are at.

https://iambaker.net/5-tips-from-scratch-baking/ - this is great info

https://www.thespruceeats.com/learn-how-to-cook-everything-from-scratch-1388352 - cooking from scratch

https://www.creditdonkey.com/food-scratch.html - this has some good ideas

https://ourinspiredroots.com/cooking-from-scratch-for-beginners/ - this is very interesting.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/25-skills-every-cook-should-know - this has basic things that some may not know.

Keep working on your storage, keep building your skills, and look for ways to help others.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Monday Message

"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency… and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust)

It is hard to think ahead sometimes when we are dealing with so much, but we need to try and do this, make a habit of it. It means self denial too...sacrifice a little now for later when you will really need it. You will be so thankful that you did. Lets say your family uses two jars of peanut butter a month, would it hurt to buy four?  Eating at a fast food place would cost more and, at the same time, do less for you too.

I know we can justify about anything if we wanted to. Justifying makes me think of our kids. We wanted to have a good Sabbath day so on Sundays no Super Mario on the nintendo was our rule. Even though the kids would try to change our minds, we would not cave on this but they kept trying to justify why they should. On the way home from church they would keep trying but the funniest justification was - "we can baptize Mario." We said no, but it was a cute try. So if we think long enough we could come up with why we should not get food stored.

But in the end when things get hard for you because of loss of a job and such, what will you have wished you had gotten? It is always easy when we have that job finally and part of us thinks we made it and that we will always have the job and finally we deserve this, that and everything. Starting storage is far from our minds then life jerks your chain and something happens that having storage would have been so helpful.

Before we put in the basement I stored food on shelves in a bedroom not far from the kitchen. One of the kids' friends asked me one time if we were poor. I said no, what makes you think so?  They said because you have all this food. I said it is because we have the food that we are not poor. Indeed, when things have been tight we have it to help us through.

Food for thought...if you cannot get groceries due to loss of work or whatever you do not have a choice of what to get. Food stamps won't let you get toilet paper for example. They also for the most part are not enough your family may not be in a position to help you.  If you go to a food pantry it won't be like going to the store. You are limited by bags or lbs of food then you have to work with what you get...limited choices.  

I had a chat with my daughter who lives in a hurricane area like we live in a tornado area, she said that many feel why get a storage when a hurricane can wipe it all out? I said it could be if you had your storage in you would be very helpful to those who were hit. I see no downside to having storage.

When we moved we always took it with us as well for this very reason that when we moved there would be deposits on housing, water, gas, phone etc. leaving us no money for groceries.

We have had insurance for many many years and never used it but on the times we needed it we were glad we had it. Food should not be any different and if rotated and used and replaced it will be a blessing to your family or someone else's family. And if you store it you will have a choice in what you get!

Having skills enhances your storage like canning - I have meat like roast canned, yum! Without that skill and supplies I wouldn't do without, I just would not have certain items like beef and noodles or roast with gravy and lots more. I would not have my yummy orange marmalade. You can buy it and store it and you would have it but if you did not store it you would not have it. And for supplies having them means I will be able to can provided I think ahead and purchase a box of lids from time to time. If I just plan to do a box or two a month it won't seem as bad as if i have to do it all at once...kind of like the peanut butter I mentioned in the beginning.

Skills will help us as well.

Here is the skill I have been working on - socks from a long tube I knit, this gives me another way to make socks I now know a variety of ways to make them.

I knitted one long tube to make a pair of socks.

Separating the socks into individual ones.

Successful separation of the socks.

Preparing to knit the ribbing on the second sock, keeping the stripes in order.

Starting to work on the toe with the purple yarn.

Preparing to cut the tube to work in the heel.

Starting to knit the heel.

Finished product!

Do I need to know how to make them? I could probably live without knowing but it enhances my life and that of my family.

What are the skills you are working on to enhance your life?
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