Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday Message

"Though you may feel that no one can understand the depth of your despair, our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I know things are very hard right now, we just need to push on and keep staying the course. Just do the best we can.

Gus says he would gladly share his mouse with you.

I read how the mail delivery people needed masks so this is the mask I made for our mailman.

I have been busy making masks for donation to our hospitals. Our governor had requested all who could sew to make masks to donate to the medical facilities all over the state of Iowa. So far over 10,000 masks have been collectively made but way more are needed.

By now you are probably having to be creative with just about everything...

So I thought it would be a good idea to revisit bread-making.

This is the best recipe I use for bread-making from my friend Liza. See the whole cookbook here - for a whole bunch of different ways to use this recipe including cinnamon rolls and garlic knots and more!!

To make bread flour you use a tsp of vital wheat gluten per cup of all purpose flour, it's also the same for wheat flour.

If you do not have this you can use just flour. Now keep in mind wheat will be heavy without though, also you can use white and wheat together as well.

If you do not have a bread machine just do it by hand.

Having called in an order to be picked up at Walmart, I had an opportunity to look up several items. There is no flour, no yeast, no rice, and no toilet paper just to name a few...and what they did have of other items they limited them to two. This makes me wonder about families larger than ours, do they have to go more often? I do not know.

Plus, there is only so much money in bank accounts.

If you have wheat stored but no grinder...this is the best pancake recipe - - this is helpful if you do not have syrup. Remember, peanut butter, jams and jellies, butter with brown sugar sprinkled over top, are good options for toppings too. If you are low on bread, use leftover pancakes and just spread with peanut butter and then roll up. Try to make pancake shapes for the kids to make for fun for them. Also, let the littles help you mix them up. Try putting chocolate chips or raisins in or for eyes on pancake, bears, or smiley faces.

Also use powdered milk, mix it up and put it in the refrigerator for easy using. If you use powdered milk dry, add it to dry ingredients and water with liquids.

One other thing that I noticed that Walmart did not have was garden seed, I am hearing they are hard to find. So I gathered what I did have together and I was surprised to find I had more than I thought...

I forgot that I picked up some from the Dollar Tree before all this started, also I saved seed. So gather what seeds you have. I planted in the house in pots. I did tomato and peppers, both were nine years old. The tomatoes are doing good but the peppers did not so I planted them with the new seeds I forgot I had gotten.

Having done this, I thought I would go ahead and plant seeds that I usually just put in the ground. I had some little clay pots I had as a decoration and planted cucumbers and squash, etc. in them. I have some plastic cups I had from long ago from when our kids were visiting that I will save for when I need to thin the tomato plants. I will put a hole in the bottom and fill them with dirt and save the thinned plants.

This would be a good year to put seeds in the ground. We do not have a tiller but we have shovels and I will just do spots here and there, so just do what you can. I took out sprouting potatoes I hung onto with plans to plant, so go look at your potatoes and see if any are looking back at you, then plant them in the ground.

Our frost date here in Iowa is May 15, that is when we should plant outside but potatoes can go in now.

Take a look at what food you have then look for ways to stretch it.

Let's call or email our friends and family and seniors, think who could use a check up on and make it so. There is one thing not on the shortage list and that is love.

Missy says stay safe and stay well.

Peach Cobbler (but you could use any canned fruit)

Melt one stick of butter or margarine in a 9x13 pan in your preheating 350 degree oven, meanwhile in a bowl mix...
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
In a measuring cup put three tbsp powdered milk and the juice of two reg size cans of peaches. Pour this into the dry ingredients, mix well and pour over that melted margarine or butter, then take the peaches and put them over the top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake thirty minutes.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Message

"We face many serious challenges in the world today, but I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He will guide and bless us as we put our faith and trust in Him and will see us through whatever difficulties come our way." Thomas S. Monson

We all are having hard times. We just need to remember who we are. We will have to work a little more but that's okay, we can do that.

Gus and Missy are here to tell you that even though you are staying safe at home you can make your home a wonderful place to be...

I saw this somewhere and so I did this for Gus and Missy. I had two boxes, then I took two of my t-shirts and you just put the shirt on the box with the neck on the open side of the box like you see in the picture. The shirts are intact but now they have little forts.

In my spare time I have been making cloth masks to be donated to our hospital. Our governor asked for all who could sew to make them. - this is the one I am making in picture above. - simple to make.

It is time to be thinking about planting your vegetable garden, be it in pots or in the ground. One thing I want to do is have a pot with lettuce up on the porch so I can just go out the door and get it. Think outside the box. Get creative, like I plan to just put squash in a hole that I will clear the sod off of. So think what you can do and don't dwell on what you can't do.

My Chocolate Cake

1 ½ c. boiling water
¾ c. butter
2 c. sugar
Stir together till butter is melted and sugar is dissolved
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. cocoa powder
Mix well and add…
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Blend well, batter will be thin.

Put in a sprayed 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees till done, check after twenty minutes.

Whenever we had tough times I would make this chocolate cake. We had it at other times as well but as long as there was chocolate cake our kids thought things were normal and they would not be afraid. Though we knew we were in tough times, it made us feel better too. So I made sure we always stored ingredients to make it.  I still do in fact make this cake, we had it this very week.

What fun things are you doing while home bound? I think you all know I made kitty caves with t-shirts.

I think this will be going on for a while so try to have fun times...

Have a popcorn party!

We once had a Carnival when our girls were very little. We set up bean bag toss and fun things all around the living room with yummies at the end.

We use to have a huge dress up box. Just toss in some of your clothes, scarves, hats, shoes, and big jewelry. The kids love it!

We use to go on a safari with our grandson and we would go in and out and all around till we found the stuffed toy giraffe.

Have a family swap. Have everyone bring some things to the table they no longer want and that others might want.

Set two or three objects for each person then go around and one at a time they pick an item and make a fantastical story up about that item.

I am sure you have wonderful ideas. Share them with us in the comments below!

We will get through these times with stories to tell.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Monday Message

"He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face..." - Thomas S. Monson

I thought now we need positive thoughts while everything is so dark and scary all around us. We need to be a light to our family. We need to be strong. I think we can all agree this is the most challenging time in our life.  

As we are in the high risk demographic we are staying in and safe, only going out for meds which is a drive through.

Has anyone else been organizing too? It helps as it is one thing I can control when everything else seems out of control.

Now is a good time to go through your cookbooks and find the most frugal ones.

Go through your cookbooks and look for recipes that you already have the ingredients for on hand, no running out for items if you don't have too.

Make a list of the recipe and page number and what cookbook it's in.

Inventory your freezers.

What can you substitute if you don't have an ingredient? 


Brown and drain a pound of hamburger, I do this in a big Dutch oven size pan.
To this I add a cooked, drained and rinsed package of macaroni
Then I add two tbsp dried onion flakes
Then I add tomato sauce, two to three cans, the larger ones you can add if you like it with more sauce
Then add chili powder to your taste, I like one to two tbsp
Stir this together and heat through

Here is a cowl I just finished up. This is a free pattern from Tin Can Knits, they have lots of free patterns -

This is the time to keep busy, learn a new skill or work on ones you already have.

Also, it is time to start some garden seeds because I am not wanting to go out to stores. I found I had some tomato seeds and green pepper seeds from nine years ago! I figure it couldn't hurt to try. I put dirt I had in outdoor containers into pots I had and planted the seeds, watered, then tented the pots with plastic bags.

So far the tomato seeds are pushing up through the dirt, now we will see if the peppers do?

Missy and Gus say to keep a positive attitude and put a smile on your face like Raggedy Ann.

Let us all know how you are doing in the comments below.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Message

"Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine."
― Gordon B. Hinckley 

Well here we are with hard things going on all around the world.  We all will get through this, we will rise to the occasion. We will roll up our sleeves and do what needs doing.

Reach out to older people especially in your neighborhood. Offer to pick up meds or items from the store. If you have a pair of rubber gloves and an alcoholic wipe, put them in a baggie and send it with what is dropped off so they can wipe things coming in.

As a funny side note, I was thinking who in our neighborhood was elderly, guess what we are? The oldest in the hood. We don't need help but I found it funny to think of us as elderly.

We are staying home except going to get meds which is a drive through but I will still wear a mask and rubber gloves. As of the time I am writing this, which is two weeks from when you are reading this, we have 90 positive cases in our state of Iowa (updated count as of April 6th is 946 cases).

I am making four masks. I have them cut out. My plan is to use these over a mask when we get meds. - this is the pattern I am using. When I come back from a med run I will take off the outer mask I made and will wash it in soapy water outside then hang it to dry, the inner mask I will spray with Lysol.

I will be wearing rubber gloves and will be wearing them while washing the sewn mask so that I can reuse them.

This will be a long lived thing for sure.

I see some podcasters telling people they should be frugal with the food they have on hand. This would be a prudent idea as for sure this will be longer than a few weeks.

So now that you are inside with your family, try to make things to look forward to, like a movie night. I find it really helps me escape from what is going on. Gus says he's ready for a movie night.

How about pick another night for game night with board games? Have an award ceremony for the winners.

A family talent night.

Draw a giant cookie, like six to ten inches wide, and have everyone color on the chocolate chips. When your cookie is done, explain that when they see the cookie around the house it means that someone did them a kindness. For example, let's say brother has the cookie. He looks around and sees sister hasn't made her bed yet, so when no one is looking he runs in there and makes her bed and lays the cookie on top. And when sister sees the cookie on her now made bed it is her turn and on it goes. See how long you can keep it going. It doesn't have to be a cookie it can anything, maybe even a house with a smile on it.

Have a camp in the living room night, sing around a pretend camp fire aka a flash light with all the lights off.

Have a build a fort day.

Get out the Lego tub and have everyone build something. If you have five in your family, divide the legos into five piles. You could have them draw pieces of paper with items they are to build, like a tree or a dog house or a goldfish. On another day, assign them a color like blue, they can only use blue ones. Be creative.

A spaghetti night. Pretend to be eating it in a fancy restaurant complete with name cards and change those cards to have everyone eat in a different spot, then normal, keep those name cards and mix them up often.

Have a yard clean up day with a treat for the one with the most gathered trash. The treat might be brownies and they get theirs first then everyone else.

Let us know how you all are doing and what fun you are coming up with.

Applesauce Salad

This is a great recipe with no exact measurements, it's up to you what you like.

I use a quart of applesauce and jello powder. Stir till it is the color you like, this can be from two tbsps or too taste. Just mix well and serve. By the way, this is also what I use for fruit leather, just spread on the leather sheet and dehydrate.

Here is what I have been doing...

I started a book
Cut out four face masks, they will be done when you read this
Made bread
I have been rearranging things in the kitchen to make it handier to work in
I have been tatting 
I have been spinning 
I have been knitting

What things are you working on?

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