Monday, December 27, 2021

Monday Message

"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 am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .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." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Starting small can be worked into a budget quite easily if one uses thrifty ways.

We are starting into the hardest part of the year. Heating bills will be up, groceries are up, and it is dark and cold if you are in my neck of the woods.

I finished the hat I was sewing. I made it reversible, it took longer to cut out than it did to sew up. Here's a link to the pattern -

This is the week before Christmas at the time I am writing this post. Our weather has turned colder brrr. I have a big pot of chili in the crockpot and made a pan of cinnamon rolls. When we were in grade school they served these two together and it was a fast favorite.

I have been working hard to make a few kits up of things I want to work on. Christmas Eve I want to cast on a hat and Christmas Day I have an embroidery project I would like to start and a little beading project I have been learning to do, so I will be ready.

I have all included in the bags ready and waiting.

I finished the spin project I had going as you can see in the picture. I saved the label from the fleece and taped it on the skein at the end so I would have the information. I also started another as part of my fun for the holidays idea.

I have been rushing to finish the mats I have on the loom so I can get it warped up with my next project which will be dish towels... which brings me to what I want to say...

I am trying to use what I have on my bobbins and using up the warp on the loom. I am hurrying so I can have the dish towels on the loom by Christmas. I am only able to do one mat or so a day before my back complains and rushing isn't helping with that as well. So while I have put this self-imposed deadline on myself trying to meet this goal of getting this done, I have decided when I get those dish towels warped up and a few rows worked, I will slow this way down and enjoy the process more. And that is how I plan to do the things I have planned, moving to more process rather than production, to take everything slower and enjoy the process, enjoy my minutes to find joy in a slower pace.

I am concerned about the virus. I heard two doctors on tv yesterday, one said that in a few weeks we will enter into the fifth wave and it would be the worse yet. The other said we should be wearing N95 masks and if not able to then two of the others...add that to what the president said that it would be dark and we would lose many more people. All this and the rumblings of shortages and higher prices just really puts a dark outlook on the future so I am trying to find things that will bring me joy.

I think the new year will find us all tightening our belts a bit more.

How can we make that not such a drudge?? I think staying positive. The chocolate cake rule I have is one way to do that. No matter what, I always have the ingredients on hand to make this chocolate cake.  No matter how hard things are I make this cake and it somehow helps. I also plan to make it for my birthday which is early January so it's not just in hard times that I make this cake. When there were hard times I would make it, I wanted it to represent normalcy for the family so the kids would not worry. So no matter what happens I can make chocolate cake which is why I always keep the ingredients on hand.

Get the recipe here - - helpful ideas here.

We don't need to do these things grudgingly, we need to set a positive mood. Make things like a game.

This reminds me of an article I read in the Ensign in 2013 -

Having hard times does NOT hurt our children in any way, they are so resilient. We all have had hard times...they will have hard times too. It is part of life.

Gus and Missy say that their chocolate cake is a toy and catnip. It really is the simple things that make a difference.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

As we now will be turning our attention to the new year, I would rather make a list of things I would like to do, a list to inspire me, not one to make me feel guilty but to make me happy and not sad.

Like on my list will take care of me as well as I do for others, to find time to read more and rest more, break down tasks more, take time to enjoy my interests more, continue to stay safe and realize that my being safe isn't a punishment, the world has changed and I must change as well. Reminding myself my immune system is not like others and to not kick myself because of it. To remember the Spanish Flu went on for years before it was over - this will take time as well. So giving myself some grace, I am doing what I can do. Realizing I cannot attend church physically at this time but I do attend virtually, while this feels somehow less it really isn't as it is a huge blessing given to me by my Father in Heaven and this blessing is more not less. I still keep up my scripture reading and journal keeping, I am thankful for my blessings. I feel loved.

I have fibromyalgia and I need to slow my pace down.  It has been a year of big projects. I think now perhaps it is time for no more of those for a while.

We are heading into the roughest part of winter in my neck of the woods. So I think I will do more hygge type things...

I would do more hot cocoa with sugar free flavorings with mini marshmallows. - good ideas.

It is here that I wanted to mention, check on people this time of year as it is so very very hard on people. I know we cannot visit in person but email is a good way. Don't wait to have someone say they are having a hard time because they won't, you have to be proactive. - there is a list of ideas to scroll down. - pick and choose. - some ideas here. - take what ideas you wish. I mention this a lot but having a free source for books is very helpful.

I want to learn new skills and break those down into bite size pieces.

I want to work on some warm projects, for example -

Here is the free pattern - - this would be a very easy project to learn on.

With the higher prices I think now is a good time to learn more frugal ways of doing things. - good helps here.

Find frugal and easy meals - - basic and simple.

The more we can find frugal meals the further our money will stretch.

Missy says it is important to stay the course and be safe.

Gus says be sure to eat your veggies and get lots of rest.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward." (President Spencer W. Kimball)

I like this because it is just prudent to do. If it is just our way of life, that can't be bad. At some point it is just replacing what you use. - I love this gal, a great example to all. - this is from her site too - helpful ideas here. - ideas on gifts.

I have been busy making ornaments for the last couple weeks to stick in cards. I made up this pattern.  It is on perforated paper.

I made these last year, I want to make more of them to perhaps make a garland for the fireplace.

One summer I got these pretty decorations at a yard sale and at some point I will make more, I like them in the bowl.

For many years I have collected these cookie presses when I would run across them at yard sales or thrift stores. The one on top of the hot cocoa is my very favorite one.

What things do you collect? Leave a comment below.

During this time that is so busy, take care of you as well. - here are some ideas. - this was a fun find this week. I think preparing these and giving them to someone would be fun for them to discover what they are when they slice and bake. Also, they would be fun to make up and freeze and one night when it is storming, take them out and slice and bake. Wouldn't that cheer the soul? - many ideas here. - this is fun, I would use mint flavoring and put in my hot cocoa - yum!

Gus and Missy say have fun together but to please be safe.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I feel like I did when the pandemic was still in China as our country is now closing some borders to slow the spread of a new variant, Omicron. I knew it was coming when it was still in China. So I assessed what we would be needing. I now have that same feeling.

What did we learn? Can we do better this time? It sounds way worse than Delta. How can we adapt? How can we be encouraging to others?

Remember what items were hard to get in stores in the beginning of Covid. Do you have these items on hand now?

Gus say be sure to have lots of good things to eat on hand.

It would be good to stock up before the snow flies.

Missy says she is trying to build her mouse catching skills. Are you working on skills too?

Take time to go through what you have on hand. Is there anything that needs beefing up?

I always think of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and how they had such a long time of that winter and limited food stores. In that story, they had friends who moved out to a claim too and a lady brought over popcorn and since there wasn't any there yet it was a nice treat. The lady said her husband did not think they could take the big bag of popcorn as their wagon was full, she took it and sat on it all the way. So, do you need popcorn? If not, you might want some on your shelf for family movies or game nights.

I wonder, is there a young girl or boy out there that will write about our times?

I think one should definitely have ingredients to make cookies, especially chocolate chip. - lots of ideas here, just scroll down.

Remember hygge! Have candles and blankets and hot cocoa, just cozy things about.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is crunch time for Christmas. Remember to not stress. Take time to rest and enjoy everything you do. Stress is not healthy for our bodies. - keep in mind we are in a pandemic and adapt accordingly. - I think it's best now a days to use the plastic clear ornaments, that way there's no breakage. - great ideas for those who have to stay home to stay safe. - this can be for anyone, scroll down to the ideas. One time we did this for a husband and wife. We did not say who we were till the end. We had so much fun thinking up the gifts, like pineapple rings for the golden rings and Dove soap for the doves (this was before Dove chocolate). We had fun as a family sneaking it to the door and hide so as not to be was great fun! - here are some great ideas. I watch some knitting podcasts where they have a different yarn and treat and stitch markers in little bags. One does a bag of fun little treats for her husband for each day. She has the yarn ones and they buy like a Harry Potter one for one son, a Lego one for the other, so they each open that day after supper. In another one, her and her husband get little treats, same idea but are in little socks hung across a wall. - more ideas. - some more ideas, the main point is be creative and find inexpensive ways, being frugal doesn't mean awful.

Gus and Missy say have happy holidays and keep being safe, they love you all!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Message

"Most of us cannot afford to store a year’s supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency." (James E. Faust)

I want you to continue stocking up as you can. Also, consider making a food basket for gift giving - a great idea to help others have food in the house. - I love the Iowa Housewife... I am not sure what part of Iowa they are from but this post makes one sit up and take notice. I have been seeing similar posts from all around the country but this is the first from right here. I love this gal, she does a lot of frugal things.

As we prepare for gift giving this year, I wanted to supply you with some very frugal gift ideas. - I have a favorite and that is the melted snowman bark, how cute is that? - I like the little tree ornaments with buttons on and the bottle cap magnets.

One podcast I watched, the mom showed what she and her husband were giving their kids this year. They were small items - a cradle and doll for their young daughter, a book and Legos for older ones to have things to open. The big gift is a notebook of fun things they all want to do together, like they have been wanting to go to a put-put miniature golf place (I am guessing they aren't up north). But they put together this binder of places they will go as a family once a week. I thought that was a nice gift.

Along those lines, I saw another where they get two Lego packages of the same thing - one goes to a grandson and grandpa keeps the other, then they assemble it together over zoom, that is neat.

We used to put together a puzzle as a family during Christmas so I thought just the two of us would work a puzzle over Christmas this year.

Think back to your most frugal Christmas ever and maybe you can bring back things you did for this year.

Do you have pets? If so, have the kids make a homemade gift for the pets for Christmas. They will have fun making and playing with the pet with the items.

Missy says find ways to stay safe because you are important to her.

Gus says he really likes the pet idea but says we all really do need to do more safety measures. 

It is time to bring back some of the old traditions that are virus free... like we would go for a walk at night after a snow storm. It was so quiet and so pretty and people would be in their homes with the lights on looking all cozy. The cost of this was free.

Our town is small but you could go for a walk and flip a penny - heads turn right, tails go left, so you do this at the corners.

One year we had an ice storm right after a huge snow storm so one evening we took pennies and skidded them on those icy banks, lots of fun and we still find the pennies outside. - great ideas, did you notice the parking garage made of toilet paper tubes? What little boy wouldn't want that? - some fun ideas here, I love the nativity scene, it could be made together then tell the story. - this was a fun find this week, I watched her do it on their podcast, she said she has her kids help wrap them. - some great ideas here. - more ideas. - I put this in here because winter is almost here. - prepare for winter but I think cozy should be an all year-round thing. - lots of ideas. - I think cozy is good.

Monday, November 22, 2021

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 wanted this quote again because we are seeing first-hand what could happen. Now that the holiday travel season is upon us, it's important to keep staying safe with the pandemic still in full gear. My wish for all is to stay safe and to love one another.

Like Gus, I have been getting ready to nest for the winter, I have been finishing up deep cleaning projects. I am wanting to be in the warm sunshine working on fun projects that I have been gearing up for.

I have finished making the mixes I wanted to make. This will help me in meal preps.

I have great books to curl up with.

These are a few of the things I plan to work on while the storms rage outside. I want to build my skills and take time to slow down. We don't have to go go go all the time. Pop some corn, grab a blanket and a know you want to.

Gus says to please stay safe.

Missy says have some food and litter or toilet paper in so you can weather any storm that may come.  She also says have treats on hand too.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to 'prepare every needful thing' (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

This week I have been doing a deep clean and organizing. I cleaned my jars and put pasta in six of the jars, the pasta was on sale last week.

This is the first mix, it is my favorite mix, it is like Bisquick. The whole book is full of recipes using this mix.

I also made up the mug mixes, these are favorites of ours as well...

Mug Mix

You take a dry cake mix (any flavor you like) then add a dry angel food one-step cake mix to it, stir well, then I put it in a half gallon jar.

To make it, you put three Tbsp of this mix into a microwave safe mug then add two Tbsp water, stir well and microwave for one minute.

The flavors I use are chocolate, lemon, orange, strawberry, and spice.

We like chocolate chips in the orange one. In the lemon, we like to top it with cherry pie filling after it is done. We also like fruit on the top and on the spice one you can put pudding on top, the spice one is new to us this year.

Then I like to make two different snack cake mixes, one is from a Woman's Day magazine from the seventies. and here it is. 

The other is from the Make-A-Mix cookbook. Another I mentioned before is the scone mix from Little House Living.

Next is...

I still want to mix up Make-A-Mix quick mix and waffle mix.

That will fill my jars that are empty and will make meal planning easier. - this is fantastic, I like quick cooking so this was great.

I found these helpful oatmeal add-ins... - this was neat at their site too.

I have been doing some deep cleaning/organizing in the kitchen this week as well as making mixes. - here are gift ideas using jars.

My mother-in-law used to always say, don't go in debt for Christmas. So I am telling you this is wise, don't go in debt for Christmas. - here are some great frugal gifts for giving. - lots of great ideas for gifts. - homemade tree ornaments. - helpful ideas. - I like this as people put in their ideas.

Missy says keep your spending down this year, you will thank her later.

Gus says he is always happy with a scratch under his chin from you guys and some catnip.

They both say keep on wearing a mask and washing your paws, we are not out of the woods yet.

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