Monday, March 29, 2021

Monday Message

"As we do our very best, we can be confident that ‘the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.’ We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we 'shall not fear.'" (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

Soon it will be time to put in a garden, that would be after May 15th here in Iowa.

I am hoping that this year's garden won't have a derecho drop branches on it, though that tree is no longer there along with a lot of others.

We still have cold weather yet. I can remember some huge storms at the end of April. But we can take comfort that the snow we get now will not last long.

I am still working on a sweater. I had a problem with it so it was put in time-out for a few days while I decided what action to take as the hairs in the yarn wrap around and make it hard to unknit.

So on this day I decided to cut the twelve rows back to before the mistake. I got another needle and picked up the row twelve rows back. This yarn snags up and snarls really bad and made it hard to stay on the same row so that meant stitch holders and a lot of back and forth.

In all, it took three hours to get it all set right. I have knitted two of those rows back in the last pic.

Note to self - never ever use this yarn again. I never could have done it without the skills I have learned. And now back on track. - this will show you some basic knitting. - this will explain how to read the yarn label and what it means. - this will help you get started with your garden.

I am making sheep a pattern I bought from -

I have their heads made and have just cast on to do their bodies. I think knitting their clothes will be fun. I have made a rabbit a few years back. My goal is to make a basket and put them in with several changes of clothes. I want to do the elephant at some point so when friends can visit again with their Littles it would be fun for them to play with. That is the goal. It is also teaching me more skills.

I am sure the mouse is taking their orders for clothing.

Over the years I have gotten patterns from her. Hers are cuter but I am using what I have on hand and really enjoy her patterns. I love that cute cotton rabbit in her topper that is what started it long ago.

I also love to embroider and ran across this gal… - if you scroll down she has a free pattern, I just love her work too.

These are a few of the things from my week. What are you all doing? Leave a comment below.

I did get a small pick-up order from the grocery store and am noticing prices are ticking upwards so a reminder to pick up a little here and there to beef up your storage.

Gus says to remember to keep building your skills!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Monday Message

"The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands. Such food may not be tasty, but it will be nourishing if it has to be used." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

There is great satisfaction seeing food on your shelves. Plus, it gives a feeling that things will be okay.

If I have five dollars left over. I ask myself if I had hard times what would I wish I would have spent this five dollars on?

Just picture in your mind what do you have on hand right now if you couldn't get more due to funds. What would you have wished you had gotten?

Also, if you throw in more frugal meals it would free up some of your grocery funds to stock up a little more.

These are some of the things that have helped me get more on my shelves.

I would set aside an amount for yard sales - it has been a very useful thing to do over the years, I was able to use this to stretch our income. I was able to get school clothes for the kids and household items that made it possible to have and help me fix meals. I even got a sewing machine and supplies to mend those clothes. Winter coats and gear and shovels and whatever we needed.  Yes, getting things used has served us well all these years.

So though things right now make this hard to do, think about down the road and use your Facebook groups to find things you need used for less.

We just recently needed to replace a remote and had to get it It did not cost very much $7 but using it is very hard till I noticed that if I rolled a small piece of paper and put it in a spot inside that I can get it to work as the battery does not stay in place. My point being that new doesn't always mean better.

So being frugal is something that takes learning to make a little stretch to make enough. We can learn skills that we can put to use in our frugal quests.

I guess this has been on my mind as this week I was going through and testing my embossing powders to see if they were still good after twenty some years and I have been spring cleaning and reorganizing, so I tested them on little labels which I stuck to the bottom of the jars and turned them over so I could see at a glance. I bought only three bottles new. A gold and a silver and clear. There were some that were from swaps, some from Freecycle and the rest from yard sales and thrift stores as proof of the ten cent stickers. It is amazing how fast they added up. So the blessings of buying used has helped a lot.

These were 59 cents each, a huge huge savings.

Missy said this used granny square blanket is mighty fine.

Gus says always look for an item used before buying new if possible.

Our king size sleigh bed frame came from Freecycle. So I guess what I am saying is don't overlook used items. Free, as in the bed frame, or used can really boost the budget rather than bust the budget.

I threw this in to mention it is almost time to have the gardens again, this is another way to help stretch the budget too.

I never said stretching the budget wasn't work as it was work going yard saling, and Freecycle is picking things up and gardening lots of work and putting up the food is work. But all of it was worth doing.

But being content is the best of all.

Keep being safe, look for ways to be frugal, help others as you can and pray if that is all you can do, it all helps and so many need the help right now.

Love one another.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Monday Message

"Be faithful, my brothers and sisters, to this counsel and you will be blessed—yes, the most blessed people in all the earth. You are good people. I know that. But all of us need to be better than we are. 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." (Ezra Traft Benson)

This week I have been working on menus for a month, I know it seems like a lot but the way I do it is this...

I make a list with thirty main dishes and it is just a list, so if today I have leftovers, that is okay and if I want something else on the list, that is okay or if I don't feel up to fixing that item today that is okay as well. I do thirty days so I don't have to go out so often, even with a store pick-up. I am happy for that service...It is just easier to get it tended in one trip.

I have a main dish binder that I have that I refer to for the recipes.

I start with a piece of paper on which I have numbered 1-30 but I have a few more on this one.

I start looking through my main dish binder for ideas and meals.

I have another sheet of paper that if I need something, I write it on this and that way I can add it to the grocery list.

I don't have anything assigned to a specific day. So if I have chili written down and don't feel like chili, I look at the list and find something to fix burritos. Will I use all thirty plus items? Well, yes, but maybe not till later after the thirty days, because a lot of what I have on the list is food storage friendly and can wait till I get to it.

I also know that if I have leftovers I will use those for lunches or even more suppers but rest assured, I will have the whole month covered if needed. This is how I save money as well as most of what I make is frugal and storable.

I know that I can make our favorite chicken and rice casserole anytime I want because I have canned chicken that I canned and even metal cans of chicken, so that is handy. I have cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup and I have rice, both instant and regular, and it calls for chicken bouillon and bread crumbs. This means everything I need is on hand already.

I make bread so bread crumbs are never an issue. I also have plenty of bouillon on hand that I store as well.

So if you have a bad day, and with fibromyalgia that is often for me, this is a great recipe to pull out and use.

So I keep that back for a really bad day.

Did I have help this day on making the menus? Well, in the beginning the cats would sit on what I was working on with the open binders and such and would go for my pen but soon the answer is help.

They slept the whole while I worked once they deemed it as BORING.

This week I have also been sorting and organizing. I worked on the stamps in the map drawer.

I worked in the sewing room a bit.

Mostly I rearranged things that I could in the bedroom.

This was tricky as it is a bit hard to shift things in there. I made it easier to get to the knitting machines and the sock machine. I must be in a spring cleaning mood with all this fine weather that we are now having.

How do you do your menus? We would love to hear! Leave us a comment below.

Gus says stay in and stay safe. It is still a good time to take such precautions. He also says it is a good time to be thinking of what you want to grow in your garden. In his mind we cannot see him :p Stay safe everyone.

Monday, March 8, 2021

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 feels like nature just keeps throwing weird things at us. Texas and others having issues in the South - you all are in my prayers. I know how hard it is to go without power, especially this last summer with the Derecho. I always say no one wins against water damage. When their weather continued I knew bursting pipes would follow and nothing could be done to stop it. Nothing is set up down there for the weather they experienced.

With so many things continuing to come at us we need to put some emergency stores in. You saw how fast the stores emptied, that is how fast any store empties when an emergency hits. I say we can learn from these water, store food, store a first aid kit. I’ll add to that to watch the weather and if bad weather is predicted, what I do is make sure I have things for us to eat without cooking if the power goes down. 

For instance, I would make bread because I don't want to get caught in the mob at the store. I watch the weather everyday and I can tell you that at the time of writing this we are expecting a snowstorm watch your weather. They give a week at a glance but here where we live it can change daily, so keep an eye on it. If a storm that looks bad is coming I make sure laundry is all done and I make sure dishes are done up. I think this has been drilled into me by having frozen pipes so many times.

I told my daughter who lives in the South and was expecting an ice storm to put water in the tub so they could flush if they had issues. I saw one man say that was an issue. So watch, learn, and pray for those who are dealing with the catastrophe and give aid if and when you can.

A note here - do not store the water that is sold in milk jugs, those are meant to break down so you will get leaks of water and what did I say? No one wins with water damage.

This vortex has been hard on me this week with the fibromyalgia. We had very low pressure from it and still have it. For me it has caused sinus pressure which affects my ears and that makes me dizzy and makes me nauseous plus I’m super sensitive to motion so I have been living on meclizine - what a miracle drug. This is under four dollars at Walmart and pharmacies. If that was all that was going on I would be okay but it isn't, I’m having very strong pain everywhere and it’s still going :(

So I did what I could to push through...which means crockpot meals.

I keep pushing on but will be glad when this system is gone.

Missy says she would share a mouse with you.

I did get a little spinning done this week - this gal does wonderful work. She shops thrift stores for clothes she can make over and vintage sheets to make dresses from. She does not make patterns but I love getting inspiration for sewing. - this gal shows laying out pattern pieces, very good. - here she tells how to darn...that book is older than me. - this gal is one I watch, she has a house full of littles and yet she has quick fix meals she keeps ingredients on hand for fixing in a pinch. - this gal shows how to make the most of your vacuum sealer, she did a great job explaining.

Missy says continue to work on your storage and skill building.

Gus says please stay safe.

Monday, March 1, 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)

This advice is good for all people.

We never know what is around the corner but we can lessen its grip on us by having things ahead in our pantry and other areas.

Think car repair. You would stress less on that bill if you knew you had things on hand to use for meals and you could use grocery money towards the bill.

There will always be something, so it is just prudent.

One area I try to be prudent is saving seed. In the picture is the butternut squash I will plant this year. The butternut squash that I have is from seeds I saved the year before.

It is cold out, on this frosty day I snapped some pictures. Even though it is cold, we can have warm thoughts by planning a garden.

Gus says he is keeping his eye on you to see if you are wearing your masks. - soup hits the spot - rolls are great with that soup.

This is how Missy sneaks up on your knitting bag...

One night I had a hard time getting to sleep so I got up and made this project bag. For just making it up, I think it turned out pretty well.

I was able to finish my cowl. This was a free pattern from Tin Can Knits.

I have been putting out leftover popcorn and stale bread. Yes, I could use these in things for us but it has been so horridly cold I give to the wildlife to help them stay warm. This also gives the kitties a big screen wildlife show. This day Peter Rabbit came hopping up the deck stairs, he comes everyday now and brings two rabbit friends.

Keep being safe, they are saying four more months at least of wearing masks. Let us do our part.

Gus says everyone be safe!

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