Monday, May 31, 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)

This is so wise. Have you ever asked a child to clean their room and they just get flustered as to what to start with? Grown ups face this too. But choose one spot to clean and move to the next.

Food storage is overwhelming if you think of it all at once but if you start small, one week's worth is doable so attack it that way. - has some basic beginning help. - I think this has a good way to break it down however prices are a bit higher now. - she has good info and so does the site, she refers to 201 ways to save money.

One way I have saved money this week was that I planted a garden.

I worked so hard three days ago and I still hurt from it but it will save us money in the long run.

I had a disposable pan that I cut up and tied with wax string to the fence. If you look closely, they make noises and catch the light to keep furry thieves out of the garden. Also, I went a step further and had been saving my hair from the hair brush for a bit and I tucked it here and there around the fence line. We will see if it works.

I cut some cardstock in half to fold, making blank cards.

This way I have the card blank ready to make up cards when I need them. This also saves money and I can make them more personal.

The garden took several days to finish up so not much else got done however...

I was able to get a small sewing project tended. These are gifts. They are my favorite kitchen helper. It is getting harder and harder for me to open jars. These are jar openers. Yes, this is so helpful that I wanted to make them for a few friends. This is a frugal gift.

That is what I did this week. What did you do?

On Saturdays at noon they test the tornado sirens in town. That is what was going on as I wrote this. Missy says, “Oh my goodness! Practice going to a safe location.” In this case she is under the weaving bench. 

We should have a plan for storms and in case of fires, an evacuation plan or a tornado safe place. Work together so everyone knows the plan.

In our case I have picked up information along the way. Like once I read about the suggestion of having a crowbar in the basement which is where we go in a tornado. We also have bike helmets, suggested by our weatherman. We also watch the weather. We also know what it feels like in tornado weather. I have shoes in the basement for both of us cause if windows break you don't want to be barefoot.

I remember a story about a street conference type thing going on in Salt Lake City. They had tents set up along a street and people from all over were there. When they suddenly got a weather alert for a tornado warning. People who live there were also not used to having tornadoes. People were shouting to take cover. A man from California was there and hearing this he ran out into the street. He said a man from the Midwest, he guessed, grabbed him and took him to a safe place.  The fella who ran to the street said he was used to earthquakes and you run into the street. Not what you do in a tornado.

Gus says learn what things you need to do in your neck of the woods.

Monday, May 24, 2021

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)

I think it is more important than ever. There is need everywhere.

So if you have a skill or just learned one, share it so another person can have the skill as well.

This is hard during a pandemic but one could learn to Skype and then you can learn the skill together with someone over Skype.

Start with the most needed skill then learn a fun one as a reward, learning can be fun.

I know some people are saying grocery prices haven't gone up yet but others are already seeing prices up. I heard flowers are up twenty percent.

I have seedlings hardening getting ready for planting after the fifteenth. I like flowers that keep coming back every year. Many were shared by people cleaning through their plants. They make me remember my friends, several have passed but I remember them often.

Independence is at the heart of frugality. The more that you can do for yourself, the less you have to pay others to do those things for you. But to be independent, you need skills.






Knitting or Crocheting


Making Minor Household Repairs this has great skills.

I am working on my sewing skills

Knitting skills

Crochet skills

Cooking for two


Another skill that often is overlooked is proper care of appliances, our cars, our sewing machine. These are great skills to have. - this is a fantastic list and can even be used as a checklist.

Knowing how to make your own baked goods is the best skill to have. It saves so much money and tastes way better. - learning to sew and mend is huge as well.

Missy says plant a garden if you can.

Gus says please be safe.

Monday, May 17, 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)

Only you know what your family would like to have in case of an emergency. Take time to ponder that. Perhaps make a list and each trip you make put a few things from that list on your grocery list, it will add to your storage.

Spring is here, says Spot the dog. I thought I would put a flowering plant in this dog planter I got from a yard sale years ago. It makes me smile every time I see it.

This week I had the spring cleaning bug. I went through closets and drawers, switching winter clothes for summer clothes. So that is tended and looks great besides.

The plants are growing and very soon will go live in the garden.

I have done some yard clean up and planted the pots on the old stove with peach colored geraniums. I want something pretty for my neighbor to look at while she does her dishes.

I did a little weaving and spinning but spent the most time on the spring clean up and organizing.

We seem to have wind every day which hurts me so. We usually have our rainy month in April but this year we have had very little of it in April, I am hoping that isn't a prediction of our summer to come.

For the next two weeks I won't have to work as hard and can rest up for garden planting. I did move the tubs I use to container garden in because the sun there was good, with so many of our trees gone I have moved them to another area. Spot, the flower dog, thought it was a great idea too.

Last year on May Day our new neighbors two houses away gave us a wrapped roll of toilet paper (remember it was in short supply then) and a paper basket of candy. We found the toilet paper still wrapped but a chipmunk tore open the candy and ate it then left the wrappers behind. I am sure that was one wired chipmunk, too funny. The neighbors have two young boys so this year I made a grungy treasure map that would lead them to a treasure. I rolled it and put it in their screen door. The treasure hunt would eventually lead them to a "crows nest" aka their swing set, it has a raised area where they can decide what direction to go like down a rock wall or to slide down. The treasure was a big box of Fruit Loops, fun but not too bad for them. I hope they had fun. 

I used to do treasure hunts with my kids. I have mentioned before about the dress up box and the grandkids, we would dress up and go on a safari to find the stuffed animals. A bishop stopped by while we were in costume, it was a bit embarrassing but fun was had.

So as summer approaches and kids will be done with their studies, plan some fun. It doesn't have to cost money to create memories.

In the morning when I get up I go in to open the curtain in the sewing room and Gus and Missy know that means we all look out the window. Well on this day we were looking out and saw a father walking his daughter to get her safely across the busy street, then she skipped on her way to school which is a straight shot after that past our house. I have missed the kids going pass on their way to school. She was dressed all in pink. The pandemic has been so is good to see a little skip to school. 

Later, I was up sewing and saw a man standing, waiting for something, and I told Gus if a pink clad little girl comes by that is her daddy. Sure enough it was. 

Long ago when our kiddos went to school I would know the time of day by kids coming home. Our yard is almost an acre and I was sitting on the ground weeding strawberries and several kids cut through the yard. Wrapped up in their conversation, they didn't notice me there till they were very close then they froze thinking I might scold them. Not me, it was a shortcut for them so I greeted them and they were happy I wasn't mean. Long ago I was the shortcut kid, I saved almost a quarter of a mile in a just short of a two-mile walk from school by taking a shortcut. My favorite thing was not just the shortcut but walking by a house that had the prettiest bleeding heart plant by their backdoor. I wonder now did they watch me stop and look at their beautiful plant as I walked by, I wonder...

It does not take anything to be kind and yet it is everything.

To this day bleeding hearts are my most favorite flower ever and some day I will plant some for a passer by to love.

Gus says please keep being safe.

Missy says be kind to others.

Monday, May 10, 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)

I am so thankful for this beautiful earth.

Preparing every needful thing is a big job, but do it a little at a time. Just ponder what is needed and then make a plan and work that plan. It does not need to be done all at once. Whenever I have a huge task, I break it down and do a little each day. Otherwise I would feel very overwhelmed. Sometimes I will give myself a time limit, let's say twenty minutes. If I am making headway, I may choose to go longer, and I often do, but it doesn't seem so hard when I say twenty minutes.

This week was time to make up bread mixes. I filled all these jars. This is the recipe I share for bread machine but you can do it by hand as well. Yes, I did do it by hand to see and it works just as well.

I put 3 cups of regular flour (cause that is what I have). So each jar gets the three cups of flour.

Then I add 3 tsp. of vital wheat gluten (if you use bread flour you can omit this).

I then add a handful of oatmeal.

Then a 1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. yeast

I just take a butter knife and give a little stir so the yeast isn't on top.

Then I put 2 Tbsp. shortening on the top and put on my jar lid and ring. 

When I use the mix, I put 1 1/4 cup of warm water into the pan of my bread machine and dump one of these jars in on top then put it on the dough setting.

When it gets to the top of the pan (usually an hour or an hour and a half - depends on any given day but I check at an hour), I take it out and either make the loaf by spraying slightly the table then pat it as wide as my bread pan and a little longer the other way, then I roll it into the bread log and put it into the sprayed loaf pan. I spray the top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. I set my oven to preheat 350 degrees and let the loaf rise one inch above the rim of the pan - little more is okay, mind you set a timer. This takes me thirty minutes then I put it in the oven and bake for forty minutes.

I let it cool for thirty minutes or so then use an electric knife to slice it. The reason I like to have it all sliced at once is that it’s convenient and makes better slices.

Sometimes I make cinnamon rolls or pecan rolls...

This is a basic dough that you can make anything you can come up with just by changing it a little. There are many variations in this cookbook generously made and shared by my friend Liza.

It is the base and then you can go from there. So I make up these "bread kits" to make it fast when I need to make a bread item.

This week I tried it as bread bowls. I covered a cookie sheet with foil then I got out four bowls that could go in the oven. I sprayed them and divided the dough. I used two large and two regular sized bowls but if you have four the same size, divide it evenly. I just pressed the dough around the bowls. So it looks like this.

Then I sprayed and covered it with plastic wrap loosely. I let it rise fifteen to twenty minutes. Then baked in a 350 degree oven till it was nicely golden.

So now that adds another variation with this bread dough.

I also did some weaving. I took these two balls of pearled cotton and just did a tabby weave.

I thought I would just play with this warp I have on the loom at this time.

Gus and Missy besides overseeing my pattern I am working on, remind you to please be safe - we are not yet out of the pandemic. Continue to wear your masks and wash your paws and social distance like they are demonstrating for you.

Monday, May 3, 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)

Well this will be over with by the time you get this Monday Message - Thursday late evening about 10, I flushed the toilet and...nothing. I thought, oh no! (as I was the one who fixed the toilet, you may recall) We looked but nothing was out of whack so my husband went downstairs to check. Yep, no water anywhere. He got in the car to see if he could discover what was wrong (we don't pay the water bill as it is direct payment or that would have been a question). Sure enough, four blocks away a water main broke.

Now I have water to flush toilets and such but just last month I thought we needed to use our drinking water as it was a year old already...I think you see where I’m going...

The water did come on during the night but our town was then placed on a boil order. It said if the water is clear you could boil and use it but if the water is colored you had to have an alternate water source. Well, because we are so special, yep, no clear water. It looks like the glass of water you always see in the news in Flint, Michigan.

So that meant getting water. A friend brought some water over which was nice. This is now Saturday but feels like forever ago, definitely going to keep rotating drinking water.

I know other places do not have a limit of one package of toilet paper at the store but we still do.  What blew my mind was that they also had a limit on packages of water - who knew?

Our town is under 1,600 people and I am sure they all are having to get drinking water. I am grateful we still had the ability to flush. That is a huge blessing.

So let's talk about the water needs...

We cannot drink it, can't brush our teeth in it, can't cook with it and there is NO way I would shower in it...pretty much flush with it is all that can be done.

Fortunately, I keep up with everything. The laundry was done and I had just run the dishwasher after I am glad that is my habit.

Oh dear, everything takes water - brushing teeth, cooking, dishwashing (I picked up extra paper plates at the store, etc). But washing dishes and rinsing would take a lot of water. The cats were looking at me strange as I poured bottled water in their water dish. I would not want to wash clothes in this water either.

They said the earliest would be Monday morning but I am sure it would depend on the water tests.

I am feeling like saying we need to store food and water for when - not if - the next thing happens,  because we just keep having things happen.

So work on your water storage as well as your food storage. Plus, keep in mind other items as well like your first aid supplies. I was in Salt Lake City long years ago and they had a room with food storage in it. It was very interesting, they covered wheat cans with contact paper and they became shelves by putting wood on them, then two more cans and more wood. It was pretty neat.  They had bolster pillows made for the couch but instead of stuffing in them they had extra blankets for the stuffing, it was very neat. They made those baskets you see with coils of fabric but here again they had socks stuffed in the coils for part of the clothing storage. They had plastic barrels that they put a wooden top on and covered with tablecloths, one had sugar, the other water and they were end tables for the couch.  Remember the coil basket? It was filled with light bulbs. There were games and puzzles and fabric on those shelves along with books. There was a treadle sewing machine set up and kerosene lamps on that. But the neatest thing was a wooden box that sat in front of the couch. The top was like a frame with plexiglass in it that, looking through that top, the box was filled with their first aid items.

So things definitely to think about, right?

This week I have been working on the loom.

This is moving along nicely. I am now working on another like this. I want to say I think it looks way better than I thought. I am using big balls of crochet cotton as I have lots from yard sales. In fact, I tossed several downstairs to play with as my hands were full with other items. It was like a mad crocheter was loose, too funny.  But it does look great and I am going to play with the ones I tossed down. By the way they are in a basket now.  So much cheaper than buying fiber for the loom I say.

I did have some trouble when I crawled under the loom. My bifocals misalign what I am doing and I could not figure out what the problem was. So I went over and over till I finally took off my glasses and saw the wrong shaft was tied up. Now I will know not to have my glasses on under the loom when I am switching tie ups.

Missy said if she had thumbs she would have helped me.

Gus said if it were a toy he would be all in.

I also had some time to spin this week as well.

How are you coming with learning skills? Are you working on your storage?

Gus and Missy say to be safe and they love you all.

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