Monday, June 28, 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 think we have seen this last year just what can happen. Even still, we have a limit of one package of toilet paper...incredible.

We need to prepare not just for a localized event but a widespread event like the pandemic was.

Drought conditions are worse than they have been in 1200 years along the west coast, says the news. They said they can tell by rings in trees.

As we watch how bad it is in the drought, you cannot help but think that prices will go up and shortages will happen.

So step up your storage efforts. Assess your storage and see what areas you need to work on.

I walked out to take a picture of the garden and the grass crunches and it is brown but I noticed an area of weeds. They are green and growing fast, how unfair is that?

I water the garden just down by the roots. That said, knowing it is so very dry, I thought I would remind you of a site I love… - read the comments, others make it a great source of frugal ideas.

The day lilies are looking pretty.

I have embroidered on fabric to make a face mask.

I finished a spinning project I have been working on for a while now.

The other project I have been working on is sheep from

I just finished the legs and put on their little shoes, I know the pic looks weird but soon everything will be assembled.

I have drawn another pattern on fabric for another face mask. I am working up these to wear to church even after the virus is gone, I will continue to wear during flu seasons.

Once I am done embroidering, it takes ten minutes to sew up the mask. Sewing is a great skill to have. - this has very helpful information.

Gus says he has skills playing with toys.

Missy says she concurs. They both say thank you for loving them too.

Monday, June 21, 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 have been feeling that we need to be stressing thrift and frugal living, and storage and skills very strongly in preparing for what is ahead. I have no idea what it is, just a feeling we need to do these things quickly. It is just a nagging feeling I have. Sometimes it means the Shooks may have troubles ahead or all of us do...sometimes, in the past, I would get them just before we had a job loss or some other hard time like replacing a car or some such thing. But it is a very strong nagging feeling.

So, that said, we will learn how to stretch a penny till it screams. We will learn skills we can use to help us to save.

We will learn scratch cooking and batch cooking and very budget type cooking.

Planting a garden, and while I hate gardening, it saves us so much on veggies and hopefully we will get watermelon and far so good.

Take special notice of the surrounding grass. We are in a drought! So I am not watering grass only the garden and stingy with watering that as well. All the yards look like this. Very crunchy to walk on. We got about twenty raindrops yesterday, not even enough for the grass to green up.

This heat spell isn't doing us any favors.

I watched two podcasts this week, one the lady was diagnosed with Lyme disease and is in much pain and grieving for not being able to do what she always did. This will alter their income I am sure as well. So while things are seemingly good they can change in a moment.

The other lady was telling how she has hashimoto's and she said it often is tied closely to problems with gluten intolerance. She has an autoimmune problem too. She is a young mother and knitwear designer. She said she has to cook everything from scratch - everything! So she said she cooks for her family and for her, she cooks large amounts and freezes them so if she is tired she can pull them out because she can't eat out. She also said she used to work at a gluten free bakery. Of course, she had no way of knowing she would be needing this knowledge someday in her future. I am glad she got these skills before she needed them. - thank you Mary Ann for sharing this great site with us! - beautifying our homes doesn't have to mean spending a lot of money. There is something soothing about doing embroidery. It calms one.

I took it a step further. I saw someone on a podcast, she was talking about cross stitch so I searched around the house for the items...

The pink cloth that is so pretty was from a yard sale. I am going to stitch the pattern on a mask pictured you spy the duckie? That is why I gathered things I already had to make this, it is called a pin keep. There are two magnets, you can see the magnet on the bottom and there is one on top and to that one I glued on a button and the duck was left over from another project, I glued him or her onto the blue button.  

The magnet is strong enough that it holds the needles as I do not want to step on any. You can move it to any spot or even undo it and set it on a table. This was made with just what I had on hand. This was a frugal before you run to the store, look around, you may already have items on hand that you can put together.

These are Easter lilies from many many many years ago. Someone mentioned you could plant them, so I did.  Every year they put on this pretty show for us. They were gifts, all of them, so free flowers. Think about putting in free flowers, there is alway someone who is thinning their flowers and plants. You could put on freecycle or on your town page that you are looking for plants. I once asked if I could get a rhubarb start and a lady said she threw one in her compost but it wouldn't die and I was welcome to it.

As long as I am talking about freecycle or town pages, that is how I got some canning jars. So use that to find canning supplies.

Don't forget about yard sales...

Years ago when my kids were little I went to a yard sale and found this teapot (the smaller one in the picture).  A few weeks ago our youngest daughter and her husband were visiting and we went to a yard sale and there was the pitcher (the larger one in the picture). What are the odds of that?! Fun finds for sure! But as I mentioned in the last blog post, do not dismiss yard sales and thrift stores. - here is a budget dish, we do this even with flour shells. - here are some food storage ideas on a budget.

Missy says to look through cookbooks to get more frugal recipes.

Gus says if he only had thumbs he would embroider.

So keep plugging away in all those areas that will help your family the most.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Message

"Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable." (Barbara B. Smith)

Getting this post ready, I had to smile as I remembered a food storage fair that was at church. The fair started like a crisis had just happened and we were to go to the shelter. It really was a very large room that they taped off for every family to have a section.

The fair started with a mock breaking news disaster and there were two families that heard this bulletin, one family grabbed their 72-hour kit and left. The other family were to grab things around the house and got things like a hairdryer and other items that would not be able to work with the electricity down but they were frazzled and couldn't find batteries in the dark for the flashlight and so it went they were unprepared.

Then we moved to the above mentioned shelter.

Each section had a family and they were all stages of preparedness. Some were wet with no towel so they would ask us if we had a towel - nope, we didn't, so they were cold and wet. This went through every family but the funniest of all was this family, they had a very old emergency kit the wife had on a pair of jeans that were clearly ten sizes too big for her and she told everyone she'd lost a little weight lately but the clothes did not fit. The kids had on t-shirts way too small and long pants that were almost down to their knees, it was cute. And they opened a very, very old can of dehydrated fruit of some unknown kind, it was very nasty looking. They kept trying to share it with way.  

Then we came to a family all comfy with their camp stove set up. They were fixing a meal they had and cots set up and clothes on that fit, they had toothbrushes and toothpaste. They were very well prepared.  It was to make us all think and get our 72-hour kits up to date.  But I will never forget that lady holding up those pants with one hand and offering us the nasty stuff in the can.

We have had many many disasters since then, even a pandemic, and for us here in the Midwest a Derecho which we had never heard of before, though we learned quite fast that you really need to be prepared to be on your own for a spell. Our town did not have ice in till the day before we got the power back on so for anyone to benefit from using it in their refrigerator or freezers was too late as it was day eight into having no electricity during the hottest time of the year. 

I learned to take a shower by using a flashlight which I sat in the center of a roll of toilet paper to keep it setting so the light pointed up, this not at all a fun thing but better than when the water main broke and no way was I going to shower in what came out of that tap.

So every emergency has its own challenges. No, we cannot be prepared for everything but being prepared for some things is better than not being prepared at all. And having a huge widespread disaster is way harder than having just a crisis more localized like our town water main issue, but each has challenges. With the town water issue, surrounding towns did not have the issue so we could go purchase water or get water from friends. 

The Derecho was widespread, it cut a 70-mile swath through the center of our state, most of the way horizontally through the state so no electricity during the hottest time of the year and with the damage of a devastating tornado that large it meant everyone was in it. People who were helping also needed help. 

We will not stop having disasters, they will keep coming. The only thing we can do is prepare and be ready to help others when we can.

While we had water, I could fix meals on the stovetop only and could wash the dishes. I was extremely exhausted from the damage clean-up in that terrible heat. We were thankful for every bit of help we got. It was like a hurricane that was 70 miles wide that sustained the strength most of the way across the state. There was no government help and because it was so vast there was no state help as well. People came in from other states and other countries to help string wires for electricity.

So do the best you can to prepare when you aren't under duress. Learn what you can from people who went through their disasters. For example, I learned from those who had a very bad ice storm and were out of power for weeks. One lady said her floors drove her nuts because she couldn't vacuum them. I kept this in my mind and when I saw a carpet sweeper at a yard sale I bought it for 75 cents and yes, it has earned its keep.

So learn from these things and prepare what you can while you can, it helps it not be as bad as it could otherwise be.

Gus and Missy say to please also remember your pets in your preparations.

Monday, June 7, 2021

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)

I saw my first yard sale sign today for the season. It brought back memories of going every week.  The first thing on my list was anything I could use for storage...weird, right? Well here’s some of the things I found: wrapped soap, flashlights, candles, canning jars, oil lamps, oil for lamps, a brand new steamer canner for three dollars never opened. So these are just a few. So many more things like gardening tools and household tools, sewing fabric and notions, knitting needles and yarns, etc. One time I was at a sale she was doing half price then half again, some weird math type thing, but whatever it was I bought a bobbin winder for twelve and a half cents.

It is this very one. It winds bobbins for my weaving shuttles. I wanted to show you how much I would have to pay to buy one new.  So what do you think? Does yard saling pay off? Yes, it does.  Was it work? Yes, very much so.

The bobbins are the white part with the fiber on it in the center of the shuttles.

At a yard sale I would take a fast look around for anything that fit that first thing on my list, after that I would have things listed that we needed like snow suits, coats, whatever it was. Now I had this list with me because I am easily distracted and before I would leave I would consult my list.

I would always look through their free box. I would find adult jeans with broken zippers that I would make into little jeans for the girls.

Here are some of the yard sale finds…

So you see, many items are still very useful. Having done this for years we have saved lots of money, we could not afford to have purchased them new. I was able to stretch our budget very far. So next time you see a yard sale sign, stop and look around and see how far your money goes.

Missy says she is priceless.

Gus says at the top of his list is cat toys.

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