Monday, July 26, 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)

We need to build our skills so we can do things for ourselves and save money.

Staying home during the pandemic helped us learn so many things.

We learned we can learn skills we never thought about before. - Cutting your hair. - how to cut your family's hair

For those who homeschooled, you learned how to be their teacher and your child learned one on one.

We learned to work from home.

We learned Zoom and we learned how to go to church virtually.

We learned grocery pick-up was way better than wandering the store.

Sourdough (lots of people learned that) - this is my favorite, she goes right through it all. She sells it at a farmer's market, so this is a great skill to have.

I got another mask made out of what I already had on hand. I am trying to be even more frugal because our house taxes go up two hundred dollars a month next year. That was very unexpected.

I am very frugal but will be even more so by studying how others do. I know it will have to come out of grocery funds, a good part of it anyway. These are the things we cannot anticipate and there is always something so preparing is all I can do and learn.

We have always given each other a haircut so we have that down.

I want to make more of my clothes from what fabric I have.

I have been learning a lot while making clothes for the sheep girls. I am almost done with the sheep dress.

So I am trying to build more knitting skills.

I have been fixing frugal meals.

Tending the garden - we are enjoying salad with lettuce that I grew in a pot by the front door.

Also, we have been eating zucchini.

My favorite way to fix it = I snatch them while they are young, wash them then I melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. I cut the zucchini into coins like you do for fried potatoes then put them in the butter and sprinkle garlic salt over all. Then I toss in the dehydrated onions and stir about every so often, like making the fried potatoes. When they start to brown, I sprinkle cheddar cheese that is shredded over all of it, I let it melt and then serve.

I have been organizing. I had one of those boxes that people get floss in. I took it and wound the floss I had and filled the box. I did it by hand since it was faster.

It seems that I have just been doing small jobs. I have a hairdresser cart I got at a yard sale a very long time ago. I moved the stuff which was holding my knitting machine things into it along with the plastic drawer that was housing my hand-knitting tools. I scrunched things around so they weren’t  wasting space which gave me two empty drawers so I put the machine knitting stuff in those two bottom drawers. Then I moved the cart into the stamp area by the old table I use as a desk. It is very handy since it rolls.

I pulled the drawers out to show them. I usually slide them in till I need them. On the side are a score board, an envelope board, and two fisker cutters. The jar holds the styluses that I use that go with the books behind the envelope board. On top are my watercolors and water color pencils. I have others in a drawer close at hand.

So that was a glimpse of my week. What did you folks do? Share below in the comment section.

Gus says he is quality control and takes his job seriously. He says stay safe, wear a mask and prepare like you wish you would have for the first part of the pandemic.

Missy says she is Gus's supervisor and makes sure we all wear our masks and wash our hands.  Her tip is if someone comes to the door, run and hide. That is how to social distance.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Message

"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

I always think of the thin cows Joseph interpreted would eat the fat cows in the Bible, that meant a drought that would be a huge drought. Then think about the locusts and plagues and whirlwinds, earthquakes, and put them all together and it feels like now.

The Fourth of July fireworks were set off nonstop and continual so much that I was shaking so bad from it. I now know what pets think. I was surprised we never had that many people do them before. I get it that they were celebrating nearing the end of the pandemic but it isn't over yet.

We are still in a drought. The grass is so dry it crunches, I was really amazed nothing caught fire.

It is very easy to be complacent but we must try hard to continue to follow safety guidelines.

I showed you a pic of the knitting graph I was following last week but thought you would like a closer look at my magnetic strips. They are that magnetic strip you can purchase that is rolled up.  I put it on metal in my case, it was the map drawer I have my stamps in. I glued on the ribbon and set books on it to encourage it to be flat when dry. It is flat and it holds my pattern as well as moves up to keep my place on the chart.

I use them at different spots - at the knitting machine and at the loom. They make that strip in a couple different sizes as you can see the pink one on the loom chart. I just used pretty ribbon I had on hand, it works great but pretty as well which makes me smile. I had all the things on hand, so a frugal idea.

Along that same frugal thread are these two pill containers we got from our insurance company shown here with stitch markers and progress markers for when I am knitting. A tip - if you have to put lets just say 200 stitches on your needles, I put a stitch marker every ten stitches. This saves counting over and over to get an accurate stitch count and so in this 200 stitches you would use twenty stitch markers.

Here is a scarf holder that has the loops on front and back. I have each loop labeled with the size in American and European size because some patterns call for one or the other. If a pattern says American I am okay but for the other I need this cheat sheet sort of thing to find the right size.  There are six loops on front and six on back, the last loop on the other side has all the big needle sizes together. The sheep I am holding up has the size hole just in case I need to double check but I keep them in the right loops so the sheep is there just in case.

Just so you know I never used this for scarves. It was given to me and I knew at once this is what I wanted to use it for. So think to yourself before you run out to the store, what do I already have on hand to help me with this? I find just thinking about it throughout the day will give me the frugal solution.

I wanted to give an update on the pineapple recipe I gave to you before I added jello to it and we love it!

Pineapple Freezie

I opened the larger pineapple can. It  can be crushed or chunks whatever doesn't matter. Then I pour it into a freezer bag and toss it into the freezer. The next day I pop this into the microwave for one minute and add it to one cup of milk in the blender. I can cut the blob of frozen pineapple in the blender, you probably don't have to do the cutting thing but I just do. If you had freezer space you could put it into ice cube trays but i just do it this way. After I cut it, I added a package of sugar free gelatin - I used strawberry (you could use regular jello if you wanted). Blend until it looks like a malt consistency. Oh is this ever fantastic on a hot day and we have no shortage of hot weather.

Missy says the time to prepare is now before something happens and don't let a hairball get you down.

Gus says that we need to be learning skills, skills that can help us save money and to be safe out there. It isn't over with yet.

Monday, July 12, 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)

Make a plan for sure. What if we all went back in lockdown again, would you be ready??

I saw the W.H.O. say, "there is not a country on earth that is out of the woods. We have to be very diligent.”

At the time of this writing it is the Fourth of July weekend. People will be all over my little town. The noise alone is going to be awful… the carnival has been setting up all week across the street and I mean literally across the street.

We’re still in drought conditions, there’s not enough rain and the grass is still crunchy.

We have been getting a few zucchini, yum! Our favorite way to have them is to melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, wash the zucchini and cut in coins (in other words slice), then put in the pan with garlic salt and dehydrated onions and a bit of pepper. Cook till tender (just starting to get brown) and top with a little shredded cheddar cheese. Serve when cheese is melted… so yummy!

Of course, ask me if I am tired of it at the end of the season as we have three healthy big plants...

There are so many things going on all the time, one disaster after another, that it would be prudent to have a storage that you use and replace and add to.

Let's say you have a can of green beans and you use one, you'll have to go to the store to get another to replace it. But if you have two cans of green beans, you'll still have one left and can go to the store to replace it whenever you're ready instead of right away. If you have three cans of beans this lengthens the time between trips to the store even further. 

I have seen people get let’s say a case built up of green beans. So they use them and don't replace or add to it and then it is gone and they have to start over and this is not good. You must replace and add to it until you have enough, then just use and replace as you go but make sure you’re always rotating.

Then I have seen where people get storage in and never use it, saving it for ???? Then when they do need it, it’s no longer any good.

You can apply the three pigs story to this. So we all need to be like the wise pig.  

With so many things happening now we need to step it up - especially to be of help to others.

Food isn't all we need for storage… we need toilet paper, medical items for first-aid and health, items for home maintenance, etc. Take time to ponder what you might need.

This week I have been making a sheep dress for the sheep I made. Doing color work is part of bettering that skill. Note the bunny wanted in the pic, I made her a couple years ago.

Did you notice the little jumper I got done (which was not an easy thing)? I took the bottom from one pattern and top from another pattern and worked them up. When I got it done, I wished I had done a few more rows. So in the middle of the body I took it apart, separating it in the after-thought heel way... - this is the method I do when making socks on the sock machine.

Only instead of a heel, I totally separated the top from the bottom, added the rows (I think I did six rows, I kept notes), then I put them back together using the kitchener stitch. This really was a skill builder.

Building skills this way on small things is faster than learning on human size clothing.

I have another mask underway as well.

Even though it’s been a busy week getting medical appointments out of the way (just regular ones) and getting the groceries - which at the beginning of the month, I do the month-long one then just fresh things later in the month. So that really eats up time and energy but doing it this way saves money. And, of course, hamburger being on sale because of the holiday meant getting it which is in ten pound tubes. I got two as there was a limit of two, then I repackaged them for the freezer. It costs more to have them sell it in smaller packages even though it wears me out to repackage them, plus it’s a hated job. But I stretch the budget by doing it this way.

I know I work hard to stretch the budget but every little thing helps. How have you stretched your budget this week?

How are you coming along with skill building??

Missy decided to take over the stand for the tablet, no doubt looking for the mouse she heard goes with computers... haven't the heart to tell her it is a touch screen, no mouse needed.

Gus says he is in nap mode but if awake he would say for us all to stay safe, it ain't over till it's over. Also, have a great week and find nap times wherever and as often as you can.

Monday, July 5, 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 chose this quote again because things appear to be behind us we must never forget and be complacent ever. We must keep learning to be frugal and learn skills that can help our family and others.

I feel like a disaster movie everyday. I think if it were a movie we would say it is not believable and yet here we are. Pandemic, droughts, grasshoppers all at the same time...crazy it is.

I think all you have to do is see the drought to our west and think about crops, things we get at the grocery store, those things will not be, there’s weird weather everywhere else as well.  Makes stocking up seem like we should be doing it more and more.

I am seeing people stocking up that never had before...getting buckets and food for those buckets.

Again, hoarding is not what building your storage is. Storage is a way to actually save money.  Also, to have food on hand when needed but mostly, when done the right way, it is a way of life, buying and using, rotating and handy all at once.

Prices are higher, that is for sure. I read that someone said what you buy now will feel like you got them on sale in the future. I know I think back to setting up a household when we first got married, things were cheap compared to now and yet at the time it felt so expensive. So in a few years, we may wish we had today's prices though they seem so expensive to us now.

I know there are other things you would rather buy. Would you be glad with those purchases if you had no food? I know the pull is strong to just get said item, and telling yourself nothing will ever happen, but believe me when I tell you that is a lie. Take it from one who knows. You might think your job is secure but you might not see a job loss coming. Things are great one day, then the next, everyone is laid off. How will you meet credit card payments and get groceries?? I can tell you my first thought was how will we manage followed by how long can I stretch stuff? - great ideas here.

If you are able, living beneath your means is great. But if you cannot, then making things stretch is another option. This is where knowing skills can be very helpful.

I wear glasses and I have been in the position of not being able to afford them. I one time had an eye doctor say, well get less groceries but we weren't able to get those then either. I am sure he probably thought everyone got groceries like his family but I said hard to cut back on fourteen dollars a month. He said oh....

Putting off glasses is all I could do and that happens to many people. Since then someone mentioned Zenni Optical and my bifocals cost $28 frame and all and that is far better than hundreds of dollars. I don't mean to sound like a commercial but it was huge for me to find this online company. Children's glasses are cheaper yet so I am sharing this information to help others who find themselves needing glasses.

We all just need to share tips to help each other. I feel that hard times come to everyone.

Having a garden saves us money even though I utterly hate gardening. I do it anyway as a way to save money and stretch the budget. Did I mention I hate it with a passion??

I look at the zucchini pictured here and say let the battle begin. We do love zucchini but it hides and I have to search, hence the battle.

Knowing how to stretch your budget is a great skill. Trying to have zero waste, or close to it, is a very good skill as well. Don't throw out those leftovers, use them to make another meal or even a lunch or TV dinner for the freezer. - this has great ideas.

In the beginning of April our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) has a general conference and our family has a tradition of having chili and cinnamon rolls and watching every session. Well, I froze the leftover chili. I bring this up because last night I pulled it out for supper but after supper there was almost a cup leftover, not really enough to have, but I saved it and today we had it over chips with cheese and salsa, etc. on top. A filling meal and tasty too. So you just have to be creative and of the mind to do it.  

I personally think if you are tossing leftovers you are missing the best part...leftovers taste better the second time. You just need to be flexible so you can use or freeze the leftovers that would have been just as good on a baked potato. So just think what you can do or have planned-overs, fix more than you need so you can make other meals like making chicken and then planning chicken salad with the leftovers, etc. The cook once method - I cooked the chicken for one meal and chicken salad for another meal, this also saves you time fixing food and working in the kitchen. I know some people cook up stuff on the weekend just so they have leftovers all week.  Build this skill, even if you do this already there is always more we can learn.

The same goes for sewing: learn what you can do to remake your clothes to fit current styles.  Work on perfecting the sewing skill is the same... brush up on it and learn more.

This is a mask I am preparing to embroider on then sew up. Learning skills will help us in the long run with whatever comes our way.

Try to find things that will help you learn new skills. Believe it or not, I have learned a lot of knitting skills by doing these sheep. In the second picture I am mashing two patterns together to make a jumpsuit. The patterns were from By making clothes for them I will learn even more.

Sometimes we need practice at things...

This coming week (June 26) is the Tour de Fleece, it is when those who spin fiber do extra spinning or learn new techniques. It is a yearly event to be held at the same time as the Tour de France.

So I will use the time to practice and learn a new skill.

Gus says he participated this week in the event, he came over and stepped on the treadle and made the wheel go round. He says if he can do it anyone can.

Missy says she just likes to observe.

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