Monday, December 26, 2022

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)

Prices continue to go up, we need to learn all we can on how to be frugal. - I wanted you to see what they are dealing with in the UK. - she is a wonderful gal, you can learn a lot from her.

We need to do the same. We are trying to keep the heat turned down and cold weather isn't even here yet. It will be way worse still to come. I will soon have to get out the long johns, that is one way that helps.

I watch a lot of podcasts from the UK and they have hot water bottles in their shirts to try to keep warm. How are you set?? Do you have hot water bottles? If not, you might try and get one for each in your family. They also wear lots of sweaters at once. I don't like to be cold, it makes me hurt a lot.

They also make lots of soups to warm up inside. Get in blankets, candles where safe, shut off some rooms if you can to save from having to heat them. I put a pillow in front of a drafty window.

All our bills will go up. We need to look for ways to reduce the bills, like turn the light off when you leave the room. TV's suck power, turn it off, better yet unplug when not in use.

Every bit will help.

Tell us your ideas down below as we are all in this together. I saw a neat thing a friend does - she has blue insulation foam she puts it between the inner door and the screen door, very good idea. - this shows what she got from two shops that are marked down. - she shows how she saves marked down things. I think we can learn from her. We don't quite have it this bad but we could. - this gal is from Ireland, she has a helpful budget talk here.

Here are the things I made from my advent bags...

Missy wanted to say we need to be more frugal now more than ever.

Monday, December 19, 2022

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)

By now you have hopefully got all the rushing around done so put your feet up, have a hot cocoa, and rest...

The longest part of winter is yet to be had in our neck of the woods. - some great tasting soups, you know these people have the best recipes.

What goes well with soup? Bread!

So if you don't know how to make it, now is the time to learn...if you already know, perfect it like crazy - - try that platz - yum and more yum! You can even make it with jam. - this post has great sites. - this has all the recipes using that one bread recipe we make into a bread mix. It is made for using your bread machine but you can do it by hand as well. - the orange rolls in this post are so so yummy!

Now you are all drooling to put butter on warm bread, I know you are... :p

So here are the pictures from the things I made from the advent bags that I made up...

We have been enjoying the bags that we are opening each day. This was a fun activity for this year. I am glad we did it. It has me thinking what similar thing to do next year.

Missy is watching for Santa but she says...Merry Christmas to you all!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Monday Message

"Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

It is eleven degrees here this morning, way colder than I like to be. I hope you all are warm and cozy where you are.

Well, as Christmas is so very close, most people are scurrying around and stressing. Please try to find time to destress. I know this year is stressing enough without the holiday. So more cozy time for you to put your feet up.

Now that I have gifted these I can show you a gift I made.

This is a thing I came up with - I took a plastic ornament, took the top off of it, I turned it upside down on a wooden skewer that I stuck into Styrofoam, then I sprayed it with blackboard spray paint. I let it dry for a few days then put the top back on and attached the hook and tied chalk on with a piece of jute along with a note for the receiver of it to design their own ornament. This would be a great teacher gift as well. - inexpensive gift ideas. - okay, I love that mix with the Santa hats in it, that would be fun to get. - cute ideas here. - can't go wrong with kindness.

As you know, just for a fun thing, I made up twenty-five bags of things to open - one for each day up till Christmas. Mine are kits made up with stuff I had on hand.

This was day one...

This was day two...

As I'm writing this, today is December 3rd and day three...

I will be stitching this up today as my day three. It was something I picked up at a yard sale years ago. I don't like the birds and heart on top so I will just be doing the rest though today.

So this is how it goes. I have long forgotten what I put in my bags to open so it's a surprise each day  and keeps our spirits high.

Missy really was interested in that birdie so I will make her a mouse soon.

We try to have a puzzle set up and going from now through the winter, just a fun thing for us to do. - we need to destress this time of year. - I like the apples for candle holders. - a must as this winter looks to be long. - to be sure some of you are in summer and this is so you don't feel left out.

Missy says keep working on your storage. She says she was shocked at three dollars for a dozen eggs.  Even if things were terrific, it is just the frugal thing to do. She says excuse her now she is going to hygge up her bag.

Monday, December 5, 2022

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)

You know I said we got better in the last post...well we went to church on Sunday wearing our N95 masks, so many were coughing and...yep, I am now sick again. I guess I will have to attend virtually till flu season is over, grrrr :( So since it has been almost a week, if it is like last time it means a little more than two to go. We will see though as I feel like I have less stuff in me to fight it. So lying low here.

Trying rest with my bag o' cat.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying the holidays.

Just a reminder to build your sick plan. - here are some low cost ideas.

I think so many will have a hard holiday.

It is okay to cut back. There's no shame in it at all. This is the year we should all cut back. Think how those before us did Christmas. They had way less and worked way harder. In things I have read from back then, it was a family time, they didn't have much but they had each other.

I remember my grandma talking about Christmas one year during the depression. They had nothing to give the little ones. She gathered them together in the kitchen and they looked at the coals in the cook stove and played what they could see in the coals like you do when you look at the clouds. I am sure they all had fun with their mom finding pictures of fish or flowers or bunnies. That is a hard Christmas.

Now is a good time to start a new "less cluttered with things" Christmas.

Who could argue about watching movies and having caramel corn?

One family is doing no gifts but they have plans to fix favorite meals and snacks instead and the kids are so excited they are looking through recipes and if they can be excited over that we can do things too.

What do you plan to do to cut back? Write and share with us below. good ideas here too. - she has great ideas as well. - some ideas here as well.

I think you get the idea that shopping till you drop or spending more than you have is probably something worth foregoing this year for sure.

I will tell you that this also is the time to de-stress and find time to rest. - with winter coming full force, this is a great thing to slow down, put soup to cook, light some candles, everyone pick a book they want to read and hot cocoa for all.

This week, besides being sick, I finished the cowl I was working on, it was fun to knit

It is being blocked in this picture. - these cowl patterns are all free.

I hope you all are well and having fun in all you do.

Missy says stay safe and well, be working on skills and storage as you can and make sure you have catnip on hand or under your tree this year.

Monday, November 28, 2022

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 now more than ever it would be a good time to pick up a little extra when you get groceries.  The prices keep going up and so many are losing their jobs. It is a hard time for everyone.

What makes it harder is the holidays. We all have traditions. Maybe this year we think harder on those traditions. Can we afford them? If not, what can you do instead? Maybe it is time to make new ones that are more affordable. We all have turkey but nothing says we can't have something else. There is no shame in cutting back. Think of ways that will not stress your budget. You might even find less is more enjoyable, less may mean more time with your family than the kitchen. You may even find yourself not so done in by it all. Nothing is all good or bad as they say.

What people will remember is not the meal or gifts but that you all were together.

If you are having a hard time this year, and I am guessing that is most of us, talk things over with your family as how to have a good time together without the huge expense. - this has some fun ideas, I love the pin the nose on Rudolf. I like the pickle idea too. We are doing an advent, mine is all things in the house already. The elf on the shelf sounds good. Make your own elf... - elf - elf - elf

You can find one to make out of what you already have on hand. - elf ideas. - elf ideas

Pick what fits your budget.

I watch a podcast where she watches badly made Christmas movies while she works on projects and that is her tradition.

This is one of my favorites... - when you are feeling down because of hard times, think what could I do for someone else? It does more good for your spirits than you know. - there are great ideas here. I think it will be a long winter.

Think of ways to get through winter.

Read The Long Winter but stretch the book out a little each day and if you have littles, read aloud to them each day then do some of the activities they do in the book.

Have a puzzle going. Learn or teach each other things. Make cinnamon rolls. There's so many things you could do. Have everyone help.

Have a meeting and make a list then put it on the fridge for those darkest days that way you won't have to think up ideas.

I think with budgets tight going to the library is a great idea. Have everyone check out books for the week and keep this going all winter long. If you have littles be sure to get books to read aloud. One of our favorites this time of year was Frederick by Leo Lionni. Another was Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern.

When was the last time you played one of your board games?? Yep, this year let's dig them out!

I would encourage you to keep picking up a little extra when you get groceries. It will be nice not to go out in the cold windy snowy weather if you have meals you can fix in your house.

This week I made a turtle.

I also made a tiny mouse friend who got up to some mischief with Frog on my new yarn genie my daughter gave me. 

They all did a bit of twister which the octopus won hands down.

That is enough of doing little things for a while. I will be finishing up a few thing I have been working on.

I did however organize my double-pointed knitting needles, no easy task but soon tended.

I did do a bit of organizing this week - big stuff like moving furniture and such. I am happy with the results though I strained something in my arm, it will soon feel better.

Missy says she has more fun in this free bag from the grocery store than anything, so she is saying sometimes it isn't about the expensive flashy cardboard box, it is the simple inexpensive things that mean more.

Monday, November 21, 2022

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)

As the prices of everything are so high let us be in a position to help others as we can. Even if a kindly smile or kind word is all we can do, let us do it and if we can do more, let us do that. Kindness will never go out of style. As we go into the holidays, kindness will be needed more than ever.

When you read this a week from now we are finally feeling a bit better. This was a tough cold thingy, hope we won't catch anything else. So still trying to rest here. Don't want it to come back on us.

This is the time of the year that stores offer some good sales. So be stocking up as you can. Shopping those sales are a great way to get a few extra items.

Winter is knocking at the door for us here in Iowa, best have things you need on hand. Our county is now in the red for flu and other germs, so if we don't have to be out around others right now that is a good thing.

It was 19 degrees this morning brrrr!

I did finish up the advent bags. I did a couple every day till I was done. That is my approach to food storage as well - just pick up a few extra items and it adds up without sticker shock.

I made a hat for my husband this week. The yarn may look familiar to you as I made this sweater with it...

So the hat was made with leftover yarn from the sweater. The hat only cost the time to make it.  Knowing how to knit or crochet helps to make warm things. - she has such cute patterns here, great for gifts. - cute and fast, just in time. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this find. - I really like the waffle hat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. margarine or butter

1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. shortening

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

Mix this well and add:

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

Then I really cream this together, all of it so far, maybe three to four minutes.

Then add:

3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Mix just enough to incorporate it, stop and add:

12 oz. package chocolate chips

Half to one cup chopped nuts, either walnuts or pecans (if you have picky kids you can leave out or take out half and add nuts to the other half).

Drop then bake at 350 degrees till golden.

Finding recipes that are scratch recipes help stretch the budget funds. This is a recipe I made for our girls and their friends.

Can you see what is living in my knitting right now?? I am making the frog a mouse friend.

Missy says grab a blanket and make chocolate chip cookies and build a mouse. Sounds like a great plan, keep working at your plans.

Monday, November 14, 2022

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)

Still sick here. I know I told you I would be better but nope, this cold virus is hanging on. Hard to believe just going to church in person and wearing masks got us, so it is back to virtual church for us. The person who gave it to us probably got over it in three days, not us, it'll be two weeks ago tomorrow as I'm writing this. We caught it but did not know it till Wednesday. So again, I will remind you to have a sick plan for meals and meds etc. made up ahead of time. The doctor my husband goes to says they are stacked to the rafters with sick people. So wash your hands and stay safe. Stock up on chicken soup.

I have been reading...blowing my nose...reading...blowing my nose...

I feel like that saying, "What did you do today? I survived." Yep, it's pretty much like that.

Here is what you do when you are resting and you aren't feeling up to much...

Everyone is feeling the pinch of high prices. We have to find ways of making do. We are all in the same boat.

What I have done is look through the main dish binders that I have and on a paper I came up with thirty main dishes. From a main dish we will have enough for two suppers and a lunch type thing.

This is not something that is in concrete. It changes if I have to use something up or if I have something on hand I want to make or that's easier to make. But things on my list are made with what I have on hand as well.  

I chose soups that we like and spread them throughout that list such as chili, a busy day soup I can make with hamburger and one with chicken, cheese soup, a favorite veggie chili soup which is way different then the chili soup, and baked potato soup. Then I put our most budget type casseroles. Thanksgiving is this month and I have a turkey in the freezer from last year as when there is a sale I get a few and always make sure I have one for the next Thanksgiving. And with that comes turkey sandwiches and turkey salad and turkey get the idea. And since we store the items for our Thanksgiving meal, normally it is covered. There are just the two of us at home so it goes a long way.

Now I could have written each meal down and what I would do with it leftover-wise but if I have the thirty meals on the list it may go a week or more longer which is good. Then I save this menu to refer to at another time.

One thing that my youngest daughter and I (and most people who knit) do is watch podcasts of our favorite knitters. They all buy these yarn advents. Some have tea advents and some jam advents. These are all very costly and even if you could afford it, you have to sign up a year in advance. So my daughter said we should make our own. Great idea! Our other daughter doesn't knit but I suggested things she would like, like nail polish etc. and to do one for her kids and husband in what they would like - just little things to make a fun memory or to cheer us all in this time of year that may be harder than those in the past. 

So my daughter that knits will do for her husband and I will for mine. So we do twenty-four of them and on Christmas day will be the bigger gift. For me, I am using all things I have on hand already so no extra spending. My plan is small projects I could do each day, things I have wanted to do but have put off as things get in the way. So it will also be the gift of time to do said little projects. If I ever get well enough to do this I will take a picture of them.  

These are all very small projects and each fits in a brown lunch bag that I staple it shut. All the items it takes for the project are in the bag so not hunting for items is a gift too. Then the gift on Christmas day will be a cowl or shawl that will take longer than a day that makes it a bigger item. While that is a pretty easy thing, it will be a bit harder to do for my husband but we shall see what I come up with. The bags will be mixed up and numbered. I am about half done and I already can't remember what is in them. This is just a cost-free thing we are doing to brighten the month with ever-rising costs and so much bad news and germs running amuck, it will be a bright spot.

It is time to be thinking of more frugal things you can do. - inexpensive gift giving ideas. - some cute inexpensive ideas here. - this is a cute idea, could give with that cookie with jam star in it from the site above. - cute idea here. - cute ideas. - I liked the soup mixes in this one.

I got this cat paw charm in memory of Gus and made it into a project marker for my knitting.

Missy says wash your paws and stay safe out there.
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