The latest posts from A Matter Of Preparedness
What can you do? Plenty! Read, and get ready!
1. For Families: This PDF covers a great deal of information for you.
2. For Persons with Disabilities: This PDF provides great information.
3. Deseret News series on Earthquake Preparedness
4. How to make a Grab-n-go-kit
This is a great opportunity to check out your readiness level with your family and colleagues.
Don't Miss it!
Preparedness Lessons Learned From Hurricane Hugo....
Take Home Points:
- We didn't have a Generator....but we purchased one as soon as they were back on the shelves at our local store (for a reasonable price). As you noted above, people were bold enough to ask to borrow one from us. Also, you need to find a way to secure it to your home so that it cannot be stolen. Lots of things walked away during that time.
- We had too much of our Food Storage in our Freezer. We lost it all and it was very, very costly. I now have a combination of frozen, canned, and dehydrated/freeze-dried foods in our food storage.
- We had plenty of food to eat and had enough water to last us if we needed to live off from it. We also used our gas grill and our camp stove to prepare meals. Because we often went camping as a family, we all knew how and what to cook as if we were camping.
- We had skills and tools to help ourselves and others. My husband used his chainsaw to help free our neighborhood (along with others who had one as well). He and my son did go to Charleston and helped repair roofs, close off open areas of homes, and help repair things that they could with the materials that were available.
- We had the opportunity to serve others in a time of need. We had water and we shared it. We also shared what was in our food storage and particularly our freezer. One of our friends loaded up their truck with the contents of their freezer and went to a part of town where folks were in great need. They gave away their food to very grateful recipients. We were able teach our children how blessed they were and also how to be of service to others.
- We learned to have 72 hour kits all put together. We were putting them together in anticipation of the storm with things that we already had. WE LEARNED not to do that in the future.
- Because we had water, hygiene was not as big of an issue as it could have been. We just has cold baths....which was a bit of a harsh reality. However, we were so grateful. I had a baby and children for heaven's sake! I was fortunate that I had finished the laundry before the storm hit. After the power came back on, we had a mountain of laundry to do. I now have the means to clean clothes without power.
- Because we had water, we could use the toilets. That was a major plus from a hygiene standpoint.
- People do unexpected things during an emergency. Many rise to the occasion, but others certainly do not. There was looting, and individuals posing as repairmen who took advantage of folks who were desperate to get their homes back together. Others sold items for inflated prices etc. Even those you know and love may put their needs above yours and make inappropriate requests/demands.
- You need to have cash on hand. Have a variety of currency/cash on hand because you most likely will not get change back. I would suggest a lot of $20.00, $10.00, $5.00, and many singles. Have coins as well. I also suggest that you have other items to barter as well. Medications, food, water, etc. Some folks suggest liquor for bartering.
- Gas, keep your tanks at least half-full. The lines at the gas station were long when the power came back on and initially gas was rationed. There were also a lot of abandoned vehicles on the side of the road that ran out of fuel. We knew that we had a shelter that was appropriate for us, so we sheltered in place.
- Power: We used a lot of batteries. Now we not only have batteries, but some solar options, and a Biolite wood buring campstove. The solar and the Biolite can charge our electronics. One requires sunlight and the other generates fuel from burning wood. These two options offer us redundancy.
- Protection: My husband has several weapons, and the oldest children and I knew how to shoot them. My son's had their own weapons and knew how to care for them. When my husband and oldest son were away, I knew how to use our weapons if I needed to. Thank heavens it was not required.
- Entertainment: We had a lot of board games and card games. Although my children had a few electronic devices, they were not as available as devices are now. I believe it is important to have a balance in the entertainment that your family is offered. I love my technology....there is no question about that. However, as a family we were used to playing outside and playing boardgames together. Although my kids did get bored and hot, they were so good to try to play and work together.
- If we had to evacuate, we had the equipment, food, and supplies to do so. Our family is used to camping, so it would not have been a hardship for us.
How would you fare in such an emergency?
Portable Root Cellar....
See how it starts to take on a cube shape?
I cut a piece of burlap that was 14 x 20 inches. I then sewed the twill tape around the 2 long sides and one short side of this piece. This will serve as the top of the cube.
Here I am sewing the raw edge of the top piece to the edge of the long piece used of the bottom (that makes 3 sides of the bottom cube--not the square pieces).
Just as an FYI, fold the edge of the tape over and top-stitch to your burlap edges/seams. After sewing the top to the bottom, encase the top edge of your lining/cube by top-stitching the twill tape on all four edges.
I inserted the burlap liner into the Milk Crate. Notice how I folded the liner over the top of the crate by a couple of inches. This keeps the liner from collapsing on itself.
See how the top pieces folds over the edge and hangs down. Would you like to know why?
Here is the reason why. I sewed long pockets of clear vinyl on the flap. I used a tight zig-zag stitch along the 2 sides and bottom of the clear pocket. This leaves the top edge open to insert a label. Note that I printed labels to insert into the pocket to identify the contents. Note how easily you can stack these on top of each other. The Milk crate and the burlap allow good airflow around all sides of the unit.
Note that I tried both square corners and rounded corners. The rounded corners stretched quite a bit. When I make more, I will try rounded corners again and stay stitch the corners to hold the fabric steady while the twill tape is applied. I like the rounded corners because it makes quick work when sewing on the twill tape...no mitered corders to sew!
Here you can see that these fit very well on the floor of my Pantry. This is usually a dark room and the floor is the coolest part of the room. I keep onions and potatoes there as I use these foods often in my cooking.
During the winter, the Garage is very cool. Here I can stack them just outside the garage door. The cool temperatures are enjoyed by your root crops.
Here is another option I can use. I put them down in my basement storage room that has cement walls and floors. It is cool in there. I have this little alcove that allows me to stack several of these. Because they are labeled, I can quickly see what I have. It is important to keep a spray bottle handy here to keep the burlap damp for certain crops like Carrots. If you put damp burlap in a pile and then place your carrots between little the damp layers, the carrots will last longer. Spraying the burlap periodically keeps it nice and damp. Some folks store Carrots etc in damp sand. I chose not to do this as it can fall through the burlap and make a mess. Remember that OCD thing?
What do you store together?
Take Home Points:
- These units are very portable. I love that they can serve you in a variety of places and will be sturdy enough to hold many different crops.
- The Burlap can be washed and air-dried if it gets soiled.
- I calculate that each Milk-Crate unit costs about $11.00 to make. Compare that with the Root Vegetable Bin that costs over $35.00 for a smaller unit.
- This options allows you to store your harvest and preserve it even without the benefit of an underground root cellar. Not everyone has an underground option where they may live.
Crops on the Homestead
Animals on the Homestead
Making the Homestead Work for You - Infrastructure
Preserving and Using the Bounty from the Homestead
Teriyaki Chicken and Rice....a Sunday Dinner!
Take Home Message:
- Food Storage is vibrant and delicious! You can have a wide variety of meals if you plan and prepare for them.
- Food Storage meals can sometimes be a great convenience as it was today. I made this meal in a less time that it would have taken to go to the Drive-through at a restaurant.
- I know the quality of my ingredients....because I chose them all! I am not dependent on someone in a back room choosing the ingredients and putting it all together for me. If I have special dietary requirements, I can management them by stocking up on items that fit with my limitations.
- I believe I made this meal for 2 for under $4.00 today. Take that big box restaurants!
- I am rotating my staples and trying out recipes at a time when I could always make something else if this didn't work out.
- I am gaining skill sets by thinking of meals that could use any of the following types of foods: Canned, Frozen, Dehydrated, Dry Packed, and in Cold Storage.
By The Way....IT WAS GREAT!
Easy Bistro Chicken
Take Home Points:
- We had a nutritious and very scrumptious meal even though fresh ingredients were not used.
- I did not have to go shopping yesterday to be ready for today, I just used items I had on hand.
- Adapting recipes to use your Pantry and Food Storage items is usually relatively simple. If you are using dehydrated or freeze-dried foods, allow for additional liquid. Frozen foods require some time to thaw and be cooked appropriately.
- Having the satisfaction of making something great from items on hand.....Priceless!
Ingredients for Easy Bistro Chicken:
Try It Soon!
The Organic Canner....
Points of Interest:
- Ms. Luther explains why she has objections to "Genetically Mutated Organisms". She even has her own "Manifesto" which explains her views.
- She gives 'doable' mentoring on how to water-bath and pressure can at home.
- She sheds light on how to make your own Jams and Jellies without "the box". It is straightforward and I plan to try it as soon as berries are in season. By using her method, you actually get 2 products....the jam and fruit syrup.
- Canning meats is also discussed, which is a personal favorite of mine. She highlights the serious leftovers we all often have during the holidays. Canning the extra Turkey or Ham is a great way to extend their use.
- Did you know that you may preserve Nuts such as Pecans, Walnuts, and Hazelnuts? I once had a disaster with nuts in my pantry. I won't go into it, but I learned a painful lesson. I had always thought that I would need to seal nuts in jars with my dry-pack canning device. However, I learned that you can also do this with Water-bath canning. Yea! I'm going to try it!
- There are many recipes that I have 'dog-eared' the corner of the page because I want to try them. Here are just a few to pique your interest: Beef stroganoff, Marinara with Meatball, Cajun Jambalaya, Sloppy Joe Filling, Deep South BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits with a twist, Random Pickled Veggies, Honey Vidalia BBQ Sauce, Taco Sauce and many more.
- She has a section dealing with canning your own recipes. She gives thoughtful advice on how to determine the method and time needed for your favorites.
- The only 'glitch' is that she refers to page 237 for directions on "Removing Pesticide from Produce" which actually appears on page 231. This is not a big issue in my view.
Mylar Bags....Sealing with a Vacuum Sealer...
Making Sensible Yarn Storage from a Moving Box:
So, What is the Take-Home Message?
- I spent under $10.00 for this entire project as I already had the fabric, the cording, and the spray paint. I am trying very hard (as we reorganize) to use items that we already have. I just like to be wise with the things we have been blessed with. I am guessing that you may find items around your house that you can re-purpose into something usable like we have.
- This project took about 1 hour total (not including drying times) to complete.
- I can easily find the yarn I am looking for without undoing a tangled mess!
- This container is out-of-the-way, but is easily retrieved when it is needed as it is so lightweight. It can be stored up high.
- I have a friend with an entire room of yarn. I think the slogan "She who dies with the most yarn...wins" applies to her. I am not there yet, but I admire folks who are so wildly talented that they can create clothing and bedding, etc from a hook (or a couple of needles). I am still at the dishcloth, afghan stage...and am quite happy to be there.
Reclaiming our Domain is proving to be really fun!
It's only days away, you know....Valentine's Day. Here is something fun to do that does not cost big bucks, but makes a special meal fun.
How To Make Heart-Shaped Rolls for Valentine's Day.
And you thought Food Storage was boring!
Transforming an Armoire into a Desk....
Take Home Message for "Reclaiming my Domain"....
- Up until a couple of weeks ago, my daughter was using this space as a Beauty Salon. I'm not kidding. She is in the process of purchasing a home and is no longer needing to use our 'Domain'. I now have an office, a real office for all my needs. Please understand that I was glad to share with her, but I like the thought of having a place for everything. Had I finished this unit while she was here (just know it would have been hard for a variety of reasons), both of us would have been able to work in there.
- It cost me $77.24 to create this beautiful office space. I could have done it for $63.25 if I chose not to use the Magnetic Strip.
- I love that I had most of the items needed to transform this unit. I love the styling of it and with the matching file cabinet it looks really great in my office.
- I have a great deal of storage and can also close it all away if I need to as my office is located by my front door.
- I "Upcycled" this unit. It went from being unwanted to being a beautiful and functional piece of furniture. Because of the size of the TV it used to house, it is large and spacious. I can see myself using this for a long time to come.
Don't you just love it?
How to make Taco Soup from Food Storage Staples
Take home points:
- Having Food Storage Staples actually is having convenience foods available to you.
- I believe this Hearty Taco Soup cost about $2.00 total to feed this crowd.
- The cost of the Pumpkin Soup and Chicken soup were nominal as well. Several folks went back twice for more soup...so it was welcome on a cold winter day.
- Efforts made in the summer and fall bear fruit during the winter.
- The peace-of-mind that comes from having food stuffs on hand is priceless.
- Food Storage Staples are not just for emergencies, it is for everyday living. In this case, it was for a holiday celebration.
- Gaining skill sets brings successes in many ways. It's not just about the food, it is the knowledge and preparation that makes this possible.
- 1 lb hamburger
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Combine these ingredients, cook and drain. Add the following to the pot:
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 Large can diced, stewed tomatoes
- 1 can Ro-tell tomatoes (if you can't find these, look for tomatoes with diced chillies, or in a pinch a good hot salsa or picante sauce will do).
- 1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix (1 Tblsp)
- 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (I have actually poured in an amount from a my dressing bottle before)
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour (or keep the water to a minimum and put it in the crock pot for all day)
Serve over tortilla chips or tamales. Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheeses, and or cubed avocado.
Making a Breakfast Casserole overnight in the Crockpot.
Try it! Happy New Year!
|Image Courtesy of lds.org|
Great Lessons from the "Woman taken in Adultery"
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
|Image courtesy of lds.org|
Now, who were the Scribes and Pharisees?
"The Pharisees were the largest and most influential of the three sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. The Pharisaic movement in the Jewish state rose from the ranks of the lay lawyers of the Greek period to become the leading religious and political party. The main characteristics of the Pharisees were their legalism and their legalistic inflexibility. They were known for their strict accuracy in the interpretation of the law and their scrupulous adherence to living the law in every minute detail. This caused them to be known as the strictest of Jewish sects in observing their tradition. They shunned the non-Pharisee as being unclean, thereby keeping themselves separated from those they considered to be the common people."
- And in the workplace
|Image courtesy of lds.org|
I would like to quote Elder Marvin J Ashton:
In the world today we are victims of many who use their tongues as sharp swords. The misuse of our tongues seems to add intrigue and destruction as the media and private persons indulge in this pastime. In the vernacular of the day, this destructive activity is called bashing. The dictionary reports that to bash is to strike with a heavy, crushing blow.
Such a popular behavior is indulged in by far too many who bash a neighbor, a family member, a public servant, a community, a country, a church. It is alarming also how often we find children bashing parents and parents bashing children.“For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:14.)
We as members of the Church need to be reminded that the words “Nay, speak no ill” are more than a phrase in a musical context but a recommended way of life. (See Hymns, no. 233.) We need to be reminded more than ever before that “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” (A of F 1:13.) If we follow that admonition, there is no time for the dastardly hobby of bashing instead of building.
"[The scribes and Pharisees] brought unto Him the woman taken in adultery. These enemies … tried to trick Him.....They were setting Him up in what appeared to be an impossible situation. Moses’s law says to stone her. “What sayest thou?” [John 8:5] they asked, tempting Him, trapping Him—putting Him in a no-win position.
“That which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men. …“Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given” (D&C 46:7–8).
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.
The Gifts of the Savior in the Parable...
6...This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
The woman taken in adultery answered the Lord’s question regarding her accusers by saying, “No man, Lord.” And then this powerful declaration came: “Go, and sin no more” [John 8:11]. The Master was teaching in that day and also teaching in this very hour. His great message: despise the sin, but love the sinner. I hope that can give us strength and confidence and a closer relationship to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus did not condone adultery. He gave the woman love instead of an authoritative lecture. She and the accusers needed a lesson in love. The situation called for mercy and compassion. How rewarding it is to know that Jesus believed that man is greater than all of his sins. Is it any wonder He was referred to as the “Good Shepherd”? He loved all of His sheep whether they were strays, hungry, helpless, cold, or lost.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.I cannot express how touching this lesson is to me personally. He loved her and cared about her eternal progression. He offered her....and the rest of us.....a pathway to return to our Heavenly Father again. He proffered forgiveness.
[He] seems to center around the virtues of love, compassion, forgiveness, and long-suffering—in other words, those qualities that enable us to deal with our fellowmen more compassionately. Let’s look specifically at the Savior’s message to the Twelve. They (and we) were admonished to “be reconciled to [our] brother” (Matt. 5:24), to “agree with [our] adversary quickly” (Matt. 5:25), to “love [our] enemies, [to] bless them that curse [us], [to] do good to them that hate [us], and [to] pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us].” (Matt. 5:44.) We are told, “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matt. 5:39.)A set of pretty high standards to live up to.....but it is possible. This life is meant for us all to make choices. We have the opportunity to make choices everyday. We can make compassionate, loving, kind, and patient choices. We can choose to bless the lives of those we interact with on a daily basis. For those who partake of the sacred Sacrament, this offers a weekly basis to forgive, repent, and choose the better. If we seek the Holy Spirit, he can guide us through the process of forgiveness and repentance.
How do we take the Holy Spirit for our guide? We must repent of our sins each week and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament with clean hands and a pure heart, as we are commanded to do (see D&C 59:8–9, 12). Only in this way can we have the divine promise that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77). That Spirit is the Holy Ghost, whose mission is to teach us, to lead us to truth, and to testify of the Father and the Son (see John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:13; 3 Ne. 11:32, 36).
Let us open our arms to each other, accept each other for who we are, assume everyone is doing the best he or she can, and look for ways to help leave quiet messages of love and encouragement instead of being destructive with bashing.
Merry Christmas to you all...
And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands (D&C 68:27).
Take Home Message:
- If you have an embroidery machine or access to one, this is a very simple project.
- I paid about $6.00/towel and I really feel that the thread cost is minimal. I did use stabilizer and topper, but these can be done with scraps from other projects.
- This can be personalized for each child....and make them feel special.
Black Bean Salsa Soup:
Black Bean Salsa Soup (SouthBeachDiet.com)
Take away points:
- Use beans from your storage....either ones you have canned or dry beans that can be cooked in either your pressure cooker or in a pan after soaking. It makes use of of your food storage staples.
- I keep a soup base on hand to use in place of chicken or beef broth. It is less expensive and takes up a fraction of the space in your pantry.
- Using your canned salsa is a great because you are able to benefit from your efforts at harvest time.
- I figure I made this meal for under $3.00.
I hope your day is also filled with a prayer of Thanksgiving. Prayer has always been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition even from the very beginning. Would you like a little proof? Here is a public notice given to the Plymouth Colony from 1636:
"In ye Meetinghouse, beginning some halfe an hour before nine & continued untill after twelve aclocke, ye day beeing very cold, beginning wt a short prayer, then a psalme sang, then more large in prayer, after that an other Psalme, & then the Word taught, after that prayer - & then a psalme…" and then was followed by dinner, "…the poorer sort beeing invited of the richer."
Why you might want to cook your Turkey early!
Pumpkin-shaped Rolls for Thanksgiving! So easy..
Preserving your 'Candy Bounty' from Halloween...
- It think it is important to have known comfort foods in your storage. Not only is it fun, but it really can be comforting in times of stress
- I do this when candies are on sale and save money.
- I have treats for when little ones come to visit.
- I hopefully can keep the little ones from raiding Grandpa's stash without permission....because this secret stash really is not so secret!
Trick-or-Treat Bags made with Machine Embroidery....Perfect for little Goblins this Halloween!
I really need to plan ahead a bit, don't I?
Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Jars....from Canning jars and Vinyl Cut-outs.
Take Home Message:
- I had all the materials to do this project. I had the Vinyl from another project. The cost for me today was just my time.
- The Canning Jars are from my storage...again I had these items on hand.
- I used flame-less candles for safety. I had used these candles in my Christmas decorating. They are perfect for this little project.
Simple, Easy, Cute, and Fun! Who can ask for anything more?
I have a number of sweet little Grandchildren....sprinkled all over the United States. Yes, I really mean all over. I kind of want to agree with my neighbor Vicki who says that "It should be against the law for Grandchildren to move far away from their Grandparents". If only it could be like that....
Our little Grandchildren love music in many forms. I love to hear their sweet voices when they talk and when they sing. Being a Speech-Language Pathologist, little voices are very intriguing to me.
Family Home Evening, spending time together as a Family.
Singing Songs and Hymns for Family Home Evening
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