Saturday, December 31, 2011

We're off to Utah again

We've had a death in our family, expected but always a shock when it happens.  Anyway I'll be off line for a week or so.   May you each have a blessed New Year! 


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas- something to think about

Christmas Eve is just a few hours away and most of us aren't thinking about survival at all.  But a couple thousand years ago Mary and Joseph were faced with survival.  In their sudden trek to Bethlehem and then their sudden fleeing trek to Egypt, they had to "bug out" both times.  Here is a site that goes through their bug out and how we can plan our own bug out kits. 

I tend to think I'm the bug out location so I don't need to have a bug out kit.  But what if we had an economic collapse  and that lead to war in our nation.  So many places have had sudden unexpected war and the horrors that go with it.  They never thought it would happen to them but it did.  We should always be ready to leave with 10 minutes notice.  Bugging out might come or it might never come but we should be prepared just in case. 

Here is a short read you might enjoy just in time for Christmas.   I hope you each have a blessed Christmas with your family this weekend!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Cinnamon Popcorn Recipe

I wasn't totally happy with the cinnamon popcorn recipe I had so tried this one.  Not totally happy with it either.  the other one stay's in the oven for a whole hour and dries the corn totally out.  This one doesn't totally coat the corn so I tried heating in the oven until it melted and got re-tossed to fully coat it.  So thinking both recipes would work well just bake until corn is fully covered instead of doing it a full hour.  I liked the color of the 1st recipe better than using the paste coloring in this recipe, turned more pinkish instead of bright red.  Anyway just thought I would share the recipe and my thoughts on how to make both work better.  I bought a 4 oz bottle of cinnamon oil online at from a company called Olive Nation.  It came very fast.  I ordered it late Monday night and had it on Saturday.  They shipped it Fed-Ex to my post office so I could of picked it up Friday afternoon if I had needed it faster from my post office.  Both recipes tasted very good, just the 1st one was to dried out from baking a whole hour and the 2nd one needed to bake about 15 minutes to get it so I could get better coverage.

Candy Coated Popcorn
Using 1-dram (.125oz) bottles

4 quarts popped corn
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 dram (1 tsp.) LorAnn Gourmet Flavoring (any flavor) (flavor amount can be increased as desired)
LorAnn Liquid Food Coloring (as desired)


Keep freshly-popped corn warm in large baking pan in 200°F oven.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook to 250°F without stirring.

Remove from heat. After boiling action ceases, add flavoring and color. Add soda and stir in quickly but thoroughly. Pour at once while foamy over warm popcorn; mix gently to coat corn. Shape into balls or spread onto cookie sheet and break into pieces when cool.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Can you believe it!

1 week from today is Christmas Day!  Every year when it gets close to Christmas day things seem to go crazy!  Every day this week is booked solid.  I only have a few things to get done.  I'm so grateful for the change in my life!  My babies turned 18 this last summer so now all the kids are adults.  They requested that our holidays go to a pot luck dinner.  I didn't care much for it at Thanksgiving but gee whiz it sure is growing on my now!  I'm down to provide the meat for Christmas dinner and everyone else is bringing everything else.  What a stress buster for Mom!  I'm not even thinking about the big dinner now!  Go ahead and surprise me!  New Years Eve thing I am making my cheese ball and providing 3 boxes of crackers.  I don't even want to think about all the stuff I used to do for these meals! 

So a great big thank you to my kids for helping me make things simple!   Now I have time to do all everyone wants me to do without getting stressed out.  I'm already thinking about next years Christmas gifts and plan on getting started on them in January and seeing if I can be done by this summer!   I've topped off the pop corn cans and party mix so should be ready for the coming weekend!

Now I have time to remember the reason for the season.  I know Jesus Christ wasn't born on December 25th.   Any Bible scholar knows he was born in the Spring time but it is the day that has been set aside to remember his wonderful birth.  Although I tend to think more about his life mission and his sacrifice that made it possible for me to return to my Father in Heaven one day.   I am truly grateful for his life here on earth and how he made it possible for us to obtain forgivness and return home.

May God bless each of you and may you have a wonderful Christmas with your family this year.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's been awhile!

I've been so busy here sewing up things for Christmas gifts and making Christmas goodies that I have hardly even looked at my computer!   I am here well and alive even if I haven't posted for a whole week!  

Today I'm making up party mix to fill our big can to go with the popcorn stuff I've already made up.  I've made up my Mom's fudge and will do up my cream caramels as soon as dinner is done.  So today I give you candy recipes.

My Mom's Million Dollar Fudge

4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
18 oz. milk chocolate bars
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 jar or tub marshmallow cream
2 cups walnuts (optional)

Break chocolate bars into little pieces and put into a bowl and set aside. Put sugar, butter and milk in a large pan.  cook to boiling on high heat, stirring constantly and let boil 5 minutes.  Turn to low and add all the chocolate and marshmallow cream and nuts.  Stir until melted and well blended.  Pour into a lightly buttered pan (about 13"x 9")   Makes 7 pounds.

My Mom's Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 jar Marshmallow Cream
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar and milk in large saucepan.  Cook to soft ball stage (234 degrees)  I cook it a little longer because it ends up very soft and on the runny side at 234 degrees.  Add  remaining ingredients stirring until blended.  Pou into a buttered 9" square pan.  Cool.  Cut into 2x3 inch bars and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper.  Yields 2 pounds.

Cream Caramels

Many years ago I bought a cookbook called "the Holiday Candy Book" by Virginia Pasley.  No ISBN listed.  It's long out of print but I bought 5 of them a couple years ago and got each for $1 plus shipping online. I gave them out for Christmas gifts.  It is the best candy making book I have ever found!  If you are into candy making it is worth tracking it down and getting your own copy.

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Measure 2 cups sugar and 1 cup corn syrup into a 4 quart saucepan.  Blend with a wooden spoon, and place over low heat, stirring continuously until the thick mixture begins to dissolve.  Continuie stiring until mixture boils, then put in your candy thermometer and boil without stirring over high flame until the thermometer registers 305 degrees.  Have ready 1/4 cup butter which as been broken into small pieces and the warmed cream.  Remove the candy from the stove for only a moment and put in the first bit of butter and return to the stove.  Continue cooking and stirring well and adding bits of butter.  The mixture will bubble up and steam.  Add the cream slowly, never allowing the candy to stop boiling hard and continuing to stir vigorously so that it will not stick or burn.  Continue cooking until the thermometer registers 246 to 250 degrees depending on how hard you wish it to be.  This whole process  should not take more than 30 minutes and will take less if the heat is kept high enough.  When the desired degree is reached, remove from the stove immediately.  Let stand 5 minutes and then add the salt and vanilla.  Stir only enough to blend and pour into a lightly buttered pan- 8x11 inches is a good size- and allow to cool for several hours.  Turn out of the pan, cut into squares or oblongs with a heavy knife.  wrap in waxed paper or cellophane and store in a tin box.  Caramels keep well for weeks in a cool place if they are not exposed to other types of candy.

You can make chocolate cream caramels but using this recipe but reducing butter to 2 Tablespoons and after the caramels are cooked stir in immediately 2 squares of melted bitter chocolate. 

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Great site to visit and explore!

I recently heard about this web site and I discovered lots of great info there.  Have fun exploring all they have!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fresh Produce as the winter moves on in

Years ago while living in a tiny High Rise apartment in Japan I used flower pots to grow lettuce in, along with a few other things like carrots.  Growing cold crops in window sills is pretty easy to do.  I confess I did this before anyone had a chance to tell me that I couldn't or it was stupid.  A friend also told me not to pick the lettuce, just pick a few leaves from each plant and it would keep growing. 

I learned a few years ago that you could take stuff you buy at the store and cut off the root ends and plant them and they would regrow.  Green onions are the easiest to do so you could try those first.  Just cut about 1/2 to 1 inch above the roots and plant it.  I keep a window box full of them growing all winter long.  You can grow these same ones up to 5 times.   Romaine lettuce and celery are other ones you could try.  

I usual start these seeds in August in their container in the garden area.  That gives them time to get going good before we'll need them late autumn.  You can start seeds inside later but they seem to start much slower inside in the winter.  The ones we start from roots we bought at the store can be started any time. 

It's a good skill to learn in cause we ever go through a time we can't get fresh produce.  We appreciate it during the winter when the roads are bad and we just want to stay put.  I also keep milk in the freezer to be used when we can't get out. 

I hope today's tip will help you enjoy free fresh produce this winter!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Making your own Holiday Popcorn

I got tired of the can's of popcorn they have out there.  The really good stuff is so very expensive and the rest is so tasteless.  So I make my own.  I fill those can's I got from thrift stores and washed good.  So today I am going to share my recipes with you. 

 Making Cheese Popcorn
We love cheese popcorn so we make a a can full of that and it's so very easy!  We just make up regular popcorn and put it in a big bowl with a lid and sprinkle cheese powder thickly on it and then shake it up.    You can also add different spices to make nacho cheese corn or Italian cheese corn, ect.    As it sits in the can the flavor goes into the corn so after a couple days it's really good stuff!

Cinnamon Candied Popcorn

Things You'll Need:

  • 6 quarts of popped popcorn. (pop in a Stir Crazy or on the stove, do NOT use microwave popcorn.)
  • 12 ounces of cinnamon red hot candies
  • sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. or 1 dram of cinnamon oil. You need oil, not extract, you can find it at


1 Preheat the oven to 250ยบ. Butter a large roasting pan and add the popcorn to it. If you want you can put the popcorn in the oven to warm while you are preparing the candy coating, but it's not necessary.

2 Pour the red hot candies into a 2 cup measure and then start adding sugar to the candies, stopping to shake it down into all the nooks and crannies until the sugar reaches the 2 cup line.

3 In a heavy skillet, bring the candies, sugar, butter, water, corn syrup and salt to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly for five minutes.

4 Remove from heat and add the baking soda and cinnamon oil. Stir well and stand back to avoid the steam that will come up from the oil, some people are sensitive to it. I like to add the oil outside if possible or open a lot of windows so that my house doesn't smell like cinnamon forever.

5 Pour over popcorn and toss quickly with a buttered wooden spoon to distribute the candy coating evenly.

6 Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
7 Remove from the oven and pour out onto parchment paper or a clean granite or marble counter. Break up the larger clumps as it is cooling and then store in ziploc bags or a plastic container once completely cool. If you like cinnamon, watch out, this is addictive!

The Best Caramel Popcorn

Things You'll Need:

  • popcorn
  • sugar
  • corn syrup
  • butter
  • vanilla
  • toasted almonds
  • toasted pecans

    Measure 8-10 cups popped popcorn into a large bowl. Try to made sure there are no kernels.

    Use unsalted nuts. You may use 2 cups toasted almonds, or 1 cup almonds and 1 cup pecans or peanuts. Just make sure they are toasted. You can either buy toasted, or toast yourself. Put oven on broiler. Arrange nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put in until darkened a bit on one side. Stay close by and pay attention so you don't burn them. OR Microwave nuts on a microwave safe plate for 1 minute intervals, stir after each minute or less until nuts are darkened and smell toasted. (2-3 minutes total)
        Pour nuts on top of popcorn.

    To make the caramel, in a medium size saucepan, combine: 1 1/3 Cup Sugar (all white or 1/2 white 1/2 brown) 1 Cup Butter 1/2 Cup Corn Syrup.
    Melt above ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
    Add 1 tsp vanilla.
    Pour mixture over popcorn and nuts.
    Toss by lifting the popcorn and nut mixture with a spoon, or two spoons until all coated and rotated.
    Pour onto a greased cookie sheet and let cool.
    pull apart and place in airtight container or cellophane gift bags.

Popcorn and Chex party Mix are items my family expects to see setting around all during the holiday season.  I actually store what I need for making our Christmas popcorns!

Hope your you and your family are getting ready for the Holidays and enjoying each others company!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Planning Ahead

Prepping is all about thinking ahead.  We buy insurance just in case we have an accident, get sick, have a fire or heaven forbid, die.  We store food just in case we lose our job, there is food shortages, bad weather keeps us home, and a long list of other possibilities.   We buy equipment to cover power outages, ect. 

It is also good to think of possible personal disasters  that might come your way.  So many are getting behind and losing their homes right now.  If you don't own your home outright it could happen to you.  Have you thought through plans if you should find yourself in that position?   You should as a family have plans and several possibilities so that you might be able to turn a bad situation into a better plan if you have to.  

Staying ahead of the game and planning for anything is a good way to prep so that you can survive just about anything that comes down the pike.    Spend some time today looking at possible problems and finding solutions that might be pulled out to cover you.

Have a great day!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Being blown away

Have you notice that the wind storms seem to be picking up?  As the sun enters the big solar flair storm season it also makes the winds pick up.  Tonight's winds seems like the house is going to come apart.  I'm sure it won't but anything not tied down will be somewhere new tomorrow!  

My kids are asking if trees are going to go and put the power out again.  We all had fun when we went 3 weeks without power back in Dec. '08 and had sub zero temps.  It was quite a learning experience for us.  Right after that we made a list of things we needed and didn't have and changes we should make.  We immediately went about making those changes. 

It's ok to go through storms in our life but you should learn from them and make changes.  I get very frustrated with people who go through storms year after year and never make any changes.  Learn from these storms or even your mistakes.  If you learn from them then they are not mistakes or tragedies!  They are learning experiences that help us improve.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Being Thankful

It's that time of the year when we take time to be thankful for what we have.  So many never stop to think about all the little things we have that we never even think about. 

We all think about our family and I am most certainly very thankful for my family and friends in my life, even my family that went before me and made me who I am. 

We always mention the food on the table and the good things we have and even where we live.

But what about all the little things like clean water flowing from our taps.  I always think of those who don't have running water at all and don't even have a clean water supply near them.  If you have good clean tap water you should truly be thankful.

Abundance of food is another we take for granted.  While many in our world are starving, we still have a wide abundance of food.  Fast food places are every where and our grocery stores are still pretty well stocked.  Be truly thankful for the food you have.

How about the  little things we don't even think about.  Like sliced bread and ice cream in wide varieties.   Being able to watch any movie anytime or any TV series any time.  Having clean air to breathe.  Decent medical care when we need it.  Beautiful sunrises and sun sets.  Wild life and birds in all their varieties.  Air conditioning and heating.  Clothing for every season.  Shoes in such variety.  Cars and gas and oil to run them.   Fabrics in so many styles to make clothing and quilts with.  Weapons to hunt with and ammo to go with it.  Telephones and internet.  Rain, snow and wind.  Sun, moon and stars.  Highways and roads.  Paint, roofing, siding, insulation, wiring and plumbing to give us wonderful homes to live in.  So many things we never even think about. How about those who serve us like teachers, police, medics, firefighters, our military troops and so many others.

Don't rush through life.  Stop and look around at all the good Lord has blessed us with and be truly Thankful each and every day you have here on this good earth.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Expiration dates

I had to go do some research recently when I noticed things like "shortening" suddenly had short expiration dates.  In fact, things like shortening last pretty well forever if stored in a cool dark place. 

Some item like dairy products and meats we expect to have use by the expiration dates listed.  We know that a week after that date it's going to be bad.  But what about canned foods or packaged dry goods?  Well once they passed a law making it mandatory to have expiration dates and requiring producers to pay to prove the date, those dates no longer mean much.   For every year they have to pay more so most only do 1 year testing but some will go up to a 3 year test level.  

Don't be tricked to toss out that mustard or shortening because the expiration date is past.  It's still good unless you left it out when it states to refrigerate.  Here is a site that will tell you about expiration dates:

I store shortening for long term storage because it was created way back in WW1 times to last forever so they could feed the troops cheaper.  Unused shortening stored in my dry cool basement could give us needed fats in a crisis.  I mostly use coconut oil and olive oil.  Coconut oil is another fat that unlike shortening is a very good fat and it will store forever.  Olive oil has to be rotated and used so I only store about a 9 month supply so it doesn't go rancid.  If it does go rancid don't toss it out!  You can use it in an oil lamp.

I just wanted to make sure you knew those dates don't really mean that much anymore.  So stop tossing all those cans and boxes and discover how great they still are past the dates!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It could never happen here

We all say it but the sad fact is that it could very well happen here.  For us who were born after WW2 we've had a golden life.  The whole world seemed to evolve around the USA.  We could go anywhere in the world and they eagerly accepted our US dollars.  That was because during WW2 the US dollar became the world currency.  Every other nation
bought and sold in US dollars, hence they eagerly wanted as many as they could get.

Now our nation is in decline.  We are head over heals in debt and Congress seems unable to deal with it.  Any of you who faced personal debt knows paying it off can be a painful experience but yet one that brings much peace and comfort in the end.

Our Congress lacks a backbone to make those hard decisions.  They need to cut programs like arts and do away with departments that States should be covering themselves like education, Law enforcement, Security.  They need to scale back our military and make do with what we already have.  they need to privatize services such as IRS, postal system, ect.  They need to cut people off the SS roll's that have large retirement funds and pensions.  They need to trim and find ways to do the job for much less just like private companies have to do. 

So many places have had their economy collapse and they are sharing their stories.  While they might all be different they all are the same.  Signs were there but they all thought it could not happen to them.   As our "super congress"  admits defeat which will probably lower our nations credit standing once again, you had better be ready.  

While you can, stockpile the things you need.  Food, water, medications, tools, weapons.  Get garden seeds.  If you live in an apartment buy window boxes and bagged soil mix.  A salad or few veggies once a week can be a big plus in a crisis.  Do it now!   Lay in what you need.  If you think people in this country will be civil about an economic collapse  you should rethink that!  Suddenly not having everything will push many over the edge.

Below is Stasha's Story.  It just gives you a brief idea of what we might face if it happens here.

I’m 37 years old, wife and stay-at-home mom of three 8 year old girl, and two boys 22 months and 4 months, I home school and can’t imagine now not having the food storage. I come from a war torn country and food storage should been my way of life, I experienced hunger and life without electricity, gas and running water, but it wasn’t until few months ago when my sister in law started her own food storage and memories of the war came back. She sent me links to Crystal’s blog and youtube channel. Crystal inspired me and made it approachable. If I can do it anybody can, life is very busy around here, I have limited space and very limited budget, but we make it work.
I should probably tell you a little about myself before the war. Here’s the link to wikipedia about the town where I grew up, Banovici
The 29 000 population includes surrounding villages, the town itself had less people. If you compare your family and mine side by side I’m pretty sure the only major difference would be the language we spoke. I had ordinary uneventful childhood, music and dancing was something I loved (Madonna, U2, Michael Jackson, Simple minds…I even secretly liked Wham, hey I was young ) art and books, going out with my friends, watching movies (can I just say Top Gun and any girl that says she didn’t like the movie I don’t believe her lol) My parents worked and my two brothers and I went to school always counting down to the next vacation. It is important to mention this so you know I didn’t go from bad to worse. Life was good, really good, and then one day somebody pulled the plug on all good things and if as that wasn’t enough they pulled the rug underneath me too. How did this happen over night? Well, it did and it didn’t, the stores were emptied over night and money lost all value but there were signs we ignored, prices going up, lack of certain items at the stores, riots here and there, news from other parts of the country….Why we ignored it? Because we were “special”, those things didn’t happen to us, this happens in other countries, it happens to those people, my family is different, my town is different….that will never happen to us. Human beings are amazing in convincing ourselves that bad things happen to other people. We actually think that if we stand on a railroad and see a train approaching fast, we can just close our eyes and think happy thoughts and the train will go around us.
So the war was the fast approaching train and all we did is close our eyes and counted to 10. My worst nightmare became reality, the war started in May of 1992 on the last day of my high school. We became CNN and BBC sensation. Now my family became “those people”.
During the war we had no electricity, gas or running water…..I don’t mean to go down “the war path” I can go on forever but I wanted to share at least few things with you which you probably already know
-The first thing that lost value OVERNIGHT was money, stores have been emptied overnight too, all the owners and managers refused to sell food and kept it for themselves.
-We were able to buy some food from other people for gold, I remember my mom exchanging her rings and other jewelry for sacks of potatoes, flour and rice but that didn’t last for a long, people got scared and the only way we were able to get food was through exchange for other food items.
-things that gained in value other than food itself, tools, any and all tools, if you didn’t have a shovel good luck planting, also seeds, if you had storage of seeds you can get “big items” for your seeds like oil, yes oil or any kind of fat was priceless
-we were lucky to live in a small town so we had natural water spring walking distance from our house but line was long and sometimes took hours of waiting in line to get water, which brings me to the third item of great value, water jug, or any container that you can carry water in and if grenades started falling on the way home you better have a container that you can close so you don’t spill water running.
-when it comes to medicine only three things were in demand, pain killers, fever reducers, and antibiotics
Before I start with the next story, I would like to say one thing. If you talk to 100 people from Bosnia you are going to hear a 100 different stories. Everyone had a different experience. Depending on where they lived, amount of food they already had, if they had natural resources near by. Some lost everything within first few weeks of the war, their homes, their loved ones and their lives. We were fortunate to be able to stay in our home and to live in a small town surrounded with natural resources.
 I don’t think I need to do much convincing how important water is. We had a natural spring near by so we were able to get drinking water. The “only” challenge was getting there and back alive when grenades are falling from the sky. Having a good container that you can close tight and run without spilling water was very important. Having containers of any kind that you can use to store water was important in general. We needed water for washing laundry, for bathing, cooking and cleaning. Very quickly we learned to bring these things down to a bare minimum. One of the first things my parents did is move this big wood burning stove into the house. It was sitting in our backyard unused, inheritance from my grandparents, we were going to get rid of it…….oh how happy we were that we kept it. My home already had a hook up for a wood burning stove but I know that some people just simply made a hole in their wall and made it work. Wood burning stoves were in high demand. I can’t imagine having to live without electricity for a long time and not having one. Sure you can cook food in your back yard using open fire or sun oven but good luck heating up your home in the winter.
Back to water, so we used this stove to heat up water in a big stock pot and we would carry it to the bathroom add some cold water and then we used it for bathing. I used plastic pitcher to grab water from the pot, the smaller the pitcher is the better. You have to fill it up more often but when you start running out of the water it is easier to fill up small pitcher from the bottom of the pot, I guess you can have both.
Other than preparing food, washing laundry was a full time job in it self.
We changed shirts and underwear everyday but pants and towels were used few times before they were washed. Washing laundry by hands was painful. My back was killing me leaning over the bath tub all the time, and my wrists developed scabs, the skin on my palms was painful and sensitive to the touch. Underwear we boiled in a big pot on the stove with a little detergent added. This was the only way to disinfect it and yes we had a pot designated for this purpose only
Drying the laundry became a challenge too, you would think you can just use clothes line and hang it outside but the problem was since everyone in the town had some sort of fire going, and some used coal burning stoves the air was filled with sooth and if you left your laundry outside for an hour it was covered in it so we hung it above our stove inside.
Dirty dishes were kept at minimum, most meals were one pot meals, this helped us stretch the protein too. Paper plates and plastic utensils are great when electricity is out for only few days any emergency that lasts longer than a month means you have a big problem on your hands, how to dispose your trash and even though your trash becomes minimal too since you’re always thinking of different ways to reuse different packaging and there are absolutely no leftover food to be thrown away, there’s still trash.
OK, so for now I’ll live you with this image of a small town that was once beautiful and now smells like a giant beef jerky mixed with aroma of trash that is not going away.
Here is the next part of Stasha’s story…Medicine in a time of emergency.   Stasha has a great story to tell about living in Bosnia during the Bosnian war.  We can all learn a thing or too from her.  (If you haven’t yet, make sure you read her other story about Water and an overview of her story.)
If your family has special medical needs you will have to decide based on that what medicine is important for you. I can tell you this, pain medication, fever reducers and antibiotics were in demand. We had none. Going to a hospital was out of question, hospitals were full of wounded soldiers and civilians, missing limbs and badly injured.
Medical supply is one of those things you can not predict how much you are going to need and what kind you are going to need, medicine can’t be rotated the same way food can so like I mentioned before this is something you will decide based on your family needs.
I would like to give you a list of things that I like to have, these are cheap things and are available everywhere, and if you have a limited budget like me you can still stock up on them. Distilled white vinegar,baking soda,bleach, hydrogen peroxide. These are the things you can use in baking, cleaning, disinfecting……the list is endless. Build from here based on your needs and as your budget allows.
For women I must mention, not having feminine pads will add a lot of stress to already difficult situation. My mom and I used some old cut up and folded cotton shirts, we did not know how long the war will last so these had to be washed and reused, I know maybe not pleasant to hear but it was my reality. If I had a choice back then I would’ve given up shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste……all of it just to have pads.
I saved one thing for the end because if you forget everything from this story I hope this one thing stays with you. It is very important that you go and see your dentist regularly, you DO NOT want to have to deal with tooth infection and pain that follows in any emergency situation. The only thing available to us during the war was tooth extraction and yes you guessed it, without Novocaine. I had my tooth extracted that way and I’ll just say it took a dentist and three nurses to keep me in that chair.
I hope all of you who are reading my story are able to learn something new, if not maybe by reading it you can feel somewhat better knowing that you already knew this and you feel prepared. If you have any questions please ask, maybe you can think of something that I didn’t cover. I will do my best to answer them. Thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Living more abundantly

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  John 10:10

When we apply gospel principles in our lives, we can become more productive spiritually and temporally. The gospel teaches us to do our best to prepare for a successful future while enjoying the present. It teaches us to seek our Heavenly Father’s help to develop our potential so that we can contribute to the lives of others and be examples of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The atonement of our Savior has given Him the power to help us become the person He knows we can become... if we are truly willing to follow the Spirit and become more like Him and ask for His help. Our spiritual growth must be complemented by our temporal progress. It is important for you to educate and train yourself in order to better
provide for your family and serve in the home, Church, and community. 

Many spiritual principles have temporal application, and our temporal lives often influence our ability to grow spiritually.  As we read and study our scriptures daily we learned and grow Spiritually and it helps to grow temporally as well.  So many lessons carry into our temporal lives and we become better for it. 

In our lives we will all face disasters.  Most will be personal but some will cover more.  Having a spiritual and temporal foundation will bless you and your family so that you will be able to weather the storms you will have to face as you go through life.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Doing Pumpkin up

I cured all the winter squash including pumpkin by keeping them above 70 degrees for 5 weeks.  Pumpkins that have been cured only last up to 2 month's so I go ahead and can those when I have time.  The other winter squash if blemish free and properly cured will last 4 to 8 month's.  I have 1 apple box full of acorn squash and 2 apple boxes full of butternut squash on the shelf in my basement now.  I had 9 pie pumpkins and then 2 that the kids had bought for Halloween and didn't use.  Out of those I got 42 pints of canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin is easy to work up if you know how.  I read one book that said to peel the pumpkin and then cut into chunks to can.  Oh my what a hard job!  An old neighbor many years ago told me to bake the pumpkins after I removed the seeds in a 350 to 400 degree oven for 1 hour.   Then I cut off pieces of the pumpkin and slice the meat out of it and toss the outer skin into a bucket for the chickens or to toss into the compost bin.  I ran my pumpkin through the food processor and then canned it up. 

Pint jars in the pressure canner for 65 minutes and quarts for 80 minutes.  You can do chunks and puree it later and can do the same with other winter squash. 


Monday, November 14, 2011

Making Do

We've become such a throw away society .  Our grandparents knew how to make do and get by.  With the economic crisis looming we would all be wise to learn the things they knew back when.  If things got real bad, would you know what outside was fit to eat and what wasn't?  Back during the depression many lived off the landscape and thrived. 

Many found talents and job skills they never would of found.  Maybe it's time to look into yourself and find skills and make them better so you will be able to survive no matter what.
Many skills can be found online for free.   Don't just watch a few video's and call it quits.  Practice and make sure you understand skills you want to improve. 

Learn new skills now so if things go wrong you will be able to survive and make your way in the future.


Friday, November 11, 2011

living providently

Living providently is a way of life not a frantic act of getting prepared.  It's the act of putting things aside when the time is right.   It's the act of using what you have and doing without when you can't get anything at the right time.  The right time is when it's in season, when it's on sale.  It's making do with what you have instead of getting the latest thing out on the market.

You might feel a little weird to have food stashed all over the house or a special room set aside for your food storage but I bet you sleep a lot better knowing if things go crazy you can at least feed your family!

Living providently means saving up instead of going in debt for stuff.  It means carrying a debit card instead of a credit card.  It means making most of your meals at home from scratch instead of eating out every day.  It is a daily commitment to live a provident life. 

May God bless you as you work toward living a provident life style.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On the Road

We'll be taking off for Utah to spend some time with my father in law who has been battling cancer.  I have to leave my lap top at home for my daughter to use for her online college class.  So I will be off line for at least a week. 

Any time you are traveling make sure you have emergency supplies.  If you break down or get lost and then stuck on a back road you'll be thankful for the supplies you have. 

There is a big winter storm covering the area we normally would travel so we will be taking a southern route on highways and back roads we normally wouldn't take.  Having emergency supplies is always important but when you know ahead of time that you will be traveling strange roads then you really know to prepare.

It's winter so along with food and water I'll make sure at least one of us has heavy boots, gloves, coats in case we have to take an unexpected hike.  Having some cord, knife and emergency heat might save your life. 

Take care and I'll be back in a week or two.

Monday, October 31, 2011

One thing that always bugged me

I was so excited when I learned how to vacuum seal stuff into canning jars but it always bugged me that the method required electricity.  I found a system that didn't use electric but it made a hole in the lid and you had to cover it with a sticker and then you couldn't reuse the lids.   Then one day I was flipping through my copy of Making the Best of Basics by James Talmage Stevens.  There are a few ads scattered throughout the book and I found one that offered plans to make a Multi-Jar Non- electric Vacuum sealing Pump.  James says he's been using his homemade unit for over 10 years and it works great, even does 5 gallon buckets!   So I sent $13 off and got my instructions and a friend is busy making me one right now.  If you too would like to order in the plans I will give you the ordering info here.  "Get you copy of plans for this do it yourself project by remitting $10 check or money order + $3 postage to: Tom Halverson, 46962   269th Avenue, Laporte, MN 56461       You can e-mail him if you have other questions:

Now this uses an old piston style compressor from a car.  He tells you exactly the ones to buy and even tells you how to test it before you buy it.   I very much prefer to get equipment that doesn't need electric or gas to run so that in a crisis I could still use it without power if I had to.  If you are not mechanically inclined  make a copy of your plan and go find a friend who is!  For a nominal fee they can make one for you and get to keep their copy of the plan.  Our friend already has orders to make more of these  so it will help him earn more $$ to support his family. 

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just found a great site!

Planning out your food storage can seem kind of hard at times.   Each family is so very different and trying to figure it all out can seem almost impossible.  I found this site today and while they had things I don't store they also are lacking things I do store.  Their free food calculator can help you plan and see where you are at. 

Now I don't store things like Mayonnaise and jello.  But I do store things like Nuts and coconut oil.  I just decide how much I want stored for nuts and that is heavy in oils so I replace the mayo with it.  I am still trying to figure out how many quarts of nuts I need and then I will be able to plan that.  I do vacuum seal my nuts into quart jars so this category works well for nuts. 

Anyway I am passing this site along so you can play with it and see where you are in your storage and where you need to fill in the gaps.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a needed break

Some times you just need a break.  After going crazy all summer long preserving garden produce isn't it nice to just take a deep breathe and relax for a day?   I know soon I will need to select the winter squash we will save fresh for winter storage and then I will need to can up the rest of it including all that pumpkin.  Pumpkin only stays good for a few months so I know I just need to get it all canned up.  Just think of all the things we can make with pumpkin!   Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin cookies, Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cake, pumpkin shakes.  The list goes on and on!  But one of my favorite recipes for not just pumpkin, but also butternut, Acorn squashes and Sweet potatoes too!  It uses no nasty sugar and is so very good!

Sweet Potato or Winter Squash Whip

6 large sweet potatoes or 1 pumpkin or 2 large butternut or Acorn squash
1/4 cup heavy cream, scalded
2 or 3 Tablespoons dry sherry, to your personal taste
scalded milk if needed

Bake potatoes or squash in a preheated 375 to 400 degree oven until tender, about 1 hour.
Place cream, sherry and butter in food processor or blender.  Scoop out the meat of your chosen vegetable and add to food processor or blender.  Process until it is smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  If to stiff add a little warm milk until right consistency.  If to thin, heat until thickened.

It is so yummy instead of the nasty sugary sweet Potatoes most places serve.  I make mine up early and leave in my crockpot on the keep warm setting.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Hand Account of War

We all feel it could never happen here but I can't help but feel like it very well might.  Our Nation is head over heels in debt and there is no way that I can see to get out of it at this point.  Maybe if our Congress had their heads on straight and really worked on a plan.  But no one want to take blame for cutting stuff they think we can't live without.  Years ago most American's personally were in debt more than they thought they could ever pay off.  But a revolution quietly took place and now many through hard work and sacrifice  are living debt free.  We know what it took to get there and it was a painful battle that we fought and won. My family still has a mortgage that we are trying to get paid off  but all those credit cards, ect are long gone and will never return. 

We have become a society where we feel the government "owes" us everything.  No true.  We need to stand on our own feet and take care of ourselves, our family and help our neighbors when they need a hand.  Each state needs a well trained Militia and we need a well trained but smaller US Military to protect our borders and nation, not police the whole world.   We don't need to fund every nation in the world and we don't need to fund those feel good projects.  And yes we'll need to trim those social welfare programs.  How many get social society that have good pensions or retirement funds?  I know lots of folks who get more than 100,000 per year in such accounts and also collect their social security too.  These can be trimmed off so Grandma who has nothing else can survive.  How many on welfare can work or have family who can help support them?  Not all but part of them could.  Hard choices but we are facing hard times.  I'd rather face those hard cuts now instead of facing a bankrupt nation where anything could happen. 

I hope you will go to this link and read this person's comments on what happened to them. /Incredible_Survival_Q_A_from_Serbia.html


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Long Week

We've been working hard here all week.  We have been ripping out rooms in our pole barn.  When we first moved here we lived in the pole barn.  We ended up being there much longer than we had planned.   Some think 9/11 happened in NY and Washington DC But the aftermath of it happened all over.   First responders, travelers, soldiers, so many paid a price and still are.  My husband was called up with his guard unit and spent the next 8 years mostly gone.  It took a good long while before we got our home.

So now we are reclaiming the pole barn for parking and storage of machinery.  It's been a long week but we have gotten all the rooms removed except the kitchen.  One more day of cleaning up and it will all be history. 

This last week also brought a regional hard freeze.  I was able to get 2 boxes of tomatoes.  So I've also been working those up.  I canned ripe tomatoes and juice.   I was going to make green tomato relish but my family wanted ripe tomatoes and and fried green tomatoes.  So I've wrapped many of them in newspaper and set them on a shelf in the basement just like my Mom always did.  They will slowly ripen of the next several weeks and we could have ripe tomatoes as late as Christmas time depending on how green they are.  

Now the rest of the green tomatoes I am slicing them and then blanching them (dropping in boiling water for 30 seconds) and then breading them in a flour salt and pepper mix.  I spread them out on paper lined trays and freeze them.  Then I bag them up into freezer bags.  I had 8 quart bags so far and will finish them up on Monday.  the summer squash worked so well I just had to try the green tomatoes.  We tried just one tomato over night and then fried them up and we all loved them.  It will be great to have fried green tomatoes all winter!  

We also discovered hot Epsom salt baths really do revive sore aching muscles.  A new item to have in our storage!  Good for the garden and us too!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting ready for Winter

As the days pass along here the days and nights are getting cooler.  We'll still have a few warm days but the leaves are mostly turned now and falling.  It's time to get things done for winter. 

By tomorrow I should have all our garden beds cleaned out so we just have the isle ways and the compost bins to take care of.  We've done the last of our mowing and put the blade onto the tractor.  My husband chalked most of the windows, I'm not sure if he finished them all or not.   We are also finishing up the pole barn.  Taking out the rooms we had made so that we can park inside this winter.  Our winters tend to be pretty brutal here.  Yes there are plenty of places much worse but just a few more miles south they are much milder!   We just assume park and stay put in the winter time and only go out when we absolutely have too.

Don't forget your cars too!  Check your antifreeze and make sure you have good wipers and tires.  Redo your emergency pack so it's ready in case you get stranded in the winter time!  Having an emergency heater, food, water, and warm clothing can be a life saver!  A good pair of boots in case you have to hike out to get help.  I took an old pair of chore boots and bought some of the felt pads (at farm supply store) and put a double layer in each boot.  They were cheap and if I have to go tramping trough snow they keep my feet toasty.  Is your car ready for winter?

So now is the time to prepare for winter.  Don't put it off, do it now!  Also make sure you have food and water stored.  I even buy extra milk and freeze it so we still have fresh milk if we stay in for a long time. 

Enjoy the Autumn and make sure you are ready for winter before it gets here!


PS  I wonder where I put that really good scraper I had last year?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms 118:24.   I have these days every Fall and Spring.  Fall when we start having those cooler days and then suddenly have a perfect 70 degree type day with a gentle breeze and lots of sun.  Spring when you have those days it's coming on the heels of a long hard winter.  You just got to appreciate those days!

Yes when we have them they are so very perfect.  Today was one of those days.  I dashed out and got three loads of laundry hung out to dry and we worked out in our pole barn ripping out some more rooms to make parking areas.

When we first moved here years ago, it was right after 9/11 and my husband got shipped out with his guard unit.  We had started a pole barn and the kids and I turned part of it into a home to live in.  We were clueless on what we were doing.  We relied solely on the Lord to show us what we needed to do each day or someone who knew how to do it. 

We learned a lot that first year!  But mostly we developed great faith.  You have to understand we live far off the beaten path here.  To have people just show up right when we needed them was a big testimony builder.   We had one family who just got in their car up in Minnesota and started driving with no clue why or where they were going.  They drove straight into our driveway right at the moment we needed their special talents. 

It was a bitter sweet moment today to be ripping out what we had worked so hard to create.  But it was so sweet to be out in this glorious sunshine today! 

So today I hope you will count your blessing and be grateful for this day!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Beware of what you buy at the store

So many have no choice but to go buy all their food at the grocery store.  I am a retired bio-chemist that has worked for our government.  It was a very shocking and revealing experience.  I learned we were there to help support our food industry and to find a way to make what they produce sound like it is good for the American public.

So now we have them assuring us that GMO products are good for us.  Adding steroids into animal feeds is not only good for the farmer, it is good for us.  Well don't you believe a single word of it!  

These are unnatural products that our bodies can't process.  Our body gets confused and if you are lucky it will lay those unnatural foods into fats and make you nice and plump.  But so many are getting strange diseases that use to be so very rare and now are so very common. 

So many of these items are hidden and we would never even know we are eating them!  All corn used to produce food except for popcorn is GMO products.  All soy beans used for food is GMO soybeans.  Soybeans are also very unsafe to use because they release a very unnatural type of estrogen.  This is being added to animal feeds so unless you get the right organic milk your will be getting soy in your store bought milk.  We made our own almond milk for quite a while before we found a local source of safe milk to use.  

Do you buy bottled water?  Yeah, we use to buy cases of the stuff!  When these are exposed to sunlight they release unnatural estrogen into the water.  When I said this stuff is hidden I really meant it is hidden!   

I make everything from scratch.  My husband bought me an awesome hand mill(Montana Grainmaker) and an electric Wonder Mill.  I mill all my own grains.  Making your own crackers and breads is easy to do.  I make chips also and potato chips are so very easy to make.  Fritos and tortilla chips are a little more work but very doable!   If you want to know how to make anything, just ask and I'll post it in the blog!

Now you can go to the store and see with new eyes what you are really eating and feeding your family!   


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lesson's from a 91 year old

I listen to lots of blog talk radio show on preparing but this one is one that will help so many learn lessons that can help them survive no matter what they must go through.  Hope you can enjoy his lesson's in this hour long show as much as I did!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Seventh Seal has been broken but no need to panic

So many feel the end is coming quickly.  Yes the seventh seal spoken of in Revelations has been broken.  What do each of the seals mean?  Time.  Around 1,000 years each seal.  Honey, a thousand years is probably like a day to the Lord but to us, it's a long time.  Is the end coming?  Yelp, but it won't happen overnight.  If you really read your bible you know things are going to get pretty bad before that end comes.

What we need to do is be prepared to feed and take care of our families.  We never know when we will face famine but if we have stored food we'll be prepared.  The water thing might take a little more work but prayerfully work on your preps and you'll be ok.

But most important we need to remember our Lord and do the things He has commanded us to do.  We can start with the 10 Commandments. I'm borrowing a little section from our prophet Thomas Monson given just a few weeks ago in the Oct 2011 General Conference session in SLC.

"Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel. If we but listen, we hear the echo of God’s voice, speaking to us here and now:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. …
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. …
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. …
“Honour thy father and thy mother. …
“Thou shalt not kill.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.
“Thou shalt not steal.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness. …
“Thou shalt not covet.”2
Our code of conduct is definitive; it is not negotiable. It is found not only in the Ten Commandments but also in the Sermon on the Mount, given to us by the Savior when He walked upon the earth. It is found throughout His teachings. It is found in the words of modern revelation.
Our Father in Heaven is the same yesterday, today, and forever."


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Feeling Overwhelmed

Some times when you are thinking about prepping you can feel quite overwhelmed.  I need sugar and dry milk for my food storage and I have nothing at all except a couple boxes of band aids for 1st aid supplies.  That's going to be real helpful when one of us gets out of control allergies and swells up and can't breathe!  Oh I really like that new Aquapail and that hummer solar generator!  Really need to get those!  If the power goes out we really need a hand cranked blender too!  Wish I could talk my other half into putting in that rocket stove biomass heat system now!  Dumped all our water storage so he could build those stands for the 55 gallon barrel and he hasn't gotten to it yet.  Really want some shelves in the food storage room too! 

        See how you can start thinking to much and get overwhelmed?  Don't do it!  There are just so many hours in a day and so much money to spread around.  Set your budget and make your list and just work a little at a time as you are able to do so!  Every month if you spend $20 you will make a difference before you know it!   You might focus on Food one month and medical needs the next and rotate so you have a little in each area along the way. 

     If you are on a tight budget and have no food at all then focus on basic stables that would fill you up.  There is a well balanced meal and then there is a survivor meal.  If you have no food you should lay in a 3 month supply of survivor food.  For me that would be beans and rice.  For my son that would be Ramon noodles.  What would be your basic survivor meals?  After you get that 3 month survivor food stashed then you can start planning what you would really like to eat and get that stuff.  But now you can relax because you know you have a good 3 month's worth of food already stashed. 

       As you go through your days and weeks, keep track of the things you use.  This can help you plan for the future storage.  But Don't panic and don't get caught up in garbage you hear.  Slowly work on your family emergency preps and you will get it done over time. 

I hope you don't get overwhelmed!  If you do take a big breathe and say " It will all get done over time so there is no need to panic". 


Monday, October 10, 2011

I found a free E-Book that's worth having!

Food Storage Made Easy is a fun site to go visit.  Right now they are offering a free downloadable Shelf Stable food Storage cookbook.   These are recipes that their readers submitted to them.  I printed mine out as a booklet and bound it up.  I love collecting these kinds of recipe booklets!  In a true crisis, you never know which recipe will brighten your families face!

Make sure you download it quickly just in case they pull it soon!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cleaning dehydrating trays

A friend told me to clean my trays in a tub of hot water with borax added to it.  I decided to try my home made dish soap instead and it worked great! 

MYO dishsoap
  • 2 bars of shredded octagon soap
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Put shredded soap in 4 1/2 - 5 quarts of water and stir and melt. After melted turn stove off and add the other ingredients. Stir and wait till it cools before pouring into containers with lids.
Use as you would use other dish detergents. This doesn't suds very well but, it sure does clean. I got 5 quarts out of this.  You can try other bar soap with this but I sure do love this Colgate Octagon Soap!  

Anyway, don't fret over those nasty sticky dehydrator trays!  Soak them in hot soapy water or borax water and then just rinse and dry.  I just did bananas and they sure were a nasty mess!  Worked like a charm and no more worries over if I really want to dry something or not because of the mess it makes!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dehydrating guide

I know I have a book somewhere but I am dehydrating bananas right now and just needed to know quickly how far to dry them.  I checked online and found a wonderful guide to not only drying stuff but also re-hydrating them to use also.   I've never been real big on dehydrating until last year when I decided to stop filling my freezer full.  I like having most stuff canned but sure like having part of it dehydrated.  With part of it dried I can make up my own dehydrated mixes for over 50 different meals.  The jars look so pretty and are labeled with the recipe to use it.  But that is another post some other day!  Today I just wanted to share this link for the guide to dehydrating with you!  Hope it helps you!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Becoming Self Reliant

Becoming self reliant is a way of life.  You change how you do stuff and even how you think.  I am always looking for that bargain to fill my needs.  Canning jars fall into my lap because I've spread the word that I need them!  Sooner or later someone cleaning out their basement will run across canning stuff they no longer need and remember me and call.  Pay attention to sale prices too!  I used a lot of sugar this year when I was canning.  The cheapest price I have found for sugar works out to 2.63 per 4 lb.  A local grocery store is selling 4 lb bags for 1.49 today limit of 3.  If everyone in my family picks up their 3 bags we've made a dent in replenishing all that sugar that was used in canning.  I also learned I need a lot more sugar, canning salt and vinegar than I had planned for.  But there are other things like realizing we are low on pasta and we have tons of eggs right now.  Making our own egg noodles is rapidly replenishing our supplies and it is costing me nothing except my time and labor.  Are you constantly looking for things you will need in a crisis?  Big ticket items are always a good thing to be watching for!  Pressure canning, hand tools, treadle sewing machines, medical supplies are always good items to be watching for.  I found my All American pressure canner at a sale for $35 but you have to be watching and be ready to grab the bargains!  To be self reliant you also have to be willing to work.  Always take stock of what you have and what holes you need to fill.  Over time you will slowly fill the holes and become a much more self reliant person.   Just remember you can't instantly become self reliant, you slowly evolve into that type of person, it is a way of life.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall Harvesting

When you harvest those Fall Crops you need to know how to store them.  Pumpkins and winter squash should be picked with long stems left on them.  Once you have them all gathered in you need to cure them.  I picked a small room to spread them out in.  Now for the next 2 weeks I have to keep that room above 70 degrees.  I spread them all out on the counter tops in my Utility room and made sure none of them were touching.  Keeping them at 70 degrees or higher will give them a nice thick skin so they won't rot right off in storage.  The Pumpkins will keep nicely for at least 3 month's if cured. the Butternut & Acorn squash will last into March through May.  The squash that the stems got broke off on are the ones we'll use first.  Now I can relax and when I have time I will start canning some of it up starting with the pumpkins.  But that is for another day!  Today you just need to know how to cure all those fall harvest!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Todays Pasta

Filled 3 cases of regular egg noodles so far and today switched to make some Lasagna noodles up.  I'll give you the recipe for a single batch.  I made up 6 batches at once to fill my table top.  Using my surplus up to fill those #10 cans with dry egg noodles and decided to see if other noodles would work as well.  Filling up the freezer also to use up this winter.

Lasagna Noodles

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 egg
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
water to get a firm non sticky dough

Mix all together until you have a firm dough.  Roll out into a thin flat sheet and cut into wide strips and either use or air dry and can.

We have a dry pack canner in our home so we put stuff like this into #10 metal cans.  If you don't have access to a dry pack canner you can vacuum seal the dry noodles into the canning jars.

Have fun using what you have to make the things you need!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

I collect Emergency prep books all the time that help with crisis.  One that I had gotten from the LDS Church last year has been renamed and put online so you can download it and print it free of charge.  There is so much awesome material in this manual.  While it was geared to help those living in a 3rd world country in a crisis it could be a great help to us!  In this manual along with other things it also shows how to make a powerless evaporation type refrigerator.  I tried it out using 3 milk crates covered with fabric this summer in our 3 week 100 degree heat wave and it actually got down to 40 degrees!  A friend suggested making this out of PVC pipe instead of wood and I agree that that would be a viable option.  I hope you will take time to down load and print at lest the pages you find useful.  You can also go to and click on the online store and order this manual for $11.75.

Please remember it is important for you to print out information you find useful and not rely on pulling it up online.  In a crisis you may not have power or internet to turn to!  putting information in 3 ring binders and keeping it with your emergency preps can be a great blessing to you!  Also taking the time to try some of this stuff out may be the difference between surviving easily and struggling in a crisis.  I bought a Global Sun Oven and have used it off and on over the last few years.  At first I struggled to get it above 200 degrees.  Over time I learned tricks to keep it from fogging over and now it regularly heats up to 350 and beyond.  I use to grow gardens with no trouble but when I tried in our new location I discovered it wasn't so easy anymore!  My 1st two gardens failed.  If our lives had depended on it we would of starved.  We've figured it all out now and could make it on our garden if we needed too.  Make your water filter (also listed in this manual!) or fridge or anything else you think would be good to have.  Try it out so you know ahead of time how to do it.  


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Preparing for what we never thought could happen

My GGGrandfather went throught the New Madrid Earth quake in 1811-12 and left his Journal to the Missouri State Archives.  it's written in old french so it took me a few years to find a translator and cost me a pretty penny.  What I heard in those few days she read this journal to me changed my life forever!  I never dreamed something like that could happen anywhere!  He, Michael Branum and his wife survived the initial earthquake and because of the flooding was able to find a mule and fled westward.  Remember New Madrid Missouri is right against the Mississippi River so they had to go west.  This is land that had been bought in New Orleans from the French. They had been there for over 30 years.  They did not volunteer to walk away, they ran for their lives!  For over 2 month's they could not stop even at night.  The ground kept quaking and opening up and swallowing whole trees and anything around it.  Flood water keep flowing in.  After two month's of walking they finally reached stable land in what is now LaClede/ Wright counties.    Here they started over.  All the land in New Madrid was taken over by land speculators.    I am listening to a show on blog talk radio right now that covers New Madrid quake zone and also a survivor of the Armenian Earthquake and all they went through.  Please take some tome and listen to this 2 hour show!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still dealing with eggs

A by product of making home made egg noodles which I am still making is having lots of left over egg whites.  The most effective way to use up all those egg whites is to make up Angel Food Cakes.  These freeze very well and thaw fast when you need one.  I only have one Angel Food cake pan so I can only do one at time.  After this week I will be on the look out for more pans at thrift stores.

An Angel Food cake uses 1 1/2 cup of egg whites.  When I worked at the hospital, they allowed diabetics to have a small slice of Angel Food Cake so it's easier on the sugar than most cakes.  For each cake I use this recipe:

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
3/4 + 2 Tablespoons sugar
Sift together and set aside

1 1/2 cup egg whites (about 12)
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixer bowl, beat until foamy.  Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time and beat until you get stiff peaks.  Gently fold in 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon Almond.  Sprinkle flour-sugar Mixture, 1/4 cup at a time folding in gently into the meringue until the flour mixture disappears.  Carefully put the batter into the ungreased tube pan.  Gently cut through batter.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger.  Invert tube pan on funnel, let hang until cake is completely cool.

I discovered on my second cake I was out of cream of tartar.  I decided to substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice and it seems to of worked just fine.  Some substitutes work just fine and others totally flop.  You never know until you try!  Well as the cake cooled it fell all apart.  Still tasted good but totally unsuitable for the freezer!  So much for lemon!  I'll have to go to town to get cream of tartar and add that to my food storage list!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Building up my food storage and using up eggs

Having a few hens can be a great blessing but if you have 15 like I do things can get out of hand if I'm not on my toes!  Last year I started oiling my eggs after I brought them in and washed them.  Oiling them keeps them from drying out and going bad.  You should also turn the eggs every month to keep the yolk in the center.  This will keep the eggs good for a year. You don't even need to refrigerate them, just keep in a cool dark area.  But if you do refrigerate them then you have to keep them in the fridge.  This is an old sailors trick so they can have fresh eggs while at sea.  I had been frying up the excess eggs and then dehydrating them and then running them through the blender to make my own powdered eggs but we have a good 5 year supply of powdered eggs so I decided to start making egg noodles.

Everyone loves home made egg noodles and they are expensive to buy.  I make up my own for special occasions but thought maybe I should start making huge batches and rolling them out and letting them dry completely and then dry pack can them into #10 cans.  I made 5 batches at once and it fill 3 1/3 cans full.  So when today's big batch is done we'll have a full case of 6 boxed and sealed up for future use.   I will list my regular batch followed by the 5X batch in case you ever get a great deal on eggs and want to do the same thing.

Egg Noodles

Put 2 cups flour in a large bowl and make a well.  Add 3 yolks and one full egg plus 2 teaspoons salt and mix into the flour.  Add up to 1/2 cup water just until enough to make noodle dough.  divide into 4 parts and roll out very thin.  Use flour to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin or counter top and then cover noodles with flour before cutting so they don't stick together.

5X batch
10 cups flour
15 yolks
5 whole eggs
10 teaspoons salt
Just enough water to make a very stiff dough.

I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the dough hook and just add a little water at a time until its just right.  If I add too much water I add a little flour to get it right.

Now those egg whites are going to become Angel food cake tomorrow and I can wrap them and keep them in the freezer to use later. 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

400th annivarsary of the King James Bible

I listened to a great blog talk radio show today that talked about our nation and the King James Bible and being preparded.   Hope you'll take time to listen too!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Couldn't find my blog!

I was cleaning up my computer and getting rid of all the tracking cookies, ect and suddenly realized I hadn't book marked my blog site and it wouldn't just pop up anymore when I started typing in the address.  I knew I had started it on July 4th and had listed it on my facebook page so went back there to get the whole address thing!  It's bookmarked now and also wrote it down in my file. 

Being prepared can take other paths at times.  Have you had to deal with the death of a parent yet?  Trying to get everything in order can be mind boggling!  I found a wonderful program I could download and print out for $9.95.       

Joyce Moseley Pierce created this program after a long experience.  It  contains forms for providing:
Vital Statistics
Professional Records
Military Records
Funeral Instructions
Names of those to Notify and…
Financial Information regarding…:
- Checking and Savings Accounts
- Location and Contents of Safe Deposit Box
- Certificates of Deposit
- Stocks
- Bonds
- Mutual Funds
- Savings Plans
- Retirement Programs
- Trust Accounts
- Real Estate
- Loans Payable and Receivable
- Insurance
- Automobiles
- Credit Cards

Last year my aunt passed away.  Her kids were trying to deal with her arrangements and didn't even know their Mom had served 4 years in the US Marines in 1948-1952.   They could of gotten part of the funeral paid for or the entire thing if they had wanted to bury her in a military cemetery.  But they were clueless and ended up just getting a free head stone after doing some research to tie it all together.  My aunt was 70yr old and had lived with her daughter or granddaughter for many years.  My cousin's said their Mom never talked about herself so they just talked about the kids.  Aunt Carol talked to me a lot over the years!  She had gone to cosmetology school with her older sister Francis.  Francis ended up going into the Army and died while in route to Korea in 1954.  My cousin's knew none of this.  If your parents, grandparents, Aunt's & Uncle's are still around, talk to them!  Ask them questions and learn about their lives when they were kids.  You can learn a lot! 

Make up a booklet about your own life so your kids can take care of your affairs if something happens to you.   Give them light in those dark days  and hours.  Help them when you can no longer be there to show them the way.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 remembered

We all face disasters every day.  Many of them are personal to just ourselves or local events but occasionally a localized event will become a national or even international event.

When those planes flew into the twin towers 10 years ago, I knew instantly my life had just changed dramatically.  Living in Missouri you might have wondered why I would think such a thing. 

My husband served in the Missouri Air National Guard and I instantly knew he would soon be mobilized with his unit.  We had 5 children at home at the time and home educated each of them.  My husband and I both worked 2 jobs in an effort to get out of debt.  We arranged our schedules so one of us was at home most of the time.  We also had our home up for sale but had not had any promising lookers in the 2 years it was listed.

He was in deed mobilized and by early November was gone more than home.  We turned to mighty prayer in how we could manage all we had to deal with.  At first my husbands civilian employer did not supplement his military income.  We faced an immediate 75% cut in income.  I had to cut my hours back to be able to deal with the children also. 

The first answer to prayer was a cash buyer showing up.  We closed a week later and had to be out of the house the same day.  My husband was not able to get off to come home and help and folks from church seemed to disappear.  I had 2 lovely sisters who showed up and packed out my kitchen.  Years later I still pray for those two sweet angels!  I rented a storage unit and the kids and I hauled everything down and threw it in.  We broke stuff and we sure lost stuff!  But we got us moved.  I found a dumpy trailer to rent and quickly realized we had to get out fast.  Heating it was twice as much as the rent!  My husband begged me to stay put but he got to come stay one night with us and that night was an experience that lead him to say, move and move now! 

A drug dealer running from authorities went under our trailer and we were instantly surrounded by a good 20 police cars with lights and sirens blaring and they stayed on all night long.  We left home at 5am to take dear ole very tired Dad for his flight taking him over seas.   

Getting rid of the 1st and 2nd mortgages allowed us some room to breathe.  Also after the first 1 1/2 months his civilian employer  started giving us 3/4 of my husbands pay.  Blessings continued for us!  A few years before we felt impressed to buy some land.  We got 99 acres up  near the Iowa border and had started a pole barn on it.  All the poles were in and about a 1/3 of the roof.  The kids and I moved up there on February 1st and lived in a tent.   It snowed clear into May that year!   But the Lord's blessing continued.

We were way off the beaten path.  It took 7 month's for the electric co-op to get a line out to us and 8 month's for the Phone co-op to get here.  We had plenty of time to get the roof and walls up!   We were blessed with a freak warm up and was able to get concrete floor poured early on.  Maybe that's why it snowed later! 

Then there was people!  All kinds of people turning up to help us.  One family from Minnesota said they just jumped in their car and started driving with no clue where they were going!  They sure answered our prayers the day they showed up here!  Another  family about 7 miles from us had a heated guest house for us to stay in for a month rent free.  We sure worked from first light to dark getting the roof and walls done during that time!  We had more blessings during this time than I could ever list!

We worked hard and lived off our food storage and learned so very much that year! My husband was gone most of 8 years.  Our twin daughters still say they don't know their Dad.  They were just barely 8 when he left and 16 when he returned.  It is our one big regret of those years. 

One local event that changed millions of lives.  Life happens, I hope and pray you'll always be ready for what ever comes your way!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's canning

I had been frustrated because I just couldn't manage to get any meats canned to get ahead for our food storage.  Then my son's lost their jobs and moved back home.  One of them who is disabled filed for SSDI and received it along with food stamps and medicaid.  For him to find a job these days with his disabilities would be almost impossible.  The other son works off his rent and the disabled son gives us $50 cash and then $50 in food.  the other son is currently away looking for work in another city but should be back in another week or so.

For 4 month's now I have collected meats our son has provided as part of his rent and canned it all up to build our food storage.  Now after 4 month's my family gathered around today and commented that if things ever go bad for us they will now it was solely by my hands that we may eat fairly well no matter what.  Along with the grains, fruits, vegetables and other dry goods we now have a pretty decent selection of meat to  add to our storage.  I still have gaps to fill but I have hope that no matter what happens in the coming month's, we'll survive.   And hopefully we'll be able to help our neighbors if it is needed.  Looking around our store room is a very pleasant experience these days!  

I hope your food storage is also building up into something wonderful!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Harvest is on

Our fields full of soy beans were planted late so will be a few more month's before we harvest them but many area farmers have begun harvesting their fields.  I am still harvesting from the garden.  Cucumbers have finally slowed way down.  I have two more batches to do up and should be done with cucumbers for the year.  I will start harvesting basil and mint and getting it dried to use this winter also.  I have winter squash, pumpkins, and potatoes to deal with later on.  Now is the time to fill your pantry full of food that you can up yourself. 

It can feel expensive if you don't have jars and equipment but it is a once in  a life time expense.  You reuse it all over and over for years to come. It took me several years to get what I needed and I still have not bought a water bath canner.  Using my tall stock pot along with a round rack from my rice cooker has served me very well for almost 40 years.  My stock pot is 10" tall.  I saw them at Sam's Club a couple weeks ago for $35.  I have no clue what a water bath canner is running for but at least you can compare now.  As Fall rolls on in, it is a great time to check on canning supplies!  Many stores will mark stuff down to get it out about now to make room for the Holiday stuff coming in.  If you need canning supplies be on the look out for a true bargain!   Having a pressure canner is a must!  Most vegetables and all meats must be done in a pressure canner.  If you can only get one canner make sure it is a pressure canner!   I can pressure can all the stuff I water bath can if I needed to do so! 

Check your area for canning jars.  I found an Amish store off the beaten path in my area that gets canning jars without lids for much less than local stores can sell for.  I get pint jars (16 oz.) for $4.40 per case of 12.  I get Quart jars(32 oz.) for $5.50 per case 0f 12.  That's almost 1/2 price from Walmart or the local grocery stores in my area that sell the same cases from $8.87 to $12.47.  I'm swimming in screw bands and can get a case of 2000 lids for $54 at the same place I'm getting my jars. 

I thought I had all the jars I needed but then I started vacuum sealing food stuff into canning jars and also started canning all of our meats instead of putting it all into the freezer.  I counted my blessing of doing that today when I listened to a friend who had gone a week without electric on the East coast following the hurricane.  He explained how they had water, computers, ect by using their generator but just didn't have enough power to fuel the freezer so they tossed 95% of it after the storm was over.  They ate what they could but it was precious little in the way of what they had.  They both said they didn't want to think about cooking while this was all going on.  I have precious little in my freezer so would lose almost nothing.

So why have a freezer? Well, we already had it.  I do store some fruits, some meat, like a few steaks for special occasions, ect.  I store our garden seeds in the freezer.  I make sure they are clean and very, very dry.  I put them into canning jars clearly labeled with exactly what they are and the date they went in and remark each time I remove it from the freezer.  When I need seed, I remove the jar the night before and let it come up to room temperature.  Before opening the jar I make sure to wipe down the jar very well with a clean dry cloth to remove any moisture that may be on the jar.  I remove all the seed I might need for the year and then wipe the rim well and reseal.  It is critical to make sure no moisture of any kind gets into the seed.  Any moisture at all will kill the seed when it freezes. 

Now for the rest of the freezer I fill empty juice or water bottles and keep the freezer full all the time.  During the winter months I make up cookie dough, cinnamon rolls, ect.  and freeze and anyone who wants a treat can got get what they want and bake it and have just enough for the moment without leaving a whole pan sitting there for those who don't want to be tempted.  Anyway I remove as many water bottles as I need to and as we remove stuff we just add in enough bottles to fill the freezer again.  If the electric goes out my freezer will stay frozen much longer with it being filled with frozen water bottles.

I've been dreaming of a root cellar and my husband has promised to build a couple but so far it hasn't happened.  So I can most of the potatoes and only leave about 50 pounds out fresh.  They tend to start growing sprouts late January or early February so canning most of them gives me potatoes to add to soups or make mashed potatoes with. 

I hope you are thinking about possible disasters in your life and how to prepare for them and start collecting what you need.  If you need help with any of your preparations please let me know and I'll be happy to do a blog on it!