Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Finding peace in todays world

I know how stressful life is nowadays.  As we move closer to the end, Satan has taken control and Christian's find themselves under fire and stressed out.  We have to find peace and carry it with us.

1.  Read and study the scriptures daily.  Its a great way to start your day.  6 1/2 pages a day will allow you to read the entire Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C and pearl of great price each year.  Knowing the scriptures from daily study periods will help us to Know our Savior and know His Holy Spirit as it touches our life and guides us.

2  Prayer.  Deep personal prayer, family prayer, having a constant prayer in your heart as you go through the day.  Heavenly Father knows us and knows whats going on but it is up to us to let Him know how we feel we are doing and what we feel our needs are.  Open the door and you will find peace.

3.  Listening to good music and movies calms our spirit and helps us find peace.  You can know listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 24/7 online free of charge:

4.   Change your perspective.  Focus on wonderfulness, ignore pettiness.  Focus on positive things.  Choose your attitude and take time to train your mind to always turn to positive thoughts.

5.  Realize that problems will always be there.  Throw all your problems into the problem bucket and deal with things on your own time as they come.  There will always be problems in the problem bucket but slow down and just deal with them as they come.   Its not ever what happens to us.  Its always how we react to what happens to us.

6.  Practice Positive Thinking.  Ask the right questions when dealing with problems.  Questions are often more valuable than answers.  Ask yourself "What is good about this?"  Change your perspective!

7.  Ask yourself the right questions!  What is good about this?  How can I do XXX and enjoy the process?  Your brain will figure out how to make it work.  Ask empowering questions!

8.  Its not about failure.  It's ALWAYS about getting back up.    Make your environment conducive to success.  You get in life what you focus on.  What ever you want, you must focus on it and then and only then will you achieve what you want.  

9.  Close your eyes and put your hands on your heart.  Focus on your heart and breathe slowly in.  Breathe deeply.  Slowly exhale.  Repeat 2 or 3 times and then slowly open your eyes.  This should act to slower your mind and body down.  Relax and move slower.

10.  Remember the scriptures you read each day and ponder them and pray about them.  Slowing down and dealing with things at a slower rate and prayer, pondering and scripture study will bring you peace to help you through the hard times.

Remember in Christ we can do all things.  Have faith and find peace.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stocking stuffers

 I love Christmas! I love wrapping presents. I love decorating the house. I love baking cookies and special desserts. I love visiting friends and neighbors. I love writing Christmas cards. I love making up my special popcorn mixes and filling our cans with pop corn and party mixes. I love filling the stockings!

Today I thought I would share with you some of my ideas on filling the Christmas stockings. When I was growing up, our stocking was filled with special candies and fruit and little trinkets. I try to find small things that will be special and useful. So heres my list:

Tooth brushes/floss/cleaning tools
Gift cards
Make up
small toys/games (yes, even adults enjoy the right ones)
Nice socks
small notebooks
art supplies
nail polish
lip gloss/ chap sticks
Special food treats
Rolled money

In short, you want to find “small” “special” items and the list can be endless. I invite the rest of the family to add their small items to the stockings to. Every year someone shows up with a stocking stuffer that is to big for the stocking. Just keep in mind size matters. And have fun collecting! If you have lots of stockings to fill, you might want to get small bags with their names on them to fill so you can keep tabs on what all each person has. I like to wrap each item as I go and then they can't sneak a peek ahead of time. I also keep an eye out all year round for special small gifts to use as stocking stuffers. Some years I have a box full of items but I hardly traveled this last year so have nothing in my box this year. I'm so excited to go stocking shopping!

Have fun and make it special!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I woke up with that silly little kids song "If your Happy and you know it" rambling in my head this morning.  And got me thinking about happiness.   Some of us are born happy.  But the rest of us have to work at it to get there.  I was a bitter self serving individual when the gospel walked into my life and slapped me into reality.  Satan will pull out all stops to make us miserable and unhappy.  He knows in the end he will lose and wants as many of us as he can get to be miserable and unhappy with him.  So my dear friend, BE HAPPY!  

I know its hard some times but you can do it.  I joined the church in 1974.  It was hard and it took time but the gospel light now fills my soul.  Back then I was an alcoholic and that might of been my best quality.  My church family gathered around me and prayed and fasted and took me into their homes and I gave up the drink cold turkey.  It was bad at first, DT's, the whole ball of wax.  But I did it.  Satan tried hard to win me back.  For 5 years, every sign of trouble I could taste beer.  I rarely drank beer, I had gone straight to hard liquor.  But Satan still tried to get me to just take another sip. In case you are wondering, 5 years was my refiners fire.  I had been married for 4 years and my husband had lost his job and we were reduced to $403 a month unemployment with a $400 on Deed mortgage.  If we were 10 days late, we lost our farm.  So we were living on $3 a month.  My sister got into trouble and loaned us her 3 kids during this time too.  We thought we had a year supply but adding in 3 teens wiped it out in just a few months.  We passed the kids over to grandpa and went into survival mode.  It got so bad we were gleaning fallen corn out of harvested fields to eat.  Fallen corn is usually moldy and very nasty.  I turned to the Lord and Satan finally gave up on me.  More of the gospel light filled my soul.  I was getting there but had a ways to go.

We found a family wanting to move into the country so we traded homes with them.  We moved into their home in Kansas City.  We were there for 2 years.  We fixed up their home and sold it and moved into a rental until we got another house in the country.  We ended up buying a piece of land and building a small home.  We were up to 2 boys at this point.

My husband worked for Ford Motor Company, making cars in their KC plant.  The 1979 lay off was the longest one but they always called him back.  And to show you that prayer works, a month before our first son was born my husband got called back to work for 3 weeks and then got laid off again.  That gave us insurance again for 3 months, enough to cover the hospital and doctor through the end of the pregnancy.  I recently ran across the hospital bill for that event and my husband and I both smiled brightly looking at it with the big stamp at the bottom saying "Paid in full by insurance".

Our next refiners fire happened in this house.  My husband was unhappy at work, really unhappy.  I was expecting son #3 in 1989 when my husband suddenly showed up at home when he should of been at work.  He had gotten so mad at work that he quit.  But he had gone and joined the Army a couple of weeks before so it was ok, he said.  This was more of my husbands refiner fire then mine. He had to redo basic training.   My doctor and I decided we didn't want to deal with the military insurance so she induced labor 2 days before my husband shipped out.  He shipped out and I was home alone with 3 kids and trying to sell our house.  I got it sold in time to meet him in west Texas.  I had to pay off some guys bar bill and his wife's bill at the dress shop so they could qualify for the loan but I got it sold.  And we got a 4 year vacation from Ford Motor Company.  Yeah they took him back 4 years later when my poor husband learned there was something worse then the assembly line.

We finished up that 4 years in Maryland just north of Washington DC.  It was an educational experience for our sons.  I took them to DC 3 times a week.  I volunteered  at the Smithsonian so we got to see and do things that others couldn't.  We were all ready to go home to Missouri when the 4 years was up.  The Army wasn't willing to totally turn lose of him so he had to join the Army Reserve.  They had 3 day drills and was a million times worse than the real Army was.  After a few months I told my husband to stop going.  I knew that would earn him a letter being put into the inactive reserves.  I had him then to run up to my old unit of the Missouri Air National Guard and join there.  He had cut the tie to the Army and was back in the Air Force.  BTW I returned to Missouri expecting twins.  My husband was back at Ford (Go UAW!) and doing once a month drills with the guard and life was back on track.

We bought a house back in Ray County on 10 acres in the country.  The year was 1993 and it was the year of the flood.   I felt like a beached whale.  I was so huge I could not drive and my husband had to open both side doors on our van to get me in.  The only hospital that would take me was Research Medical center in Kansas City.  We got a call from the high way Patrol telling us that the levees along the Missouri were about to break so if we thought it might be time we should run fast to Kansas City now.  We did.  We made it and it saved my baby girls life.   She was in distress and I had no idea.  They did an ultrasound  as soon as I got to the hospital so they admitted me and did an emergency C-section   The date was July 8,1993.  The levees actually broke on July 7th.  My husband was given a cot in the lobby, he wasn't going anywhere for a few days.  My very dear Mother in law had moved in with us a few months before this.  My husband is a twin, she knew I'd need help.  I really miss my mother in law and my mom.  After we left the hospital we drove to the Kansas side to share these new born daughters with my dad as he was in the hospital too.  We then had to go out of our way finding the few bridges that survived over the Missouri river to get us back home in northern Ray county.  We had friends in harden Missouri was ended up being out of their homes over 8 months due to this flood.  This was the town that lost most of their cemetery.  But I'm getting lost in my point!

Lots of things happened to put us through our refiners fire.  We need these things to make us stronger.  The more time we spend reading and studying our scriptures and in prayer the brighter the gospel light will shine in us.  Light always over takes darkness.  Satan will never win, he knows it.  So turn away from his darkness and be happy.  Turn away from the tools Satan uses, doubt, discouragement, lack of worth, lies.  He pulls all the stops out and try's to throw us off track.  Don't let him in!  Turn to the light!   Turn to Jesus.  

A few years ago we got a call from my husbands doctor telling us the cancer was back and spreading.  I was so over come I had to run.  I had to take me away from my husband so he couldn't see me this discouraged.  I grabbed our small tent, the cot bag, the sleeping bag and  anything else I could carry and fled to the other side of the lake.  Over there I was able to cry a mountain of tears and pray my heart out.  It took me 3 days to work through it but I returned to my husband with the bright gospel light glowing and knowing all things are in Christ's hands and with Him I can handle it.   We've been led to doctors who were willing to share with us and we are hopeful that we can defeat this cancer with diet and herbs and what ever happens is in His hands.

I'm in the 7th reading of the scriptures.  Reading them all the way through each year is the greatest thing I've done.  I have a terrible memory so I can't quote scriptures but I know when someone quotes a scripture if they have it right or have taken liberty with it.  Every year when I reread the scriptures I continue to have new incites and understanding.   I'm in my 60's so my body is wearing out.  I know to do any work I have early in the morning.  By afternoon I am worn out and just can't do anymore.  But I get done what needs to be done and realize I have entered a stage in my life where I can't do everything anymore.  

With the gospel light glowing brightly within me and I have peace.  I am content and I am happy.

Blessings to you each,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rambling today

I woke up to fog and its still quite foggy out there.  This has been a strange autumn.   We had lots of rain so the leaves don't have that brilliant Fall color.  But the Fall colors are a deep dark hue that changes with the days light.  Fog brings another thing to the autumn viewing.  It was lovely to walk outside and hear all the birds this morning.  Their sounds are magnified and scattered about.  It sounded wonderful and all I could see was the fog.

God created a beautiful world for us.  I love to go explore in all kinds of weather.  There is so many things to experience that gives me greater appreciation of all we have been given.

What have you found to explore this week?


Sunday, October 5, 2014

What do you really need if everything crashes?

We've been warned for years that things might happen and we need to have supplies set aside just in case. Not just our church authorities but the Red Cross and our government have warned us and told us to set aside supplies. Most have heard but see no reason to do so. Its one of those items you think about and then set aside because you are to busy with other things to deal with something that might happen.

You have no problems buying insurance for your car, house and even yourself “Just in case” but most don't realize that setting aside supplies is just like having insurance. How can the Lord bless you in a crisis if you never heeded the warnings to put things aside? Can he provide a miracle of letting your oil extend much longer if you never bothered to get the oil to start with?

I have personally seen miracles happen in crisis. A friend in Japan heeded my warning to lay in rice and water just in case. He was able to feed over 2000 each day for weeks with the little bit he set aside just in case. 2 cases of bottled water and 200 lbs of rice never stopped being there until they were able to get regular supplies again. He told me that was almost 2 months after the earthquake and tsunami struck before they had regular supplies again.

If you will prepare, the Lord will bless you if you ever do have to face a crisis. That doesn't mean you have to have everything you ever would need set aside but just do your best to set aside what you can.

I suggest you keep a daily list of everything you use. This will help you over time to realize what all you are really using. You might set a side food but forget to set aside toilet paper or medications you use regularly. So keeping tabs daily for a couple of weeks will help you know exactly what you are using and what you should set aside.

Each family is different and has different likes and needs. So store what you need and like so that you can eat and have what you want in a crisis. In a crisis, you are already stressed and not having the comfort foods you are use to is very important.

Store for 1 week and then extend it as you are able. Working toward having a 1 or 2 year supply is good but having what you need in 1 week supplies can help you do this in small amounts at a time. We built up to a 1 year supply and then started living on it and everything we bought at that point was replacing what we were using. This helped us rotate our supplies.

Also make sure your storage is spread out in several forms. You don't want to have everything in the freezer. The power fails and then you get the added stress of dealing with a full freezer worth of food on top of dealing with the crisis. Don't get all freeze dried meals. You will be stuck with what you got and will need way more water to use it. Having a variety and making sure it's stuff my family wants and will use is so very important. Having some easy meals for the start of the crisis is important so that you can deal with what you need to deal with and not worry about cooking.

I make up huge pots of soup and than can it into pint jars. It's already cooked and if we had to we could eat it cold. Same thing with canning up meats or fruits and vegetables. Having some freeze dried meals can make it easy for you also. I try to dehydrate some meals but I never have more that a few weeks worth in our storage.

I like to do dehydrated soup meals up into canning jars that can be vacuum sealed to use later. Also make sure you keep a wide variety of grains stored. So many are becoming allergic to soy, gluten and corn so having a variety of other grains can help you in case someone becomes allergic.

As we have been living on our food storage we discovered several of us were allergic to these grains. We've been able to use up those grains and store the ones we have learned to use in their place.

Storing what you eat is so very important! You will already be use to eating the food and you will not have the added strain of getting use to strange foods.

If you use a lot of plastic wrap you will know to store that. As you keep track of everything, you will learn over time what you should store. Not just food but everything else you use also. Don't be in a big hurry, do it right. But start today!


Sunday, September 28, 2014


How safe is your water supply?  Most of us just assume whats coming out of the tap is safe clean water.  But the fact remains we never really know what we are drinking.  We assume its safe until something happens.

Most don't store water or just a little bit.  Most of us have no way to get more when the taps run dry.  We can't survive more than 3 to 5 days without water.  It's much more important than food. 

What if something happens that you no longer have good safe clean water coming out of your faucets?  What are your plans after your case or two of water is gone?

 Are you aware that they only test for at most 100 different contaminants?  Are you aware that our government keeps changing allowable levels of pesticides & herbicides?  They have to keep raising it because more and more of it is getting into our water supply.  That doesn't mean they think the new higher levels is safe, they just have to make it higher or none of us would have a clean water supply.  

I hear on the radio all the time about such and such community  has a boil order for various reasons, usually because a water pipe has broken.  This happens a lot in communities that have older water lines.  The summer heat, changing seasons, freezing and thawing of the ground and they just give out over time. 

So how safe is your water after you boil it?  Most of us assume its safe because our government and Red Cross says it is.  But I've always wondered what happens to the bacteria after it's killed?  When you boil water it becomes more condensed.  The bacteria might be dead but we are still drinking it and many times the dead bacteria break down into other endotoxins.  So is the boiled water really safe?  Will those dead bacteria really just pass through me harmlessly or what? 

Can I filter them out?  Can I bleach them out?

Chlorination is also very effective at killing biological contaminants, but again it kills them but it doesn't remove them or any endotoxins and it also adds in another poison-chlorine.

Filters:  All filters fail at some point.  You usually are clueless on when they fail.  Filters normally do not kill or remove bacteria.  They  "trap" stuff in the filter where they can grow and multiply.

If you are going to boil or chlorinate your water I would suggest running the water through a bag type filter (even a sock or t-shirt would work) before you treat the water.  Running the water through a bag filter will remove at least 75% of the contaminants so you would have a better chance of getting cleaner water by filtering first. 

So is there a method to get clean water?  Yes

Distillation.  Distilled water completely removes all particulates, bacteria and endotoxins.  It removes toxic metals and even removes radioactive metals from the water.  It removes petrochemicals and even removes salt.

Ok, I know distilled water doesn't taste the greatest  but at least it's very drinkable and you know it is clean.  And I personally think it tastes much better than boiled water.

About a year ago I ran across a nonelectric water distiller that excited me.  Glenn Meder invented his "Survivalstill".  Every once and awhile he offers it at a great price and he also offers paypal payment system so you can get it on the paypal credit plan at 0% for 6 months.   I also ran across a site that compares 3 different water stills:

I love getting emergency prep equipment at great prices and having a painless way to finance it is great too!

Glenn also puts out a E-Book "Water Prepper Safe water is everything"  that explains water in detail.  He also explains how to make a water distiller using a pot with an inverted lid with a cup or bowl tied to it.   I tried this but it took a couple batches to get enough to drink.  But it did work.

Anyway, I wanted to update the blog on water with the new changes and make sure you all had it.  Water is the most important thing we can store.  You can't store a year's supply but you sure better make sure you know how to get more safely to replace your drinking water after what you stored is gone. 

I hope this helps you & your family be better prepared.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Growing your own animal feed

If you have livestock,  animal feeds are getting very expensive and is full of GMO stuff.  We have been feeding our free ranging chickens our food scraps to supplement their free range diet.  They do an awesome job of keeping the bug count down.  I used to see ticks climbing every where but now with our free range chickens at work we hardly ever see one near the house/barn areas.

Our first home we lived near a farmer that used to grow Milo to feed his cattle.  Milo starts out looking like corn but grows an open head full of the seeds.  He used to use a combine to harvest it and stored it in bags to feed his cattle during the winter months.  Milo is also excellent feed for chickens, goats and hogs too.   It doesn't have to be combined with a tractor.  You can go through your field and cut the heads off by hand and store them in containers to use as feed.  The chickens love this.  Ours don't go out most of the winter due to snow so giving them light during the day and Milo to scratch and play with keeps them happy.  And the bonus is they are not eating GMO garbage.  You will need to add in some form of protein with this but it works very well as an all round animal feed.

Hope this helps some of you!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

GMO's and Round up

I am always wondering why I have food allergies when most in my family don't and it has never been a problem before now.  Round up.  We live in a very rural high farming area where lots of GMO grains are grown.  GMO grains are created so that Round up can be sprayed on them and not kill the grain just the weeds.  But the grain does absorb the round up and takes it into the actual grain.  Thats right, if we eat the GMO grains, we end up eating Round Up.   There has never been any studies of GMO's being eaten by people.  Our government has continued to raise the levels of what they feel is safe levels of round up in our diets.  The reason they continue to raise the "safe"  level  is because we are being exposed to higher levels.  When it rains or snows it's raining down more Round up on us.  The Round up settles in our gut and reproduces itself there and thrives but gives us all kinds of trouble.  Leaky gut, liver and kidney disease and of course food allergies.  When you develop food allergies, every time you eat an allergen you will be tearing your gut each and every time.  Tearing the gut will cause an auto immune disease.  If those don't kill you off eventually the tears in your gut will reach a point that you will bleed to death.  It won't happen fast, but very slowly.  

So if you have food allergies you really need to avoid those GMO grains/foods.   I don't know the answer to this problem.  Being farmers ourselves that use Round Up.  It is our livelihood.   We do try to avoid row crops in areas where it would drain into our ponds.  I have no clue how to get out of our current practices but until the powers that be decide we need to change I guess it will continue.  So if you don't have food allergies yet you can count on it coming to many more folks.  If you do get food allergies please be careful as so many are jumping in with gluten free products and I have discovered that many have hidden gluten or soy or corn also in them. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Using cucumbers up

I found an amazing way to preserve extra cucumbers!   We use tons of cucumbers all year round and at 72 cents a piece it can get quite pricey over time.  We drink 2 kinds of drinks to help us lose weight and makes us feel much better.  The first one:

1 small or half of a large cucumber sliced up and put in a gallon container.  Slice up one lemon and add that and then add some fresh or dried mint.  Fill with water and refrigerate.  Drink 2 to 3 glasses daily.  It is a very refreshing drink!

The second one was from Anitra at      Anitra has so many amazing things to share and I highly recommend her site.  It was so worth paying to get everything she has for a year.  Anyway here is her drink recipe she shared with a few adjustments:

Frozen Blueberries
1 peeled lemon
1 to 2 T. fresh ginger root
1 peeled and chunked cucumber
some fresh or dried mint
1 or 2 T. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. red pepper (I added this and it cured my stomach ulcers and DH's reflux disease)

Run all through the blender with some water until smooth.  Drink 2 glasses each day.  I put mine into glasses covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.

My big find was running my extra cucumbers through my juicer for another project which I will share in a moment.  I wondered if I could freeze cucumber juice to use during the winter.  I tried it and it worked great!  So I now run one cucumber and 1 lemon through the blender and freeze it in quart freezer bags.  The one for the water blend I just freeze the juice but the blender one I add in the pulp from the juicer and freeze it all together. 

Now the project that started my mind thinking about this was making up frozen cucumber pads.  I Hair dresser daughter showed me this trick and in May used these pads on her sister.  Her sister's eyes were swollen shut with her allergic reaction to the grass pollen.  We tried all the allergy pills we had on hand but her eyes remained swollen red and itchy.  We put some of the frozen cucumber pads on her eyes and left her laying there for about 20 minutes and returned to discover that they took the swelling and red puffy eyes away.  I was so amazed so with my cucumber surplus this last week I juiced them and got several packages of the cotton pads like you use to remove makeup and soaked each one int he cucumber juice and froze them .  I put them on wax paper on large trays and now have more than 500 bagged up to use this year.  Any way my thoughts were if I could freeze cucumber juice int he cotton pads could I just freeze the cucumber juice?  So now I know I can!  

I am also making pickles but this year everyone seems to have an abundance of cucumbers and now I can probably take some along with what I am growing.  I just figured up how much we spend this last winter on cucumbers  and it was $224.64 before taxes.  That's like a months worth of groceries for us!  We are in process of redoing our food storage and I will look forward to not buying cucumbers all winter long!  I'll have an extra $20 each month to spend on food storage instead of cucumbers.  I will be bagging up 300 bogs of the cucumber juice with lemon added in to see us through until this time next year. 

I don't like to store stuff in our freezer but am very excited to have this in the freezer to use all winter long.

If you come up with ways to preserve your bounty please share with me so we can all find ways to use it all up.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Remembering the Lord in all things

The most important thing to do to prepare for any disaster is to be spiritually prepared.  So many think they don't have time to give the Lord.  Think about your cell phone.  How many of us drop everything to answer a call or text. 
We bend over backwards to keep our cell phones fully charged.  Think of being spiritually prepared as keeping your phones charged.  Plug into Spiritual power and get recharged by reading scriptures and praying.
  Be as faithful to these recharges as you deal with your phone and you will be prepared to face any disaster coming your way. 

Spiritual prepping is the most important thing you can do.  Major disasters  has proven that those who are spiritually prepared and spiritually strong survive when the weak give up.  So stay Spiritually strong so you can survive what ever comes your way.


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Few Gluten Free Meals

Several have asked me for my favorite GF recipes.  So today I will bless you with a few I have tried and my family loves.
Mexaroni and Cheese
1 package about 2 cups  Gluten Free Pasta
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
4 ounces Green Chili, Chopped
9 to 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Sliced Black Olives
1 small jar Pimentos, Optional
Salt to taste

Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water for 6-9 minutes or until done. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. In small bowl, mix cornstarch with milk. Add cornstarch mixture to butter and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheddar cheese to sauce and cook slowly until melted, again stirring constantly. Add sour cream, green chilies, olives and pimentos and salt to taste.

Combine sauce with pasta. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

Maui Luau Salad

1~8 oz box (2 cups
 1 Tablespoon
2 Tablespoons
2/3 cup
2/3 cup
2/3 cup
1/3 cup
2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons

Ancient Harvest GF Pasta
Butter or margarine
Brown sugar
Ham, cubed 1/4"
Pineapple chunks, undrained
Cheddar cheese, cubed 1/4"
Seedless Grapes, halved
Sour cream
In medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Add diced ham and sauté until ham is lightly browned. Drain and quarter pineapple chunks, reserving 3 tablespoons liquid. In large bowl, combine ham, cheese, grapes and pineapple. Cook pasta and add to bowl. Toss lightly. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and reserved pineapple juice, blend well and pour over pasta mixture. Toss lightly. Serves 5.

You can use many of your own recipes by making a few adaptions to them.  Like in a recipe that has a flour based thickening.  Using Corn starch to thicken instead of flour works well.  Like my family loves Beef Stroganoff so at the end I use cornstarch mixed int the beef broth I add at the end instead of using the flour it calls for.  A rule of thumb is to use half the amount called for in flour to replace with corn starch.  Like if it calls for 1/2 cup of flour, then you would use 1/4 cup of corn starch.  You can not add corn starch to a pan with butter to thicken.  It must be dissolved into a cold liquid then added.  

 Mexican Night in the Bell home:
If you want to go vegetarian like we mostly do, then you need to learn to use beans more.  When we have taco night, I use a 3 bean blend of red beans , pintos and black beans.  I mash them lightly and add the taco seasoning and heat.  We all love this blend for our taco filling instead of beef or other meats.  I mash pinto beans and blend with some cheese and heat for refried beans.   I make Mexican Rice using 1 Tbls. oil, 1 Tbls. butter, 1/4 cup finely chopped onions or onion powder if you don't have fresh onions and 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves.  Saute until soft and then add 1 1/2 cups rice and 1 chopped tomato, 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth, 1 tsp. salt.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  

Hope this helps some of you!  Remember those who are allergic to gluten are almost always allergic to soy also.  If you are making a GF meal for a friend, DO NOT use margarine or vegetable oil as these are soy products as is shortening.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Medical help you might need somewhere in the future

So many are facing medical crisis and frustrated with our current medical system.  You need to understand our system.  Many years ago Universities were struggling to provide medical education to students but having trouble financially.   Pharmaceutical groups stepped up to the plate and I guess you might say the rest is history.  With Pharmacies providing the money they of course requested the schools try all their new finds.  It doesn't exactly leave one full of hope for what their doctor (who was trained via Pharmaceutical Money)  might be currently offering.  

My experience has been nothing but more problems than I started out with.   One sure cure I was offered totally messed up my liver.  All the doctors have offered me has brought me close to death.  So I've looked elsewhere and found a great source that so far hasn't let me down.  It's 

There is a wealth of information available for almost any problem you will face.  Dr Christopher was unwilling to yield a gun in WW2 so he was made a medic. Waiting for orders he was sent to a medical facility in Utah.  While there some men came through with problems the Army doctors couldn't treat or cure.  John R. Christopher asked if he could try.  They gave him one week and he he was able to cure the man selected.  After a few more cures the Army built him a lab and let him research and make new formulas.   

I hope this will  Help you find the help you need in the future.  


Sunday, May 18, 2014

May Day's

It's been frustrating waiting for Spring to come forth fully.  Our last frost year was May 17th.   Much later than it had ever been in the 14 years we have lived here.  I pray about my garden.  The impressions I get have never been off.  I have tomato, squash, melon plants I started weeks ago getting bigger than I ever expected but now I will be able to set them out.  I know lots of folks have already set theirs out and some even had large green tomatoes on them only to lose them last week.  But until today I felt strongly impressed not to plant yet. 

I guess my garden is all about faith.  Some might think its silly of me but our garden is very important to us.  We live on it all year long.  It provides a good 70% of our food for the year.   I've prayed daily over my garden and have harvested heavily during very wet years and severe drought years. 

I love the movie "Faith Like Potatoes".   If you haven't seen it you should get a copy to watch.  It's about a family in Africa that decides in the middle of a drought to plant potatoes which of course require lots of water.  After mighty prayer they planted and kept praying and in the end all the plants were quite dead but on harvest day they harvested the biggest crop of potatoes that anyone had ever seen.  It's all about faith.

So this year, practice faith and plant your garden with the Lord's help.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

I'm so grateful after 1 1/2 years of putting up with Wild Blue/Excede Internet we've finally got them cancelled and got REAL internet service again.  So joys in life are so very good.  We can now use our TV movie streaming device, watch videos online, do anything we want, anytime we want.  But just so you know, I really did survive 3 full days with no internet at all.  Duh.... the last 18 months has taught me to not expect having it any way!

Now that I have that taken care of I can get back to what I need to be doing.  The garden is going very slow this year.  The weather has taken a toll and I'm just being patient.  I'll wait until mid May to plant anything else and betting it will catch up quickly. 

I was spending 2 hours each day just to post a "quick" comment in face book and 3 hours just to check my e-mail each day and I don't even want to think about time wasted trying to get into the bank site.  Now I can get busy cleaning the chicken coop, organizing the basement, working in the garden.  Doing the stuff I need to be doing instead of wasting time online.

So today I celebrate the simple joys of life.  Internet that works so I can take a walk and enjoy the the wonderful Spring wild flowers and see and hear the birds singing their happy songs.  So I will depart here and go enjoy life.  I hope you can do so too!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lessons learned

It took me 60 years but I'm realizing the key to a simple life.  I can now share with others so maybe they can have an easier time.

1.  Get rid of the junk.   Really, if you can't eat it, wear it or play with it, get rid of it.  Your past life, go through take pictures and limit it to one small box or a scrapbook.   Same with the stuff you collect from your kids.  At the end of each year go through and limit it to one or two special items or take pictures so they can have memories.  Trust me, they will thank you!  One of my kids had trouble turning loss of old T-Shirts so I took them and am turning them into a quilt.  Get rid of the stuff!  I stand all amazed at folks who continue to rent storage facilities to store all this stuff they can't turn lose of.

2.  Do regular simple upkeep.  Hate to clean the toilet?  One quick squish each day will keep it clean.  Hate doing dishes?  Empty and rinse and clean up will go much faster when you get to it.  Get rid of as much as you can.  Keeping your house clean and organized will work when you get rid of the over flow stuff.  Bless your local thrift store with stuff they no longer fits.  You will be blessed for it!

3.  We are all traveling in different circumstances.  Don't do more than you can handle.  Limit kids to 1 or 2 activities.  Don't take on extra activities that you don't have time to do.

4. Stay physically active.  Walking will help you clear your head.  Can't walk, I got a list of exercises you can do sitting down.  Really! 
Chair Stretches and Excersises

  1. Stretches for neck: side to side, rotating to each side then back, forward and back.

  1. Shoulders : roll shoulders forward and then back.
  2. Ankle rolls and toe raises and heel raises.

Warm ups: reach each foot forward and tap the floor, alternating.
(at the same time)
Arms: reach each arm forward, alternating
high reach
criss cross arms up then down
swimming strokes
upper cuts
forearm block

  1. sit on edge of chair, legs straight, knees over ankles, hands on knees, roll your back toward the chair back, then arch your back in, then back to straight.

  1. hands by ears, lean forward then lean around to the side, in circular motions.
  1. sit tall & square, thighten stomach and pull it in and hold then release, repeat

  1. sit tall & square, put hands on chair sides, lift each knee, using your stomach and not bending your back. Excel on lift, enhale on release. (harder put hands by ears, harder on tip toes)
  1. repeat leg lifts, putting hands by your ears and twist at waist to the side of the leg that is lifting, alternating.

  1. hands by ears and tip shoulder toward the hip, alternating (side crunches)
  2. Arms outstretched to the sides, hips never move, reach fingertips moving at the sides of waist, alternating.

  1. Sit up straight and tall on the edge of the chair, with a straight back lean towards back of the chair, then sit up, repeat. Enhale back, exhale up.

  1. Twist at waist looking as far back as possilble, hold, return to forward, repeat to the opposite side.

5.  Learn something new every day.  My Mom always told us if you are not learning something new each day, you might as well be dead.  I look at it this way.  What do we take with us when we die?  Our minds- fill it with knowledge!

6.  Keep your diet simple.  We don't need a lot of meat or sugar.  We don't need dessert every day.  Eat real food and keep it simple and you will feel better. 

7.  Your family is the most important thing you have.  Take care of it and protect it.  Spend as much time as you can with your family.  It is much more important than any paid job you will ever have.

 8. Put enough by to help you survive anything that happens.  Loss of job, severe ice storm of blizzard, extended power outage.  Having enough food, and ways to stay warm can make a big difference. 

9.  Relax and enjoy life.  Life is full of challenges and hard times. Enjoy the good times as you have them. 

I guess you can tell from my list that the main idea is to keep it simple and don't take on to much. 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

7 Day plan to a clean organized kitchen!

7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Kitchen

I just found this wonderful on a web site and thought you might enjoy it too!  If you can't find it go to this link:


Friday, April 11, 2014

Awesome Powdered Laundry Soap recipe that will last a family of 4 a full year

I know I've posted before about making your own laundry soap. We've used it for years and if we had stained items we'd shove them into the liquid laundry soap container and let them soak before washing. It would remove those terrible stains like the dark cuffs of jackets or stuff spilled on your tops. But this week I got a new recipe that I'm dying to try! I have been listening to the Mom's Conference online this week and its a recipe they shared. Now for those of you who know me already know we are now empty nesters. We're retired and kids are grown up but I have learned so much valued info in this weeks conference sessions! You can go here to hear the rest of them:

I've made this up and forgot to mention one thing she said in her video!  When you run the Fels Napha soap chunks through the blender, mix some of the borax with it to help it turn to powder not a big globby mess.   I had the big globby mess working when I remember her saying to add borox in as you do it.  Anyway I ran a hand full of soap chunks with 1 cup of borax and it worked good.  We've used our new laudry soap all weekend and everyone is loving it.  Not using fabric softener and clothes still come out smelling so wonderful!

Any way here is the recipe for the awesome powdered laundry soap recipe they gave:

This is suppose to last a family of 4 a full year.

Run 3 bars of Fels Napha soap through a blender or food processor. You will find Fels Napha in the laundry section at the grocery store. I know in my area Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee both carry it. You will end up with a powder instead of grated like we did for the Liquid laundry soap.

Take 2 white garbage bags and put them inside each other and put the soap powder in the bags.

Next add 1 full box of Borax and 1 full box of Washing Soda. Both of these ar also found in the laundry section. Make sure you use Washing soda and NOT baking soda!

Now you will add 2 cups of Baking Soda. This will help remove odors.

Next you will add two 3 pound boxes of Oxy Clean or other Oxy Bleach product.

This part is optional: Add 1 or 2 laundry crystals for scent if desired.

Mix by rolling the bag back and forth several times.

Pour into container and use 2 Tablespoons per load. She suggested buying the clear glass cookie jar type container that Wal_mart carries for $9.98 but any container will work.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Doesn't this look yummy?

One of my online friends just shared this recipe from and I just can't wait to get my garden growing so I can make it too!

Classic Cucumber & Tomato Salad
  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Dill
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup, optional
In a large salad bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over cucumber mix, toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Have you ever....

Have you ever gotten so busy you don't know which way is up or down.  No clue what day it is or where you are at?  Well that's me right now.  I keep thinking things will settle down but things keep piling up instead. 

The ground has finally thawed out so it's time to start dealing with the cold weather garden stuff.  I plant my garlic in the fall and it's starting to pop up now.  I planted my peas a week ago and know when they start popping up its time to get serious out in the garden.  I had a friend years ago who lived in Idaho and every year in February  she'd put on her boots and grab a hoe and head out to the garden.  She'd pick where she thought the peas should go and take the hoe and start pulling the snow away.  When she got a nice row uncovered she'd start poking those pea seeds in and then rebury them in the snow and wait until they popped up.  I thought she was crazy but they always popped up when it was time.  I don't go to such extremes but I do try to plant my peas when the ground starts to thaw just a little.  I was able to work with the first inch or so and now I will wait to see how soon they start popping up.  Pea seeds just know when it's the right time and never rot like other seeds do.  It makes for a good indicator on when to start planting your cabbages and broccoli and start with lettuces and other cold crops. 

I just checked today and its thawed down a good 8 inches now so the garden season is just about here and to tell you the truth I'm not ready. I didn't try growing my own plants this year.  To tell you the truth I don't do it very well so just decided I'd buy my plants from the Amish this year.   I need to order in head lettuce seeds and still haven't gotten around to it.  Local selection is poor and we eat lots and lots of salads.  We really love the butter lettuces added into the other leaf lettuces.  Hopefully I can get them ordered this coming week or I'll be stuck with the local selection.

We have the fence row on the front of our property to clear out.  We had neglected it for over 10 years so it's become quite a chore.  We use a product called Tordon to spray on the red cedars and black locust trees and that kills them out so they don't re-sprout. Being retired, clearing out fence rows is not exactly the things I want to deal with but we do short sessions each day and it should be done within the month.  We've checked the other side of our property that was done last year and got sprayed with Tordon and we just saw 2 little red cedars trying to grow so it was easy to go back and cut them down and spray them again.  After we get it done it will become a regular spring job to keep a check to cut anything out and spray it so we never have these big messes again.  Many people move out to the country and don't realize how much work you have to do to upkeep the property. 

We are looking for ways to make these big jobs easier to deal with.  The black locust and red cedars spread quickly.  You cut one down and 5 others will grow in it's place.  The Tordon was a great blessing to have so we can keep them from spreading. 

I'm trying to reduce our animal population.  I'd rather not be stuck home all winter just to take care of the kids dog and cats.  My oldest son is taking most of our chickens and the rest will die out of the next few years or if I get tired of them I can always butcher them.  I figure if we get down to just the pets I can find homes for them or a least some one who can take them for a few months in the dead of winter.

We also discovered our furnace no longer works.  We use a pellet stove and just have the furnace as back up in case we are gone longer than a day.  We always turn the pellet stove off when we leave.  I've kept the furnace on it's lowest setting just in case it ever got really cold in the house.  We decided to check it at the first of the year and found out it had a low pressure shut out and wouldn't come on.  another thing to get fixed before next winter.

And then there are all the quilts I'm working on.  I need to get photos sized to 3.5 inch squares and I'm not bright enough to do it.  My dear daughter has promised to tackle that project in the next couple of weeks.  

May you have a blessed week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

One very fast post

I'm in the middle of trying another gluten free pizza crust and I will do a blog soon on this topic but today I just wanted to tell you all about on online gardening article I just read:     Jim Kennard lives in my area and has an awesome school in Gallatin, Missouri to teach gardening skills.  He goes all over the world teaching the Mittleider Gardening course.  He is so in demand because this system works not just for a few but everyone.  The flavor in the vegetables is beyond description and the bounty of the harvest is amazing.  So please take a few minutes and go read the article.  He mentions LDS Prepper who has a ton of videos on youtube and other sites to learn from.  Make this year the year you grow a garden the neighbors will be pea green with envy!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Canning up dairy is way different from other canning

Dairy is very acidic so it just needs to be water bathed for a short time.  If you do it to long or try to pressure can it, you'll end up with a very disgusting blob that will be very uneatable.    Here are some of my dairy canning things so you can try it and get the general idea on what to do on your own.

Alfredo Sauce

My daughter wanted Chicken Alfredo on her wedding menu.  She had so many items on her menu I had told everyone we only needed one stock pot full but they insisted on two stockpot fulls.  Unfortunately we had already added the veggies to it so it all went home with us and I had no way to save it.  It doesn't freeze well and with veggies in it I couldn't can it.   But I had enough cheese left over I went ahead and made several batches and canned up 12 pints of plain Alfredo Sauce.  It was very nice to open a bottle and add veggies and serve.  So here is my recipe:
This recipe did up 15 pint jars:

6 cups Butter Melted in a big pot
Stir in 3 Quarts of heavy cream and
26 ounces of Cream Cheese plus
a heaping Tablespoon of garlic powder

Stir constantly and bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer stirring often.

Add 2 cups Parmesan and or Mozzarella cheese.  Stir in until melted.  I keep adding more cheese until it gets thick.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fill hot jars and wipe rim clean and add prepared lids and put into boiling water bath canner.  When it comes back to a full rolling boil let it go for 10 minutes and then pull and put in clean towel to cool down. 

This is an easy project and makes for a very nice very quick meal.  A great addition to your food storage for sure!

Excess Milk

If you have excess milk and want to preserve it before it goes bad you can freeze it into smaller containers or you can, can it to use in baked goods or making hot chocolate. 

To can:  Pour milk into prepared canning jars and seal lids.  Place in water bath canner and when rolling boil is reached let it go for 10 minutes then pull to cool down on counter top on a clean towel.

Copycat Velveeta

This recipe comes from Budget101 website.  You can find tons of great recipes and tips on frugel living on their site!

Pour into prepared loaf pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slice as desired for grilled cheese sandwiches, munching, etc.

Yields about 1 pound

DO NOT USE Pre-shredded cheese. It contains an additive to prevent the cheese from "Clumping" which will also make your cheese have a "gritty" texture.

One pound will fill a pint jar so if you are canning this times the recipe by how many jars you want to fill.   If you want it to slide right out of the jar then you will need to use the 1 pint wide mouthed straight sided jars .  You would water bath this for 10 minutes.

Cheese Whiz Clone

12 ounces evaporated milk
4 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
4 pounds Velveeta type cheese
2 teaspoons dry mustard

Melt milk and cheese in a double boiler.  when creamy and smooth add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Fill canning jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.

I've used this recipe for several years and have no clue where I got it from.  I had a different recipe for making Velveeta type cheese using cottage cheese and that might be listed in my early blog but I went to the simpler type recipe from Budget 101 so I won't share the Amish style Velveeta made from cottage cheese.

Canning cheese:

You can can hard cheeses by putting your canning jars on a cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven.  Grate the cheese and add and let melt and keep adding until the jar gets full.  Make sure the rim is clean ** IT WILL BE VERY HOT!  USE CARE IN WIPING THE RIMS!  Use canning lids that were presoaked in hot water and dry them and cap and seal the jars and carefully move to counter top and set on towel to cool down.  

It was great to have cheese canned up this winter when we got snowed in.  This cheese is more crumbly then the regular store bought cheese but was just as yummy to eat!

This should be enough recipes to get you started on canning up your own dairy products! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Proverbs for Prepping

Proverbs 6: 6 ¶Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Proverbs 20: 4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Proverbs 30:25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; 

Food for thought from the Good Book as you plan and get ready for the coming years garden.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Signs of being allergic to wheat and other gluten grains

More and more people are finding out they are allergic to gluten and I've been asked more and more often to teach classes to help folks learn to cook and handle these allergies better.  I thought I should share with you some of the signs that you may be allergic to what you are eating.

Here is a list put out by the Mayo Clinic:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis


For some people wheat allergy may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. In addition to other signs and symptoms of wheat allergy, anaphylaxis may cause:
  • Swelling or tightness of the throat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pale, blue skin color
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
Eating something you are allergic to can effect your whole body.  It will most certainly effect your Gastro-intestinal system causing stomach bloating and pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and diarrhea, etc.
Neurologial conditions including headaches, memory loss, behavioural difficulties and depression.
Immune condition: Frequent infections like colds, flu and bacterial infections, mouth and stomach ulcers.
Skin rashes: Hives, Eczema, Psoriasis, itching flaky skin.
Inflammation & Inflammatory diseases: Stiff joints, allergies, Arthritis, colitis, thyroidities, etc.
General: Food cravings, tiredness, Chronic fatigue, unwell feeling

 Now as you can tell, you can go a long time before it might click in your doctor's head to check for food allergies.  I know I was treated for all kinds of garbage before someone suddenly said I should get allergy tested.  They can do a simple blood test now that will list every food you are allergic to.  The problem with the list is that it won't tell you how allergic you are.  When I got my list (5 pages long!)  I frankly didn't think life was worth living any more!  I basically could eat meat and sugar the 2 things I was no longer eating.  I went ahead and went off everything and instantly felt better than I had for years!   I also started losing weight!   I then went to an allergy doctor and got tested.  I found out I was very, very allergic to gluten and soy.  But I could have corn and dairy. Even shell fish was back on my good list.   That made it much more livable.  I have reduced my dairy but Having it scattered in my diet makes life worth living again.  I am making a cheese substitute that seems to work well in casseroles, etc made out of cashews.  I am also learning how to use non-gluten grains in our meals.  

So if you are having any of the above problems and can't seem to improve go get allergy tested to see if you have food allergies.  If you prefer to avoid doctors then start cutting out things like wheat/gluten or dairy and see if it helps you out.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cardboard ovens

I'm always looking for homemade cooking things so folks can cook when the power is out or unavailable.  Several years ago my girls cooked a turkey inside and upside down metal trash can with charcoal in it and on top of it.  It worked like a charm.  So when I found this card board oven on MacScouter site I was hooked.  Living where I do, I know we can go long periods in winter with no sunlight available to use my SunOven. 

This cardboard oven is easy to make. You will need a cardboard box and a box knife.  Cut the top flaps off so you have 4 sides and a bottom.  Now line the inside of the box with foil making sure the shiny side is out.  Glue it on to the sides and bottom and fold the bottom edges out and fold down.  Here is a picture of the inside of a box oven and they rack they used and pan of charcoal.  The charcoal would be on the ground and the rack over it and then the box set down over it. 

You should make a few hole in the box to release combustion gases and a few holes near the bottom to let fresh oxygen in. You can also put a few small flat stones around the bottom to let air in. You can make a rack by running pieces of metal coat hangers through and securing them on the outside.  You will only need 2 or 3 of them.  Or you can use a rack like shown above.  I am wondering if you could also use heat cells or emergency alcohol heaters.  Those could be used inside in winter time.  The first few times you will need to check to make sure enough air is getting out and gasses are escaping not piling up.  
Above is the closed oven.  You can adjust the cooking temperature by the number of charcoal briquets you put in.  Each burning briquets supplies about 40 degrees so about 9 of them should make the inside temperature 360 degrees.  Play with your oven and try different fuels and see how your food turns out. 

Blessing to you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What would you do?

Here we are in the middle of winter many facing bitter cold.  What would you do if the power went out?  It's always good to have a plan.  Having a way to stay warm and to keep your plumbing from freezing is very important.  Make sure you have decide what you will do to stay warm and have it on hand. 
Either you are using little emergency heaters or an inside stove like an kerosene stove. Maybe you plan to disconnect the plumbing lines and just heat one small area.  Just make sure you have a plan and are ready to jump into action to make it happen.    Being prepared keeps you safe and saves you money.