Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ten Core Areas of Preparedness

In all of my studies through the years, I have come across TEN core areas that we should be prepared in.  Some give different numbers, some have different ideas, but the reality is, there are TEN things.  

  • food
  • water
  • shelter
  • heat
  • light
  • sanitation
  • medical
  • communication
  • safety
  • financial

Each of these areas, is worth time and study all on their own, in order to really become
prepared in your home or family.  I suggest that you take time and learn all that you can in each area.  I am working right now on my E-course, which will walk you through step by step learning, through videos, text, and websites, to help you learn each core area.  Keep watch for this to happen soon.  In the mean time, do some study and research.  Pick one area you know you need to focus on, and go to it.  I will be focusing on one core area each week as well, in my own home and here on Today.....
When we become more self reliant in each of these areas, we will be creating a home that will someday be able to stand on it's own. When disaster strikes, whether short or long term, we will be able to be a benefit to our family and community, instead of being one that is complaining because the government didn't get the help to us fast enough.

I love preparedness!  I love teaching it, and learning about it!  Even after thirty ish odd years of living the life, I still learn new things almost every day!  

Create a goal, and work towards it, and stay tuned for more.

Some quotes for you to ponder for the day:

“Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness.”
Don Williams, Jr
“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”
Petra Nemcova
Love this quote, and love this site. 
“Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program.”
Spencer W. Kimball, 1976
“Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.”
Max Mayfield, Director National Hurricane Center

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Lights Out!

Bracing for a big power grid attack: ‘One is too many’“, USA Today states “About once every four days, part of the nation’s power grid — a system whose failure could leave millions in the dark — is struck by a cyber or physical attack.

How would your family fare in a power grid down situation?  What things would you need to prepare?  In our world where we rely heavily on power, the internet, the stores, debit, credit, etc, etc, we would be in serious trouble, right?

Let's have a look at some of the things you would need to prepare for.

1. Lighting options - As much as we think we could live without light, it would get old after the first 24 hours.  One night of the kids complaining that they couldn't see anything, they couldn't do anything, they are bored, and so on, it is time to rethink the lighting situation.  What are your options?  You could have a large supply of candles, lighters and matches.  Both easy to do and cheap to pick up, plus they provide a bit of heat.  How about a flashlight in every room and extra batteries in a place where you can find them. Crank flashlights are a good idea.  Hurricane lanterns and other lanterns are a good plan, just make sure you use them safely.  We have a couple of oil lanterns and they are great, but not used properly they could quickly cause a larger emergency.  Glow sticks of all shapes and sizes might entertain the kiddos as well as provide some light. Whatever you choose to have, get them organized in a way you can locate them quickly in a grid down situation, whether short or long term.

2.  Water is important in a power down situation as well.  Have your drinking water stored, and learn sources of extra water that could be used for flushing and washing.  No you will not be able to run to the store and get water, and much to our dismay, it won't come out of the taps. Have a good storage of water filters, berkey filters, life straws and so forth, there may be water sources around you that you could filter and drink. Prepare ahead of time, and have a plan of what you will do.  Know how much water it takes to flush your toilet.  Learn how and have the resources to use baby wipes to maybe give yourself a spit bath, so to speak.  What are your options, and have you prepared for no water with no power.

3. If you do have a generator, have you practiced hooking it up, at least so you could run your fridge and / or freezer.  Do you have a source of fuel to run your generator for an extended period of time.  The time to learn all about your generator is not when you are in need of it.

4.  Cooking supplies - Peanut butter sandwiches will get old really fast, and you will run out of bread eventually.  So what are your options for cooking?  Do you have a barbecue?  Do you have a long term source of fuel for it?  Do you have a fire pit?  Wood?  Know what you could cook over a fire, and how to do it?  Do you own small camp stoves and have a source of fuel for them that would last awhile?  Dutch ovens are great, but you need a source of fuel.  Charcoal briquettes are great for fire pits, barbecues and other cooking options, and they store for indefinitely if kept dry.  Grab yourself a few extra bags this camping season and tuck them away.

5.  Have you thought about what you would do with all the garbage that will quickly build up?  Garbage
trucks won't be running, so what are your options?  Have a good supply of all sizes of garbage bags, bare minimum.  Perhaps even have a way to create a burning barrel.  Most places won't allow burning barrels within city limits, but when it all comes down, it would be better to burn it, than to have it pile up, attracting rodents, critters, and all manner of disease.  Lot's of garbage bags, and a small burning barrel are a bare minimum.

6.  Food - I can't preach enough about food.  If your family is hungry, they will be cranky, and they will get sick.  Keep a good stock of canned goods, and dried goods on hand, always.  It is easy to open a can and warm it up over a small heat source.  Also canned goods can help with a little bit of water in your system.  It is good to have a supply of familiar foods, especially if you have little children.  Emergency is not the time to be introducing new foods to a fussy eater.  You may think they will eat if  they are hungry, but I can tell you, they won't.  At least have a 72 hour supply of food and water, then work towards putting together a 3 month supply of food and water resources, and then work to a year supply.  Rotate it, learn to cook with it, learn to love it, and in an emergency situation, there will be no food shock to the system, causing sickness and mental trauma.

7. How are you going to stay warm?  Do you know how to hunker down into one or two main rooms in your home and keep them warm?  Do you have an alternate heat source?  Warm clothing?  Extra warm blankets?

8.  Communication - how will you communicate with your family to know they are all okay and let them know you are okay?  Do you have cell phone solar chargers?  It is possible in emergency situations to get text messages out, even if a phone call won't go through.  Who are you going to call?  Does your family have an out of area contact person, who you would get a message to, to let them know you are okay?  Then if any other family are wondering if you are okay, they don't all have to try and get ahold of you, they can contact your out of area contact person.  It is important to have a central contact person and make sure everyone knows who that is.  Extra batteries are important.  Crank radios are important.  Two way radios between you and your family that live across town, are a great idea, as long as you have a good supply of batteries.

9.  First aid supplies and prescriptions on hand are a must.  The first aid supplies should be tailored to what the needs of your family might be.  There are many lists available to help you figure this one out.  Do a little research and build a kit that works for your family. It might also be important for someone in your family to have first aid training.

10.  Paper and plastic products.  It might be wise to have a supply of paper plates, cups and throw away utensils.  This will keep your dish washing to a minimum and save valuable water.  They can also be burned in your burn barrel that you are going to create.  Things like cards and board games might come in handy too, as entertainment will not include anything that requires electricity.

Think as you are going through this list, any other things you may need.  What would you need if the grid was down for only a few days?  What if it was out for a few weeks?  What if we had an EMP and it was out for many months, / years?  It is a reality we face in our world today.  It may be a big bad storm that takes out the power grid, it may be a big bad terrorist that does it, regardless of what the cause of it is, are you prepared for it?  Could your family breeze through it relatively unscathed if and when it happens to you?

 If you think you would be in serious trouble, then figure out what you need to do to lessen that trouble.  Start today with one little step.  Buy a flashlight and batteries.  Buy a bag of charcoal briquettes.  Buy a package of candles.  Buy a small portable stove.  Whatever it is you need to do, just start today and do it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

December Newsletter - Today While The Sun Shines


Here is the December Newsletter.  You can find much of what is in this newsletter, here on this site, but this puts it is one location and makes it printable for you. 

Have a great Christmas!  Remember prepping items in your last minute purchases!

Today While The Sun Shines
Issue #3
December 2016

This issue of Today While The Sun Shines, I want to share some tidbits of preparedness info with you.
This newsletter is made up of those tidbits that perhaps we didn't know, or we have forgotten, or which
might give us that “aha” moment!

Food Storage Sizes
1 gallon = 7 lbs wheat, rice or sugar
1 gallon = 5 lbs powdered milk or flour
1 gallon = 4 lbs macaroni
1 gallon = 3 lbs potato flakes, oatmeal, or instant milk
5 gallons = 35 lbs wheat, beans, rice, or sugar
5 gallons = 25 lbs powdered milk or flour
5 gallons = 20 lbs macaroni
5 gallons = 15 lbs potato flakes, oatmeal, or instant milk
55 gal drum = 400 lbs wheat, beans, rice, or sugar
55 gal drum = 275 lbs powdered milk or flour
55 gal drum = 225 lbs macaroni
55 gal drum = 160 lbs potato flakes, oatmeal, or instant milk

This info can be helpful if you know you have 10 buckets of wheat, 8 buckets of beans and 4 buckets of
rice. It kind of gives you an estimate of poundage. 350 lbs of wheat, etc. Etc. Now it will be easier for
you to do your inventory and have an approximate amount of just what you have on hand.

Food Substitutions
Cream Cheese: cottage cheese blended smooth with butter or milk
Eggs: 1 tbsp soy flour and 1 tbsp water or 1 tbsp ground flax and 3 tbsp water
Milk / Cream: 1 cup milk = 1/3 cup dry milk plus 1 cup water or 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup
1 cup buttermilk = 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup, let stand 5 min
1 cup heavy cream = 7/8 cup whole milk plus 1 1/2 tbsp butter
Sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar = 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar or 1 cup packed light brown sugar or 3/4
cup honey
1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp molasses
1 pkg yeast = 1 tbsp bulk yeast or 1/2 cake compressed yeast
1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp cream tartar plus 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp lemon juice = 1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 cup butter / margarine = 7/8 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dark corn syrup = 3/4 cup light plus 1/4 cup molasses
1 chopped onion = 1 tbsp instant minced
1 clove garlic = 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup tomato sauce = 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
1 tbsp prepared mustard = 1 tsp dry mustard plus 1 tbsp water

Instead of throwing out your empty laundry jugs, fill them with water and label them as wash water.
The little bit of soap in the bottom of the jug will be enough in an emergency to use as washing clothes,
dishes, hands, floors, etc. You won't be using up valuable stored drinking water to keep things clean.
Make sure you label them with a black marker in big letters NOT drinking water, wash water. Not that
anyone will drink it after it pours out full of bubbles, but you never know with kiddos.

Always keep a flashlight and a pair of shoes by your bed. The flashlight can even be on your phone, it
doesn't really matter. If you have to exit your home in the middle of the night and the power is out for
some reason, the flashlight will be a life saver. The pair of shoes will keep your feet safe if there are
downed trees or broken glass or other items that might be hazardous.

Never store plastic buckets or water containers on a cement floor. Plastic will leach the toxins out of
the cement and can contaminate the food or water that is in the buckets or containers. Always make
sure you store food in food grade containers. It would be a shame if you worked so hard to gather food
storage and had to toss it because it became contaminated. It is worth the little bit of extra to have good
storage containers.

Keep your vehicle gas tanks on the upper side of half. If you ever had to evacuate, you want to make
sure you have enough gas to get where you need to be. Also, if there were ever a gas catastrophe such
as a major gas pipeline break, where gas shortages occur, or anything of that sort, you will fare much
better if you have a full tank of gas. Many of the people evacuating Fort McMurray during the fire,
didn't have much in their gas tank, and ran out of gas after sitting in long line ups, and never reached
their destination. They had to wait for someone to come along and give them gas to refill. Stay on the
upside of half.

Monthly To Do List:
• $2 per week / person in your household, tuck it away for emergency cash
• Invest in a water filter, either one that will do large amounts for your family, or a smaller water
filtration bottle for each member in your family. It might be a great Christmas gift, just saying!
• Gather together baking supplies this month – baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, salt,
vanilla, cooking sprays, flour
• Batteries, matches, lighters, flashlights, lanterns, candles
• Bigger possible purchases this time of year – generators are usually on sale, wheat grinders,
things like that – buy yourself a Christmas present that makes sense
• Buy your family and / or yourself a good emergency preparedness book for Christmas. Or print
out articles, pdf's etc and create your own special prep book for your family to have. My plan
for this Christmas is to create within my own family and my personal extended family, a family
of resourceful people, each person taking on one form of preparedness and specializing in that
area, being a resource person for our family to be better prepared. When we meet as a resource
group once a month, we can share what we have learned. We will start in January. I am telling
you this because I am creating a book that can begin to compile these resources and that will be
part of my family Christmas this year. Shhh, if you are in my family.
• Inventory condiments, spices, and extras like vinegar, etc.
• Enjoy a simplified Christmas, don't lose the real meaning of what it is all about
• Gather your favorite Christmas recipes. You should be starting to have quite a collection of
your favorite recipes by now. Keep it growing

December Weekly To do List:
Week 1
• $2 per person, per week, tuck away into your emergency cash fund. You should start to see it
growing now. Exciting right?
• Research and compare some prices of water filtration options
• Purchase vanilla and cooking spray
• Purchase batteries for your flashlight, and if you don't have a flashlight, you should get one.
There really should be a flashlight beside each bed in your home, in case emergencies happen in
the middle of the night and the power is out
• Buy, download or print out, or organize an emergency preparedness book you want. Take a
little time to organize your resources, meaning books, so as to find information easily when you
are looking for something

Week 2
• $2 per person, per week, tuck away into your emergency cash fun
• Purchase the water filters that you have found to be the best for your situation
• To buy this week would be cornstarch, salt, and any mixes you use often
• Matches, lighters, candles
• Inventory your spices and condiments
• Organize your favorite Christmas recipes

Week 3 and Week 4
• Take time to relax and enjoy Christmas and the true meaning and Spirit of Christmas.
• As you are doing last minute presents, remember small preparedness items, and food storage
items that will be something your family treasures.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Preparedness Isn't Just About Emergencies

Yes!  Being prepared will help you get through life's emergencies, and most often we talk about it in this way.  Be prepared for emergencies, disasters, and challenges of life.  In reality, "Preparedness" needs to become our way of life.  It needs to become a part of who we are, in what we think and all we do.

We need to become more self reliant and less reliant on government, jobs, and other agencies and people.  How about asking yourself questions each time you do something, or buy something, like:

"Is this helping me live a more self reliant, prepared life?  Or is it something that won't matter two, five or ten years from now?"

"Instead of buying one or two cans of whatever is on sale, why not buy ten, then you won't have to buy it again, until it comes on sale again."  Also, you are building your 3 month supply this way.

I know we need to prepare for those big emergencies, but keep in mind, the daily living things we need to be thinking about like:

  • Job layoffs
  • Family Emergencies
  • Sickness
  • Localized emergencies
  • Drought
  • Financial setbacks
  • Government shutdowns
  • Delays in food distribution
  • Medical emergencies and long-term needs
  • Financial realities
  • Outside influences that keep us where we are

    For years, I’ve wanted to move to a homestead out in the country, far from the maddening crowds, raising my own food, working alongside my family in developing skills that allow us to thrive.
However, my reality is far from that. I’m tied to the area I’m in because I have family who need me to be here to help them in their own life. I have a husband who is obliged to remain at his job. Moving away would mean him being on the road for all of his free time, and none of us want that. We live in a suburb on a small plot of land and cannot raise our own meat, but we persevere by doing as much as we can with what we have.

Your reality doesn’t mean that you can’t live a prepared lifestyle to the best of your abilities and use your talents where God has planted you for this season of your life. My hope is that you embrace that, do what you can do, and be prepared.

On a side note: For those of you who have embraced this life, but still feel the shame of the label some try to put on you, DON'T.  If you are doing your best to be productive, to protect your family, to provide for your family, and to prepare for your family in every way that you can in the area you have been planted on during this season, know that no label defines you. You aren’t less because you can’t be called a homesteader, you aren’t less because some label you a prepper (because this lifestyle isn’t about being a prepper), and you aren’t less because you haven’t embraced the call of a world!  Who says that you cannot be different. Have faith!

BE DIFFERENT!  Live the life of being prepared.  It brings a peace of mind that can be found nowhere else! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Today While The Sun Shines - November Newsletter

Newsletter PDF

Today While The Sun Shines Newsletter
Issue #2 November 2016

Why Sprouts?
Sprouts are one of those things that as seeds have an indefinite shelf life, but are a live food. They are inexpensive, super packed with nutrition, will grow in any climate, any time of the year, don't need soil, rivals tomatoes in Vitamin C, and takes very little preparation or clean up.

An incredible story about the value of sprouting:


“This is the story of one bishop, amongst many other leaders and members, all who played
an important and tireless, behind-the-scene role in the development of the Church’s Food
Storage Program. Bishop West put forth considerable effort to first set his own house in order,
after which he labored helping the members of the ward he presided over to prepare. There
were many mistakes and much to be learned, but what was learned has proven to be an asset to many of the Saints today.

In the fall of 1977, Jack H. West was asked to give firesides in the Sacramento, California, area on the subject of food storage because of the part he played in its on-going
development. Some of Bishop West’s comments are taken from notes recorded in one of those firesides.

Bishop West indicated that he was “set apart as the first bishop of Glendora Ward” and
immediately set about doing surveys to determine who in the ward had adequate food storage. The results indicated that “less than 5% of our people had even a year’s supply of food,” let alone a two-year’s supply. In order to set a leadership example, he discussed with his wife that: “Maybe we had better set the pace for the rest of the ward.” The results were that there shortly appeared “two giant trucks and trailers” turning into his driveway, sufficient
to meet the needs of feeding a “family of eight” for two years. And I said, “You’re
kidding--we can’t possibly be eating that much food.” Well, she took me to a full-length
mirror and turned me side-ways and I didn’t have any more questions.

What his family found out was that not only did they have a great deal of canned food but
a lot of frozen food as well, especially meat. He said they immediately began experiencing a
number of problems. A freak loss of power in the Glendora area resulted in the loss of their
meat. They then faced the problem of how to organize and rotate cases of food that were
“stacked nine feet high.” To correct this problem he built shelves and: . . . angled the 2 x 4's just exactly one can apart and we’d fill those slanted units with the cans of food. Then when we pulled a can out from the bottom, every can rotated like they had asked us to do.

But with this type of storage, the problem was that he never could tell how many cans were left. Another problem which became apparent was that Sister West could only estimate how much of any given food they would use in two years, and so: . . . the first thing we knew, we were using more of one thing than another. . . . Well, it did not work.

As Brother and Sister West checked, they determined that their diet became very unbalanced. Procrastination resulted in a failure to replace used products as they should have, bringing: . . . bulging cans everywhere you looked. . . . The first thing you know, the whole thing was completely shot to pieces. . . .

Well, I went back to the [ward] welfare Committee and said, “Look, one of the things the Word of Wisdom tells us to do (and that’s the direct word of the Lord) is to use the food in the season thereof. We are using two-year-old food constantly in times of non-emergency and I just couldn’t believe that was the program the Lord had in mind for us.” So I said, “Let’s fast and pray about this thing--we’ll get the whole ward to fast and pray about it and see if we can come up with some better answers for a year’s supply of food, or even a two year’s supply.”

So we did, and then we started to search the scriptures, of course, and we found in some 72 places, as I remember, it mentioned the “land flowing with milk and honey” as the ideal land. So we made note of that--we marked down milk and honey--there might be something to that. And then we went to the Word of Wisdom and we found that the staff of life was “grain” . . . particularly “wheat for man.” So we went to the scriptures again and we found if the “salt has lost its savor” . . . We marked down salt as maybe an important thing.” [Surprisingly, they didn’t include olive oil, which is also in the scriptures.]

Bishop West was acquainted with two well-known dietitians and wrote to them, asking, “What would you think about it, if we were to use four basic foods as an emergency supply--
wheat, honey, salt, and milk?” They wrote back and said: “You’ve just about hit the jackpot. There is just one thing you’d be low on and that is vitamin C, and that you’d be dangerously low
on.” So we went to vitamin C tablets.

As it turned out, vitamin C tablets do not have a long shelf life, so Bishop West reviewed
various alternatives as they tried to find a suitable source for vitamin C; in relationship to this he related the following incident:

Then I was over in Mesa, Arizona, one day and--have you ever seen someone walking toward you on the street that you were just absolutely certain had died two years before? That was a real thrill. I saw this young fellow walking toward me who was all hunched over the last time I had seen him and his bones were knurled and he looked like death itself and he told me that he had less than two months to live. Well, here he was walking towards me hale and hearty and straight as an arrow. I said, “Ted, is that really you?” He said, “Yes, it is me.” He was the brother-in-law of one of my counsellors in the bishopric. I said, “What in the world saved your life?” He said, “Wheat greens.” I said, “What?
Wheat greens--What does wheat greens have in it that would save your life?”

He said, “It is the highest known source of vitamin C in assimilable form for the human
system.” And I said, “Great Scott, that’s an answer to prayer! We have been looking for
something that would give us vitamin C and here we’ve had the
wheat all the time.” You
grow greens as you need it from the
wheat you have on hand.

He then went on to relate that he had a friend, Anne Wigmore, Ph.D., MD, and DD, who
had written a book called
Wheat Grass--God’s Manna, who told him how to grow wheat grass. He then called his two dietitian friends who confirmed the value of using wheat grass, especially as it relates to vitamin C.

A cousin of Bishop West, Elder Harold B. Lee, wrote to him several times requesting
information on the four basics. Bishop West notes:

When he became President of the Church he twice asked for more literature. Just before he passed away, he completely changed his mind from asking people to get a year’s or a two-year’s supply of their normal food, and rotate it, to reversing his field and coming back to the identical four basics that we had found worked so beautifully.

Out of the prayerful and persistent effort that Bishop West and his ward put forth came an
organized, functional food storage plan which became a part of the cornerstone in the Church’s current food storage program.”

What an incredible story! Even if you feel like you would never use the wheat in your buckets in your basement, you wouldn't grind them and make bread, or you have a gluten intolerance so would never use it, you could always SPROUT it! What a relief to know that you could grow your own greens and not only survive, but thrive by using wheat, and wheat grass.

There is no better survival food than sprouts. Do your own research if you don't believe me. You will find that as soon as a seed has sprouted, it immediately increases the food value of that particular food, exponentially.

You can eat sprouts on sandwiches, in soups, in salads, in stir frys, and so many other forms of cooking. You can eat them just raw by the handfuls. They are wonderful and delicious.

General Sprouting Method:
Soak beans in a large glass jar, over night. Place a small piece of screen or cloth over the mouth, secured with an elastic band. Drain off water and rinse again and drain. Let sit on counter out of the direct sunlight. Rinse twice a day until the desired sprouting is finished.

Pretty basic right? You can pay a ton for a fancy sprouter, or use a mason jar. Either way you will get the desired sprouts. Do a little research on the best times for certain seeds to eat, for they are not all best sprouted the same amount of time. Some are better after only a day or two, and some after a week or so.

November Monthly To Do List:

  • $2 per week / person - store away for emergency cash on hand – remember that container that has the lid glued on? Use it weekly, adding in $2 per week, per person in your home. Keep it in a spot so you remember to do it, but also one that won't advertise to everyone that you have it.
  • Add another 14 gallons of water per person to your water storage
  • Take this month to add sugars to your storage – brown sugar, white sugar, honey, molasses, syrups of all types, icing sugar, or any other types your family may use
  • Add things like a snow shovel, a new broom or mop and bucket
  • Winter clothing, space heaters, winter boots, hand warmers, foot warmers – These have a really long shelf life. Even though it doesn't say so on the package, I have many of these that are almost ten years old and they still work!
  • Create a place near the door for the winter clothing, with high hopes of keeping mittens, hats, scarves, etc all together and easy to find, and easy to return to when you come in from the cold
  • Inventory your breakfast foods, baking supplies, beans and proteins, paper and plastic products. Get a thick notebook to keep inventory notes, and to purchase notes in. Each week you will be inventorying items and figuring out what you need to purchase. Keep notes on all of these things, for your own knowledge, but also if your husband or kids want to help out, you will all be working together and not repeating each other
  • Gather recipes for breakfast foods, and proteins like beans. Hopefully by now you have started gathering your recipes and organizing them into a binder with sections. Remember this isn't just another recipe book. This book is to place your favorite recipes, as well as the ones that are great for food storage, ones that you will always turn to.

Weekly To Do List:

Week 1
  • Set aside $2 per person in your cash fund
  • Add water to your water storage, at least 3 gallons per person
  • Purchase white sugar, and honey
  • Make sure you have a good snow shovel, and a winter coat
  • Create a space near a door for all of your winter clothing and supplies
  • Inventory your breakfast foods, cereals, pancake mixes, muffin mixes, rolled oats and other cereal grains, yogurt starters, milk supplies and things like that

Week 2
  • $2 per person add to your emergency cash fund
  • Add another 3 gallons of water per person to your storage
  • Purchase brown sugar, and icing sugar as needed
  • Purchase a good broom, or a mop head, to have a spare on hand
  • Make sure everyone in your home has a good pair of winter boots
  • Gather winter supplies to the winter location, put summer supplies in a bin and move to storage room
  • Inventory your baking supplies. Things like baking powder, soda, salt, flour, vanilla, etc

Week 3
  • $2 per person add to your emergency cash fund
  • Add another 3 gallons of water per person to your storage
  • Purchase molasses, corn syrup or pancake syrup as needed
  • Purchase mittens, scarves and hats for winter use, if needed and add them to the winter location you have created
  • Inventory your beans and other proteins like canned meats, lentils, Tvp, etc.

Week 4
  • $2 per person add to your emergency cash fund
  • Add any extra water you need to make the 14 gallons of water per person for this month
  • Purchase any extra sugars you would like to add to your food storage
  • Purchase or find your space heaters and have them prepped and ready in case of any power outages during winter storms
  • Purchase hand and foot warmers and have them in your winter location for mittens etc
  • Inventory your paper and plastic products like: paper plates, utensils, cups, napkins, paper towel, toilet paper. These things are very important in case of power outages when water for washing might be scarce. Throw away is a good thing in an emergency situation.

Sprouted Lentil Vegetable Soup

First take the time to sprout whole green or brown lentils. Make sure they are not the small red cracked lentils. The seed needs to be whole, not split or your attempt at sprouting them will simply turn to mush and mold. Soak and sprout them until they have a nice tail sprout on them about 1/4 inch long. At this point you can allow them to dry, either by sitting on the counter spread out on a sheet, or in a dehydrator, or a freeze drier.

Why would you let them dry? Because then they are ready to use in any recipe calling for lentils, and they have the exponential nutrients because the sprouting has activated them.

Okay now for the soup.

2 cups of sprouted lentils, either fresh or dried
1/2 cup chopped onions or sub with dried onions
1/2 cup chopped celery or dried celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots or dried carrots
1 clove minced garlic
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
1 quart of tomatoes canned, or large can of diced tomatoes

Extras you could add in:
pasta, rice, beef or chicken bouillon or other vegetables, make dumplings to add on top

Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour until all lentils and vegetables are tender. If you add in pasta, don't add in until the last ten minutes or it will mush.

Serve with crackers, biscuits, toast, or fresh made buns.

Super nutritious, super inexpensive, and super easy to make. Super delicious and it will likely become one of your family's favorites.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Newsletter #1 - October 2016

Today While The Sun Shines
Issue #1

REMEMBER: October 29th, at the Stake Center in Medicine Hat, the Emergency Preparedness Fair. We have a lineup of great presenters, displays, and tasters. Here is a short list:
Shelter in Place by CF
Notify Me Now by City of Medicine Hat
Wills FAQ's by Darren Cahoon
Emergency Binders, 72 hour kits and Digitizing your home by Talia Zemp
Red Cross – Emergency Preparedness in the home
LDS Employment from Lethbridge
Thrive – freeze dried foods by Troy and Janae Hale
and so much more.....
with our tasters focused around everything possible to do with beans!

Quite a few years ago, I started a blog called Today While The Sun Shines. I chose this title, specifically for this words to the song that we often sing at church. Here are the words to the chorus:

Today, today, work with a will;
Today, today, your duties fulfill.
Today, today, work while you may;
Prepare for tomorrow by working today.

As I was thinking what I would title this newsletter, I had to go back to that theme, because I believe it is even more relevant now than it was ten years ago. We need to work with a will, fulfill our duties, and prepare for tomorrow, today!

A recent talk by Elder Ballard, in a large regional conference in Utah, he stated this:

"My beloved brothers and sisters, we are charged to prepare the Church for those days that will surely come if the people in the world continue to ignore and disregard God our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are clear on the consequences of turning away from God." by Elder Ballard

I say Amen to his talk. We need to prepare today, for what tomorrow will bring, for it is surely coming. We are not going to be able to escape it. We must prepare for it.

Each monthly newsletter I send from here on out will have a monthly checklists, or a weekly checklist, depending on what works for you, both contain the same information, just broken down a bit more. With all of them, I hope to give you a comprehensive yet basic look at preparedness in the home.

Where do I even begin? It is so overwhelming!

Whether you are an avid preparedness guru, or are just at the beginnings, or somewhere in between, advice is always the same, just start, or just start again, or just keep moving forward. For we all have times where we just forget, or get tired, or get sidetracked. The steps to starting, regardless where you are in your journey of preparedness, can be simple and inexpensive. They don't need to be huge or extravagant.

Below are a few ways to get your family started on the road to preparedness, which will soon become a way of life if you continue to do:
  • Take a deep breath, allow your knees to hit the floor, (the starting position), and ask for help. Then get up and start doing something. It is easier for the Lord to help you when you are moving forward. Let me tell you a short story. I have always been one who believes in being prepared. It has been a way of life for me since I was a little girl. One day, about ten or so years ago, I had been to the Temple in Cardston, after which I stopped at the book store and picked up a book about dehydrating. I was keenly feeling it. I need to kick my preparedness efforts into high gear again, but I just didn't know how I was going to accomplish it, as we didn't have the financial resources to buy a lot of stuff. BUT, I had a willing heart! On the way home, I said a small prayer, mostly to myself and told Heavenly Father if He would put food in front of me, I would do all I could, to preserve it, and make use of it for my family. Seriously, not two minutes after I said that prayer my cell phone rang with a dear friend telling me she had more apples than she needed, and would I come and pick them. The calls continued almost daily. To this day, the resources He places in front of me have never stopped. However, I must note..... I do the work, I often do the research to find sources, and I must add in again, I AM WILLING TO DO THE WORK, no matter how exhausting it might be, I work today, to prepare for tomorrow, always. It is just a way of life. If opportunities come about, I work.
  • Stop with the wailing and gnashing of teeth, yes we all do it to some degree. We find every excuse possible to not do what we are supposed to be doing. He can't open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings on us, if we are excusing away those blessings. I hear them all of the time, so I am here today, and tomorrow, to help you take away those excuses. Work today, to prepare for tomorrow, because when the world chooses wickedness, WE need to be prepared, for “swiftly cometh the judgments of God.” If you have an extra room in your house full of junk, wahoo for you! Get rid of the junk and turn it into a useful storage room. If you have an empty closet, space under a bed, a heated garage, cupboards up high full of useless stuff, well you get my meaning, then you have space. If you don't have the financial means, then see where you can cut back and make it a priority in your home. We all have cell phones, large tv bills, eating out habits, etc etc, all which can be juggled to find the means. It is a matter of priorities. If you want it, make it a matter of prayer and figure out how to do it. I promise you I have heard all the excuses, and there isn't one that I can't help you overcome in some way. YOU CAN DO IT! Just decide.
  • The empty pop bottles that are kicking around your house.... see them all? You know the ones that some day you are going to take in for that ten cent return? Wash them out and fill them with water. Find an empty spot in your closet, or under a bed, or in the laundry room, or behind a tv, or up in the top corner of a cupboard that nobody can reach and has been filled with stuff that never gets used. We all have spaces like that, so make those dead, empty spaces useful. Pop bottles will last for years filled with water. Just go do it, and forget about them. There, now you have started! It is a simple step, so just do it. If you don't have empty pop bottles, every other week, buy a case of bottled water and stash it. Go to Costco and pick up one of their 3L blue jugs of water and stash it. If you do that every other week, you will soon see your water supply building. And considering an average person goes through about 80 gallons of water per day with all of their washing, drinking, cooking, etc, that 14 gallons you should have stored for emergencies, isn't going to last very long.
  • Next, from now on when you go shopping, instead of buying one can of corn, one can of tomato soup, or one box of something, buy two and tuck one away on your food storage shelf. If you will do this as often as money permits, you will soon see your storage start to grow. You will also begin to change your mindset to thinking more to shopping sales, and thinking ahead. Be a prayerful shopper and see what a difference that makes. Your job is to ask, listen, then go and do. I recall keenly when I started shopping the sales. I only had a small amount of money, but I remember pasta coming on sale for like .50 cents a bag, (unheard of any more), and I bought 50 bags of it. Yes, I am that person. That meant I didn't get a few other things on my list that particular time, but I didn't have to buy pasta until it came on sale again. I would watch the sales, and buy in large quantities, and eventually got to where I only had to buy certain things when they came on sale. I find the cheapest places to buy things in bulk, and I buy them in bulk. Get creative in your containers, ask people to save you large glass jars, plastic ones, or buckets. Ice cream stores always give away buckets. There are ways to make it happen if you start to look for them.
That is how you begin. We will talk more on emergencies and how to prepare for them in future issues, but for now, I hope you just begin with what you can, these simple steps that anyone can do. I promise you will be blessed because you are being obedient.

October To Do List
  • Each week set aside $2 for every person in your home. This is just for having emergency cash on hand. I have a large jar with the lid glued on, which all of my change and everyone else's change often goes in this jar. Each week I add to it, at least $2 for each person in my family.
  • 14 gallons of water per person. Put it somewhere. Be creative. I know you can do it.
  • This month, focus on gathering some extra cleaning supplies. Things like a gallon of bleach, an extra bottle of dish soap, an extra bottle or box of laundry soap, some latex gloves, an extra box of trash bags (sturdy ones). An extra bottle of all purpose cleaner like Mr. Clean or something. 12 cleaning cloths (reusable ones), any other cleaning supplies you regularly use, buy one extra of each and set them aside on your food storage shelves. Now you are one step closer and your shelves are looking good!
  • Test smoke alarms, test fire extinguisher, test carbon mono alarm, have a mock fire drill with your family. If you have water storage that may need rotating, do it now to keep it fresh for the winter months. I usually would rotate mine every April and October, if I do it, which I don't always. I have used water that has been store in bottles for a few years and it is totally fine. Just remember never store these bottles on a cement floor. I will get into that more in another newsletter, but just know not to do it. Any toxins from the cement will leach into the plastic and then into the water. Not good.

Simplified Monthly October Check list:

  • set aside $2 / person / week for emergency cash on hand
  • store 14 gallons of water per person in your household
  • Food storage: canned meats – chicken, tuna, salmon, beef, etc., vegetable oil, coconut oil, shortening, peanut butter, chocolate chips, cocoa for baking
  • Home storage items: 5 gallon bucket with lid, household cleaners, bleach, dish soap, laundry detergent, Mr. Clean, latex gloves, work gloves, cloth rags and cleaning cloths, garbage bags, clothes pins, scouring pads, sponges, air fresheners, n95 masks, other cleaning supplies
  • Preparedness goals: test smoke alarms, test fire extinguishers, test carbon monoxide alarms, have mock fire and evac drill, rotate water storage if needed
  • Equipment goals: smoke alarms, other alarms and detectors, home escape ladders, things needed to escape rooms if fires etc.
  • Inventory: oils and fats, snacks, freezer, and toiletries

Weekly Check List for October:

Week 1
  • $2 per person tuck away for emergency cash on hand
  • figure out how much water per week you will need to get 14 gallons per person
  • canned meats, beef, chicken, tuna, salmon
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid, bleach, dish soap, laundry soap
  • test smoke alarms
  • purchase smoke alarms if needed
  • Inventory oils and fats

Week 2
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • divide amount of water needed into three and get that much stored
  • vegetable oil, coconut oil, shortening / lard
  • household cleaners, latex gloves, work gloves, cleaning cloths re-usable
  • test fire extinguishers
  • purchase fire extinguisher
  • inventory snacks

Week 3
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • add another amount of water needed to work up to your 14 gallons per person
  • peanut butter
  • garbage bags, clothes pins,
  • test carbon monoxide alarms, or purchase one if needed
  • inventory your freezer goods and organize if needed

Week 4
  • $2 per person cash on hand
  • finish getting together your 14 gallons of water per person
  • chocolate chips and cocoa for baking
  • scouring pads, sponges, air fresheners, n95 masks and other cleaning supplies
  • have a mock fire drill and mock evacuation drill
  • purchase home escape ladder or other tools needed to make evac smoother, like something to break windows, or whatever it might be
  • inventory toiletries

I am not going to tell you how much of any one particular thing you should purchase. It will be different for every household and family. Think through what your family uses regularly and purchase and store accordingly. Watch for sales, and if a good sale comes about, even if it isn't on the list, purchase it. Each circumstance is different, just plan and work accordingly.

Home Made Tortillas
2 cups flour – could be white, whole wheat, or add in powdered dried vegetables, bean flour, flax, or other ground grains. Black beans give a nice blackish blue color, powdered tomatoes a nice red, and powdered spinach a green. Adding in herbs and spices give nice freckled colors. Be creative with what you have on hand and experiment.
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup warm water
additional flour
Rub flour, salt and oil together with your fingers until completely incorporated and fine crumbs form. Pour water into dry ingredients and work it in with a fork. Dough will be in large clumps. Sprinkle flour and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 12 – 15 small balls about 2 inches in diameter. Set balls on a plate and cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes or so. Roll out until thin, rolling from the center to the outside. It may be helpful to toll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Bake on very hot, un-greased griddle or fry pan until freckled, about 20 seconds on each side. Serve warm.

Price comparison is about 1/10 of the price of purchasing these in the grocery store. Significant savings, much more healthy, and one step closer to being self reliant.

Buckets of Sprouts!!!
Opportunity to prepare in January, a five gallon bucket of grains and seeds for sprouting. We will be doing a bulk purchase and assembly of these. I am working on a price and a list of what will be in it for sure, and by next newsletter I will have this ready for certain, but for now here is what it might look like.

A five gallon bucket of sprouting grains and seeds for approximately $50. It might include: alfalfa seeds, wheat kernels, rye grain, green lentils, green peas, adzuki beans, mung beans, fenugreek seeds, broccoli seeds.

I am working on this, but will let you know more details on when, where, and what exactly will be in it and how much it will be. Just plan for it in January's budge if you are interested. And let me know if you have a source for something specific or would like something specific in it. It will be an opportunity for us all to come together to create them and take them home.

Friday, September 2, 2016

User Friendly Foods

One of the first things I like to teach people when it comes to food storage is:  learn to make things for yourself.  This is one of the key things to using your food storage.  Running to the store every time you are out of a food item, gets really pricey, and really time consuming.  There is a wonderful, fantastic tool called GOOGLE!  I can find a recipe for almost anything I can imagine, by using google.  Here are some of the things I have learned how to make on my own:
  • all kinds of breads
  • all kinds of noodles
  • sauces
  • desserts
  • wheat meat
  • tofu
  • canning
  • freeze drying
  • dehydrating
and so much more!  In fact I will always look up a recipe or a way to do something, before I go and buy it.  I must confess, people are always calling me for ideas, on this or that preparedness or food storage, and if I am not sure of the answer, while I have them on the phone, I will whip open my computer, and search for the answer while I am talking to them, and voila - they have their answer, when in all reality, they could have done the same thing.  Now don't get me wrong, I love talking to people and solving problems, but google is a fantastic tool.  I also have binders and books full of information that I have printed off, because I don't believe I will always have access to the computer.

So back to user friendly foods.  Thanks Jocelyn for bringing it to my attention that most people don't think like I do.  I know a few who do, and you know who you are, that's why we work well together.  For example, I was asking a friend if she would share something made from beans for the preparedness fair coming up in October.  Right there, she whipped out her phone and pinterest, and discovered you can make yummy smoothies using blended up white beans!  Guess what we get to try at the preparedness fair? 

Beans can be a daunting thing for some people to cook.  They take a little preparation and time.  Most people don't want to take that time.  I love beans - being a vegetarian, I eat them often.  I will spend a couple of days canning beans in jars, so they are ready to use at a moments notice.  You do need to pressure can them, so not everyone can do this, but they can easily be cooked and slipped into ziploc baggies and frozen for quick use as well. A bottle of beans on my shelf maybe costs .20 cents compared to a can of beans from the store that is $2 or $3.  Pretty cost saving.

I have made home made soups, stews, and meats canned in jars for quick meals.  Seriously if my family went into my storage room and looked at buckets, bags or bins, they would starve before they figured out what to do with it all.  When these things are ready made on the shelf, they beat any canned soups or stews hands down, and the nutritional value is by far better, with less preservatives and additives.  Again, a bottle of soup for well under $1 to make will be over $3 again on the shelf.  Groceries are not cheap, but home made things sure can be.

I have dried soups, rices, meals, and mixes in jars and large containers, with the recipes taped on the
outsides, for easy use as well.  It also helps me at times I need a quick batch of cookies or muffins or whatever.  I did the math one time for home made tortillas I made.  30 of them I guessed cost me about maybe 15 cents to make, and at the grocery store, over $2 for a pack of 10.  Sure they take a bit of work and time, but save a lot of money.

User friendly foods take a little time to prepare, but save a ton of money, and use up your long term food storage.  I can't express enough, how important it is for us to learn to use our food storage and learn to make things for ourselves.  I am pretty confident that when the time comes for my family to live off our life sustaining foods, we will be able to do okay.  Our meals won't change too much, and in fact it might be fun to see what else we can create.

Keep posted because I am going to do a series on User Friendly Foods, using Long Term Food Storage.  I am working on it right now.  Any thoughts?  I will post recipes to share.