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.