Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's a matter of Freezer organization....

 (Image courtesy of

So, you may be wondering if I have too much time on my hands.....but I assure you that is not the case.  I often get frustrated when I go to my freezer.  There are hidden treasures in there for sure, but I can't always discover them.  Then, add the little 'presesnts' that other family members put in there....and it can become quite the sorted mess.  So, out of frustration, I decided to reorganize my freezer....and here are the results:

Yes, I even pulled out my label maker....which I am sure puts me in my own special  category of OCD.  However, I was able to get so much food, in an organized manner into the freezer.

I bought sweater boxes and packed different foods into them. On this shelf, to maximize space, I turned them on their side.

But most of the time, I just placed them in a normal orientation.  (Oops, I need to snap the lid on the Fajita meat a little harder!)

When I went to make dinner last night, I opened my Freezer and just looked at it for a minute. I had no problem finding.....anything!  My kids laughed when they saw it and came to me to make comments.....while I was reorganizing the Pantry.  You see, it was getting to the point that it had too many 'hidden treasures' in it as well.

Happy Organizing!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Families are Forever.....

"Whether the family will be together depends upon the choices each family makes"
President Eyring

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What would you do?

Yes, this really is my telephone.  We have one in our kitchen and a handset in another part of the house.  You may be wondering why I bring up something as commonplace as a telephone.  There are a couple of reasons why.

We have had a very busy  Some areas of our state have been without power for periods of time.  Without power, this phone does not work....and it's really difficult to power-up your cellphone when your home has gone dark.

Secondly, it is a wireless handset, as is your cellphone.  I read with interest during the crisis in Egypt that the ruling power stopped Cellular service and Internet service.  Now, I know my cellphone wouldn't work under those circumstances, but I wonder if my land line phone would either.

So, I went shopping at the local Ace Hardware store....with the "helpful hardware man" (who I know very well..)  They had this very basic phone. 

These are the contents of the box.  Just a basic handset, and the associated cords. Yes, it is like stepping back in time....but the key word here is 'functional'. 

It requires AA batteries, if I want caller ID....we will see. 

We have thought about getting rid of our land line at times, but we still have business machines that need to access it will be with us for a longer period of time.  So, for just over $10.00, I have peace of mind that I can call during a power outage or during an emergency if cellular service were not to be available.  After all, only a few of the 'chicks' still live with me...and I want to know that I can get in touch with them and our other family and friends if need be.   

This is just something to decide!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary.....

(Image courtesy of

Well, I wondered if I should mention it or not,....but out little blog has now reached the ripe old age of "2".  I often wonder if anyone reads the information that  has been shared.  Well, Google Analytics has some answers to that question:

  1. Since June of 2010, tens of thousands of visitors have come to the site.
  2. They have come from 106 Countries and Territories
  3. In the United States, visitors have come from all 50 states and 2 territories
  4. Utah has had the most visitors, but Texas and California are not far behind.
You may wonder what most people are looking for...and so was I. So, here are the top five  (with links) that were the most visited:

  1. Recipes using Clear Gel  (by far the number one choice).
Are you surprised by this list?  I sure was!  So, with all those 'visitors', I would like to know what you would like to see more of, learn more about, or celebrate. 

I thank you all for your kindness, it is greatly appreciated!
Let's make it another great year!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guess Who is Having a Birthday?

(Image courtesy

One of the most important books of Scripture turns 400 years old in 2011 and reportedly has been translated into 100 different languages.  What an impact this work has had on all of mankind.

Just as you would expect for any birthday, there are different 'types' of celebrations. Here are some listed in an article written by Larry Richman on LDSMediatalk.

•Next week (February 23–24), the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, is sponsoring an academic symposium on the role of the King James translation of the Bible in the Restoration of the gospel.

•Read more about the KJV Bible in a linguistic, rhetorical, historical, cultural, and religious context in this Deseret News article. Here’s another interesting article in LDSLiving magazine.

•Listen to a BYU professor of ancient scripture discuss the Bible’s history.

•Read an article from the January 2011 Ensign about the historical context of the New Testament.

•Learn more about the Bible’s role in members’ lives.

•Read the full text of the LDS version of the King James Bible online at While there, you can also listen to a high-quality recording of the Bible. When in any chapter, just click Listen in the right margin, or click Download to get your own MP3 file for listening offline. (If you want to download entire books, or the whole Bible at once, you can get a convenient .zip file at

•You may also be interested in watching the video “That Promised Day: The Coming Forth of the LDS Scriptures.”

Real Food Shortages.....and how to "Weather the Storm"

(Image courtesy of my

I hate sounding alarms.....but we all are about to feel a huge pinch at many of our retailers.  Remember that crazy storm during the Superbowl (I didn't watch....but certainly heard about it)?  Well, it was in Texas....which is located just north of Mexico.....where a lot of our winter produce is grown. Some sources say that 80% or more of those crops were destroyed. 

Remember the Floods in Australia?  There is a lot of meat and wheat that comes from that area.  We have this interdependence on this country and others.  Sketchy reports from China state that they have had crop failures as well and their well planned reserves are down.  They usually do not draw from the world market and haven't traditionally been a concern as they often provide for themselves. (What a radical idea....).  However, they reportedly may be purchasing to build up their reserves.

Here is a local story that should get your attention.

FOOD SHORTAGE: Produce prices are expected to rise dramatically in the next few days after a freeze destroyed a huge swath of Mexican food crops. - KSTU

Soooooo, what do you do?

There are 2 things to do....and you can do them!

The first is to get out your Sprouting seeds.

And your Sprouting Trays and begin sprouting to get fresh produce.  For more information about Sprouting, please go here.

(Image courtesy of

Use them in sandwiches, soups, breads, and a salad of your own making.  Be creative.  My sister and her husband made a choice to live strictly on their food storage for a time.  She said she would have killed for a salad or fresh produce.  This is fun for your children as well.  Show them what to do in situations like this.

Start your garden now....indoors. If you look at most of your packages, in 40+ days you will have something up and growing!  For more information on how to do this, please go here.

There are options available to you......don't feel victimized at the store.  There are things you can do immediately for fresh produce.  In addition, start stocking up on foods in season, and store your meats now.  We will most likely see meat prices rise dramatically because our Poultry, Beef, etc stocks are fed....grains.

Finally, cotton has risen tremendously.  This means clothing will also be impacted. 

Just be smart.....inventory, plan, and get going!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Using Tattler Lids.....

Last Fall, I attended the Self-Reliance Fair held in SLC.  I was pleased to see a booth sponsored by Tattler Lids.  These are reusable Canning lids.  I had read about them and looked at them on-line, but hadn't purchased any because I wanted to 'touch' them first.  I realize that may sound a bit silly, but I just didn't want to take a gamble.

The gentlemen at the booth were very humble men from the Midwest.  I asked them a number of questions about their product, including "Why don't you sell these through major retailers?".  What was their answer?  They were a bit "afraid" to do so as they were not sure they could keep up with the demand.  However, they were considering talking with local retail grocery stores at the time.    I purchased a box of Regular and  Wide Mouth lids.  It wasn't until now that I actually tried them.

This is the contents of one box.  These are regular sized lids. They are plastic lids  (BPA free) with separate rubber seals.  As I mentioned previously, they are reusable. The gentleman said that he is aware of folks using them up to 20 times. 

I decided to can some beans so that they were available when I decided to make a chili etc.  (For directions on how to can beans, please go here). 

The directions say to scald the lids.

You also scaled the rings.

Pack your food as you traditionally do, wipe off the rims of the jars and inspect for any chips or imperfections along the bottle's edge.

This is a lesson I had to learn twice.  Put the rubber seals in the indented edge before you put the lid on the jar.

Put you combination lid-seal on the top of the jar. Place your ring on the lid/jar.

Although I couldn't do this and hold the camera at the same time, put one finger on the middle of the lid and tighten the lid with your other hand. Then TURN BACK THE RING 1/4 OF AN INCH. This allows the 'product' to vent during the processing.

Place your jars into the canner and process the food according to the directions.

Here is one quart of beans that I had just taken out of the canner.  One site that I read suggested that you tighten the lids at this time.  I would highly recommend that you do this.  Even though it is hot, use hot pads and tighten the rings.

After the food is cooled, remove the metal band and determine by feel if the lids are securely sealed.  You will not hear a 'pop' sound with these lidsJust for your entertainment, after I determined that the seal was tight, I turned the jar upside down to show you that it is sealed without a ring.

Here I am testing the wide mouth lids.  The first time I tried them, I put the seal and the lids on separately....and they did not seal. The second time, when I put the seal on the lid before I applied it to the jar, it did seal.  For me, after checking to see if you have a seal with the wide-mouth, then put the rings back on tightly and check the next day to be sure.  That seemed to work best for me.

Can you see the ridges on the seal? That was the side that was on the jar. Flip them over to the other side for the next use.

To remove the lid, insert a butter knife between the rubber ring and the jar lid. This will not cut the rubber ring.

To purchase them, the smallest size that they come in are 3 dozen lots.  The Regular Mouth lids cost (as of this writing) $20.95 and the Wide Mouth cost $23.95. Before you decide that this is too expensive. the cost is actually just under $7.00 per dozen for Regular and $8.00 per dozen for the Wide Mouth.  If you recall, they can be used over again.  After 3-4 uses, they will have paid for themselves and you still will have many more canning sessions that they can be used for.

A few of things to take into consideration:
  • You will want to use pieces of masking tape or a grease pencil to mark the contents of your jars as the lids are reusable.  I have always used a Sharpie, but is a permanent ink.  Use something that can be temporary...even labels would work well.  Just apply them after the jar has been processed. 
  • You will need to train your family not to throw these away and have a container to store them in.
  • If you are canning things to be given as gifts, you will want to use disposable lids.
  • You do not need to store large amounts of canning lids to be prepared, you will have them on hand.
  • They can be used for Hot Water Bath Canning and with Pressure Cooker Canning. I specifically chose to try the Pressure Canning to see how they stood up, and they did not warp or change.  I was pleased with that.
There is not a supplier in Utah right now, although I am working with a local store to see if they would be willing to stock them.  So, for now, go to their website for more information.

Check out Sydney's Journey...

There is a new update for a certain young lady. Please see this recent post at

"If not you....then who?"

(image courtesy of
I saw this amazing story on KSL news.  One line spoken by the Trooper really struck me...."If not you....then who?".  I think that should be said of any of us. 

This trooper was prepared with skill, knowledge, and quick decision making.  He, and a bystander made this rescue happen.  Take this one step further, if you are in an emergency or difficult situation...."if not you....then who".  Who will keep your family warm, fed, or housed?  Who will feed your neighbor, care for those who are injured, or those who are spiritually starving? 

This is a new mantra for me.....and hopefully you. 

If not you...then who?

3 women, trooper treated for hypothermia after crash -

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Prepared....not Scared"

Hi all!  I am hoping that everyone is well and trying to stay warm during this very cold winter.  The LRH reads many blogs, mostly because I love to learn. However, there is a wonderful blog called Prepared Not Scared.  Not only does she have wonderful ideas, but great graphics.  Today, she is sharing (which is amazing) her entire Vital records program. This is a great group of forms to organize your important information.  Check out her post.  If I am right, you may want to visit her blog more often.

Prepared Not Scared....Vital Records

Lessons from Egypt....and from within our own borders

(Image courtesy of

It's hard to watch the events unfolding in Egypt. There is such unrest in that ancient country. I have a family member who lived in Egypt this past summer who has great love for the culture and the country.  She expresses, through social media, how much she is saddened by this and her concern for the friends she has in the area.  She states "The chaos has come to Maadi, to the (comparatively) quiet streets we walked down all summer. There are tanks and machine guns. I'm worried about our Egyptian friends and wonder what is going on with them right now."

I think that the people of Egypt are also wondering what is going on right now.  Communication systems are shut down.  People are using their land lines and old-style modems to attempt to communicate.  We have all learned that in a very short period of time, life as we know it can change. 

As the protests continue, commerce really is not.  What does that mean?  Access to food, water, and supplies is interrupted.  It is reported that many will run out of supplies soon. Many stores have been looted as well, and transportation routes have been interrupted.

Has any of this got you thinking?  It is hard to fathom anything happening like this anywhere.  However, how different would life be for many of our Egyptian brothers and sisters if they had they had prepared "every needful thing". 

Take a page out of the current events section of our newspaper.  Inventory your food and emergency supplies.  See what you are needing and what you have on hand.

(Image courtesy of
Now, take a page out of the U.S. newspaper. Huge winter storms raging through much of the United States. This picture comes from....Texas.  I have a family member who relocated to Texas over about 1.5 years ago.  She reported to me today that they have been experiencing rolling blackouts. They were intermittently without heat....and it was cold for Texas. She stated that they pulled out their Kerosene heater and proceeded to scan the Internet to determine where they could purchase Kerosene.  They previously lived in Tennessee where Kerosene was plentiful. However, they were quickly determining that Kerosene just wasn't prevalent in their area.  They finally, through a series of calls, were informed that a local Ace Hardware may have Kerosene and luckily it was located near their home.  So, off they went on the winter roads to purchase the needed fuel.  She said that as they entered the store, a helpful employee asked if they came looking for items to protect their exterior faucets, among other things on his long verbal list.  Thankfully they were not in need of any of those items. However, when they asked for Kerosene, the employee was unsure if they had any.  They looked and came back with 2 containers that were preciously priced. 
My family member purchased what they needed and headed home. 
What are the lessons we can learn from these 2 current events?  Plan, prepare, and know what is available in your area. So, please don't wait for the current event to hit your home.  Look, calculate, and devise a plan of  Have the peace of mind that the Lord promises by being prepared.
01 09 10