Our Relief Society

I am sure when it was reveled to Joseph Smith to create a women’s group called “the Relief Society” that the Lord had a HUGE plan in mind. I think back into history and see the amazing things that have come to pass because of the inspired women of the church. Of course, being a musician, I must acknowledge our Hymnbook first, but probably more than Hymns, are the institutions of “relief” that our women’s society can, and has contributed to humanity itself. I have always been a believer in the visiting teaching program. In recent years, I have been taught that we do this out of love, and to offer support and relief yes; but also to have a gentle reminder that we all have problems, and that if we had to choose, we would probably choose the ones that we have.


I often think of those pioneer women that we all owe so much to. The countless hours of tending and caring for the sick, hours of sacrifice, while their husband were off on missions, and even war. Walking/wandering place to place in terrible conditions, and in a lot cases extreme heartache, as they lost their babies, children and even husbands, to bring their families across the plains. Why did they do this Sisters? I am sure that there were many reasons, and perhaps they were the same ones that inspired my father-in-law to leave everything he had, risk his family’s lives, and escape from East Germany. I am sure that it was all about freedom, and a better life for themselves as well as for us, their future generations. What a huge price they had to pay for what we have today, and most likely take for grantite because we have always had it.


I was really moved by the scriptures that Rosa Rice shared with us this week in the Sanitation Wraps class this week. Doctrine and Covenants 112:23-28, Doctrine and Covenants 84:49-57 as well as and article in the Ensign- April 1989 “Be aware of pride” By Pres. Ezra Taft Benson. If you read these scriptures about the destruction of the world in the days that proceed the second coming, you will note that we are looking a bigger, longer ride than any of all of the Disneyland’s combined. When I realize the turmoil and calamities that are promised to come forth, I must also think about the largest, greatest society of united sisters in the world, and the impact of belonging to that society weighs a little on my soul. We will need a lot more that sanitary wraps! Where much is given, much is expected, and sisters it is my opinion that we have been in training our whole lives, and even train our daughters and sons specifically for the days that are neigh at hand.


Contemplating this, there are a few questions that come to my mind: Am I willing and able to help out as the Lord would have me do? Am I spiritually prepared to handle what is right at our doorstep- or in my case, in my front room? Does my family have all of it’s ducks in a row, so that when bigger things happen, will we be able to help others, or will we be in jeopardy ourselves? I think that these are all good questions, and questions to contemplate as we realize that we do live in these last days, and that we were sent here to issue in the greatest of all times, the second coming of our Lord and Savior. That is both overwhelming, but also extremely exciting!


The greatest part of all is that we do belong to the greatest society of women ever created, and inspired of God. We will be the “relief” to the world as we share our hope and knowledge with the world. We will have opportunity to share what we have been learning our whole lives, and will be lead by leadership directed and ordained also of God. With credentials like that, we will be successful, but only if we are prepared ourselves, and have prepared our families as well. I am confident that each of you is doing that right now.


I didn’t really want to stand on a soapbox, and hopefully you don’t feel offended by anything that I have said. My hope in writing this is to empower all of us to see a bigger picture. My life has been blessed immensely by the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it is my hope that I have also blessed others lives all along the way.


I want to share the following story with you to show some ways that the Relief Society of our church has blessed my family. I also want to thank each of you for your service to me and mine, in anyway.


Quilts of Love

My Grandmother Amelia, and my Mother Hermine were amazing quilters. Each of us 7 children had at least one of their adorned masterpieces on our beds that resembled favorite dresses and outfits of the past, but mostly reminded us that we were loved, safe and cared for. As a small child, we were taught to tie quilts and knew how much love went into one of these works of art.

When I was 12 years old, half of my family was in a fatal car accident in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada, in which our beloved Grandmother was killed. My Mother and my only brother Briggs were also critically wounded. We sat in the pouring rain until a farmer rescued us. He wrapped our bloody family up in a beautiful hand-quilted green quilt, and left for help. When we arrived at the hospital, I felt so bad that we had ruined his quilt, and knew that he had sacrificed something for our trembling family that day.

Six years later, when my sister Shelley and I graduated from Young Women’s, our ward quilted a blanket for each of us. Hers was green, and mine was turquoise. (Mine was prettier- or so I thought.) Several years later, Shelley died of cancer, and my brother and I fought over her quilt, knowing that it was a “love quilt” made and given to her from our ward family. Because I already had a quilt from our ward, and Briggs was her twin, I surrendered it to him. On his return home to Idaho, he came upon a car accident where a family was brutally injured. He found a pregnant Mother who had lost her ear, and all of her scared children, and quickly ran to his car to retrieve his newly acquired green quilt. He stayed with them until the ambulance came, and then watched them, and his green quilt drive away in the snowy weather.

In the fall of 2008, we had to place our daughter in a place of healing for troubled teens. Our hearts were broken, as we dropped our beloved daughter off to her temporary home. When I saw where she would be sleeping, I began to cry, for on her bed was a beautiful hand-made quilt that was sewn by many of my Relief Society sisters for a humanitarian project. My heart was lifted as I felt the love that went into making it radiate from her bed. I was humbled, and knew that she would be wrapped in love while she was so far away from home.

That same year, we had major trial one after another including death, and had also become unemployed for many months. As we exchanged letters with our daughter, and met in counseling sessions with her, we would talk about our lives and what was happening at home as well. Secretly, her school decided to do something nice for our family for Christmas. On Christmas morning, we were each surprised to open a big present with a beautiful hand-made quilt inside. Each one of my children were given the exact quilt made out of the fabric that I would have chosen to suit their individual personalities. As I marveled “how could they have known?” I opened up my quilt, and was amazed- it was solid green. Instantly, I started crying, knowing that only the Lord knew us well enough to know these details, and he was wrapping up my family in beautiful love quilts just like he always had.

These blankets that we received were also humanitarian blankets, made by our Relief Society sisters. I am humbled thinking that somewhere, someone had made that far in advance, the love quilt that my family would need to feel our Heavenly Fathers love in such a special, unique way. I know that as we, as Relief Society sisters, continue to make love quilts and send them around the world or across the street, we are sending a message of our Father’s love for his children. Heavenly Father knows “every little bird that falls” and uses His love quilts to gently catch them. For this, I will always be grateful.


My challenge to you today sisters is to examine your households, and find a place to improve, and an opportunity to give. We live in a fast paced world, but the Lord is relying on us to be “His hands”. Let’s be a “relief” to one another and lift a burden each day. We have so much to give and are expected to do so. I love you all, and so does the Lord.


Have a wonderful day,

April 🙂

Olive Oil- An Ancient & Modern Day Treasure

Hi Everyone,

Last May, my husband and I were touring the small Renaissance city at the tip of Italy’s boot called Palermo. To me, it was a place of mystery because it was lined with watchtowers all along its coasts to watch out for pirates! It was a fantasy just to be there. In the city center of Palermo there was a washing station where the women would come to wash their clothes using an underground spring. It naturally filtered itself into several different stations carved into the rock by the water and the scrubbing women me thinks. It was fascinating to visualize how the women gathered together (like women at the well) to socialize while working.

Also in the heart of the city was a bank. Our tour guide went to great lengths to talk about the vaults in this bank. They were about 3 feet deep, cylinder in fashion, and you could see how a long vase or something similar would go inside. Only the up most rich could place their treasures there. Knowing that this was a pirate port city, my mind raced to wonder what thier treasures were. We were told that money could not buy what was stored here, but it was used to trade and barter with. We were told that during the hardest times in their history, this was the busiest place in town.

What was this bank used for? You guess it my friends; it was a bank full of vaults for olive oil! Knowing what I know about olive oil, it is indeed gold, and wise are the persons that invest in its value. I am not really trying to sell you oil, but hopefully to instill in you the need to get some on your shelves, and hopefully some that will last a long time.

Years ago, I went to Egypt and invested a lot of money in “Pure perfumes” that were sold in those beautiful “I dream of Genie” bottles that every girl must have! The bottles themselves were of made of the most delicate glass and painted to match their girlish figures. The stopper at the top was precious, and elaborate as well. I bought the most beautiful smelling perfumes available for my mother, 5 sisters and myself. Perfumes called, “Jasmine, Nephritides, Isis” and others with mystical names. I had truly bought a gift no one else could duplicate! I was right about that- just 9 months later when I returned home with my priceless treasures, low and behold, my amazing perfumes smelled like a skunk reunion on the freeway!!!! Absolutely disgusting- to put it mildly. All because of a cheep carrier oil! I had to sit and cry for a while, my gifts were spoiled, and my sisters and mother were so disappointed!

My point in sharing these great and sad memories with you, is to remind you to not be deceived by oils sold cheaper at Costco or otherwise. When you don’t know the history of the oil, you also don’t know what pressing it came, or what kind of olive it was pressed from. If you do your homework, you will find that you should buy olive oil with the following criteria: first, cold pressed and, extra virgin olive oil, if you want it not to go rancid and have a good flavor. There are more details, but this is enough to get you started on your studies. I personally, am purchasing oil like the one I am selling now for those reasons alone, in addition; because I have checked other sites on-line and am selling this oil for $5.00 cheaper than they are.

I hope that you can take advantage at this time to put at least one gallon on your shelves for long-term storage. Buy the cheaper stuff for short term, but gradually add to the long-term storage supply if you can. 

I believe in learning from the past, and have never been so impressed in investing in good, unadulterated oil since my trip to Palermo. Just a thought sisters that I thought I would share with you.

Best regards,

April 🙂

If you are interested in olive oil, just click the link below. Scroll down until you get to olive oil for more details. I will take orders until the 17th of April.


Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Have My Food Storage.


10. My neighbors have a TWO year supply! No, they don’t. They don’t have any
food. Did you know that 85% of the members of the church don’t have any food
storage at all? If your idea of food storage is to eat someone else’s
food…..this is a really bad plan.

9. I’ve paid tithing for 20 years…the church can give me a little food.
Many members believe that when the times get hard, the church is going to
come through like Joseph in Egypt. Absolutely not true. All the church
storehouses and welfare farms across the country would only feed 4% of the
members of the church. The church has been asking YOU to store food for 75
years. They’re NOT storing food for you. Thus, another bad plan.

8. I’m moving in with my children / parents! Really….that’ s just a bad
plan all by itself. But it points out that most members don’t have a year’s
supply because they’re PLANNING on eating someone else’s food! Of course,
since no one HAS any food, we have yet another bad plan.

7. I have a year’s supply…and the bullets to go with it! I’ve heard time
and again, “How dumb is that to go to all the time and expense of getting
food…just to have some guy with a gun come and shoot my family to take it
away?” Here’s a better question. Are you afraid of the guy with the gun? Or
are you more afraid of BECOMING the guy with the gun? What would you do if
your children were starving to death? Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Would you
shoot your neighbor for his food? I guarantee… .if you were watching your
child starving to death, you would do anything you had to, to keep them
alive. If you don’t have your year’s supply, you are putting yourself in
danger of losing not only your temporal salvation, but your spiritual
salvation as well.

So far, all the reasons we don’t have our food storage involve eating
someone else’s food. Please, don’t put your family’s temporal salvation in
other people’s hands. No one is storing food for you. Not your neighbors,
not the government.. .not even the church.

#6. The boat and the 4 wheelers are taking up all my storage space!
(priorities! )

#5. 3 letters….Y2K. Ok, that’s 2 letters and a number….but they’re
always making way too much out of everything! This is never going to
happen!” (Every prophecy that has ever been given WILL happen.)

#4. If anything DOES happen, the government will be here within hours!
(insert laughter) Did you know the government has been telling us that we
need to have food storage? They’re actually CALLING it food storage! We now
have the government telling us to store food, water, medicines… whatever we
will need to be able to stay in our homes for several months.

#3. I can’t afford scrap booking AND food storage. (priorities again) The
average food storage can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the
richest society in the history of the world, and while there are cases where
money may be a problem, most of the time it is a matter of priorities. We
have chosen bigger homes, nicer cars, more tv’s, computers, vacations
..everything is more important than our food storage. If I asked, “Who has
a cell phone?” most of you would say yes. You pay at least $30 a month to
have a cell phone….that’ s about a dollar a day…the cost of one year’s
supply of food for your child. Is your cell phone really more important than
your child’s temporal salvation? You have to make food storage a priority.

2. I’m waiting for the cannery to sell Papa John’s dehydrated pizza! Food
storage has always had a stigma attached to it. If it’s not wheat, beans and
powdered milk, it’s not food storage. With the system I use, food storage
can be sweet and sour chicken, tamale pie, chile and cornbread, beef stew,
shepherd’s pie, minestrone.. .even chocolate chip cookies! Your imagination
(and your pocketbook) are the only limitations you have. (Wendy’s system is
can be found on her blog , the link is below

And the #1 reason why I don’t have my year’s supply of food? A year?? I
thought it was 72 hours!!

You KNOW you should have your food storage. You WANT to have it, but it can
be so overwhelming! How much do I buy? Where do I store it? How do I cook
it? It seems like an impossible task…. but it’s not. The important thing is to
do something.

 Wendy DeWitt

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:

Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never know how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.

2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.

3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.

4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)

5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.

6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands.

7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.

8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

 Sources: Taken from an e-mail many years before this website existed and my sources didn’t matter. Sorry folks, but it is still a good list. 🙂

Lessons From 8 months of Unemployment. Part 1

Today is a HUGE celebration for us. It has been exactly 8 months since my husband got laid off. We will crack open a Hershey’s symphony bar later to celebrate! (Yes, we had a 2-year supply of those in the freezer! Yet another great bartering tool!) The celebration isn’t that we are still unemployed, but that we successfully made it this far, are still married (and friends) and that we are still being self-reliant and self-sufficient. Don’t get me wrong, we have had many bags of groceries placed on our porch off and on, and even been given money at times, but for the most part, we have done it ourselves and that is monumental. I noticed that in March’s Ensign of 2009, there are many articles written about living on the Dole and getting free handouts from the government. I am elated to state that we have done it, so far on our own. Yippy!

Many times, I have been asked, “What are you learning? What should I buy? What are you missing” etc., etc. Well, after 8 months, here is the list of things that we could have been better prepared with. There is also a “Questions to ask yourself” in relationship to your own preparations, as well as “Spiritual lessons” that I/we have learned.

I have three hopes in sharing these lists with you:

  1. Hopefully, you can learn from this list. (I wish that someone would have shared something like this with me. Had I had this list before this time and used it, we wouldn’t have known a difference between employment and unemployment.)
  2. I hope that you will so something with this list, and perhaps share it with all whom you love.
  3. Buy all of the basics before you try to obtain the advanced list below. If you need a list of the basics, go to Provident living.com, and figure out what you will need for your size of family. (There is also our Excel spreadsheet found under classes, if you want to down load it and use it for your family.


Here we go folks!

Food related lessons: Part 1

  1. When the spirit told me to do things, and I did it, my family has been really bless, and I have been so grateful that I listened. The few things that we did not do because of money or time, we have greatly missed. Some of the things we did do, and shouldn’t have, because we weren’t guided to do so, I have regretted. I was chastised by the spirit, and told that the time would come when I would really regret that action- and, I have. Some things that we were told to do like buy chickens, was really out there, and I wondered what that was all about. Now that we don’t buy groceries anymore, I know why. Bottom line, if you are prompted to do it, just do it, no questions asked. (Blind obedience)
  2. Another thing we were told to get was a milking goat. I hadn’t ever tasted goat’s milk and we didn’t have a barn. Several months into unemployment, we were really missing cheese, sour cream and all other dairy products. Had we just obeyed and bought a goat when we were told to, we would have had all summer to figure out how to milk a goat, and what they eat instead of doing all of that, and building a barn in the winter. If the Lord tells you to do something, he will also provide the way for you to do it. We have seen this many, many times. A milking goat/cow would also be beneficial for milk/dairy or even meat if necessary. Although I made yogurt, we missed chesses, dressings and most dairy items. If you can get a goat, I highly recommend it. Goats need ¼ of the space and eat ¼ of what a cow would. Our goat produced 1.25 gallons a day! (That is a lot of milk- enough to share.)
  3. You will really miss butter. What can you do to compensate for that? Bottled butter was really nice! Make more! Also stock the freezer if you can. I hope to obtain a milk separator so that I can make butter in the high seasons of milk and put it in the freezer for long-term storage, or make bottled butter.
  4. We underestimated how much wheat we really needed. We needed more wheat, and all supplies to make bread if we want 1 loaf per day. (We used approx. 500 lbs. in 6 months- we ate more bread than we had before- it became a staple.)
  5. You will need meat to retain strength and body heat. Store it in several different forms. Frozen, canned, dehydrated, Jerky, TVP etc. Jerky has the longest shelf life is shrunk wrapped and frozen. (3 years) It is also great for the little ones to knaw on while the other foods are being prepared and can substitute for meatless meals. Meat is a comfort food for most men. It is very important!
  6. Fruit trees make a huge difference to a diet of grains and legumes. Canning, freezing and drying them makes for a nice winter treat. We loved making fruit roll ups of every kind, and eating them was the kid’s favorite treat. (Especially to keep in the car for an emergency, or just an emergency snack.
  7. Our garden plot is large enough to sustain my sized family through out the summer, but only for a few months in the fall. We need a larger garden plot, and need to plant more potatoes and squash, things that will last for months. (Our garden plot is a 60×60; our family size is 7.)
  8. When you are grateful for what your garden produces, it will produce more. (Even chickens) Thank your plants and animals for whatever they produce. Pray over them too!
  9. One of my children has had a lot of reactions to some foods- what will you do when one family member can’t eat some, or a lot of the food you have stored? We never knew this before we were living off of our food storage and she really suffered.
  10. It takes all day, and sometimes days to cook certain things from scratch. You have to plan a head of time. (Make a menu and plan several days a head. If you have to sprout it, it will take time.)
  11. “Mix a meal” recipes are very versatile. Bisquick “impossible pie” recipes are great for those times when you don’t have buns etc. You can save a lot of time and money in the end if you make your own mixes. There are many books out there that have mixes from scratch for anything you could possibly want. i.e: Ranch dressing, Krusteaz pancake mix, sloppy Joe mix etc.
  12. Make sure that you have dehydrated veggies and fruits. In the winter months, we really missed fresh fruit and vegetables.
  13. Store plenty of dehydrated onions, garlic and peppers. They make most meals taste so much better- without them, well, don’t ask.


Things I would buy more of:  

  • Cinnamon, oats and seeds- especially sesame. (Just to cover breakfast needs)
  • Sanitation supplies- rubber balls to make a dry toilet, prevention of pest control.
  • Comfort foods- these are things most missed: chocolate, suckers, (For those times when your kids are hungry and dinner won’t be ready for a long time.) hot cocoa, ketchup, salad dressings (ranch), peanut butter, make more jerky and have the seasonings to do so. Figure out a way to have/make cheese.
  • Large visquine sheets and plenty of duct tape.
  • School supplies- paper
  • Warm socks- can also be used for gloves.

Helpful Hints

Here are some andom Helpful Hints and ideas, that just might (or might not) come in handy sometime: I actually have tried some of theses and so far, so good.
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little ‘stringy things’ off of it. That’s how the primates do it.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Ground Beef
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Scrambled eggs/omelets
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up.
Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size.. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.
Place pin in seam of slacks and … ta da! … static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2′ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The lint filter is made of a mesh material, using dryer sheets can cause a film over the mesh that can eventually burn out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free … that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box … well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! The best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. It makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! (You will know it is filmy, because won’t run through very well, it will basically collect in the mesh screen, but once you wash it, the water should run right through.)

100 Things You’ll Wish You Had

Top 100 items to Disappear First During a National Emergency OR Items You’ll Wish You Had On Hand


Imagine you hear a rumble in the distance…..You wonder what it could be as it grows louder and louder. Whether it’s an earthquake, a bad storm, nuclear testing, or an invasion of our country and the beginning of war, imagine the panic that would set in. Can you weather the storm? What if gas, power and water were unavailable? The reality of such a catastrophe would be much easier to survive through if some “essentials” were thought of and purchased ahead of time…

  1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage is risky. Noisy…target of thieves)
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers
  3. Portable Toilets
  4. Seasoned Firewood (Wood takes about 6-12 months to become dry enough for home use)
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First choice: BUy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
  6. Coleman Fuel–Impossible to stockpile too much.
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, and Slingshots
  8. Hand can-openers, hand egg beaters, whisks
  9. Honey/syrup/white and brown sugar
  10. Rice–Beans–Wheat
  11. Vegetable oil (for cooking) Without it, foods burn/ must be boiled, etc.
  12. Charcoal, lighter fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
  13. Water containers (URGENT item to obtain) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY note–food grade if for drinking.
  14. 14 and 15 are missing on my list???
  15. ???
  16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur)
  17. Survival guidebook
  18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer term lighting is difficult)
  19. Baby supplies: Diapers, formula, ointments, aspirin, etc.
  20. Washboards, Mop bucket w/wringer (for laundry)
  21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
  22. Vitamins
  23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: small canister use is dangerous without this item)
  24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products
  25. Thermal underwear (tops and bottoms)
  26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, wedges (also,honing oil)
  27. Aluminum foil Reg. and Heavy Duty (Great cooking and barter item)
  28. Gasoline containers (plastic and metal)
  29. Garbage bags (Impossible to have too many)
  30. Toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels
  31. Milk–powdered & condensed (shake liquid every 3 to 4 months)
  32. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid) (A MUST)
  33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
  34. Coleman’s pump repair kit
  35. Tuna fish (in oil)
  36. Fire extinguishers (or…large box of baking soda in every room)
  37. First aid kits
  38. Batteries (all sizes–buy furthest out for expiration dates)
  39. Garlic, spices and vinegar, baking supplies
  40. Big dogs (and dog food)
  41. Flour, yeast, salt
  42. Matches (Strike anywhere preferred) Boxed wooden matches will go first
  43. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators
  44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in winter)
  45. Workboots, belts, Levis and durable shirts
  46. Flashlights, lightsticks and torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
  47. Journals, diaries & scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experiences; historic times)
  48. Garbage cans, plastic (great for storage, water, transporting–if with wheels)
  49. Men’s hygiene: shampoo, toothpaste/brush, mouthwash, floss, nail clippers, etc
  50. 50 is also missing–fill in the blank???
  51. FIshing supplies/tools
  52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
  53. Duct Tape
  54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
  55. Candles
  56. Laundry detergent (liquid)
  57. Backpacks, duffel bags
  58. Garden tools & supplies
  59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
  60. Canned fruits, veggies, soups, stews, etc.
  61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
  62. Canning supplies (jars, lids, wax)
  63. Knives & sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
  64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains , etc.
  65. Sleeping bas & blankets/ pillows/ mats
  66. Carbon monoxide alarm (battery powered
  67. Board games, Cards, Dice
  68. D-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
  69. Mousetraps, ant traps & cockroach magnets
  70. Paper plates/ cups/ utensils (stock up, folks!)
  71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
  72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc
  73. Shaving supplies (razors, creams, talc, after shave)
  74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
  75. Soysauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soupbase
  76. Reading glasses
  77. Chocolate/cocoa/tang/punch (water enhancers)
  78. “Survival-in-a-can”
  79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
  80. Boy Scout Handbook, also leaders catalog
  81. Roll-on window insulation kit (MANCO)
  82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix/jerky
  83. Popcorn, peanut butter, nuts
  84. Socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc.
  85. Lumber (all types)
  86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
  87. Cots and inflatable mattresses
  88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
  89. Lantern Hangers
  90. Screen patches
  91. Teas
  92. Coffee
  93. Cigarettes
  94. Wine/liquors (for brides, medicinal, etc.)
  95. Paraffin wax
  96. Glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
  97. Chewing gum, candies
  98. Atomizers (for cooling, bathing)
  99. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs
  100. Livestock

Lessons Learned From Unemployment Pt. 2

I am so glad to share this list with you. Reading through it, I can plainly see that we have learned a lot! (So much in fact, I could do a fireside on it! J) Most of all, the greatest thing to know, is that we will be trading goods and services. I know this because I have been doing A LOT of this. Have you always been a consumer, or do you have something to give back in form of services? I for one really want to learn how to cut hair, and to do it well. (I have done some serious damage on my poor families heads!)

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. You will loose weight when your diet changes. What will you wear when your clothes are too big?
  2. Do you have clothes and shoes for your growing kids to grow into?
  3. Do you have sufficient warm clothing, boots, hats, gloves etc. for your family? (Including to grow into- I recommend having one of every size to be safe, then you can also share if needs be.)
  4. What are you going to blow your nose into? Consider old-fashioned hankies.
  5. Do you have sufficient toiletries for 2 years including TP, and diapers and wipes, ointments etc. if necessary?
  6. What about deodorant, toothpaste and brushes and floss?
  7. Do you have seeds for the next two years of gardens?
  8. Do you know how to harvest your own seeds?
  9. Do you have something/remedies for bug control? If there are plagues, there will also be pestilence- Yikes! Frogs, Mormon crickets, bugs, rats etc.
  10. Do you know how to garden, and can you actually grow something worth eating?
  11. Will your family eat what you grow and  can you prepare it so that your family will eat it? (Sometimes, my kids ate dog food instead of the dinner I prepared- really.)
  12. Do you have the seasonings and spices to make your food taste good? Buy in bulk whatever you use regularly today.
  13. Can you sustain your lives on what you grow, and for how long? All winter?
  14. What vegetables can we store for the winter that will last? I have really missed carrots and chewing them. Consider pressure canning a vegetable stock. You can use it in a soup, or the veggies in a stir fry, and use the broth to make rice. Squashes from the garden (butternut, banana etc.) will last about 6 months. Potatoes will last until they are all gone if stored in a cool dark place. (20#’s of planted potatoes should last a family of 4, for a 1-year supply.)
  15. Do I have enough canning supplies for 2 years? (Lids, jars, pectin, sugar etc.)
  16. What will you do when you get sick?
  17. Do you have a supply of non and prescription medicines that your family needs?
  18. Do you have herbs and alternative medicines that you can use, and do you know how to use them? If not, take some classes while you can.)
  19. There is no such thing as fast food when you are living on your food storage. What meals can be considered as fast food in your storage? (Our fast foods are the soups, spaghetti sauces etc. and things that I have canned during the summer that just need to be heated up.) Consider pressure canning 7 quarts of beans at a time instead of 1 batch of beans when you cook for dinner. This will save on fuel and time.
  20. What about eye glasses and contacts, and contact solution? Any spares on hand?
  21. Do you have solutions for dysentery and gas? You might be eating a lot of beans.
  22. When there is a quarantine, are you ready and prepared for that? Do you have any education therein?
  23. If you have animals, do you also have a 2-year supply of feed/food, straw and water barrels for them too?
  24. Other than a conventional oven, how can I effectively bake/cook my food/bread? (Dutch ovens w/ coals, solar, slow cooker, beanbag oven, apple box etc.)
  25. If that secondary device breaks, what can I use next. (You should have 2 or more ways to do many things, don’t rely on just one device.)
  26. How will you wash and dry your clothes?
  27. Do you have a supply of laundry soap?
  28. How will you dry your clothes it in the winter months?
  29. Can I stay warm without heat? How will I do that? You should have many different sources. Kerosene, propane, gas, etc. If you have a generator, how much gas can you really afford to store and for how long?
  30. What skills/talents/ things do I have that I could barter with if necessary?
  31. Who will cut your families hair?
  32. If you color your hair you might want to store some of that- as long as there is water, you might as well look gorgeous. (Especially because everyone else will be gray, and have to ear a hat! J )
  33. Do I need to start working on a skill/talent to have bartering power?
  34. What other items do I want to get simply to barter with?

Lessons From Unemployment Pt. 3

Obviously, there are many things here too sacred to mention, but here are some things that really helped us.

 Spiritual Things:

  1. When the spirit tells you to purchase something, just do it, and do it quickly so that the spirit can continue to use you as a conduit for your family.
  2. It doesn’t matter how much food storage you have, if you are not spiritually strong and prepared to follow the Lord, you will fall apart.
  3. Surrender to the Lords will for you and your family. Hit your knees to the pavement ASAP and ask for instructions.
  4. Be humble. Don’t be afraid to ask and then receive help from others. When you get help, receive it with gratitude and humility.
  5. Talk- confide in your visiting teachers, home teachers and if necessary the bishop. Their job is to support us, and to listen and help if they can. We shouldn’t deny them or anyone else the opportunity to help/bless our families. They are a great support system and they have ways that we might not know of that can help us.
  6. Obedience, Obedience, Obedience!
    • There are huge blessings in store for us when we stay out of debt.
    • There are huge blessings in having food storage, and having had eaten it all along the way- less diarrhea and over all shock to the system.
    • When we follow the prophet and plant a garden, the Lord will bless our crops and bless us.
  7. When we stay home and don’t spend money, we can unify as a family and must be more creative in our entertainment. Make a game out of it and it becomes fun and an exciting opportunity instead of a challenge/trial.
  8. The most important things in life are our family and our relationships with them. (Even more important than a house) Loose your house before you loose a family member.
  9. When we put our faith 100% in the Lord, miracles happen and are easily recognizable- every day.
  10. When miracles are expected to happen every day, they do. “The Lord will bless us according to our faith in Him”.
  11. Pray for the little things that would make you happy. It’s by little things that great things come to pass. The Lord wants to see us happy and he can prove time and time again that he is there, and cares for you by those little things that only matter to us personally, and no one else.
  12. Pride prevents miracles, unity, and blessings from coming.
  13. Our greatest trials are usually our greatest blessings. Count your blessings and daily miracles and keep a journal of them. It is amazing to look back on those list to see how blessed you have really been.
  14. Money can come from unbelievable places when you really need it- even strangers. The Lord can whisper into people ears that you don’t even know to help you, and they will.
  15. Going to the temple is a necessity- as often as possible. When you have people on both sides of the veil pulling for you, you can accomplish more, and have more strength.
  16. Read your scriptures daily! Make new daily habits if necessary. That is where the Lord speaks to you, in His language.
  17. Always keep a sincere prayer in your heart and pray on your knees as often as you need/want. Pray while driving, while sleeping and any other time. Keep a prayer in your heart.
  18. Pay your tithing first- no matter how small the amount.
  19. Before paying your bills, pray, thanking Heavenly Father for having enough money to pay them. It will surprise you how far your money can go.
  20. When you rely solely upon the Lord, he will bless you if you tell him what your needs are. If you want chocolate, some how, it ends up on your porch! He finds ways to let you know that you are not forgotten. (It is a very sweet experience.)





A Voice of Warning

Last summer, I attended a Pandemic preparedness regional meeting offered by a Medical Doctor who was called by our church, on a mission to teach us about pandemics and how to prepare for them. Her exact wording was “when” there is a pandemic, not “if” there is a pandemic. She talked about how the Lord has always used plagues, pestilence and sickness to help his children turn their hearts to Him. She also stated (the MD) that we are well over due for a pandemic. When I first heard this information, I thought that most of you sisters would totally freak out- basically, so I have been hesitant to pass on the ino.

Since Christmas, as I have been studying and praying about what classes to teach, I have had strong feelings and noticed a similar thread among reputable websites I have checked. They are all talking about and encouraging us to prepare for the pandemic- including LDS.org. (http://providentliv ing.org/content/ display/0, 11666,8041- 1-4414-1, 00.html
) In my patriarchal blessing, it specifically states that I will be “preserved during times of pestilence and plagues”. This is yet another reason that I feel strongly about becoming prepared for it, because the Lord specifically told me that they would come. I suppose that we can all put our heads in the sand, or become educated, and prepare so as to have “no fear” as our prophets promise us. I hope that you will join me in the classes that will come. It would be awful to loose family members, or even ourselves, when perhaps we could have prepared and perhaps prevented some calamity through education.


When I read the 1st Presidency’s message in the Ensign this month, (Januray 2009, Be a voice of warning) my feelings were reinforced and I am prompted to pass a long the information I have gathered. Please, if you don’t feel like it is your time to prepare, save the information, until you are ready, or pass it along to someone you love. When we become educated as a ward, family and friends, there is strength in numbers and support beyond measure. I know we all feel this way.


Here is the information from the pandemic seminar; the class schedule of classes that I will teach will come later.

Pandemic Preparedness fireside notes

Dear Friends,

I attended the recent fireside by Dr. Susan Puls who serves as the Medical Coordinator for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Emergency Response program.  If you are interested you can read my summary of the key points of her address.

1.  The scriptures tell/command us not to fear at least 91 times.    We can live comfortably if we choose a culture of preparedness and readiness.

2.  Every family should prepare a one page preparedness document that lists where everyone is likely to be, phone numbers, doctors, out-of-state contacts, meeting places etc.  This should be reviewed often with the family.   (I have also heard a good idea presented elsewhere suggesting an “essentials” list, in priority order, posted on commonly used exit doors identifying what to grab on the way out during an evacuation.)

3.  Everyone should have a 72 hr. kit or a “grab and go” bag.  It should have water, life-saving medication (i.e. insulin for a diabetic etc.) food, shelter, etc.  In an emergency the only way you can maybe get necessary supplies you are lacking is if you have CASH.  (In my opinion we should have cash in our wallets, in our homes, in our cars, & in our 72 hour kits.)  One of the biggest problems faced by victims of disaster is BOREDOM!  Be sure to include something to keep you and your children occupied in your 72 hr. kit.   

4.  We should have longer term supplies in our homes…such as: medical kit, prescription glasses, baby formula (even if you normally breastfeed), radio, lights, tools, shelter, blankets, tents, clothes, children and pet supplies, toys, treats, etc.

5.  Have 3 months supply of food your family normally eats, 9 months of bulk food stores, 2 weeks of water and equipment for and knowledge of how to clean water, and financial reserves.  Rotate and use your supplies.

6.  When the PANDEMIC(S) happen it (they) will be (a) worldwide event(s).  (No one from a neighboring state or country is going to come in and provide you with assistance.  You must be ready to take care of yourself and your family.)   “If you expect your neighbors to feed you, hopefully you like tortillas!  That will be all that they can slide under your door!”   In “mock” pandemic drills, persons driving I-15 Southbound through Utah were barred from exiting the freeway!

7.  The Avian Flu (JUST one of many possible pandemic candidates) is in 67 countries.  Out of 383 cases 241 fatalities have occurred.  Human to human transmission of the disease has occurred in 15 countries.  We are in “Phase 3” (human to human transmission occurs but not easily.  “Phase 6” is pandemic where human to human transmission is easy and RAPID!)  In pandemics at least 40% of the work force will be home sick or protecting themselves from getting sick.  Schools, churches, movie theatres, etc. will all close.  Pandemics are expected to last for 3-6 months and will come in 2 to 3 waves lasting about 6 weeks.  50% of deaths occur in people 19 and under, 70% in those 29 and under, and 90% in those 39 and under.  (Looks like it could be a good thing to be over 40!)

8.   HAND WASHING is the single most important and effective component for preventing the transmission of infection.  Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for AT LEAST 20 seconds whether you are sick or healthy.  We should learn to keep our hands away from our eyes, nose, and mouth.  Go to www.coughsafe.com to watch a video about proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.  (This would be a good FHE activity.  The video lasts about 5 minutes and is funny as well as informative.)  We should disinfect common surfaces such as telephones, door knobs, toilet handles, computer key boards, refrigerator handles etc. often with regular household cleaning products containing bleach.  Be sure to store plenty of cleaners.  If you haven’t seen it before watch the pandemic video put out by BYU-I at http://streaming.byui.edu/safetyoffice/flu.wmv

9. Review all the pandemic information on the church website http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html Consider getting a supply of N95 Respirator Surgical Masks (she said at least 20/person), gloves, sanitation gowns, foot coverings and eye goggles..  (The best price I could find on the internet for the masks today was at Emergency Essentials -14.95/box of 20.  I think the best price on gloves is at Sam’s or Costco.  I bought the other stuff at www.onlinemedicalsupply.com )


If you are interested in more information from the seminar I attended, you can log onto http://webpub.byu.net/dst05/  to get the notes prepared by those who ran it.

The above notes are taken from  the Spanish Fork South Stake Self Reliance Fair held  Saturday August 23, 2008.