Thursday, July 28, 2016

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of July 31st)

Hi Torrance Stake Family, Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Self-reliance, an important part of my life!

As a child and teenager growing up in my family, self-reliance was a way of life. My grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles taught me from a young age to be self-reliant. I am grateful for this teaching and example in my life. My grandparents and parents experienced the Great Depression and World War II. They learned to become self-reliant. I learned from them to not waste anything. To use it up, fix it if you can (learn how), wear it out or do without (the difference from needs and wants). We all can learn much from the "greatest generation". Many of them are slipping away and I am afraid their ways, knowledge and experiences are going with them.

I do not want to rely on others for things that I strongly feel is my responsibility and not my government, church or others. I know there are sometimes we need help but I am trying my best to be as self-reliant as possible by working towards food and water storage, emergency supplies, having a vegetable garden and canning and freezing what I produce, not going into debt and living within our means, striving for good spiritual, physical and mental health,  learning talents and developing them so I can provide for my family if the time comes, having a good education and having money put aside for emergencies. Self-reliance also involves working hard, working smart and making wise choices.We have tried to teach these values to our children and grandchildren.

As I opened our new August 2016 Ensign issue that arrived in the mail this week and perused the pages I noticed a section on self-reliance. What a wonderful surprise and addition to my message this week. If you received yours in the mail open it and read these articles. If you do not get the magazine in the mail, you can go to, click here and then click on current issues, August 2016, once it appears. It can take a week or so for it to show.

"Self-reliance takes many forms." (August 2016 Ensign, page 74). There are articles for each section of self-reliance. Review the articles and stories of personal experiences once they appear on the website.

Emergency Preparedness: Earthquakes and Demijohns (page 74)
Physical Health: Weight Loss and The Word of Wisdom (page 75)
Employment: A Lot of Faith, A Little Furniture (page 76)
Finances: Oatmeal, Bread and Rice and Beans (page 77)
Food Storage: Canned Cheese and Mortgage Rates (page 78)
On the Path to Great Self= -Reliance (page 79) (Great evaluation of where you are)

We are so blessed to live in a country where we can store extra food, water and emergencies supplies.

New August Monthly Assignments

Food Storage . . . 

What a great time of year to stock up on vegetables. If you have a vegetable garden you can freeze and/or can them and put them away to use throughout the year. Your local farmers market will also have seasonal vegetables you can freeze and/or can. If you do not have a vegetable garden then purchase commercially canned and frozen vegetables to store when on sale. You can also purchase freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables in #10 cans or super pails for long term storage. Purchase only those vegetables your family will eat. Remember, the key to any food storage is rotation, rotation, rotation. When on sale purchase extra cans. First, I would work on storing commercially canned vegetables from your local grocery store or big box stores. Once you have at least a 3-months supply then work on getting some long term vegetables. (or and WalMart (online, Augason Farms products) is a good source for freeze-dried and dehydrated #10 and super pail long term storage vegetables.

Emergency Preparedness . . .
              Physical and Mental Health 

Click here to learn about physical health and why it is important.

Click here to learn about mental health and why it is important.

Make physical and mental health a part of your self-reliance. My husband who is 71 years old walks and jogs 4 miles a day. does strengthening exercises and rides his bike, everyday but Sunday. Due to some back issues I am not able to walk so far. I try to do stretching and strengthening exercises to stay physically healthy. We both strive to eat healthy each day. To stay mentally healthy we read the scriptures and pray daily. We strive to keep our minds clear and active by not taking anything harmful into our bodies, minimizing the stresses in our lives the best we can, enjoying hobbies, taking time to mediate and staying close to the Holy Ghost.

"You have to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to conquer any mountain."
                                          (Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom, Great mind)

Summer Vegetable Garden . . . 
                                                       Reap what you sow!

In April I planted tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, bell peppers and green onions. Now I am harvesting what I planted. So far I have canned 9 pints of tomatoes and froze about 10 cups, 6 pints of carrots and froze about 15 cups,  froze about 24 cups of zucchini and 8 cups of bell peppers, cooked with some of them, shared them with family, friends and neighbors, and I still have more coming throughout the summer. The canned and frozen vegetables will last for about a year and save us lots of money. This is a great inexpensive way to add to your rotating food storage supply.

Click here to see how to can carrots and here how to water bath can tomatoes, done differently. I purchased a Power Pressure Cooker XL from Bed, Bath and Beyond using my 20% discount coupon for about $80. I love it and it makes pressure cooking so easy and stress free. You
can can 4 pint jars at once. The water bath canner, I use a large tamale steamer cooker, you can can about 8-9 pint jars at a time. You can purchase them for about $20-$30.

Note: If you do not have a vegetable garden, because Summer vegetables are less expensive now due to farmers harvesting their crops you can purchase them and freeze and can them yourself.  Check out your local farmers markets too for great prices. Only purchase vegetables in season to save money and freeze or can.

Fall Vegetable Garden . . .

Now is the time to start preparing for your Fall vegetable garden. Living in California gives us a longer growing season. Check with you area to see when you can last plant for your Fall vegetable garden. Fall vegetables include your cool vegetables: artichoke, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, cilantro, collards, dill, endive, fava beans, garlic, kale, lettuce, onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, spinach, swiss chard. Click here to find out what vegetables to grow in Southern California. Google what to grow in your area.  

You can start your own seedlings by watching and following this video:

Emergency Preparedness Ideas 

Get together with your neighbor to discuss emergency preparedness. Encourage them all to have extra food and water stored, emergency and medical supplies, 72 Hour Emergency Backpacks and learn about each others occupations, skills, talents and hobbies that could help if a disaster or emergency situation strikes. If they are prepared they will not come to you for help and be able to take care of their own families. Set up a neighborhood emergency preparedness committee. Do not share how much you have just that it is good idea for everyone to be prepared. Our local leaders have been admonishing us for years to be prepared. Share this blog with them and local government websites that could help them.

Comments and Questions: Please share your comments and questions below. Or, you can email me at We all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. Thank you for sharing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (Week of July 17th)

Hi Torrance Stake Family, Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Spiritual Preparedness and Thought . . .

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."    (Book of Mormon, Alma 26:37)

Isn't it amazing how Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ can be mindful of us all in no matter what our circumstances.  It brings me great comfort in knowing this, especially when times are tough and we might be in disaster situation (natural or man made). When we are in this type of situation it is our faith and hope in Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ that will get us through these tough times. Keeping close to the Spirit, reading our scriptures daily and praying often will help receive the inspiration we will need to protect ourselves and our loved one. We can be mindful of Heavenly Father and our Savior when we are close to the Spirit.

Being close to the Spirit will also help us in our temporal emergency preparedness. I have felt the promptings of the Spirit many times in what I personal need to do for our family.

Spiritual preparedness is staying close to the Spirit so we can be guided. Each person needs to be spiritually prepared. You cannot rely on others spiritual preparedness.

July Monthly Assignments
Summer time is a great time to work on condiments and paper products since they are usually on sale.

Food Storage . . . Condiments

This month we are adding condiments to our food storage, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish, BBQ sauces, etc. Watch for sales in your local grocery stores and big box stores and stock up. If you purchase them at discount stores watch the expiration dates. Only store what your family uses. Remember to rotate them as needed and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Continually add them throughout the Summer while on sale. Before you know if you will have meet your goal.

Emergency Preparedness . . . 
                                 Paper supplies

Another great thing to add this time of year is our emergency paper supplies. If there is a disaster or emergency situation you do not want to use your valuable precious water to do the dishes. Store those paper items your family will use, large plates, small plates, bowls, cups, napkins or paper towels and plastic silverware. You can keep these in your garage, attic, or back yard storage shed. Keep them in a large plastic container so they do not get wet or rodents chew on them. Watch for sales throughout the Summer at your local grocery store, discount stores and big box stores. Store what you family will need for the number of months you have set your goal, 1-month, 3-months, 6-months, a year.

Note: When ever we order take out food and take it home, I save the plastic silverware and use our home silverware. It is amazing how fast it builds up. I then put them in large plastic zip lock bags and store them with the other emergency paper supplies in large plastic containers. 

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

How is your vegetable garden doing? 

I love being able to go out to my back yard and pick fresh vegetables that have no pesticides on them. We are just about ready for canning and freezing. In fact, I just prepared our first zucchinis and bell peppers for freezing. The tomatoes are starting to ripen and the carrots are almost ready to harvest for canning.


The zucchini can be frozen or canned. I prefer to freeze mine. You can either freezer without being blanched first or blanched. I do both. The non-blanched ones will last about a year in your freezer. The blanched ones will last over a year, possible 2 years. I cut the zucchini length wise into 4 strips. Then I slice them about 1/4 inch thick. I place 2-3 cups in a quart size plastic freezer zip lock bag. Write on the date and if blanched or non-blanched. Then I place 4 of these size baggies into a gallon size plastic freezer zip lock bag and freeze them. It gives them extra protection from freezer burn.

Note: To blanch vegetables clean them first, cut them up, then place them into boiling water. Boil for about 1-2 minutes according to the type of vegetable. Remove immediately and place in ice cold water. Once cool, drain and let them dry. Then place in your plastic freezer zip lock bags.

Bell peppers: You do not need to blanch bell peppers before freezing. I clean them, take out the seeds and membrane, then slice them, let them dry and then place them in a quart plastic freezer zip lock bag. They will keep for a year. I take out as much as I need for a recipe. Make sure to mark them with the date and the contents.

What a great way to add to your food storage and save money! We all need to be more self-reliant and one way is to have a vegetable garden and a fruit tree or more. Even if you live in an apartment or have a small yard, everyone can grow some type of vegetables or fruit.  If you do not have a vegetable garden then purchase vegetables when they are in season and on sale to save money and process as above.

For more information on vegetable gardens and canning and freezing fruits and vegetables go to the right of this blog under "Postings" and click on the links.   

Threats of today . . .

Not only do we have natural and man made disasters, civil unrest, chemical spills and rioting, but there are concern in the world today of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack being exploded over our county.  It may never happen in your area, but like anything else, we need to be prepared ahead of time to protect ourselves and our families. You need to have a plan in place now, when it happens it is to late!

Click here to learn about "7 Actions to Take Immediately Following an EMP Attack" and read other articles on how to prepare.

Comments and Questions: Please share your comments and questions below. We all learn from each others experiences and knowledge. If you have a question and do not want to leave it below please email me at Thank you for sharing. Your comments and questions are most appreciated!