After having many people ask for the newsletters I have compiled each month as my church's preparedness specialist, I decided to find a way they could easily access them. It was suggested I set up a blog. So this is the beginnings of just such a blog. I will be adding a newsletter each month, and see where it takes me as time goes along. I hope if someone has suggestions or questions they will comment so this will truly help us all to live providently and be prepared. (Note: garden tips are for Southern Utah area - you may need to adjust according to your area's climate.)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 2014

Children have always chanted that “April Showers bring May Flowers”. This year we surely hope so! Many parts of the western United States are in a severe drought and stand in great need of rain. So often we become accustomed to “good weather” we forget the necessity of rain clouds showering down and snow packed mountains giving us spring run-off to resupply our aquifers and springs as well as rivers and streams. (In the desert “good weather” is also rainy weather!) Truly these are the life blood of the desert. The lack of moisture in the west can ultimately affect the produce availability in our grocery stores. This springtime offers a great opportunity to become a little more self-sufficient – especially in the event food availability does become limited! Plant a garden, be vigilant in your personal family preparation, make a plan and involve the entire family as you implement it. Marion G Romney once said “We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (April 1975) Let us be certain that our April showers – and work - bring forth May flowers - and peas – and other summer fruits and veggies! No one knows when they will need to be more self-sufficient, but as an old saying tells us “There’s no time like the present”.

                  Included in this month's newsletter:
Spring into action: April is time to rotate 72 hour kits and water storage, and test smoke and Carbon Dioxide Alarms.
72 Hour Kits: If you do not have one - NOW is the time to get one. A list of items to include.
In the Southern Utah Garden: items to plant, lawn treatment, Malathion and Borer spray, fertilizing, weed killer.
Cooking with Food Storage: recipes for Graham Crackers and Wheat Thins.
Provident Living: Double Duty. Items to store that have multiple uses: from cooking and cleaning to medicinal and yard.
Spiritual Preparedness: quote by Marvin J Ashton - "We are living in a time of urgency...."

Click here for a complete copy of the April 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 2014

Spring is “Marching” right in! Whether it is a lamb or a lion sometimes seems to depend on whether it is the morning or afternoon.  You just have to be prepared for whatever kind of a day Mother Nature throws at you. This sounds a lot like our family and personal preparedness. We really do not know how or when our “preparedness” will be used – we just need to be prepared for anything!!  You may use your food storage in an economic slump, a power outage, a truckers strike or even a drought that affects food supplies. It may be something you use for a day, or a week or longer. Really, being prepared should just be a “way of life” so that whatever comes your way is only a bump in the road and not a major crash. Let’s use this month to “march” our way into a greater level of preparedness.

Included in this month's newsletter:
Just in Case - tips for purchasing case lot sales this spring
Disaster Prep: Matchless! storing matches in our food and 72 hour kit storage.
In the Southern Utah Garden: seeds to plant this month, transplanting tips, time for bare roots, new seeds and plants moist, dividing flowers, clean up, pruning shrubs.
Cooking with Food Storage: grain to grain ratios for cooking a variety of grains.
Provident Living for Spring!  Storing gas, homemade ice packs, organic pest control from egg shells and Poor Mans Tupperware!
Spiritual Preparedness: Oil in your lamps - spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.

Click here for a complete copy of March 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, January 31, 2014

February 2014

February brings with it great promises of spring. In southern Utah the bees begin buzzing, and the daffodils poke their heads out to welcome the warmer weather. The world wakes up – flowers, grass, trees, and even the little crawling insects will soon begin to emerge from their winter rest. We all know that there will be cold days and nights ahead. That is the nature of spring – unpredictable! So it is with the world that we live in today: very unpredictable. We have seen a great increase in disasters and need for preparedness and service. Let us use this springtime – a time of new life – to breathe fresh air into our preparedness efforts. Like the ant spoken of in Proverbs… “Go to the ant…consider her ways and be wise! Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler – provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6: 6-8) We can learn from the tiniest insects around us to BE PREPARED! Let us use this beautiful spring time to do a little better!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Storing and Using Bulk Items - storing large amounts to use from, refill shelf, optimum storage ideas.
Pocket First Aid Kit - a mini survival kit or for a school backpack.
In the Southern Utah Garden - Fertilizer tips, pruning tips, dormant spray, cold weather planting, rotate garden plan,
Disaster Prep: Earthquakes - A list of things you need to make a plan for in case of earthquakes. Precautions to take before, during and after the quake.
Spiritual Preparedness - Henry B Eyring quot on another even more important preparation.
Provident Living - time proven adages our grandmothers lived by we can apply today to our lives.

Click here for a complete copy of February 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2014

Old man 2013 has left us and baby 2014 has arrived! It is hard to believe - time seems to fly by faster each year. Our 2013 year was full of amazing events: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and even a record breaking winter storm and low temperatures right here at home! There was the government shutdown, new laws, unemployment, and more. All around us we can see reasons to be prepared! We just never know what is around the corner. It is important to remember – it is never too late to start or continue your work on preparedness. As this New Year gets into full swing, let us sit down and make some plans for our preparedness. Let us set goals that will protect and care for us and our loved ones. 
To “Be Prepared” is a noble and worthy new year’s resolution!

Included in this month's newsletter:
New Year - Old List: list of basics for long term food storage, & five things a successful storage depends on.
Cooking with Food Storage: Using basics from your food storage for hearty winter eating: Chili beans, Corn Bread, Homemade Bread, Granola Recipe, Carmel Corn Recipe.
Spiritual Preparedness: Self Reliant quotes by Thomas S Monson and Robert D Hales.
In the Southern Utah Garden: planning, working the soil and pruning.
Disaster Prep: Emergency sources of water-boiling, plumbing system and SODIS.
Provident Living: summary of the book "The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me" by Richard Paul Evans. 

Click here for a complete copy of the January 2014 Back To Basics Newsletter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

December 2013

As another year draws to a close, it provides a great time for retrospection. We can all give ourselves and families a preparedness checkup. How are YOU doing with the goals you set in January?  We can no longer lull ourselves into a false sense of security with thoughts that “it won’t happen to us”, or “it is a long ways off”. This year has been filled with worldwide disasters that bear a strong testimony to the need for each of us to engage in a personal family preparedness program.  Long winter nights provide a great time to take inventory of what your summer canning, and fall purchases have added to the storage shelves.  Take stock, and then take action. There is no time like the present…. to “Be Prepared!” The challenge is now that you have begun, or even finished, that you keep it up, for being prepared is a continuous process.  May you be successful in all your preparedness.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and “Prepared” New Year!!

Included in this month's newsletter:
Season's Greetings: Preparedness ideas to give as Christmas gifts.
Spiritual Preparedness: Self reliance and becoming like the savior.
Disaster Prep: Solar cooking - making an oven from a box and tinfoil.
In the Southern Utah Garden: seed catalogs, leaves, ashes, Christmas gifts.
Using your Harvest: Pomegranates - jelly, Dixie Salad, tip to remove seeds.
Provident Living: Practice provident living at Christmas - quote by Robert D Hales.
Cool Clear Water:  Amounts and containers and Christmas presents.
Food Storage: Start with basics, then add other items for day to day use, and give for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Click here for a complete copy of the December 2013 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

November 2013

November is a month filled with wonderful aromas, activities and thoughts. Fall is definitely in the air, and many of its days will remind us winter is just around the corner. It is a time we think of harvest, hearty meals, and wholesome living. This month as we enjoy all that November has for us, let us keep our thoughts turned to our preparedness. Those hearty meals with homemade breads and soups can be primarily from a solid food storage. Thanksgiving dinner can come from the storage shelves! As we enjoy this month of gratitude and color, let us add to our shelves those items that provide the peace and security that preparedness brings. As you purchase for Thanksgiving, put some on the shelf for next time. Then no matter what happens in the world around us, we know our family will go on living as they are accustomed to. Prepared!

In this month's newsletter:
Grains: different kinds to store, amounts and containers.
Sugars and salt: variety of items to store and info on how to.
Attitude of Gratitude: Stewardship; Waste not Want not; Dinner.
In the Garden: clean up, frost, hoses, weeds.
Spiritual Preparedness: M. Russell Ballard - filling our lives with peace.
Disaster Prep - Be a survivor: a list of skills you may need.

Click here for a complete copy of the November 2013 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

October 2013

The smell of fall is in the air. There are crisp mornings, warm afternoons, starry nights, and the smell of woodstoves taking the chill off. Leaves are starting to change, gardens slowing down, and our bodies are happy for a rest. It is hard to believe another summer season has come and gone. The years seem to speed right by. As time passes so quickly we should remember to be prepared while the opportunity is here. Like the song says “Today while the sun shines – work with a will…” As this harvest season “falls” upon us, let us be sure to bring in a harvest of preparedness. Remember: “Where preparations are being made there will be little difficulty, but where no preparation has been made, suffering and difficulties will come.(Welfare Conf. April 1970) While the autumn season brings in a harvest, let us also be sure that “all is safely gathered in” in each of our own homes.

               Included in this month's newsletter:
The Harvest: ways to extend/store produce harvested this fall.
Spiritual Preparedness: Quote from Paul V Johnson - using our skills, knowledge and talents from God.
Disaster Prep: Time to rotate 72 hour kits, water, smoke alarms.
In the Southern Utah garden: cleaning up for fall, killing weeds, planting bulbs.
Provident Living: Baking Soda - the storage room's secret weapon (cooking, medicinal, household.)
Home Canning: "Free Fruit" - Rose Hip Tea and Jelly Recipes. (And "other" ideas.)

Click here for a complete copy of October Back to Basics Newsletter.