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.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 2014

Another year is quickly drawing to a close. It seems fitting that we end each year with the celebration of the birth of our Savior. This truly is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. We turn our thoughts to Christ as we hang the decorations, act out the Nativity, or join in a Sub-for-Santa project. The traditions we enjoy draw families closer and make for life long memories. It is a joyous season. As our thoughts turn to the Savior let us remember to do as He has asked – and “Be Prepared.” He has said “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” That preparedness comes in many forms. A temporal preparedness means that the storage room shelves are stocked, gas cans are full, disaster practices have been held, and we are staying out of debt and saving for a rainy day! Spiritual preparedness means the scriptures are well read, church meetings attended, we serve those less fortunate, and have a testimony growing.  May we honor the Savior at the commemoration of His birth by doing as He has asked us to.

And remember – Preparedness really is not a destination; it is a way of life!

Included in this month's newsletter:
A Preparedness Christmas: a list of things to give as preparedness gifts - home canned items, camping, outdoor cooking, solar, radio, candles (includes recipe), prepackaged items, fire starters.
Spiritual Preparedness: quotes from Robert D Hales (Building on the Rock of Heaven for the latter day winds and rains...) and Dallin H Oaks (Challenges of last days everywhere - but we know the outcome!)
Build a food storage for $5 to $15 a month: a list of 52 items to purchase weekly to build a storage slow and steady.
In the Southern Utah Garden: time to put the garden to rest - and relax yourself!
Cooking with Food Storage:Make some Christmas goodies from your food storage this year! Recipes for Pinto Cream Pie, Old Bottled Fruit Cake, Easy Cheesecake and Basic Pudding.
How to use Powdered Milk without having to Drink it! Recipes for using milk in your cooking:  whole milk, evaporated milk, whipped milk, buttermilk, and condensed milk.
Disaster Prep: General suggestions relative to a variety of emergencies such as air pollution, chemical spill, earthquake, fire, flood, nuclear attack, wind/tornado, or winter storm. The course of action to remember in any disaster.
A Prepared Soul...Nurturing the Mind: winter is the perfect time to read a good book!

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

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2014

 How fitting that with autumn comes the Season of Gratitude! The colored leaves, glowing sunsets and mild weather give us a great sense of satisfaction and reason for gratitude. As we gather for “Thanksgiving Dinner” this month may we be filled with gratitude for the preparedness items that we have worked on. Perhaps your dinner will come from the storage shelf? Canned corn, green beans, and cranberries, a frozen turkey, a bag of potatoes in your cool storage area, bottled cherries and apples for the pies, a bucket of flour for hot steaming rolls, and some bullion to assist in making gravy. Being prepared is just staying ahead of today’s needs and looking to the future. When this year’s dinner is over, be sure to restock those shelves for next year. We have been commanded to Be Prepared – and by so doing we show our gratitude to the Lord for all he has blessed us with and made available for us to use. It seems that the more we follow His word, the easier the way becomes. 

Included in this month's Newsletter:
Tools and Equipment: a list of items to keep on hand - tools and supplies - that will make your life easier now, and could save lives in case of an emergency. Chain saw, canning supplies, duct tape, and many more...)
Spiritual Prep: quotes from Wilford Woodruff on preparing as if the second coming were tomorrow but sill plant cherry trees, and from Gordon B. Hinckley on the events of the second coming being dreadful for the wicked, but a day for thanksgiving for those who in judgment are found acceptable.
Disaster Prep: planning ahead for evacuations, pre-packing emergency supplies, a grab-n-go folder and out of town contact.
In the Southern Utah Garden: cleaning old plants, cover crops for "green manure", drain hoses and sprinklers, getting rid of fall weeds, planting bulbs, leaves raked and mulched, fertilizing lawns, over-seeding sparse lawns, watering.
Provident Living: recipes to save some money: hot and cold chocolate milk mixes and homemade deodorant.
Fall Fruit: Pomegranates and Apples: removing pomegranates fruit, storing them and recipes to use them. Apple facts, ideas for how to use them and recipes to try.

Click here to download a complete copy of the November 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2014

Fall is upon us! The temperature has cooled and the smell of autumn is in the air. The trees in the mountains are on brilliant display, and the ones in the valley just thinking about changing their wardrobe for the season. For those who have been busy with the harvest, the fall gives a welcomed slower pace. No wonder this is a favorite time of year for many. As we lay our garden tools aside for another season, let us take up a pen and paper to mark off our inventories. We can continue to add to our preparedness as autumn progresses. A wood gathering trip is a fun outing for families as we add to our fuel supply. This is a great time for case lot sales: fill in the shelves with what you did not preserve from the garden or orchard. Most sales include emergency preparedness items: take stock of what you need and advantage of the lower prices. Include light plans: be sure you have candles, flashlights, or solar. We may be slowing down with the fall, but our preparedness is an on-going endeavor! May yours be as bright as the leaves around us! Happy Fall!

              Included in this month's newsletter:
6 Month Checkup: rotate and resupply water; 72 hour kit food,water and clothes; batteries in smoke detector; cars; conduct emergency drills.
Provident Living: save money by making your own: Oxi Clean like stain remover, multipurpose cleaner and a dust cloth.
Disaster Prep: Sheltering In: if you have to stay at home because of a pandemic, earthquake, chemical spill, quarantine or other - do you have what you need to be self sufficient?
Quick Tip: 1 in 10 people remain in control in an emergency - are you the one?
In the Southern Utah Garden: finish harvesting, storing green tomatoes, clean out old plants, till the garden under, kill weeds, leaves on the garden.
Spiritual Prep: what if the second coming were tomorrow? Quote from Dallin H Oaks for our preparedness.
Disaster Prep - A Bucket List: making a 72 hour kit in a bucket, other ideas for containers (backpack, suitcase, duffel bag, garbage can, storage tub).
The Doctor is in...Dr Mom that is: home remedies and items to store to combat the colds and flues of winter.

 Click here to view a complete copy of the October 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

September 2014

A new school year is underway, and the temperatures seem to be dropping! September brings new friends and teachers, as well as a harvest in the garden and orchard. September is also “National Preparedness Month” - so it is a great time to take stock of where you stand with preparedness! How did your summer canning go? What do you need to fill your shelves? There are always case-lot sales at the local grocery stores in September that will help fill in what you still need.  Local sales usually include great buys on other preparedness items like buckets or water barrels and containers. Let us spend some time evaluating where we are, and then go and “Do IT”! Take advantage of this preparedness month and give your family peace of mind. Then when the “Storms” appear, we will be ready! Remember – there is no time like the present!

Click here to download a complete copy of September 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Included in this month's newsletter:
Food Storage: Easy and 1, 2, 3: start with a 3 month supply - add a long term basic storage, and fill it in with the expanded items that will add nutrients and prevent food fatigue.
Do's and Don't of food storage: Twelve ideas to help you know what to DO and what to NOT DO as you add to your food storage.
Spiritual Preparedness: Dallin H. Oaks quote on making both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events at the second coming.
Thought for the day: President Thomas S. Monson on a supply of food and being debt-free.
Disaster Prep: Prepare BEFORE the earthquake: twelve ideas to do before a disaster to make it easier when something happens.
In The Southern Utah Garden: finish the harvest - keep the weeds down - fall planting of veggies and trees - and making a mini greenhouse.
Provident Living - The Law of the Parachute: how you use a parachute works for provident living.
Cooking with Food Storage: substitutions from your food storage to make condensed, evaporated and buttermilk, brown sugar, baking chocolate, baking powder, allspice and pumpkin pie spice.

Click here to download a complete copy of September 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2014

It seems like the world around us is becoming more wicked and confused almost daily. The evening news is full of “signs of the times”. We can wring our hands with fret and worry, or we can be proactive and make sure our families are prepared! We have been admonished “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” There is a story of a man who was hired by a farmer as a farm hand and he told his employer that his best qualification was that he could “sleep when the wind blows”. One night the farmer found out what was meant by that. A big winter storm arrived and the farmer ran to rouse his sleeping farm hand. He hollered for him - then ran out into the howling wind and rain – worried about the farm. But once outside he found the barn doors shut, the animals put away, and things were tarped and tied down. The farm was ready for the storm. The farm hand could sleep when the wind blows because he was prepared. Can each of us also rest easy as the storms of life arrive? It is not a matter of “If” the wind will blow, but “when”. Will you be able to sleep when the wind blows? Make sure you can – and do it TODAY!

Included in this newsletter:

Grow Your Own - Words from modern day prophets on why we need to plant a garden and some fruit trees. When we need it we will not have time to plant it!
Provident Living -  Waste Not Want Not: tips to save the way our grandmothers did.
In the Southern Utah Garden: August planting list, spray apples, weeds, diseased plants, squash bugs, scarab beetle, preserve produce.
Spiritual Preparedness - Thomas S Monson on faith helping us in the storms of life.
Power Outage: Saving freezer food storage: Ground Beef Jerky, taking care of fruits and vegetables, meats, casseroles and other.
Disaster Prep: Sheltering In: 8 steps to take if you have to stay in your home in a disaster of chemical or hazardous air quality.

Click here to download a complete copy of the August 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2014

July is the month we celebrate our freedom on “Independence Day”. It is also the month we celebrate “Pioneer Day” and commemorate the coming of the pioneers into Utah – where the early Mormon settlers would finally find religious freedom. Freedom is something we should be very grateful for, but often take for granted. Living in this great “promised land” (1 Nephi 2:20) provides us with the opportunity to do and be almost anything we set our minds to. That freedom also includes the ability to provide for our own, and to set aside for a rainy day. (In some countries they are not allowed to store food or they may be charged with hoarding.) We live in a world full of ups and downs politically and socially. Yet we each have the freedom to worship in this great land as well as provide for our families. Remember that Luke 6:46 asks us: “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”  We have been admonished to be prepared! May we so be!

In this newsletter:
Survival Preparation: Workout! It is important to have some sort of regular physical fitness routine to keep us all in good health, but have you thought of how your physical fitness could affect your ability to survive an emergency? We need to be in "good shape" to save ourselves and help others.
Family Emergency Planning: a simple emergency plan may include a 3 month supply of food that is a part of your normal diet, drinking water, financial reserves, longer term basic food supply, medication and first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, important documents, and ways to communicate with family following a disaster.
Hot Tip: plan your meals around your food storage to save money. Shopping for a menu can increase your grocery bill.
Spiritual Preparedness: Boyd K Packer advises the safe way to make it in troubled times.
In the Southern Utah Garden: fall planting for July, weeds, watering tips - how often and how much, and spraying for bugs.
Stocking up Options: Use it or Lose it: We have a home storage Center close by with many very economical items to fill your food storage room with. For only $100 you can buy 8 bags (25 lbs each) of basic and delicious food storage items. If we do not use the center, we may lose it!
Non-food Storage:Storing non-food items is important to ensure comfort, convenience and preparedness. Consider your basic equipment, bedding, clothing, fuel, paper products, cleaning supplies, light and cooking, tools and first Aid.
Thought for the Day:Henry David Thoreau determined during his time at Walden Pond the four things a man really needs: Food, Clothing, Shelter and Fuel. We can focus on simplifying our lives.

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June 2014

Summer is here and with it come the many activities we love as well as a great time for adding to our preparedness. We can freeze or bottle the produce from our gardens and orchards, take advantage of some camping to check our emergency supplies, (see Disaster Prep), or use the lazy days of summer to learn something new (see “Preparedness – Education Style”). June is a great month to put the long daylight hours to good use and extend the preparedness we have already established. Every month we need to do an assessment of what we have and need and where we are going with our preparedness plans. Brushing up on plans, adding monthly to the storage shelves, and being aware of our family needs help us make preparedness a way of life. If preparedness is a way of life, it will not be difficult to respond to whatever life will throw at us. ”Where preparations are being made there will be little difficulty, but where no preparation has been made, suffering and difficulties will come.” (Welfare Ag. Conference 1970). May we all be blessed with little difficulty. Remember the 6 P’s: ”Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

In this Issue:
Food Storage: A Budget Tool. Are you losing money with your food storage?
Disaster Prep: Evacuation Preparation: Camping supplies to use in a disaster, trying some outdoor cooking, and info for solar cooking.
In the Southern Utah Garden: Planting corn, pole beans and pumpkins for a fall harvest, weeds, newspaper mulch, thinning and spraying fruit, picking your garden and pruning.
Preparedness - Education Style: Ideas to continue learning this summer: garden, animals, baking, journal, reading, chores and more.
Spiritual Preparedness: Henry B. Eyring quote on strengthening and refreshing our faith: four ways to strengthen your capacity to know and obey the Lord's commands.

Click here to view a complete copy of June 2014 Back to Basics Newsletter.