Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

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Spiritual Preparedness–June 2015

Finding Peace in Troubled Times

dove3From Jeffrey R Holland (“This, the Greatest of All Dispensations”, Ensign, July 2007)

“I have just two things to say to you who are troubled about the future. I say them lovingly and from my heart.

First, we must never let fear and the father of fear (Satan himself) divert us from our faith and faithful living. Every person in every era has had to walk by faith into what has always been some uncertainty. This is the plan. Just be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and He knows your need.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—that is the first principle of the gospel. We must go forward. God expects you to have enough faith, determination, and trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. He expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it, rejoice in it, and delight in your opportunities.

God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.”

From Thomas S Monson (“Until We Meet Again,” Ensign, May 2013)

“We live at a time in the world’s history when there are many difficult challenges but also great opportunities and reasons for rejoicing. There are, of course, those times when we experience disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies in our lives. However, if we will put our trust in the Lord, He will help us through our difficulties, whatever they may be. The Psalmist provided this assurance: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5).”


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Equipment and Supplies–June 2015

Liquid Fuel Camp Stoves

camp stovesCamp stoves are far from a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. The range of sizes, weights, BTUs, fuels and features is astounding and nearly every set-up has its devotees. Propane stoves are perhaps the most familiar; they come in a wide range of sizes and it is easy to find fuel, but there may be even better options if you are looking for an ultra-lightweight stove for a backpacking scenario.

When deciding on a stove, consider the following:

Where do I plan to use the stove? Do you need a backup stove in case of power outages? A kitchen-like set up for car camping? A small unit for a 72-hour kit or backpacking trip?

How many people need to be fed? A small single-burner unit is usually adequate to prepare a one-pot meal for 2-4 people, but if you will feed more than that, you will need additional stoves or a double burner. This is for safety as well as convenience, as a single-burner may become unstable if used with a very large or heavy pan.

Are there other conditions or requirements that need to be factored in? If you will be cooking in a windy or very cold environment a windscreen may be essential. Will you have a table to set it up on, or do you need a stand? Do you need an automatic starter or do you feel comfortable using matches or a separate starter?

If you plan to use it for canning, make sure that your cooking area is large enough to handle your canner and that you have sufficient BTUs (15,000 or more should be adequate) to heat a large volume of water and to keep it at a rolling boil for a long period of time.

How much fuel will you need to store and transport and will you need to purchase adapters or hoses to connect to the tank?

Now that you know what you require, read reviews. This group tested numerous multi-burner units.   This group reviewed small, backpacking stoves.

More information:


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Home Production and Gardening–June 2015

Homemade Garden Amendments

gardenYour local home supply store carries a dizzying array of garden soil amendments, but it is possible to supply many of your garden’s needs from things that you or your neighbors are currently throwing out.

Bone meal—supplies calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Clean meat and fat from bones (poultry are easiest to process) and bake at 400F for about an hour or until bones are thoroughly dry and brittle. Allow to cool. Place in a heavy fabric bag or between two old towels and, while wearing eye protection, smash with a hammer until pieces are no bigger than 1”. Pulse in your blender until they are about the consistency of corn meal. Add to compost or sprinkle directly around bottom of plants.

Egg shells—calcium and slug deterrent. Allow to dry thoroughly and pulse in blender until they are confetti-sized (for slug deterrent) or meal-like (the finer, the quicker the calcium boost). Place on surface of soil around slug favorites or in planting holes for tomatoes or other calcium-needy plants.

Aquarium water—supplies nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus. If you have fish, don’t dump the dirty water down the drain! Some gardeners have noted even 2x increases in their garden productivity after beginning to use aquarium water. Apply straight or diluted.

Fireplace ashes—supplies phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Sprinkle lightly around plants to kill slugs, fertilize and raise soil pH, or add to compost pile. Avoid use if your soil is very alkaline.

Weed tea—supplies nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and trace elements. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with weeds from your yard and garden and then add water to within 2-3” of the top. Cover. Stir daily for two weeks. Strain through a piece of burlap or old window screen. Apply to garden diluted 1:10 with water. For more information, see:

Dry leaves— supply nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and trace elements. Run your lawn mower over leaves in the Fall to shred. Leaves may be added to compost, tilled or raked into the soil or used as a mulch.

Vegetable scraps and waste—various nutrients. Save peelings, tops and spoiled vegetables and fruits from your kitchen and add them to your compost piles or till into soil in the fall to break down over winter. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they breakdown.

Whey—provides nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and other minerals. Whey is the leftover liquid from making cheese or yogurt. Mix 1:1 with water and apply 1 gallon per 10 square feet of garden space.

Coffee grounds—supplies nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper; kills slugs; deters fire ants and feeds earthworms. While you may not have an abundance of leftover coffee grounds, your neighbors or local coffee shop might. Some shops have company policies about saving grounds for gardeners, so ask. We have gotten them in bags, or you can supply your own bucket for collection if you prefer. Sprinkle on surface, rake or till lightly into soil at about ½” per application.


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Emergency and Disaster Response–June 2015

Civil Unrest

riotAs the foundations underpinning society are stripped away, the world becomes a more dangerous place. While it may have been a remote possibility at one time, it is increasingly likely that during our lifetimes, we will encounter some type of dangerous civil unrest. The suggestions below may help you and your loved ones weather such events safely.

Be prayerful. The Spirit will alert us to dangerous situations if we will hearken.

Pay attention to what’s happening in the world and especially in your area. Stay on top of the news (even when you’d rather not) so that you know when people are upset and where they are congregating. If there is a particular group that is problematic in your area, you may consider following them on Facebook or Twitter. Most gatherings are not spontaneous and much of the planning takes place on social media.

If you know there will be problems, stay home or at least away from problem spots. If violence is likely to be near your home, it is still usually better to harden your home and stay put as long as possible.

Consider carrying pepper spray or some other weapon as part of your Every Day Carry.

Take a self-defense class.

Carry a 72-hour kit in your car whenever you are away. If you have the necessities of life, you simply have more options. Make sure that you have a paper map and/or know multiple routes home so you can avoid trouble spots.

Improve your situational awareness. When you walk into a building, locate your exits and pay attention to the people around you. If somebody is acting suspiciously or something seems wrong, trust that feeling.

If you find yourself in the middle of a violent group:

Remember that law enforcement is there to deal with the mob, not to protect you. It is up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you are in the middle of the group, work your way out to the edge. You are more likely to be crushed, trampled or dragged in the center.

Avoid becoming trapped against a wall or fence or pushed into a corner.

If objects are being thrown, get well behind the launch points and find cover.

Blend in and then get out. Anyone who stands out is likely to become a target. Obviously, don’t participate, but if everyone is chanting or waving their fists in the air, chanting and waving along with the crowd might just keep you unnoticed long enough to get to safety.

More information:


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Financial Preparedness–June 2015

Set up a Budget


Last month we focused on paying tithing, saving receipts and tracking expenses.  This month we take the next step and set up a budget.

  1. Pull out last month’s records and evaluate them, taking notes as you go along.  First, remember the axiom, “spending fifty dollars a month less than you receive equals happiness and spending fifty more equals misery.”  Based on last month’s spending, in which direction are you headed?  Look at the specifics: are you happy with where your money went or are you shocked by some of your final numbers?  Are you living as frugally as you would wish or can you see room for improvement?  Write down ideas for reducing expenses as they come.  This is often inspiration!
  1. Decide how to set up your budget.  Again, it doesn’t matter how you set it up, just find what works for you.  Here are just a few options: **
  1. Based on last month’s records and your notes as you reviewed them, prayerfully set up a reasonable monthly budget in this order:
  • All sources of income
  • Tithing and taxes
  • Required inflexible expenses (rent, mortgage, debt payments, court-ordered payments, insurance, etc)
  • Required flexible expenses (electricity, water, sewer, gasoline, food, clothing, savings, etc)
  • Discretionary spending (entertainment, cable, subscriptions, vacations, gifts, etc)
  1. Establish regular Budget review times.  How often to review budget depends on your and your spouse’s spending habits.  If you spend small amounts on a daily basis, you will need to review your budget at least every couple of days.  If you tend only to do one or two shopping trips weekly, once a week should be adequate.  If you shop only a couple times monthly, you can get away with still less frequency.  The key question is:  Do I know how much I have left to spend before I make a purchase?  If the answer is, yes, you are reviewing often enough; if not, you will need to increase the frequency.
  1. Pray for help. Establishing new habits and exercising self-discipline is difficult and you may want to throw in the towel at some point along the way.  You will need His help. The Lord is not neutral on finances.  Money is a stewardship given to us to learn faith, self-control, service, consecration and many other Gospel principles.  He intends us to use it wisely and well to build the kingdom and bless our lives and the lives of others.  Pray to remember these things and to act in accordance with this knowledge.
  1. Do it!  Print up your pages and put them in a binder, save your spreadsheet to your desktop, fill your envelopes and go.  If you are not initially 100% successful, that’s fine.  Pay attention to where you have done well, say another prayer and resolve to do better tomorrow.  Remember that you have not failed as long as you have not given up.  New habits can be established and you will see miracles in your finances as you continue on!
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”   D&C 64:33

**Please exercise caution in selecting the companies, software firms, etc that are allowed access to your financial records.  As far as my Web protection software could tell, the links I have included are all safe, but please take some time to prayerfully research them, particularly if they will have access to account numbers,  Social Security or other id numbers.  Identity theft can be a major financial blow to an individual or family!


Cooking With Food Storage–June 2015

Tin Foil Dinners

tin foilThere are two things kids love to do when it comes to food.  First, they love to choose what they get to eat.  Second, they love to eat food that they cook outside.  Tin foil dinners are a great way to do both.  There are many recipes out there.  I’ll share one here as an example.  Feel free to experiment by adding sausages, vegetables, spices, etc, to your heart’s content.

  • First, a clarification—nobody makes tin foil dinners with tin foil anymore. Use heavy duty aluminum foil.  Tear a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil that is about 12 inches long.  Lay it on a table or counter and grease it with oil, butter, or a spray.
  • Put ¼ lb ground beef, 1 chopped potato, 1 chopped carrot, and ¼ chopped onion in a row 3-4” thick in the center of the foil.  Add salt, pepper, and any other spices to taste.
  • Fold the sides to create a pouch that is completely closed and well-sealed.  Make sure that it has room to expand.  Think of a small version of jiffy pop.  The foil pouch will expand as the liquids inside steam.
  • Put the tin foil dinner on mature coals, meaning there are no flames coming from the coals.  If you put it on flames, it’s likely to get burned.
  • Flip over after about 10 minutes and remove from the fire at about 20.  Coal temperatures can vary a lot so this will take some trial and error.  Maybe make a couple of extra so you can have a test case or two while you determine the right timing.

You don’t have to wait for a campfire to try tin foil dinners.  You can cook them in a barbeque or even in the oven (just place in a pan with the oven at 425 degrees).  Some of the best results come from putting a variety of ingredients out and letting people create their own tin foil dinner.  For more ideas, search the internet for “tin foil dinner recipes.”  Have fun!


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Food Storage–June 2015

Month Two


Food Storage plans are intended to feed one person for one year:

Here are the year’s totals for all of the plans:

The Bare Minimum      $480 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $40

Expanded Storage     $1870 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $155

Gluten-Free Storage       $1017 for the year, with monthly purchases averaging $85

We hope this is helpful!

The Bare Minimum

5 5-gallon buckets and lids (Lowes)


Expanded Storage

1 55-gallon water barrel   $15-$50 (craigslist)

14 cans wheat (77 lbs)   $41.30 (LDS Cannery)

2 cans powdered milk $9.50 (LDS Cannery)

4 48-oz bottles oil    $9.28 (Walmart)

25 lbs dry beans $12 (Costco)

50 lbs dry corn/popcorn $54.50   (Winco)

TOTAL  $163.18

Gluten-Free Storage

50 lbs gluten-free oats $100    (Trader Joe’s)

TOTAL  $100


Store names provided when I thought they might be helpful in keeping costs down.  If you are having a hard time finding items for the price listed, leave a comment by clicking on the link at the top of the left sidebar and I will give you my pricing info. Pricing is subject to change…as anyone shopping these days can testify!