Thursday, June 26, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Changing Tires or Diapers...Which One Stinks Worse? June 26, 2014

Tires - Can't Live With Them - Can't Live Without Them
A few days ago my husband blew a tire on his trailer. He asked me later if I would help my son change it. I don't have much experience with changing  a tire, but I figured it couldn't be TOO hard.
When I got ready to "loosen" (haha haha hahah) the lug nuts I realized I didn't have the right tool. So, I tried to use some of my husband's other tools to get those stinkin' things off! It took me probably 30 minutes to get the lug nuts to the point that my son could even start his part. Needless to say, my husband finished the job.

For any guys out there, you might think, "This is the easiest thing in the world!" For the ladies, not so much. It is important for us to know basic car repair/ maintenance so if we are ever stranded, we can get back on the road in no time. Many people might think, "Duh! That's a no brainer! Call AAA!" But what if you are in a dead zone and your cell phone doesn't work? It is better to be prepared.

So - my challenge to you is to....
Practice Changing a Tire

All those who can change a tire by next Thursday will receive a bar of hand-made soap. I just made some Teatree, Orange and Oatmeal soaps. (wink wink)
Even though changing a tire can stink worse than changing a diaper, it will be a good exercise (physically and emotionally).


So, we've had an ant problem (as opposed to Aunt problem). We went to Home Depot and Walmart for the BEST OF THE BEST in ant...suppressant (muhahah). We tried the ant hotels and syringe gel poison.  Neither one took care of the problem.

Enter - clove oil. I put 1/4 C water and 7 to 10 drops of clove oil in a small spray bottle. I sprayed them directly. They stopped dead in their tracks. I only had to do it a few times that day and suddenly, the ants stopped coming in the kitchen all together. I wonder if they could hear the haemolymph (ant blood) curdling screams of their comrades in arms - because they stopped completely.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Lessons from Lehi June 19, 2014

Like Abraham - the Father of Many Nations
We learn about self-reliance all the time in the scriptures. These examples are amazing! Poor Noah probably gets exhausted - we use him as an example a lot, but for good reasons. What about other awesome prophets who obeyed? Who else was spiritually and physically prepared to leave everything they had behind because the Lord directed it be done - for their protection?
His Spiritual Self-Reliance :

What's not to love about Father Lehi? I always pictured him like a lean Santa Claus with the cool little bead headband that holds his keffiyeh (cloth hat) on. Do not be deceived by appearances, this guy was willing to do everything he was commanded (which is way more brownie points than a midnight flight with magical reindeer once a year). Only he had to escape the "naughty" kids who were threatening his life. Although he had to take a few "naughty" kids with him...sheesh, they're everywhere!
I am guessing he inherited the spiritual gift of dreams and visions from his ancestor Joseph (you know, the dreamer who was sold into Egypt). Before we get halfway through the third chapter in 1st Nephi, he has four visions/ dreams. Some of his family make fun of him, calling him a "visionary man." Well...yeah, they were visions. This is the tool that helped him, his family and the "household" of Ishmael to escape the fall of Jerusalem. That's pretty big. However, having information that something is going to happen and acting on it...are two different things. 

I LOVE what Nephi says (1Nephi 1:20) "...But behold, I, Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen , because of their faith, to make them mighty, even unto the power of deliverance."

Dang Gina - raise your hand if you would like the power of deliverance from the abominations foretold in our day? OOooOo pick me! You don't have to have dreams to be obedient, but when you SEE the destruction, and you READ in the Book of Life what is going to happen - it tends to be a self-motivator.

His Temporal Self-Reliance:

So, when he is told in a dream to leave, he takes with him:
  • His family
  • provisions
  • tents
That's all folks. We don't really have much information on how much time they had to prepare for their journey outta there, but with threats on Lehi's life my guess is - notta whole hecka. The "colony"  also didn't have much in the way of provisions because we read a little later how they are near starving in the wilderness and upset with Nephi for breaking his bow. But when all is said and done, the Lord makes up for what they weren't able to bring with them - but they had to have a starting point. They also had to know to to prepare the hunted game they found in the fertile parts of the land. Thank goodness for the Liahona though....whew! What a life saver?

If great things come in small packages, 1 Nephi 2:15 definitely fits the bill. "And my father dwelt in a tent." I bet he used his tent often. Maybe even as part of his job. A wealthy man who was willing to leave everything behind to obey. We may never be asked to do that - but I have to ask myself, "What have I been asked to leave behind in our day?"
In 2011 Sister Julie Beck (the General Relief Society) said this in a training to Stake Relief Society Presidencies:

"I have a sense and a feeling as we have watched some of these disasters in the world, that this is a time for us to learn and prepare from these experiences. Sister Thompson gave an testimony of that, and the preparation happens in our own homes. There are not enough tents in the world to furnish every person with a tent unless the members of the church have a tent in their own homes...a simple thing like that. And then the storehouse is pressed down, heaped over and running over in our own homes."

I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord. I love the examples of faith I find in the scriptures. Someday, I hope to meet Father Lehi. I hope to give him a hug, thank him for his example, and maybe squish his cheeks. That's what I do to my dad. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - EPP! What Did I Just Step On? 6/12/2014

Sometimes surprises are good, like a surprise birthday party or a surprise "going away" party. Sometimes surprises are bad; for instance your cat decides to deposit a "surprise" in your driveway dirt because her litter box isn't good enough anymore. Nice. It is the polar opposite of the soft, warm feeling you get from serving someone.

Emergencies can be THAT kind of surprise multiplied exponentially. Let us plan ahead with an EPP (Emergency Preparedness Plan), which a PIP (Plan In Place) is part of.
I am so thankful for the easy to follow, common sense approach that the ladies at Food Storage Made Easy have put together on their website. It is completely absent of the "doom and gloom" or "zombie apocalypse" many preparedness websites offer.

What I am about to share with you, I highly encourage you to print it and implement it in your Family Home Evenings, family discussions, Sunday afternoon down time or whenever. This Emergency Preparedness Plan tells you step by step what you can do to be better ready for the larger scale "bad" surprises. You can find that here:
The plan includes instructions on :
  • The Family Plan
  • 72 hour kit and Emergency Binder
  • Evacuation List and Car Kit
In later tips, we will try to implement some scenarios to practice. For instance, how long does it take you to put the essentials in your vehicle for an evacuation?

Even though surprises of the uncomfortable variety sometimes happen to us, if we have an EPP, there will be less stress where we will be able to help our family with a cool head. Make a goal to do a little something every day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Perfect Beans and Fun with Fennel June 5, 2014

Who knew fennel could be so fun?
This morning I spent a while making the second video in our Self-Reliance Cooking Series. It is called : How to Make Perfect Beans in a Wonder Oven.

You can watch my skills here :) :

If you have any questions let me know!


What the heck is fennel? Why is it useful? Is it in your spice cabinet? 

My Oma (Grandmother Tenney) had a fennel bush outside her house for years. I always thought it smelled like licorice. Yumm!
Fennel has so many amazing uses! Here are only a few:

#1 When we have trouble digesting food we get gas build up (maybe from too many beans???). Enter fennel - possibly with a cape - fennel helps the body to produce more enzymes!!! Isn't that crazy? Enzymes help us to break down food easier. When we digest better, the whole body functions better.

#2 Fennel is a common ingredient in European cough remedies....hmmmm...why don't we see that here? Probably because they don't want people to assume because you have a cough you're gassy too? Who knows.

#3 I have personally used fennel to increase my milk supply when I wasn't making enough for one of my babies.

This website is one of my favorites for education on herbs and spices and the things they can be used for. 

Here is what they have to say about fennel. I have used fennel for digestive issues before with great success. Here are other uses fennel can help with. does a body good. Pass it...on.