Sunday, October 4, 2015

Words of Wisdom from the Sunday Sessions of the October 2015 General Conference

Yesterday was awesome and today did not disappoint.  Here are my favorite quotes from the Sunday sessions:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Words of Wisdom from the Saturday Sessions of the October 2015 General Conference

As a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I look forward to the Semi-Annual General Conference.  I appreciate the opportunity to hear from the Prophet and Apostles who have been called to lead and guide.  I wanted to share some of the nuggets that I have gleaned so far today....

So much to little time! General Conference is open to all.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

5 Things New Moms Can Do to Prepare for Disasters from Preparedness Momma. Another post from the 30 days of Preparedness

As stated before, September is National Preparedness Month.  The Prepared Bloggers are sharing vital information with all of us.  Here is another post from a talented blogger that any Mother, or parent for that matter, could benefit from.  I encourage you to read this and think about your current situation.

I lived through a Category 5 Hurricane with 4 children.  I can tell you that you are either ready in the moment or you are not....and there is nothing you can really do about it.  Your children need calm and comfort during any stressful situation whether it be a natural disaster or man made such as a layoffs, illness or the like.

Best wishes to you as you make your efforts to be prepared.  Please read this post and other vital information from PreparednessMama.

5 Things New Moms Can Do to Prepare for Disasters

As an adult you have the right to make choices for yourself. That means you can even bury your head in the sand and pretend that disasters will not affect you personally. Once you become a parent things change. Now you have a little bundle of joy to look out for. All of a sudden those disasters you’ve been ignoring seem real – and more likely to occur.
5 Things New Moms can do to prepare for disasters | PreparednessMamaLet me assure you, the first step to overcoming overwhelm is preparedness. New moms prepare for disasters long before they happen. When the disaster strikes (and it surely will), these 5 tips will help you have confidence with an infant in a disaster.
This post is part of the National Preparedness Month Challenge. Be sure and check out the links below. #30DaysofPrep

Be Aware.

It’s that simple. I know I say this a lot, but you can’t prepare for a disaster if you don’t know what you’re facing.  You have got to understand how the chemicals in the industrial park half a mile away will affect your family if there is a fire in the warehouse. You need to know if there are any hazardous materials being transported on the train that passes through town, and you need to know if you live in hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire country. See 9 Steps to Finding Your Local Disasters for a checklist to use.

Make a Plan.

I don’t know about you, but for me planning brings calm into my life. While it may not be possible to plan for every disaster, you sure can get a good jump on it. Winging it is not an emergency plan!
Where will you have your family meet after an emergency? | PreparednessMama
Your plan for surviving a disaster with an infant will include these strategies:
  • // An emergency kit for everyone in the house. Including the baby (see below)
  • // A communication plan so you can check in with loved ones during and after a disaster.
  • // An evacuation plan from your home. Where will you meet if there is a fire? Talk about who will get baby if there’s a fire and include that in your fire escape plan.
  • // Plans for meeting up with your family if you are separated when the disaster hits. What will you do if the older kids are at school, your husband is at work, you are out shopping and there is an earthquake or tornado? Who gets baby from daycare or who’s coming to help you?
  • // Share your plans with everyone; helper, spouse, grandparents, daycare and school. Each needs to be in the loop and have a printed copy along with out of state contact information.

Family Communication Plan | PreparednessMama

Find a disaster buddy.

You need someone who can help you evacuate, especially if you have other small children. Look for someone close by that can stay with you for moral and emotional support after a disaster. Neighbor or close by family? It’s great to think hubby will be there, but if he’s at work, that could be difficult for him to do. Form your alliances now!
Make a plan links for and Red Cross

Make a simple emergency kit for your infant.

Dont be afraid to start small. Even this small kit will give you one up in an emergency. The minimum that you decide to pack will depend on your climate and personal preference, but consider these ideas:
  • // Disposable Diapers – enough for 5 days, just to be safe
  • // Baby wipes
  • // 96 ounces of bottled water and powdered formula
  • // OR ready made formula
  • // Bottles and nipples
  • // Extra change of clothing
  • // Emergency blanket
  • // Receiving blanket
  • // Baby carrier so you can be hands free
  • // Pacifier
If you are breastfeeding, make sure you have enough water to be properly hydrated. You also need to have extra protein in your personal emergency kit. Consider almonds or other good for you protein bars. You will have covered the basic necessities with this minimalist kit – food, water, cleanliness, and warmth. All these items can be stored in your own emergency kit until you are ready to put together a bigger kit.
Remember to rotate this infant kit more frequently than a regular kit. Babies grow fast and the clothing you packed today will be outgrown in a few months.

Infant 72-hour kit | PreparednessMama

Take Baby Steps on the rest.

I’m a big proponent of putting your kits together frugally. The other items listed in the infant 72-hour kit post are good to have and will certainly make surviving a disaster with a baby easier. These should be added as you have the time, energy, and budget. You may want to add them gradually to your own kit or make another one just for baby.
Remember you only have two arms, so plan now for how you will carry baby, your kit and the infant kit. Maybe a roller suitcase is a good fit?

Join the conversation with other moms and don’t miss #Prep4Moms!

Join the conversation #Prep4Moms  on September 3, 2015 at 1PM ET | PreparednessMamaSeptember is National Preparedness Month and I’m participating in the #Prep4Moms twitter chat that is scheduled for September 3rd from 1-2pm Eastern Time. It’s sponsored by*. I hope you’ll join us and find some other ways that new moms can prepare for disasters.
The topics we’ll be discussing include:
  • How can I keep my baby and I safe and healthy during a disaster?
  • How do I know if something is wrong while pregnant and I need a doctor? What risks increase during a disaster?
  • How can I plan to feed my baby safely during a disaster? Does breastfeeding make a difference?
  • How can I best plan to cope with a chronic condition, pregnancy complications or the special needs of my child in a disaster?
  • Disasters can be particularly stressful for pregnant women and new moms. How can they cope?
Please come and share your ideas to help moms prepare for a disaster with infants. If you find this post after the event is finished, I will post a link to the ideas we discussed here.
*  provides information on public health emergency preparedness, response & recovery.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dispelling the Canned Food Expiration Date Myth......Repost

September is National Preparedness Month.  The Prepared Bloggers are sharing their time and expertise to help you become more prepared or self-sufficient.  Here is a post from The self-sufficient man that is worth the read.  LRH

Dispelling the Canned Food Expiration Date Myth

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If you are like most people you have at least some canned goods on your shelf–maybe you have even taken up canning your own food. Either way, canned goods are a common “staple” for many reasons. However, do you really know the truth about canned food shelf life?
Many consumers seem to have a deep trust of those magical “dates” on canned foods. I’d like to dispel some myths about that right now.
Canned foods are generally “good” far beyond the dates stated. In almost all cases, the dates stated on foods aren’t expiration dates anyway; rather, they’re “use-by” dates.tweet this
The use-by dates on cans and packages serve to protect the reputation of the food. They have nothing to do with food safety, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website clearly states:
“Use-by” dates refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly.
Actually, except for infant formula, product dating is not even required by federal regulations.
While they may not be required, generally you’ll see manufacturers use one of three types of dates, none of which is an expiration date:
  • A “Sell-By” date, which simply tells the store how long to display the product for sale.
  • A “Best if Used-By” date is what the manufacturer recommends for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
  • A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The manufacturer of the product determines the date.
Of course, manufacturers have an incentive for consumers to purchase more food, so the temptation exists for them to recommend short-term dates to encourage more frequent purchases.

Studies Prove Properly Canned Food Remains Safe

Numerous studies show that foods are viable LONG after they were canned, or after the expiration of stamped dates.
Except for infant formula, product dating is not even required by federal regulations
A fascinating study published in the Journal of Food Sciencereported on canned food analyzed from the Steamboat Bertrand, which sank over 100 years before in 1865.
The findings?
National Food Processors Association (NFPA) chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as when they had been when canned. The chemists added that while significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost, protein levels remained high, and all calcium values “were comparable to today’s products.”
A prepper’s remedy for the loss of vitamins is, of course, to simply store and rotate multi-vitamins in his prepping supplies.
All-American-921-21-12-Quart-Pressure-CookerCanner-0These studies don’t surprise me, for proper canning creates a vacuum that prevents microorganisms and air from entering the jar and contaminating the contents. As long as the seal is good the contents should be good, which is why I’m comfortable eating a jar of stew from my pantry—even if I canned it 20 years before. We use our trusty All American 921 pressure canner to can all sorts of meats, stews and vegetables–it’s probably my most valued self-sufficiency item.
Evidently authorities agree with my view.
In a food safety fact sheet, Utah State University Food Safety Specialist, Brian Nummerwrote:
For emergency storage, canned foods in metal or jars will remain safe to consume as long as the seal has not been broken.
In another study, NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, the chemists said the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.
So as these scientific analyses show, canned foods are an excellent option for preppers.

When to Throw Canned Food Outcan food expiration

It is unlikely that you will ever be forced with the decision of whether or not to open a can that is in fact, 40 years old. However, if it has been several years and you come across a can that got lost in the pantry, it should be fine to eat, just as the above studies show. But what if the can is dented?
Just as many people have tremendous belief in expiration dates, they also were led to believe that dented cans should be avoided–even discarded. But that’s not usually the case.
But first, why the concern about dents anyway?
The primary concern is the very unlikely (but remotely possible) risk of botulism contamination.  Botulism can be a deadly illness and is caused by various strains of the Clostridium bacterium.  The bacteria thrives in low-oxygen environments (such as those in canned food) and produces a neurotoxin that can cause loss of muscle control. If it goes untreated, the illness can spread throughout the body, ultimately reaching the respiratory system.
Clearly botulisum is something to be avoided at all costs.  But what are the odds that you can get botulism from canned food? Do you know ANYONE who contracted botulism from commerically canned food?
bulging can botulismAccording to the CDC, an average of only 145 cases of botulism are reported in the U.S. each year. Of that, only 15 percent  are the result of foodborne bacteria–most botulism cases (65%) are infant botulisum (caused sometimes by feeding honey to infants). So, there are roughly 21 cases of foodborne botulism in the U.S. each year. 21. Out of over 300 million people, all of whom eat.
As you can see, botulism is VERY, VERY rare. You should worry far more about dropping the canned food and breaking your toe.
Even in the very remote case of a bout with botulism, it certainly  doesn’t mean death, as it can be treated at a hospital with antitoxins. While botulism can result in death due to respriatory failure, the fatality rate has dropped from 50 percent to three–five percent in the past 50 years. So, out of 21 cases, a three percent fatality rate would mean that one person may die roughly every two years from foodborne botulism. And that’s about what we find.
Most recently, a 54 year old person died in Ohio at an April 2015 pot-luck dinner. The likely culprit in that botulism outbreak that sickened more than 20 was potato salad made from home canned potatoes.
Do you know ANYONE who contracted botulism from commerically canned food?
And therein lies the problem with most cases of botulism. While there are, on average, 21 foodborne cases of botulism per year, most are the result of improper home canning. Of course, I don’t know how the potatoes in this instance were canned, but most likely not with a pressure canner, such as the All American 921.
All vegetables (including potatoes), all meats, etc. are LOW ACID foods, and must be canned in a pressure canner. However, many “old timers” canned those foods in water bath canners and got away with it. When you tell their children (most of whom are rapidly becoming old-timers themselves) that the foods must be pressure canned, they retort, “well my mother always did it this way, so I will too.”
Anyway, botulism is something to be aware of, but there are many more threats in your life worthy of your attention. Like…oh…not having any food stored at all.
Small dents almost always present no problem, the more important issue is the location of the dent. A can with a sharp dent on either the top or side seam should probably be discarded, because seam dents can allow the introduction of harmful bacteria.
The good news is that most dents occur harmlessly on the side. Unattractive? Yes. But unsafe? No. Even the USDA agrees with this point when they say:
If a can containing food has a small dent, but is otherwise in good shape, the food should be safe to eat. Discard deeply dented cans. A deep dent is one that you can lay your finger into. Deep dents often have sharp points. A sharp dent on either the top or side seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can. Discard any can with a deep dent on any seam.
Other signs that you should check to ensure your canned foods are safe include:
  1. Make sure the can is not bulging. This occurs when harmful bacteria, such as that which causes botulism, enters and creates gas.
  2. If the can has rust near the seams, inspect carefully. But rust or dents do not affect the contents of the can as long as the can does not leak. If the can is leaking, however, or if the ends are bulged, the food should not be used.
  3. Be very cautious if the can spurts liquid or foam when opened. Not a good sign.
  4. Finally, trust your senses. If the food is discolored, moldy, or smells bad or simply doesn’t smell as it should (canned fruit that doesn’t smell fruity), then toss it. It’s not worth the risk.

Summing it Up

So what have we learned.
  1. There are no expiration dates, nor are they required. Rather, there are suggested dates by the manufacturer of when to use the food by.
  2. Canning is a very safe process that protects the food for a long time–over 100 years, if necessary. That’s a fact.
  3. Botulism is a concern, but rarely a legitimate threat. Just uses your eyes and nose to assess the food. If the can is bulging (as in the picture above), by all means dispose of it. It’s definitely not worth the risk. But if it merely has a shallow dent and the seam hasn’t been compromised, I’m sure it will pass the eyes and nose test.
  4. It’s best, in my view, if you can the food yourself, for the simple reason that you don’t have to worry about dents. Glass jars don’t dent. If the seal on the top of the jar is good, the food is good. Another reason it’s best to can your own food is that you don’t have to worry about your Mason jars being lined with bisphenol A( BPA), as many canned foods are, just like water bottles. The BPA has been linked to a rapid rise in blood pressure, and chronic exposure has been associated with heart disease. So get yourself an All American 921 pressure canner or borrow one from a friend. Buy some produce and meats from local farmers (you can find a list of farmers at and start canning your own food. You won’t have to worry about BPA, you’ll know what’s in it, when it was canned and you’ll learn a lifelong self-sufficiency skill.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to Prepare for a Power Outage...from Blue Yonder Farms

September if National Preparedness Month. The Good Folks from Prepared Bloggers are focusing upon many important issues.  My thanks to Blue Yonder Farms who wrote this post to give you things to consider in the event of  Power Outage. LRH


Living in Arizona, power outages are a common occurrence during the summer monsoon season. Just earlier today the sky was booming, and our power flickered threatening to go out, but thankfully nothing came of it. But what do you do if your power goes out, are you ready?
How To Prepare For A Power Outage | Blue Yonder Urban Farms | Karen Coghlan | #byuf #blueyonderurbanfarms #karencoghlan #prepare #poweroutage #beprepared |
Are You Prepared For A Power Outage?


The most basic preparations for a power outage is to have an alternate source of light. I have read that each person should have their own flashlight, it makes sense that everyone will want to see where they are going without having to take turns using the same light.
Usually, most power outages here in Arizona, while they happen quite frequently during the summer months are short-lived and do not require much more than having a flashlight handy. But what happens when we find ourselves with no power for days?


Keeping Cool – Living in the desert keeping cool would be an important consideration, most of our power outages happen during the hottest part of the year. Here are some ways to keep cool.
  • Drink Plenty of Water to Stay Hydrated
  • Dress in Cool Light Weight Clothing
  • Close Drapes to Keep the Heat Out
  • Consider Buying a Battery Operated Fan
  • Stay in the Coolest Area of Your Home
  • Consider Going to an Air-conditioned Public Place
Food Preparation – Pretend that you are camping and cook your food outdoors, it is safer and will help to keep the heat outside. Some things to have on hand for cooking food.
  • Barbecue Grill – Gas or Charcoal
  • Camp Stove – Gas
  • Matches or a Fire Starter
  • Sun Oven – Be Sure to Learn How to Use it Before You Need it
Food Storage
  • Keep Refrigerator & Freezer Doors Closed
  • Use Foods That Will Perish the Fastest First
  • Have One or More 5 Day Coolers Ready to Fill With Ice When the Refrigerator gets warm


I realize that not everyone lives in a hot climate like Arizona. So what are the needs for those living in cold, climates when a power outage hits? Many of our needs are the same, the biggest difference that I can think of is keeping warm in the cold.


Keeping Warm – If an outage takes place in the winter you might need to consider how you will stay warm.
  • Drink Plenty of Water to Stay Hydrated
  • Keep Well Fed Have High Caloric Snacks Stored That You Don’t Have to Cook
  • Wear Extra Clothes To Conserve Body Heat
  • Stay In Bed – Your Bed may be the warmest place in your house, cuddle up with children and spouses for added warmth
  • Store Extra Blankets or Sleeping Bags Rated for cold climates
  • Close Off Rooms That You Are Not Using
  • Close Drapes To Keep Cold Out
  • Go Outside During The Day If It Is Sunny To Warm Up


Please let us know what you do to prepare for a power outage in the comments below.


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