Katie's Blog-ness

72-Hour Kit Camping for Conference March 26, 2015

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 2:47 am
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72-Hour Kit CampingMy 72-hour kits are decidedly in a state of unruly-ness and are surely ill prepared to be of any use or value to anyone at the moment. Our norm is to bust out our kits between Saturday sessions of General Conference, swap out ill fitting clothes, pull out and eat for lunch and as Conference snacks the foods that need to be rotated, and try out one or two or three of the dry pack meals that we have chosen to keep in ours. (They have a mega long shelf life and are a bit pricey so we don’t rotate them every time.) We also try to add SOMETHING, even if it is super simple or seemingly unimportant, to our packs each time.

I love this method! The biggest reason I love it? (more…)


A Challenge, A Thrill January 7, 2013

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 8:38 am
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Beware: Personal post ahead. Read at the peril of any preconceived ideas you may have had about me in the past.  Or, perhaps there will be nothing shocking to you at all.  I will, however, feel completely exposed, so please keep your comments kind.  😉

In case I have never mentioned it before, we live in a college town that we came to for…you guessed it, college. We have been here ever since that fateful summer EIGHT years ago now. (Wow, has it really been that long?  Good grief! Time sure flies!) We have also been doing the college thing for one or the other of us essentially ever since.  This past semester, thanks to the inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father that knew what was coming in our lives, when we did not, neither of us was in school.  Hubby is done all except his master’s thesis project that is also the program we are currently writing for our company.  I, on the other hand, started a second bachelor’s degree last fall.  I majored in Liberal Arts the first time around and have returned for a more “marketable” degree to use for our business and as my “back-up” degree.  Now I study accounting – and I actually have fun with it!  Believe it or not, my favorite part is studying taxes!  (Yes, I know how odd that sounds to most people, but it is what it is.  I fully enjoy studying taxes!)

That was a somewhat long-winded introduction, but I share it because being in school off and on for the last 12 years has not actually put us in one of the higher tax brackets – to say the least.  As we have found ways to make every dollar stretch, we also set out with determination to do what we could, when we could, to build up our family’s food storage.  We have had too many times when our food storage is the only thing that has provided food for our table. When we were first married, we inherited some initial storage from my in-laws and found it our main-stay food source while we struggled to find work for the first several months of our marriage.  This is not that moment – exactly.  We have no shortage of work.  Unfortunately, we are not paid for the work we do right now.  Thanks to the grace of many miracles and loving friends, family, and even strangers, we have been able to manage to make it while completely bootstrapping a business.

Now comes the challenge and the thrill… (more…)


Counting Things and Sharpies October 25, 2011

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 9:16 pm

This is not my normal time for allowed blogging, but I had a quick thought to share and needed a diversion from my corporate tax homework for a few minutes before my mind explodes!  This really is a quick thought (at least for me), but I decided to share it even though I am sure many others have already discovered this easy idea.  For a long time I pondered how in blue-blazes I was EVER going to know when/if I ever reached a state of having a true years’ supply stored away.  By the way, I have yet to reach that point, but I WILL someday!  (Please excuse my self pep-talk.)  I am NOT about to give great ideas on how to keep an amazing running count of the stuff I have in my storage.  I have had various systems for that, but that is not where I want to go tonight.


Tonight, I wanted to offer a SUPER easy, quick, and mentally un-cumbersome way to get a feel for how much you need of things.  It can be more involved when it comes to FOOD storage – though similar methods could be used for some of that as well – but this is about the OTHER STUFF.  The T.P. and the dish soap and the DIAPERS.  It was several years ago when I realized I had almost completely ignored that part of my storage because I was focused on my “food storage.”  I now consider it essentially all “my storage.”  Some things you know how much you use because it is painful each time you buy it and so you know how often that happens.  Disposable diapers were on that list for me.  Other things you just use until it runs out and you stick the next one in it’s place, but who knows how often you really have to do that?  I know I sure didn’t!  I mean I would open a big bucket of laundry soap and it lasted for… well a long time I think.  So… I started taking a sharpie with me whenever I opened a new shampoo or dish soap or big ol’ package of T.P. and I would write the date on it.  That’s it.  Then, when that package/bottle/bag/case/whatever ran out, then I knew about how fast we were burning through it.  Take a year and divide by that and… drum-roll… and now I know how much I need for my year’s supply.  I do it again every few years to see how that is changing in my growing family (I just started again – hence this post), but it is simple, easy, and fairly good with accuracy (I hope).


So there you have it.  Nothing earth shattering, but I hope it can help!


No Room in the Closet! October 23, 2011

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 11:06 pm

Well, like almost every mother I have ever known, my children’s rooms are sometimes less harmonious, peaceful, and CLEAN than I wish they were.  I have avoided including a BEFORE picture of my boys’ room earlier this week (allow me some pride!) – however here is the after shot.

My boys room DOES have a floor!

While I was in process of transforming their room from a war zone hit by a hurricane into the pleasant play-land it is now, I had a brilliant idea!  (Hey, it’s my Blog and I can call it brilliant if I want!)  Since this house has NO basement, NO cold storage room, NO extra bedroom, NO special place for me to keep our food storage, I have had to resort to creativity.  I figure it’s much more interesting that way anyway, right?!  This house has not posed as LARGE of a storage nightmare as our old two bedroom trailer did, but it still causes me to expend creativity that is sometimes a bit stuck in the box and having a hard time breaking out.  (more…)


72-Hour Kit Camp-out August 21, 2011

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 4:06 pm

OK – we took on the insane.  We went on a 72-hour kit camp-out!  We had SO much fun and simply learned a ton.  We went with some good friends up a canyon to the east of Logan, Utah.  The main rule was that for 24 hours, we were only to use our 72-hour kits and see how we fared.  In that restriction, we were allowed to use our tents and sleeping bags – especially since we keep ours by our 72-hour-kits and I consider it part of the greater “family-kit.”  (We did allow one exception for a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate – though I decided that a bag of mallows might be a fun and super light snack to add to my kit for the future anyway.)  MY family actually started our camping trip on Thursday night, but did not use food from our kits (I did not want to have to replace ALL of it after our trip was over) and only started the strictly kit-based camping on Friday at lunch time.  (I will insert an admission here – we did go down the mountain from our campground before lunch on Friday to get two major things we  had already realized we really needed to have in our kits.)  Our campground had lots of trees and long grasses and some jolly-good outhouses (at least as good as outhouses really get).  In this post, I will try to give a run down of the pre-camp-out preparations I made.  I will cover how things went on the camp-out in a future post or two as well as the things that I added to my “I need to include these in my kit” list.

So, here we go.  Lets get ready for a “disaster.” (more…)


Preparing to prepare

Filed under: If Ye Are Prepared... — katiesblogness.wordpress.com @ 2:11 pm

This is my spot to share any thoughts on preparing for an emergency as well as storing food and anything else I think fits here.  I will start by sharing a bit of food storage-itis background to help you understand my mentality about the vital importance of helping my family be prepared.

I will tell you of an as good as it got method of food storage from when I HAD to think outside of my small spaces box.
My hubby and I were living in a student housing trailer with 4 kiddos!  Where does food storage go in that environment?  All the likely spots – back corners of rooms, under couches, behind doors, above kitchen cupboards, and even covered by a lovely cloth posing as a living room end table.  I was all out of ideas and still had nowhere close to a 3 month supply – let alone any more than that.  Toilet paper and soaps and anything that was not food related as well as my water was even stored under the trailer to allow more space inside for food storage.  All the shoving and re-arranging we came up with still left us out of space, so my husband came up with the idea to create a fake basement.  We could not dig ourselves a basement, but by raising some things up a level, it allowed for storage underneath almost as nice as a basement would have been.  We put our bed up on two horizontal (rather than the taller vertically kind) dressers – one on each side.  We built a tower of food buckets where the old dressers had been and filled the underneath of our new loft bed with yet more food storage.  With all of our efforts combined, we were finally able to manage to achieve that 3-month supply!  Not only that, but we moved it all with us when we left campus last year!

Anyway, that is your quick glance into my mindset on such things, more will follow I sure hope.


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