Friday, January 29, 2016

Week 5 Food Storage Challenge

10 Pounds Powdered Milk / 10 Pounds Pasta
10 Pounds powdered Milk. Wal-Mart has powdered milk 64 oz. for 15.98. According to the passport for Survival non fat powder milk will last for over 15 years when stored in a dry cool place. Some people say to repackage your milk and some say not to. I have some several years old that I didn't repackage and it has been fine to cook with, I don't drink milk so I am not sure how it would taste I have heard that if you add a little vanilla to the old powder milk it helps with the taste if you have to drink it.
10 Pounds Pasta, Wal-Mart has most pasta for 1.00 a pound. If you plan on making your own just put back a little more wheat or flour, you can make it without eggs but if you want to use eggs just store a little extra egg powder.
Keep putting back water, or buy a few gallons to store.
How are you doing getting into shape?  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What books do you consider important?

The other day I recommened a book to K at planningandforesight it was The Survival Medicine Handbook. Well he asked his readers what books they thought were important for when things go south. That got me to thinking about what books I think are important to have, so I thought I would put together a list of the books I think are important and share them.
I have a ton of books but here is a list of some of the books that I have that I think are important in no special order.
  1. Bible
  2. A good canning book ( Ball book of canning).I have a Kerr canning book, Don't know if you can find that anymore, I also have a couple other books that have a lot of canning info in them.
  3. The survival Medicine Handbook ( Joseph Alton, M.D. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P aka Dr. Bones ans Nurse Amy). This book is wonderful it has all kinds of information in it from antibiotics to major illness, It covers so many areas that you may encounter in a collapse situation. 
  4. Beyond Collapse ( T.Joseph Miller Jr.). This book has a lot of information as to what to do before and after a collapse.
  5. Food Drying ( Phyllis Hobson)I love this book I have had it for some time,It is an older book and seem to cover every thing even meat and dairy. It also tells how to build a dehydrator. If you don't have a dehydrator it gives instructions for oven and sun drying.
  6. Stocking up ( by the staff of Organic Gardening and Farming 1973). This is another older book that I just love. It covers everything. Canning, drying, freezing, harvesting, smoking, underground storage. There is so much information in this book. 
  7. Passport to Survival ( Esther Dickey). This book comes from the LDS book store and is another old book. It has a lot of food storage recipes using wheat, salt, honey and powdered milk. There are recipes using a few other things but most use these four ingredients. I mean seriously who know you could make Ice cream and pudding with these four things.
  8. The Soapmaker's Companion (Susan Miller Cavitch). This is my go to book when making soap it has a ton of information on soap making.
  9. A Complete Course In Dressmaking (Isabel DeNyse Conover).This one I downloaded off the internet it is copyrighted 1921it has a lot of basic information on sewing. I have several books on sewing, but if you are just starting out a book with the basics is what you want.
  10. We have Joleen's Advanced EMT book and Andy's 1st responders books in addition to a first aid book. We are very fortunate  that Andy has some basic medical training and Joleen will have a lot more when she has completed her Advanced EMT training.
  11.  We have a book on tanning hides. I am not sure of the name it is on a bookshelf behind a book self ( I know, don't judge Space is very limited in my house).Andy has been wanting to learn to do this but hasn't had the time to do it yet.
  12. The complete Encyclopedia of stitchery (by Mildred Graves Ryan.) Another old book this covers all the different types of stitchery from crochet to sewing and every thing in between.
  13. The Clinical textbook for Veterinary Technicians Joleen was given this book when she was thinking about becoming a Vet. It has a lot of small to large animal information.
  14. Andy has a book on reloading not sure which one ( it's on his reloading table and I don't mess with it haha)
  15. Beginners guide to bee keeping. We got some bees a couple years ago and still trying to get them all figured out.
  16. I have a some binders that I put all the stuff I get off the internet. Things that I don't have in any of my books that I think will be helpful.
  17. A whole set of books on Home repairs and building. This will help in doing our own home repairs. Andy knows most of what to do but this will be handy if there it something that he doesn't know or if some one else needs to know.
  18. I am taking an herb class on line so I have all the information from that in addition to several herbal remedy books. I think herbs are going to be very important if there is no other help around.
  19. A whole set of encyclopedia's , The girls and Andy all thought I had lost my mind when I came home with them (where on earth do you plan to put all of them). But like I told them you may not always have access to the internet.  
  20. Farm Journal's Country Cookbook 1959 This is my go to cook book it is old and has a lot of old recipes. How to render lard make butter, cottage cheese, sour dough starter, It even has a recipe for Raccoon,rabbit and squirrel  ( please don't let me be so hungry I want to eat squirrel or raccoon, I know some people like them I just don't really want to do that haha). It has so many old, from scratch recipes.
 Now for some of the books I need to get.
  1. I used to have a real good book on plants and seeds it had everything from seeds to garden, berry bushes, and trees. I think I accidently donated it to the library so I need to replace it.
  2. I would like to have a book on spinning and weaving. I got a drop spindle with a free lesson for Christmas (have wanted to learn how to spin forever now) and I have a small Navajo rug loom that my Dad made for me many years ago (It is in storage and I need to get it out and learn how to weave on it) push come to shove we could make a larger one to use. 
  3. I would like to get some school books for the different ages. If I have to help homeschool my grandkids or any other kids I would like to have something to use.
I am sure I am forgetting something to add to this list.

I really think books of all kinds are important even pleasure reading. When I go to second hand store or garage sales I am always looking for books for all age groups. I have several boxes of books stored away. If we don't have internet or television books are a great thing to have around. I even buy books that I am not that interested in just because I don't care for it don't mean some one else won't. 

So what books do think are important to have a round and what books would you like to get.





Monday, January 25, 2016

300 a Month Challenge, Menu, Goals


We had people over Saturday to play music again. A better turn out this time as the weather was a lot better. I made a big pot of Chili for the music, which was kind of nice for the cold weather.The storm didn't come in until Sunday morning, when it did though we got about 3 more inches on top of the over two feet we already have. ( I am so over the snow). 
Sunday afternoon 3 of my brothers and their family's, my Mom, Dad, and some friends all come over to go sledding in our back pasture. My brother pulls a old car hood that he rigged up behind his jeep. Well the snow was to deep and since it had snowed that morning it was super soft on top so the jeep wasn't able to get through it. So hopefully another day soon. 
After that I ran Katie into town  to turn in her paperwork for work since the roads were so bad. Then came home and feel asleep on the couch while Andy watched the football game. I figured since I had Chili left from the night before, I might as well make some fry bread for Navajo Tacos which made the whole family happy haha.
The only thing I bought this week was milk so all I spent was 20 dollars.
 20 dollars this week added to the 95.55 total for the month is 115.55 for the month. that leaves me 184.45 for the month, and 3300.00 left for the year.
Menu for the week
Cream of Wheat
French Toast
Cheese omelets
To these I will add toast or fruit.
Chicken Noodle's
Grilled Cheese
Tuna Sandwich
Beef Noodle's
H.M. Hot Pockets
To these I will add  fruit, crackers, or something as a side dish.
Green Chili Enchilada's
Baked Raviolis
Potato Soup
Salisbury Steak
Rotel H.B. helper
To these I will add a vegetable or appropriate side 
Animal Crackers
Granola Bars
Cheese crackers
Andy's Snacks
Cheese cake
Apple crisp
Goals for the week.
I am not sure where the time goes but it seems I can't get anything done. I worked a little on tax stuff, Didn't even get the sewing machine out, oranges done or potatoes.
So I guess this week I will try to get all of last weeks goals done.
This week I want to get the oranges and grapefruit put up. I need to get started on the onions and the potatoes before they start going bad. I am going to have to wait a little longer on the chicken coop, my wheel barrel is buried under the snow, its not to bad so it won't hurt it to wait a little longer.
I really need to get my sewing machine out and get started on a bunch of stuff, Katie's robe, pants mended, a couple quilts I need to finish, some storage bags, a baby blanket, just to name a few of the things I need to get done.
I got a serger for Christmas I have started the video on it, need to finish watching it so I know what I am doing.
Yes I just copied last weeks list. I have so much I need to get done and I'm not sure where all the time goes. Although with Joleen gone a whole lot for school and training I don't have the help that I had and it sure makes a difference. I do want to start planning the garden tis week, I am going to do a few things different so I do need to get started on that.
How are you doing on your spending and goals this week, I would love to hear from you.
Have a great week.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Why be prepared? Snowmaggedon 2016

 Pictures off of twitter from some of the stores in the D.C. area.
Go here to see more pictures Infowars has several.

Ok just a quick post. Have company coming tonight and trying to get everything ready and cooked.
I have been reading about the snow back east it looks horrible ( If you live there please be safe. And prayers to all affected). A lot of what I have been reading is talking about all the bare shelves and how everyone has been stocking up for the storm the last couple days.

 Pictures off of twitter from some of the stores in the D.C. area.

When people ask me why food storage? Why have provisions on hand? Why be prepared for power outages? (I still get asked that.)This is why, just think about all the people the few people who are prepared, they don't have to risk going out, risk not finding enough to keep their family's feed for the few days they may be snowbound.
I can't imagine any worse feeling then knowing a big storm was coming, and I have nothing at home, I got to the store to late and , and everything in the store was already gone.  
If you are prepared you don't  have to worry about  the power going off, how to keep their family warm, feed,and entertained you have it all handled. You can set back and enjoy the storm with peace of mind knowing you are safe and so is your family. 
 Pictures off of twitter from some of the stores in the D.C. area.
The thing I don't understand though, didn't these people learn any thing from Hurricane Sandy? 
If you are in the affected areas of the storm please be safe.

Week 4 Food Storage Challenge

20 Cans of Vegetables / 20 Cans of Fruit
20 Cans of vegetables, Canned vegetables at Wal-Mart are 68 cents a can. If you watch for sales at other stores you can usually pick them up for 50 cents. Get what your family will eat. If possible can your own
20 Cans of Fruit  Canned fruit at Wal-Mart is 98 cents up to 1.98 depending on what you get.  Once again watch for sales, and if possible can your own.
Are you still working on getting in to shape?
Keep putting back that water.
Add a little more to your money stash.
If you know of where to get any of these items for cheaper please feel free to share.
Have a great week.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why I don't use Coupons

I had someone ask me the other day if I use coupons, and if they are worth it. I know I am going to have a lot of people disagree with me on this, but I don't think they are worth it. Here is why. But first let me say that when this idea came out many years ago, I did do it for a while and  there was even a couple times I got a huge basket of groceries for just a couple dollars. 

  1. They are very time consuming, to make it really work you have to spend hours clipping and looking, I don't have that kind of time.
  2. They are almost always for name brand items. I very very seldom buy name brand, generally you can get the store brand for the price of the name brand with the coupon or for a little cheaper.
  3. You have to shop all the stores around, and find the sales to make the coupons worth the effort. Once again I don't have that kind of time.
  4. I would have to either subscribe to several newspapers or go to town to get the papers to get the coupons. I can't see spending all that extra money on extra papers that are not going to get read. And since I live over ten miles from town running in and getting the papers wouldn't be worth it. I know now you can get a lot off the internet but once again time is a factor.
  5.  Since I make most all my stuff from scratch not many of the coupons would benefit me.
  6. Coupons entice you to buy things that you wouldn't normally buy. That is one of the reasons they put them out there.

Now I am not saying I never use coupons, If I see one for something I am already planning on buying I will use it.

I guess for people who have a ton of time and use a lot of name brand items it might be ok. But for me I don't have the time, And I feel my homemade is far better then then store bought. 

So do you use coupons and if so why, and do they benefit you? I would love to hear from you, and if you don't why do you not?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My New Back Yard

Last spring when getting ready for Joleen's graduation I wanted to do the party here at the house but may back yard was a disaster.  
This was my inspiration picture, It was from the Faerie Magazine. I know mine looks nothing like this but I do have the lights and eventually I want to have the lights hanging down more with some  beads and flowers also hanging,(maybe a fairy or two hidden in all of it.)    
Every year we put back a little money to do remodel and repairs on the house. Last year I was going to do the laundry room but after looking at the back yard and wanting to do the party there plus I want have to have Katie's graduation party this year decided to put the money into the yard. So glad we did I just love it.

here are a few before pictures. On this bottom level I had planted grass a few years ago, the slopping area, I had planted mint but we have so may noxious weeds I couldn't keep up with them and they over ran everything.
The thing that looks like a big brown bush is a silverlace vine covering a tank that I run the washer water in to in the summer, to use to water some of the plants in the yard.


We put in 9 cedar post that we already had, we did have to buy the 2x4's to put on the top. Andy made the braces to hold them up and we had some long screws to put in them. 

I put down two layers of plastic then covered it with sawdust we have an unlimited supply so I figured that would work just as good as anything and it didn't cost anything. I had already used rock to outline the slope, so I just rearranged them. I had some pots that trees came in so I dug a hole and put them in then filled with potting soil and planted lavender in them. Figured that would be a good place to stick the teki torches. I did have to but some mulch.

For the  railing I had some 4x4's that we used, then used some pig wire that we had a bunch of. I took all our house Christmas lights and strung through the roof. Then I went and cut a bunch of willows at a friends house to put on the bottoms and on the roof. 

This was the old sand box the sand was packed down hard and full of weeds so I pulled all the weeds and dug a fire pit we had an old tractor tire rim that we used for a fire ring. Put two hooks on one side to hang lanterns and put a row of solar lights on the other side.

On the other side I put some wood panels up along side the dog kennel and hung a wreath and some flower boxes

Then I strung some lights on the arches down the sidewalk.
The empty spot on the right is where the faerie garden it going to go. It rained so  much this last spring and summer that I never got to get it set up. I have most of the stuff for it and can't wait to put it out.

I hung some shears and we bought new patio furniture I found some stuff at Wal-Mart for fairly cheap that looked real nice and fit with the decor. It's hard to see but the silverlace bloomed out and is all green, looks great on the side.
I didn't get pictures of the front and the front side of the things I did there, maybe this spring.
I love it even though I don't get to spend much time out there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

300 a Month Challenge, Menu, & Goals

( out one of my back windows, a lot of the snow has already melted) 
Well I didn't do as good as I did last week, had to go to town and that always means I spend money. I did find some Christmas lights at Wal-Mart on clearance for 75% off, I got several boxes to use next year since I used all my old ones on the back yard, I also need a few more for the yard this summer. I had to buy eggs, with all this cold and snow my chickens are not laying at all. Got bath tissue and Corn & flour tortillas ( I am making burritos, breakfast burritos and taquitas for the freezer and store bought tortillas are much easier to work with.)
Lights Several boxes 26.62
Bath Tissue                         9.23
Eggs 5 Dozen pack     9.34
Corn Tortillas              3.38
Flour Tortillas               6.98
Milk  2 Gallons          20.00
For the month I have spent 75.55 this week and 20.00 last week for a total of 95.55 for the month. That leaves me with 204.49 for the  month and 3484.45 for the year.
Menu for the week,
Scrambled eggs
Yogurt and fruit
To these I will add toast or fruit. 
Chicken Potato Soup
French Toast
Beef Noodle soup
H.M. Hot Pockets
To these I will add  fruit, crackers, or something as a side dish.
Chicken Fried Steak /baked potato
Fried Potatoes with Polish Sausage
Swiss Steak
Chili and Macaroni
To these I will add a vegetable or appropriate side 
Graham Crackers ( if I get them made).
Fruit snacks
Andy's Snacks
Chocolate cake
Peach Cobbler
Joleen's snack
Chocolate chip cookies ( Joleen wrote this, I'm thinking she might want some cookies haha)
Goals for the week
I got the Lemons almost all done, Lemon syrup, preserved lemons with salt, and with sugar, lemon oil, lemon extract, lemon vinegar, and dehydrated lemons.
Butter made up, whipped topping made, yogurt and cream cheese.
Part of the shed organized, It has been so cold we just run out and put up, or grab what we need so it was getting a little cluttered.
I did get started on tax stuff and worked a little with my sock maker. I was doing it all wrong so had to go to their website and figure out what I was doing ( thank goodness for the internet haha).
 That was about all the extra I got done. I decided to wait on the green chili, it is frozen so it can wait a little longer.
This week I want to get the oranges and grapefruit put up. I need to get started on the onions and the potatoes before they start going bad. I am going to have to wait a little longer on the chicken coop, my wheel barrel is buried under the snow, its not to bad so it won't hurt it to wait a little longer.
I really need to get my sewing machine out and get started on a bunch of stuff, Katie's robe, pants mended, a couple quilts I need to finish, some storage bags, a baby blanket, just to name a few of the things I need to get done.
I got a serger for Christmas I have started the video on it, need to finish watching it so I know what I am doing.
Hopefully I can get a little of this done this next week.
How are you doing on your spending this month I would love to hear from you.
Have a great week.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Week 3 Food Storage Challenge

This week you will want to get
50 pounds of oats / 5 pounds of salt.

These two things I get at IFA (our local feed store) if you don't have an IFA check your local feed store.
They have a 50 pound bag of rolled oats for 30.00 dollars. I checked the price at Wal-Mart and their 10 pounds in the food storage section was 13.58, this was in a sealed bucket. They also had a 2 lbs.10 oz. box for 1.68.

I also get my salt at IFA it is Morten stock salt it comes in a 50 pound bag for 6.95. It doesn't have the iodine in it but we do take extra iodine pills. This is great for canning as it doesn't have any additives in it. If you are worried about the iodine you could get this salt for canning, cooking, preserving, and tanning hides ( no I don't know how to tan hides yet, but the lady at IFA said a lot of people use this salt for that) and then buy the table salt with iodine to use while eating. A 1 lb 10 oz. box of salt at Wal-Mart is .88 cents.
I keep my salt in 5 gallon buckets with lids, I don't do anything extra to it. It will clump up if their is moisture in the air, not to big of a deal you will just have to break it up. You can also use smaller containers such as 2 litter bottles or gallon sized storage bags, If you use the gallon storage bags put them in a 5 gallon bucket to keep them from ripping open.

How is your getting into shape coming along. I have been trying to do a 20 to 30 minute workout everyday.

Keep putting water back, either buy some or fill your empty containers. Wal-Mart has 1 gallon jugs for .88 cents or a case of water bottles 28, 20 oz bottles for 3.98. 

Add a little more to your money stash, every little bit helps.

If you know of where to get any of these items for cheaper please feel free to share.

Have a great week.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

300 Month challenge, Menu, Goals

Another busy weekend, we had to move some of the cows from down the road and bring them home. It has been super cold here, it has been getting 5 to 6 below at night and not warming up over 32 degrees during the day. Then with the snow getting so deep that they can't find anything to eat under the snow.  We have been having to haul hay every evening to feed them, so we decided to bring them home to make it a little easier to feed.

The cows are waiting patiently for the others to come over the hill. 

Andy put a couple bales of hay in the back of the pickup and the cows just followed and I brought up the rear.

We weren't able to get a good count on them , Andy was going to do a count the next night when we fed. But of course as always we have to have a couple that don't like to cooperate. Monday late afternoon we got a call from the neighbors and a couple of cows were still down there. Andy put more hay in the back and I was going to follow, the cows had other ideas though. After a lot of chasing ( a little yelling and maybe a few bad words) and a little help from a friend that was coming down the road we finally got them home.
Saturday evening we had a few people over to play music, not a very large turnout with the weather the way it is. It was a lot of fun though, I got another mandolin lesson and my brother is learning the guitar so he came over for a while to get a lesson
I never got to town this weekend so the only thing I spent was the 20 dollars for milk. When I went to pick up the milk, the lady I buy from was in the barn and she gave me a quart of cream. I will make a little more butter with it, and some whip cream for the apple dumplings I made the other day. I haven't made sour cream yet but found a pretty simple way to make it so will be experimenting with it.
 So I spent 20 dollars, the leaves 280 for the month. And that leaves 3580.00 for the year.
Menu  for the week
Cream of Wheat
French Toast
Cheese Omelets
To these I will add toast or fruit.  
Fish Sticks & Tator Tots
Grilled Cheese
Mac & Cheese
Potato soup
To these I will add  fruit, crackers, or something as a side dish.
C.P. Sausage and Potato
Smothered Burritos
Meatballs / gravy & Noodles
H.M. Taquitios
To these I will add a vegetable or appropriate side .
Cheese crackers
Apple Slices
Fruit Snacks
Andy's Snacks for work
Apple Pie
Cheese Cake
Goals for the week
Well I got not one thing done I had planned to do last week. Joleen has been working in the E.R and on the ambulance as part of her A-EMT class so she hasn't been her much to help me.
I did get the house deep cleaned for when we played music. And got quick books set up for 2016 for the day care, I had to totally start over since I didn't keep up with it last year.
So I will add all the things that didn't get done last week to this weeks list.
I have green chili in the freezer that I didn't have time to get canned last fall so I want to get it canned this week.
Start on tax stuff so we are not to the last minute again this year like we were last year.
Lemons and oranges in the dehydrator.
Start on Katie's robe, she got some fabric and wants me to make her a robe out of it.
I got a sock maker and want to start trying to use it.
Start canning lemon juice.
Clean out the chicken coop.
Maybe I will have a little better luck this week in getting it all done.

Hope you have a great week. 


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Week 2 Food Storage Challenge

This week you will want to get, 
50 Lbs flour or wheat and 1 lb yeast ( More if you can afford it).

I don't remember the exact price of flour at Wal-Mart, but I know it was right around 9.00 for 25 pounds. So a little under 20 dollars for 50 pounds.
1 pound of yeast is 5.69 at bulk foods where I buy mine. Not sure how much at Wal-Mart.

50 pounds of flour or wheat, if you have a grinder you can get wheat, if not get flour. White flour will last longer then wheat flour in storage. If you live in a place that freezes during the winter get your flour now and you can store it out in a shed or somewhere where it will freeze. Just pour in a bucket, add a couple pieces of spearmint gum, and put the lid on.  If it freezes real good for at least a few days, it will last a very long time ( I opened some flour a few months ago from 08 and it was still good). If you don't live where it freezes you will need to put it in some Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.  If using Mylar bags you still need to put them in buckets, this will keep varmints from trying to chew through.

1 Pound yeast, yeast will keep for a very long time in the freezer. I keep mine in the freezer and have a smaller container that holds about a cup that I  fill and keep in my fridge to use. 

How are you coming along on getting in shape if you are not already there?

Don't forget to keep putting water back.

Add a little more to you money stash, even if only a couple dollars, ever little bit helps, and it all adds up.

Have a great week.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lake Powell

It is snowing like crazy here. Just adding to all the snow we already have. So I thought I would talk about warmer nicer weather, and share some pictures of our trip to Lake Powell this past summer.

My brother has a house boat there and invited us for a long week-end. I have to admit I sort of drug my feet about going, I am terrified of water. (Nearly drowned when I was younger.) They finally talked me into going, and I have to admit I'm so glad they did I had so much fun.

You can see just how low the water is, Andy said it was up quite a bit from when he and Travis were there a few months before. Hopefully with all the snow we are getting it will come up a bunch this spring.

Just cruising out in the middle.

 Yes we are going to go in there.
We went through there and it opened up to a lot more, you can see the little alcove.

We went and hung out and played in the alcove for a while. This is looking out from under the alcove. It was huge inside there were about 6 other boats in there with us and still a ton of room. Kind of funny to think that when the water level is where it is suppose to be all this is under water.

Joleen,Andy and my Brother playing in the water.

After that we went and rode around for a little more, till we came to this narrow gap we stopped and Joleen, Travis and my Brother decided to swim into it. 
 They got back there pretty far, then started jumping in off the ledge.

After ridding a little longer we went to the marina and got some ice cream. These fish hang out and wait for someone to feed them. Pretty funny to watch them swarm when someone throws something in for them to eat.

Joleen trying to learn how to ski, She got pretty good after a while.
Here are some ducks just chillin in the water, They would dive down and be gone forever then all the sudden pop back up.
It was a super fun trip. They even got me in the water with a life jacket. Have to admit once I got comfortable I was in the water a lot (even when I couldn't touch the bottom) Althogh I did stay by the house boat. When we were out in the boat I wouldn't get out, maybe next time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Car Kits

Since this month's action item is Car kits I would like to go over them.
Disasters usually occur with little or no warning, Winter storms, Natural disasters, Car problems, Being stuck in traffic for one reason or another, just to name a few. Wouldn't it be great if you have one of these, then if you do have an emergency  you have a few things to make it a little easier, and maybe even help you and your family survive.
Even if you have a cell phone you may be out of service, or it may just take a while for help to arrive.  
As I mentioned in the previous post you never know when things can go wrong, even if you are only a few miles from home. There was recently wreak in our area during a white out and the road was closed for about 10 hours. This road is the only road to the next town ( not counting dirt back roads which were snow packed). There were people stranded on both ends that lived on the other side of where they were. A lot of people were displaced, Joleens boyfriend and his Grandmother had gone to town and were stuck on this side and couldn't get home, so they ended up staying with us. Andy was on the other side trying to get back from his Mom's he had to turn around and go back to her place to stay the night. The thing is you never know when something could happen even close to home.
I know it takes up room in your vehicle, Katie hates having to have the extra stuff in her car. Pretty sure though if she ever needs it she will really be glad to have it.
So where to put all the stuff ? Even if you have a small car you can fit it all in. Ideally the stuff should be in the front with you, but I figure I am doing good just to get Katie to put it in her trunk. I have a big majority of mine in a tote in the back of my truck ( I have a cover over the back of my truck),but I also have some stuff in the front . Joleen's space is also pretty limited ,as she has all her fire gear in her jeep, but we do find room to put her stuff. So you can find room even if the stuff isn't all together.
It doesn't have to be super expensive. You can put one together fairly cheap. I got a lot of my stuff at the dollar store, around the house, and the rest at Wal-Mart ( I used a lot of Wal-Mart brands).
In addition to the car kits the girls also have car tool bags that we got them for Christmas a couple years ago. They have jumper cables, fix a flat, chains, & flares. They also have a spare tire, jack and lug wrench,( and know how to use them). Mine and Andy's trucks have all the same things just not in nice little bags.
Here is a list of what is in the car kits. The girls have smaller tubs and I have a larger tub with the same things just a few more of them. I figure if we are stranded in my truck chances are I will have more people with me then they will.
 Snacks You want something that you can eat hot or cold, and opens easy.
  1. A big box of crackers
  2. A bag of goldfish
  3. A small bag of animal crackers
  4. A small jar of peanut butter
  5. A couple pouches of tuna
Clothing If you have small children you may want to have a extra change of clothes, and extra diapers. The girls do carry an extra pair of shoes then if they flip flops or sandals on they have a real pair of shoes. They also most often have a extra change of clothes.
  1. Warm hats
  2. Warm gloves
  3. Extra socks
  4. Bandana
  1. Hand  sanitizer
  2. Diaper wipes
  3. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  4. Shampoo
  5. Soap
  6. Razor
  7. Contact case and solution
  8. T.P.
  9. Kleenex

  1. Trash bags
  2. Flashlight
  3. sterno ( great to help start a fire or just use in the can to stay warm)
  4. Duck tape
  5. Rope
  6. Note pad and pen
  7.  Hand and foot warmers  
  8. Lighter
  9. Matches
  10. N 95 Mask
  11. Kitty Litter
  12. Case of water
  13. Blankets
I think I have covered everything in the car kits, as I said before if this doesn't look complete it is because they do have stuff in the packs.
If you do get stranded here are a few things to remember.
Stay with your vehicle, if it is no longer safe to stay there, leave a note as to what direction or where you are trying to go.
Always make sure you have a least a half a tank of fuel ( just as easy to keep the top half full as it is to keep the bottom half full).
Only run your engine for a few minutes at a time just long enough to warm it back up or cool it down ( this way you conserve fuel).
If you are stuck in the snow make sure the tailpipe isn't blocked ( Don't want carbon monoxide backing up into the car).Also when running your car be sure to crack a window open.
I hope you are never in a position to need this, but what a piece of mind knowing that if you do have a emergency you are better prepared to handle it. Especially knowing your teenagers have it in their vehicle's
Please feel free to suggest other items.