Random Sampler


Tracking Our Food Storage

For years I struggled with keeping track of my year’s supply of basic foods. I tried keeping lists of what I had, but the lists changed weekly. I was taking inventory much too often.

Then, while a friend was visiting a bicycle shop, she noticed their system for inventory control. Inspiration struck! We each adapted the idea to our own food storage system with wonderful results. Here’s what we did:

  1. 1.

    On a poster board, tape or glue pockets made of index cards cut in half, one for each kind of food in your basic year’s supply. Each pocket is labeled by the type of food, number of packages or units, amount in each package, and the total amount needed for a year’s supply of that item. For example, one pocket might be labeled “spaghetti—48 boxes x 2 lbs. = 96 lbs.”

  2. 2.

    We make an inventory card for each package or unit. Spaghetti, for example, would need forty-eight cards, each with “spaghetti—2 lbs.” written on it. Those forty-eight cards are placed in the labeled pocket. Do the same with each food item.

  3. 3.

    Whenever someone takes an item from storage, that person also pulls a card from the pocket and brings both items to the kitchen. We place the card in an envelope taped behind a cupboard door in the kitchen.

We color-coded the cards to represent the source for obtaining each food item. Foods obtained from the cannery are kept on red cards, grocery store items on green ones, warehouse items on blue, and home-canned items are on pink cards.

It’s a simple matter before shopping to pull all the green cards from the envelope when planning a trip to the store, or all the red cards when I plan for a trip to the cannery. I know exactly what needs to be replaced. As items are restocked, I replace the cards in the poster board pockets.

We hang our poster board in our storage area. Now we are able to keep our year’s supply of food fully stocked.Leslie O. Andersen, Kansas City, Missouri

[illustration] Illustrated by Tom Child

Going Back to First Grade

Last year I went back to first grade when I volunteered to help in my son’s classroom. While such service may be of great help to teachers, students, and the wider community, the rewards of spending a few hours in your child’s classroom can also be important to you.

  1. 1.

    You’ll be learning about your own child as well as picking up new skills for teaching your children at home.

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    You can observe your child in the school environment. You may see a different child than the one you see at home, and this added insight may help you be a better parent.

  3. 3.

    You can get to know the teacher. It’s easier to become acquainted when you see a teacher every week instead of twice a year at parent-teacher conferences. Being comfortable with your child’s teacher will help you discuss any problems or concerns that arise during the school year.

  4. 4.

    You’ll know what is being taught at school. This will help you to enrich teaching at home and to focus more effectively on subjects your child may be having trouble with. It’s good to see firsthand what is happening at school, especially if you have concerns about the curriculum.

  5. 5.

    You become acquainted with your child’s classmates. This gives you some perspective in arranging playtimes or helping your child with an uncomfortable social adjustment.

If you would like to be a volunteer, don’t wait for an invitation from the teacher. Go ahead and offer your help. Teachers are usually thrilled to have an extra set of hands in the classroom.

You may also have unique talents and skills to offer. If you love art, volunteer to teach art appreciation classes or to give instruction in watercolor painting. If you are a would-be scientist, dust off your chemistry set and run experiments with the class.

By volunteering at your child’s school, you can provide a worthwhile service and learn along with your child.Lisa Ray Turner, Littleton, Colorado

Foot Care

When missionary or other activities suddenly cause walking to become a primary means of transportation in many types of weather in an unfamiliar climate, a person may develop foot problems unless preventative measures are taken. Here are some common foot ailments that missionaries and others might experience, along with some tips to minimize these problems.

A very serious foot ailment experienced by soldiers in the cold, wet European winters during World War II was trench foot. This condition develops from prolonged exposure of the feet to dampness and cold, which in turn causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. Then the feet may become discolored and swollen and extremely tender and painful.

Preventative measures for trench foot are aimed at maintaining adequate blood circulation in the feet. It is useful to remove shoes and socks temporarily and massage the feet carefully. Avoid sleeping while wearing cold, damp footwear. Carrying along an extra pair of socks for changing is also helpful.

Secondary infections associated with common foot problems such as athlete’s foot, broken blisters, and cuts and scratches may develop serious complications. Carefully wash and dry the feet and treat minor problems promptly, before infection develops.

Warm weather and hot climates can also present potential foot problems. In many areas organisms such as worms and insects are found in the soil. While some of these may be merely a nuisance, others pose a risk for serious foot problems or other health disorders if they enter the body. It is easier to avoid these organisms than to get rid of them after infection occurs. In such areas the major precaution is to eliminate any possibility of direct skin contact with the ground. Don’t go barefoot outdoors in areas not known to be suitable for such activity, such as places where the ground may be contaminated by human waste. The same precautions also apply to wading in water of unknown characteristics, especially in warm climates.

Incorrectly trimmed toenails can cause problems. Toenails should be trimmed carefully; if not trimmed to the correct shape and length, they may cause irritation to adjacent skin areas. Trimming toenails too short is a common cause of foot problems.

Socks and stockings should be chosen carefully, keeping in mind the conditions that may be encountered. Well-fitting light wool socks are probably the best selection for most uses.

Sturdy, well-fitting shoes are of prime importance in preserving feet in healthy condition. Tight shoes may aggravate toe problems and should be avoided. Two pairs of shoes, worn alternately to help keep them dry enough to inhibit deleterious organisms, will do much toward preventing many foot problems.

New shoes should not be used for extended walking until they have been broken in. Excessively worn shoes, especially in the heel area, may cause foot problems due to misalignment of bones at the joints in the foot and ankle.

Good preventative foot care is an important part of being able to serve and function well—at all times and in all places.Donald Starkey, Dundee, Florida

[photo] Photo by Maren Mecham

Family Home Evening: Hero of the Month

Our family tried a new approach for preparing family home evenings. At the beginning of the year, we chose twelve “heroes of the month,” usually selected from the scriptures, as monthly themes. Then we assigned family members to prepare family home evenings centered on the hero of their choice. Each month we memorized a scripture and participated in lessons, games, and activities that helped us learn more about each month’s hero and his “powers.”

Our list of heroes for one year:

We break each month into four separate topics but allow each person to chose his or her own topic if preferred. One example might be: 1. Nephi followed the prophet, 2. Nephi kept a journal, 3. Nephi learned the plan of salvation, 4. Nephi honored his Heavenly Father through keeping his covenants. We also choose a hymn or Primary song for the month.

Our family home evenings have been interesting, and the children look forward to studying about these heroes and their special powers.Ruth Ann Cosby, Flower Mound, Texas

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Harston