Emergency Call

Marti’s Corner – 125

September 29, 2023

Hi Everyone,

We were able to get our air mattress patched. It has a small 1/2 cut on one side and a small puncture hole on another side. The problem we were having is that the sides are not smooth, but more of a fabric. We tried the patch and it didn’t stick. THEN we tried the goopy gluey stuff and it didn’t work either. Finally we hit on a combination of both. We used a patch, and glued it down all around the edges. Not very tidy, but it’s working.

Patched Air Mattress

Emergency situations can be stressful, but for children they could be traumatic!  Example:  One time I was driving with my kids looking for an address.  I said, “I think I’m lost.” And one of my kids broke into a wail!  “How will we get home????”

Here are some ideas for helping children:

1)  Have a family chat about what to do in different emergencies.  Keep it simple and reassuring.  Be sure to talk about what they would do if they were at school, if mom was at work, if they were asleep, they are at a friend’s house, etc.

2)  Conduct evacuation drills so everyone knows where to go if you need to leave home quickly.  

Kindergarten Cop-Fire Drill

Did you ever wonder WHY schools have drills??? For this exact reason, so that children will know what to do, so teachers can talk to the kids and reassure them they will be taken care of and so children will be calm and not panic.

3)  Let each child pick a favorite toy or comfort item for their emergency kit.  Make them a small note card and put it on a mirror, or inside a closet.

In Case of Emergency take:  

  • the dog
  • your pillow
  • your blanket
  • your tablet (or computer)


Each child can be responsible for 2-3 things.  

It will give them purpose and help you as well.

Practice your evacuation by having the kids grab their items and meet outside in the backyard (or front).  

4)  If possible, have your kids help you assemble a kit and talk to them about its purpose.  You can put in some granola bars, fruit roll ups, an extra pair of socks and/or clothes.  Go to Goodwill and get used clothes that are 1 size larger.  Then you won’t need to worry about them until next year.  

Schools practice twice a year.  You should too.

Ham Radio License

This website:  HamTestOnline – Study for your Ham Radio License Exam  is the one I used to get my license.  I LOVED it, and taking the test was so easy.  You have to pay about $10 for 3 months.  I studied in my spare time and it took me about 6 months.  But I walked into the testing site and was the 2nd one done!  I literally recognized the questions and all the answers.  I reported several months ago that the site was shutting down.  Evidently, they have found a buyer and will stay online!  Good news!


Took out more tomato plants.  There is just not enough warm weather left for them to do well.  The broccoli died a long time ago.  I “could” have planted more but I’m just not going to.  I did put out some lettuce that I started inside.  I’ve had such a struggle with the lettuce.  I took it all out over a month ago because it was getting eaten by ?????.  BUT….. I think I found the answer. 

Tomato Plants

These are “row covers”.  Not the same as “shade cloth”.  It’s just a very fine mesh, and drapes down over the side.  No bugs allowed!  And the lettuce is doing great!

I found myself wondering how many other plants I could just wrap up in the stuff.  Especially broccoli (which tends to get eaten by cabbage loopers – those little white butterflies!)

Row Covers

Also, I bought 2 raspberry plants about a month ago.  I don’t have anywhere to put them.  But, one of them is really taking off.

Raspberry Plants

I’m just going to have to make room someplace.

AND, I’m trying to decide whether or not to plant carrots.  They are a cool weather crop so……????

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE:  potatoes: instant, dried, canned

My experience is this:  The potatoes I canned (in jars) are the ones I use the most.  But they are also the ones that “expire” the fastest.  My dehydrated potatoes are still good after 15 years, but the canned potatoes only last about 4-5 years.  I had to throw out over a dozen jars of potatoes that had not been rotated and were dated 2015.  The top half of the jar was grey to black.  Ewwww.  

My favorite use of canned potatoes is to open the jar, rinse well, drain, and fry up for breakfast.  Mmmmm.

I’ve also added them to chicken pot pie and to soups.  

I do have a few recipes for using the dehydrated potatoes, but most of those recipes require cooking for 20-45 minutes.  

Still….. if you are gluten-free, potatoes are a good alternative.

MISC PURCHASE: duct tape

Get the good stuff (1-2 large rolls), and find a place in the garage.  You could keep one in the car where the spare tire is.  Did you ever watch McGyver?  There wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix with duct tape!!!


Shelf Stable Corn Chowder

In a large soup pot add:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can whole corn undrained
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1/2 can Spam, diced into small pieces (OR regular ham diced small.  You can also used canned chicken or even canned salmon)
  • 1 can diced potatoes undrained
  • 1-2 TB dried onion
  • 2 1/2 c. whole milk  (You can find shelf stable milk from Modern Pantry, OR you can mix up some dehydrated milk and add some butter for creaminess)

Heat through

Small packet biscuit mix from Pillsbury – just add milk

OR measure out what is needed from Bisquick, which is also just add milk

White Chicken Lasagna

Serves 6

  • 2 TB oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  OR you can use canned chicken

Add oil to a large skillet and heat

Add chicken breasts and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned on one side.

Flip chicken and add

  • 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

    Cover and cook on low simmer for 10-15 min, until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165˚

Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before shredding.  (Here is where you can just open a can/jar of chicken)  Do not add in yet

To the chicken broth in the pan, add

  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream (6 TB butter and 1 1/4 c. milk)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning.


Add 10 broken lasagna noodles

Bring back to a low simmer

Cover and cook for 10-15 min, until tender, stirring every few minutes.

When noodles are cooked, stir chicken back in and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Cover and let melt before serving.

Cheeseburger Potato Casserole

serves 6-8

  • 1 jar canned hamburger 
  • OR 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • OR 2 c. freeze dried ground beef
  • 2 c. dehydrated shredded potatoes 

     (These are so easy to make with a dehydrator!!!  Just buy frozen hash browns and spread them out on a dehydrator sheet and let dry overnight.)

  • 4 tsp butter powder OR 1 TB butter
  • 2 TB dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 milk powder OR 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp any all purpose seasoning

If you use butter powder AND powdered milk add 6 c. boiling water.

If you use regular butter and regular milk, add 5 c. boiling water

Microwave 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If camping OR you prefer stove top, Cook 10-15 min.  Let sit for 10.  Check potatoes and beef for “doneness”


Marti Shelley

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7 months ago

Thanks Marti – I’m finding the recipes have always been a bit hit at home so am excited to try these. Thanks Again! Barbara

7 months ago

I had the worse season growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts too. It was good for the insects, worms, moths etc. But that kept them away from everything else. Amaranth, Cilantro, asparagus, beans, Cayenne, tomatoes, garlic, basil,rosemary, thyme, yarrow, Echinacea ,grapes, apples, raspberry, strawberry, dill, fennel, potatoes, lavender, etc.
My Freeze-dryer has been working non stop.

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