Sunday, June 30, 2019


I think it is safe to say that most of those who read and comment here are not kids.  I don't blog about fashion trends or make-up tips.  I may have a tube of lipstick somewhere in my apartment, but it would take me some time to find it.  Instead I write about the world around us, about my grands once in a while, but mostly about the importance of being prepared.

I read many blogs.  I have the greatest admiration for those who homestead, raising their own food, preserving their own food, cooking from scratch and who are much more self sufficient than I will ever be.

There was a time when I did many of those same things.  I was 30 or 40 years old and under the assumption as are many of that age, that I would likely live forever.  I now know better.

If you are one of those 75 year olds who still run marathons or climb mountains, good for you.  And I mean that sincerely.

If you are one of those who have become spoiled by the abundance of America and lazy by thinking nothing bad will ever happen and if it does, the government will rush in to take care of you, shame on you.

But if you are one of us who has found the need to slow down due to age or infirmity or both, this post is for you.  We have spent our lives working hard, raising our families, paying our bills and expecting nothing to be just handed to us.  We have done everything we know how to do to keep our families safe and secure and fed in troubled times. 

And now we find ourselves unable to do many of the things we once did.  I occasionally like to think I am still Wonder Woman who can do it all.  The reality is that I am a 73 year old granny with health issues. 

This reality has been brought home to me this week.  I have always bought fruit by the crate to home can.  I spent time checking all the grocery stores and markets in my area to see if they sold fruit by the crate.  Apparently city folks don't home can any more, for I found none. 

But what really surprised me was that I was relieved.  Reality time.

I still can vegetables and meat.  Those require not much effort on my part.  But to can peaches, for instance, I need to stand at the stove and blanch the fruit to loosen the skins, then stand at the sink to peel the peaches and remove the pits, then stand at the stove again to cook the syrup used in canning them.  That's way more standing than my body will allow.

I will be buying canned fruit for my food storage.  I know the taste won't be as good as home canned and I realize there are issues with added preservatives and such in commercially canned fruit.  But do I want my family to do without fruit just because I am unable to home can it now?  No.

Sometimes we who have done for ourselves for a lifetime without asking for help, feel a twinge of guilt when we find we have limitations.  I am here to tell you that it is OK to use and to stock up on products that are available to us now that can make life just a bit easier for us.  The reality is that for me, when I am in one of my Wonder Woman modes and overdo my capabilities, I spend a day or two being completely useless in recovering.  Sometimes the pain is worth it, but most times it is not.

It is OK to use a cake mix instead of baking a cake from scratch.  It is OK to keep a stash of frozen meals for those days when we hobble instead of walk.  It is OK to let the crockpot or microwave do the cooking now and then.   And it is OK to open a can of peaches when we can no longer can them ourselves.

The thing is, I may not wake up tomorrow morning.  Or I may follow in the footsteps of my Dad and live to age 93.  Only God knows which it will be.  But as long as I wake up here on earth each morning I will continue to do what I can and I will continue to encourage others to do what they can.  If we are unable to do things the way we would like, then we have the imagination and ability to find other means to an end. 

Never give up.  Learn to adapt.  We are all in this together. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019


I've got nothing.  It is hot.  It is humid.  The air conditioning is working - not so much.  Read the folks over in the side bar.  I'll be back when my brain starts working again.  :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mow the Lawn

A couple of weeks ago I watched a documentary where a Holocaust survivor went with a group of high school Seniors on a tour of Auschwitz.   The children were respectful and listened attentively to the survivor's descriptions of what life was like for him as a prisoner there, obviously moved by what he said.

At one point the group was walking across a grassy area and one young man pointed at the luxurious lawn and asked who had mowed the lawn at that time.

The survivor replied, "Mow the grass?  Nobody mowed the grass.  If we were lucky enough to find a blade of grass, we ate it."

Keep on prepping.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another Milestone

I got a phone call the other day.  It seems that my youngest granddaughter had passed the test for her driving permit.  My son had posted this picture on Facebook.

"Way to go, Maddie Mae!  She passed her permit test today and is already asking for the keys."

David, Maddie Mae and grandson Jacob were in the car on their way to Jacob's Little League ballgame right after she took the test.  They had waited in line for 2 1/2 hours!  David said he wasn't sure it was worth the wait.  Maddie declared it was well worth it.

I asked Maddie if she was behind the wheel.  In the background I heard her Dad say, "I'm not ready to turn her loose on the freeway just yet!"  He should be conditioned to it - he now has two daughters of driving age.  :)

My brother saw the picture and left a comment:  "Congratulations, Maddie Mae!  (I am keeping you in my prayers, Davey.)"

Congratulations, Maddie Mae.  You said you weren't sure you could pass the test, but I knew you would.  And if your Dad won't let you drive once in a while, you just give me a call.  I have ways of getting my son to listen to reason.

Love, Grandma

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Do You Remember...

Do you remember a time when you could ride your bike all over town and leave it on the grass while you played catch with a friend or prop it up against the outside wall of the drug store while you went in for an Eskimo Pie and you didn't have to lock up the bike because you knew nobody would steal it?

Do you remember conversations where you voiced your opinion and your friend voiced his opinion and you could agree to disagree and nobody was called a racist or a Nazi?

Do you remember Sunday mornings in church where the minister didn't care about your 'feelings' or about being politically correct but actually preached from the Word of God and let you know in no uncertain terms that if you didn't repent of your sinful ways that you would spend eternity in the fiery depths of Hell?

Do you remember a time when right was actually right and wrong was wrong and the difference was clearly spelled out by our parents and was clearly spelled out in the Bible and if we chose wrong over right, there were consequences?

Do you remember a time when the worst name a person could be called was 'Liar' and the person who lied to you was never again trusted and a person was respected whose word was his bond?

Do you remember a time when people could look at a monument in the shape of a cross or at a Christmas Nativity scene or at a Civil War statue or at the name of one of our founding fathers on a building and not be so offended and so vocal about it that these things had to be removed?

And do you remember when families gathered to celebrate a holiday or Grandma's birthday or Junior's graduation and everybody got along and nobody checked their cell phones every 5 minutes and when there were disagreements, we kept quiet out of respect for the holiday and out of love and respect for Grandma and out of a desire not to ruin Junior's party?

And do you remember a time when you had more rights than someone who broke the law by sneaking across our borders and when those laws were enforced and when we weren't expected to pay for all the services for those law breakers?

And do you especially remember when men were expected to be the head of the household and earned a living to provide for their families and weren't considered 'toxic' and when women weren't shamed and disrespected for raising their children and being the heart of the home and when children said 'Yes, Ma'am' and 'No, Sir' and got their mouths washed out with soap when they dared use a vulgar word within the hearing of their parents?

Not everything in times past was sunshine and unicorns.  But I just don't remember those times as being so mean and nasty and scary as they are now.  I don't remember having  to double check to make sure my door is locked all the time.  I don't remember being afraid to walk outside after dark.  And I don't remember living with the knowledge that we are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, headed into truly dark times. 

I know I can't go back and live in the past and I know that I can not change the horrible realities of today where those who wish to be in power believe killing babies is OK and where killing police officers has become a sport and where the Antifas of the country are tolerated rather than jailed.

I can only hope that when the time comes, enough folks will remember what life was once like here in our beautiful country and will find the courage to do whatever can be done to find those times again.

And because I am also a realist - keep on prepping.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Granny on a Mission

Every morning the first thing I do is swallow a handful of pills.  Every night at bedtime I swallow a couple more.

How am I going to deal with the medical issues these pills address when I can no longer just go to the drugstore and buy them.

Lately I have been spending some time online researching alternative herbal remedies.  I am finding that many require exotic herbs or plants that do not grow in our climate.  No problem...I can just order ...... no, wait.  If there are no prescription medicines available, if the lights are out, if the Internet has gone away.....what then?

I live in a small, downtown apartment.  There is no space for a garden to grow my own herbs .  So my focus has changed to learning all I can about herbal remedies that can be made from either herbs that can be grown in pots on a window sill or foods that are readily available now that can be dehydrated and stored for future use. 

Blueberries are good for many ailments.  If I can lots of blueberries or dehydrate them to be ground into a powder, will they retain their usefulness?  Strawberries and their leaves have properties beneficial to good health.  If dried, do they retain their benefits?  What vegetables can be dried and powdered for use in medicinal teas or salves or in other ways to treat medical issues.

The answer is...I don't know.  But I am on a mission to find out.  My prepping focus has been on food and water.  Still is.  But having shelves full of stored food will do me no good at all if I die from a condition I can no longer treat with prescription meds. 

And I have way more living to do to allow that to happen if I can prevent it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

I got to thinking...

the other day.  What if we were in a situation where we were living off just our food storage.  And what if the electricity had gone away so the freezer wasn't freezing any more.  That would mean there was no frozen meat left.  All of my hamburger in jars is browned and canned - not in patty form.  Just what would I give after a while for a hamburger patty or a cheeseburger on a bun.  I have seen videos about canning hamburger and sausage patties.  I think I need to give that a try.  I will order some hamburger in two weeks and see what happens.

I have four family sized packages of chicken legs ordered for delivery tomorrow.  Usually when I can chicken legs or thighs, I raw pack them in wide mouth jars and can them without liquid.  That works well except when the meat doesn't make enough of its own juices and the parts that are not covered in liquid turn really dark in color.  They aren't bad or spoiled - just ugly.  This time I think I will lightly brown the legs first and then pack them in jars, adding a chicken bouillon cube to each jar and then hot water.  I think that will solve the problem of ugly chicken legs and add flavor at the same time.

Sometimes we need to think a little bit outside the box.  For instance, among preppers we always hear about storing rice and dry beans.  That is a good thing to do, but what happens when we want beans for a meal and water is at a premium and so is cooking fuel.  Even with soaking beans overnight, it takes considerable time to cook them.  I have been running a load of various kinds of beans through my pressure canner now and then, or if I don't have a full canner load of meat, I will add jars of beans to make a full load, as the canning times are similar.  Then when I want beans for a meal, there they are on the shelf, fully cooked and just need to be added to soup or heated for a meal.   So far I have navy beans, great northern beans, kidney beans and some of those 15 bean soup mixes canned and on the shelf.   I need to can up other varieties. 

If I could figure out a way to successfully can rice, I would do it.  But so far it hasn't worked for me.  Rice added to chicken soup all but disappeared during the canning process.

 I have done some experimenting with canning various kinds of meat.  Ground beef for Sloppy Joe's didn't turn out well.  The taste changed in the process and the change wasn't good.  It had sort of a scorched flavor. The taste convinced me not to do that again.  Taco meat, however, was a success as was barbecued pork for sandwiches.  Although I usually can ingredients rather than the finished dish, once in a while it is nice to be able to open a jar, heat it up and have a meal.

 I think that in an SHTF situation, variety in food will be welcome.  I know that if all I had to eat was beans and rice, I would soon be much more grumpy than I am now.  :)

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Dad was a small man, being only 5 feet 5 inches tall, but within him was one of the biggest hearts I have ever known.

He was born on a sandy, rocky farm in northern Minnesota in 1911, the youngest of nine children.

Dad and his sister, Clarice.

The family was poor, but I'm not sure they knew it, for I never once heard him complain about being deprived as a child.

Dad at the top of the ladder and his brother Bruce.

He would rather tell the stories of growing up in a loving family, of the shenanigans he and his brothers would pull, of what it was like to plow a field behind a team of horses.

 Dad in his twenties.

Dad was 33 years old when he married Mother.  When asked why he married later in life than most, he remarked that he had to wait for Mother, who was 13 years his junior, to grow up.

Mom and Dad the day after their wedding in 1945.

Many years later when Mother's rheumatoid arthritis had crippled her so badly that she could no longer do anything for herself, he spent his time with her, feeding her, brushing her hair, cleaning the trach tube she breathed through and taking care of every one of her needs.  I once asked him how he could do all of this, day in and day out.  He said simply, "I love your Mother."

Mother and Dad - early 1990's.

Dad was not a highly educated man.  At that time it was common practice for farm boys to attend rural schools through the eighth grade and then to work on the farm, and this is what he did.

Dad is the little boy on the end, looking at his hands.  The picture includes some of his siblings and neighbor children at the little White Pine School.

His lack of formal education didn't mean he wasn't smart.  He loved to read and I would often find him sitting at the kitchen table, completely absorbed in the contents of a book.  He loved Zane Grey stories and would read the Reader's Digest, cover to cover, but more often than not, I would find him with the Bible open in front of him.

This man had a work ethic second to none.  As Mother's disease required more visits to the doctor and then several hospitalizations, he worked two and sometimes three jobs to pay the bills.  Never once did I hear him complain, nor did our family ever go hungry, thanks to his ambition and determination.

Dad was of the opinion that just because his firstborn was a girl didn't mean that she had to grow up expecting someone else to take care of her.  He didn't just tell me how to do things, but showed me.  I got my love of gardening from him, working with him to plant, weed and harvest our garden every year.   With him I learned to paint a house, to change a tire, to use tools.

My sister and me with Dad in the garden.

He taught me how to drive by taking me out on a local frozen lake in wintertime, where I couldn't run into anything, and turned me loose to get the feel of driving.  Our family car had an automatic transmission, but he insisted we sometimes take his old work car that had a stick shift.  He said I might not always have access to an automatic and I had better learn to drive both.

With my shiny, new driver's license in my pocket, Dad and I set off for the big city - Minneapolis.   Right through the busy, traffic clogged and sometimes confusing downtown area we went.  Other than giving me directions of what street to take and where to turn, Dad never said a word.  When I asked him later why he had been so quiet, he replied, "I knew you could handle it."

I come from a long line of people with working senses of humor.  When Dad's family would gather together, the air was filled with laughter.  The siblings would tell stories on each other about the silly things they did as children.  They would delight in playing harmless pranks on one another, like swiping a forkful of someone else's pie when they weren't looking.  Dad once told me that his cutting up as a child earned him many hours sitting in the root cellar at the farm, cutting up rutabagas for horse and cattle feed.

Dad being silly while swimming at the lake, bringing Mother some flowers.

In later years when we lived a couple of hundred miles apart, I would call him every few days, to check up on him but mostly to hear his voice.  He would tell me that he had been fishing or that a cousin had been to visit with him or that it had snowed the night before.  Sometimes he would tell me that he had a beautiful apple pie cooling on the counter, so that I could ask him to mail me a slice, so he could tell me he tried to get a slice in the envelope, but it just wouldn't fit.  My phone calls always ended with these words, using his nickname for me, "I sure love you, Sis."

Dad wasn't perfect by any means.  None of us are.  But I could not have asked for a better Dad.

Dad and me - winter of 1947-48.

He passed on in December of 2004 at the ripe old age of 93.  I was so very blessed to have had him in my life for so many years and I still really, badly miss him.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sam's Club Trip

So late Tuesday morning my youngest son, David, showed up to take me and his brother to Sam's Club.  But before we left, he and Duane hauled in four of those square plastic milk crates full of canning jars.  Bonus!!  He didn't want the crates back, so I found space where I can stack them two high with the open tops facing outward and use them as shelf cubbies to hold more food storage, which is good because I have little space left on my regular shelves.  Thank you, son!

There were conditions connected to this outing.  If my boys were going to take me out in public, I had to behave myself.  There would be no popping wheelies with the electric cart I used to get around in the store, nor was I allowed to organize drag races with the same carts.  I reluctantly agreed and we were off to shop.

I needed hamburger to can, so I got two 10 lb. chubs along with a whole pork loin.  The hamburger will be canned in pint jars and the pork loin will be cut into a couple of small roasts to fit into my small crock pot with the rest sliced into boneless chops and frozen.  That's a whole lot of meals and I am sharing some of the chops with Duane.

I only have a couple pints of dill pickles left and these days, getting my hands on cucumbers for canning is difficult.  So I bought a gallon jar of dill spears, 2 half gallon jars of baby dills and 2 quarts of small, stuffed olives.  Sometimes it is necessary to find a way around a problem and this works for me.  The pickles will be re-canned into pint jars and the olives into half pint jars.  And when that is done, I will have several large jars to store other things.

I use a lot of butter.  I not only use it on bread and toast, but use it for frying some foods and in baking.  The price of butter in the grocery store has gone up considerably, so I was able to find butter in 4 lb. packs for considerably less per pound.  I got 20 lbs. of butter.  I put it all into the freezer.  I can always can up some of it later, but I figured I had enough food to process right now.

Days before this shopping trip I had gone through Sam's website and made a list of what I wanted along with the prices.  I got things like large containers of lemonade and iced tea mix along with huge containers of Nestle's Quick chocolate milk mix.  Because of the medication I take daily, staying hydrated is imperative and the flavored mixes make it more appetizing than drinking plain water.  The chocolate milk mix is just because.  :)

I picked up 8-packs of Rice-a-Roni, Spam and 4 jars of Miracle Whip along with 3 huge boxes of instant mashed potatoes.  An 18-pack of Mac & Cheese and 2 large boxes of Velveeta went into the cart.  Yes, I know.  The dreaded processed food.  But in times of crisis, especially when food is scarce, I doubt anyone would turn their nose up at food, processed or not.  And when you are an old lady with mobility issues, making up a box of Mac & Cheese is much easier than making the same dish from scratch.

I found trash bags and freezer bags at a good price, so I stocked up on those. And I saw a 24-pack of washcloths and a 12-pack of flour sack dishtowels.  They came home with me as well, to be set aside for future use.

David had another surprise for me.  He told me that because he and his family had not bought me anything for Mother's Day or my birthday, he was going to pay part of my Sam's bill.  I said that this shopping trip was my gift, but being slightly more stubborn than his mother, he won the argument.  So with a considerable amount of wiggle room above and beyond my budget, we added more to the cart.

David talked me into getting a rotisserie chicken.  He said he buys one every time he shops at Sam's and they are really good.  He was right.  I ate off it yesterday and there is still plenty left for a couple more days.

There were 2 quart containers of the best tasting strawberries I have had in years.  Three quarts went into the freezer and I have been slowly snacking on the rest.

I believe that in times of stress and crisis, a sweet treat now and then helps keep depression at bay.  With that in mind, I have been wanting to stock up on assorted candies to have on hand.  Plus, I have this sweet tooth that needs to be dealt with now and then.  So we headed to the candy aisles.  The boys were delighted to toss a tub o' peppermints, a tub o' M & M's and a huge bag of assorted mini Reecse's Peanut Butter Cups into my cart.  David added a box of single serve Pringles and Duane found a box of 30 microwave bags of popcorn.  Most of that went into storage.  I make no promises about the Reese's.  :)

My boys became pack mules when we arrived home, huffing all my purchases up the stairs.  There were several other items I haven't mentioned that I got to try out like a biscuit mix, big jars of chicken bouillon, etc., and by the time they were finished my kitchen table was covered as well as a considerable amount of floor space.  I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday putting it all away.

The best part of all was spending time with my sons.  I so enjoy their company.  Duane came by later to bring me a different kind of kiwi he had bought (it was wonderful) and David called me yesterday to ask if I had found my kitchen table top yet.  He said he had fun taking us to Sam's and suggested we make it a semi-annual event with possibly another trip when the weather cools down in the fall.  I readily agreed.

I didn't write about this to brag about how much I bought.  It took me months of saving to be able to do this.  And hopefully, it will give others an idea of what is available for adding to their food storage.  Sam's charges a yearly fee for the privilege of shopping at their stores.  For David, it is worth it because his family shops there often.  For someone like me who goes only once or twice  year, the fee would likely eat up the savings.

So now that this post is written and I have had my second cup of coffee, it is time to head to the kitchen and start browning  hamburger to can.  I will be back when it is all in jars, processed and on the shelves.  And after that, of course, there will be nap.  :)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Canning Weekend

Thursday my grocery order was delivered.  Thanks to the lady taking my order having added several notes for the shoppers concerning the amounts ordered, I received everything.  So here are the results of my canning weekend.

Five lbs. of grapes gave me 8 pints of the fruit.  I just filled the jars and added a light syrup of 2 cups of sugar to 10 cups of water and water bath canned them for 15 minutes.  I opened a jar this morning, and found the grapes are fairly soft like the ones in a can of fruit cocktail, but the flavor is still good.  I put some in the fridge to chill and I like them even better cold.  I won't can lots of them, but they make for variety in my canned fruit.  Variety is important.  If I just had canned peaches, I would get tired of them in short order.

Next on the list was slaw/relish.  The recipe is in the comments section of the previous post.  This recipe is forgiving, so I used everything I had ordered - 10 lbs. of cabbage, 2 lbs. carrots, 1 lb. onions and 6 large green bell peppers.  I made 6 times the amount of syrup in the recipe.

I used my food processor to shred the vegetables and next time, I think I will use the shredding blade rather than the regular blade that fits in the bottom.  The vegetables turned out a little more finely chopped than I usually do them, but the taste isn't affected.  I sprinkled the vegetables with canning salt and mixed the salt in, draining them after a couple of hours. 

I heated the syrup until the sugar was dissolved, let it cool and stirred it into the shredded vegetables.  I filled 16 pint jars with slaw/relish and processed them for 15 minutes in a water bath canner.

There was some left over, so I filled 6 pint sized freezer bags  and put them in the freezer.  I will use them first, as the canned slaw stays good much longer than does the frozen.

I had 12 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I spread out on cookie sheets and baked until they were cooked through.  Then I cut them into about 1/2 inch cubes and filled 13 pint jars.  Other chicken breast I have canned is rather bland tasting, so this time I added 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon to each jar and then filled the jars with water.  I canned these at 10 lbs. pressure for my elevation, for 65 minutes.

Last on the list were 4 lbs. of bacon.  This I cut into 1 inch pieces, lightly browned and drained them, and filled 9 half pint jars that I processed the same as the chicken.

So that was a good start on replenishing my home canned food shelves.  I still have more I need to do, but right now, I believe I will just take a nap.  :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Getting ready...

for a busy weekend. 

I have been watching the reports of storms and flooding across the country.  Here in Minnesota a couple of thunder storms rolled through last night with high winds and rain, knocking out power in some areas.  Thankfully my town was on the edge of the worst of it and power remained on.

Farmers here and in many other areas are behind in planting due to the wet weather.  Many of those who did get their crops in the fields have had them drowned out.  And many along the rivers have their entire farms under water and have lost everything - their homes, their crops, their livestock.  Our hearts go out to those farmers who are struggling against the forces of nature.  And I am sure this will have an adverse effect on prices at the grocery stores.

As for me, I feel like now is the time to kick my prepping into high gear.  My grocery order to be delivered Thursday includes bacon and chicken breast to can.  I have also ordered 5 lbs. of green grapes to can.  I saw a video on how to can grapes and thought that might be something that would give me more of a variety of fruit for my food storage.  The person who did the video said the grapes turn out like those included in a can of fruit cocktail, and I like those, so it is worth a try.

I guess most of the elderly who use the same grocery delivery service as I do, order in small amounts.  I don't, and that sometimes befuddles those who do the actual shopping.  I don't always receive food in the amounts ordered.  I suppose that is because the shoppers don't think a gray-haired granny type would actually order 10 lbs. of cabbage, as I have this time in order to make my relish/slaw recipe to can.  The lady who takes my order gets it, so she has added notes to the order saying that yes, the amounts are correct.  We shall see...

Yesterday I opened a jar of butter that I had canned 6 years ago.  I wanted to make sure it was still good after all that time on the shelf.  It tasted as fresh as the day I canned it.  So when I go to Sam's Club in a week or so, butter is at the top of my list.  I am also considering canning lard.  Mother made the best pie crusts using lard and she used it for other dishes as well.  I think in this time of dieting and calorie counting, we forget that fats are an important part of our diets.  Oils will go rancid after a while, but canned butter and lard will last a good long time.

And now I'm off to wash canning jars and assemble the ingredients needed to can up the food I have ordered.  Each grocery order from now on will include items for food storage, for I just can't see that prices will go down, but likely will hit new highs. 

Whatever I buy today will cost less than if I wait until tomorrow.

Keep prepping!

Saturday, June 1, 2019


I love cookies.  However, I am not fond of baking cookies.  I usually make a mess of my clean kitchen, wind up with flour on my clothes and the oven heats up my apartment while baking a regular recipe of cookies.  So yesterday I tested some recipes I had found for cookie mixes.

I just measured the ingredients into quart sized Ziploc bags and wrote the instructions on the outside of each bag.

Last evening I tried the chocolate chip cookie mix and this morning I made the oatmeal cookies. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

1 Cup flour
1/4 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup chocolate chips

Mix together and store in a quart size Ziploc bag.  Write instructions on the bag to add:  1/2 Cup softened butter, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix and bake at 350 degrees.

Sugar Cookie Mix

1 1/2 Cups flour
3/4 Cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together and store in a quart size Ziploc bag.  Write instructions on the bag to add:  1/2 Cup softened butter, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix and bake at 350 degrees.

Oatmeal Cookie Mix

1 Cup flour
1/2 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: 1/2 Cup raisins or nuts

Mix together and store in a quart size Ziploc bag.  Write instructions on the bag to add:  1/2 Cup melted butter, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 
Mix and bake at 350 degrees.

Gingerbread Cookie Mix

1 3/4 Cup flour
3/4 Cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Mix together and store in a quart size Ziploc bag.  Write instructions on the bag to add:  1/4 cup softened butter, 1 egg, 1/8 cup molasses. 
Mix and bake at 350 degrees.

I just emptied a bag into a bowl, added the butter, egg and vanilla and mixed it all together.  I suppose a person could use a spoon to mix, but I have always mixed up cookie dough with my hands.  I dropped dough by spoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets and baked them.  Each recipe gave me about two dozen cookies and they taste really good.

I haven't tried the sugar cookies or the gingerbread cookies yet, but I expect they will be as good as the others.

I will make more of these mixes and stash them away in my pantry.  The amount of cookies is just right for one or two people, the kitchen stays clean and from start to finish it only took about a half hour.