Saturday, November 21, 2015
Coffee Chat: My Forgotten Mantra
Hello there! Now isn't that heavy silver coffee pot just something? I never really noticed it before when I'd used this photo but it came up very large just at first when loading in today and the ornamentation of that spout was something to behold. And then I realized the heavy silver coffee pot, the wide gold bands on the cup and saucer, and the rare coin collection were all about the precious metals. Ha. It only took a few years of looking at this image over and over again, to gather all that information that came to me in a mere moment today
A lot like reading the Bible, is that photo. I'll read over something dozens of times and all of a sudden 'click' and there is a revelation I've never had before. It's kinda awesome. I had such a moment this past week. I've begun a daily Torah reading again, which is just working my way through the first five chapters of the Bible and then repeating as I finish it up. Why? Because there is a verse which says something to the effect 'I shall study Torah every day and be blessed',(why can I not find this verse at the moment? And isn't that always the way?) and a whole lot of other verses which mention the importance of hearing or studying Torah...which happens to tie right in with the verse in Deuteronomy 6 which says:
So I was reading Torah, specifically in Exodus 34 this past week about generational curses. Now I have to confess that until a few years ago I'd never heard of a generational curse and I was a bit put out at my own lack of knowledge when a pastor brought the subject up in relation to another church member's problems. It was a phrase that got bandied about a lot after that and I began to really feel burdened about certain things I saw in my own family history and to ponder on who 'caused the curse' and whether this would be the last generation of the curse, and what sins I was giving my own children to pay for, etc. This past week it happened I was also reading in Ezekiel and there in front of my eyes was good reason why I'd never heard of generational curses.
In speaking with Ezekiel, God plainly says that no more will a son or grandson pay for a man's sin, but only those who commit the sin will pay for it. Hey wait a minute! That means that when I sin, I am responsible for my sin and there is no need for any one else in my family to pay for that sin. That means that God Himself broke the generational curse!
Now isn't that amazing?
And you know what else is amazing? The Bible (again in Exodus) says that when God blesses He will bless for a thousand generations...and He didn't break that generational blessing! It still stands...Isn't that AWESOME?
Well...That is why I love to read my Bible. I wish I had a wonderful insight or revelation every single time I read it but I don't. I get distracted and miss things. I can pay full attention but it's like drinking from an empty cup for days on end. But oh those days when the cup has been filled! It takes my breath away, sets my feet dancing and makes me one happy soul.
Now, I never once meant to start out our chat with a lesson today, but there you go. Sometimes, it's just that way. I thought I was coming to share about the joys of seeing Katie this past weekend or the beautiful wedding or my frustrations with one of the survey sites where I earn or what all I've managed to accomplish this week but God meant me to teach first and chat second I guess.
Yes, this past weekend my niece married and it was a lovely simple wedding. Ashley was beautiful (she always is, but especially lovely in ivory lace) and her darling girls were in blush lace dresses. We sat on hay bales and the ceremony was in their big pole barn. Just as she and Jason were saying "I love you," two year old Bella smiled. "Mama...Mama, I love you. Daddy, daddy I love you...", then she turned to the guests "Nana, I love you. Pebe, I love you. Gramma I love you. Pop Pop I love you. I love you..." It was so sweet and not at all the distraction some might make of it but a sweet little chorus of love that just added to the ambiance of the wedding itself. Dinner was simple as well, just plain good ol' cooking. We'd meant to stay for wedding cake but that was our first really cold night of the season and boy did it get cold! I was warm enough with my clothing but sandals had my toes frozen. The babies were wrapped up tight but little Bella's nose went red and she looked shivery in her dress. Taylor's daddy worried over her being too cold.
Katie and Matt and Taylor came down for the wedding and stayed overnight. I love how my children bring their pets to stay at Gramma's house, lol. Zoey, the beautiful black German Shepherd came along with her folks. Now she is a house puppy (all 90 pounds of her) but she stayed outdoors that night. She had her crate which was covered with a sleeping bag. We didn't have a worry at all with her here, except that Maddie was more desperate than ever for attention. Blossom was familiar with Zoey as they used to have the occasional play dates when they both lived in Athens.
Zoey is super smart. It took her no time Sunday morning to figure out how to open the doors, both the storm door and the house door. At one point Matt and Taylor and I were sitting in the living room. Katie had gone off to nap after being up since 5am with Miss Taylor who wanted to see all that was going on in this new place. Matt and I were watching Taylor drift off when we heard a tiptoe in the kitchen. It sounded just exactly like Katie who always walks softly. Matt looked at me and I looked at him. 'I thought Katie was lying down..." he said, and I said "So did I!" I got up to see what was going on and met Zoey tiptoeing around the freezer, lol. She'd managed to open both doors at the back entry. She nicely turned around and went out when told to, but I locked the door that time around.
I think, really, that the interior door hadn't shut as well as thought. In really cold weather, when the house is warm inside and it's cold outdoors, the air between the storm doors and the interior doors creates a sort of air pocket that prevents the doors shutting fully. I've noticed this in the past but I didn't think of it at all that morning.
Enough about the grand dog, Zoey. Let's talk about the star of the weekend, Taylor. Oh what a sweetie pie! She is the most pleasant baby. Her eyes are big and wide and she uses them! She loves to people watch and I noticed at one point that she looked hard at every single item on the wall in the living room, too. She watched people at the wedding and she watched John and I here at the house. She didn't fuss hard over anything. Even her hungry cry is more a gentle grousing than out and out crying. Her smile is ready, too. I was working in the kitchen and when I'd turn to look at her on Matt's lap, there she was looking at me, and she'd give me the biggest smile.
She has blond hair and blue eyes and while her hair is short and close to her head, it is thick and downy. I rubbed that little head a lot. I was amused that she knew just where her sweet spot for naps was on me. She'd twist and turn and soon she'd be facing me, her head nestled into the hollow of my shoulder. She'd reach up her little hand and gently rub my chin, lol. I tell you I relished those nap times and was more than happy to sit and just hold her while she slept. It was good medicine for me.
I did take pictures...but I used my phone. Guess who doesn't know how to send them to her computer? I am destined to have a world of memories and not one photo to back them up.
I was better end of last week...but I'm afraid cold and damp did their dirty work and lack of sleep Saturday night added to it. Kate and I stayed up far too late chatting away and I was up far too early (as was Taylor) Sunday morning. The cold came back with a horrid vengeance. I've spent all week getting back to where I was last Friday but doggone it, I wouldn't trade being over this cold for the time I had this past weekend and I mean that sincerely.
John poured me full of Pineapple juice Monday and Tuesday. And he insisted only one other thing he could think of could possibly cure me: Hot and Sour Soup. So we went out to eat Chinese Buffet. Not quite the picnic I had hoped we'd get out for, but it was a date. The Hot and Sour Soup had triple the usual amount of red pepper. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour or two out of the house. And a good time to pick up some more tissues.
Mama was an answer to the need to shop for clothing. Wednesday she brought in a half trash bag of new or very nearly new items from her own closet that she hadn't worn or which were too big for her. There was only one pair of pants but I was happy to receive them and delighted when they fit...another size smaller than I just bought a month or two ago. Mama and I went out to lunch in the town to the north of us that we like to go to now and then. There was more autumn color than we've had here so I'm glad we went. The day however, was too warm and muggy and spit rain at us now and then.
I felt pretty well done in after that little trip but I'm glad I went. Mama likes to stop at the grocery in that town. It is a rather nice grocery overall. I happen to have a loyalty card for the store, simply because John and I like to go up twice a year or so to shop there or we sometimes vacation in an area that has the same store, so it comes in handy to have the card. It paid off this week when I noted that a good name brand of turkey was $.57 a pound with a $25 purchase. My short shopping list happened to have pricey items on it (soda, juices) and that soon added up to the needed minimum purchase. I was proud to get that turkey. I'd planned to go to Aldi and get the same brand for $.99/pound which was a good price.
I've seen some pretty awesome prices on turkeys this year. That one I got was good but two of the neighboring towns have no name type turkeys for $.52 and $.29 per pound. The lowest price required a $50 minimum purchase but the other didn't have any required purchase amount at all. I don't recall the prices being so low in a good many years and how I have rued not having room in my freezers! I mean to do some heavy freezer cooking (using up naturally) over the coming month and see if I can't get a few of those turkeys into that space over the coming month if the prices remain as good.
I panicked over the weekend as I wrote in Planning Ahead, Starting Behind post. All of sudden it occurred to me that the real work ahead of me didn't necessarily include any of the unfinished projects (or new ones I'd hoped to start) but to simply get myself ready for the holiday ahead. I thought my calendar was fairly well filled but have added two engagements since I wrote that post, lol. 'Tis the season, right? It's amazing how just having a calendar page dedicated to the month of engagements and holidays and a few minor plans in place make it all seem do-able. And remembering, above all, One step at a time, first things first.
Writing the post helped me tremendously. It did really for all the panic attack tone of the thing. Because it reminded me to stop and think of what needed to be done FIRST, one step at a time. First I needed an idea of what all I had ahead of me. So I made out my list of each event. I didn't feel well enough to do, but I felt fine for planning. That worked out very well for me. And as I felt better, I began to work at my list, one step at a time.
I decided upon a menu for Thanksgiving, which was kept simple. For all that I might like to think we'll have something different and new and fresh, the truth is, John wants his usual traditional meal. So why go to the expense of trying to improve upon what he thinks is perfect as is? Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet potato with Marshmallow topping, Brussels Sprouts or Broccoli, cranberry sauce and gravy. Pumpkin Pie because it's the only time of year we eat it. And what did I need, truly need, to make this meal happen? The turkey. Period. I can make all the other items with ingredients on hand. With the turkey purchased I was officially done.
I knew Hanukkah was next, and while my finances won't stretch to little gift items I did find three or four games we might try and play. Good thing, too because I realized that my family will be here for our family holiday time during a couple of nights of Hanukkah. I've adjusted my list of needs for that holiday (buy more gelt)...I still need to make out menus for the time and all but it shall soon be attended to. That is, after all next, not now. Now is Thanksgiving. One thing at a time. One step at a time.
I like to get my Christmas cards done by Thanksgiving. I just knew I had some on hand but nowhere could I find them. We priced them at the drugstore the day we went out for Hot and Sour Soup and I was in deep shock at the price. Oh my. I couldn't afford cards and stamps too! We decided to wait and I'd look elsewhere. There were none at the grocery on Wednesday. Thursday morning I went into town for an estate sale (more about that in a little bit) and went into the Dollar General while I was out. 2 boxes of cards cost me $3 and change and they were lovely glittery cards. I bought my Christmas stamps at the post office and headed home. The cards were addressed and stamped and I'd signed them all before lunch that day. The stack John needs to sign as well is waiting upon him yet. As soon as he's done I can take them to the mail box. One more task knocked out.
I spent time working on three Christmas gifts online. It took forever, but well worth every minute I spent as I was essentially paying for shipping only on two gifts and had a 40% discount code on the third item. It was frustrating because Google came crashing while I was working on the projects. It ended up taking me two days. Yes, still worth it but not the easiest project.
But I do feel better. I have a quick list to go through tomorrow of things I want to get John for Christmas all of which must be ordered in the next day or so. I'm not concerned about those items arriving in time. They are not the sort of things to be out of stock. I have a mostly good plan for Hanukkah (add in one more day's activities and I've got that holiday covered). We've narrowed the family party day down to a single day and likely won't have but one set of overnight guests. John has convinced me to go for the holiday cinnamon roll breakfast and skip the fatty little sausages we normally have with them. It sounds a decent enough plan. As he pointed out it's not like I'm spending all my days being non-compliant and if I plan ahead for it I can balance things out over the week.
Now let's discuss that Estate sale. The house is next to the lot where the old Elementary school sits and is on the corner of Mama's street. I've known the yard of the house for years upon years, as the mother of the lady who lived there had the tiniest little white cottage in the back yard. It was just a small house, bed/bath/kitchen/snack bar/living room sort of set up but was always so pristine kept and so cottage-y that it appealed to me as a child and as an adult woman. The woman who lived in the cottage was one of the widow women that Granny picked up to go to church.
The daughter's house was much larger and really I had no idea how large until I walked into the house Thursday morning. It had a big beautiful terrace off the back of the house, nestled into a corner of the carport and the house itself and large picture windows. That appealed to me, too, being as we were the sort of folks who always had seating areas outdoors and used them.
What I hadn't realized, as I said, was the enormity of the house. The carport was added who knows when but was definitely not part of the original home. And though I couldn't see all the house, I was able to get a pretty good idea of it overall. We were to use the 'back door' which was four steps above that beautiful terraced area ( and the terrace was four steps above ground level). It was such a spacious area and covered with ivy, planted about with azalea and nandina and iris and such and shaded by huge old trees.
The back room was long and narrow. A huge brick fireplace at one end and a brick wall with shelves opposite the picture window. For all that brick it was not a dark room despite the cloudy day. It was built with enough windows to keep it from being gloomy. That was where they'd set up tables for the 'smalls' so I couldn't quite get a fix on how the room might have looked normally but it was probably a wonderful spot for a big family holiday meal in winter and a cozy place to be any other time.
You walked from there into the kitchen which was a pretty white and covered floor to wall with cabinets. I disliked the high bar that created a pass through from the other rooms and made the kitchen work area tiny, just barely big enough for one and a sure as heck fighting kitchen if two people were in it at once, lol. Of course, the sink looked over the street to the neighbors but the neighbor had always kept a lovely shade garden on that side of his home so it was no doubt a pleasant view.
You stepped from there into a big sunny dining room, passing a decent laundry with saloon type swinging half doors on the way. To the left was a square hallway of sorts with two bedrooms, and two mystery doors leading off it. The bedrooms were good sized rooms. One room was filled with upholstered wing chairs and rockers. Gracious but they were solid, heavy dried wood frame chairs. I'd have given eyeteeth to purchase two or three of those chairs. Hindered not just by my bank account, though but the lack of muscle and transportation to get them home, sigh. I really really want a truck of my own!
In that square hallway was a beautiful solid wood ladies writing desk with drawers and cubbies atop and a drawer underneath and a narrow apron that folded out into a substantial desk top. Ack and ack and all the above mentioned grievances: funds, muscle, transportation.
From the dining room we couldn't enter the rest of the house but I noted there was a study off the living room at the end of the house. The living room had a huge fireplace (I wonder if there was one in the study as well...I hope so!) and a large entryway open to the living room. There appeared to be another room at the carport end of the house, but it was dark and gloomy and hard to make out just what sort of space it was.
The house seemed, for all it's paneled living room and big family room addition to be a very old house. The size of the doors in the square hallway mid house was the indicator. They were shorter than modern doorways and the doors were real wood planks not fancy milled doors.
None of this might prove the least bit interesting to you but you can see what a huge house it was really...and as I was paying for my purchases the daughter told me that there were rooms upstairs as well! Well gracious! I saw the upstairs windows for the first time in my life as I was leaving the house.
I didn't buy much but I liked it all. A vintage Cosco step stool which will go in the booth I think, and a Nashco tray but not a tole painted one (I'd keep it had it been) . A large blue and white bowl which appears to be of no particular breed but I liked it and will keep it for myself and little rose teapot (oh what a weakness I have for rose painted china!). I used that this morning for my Saturday morning ritual cups of coffee having discovered my electric rose painted china coffee pot leaks about the heating element plug...I'm trying to discover how I can fix that. I am sure there is a sealant to be used. I also bought a rooster, a skinny 1950s-ish rooster that had been broken and carefully mended and held place of honor on that big brick mantel bookshelf. I've put the rooster on my little shelf at the stove. He seems the fatherly sort of a rooster and is at home with the fat hen and little yellow chicks.
Perhaps I'm just the nosy sort but I admittedly do love to wander through these estate sales and look at the belongings and imagine the folks lives and wonder how they celebrated with family and raised their children and all that sort of thing. I look at all the belongings they've accumulated and wonder what of it was gifts that they simply couldn't part with in life and what of it was just stuff. Several of the pieces of china and casseroles and such had the woman's name written on the bottom in China marker pencil. I knew that meant it had gone to a sick neighbor or a friend or family that experienced a death because that was what women did in that day and age. I imagined lovely sunny winter afternoons when the sun warmed the terrace and the first chill nights of spring or autumn and summer cook outs and parties that spilled onto the terrace. That was the sort of house it struck me, as a hospitable home, filled with family and friends. Truth or not? I can't tell you.
I'm still sort of fiddling around the edges of worry about insurance. For one thing, despite completely turning down any optional overtime, I think, with this check, we slip over the amount we told the company we'd make this year. I am hopeful this will not prove to be a huge hassle...My other concern is that I've yet to receive the 'renewal notice' that I was promised by letter would arrive on Nov 1. This week while watching news we noted that the company I have insurance with is 'debating cancelling all state exchange program policies at year's end.' Oh. Dear. That means starting anew with a new company. It boggles my mind even thinking of going through the whole process of seeking out policies all over again. And who will supply our state exchange? It doesn't bear thinking about overlong. At least they are still processing and paying my claims.
These afternoons go by so quickly these days with it getting dark about 5:30pm or so. I feel the day ends far too quickly. Now why? In summer I have to make myself quit work around 8pm but in these days when it gets dark early I feel the day is done about 6pm or so and I am hard pressed to keep doing any sort of labor, lol. Now I admit some of it is due to the lack of good task lighting. I haven't a fit light to sew by or do any sort of fine work near. And I am quite ready for bed about 9:30pm (thank you daylight savings time). On the other hand, I am waking quite early, sometimes as early as 5am and happily attend to household tasks until day ends some 12 odd hours later.
We've yet to have any really cold weather aside from that night of Ashley's wedding. We've had one frost to date too, odd for this late in November. Rain and clouds have been in plentiful supply and a sunny day is much coveted. Friday was sunny. Today started out sunny but has been cloudy since lunchtime. Weather is just unpredictable...the weather men with all their fancy equipment and models and such are proof enough of that!
Well, I have rambled on haven't I? I'm so glad you stopped by and shared coffee with me. These last few weeks are likely to be full of many things. I hope we make time to visit over them, just to catch our breath and feel sane once more. See you later!