Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My!
Oh my, I do hope I can keep my trigger happy finger off the SEND button and save this post for a day or two, lol. I've just snapped off the menu for next week and off it went! I didn't mean to do it but there you are. Thinking ahead and sent ahead. Ah well.
It's cold and I'm lonely, so I'm going to 'talk' back at you all for a little bit, commenting, answering, replying to last month's comments and questions.
My first money saving post of last month Pam commented on how cashing a check seems to give her mind license to spend. That's exactly how I feel, too, so when I was given a nice check for a Christmas gift, I put it straight away into savings. I seem to still be carrying around a little bit of the cash I allowed myself then...I am sure it's due entirely to the fact that I was feeling too bad to leave the house. So it's all safely tucked away and I've only just begun my list of things I want to buy for the house. I'm being super cautious because I want to have this money make a big bang for me, the way it did last year.
Sarah commented on our dual sheds. Yes, we have two. We overlooked one minor detail when we bought our home. We were so focused on the layout, the windows, the light and airy feel of it that we failed to notice part of the light and airy came from the lack of closets. We've just three, one in each bedroom and not another anywhere. When the kids were home, this proved problematic as they stored their own clothing in their closets and didn't want household stuff in to fight with and who can blame them? John had a shed for tools and such that were needed to maintain cars and home. So John bought a second shed for me to use to store Christmas stuff and excess decorative items (which has helped furnish my booth at the flea market) and garden tools and spare bits of furniture we don't want to get rid of but don't want to use in the house at the moment. It's been a blessing having that shed, as it also stored three different sets of belongings for moving children and friends, too. And now it stores even more as we turned the guest bedroom closet into a pantry and put our small freezer in that closet as well. The third bedroom became John's music room the day the boys moved out for good. That closet has some of his personal belongings and some of the necessary stuff for grandbaby visits in it.
Now John is talking about getting a third shed and I understand his reason but not sure I really want a third shed in the yard. I told him that just seems to smack of hoarding when you need three, lol...
During the first coffee chat post for the month I felt compelled to share my blessings in the Christmas season. I miss those days when we gave away a basket of food. It used to be distributed by the Department of Family and Children Services, then they stopped. They said that the churches were doing things for the local people. Well not that we could find. Then we donated food items to a food bank but government regulations now insist they be given gift cards for grocery store or money. So now I donate a percentage of our grocery funds to a food bank. I believe that is why God helps me stretch my groceries so very far every month.
In my Shabat Thoughts post I related how we were in a state of expecting...Lisa, Iris your offer of prayer is much appreciated. We covet the prayer agreement of others about a home church for us.
Sarah, we plan to continue our observation of the three feasts that God commands us to keep. We are going to continue our Shabat evenings and observing the Sabbath as a day of rest in our homes. We will occasionally attend synagogue but we are looking for a church that incorporates a full faith approach. Should every Christian be keeping the feasts? I believe that we should based upon what I read in the New Testament. We see Christ observing the main feasts. He died following the Passover feast which he and his disciples took together! That was what spurred me to explore the Jewish faith. There are many pastors who will tell you that we do not need to observe those feasts. I asked myself "What did Jesus do?" Obviously the answer was right before my eyes: he observed the feasts! He kept Shabat.
I can't tell you that we have anything down pat, observe feasts perfectly, or even observe Shabat in the right ways but we TRY and as we learn more we do more, always careful to ask God if we are doing the right thing. It's amazing how often we'll find the answer to questions if we only ask Him to send us those answers.
Rebecca, the longest, loneliest most lost feeling year of my life was that time we spent not going to synagogue or church! The synagogue we've been attending was a real blessing for us, a soft landing so to speak that clarified for us what we feel we need in a church home, while giving us warmth and kindness and sustenance to keep going.
Kathy, Methodist churches are as different from one another as Baptist or Pentecostal or Synagogues. I am sorry that you are struggling so in your church with your husband. Would he be interested in visiting other Methodist churches? Is he aware of how you feel? I do know how precious it is to attend church with your spouse. For the first years of our marriage, I was all on my own. John didn't start attending with me until Katie was 10 and then he was sporadic. But he changed! Oh prayer is a wonderful thing, lol. I am fortunate that we often are on the same page in our thoughts. I could not have enjoyed this journey half so much had he not been with me. If changing churches is out of the question, what about a change of Sunday school class or a prayer study group? I shall certainly pray for you!
Lisalyn, how nice to hear from you once more! You are perfectly right...God isn't going to have a division of denominations when we arrive in heaven. The gates will open and there we all shall be, living happily together in that heavenly realm, doing nothing but what we were meant to do all along, worshiping HIM! And yes, you too shall go on my prayer list.
I will share this. We've heard many a sermon about church hoppers and such. Gracious! I've been hearing them since I was a child in the Primitive Baptist church...I was accused, at one point, by a pastor of chasing after plush covered pews and stained glass windows when I attended another church with my family on the Sundays our own church didn't meet...The truth is that while a church isn't meant to make us 'happy' it is meant to guide, direct, feed (spiritually), and inspire us. It's not always the pastor's fault either that we aren't getting any of those things. First and foremost we must have a genuine relationship with God, our Savior and the Holy Spirit. We can't be waterbugs and skim along the surface of some shallow bit of water and then complain if the puddle starts to dry up. There's a reason why we're urged to cast our nets into the deep. However, I do believe strongly that we are meant to GROW and I haven't had a church that fit me well for all my growing any more than I've found a pair of shoes or pants that fit me after I grew either, no matter how comfortable they were once upon a time.
I caution however, that you make certain it is because you've outgrown your church that you leave it and not because you got offended over a message preached, or a slight of some sort, or because you gave up and got tired of waiting for God to show up when you didn't yourself. And I'm not casting stones at any of you who say you're needing a change. I'm reminding myself of who I was once upon a time and why I gave up a few churches I once attended...
On the mid month meal plan Rhonda commented about Mama's Tortilla Tower. I answered her privately but wanted to answer publicly here as others might have wondered. Mama makes these little cornmeal cakes on a hot griddle that are thin and moist and lacy around the edges. I've never quite mastered this recipe of hers despite repeatedly making them under her watchful eye. I think I fail in two areas: my batter is too thick and my pan not hot enough. However, corn tortillas would work okay, but aren't the same as what Mama makes and in this particular dish it's the memory of how hers was that I want. Mama's cornmeal cakes were not as thin as tortillas, nor were they as thick as pancakes. It's finding that just right thickness that is tricky! Mind you it tastes GOOD whether you use corn tortillas or make thick pancakes. Either way it's really a matter of getting the proportion of wet and dry ingredients right, so that it is a casserole type dish and not a soupy mess.
Oh that sherry in the kidney beans and the cauliflower au gratin are recipes I found while reading books, lol. The Kidney bean dish was from one of Gladys Tabor's books. The Cauliflower Au Gratin from an Elizabeth Goudge book, The Rosemary Tree. I picked up both and used in my own cooking and found them tasty enough to keep right on having.
Sarah, not one cake, nor a cookie got baked for our holiday...nor did I buy seasonal candy. Katie promised to bring cookies and she did, just about enough to give us all two apiece the day they visited and then they were done, lol.
And the vintage Valentines sound lovely! They would be something I'd love to see. I had thought to decorate for holidays in my booth but not sure if I have time, energy or money to do so. I did do it up a bit for fall but not so much for Christmas (due to being sidelined there for a bit). I settled for trying to set up theme type shelves today. All the blue items together, all the dishes featuring roses together, etc. It looked rather nice when I left it today. Hope it generates a little interest.
I apologize now for the whiny meal plan post and thank those of you who commented despite that. Stephanie...Hand slap to forehead, why, WHY didn't I think to use my crock pot? Habit I suppose, too caught up in my original plan, too hurt, too much over the counter pain relievers, lack of sleep, lol...I could give you a plethora of reasons all of which resulted in fuzzy headed thinking. And girl, if you have a blog somewhere let me know because I looked and was disappointed not to find one in Blogger!
Manuela, Yes, air conditioning that week indeed! And then turning the heater on again right behind that little warm spell. Georgia is most certainly C-R-A-Z-Y where weather is concerned. Not unlike this week. It was so humid one day this week we opened the windows though the outdoors temperature was only 50F. It didn't feel like 50! Now we're cold and getting colder and then we're right back to what will likely require the AC coming on again.
Angela, I hope you survived moving at Christmastime. Bless you, that is a tough time to deal with a big change such as that. My own brain boggles at the idea of it but you know I DID do it 17 years ago when we moved here. It was Dec.19. We still didn't have running water, left the big kids at home while we drove to Pensacola to pick up our eldest son from Navy camp, came home to running water and had a big party the next day, lol. Yes, there was a time I was a super woman...I even worked full time through all that!
Lisalyn, let me know when you're blogging once more, please. As of today, I feel somewhat better. Not in pain so much as discomfort at times due to tense muscles, but I am hoping to remedy that by returning to the use of Calcium supplements. Prayer welcome!
When I posted about my back pain in this Year of Savings post I was blessed by you all being so sympathetic. It hurt about as goshawfully bad as anything I can ever recall hurting and it IS better, not gone but better. I am in complete sympathy with those of you who've been through it or who are dealing with it on a daily basis!
The next menu plan proved that several of us are thinking Pantry/Freezer Challenges are in order! Frugal minds obviously think alike, lol.
Stephanie the sour cherries in the pot roast are excellent. I have subbed craisins and dried cranberries as well with equally good results. I use finely diced carrots and onions, the fruit and a touch of minced garlic, broth and sometimes a bit of grape juice (with a tablespoon of vinegar) or wine and cook in the crockpot. The original recipe calls for short ribs. I had roast and it was absolutely wonderful.
I thank all of you for your expressions of sympathy over my Trudy girl. I assure you she will be one of the more memorable dogs I've been privileged to call mine in this lifetime and she only reinforced for me what is good about having a dog. Love cats, think they make a home cozy as can be, but I am at heart, a dog person and always shall be.
Finally on my final post for the year, the total of my year of savings, I want to thank Breahn R. for commenting. I'm so glad that you took the time to do so this time. I know it's not always possible for readers to take time to comment but it means a great deal when you do!
And lastly Sarah commented about the lack of wrapping paper. I've pretty much made up my mind to do a non-traditional, pretty wrapping paper that is all occasion appropriate. I do like the idea of brown kraft paper. Years ago I used brown paper bags from the grocery, turned inside out and we'd embellish with pain or stamps. In fact, we used the root end of a cut stalk of celery to embellish one such sheet of paper with Roses for a recipient whose name was Rose. The elderly woman was so tickled over our pretty handmade paper that she snatched it up and left the very nice gift behind, so that she could show off the paper to her neighbor, lol.
I also like tissue paper wrapped packages (such a nice crisp sound when torn open!). I've learned my lesson about holiday themed papers however. I had Chanukah wrap (and we don't even know anyone to gift to on Chanukah!), Valentine's themed wrap, birthday wrap, anniversary wrap...Such a waste. I will be looking at my options carefully this year and you can bet the wrapping paper I buy will be lovely. The package I liked best under my tree was a paper that was foil with bright green, dark green, hot pink and red designs on a silver background. It LOOKED Christmas-y under the tree and was just a standard paper I'd bought from some school sale.
Well ladies I'm all done for tonight. Thank you all so much reading, thank you muchly for commenting!