Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My!
Hard to believe another month is at an end. That's six of them gone already. I had bigger plans than I got around to this past month but I stayed busy enough just the same.
Meal and Job Plans: June 1- 6 It was so nice to be welcomed back home after our vacation. I have a list of things I mean to write about that I learned while on vacation, but haven't quite gotten caught up with myself yet. I'll be posting a few of those this month.
Rhonda thanked me also for mentioning how much we like the Turkey bacon from Aldi. I buy the Fit and Active brand in the refrigerator case. I like it better than any other brand of turkey bacon we've tried.
June 8-14 Hmmm... I seemed to have lost a day between the last meal post and this one. No wonder the days seemed to go by more quickly than usual, lol. Melanie commented on how organized I am...and I am. It's all the fault of my memory which is prone to forget where very important things are stored. So I decided to take seriously the old adage of 'A place for everything and everything in its place' which I apply to just about all areas of my life.
Sarah asked about my half.com and Ebay seller's name: hawksridge2 is the seller name and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I love that rocker in it's new spot on the back porch. It's a wonderful place to sit in the very early morning hours for Bible study or contemplation.
Jill, I would appreciate it if you would contact me at that email. I would like to discuss the Victoria magazines with you.
Dale, We get a lot of produce in Spring from Florida, but about end of May the local stuff starts coming in to the farmer's market and stores and vegetable stands. I love that we get such a long season for many items of fresh produce, but I find lately I'm nostalgic for 'put-up' foods like Mama and Granny used to do, to eat in winter months.
June 15-21 Pam you have certainly had a busy June as well. I'll just bet you're glad to have the workmen go home once and for all. Our late Spring and 1st week of summer have been very mild here without too much rain in our area.
Sarah, I have baskets in my deep freeze. I lose some minor amount of room but it's so much easier to reach in and haul out a basket to get to the next basket than it is to shift a cascading lot of frozen foods about. I have a basket for beef, one for poultry, two for frozen veg, one for frozen prepared entrees, one for fruits. I do fit the odd item in and around baskets but for the most part it's organized and easy to get to. I need to do the same in the little freezer in the back. I generally keep dairy, chocolate chips, broth and overflow of fruit in that freezer. It's a huge help to keep it fairly well organized and makes an inventory rather easy.
Karla, I so remember those days of working outside the home and longing to do so much in my home, but having no energy for it. I certainly don't have any trouble at all staying busy at home!
My Frugal Week: June 6 post This was the post where I talked about the balance side to savings was good living and reinstated the Living Well posts. I'm so happy I did! It really has helped me feel happy with my savings posts once more. I noted that a couple of you were afraid I'd discontinue them. No...Although some weeks I feel I've done nothing much and certainly nothing big and worth mentioning. I'll keep on because someone needs that added inspiration or is just starting out trying to get their money lives in order and needs the help. I think that's one of the reasons God taught me all those years how to make do and do without, lol. I did learn to balance my lack of money with free fun and ways to enhance my life at that time, too. Lessons He taught me really ought to be passed on, don't you think?
Lorita I do enjoy the view from my back porch. Even though I am somewhat limited in views when I sit in the rocker, I can still feel the breeze and hear the birds and catch the sunrise if I don't get too absorbed in Bible study to notice.
Pam, I secretly always wanted to be a farmer's wife. I've had to settle for being farmers' grand daughter instead, lol. John is prone to point out that they sell vegetables and fruit and meats in the grocery...and that's what you get with a city boy. We too are looking to fix our home to suit us in the coming 20 or so years, suited to both now and elder years. Having worked in a nursing home and medical fields, and following my run in with a drunk driver, I have a good idea of what is user friendly for those with limited mobility or seniors.
Louise, John has sharpened mower blades in the past but the quality of metal on the ones he's been buying simply made it not worth his time. Now he's found a resource for a professional grade metal blade that is actually no more in cost than the retail quality ones he'd been getting. He's already mentioned that he will likely be sharpening these new blades.
Sarah, I have good memories of mountain vacations. My mom and dad went up twice a year. John grew up around beaches and canals in Florida and water is just a necessary element as far as he's concerned. I expect we'll go to the beach later this year...My husband has to have his water fix!
I am looking for summer drink recipes (non-alcoholic) because I drink so much water in summer months that I get rather floaty by day's end. So if I can supplement with juices or teas it's a help to keep from diluting my mineral levels too much.
Isn't giving just the best thing? John and I have been practicing that for several years now and to give someone something we no longer need that is just what they need gives us such a nice feeling. It's equally as amazing how often God delivers something we need or want just as we need it.
June 14-21 Sarah complimented me on the bedroom. This bedroom, lol...For more years than I can count I've wanted a blue bedroom. Granny had a lovely blue spread and curtains in her room at one time and I admired it greatly. John's dad and his wife had a blue bedroom, too and I just longed to go stay with them and be a guest in that room. Last autumn as I was playing about on Facebook one of the decorating pages I like posted a photo of a bedroom done in blue and my heart leapt. I asked myself, "Why have I never given myself a blue bedroom?" I found the spread and shams on clearance at Target online. And of course the shower curtains turned drapes were from the Dollar store. I feel very pleased with it overall and smile each time I walk into the room.
Thawing meat via conduction is easy... and you don't need cast iron. Any type of metal pan or pot will do. I turn it upside down and lay the meat on the bottom. The metal brings itself to room temperature despite the frozen meat sitting upon it and thaws the meat more quickly.
Sarah I chuckle about keeping cool without AC. I lived in homes where we could neither open windows nor afford to run the AC. In one, we found the best bet was to spend 5 days a week at a pool that was fed by an artesian spring. After soaking in that cold cold water all afternoon, we seldom missed the AC but those 2 days a week when we couldn't go to the pool it was misery.
John and I were fortunate to rent a home with windows that did open. He purchased screens and we lived with open windows 5 days a week. On Friday evenings we shut the windows and ran the AC all weekend long, cutting it off Monday morning. It was do-able but not pleasant and tempers tended to flare a good bit during the week. We found the cost far too high to run AC all week long.
When we moved here, in the middle of what was once a field with no shade trees, NOT having AC wasn't the option. We were so surprised to find we could afford to cool our home all week long, 7 days a week for two MONTHS compared to what it cost to run two window units on weekends for one month at the old house. We've stuck it out twice when the AC went out but we made up our minds last time that going to a hotel was a better option than losing sleep if it ever happens again.
Susie, for all that I PLAN meals this time of year, if I've been super busy and gotten hot and sweaty, the last thing I want to do is stand over the stove and heat up the house. Meals are truly a challenge this time of year, but I persevere and try to find ways to keep cool. When I know we've an especially hot string of days ahead I'll alter the menu, get up and cook really early and reheat as needed.
June 21-28 Angela, Years ago I wrote just such an article on my Xanga blog, about how being debt free is more than just not owing money. It's a good idea to write about it once more because I have new followers here who might not be aware of the benefits. Thanks for the good idea!
Thank you also for the compliments. I mentioned to a friend long ago that I really wanted to live a more creative life. Well creating is hard work and there is nothing more creative than living frugally and figuring out how to live well on a budget.
Sarah, those front porch and back yard living comments of yours struck a chord! I have vintage magazines that promote the idea of using porch and yard as the 'air conditioned' portions for summer. Well, we did pretty much the same at Granny's. She had a lovely little patio under oak trees where we spent many and many a hot summer day with tall glasses of koolaid or iced tea, with a handheld fan to create a breeze and knock away the gnats at the same time.
My front porch has inset steps. It takes up about half the usable floor space and leaves us with two narrow sections on either side that are not wide enough for seating or anything. John wants to 'undo' the inset steps, replace with boards that run the width of the porch, take down the railing that divides those two sections from the steps and put a set of concrete steps up to the porch itself, since we've found the wooden steps rot in that area more quickly that at the back for some reason. I will appreciate having more room to put seating. I expect we'll have this work done early next Spring when it starts to warm up, unless we can do it this fall.
Afternoon Refresher June 17 Dear Jill, lol, I too find other bloggers oddly fascinating at times with no real reason to find them so but I do. I take that as the ultimate compliment. I suspect when we find blogs that do draw us in we're finding a friend of sorts through kinship of thought and mind. I loved being a parent but I am learning to embrace my empty nest. Your comment about 'sitting around eating bonbons' is hilarious only because that is a pet phrase John and I use in phone conversations and my dear Virginia began her own blog, The Bonbon Club, when she first married Bryan and became an army wife after I told her why it was our pet phrase. I stay busy in my home for the most part, whether I'm doing sit down work or physical labor. I had to set limits so that I didn't work continually from sun up until sundown. It used to just irk me no end to have a working woman say "Oh are still just at home? It must be nice to do nothing all day..." Ack! John started making calls to me in front of a few of those former co-workers after I became a stay at home wife. "You got your feet up eating bonbons again?" he'd ask, lol. Now and then after a really hard day I'll text him, "Bonbon supply all gone."
Thank you for your blessings. We happily accept them and pray that you and yours will also be blessed.
Kathy: I suspect a great deal of my disappointment these days is based as much on my menopausal state as it is anything. I do feel much better, often better than I have since age 30 but then I hit these snafus and I get really impatient feeling I'm backsliding. I daresay to someone else the trek to the creek and back would be nothing, but it was a big deal to me and I celebrated it then. It's been good incentive, too. When I'm tempted, just tempted, to take it a little easier, I remind myself how much stronger I am and push a little harder. It's good for me as long as I don't over do it. I'm learning.
You are perfectly right that this too is a season...and I do find it more joyful than not. I am sorry to say that in my effort to 'be real' and not just the persona I created with Penny Ann Poundwise, I sometimes forget to share the real joys in my life instead of just the less happy sides. Balance, balance, balance. I'm always struggling for balance!
Sarah, John has not played for a congregation regularly in a couple of years now, not since we took the sabbatical from the small synagogue we were attending. He was asked to step down on the 70th day of that sabbatical, the day before we were to return. I can't go into full details because it's not all my story to tell, but I did share that we'd gotten an unexpected answer to our prayers way back then...and we've come to terms with it. We attended a nice medium sized synagogue for about a year but this Spring we were listening to our Rabbi speak a particularly good lesson and a man cried out to God during the service. It was most obvious that wasn't 'done' in that particular place, but something in John and I just rose up. We've missed hearing people cry out, seeing them go to the altar, watching individuals give their lives over to Christ. We visited a mega Baptist church that has a great worship team and a pastor who has a powerful sermon each week. It's feeding us well for now and we're grateful for that.
Lisalynn, you aren't really behind on Katie. I've just skipped mentioning her personal life. Katie's had a rough three years. She and her husband, whom we'd known since Katie started high school, divorced after being separated for nearly 2 years. Katie had a hard time giving up on her marriage and it was hard for us too, but we believe God has good things in store for her. She met a young man after her husband filed for divorce. After a year and half together he's asked her to marry him. I can't/won't say more in a public forum but suffice it to say that my youngest has faced trials at a very tender age and it has strained her terribly but strengthened her, too.
Sarah, you are so full of thoughts and I enjoy them all. I used to read books to escape. Perhaps I read less now because there is less to hide from? But like you, I enjoyed the experiences of others via reading and so I am planning my return to being a bookish sort.
My granny was a very physically fit woman. When my cousins moved next door to her, Vance had a head full of silver hair and was slight built. He was in his early 50s at the time and people often mistook him for Granny who was mid 80's simply because they knew she was that capable of physically working at hard tasks. I don't guess anyone will ever mistake me for someone that much younger, lol, but they'll perhaps not think I'm 80 when I'm only mid-50's either.
I think it's a wonderful thing the way God made our bodies and I wonder how much our diets and the 'labor' saving devices have changed us? Not that it's a horrid thing. There is a booming generation of seniors as statistics will prove. I just wish to age gracefully and I mean that sincerely and in every sense.
I too miss pondering out loud with another about my thoughts on many things. John is a good one to listen and talk with but not always available. I miss Granny for that, too. We spoke deeply and honestly about many things. I think most people are quite content to be surface dwellers, skimming along like water bugs and never wanting or wondering what is below the surface where there is another world entirely. Captive audiences are wonderful things, lol.
Jeremy (?) I was telling John about the old restaurant that served meals family style in Dahlonegha though I don't recall ever eating there. I was so pleased to pass the mound of stones where the Indian princess was buried between Suches and Dahlonegha as well. That spot fed my romantic imagination as a child and I felt such a thrill to find the pile of rocks was still there.
We stayed in a private cabin in an area that was gated. It appeared to be mostly privately owned places with some rentals. That seems to be the trend at present. We did drive over to Vogel State Park and I told John about staying in those cabins when I was growing up as well. It's as nice as ever there. We passed Winfield Scott park on the back side of the lake and I recalled a week spent camping out with my first husband in the primitive campgrounds. It rained every day...but it was pretty awesome. It was nice to get away and to travel those familiar roadways once more.
Shabat Thoughts: June 22 Rebecca pointed out that my "Just Today" was right out of Matthew 6:34..and so it was!
Dale, I have a hard time staying in the moment, too. I do think ahead and plan ahead and worry ahead. But that little phrase has stayed with me and I start out each morning saying "What do I need to do TODAY? Just today?"
JoAnn, thank you. No higher compliment can be said to me than, "Sometimes I feel you are speaking right to me." For all I know, you were just who God knew needed to hear what He'd had to say.
Now then, Thank You to ALL for the congratulations on my new grandson. I have a new granddaughter as well. She arrived in the wee a.m. hours of Monday morning. I'll tell you all about her here shortly in an Afternoon Refresher...