Showing posts from 2016

Challenge 1 for January 2017: Use It Up

photocredit: crazykouponlady

Typically come January I issue myself a pantry/freezer challenge to try to offset the costs of the holidays.  This year, I issued a challenge to myself during the holidays to only purchase what we absolutely needed or were out of and so there was my pantry/freezer challenge, because that was carrying us through the holidays.

I've just been freshening up several areas of our home.  Not doing a major toss out but simply looking into cabinets and drawers and pantry and freezer and cabinets and fridge and noting that there are a number of things we aren't using or haven't quite finished.  I won't throw away something unless it's absolutely useless or spoiled.  We've already spent the money on these things.

Frugal Friday: Good bye, Sweet '16

Saturday:  We ran the AC on some this evening.  I should have opened windows, as I knew it was going to be warmer.  We will definitely be doing that tomorrow!  I am not anxious to watch next electric bill rise just because I was careless in minding the weather.

Our meal today was simple and frugal.  Leftover spaghetti meat sauce and a salad.  I have enough leftover for a single entrée for one of the days John is working.

I failed to plan ahead for Channukah though I'd meant to do so.  Well, I wasn't completely unprepared.  We had gelt and I had a dreidel so we played that and enjoyed it.  I will say that John's left handed spin is far better than my right handed one.  It was my out and out refusal to give up all my gelt that left me with any at all, lol. 

It was a lovely Christmas Eve.  I had my books to read, we watched our favorite A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims and several other Christmas films.

I was inspired to look up one of the authors I'd been reading an…

This Week In My Home: New Year!!

This week in my home....
Pardon me while I feel nostalgic for what winter can look like...We're expecting temperatures in the high 70's mid-week...
...We are celebrating the New Year in our usual understated fashion.  In fact, as I type this it's New Year's Eve evening and our plans include going to bed about our usual time. This is typical of us.  We don't drink much and we certainly have no desire to be on the roads with those who might not know when enough is too much already.   Which reminds me of a funny conversation I had with my doctor during the intake process when I was getting set up with him.  He commented on my being hit by a drunk driver that I shouldn't be on the roadways during the hours they drink.  I looked at him and said "Oh okay...just so you know it was 8am in the morning on a weekday."  He looked at me and laughed and said "In other words let's just stay home!" lol We've had a pleasant last day of the year and I&…

Coffee Chat: Goodbye Sweet '16

Good morning dears.  Come on in and let's have one more chat this year.  I've been busy trying to refresh my home once more.  Well I pretty much finished two days ago.  It took me far less time than I imagined it might.  That's not to say there's nothing to be done.  I expect should I go room by room I could quickly fill my To Do list full of things to organize, purge or just plain clean.  I know this is true because I LIVE in my home.  But I felt I'd gotten a pretty good refreshing done to the house early this week and I have felt restive once more.  I even managed to go out yesterday afternoon and prune the roses and that one lantana I've tried hard to kill that simply won't die

The trouble with the lantana is that it's one of those very old fashioned sort that grows tall and huge around.  And it hangs over the edge of the flower bed and slaps John viciously when he's mowing.  It has prickly sort of branches and they hurt, as I know too well from…

Pins I Actually Tried in 2016

I was just trolling around Pinterest (and yes, I do that almost daily).  I saw a pin and thought, "Oh yes!  I tried that and it worked beautifully.  Which made me wonder what else I did in 2016 that worked well and saved us money or time or better organized us?  Well here are a few highlights.

These first pictures are not mine.  I picked them from Pinterest.  I can only credit the second photo and that goes to Sunny Simple Life

Number 1: 
 Storing lemons and limes in jars of water in the fridge.  I even went so far as to just store the fruit in a jar without water in the fridge.  I can say honestly that MONTHS later I have lemons and limes.  I will also share that the limes are a little bitter along about now but we've had them in the fridge for going on five months.  I can say truthfully that this method keeps them fresh and usable for a lot longer than letting them sit in the open on counter or on a fridge shelf.

This Week In My Home: Holidays!

This week in my home:

...I am already starting to feel the pull of the New Year/fresh frugal year though we've just lit the first Chanukah candle and the sun is barely setting upon Christmas Eve...Normally I'd post this on Sunday but it's to be Christmas and I don't want to invade your homes on that day and honestly, I don't want you all invading mine.  I hope to hear from the children, but I'm going to enjoy my day with my husband.   We're going out to church, a little early.  We're coming home to a special meal.  I feel such a deep peace and thankfulness this year.  But the New Year does tug...  I guess it's just habit after all these years. 

I generally do a 'review' of sorts at the end of a holiday season and write out what worked and what didn't.  It's a handy guideline to look back over the years.  I've been doing this consistently since 2012 and I can say honestly that reading back through these pages before the holidays …

Frugal Friday: Merrily To Christmas Day

Saturday:    Reading through old blog posts I stumbled upon a recipe I'd apparently made but once, though my family raved over it at the time.  I've all the ingredients and then some on hand so I shall make it again this week, I think. 

We were gone most all day yesterday so no meal prep was done for Shabat.  I had to cook today which is not something I care to do.  I cooked half a pound of ground meat shaped into slider type patties to use for our supper tonight.  These served in leftover rolls I'd frozen last week after the Christmas and Family day. 

I cooked the other half pound of meat and made Cheeseburger Mac as I'd planned on my menu last week.  There's enough leftover to serve two servings with generous salad and a second side vegetable or one very hearty serving for one. 

We stumbled upon the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol this evening.  Lovely thing.  "There's more of gravy than the grave in you!"  is one of my most favorite…

Food for Thought in 2017

There's a skit I remember seeing in my childhood years.  I want to say it was performed by a well known comedian whose face/name escape me at the moment.    It involved a sad sack going into a restaurant and ordering two cups of hot water.  Into one,  he dumped a dollop or two of ketchup from the bottle on the table, then added some salt and pepper and stirred it.  Then from his coat pocket came a used tea bag which was dunked in the other cup.  The hot water was free...and so was the 'soup and tea' that made up the meal...which he enjoyed very well until the restaurant staff caught on to his ruse.

There have been slim days in the food budget in the long ago past.  There have been sticky weeks here and there since then, but for the most part we've been blessed with food and enough money to purchase more when it was needed.  I say humbly that God often inspires me to stretch foods beyond what I dream they will go.  I've been very blessed in this area.

I've been…

Coffee Chat: Cusp of Christmas

Come in, come in and have a seat.  I'll have a cup of coffee in your hand in a moment.  It's plenty damp and cool here!  Not so cold as up north perhaps but it's cool enough to make a wool coat feel good.
I've just finished watching the nicest short film, 'Winter Thaw'.  I found it on the BYU channel and it is the story of a cobbler who is estranged from his son.  He is told by his wife in a dream that He will visit him and all he must do is ask him in.    It is well worth seeing for those of you who access to the channel or who might find it on Netflix.  I wept at parts of this short film.  The scene which most made me sob was where the Cobbler is preparing for his coming visitor and is cleaning up his home and preparing a meal and setting the table.  I wept at the idea of welcoming The Lord into my home by making such preparations.  I wept because I often feel, on a Friday as I am cleaning the house for Shabat and preparing foods for the Sabbath day, a sense…

Working Out Our 2017 Budget

Debbie in KS asked me a few weeks ago if I'd  share how I go about determining our annual budget.  Really it is not that difficult to do.

I start by determining what we might expect for income.  Typically I'd use the last check stub and work with the net income amount on that but this coming year, I know that John will be working fewer holidays and that our income likely will drop.  I was conservative in my figures this year.  The annual budget sheet is just a roadmap anyway.  I'll take it month by month until the first quarter passes and then I'll have a better idea of exactly what our income is likely to be for the year.

So I start with our net income.  That is the first figure.  I look at the GROSS income figure and determine about what we will be paying in tithes.  That is always our first check each pay period and I make sure to plan for it.  God is much better at providing  for us on our income when we tithe than when we try to manage it all.

We have only a few f…

Mini Boot Camp Crash Course

Since I had no big projects planned early this month, I wanted to make this month count mini boot camp came to mind.  I didn't read books this time but mostly trolled about Pinterest looking for new to me ideas, good reminders, etc. 

This go round I made an executive decision to STOP reading all those silly bulleted savings posts that repeat and repeat and repeat the need to stop doing the very things I never do anyway.  I also vowed  to stop reading posts like "Seven Habits of the Very Frugal" or "Things You Shouldn't Buy if You're Really Frugal".  And I promise I will try not to waste your time writing such things!

Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving. ~ Warren Buffett

Here's some of what I came up with, in no particular order, with random quotes scattered here and there.

This Week In My Home: Christmas Cheer

This week in my home...
Photos herein are of this year's decorations.  I've tried and tried to get up a post about this year's décor with the worst luck loading pictures up here on the blog.  So I've sprinkled these throughout this post.  I hope you enjoy!

...John and I stayed in pajamas all the day Saturday and it was lovely.  He'd noted the presents under the tree Friday.  "Whose are those?" he asked.  "Yours, of course," I'd answered.  Well he wanted to open them Saturday morning and I had no troubles with that.  After all, I'd had several of my gifts for weeks now and have worn or used them happily.  It bothers me not at all that there are no gifts under the tree for Christmas morning. 
I haven't made huge big plans for the coming week. Partly because there was a dinner to attend today after church at Mama's and then John off almost all the week.  It doesn't pay to make big plans when John is off, lol.  He does tend to be…

Frugal Friday: A Little Nearer Christmas Day

Saturday:  How did I save money today?  I had a house full of family visiting and it might seem I didn't save anything at all, but let's look at just what I did do:

 I'd gotten up in the middle of the night to put a light quilt over Josh so he'd have cover enough. It was cold when we got up, even with the heat pump running.   I turned on the propane heater, making sure to warn Josh that it was hot and not to touch.  Then I put my vintage coffee pot on the back burner of the stove with plenty of water in it.

Put potatoes to bake in the oven with the roast beef.

We used disposable dishes and cups today.  Not a savings perhaps on any one save myself, but it meant I could relax and enjoy my company, which was John's intention when he urged me to purchase them.

It was so sunny and bright we didn't even need lights indoors today.

We were having a big dinner so a light breakfast was had by all. Normally John and I just have a bagel with cream cheese on Saturday and th…

Coffee Chat: Christmas Cheer

Deck the halls with bows of holly....Fa la la la la la la la la la la!  Oh hello...Do come on in and let's have a nice cup of cocoa...How does that sound?  With a candy cane to stir about in it? Hmmm?

I was sitting here on Saturday, watching John's face all lit up like a child's,  listening to the squeals of excitement from this one and that and I could barely open my own gifts I was so enjoying watching everyone else.  For one fleeting moment, I thought "Oh!  After this it's all over..."  But you know it isn't all over at all.  Why it's only just barely begun well.  And I decided then and there I'd find something to enjoy about each and every day until Christmas Day comes and goes.

So this week I've been all about enjoying the holiday.  Sunday I enjoyed the day with a special viewing of Anne of Avonlea on PBS.  I do love Anne Shirley and her romantic kindred spirit.  I have been blessed to find that same feeling of kindred souls with my Kati…

Postal Order

At the post office today I learned quite a bit of new information and I thought I'd pass it on to you all, because I didn't know any of what I was told today and apparently neither does every postmaster/mistress either.  We stopped by another post office Friday on our way to Macon and this lady never mentioned any of this information to me at all.

First, if you are mailing fragile or perishable items you must say so via a computer prompt at the pay kiosk.  The post offices no longer are supposed to mark contents as fragile (the lady on Friday DID).  It is right on the postage label that prints and this is a prompt to the service to handle that piece of mail differently than they might others.  Anything perishable or liquid is going to cost more to mail than other objects in the same packaging.  This is because they must be handled differently and while they do not necessarily require special packaging you'll pay extra for that specialized care. 

This Week In My Home: Holidays Ahead

This week in my home....
                                                  Another tree from a past Christmas...

We have just had our family gathering.   It was Bess' idea to have a once a quarter family day here at our home since it's about halfway between Katie and Sam.  This time we shared Christmas with them.  Early yes, but I put up the tree on Thanksgiving week as a rule anyway, so no hardship to have Christmas early.  I made a single batch of a family favorite cookie, we had a nice meal, we opened presents and enjoyed one another. 

We went to Bass Pro to meet up with Bess and Sam and watched Josh run with excitement all the way to the entry to Santa's chair...and there he hung back, suddenly shy, crying as usual when placed upon his lap.  But oh the joy as he watched the train run through snowy mountains and tunnels at the train table, played with Lincoln Logs with his daddy, rode the elk on the carousel and watched the fish in the huge aquarium. 

But my favorite p…

Frugal Friday: A Hurried Week

Saturday:  I was up super early this morning.  I awoke perhaps 5am and at 6am I knew I may as well go on and get out of bed.  I turned on the propane heater, put on a pot of water to add humidity to the air and turned on the Christmas tree lights.  I made sure to dress warmly today, too. 

My reward for early rising?  A most gorgeous sunrise, a fitting background to my prayer time this morning.  Somehow the intimacy with God is greater when you're looking out on the glory He's created while you pray.

I used small pieces of a loaf of bakery bread to make French Toast this morning.  I wanted very much to have nutmeg and vanilla in my French toast this morning, so I made sure to pour up the leftovers into an almost but not quite empty Strawberry jelly jar.  I've shaken it well each time I've gone into the fridge today.  I'll use that to make muffins another morning and will likely add a bit of frozen berries to the batter.

I made a small pan of brownies for us to have…

No Discount

I love a discount, when it means money off, don't you?  What I don't care for is the sort of discount that  occurs when someone takes a snooty attitude towards an opinion or action that others might be taking part in.  Not politics, but money saving is still the topic.

Not long ago, as I tooled around on Pinterest looking for new to me ideas or reminders of old ones for saving funds, I came across one of those bullet point type blog posts "Ten Things I Won't Do to Save Money."   Do you know how many of those things I do?  At least 8.  And it sort of riled me a little that this blogger would discount the efforts others make!

One of her points was that she would not wash zippered baggies.  That's fine.  It's not something I'd do either if I was short on time.  It is a savings but it's not necessarily the most time effective method of savings and I acknowledge that.  Her reason?  She wasn't sure they were really clean...uhm ever hear of HOT wate…

Coffee Chat: Sanity Savers

Hello dears.  Come in and have some coffee.  I'm in the midst of stirring up Christmas cookies and wondering what on earth I did with that sugar cookie recipe I had in hand two weeks ago.  Isn't that always the way it is?  Have a seat and I'll have you a cup of coffee, or even cocoa if you'd like, in a moment.  It's awfully cold outdoors isn't it?

I really want to make a load of cookies but I will not.  For one thing butter is not as low in price as it might be for this baking season and for another there is the fact that I love cookies.  I'm making the 'We can't have Christmas without..." cookies.  In our house that is a jam thumbprint that is rolled in coconut before you put the jam in the thumbprint, and stove top cookies, Magic cookie bars and chocolate chips.  And then because I use the sugar cookie dough as base for the thumbprint cookies and Katie and Sam take those home, I'll have a few pretty sugar cookies that I'll roll in co…

Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Come on in!  Have a piece of chocolate and a mini candy cane.  No worries, we're staying low carb though they are both sugary treats.  I promise you're under 14 carbs with those two little bits of candy.  Don't mind my pajamas and robe.  I got a bit chilly and decided that nothing short of cozy would do with Christmas music, Christmas tree lit and a tiny bit of holiday candy.    November seemed to just fly by, didn't it?  Well the year has seemingly flown by as well though I realize it had only as many hours in it as every single other year (save Leap Year).  Maybe it's because I USED so many more of those hours this year than I'd used in a long time?
I've been hearing Christmas music every where I went today.  Loved it!  I sang along and didn't mind if anyone heard but I promise I didn't get obnoxiously loud about it.  Just enjoyed myself, doing a tiny bit of Christmas shopping and very nearly finishing it off, doing a bit of grocery shopping (oh …

This Week In My Home: Mad Dash

This week in my home...

Christmas 2014 door.  Oh the mess the glue dots made on that door!  And still didn't hold on to those delicate snowflakes, lol.  All photos here are from Christmas past, 2014.

...we are caught up in a mad rush.  It seems nearly every one wants to get things out of the way before Christmas so dinner parties get planned for that first week of December.  And the rest of December is a tad downhill from there.  This week we'll attend John's work dinner and then we've got the kids coming in to spend the day with us on Friday and the rest of the family comes in on Saturday and we have our quarterly family day and incidentally, Christmas, too.  We always give an early gift to our kids so they can use as needed to help the season along in their homes.  We combine these activities with a Sunday at church and John working one day so we'll have to push grocery shopping in somehow and prepare for company as well. It will all get done, it always does and w…

Frugal Friday: Using What I Have, Holiday Style

Saturday:  I found it a good bit cooler this morning than the past two mornings.  I wanted crispy toast for breakfast, not our usual bagel.  I don't know what it is about nice crunchy hot toast and a hot cup of coffee, but it seems to go nicely with a cooler morning.

I made a recipe of pizza dough...then John decided he'd rather have a turkey sandwich, which turned into not a turkey sandwich but a plate of turkey with some of the leftovers.  More power to him!  That fridge is packed with leftovers and I am trying to put on my thinking cap and determine what I can do with them all and fill the gaps in my freezer with ready to heat and eat meals.  I do have a few ideas.

I fashioned a second wreath from one of the older ones and did some decorating on our back porch entry area.  I have decided that with all the cedar on the place I can afford to keep trimming branches and using that as fresh greenery...Why on earth should I go buy more faux stuff when the cedar is free?

I used a …

Winter Produce: In Season, Best Buys


Coffee Chat: Sweet November Done

Do come in....We'll likely have a few more coffee chats for a bit.  I'm worn slap out at the moment and despite decorating for Christmas and feeling inspired, I feel tired and that means inspiration thus far sputters.  Sputters do not start fires.  They just light up for a quick moment and then they are dead ash.  I was hoping for more, but considering all in all, I'll go in sputters for the time being.

How are YOU doing with the Thanksgiving leftovers?  I quelled mine and ended up with an impressive little bit of freezer meal magic for those super busy days ahead.  Butternut Soup (with a surprise addition) and a future filling for a turkey pot pie, and even a double portion of dressing and turkey with gravy for one of those days when we're less near gobbling.

I will do a quick share of our Thanksgivings.  I went to Sam and Bess' on Thursday for the DAY OF celebration.  Katie was too sick to come and that was fine.  It's a long drive when you feel quite well. …

The Proverbial Woman Vs. 31

Proverbs 31:31  Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her words praise her in the gates.

Tav (Tahw) is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Numerically Tav represents renewal and restoration.   It's meaning is 'covenant, sign, seal' .  The Tav is said to have a foot to the left (remember Hebrew reads from right to left, just the opposite of how we read English) and because there is nothing to the left of that letter it is thought to be an indicator that there is something more to come, something unknown.  The pictograph for Tav is a cross...

T'nu-lah is our word here.  It relates to 'Give her...' but in the lexicon the word used is a more ancient root word, Nathan which also means 'give'.  It is not simply a handing over though, it means 'grant, recompense, appoint' so you see, it's an honorary sort of giving not just my handing over to you what is yours but it is more that something is being bestowed.

In My Home This Week: Sparkling and Shining Bright

In my home this week, I: decorating my home for Christmas.  Of course, the photo above (and all the rest in this post are, as well) is from last year.  This year's will be....different!  Different from that one, at any rate.  I've had a few inspirations already.  I've only just started.  I've already figured out that I don't have all I thought I had...sigh.  lol  Oh well!  I love being creative and having fun, too.  For me, decorating or changing up a room feeds my creative urges and that leads me to think about things in a different sort of way which leads to inspiration in the kitchen, and in my wardrobe and on the blog.  Sort of a domino effect comes from it.  So I like to be creative and feed that muse.
Do you know what just amazes me?  People who not only decorate this weekend but already have their presents wrapped and under the tree!  Oh gee!  And I've only just this week begun doing my bit of shopping in earnest.  So far I've ordered two prese…

The Proverbial Woman Vs. 30

Proverbs 31:30  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Sin (sheen) is our next to last letter.  Sin is represented by a pictograph of a molar tooth, known for it's ability to crush or destroy.  It is a letter said to represent God (El Shaddai) and may be found on the cover of many mezuzahs.  Mezuzah are small boxes nailed to the doorposts of homes and contain a small scroll of scripture.
Because of it's shape it is said to represent a three fold cord: husband, wife, God.
Our word in this verse is Sheker and it means deceit or falsehood, lie.
Overall the verse and word seem very straightforward.  Looking further at the letter Sin and it's meanings however, I noted that one author wrote that the three prongs of the letter denoted man's attempts to bring God down to their own level by idolatry, just as the men in Moses camp demanded that Aaron make them a god to worship when Moses was gone more days than they thought he mig…

Frugal Friday: Holiday Daze

I have been trying for over a year to get my violets to bloom once more.  They were losing leaves left and right and just not doing well at all.  I stumbled upon a pin about African violets which suggested bright sunlight and watering every time that the soil even began to feel dry.  I thought they were getting plenty of light where they were but obviously not.  I moved them to the kitchen window and both now have buds forming.  Per the Pinterest post I should move them from the window as soon as they begin to bloom...I was soooo close to getting rid of them because I thought they were done, but apparently I was very wrong!

Saturday:  I have a slight cold.  Nothing major but just enough of something to aggravate me and slow me down.  Well today is a rest day anyway.  I slept in this morning, unusual for me but I did, until nearly 9am.  Nice to get the extra rest before the long day tomorrow.

Put a chicken in the oven to roast.  I had Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash that I added t…

The Proverbial Woman vs. 29

Proverbs 31:29  Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.

Resh (raysh) is the twentieth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  It has a pictograph of a head and the meaning of the word is 'head'.  It represents enlightenment.  Every letter prior is a letter of goodness, but Resh, which comes near the end of the alphabet, represents that factor in all of us which is sinful.  However, it is not to say that the wickedness is permanent.  There is always the ability to choose to repent, hence, enlightenment.

Our word in this verse is Rabat which means 'many'.

Here we have the words of the husband, "Many women have done excellently..." I don't suppose any wife, once she has been married many years,  would deny that she'd like to hear the praise for a job well done.  Here at the last of her life, this woman is hearing the praise of her husband.

Thanksgiving Week Coffee Chat: A Mild Panic

Oh hello...come on in and let's talk a bit, shall we? 

I'm tired, battle weary sort of tired, and I don't see an end to it anytime soon. I'm talking, of course, about the state of things in the U.S.  I make it a point not to ask anyone for whom they voted, nor to answer should they ask me.  I don't think it's any more of my business to know for whom you voted than it's any of my business to know what you have in your bank account, or how often you and your husband enjoy that more intimate relationship.  In other words, I think that some boundaries are necessary and good.

I was wary this whole past 18 months (gracious it's felt like YEARS).  I've had my feelings hurt by the things people and candidates have said, but I kept quiet.  I knew, in my heart, that I wasn't those things they claimed I was if I voted for candidate A or candidate B.  I also knew that neither candidate was all they might be, but I listened too to hear where they stood on …

The Proverbial Woman: Vs. 28

Proverbs 31: 29 Her children rise up and call her blessed;  her husband, also, and he praises her:

Kof (or Qoph) is our next letter. It is the nineteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The pictograph of this letter is a circle with a line through it. It is said to represent a thread being pulled through a needle.  The letter literally means 'nape' and  this symbolizes that which is behind.  Kof also has a meaning of holiness (kadosh begins with the letter kof) and with a cycle of some sort: of the week from the first day to the Sabbath, or a season, or of a life.
Our word is kamu and in the lexicon it is transliterated to the more ancient root word "quwm" meaning 'to arise'.  The expanded meaning of the word here is that her children stand up and confirm, establish, or decree.  I do not know that this is vocalized as much as it is confirmed by how they act in their adulthood.  ...her husband, also...
When I first began working with this passage it was another…

This Week In My Home: It's the Most Wonderful Time...

This week in my home, I...

...will likely arrive a little bit late.  I'm going to go down to Sam's to see him baptized.  I can't tell you all what this means to me. 
Both my girls gave their life to Christ in their early years, but not Samuel.  He didn't want to talk about it or hear about it.  He often went to church for long spells of time and was genuinely moved by the preaching but he just stubbornly refused to take that one necessary step of surrendering.  So to have him give his life to Christ finally, I can't miss seeing him baptized!
We're gearing up here in the States for the big holiday season.  We lead off with Thanksgiving this Thursday and from there it's work party, family gathering, invites here and there and Christmas and New Year's.  The next six weeks are pretty much a breathtaking ride to 2017.

Weekend Reading

I love looking at old homes and it doesn't bother me a bit to see them in their abandoned state.  I'd prefer to see every old building and home restored but I still love looking at the history of the site.  These were interesting to me for that reason.

These 2017 color predictions were far more interesting than any that Pantone has come up with in the last few years.  I could see myself choosing several of these.

Some of these sweet potato recipes  sound really good.  I've tried sweet potato biscuits and sweet potato pie crust myself and will attest they are delicious.  But my favorite way to eat a sweet potato?  Pulled piping hot, in the skin, right out of the oven, split open with a generous pat of butter melting inside it and eating it right away just like that.

Frugal Friday: UnFinished Projects Week

Saturday:  Dinner in the crockpot this morning so we can eat at midday.  I mixed a half pound of ground beef with some leftover brown rice to stretch it.  That made my filling for stuffed green peppers.  Green Peppers are loaded with vitamin C, as is tomato soup, which also went into the same crockpot.  John was a bit under the weather with something like a cold/allergy.  I was sure this would help boost his body back to good health.

Rinsed and stacked dishes.  The dishwasher upper rack is broken.  I knew when I loaded the dishes, the bottom rack would be filled to capacity...I washed a full load of dishes this evening and let them air dry.

Finished making John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Sunday:  Packed John's work lunch and made his breakfast.

It was cold out.  I sent him off to work with a cup of coffee in a to go cup which we've had on hand since last December.

The Proverbial Woman: vs. 27

Proverbs 31: 27  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Tsade (tsah-dee) is the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The 'ts' in this word is pronounced the same way the 'ts' is in 'nuts'.  Tsade  got it's name from it's shape which replicates a fishing hook or a bird trap.  Tsade is from the root word, tzod, meaning "capture, hunt, catch".
The word in our verse is tsaphah and means "to look out, to keep watch".  It derives from a primitive root word that means "to lean forward, to look into the distance."
Here I think we get a far clearer understanding of our Proverbial Woman.  In simply reading as the words stand it is quite easy to see the Western understanding of this woman is that she is always busy.  But in studying the Hebrew, one gains a deeper perspective.
In the day and age in which she lived, the cities were protected by walls and gates.  Upon those walls were wat…

The Proverbial Woman vs. 26

Proverbs 31:26  She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Pey is our seventeenth letter.  The pictograph looks like a mouth.  This letter is a caution to watch our words.  Following as it does upon the heels of 'ayin it is a reminder to let the inner eye assess and determine the situation in full before speaking.  Some Jewish sages believe that what we speak becomes reality, so it is truly a caution to watch what is said.  As a Christian, I long ago began to believe that my words had power and felt my spirit cautioned to be careful of those things I might say, in peace, anger or even in jest. 
Indeed the Bible has many powerful references to this.  When I was looking for one particular verse (Proverbs 18:21), these other references came up as well.  Just look at this link to that one page!

Proverbs 18:21  The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat it's fruit.

Book Review: In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett

I've recently read In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett.

I loved watching the Carol Burnett Show when I was growing up.  I thought Ms. Burnett was personable and seemed very much a person anyone might easily get to know.  I was aware that she was a renowned comedic actress but she certainly seemed very approachable and that was in part because of her question and answer sessions at the beginning of her shows.  In this book, she explains how these sessions were meant to do just that: make her seem girl next door, approachable and real.

A Budget Balanced Meal

I've longed to make a certain recipe for a bit over a year now.  Last week I finally did.  It  came about as the result of a leftover makeover.  I thought about each ingredient as I put the recipe together: Broccoli.  I was using stems and a few florets that I steamed together.  I have been guilty many times of not using the stems as I've planned to do but this time, I did use forethought and steamed them while steaming the florets for a meal.  I had a few florets left and chopped the stems up with them.  There was the broccoli called for in the recipe and it was using up every bit of that food.  Not bad thus far.

Croutons was the next ingredient.  I make these using leftover slices of bread, those too small to make toast or a sandwich and the end pieces.  I generally put the cubed bread in the oven when I have it on to bake something else.  I remove the item that was cooking, set the pan of bread cubes in the oven and turn off the heat.  Generally within an hour or so I hav…

The Proverbial Woman: vs. 25

Proverbs 31:25  Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the days to come.

'Ayin(ah-yeen)is our next letter. Like the letter aleph  the letter 'ayin is a silent letter, having no sound of it's own.  The pictograph for this letter is an eye.    The word 'ayin means 'eye' or 'to see' and has an expanded meaning of 'understand'  and 'obey'.  It might be said that this eye is an inner eye, representing the Holy Spirit vision and helps us determine between good and evil.   In other words, we live rightly we can easily distinquish between right and wrong and will make the right choices if we've allowed Holy Spirit to guide our thinking and control our heart.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!Matthew 6:22-23 ESV
Our word here is …

In My Home This Week: Autumn Lull

In my home this week:

I had a full week last week.  Guests, traveling, groceries, errands.  John is currently nursing something that appears to be more allergy than a cold but it's wanting to settle in his chest.  He's taking lots of Vitamin C and drinking plenty of fluids.  He's not running fever, so there is that...
The entertainment value alone of the bird bath outside the living room windows is awesome.  Right this minute there are two Blue jays and a Red headed Woodpecker squabbling over water rights.  I've seen Blue birds, Cardinals, Mockingbirds and Brown Threshers out there but the Jays are the most predominant.  I think I shall see if I can't set up water in other areas about the yard, and see about getting some bird feeders and seed set out as well.  I've noticed Misu stops by for a drink when she comes back from the fields by the way.  She never bothers the birds, but she will climb the steps and stretch out to drink from the bird bath before heading …

The Proverbial Woman Vs. 24

Proverbs 31:24  She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchants.

Samekh(sahm-keh) is the fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The pictograph of this letter resembles a shield.  The ancient root work for Samekh means "to lean upon", "to uphold", "to support".  The sages say that samekh also represents thecyclical upward spiral of seasons.  It is also said to represent the sukkah,  a shelter that represented the omnipresence of God and his continual protection.
The Hebrew word here in this verse is samakh meaning "cloak, or linen garment" according to one translation of the Hebrew.  The lexicon word used is "cadiyn" which means 'to envelop' or 'wrap around'. 
Digging thru the lexicon meanings of each of the words in this verse, I get a sense of a much, much deeper meaning.  For one thing, the garments she makes are described as sheets or a sort of gown worn next to the bare skin. The sas…

Frugal Friday: My Best Efforts

Friday: Packed John's work lunch and made him breakfast before he headed out to work this morning.

I was planning my day when my guest's  changed plans and announced he was arriving five hours earlier.  Boy did that throw me into overdrive.  Plans got tossed, new plans were made and some things just didn't get done.  We'll do our best to manage without those things.

Made a pan of Gingerbread and a pan of Brownies.  I hope that will see me through the company weekend but I'm not convinced it will...

The weather man promised cooler weather this afternoon but it hasn't happened yet.  Nor the heavy winds supposed to blow in that cold front.  Phooey!

Having the doors opened and shut a hundred times in a half hour made Gramma give a mandate:  Stay inside!  After all the AC was running and both doors were wide open.  I convinced them the gnats belonged outdoors.

Prepped food ahead earlier today for the two big weekend meals. 

I washed a full load of dishes in the dis…